3.12 Confidential Funds
Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) Program
RISS is a national federally funded program of regionally oriented services designed to enhance the ability of local, State, Federal, and tribal criminal justice agencies to:
- Identify, target, and remove criminal conspiracies and activities spanning multijurisdictional, multistate, and sometimes international boundaries.
- Facilitate rapid exchange and sharing of information among the agencies pertaining to known suspected criminals or criminal activity.
- Enhance coordination and communication among agencies that are in pursuit of criminal conspiracies determined to be interjurisdictional in nature.
RISS Processing Procedures
The agency must provide a statement agreeing to establish control, accounting, and reporting procedures consistent with the procedures outlined in this chapter. The project policy board establishes the maximum level the Project Director may authorize in disbursements to member agencies.
- The Project Director, or his/her designee, may authorize payment of funds to member agencies and their officers for P/I and evidence up to this maximum level.
- The Project Director must refer all requests for amounts in excess of the maximum level to the project policy board for review and approval.
- Any member agency requesting funds from the project will do so in writing. The request must contain the amount needed, the purpose of the funds, and a statement that the funds requested are to be used to further the project’s objectives.
The Project Director, or his/her designee when appropriate, will approve or disapprove the request in writing.
- If approved, the request will be forwarded to the project cashier, who will record the request and transmit the monies, along with a receipt form, to the member agency.
- Upon receipt of the monies, the member agency will immediately sign and return the receipt form to the cashier.
Each Project Director must record and maintain on file the assumed name and signature of all informants to whom member agencies make payments from project funds for all transactions involving P/I.
- The original signed informant payee receipt, with a summary of the information received, will be forwarded to the Project Director by the member agency.
- The Project Director will then verify the receipt by comparing the signature of the informant payee on the receipt with the signature maintained by the project in a secure and confidential file.
- If discrepancies exist, the Project Director, or his/her designee, will take immediate steps to notify the member agency and find out the reason(s) for the discrepancies.
- The member agency must forward written justification to deal with discrepancies identified by the Project Director. If the justification is sufficient, it will be attached to the informant payee receipt.
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Informant Management and Utilization
Anyone used as an informant should be identified as such. The specific procedures required in establishing a person as an informant may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but, at a minimum, should include the following:
- Assign an informant code name to protect the informant’s identity.
- Create an informant code book controlled by the Project Director or their designee containing:
- Informant’s code name;
- Type of informant (i.e., informant, defendant/informant, restricted-use informant);
- Informant’s true name;
- Name of establishing law enforcement officer;
- Date the establishment of the informant is approved; and
- Date of deactivation.
- Establish each informant’s files in accordance with the documentation listing under the Informant Files section of this chapter.
- Search all available criminal records for informants.
- If a verified FBI number is available, request a copy of the criminal records from the FBI.
- Where a verified FBI number is not available, fingerprint the informant and send a copy to the FBI and appropriate State authorities for analysis.
- The informant may be used on a temporary basis while awaiting a response from the FBI.
- Review all active-status informant files on a quarterly basis to assure they contain all relevant and current information.
- Where a substantive fact that was earlier reported on the Establishment Record is no longer correct (e.g., a change in criminal status or in means of locating the informant), a supplemental establishing report should be submitted with the correct entry.
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Payment to Informants
Anyone who receives payments charged against P/E or P/I funds should be established as an informant.
- This includes anyone who may otherwise be categorized as a source of information or an informant under the control of another agency.
- The amount of payment should match the value of services and/or information provided and should be based on the following factors:
- The level of the targeted individual, organization, or operation
- The amount of the actual or potential seizure
- The significance of the contribution made by the informant to the desired objectives
- Payments to informants may be made under various circumstances:
- When an informant assists in developing an investigation, either through supplying information or actively participating in it, they may be paid for their service either in a lump sum or in staggered payments. Payments for information leading to a seizure, with no defendants, should be on a minimum basis.
- When an informant needs protection, law enforcement agencies (LEAs) may absorb the expenses of relocation. These expenses may include travel for the informant and their immediate family, movement and/or storage of household goods, and living expenses at the new location for a specific period of time (not to exceed 6 months). Payments for these expenses may be either lump-sum or as they occur and should not exceed the amounts authorized by law enforcement employees for these activities.
- To use or pay another agency’s informant, the person should be identified as an informant. These payments should not be a duplication of a payment from another agency; however, sharing a payment is acceptable.
- Documentation of payments to informants is critical and must be noted on a receipt for P/I.
- Payment should be made and witnessed by two law enforcement officers and authorized payment amounts should be established and reviewed by at least the first-line supervisory level.
- In unusual circumstances, a non-officer employee or an officer of another LEA may serve as a witness.
- In all instances, the original signed receipt must be submitted to the Project Director for review and recordkeeping.
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Stress with staff the importance of maintaining complete records for informants, including documentation of payments.