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Detailed Information on the
National Criminal History Improvement Program Assessment

Program Code 10001094
Program Title National Criminal History Improvement Program
Department Name Department of Justice
Agency/Bureau Name Department of Justice
Program Type(s) Block/Formula Grant
Assessment Year 2003
Assessment Rating Moderately Effective
Assessment Section Scores
Section Score
Program Purpose & Design 80%
Strategic Planning 100%
Program Management 100%
Program Results/Accountability 75%
Program Funding Level
(in millions)
FY2007 $9
FY2008 $9
FY2009 $0

Ongoing Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments
2006

Establishing a program to systematically assess records quality, track and monitor improvements, and establish priorities for funding.

Action taken, but not completed The web-based Survey of State Criminal History Information Systems was approved by OMB in May 2007, and a report on national and state records quality index will be posted on the web in April 2007. OJP is validating survey responses and constructing data tables. Milestone: Based on a preliminary review, follow-up with several respondent states will be required to clarify some submissions prior to publication. This work is expected to be completed by the end of FY 2008.
2006

Focusing limited program resources on improving the completeness and accuracy of criminal history records, especially the final status of any action taken by the justice system.

Action taken, but not completed The FY 2008 NCHIP solicitation identified completeness of court dispositions as the highest priority for NCHIP applications. Web-based training for court personnel for improving records quality and completeness has been launched. Milestones: BJS is creating a project to identify best state practices regarding information quality assurance, to be launched in 4th quarter of FY 2008. A national workshop will be conducted in early 2009 in connection with recently-enacted legislation.

Completed Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments
2004

Requesting that states contribute a 20 percent matching contribution for the grants, with allowance given to those cases in which states may not be able to meet a 20 percent match.

Completed The President's FY 2006 budget for NCHIP included an increase of $33.521 million above the FY 2005 enacted level. An increase in the match was accomplished without requiring a statutory change to the Crime Identification Technology Act (P.L. 105 251). Completed September 30, 2005.
2004

Developing a measure of criminal history records data quality to better track state records improvements and target Federal resources to the states with the greatest needs.

Completed BJS has fully operationalized the RQI. States used data from the RQI in developing their proposed activities under the FY05 NCHIP program. Using RQI data, BJS made FY05 funding decisions and recommended areas of improvement to the States. Recent RQI data are available publicly at www.sdcorp.net/RQI/results/. BJS and the States will continue to use the RQI performance measurement system to track achievements, identify areas in need of improvement, and target funds effectively. Completed Sep 2005
2004

Making improvements in data collection to support faster, more useful reporting of performance results.

Completed BJS has fully operationalized the RQI. States used data from the RQI in developing their proposed activities under the FY05 NCHIP program. Using RQI data, BJS made FY05 funding decisions and recommended areas of improvement to the States. Recent RQI data are available publicly at www.sdcorp.net/RQI/results/. BJS and the States will continue to use the RQI performance measurement system to track achievements, identify areas in need of improvement, and target funds effectively. Completed Sep 2005

Program Performance Measures

Term Type  
Annual Output

Measure: Number of States in Interstate Identification Index (III) System.


Explanation:This measure targets an increase in States' participation in III

Year Target Actual
2001 43 43
2002 43 43
2003 45 45
2004 46 47
2005 47 48
2006 48 48
2007 49 48
2008 50
2009 50
2010 50
Annual Output

Measure: Number of States participating in the FBI's Intergrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS).


Explanation:This measure targets an increase in the States' participation in IAFIS.

Year Target Actual
2001 33 36
2002 34 43
2003 43 43
2004 43 52
2005 44 53
2006 46 54
2007 54 54
2008 55
2009 55
2010 55
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Percentage of records accessible through III.


Explanation:This measure indicates the number of automated records made accessible through III for conducting presale firearms and other background checks. Note: actual 2005 data not available until processing of survey (est. summer 2007)

Year Target Actual
2001 60.7% 63.0%
2003 65.5% 71.1%
2006 67.6% Available July 2008
2008 71.0%
2010 71.0%
2012 75%
Annual Output

Measure: Number of States providing data to the FBI's National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR)


Explanation:This measure targets an increase in the States' participation in NSOR.

Year Target Actual
2001 27 31
2002 28 49
2003 49 54
2004 50 54
2005 50 54
2006 54 54
2007 54 54
2008 54
2009 54
2010 54
Annual Output

Measure: Number of States participating in the FBI's protection order file (POF)


Explanation:This measure indicates an increase in States' participation in the POF.

Year Target Actual
2001 32 34
2002 33 42
2003 42 45
2004 43 47
2005 44 47
2006 48 46
2007 54 48
2008 54
2009 54
2010 54
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Percentage of applications for firearms transfers rejected primarily for the presence of a prior felony conviction history


Explanation:This measure tracks information provided by State point of contacts to identify ineligible firearm purchasers and to identify persons subject to a qualifying protection order related to domestic violence and persons convicted of a qualifying domestic violence misdemeanor who attempt to purchase firearms. Note: 2005 data is not available until the annual Backgrond Checks for Firearm Transfers, 2005 report is finalized in Fall 2006.

Year Target Actual
2001 N/A 1.9%
2002 N/A 1.7%
2003 1.6% 1.6%
2004 1.5% 1.6%
2005 1.4% 1.6%
2006 2.0% 1.6%
2007 2.0% 1.6%
2008 2.0%
2009 2.0%
2010 2.0%
2011 2.0%
2012 2.0%
2013 2.0%
Annual Output

Measure: Number of States submitting data to the FBI's Denied Persons File and/or other NICS Index Files


Explanation:The measure targets an increase in States' participation in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Prohibited Persons Index.

Year Target Actual
2003 17 12
2004 20 13
2005 25 21
2006 22 24
2007 24 39
2008 26
2009 28
2010 40
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Percentage of recent state records which are automated


Explanation:This measure is an indicator of the States' progress in upgrading records and improving their records systems. Note: 2005 data not available until completion of 2005 Survey of State Criminal History Records Systems Release of Data expected in Summer of 2007.

Year Target Actual
2001 N/A 89.4%
2003 N/A 94.3%
2006 89.9% 89.9%
2008 90%
2010 95%
2012 96%
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Ratio of criminal records automated to NCHIP funds expended (New measure, added February 2008)


Explanation:The ratio is the increase of criminal records automated (current year minus prior year) divided by NCHIP funds expended. Criminal records data will be supplied to BJS by the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division. NCHIP funds expended will be derived from standard Award Status reports generated by OJP's Enterprise Reporting Tool (ERT).

