The U.S. Department of Justice can make progress on one of its longtime challenges—stopping mismanagement and misuse of federal grant programs—by making more information publicly available, the agency's inspector general told Congress yesterday, reports Legal Times. Inspector General Michael Horowitz told a House subcomittee that grant recipients are required to keep information internally on the receipt of federal dollars. Congress should consider giving DOJ oversight of that data and making that information publicly available on websites such as USAspending.gov, he said.
“It gives multiple eyes on the grants,” Horowitz told the House Judiciary subcommittee on crime, terrorism, homeland security and investigations. “We are more likely to get whistleblower conduct where there is misconduct going on.” Horowitz's office has issued several reports that show systemic problems in DOJ grant programs. The department has awarded $17 billion in grants over the past five years to thousands of governmental and nongovernmental recipients. Although DOJ has made steps to improve management of grant programs, Horowitz said the agency still needs to reduce duplication and improve coordination among its three grant-making components: the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, the Office on Violence Against Women and the Office of Justice Programs.