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A MESSAGE FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
January 31, 2003

I am pleased to submit the Department of Justiceís FY2002 Performance and Accountability Report, prepared under the aegis of the Reports Consolidation Act of 2000 and guidance from the Office of Management and Budgetís (OMB) Bulletin No. 01-09 and CircularA-1 1. This Performance and Accountability Report contains the Departmentís audited consolidated financial statements, as required by the Chief Financial Officers Act and the Government Management Reform Act; the Departmentís performance report, as required by the Government Performance and Results Act; and a report on the Departmentís material weaknesses, as required by the Federal Managersí Financial Integrity Act (Integrity Act).

The Department of Justice is accountable for meeting the highest standards of effectiveness, efficiency, and integrity, as is the government as a whole, In performing our critical mission, the prevention and disruption of terrorist activity, Justice employees have earned a reputation for skill, dedication, and integrity. Whether patrolling a remote border area, arguing a legal point in the courtroom, or investigating drug crime, ensuring justice and promoting homeland security is our foremost concern.

With the submission of the FY2002 consolidated financial statements, Justice has earned Department wide unqualified audit opinions on all its statements for the second year in a row. Importantly, several components overcame limitations in their financial systems or operations in order to earn FY 2002 unqualified opinions. These accomplishments are evidence of the Departmentís ongoing dedication to and achievement of superior performance. Continuing to improve the Departmentís performance, including our core financial systems, is one of my stated goals for the Department, and one that we are pursuing aggressively.

The financial and the performance data presented in this report are complete and reliable, as outlined in guidance from OMB. The Departmentís managers routinely use these data to carry out their responsibilities. I am also pleased to provide reasonable assurance that our management control and financial systems, taken as a whole, met the objectives of Sections2and 4 of the Integrity Act. While we still have a number of material challenges to resolve, the Department is working diligently to improve in this area.

Finally, the Presidentís Management Agenda (PMA) outlines five government-wide goals that envision a results-oriented, citizen-centered government and that allow for improving performance and overall effectiveness. The Department of Justice is committed to implementing the strategies of the PMA, and this report documents our progress. Further, in FY 2002, I announced ten Department wide management goals to support the Presidentís vision for government reform. Several of these goals address management issues, such as consolidating duplicate functions, restructuring organizations to meet better our mission, and improving our Department wide financial performance. This report provides evidence that we are working successfully toward those goals

In the coming year, we will work with the Department of Homeland Security to transition several Department of Justice functions, including those of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, to the new Department. In addition, we will embrace the employees and functions of the new Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. We will continue to pursue vigorously the defense of freedom and the principles of justice for all Americans, and we will not waiver in this pursuit.

John Aschorft Signiture