Thank you TN for dropping this blog piece right in my lap, it makes my job so much easier!
The state of TN Comptroller of the Treasury/ Jan.2018 Audit is complete and it’s not looking good for TBI. Although there’s no “wrong-doing” according to those representatives attending the audit meeting, it seems that the TN Bureau of Investigation has a budget shortfall, they’ve over-spent and have had to dip into their cash reserves for the last four years. (The entire audit is available at the TN Comptroller of the Treasury website, and it’s actually fairly interesting, alot of things that make you go hmmmmmmm?)
Aside from the fact that there seems to be alot of “not following standard record keeping procedures, poor financial management, budget under-estimating, revenue over-estimating and the request to buy an $8 million plane”, hmmmm, the audit found an issue regarding “uncollected sex offender registration fees” that I found interesting and disturbing.
Apparently, in TN, there is a “failure to collect sex offender registration fees”, and this has added to the woes of TBI’s budget problems.
Really, is TBI really trying to blame their poor financial management and record keeping on registrants? Because if they are, I’ve got something to say about it.
Get Rid of the Registry!
That would automatically alleviate your record-keeping problems!
The audit touches on several things such as a lack of adequate staffing to handle all the registry needs. Seems there’s not enough people to accurately log when a registrant pays their fee. Sometimes it gets recorded right then and there, other times it might not get recorded for a month, which leads me to believe that maybe two months or three months might possibly go by before it’s recorded, or, well, I won’t speculate, it is the TBI afterall. (There’s a shortfall you say, hmmmm, where did that money go if there’s no record of it ?) I also noted there is a vacant position that hasn’t been filled in this dept., so, it seems to me that they should have saved money on not having to pay this position’s salary. Hmmmm.
Registrants, make sure you get a signed and dated receipt when you pay your fee! Don’t leave the building without one!
I wonder what happens if a registrant has paid their fee but it wasn’t recorded right away. It would appear as though they hadn’t paid, were in violation of the registry. Could they get sent to jail for TBI’s “mistake”? Who would know it it’s not recorded? Hmmmmm?
Registrants have to register within 48 hrs in TN, so if you get out of prison on December 30, 2017, that means forking over $150 fee by December 31. But wait, even though the fee is supposedly only once per year, approximately three months later, in March, you will be asked to fork over another $150 because that is the annual registering month. Hmmmm…within 3 months the registrant has paid not $150 but $300. And you say there’s a shortfall in the budget? How can that be? Seems like in December 2017 TBI collected a years worth of registry fee for someone who was only on it for 2 days that year. Hmmmm? Seems like “extra-money” was made on that registant.
The audit mentioned the problem with collecting from indigent registrants.
Get Rid of the Registry.
If registrants could find jobs, if there weren’t exclusionary zones, more places where they “can’t” work than those where they can, no residency restrictions so registrants could find housing and have the “stable address” that’s so often required to get a job, then maybe, just maybe, there wouldn’t be so many indigent registrants.
And who knew, from reading the audit I see that TBI has something called “TN Sex Offender Standard Operating Procedures Manual”. This manual gives all the information that someone working for the TBI needs to know about proper record keeping and such. They have it and they don’t follow it!
Registrants on the other hand have no such manual to learn the rules and regulations they must follow. I bet if they had a manual, they’d read it cover to cover.
The last part of the audit was regarding the Drug Abuse Offense Registry.
What I noticed was there didn’t seem to be any fees associated with that Registry !.
Since drug offenses are more prevalent than sex offenses, why isn’t the Drug Abuse Offense Registry the “cash cow” for TBI?