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Tx State Auditors Report on Selected Parole Function at Docj and Bopp June 2008

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John Keel, CPA
State Auditor

An Audit Report on

Selected Parole Functions at the
Department of Criminal Justice
and the Board of Pardons and
Paroles
June 2008
Report No. 08-036

An Audit Report on

Selected Parole Functions at the
Department of Criminal Justice and the
Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036
June 2008

Overall Conclusion
The Department of Criminal Justice
(Department) addresses identified parole
violations in compliance with laws and
Department policies; however, the Department
should improve compliance with some of its
existing processes for identifying potential
parole violations.

Background
Paroled offenders must abide by the
conditions of their parole, which are
stipulated by the Board of Pardons and
Paroles (Board). The Department of
Criminal Justice’s Parole Division is
responsible for monitoring offenders on
parole and mandatory supervision,
identifying parole violations, and
addressing these violations.

The Department supervised 77,526 offenders on
parole and mandatory supervision during fiscal
year 2007. During this same time period,
31,904 allegations of parole violations were
presented by the Department to the Board of Pardons and Paroles (Board) for
administrative decisions, which resulted in 10,251 revocations of parole.
The Department could improve compliance with its existing processes for
monitoring of offenders and identification of potential parole violations.
Specifically:
¾

The Department did not always test offenders for drug use as frequently as
required by Department policy and the conditions of parole. For 55 percent of
the offenders’ records tested, the offender received a drug test from one to

three months later than the required frequency interval.

¾

The Department did not always resolve active and passive global positioning
system (GPS) alerts or electronic monitoring alerts within the required
timeframes; however, auditors noted significant improvement in this area in
fiscal year 2008.

¾

The Department did not always contact offenders as frequently as required by
Department policy. Parole officers had regular contact with the offender,
however they did not complete all the specified contacts required for each
month.

The Department adequately provided oversight of violations reported by halfway
house staff and monitored the payment of offender fees. Also, the Department
appropriately processed parole violations according to Department policies.
This audit was conducted in accordance with Texas Government Code, Sections 321.0132 and 321.0134.
For more information regarding this report, please contact Michael Apperley, Assistant State Auditor, or John Keel, State Auditor, at
(512) 936-9500.

An Audit Report on
Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice
and the Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036

However, the Department did not always ensure that parole officers consistently
entered offender-related interactions into the Offender Information Management
System (OIMS). For example, only 67 percent of the imposed interventions tested
were recorded in OIMS, limiting the availability of offenders’ parole history to
other parole officers and Department supervisors.
The Board complied with applicable laws and Board policies in addressing
identified violations of conditions of parole. Specifically:
¾

The parole violation hearing process proceeded in a timely manner in all files
reviewed.

¾

The Board complied with the requirements to provide offenders with due
process.

¾

The Board imposed penalties for parole violations by at least a two-thirds vote in
all files reviewed.

¾

The Board scheduled revocation hearings and completed the revocation process
within 40 days. The Board also accurately entered the information in its
Clemency and Parole System (CAPS).

The Department’s Parole Division’s utilization of the completed portion of OIMS
has improved some administrative processes, reduced the duplication of work, and
provided the Parole Division more accountability and supervision over parole
officers and offenders. However, some users of OIMS stated they have experienced
problems, including slow system performance. Inadequate equipment limits the
usability of OIMS and contributes to the system’s poor performance. The
Department has not documented the system’s performance targets and has not
fully determined the extent of performance problems.
The Department estimates that the $31 million OIMS project will be completed in
July 2008, seven years behind schedule. One of the three OIMS parole modules,
parole supervision, was implemented in September 2004 and is now in use. A
second module was implemented in September 2006, but it was taken off-line in
March 2007 to address user needs recognized during implementation. The third
module is not yet implemented. The Department has submitted monthly reports
to the State’s Quality Assurance Team (QAT) since December 2006 indicating that
the OIMS project was 99 percent complete, however project documentation does
not support how this figure was determined.