Year Target Actual
2006 Baseline 3.214
2007 2.10 2.127
2008 1.80
2009 1.50
2010 1.36

Questions/Answers (Detailed Assessment)

Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design
Number Question Answer Score
1.1

Is the program purpose clear?

Explanation: Program goals and objectives are clearly and consistently stated in various published documents and the BJS website. These include program announcements, strategic plans, and performance related documents.The NCHIP Program consolidates criminal records improvement funding authorized under the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (P.L. 103-159); the National Child Protection Act (P.L. 103-209); the Crime Identification Technology Act (P.L. 105-251); the Violence Against Women Act provisions of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-322); Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-386); and various provisions of the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, Megan's Law, and the Pam Lychner Sexual Offender Tracking and Identification Act.

Evidence: Program goal: To ensure that accurate records are available for use in law enforcement, including sex offender registry requirements, and to permit States to identify ineligible firearm purchasers; persons ineligible to hold positions involving children, the elderly, or the disabled; persons subject to protection orders or wanted, arrested, or convicted of stalking and/or domestic violence; persons ineligible to be employed or hold licenses for specified positions; and persons potentially presenting threats to public safety. Source documents:Improving Criminal History Records for Background Checks (p.1)Bureau of Justice Statistics Strategic Plan FY 2003-2004 (p.18)National Criminal History Improvement Program: FY 2003 Program Announcement (p. 8)U.S. Department of Justice, FY 2002 Performance Report and FY 2003 and FY 2004 Performance Plan (p.75)BJS website www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/nchip.htm

YES 20%
1.2

Does the program address a specific and existing problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: Improved criminal history records are needed to support the immediate identification of persons prohibited from firearms purchases or holding positions of responsibility involving children, the elderly, or the disabled. Interstate access to complete/accurate criminal records also is needed for criminal justice decisions on pretrial release, career criminal charging, sentencing, and correctional assignments, as well as assisting law enforcement in criminal investigations. Federal funds have enhanced the quality of records and state participation in the national records systems, but there is much room for improvement. Completeness of records remains a problem. Automated disposition reporting is improving, but States still need to link dispositions to arrests and charges. Interstate access and availability of records is key to effective background checks for national security and related purposes--45 States participate in the FBI's Interstate Identification Index System and 42 States submit data to the FBI's Protection Order Files. NCHIP aims to build the capacity of States not yet participating and to get participating States to increase records access. New uses of records are continuously emerging, such as the National Sex Offender Registry, the National Protection Order File (the Anti-Stalking Database requirements of the Violence Against Women Act), and most recently, the mental health records requirements (under the Our Lady of Peace bill) and background checks for volunteers (provisions under the Protect Act).

Evidence: Continued need for Improvement: About 23 million criminal records are either not automated or not accessible by the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) and another 15 million criminal records that are automated and accessible are missing critical data such as arrest dispositions. 25 States have automated less than 60% of their felony criminal conviction records. 8 States do not automate or make accessible domestic violence restraining order records to NICS. 14 States do not automate or make accessible domestic violence misdemeanor conviction records to NICS. 31 States do not automate or make accessible disqualifying mental health records to NICS.

YES 20%
1.3

Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of any Federal, state, local or private effort?

Explanation: While there are multiple sources of funding addressing the issue of criminal records upgrades, NCHIP can be viewed as somewhat unique as it, alone, requires the States to conform to the national standards and requirements established by the FBI to insure that accurate and reliable national background check system can be fully accessed for those purposes established under law. In addition to NCHIP, some limited Federal funding for criminal records improvements also has been provided under the Byrne grant program. States also dedicate their own funding for improving the accessibility and accuracy of their records. The NCHIP authorizing legislation requires the Federal share of a State's program or proposal may not exceed 90% of the cost of the program. Accordingly States report the match in their funding requests. In FY 2002, as part of their funding request, over a third of the States contributed more than the required match. In the aggregate, for FY 2002, the Federal share of State proposed spending was 83%. Nevertheless, NCHIP is the primary vehicle for building the national infrastructure to support the background check systems required under the Brady Act and other legislation. NCHIP strongly encourages States to allocate state funds to expand upon NCHIP-supported efforts. This has the effect of ensuring State commitment to the goals of the program and maximizes the impact of Federal funding. Further, the Byrne and NCHIP funds are coordinated to achieve the NCHIP program's goals. BJS also considers other sources of funding used by the States when reviewing and awarding the NCHIP grants.

Evidence: Multiple Federal funding sources include: the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Edward Byrne Memorial Grant Program, which requires States to use at least 5 percent of award money for improvement of criminal justice information systems; and CITA funds earmarked by Congress to particular jurisdictions for improvement of criminal justice information systems and infrastructure. States are required to report their Byrne-related activities in their funding application. For example, NC submitted in its 2003 application, "The 2002 Byrne 5% set-aside in the total amount of $696,160 was allocated to four projects throughout the state. Two projects were used to upgrade the Computerized Criminal History files for the state, one was for a terrorism information management system, and one was for the Statewide Warrant Repository." The primary authorizing legislation of NCHIP, the Crime Identification Technology Act (CITA), explicitly assigns BJS as the principal administrator of the CITA program. Source documents: Continuing Criminal History Records Improvement Evaluation, Final 1994-1998; Official grant file 2000-RH-CX-K041, application #2003-30024-NC-RU; Crime Identification Technology Act of 1998 (CITA), P.L. 105-251; Edward Byrne Memorial Grant Program Announcement; and List of FY 2003 CITA earmarks.

YES 20%
1.4

Is the program design free of major flaws that would limit the program's effectiveness or efficiency?

Explanation: By using comparatively few Federal resources to leverage potentially larger State resources, the program is less costly to the Federal government than a variety of other approaches, including increased direct Federal funding. However, the authorizing legislation of NCHIP specifies that the Federal share of a State's program or proposal may not exceed 90% of the cost of the program, possibly reducing State efficiency incentives. A regulatory approach would be coercive and hinder a two-decade Federal/State partnership. When States accept the Federal funds they are agreeing to comply with the standards and requirements established by the FBI to participate in the national systems. The result is a more comprehensive and effective background check system with a comparatively small Federal investment. Performance data indicate the progress the Federal government and the States have made toward reaching the goals of increasing the access to and availability of national criminal history and other related records. Although not a program flaw, per se, it may be worth considering consolidating the limited Byrne grant funds used for criminal records upgrades into the NCHIP grant.

