SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
Page 1 TOP OF DOCSEEKING RESULTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 1997
House of Representatives,
Committee on the Judiciary,
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 9:43 a.m., in Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Henry J. Hyde (chairman of the committee) presiding.
Present: Representatives Henry J. Hyde, F. James Sensenbrenner, Bill McCollum, George W. Gekas, Howard Coble, Lemar Smith, Ed Bryant, Bob Barr, Bill Jenkins, Ed Pease, Christopher Cannon, John Conyers, Melvin Watt, Zoe Lofgren, Maxine Waters, Martin Meehan, and William Delahunt.
Also present: Diana Schacht, deputy staff director/counsel; Glenn Schmidt, counsel; Dan Bryant, counsel; John Ladd, counsel; Kathryn Lehman, counsel; Ed Grant, counsel; Shawn Friesen, staff assistant; Michael Bolinder, assistant; Julian Epstein, minority staff director; Perry Apelbaum, minority general counsel; Stephanie Goodman, minority counsel; David Yassky, minority counsel; Martina Hone, minority counsel.
OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN HYDE
Mr. HYDE. The committee will come to order.
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What do you really know about the return you get on your tax dollars? In fiscal year 1997, the Department of Justice received over $16 billion. That money was used to combat crime, incarcerate criminals, defend the government in civil cases, administer the immigration laws, enforce civil rights laws, prohibit anticompetitive behavior, and a host of other important uses.
But has anyone stopped to ask whether we could spend this money in a more efficient way so that the same amount of money would deliver better results? Have we identified programs that either don't work or which some other part of government could perform more effectively? Have we identified the programs that give us the best bang for the buck? The answer generally speaking has been no, because the government never before had to account for the results it achieved.
Today marks the beginning of a new way of doing business in Washington. Under the Government Performance and Results Act, agencies must submit long-range strategic plans to Congress. These plans require the agencies to answer some very basic questions: Where they are going, how they are going to get there, and how they will know if they are getting there. And the answers are to be framed in measures which evidence results, not, for example, how many FBI agents investigated drug cases, but the decline in drug use. Not how much money was spent to prosecute criminals, but the reduction in violent crime rates.
Once the Results Act is fully implemented, it is hoped that we will be able to use this information to more reliably assess the impact of our funding decisions. For instance, last summer, the 104th Congress increased terrorism spending by $500 million. One year later, what do we have to show for this expenditure other than an increase in Department of Justice employees? The Results Act is intended to answer this kind of question. This is not just a change in accounting procedures. If done correctly, it will translate to smarter, smaller, more efficient government.
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We can see this from the spectacular success that similar reforms have produced at the local level. One notable example is the 40 percent drop in the crime rate that the city of New York has achieved since 1993 by requiring results-based measurements from the New York Police Department. The mayor can now point to an estimated 118,000 fewer crime victims walking the streets of New York as a result of these common sense reforms.
Making the Results Act process a success at the Department of Justice begins with the creation of its strategic plan. If the plan is not results oriented, if it is not clear in its goals, if its strategies are not supported by sound and logical principles, if it is not measuring the right things, and if it does not adequately coordinate the Department's activities with other law enforcement entities, then this process cannot work.
This last issue, lack of coordination, is a particularly pernicious problem. We cannot afford to have multiple agencies doing essentially the same thing or working at cross purposes with one another. Departments seem rarely to coordinate within their own walls, much less coordinate with other agencies.
Yet, consider that in our War on Drugs, we spend $16 billion each year on 70 different programs in 57 different departments and agencies. Agencies from the U.S. Coast Guard to the FBI to the Department of Health and Human Services all claim some part of the drug war. And despite the fact that Congress created the Office of National Drug Control Policy to develop a strategy and coordinate the drug war, we have seen very little progress on this front. Indeed, according to a recent GAO report, we have 19 separate intelligence centers scattered across 10 departments with most of this intelligence being squirreled away and not shared with other agencies. Similarly, the government has 39 different policies and strategies for combatting terrorism with responsibilities spread across 30 Federal agencies.
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As the taxpayers who are funding these programs, don't we have the right to expect the Department of Justice to make sure that it is working in synergy rather than at counter purposes with the other 29 responsible agencies?
At the outset of the today's hearings, I want to commend the Department of Justice for the seriousness in which it has undertaken this management change. I also want to recognize the important contribution that our subcommittee Chairman and Ranking Member, Mr. Conyers, have had in this process. They have worked diligently and cooperatively with the Department over the last 6 months to refine and improve the strategic plan that is before us this morning. I look forward to a very informative discussion this morning.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hyde follows.]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF HON. HENRY J. HYDE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, AND CHAIRMAN ON THE JUDICIARY
What do you really know about the return you get on your tax dollars? In fiscal year 1997, the Department of Justice received over 16 billion dollars. That money was used to combat crime, incarcerate criminals, defend the government in civil cases, administer the immigration laws, enforce civil rights laws, prohibit anti-competitive behavior, and a host of other important uses. But, has anyone stopped to ask whether we could spend this money in a more efficient way, so that the same amount of money would deliver better results? Have we identified programs that either don't work, or which some other part of government could perform more effectively? Have we identified the programs that give us the best ''bang for the buck''? The answer, generally speaking, has been no, because the government never before had to account for the RESULTS it achieved.
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Today marks the beginning of a new way of doing business in Washington. Under the Government Performance and Results Act, agencies must submit long-range strategic plans to Congress. These plans require the agencies to answer some very basic questionswhere they are going, how they are going to get there, and how they will know if they are getting there. And, the answers are to be framed in measures which evidence results: not, for example, how many FBI agents investigated drug cases, but the decline in drug use. Not, how much money was spent to prosecute criminals, but the reduction in violent crime rates.
Once the Results Act is fully implemented, it is hoped that we will be able to use this information to more reliably assess the impact of our funding decisions. For instance, last summer the 104th Congress increased terrorism spending by $500 million. One year later, what do we have to show for this expenditure other than an increase in Department of Justice employees? The Results Act is intended to answer this kind of question.
This is not just a change in accounting procedures: if done correctly, it will translate to smarter, smaller, more efficient government. We can see this from the spectacular successes that similar reforms have produced at the local level. One notable example is the 40% drop in the crime rate that the City of New York has achieved since 1993 by requiring results-based measurements from the New York Police Department. The mayor can now point to an estimated 118,000 fewer crime victims walking the streets of New York as a result of these common sense reforms.
Making the Results Act process a success at the Department of Justice begins with the creation of its Strategic Plan. If the plan is not results-oriented, if it is not clear in its goals, if its strategies are not supported by sound and logical principles, if it is not measuring the right things, and if it does not adequately coordinate the Department's activities with other law enforcement entities, then this process cannot work.
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This last issuelack of coordinationis a particularly pernicious problem. We cannot afford to have multiple agencies doing essentially the same thing or working at cross purposes with one other. Departments seem rarely to coordinate within their own walls, much less coordinate with other agencies. Yet, consider that in our war on drugs, we spend $16 billion each year on 70 different programs in 57 different Departments and agencies. Agencies from the US Coast Guard to the FBI to the Department of Health and Human Services all claim some part of the Drug War. And despite the fact that Congress created the Office of National Drug Control Policy to develop a strategy and coordinate the drug war, we have seen very little progress on this front. Indeed, according to a recent GAO report, we have 19 separate drug ''intelligence centers'' scattered across 10 departmentswith most of this intelligence being squirreled away and not shared with other agencies.
Similarly, the government has 39 different policies and strategies for combating terrorism, with responsibility spread across over 30 federal agencies. As the taxpayers who are funding these programs, don't we have the right to expect the Department of Justice to make sure that it is working in synergy, rather than at counterpurposes, with the other 29 responsible agencies?
At the outset of today's hearing, I want to commend the Department of Justice for the seriousness in which it has undertaken this management challenge. I also want to recognize the important contribution that our subcommittee Chairmen and the Ranking Member, Mr. Conyers, have had on this process. They have worked diligently and cooperatively with the Department over the last six months to refine and improve the strategic plan that is before us this morning.
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I look forward to a very informative discussion this morning, and I turn to Mr. Conyers for an opening statement.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Conyers follows.]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF JOHN CONYERS, JR., A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MICHIGAN
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Government Performance Results Act of 1993 was enacted to improve the confidence of the American people in the capability of the Federal Government. As former Chairman of the Government Operations Committee which held jurisdiction over this important legislation, I am pleased that the Act has already begun to achieve its stated objective of promoting more responsive initiatives by agencies through the establishment and implementation of goals, and more importantly, a renewed emphasis on results.
On hearing today addresses the Justice Departments Strategic Plan, which is due today in compliance with the Act. I want to welcome our witnesses from the GAO and from the Department of Justice, who have joined us today to discuss the specific details of the Justice Department plan. I'd also like to thank Chairman Hyde and his staff for the bipartisan cooperation they have shown on this process.
At the outset, I want to commend the Department for its diligent efforts to comply with the provisions of the Act, and particularly, for the time and effort invested in developing this premier Strategic Plan. The Plan has undergone several drafts, and as this Committee stated in our September 15th letter to the Attorney General, the Department's participation in the Congressional consultation process has been a critical factor in successful implementation of the Act. Again, I'd like to thank the Department for its consistent cooperation in working with us and our staff on this objective.
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In that September 15th letter, after review of the August Plan, we asked the Department to include additional, statutorily-required information, including a discussion of the relationship between long-term goals and objectives and the annual performance goals. I am pleased to see that such a discussion has been added to the final September Plan. Additionally, the September Plan includes information on what this Committee considered to be key management issuesasset forfeiture administration and the Department's debt collection activities.
I understand, as I am sure many of my colleague do, that this Plan is not perfectafter all, it is the first ever of its kind. But it is a good start and a solid foundation for achieving the types of results we hope to see from all of our Federal agencies. I look forward to working with the Department as it moves through this critical process.
And I yield to anyone who has an opening statement. Mr. Meehan, do you have one?
Mr. MEEHAN. No.
Mr. HYDE. Mr. Delahunt?
Mr. DELAHUNT. No.
Mr. HYDE. Mr. McCollum has none. Mr. Gekas?
Mr. GEKAS. Yes, Mr. Chairman, just a quick statement, that the Chairman is quite correct in articulating the problems that we might have in seeing how the Department of Justice coordinates with all the other departments that are engaged in the War on Drugs.
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I am also interested in what level of cooperation and mutual work is accomplished between the Justice Department and all the other local and State law enforcement agencies. In looking through all the statements, I find just a small area of concern here, or reporting, and I would like to see what will evolve from future endeavors of this type.
I thank the Chair.
Mr. HYDE. Any further statements? Mr. Smith?
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Chairman, could I have unanimous consent to have my statement placed in the record?
Mr. HYDE. You certainly may, with great pleasure.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Smith follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF LAMAR SMITH, CHAIRMAN, SUBCOMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION AND CLAIMS
Mr. Chairman, thank you for scheduling today's hearing on this important topic. Today's deadline under the Results Act for submission of the final five-year Strategic Plan happens to coincide with another important deadline related to immigration policy: the final Report of the Commission on Immigration Reform, being released to the public this morning.
In my view, the success of the Department of Justice in meeting the aspirations set forth in the immigration component of its Strategic Plan will depend in large part on the commitment of the Department and the Immigration and Naturalization Service to follow-through on many of the specific recommendations made by the Commission.
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These include: first, a fundamental change in the organization and management of immigration functions within the Executive Branch; second, a change in our priorities for admission of immigrants to better meet the national interests and promote the unification of nuclear families; and third, the setting of specific targets for enforcement activities, including removals of criminal and other illegal aliens.
The final Strategic Plan represents a significant improvement over earlier drafts. I was particularly pleased that several specific recommendations made by the immigration subcommittee to the Attorney General are reflected in the final Plan. However, I also believe that the Plan aspires to be all things to all people, and does not sufficiently reflect the hard choices that will have to be made on the levels of policy, enforcement, and management to restore credibility to the Federal Government's immigration functions.
As we evaluate this Plan we have to keep in mind the management challenges that face the Department and the INS. The INS has received a tremendous infusion of financial resources in the last four budget cycles, more than doubling its annual appropriations. These resources have not been effectively managed to carry out the core missions of the agency.
The Report of the House Appropriations Committee accompanying the 1998 appropriations bill requires the Department to act promptly to implement the recommendations made by the Commission.
Both the Commission and the Appropriations Committee have identified the dual missions of enforcement and service as being inherently in conflict and creating a situation of mission overload.
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The INS has been slow to acknowledge its management failings and has a record of repeated and compounded management errors. The Department has been somewhat more forthcoming in addressing INS management problems, but has not committed to needed structural reform within the INS. As the Results Act process of consultation and oversight continues, I fully expect the Department and the INS to recognize and address the management and structural deficiencies that, if left unaddressed, will make it impossible to meet the performance objectives indicated in this Plan.
