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Title 3: EOUSA

3-15.000 - Security Programs and Emergency Management

3-15.010 Introduction
3-15.110 Personnel Security
3-15.120 Information Security
3-15.130 Evidence in Criminal Matters and Cases
3-15.140 Communications Security
3-15.160 Reporting Security Incidents and Emergency Security Support
3-15.170 Deputation (Authorization to Carry Firearms)
3-15.180 Occupational Safety and Health Program
3-15.190 Emergency Management
3-15.200 District Security Plan
3-15.300 Security Education and Awareness

3-15.010 - Introduction

Security and emergency management programs effectively protect personnel, offices, and investigative and administrative information enable the United States Attorneys’ offices (USAOs) to accomplish their mission and goals. The active participation of senior management is critical to the success of these programs. Security and emergency management within USAOs comprises three distinct components: the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA), the District Office Security Manager (DOSM), and the Security Working Group of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee.

  1. EOUSA provides the following support for USAO security programs:
    • Policy and procedural assistance for the implementation of all security programs in accordance with applicable statutes and Executive and Departmental Orders to ensure the unique needs of each office are met.
    • General and specialized security training for all personnel responsible for security-related duties.
    • Budgetary and facilities management support to facilitate the design, procurement, and installation of all security-related equipments, services, and systems.
    • A structured methodology for analyzing the overall security and emergency management practices of each USAO and determining office-unique requirements.
    • Oversight to identify weaknesses, provide assistance and advice, ensure compliance with all national and Departmental security policies and regulations, and formulate constructive recommendations to improve the overall quality of security programs and support.
  2. Each United States Attorney appoints a DOSM, preferably a Supervisory Assistant United States Attorney, to manage all district security programs. As the principal security official for the office, the DOSM advises the United States Attorney on all security matters, and is assisted by other assigned individuals as required.

[updated February 2018]

3-15.110 - Personnel Security

  1. Background Investigations. The residency requirement applies to all DOJ applicants, both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens, whose job location is within the U.S.  DOJ positions require pre-appointment investigations be conducted on each applicant without an adverse impact on the applicant’s availability. It is recognized, however, that in unusual or emergency circumstances it may be necessary to fill these positions prior to the completion of the prerequisite investigation, at which time a pre-employment waiver must be requested.
  2. National Security Clearances. USAOs must contact the EOUSA Personnel Security team to request National Security Clearances when employees require access to National Security Information. SEMS verifies that the employee has the appropriate and favorably adjudicated investigation for the requested clearance. SEMS submits an electronic request to the Justice Management Division (JMD) Personnel Security Group (PERSG). PERSG reviews the request, and notifies SEMS Personnel Security team, and the SEMS Regional Security Program Manager, that the clearance request has been approved or denied.
  3. Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 (HSPD-12): All DOJ federal employees and contractor employees working in DOJ space longer than 6 months are required to obtain a HSPD-12, Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Card. A favorably adjudicated National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI) or equivalent in accordance with revised Federal Investigative Standards is the minimum investigation required for a final credentialing determination for a PIV Card.

[updated February 2018]

3-15.120 - Information Security

Information security involves the control and safeguarding of Limited Official Use (LOU) information and National Security information (NSI). Other departments and agencies entrust LOU information and NSI to the USAOs during investigations and litigation. It is important that USAOs protect LOU information and NSI, and any materials developed using such information, in the same manner as the originators. All LOU information and NSI must be protected to prevent disclosure to individuals not authorized access to the information.

  1. Limited Official Use (Sensitive) Information. Departmental policy defines LOU information, also referred to as “sensitive,” and establishes procedures for its protection. LOU information includes, but is not limited to grand jury information, informant and witness information, investigative material, Federal tax and tax return information, Privacy Act information, and information that can cause risk to individuals or could be sold for profit.
  2. Tax Returns and Return Information. Tax returns and tax return information from any source is regarded as LOU information. Tax returns and return information received from the Internal Revenue Service, however, are further subject to the confidentiality and disclosure provisions of 26 U.S.C. §§ 6103(h)(tax administration), 6103(i)(federal laws not related to tax enforcement), and 6103(p)(safeguarding); the applicable Treasury regulations; and the IRS’s requirements for safeguarding federal tax information set forth in Publication 1075, Tax Information Security Guidelines for Federal, State and Local Agencies and its updates.

