DOJ suffers from financial management problems

Persistent problems in financial management at the Immigration and Naturalization Service are the No. 1 barrier to a better-managed Justice Department, according to a General Accounting Office report released last month.

The report targets INS' "selection of a replacement financial management system without first analyzing its business processes" as central to the technology-related obstacles that impede better performance at the agency. The report was released as part of GAO's series on "Major Management Challenges and Program Risks" at federal agencies.

But the problems extend beyond INS. GAO also references a financial audit that found "improvements were needed in general controls at the department's data centers and in certain components' financial management systems."

The GAO report goes on to state that access controls were weak for information files for the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, INS and the Marshals Service. "User passwords were not required to be changed, security software was not configured to prevent access to inactive users, and system programmers had been inappropriately provided the ability to make numerous types of modifications to files that would allow them to circumvent security controls or assist others in such actions," the report states.

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