Mr. HYDE. Any other statements?
Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Chairman, just a follow up on what Mr. Gekas had to say.
I look forward, because I know in my district, the cooperation between the U.S. Attorney's Office, the police department, and the district attorney's office, has been exceptional, and it has actually resulted in a dramatic reduction in the crime rates of many of the communities in my districtparticularly in Lowell, where the President's Initiative on Community Policing has resulted in dramatic drops on the rate of crime. I have been happy to see the U.S. Attorney's Office involved in those efforts and look forward to hearing in more detail about what is happening throughout the country.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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Mr. HYDE. Thank you, Mr. Meehan.
The congressional consultation process regarding the Department of Justice's strategic plan has been greatly assisted by the participation of the General Accounting Office.
On our first panel, we will hear from Norm Rabkin, the Director for Administration of Justice Issues at the General Accounting Office. He is responsible for GAO's efforts involving law enforcement agencies and grant programs in the Federal court system. He is also the author of the July 11, 1997, GAO report on the Department of Justice Draft Strategic Plan.
Accompanying Mr. Rabkin is Chris Mihm. Mr. Mihm is the Acting Associate Director for Federal Management and Work Force Issues at GAO. He leads GAO's efforts to assess the implementation of the Results Act and other related management initiatives.
Mr. Rabkin, if you would proceed. We would like to have people confine their statements to 5 minutes or so. I don't know how appropriate that is with what all you have to say, but do the best you can. And the rest of your statement, of course, will be included in the record. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF NORMAN J. RABKIN, DIRECTOR, ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE ISSUES, GENERAL GOVERNMENT DIVISION, UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
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Mr. RABKIN. Mr. Chairman, I am prepared to try to stay within that 5 minutes.
We are pleased to be here this morning to discuss our observations on the Justice Department strategic plan. As you know, the Results Act requires all executive agencies to submit their plans to Congress and OMB today. My prepared statement discusses our views on the Department's draft plan of August 15th. I have seen the Department's final plan and I am prepared to discuss it with you today.
For the most part, we believe that Justice's plan meets the requirements of the Results Act. While the plan can be, and I am confident that it will be, fine-tuned as time goes by, it represents a good first effort by the Department. My written statement discusses the areas where we believe the plan can be improved.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to use the rest of my time this morning to discuss how the plan treats three major Justice responsibilities: Preventing terrorism, reducing illegal drugs, and deporting criminal aliens.
One of Justice's specific goals is to reduce espionage and terrorism. This is an appropriate goal because the President has designated Justice and some of its component agencies as key players in the Federal effort to combat terrorism. Justice's strategies are also consistent with the administration's goal of preventing and deterring terrorist acts and responding to terrorist acts that do occur by apprehending and punishing terrorists.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Department plans to judge its success by estimating the number of domestic terrorist incidents it has prevented, measuring the extent to which it has neutralized foreign intelligence activities, and counting the number of indictments and convictions in the highest priority cases.
While these strategies and performance indicators seem reasonable, the plan, however, does not discuss how they fit into the administration's broader framework. As with many of its other key responsibilities, Justice is expected to work closely with other Federal agencies to achieve national goals. Therefore, the goals it sets for itself, its strategies for achieving them, and the indicators it will use to assess results, should be viewed in the context of the role the administration expects Justice to play, vis-a-vis the other Federal agencies, including the State and Defense Departments and the intelligence community.
In the area of drug control, Justice again is one of several major players in the Federal effort to reduce the supply of and demand for illegal drugs and the consequences of illegal drug use. Justice's goal is to reduce the availability and abuse of illegal drugs through traditional and innovative enforcement efforts. Its strategies are to disrupt major drug organizations, increase foreign government support for successful investigations and prosecutions of cartel members, and process intelligence and drug traffickers to support its investigative and prosectorial efforts.
The Justice plan could do a better job of placing this goal and these strategies in the context of the President's plan submitted by ONDCP last February. ONDCP is now in the process of developing performance indicators, including measures and 5- and 10-year targets for the national drug control strategy. I would expect that Justice's annual performance plan as it relates to these drug control strategies would be consistent with the measures that ONDCP is developing.
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However, its August plan indicates that rather than measure whether the supply of illegal drugs has been reduced, Justice will look at how successful it has been in carrying out its strategy of disrupting cartels, bringing cases against cartel members, seizing assets of drug organizations, and disseminating high-quality intelligence.
Finally, turning to criminal aliens, the Attorney General and INS commissioner have said that deportation of such aliens is a departmental priority. However, it is not a distinct goal of the Department to reduce the number of criminal aliens in the country. Rather, Justice's goal is to expeditiously remove deportable aliens, not just criminal aliens. And it is combined with other approaches to enforcing immigration laws.
To access its success, Justice proposes to measure both the number of criminal aliens it removes and the percentage of criminal aliens subject for expulsion who are removed after completion of their prison sentence. A related performance indicator, actually it is stated as a target, is that immigration judges complete 95 percent of their cases involving incarcerated criminal aliens before the aliens are released.
As we reported in July to Mr. Smith's Immigration Subcommittee, in the past, INS has not been very successful in carrying out this strategy for incarcerated aliens. We pointed out that, to be more successful, INS would have to work more closely with Federal and State prison officials and do a better job of estimating the resources it would need to carry out its responsibilities.
In summary, Mr. Chairman, while the Department's first strategic plan comes fairly close to complying with the requirements of the Results Act, it raises some questions for the Department stakeholders, especially this committee, to pursue. It seems to me that this is the kind of dialogue that the framers of the Results Act had in mind.
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Mr. Chairman, this completes my prepared statement. Mr. Mihm and I would be happy to answer any questions you have at this time.
Mr. HYDE. I thank you, Mr. Rabkin.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Rabkin follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF NORMAN J. RABKIN, DIRECTOR, ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE ISSUES, U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, executive agencies are to develop strategic plans in which they define their missions, establish results-oriented goals, and identify strategies they will use to achieve those goals for the period 1997 through 2002. The Act specifies that strategic plans should contain six elements: (1) a mission statement; (2) agencywide long-term goals and objectives; (3) approaches (or strategies) and the various resources needed to achieve the goals and objectives; (4) a description of the relationship between the long-term goals/objectives and the annual performance plans; (5) an identification of key external factors; and (6) a description of how program evaluations were used to establish and revise strategic goals.
GAO's July 1997 reportThe Results Act: Observations on the Department of Justice's February 1997 Draft Strategic Plan (GAO/GGD97153R, July 11, 1997analyzed the February 1997 version of Justice's plan. Justice prepared a revised plan in August.
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Justice's August plan discusses, to some degree, five of the six required elementsa mission statement, goals and objectives, key external factors, a program evaluation component, and strategies to achieve the goals and objectives. The August plan does not include a required discussion on the relationship between Justice's long-term goals/objectives and its annual performance plans.
The draft plan could better address how Justice plans to (1) coordinate with other federal, state, and local agencies that perform similar law enforcement functions, such as the Defense and State Departments regarding counter-terrorism; (2) address the many management challenges it faces in carrying out its mission, such as internal control and accounting problems; and (3) increase its capacity to provide performance information for assessing its progress in meeting the goals and objectives over the next 5 years.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I am pleased to be here today to discuss our observations on the Department of Justice's August draft of its strategic plan. The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (the Results Act)(see footnote 1) requires that all executive branch agencies submit their plans to Congress and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) by September 30, 1997. My statement focuses on Justice's August draft strategic plan, which builds on our July comments regarding Justice's February draft plan.(see footnote 2) Specifically, my statement will focus on the August plan's compliance with the Act's requirements and on the extent to which it covered crosscutting program activities, management challenges, and Justice's capacity to provide reliable performance information.(see footnote 3)
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In summary, Justice's February draft of its strategic plan was incomplete in that of the six elements required by the Act, threethe relationship between long-term goals/objectives and the annual performance plans, the key factors external to Justice that could affect Justice's ability to meet its goals, and a program evaluation componentwere not specifically identified in the draft plan. The remaining three elementsthe mission statement, goals and objectives, and strategies to achieve the goals and objectiveswere discussed. The August plan includes two of the three missing elements but the plan does not include a required discussion on a third elementhow the long-term goals and objectives are tied to Justice's annual performance plans. In addition, the revised plan would better meet the purposes of the Act if it provided more complete coverage of crosscutting programs, management challenges, and performance information.
In the 1990s, Congress put in place a statutory framework to address long-standing weaknesses in federal government operations, improve federal management practices, and provide greater accountability for achieving results. This framework included as its essential elements financial management reform legislation, information technology reform legislation, and the Results Act.
In enacting this framework, Congress sought to create a more focused, results-oriented management and decisionmaking process within both Congress and the executive branch. These laws(see footnote 4) seek to improve federal management by responding to a need for accurate, reliable information for congressional and executive branch decisionmaking. This information has been badly lacking in the past, as much of our work has demonstrated. Implemented together, these laws provided a powerful framework for developing fully integrated information about agencies' missions and strategic priorities, data to show whether or not the goals are achieved, the relationship of information technology investment to the achievement of those goals, and accurate and audited financial information about the costs of achieving mission results.
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The Results Act focuses on clarifying missions, setting goals, and measuring performance toward achieving those goals. It emphasizes managing for results and pinpointing opportunities for improved performance and increased accountability. Congress intended for the Act to improve the effectiveness of federal programs by fundamentally shifting the focus of management and decisionmaking away from a preoccupation with tasks and services to a broader focus on results of federal programs.
Requirements Under the Results Act
Under the Results Act, executive agencies are to develop strategic plans in which they define their missions, establish results-oriented goals, and identify strategies they will use to achieve those goals for the period 1997 through 2002. The Act specifies that all agencies' strategic plans should have six critical components: (1) a comprehensive agency mission statement; (2) agencywide long-term goals and objectives for all major functions and operations; (3) approaches (or strategies) to achieve the goals and objectives and the various resources needed; (4) a description of the relationship between the long-term goals/objectives and the annual performance plans required by the Act; (5) an identification of key factors, external to the agency and beyond its control, that could significantly affect achievement of the strategic goals; and (6) a description of how program evaluations were used to establish and revise strategic goals and a schedule for future program evaluations.
JUSTICE'S PLAN CONTAINS ALL BUT ONE CRITICAL ELEMENT
Justice's strategic plan is organized around what Justice has identified as its seven core functions: (1) investigation and prosecution of criminal offenses; (2) assistance to state and local governments; (3) legal representation, enforcement of federal laws, and defense of federal government interests; (4) immigration; (5) detention and incarceration; (6) protection of the federal judiciary and improvement of the justice system; and (7) management.
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Justice's February draft of its strategic plan was incomplete and did not provide Congress with critical information for its consultations with Justice. Justice's August version added two of the three required elements that were missing in the February plan. As a result, the August plan includes, to some degree, a discussion on five of the six required elementsa mission statement, goals and objectives, key external factors, a program evaluation component, and strategies to achieve the goals and objectives. The August plan does not include a required discussion of a sixth elementthe relationship between Justice's long-term goals/objectives and its annual performance plans.
Justice's plan contains a mission statement that is results oriented and generally defines the Department's basic purpose with emphasis on its core programs and activities. Justice's mission statement is as follows:
Our mission at the United States Department of Justice is to enforce the law and defend the interests of the U.S. according to the law, provide Federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime, seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior, administer and enforce the Nation's immigration laws fairly and effectively and ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.
Justice's mission statement covers six of the seven core functions that Justice identified but does not specify the detention and incarceration function, which is one of Justice's largest budget items. The plan does incorporate the detention and incarceration function in the discussion of goals and objectives and in its strategies to achieve those goals and objectives. Justice officials said that it was their intent to cover the detention and incarceration function by the phrases ''seek just punishment . . .'' and ''ensure fair and impartial administration of justice . . .''
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While we agree that mission statements may vary in the extent to which they specify particular activities, we believe that it would be helpful to explicitly include the detention and incarceration function in this case. Our belief is based on Justice's decision to specify all of the other major functions in its mission statement and our concern that the Department's stakeholders may not interpret the phrases cited by Justice officials as indicating that the detention and incarceration component is part of its mission.
Goals and Objectives
Justice's goals and objectives cover its major functions and operations and are logically related to its mission. However, they are not as results oriented as they could be and some focus on activities and processes. For example, one set of results-oriented goals involves reducing violent, organized, and gang-related crime; drug-related crime; espionage and terrorism; and white collar crime. However, goals in other areas are more process oriented, such as ''Represent the United States in all civil matters for which the Department of Justice has jurisdiction,'' ''Promote the participation of victims and witnesses throughout each stage of criminal and juvenile justice proceedings at the Federal, State, and local levels,'' and ''Make effective use of information technology.''