Evidence: Since the inception of NCHIP, the number of criminal history records held nationwide grew 29% while the number of automated records increased 35%. Over the same period, the number of records available for sharing under the FBI's Interstate Identification Index climbed 75%. The State NICS infrastructure, developed through NCHIP funding, is now supporting over 8 million checks annually at the presale stage of firearms purchases. In a May 2003 Department of Justice press release, Attorney General Ashcroft stated, "The improvements in the NICS system are helping make our country safer by barring access to firearms by felons, illegal aliens, and others who cannot legally own guns."

YES 20%
1.5

Is the program effectively targeted, so program resources reach intended beneficiaries and/or otherwise address the program's purpose directly?

Explanation: BJS attempts to target specific problems and deficiencies in each State's efforts. BJS conducts several statistical series to ascertain the quality of record-holdings in each State and collects performance data from the FBI and the States on the States' progress in participating in the FBI's national systems. Funding allocations are based primarily on the quality of the record-holdings in each State, the amount of funding previously received, and the capacity of the State to spend the funds in a timely manner. The implementation of the Record Quality Index (RQI), to be implemented by the FY 2004 funding cycle, will permit BJS to identify very specific problems and deficiencies at the individual state level and better target each State's need for continued funding. Such "refined" targeting is needed in order to continue to build on the record of success demonstrated by the program in the past.

Evidence: The Survey of State Criminal History Information Systems collects data on the status of State criminal history records systems at yearend 1999. The data are used as the basis for estimating the percentage of total State records that are immediately available through the FBI's Interstate Identification Index and the percentage that include dispositions. Other data include the number of records maintained by each State, the percentage of automated records in the system, and the number of States participating in the FBI's Interstate Identification Index. The National Instant Background Checks System (NICS) Survey collects data from the States to identify major impediments to disposition completeness, with a primary focus on the linkage between criminal record repositories and the courts and prosecutors. The RQI collects data from the States on a measurable set of key indicators which uniformly characterize the performance of each State and the national system. These measures are combined into an index to continuously ascertain the performance of the system. Source documents: Improving Criminal History Records for Background Checks; 2001-2002 NICS Operations Report, FBI and related DOJ Press Release dated May 29, 2003; Background Checks for Firearms Transfers, 2001; Survey of State Criminal History Information Systems 2001 (forthcoming); BJS Fact Sheet: Records Quality Index.

NO 0%
Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design Score 80%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning
Number Question Answer Score
2.1

Does the program have a limited number of specific long-term performance measures that focus on outcomes and meaningfully reflect the purpose of the program?

Explanation: The purpose of the program is to improve the quality and accuracy of criminal history and related records and to increase the access to and availability of these records for conducting presale firearms and other background checks, goals which the following measures support: "The percentage of recent State records that are automated" provides an estimated level of automation of records as reported by State criminal records repositories and is an indicator of the States' progress in upgrading records and improving their records systems. "The percentage of automated records made accessible through the Interstate Identification Index" is a good indicator of the States' progress in providing interstate access to information about offenders for presale firearms and other background checks. "The percentage of applications for firearms transfers rejected primarily for the presence of a prior felony conviction history" tracks information provided by States on background checks for persons applying to purchase a firearm from a federally licensed firearm dealer and is an indicator of the success of meeting a national objective to block sales of firearms to prohibited purchasers.

Evidence: Long term measure #1: Percentage of recent state records which are automated Long term measure #2 Percentage of records accessible through the FBI's Interstate Identification Index System Long term measure #3: Percentage of applications for firearms transfers rejected primarily for the presence of a prior felony conviction history Source documents: U.S. Department of Justice, FY 2002 Performance Report and FY 2003 and FY 2004 Performance Plan (p.75) , Annual GPRA plans, BJS Strategic Plan FY 2003-2004 (p.19)

YES 12%
2.2

Does the program have ambitious targets and timeframes for its long-term measures?

Explanation: BJS establishes long term and annual targets based on continuing independent evaluations, state self reporting, and interagency dialogue between BJS, DOJ, and the FBI, which manages the interstate record systems. Facts considered are levels of current state capacity, anticipated levels of annual funds, and periods of time required for completion of major record upgrades. The number of records available under the FBI's Interstate Identification Index is probably the most significant measure since it incorporates levels of record automation and FBI coordination, and serves as a measure of interstate record availability. The available records are projected at 48 million in 2005, representing 67.7% of the total number of criminal history records. This reflects an increase of nearly 4 million records over the 2003 estimate, an increase that is somewhat higher than in the two year periods preceding. Given limited Federal funding and State fiscal limitations, the increase is ambitious.

Evidence: Improved Records: Since the inception of NCHIP, the number of criminal history records held nationwide grew 29% while the number of automated records increased 35%. Over the same period, the number of records available for sharing under the FBI's Interstate Identification Index climbed 75%. From the inception of the Brady Act on March 1, 1994, to December 31, 2001, about 38 million applications for firearm transfers were subject to background checks. About 840,000, or 2.2% of all applications, were rejected, primarily for the presence of a prior felony conviction history.

YES 12%
2.3

Does the program have a limited number of specific annual performance measures that demonstrate progress toward achieving the program's long-term measures?

Explanation: The annual measures are indicators of the progress toward meeting the long term goal of improving the accuracy, utility, and interstate accessibility of records and increasing state participation in the FBI's national records systems. "Number of States in Interstate Identification Index (III) System" is an important indicator of the quality of criminal records in each State and the extent to which they may be conforming to national record quality standards. "Number of States participating in the FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System" indicates the transition among the States to digital finger-print systems from rolled and inked prints. "Number of States providing data to the FBI's National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR)" indicates States' progress in submitting data to the FBI's national sex offender registry as an important component of the national background check system. "Number of States participating in the FBI's protection order file (POF)" indicates States' progress in submitting State and local data in protection orders issued by local courts as an important component of the national background check system. "Number of States submitting data to the FBI's Denied Persons File and/or other NICS Index Files" indicates State participation in submitting data on denied persons based on other unspecified prohibiting reasons (i.e., mentally disabled, drug use) to the National Instant Background Check System (NICS). The program does not have a an efficiency measure, but the development of the Records Quality Index will assist in the development of one or more such measures.

