The Asset Forfeiture Management Staff (AFMS) is a Federal Government component of the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ), Justice Management Division (JMD) and reports to the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Administration/Controller.
AFMS’ mission is to aid and support Federal Law Enforcement agencies and task forces with achieving the following goals of the Asset Forfeiture Program:
- Punish and deter criminal activity by depriving criminals of tools and property used in or acquired through illegal activities,
- Promote and enhance cooperation among federal, state, local, tribal, and foreign law enforcement agencies,
- Recover assets that may be used to compensate victims when authorized under federal law, and
- Ensure the Program is administered professionally, lawfully, and in a manner consistent with sound public policy.
These goals are accomplished by depriving criminals of the proceeds of crime and other assets used to perpetuate criminal activity against our society.
AFMS’ primary responsibilities are to manage and administer the DOJ Assets Forfeiture Fund (AFF) and Seized Assets Deposit Fund (SADF), providing information technology solutions to support the Asset Forfeiture Program (AFP) community.
The AFF was established pursuant to the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 (P.L. 98-473), codified in 28 U.S.C. § 524(c), to receive the proceeds of forfeitures pursuant to any law enforced by members of the AFP community or enforced or administered by the DOJ. The SADF was created administratively by the Department to ensure control over monies seized by agencies participating in the Department’s AFP community. Funds in the SADF are not the property of the Federal government and may not be used to fund AFP operations.
Funds deposited into the AFF can be used for the following:
- Victims and other innocent third party claims
- Federal, state and local task forces’ expenses incurred in a joint law enforcement operation
- Forfeiture-related investigation and litigation
- Contract support services
- Information systems and technologies used to support the Forfeiture Systems (FS) framework
AFMS provides Federal administrative management and oversight of the AFF and the SADF, including development and implementation of financial policy in collaboration with AFP participating agencies. AFMS conducts internal reviews of the programs’ activities to ensure that data is timely and accurate, and monies allocated are spent in accordance with the Deputy Attorney General’s authorization and all AFP guidelines.
AFMS prepares budgets for the entire AFP; implements and monitors annual allocations of AFF monies to participating agencies; and provides oversight and management controls to ensure consistency and transparency of AFF resource allocations across the AFP.
AFMS manages program-wide contracts for participating agencies providing critical services and expertise. AFMS gathers requirements, develops statements of work (SOWs), prepares procurement documents, performs contract administration, and contract quality assurance throughout contract period of performance.
AFMS assists in the preparation of AFF/SADF interim and audited annual financial statements pursuant to the Chief Financial Officers’ Act of 1990, as amended; the Government Management and Reform Act of 1994; and the Accountability for Tax Dollars Act of 2002. AFMS prepares external auditor reports on the reliability of the AFF/SADF financial statements, internal controls over financial reporting, and compliance with laws and regulations. The annual Audit of the Assets Forfeiture Fund and Seized Asset Deposit Fund Annual Financial Statements are available to the public.
AFMS supports Information Technology (IT) services through IT development and maintains a suite of web-based tools used to support Federal law enforcement agencies participating in the AFP. This suite of tools delivers a comprehensive view of the seized and forfeited assets’ activities as they traverse the asset forfeiture life cycle. These tools aid Federal law enforcement agencies participating in the AFP with obtaining up-to-date asset forfeiture information, agency reporting, and training capabilities relevant to the asset forfeiture life cycle.
AFMS developed and manages the Forfeiture.gov website containing a searchable list of pending notices of administrative, civil, and criminal forfeiture action, the submission of petitions for remission or mitigation, and to file a claim to contest the forfeiture of a property.
AFMS publishes annual reports pursuant to the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA) that requires the reports be provided to Congress and made available to the public at the end of each fiscal year.
AFMS publishes Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) disclosure reports pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, codified at 5 U.S.C. § 552.
AFMS plays an integral role in aiding the AFP community and Federal law enforcement agencies to achieve their mission and objectives through transparency, reliability and integrity of their agencies’ data. AFMS does not own any of the data. Federal law enforcement agencies have entrusted AFMS to manage, maintain, and act as custodian of their agencies’ data. AFMS through collaboration with Federal law enforcement agencies ensures that the AFF, SADF and tools described meet the business needs and requirements of the AFP‘s goals. AFMS continues to enhance the existing practices and tools in accordance with Federal agency requirements to support overarching AFP’s objectives.