MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR
BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
- This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is made by and between the United
States Department of Interior (DOI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ)
to the Indian Law Enforcement Reform Act (Act), 25 U.S.C. 2801 et
seq. The purpose of this MOU is to establish guidelines regarding
respective jurisdictions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in certain investigative matters, and to
for the effective and efficient administration of criminal investigative
in Indian country.
- BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS JURISDICTION
- The Act establishes a Branch of Criminal Investigations within the
Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) of the BIA, which shall be responsible for
providing, or for assisting in the provision of, law enforcement services in
Indian country. The responsibilities of the DLE shall include, inter alia,
enforcement of federal law and, with the consent of the Indian tribe, Tribal
and in cooperation with appropriate federal and Tribal law enforcement
the investigation and presentation for prosecution of cases involving
of 18 U.S.C. 1152 and 1153 within Indian country(and other federal offenses
which the parties have jurisdiction). In addition, the Act authorizes the
Secretary of the Interior to develop interagency agreements with the
General and provides for the promulgation of prosecutorial jurisdictional
guidelines by United States Attorneys (USA).
- FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION JURISDICTION
- The FBI derives its investigative jurisdiction in Indian country from
U.S.C. 533, pursuant to which the FBI was given investigative responsibility
the Attorney General. Except as provided in 18 U.S.C. 1162 (a) and (c), the
jurisdiction of the FBI includes, but is not limited to, certain major
committed by Indians against the persons or property of Indians and
all offenses committed by Indians against the persons or property of
and all offenses committed by non-Indians against the persons of property of
Indians. See 18 U.S.C. 1152 and 1153.
- GENERAL PROVISIONS
- Each USA whose criminal jurisdiction includes Indian country shall
develop local written guidelines outlining responsibilities of the BIA, the
and the Tribal Criminal Investigators, if applicable. Local USA guidelines
cover 18 U.S.C. 1152 and 1153 offenses and other federal offenses within the
investigative jurisdiction of the parties to this MOU.
- Any other agreements that the DOI, DOJ, and Indian Tribes may
into with or without reimbursement of personnel or facilities of another
Tribal, state, or other government agency to aid in the enforcement of
laws of the United States shall be in accord with this MOU and applicable
laws and regulations.
- The Secretary will ensure that law enforcement personnel of the
receive adequate training, with particular attention to report writing,
interviewing techniques and witnesses statements, search and seizure
and preservation of evidence and the crime scene. Successful completion of
basic Criminal Investigator course provided by the Department of the
the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center or its equivalent shall
the minimum standard of acceptable training. The BIA may consult with the
and other training sources with respect to such additional specialized
as may be desirable. United States Attorneys may also require, and
in, training at the field level.
- Any contracts awarded under the Indian Self-Determination Act to
the function of the BIA, Branch of Criminal Investigators, must comply with
standards applicable to the Branch of Criminal Investigators, including the
- Local USA guidelines must be followed.
- Criminal Investigators must be certified Peace Officers and must have
satisfactorily completed the basic Criminal Investigator course provided by
Department of Treasury at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, or an
equivalent course approved by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Criminal
Investigators will receive a minimum of 40 hours in-service training
keep abreast of developments in the field of criminal investigations.
- Compensation for Criminal Investigators must be comparable to that of
- Criminal Investigators must be United States citizens.
- Criminal Investigators must possess a high school diploma or its
- No Criminal Investigator shall have been convicted of a felony offense
crime involving moral turpitude.
- Criminal Investigators must have documentation of semi-annual weapons
- Criminal Investigators must be free from physical, emotional, or mental
conditions which might adversely affect their performance as law enforcement
- Criminal Investigators must be certified by Tribal officials as having
passed a comprehensive background investigation, including unannounced drug
testing. Such examinations must be documented and available for inspection
- Appropriate procedures shall be devised to provide adequate supervision
Criminal Investigators by qualified supervisory personnel to ensure that
investigative tasks are properly completed.
- When a tribe is awarded a contract under the Indian Self-Determination
25 U.S.C. 450 (a), there must be a "phase-in" period of not less than 180
so as to ensure an orderly transition from one law enforcement agency to
When a Tribe retrocedes its contract for the Criminal Investigator function,
there must be a one-year time period from the date of request for
or a date mutually agreed upon by the BIA and the Tribe, for the BIA to
for reassuming the Criminal Investigation responsibility. All case files,
evidence, and related material and documents associated with active and
investigations must be turned over to the receiving criminal investigative
agency, whether it be the BIA or a Tribe.