Evidence: Annual measure #1: Number of States in Interstate Identification Index (III) System Annual measure #2: Number of States participating in the FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) Annual measure #3: Number of States providing data to the FBI's National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR) Annual measure #4: Number of States participating in the FBI's protection order file (POF) Annual measure #5: Number of States submitting data to the FBI's Denied Persons File and/or other NICS Index Files However, these Annual measures do not indicate data quality within the various national systems. For example, a recent GAO report indicated that up to 37% of records in the Interstate Identification Index (III) System (Annual measure #1) may not be fully useful for an instant background check due to lack of data on arrest dispositions. While BJS is working with States to improve data quality, these measures do not fully reflect this important program goal. Source documents: U.S. Department of Justice, FY 2002 Performance Report and FY 2003 and FY 2004 Performance Plan (p.75) , Annual GPRA plans, BJS Strategic Plan FY 2003-2004 (p.19), July 2002 GAO Report: "Opportunities to Close Loopholes in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System"

YES 12%
2.4

Does the program have baselines and ambitious targets and timeframes for its annual measures?

Explanation: In contrast to the long term goals which focus on increasing the total number of records available on an interstate basis over an extended period of time, the annual measures focus on state achievement of the technical and policy agreements to participate in one of the national records systems, such as the FBI's Interstate Identification Index, National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR), etc. Participation is important since it represents a threshold that must be met before the state can start submitting records for interstate sharing. Since the start of NCHIP, the majority of states have become participants in the National Protection Order System, NSOR, the Interstate Identification Index, and the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). Remaining progress often involves policy or technical impediments that take time (more than additional funding) to resolve. Accordingly, annual increases are small. As in the case of long term goals, estimated measures are developed based on knowledge of current levels of activity in states and the nature of problems which preclude current participation.

Evidence: Interstate Identification Index Participation: Since 1993, the number of States participating in III grew from 26 to 45. New Identification Technologies: 43 States, 3 Territories, and the District of Columbia now participate in the FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System. Sex Offender Registries: As of February 2003, all 50 States plus 3 Territories and the District of Columbia have provided more than 280,000 records to the NSOR. Domestic Violence and Protection Orders: Forty-two States and the Virgin Islands now submit data to the NCIC. Protection Order File, which became operational in May 1997 and included over 754,000 records of protection orders in February 2003.

YES 12%
2.5

Do all partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, etc.) commit to and work toward the annual and/or long-term goals of the program?

Explanation: From the beginning, NCHIP has been a partnership among BJS, the FBI, and the States to build a national infrastructure and system of sharing information which can be accessed and used in an instant to check the background of an individual for both criminal justice purposes (sentencing, pretrial release decisions) and for non-criminal justice purposes (firearms checks, child-care provider checks, etc.). States are committing significant resources and tremendous effort to upgrade the architecture and coverage of criminal records information systems. BJS requires states to assure that all records activities being undertaken must comply with FBI standards and guidance for the various national identification systems in place or under development. BJS monitors the States' commitment to the goals of the program by requiring the States to provide performance data and specific accomplishments as part of its semi-annual progress reports, quarterly financial reports, and annual funding applications. In addition, there is frequent on-site and telephone contact between the program managers and the State agencies, including the courts. BJS encourages State representatives from the executive and judicial branches to attend BJS-sponsored national and regional conferences and meetings. BJS program managers attend these conferences and convene meetings with each State's executive and judicial representatives to discuss the progress of their projects. The FBI Criminal Justice Information Systems Division is responsible for maintaining the national systems and monitors state progress in meeting the established standards for participation in the national systems. The FBI and BJS work closely in coordinating these efforts. Successful implementation of the NICS and other national systems is a high priority for the Department and as such the FBI reports directly to the AG on these matters.

Evidence: By providing ongoing funding since the beginning of the Criminal History Record Improvement (CHRI) program in 1990, the Department of Justice has demonstrated a commitment to improving criminal history records. Between 1990 and 2002, BJS has awarded a total of $418 million directly to the States -- $27 million through the CHRI program (FY 1990-93) and $391 million through NCHIP (FY 1995-2002). The FBI has invested millions in developing and maintaining the national records systems. The States also have dedicated a substantial amount of funds for these purposes and the commitment is demonstrated by the significant progress they have made toward the goals of the program. See "Improving Criminal History Records for Background Checks, May 2003," for State accomplishments in automating their records and participating in the national systems.

YES 12%
2.6

Are independent and quality evaluations of sufficient scope and quality conducted on a regular basis or as needed to support program improvements and evaluate effectiveness and relevance to the problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: BJS has established three separate contracts to independently evaluate the program and measure a wide variety of performance criteria. Between them, the evaluations provide a good depiction of program outcomes, as well as improved information for targeting future investments: (1) The Regional Justice Information Center (REJIS) surveys the States annually on firearms applications and rejections and the contingencies associated with the Point-of-Contact (POC States) sales background checks and changes in firearms purchase procedures implemented by regulation or under State law. Also, periodically surveys the States on the utilization of records from the mental health system for prohibited purchasers and the availability of records of misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence. (2) SEARCH Group, Inc. conducts the biennial survey on record holdings, data quality, and deficiencies in record coverage; collects annual data on privacy and confidentiality governing the use of criminal records data; and manages the advisory task force utilized by BJS to identify areas of both continuing and emerging problems for the national background check system. (3) Structured Decisions Corporation (SDC) is conducting an ongoing national evaluation of NCHIP; a first-stage evaluation of criminal history records improvement efforts from 1994-98 has been completed. SDC also manages the implementation of the Record Quality Index, a set of uniformly collectible measures and carries out research on criminal history record information systems, such as the study examining the effectiveness of the POC model for background checks versus the NICS.

Evidence: The products of these data collection efforts are a series of reports and analyses which serve to identify areas for programmatic intervention, training and technical assistance, and transmission of 'best practices.' BJS staff and management utilize the data for targeting new initiatives and to measure achievement. Continuing Criminal History Records Improvement Evaluation: Final 1994-98 evaluated the NCHIP Program's effectiveness in meeting its goals relating to improving criminal history record completeness, record automation, record quality, and reporting of criminal history information.

YES 12%
2.7

Are Budget requests explicitly tied to accomplishment of the annual and long-term performance goals, and are the resource needs presented in a complete and transparent manner in the program's budget?