Summary of Management’s Response
The Department agrees with the recommendations in this report, and its responses
are included in the Detailed Results section of this report. This report does not
include recommendations for the Board; however, a response from the Board is
presented in Appendix 2.

ii

An Audit Report on
Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice
and the Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036

Summary of Objectives, Scope, and Methodology
The objectives of this audit were (1) to determine whether the Department and
the Board comply with applicable laws and agency policies in identifying and
addressing violations of conditions of parole or mandatory supervision and (2) to
review the implementation and performance of OIMS and the Department’s and
the Board’s utilization of the system.
The scope of this audit covered selected parole functions at the Department and
the Board for fiscal year 2007.
The audit methodology included visiting a parole office in each region;
interviewing Department and Board staff; reviewing Department and Board
documentation; reviewing electronic data; reviewing the project management and
implementation of OIMS; analyzing hardware, software, and PC usage; and
surveying Department and Board employees.

iii

Contents

Detailed Results
Chapter 1

The Department Addressed Parole Violations in
Compliance with Laws and Policies, But It Could
Improve Compliance with Its Existing Processes for
Identifying Potential Parole Violations............................. 1
Chapter 2

The Board of Pardons and Paroles Addressed Identified
Parole Violations in Compliance with Applicable Laws
and Policies............................................................. 6
Chapter 3

The Department’s Utilization of OIMS Has Improved
Some Processes, But the Department Should Improve Its
Management, Tracking, and Reporting of the OIMS
Project .................................................................. 8

Appendices
Appendix 1

Objectives, Scope, and Methodology.............................. 14
Appendix 2

Management Response from the Board of Pardons and
Paroles ................................................................. 17

Detailed Results
Chapter 1

The Department Addressed Parole Violations in Compliance with Laws
and Policies, But It Could Improve Compliance with Its Existing
Processes for Identifying Potential Parole Violations
The Department of Criminal Justice (Department) complied with laws and
Department policies in addressing identified parole violations. Parole officers
address parole violations through various interventions or by initiating
revocation proceedings in accordance with Department policies. The
Department may also issue an emergency arrest warrant to address violations
of parole.
Paroled offenders are responsible for abiding by the conditions of parole
stipulated by the Board of Pardons and Paroles (Board). The Department’s
Parole Division is responsible for monitoring the offender, identifying
violations, and addressing violations of parole. The Department supervised
77,526 offenders on parole and mandatory supervision during fiscal year
2007. Its Parole Division includes five geographical regions throughout the
state and employs approximately 1,250 parole officers. Table 1 lists the 10
counties with the most parolees.
Table 1

Ten Counties in Texas with Most Offenders
on Parole or Mandatory Supervision
Number of Offenders on Parole
or Mandatory Supervision

County
Harris

15,228

Dallas

10,445

Tarrant

6,025

Bexar

4,633

Travis

2,992

El Paso

1,776

Hidalgo

1,047

Collin

562

Denton

741

Fort Bend

682

All Other Counties and Offenders
Supervised Out of State
Total

33,395
77,526

Source: Board of Pardons and Paroles 2007 Annual Report.

An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036
June 2008
Page 1

The Department’s Parole Division consistently followed its policies for
reviewing and submitting violation reports. Department policy requires
violation reports be reviewed by supervisors and have two concurring
signatures. Violation reports are also required to be submitted within five
workdays from the date on which the violation was made known to the parole
officer. Forty-nine of 50 (98 percent) violation reports reviewed had the
appropriate concurring recommendations, and 48 of 50 (96 percent) violation
reports reviewed were submitted within the required timeframes.
The Department had controls in place to ensure that emergency warrants were
accurate. In cases in which a parole violation is a viable threat to public
safety, the Department can issue an emergency arrest warrant. Department
policies require the supporting facts for these emergency warrants be
documented in a violation report issued the next business day after the
emergency warrant is issued or in previous reports regarding the same
violation. The Department adequately supported the emergency warrants
issued, but it did not always comply with Department policy to issue a
violation report the next business day. Specifically:
ƒ

1,939 of 1,960 (99 percent) emergency warrants reviewed had information
in the Offender Information Management System (OIMS) indicating that a
violation report was submitted or was issued subsequent to a Board
hearing or panel action.

ƒ

57 of 165 (35 percent) emergency warrants reviewed had a supporting
violation report submitted from 2 to 127 days after the warrant was issued,
(the average for those 57 warrants was 12 days). This is later than the
Department’s desired time frame of having the report filed by the next
business day.

The Department could improve compliance with its existing monitoring of
offenders and identification of potential parole violations.

