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Commerce Department to shut investigations, threat management unit

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Commerce Department to shut investigations, threat management unit
Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., posted a fact sheet outlining misconduct by the Investigations and Threat Management Services in May. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Following an internal review of its Investigations and Threat Management Services unit, the Department of Commerce will shut down the unit within 90 days.

The unit will be eliminated in 180 days, the department announced Friday.

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A report from the Office of the Inspector General shed light on allegations of misconduct that occurred over several years, spurring the 90-day internal review.

After closing the internal review, the department recommended four things: to eliminate the unit, establish an oversight framework for its administrative security investigations, update its written policies, and continue work to close and archive the unit's cases.

Investigations and Threat Management Services was created in 2006 to investigate critical threats to the department's mission, operations and activities. It had 13 employees, including 11 criminal investigators and two administrative workers.

The report found that the unit was managed poorly and it stated that "personnel actions" were taken in connection with findings of misconduct.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) released a fact sheet in May detailing an investigation into the unit that began in February. The fact sheet said it "engaged a troubling variety of investigative activities without proper authorization."

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That included surveillance on Twitter activity to "monitor accounts that posted commentary critical of processes used to conduct the U.S. census."

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