Explanation: The Justice budget submission includes the program's accomplishments and discusses how the requested resources relate to accomplishing the goals of the program. The FY 2004 budget request explicitly provides information on the program's accomplishments by delineating the program objectives, demonstrating how funds were used in working toward each objective, and presenting recent performance outcomes for each objective. \In determining the level of funding to request, BJS takes into account several factors: (1) Base funds needed to support long-term activities -- State activities typically involve major system and infrastructure changes that take considerable time to complete and are scheduled in phases over time. (2) New issues and uses of criminal history records and background checks emerge--enhancements may be requested to address such recent issues as State anti-terrorism activities and inclusion of mental health records in check systems, which may place an increased burden on States; and (3) Address challenging problems and impediments--enhancements may be requested to address such problems as the record completeness and improved disposition availability and linkage with the State criminal history record system.

Evidence: Source documents: 2004 Justice Budget submission.

YES 12%
2.8

Has the program taken meaningful steps to correct its strategic planning deficiencies?

Explanation: BJS is developing a criminal history records quality index (RQI) to provide for monitoring performance across jurisdictions and over time. This performance measurement system is a direct outgrowth of the ongoing evaluation BJS has maintained for the NCHIP. Initially, BJS examined the potential in each State for collecting a wide array of performance data. The RQI represents a distillation of those performance measures which could be collected from most States.

Evidence: As a barometer of performance, the RQI will be used to (i) assess the progress of records quality at both the state and national levels; (ii) identify critical records improvement activities by pinpointing areas of deficiency; and (iii) permit BJS to target very specific problems and deficiencies for allocating future funding at the individual state level. By design, the RQI reflects progress towards achieving the common goals of the federally-funded records improvement programs and their respective underlying legislative mandates. The RQI will be a tool for uniformly and consistently identifying targets of opportunity to be addressed through NCHIP. In addition to the RQI, BJS systematically collects data from the FBI (NICS and NCIC record holdings) and from the State repositories in order to target gaps in the national background check system. Source documents: Continuing Criminal History Records Improvement Evaluation; Fact Sheet: Criminal History Records Quality Index (RQI); Survey of State Criminal History Information Systems, 2001 (forthcoming)

YES 12%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning Score 100%
Section 3 - Program Management
Number Question Answer Score
3.1

Does the agency regularly collect timely and credible performance information, including information from key program partners, and use it to manage the program and improve performance?

Explanation: BJS collects a variety of performance data to inform program management, make resource decisions, and assess program performance: (1) BJS requires that each State agency provide performance data and its specific accomplishments as a part of its annual funding application, as well as submit semi-annual progress reports and quarterly financial reports. These data are reviewed to ensure that State activities are on track, meeting all established timelines, and relate to the goals and priorities of the program. (2) BJS conducts several statistical series to produce estimates of the results of background checks and to ascertain the quality of record-holdings in each State and to quantitatively identify areas where additional resources or concentrations of effort are required. (3) BJS collects data through the Criminal History Record Quality Index (RQI) which will be used to identify and address the strengths and weaknesses of state criminal history record systems. Future NCHIP grants will be targeted to the critical activities and deficiencies identified for each state. (4) BJS systematically collects data from the FBI (NICS and NCIC record holdings) and from the State repositories in order to target gaps in the national background check system.

Evidence: Data collections designed to measure performance include: (1) BJS collects annual statistics on applications for the purchase of a firearm and the processing of those applications. See the most recent publication in this series, Background Checks for Firearms Transfers, 2001. (2) BJS administers biennial surveys of all state criminal history record holdings, criminal history record systems, state practices for auditing their systems, and related issues. The most recent publication in this series, Survey of State Criminal History Information Systems 2001 is forthcoming. (3) BJS commissioned an evaluation of the NCHIP Program which analyzed over 1,500 federally funded criminal history improvement activities undertaken by the states. See Continuing Criminal History Records Improvement Evaluation: Final 1994-98 Report. (4) For additional information on RQI, see Fact Sheet: Criminal History Records Quality Index (RQI)

YES 11%
3.2

Are Federal managers and program partners (grantees, subgrantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, etc.) held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results?

Explanation: Federal managers are held accountable for the performance of the States in meeting the goals of the program through: (1) formal performance evaluations conducted annually, as well as two mid-year progress reviews; (2) regularly scheduled meetings between the program managers and the Director, BJS to discuss States' progress and issues that may need to be addressed; (3) routine contacts and meetings between the Director, BJS and state representatives which provide opportunity for grantees to raise concerns relating to the management of the program; (4) monitoring reports prepared by the program managers to the Director, BJS outlining state accomplishments, deficiencies, and corrective actions as appropriate; and (5) routine financial reports generated by the Office of the Comptroller and sent to the BJS Director for assessment of whether administrative requirements are being handled adequately by the program managers (i.e., progress and financial reports are sent on schedule, agreements are programmatically reviewed and closed on schedule). Funding recipients are held accountable for the cost of the program through quarterly financial status reports and Grant Adjustment Notices (GANS) detailing expenditures and the transfer of funds for program activities. Financial monitoring visits and audits are conducted by the Office of the Comptroller to ensure grantees adhere to the financial rules and regulations of the program. Progress reports are submitted by grantees to show the schedule of progression for completing program activities as well as provide detailed descriptions of their accomplishments in their annual funding application. Program managers continually contact the State representatives to discuss programmatic and financial issues.

Evidence: The program manager's work plan includes specific elements designed to evaluate the employee on the performance results. BJS authorizes changes in grants through the use of a Grant Adjustment Notice (GAN) for the following circumstances: Deviations from approved budgets; change in scope of grant; contracting for or transferring of grant-supported effort; date changes; name change agreements; successor in interest agreements; temporary absence of the project director; withdrawal of or change in project director; change in grant manager; no cost grant extension, and grant closeout.

YES 11%
3.3

Are all funds (Federal and partners') obligated in a timely manner and spent for the intended purpose?

Explanation: BJS awards its NCHIP grants within the fiscal year of the appropriation. The program announcement is generally published in February, applications received by the end of April, and awards made by September 30th. The Office of the Comptroller and program offices monitor grantee draw down of funds and expenditure of funds. Financial reviews of State-submitted Financial Status Reports (FSRs) are conducted ensuring that the grantee has complied with federal cash management regulations; and has complied with OMB Circular A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations. Onsite financial reviews conducted by the Office of the Comptroller determine if: (1) grantees are properly accounting for the receipt and expenditure of federal funds, and (2) expenditures are in compliance with federal requirements and award special conditions. BJS program managers closely review Comptroller-generated reports.