Another concern we have with some of the goals is that they are not always expressed in as measurable a form as intended by OMB guidance. For example, two of Justice's goals in the legal representation, enforcement of federal laws, and defense of U.S. interests core function are to protect the civil rights of all Americans and safeguard America's environment and natural resources. It is not clear from the August plan how Justice will measure its progress in achieving these goals.
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Strategies to Achieve Goals and Objectives
The Results Act and OMB Circular A11 indicate that agency strategic plans should describe the processes the agencies will use to achieve their goals and objectives. Our review of Justice's strategic plan, specifically the strategies and performance indicators, identified areas where the plan did not fully meet the Act's requirements and OMB Circular A11 guidance.
Some of the strategies did not clearly explain how and to what extent Justice programs and activities will contribute to achieving the goals and how Justice plans to assess progress in meeting those goals. For example, because Justice has limited ability to control criminal activities, it is not clear how Justice will be able to determine the degree to which its programs and activities have contributed to changes in violent crime, availability and abuse of illegal drugs, espionage and terrorism, and white collar crime. Similarly, in its immigration core function, Justice has a goal to maximize deterrence to unlawful migration by reducing the incentives of unauthorized employment and assistance. It is likewise unclear how Justice will be able to determine the effect of its efforts to deter unlawful migration, as differentiated from the effect of changes in the economic and political conditions in countries from which illegal aliens originated. The plan does not address either issue.
Some of Justice's performance indicators are more output than outcome related. For example, one cited strategy for achieving the goal of ensuring border integrity is to prevent illegal entry by increasing the strength of the Border Patrol. One of the performance indicators Justice is proposing as a measure of how well the strategy is working is the percentage of time that Border Patrol agents devote to actual border control operations. While this measure may indicate whether agents are spending more time controlling the border, it is not clear how it will help Justice assess its progress in deterring unlawful migration.
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The Act requires that agencies' plans discuss the types of resources (e.g., human skills, capital, and information technology) that will be needed to achieve the strategic and performance goals and OMB guidance suggests that agencies' plans discuss any significant changes to be made in resource levels. Justice's plan does not include either discussion. This information could be beneficial to Justice and Congress in agreeing on the goals, evaluating Justice's progress in achieving the goals, and making resource decisions during the budget process.
Key External Factors
In its August plan, Justice added a required discussion on key external factors that could affect its plan outcomes. Justice discusses eight key external factors that could significantly affect achievement of its long-term goals. These factors include emergencies and other unpredictable events (e.g., the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building), changing statutory responsibilities, changing technology, and developments overseas. According to Justice, isolating the particular effects of law enforcement activity from these eight factors that affect outcomes and over which Justice has little control is extremely difficult. This component of the plan would be more helpful to decisionmakers if it included a discussion of alternatives that could reduce the potential impact of these external factors.
In its August plan, Justice added a required discussion on the role program evaluation is to play in its strategic planning efforts. Justice recognizes that it has done little in the way of formal evaluations of Justice programs and states that it plans to examine its evaluation approach to better align evaluations with strategic planning efforts. The August plan identifies ongoing evaluations being performed by Justice's components. OMB guidance suggests that this component of the plan include a general discussion of how evaluations were used to establish and revise strategic goals, and identify future planned evaluations and their general scope and time frames. Justice's August plan does neither.
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The Relationship Between Long-Term Goals and Objectives and the Annual Performance Plans Is Not Described in the Plan
Under the Results Act, Justice's long-term strategic goals are to be linked to its annual performance plans and the day-to-day activities of its managers and staff. This linkage is to provide a basis for judging whether an agency is making progress toward achieving its long-term goals. However, Justice's August plan does not provide such linkages.
In its August plan, Justice pointed out that its fiscal year 1999 annual performance planning and budget formulation activities are to be closely linked and that both are to be driven by the goals of the strategic plan. It also said that the linkages would become more apparent as the fiscal year 1999 annual performance plan and budget request are issued.
PLAN COULD BETTER ADDRESS CROSSCUTTING PROGRAM ACTIVITIES
Many law enforcement organizationsinternational and domestic (e.g., other federal, state, and local)perform either similar or the same activities as Justice. The draft plan includes a goal to coordinate and integrate law enforcement activities wherever possible and to cooperate fully with other federal agencies. However, the plan could better serve the purposes of the Results Act by discussing how Justice plans to coordinate with external organizations' activities and how it plans to measure and asses inputs, outputs, and outcomes. For example, the plan does not discuss;
how Justice plans to work with the Departments of Defense and State, the intelligence agencies, and foreign governments in fighting international terrorism;
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how Justice's drug enforcement activities will relate to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which has government-wide planning responsibilities for drug control activities;
how Justice and the Department of the Treasury, which have similar responsibilities concerning the seizure and forfeiture of assets used in connection with illegal activities (e.g., money laundering) will coordinate and integrate their operations;
how INS will work with the Bureau of Prisons and state prison officials to identify criminal aliens; and
how INS and the Customs Service, which both inspect arriving passengers at ports of entry to determine whether they are carrying contraband and are authorized to enter the country, will coordinate their resources.(see footnote 5)
Along these lines, certain program areas within Justice have similar or complementary functions that are not addressed or could be better discussed in the strategic plan. For example, both the Bureau of Prisons and INS detain individuals, but the plan does not address the interrelationship of their similar functions or prescribe comparable measures for inputs and outcomes. As a second example, the plan does not fully recognize the linkage among Justice's investigative, prosecutorial, and incarceration responsibilities.
THE AUGUST PLAN DOES NOT ADDRESS SOME MAJOR MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC One purpose of the Results Act is to improve the management of federal agencies. Therefore, it is particularly important that agencies develop strategies that address management challenges that threaten their ability to achieve both long-term strategic goals and this purpose of the Act.
Over the years, we as well as others, including the Justice Inspector General and the National Performance Review (NPR), have addressed many management challenges that Justice faces in carrying out its mission. In addition, recent audits under the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 (CFO Act), expanded by the Government Management Reform Act,(see footnote 6) have revealed internal control and accounting problems. Justice's draft strategic plan is silent on these issues.
Justice's February plan contained a section on ''Management,'' which is one of its seven core functions. In addition, Justice's August draft plan contains a new section on ''Issues and Challenges in Achieving Our Goals,'' which was not in its February plan. This new section discusses Justice's process for managing its information technology investments, steps taken to provide security over its information systems, and its strategy to ensure that computer systems accommodate dates beyond the year 2000. However, neither this new section nor the ''Management'' core function addresses some of the specific management problems that have been identified over the years and the status of Justice's efforts to address them.
In its August draft plan, Justice also added a discussion on ''accountability,'' which points out that Justice has an internal control process that systematically identifies management weaknesses and vulnerabilities and specifies corrective actions. This section also recognizes the role of Justice's Inspector General. However, the plan would be more helpful if it included a discussion of corrective actions Justice has planned for internally and externally identified management weaknesses, as well as how it plans to monitor the implementation of such actions. In addition, the plan does not address how Justice will correct significant problems identified during the Inspector General's fiscal year 1996 financial statement audits, such as inadequate safeguarding and accounting for physical assets and weaknesses in the internal controls over data processing operations.
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DISCUSSION OF CAPACITY TO PROVIDE RELIABLE PERFORMANCE INFORMATION COULD BE IMPROVED
To efficiently and effectively operate, manage, and oversee its diverse array of law enforcement-related responsibilities, Justice needs reliable data on its results and those of other law enforcement-related organizations. Further, Justice will need to rely on a variety of external data sources (e.g., state and local law enforcement agencies) to assess the impact of its plan. These data are needed so that Justice can effectively measure its progress and monitor, record, account for, summarize, and analyze crime-related data. Justice's August strategic plan contains little discussion about its capacity to provide performance information for assessing its progress toward its goals and objectives over the next 5 years.
However, in its strategic plan, under the immigration core function, Justice states that one of its priorities is to improve the reliability and integrity of its data systems to enforce immigration laws. Justice's August plan added a goal and corresponding strategies and performance indicators to address this priority. Similarly, Justice added a new goalachieving excellence in management practicesthat includes a strategy for (1) obtaining useful and reliable budget, accounting, and performance data to support decisionmaking, and (2) integrating the planning, reporting and decisionmaking processes. These strategies could assist Justice in producing results-oriented reports on its financial condition and operating performance.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my prepared statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions.
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Mr. HYDE. Due to the eccentricities of committee meetings, I have to go down to another committee to vote. And so I am going to turn the chair over to Mr. McCollum. But I will be back. Thank you.
Mr. MCCOLLUM [presiding]. We greatly appreciate your testimony here this morning, Mr. Rabkin. And certainly we are interested in all of what you have done in the assessment world.
I have a couple of questions. I will yield myself 5 minutes and then to whomever seeks time as we go down the line as usual.
I am struck by the fact that you initially made the comment before you saw the final plan that there were some basic flaws in the Justice Department's program in that they did not go through every one of the criteria that they were supposed to. They only did the goals and the objectives and the mission statement and they left a lot of other things out.
Is it your testimony today that in the final draft, the Justice Department has, indeed, complied with the law and even though they might not have done it in every respect the way you would like, and you have obviously critiqued that, they have at least gone through each of the areas they are supposed to and they have indeed addressed them?
Mr. RABKIN. Yes, sir. The plan addresses the requirements. It has improved as it has gone through review and revision. I think to a certain extent that reflects the consultations that the Department has had with this committee and others, and perhaps to some extent with the advice that we provided.
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For example, the original draft only covered three of the six required areas in the Results Act. The August draft that we looked at had five of those six areas. It didn't talk about how the strategic plan would relate to the annual performance plans that the Department and its components were required to come out with.
The plan that is being released today discusses that and commits the Department to tying these in at the Department level as well as at the level of the component agencies. And so I am sure that once the fiscal year 1999 budget is released in January, the Department will have a performance plan for its components that ties into that and ties back into this strategic plan.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. In the area of the drug war effort that you discussed, you indicated the measurement of success included some mention of the supply side. But you were somewhat critical that there was no direct involvement of that, at least I read that into what you said. You also made comments to us that you felt that the Justice Department not only in the drug area but in the areas you mentioned didn't appear to have a device there to relate to the full administration complement of the other agencies. Obviously, that is an ongoing thing we are always concerned about. But I am curious about the supply side issue.
Do you believe that in order to measure success in the drug effort we need to have some supply target or reduction of supplies? What was the meaning of your thought behind those comments?
Mr. RABKIN. I think that the Justice Department has to have some targets to shoot for. But it has to be in the context of the Federal strategy. ONDCP has got a draft out that takes its February strategy much further in terms of identifying performance measures, targets that it expects the component agencies that are part of this drug control effort to meet by the years 2002 and 2007. It has discussions of the kinds of data that will be required to assess the progress of the agencies in meeting these goals. And it designates agencies that are responsible for implementing all of the subgoals.
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The Justice Department fits into that plan. It is not responsible by itself for reducing the supply of drugs. Any target that it sets for its component agencies, DEA, the FBI, et cetera, should be consistent with the overall national strategy. Those are the kind of details that will be worked out over time as ONDCP's report and strategic measures and performance indicators get revised and released and as the Department puts out its fiscal 1999 budget and performance plan.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. Let me point to something I see here, just ask how you view it. In the strategy performance indicators for drugs, in fighting that effort, for goal two, the report fails to specify, at least in my judgment, qualifiable outcomes. We are already talking about the supply question. For example, the first strategy is to disrupt and dismantle major drug organizations along all points of the production, transportation, and distribution chain. Now that does not specify how many and what type of major drug organizations are to be disrupted or dismantled. Should it?
Mr. RABKIN. I think it will. At the level that the plan is at now it is probably inappropriate to get into the kinds of targets we are talking about. ONDCP has been working on its plan a little longer and they are further ahead. They talk about coming out with a list of targeted organizations, that is which cartel organizations should be disrupted. They will have a laundry list of those. Then they will measure the performance of the agencies who are responsible for disrupting them against that list. The measure will be a percentage of the organizations on that list that have been disrupted.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. Thank you, Mr. Rabkin. I would yield 5 minutes to Mr. Watt if he wishes to be recognized.
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Mr. WATT. Mr. Chairman, I think I will pass for the time being.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. Ms. Lofgren.
Ms. LOFGREN. I am glad that we are having this hearing today. And as with Chairman Hyde and others we have markups going on in the IP subcommittee, and I am going to have to be in and out. But I am particularly interested in the report relative to the Immigration Service. And I am wondering or worried about the level of detail provided, whether we are going to have a sufficient guide for the agency to improve in areas where the public can see it. I will give you an example.
