FindLaw Opinion Summaries - Family Law
Daily family law case summaries, brought to you by FindLaw.com.
Daily family law case summaries, brought to you by FindLaw.com.
What GAO Found The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operates the Next Generation Identification-Interstate Photo System (NGI-IPS)— a face recognition service that allows law enforcement agencies to search a database of over 30 million photos to support criminal investigations. NGI-IPS users include the FBI and selected state and local law enforcement agencies, which can submit search requests to help identify an unknown person using, for example, a photo from a surveillance camera. When a state or local agency submits such a photo, NGI-IPS uses an automated process to return a list of 2 to 50 possible candidate photos from the database, depending on the user’s specification. As of December 2015, the FBI has agreements with 7 states to search NGI-IPS, and is working with more states to grant access. In addition to the NGI-IPS, the FBI has an internal unit called Facial Analysis, Comparison and Evaluation (FACE) Services that provides face recognition capabilities, among other things, to support active FBI investigations. FACE Services not only has access to NGI-IPS, but can search or request to search databases owned by the Departments of State and Defense and 16 states, which use their own face recognition systems. Biometric analysts manually review photos before returning at most the top 1 or 2 photos as investigative leads to FBI agents. DOJ developed a privacy impact assessment (PIA) of NGI-IPS in 2008, as required under the E-Government Act whenever agencies develop technologies that collect personal information. However, the FBI did not update the NGI-IPS PIA in a timely manner when the system underwent significant changes or publish a PIA for FACE Services before that unit began supporting FBI agents. DOJ ultimately approved PIAs for NGI-IPS and FACE Services in September and May 2015, respectively. The timely publishing of PIAs would provide the public with greater assurance that the FBI is evaluating risks to privacy when implementing systems. Similarly, NGI-IPS has been in place since 2011, but DOJ did not publish a System of Records Notice (SORN) that addresses the FBI’s use of face recognition capabilities, as required by law, until May 5, 2016, after completion of GAO’s review. The timely publishing of a SORN would improve the public’s understanding of how NGI uses and protects personal information. Prior to deploying NGI-IPS, the FBI conducted limited testing to evaluate whether face recognition searches returned matches to persons in the database (the detection rate) within a candidate list of 50, but has not assessed how often errors occur. FBI officials stated that they do not know, and have not tested, the detection rate for candidate list sizes smaller than 50, which users sometimes request from the FBI. By conducting tests to verify that NGI-IPS is accurate for all allowable candidate list sizes, the FBI would have more reasonable assurance that NGI-IPS provides leads that help enhance, rather than hinder, criminal investigations. Additionally, the FBI has not taken steps to determine whether the face recognition systems used by external partners, such as states and federal agencies, are sufficiently accurate for use by FACE Services to support FBI investigations. By taking such steps, the FBI could better ensure the data received from external partners is sufficiently accurate and do not unnecessarily include photos of innocent people as investigative leads. Why GAO Did This Study Technology advancements have increased the overall accuracy of automated face recognition over the past few decades. According to the FBI, this technology can help law enforcement agencies identify criminals in their investigations. GAO was asked to review the FBI’s use of face recognition technology. This report examines: 1) the FBI’s face recognition capabilities; and the extents to which 2) the FBI’s use of face recognition adhered to privacy laws and policies and 3) the FBI assessed the accuracy of these capabilities. To address these questions, GAO reviewed federal privacy laws, FBI policies, operating manuals, and other documentation on its face recognition capability. GAO interviewed officials from the FBI and other federal and two state agencies that coordinate with the FBI on face recognition. What GAO Recommends GAO is making six recommendations, including, that the Attorney General determine why PIAs and a SORN were not published as required and implement corrective actions, and for the FBI director to conduct tests to verify that NGI-IPS is accurate and take steps to determine whether systems used by external partners are sufficiently accurate for FBI’s use. DOJ agreed with one, partially agreed with two, and disagreed with three of the six recommendations. In response, GAO clarified one recommendation, updated another recommendation, and continues to believe that all six recommendations remain valid as discussed further in this report. For more information, contact Diana Maurer at (202) 512-9627 or email@example.com.
Science and Technology
The Department of Justice announced today that 24 pallets of timber seized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on December 20, 2015, at the Port of Houston, Texas for violation of the Lacey Act and customs law were destroyed in accordance with a settlement agreement reached by the United States and the importer of the timber, Oregon-based Popp Forest Products Inc. The agreement ensures that timber that the U.S. government maintains was harvested in violation of Peruvian law will not enter the U.S. stream of commerce.
NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase & Co., alleging that the financial institution systematically discriminated against female employees in certain professional positions by compensating them less than their male counterparts. The suit maintains that JPMorgan’s compensation policies and practices violated Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment on the basis of sex.