Questions regarding § 6103(h) regarding disclosures for tax administration should be directed to the Tax Division’s Southern Region, [see JM 6-1.130]. Questions regarding disclosures for federal law enforcement unrelated to tax administration should be directed to Policy & Statutory Enforcement Unit, Office of Enforcement Operations, Criminal Division [see JM 9–13.900]. Finally, for questions regarding the specific safeguarding requirements for returns and return information obtained directly or indirectly from the IRS, contact the appropriate office of your component.

  1. Grand Jury Information.  Access to grand jury material shall be restricted to the Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) assigned to the case and those personnel deemed necessary by the AUSA to carry out the official duties related to the grand jury activities.
  2. National Security (Classified) Information. NSI, which is also referred to as “classified information,” concerns national defense and foreign relations matters. National and Departmental policies prescribe requisite procedures for marking, handling, storing, and transmitting NSI. Refer to Paragraph 3-15.100, for guidance on requesting national security clearances.

[updated February 2018] 

3-15.130 - Evidence in Criminal Matters and Cases

Normally, United States Attorneys’ offices (USAOs) should not have custody of evidence in criminal matters and cases. Under most circumstances, evidence should remain in the custody of the investigating agency. When evidence is required in court the agencies handling the case, or other representative of the investigating agency, should bring the evidence and retain custody until the material is introduced as evidence, at which point it becomes the responsibility of the United States Marshal, the Clerk, and the Court.

Timely arrangements shall be made with the United States Marshals Service (USMS), or other agencies subject to the court’s policy, for the storage of all evidence pending its formal disposition by court order, except drugs. If the evidence involves drugs or drug paraphernalia, such evidence will remain in the custody of the federal agent in charge of the case, who will ensure the integrity of the evidence is secured and all evidence is present at the court proceeding.

Documentary Evidence

Generally, the only occasion when evidence might be stored in the USAO is when documentary evidence, secured under a grand jury subpoena, is delivered into the custody of the United States Attorney. As long as such documentary evidence is needed, it should be kept under appropriate security arrangements. As soon as there is no further need for the evidence, such as when a determination is made that evidence will not be introduced and is unnecessary, it should be returned to the owner. Exhibits and abandoned or unclaimed property, in connection with litigation, which the USAO cannot return to its lawful owner, should be turned over to the USMS for disposal.

If additional space is needed to store such evidence, the usual procedures for procurement of space should be followed.

Physical Evidence

USAOs may be authorized storage of physical evidence under exceptional circumstances and for such short periods of time as necessary to present the evidence to the court or grand jury.

When accepting the custody of evidence is justified, USAOs shall, at a minimum, initiate the following procedures:

(1) Establish and maintain a permanent log of evidence transferred to and from their custody; (2) Issue, as well as require, receipts for evidence transferred to and from their custody; (3) Ensure all evidence is stored in secure facilities.

Sensitive High-Risk Physical Evidence

Storage of sensitive high-risk physical evidence, such as weapons, drugs, cash, negotiable instruments, or any other dangerous or valuable items, in USAOs is strongly discouraged. However, under exceptional circumstances storage may be allowed in areas and containers which have been approved by the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) and meet the following conditions:

(1) A one-time written request by the United States Attorney to EOUSA with full justification for the need to establish a sensitive high-risk storage area is approved by the Director, EOUSA; (2) Written certification by the District Office Security Manager that the proposed storage area and containers meet EOUSA’s sensitive high-risk physical evidence storage standards will satisfy interim certification requirements. Completion of a one-time, on-site security survey by the Security Programs Staff (SPS), EOUSA is required prior to final certification of the area; (3) A written agreement between the USAO and the Special Agent-in-Charge or appropriate supervisory official of the investigative agency, requiring the storage of sensitive high-risk physical evidence. The agreement will state the USAO will not assume custody of the evidence, but will only provide storage facilities which will allow the agency to retain complete custody of, and full control over, access to the sensitive high-risk physical evidence; (4) A one-time review and approval by SPS of the office’s operational and administrative procedures for the storage of sensitive high-risk physical evidence to ensure compliance with EOUSA guidelines.