- Appropriate procedures shall be established with respect to the
transportation and destruction of, and access to, case files, evidence, and
related documents and other material, with particular attention directed to
confidentiality requirements of 18 U.S.C. 3509(d) and Rule 6(e) of the
Rules of Criminal Procedure. Criminal Investigators shall follow these
procedures at all times. Access to such material will be for official use
- Before any Tribe contracts for the Criminal Investigator function, the
and the Tribe must ensure that there is sufficient funding to cover the
a Criminal Investigator program including salary, equipment, travel,
and other related expenses arising during both the investigation stage and
litigation stage of any case or matter covered by the contract.
- Tribal contractors must agree, and the BIA shall ensure, that there is
audit and evaluation of the overall contracted Criminal Investigator program
least every two years. Continuation of the contract shall be contingent
successful completion of each audit and evaluation.
- Criminal Investigators are prohibited from striking, walking off the
feigning illness, or otherwise taking any job action that would adversely
their responsibility and obligation to provide law enforcement services in
capacity as Criminal Investigators.
- Any individual who is a holder of a BIA Deputy Special Officer
Commission and performing duties as a Criminal Investigator must comply with
standards applicable to Criminal Investigators set forth in the preceding
- When either the FBI or the BIA receives information indicating a
violation of law falling within the investigative jurisdiction of the other
agency, the agency receiving the information will notify the other agency.
either the FBI or the BIA declines to investigate a matter within the
jurisdiction of both agencies, the other agency will be notified. The FBI
the BIA will attempt to resolve jurisdictional disputes at the field level.
the event the dispute cannot be resolved, it will be reviewed by each
respective headquarters for resolution.
- With respect to the use of sensitive investigative techniques,
as the nonconsensual interception of wire, oral or electronic communications
undercover operations involving any sensitive circumstance (as defined in
Attorney General's Guidelines for FBI Undercover Operations), and the
investigation of organized crime matters, the FBI shall be the agency
responsible. Undercover operations involving sensitive circumstances shall
conducted in accordance with the Attorney General's Guidelines for FBI
Operations. This paragraph is not intended to prohibit the BIA from
consensual eavesdropping or undercover operations not involving a sensitive
circumstance or utilizing other nonsensitive investigative techniques after
proper training and when authorized by the appropriate United States
- Nothing in this MOU is intended to change any existing cooperative
relationships and responsibilities between the BIA and the FBI, and nothing
this MOU shall invalidate or diminish any law enforcement authority or
responsibility of either agency.
- Consistent with the availability of resources, the FBI will offer
specialized training to the BIA.
- Consistent with limitations regarding confidentiality, the
requirements of the Privacy Act and any other applicable laws, and
policies and procedures, the BIA and the FBI will cooperate on investigative
matters of mutual interest, exchange intelligence, and investigative
- To the extent possible and in consideration of limited resources,
FBI will continue to assist the BIA in its investigative matters by
investigative support services through the Identification Division, Training
Division, Criminal Investigative Division and Laboratory Division.
This document constitutes the full and complete agreement between the BIA
FBI. Modifications to this MOU will have no force and effect unless and
such modifications are reduced to writing and signed by an authorized
representative of the parties thereto. This MOU will, at regular intervals,
subjected to a thorough review to determine if changes are appropriate.
- The provisions set forth in this MOU are solely for the purpose of
internal guidance of components of the Department of the Interior and the
Department of Justice. This MOU does not, is not intended to, shall not be
construed to, and may not be relied upon to, create any substantive or
rights enforceable at law by any party in any matter, civil, or criminal.
MOU does not, is not intended to, and shall not be construed to, exclude,
supplant or limit otherwise lawful activities of the Department of Interior
the Department of Justice.
- By subscription of their signatures below, the parties acknowledge
they have read, understand, and will abide by the foregoing statements.
United States Department of Interior
September 3, 1993
United States Department of Justice
November 22, 1993
[cited in USAM 9-20.100; USAM 9-20.220]