The suboffice of the Immigration Service in San Jose has huge backlogs. I talked to a fellow last month who spent 5 hours on hold trying to get through on the telephone, 5 hours on hold. You cannot get through. You can get no information. People show up at 2:00 in the morning to get in line so that they can get in through the door. People have been insulted repeatedly by the staff, including government officials who have been harassed by armed guards and told that they cannot come into the office.
I talked to an individual, an elderly lady who had applied for citizenship, and I've been told repeatedly, there's a 6- to 8-month delay. It took from October to June to log the application into the system. And that is when the date of the 6 to 8 months started running.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, these are problems, obviously, but they are not specifically addressed in the plan. Is there going to be a politeness standard? Is there going to be a limit on how many phone rings until we get an answer? At what level would we see those types of really nitty-gritty measurements?
Mr. RABKIN. The plan has as a goal for the immigration function, to deliver services to the public in a timely, consistent, fair and high-quality manner. And it lays out some strategies that the Department is going to follow and some performance indicators, like the level of satisfaction.
The theory is that when the plan is devolved down to INS, and INS devolves it down to its district offices and service centers, that they will have performance measures for dealing with the public at each level. The target they would be expected to meet is not part of this plan and will be part of the annual performance plan that should be released when the President's budget comes out. To a certain extent, the ability to provide those kinds of services will be tied to the budget. The Department, the service, and the district offices will be making commitments about the results they expect to get with the resources they are provided. So I would expect to see that at least an INS level, and perhaps even below that, and maybe the Justice Department witnesses can explain their intent in the next panel. But I would expect to see that as part of the performance plan next year.
Ms. LOFGREN. I would
Mr. MIHM. If I may add something to that, Ms. Lofgren. The particular question you are raising about the time on hold and customer service standards for telephone contact, is a very easy issue in the area of performance measurement. The administration, through its National Performance Review, has been leading an interagency effort to develop customer service standards for telephone time. We know what the best in the business is, both on the Federal level and the private sector in terms of how many rings there should be, how many hand-offs there should be after a call is answered the politeness standards. All that has been wellestablished through the Department of Justice and other Federal agencies. It is now just a matter of taking those standardsthose best in the business standardsand then embedding them into day-to-day performance measurement with the agencies.
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Ms. LOFGREN. Hopefully we will have a chance to follow up with the various administration witnesses, but I am hopeful that there will be some solicitation of measurements from the various committees of jurisdiction at least so that we might in the Congress offer some guidance on what we think from our own official duties is problematic. For example, I understand telephone rings are easy to measure. Discourtesy is a huge problem and not as easily measured necessarily.
So, with that I yield back.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. Thank you Ms. Lofgren. Mr. Gekas, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. GEKAS. I thank the Chair.
Mr. Rabkin, the strategic plan, as has been presented up to now has a section that is entitled, ''Assistance to State and Local Governments.'' In reviewing that, it seems to me that this simply recounts the programs that are in existence already, like the hundred thousand policemen on the street and the full implementation of the Violence Against Women Act, et cetera, et cetera. The reiteration of the programs that are in effect and which are the responsibility of the Justice Department, and as such it is a nice review.
But then you say in your summary that the draft plan could better address how Justice plans to coordinate with other Federal, State, and local agencies in separate areas. I can't reconcile thisthis shows in the main draft, it shows sort of satisfaction with the ongoing programs. And then you say it could better address how it could better cooperate.
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The gentleman from Massachusetts, Mr. Meehan, expressed his satisfaction with what he sees in his State with I take it with Mr. Stern who is a future witness here today, butand perhaps I have good reports from our own U.S. attorney in my district.
What I am asking, really, is what have wewhat are we accomplishing if this is a reiteration of what programs are in existence and how they are working rather than how you plan better cooperation in the future? Am I missing something?
Mr. RABKIN. The comment that we made was that in preparing the plan and in preparing the targets that the Justice Department expects to achieve, that the Department should be working with its partners, the State, local, other Federal agencies, and in certain cases international agencies to achieve the results of the programs that it is carrying out. The Justice Department was not intended to achieve those results on its own. The plan, however, is the plan for the Justice Department. And therefore, it reflects only the results that the Justice Department is expecting to achieve.
In the area of State and local assistance, one of the functions of the Justice Department is to implement many grant programs that Congress has authorized to provide that assistance, for example, the Cops on the Beat program, community policing programs. The goal that they have listed here that you referred to on the hundred thousand policemen is not, in our view a results-oriented goal, it is more of a performance target. The goal I think would be to reduce crime which is another one of their goals, this is merely it seems to me to be one method for achieving that.
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GEKAS. In other words, what you are about is not proposing ways and means by increasing the level of cooperation, but, rather, checking among all the U.S. attorneys and the local sheriff to see what plan you can put into effect to betterto improve that relationship?
Mr. RABKIN. I think what the process is all about is achieving the results. And the results in terms of less crime, less terrorism, less drugs is a result that the Justice Department can't achieve on its own. It has to work with State and local governments.
In some cases, it is doing it successfully, and the results, therefore, if measured according to the indicators that the Justice Department is suggesting would show that with the resources being provided, the Justice Department and its partners at the State and local level are achieving the results that they had expected to. If that is what turns out, then the Justice Department and its partners would reevaluate those results, perhaps set the goals a little higher, the targets a little higher, or lower depending on what direction they are moving in, and then, perhaps they can reduce the resources that have been provided if they have achieved goals.
Mr. GEKAS. Then a lot will depend on the reporting that the individual U.S. attorneys, for instance, will be making back to the Justice Department on how task forces are working in local jurisdictions, that type of thing; is that correct?
Mr. RABKIN. That is absolutely right. The data becomes very important. The plan itself gives some ideas of the kinds of indicators that the Justice Department will use in terms of successful cooperation on task forces, et cetera.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GEKAS. I thank the Chair.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. Thank you very much, Mr. Gekas. Ms. Waters, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
Ms. WATERS. Thank you.
There are a couple of things. One, I am not so sure there is any discussion in here about how the Department intends to protect the civil rights of all Americans. It is not listed in the core activities as I see it.
Mr. RABKIN. It is on page 12 of the plan, the core function of legal representation enforcement of Federal laws and defense of U.S. interests. The first goal is to protect the civil rights of all Americans. And there are some strategies listed there.
Ms. WATERS. So there is some discussion here of how they plan to achieve that goal of protecting the civil rights of all other Americans? Does itI must admit, I have not had an opportunity to read that. But I have been concerned about backlog and underfunding and understaffing. Is that a problem that needs to be addressed?
Mr. RABKIN. Ms. Waters, we haven't looked at the issue of staffing that the Justice Department has allocated to investigate civil rights violations and to enforce the civil rights law. So we arebut in its performance
Ms. WATERS. Is it realistic to have goals without understanding what it takes to be successful in reaching those goals?
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Mr. RABKIN. Is it realistic?
Ms. WATERS. In a planning process.
Mr. MIHM. No, ma'am. The thesis behind your question is absolutely right. If there is a major management weakness or deficiency that is long-standing in a particular area, a goals statement without appropriate attention to that management weakness and the need to address that management weakness is not a goal statement, it is a wish, or a hope, or a dream, rather than a real action plan.
Ms. WATERS. I would think so. And that is one of the areas that I am concerned about.
I also would like to talk a little about the planning in the drug area. You talk about the national office, the drug czar's office. I don't know whose plan is the best plan. I mean, you talk about the strategy of the national office and this not fitting into that. Should it?
Mr. RABKIN. Yes, ma'am. And I didn't say it didn't fit in, I said that it should be put in. When the Justice Department sets its measures for what it plans to accomplish, it should be in the context of the broader plan that the drug czar's office has set out.
Ms. WATERS. So did the drug czar develop his plan in cooperation with the Justice Department? How does that work?
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Mr. RABKIN. Yes. The drug czar puts out an annual strategy and has for a number of years. The latest one was put out this past February. What they haven't done and what they are getting ready to do right now is to quantify the strategy to come up with specific measures that they expect to achieve in terms of reducing supply, reducing demand, and reducing the consequences of illegal drug use. They have established working groups that have involved representatives of all the agencies, including the Justice Department and its components. They have prepared a draft plan that quantifies targets for each of the major goals and each of the objectives and subobjectives contained in the February strategy that ONDCP put out. That document is being circulated and review comments are being given to ONDCP. I expect that that document will probably be made public in the next couple of months.
Ms. WATERS. Thank you.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. Thank you, Ms. Waters.
Mr. Smith, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Rabkin, the GAO has reported that the institutional hearing program which was designed specifically to expedite the deportation of criminal aliens is not totally effective, not working as it should. And that means, of course, that hundreds, if not thousands, of criminal aliens are released rather than being deported.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC What specific performance measures would the GAO recommend to make sure that the IHP is completely implemented?
Mr. RABKIN. One of the measuresand it is indicated in the planshould deal with the percentage of prisoners in Federal and in State prisons who are potentially deportable that INS completes the institutional hearing program before they are released. It gets a final deportation order for those who should be deported and then removes them within a given amount of time after they are released. A week might be reasonable. It should also, then, have measures for its district offices, and the immigration judges that complement that goal or that target.
Mr. SMITH. Mythe thrust of my question, though, is that there are a lot of individuals for whom the process is not completed and therefore they are not deported and therefore they are released, where approximately three quarters commit additional crimes where they shouldn't even be in this country.
Again, what specific measures have you all recommended to fix that problem? And I might add, tack on another question, which is what has been the response of the Department and the INS to the GAO's recommendations?
Mr. RABKIN. In our testimony before your committee we made several recommendations to help INS carry out its responsibilities. We have made recommendations regarding the data systems that they need to implement. And in fact, INS has some reference to them in the Justice Department's strategic plan. We made recommendations regarding putting priority on criminal aliens, who have committed aggravated felonies. Those are the ones that the law gives special treatment to and the Justice Department should give priority to.
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We have also made recommendations to get INS to develop a model for determining what kind of resources they need, how much staff and funding they need to actually carry out their program to achieve the results they want to achieve, or that Congress wants them to achieve.
The Justice Department and INS were receptive to all of our recommendations and indicated to us that they are working on them. As you know, at your committee's request, we are going to be following up on that and reporting back to you next summer on the extent to which they achieve what we recommended.
Mr. SMITH. I appreciate that.
One other question and that is it seems to me that an effective strategy to remove these criminal aliens is going to necessitate better interagency cooperation. And have you all made recommendations as far as better cooperation particularly with the State corrections departments?
Mr. RABKIN. That is obviously a key to identify the criminal aliens in State prisons that are potentially deportable, so that INS knows as much about them as soon as possible so that it can put them through the process. Some States, as you know, have been more cooperative with INS. And INS is pursuing its negotiations with the States that have the majority of potentially deportable aliens in their prisons. So it is extremely important.
Mr. SMITH. And one last question, Mr. Rabkin, and that is that as a part of the removal strategy, and this is just an open question, would it make any sense to put these individuals, not in the INS detention system but move them, indeed into the Bureau of Prisons? Have you all looked at that?
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Mr. RABKIN. No, we haven't. For prisoners that are already in the Bureau of Prisons, of course it is a moot issue. For prisoners being released from State prisons, it might be a matter of where the capacity exists. I think there is excess capacity in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. That might be an option.
Mr. SMITH. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Rabkin.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. Thank you, Mr. Smith.
Mr. Meehan, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. MEEHAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Rabkin, I notice in your written testimony on the Justice Department's August Draft Strategic Plan, you note that the Department did comply with its responsibilities to identify so-called external factors that could affect achievement of its long-term goals. In this vein, the Department cited things like emergencies, unpredictable events, changing statutory responsibilities, changing technology, cultural attitudes, the strength of social institutions, and overseas developments as among the factors that would affect law enforcement outcomes. Then you proceed to indicate that the Justice Department should have included a discussion of all the alternatives that could reduce the impact of these external factors. And I really don't understand what you are getting at here.
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For example, when you speak of alternatives, what do you seek alternatives to? Why should the Justice Department always seek to reduce the potential impact of cited external factors? For example, if social institutions like families or schools or houses of worship or businesses act in ways that restore social order, I would think that the Justice Department should embrace, not reduce their impact, for example, which is part of what I think the Justice Department was citing.
And then in the alternative, are you merely suggesting that the Justice Department should have included in its report a more detailed discussion of how to allocate responsibilities for law enforcement outcomes between Department policies and external factors?
Mr. RABKIN. I think your latter comment is what we were intending. And I think that is the intent of the Results Act. I think Mr. Mihm can expand on that.
