FBI Reorganization: Progress Made in Efforts to Transform, but Major Challenges Continue Page: 2 of 65
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Accountability- Integrity- Reliability
Highlights of GAO-03-759T, a testimony
before the Subcommittee on Commerce,
Justice, State, and the Judiciary,
Committee on Appropriations, House of
Why GAO Did This Study
Following the September 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks, the FBI needed to
refocus its efforts to investigate
those attacks and to detect and
prevent possible future attacks. To
do this the FBI has taken steps to
change its priorities and sought to
transform itself to more effectively
address the potential terrorist
threats. This testimony specifically
addresses the FBI's (1) progress in
updating its strategic plan;
(2) development of a strategic
human capital plan; (3) realignment
of staff resources to priority areas;
(4) reallocation of staff resources
from its drug program; (5) efforts
to recruit and hire new personnel
to address critical staffing needs;
(6) efforts to enhance its training
program; and (7) implementation
of new investigative authorities and
internal controls to ensure
compliance with the revised
Attorney General's Guidelines on
General Crimes, Racketeering
Enterprise and Terrorism
Enterprise Investigations and to
help protect individual civil
To view the full product, including the scope
and methodology, click on the link above.
For more information, contact Laurie E.
Ekstrand at (202) 512-8777 or
Progress Made in Efforts to Transform,
but Major Challenges Continue
What GAO Found
Last June, GAO highlighted the importance of the FBI's success in
transforming itself, noting several basic aspects of a successful
transformation. Thus far, GAO is encouraged by the progress that the FBI
has made in some areas in the past year, but a number of major challenges
The commitment of Director Mueller and senior level leadership to the FBI's
reorganization and the FBI's communication of priorities warrant
recognition. However, a comprehensive transformation plan with key
milestones and assessment points to guide its overall transformation efforts
is still needed. The FBI has also not completed updating its strategic plan
and has not developed a strategic human capital plan, although it has made
some progress in both these areas.
To better ensure focus on the highest priorities, over the last year, several
actions were taken, including permanently redirecting a portion of the field
agent workforce from criminal investigative programs to counterterrorism
Increase in Allocation of FBI Field Agent Positions to Priority Areas
FY 2002 FBI field agent positions before the change to new
Other field programs
21% Organized criminal
27% enterprises & drugs
26% White collar crime
FY 2003 FBI field agent positions after the change to new priorities
Other field programs
14% Organized criminal
enterprises & drugs
24% White collar crime
However, the FBI continues to face challenges in critical staffing areas
including: (1) utilizing staff resources from other criminal investigative
programs to address counterterrorism, and (2) a lack of adequate analytical
and technical assistance and administrative support personnel.
The FBI's efforts to address critical skill needs and revise its training
program are commendable. GAO also found internal controls in place to
help ensure compliance with the revised Attorney General's Guidelines and
protect individual civil liberties.
United States General Accounting Office
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United States. General Accounting Office. FBI Reorganization: Progress Made in Efforts to Transform, but Major Challenges Continue, text, June 18, 2003; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc289564/m1/2/: accessed February 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.