Policy Statement of the Department of Justice on Its
Relationship and Coordination with the Statutory Inspectors General of the
Various Departments and Agencies of the United States
The Department of Justice's Policy Statement follows:|
- The serious problem of fraud and waste in federal programs is one
the most important challenges facing the federal law enforcement community,
includes not only the Federal Bureau of Investigation, other investigative
agencies and Department of Justice prosecutors but also the audit and
investigation staffs of the Inspectors General. To meet this challenge we
effectively use our limited audit, investigative and prosecutorial resources
produce meaningful results. The Department of Justice has high expectations
the Inspectors General, but in the past, in some circumstances, we have not
addressed and resolved in any comprehensive way how they are to work in the
criminal justice system. The Department has now developed a framework for
coordination of its efforts with the Inspectors General, which is outlined
- LEGAL FOUNDATION
- The implementing statutes place with Inspectors General the
responsibility for conducting investigations relating to the programs and
operations of their agencies. The statutes also require Inspectors General
"report expeditiously to the Attorney General whenever the Inspector General
reasonable grounds to believe there has been a violation of criminal law."
- GOAL OF POLICY
- The Inspectors General were created in large part in response to
need for increased detection of fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement in
programs. In law enforcement, we have come to recognize that the United
is best served by formally initiating matters of possible criminality into
criminal justice system as early as possible. Accordingly, current FBI
procedures generally provide for a preliminary prosecutive opinion before
initiation of a full-scale criminal investigation. This early alert system
enables the Department of Justice to mount a coordinated and directed
investigation and prosecution effort.
- NOTIFICATION POLICY
- When to Report
- The basic rule is that whenever there is reason to believe a
crime has occurred, the Department of Justice should be advised. There are
- One category involves possible crimes which are completed concerning
events and which, although they require prompt investigative and prosecutive
attention, are not so urgent, or so sensitive as to suggest accelerated
and/or utilization of special law enforcement techniques. This first
of criminal allegations may require further investigation by the Inspector
General to confirm, and should be reported whenever there is a reasonable
indication, i.e., some evidence, to believe that a federal crime has
- The second category involves possible crimes which are of such an
or sensitive nature that upon receipt of the mere allegation, accelerated
reporting is required to allow for immediate prosecutive and investigative
action. This second category involves allegations such as bribery, conflict
interest, fraud against the government and the like involving federal
and, in addition, any criminal conduct of an ongoing nature. Because of the
enforcement sensitivity, this category also includes information pertaining
the element generally known as organized crime. These urgent and sensitive
matters necessitate immediate reporting to the Department because the FBI
called on to employ body recorders, undercover operations, search warrants,
III and other specialized law enforcement techniques which need FBI
may require Department approval.
- Where to Report
- The Attorney General's interests include not only criminal
and prosecution but also the civil interests of the United States. To
all these interests and coordinate other actions, the Inspectors General
report the above described possible violations to the prosecutor. This
will be the U.S. Attorney in the district where the crime occurred or is
occurring. In certain circumstances the reporting may be to the appropriate
section of the Criminal Division. These situations include matters in which
venue is uncertain or headquarters coordination or action is suggested by
nature of the crime or program.
- What and How to Report
- The report should generally consist of a written statement of the
allegation, the facts developed, the evidence-both documentary and
testimonial-supporting the facts, the history and status of the Inspector
investigation. To insure that appropriate consideration is given to the
civil fraud claims, however, the Inspector General may wish to make a
referral to the Civil Division.
- THE FBI AND PROSECUTOR ROLE
- At the time of reporting, the prosecutor, consulting with the FBI
the Inspector General, will be called on immediately to make a number of
decisions, including whether:
- To initiate a grand jury investigation,
- To decline prosecution, or
- To refer the matter for civil and/or administrative action.
In many circumstances, with the early reporting system, the prosecutor and
FBI will ask the Inspector General to conduct a joint investigation with the
or continue the investigation.
- DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMMITMENT
- U.S. Attorneys and the Criminal and Civil Divisions will give
investigations of Inspector General matters a high priority.
- The Fraud Section of the Criminal Division will be charged with
the operations of the policy and resolving any uncertainties of differing
interpretations which may arise.
- The FBI will keep the Inspectors General regularly informed of the
of the investigation except in these rare instances where disclosure might
endanger FBI agents or adversely affect the investigation.
- The FBI will notify the Inspector General, at the same time it seeks a
preliminary prosecutive opinion, of FBI investigations which are predicated
information or allegations other than an Inspector General report (with the
safety and security of investigation caveat).
- The FBI will furnish a written summary at the conclusion of an
investigation on the nature of judicial action, if any, taken.
- The FBI will provide the following services:
- Appropriate indices checks;
- Laboratory examinations;
- National Crime Information Center inquiries; and
- Identification record searches and other appropriate services.
- The FBI has completed a major Inspector General/FBI undercover
and is seeking the support of the Inspectors General in developing other
efforts. Substantial progress has been made in coordinating the prosecutive
investigation planning in this area through the Bureau's Undercover Review
Committee. The Department expects to increase the use of this technique in
government fraud and corruption area.
- MEMORANDA OF UNDERSTANDING
- As the Department and the Inspectors General gain experience with
principles set forth in this statement, refinements within the framework of
underlying policy will be formulated. It is contemplated that the FBI and
Inspectors General, in consultation with the U.S. Attorneys and the Criminal
Division will address matters such as local working relationships, joint
investigative procedures, threshold reporting requirements, and delegation
investigative responsibility. These may take the form of procedural and
operating memoranda of understanding.
[cited in USAM 9-42.001; USAM 9-42.500]