Under no circumstances will the storage of explosives, high quantities of ammunition, flammable devices, or chemicals be allowed.

[added February 2018]

3-15.140 - Communications Security

Communications security (COMSEC) involves the protection of voice, data, and facsimile signals during transmission. Rapidly advancing technology and the ease with which communications systems can be monitored and exploited by criminal elements or hostile intelligence services presents a serious challenge to the legal and law enforcement community.

Within each USAO, the DOSM oversees communications security and determines USAO requirements for secure telephone and facsimile equipment, and promotes the use of secure communications equipment among district personnel. The COMSEC Representatives are responsible for day-to-day management of secure communications equipment, maintaining required accounting records, and conducting periodic inventories of COMSEC equipment and material.

[updated February 2018

3-15.160 - Reporting Security Incidents and Emergency Security Support

The DOSM is responsible for immediately reporting to EOUSA any situation that: (1) involves possible or actual injury to employees, (2) results in loss of, or damage to, Government assets; or (3) affects or threatens the ability of a USAO to operate. Examples of reportable incidents include: threats to a USAO or its employees, regardless of whether the threat is related to the employees’ official duties; office break-ins; theft or loss of Government property; and discovery of computer viruses.

Security Incident Reports are submitted to report all other types of security-related incidents (e.g., bomb threats which do not directly involve a USAO, thefts of personal or Government property, disclosure of sensitive or classified information to unauthorized individuals, and discovery of computer viruses).

[updated February 2018]

3-15.170 - Deputation (Authorization to Carry Firearms)

The Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General, as delegated by the Attorney General, may, in appropriate cases, authorize the Director of the United States Marshals Service to deputize United States Attorney personnel on an individual basis as Special Deputy United States Marshals for the limited purpose of carrying firearms for self protection. Such deputations will enable them to possess and carry firearms without violating local, state, and federal laws which may restrict the possession or carrying of firearms. Such deputations expressly exclude law enforcement powers such as the power to arrest for violations of federal law and court-related duties of United States Marshals.

[updated February 2018] 

3-15.180 - Occupational Safety and Health Program

The Director, EOUSA, has overall responsibility for implementing the Occupational Safety and Health Program in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.); Executive Order 12196, “Occupational Safety and Health Programs for Federal Employees”; 29 CFR §1960, et seq., “Basic Program Elements for Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health Programs”; and Department of Justice Order 1779.2A, “Occupational Safety and Health Program.” The Director has designated the Assistant Director of the EOUSA Security Programs Staff as the Safety and Health Manager to administer the Occupational Safety and Health Program for EOUSA and the USAOs.

Each United States Attorney shall designate an individual to serve as the district Occupational Safety and Health Coordinator. The Coordinator is responsible for: arranging and participating in annual inspections of district offices; monitoring findings and reports of inspections to confirm that appropriate corrective measures are implemented; reporting to EOUSA any unsafe or unhealthful working conditions; displaying the Occupational Safety and Health Act poster; conducting investigations and maintaining records of employee or public injuries, property damage, and motor vehicle accidents; and an annual summary of occupational injuries, illnesses, accidents, and property damage.

[updated February 2018]

3-15.190 - Emergency Management

Emergency management within the USAOs involves efforts to respond to, mitigate the effects of, and recover from any hazards or emergencies that affects USAOs, their personnel, and their ability to carry out essential functions in the face of such emergencies.  The Security and Emergency Management Program assists USAOs through planning, training, and other assistance to maintain their preparedness against all hazards.  It also serves as the principal planner for EOUSA to address all hazards.

[updated February 2018]

3-15.200 - District Security Plan

Each USAO is required to develop a “District Security Plan,” which should be reviewed on an annual basis, updated as necessary, and made available to all district employees.

[updated February 2018]

3-15.300 - Security Education and Awareness

Regional Security Specialists, or RSSs, are senior security specialists working from selected host district offices under the direction of the Assistant Director through the program manager.  They provide support services to multiple districts to help ensure USAOs implement policy and program goals of the other SEMS programs.

[updated February 2018]