3.12 OJP's Confidential Funds
Each Project Director and Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) member agency authorized to disburse confidential funds must develop and follow internal procedures which incorporate the elements listed below. If the Project Director and/or RISS member agency deviates from these elements, they must receive prior approval of the awarding agency.
- The funds authorized will be established in an imprest fund which is controlled by a bonded cashier.
- The supervisor of the unit to which the imprest fund is assigned must authorize all advances of funds for the purchase of information. In the authorization the supervisor must specify the information to be received, the amount of expenditures, and the assumed name of the informant.
- Informant files are confidential files of the true names, assumed names, and signatures of all informants to whom payments of confidential expenditures have been made. To the extent possible, pictures and/or fingerprints of the informant payee(s) should also be maintained. In the RISS Program, the informant files are to be maintained at the member agencies only. Project headquarters may maintain case files.
- The agent or officer authorized to make a confidential payment will provide the cashier with a receipt for cash advanced for such purposes. The informant payee must provide the agent or officer a receipt for cash paid to them. A sample informant payee receipt [PDF - 153 Kb] is provided as an example.
An informant payee receipt must identify the exact amount paid to and received by the informant payee on the date executed. Cumulative or anticipatory receipts are not permitted. Once the receipt has been completed, no alteration is allowed. As shown in the sample above, the agent must prepare an informant payee receipt containing all of the following information:
- The jurisdiction initiating the payment
- A description of the information/evidence received
- The amount of payment in both numerical and word format (e.g., one hundred dollars [$100.00])
- The date on which the payment was made
- The signature of the informant payee
- The signature of the case agent or officer making payment
- The signature of at least one other officer witnessing the payment
- The signature of the first-line supervisor authorizing and certifying the payment
The signed receipt from the informant payee with a memorandum detailing the information received must be forwarded to the agent or officer in charge.
- The agent or officer in charge must compare the signatures.
- He/she must also evaluate the information received in relation to the expense incurred and enter his/her evaluation remarks in the report of the agent or officer who made the expenditure from the imprest fund.
- The certification will be witnessed by the agent or officer in charge on the basis of the report and informant payee’s receipt.
Each Project Director must prepare a reconciliation report on the imprest fund on a quarterly basis.
- The reconciliation report must include the assumed name of each informant given and to what extent each informant contributed to the investigation.
- The recipient should retain the reconciliation report in its files and have it available for review.
- Subrecipients should retain the reconciliation report in their files and have it available for review unless the State agency requests that the report be submitted to them on a quarterly basis.
Each Project Director and member agency must maintain specific records of each confidential fund transaction. At a minimum, these records must consist of all documentation concerning the request for funds, processing (including the review and approval/disapproval), modifications, closure or impact material, and receipts and/or other documentation necessary to justify and track all expenditures.
- Refer to the documentation in the Informant Files section of this chapter for a list of documents which should be included in the informant files.
- In projects where award funds are used for confidential expenditures, please note that all of the above records are subject to the record retention and audit requirements of the awarding agency and program legislation.
- However, only under extraordinary and rare circumstances would such access include a review of the true name of confidential informants.
- When access to the true name of confidential informants is necessary, appropriate steps to protect this sensitive information must and will be taken by the organization, the awarding agency, and the auditing agency.
- Any such access, other than under a court order or subpoena pursuant to a bona fide confidential investigation, must be approved by both the OJP Program Office Head and the OJP Chief Financial Officer.
If the project director and RISS member agency authorized to disburse confidential funds deviate from these written procedures, they must receive prior approval of the awarding agency.
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