Litigating Authority of the Office of Federal Inspector, Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System

Headnotes: 

The statutory assignment to the Attorney General of plenary responsibility for the conduct of litigation involving the United States furthers a number of important policy goals, and exceptions to this plenary grant will be narrowly construed.

The Office of Federal Inspector (OFI) of the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System has no general power to conduct litigation, although it is possible that OFI may have a degree of specific authority derived from the independent litigating authority of agencies whose enforcement powers were transferred to OFI by Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1979.

The Attorney General may not delegate or transfer his authority and responsibility to supervise and control litigation, by way of a memorandum of understanding or otherwise, to an agency, like OFI, that does not independently possess litigating authority; however, attorneys from OFI may participate in litigation as part of a team headed by attorneys from the Department of Justice.

Updated July 9, 2014