The Department monitors offenders for parole violation through frequent
contacts with the offender, drug testing, and the use of global positioning
systems (GPS) or electronic monitoring. However, the Department did not
always comply with the requirements for offender contacts, offender drug
testing, and reviews of GPS and electronic monitoring alerts.
Upon offenders’ release, the Department’s Parole Division assigns a
supervision level to each offender based upon individual assessments
performed by the parole officer. Based on this supervision level, parole
officers make a specific number and type of contacts with the offender on a
recurring basis. The Department uses electronic monitoring and GPS systems
to more closely monitor some offenders and track the offenders’ movements
or compliance with curfews. The Department receives a notification of
potential noncompliance in the form of curfew alerts, device tamper alerts,
and equipment status alerts. Department policies requires parole officers to
An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036
June 2008
Page 2

resolve GPS and electronic monitoring alerts, which indicates an offender
may be in violation of his or her parole restrictions, within one business day.
Also, depending on the offender’s record and history of drug use, the
Department may require parole officers to administer drug tests at specific
intervals.
However, the Department’s Parole Division did not always comply with these
supervision requirements during fiscal year 2007. Specifically:
ƒ

In 65 of 74 (88 percent) offender files reviewed, parole officers contacted
the offender as required by the assessed level of supervision.
Œ

In the remaining 9 (12 percent) offender files, parole officers had
contact with the offender, however they did not complete all the
specified contacts required for each month.

ƒ

In 27 of 49 (55 percent) offender files reviewed, the offender received a
drug test from one to three months later than the required frequency
interval. Four of the offender files indicated these tests were reportedly
late due to the Department’s lack of testing supplies

ƒ

For 33 of 40 (82 percent) GPS alerts from fiscal year 2007 reviewed,
parole officers resolved the alerts by the next business day, as required.
Some unresolved alerts may be attributed to parole officers’ failure to
promptly resolve equipment malfunctions. However, auditors performed
follow-up testing of GPS alerts that occurred in January 2008 and noted a
marked improvement: 10,838 of 10,857 (99 percent) of the GPS alerts
were reviewed and resolved by the next business day due to enhanced
monitoring efforts the Department implemented in fiscal year 2007 to
address this issue.

ƒ

In 9 of 40 (22 percent) electronic monitoring alerts reviewed, parole
officers did not resolve the alerts within the required time frame.

The Department does not always ensure that parole officers consistently enter
the required offender-related information into OIMS.

The Department developed OIMS in part to automate parole-related functions,
including some aspects of supervising offenders. OIMS provides a central
repository for documentation of parole officers’ offender-related contacts and
interactions, which allows parole officers throughout the state to access an
offender’s case management information.
OIMS’ Parole Supervision module is used by parole officers to document
their interactions with offenders on parole and is considered the substantive
record of monitoring activities and communications with offenders. Some
technical violations of parole require the parole officer to impose an
intervention, rather than initiate a revocation hearing. Department policies
An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036
June 2008
Page 3

require parole officers to impose appropriate interventions within five
workdays from the date on which the parole officer becomes aware of the
violation. The Department did not always record interventions in OIMS or
impose the intervention within five workdays. Seven of 21 (33 percent)
imposed interventions reviewed were not recorded in OIMS and only 5 of 21
(24 percent) interventions were processed within the specified time
requirements.
Documentation of interventions within OIMS is inconsistent because of either
missing or vague entries by parole officers. Auditors were unable to
determine whether some of the interventions were imposed or whether there
was an escalation of interventions by the parole officer because parole
officers’ entries were either vague or there was a lack of follow-up entries. In
addition, documentation in OIMS of arrest warrants issued subsequent to
halfway house notifications of violations was inconsistent. Some records
noted that a violation occurred and an arrest warrant was issued, while other
records did not have any reference to a violation or the arrest warrant.
The Department complied with laws and policies for monitoring halfway houses
and payment of offender fees.

Halfway Houses
A halfway house is a residential
center that provides increased
monitoring and support to
convicted felons immediately after
their release from incarceration.
In fiscal year 2007, there were
eight halfway house facilities
throughout the state with a total
contract population of 1,159
offenders. Offenders stayed at a
halfway house for an average of
132 days. The estimated average
cost per bed day for these facilities
in fiscal year 2008 is $36 dollars
per day.

Some offenders transition from incarceration to parole through a
halfway house. An offender in a halfway house will continue to be
monitored by parole officers; however, halfway house staff may also
report violations of the offender’s parole conditions or facility rules
(see text box). These reports are sent directly to the Department,
which subsequently notifies the offender’s parole officer. The
Department provided adequate oversight of halfway houses’ reports of
offender violations. The Department adequately documented 81 of 83
(98 percent) halfway houses’ reported violations reviewed in the
Department’s warrant database.

