Inspector General's Report on the FBI
Source: Office of Inspector General , U.S. Department of Justice
Redacted IG Report: https://oig.justice.gov/multimedia/transcripts/video-11-19-19.pdf
Video Script: “A Message from the Inspector General: Audit on the FBI’s Management of its
Confidential Human Source Validation Processes,” November 2019
Hello, I’m Michael Horowitz, Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Justice.
Today we released a report on the FBI’s management of its Confidential Human Source
program. The FBI relies on confidential sources to provide support for law enforcement and
national security operations. But lessons learned from past confidential source problems has
led Attorneys General to place a strong emphasis on oversight over confidential sources; and to
the creation of the Attorney General confidential source guidelines.
We identified significant issues in our audit regarding both the FBI’s oversight of its confidential
sources and the FBI’s compliance with the Attorney General Guidelines.
• First, we found that the FBIs’ vetting processes for sources, known as validation, did
not comply with the Attorney General Guidelines, particularly with regard to “longterm” sources,
• Second, we found that the Department’s review committee that approves the FBI’s
continued use of long-term confidential sources had not vetted long-term sources in
a timely manner and also did not comply with the Attorney General Guidelines.
• Third, we found that the FBI didn’t provide agents with clear guidance for how to
communicate with confidential sources.
• Finally, we found that FBI employees were sometimes discouraged from
documenting conclusions and recommendations about sources; and we identified
issues with the FBI’s ability to align its confidential sources with its highest threat
Ineffective management and oversight of confidential sources can result in jeopardizing FBI
operations, and placing FBI agents, sources, subjects of investigation, and the public in harm’s
way. The FBI agreed with all of our recommendations to improve its management and
oversight over this important program.
Thank you for joining us.
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