Mr. MIHM. Within the Results Act, the purpose of having a discussion of external factors is to have an articulation by the agency on what are those things that are well beyond our control which are going to impact on our ability to achieve our goals. And we think the Justice Department does a pretty good job in laying those out.
The next step, as strategic planning efforts evolve, we will be devising strategies that, where appropriate, mitigate the affects of those external factors that are beyond its control. So, for example, one of the things Justice's plan talks about is changing technology. We would like to see in the future a discussion of what can we do within the Department of Justice to act on that in such a way that we can still meet our goals.
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Another example you were raising, sir, dealt with breakdowns of social institutions. The Justice plan says that that is, a big problem and it is certainly well beyond the Department of Justice's control.
The question then, is what could they do to work with houses of worship and local community organizations for example to try and strengthen them, that take them beyond just the strict programs that they have always had to start dealing with those external forces that are affecting their ability to achieve their goals? That is the next step in the evolution of their plan.
Mr. MEEHAN. Presumably, when you have these outside factors that are causes, that are moving in positive directions to embrace and try to foster that development.
Mr. MIHM. Absolutely.
Mr. MEEHAN. You mentioned earlier stakeholders. If certain stakeholders disagreed with elements of the Justice Department's strategic plan, would it be appropriate and/or desirable for the Department to reference these so-called dissenting views in its plan, from your perspective?
Mr. RABKIN. I think more information is always better than less. I don't think it is called for by the act, but it would certainly allow a fuller discussion of how the Justice Department decided on its goals. Further discussion, for example, of the rationale it used in discounting some of the arguments that are being made. So I think that could help.
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Mr. MEEHAN. Is that something that the GAO could suggest to the Justice Department in the future?
Mr. RABKIN. Yes. I don't see why not. And they will be here, you know, in the next panel and you probably can talk to Mr. Colgate about that directly.
Mr. MEEHAN. I will make a note of it. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. Let's see, Mr. Bryant. No, Mr. Hyde wishes to be recognized. Certainly, Mr. Chairman, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. HYDE. This is an awkward question maybe for you to answer and don't answer it if it is uncomfortable. But one of the hallmarks of an efficient organization is to have your top people in place. And when they leave and there is a turnover to have somebody take their place.
I believe the head of the criminal division of the Justice Department has been vacant for over 2 years. And still isn't filled. And it would seem to me the criminal division, of all of the divisions, needs leadership. Now you can have acting people in place, I guess, but that is really not a great way to run the railroad, as they say. And I am not sure if the failure to get an appointment in that important position is a failure of the exercise of autonomy by the Attorney General or if it is a political decision being made at the White House and just not being made.
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I suspect the latter rather than the former. I suspect that is an important position. And one doesn't put an ad in the paper looking for someone to fill it. One has to be pretty well connected. I don't mean that pejoratively, I mean in the field. But that is a vacancy. I think it is a serious gap in the efficient operation of the criminal division. And I don't know whether you can comment or know whether it is a failure of management or penultimately management in the Justice Department or ultimate management in the White House.
Can you comment on that? I am not insistent.
Mr. RABKIN. No, sir, I don't think I can.
Mr. HYDE. All right.
Mr. RABKIN. Only to say that I think the context of the Results Act is that the organization, even without leadership, will have some idea of what is expected of it, what the priorities are, what the strategies it is supposed to be following, what goals and targets it is expected to achieve with resources available to it.
Mr. HYDE. Well, sure, an acting head can do the job. But something is missing when you don't have the head of a very important division like that. And so I think the failure to get people in place is a failure. And I don't know at whose feet to rest it. I know there is a lot of criticism of the United States Senate for not confirming judges and getting them in place. And I understand that. And I sympathize with those critics. But somebody ought to be in place heading the criminal division of the Justice Department one of these years.
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I thank you.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. Okay, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Delahunt, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I am going to have to leave shortly for another committee hearing. But I would like to just make an observation in response to a question posed by Mr. Gekas. And that is, in terms of relationships between State, local, and Federal agencies. In my former life I served as a district attorney, as members of the panel are aware, and I had the pleasure, indeed, to serve with Don Stern from Massachusetts. I want to warmly welcome my former colleague and my friend. And I look forward to coming back and listening to his testimony. He certainly is an outstanding United States attorney. I know in the case of John Salvi, who was convicted by my office for the slaughter that occurred in Brookline, Massachusetts, in two separate health clinics, we worked hand in glove with the United States Attorney's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the ATF, the State Police, the local police, the district attorney's office, and I suggest it was a case book for the best in terms of cooperation among law enforcement agencies. So it is good to see you here, Don.
I think that what we must remember is that this is the first yearI think everybody is kind of feeling their way. I respect the specific questions that have been posed by both Mr. McCollum and Mr. Hyde Ms. Lofgren, and other members, but my own feeling is that it will be a much more interesting hearing a year from now. And let me just ask one question of Mr. Rabkin.
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Are you satisfied after your consultations that the mechanisms that have put in place for measuring the results are satisfactory?
Mr. RABKIN. I think that remains to be seen. I
Mr. DELAHUNT. Like everything else, it does remain to be seen, doesn't it?
Mr. RABKIN. Quite frankly, I think we need to see what the specific targets are and the specific data that they expect to use to assess their success in meeting those targets. We have had some problems in the past with Justice data systems, reliability, accuracy, et cetera. They recognize that.
Mr. DELAHUNT. But that is absolutely essential to the implementation of the plan, isn't it?
Mr. RABKIN. In the long run.
Mr. DELAHUNT. In the end that is what this is really about: whether we have the diagnostic tools to determine whether they meet the performance results and whether their strategic plan is implemented.
Mr. RABKIN. I think that is the next challenge. I think the first challenge was coming up with this plan, focusing on what the goals are and strategies and getting them in this kind of a setting.
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Mr. DELAHUNT. Are you satisfied that the goals are realistic, by the way?
Mr. RABKIN. The goals are appropriate goals, yes, I am satisfied with that. And I think the next issue becomes as they set their performance targets for the
Mr. DELAHUNT. I think that the issue that Mr. McCollum was referring to in terms of quantifying is difficult. Because often times you are talking about disproving the negative. We can take a lot of credit for preventing crime, but is it the efforts of the Department of Justice or is it some initiative in the area of the social sciences that is responsible?
Mr. RABKIN. Well, not only that but it is also the question of how do you really know what hasn't occurred? The department has one of its performance indicators in the terrorism area to identify the number of terrorist acts that it has prevented and, you know, it will remain to be seen how they do that. They have been reporting that in the past and I am not familiar with that system.
But in terms of how much drugs don't get into the country, how many illegal immigrants don't get into the country, that's fairly difficult to measure.
Mr. DELAHUNT. That's tough, isn't it?
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. RABKIN. Yes.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Thank you.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. Thank you, Mr. Delahunt.
Mr. Bryant, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. BRYANT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I probably have some of the same line of questioning that my colleague from Massachusetts just raised in terms of the difficulty of this process. But let me go back to the beginning of where we are today.
As I understand, this is the beginning, it is the time that all the various agencies are laying out 5-year plans in very broad terms. I suppose, if I had to sit down and write this, I would have written something like this and probably done things like this in my life, used all the nice words like ''enhance'' and ''cooperate'' and ''achieve.''
It is really hard to criticize this, but somehow I am left questioning what have we really done to promote the intent of this law? And that is to somehow become as a government, as a huge bureaucracy, more effective and more efficient, because at the end of the day we can sit down and look at all of these nice words like ''identify,'' ''investigate,'' ''prosecute''you used words like ''effective,'' ''disrupt'' and ''dismantle,'' but we really haven't done anything.
Has there been any coordination? For instance, you know, one of the complaints we had, one of the reasons for this law, was the duplication of efforts. And I know the Treasury is out there with agencies that investigate drugs, for instance. Certainly, the DOJ is in the forefront there. Postal inspectors investigate drugs. The military has a role in this process. I don't know where the drug czar fits into all of this.
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But it seems to me that until we begin toand I would welcome your comments from the GAO standpointcoordinate at the goal setting arenas, that we are still going to have this. Not willy-nilly because it is a very effective organized group, whether it is the DEA or the FBI or whatever, but somehow we need to coordinate this. And how do we really get to the intent of this law?
Mr. RABKIN. The issue of coordination is one that the plan doesn't go into a lot of detail as to what the Justice Department has done with other agencies that have similar responsibilities. Our analysis shows for a couple of the areas that I talked about this morning, like terrorism and drug control, the Justice Department goals and strategies seem to be reasonable in the context of the broader Federal framework. But there is no discussion in here of whether or to what extent the Justice Department actually discussed those goals and strategies with the State Department, for example, or the intelligence community regarding terrorism, or with the Treasury Department regarding drug control.
It becomes more important as they set performance targets for themselves, that these targets are reasonable given the role that each agency is going to play. So I would hope that they would have more discussion of that and be able to explain it.
Mr. BRYANT. That's the second part of my questioning in the follow-up of Mr. Delahunt. Again, from the GAO standpoint, what should we expect in this second phase when they begin to set the performance standards? Given the difficulty in measuring crimes. What should we expect and how can we really hold these folks accountable to meeting these specific goals? Shall we talk about numbers of convictions, indictments, how many people are in jail, how many pounds of marijuana we have seized and those?
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Mr. RABKIN. At the macro level, I think we should look at some of the broad goals that are laid out here. Has crime been reduced? Has the supply of drugs been reduced? Have the number of terrorist incidents been reduced? I think those are the overall goals.
If you want to get down further and ask has DEA been effective in meeting the results that it had set for itself, that the department had set for it, or has a field office been effective in providing service, like the immigration services to potential clients, then you can look at some of the more process or activity-oriented measures. But I think the broader issue for the department is to look at outcome measures, results-oriented outcome measures, like crime being reduced.
So I think it really depends on what level you want to get involved with, but the opportunity will be there from the broader perspective to hold the department accountable for its broad goals that are laid out in this plan.
Mr. BRYANT. Thank you.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. Mr. Conyers, you are recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. CONYERS. Thank you, Chairman McCollum. You must have been pretty ticked off when you got the first draft back from the Department of Justice where they left out half the stuff. Right?
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. RABKIN. It was their first draft. It was a little disappointing that some of the required sections were not in it. But over time, the department revised and expanded their plan to the point where we are today, where all the required sections of the act are covered by the plan.
Mr. CONYERS. Well, that's good. So we will forget the fact they couldn't read simple English and comply and they had to go back and do it again? And it is still a little shaky, because I mean you guys are very gentle but the fact of the matter is there is stillit wouldn't get real good grades in a graduate school?
You can say yes.
Mr. RABKIN. Well, we are not in the business of giving the grades, although, you know, there have been some grades given to the plans from the Justice Department and other agencies and, in fact, Justice has not fared too poorly, but that's relative to the other agencies.
Mr. CONYERS. Well, I mean, if you leave out debt collection and asset forfeiture, I mean, you probably are getting into the billion dollar range. Right? You can answer yes on that.
What are you guys so hesitant about? It is your product. You know, you are the one that told us.
Mr. RABKIN. The billion dollars from debt collection and asset forfeiture?
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Mr. CONYERS. Yes.
Mr. RABKIN. Those are major issues, management issues, the department has responsibility for and the September plan for the first time acknowledges some of those activities. Up until then, the plan had not talked about it, that's correct.
Mr. CONYERS. So the answer is, yes?
Mr. RABKIN. Yes.
Mr. CONYERS. Okay. Now, since August of '95, we don't have anybody heading the criminal division. Now, are there other problems in terms of personnel, big holes in it or vast turnovers? Would that ultimately somewhere become part of this strategic plan, the utilization of personnel?
Mr. RABKIN. At the department level it is important to have people in place to provide leadership for the department. In terms of the operations of the department, carrying out the priorities that have been established in the plan, the planning process and the implementation of the plan, I think, is to a certain extent independent of that.
The idea is to
Mr. CONYERS. So, in other words, if half the slots aren't filled and they are implementing the plan, that wouldn't bother you?
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Mr. RABKIN. In the context of the leadership of the department, it would probably. It would bother us. But in the context of the day-to-day operations, I think that the plan, as agreed upon with the Congress, would set out and let managers at various levels within the agency know what is expected of them.
Mr. CONYERS. Yes, but you have to have somebody there in the job so that there would be somebody to know what is expected of them. I mean, if there are empty slots in the table of organization, I don't see how you can move forward.
Crime happens to be the number one issue that elected officials have beaten their chests over for the last 50 years. And so we go since August of 1995 and we can't even blame the Republicans. We haven't offered a name. Nobody.
Now, what is the second panel going to say when I ask them this question? Well, I know, stay tuned. I will be here for it. I mean, you might not.
Mr. RABKIN. Oh, I will.