Offenders are required to pay fees while on parole as part of restitution
or post-secondary education reimbursement. The parole officer
assigned to the offender is responsible for monitoring the collection of
these fees. The Department complied with its requirement to monitor the
payment of offender fees. In all 59 files reviewed, the offenders either paid
their fees on time or the parole officers identified that the offenders paid the
fees late. When the offenders paid their fees late, the parole officers
implemented the appropriate intervention in 19 of 22 (86 percent) files
reviewed.

An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036
June 2008
Page 4

Recommendations

The Department should:
ƒ

Establish minimum documentation standards for recording violations and
interventions in OIMS. These standards should ensure significant events,
such as the issuance of arrest warrants and parole officer interventions, are
clearly documented in OIMS.

ƒ

Ensure parole officers’ compliance with required contacts and drug testing
is tracked and reported to management on a regular basis.

Management’s Response

Recommendation: Establish minimum documentation standards for recording
violations and interventions in OIMS. These standards should ensure
significant events, such as the issuance of arrest warrants and parole officer
interventions, are clearly documented in OIMS.
TDCJ agrees to review and, as necessary, revise policies and procedures to
ensure minimum documentation standards of violations are established and
maintained in OIMS. Completion and implementation of the Parole Violation
and Revocation (PAVR) module in OIMS will establish a uniform platform to
document pertinent information and significant events, such as in the issuance
of warrants and parole officer interventions.
Recommendation: Ensure parole officers’ compliance with required contacts
and drug testing is tracked and reported to management on a regular basis.
TDCJ will continue development and revision of management oversight
reports regarding contacts and drug testing. Of note was a significant change
to drug testing protocol which was initiated in FY’08. The Department shifted
from a stationary laboratory testing protocol to cup testing which provides
real time results. This change not only provides for rapid detection of abuse,
but also reduces time delays or omissions related to entry of testing data into
OIMS.

An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036
June 2008
Page 5

Chapter 2

The Board of Pardons and Paroles Addressed Identified Parole
Violations in Compliance with Applicable Laws and Policies

Alternative Sanctions
In addition to revoking an
offender’s parole, the Board has
several options for addressing
violations of parole. These
include continuing supervision or
placing the offender in an
intermediate sanction facility or
a substance abuse felony
punishment facility.

The Board of Pardons and Paroles (Board) provided adequate due process to
offenders and completed the revocation hearing process within 40 days, as
required by state laws and Board policies. The Board is responsible for
granting parole and stipulating the parole conditions for offenders. The Board
is also responsible for imposing the appropriate sanction in response to
identified parole violations. The Board has several options for imposing
sanctions, which may include revocation of an offender’s parole following a
hearing process (see text box).
Prior to revoking an offender’s parole, pursuant to Texas Government Code,
Chapter 508, and adopted legal precedents, the Board is required to provide
the offender due process of law and meet specific time requirements in the
revocation process. The revocation process may include a preliminary
hearing, a revocation hearing, and a final disposition decided by the Board
panel. Auditors reviewed separate files associated with the various stages of
the Board’s revocation process and the Board complied with state statutes and
Board requirements. Specifically:
ƒ

All 50 preliminary hearing files tested contained a determination of
probable cause to hold the offender. Of these determinations, 96 percent
(48 of 50) concluded that probable cause existed to hold the offender and
the remaining 4 percent (2 of 50) authorized the offenders’ release with
continued supervision. Also, all 50 files complied with the Board’s
timeliness requirements.

ƒ

In 44 of 45 (98 percent) preliminary hearing files tested that required the
Board to document a valid determination of the offenders’ conditional
right to counsel, the files contained such documentation.

ƒ

In all 45 revocation hearing files tested, the offender received a hearing
packet in advance of the revocation hearing. Also, the Department
obtained the signatures of the offender and parole officer/counsel on
required documentation, and the Board scheduled and convened the
revocation hearing within the required time frames.

ƒ

In all 42 revocation hearing files tested that were subject to a “40 day
rule,” the Board completed the revocation hearing process within 40 days
as required.

ƒ

In all 38 revocation hearing files tested in which the offender had made a
statement during the hearing, the Board documented the offender’s
statement as required.

An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036
June 2008
Page 6

ƒ

In all 29 Board panel analyst files tested, the panel analyst included
complete and accurate information in the Board panel hearing packet, and
the panel analyst completed his or her duties within the required time
limits.

ƒ

In all 45 Board panel review files tested, the Board approved all
determinations and sanctions by at least a two-thirds vote, and the
information in all 45 files matched the information entered in the Board’s
Clemency and Parole System (CAPS).