Evidence: NCHIP appropriations and obligations by fiscal year: FY Appropriation Obligation 1995 $100,000,000 $75,661,818 1996 $26,500,000 $48,896,365 1997 $51,750,000 $48,047,501 1998 $72,750,000 $74,485,464 1999 $45,000,000 $46,166,064 2000 $45,000,000 $42,930,189 2001 $47,361,000 $47,789,393 2002 $38,000,000 $40,645,334 Refer to OC financial report (PALrpt166C) for funds spent by each funding recipient.

YES 11%
3.4

Does the program have procedures (e.g., competitive sourcing/cost comparisons, IT improvements, approporaite incentives) to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness in program execution?

Explanation: The program does not have efficiency measures, per se. However, a number of steps have been taken to improve program efficiency, including: --The NCHIP program, along with other OJP grant programs, are currently undergoing activity-based costing as part of the government-wide competitive sourcing effort. The grant management function has been targeted for competitive sourcing by the Department. --NCHIP program managers participate in the OJP Gains-Sharing Travel Program which provides an incentive (50% of savings) for employees traveling on business (i.e. onsite monitoring visits) to reduce their travel costs. --OJP's new Grants Management System will permit access to data on grants management workflow and processing and will ease the exchange of information among staff by creating an online repository of relevant information for each grant. Another area in which efficiency improvements are possible involves State match funding. The authorizing legislation of NCHIP only requires States to provide a 10% in-kind match of award funding, reducing State efficiency incentives. Though NCHIP monitors State resource allocation through a variety of reporting mechanisms, State award applications are not evaluated based on willingness to match or leverage Federal awards. A higher match threshold, combined with appropriate waiver provisions for hardship, could further increase program efficiency.

Evidence: OJP competitive sourcing is identified as part of the President's Management Agenda (Source: FY 2004 Performance and Management Assessments, p. 175). The OJP Management Plan, April 2003 provides additional information on recent and planned improvement efforts focusing on the efficient management of OJP resources, top-to-bottom accountability, and the standardization and streamlining of its processes and automated systems.

YES 11%
3.5

Does the program collaborate and coordinate effectively with related programs?

Explanation: The NCHIP program is closely coordinated with relevant Federal agencies, other OJP offices, and affiliated offices within each of the states. Federal partners include the FBI (which has oversight responsibility for the operation of NICS), the DOJ Office of Legal Policy (which responsibility for coordinating departmental activities), and the ATF (which has oversight for firearms retrievals under the NICS). Coordination is accomplished through BJS sponsorship of joint task forces, regular BJS participation in FBI sponsored meetings, and ongoing coordination with the OLP and the ATF. Moreover, to ensure state input into FBI planning, FBI and ATF representatives are regularly scheduled as speakers and participants in BJS supported NCHIP conferences. This effort encourages the exchange of information between Federal and State representatives. In addition, at the start of each funding cycle, drafts of the NCHIP Program Announcement are reviewed by the FBI Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) Division, OLP, and ATF. NCHIP is also coordinated with other OJP offices that support related activity, including the Byrne 5% program. NCHIP Program Announcements require that states coordinate their proposed NCHIP efforts with other state activities and plans as a condition of NCHIP funding. Specifically, copies of the application are required to be sent to the Governor appointed Information Technology Point of Contact, and a statement to that effect included in the application. Moreover, all grants require that state expenditures and purchases with NCHIP funds be consistent with--not only FBI standards--but also any relevant state IT plans or plans for systems integration. These requirements were developed to ensure that NCHIP supported efforts are consistent with and support a state's overall system improvement plan.

Evidence: Recent task forces, meetings, and conferences facilitating coordination among partners: Joint Task Force on Rap Sheet Standardization; Protection Order and Domestic Violence Information Workshop; National Workshop on Sex Offender Registries; Focus Group on Impact of Terrorist Acts on Criminal History Activity; National Task Force on the Role of the Private Sector in the Management of Justice Information; National Conference on the Interstate Identification Index, National Fingerprint File, and the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact. Special conditions included in the funding agreement related to coordination: (1) The recipient of the funds is prohibited from drawing funds against the award until the recipient notifies the State Information Technology Point of Contact, by written correspondence, of the information technology project. (2) Recipient agrees that activities supported under this award will be coordinated with Federal, State, and local activities relating to homeland security and presale firearm checks, as appropriate.

YES 11%
3.6

Does the program use strong financial management practices?

Explanation: Program managers submit all awards in a timely manner so that obligations are recorded prior to the end of the fiscal year, close funding agreements in a timely manner, and review all State-submitted financial reports and OJP Office of the Comptroller-generated reports to ensure that State spending is on track and in compliance with guidelines set forth in the OJP Financial Guide. Program managers coordinate with the Office of the Comptroller on administrative and fiscal monitoring. The Office of the Comptroller ensures grantee financial capability and integrity; certifies grant awards; monitors OJP and grantee operations to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse; provides training and technical assistance to build financial management capacity within funding recipient agencies; ensures accurate accounting and timely payments, and prepares OJP's financial statements for audit. The OJP Comptroller's Monitoring Division is responsible for providing financial monitoring and technical assistance to grantees. Comptroller-based financial reviews of official grant files are conducted to ensure that the grantee organization: (1) has timely submitted all Financial Status Reports (FSRs); (2) has accurately completed FSRs submitted; (3) has complied with federal cash management regulations; and (4) has complied with OMB Circular A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations. Based on the issues noted during the Comptroller-based review, the Comptroller's Monitoring Branch staff provides technical assistance to the grantee and obtains and forwards to the Official Grant File any missing documentation identified. Onsite financial reviews are conducted to determine if: (1) grantees are properly accounting for the receipt and expenditure of federal funds, and (2) expenditures are in compliance with federal requirements and award special conditions. Also, the Office of the Comptroller provides financial advice and recommends changes in the grantee's financial policies and procedures as appropriate. The audits of the OJP Annual Financial Statement for fiscal years 1998-2001 resulted in an unqualified ("clean") audit opinion with no material weaknesses. The audit of FY 2002 is currently being conducted.

