NOAA statement on IG review of NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Asset Forfeiture Fund

July 1, 2010

As a follow up to the Commerce Inspector General’s January 21, 2010 review of the policies and practices of NOAA’s fisheries enforcement system, the Inspector General today sent NOAA its review of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Asset Forfeiture Fund. 

NOAA expected this review, appreciates the level of detail it provides and is evaluating the data and results carefully. However, NOAA had already begun to improve accountability and transparency in its administration of the fund.

Based upon the earlier IG input and public feedback, NOAA has already taken action to improve policies, management processes and internal controls of the fund.

NOAA has already addressed some of the Inspector General’s recommendations, including:

In addition, NOAA is also currently in the process of:

NOAA takes this report very seriously, and will provide a formal response to the Secretary of Commerce and Inspector General by August 2, 2010.

NOAA is committed to ensuring that appropriate accountability of the Asset Forfeiture Fund is maintained and that its use of the fund is transparent and contributes to the effective enforcement of our marine statutes.