An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036
June 2008
Page 7

Chapter 3

The Department’s Utilization of OIMS Has Improved Some Processes,
But the Department Should Improve Its Management, Tracking, and
Reporting of the OIMS Project
The Department’s utilization of the completed portions of OIMS has
improved some parole supervision and monitoring processes. The
Department developed OIMS in part to automate the manual processes and
reduce paperwork associated with the monitoring and revocation of offenders’
parole. Surveys and interviews of Department and Board staff indicate that
OIMS has improved some processes. Specifically:
ƒ

Parole officers and supervisors reported that OIMS has improved their
turnaround time and reduced duplication of work. For example, an
offender’s request to change his or her legal county of residence had
previously taken up to 30 days to process a transmittal to and receive
approval from the Board. This process now can take fewer than 10 days.

ƒ

Supervisors reported that OIMS enables the Department’s Parole Division
to provide more effective supervision over and increased accountability
for parole officers and offenders. For example, a review of an offender’s
file formerly took 3 days, but now it takes 30 minutes.

ƒ

The Department stated that OIMS reduced the time required to complete
an investigation and take action after the arrest of an offender on parole.

ƒ

The Department reported that the use of OIMS reduced travel time and
expenditures.

The Department continues to implement OIMS, but it is seven years behind
schedule.
Implementation of OIMS
The Department has implemented one
of three planned OIMS modules.
Implementation of the parole
supervision module began in 2000 and
was originally scheduled to be
completed in 2001. The Department is
now scheduled to complete the
implementation of the parole modules
in July 2008 at a total project cost of
$31 million. The project encountered a
number of problems that contributed to
its extended implementation, including:

ƒ The vendor that was originally

contracted was terminated in 2003.

ƒ Changes to the system design were

not successfully managed to control
the size and duration of the project.

The parole modules of OIMS were originally scheduled to be
implemented in 2001. Currently, they are scheduled to be fully
implemented in July 2008 (see text box). The first of three OIMS
parole modules, parole supervision, was implemented in September
2004 and is in use by the Department’s Parole Division. The second
module, pre-release to parole, is designed to automate the process used
by the Board to release offenders to parole. This module was
implemented in September 2006, but it was taken off-line in March
2007 to address Board user needs recognized during implementation.
The Board continues to use the module for those cases processed
between September 2006 and March 2007, which represents about 1
percent of the expected caseload volume. The third module, parole
violations and revocations, has not been implemented.

An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036
June 2008
Page 8

The Department did not use industry-standard methodologies for information
technology project management.

The Department lacked a documented process to guide completion of the
OIMS project, including documented procedures for controlling changes to
the system design and for user acceptance. Ongoing changes and additions to
the system design have contributed to the project’s expansion and likely have
delayed its implementation.
In addition, the Department did not use a documented acceptance and sign-off
process for Board and Department users to evaluate the business functions of
OIMS as these functions were developed, tested, and implemented. A
documented user acceptance process throughout an information technology
project can help ensure that a computer system will be implemented as
planned and as scheduled, and that it meets user expectations.
Tracking and reporting of the OIMS project needs to be improved.
Future funding for OIMS
Rider 32, page v-21, the General
Appropriations Act (80th Legislature)
requires the Department and Board to
certify the completion of the OIMS
project to the Governor and the
Legislative Budget Board before the
Department can authorize
expenditures for the next major
addition to OIMS, which will automate
incarceration processes.

Quality Assurance Team
The State’s Quality Assurance Team
provides oversight of large
information system projects at state
agencies. The Quality Assurance
Team is comprised of representatives
from the Department of Information
Resources, the Legislative Budget
Board, and the State Auditor’s Office.
The Quality Assurance Team is
responsible for monitoring the
development and implementation of
projects that cost more than $1
million and take more than one year
to develop.

The State’s Quality Assurance Team monitors the OIMS project by
reviewing mandated status reports submitted by the Department. The
Department submitted these reports as required; however, some
information in these reports has not been fully documented.
Since December 2006, the Department has submitted monthly reports to
the Quality Assurance Team indicating that the OIMS project was 99
percent complete. However, project documentation does not support
how this figure was determined. The reports indicate that OIMS
business functions and features have been implemented, but the
Department was not able to provide documented acceptance and sign-off
by Board and Department users.