Evidence: The Comptroller's Monitoring Branch conducts financial monitoring of grantees in accordance with the Office of the Comptroller financial Monitoring Guidebook, the Comptroller's Onsite Financial Review Guide, and the annual Monitoring Plan. The Comptroller's Monitoring Branch ensures that proper documentation on Comptroller financial monitoring activities is prepared and distributed. This documentation includes a record of all contacts between the Office of the Comptroller and the grantee. Documentation on financial monitoring activities is included in the Official Grant File and is sent to the grant manager and other bureau or program offices, as appropriate. KPMG's Independent Auditors' Report in OJP Financial Statements states: "In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of OJP as of September 30, 2001 amd 2000, and its net costs, changes in net position, budgetary resources, and reconciliation of net costs to budgetary obligations, for the years then ended, in conformity with accounting prinicples generally accepted in the United States."

YES 11%
3.7

Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its management deficiencies?

Explanation: OJP and BJS have established procedures and policies to reasonably ensure that (1) the program achieves its intended results; (2) resources are used consistent with agency mission; (3) the program and resources are protected from waste, fraud, and mismanagement; (4) laws and regulations are followed; and (5) reliable and timely information is obtained, maintained, reported and used for decision making.

Evidence: Source documents include: The OJP Management Plan, April 2003; OJP Financial Guide; OJP Grants Management Manual; Fact Sheet: Criminal Records Quality Index.

YES 11%
3.BF1

Does the program have oversight practices that provide sufficient knowledge of grantee activities?

Explanation: BJS uses cooperative agreements as the funding vehicle for the NCHIP program. Cooperative agreements, as opposed to grants, permit a higher degree of Federal involvement in the use of the funds by the recipient. Cooperative agreements allow BJS to impose conditions on each award to improve oversight including, provision for compliance with FBI standards, grant monitor notification and approval of all changes in the project, and the submission of performance data as needed. Program managers develop and implement monitoring plans for each project. The plan is an evolving document used throughout the life cycle of a project to ensure that goals and objectives are being met and that activities and products are being completed in a timely fashion. BJS conducts various data collections designed to measure performance. BJS regularly participates in major FBI-sponsored meetings on the NICS and receives monthly status reports from the FBI on participation in national databases.

Evidence: OJP uses cooperative agreements to reflect the relationship between OJP and an eligible recipient when (1) the principal purpose of the relationship is the transfer of money or anything of value to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by federal statute, and (2) substantial involvement is anticipated between OJP and the recipient during performance of the contemplated activity. Each cooperative agreement includes an explicit statement of the nature, character, and extent of federal involvement agreed to by the recipient that causes it to be differentiated from a grant. Monitoring and oversight mechanisms: -- BJS grant monitors communicate with NCHIP grantees on a regular basis via site visits, training sessions, and electronic mail communications for purposes of management oversight and to resolve outstanding issues. -- OJP/BJS require all NCHIP grant recipients to submit quarterly financial reports and semi-annual progress reports to the OJP Office of the Comptroller as part of the official grant file. Copies of these reports are reviewed by the BJS program managers to assess whether projects and spending are on track and all financial requirements are being met (i.e., amount of funds on hand is within the dollar and time limit). -- BJS requires that each funding recipient applicant enumerate its specific accomplishments with respect to program goals as a part of the application and discuss other sources of funding and related activities (i.e., Byrne). These performance data are provided on the BJS website. -- BJS collects annual statistics on applications for the purchase of a firearm and the processing of those applications. These data provide national estimates as well as State-by-State data. See the most recent publication in this series, Background Checks for Firearms Transfers, 2001. Reviewed by BJS program managers to monitor States' progress in the level and type of records accessible for background checks. --BJS administers biennial surveys of all state criminal history record holdings, criminal history record systems, state practices for auditing their systems, and related issues. See the most recent publication in this series, Survey of State Criminal History Information Systems 1999. The 2001 edition is forthcoming. Program managers review to assess grantee activities relating to record automation, audits, and participation in national systems. -- BJS commissioned an evaluation of the NCHIP Program which analyzed over 1,500 federally funded criminal history improvement activities undertaken by the states. See Continuing Criminal History Records Improvement Evaluation: Final 1994-98 Report. State data and recommendations used for identifying management and program deficiencies. -- BJS receives monthly status reports from the FBI on the level of state participation in national databases. Provides real tme progress of the States to enable BJS to identify where additional resources are most needed. -- BJS regularly participates in major FBI-sponsored meetings that concern critical elements of the NICS. Federal, as well as particular State or regional issues, may be identified and addressed. -- BJS conducts the Criminal History Record Quality Index (RQI) to identify activity in the processing stages for each State and address the strengths and weaknesses of their criminal history record systems (see handout on the RQI). Future NCHIP grants will be targeted to the critical activities and deficiencies identified for each state.

YES 11%
3.BF2

Does the program collect grantee performance data on an annual basis and make it available to the public in a transparent and meaningful manner?

Explanation: BJS requires that each State agency submit performance data and enumerates its specific accomplishments with respect to program goals as a part of its annual funding application and the conditions of the award. BJS collects annual data on state participation in the National Instant Background Check System. State level data are provided on number of firearm purchase applications received and rejected by State agencies. BJS administers biennial surveys of all state criminal history record holdings, criminal history record systems, state practices for auditing their systems, and related issues. Data are made available for each State.

Evidence: The NCHIP, FY 2003 Program Announcement requires "applicants to provide performance data which are used to measure the progress and achievements of the program. Applicants agree to: (1) provide information, quantitative where available, as part of the program narrative on results achieved under the program (see pages 18 and 19 for details); (2) respond in a timely manner to informational requests and formal evaluations sponsored by BJS and/or the FBI; and (3) provide Brady Act related data to the Firearm Inquiry Statistics Program (FIST) in a prescribed format. Individual state performance data are available on the BJS website at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/nchipaccp.htm For data on State participation in NICS, see Background Checks for Firearms Transfers, 2001 available on the BJS website at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/bcft01.pdf 2002 annual report is forthcoming. For data on status of State criminal history record systems, see Survey of State Criminal History Information Systems 1999 http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/bcft01.pdf The 2001 edition is forthcoming.

YES 11%
Section 3 - Program Management Score 100%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability
Number Question Answer Score
4.1

Has the program demonstrated adequate progress in achieving its long-term outcome performance goals?

