Report | Feb. 6, 2015

Evaluation of the Defense Criminal Investigative Organizations' Compliance with the Lautenberg Amendment Requirements and Implementing Guidance

DODIG-2015-078

Objective

We evaluated the Defense Criminal Investigative Organizations’ (DCIOs’) compliance with the requirements in the Lautenberg Amendment as implemented by DoD Directive (DoDD) 5210.56, “Carrying of Firearms and the Use of Force by DoD Personnel Engaged in Security, Law and Order, or Counterintelligence Activities,” and DoD Instruction (DoDI) 6400.06, “Domestic Abuse Involving DoD Military and Certain A ffiliated Personnel.” Specifically, we determined whether the DCIOs have adequate procedures and processes to ensure:

  • a qualifying domestic violence conviction (state or Federal convictions for misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, felony crimes of domestic violence (adjudged on or after November 27, 2001), or general or special court-martial convictions for Uniform Code of Military Justice offenses otherwise meeting the elements of a crime of domestic violence) can be identified prior to entrance on duty;
  • domestic violence convictions are reported for all their personnel during their employment with the DCIO;
  • personnel actions are taken if a qualifying domestic violence conviction is discovered or occurs after an employee enters on duty; and
  • qualifying domestic violence convictions are documented.

Findings

The DCIOs did not comply with the Lautenberg Amendment as implemented by cited DoD policies in the following areas.

  • U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC) did not require personnel applying for covered positions to use the DD Form 2760 to certify that they did not have qualifying convictions, in accordance with DoDD 5210.56 and DoDI 6400.06.
  • Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), USACIDC, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) did not have clear and consistent policies regarding the disposition of privately owned firearms and ammunition by agents found to have a qualifying conviction.
  • DCIS, USACIDC, and NCIS did not periodically inform employees in covered positions that they have an affirmative, continuing obligation to inform their commander or supervisor if they have an existing qualifying conviction or later obtain one.
  • DoDI 6400.06 paragraph 6.1.5 requires a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between DoD and civilian law enforcement agencies for the purposes of sharing information about domestic violence incidents involving DoD employees. USACIDC, NCIS, a nd A FOSI h ave not established MOUs in accordance with DoDI 6400.06, but the requirement is redundant because DoDI 6400.06 also requires an MOU between base legal officials and civilian prosecuting attorneys.

Despite the findings identified, we determined that it is unlikely the DCIOs hired or retained anyone with a qualifying conviction because the suitability investigation process is very thorough.

Recommendations

The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy (ODASD/MC&FP) and the Military Criminal Investigative Organizations (MCIOs) should revise their policies to comply with the Lautenberg Amendment.  Specifically, their policies must be clear and consistent regarding the disposition of privately owned firearms and ammunition by agents found to have a qualifying conviction. Additionally, the MCIOs should require all employees serving in covered positions to complete the DD Form 2760 annually. Also, ODASD/MC&FP should revise DoDI 6400.06 by removing the requirement for a separate MOU between civilian law enforcement agencies and the MCIOs.

Management Comments and Our Response

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy agreed with our findings and r ecommendation t o r evise D oDI 6400.06. In addition, the MCIOs agreed with our findings and recommendations to revise their policies and to implement additional measures to ensure compliance with the Lautenberg Amendment and DoD policies.  No further comments are required.