In its compliance review, the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found that – since at least May 15, 2012 – JPMorgan paid at least 93 females employed in Application Developer Lead II, Application Developer Lead V, Project Manager and Technology Director positions within its Investment Bank, Technology & Market Strategies unit, less than comparable men employed in these same positions. This compensation disparity remained after adjusting for differences in legitimate compensation-determining factors. OFCCP also found that JPMorgan failed to evaluate the compensation systems applicable to these employees.
“JPMorgan is required to comply with anti-discrimination laws that apply to federal contractors,” said OFFCP Acting Director Thomas M. Dowd. “We filed this lawsuit to enforce those requirements.”
Filed with the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges, the complaint seeks:
JPMorgan is one of the nation’s largest banking institutions. If JPMorgan fails to provide relief as ordered, OFCCP is requesting that the court cancel all of its government contracts and debar JPMorgan from entering into future federal contracts until it satisfies the secretary of labor that its personnel and employment policies comply with Executive Order 11246.
OFCCP filed its complaint after determining that it was unable to secure a voluntary agreement from JPMorgan to take corrective action. The full complaint can be viewed here.
In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. These laws, as amended, make it illegal for contractors and subcontractors doing business with the federal government to discriminate in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. In addition, contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discriminating against applicants or employees because they have inquired about, discussed or disclosed their compensation or that of others, subject to certain limitations. For more information, please call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.
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Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, U.S. Department of Labor, v. JPMorgan Chase & Co.,
What GAO Found For the fiscal year 2017 budget, the U.S. Department of Education (Education) estimates that all federally issued Direct Loans in Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans will have government costs of $ 74 billion, higher than previous budget estimates. IDR plans are designed to help ease student debt burden by setting loan payments as a percentage of borrower income, extending repayment periods from the standard 10 years to up to 25 years, and forgiving remaining balances at the end of that period. While actual costs cannot be known until borrowers repay their loans, GAO found that current IDR plan budget estimates are more than double what was originally expected for loans made in fiscal years 2009 through 2016 (the only years for which original estimates are available). This growth is largely due to the rising volume of loans in IDR plans. Estimated Costs of Direct Loans in Income-Driven Repayment Plans Note: Due to the timing of the fiscal year 2017 budget, the amount of loans made to borrowers in fiscal years 2016 and 2017 are estimated. Education’s approach to estimating IDR plan costs and quality control practices do not ensure reliable budget estimates. Weaknesses in this approach may cause costs to be over- or understated by billions of dollars. For instance: Education assumes that borrowers’ incomes will not grow with inflation even though federal guidelines for estimating loan costs state that estimates should account for relevant economic factors. GAO tested this assumption by incorporating inflation into income forecasts, and found that estimated costs fell by over $ 17 billion. Education also assumes no borrowers will switch into or out of IDR plans in the future despite participation growth that has led budget estimates to more than double from $ 25 to $ 53 billion for loans made in recent fiscal years. Predicting plan switching would be advisable per federal guidance on estimating loan costs. Education has begun developing a revised model with this capability, but this model is not complete and it is not yet clear when or how well it will reflect IDR plan participation trends. Insufficient quality controls contributed to issues GAO identified. For instance: Education tested only one assumption for reasonableness, and did so at the request of others, although such testing is recommended in federal guidance on estimating loan costs. Without further model testing, Education’s estimates may be based on unreasonable assumptions. Due to growing IDR plan popularity, improving Education’s estimation approach is especially important. Until that happens, IDR plan budget estimates will remain in question, and Congress’s ability to make informed decisions may be affected. Why GAO Did This Study As of June 2016, 24 percent of Direct Loan borrowers repaying their loans (or 5.3 million borrowers) were doing so in IDR plans, compared to 10 percent in June 2013. Education expects these plans to have costs to the government. GAO was asked to review Education’s IDR plan budget estimates and estimation methodology. This report examines: (1) current IDR plan budget estimates and how those estimates have changed over time, and (2) the extent to which Education’s approach to estimating costs and quality control practices help ensure reliable estimates. GAO analyzed published and unpublished budget data covering Direct Loans made from fiscal years 1995 through 2015 and estimated to be made in 2016 and 2017; analyzed and tested Education’s computer code used to estimate IDR plan costs; reviewed documentation related to Education’s estimation approach; and interviewed officials at Education and other federal agencies. What GAO Recommends GAO is making six recommendations to Education to improve the quality of its IDR plan budget estimates. These include adjusting borrower income forecasts for inflation, completing planned model revisions and ensuring that they generate reasonable predictions of participation trends, and testing key assumptions. Education generally agreed with GAO’s recommendations and noted actions it would take to address them. For more information, contact Melissa Emrey-Arras at (617) 788-0534 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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