The Department began submitting reports to the Quality Assurance
Team in fiscal year 2000; however, these reports did not adequately
describe the problems that the Department had encountered. For
example, the reports did not adequately explain the consequences of
significant events, such as when the Department was unable to resolve
disagreements with its key vendor Sapient. Sapient provided 150 project
staff and was contracted for $25 million of the original $28 million
project. Due to unresolved contractual performance issues, the
Department did not continue its contract with Sapient. The OIMS
project was left with fewer than 20 Department employees. This reduction in
staffing—from more than 150 people to fewer than 20— and the inability to
complete the project via the contract were likely the primary factors in the
project’s delay.

An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036
June 2008
Page 9

The Department monitors OIMS performance; however, users experience poor
performance.

The Department uses a number of industry-standard software tools to monitor
the technical performance of the OIMS application, database, hardware, and
network. However, OIMS users have experienced performance problems,
such as synchronizing files between their personal computers (PCs) and
OIMS while parole officers are in the field. Some officers are required to
access high-speed data lines while working in the field to work on-line, rather
than connecting periodically to upload information into OIMS. The
Department’s initial minimum PC requirements did not adequately support the
use of OIMS. Parole officers with those PCs have experienced poor
performance. In addition, the Department’s laptop replacement program is on
a six-year schedule, as opposed to the industry standard three-year schedule
recommended by the Department of Information Resources. Furthermore, the
Department is not meeting its six-year replacement schedule.
The Department was not able to provide auditors information about the PCs
used to access OIMS, including processor speed, memory, operating system,
and service date. Not knowing this information limits the Department’s
ability to effectively troubleshoot OIMS performance problems and manage
the replacement of poorly performing equipment. Other weaknesses
identified include:
ƒ

The Department lacks documented OIMS performance targets, such as
targets for the expected response times for a user query or for scrolling
through a report. As a result, the Department may be unable to fully
report the extent of any performance problems.

ƒ

The Department is not collecting historical monitoring data, which could
be used for solving OIMS performance problems.

ƒ

Although the Department tracks OIMS problems reported by users, the
Department does not extract and analyze help desk data to manage OIMS
problems experienced by users.

ƒ

The Department has not documented that it has fully implemented all
technical changes that a third-party analysis of the OIMS mainframe
database recommended.

ƒ

OIMS users are required to save data frequently to ensure that they do not
have to re-enter data when OIMS automatically logs them off. Users also
experience slow OIMS performance during periods of heavy usage around
the beginning of each month.

An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036
June 2008
Page 10

Team for Texas
The Department of Information
Resources entered into a
contract with IBM and a group of
subcontractors that are
collectively referred to as Team
for Texas. The contract requires
Team for Texas to provide data
center services under Texas
Government Code, Chapter
2054.

As required, the Department transferred the responsibility for managing
some OIMS hardware to IBM and its Team for Texas organization (see
text box) as part of the statewide hardware consolidation project.
However, the scope of IBM’s management of its monitoring
responsibilities is not clearly documented.

Recommendations

The Department should:
ƒ

Use industry-standard processes and methodologies for information
technology project management, in particular to obtain documented user
acceptance by the Board and Department to complete the OIMS project by
the target date of July 2008.

ƒ

Work with the State’s Quality Assurance Team to clarify the reporting for
the OIMS project.

ƒ

Determine and use optimal PC configurations for OIMS.

ƒ

Maintain and use information to improve OIMS performance, including:
Œ

Performance targets.

Œ

Historical performance monitoring data.

Œ

Help desk calls of user problems.

ƒ

Complete any Department-approved technical changes suggested by thirdparty analyses.

ƒ

Help users avoid having to re-enter data when OIMS automatically logs
them off the system.

ƒ

Work with Board and Department users to improve OIMS performance
during periods of heavy usage.

ƒ

Coordinate with IBM and Team for Texas to document the responsibility
for performance monitoring.

An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036
June 2008
Page 11

Management’s Response

Recommendation: Use industry-standard processes and methodologies for
information technology project management, in particular to obtain
documented user acceptance by the Board and Department to complete the
OIMS project by the target date of July 2008.
TDCJ agrees to continue efforts to obtain user acceptance and complete the
OIMS project. The user signoff on the Pre-Release module and the Parole
Revocation and Violations module is currently being managed by the Deputy
Executive Director.
Recommendation:
Work with the State’s Quality Assurance Team to
clarify the reporting for the OIMS project.
TDCJ agrees to work with the QAT team to clarify the reporting for the OIMS
project.
Recommendation: Determine and use optimal PC configurations for OIMS.
TDCJ agrees to continue our efforts to obtain appropriate computer
equipment. The standard PC configuration that has been purchased in the
last four years and the used computers that were obtained from the
Department of Family Protective Services all meet the criteria to be attached
to the wide area network and process the OIMS modules quickly and
efficiently. The 400 new laptops, and the 100 used laptops that were recently
obtained from another state agency, deployed this year can process the offline
application very well. These laptops are the only PCs the offline application
is going to be loaded on. The remaining 1,097 PCs that have been identified
for replacement will be replaced as funds are available.
Recommendation: Maintain and use information to improve OIMS
performance, including:
ƒ

Performance targets.