Explanation: The overarching long term goal of the NCHIP program is to ensure that complete and accurate records are collected within each state and made available for interstate exchange through the FBI's systems, primarily the Interstate Identification Index. This capability is the baseline requirement for exchange of data for law enforcement and non law enforcement purposes such as background check systems for firearms and homeland security purposes. FBI standards require that for state records to be accessible through the Interstate Identification Index they must be fingerprint supported, automated, and compliant with various accuracy and technical standards for exchange. States also must adopt policies ensuring that they will provide data originating within their own state in response to out of state inquiries routed through the Index system. The measure used to evaluate progress on this goal is the increase in the number of records accessible through the Interstate Identification Index since the start of the NCHIP program. After 8 years and more than $400 million in awards to States, demonstrable progress is being made in meeting this long term goal.

Evidence: The most recent data available indicate that of the approximately 64 million criminal history records held by the states, 90% are automated. Of these, about 75% are accessible to inquiries under the Interstate Identification Index. Moreover, since 1995, the year in which NCHIP started, the number of records accessible under the Index has increased by 75%. This is in contrast to the a 28% increase in total number of records over the same time period. The number of records accessible though the Interstate Identification Index has increased at almost three times the rate of increase for number of records overall. Source: Improving Criminal History Records for Background Checks: National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP), May 2003.

LARGE EXTENT 17%
4.2

Does the program (including program partners) achieve its annual performance goals?

Explanation: Since the inception of the NCHIP program, BJS has provided targeted and actual data on its performance measurements via DOJ's GPRA efforts. Measurement data are collected from a variety of sources: FBI reports, BJS reports, and BJS published survey findings. All target areas established for FY 2001 and FY 2002 regarding number of State participants have been met or exceeded. However, these performance targets and annual measures do not indicate data quality within the various national systems. For example, a recent GAO report indicated that up to 37% of records in the Interstate Identification Index (III) System (Annual measure #1) may not be fully useful for an instant background check due to lack of data on arrest dispositions. BJS should consider including a data quality metric as one of its GPRA performance measures for NCHIP. BJS is working with States to improve data quality, and the measures should reflect this important program goal. BJS currently collects and reports annual data on background checks conducted for firearm transfers. The most recent data quality indicator shows that of nearly 8 million background checks associated with firearm transfers in 2001, the error rate was less than half of 1%.

Evidence: The 2002 target for number of States participating in the FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) was set at 34 and was surpassed with an actual of 43. The target for the number of States' participation in NSOR was set at 28 and was exceeded with an actual of 49. The target for the number of States in Interstate Identification Index System was 43 and was met with an actual of 43. The target established for the number of States participating in the FBI's protection order file (POF) was 33 which was surpassed with an actual of 42.

YES 25%
4.3

Does the program demonstrate improved efficiencies or cost effectiveness in achieving program performance goals each year?

Explanation: During FY 2002, a number of program efficiencies improvements were implemented: (1) BJS deobligated over $1,510,000 in "older" NCHIP program funds for reobligation. (2) BJS reduced the NCHIP staffing level by 25%, and the Office of the Comptroller reduced OJP Management and Administration costs by 20% streamlining functions. (3) OJP fully migrated from a paper and pencil grant management operation to an electronic Grants Management System (GMS) that has significantly reduced the receipt, review, and processing times of funding applications. (4) The Office of the Comptroller streamlined its financial transactions by implementing Treasury's 'One-Stop' payment system, ASAP (Automated Standard Application for Payments). This offers grantees a one-stop payment system to access all of their Federal grant funds. (5) The Office of the Comptroller decreased grant cycle time and eased administrative burden on applicants by interfacing with the Department of Health and Human Services government-wide indirect cost system, eliminating the need for paper indirect cost rate agreements by applicants and making OJP negotiated indirect costs rates available in electronic form, and by interfacing with the Federal Audit Clearinghouse database to eliminate reliance on paper audit transmittal letters in its financial integrity/capability reviews. However, the authorizing legislation of NCHIP specifies that the Federal share of a State's program or proposal may not exceed 90% of the cost of the program, possibly reducing State efficiency incentives. Though NCHIP monitors State resource allocation through a variety of reporting mechanisms, review of State award applications are not evaluated based on a State's willingness to match or leverage federal awards. A higher match threshold, combined with appropriate waiver provisions for State hardship cases, could possibly further increase program efficiency.

Evidence: Sources: OJP Office of the Comptrollers FY 2002 Annual Report, p. 17-20; OJP Office of Personnel files.

LARGE EXTENT 17%
4.4

Does the performance of this program compare favorably to other programs, including government, private, etc., that have similar purpose and goals?

Explanation: The other programs with similar purposes and goals include the Byrne 5% grants used for criminal records upgrades and the individual State efforts dedicated to criminal records improvement. Since NCHIP funds are used to leverage State efforts, and those State efforts contribute to the measures used to monitor NCHIP performance, NCHIP cannot fare better than these programs in their aggregate performance. There are no specific performance measures for the Byrne program funds used for related purposes.

Evidence:  

NA 0%
4.5

Do independent and quality evaluations of this program indicate that the program is effective and achieving results?

Explanation: BJS contracts with an independent evaluator to conduct evaluations of State processes and practices that impact the ability to fully participate in the FBI's national systems and the operation of the program. The most recent evaluation published in February 2000 provides findings on the effectiveness of the program. Key findings include: (1) the establishment of a federal program has helped states place a high priority on criminal history records improvement; (2) Byrne 5% and NCHIP funds are coordinated, in the sense that they complement each other in related efforts, rather than supplement one another in the same efforts; (3) BJS works closely with the FBI, BJA, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) to ensure that all NCHIP-funded efforts support development of NICS; (4) federal funds have been instrumental in progress towards improving the quality of criminal history records; (5) participation in the FBI's Interstate Identification Index improves the integrity of all Index inquiries; and (6) improvements were needed to continue to develop a measures framework to assess individual State efforts and aggregate improvement of records quality over time. BJS followed through on this last recommendation and in May 2003 created a structured performance measures system called the Records Quality Index or RQI. When fully operational, the RQI will provide an improved basis for identifying aggregate program improvements as well as State level deficiencies and targets of opportunity. The "independence" of the evaluator possibly could be enhanced by using a "third party" (e.g., NIJ or OJP) to manage the evaluation contract or develop the contract requirements.

Evidence: Source: Continuing Criminal History Records Improvement Evaluation, Final 1994-98 Report, published in February 2000.

LARGE EXTENT 17%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability Score 75%


Last updated: 09062008.2003SPR