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DOJ OIG, June 2020
"We found weaknesses in EOIR's budget planning process, and identified three factors that contributed to these weaknesses. First, EOIR leadership failed to coordinate effectively with its budget staff and with the JMD on the status and impact of its FY 2019 appropriation. Second, EOIR's FY 2019 budget request, which it began preparing in 2017, did not seek enough funding to cover what ultimately proved to be a much more substantial increase in interpreter fees than had been anticipated. EOIR leadership knew in 2017 that it would need to significantly increase its FY 2019 budget for interpreter fees because: ( 1) interpreter fees already constituted a significant portion of its budget, (2) planned changes to EOIR's court docket would result in the need for additional interpreter services, and (3) JMD was renegotiating the interpreter contract because the contractor contended that existing fees were too low. Third, miscommunication across EOIR led to leadership miscalculating interpreter expenses following the shutdown and thus being unable to gauge in February 2019 how much it had already spent on interpreters that year and its likely interpreter expenses for the remainder of FY 2019."