ƒ

Historical performance monitoring data.

ƒ

Help desk calls of user problems.

TDCJ agrees to continue efforts to improve OIMS performance. The
Department strives for sub-second response time. The original design
standard called for 5 second response time. The Department will prepare a
document listing the performance targets for OIMS. The performance will be
tracked by sampling parole offices and a history of the performance will be
established. Calls to the help desk that are OIMS related will be recorded
and provided to OIMS maintenance staff for analysis.
An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036
June 2008
Page 12

Recommendation: Complete any Department-approved technical changes
suggested by third-party analyses.
TDCJ agrees. As of March 2008 all third party recommendations have been
implemented.
Help users avoid having to re-enter data when OIMS
Recommendation:
automatically logs them off the system.
TDCJ agrees to continue efforts to avoid unnecessary re-entry of data. The
problem occurs when a parole officer is entering text in a text box and the
screen doesn’t get refreshed in the thirty minute window and the system logs
the user off. They lose the text they were entering and have to sign back on
the system and reenter their data. The user is given a warning at 27 minutes
but they feel that is inadequate. The development team will research ways to
reset the timer while in the text entry boxes so this doesn’t occur. However no
change will be made to the automatic shut down of the user session if the
session is inactive for 30 minutes. This is vital resource issue to keep users
from leaving their PCs logged on and preventing another user from accessing
the database.
Recommendation: Work with users to improve OIMS performance during
periods of heavy usage.
TDCJ agrees to continue to work with users to improve OIMS performance.
The OIMS maintenance staff will work with a revolving sample of parole
officers to test the user response time of the OIMS system. They will use the
input to pinpoint what the problem is and find a solution.
Recommendation: Coordinate with IBM and Team for Texas to determine
responsibility for performance monitoring.
TDCJ agrees to review this issue with DIR. It is the Department’s position
that IBM is responsible for monitoring the performance of the two IBM
mainframe computers the 200 servers and the DB2 database the agency uses.
The Department believes this is well documented in the outsourcing contract
between DIR and IBM. It is also well documented in Production and
Procedures Manual available on the IBM portal to all the agencies included
in the outsourcing contract.

An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036
June 2008
Page 13

Appendices
Appendix 1

Objectives, Scope, and Methodology
Objectives
The objectives of this audit were:
ƒ

To determine whether the Department of Criminal Justice (Department)
and the Board of Pardons and Paroles (Board) comply with applicable
laws and agency policies in identifying and addressing violations of
conditions of parole or mandatory supervision, including the use of
progressive sanctions and the revocations of offenders’ parole and
mandatory supervision.

ƒ

To review the implementation and performance of the Department’s
Offender Information Management System (OIMS) and the Department’s
and Board’s utilization of the system.

Scope
The scope of this audit included selected parole functions at the Department
and the Board for fiscal year 2007.
Methodology
The audit methodology included visiting parole offices in each region.
Auditors visited parole offices in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and
Lubbock/Amarillo and the State Office for Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Auditors selected sites to visit based on the number of parole violations by
region and individual office.
Information collected and reviewed included the following:
Department policies and procedures for monitoring offenders and addressing
violations of parole:
ƒ

Electronic data for global positioning systems (GPS) and electronic
monitoring alerts and for emergency warrants issued.

ƒ

Preliminary and revocation hearing packets.

ƒ

Offender hard copy files and corresponding offender case management
information in OIMS.

An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036
June 2008
Page 14

Procedures and tests conducted:
ƒ

Interviews of key staff at the Department and Board, parole officers, and
various staff at individual parole offices regarding the revocation process
and the monitoring of offenders on parole.

ƒ

Tests of electronic monitoring and GPS violation alerts.

ƒ

Tests of halfway house violation reports with corresponding Department
electronic data.

