FBI Counterterrorism: Vacancies Have Declined, but FBI Has Not Assessed the Long-Term Sustainability of Its Strategy for Addressing Vacancies, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 667KB]

"Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] established counterterrorism as its top investigative priority. Since 2001, the FBI has hired thousands of additional staff, increasing its total onboard workforce by 38 percent. In particular, the FBI has increased both the size and the role of its headquarters [HQ] CTD [Counterterrorism Division] that is located in Washington, D.C. In 2005, the FBI reported that nearly 40 percent of staff positions in certain parts of CTD were vacant, raising concerns about the FBI's ability to fulfill its most important mission. As requested, GAO [Government Accountability Office] reviewed FBI CTD vacancies. Specifically, this report discusses (1) the extent to which counterterrorism vacancies existed at FBI HQ since 2005 and the reasons for the vacancies and (2) the impact of the strategies implemented by the FBI to address these vacancies. GAO obtained data on CTD vacancies from fiscal years 2005 through 2011 as well as strategies the FBI used to address vacancies and their associated costs. GAO also interviewed FBI human resources and counterterrorism officials regarding vacancies and the FBI's steps to address them. This report is an unclassified version of a classified report GAO issued in February 2012. GAO recommends the FBI establish criteria, time frames, and other factors for its evaluation of the long-term sustainability and effectiveness of HSI [Headquarters Staffing Initiative] to determine whether it is the most effective strategy for reducing vacancies. The FBI concurred with this recommendation."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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Listed on May 2, 2012 [Critical Releases]