Mr. CONYERS. You will?
Mr. RABKIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. CONYERS. Oh, okay.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Well, this is an important law that you are implementing because it makes us all address ourselves sometimes to elementary considerations that you would think you wouldn't need to do all of this to get to it. So I think it is important in that respect.
And eventually, it may lead to us looking at even, you know, more complex kinds of considerations about overlapping, duplication and where is it all leading us and if we couldn't do a better job. So I thank you for your work.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. Thank you, Mr. Conyers.
Mr. CONYERS. I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. I don't know if we have time for the full 5 minutes, but we can try Mr. Barr. Would you wish to proceed now or would you prefer to recess?
Mr. BARR. I would prefer to wait.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. The committee will be in recess then until after this vote. We will come right back.
Mr. HYDE [presiding]. The committee will come to order. We are under siege over there on the floor. They call procedural votes every few minutes to make a political point and some of us have a longer trip than others to get over to the floor. So I apologize to the panel, but we will try to move ahead.
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So, Mr. Barr.
Mr. BARR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Rabkin, I would like to follow up on something that Chairman Hyde was asking about a little bit earlier, and I also intended to go into this. He was asking about the vacancies at the Department of Justice, what many believe to be an inordinate number of high level vacancies that have remained pending for quite some period of time.
And I think that the chairman's concern, I don't want to speak for him, but I think he was reflecting at least in part a concern that we have, and that is as we look at a strategic plan, the implementation of which requires people. And where you have large numbers or key positions vacant, policy level vacancies, it essentially could render a strategic plan meaningless because there is no way to implement it since it requires very important and far-reaching policy decisions.
And that also raises the question of the Vacancies Act. Are you familiar with the ongoing, shall we say, debate between the Department of Justice and certain others, including the Comptroller General, over whether or not the Vacancies Act applies to the Department of Justice or whether they are correct in just saying that they are exempt from it?
Mr. RABKIN. No, sir, I am not familiar with that issue.
Mr. BARR. Okay. You are not familiar with the fact that the Comptroller General has issued an opinion that the Vacancies Act does apply to the Department of Justice as an executive branch agency?
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Mr. RABKIN. No, I am not familiar with that.
Mr. BARR. Are you familiar with the Vacancies Act?
Mr. RABKIN. No, sir.
Mr. BARR. I don't suppose it would do much good to inquire further then.
Would you find out what it is, please?
Mr. RABKIN. I certainly will, and I apologize. I did not realize we would get into this line of questioning.
Mr. BARR. It is a fairly basic act, although maybe it isn't. I know the department doesn't think the laws that have been around for a long time apply to it or are worth enforcing, and maybe that's their opinion. I will ask them whether that's their opinion with this one, the same as 18 U.S.C. 607.
The Vacancies Act, I think, has been around since 1868, which I suppose would make it a fortiori unenforceable since it was enacted even before the Pendleton Act, which they are refusing to say applies to government officials nowadays. But basically it was intended to require that high level vacancies, subject to presidential nomination and Senate confirmation and executive agencies, be filled on a timely basis so you don't have vacancies in top level positions continuing. And we know that there are several reasons, I suspect several reasons for that.
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One is, you don't want those positions politicized. You want leadership. People who serve in acting capacities rarely, if ever, assert the firm leadership and decision-making that people who are confirmed in positions do. So I would appreciate it, if you could, read up a little bit on that.
I will draw your attention specifically to what seems to be a very well-researched piece by the Congressional Research Service, dated May 7, 1997, by a gentleman, Morton Rosenberg, a specialist in American public law. And in that, he cites and sets forth the various opinions, the Department of Justice opinion that it doesn't apply to us and the opinion of the Comptroller General that it does.
I would appreciate any thoughts you might have as to how this particular problem reflected in the debate over the Vacancies Act is relevant, as I think it is, to a discussion of a strategic plan, since it, I think, necessarily presumes that you are going to have people confirmed in positions to carry out that strategic plan.
So if you could maybe just check into that and I would appreciate a written response from you.
Mr. RABKIN. We will do that, Mr. Barr.
Mr. BARR. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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Mr. HYDE. I thank you.
The Vacancies Act really, I think, one of the purposes is to avoid having acting heads which avoid the confirmation process. It is a way of really subverting the confirmation process by never appointing somebody subject to confirmation. So that is a real concern of ours.
In any event, you have done your tour of duty very well and we are all out of questions, so I want to thank you, Mr. Rabkin, and you, Mr. Mihm. I am sure we will be seeing more of each other. Thank you.
Mr. RABKIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HYDE. On the next panel, our witness will be Stephen R. Colgate, Assistant Attorney General for Administration in the Department of Justice and head of the Justice Management Division. In this position, he is responsible for virtually all administrative and management programs within the department. Mr. Colgate has previously held a variety of other positions within the department, and he is the department's senior career official.
The committee also welcomes several other representatives from the Department of Justice who will not be delivering formal testimony but who will be available for questioning. They are Mary Lee Warren, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division; Donald K. Stern, United States Attorney from Massachusetts, testifying as chair, Attorney General's Advisory Committee on U.S. Attorneys; Robert L. Bach, Executive Associate Commissioner for Policy and Planning, Immigration and Naturalization Service; Wade B. Houk, Assistant Director, Finance Division Federal Bureau of Investigation; James Milford, Acting Deputy Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration; Kevin D. Rooney, Assistant Director for Administration, Bureau of Prisons; Anthony C. Moscato, Director, Executive Office of Immigration Review.
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I thank you all for being here and if we could have Mr. Colgate'sit must be nice to have a university named after you, and a good one, too. I have been up there. Hamilton, New York. Anyway, Mr. Colgate, you and your associates please proceed, and I might invite the rest of the panel if they feel they have something to add to please just break in.
STATEMENT OF HON. STEPHEN R. COLGATE, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR ADMINISTRATION, JUSTICE MANAGEMENT DIVISION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Mr. COLGATE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for those gracious remarks. I also want to acknowledge the fact that you noted that my namesake is a university and not the toothpaste. I can assure you growing up as a young man, though, that my colleagues always referred to the toothpaste. So I do want to thank you.
Mr. Chairman, if it is permissible, I would like to submit my entire statement for the record and just give you a brief overview.
Mr. HYDE. Let me just say, Mr. Colgate, with a last name like I have, I try to elevate the comparisons. Thanks.
Mr. COLGATE. Thank you. Thank you for the opportunity to talk with you this morning about the Department of Justice efforts to implement the Results Act. Although we know that we have a long way to go, we believe that we have made significant progress in the past year. I would like to report to you on our accomplishments and future plans.
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The strategic plan submitted to you today is a first ever of its kind for the Department of Justice. Although several of our components have developed component level strategic plans in the past, never before have we put together an overall departmental plan. Doing so was a complex and challenging undertaking.
We have tried hard to make our plan a brief, reader-friendly document that succinctly describes what we are about and where we are heading. We will be publishing it on the Internet so that it is widely available to the public.
In developing the plan, we were guided first and foremost, of course, by the requirements of the Results Act. However, we also made certain key decisions about how we would go about implementing these requirements. The most critical of these, from my perspective, was the decision made as far back as 1994 to closely integrate the Results Act planning and reporting requirements with our budget planning and execution activities.
This linkage has been the cornerstone of our implementation approach.
We were and remain committed to an open and serious process of consultation with the Congress. Beginning in January of 1997, we provided copies of our preliminary draft plan to relevant congressional committees and offered to brief them.
I believe that we were one of the first agencies to do so. We received useful comments relating to both the substance and form of the plan and made a number of changes to the draft as a result.
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For example, our long-range goals in the area of immigration reflect extensive input from Chairman Smith of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims. From our perspective, this process of consultation was both productive and helpful.
Earlier this month, the members of this committee wrote the Attorney General, formally concluding the consultation period and summarizing some additional concerns of the committee. We have revised the plan submitted to you today to reflect these concerns to the extent possible within the time available.
One of the committee's concerns was the linkage between the long-range goals in our strategic plan and the goals and indicators in our annual performance plan. We have revised our strategic plan to make it clear that the plan provides a framework for all annual planning and budgeting and that the annual performance plan is simply a more concrete, detailed statement of what will be accomplished in the specific year commensurate with available resources.
The Attorney General's personal commitment to the aims and the philosophy of the Results Act underscores all of our efforts. The Results Act reinforces her views that the Department must operate strategically; that is, identify specific problems and targets, coordinate and deploy resources accordingly and assess results. She has made her commitment clear in her official and internal guidance but even more so during her meetings with individual component heads this past summer.
I think several of our senior managers were surprised to learn that the Attorney General not only knew and understood what this Act is all about but was ready, willing and able to discuss with them the merits or demerits of specific goal statements and ways by which their activities could be measured. Needless to say, the word has spread rapidly that she takes it seriously.
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I do not want to paint an overly rosy picture. We know that our strategic plan has shortcomings. The General Accounting Office has pointed out some of these in its review. One important area where we need to do better is cross agency coordination. Although agencies shared and commented on each others' plans, we should make this a more structured and meaningful effort.
Another area is stakeholder involvement. Although we have substantial input from various stakeholders on a daily basis, we did not provide a formal opportunity for comment on the draft strategic plan. We intend to do so in subsequent iterations. We also intend to take into consideration any comments we receive on this plan in future revisions and updates.
We know that we need to continue to work on developing appropriate measures for our activities. One of the most difficult tasks for us is determining what indicators are the most valid, useful and appropriate for law enforcement. We have been and continue to be concerned about the possible unintended but adverse consequences of setting numerical targets. We do not want to create inadvertently even the appearance of possible bounty hunting.
We also recognize that we need to pay greater attention to the role of program evaluation. We intend to examine our evaluation efforts in order to identify what changes, if any, we should make and develop a schedule of future program evaluations.
In short, we think we have made a first good start but it is just a beginning. We look forward to working with you in the weeks and months ahead as we continue to implement the Results Act and improve the performance of our programs and operations.
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Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Colgate follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF HON. STEPHEN R. COLGATE, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR ADMINISTRATION, JUSTICE MANAGEMENT DIVISION
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to talk with you this morning about the Department of Justice efforts to implement the Results Act. Although we know that we have a long ways to go, we believe that we have made significant progress in the past year. I would like to report to you on our accomplishments and future plans.
The Strategic Plan submitted to you today is the first-ever of its kind for the Department of Justice. Although several of our components, especially the larger bureaus like BOP and INS, have developed component-level strategic plans in the past, never before have we put together an overall departmental planone that sets forth the Department's long-range goals and establishes the foundation for tracking and reporting our progress in achieving these goals both to the Congress and the public. Doing so was a complex and challenging undertaking.
We have tried hard to make our plan a brief, reader-friendly document that succinctly describes what we are all about and where we are heading. We will be publishing it on the Internet so that it is widely available to the public.
In developing the plan, we were guided first and foremost, of course, by the requirements of the Results Act. However, we also made certain key decisions about how we would go about implementing these requirements. The most critical of these, from my perspective, was the decision made as far back as 1994 to closely integrate Results Act planning and reporting requirements with our budget planning and execution activities. This linkage has been the cornerstone of our implementation approach. It insures that our plans are reflected in concrete decisions about resources.
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With this in mind, we viewed the Strategic Plan as an essential first step towards establishing an integrated planning and budgeting system focused on accountability for results. We began the planning process over two years ago by asking our components to develop mission and strategic goal statements as part of their budget requests to the Department. From these we began to draft a departmentwide plan. This draft was the subject of extensive and intensive review and comment by the Attorney General, her senior managers, the Attorney General's Advisory Committee of U. S. Attorneys and a newly-constituted long-range planning committee.
The review and comment process was highly iterative. There were several cycles during which changes would be made and a new round of discussions launched. Although time-consuming, the process provided an opportunity for widespread input and helped forge overall agreement on direction. We wanted as much involvement and ''buy in'' from our component organizations as possible. We wanted to make sure that our plan was not just a PR piece, but a real and living document relevant to Justice managers.
Our Plan derives from our missiona mission based on our statutory responsibilities to enforce Federal laws. Our formal mission statement reads as follows:
. . . to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law, provide Federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime, seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior, administer and enforce the Nation's immigration laws fairly and effectively and ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.
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Our Plan identifies eight basic values and principles that guide our actions in carrying out this mission: Equal justice under the law; Access to justice; Honesty and integrity; Pursuit of excellence; Accountability to the taxpayer; Cooperation and partnership; Importance of the individual; Openness in government;
Long-range goals and strategies are set forth in each of the Department's seven core functional areas: Investigation and prosecution; Assistance to State and local governments; Legal representation, enforcement of Federal laws and defense of U.S. interests; Immigration; Detention and incarceration; Protection of the Federal judiciary and improvement of the justice system; Management;
We believe that this functional structure enables us to logically group our activities and show how the efforts of our components both interrelate and contribute to overarching long-term goals, such as the reduction of violent crime. It provides for a more strategic and result-oriented look at our work.