ƒ

Tests of administrative violations’ (drug tests, interventions, and
supervision contacts) electronic documentation in OIMS and
corresponding hard copy information in offender files.

ƒ

Tests of the preliminary hearing and revocation hearing process using hard
copy information in hearing packets on file with the Board.

ƒ

Tests of the hearing analysis review process using information in
offenders’ files and the Board’s Clemency and Parole System (CAPS) for
accuracy and timeliness.

ƒ

Reviews of the Department’s support documentation for the project
management, implementation, performance, and utilization of OIMS.

ƒ

Analysis of hardware, software, and PC usage.

ƒ

Survey of Department and Board employees.

Criteria used included the following:
ƒ

Texas Government Code, Chapter 508.

ƒ

Texas Administrative Code, Title 37, Chapter 146.

ƒ

Department internal policies and procedures.

ƒ

Board of Pardons and Parole directives, policies, and procedures.

ƒ

Texas Government Code, Sections 2054.118, 2054.158, 2054.097,
2054.1181, 2054.1182, and 2054.1183.

ƒ

General Appropriations Act (79th Legislature), Article IX, Sections 9.01
and 9.02.

Project Information
Audit fieldwork was conducted from January 2008 through April 2008. We
conducted this performance audit in accordance with generally accepted
government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and
An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036
June 2008
Page 15

perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a
reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit
objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis
for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives.
The following members of the State Auditor’s staff performed the audit:
ƒ

Bruce Dempsey, MBA, CIA (Project Manager)

ƒ

David Dowden (Assistant Project Manager)

ƒ

Darrell Edgar, CFE

ƒ

Catherine Fallon, MPAff

ƒ

Brian Jones, CGAP

ƒ

Thomas Mahoney

ƒ

Lisa Thompson

ƒ

Cody Tubbs

ƒ

Jennifer Wiederhold, CGAP

ƒ

Marlen Kraemer, MBA, CGAP, CISA (Information Systems Audit Team)

ƒ

Gary Leach, MBA, CISA, CQA (Information Systems Audit Team)

ƒ

Rachelle Wood, MBA (Information Systems Audit Team)

ƒ

Worth Ferguson, CPA (Quality Control Reviewer)

ƒ

Mike Apperley, CPA (Assistant State Auditor)

An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036
June 2008
Page 16

Appendix 2

Management Response from the Board of Pardons and Paroles

An Audit Report on Selected Parole Functions at the Department of Criminal Justice and the Board of Pardons and Paroles
SAO Report No. 08-036
June 2008
Page 17

Copies of this report have been distributed to the following:

Legislative Audit Committee
The Honorable David Dewhurst, Lieutenant Governor, Joint Chair
The Honorable Tom Craddick, Speaker of the House, Joint Chair
The Honorable Steve Ogden, Senate Finance Committee
The Honorable Thomas “Tommy” Williams, Member, Texas Senate
The Honorable Warren Chisum, House Appropriations Committee
The Honorable Jim Keffer, House Ways and Means Committee

Office of the Governor
The Honorable Rick Perry, Governor

Members of the Board of Criminal Justice
Mr. Oliver J. Bell, Chairman
Mr. Gregory S. Coleman, Vice-Chairman
Mr. Tom Mechler, Secretary
Mr. John “Eric” Gambrell
Mr. Charles Lewis Jackson
Ms. Janice Harris Lord
Mr. R. Terrell McCombs
Mr. J. David Nelson
Mr. Leopoldo “Leo” Vasquez III

Department of Criminal Justice
Mr. Brad Livingston, Executive Director

Members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles
Ms. Rissie L. Owens, Presiding Officer
Mr. Jose Aliseda, Jr.
Mr. Charles Aycock
Mr. Conrith Davis
Ms. Jackie DeNoyelles
Ms. Linda Garcia
Ms. Juanita M. Gonzalez

This document is not copyrighted. Readers may make additional copies of this report as
needed. In addition, most State Auditor’s Office reports may be downloaded from our Web
site: www.sao.state.tx.us.
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, this document may also be requested
in alternative formats. To do so, contact our report request line at (512) 936-9880 (Voice),
(512) 936-9400 (FAX), 1-800-RELAY-TX (TDD), or visit the Robert E. Johnson Building, 1501
North Congress Avenue, Suite 4.224, Austin, Texas 78701.
The State Auditor’s Office is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the
basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability in employment or in the
provision of services, programs, or activities.
To report waste, fraud, or abuse in state government call the SAO Hotline: 1-800-TX-AUDIT.

 

 

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