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Tag: DIOG

FBI Will Once Again Give Test on Domestic Operations

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
The FBI soon plans to give its employees a test on bureau policies for conducting surveillance on Americans. The test, if you recall, is called the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide. (DIOG)

Last time the test was given for the DIOG, things didn’t go so well. In fact, a scandal developed. The Justice Department’s Inspector General last year found that a number of employees cheated on the open-book test on the DIOG. Some agents passed around the answers. Some finished in such short time it was obvious they cheated. Some folks got in trouble.

This time agents, analysts and other employees are going to take a test focusing just the revisions made on the DIOG. It will be much shorter.

Paul Bresson, spokesman for the FBI, said he expects the test to be introduced in the coming weeks.

“Prior to implementation of the revised Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG), all FBI special agents and appropriate professional staff will be required to successfully complete a training course and assessment,” Bresson said in a statement to the ticklethewire.com

“This requirement, to include the assessment, is designed to review important concepts (including items focusing on respect for civil rights and privacy concerns) and to ensure that FBI employees understand the changes that are being made in the revised DIOG.”

“Much like other web-based training regularly provided by the FBI, the DIOG assessment will be part of the educational program.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Head of FBI Agents Association Says Agents Should Take Controversial Test Over; Also Wants to Have Input in Pick of Next FBI Director

Konrad Motyka/ticklethewire.com photo

Konrad Motyka/ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The head of the FBI’s Agents Association said Wednesday that he’d prefer to see all agents retake a controversial open-book test– and that no one be punished.

“Given the publicity, anyone taking the test the next time, there shouldn’t be any confusion as to the procedure,” Association President Konrad Motyka said in an interview Wednesday with ticklethewire.com.  He said the instructions for taking the first test were unclear for some.

The Justice Department’s Inspector General report recently found that a number of FBI agents cheated on the test that was on bureau policies for conducting surveillance on Americans called the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG).

The internal investigation, which focused on four FBI offices, found 22 people cheated, some of whom worked together or got the answers. The FBI is currently reviewing the matter, and is in fact considering having agents retake the test, much to the dismay of the many agents who did not cheat. The test is taken on a computer.

Motyka said of the cheating scandal potentially involves only a minuscule number of the 13,500 agents.

“I don’t think this is a commentary on the integrity of the FBI agents population in any way at all,” said Motyka, an FBI agent based in New York.

But he added: “Any time there’s negative publicity about the FBI, it’s harmful.”

Motyka, speaking in the D.C. law firm of Bracewell & Giuliani, which serves as general counsel for the association, also said the association hopes to have an input in the replacement for  Director Robert S. Mueller III, who finishes up his 10- year term next September.

While he declined to discuss names of potential successors, he said the Association would prefer a law enforcement person, but would not necessarily object to a judge or federal prosecutor. Mueller was a former prosecutor.

“We plan to make our point of view known,” he said.

Some of the names that have surfaced in the media include Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, John Pistol, the former number two FBI agent who now heads up the Transportation Security Administration, Frances Fragos Townsend, President Bush’s counterterrorism adviser and former Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton.

Motyka said the Association also plans to press next year for a Merit System Protection Board right, which would allow agents to appeal disciplinary decisions to an independent board.  Currently, agents can appeal a disciplinary decision, but most must do through the FBI’s internal process.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

The FBI Cheating Scandal Probe Began at the Washington Field Office With an “Anonymous Complaint”

FBI's Joseph Persichin Jr./ticklethewire.com photo

FBI's Joseph Persichin Jr./ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A probe into the nationwide FBI test cheating scandal cited in an Inspector General report released Monday began at the Washington field office, just blocks from the Capitol.

The report, which cited widespread cheating on an open book exam nationwide, said the FBI Inspection Division in September 2009 received an anonymous complaint that three top managers at the Washington Field Office (WFO) cheated on the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG), which provides guidelines on surveilling Americans. The bureau allowed agents to refer to reference materials for the open book exam, but not to take it together or get the answers beforehand.

Keith Bryars/fbi photo

Keith Bryars/fbi photo

The report, while not naming names, said two special agents in charge at the Washington Field Office — Keith Bryars and Andrew Castor — had taken the open book exam together “while discussing the questions and possible answers with a legal advisor, who was present.”

It went on to say that the Assistant Director in Charge (ADIC) , Joseph Persichini Jr. was in the room, but did not take the test at the time.

“Instead, the ADIC wrote the answers and later used them to complete the exam another day.” Ticklethwire.com was the first to report on the scandal last November. Castor, Bryars and Persichini have all consistently declined to comment on the matter in the past.

The Inspector General report said one of the special agents in charge “argued, among other things, that he did not cheat because although he had asked the legal advisor to reference the sections in the DIOG for us to use to answer the question” he never asked the legal advisor ‘what the answer was to a particular question.'”

Andrew Castor/fbi photo

Andrew Castor/fbi photo

But the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) wasn’t buying it, the report said, and concluded that he “violated basic test-taking protocols and constituted cheating.”

The OPR probe found that both SACs violated the FBI policy about making false or misleading statements by certifying in question 51 on the exam that they had not consulted with anyone on the test.  OPR issued a 20 day suspension without pay for both,  and a demotion to a non-supervisory pay grade of GS-13. But the punishment was stayed while they appeal.

Interesting, in the meantime,  both have landed “acting” deputy assistant director jobs — one at headquarters and one at Quantico, Va. Some in the rank and file at the bureau have perceived it as a promotion — a move they think sends the wrong message.

Read more »

Potential Scandal Brewing at FBI D.C. Field Office Over Test

D.C. Field Office

D.C. Field Office/ gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A potential scandal may be brewing over at the FBI’s Washington field office, one of the largest and most prominent FBI field offices in the nation.

An internal investigation has been launched into allegations that some high ranking agents worked on an online test together instead of individually, an apparent violation of department policy, sources familiar with the situation said. A bureau lawyer was also rumored to have been involved.

The test was on  the bureau’s Domestic Investigation and Operations Guide (DIOG), and is given to all FBI agents including FBI Director Robert Mueller III and to some support staff on the operational side.

The test is an open book exam, but can be time consuming and requires that it be done individually.

The DIOG, according to the FBI website “establishes the FBI’s internal rules and procedures to implement the Attorney General’s Guidelines for Domestic FBI Operations (AGG-Dom), which are posted on the Department of Justice’s website, www.usdoj.gov.

“These rules, which will be audited and enforced through a rigorous compliance mechanism, are designed to ensure that FBI assessments and investigations are subject to responsible review and approval and do not target anyone or any group on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, or the exercise of any other right guaranteed by the Constitution.”

Michael Kortan,  the FBI’s chief  spokesman, declined comment.

The FBI, like other federal law enforcement agencies,  has historically refrained from commenting on ongoing personnel matters.