A Performance Audit
An Audit Report on The Department of Public Safety’s Texas Gang Intelligence Database
The Department of Public Safety’s (Department) Texas Gang Intelligence Database (TxGANG) contained 15,368 records that were at least 10 years old as of February 1, 2022. Of those records, 8,539 (56 percent) were validated within the last 5 years, as required by Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 23. However, the remaining 6,829 records either (1) were not validated within the last five years or (2) did not include all information needed to determine whether the record was validated as required by federal regulations.
The Department’s TxGANG is designed to facilitate the exchange of information about gang organizations and their members among the law enforcement community. Agencies are responsible for collecting and evaluating information concerning an individual to determine whether that individual meets the requirements for being added to TxGANG. To create a record, an Agency must ensure that the individual meets the requirements established in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Chapter 67. Agencies are responsible for creating and validating their own records.
TxGANG Contains Records That Were Not Validated Within the Last 5 Years and Records That Do Not Include Information Necessary to Determine Whether They Were Validated as Required
A total of 1,099 records (7 percent) had not been validated within 5 years. The majority of those records were flagged as belonging to individuals who were incarcerated. TxGANG currently allows the validation process to be suspended for an individual’s sentencing period rather than the actual time incarcerated. Because the Department does not require Agencies to validate a record to confirm that an individual remains incarcerated, those records are not being reviewed for the entire duration of an individual’s sentencing period.
As part of the validation process, federal regulations also require an Agency to document (1) the date the review was performed, (2) the name of the reviewer conducting the validation, and (3) an explanation of the decision (or conclusion) to retain a record. However, that information is not always required.
As of March 2022, TxGANG had sufficient automated controls over data entered directly into the database to help ensure that the information in key data fields was appropriate.
For the majority of 6,365 records that were at least 10 years old and submitted via batch upload, TxGANG did not apply the same automated controls as it did for information entered directly into the database. A significant number of records did not include all of the information required to show that the record was properly validated. The primary cause of this is the lack of automated controls over data submitted through a batch upload, which allowed most of the records to be accepted “as is.”
TxGANG Removes Records When They Expire; However, It Does Not Notify the Department When the Removal Process Fails to Execute
TxGANG automatically removes expired records. However, it does not generate an exception report when the removal process fails to execute. As a result, the Department reported that 916 records were not removed as required between February 2022 and March 2022.
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