U.S. Department of Justice Seal Strategic Plan 2000 - 2005 Graphic

USDOJ Homepage Strategic Plan Homepage A Message from the Attorney General FY 1999 Annual Accountability Report
FY 2001 Performance Plan Table of Contents Introduction Chapter I
Chapter II Goal One Goal Two Goal Three
Goal Four Goal Five Goal Six Goal Seven
Chapter III External Factors Appendix A Appendix B
Appendix C Appendix D Appendix E Appendix F



Almost two hundred years ago, Thomas Jefferson wrote that "The most sacred of the duties of government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens."(1) As the nation embarks on a new century, this sacred duty to fulfill the promise of justice for all remains the hallmark of the American experiment in democratic self-government. It is also the guiding ideal for the men and women of the U.S. Department of Justice (the Department) in carrying out their mission

"...to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; to administer and enforce the nation's immigration laws fairly and effectively; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans."

The Department of Justice Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2000-2005 provides a multiyear, comprehensive, and realistic plan for carrying out the Department's mission. It is oriented toward achieving our vision of securing equal justice for all, enhancing respect for the rule of law, and making America a safer and less violent nation. It provides to the President, the Congress and the American people a report on the problems and challenges the Department faces in the years ahead and the goals and objectives we have set for ourselves. It is both a reaffirmation of our fundamental commitment to serve the American people in the pursuit of justice and a promise to be accountable for our progress.


The Department of Justice is headed by the Attorney General of the United States. It is comprised of 38 separate component organizations. These include the U.S. Attorneys (USAs) who prosecute offenders and represent the United States Government in court; the major investigative agencies - - the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) - - which prevent and deter crime and arrest criminal suspects; the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) which controls the border and provides services to lawful immigrants; the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) which protects the federal judiciary, apprehends fugitives and detains persons in federal custody; and the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) which confines convicted offenders. Litigating divisions enforce federal criminal and civil laws, including civil rights, tax, antitrust, environmental, and civil justice statutes. The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) provide leadership and assistance to state, tribal, and local governments. Other major departmental components include the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), the United States Trustees (UST), the Justice Management Division (JMD), the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), the Community Relations Service (CRS), and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Although headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Department conducts much of its work in offices located throughout the country and overseas.


In carrying out our mission, we are guided by the following core values:

Equal Justice Under the Law. Upholding the laws of the United States is the solemn responsibility entrusted to us by the American people. We enforce these laws fairly and uniformly to ensure that all Americans receive equal protection and justice under the law.

Honesty and Integrity. We adhere to the highest standards of ethical behavior.

Commitment to Excellence. We seek to provide the highest levels of service to the American people. We are effective and responsible stewards of the taxpayers' dollars.

Respect for the Worth and Dignity of Each Human Being. We treat each other and those we serve with fairness, dignity, and compassion. We value differences in people and ideas. We are committed to the well-being of our employees and to providing opportunities for individual growth and development.


In recent years, the Department, and the Federal Government generally, have begun to embrace the concepts of performance-based management. These concepts have been effective in bringing about significant improvements in many private and public sector organizations and programs both in the United States and abroad. At the heart of performance-based management is the idea that focusing on mission, agreeing on goals, and reporting results are the keys to improved performance.

Congress has mandated performance-based management through a series of bipartisan statutory reforms. (2) The centerpiece of this statutory framework is the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993 (P.L. 103-62). The GPRA requires agencies to develop strategic plans that identify their long range strategic goals and objectives; annual plans that set forth corresponding annual goals and indicators of performance; and annual reports that describe the actual levels of performance achieved compared to the annual goal.

The Department of Justice Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2000-2005 is prepared pursuant to the requirements of the GPRA. It revises and supersedes the initial GPRA strategic plan submitted by the Department in September 1997 covering fiscal years 1997-2002. The revised plan incorporates a number of changes. Many of these are in response to criticisms and suggestions from external reviewers, including the General Accounting Office.

Two changes are especially noteworthy. First, we have included material describing the overall crime and justice environment as well as the specific problems and issues facing the Department. In essence, we have tried to give the reader greater context for understanding what we do and why. Second, we have attempted to more completely delineate the strategies by which we will achieve our goals and objectives.

We developed the plan with the active involvement of our component organizations. We provided copies of the draft plan to the chairs and ranking minority members of Senate and House committees on the judiciary and appropriations, the Senate Committee on Government Affairs and the House Committee on Government Reform. In addition, we posted a copy of the draft plan on the Department's web site for comment by our employees, other federal agency officials, and the general public.

Within the Department, strategic planning is the first step in an iterative planning and implementation cycle. This cycle, which is at the heart of the Department's efforts to implement performance-based management, involves setting long-term goals and objectives; translating these goals and objectives into budgets and program plans; implementing programs and monitoring their performance; and evaluating results (figure 1). In this cycle, the Department's strategic plan provides the overarching framework for component and function-specific plans as well as annual performance plans, budgets, and reports. (3)

Figure 1:  U.S. Department of Justice Strategic Planning and Implementation Cycle

The Department also is integrating performance-based management concepts and practices into other core management processes, including procurement, information technology, financial accounting, and human resources. For example, we are aligning our budget, accounting and performance data in order to produce a cohesive, integrated financial information framework.

Despite our progress, we recognize that further improvements are needed. Implementing performance-based management is an iterative, ongoing process that demands significant and fundamental changes in organizational culture and business processes.


The plan is in three chapters. Chapter I briefly outlines the major themes underlying our strategic goals and objectives, including some of the key issues we are likely to face in the years ahead. Chapter II sets forth our goals, objectives and strategies for the next five years. It also describes key interagency crosscutting programs and summarizes the external factors that may affect goal achievement. Chapter III describes the role of evaluation in developing the strategic plan and provides a schedule of ongoing and planned program evaluations.

The scope and complexity of the Department's mission make it impossible to describe in a single document the full range and content of the Department's programs and activities. Where appropriate, reference has been made to other plans and reports that provide more detailed information in specific areas.

The Appendices include (A) a description of the resources required to implement the plan; (B) a description of the linkage between the strategic plan and the annual performance plan; (C) a summary list of mission-critical management challenges; (D) key facts on crime and justice; (E) a glossary of abbreviations and acronyms; and (F) a list of Justice component web sites.

This plan is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/jmd/mps/strategic2000_2005/index.htm.

1 Thomas Jefferson, Note in Destutt de Tracy, "Treatise on Political Economy," in The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904, 14:465.

2 These include the Chief Financial Officers Act, the Government Management Reform Act, and the Clinger-Cohen Act.

3 They include, for example, the Department's Drug Control Strategic Plan, Five-Year Financial Management Plan, and the strategic plans of the FBI, DEA, USMS, INS and BOP. In addition, the Department prepares annual performance plans and reports.


FY 2000 -- 2005 Strategic Plan
U.S. Department of Justice


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