Finally, although we were not required to do so under the Results Act, we identified performance indicators for each of our long-range goals.
We were, and remain, committed to an open and serious process of consultation with the Congress, as intended by the Results Act. Beginning in January 1997, we provided copies of our preliminary draft plan to relevant congressional committees and offered to brief them. I believe that we were one of the first agencies to do so. We participated in 10 meetings with various committee staff to discuss the plan and respond to questions. We received useful comments relating to both the substance and form of the plan and made a number of changes to the draft as a result. For example, our long-range goals in the area of immigration reflect extensive input from Chairman Smith of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims.
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From our perspective, this process of consultation was both productive and helpful. We believe that it resulted in positive improvements and look forward to a continuing dialogue.
Earlier this month the Members of this Committee wrote the Attorney General formally concluding the consultation period and summarizing some additional concerns of the Committee. We have revised the Plan submitted to you today to reflect these concerns to the extent possible within the time available. For example, we have included a brief discussion of our response to management issues in the area of asset forfeiture and debt collection. We have also made explicit mention of our reliance on external evaluations conducted by the General Accounting Office.
ANNUAL PERFORMANCE PLAN
One of the Committee's concerns was the linkage between the long-range goals in our Strategic Plan and the goals and indicators in our annual performance plan. We know that in the months ahead Congress will be looking closely at this issue, since it is a critical element of the Results Act. We have revised our Strategic Plan to make it clear that the Strategic Plan provides the framework for all annual planning and budgeting and that the annual performance plan is simply a more concrete, detailed statement of what will be accomplished in a specific year commensurate with available resources.
In May of this year, the Attorney General directed our components to explicitly link both their 1999 budget requests and performance plans to the Department's long-range strategic goals. We believe this will ensure both a clear focus on what we are doing and also better enable the myriad activities of multiple organizations to be viewed as an interrelated whole.
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We will be submitting an initial version of our 1999 annual performance plan to the Office of Management and Budget very shortly, as a companion document to our 1999 budget request. A final 1999 annual performance plan will be submitted to the Congress along with the President's budget early next year. The annual performance plan will group annual goals according to the long-range strategic goals to which they contribute, list indicators of performance. and identify the specific Justice components that are responsible. A summary-level departmentwide annual performance plan will be supported by more detailed component and appropriation-specific performance information.
ATTORNEY GENERAL'S PERSONAL COMMITMENT
The Attorney General's personal commitment to the aims and philosophy of the Results Act underscores all our efforts. The Results Act reinforces her view that the Department must operate strategicallythat is, identify specific problems and targets, coordinate and deploy resources accordingly, and assess results.
She has made her commitment clear in her official internal guidance, but even more so during her meetings with individual component heads this past Summer. I think several of our senior managers were surprised to learn that the Attorney General not only knew and understood what this Act is all about, but was ready, willing and able to discuss with them the merits or demerits of specific goal statements and ways by which their activities could be measured. Needless to say, the word has spread rapidly that she takes it seriously.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT
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I do not want to paint an overly rosy picture. We know that our strategic plan has shortcomings. The General Accounting Office has pointed out some of these in its review.
One important area where we need to do better is cross agency coordination. Although agencies shared and commented on each others' plans, we should make this a more structured and meaningful effort.
Another area is stakeholder involvement. Although we have substantial input from various stakeholders on a daily basis, we did not provide a formal opportunity for comment on the draft Strategic Plan. We intend to do so in subsequent iterations. We also intend to take into consideration any comments we receive on this Plan in future revisions and updates.
We know we need to continue to work on developing appropriate measures for our activities. One of the most difficult tasks for us is determining what indicators are the most valid, useful and appropriate for law enforcement. We have been, and continue to be, concerned about the possible unintended but adverse consequences of setting numerical targets. We do not want to create inadvertently even the appearance of possible ''bounty-hunting.''
We also recognize that we need to pay greater attention to the role of program evaluation. As mentioned in the plan, we intend to examine our evaluation efforts in order to identify what changes, if any, we should make to better align evaluation with strategic planning and to develop, as required by the Results Act, a schedule of future program evaluations. We believe that sound program evaluation is an essential aspect of the Results Act and intend to strengthen our efforts to the extent resources permit.
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In short, we think we have made a good start, but it is just a beginning. We look forward to working with you in the weeks and months ahead as we continue to implement the Results Act and improve the performance of our programs and operations.
Mr. HYDE. Thank you, Mr. Colgate.
The gentlelady from Texas.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Chairman, you are very kind. I want to thank you for holding this hearing and emphasizing the importance of the responsibilities that the Department of Justice has in implementing the Results Act that was designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Federal programs by establishing a set of goals to enhance program performance.
Mr. Chairman, I would appreciate having the opportunity to submit, by unanimous consent, a statement in the record.
Mr. HYDE. Well, I think that's a great idea and, of course, without objection, so ordered.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Jackson Lee follows:]
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCPREPARED STATEMENT OF SHEILA JACKSON LEE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS
Mr. Chairman, I would like to lend my voice in welcoming Attorney General Reno and in thanking her for joining us this morning. Attorney General, I look forward to hearing from you and to discussing with you your vision for the Department of Justicewhere is has come from, what it is has accomplished, and where you see the Department moving in the future.
I suspect, however, that much of the attention today, both from my friends across the aisle-and from the media, will be focused away from these questions and instead will focus on the Administration's fundraising controversy and the Attorney General's deliberations about whether or not to call for the appointment of a special prosecutor. I am concerned that in the rush to critique Attorney General Reno for her careful deliberation with respect to the calling of an Independent Counsel, we will lose sight of the tremendous accomplishments of the Justice Department over which she has presided. These accomplishments are not partisan concerns. They are the concerns of all Americansto make our streets safer, eliminate the scourge of drugs, reduce youth violence, strengthen our borders against illegal immigration, protect our environment, ensure our civil rights, combat violence against women, and ensure equal justice for all.
For example, last year, the national violent crime rate dropped for the fifth year in a row, marking the longest period of decline in 25 years and between 1994 and 1995, violent crime dropped 12.4 percentthe largest drop since the Department's survey of such statistics began in 1973. Additionally, the juvenile violent crime arrest rate increased 69 percent between 1987 and 1994. Between 1994 and 1996, the violent crime rate decreased by 11.9 percent.
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The COPS program has awarded grants to increase the number of police on the streets by 57,500, more than halfway to the goal of 100,000 community police officers by the year 2000 and the Department of Justice awarded grants totalling $184.6 million for Violence Against Women programs and $46 million to 336 communities to help make police organizations more responsive to domestic violence.
DOJ has deported criminal aliens in record numbers. Last year, over 37,000 criminal aliens were deported and continues to play a lead role in the enforcement of the nation's civil rights laws, which define and prohibit unlawful discrimination in a wide range of areas, including employment, housing, voting, and education.
These are areas in which DOJ has impacted the lives of American people, in which the Department has identified areas of concern to the American public and sought to answer those concerns. My friends across the aisle, however, do not appear interested in addressing those concerns today. They seem more interested in playing partisan politics, the very thing for which the statute, on which they are so focused, was designed to protect the Attorney General.
The independent counsel statute was first enacted in 1978 as a part of the Ethics in Government Act. The catalyst for the legislation was the events arising out of the investigation into the Watergate burglary. Specifically, the independent counsel statute was a response to the ''Saturday Night Massacre''the firing of Special Counsel Archibald Cox and the consequent resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC On May 18, 1973, Attorney General Richardson announced the appointment of Harvard law professor Archibald Cox as special prosecutor for the Watergate case. On October 20, 1973, President Nixon discharged Cox and accepted the resignations of Attorney General Richardson and Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus. At the same time, Nixon also abolished the office of the special prosecutor. Shortly after Nixon's actions, the FBI, at the request of the White House, sealed off the offices of Richardson, and Cox allowing the removal of only personal papers.
These dramatic events occurred when Special Prosecutor Cox refused to comply with the terms of an agreement between Nixon and the Senate Watergate Committee under which summarized material from the White House Watergate tapes would be turned over to Cox and the Committee. At the time of this agreement, Nixon ordered Cox to make no further effort to obtain the tapes or other presidential documents.
When Cox refused to comply with this directive, Nixon ordered Attorney General Richardson to fire him. Richardson refused to do so and instead offered his resignation which Nixon accepted. When Nixon then asked Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus to fire Cox, he too resigned. The President finally turned to Solicitor General Robert Bork, who by law becomes acting Attorney General when the Attorney General and the Deputy AG are absent. Bork carried out the President's orders.
The Saturday Night Massacre produced immense outrage and a ''firestorm'' of protest among the American people. The public felt that Nixon's actions were a blatant abuse of presidential power and that Cox's firing proved that Nixon had something to hide on the tapes. It was this event, perhaps more than any other single event, which destroyed Nixon's credibility with the people. Public pressure forced Congress to act. Three days after the ''massacre'', 8 impeachment resolutions had been introduced in the House and Nixon finally turned over the White House tapes.
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The independent counsel law was enacted in the aftermath of Watergate. The law was intended to provide a way to avoid the conflicts of interest and conflicting loyalties which can arise, or appear to arise, when the Attorney General investigates and prosecutes high level Executive Branch officials. The Watergate Committee recommended and Congress agreed that we need a process by which criminal investigations of our top government officials could be conducted in an independent manner, as free as possible from any taint of favoritism or politics. The goal was to remove partisanship from the investigative and prosecutorial decision-making process.
This goal appears to have been forgotten by many of my colleagues who are so engaged in loudly denouncing the Attorney General for the thorough and deliberate manner in which she has considered whether or not to appoint an independent counsel to investigate the controversies surrounding the Administration's fundraising practices in the 1996 election. Evidence suggests that she is conducting a careful, methodical, and complex investigation. Currently, there are more than 120 agents, attorneys and staff at the Department of Justice are working full-time to do this investigation in the right way. In fact, no criminal case in the Department consumes more resources. More than a million pages of documents have been obtained. Hundreds of interviews have been conducted.
Attorney General Reno, however, has borne the brunt of daily criticism from Republicans in Congress. One Member went so far as to call for her resignation. Others have threatened impeachment proceedings unless she agrees with them on the appointment of an independent counsel.
I am deeply disturbed by this type of pressure being brought to bear. The pressure being put on the Attorney General to appoint an independent counsel undermines the basic principle of this law which is dependent upon an application free from partisan pressure. It does a disservice to the nation which is waiting for an objective and fair review.
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I would like to remind my colleagues that under the independent counsel statute, the Attorney General has the sole discretion to determine if the statute is triggered and if an independent counsel should be appointed. It requires her to make the determination as to whether or not there has been a violation of criminal law. The statute does not permit her to cede this authority to an independent counsel. This is a constitutional requisite of the statute; without it the Supreme Court has said that the separation of powers principle is violated.
Further, my colleagues across the aisle have argued that the investigation of the campaign finance controversy surrounding the Administration automatically creates a conflict of interest warranting the Attorney General to call for the appointment of an independent counsel. They argue that the very fact that she was appointed by the President assures the existence of a conflict of interest. The Attorney General in her letter to Chairman Hyde dated October 3, 1997, responds, and I concur, that this fact alone is not sufficient to establish a conflict of interest. The Department of Justice is in fact charged with investigating allegations of corruption and wrongdoing within the Executive Branch, sometimes at high levels.
While the Administration's fundraising practices in the 1996 election cycle may have been objectionable, there is not as of yet any evidence that their conduct arises to the level of illegality. Recently, former U.S. Attorney Joseph DiGenova was straightforward in his assessment of how the Department of Justice should handle possible prosecution of the President or Vice-President under Section 607 when he said on a recent television show that no prosecutor in his or her right mind would bring a prosecution under this statute with the facts as they are currently known.
Page 76 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Everyone is eager for a resolution to the questions surrounding the Administration's fundraising practices. We must not let that eagerness blind us to the facts, however, or allow us to stand in the way of our Attorney General as she engages in a search for the truth.
Finally, I hope that in the fever of their calls for an independent counsel, my colleagues will stop to consider the lack of efficiency and timeliness which have come to mar the records of recent independent counsel investigations. Do we really want to squander the taxpayer's resources on another Iran-Contra or Whitewater? Lasting six years at a cost of $40 million, Iran-Contra holds the dubious honor of being the longest and most expensive independent counsel investigation to date.
The Whitewater investigation is quickly catching up, however. The Whitewater independent counsel investigation has dragged on since 1993. Last week, the General Accounting Office revealed that the Whitewater independent counsel investigation has cost taxpayers $30 million and the price tag is still rising rapidly. As the investigation interminably drags on, its scope, cost, and duration go unregulated. Despite its duration and outrageous price tag, however, the investigation has revealed no misconduct or abuse of power by either the President or First Lady.
Although it has not secured any evidence tying its targets to any wrongdoing, the Whitewater investigation has arguably reduced the public's perception of, and confidence in, the Independent Counsel as an impartial body. The impartiality of Whitewater independent Counsel Ken Starr has been questioned since his appointment. In fact, at the time of his appointment, five past presidents of the American Bar Association issued a joint ''statement of concern.''
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Kenneth Starr was appointed by a three judge panel that included Judge David Sentelle. Only days before Starr's appointment, Judge Sentelle had lunch with Senator Lauch Faircloth, a vocal critic of President Clinton and of former independent counsel Robert Fiske. At the time of his appointment, Starr had been working on an amicus brief in support of Paula Corbin Jones' sexual harassment suit agonist the President.
Since his appointment, Starr has maintained a very active private legal practice. He has earned $1.1 million working for such clients as G.M., Brown & Williamson, and the Republican National Committee.
Starr's partisanship and his continuation of a private practice appear in direct conflict with his role as an independent counsel. The whole point of the independent counsel law, notes Chesterfield Smith, one former ABA president, is to assure the public that prosecutors are acting without divided loyalties. He argues that a special prosecutor who engages in outside matters ''tears down trust in government and our belief in justice.''
My colleagues, I hope that we can restore a measure of honesty and balance to our discussion of the question of the appointment of an independent counsel. There is far too much at stake here for swift, partisan judgements. Thank you.
Mr. HYDE. I am going to ask that Mr. Meehan and Mr. Barr, if they have any questions that are imperative that they couldn't put in writing and let the panel go. We are playing tennis back and forth, and it is not fair to you.
Page 78 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Chairman, I could put my questions in writing. I can't imagine anything more important than going over and voting on motions to adjourn.
Mr. HYDE. No, I know, they are a matter of great importance because they keep turning up frequently.
Mr. BARR. Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HYDE. Yes, Mr. Barr.
Mr. BARR. Is this a 15-minute vote?
Mr. HYDE. Yes, this is aI don't know what it is. Probably a motion to adjourn, but they are 5-minute votes following a 15-minute vote.
Mr. BARR. Could I take a few minutes now, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HYDE. Yes.
Mr. BARR. Just to go over a couple of things?
Ms. JACKSON LEE. I am not finished. I just asked if my opening statement could be put in the record. I have questions.
Mr. HYDE. The committee will stand in recess and we will be back after the vote.
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Mr. MEEHAN. The chairman tried.
Mr. HYDE. The committee will come to order and the gentlelady from Texas has the floor.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I asked previously for unanimous consent to have my opening statement submitted in the record.
Mr. HYDE. So ordered.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Let me, first of all, acknowledge the good work and the appreciation that I have for the opportunity to work with the Department of Justice in this instance and withI don't call them subordinate agenciesbut the agencies that are under the fold and responsibility of the Department of Justice.
With that said, as an ally, and as a member of the Judiciary Committee, allow me to focus on some concerns that I have. And I would appreciate all who can answer to please answer and assist me in this.
The Department of Justice is perceived more for its ability to deliver justice on behalf of the American people than probably the underlying reason for this hearing, which is efficiency and effectiveness to the extent that we might be looking at it related to the Results Act.
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I have a great concern as to how the Department of Justice interacts with other agencies in pursuing cases in court. In particular, I ask you to respond to me about your interworkings with the EEOC. As I understand, it is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and not the Equal Employment Opportunity Compromise Commission.
It has come to my attention by my constituents that we have a fast increasing response of compromise, not to pursue it, when individuals come forward with legitimate claims of discrimination.
My question then is how decisions are made, how you interact with other departments, such as the DOT, is there an interrelation within the EEOC, in providing comfort and support for lawyers to legitimately move forward on these questions of diminishing civil rights?
That also goes to the questionthough I know that we don't have in place right now a confirmed head of the Civil Rights Division of Justicewhat definitive way are decisions made about pursuing questions of justice as relates to civil rights?
What we have been hearing and what we have been seeing is that there has been a pulling back, if you will, and obviously there would be those who would say, under this administrationI am not trying to cast any aspersions on the overall emphasis as much as the workingshow is it decided? Where is the bottom line? How much is this benefit analysis impacting on not making decisions to pursue the most vulnerable who have come forward and said they are being discriminated against?
Page 81 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Let me raise this question before you answer. There will be many of us who will oppose a motion on the floor today that deals with this House interfering in your business, and that is ordering the Justice Department to force the implementation of a subpoena by a former member of this body for an ongoing investigation that is being pursued on the state level in California.
When such resolutions come, if they come, how are decisions then made whether to expend resources for something that by many is perceived both insulting, frivolous and discriminatory? And that goes with the resolution dealing with Loretta Sanchez.
So I ask the question pointedly on the civil rights issue, EEOC, civil rights in general and this last particular motion, or resolution that will be on the floor. I yield to those who would answer.
Mr. HYDE. The gentlelady's time is about to expire. She has left no time for answers. Now, I take it
Ms. JACKSON LEE. I thought it was the red light, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. HYDE. It is and it is getting red. It is moving towards red.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. I would ask for kindness for unanimous consent to have one minute for the gentleman's response.
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Mr. HYDE. The gentlelady may have three minutes. I just wanted to point out that sometimes we need to leave time for answers. But another three ought to do it. Let's see anyway. If you need more, we will give you more.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. You are most generous, Mr. Chairman. Thank you very much. Mr. Colgate.
Mr. HYDE. I was trying to elicit that from you.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Thank you. And I am on the record. He is most generous. I have said that frequently. He just hasn't heard.
Mr. COLGATE. Let me just offer some general observations. You will see within the Department of Justice's strategic plan on page 12, in the functional area of legal representation, enforcement of Federal laws and defense of U.S. interests, the number one goal is to protect the civil rights of all Americans. We take this job very seriously.
In the development of the Department's strategic plan there has been an interagency process to coordinate all the various different plans among the agencies. So, in other words, the EEOC or other interested parties would have received the Department's strategic plan and would have been able to comment on this overarching strategy that we have articulated here.
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We are in the process of developing the annual performance plan, which will be submitted as part of our 1999 budget and will articulate the performance measures and how we would go about trying to accomplish our number one goal in this area.
I cannot speak with a lot of specificity on the issues that you have raised regarding the subpoena and other issues, but I would be more than glad to have an appropriate senior level department official respond to your particular concerns. But I just wanted to point out, for your benefit, that we have taken this seriously and it is our number one goal in this particular area to protect all Americans' civil rights.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. And there is no emphasis on compromise or not pursuing cases through litigation? There are no carrots being given to employees, the more you settle the better you are?
Mr. COLGATE. Not to my understanding. I will say, though, that we are very much interested in the notion of alternative dispute resolution, because of the length of time and the frustration on the sides of both parties in the lengthy litigation process. We are very much committed to the notion of alternative dispute resolution where it can be effective in bringing both parties to the table to try to resolve issues.
If issues cannot be resolved under those terms, by all means we are committed to active enforcement of the law. But we have emphasized the notion of alternative dispute resolution.
Page 84 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. JACKSON LEE. And I do appreciate that. Anyone else on the questions of civil rights or theyes, sir?
Mr. BACH. Congresswoman, specifically in reference to cooperation with EEOC and the need in the strategic plan and the recognition of program evaluation being an important part of developing the future, the Immigration Service has right now and is developing future plans with EEOC to monitor the potential discriminatory impact of Immigration Service programs such as its employment verification pilot programs.
And right now, EEOC has a contract from us to be monitoring the situation in Los Angeles and we hope to expand that kind of cooperation with them and the civil rights community.
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Anyone else? The FBI, the question was aboutwell, let me just conclude, Mr. Chairman, on this point. I think there are some problems, and I would welcome a senior official to discuss these issues. It may be some problems in the regional offices. I am a big supporter, as an active member of our state bar, of mediation and arbitration, and various forms of settlement.
But I do think that there is a tempered response in many of these employment cases and a greater inclination to settle without merit, and I think that is an important problem if it is done as a result of trying to do a cost-benefit analysis.
Mr. Chairman, I have an inquiry to you and I will conclude with this. As I indicated, I do think this is an important hearing. I may not be able to stay throughout all of it. I do think I would like to stretch the inquiry a bit, as we have discovered some very serious pronouncements as it relates to the Internal Revenue Service. I say that in the Judiciary Committee room because I understand that there is obviously the preparation of the case by the IRS and the pursuing of the case in most instances by U.S. Attorneys.
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And I think it would be worth us exploring, again maybe not in this context of the Results Act but exploring how these cases are prepared, whether there has been a ''high dollar figure.'' You get more employee benefits or you get more good marks in your employee file or you get increased salaries, if you prepare cases against individuals and move them on to the Justice Department for them to be tried. In particular, Mr. Chairman, I would like to comment, coming from a district that is heavily minority, that it has come to my attention, through constituentsI have not done any scientific pollingthat minority taxpayers in particular face intimidation and, in instances, a case being pressed on them and being tried.
I have a case right now that sounds extremely tragic, of a businessman who has been in jail for a year, Mr. Chairman, without being able to even have a trial. He hasn't even been tried and he has been in jail for an entire year, with all of his family in great distress.
So I think that would be an extremely important inquiry as to how these cases are made and how the Justice Department pursues them. I think we are at a level of outrage. I am not in such an outrage that I do not recognize that the payment to the government has to be handled and that the IRS has many good employees, but I do think we have some very serious problems that need to be addressed in this instance.
Mr. Chairman, I would just ask if I could hear from the committee on the potential of such a hearing? I know you have to study the question, but I think it is extremely important. I am caught up in the quagmire of trying to solve these problems as a Member of Congress with my constituents and it is not a pretty sight. I yield back.
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Mr. HYDE. Mr. McCollum.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am concerned about this plan in several ways, and I realize that it's the first stab at it that everybody has given, but one of the questions that I have has to do more with the question of whether or not the long-range plans are taking into account in any way, or the absence of it are taking into account, overlapping jurisdictions and concerns.
For example, in the drug area, the strategy is pretty broadly stated and we went over that with the GAO a few minutes ago, I know all of you heard, but there is no discussion in here of where the functions within the Justice Department might be better managed. Is the FBI, for example, overlapping with the DEA in a way that really doesn't need to be? Do we need to have the FBI's role in every respect that it is involved in drugs today, when the DEA is doing this? Is there any plan or any strategy in the Justice Department to take a look at that? Has that been analyzed in the past? I don't know whether Mr. Milford or Mr. Bach or whoever ought to answer that. Mr. Houk, anyone here who is representing the various agencies concerned. But that type of thing, is that or is that not what should be part of a strategic and long-range plan?
Mr. COLGATE. Let me offer a general observation.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. Yes, Mr. Colgate.
Mr. COLGATE. One of the key elements that the Attorney General very much wanted in this plan and is very much her personal input into this plan, is to ensure the proper coordination and integration of the DOJ activities, because she does share this concern about duplication and better utilization of scarce DOJ resources.
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I think that one of the benefits that we will see also as we develop the performance plan, and all of these planning documents, is that this process highlights areas we need to pursue further to ensure that we are utilizing our resources in the most efficient manner.
But on page 9 of the Department's plan, goal No. 5 is coordinate and integrate DOJ law enforcement activities wherever possible and cooperate fully with other Federal, State and local agencies that are critically linked to improved operation of the nation's criminal justice system.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. Well, I hear that and I see that, but the performance indicators simply say effectiveness of multiagency intergovernmental task forces, type and impact of cooperative agreements, both domestic and foreign. And it is really not clear that you have got any performance measurements whatsoever for internal questions like FBI/DEA overlap and I am sure there are plenty of other intraagency questions like that.
On goals 2 and 3 with respect to the criminal side, which is where I am most concerned, you talk in terms of reducing the availability and abuse of illegal drugs; and in goal 3, reducing the espionage and terrorism. And then you have got measuring devices and performance indicators that discuss the extent to which the most prominent drug organizations and cartels have had their operations disrupted, the number of indictments of major cartel members, and the effective use of forfeiture authority.
Page 88 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC It is difficult to see how those performance indicators measure how much you have reduced or whether you have really reduced the availability and abuse of illegal drugs. It is as though there is an underlying assumption that, in fact, if you do these things, if you disrupt the organizations, you will reduce. Perhaps that's a justifiable thing. I happen to think that perhaps it is. But it isn't clear to me that you have got a connect between the performance indicators and the goal itself. You jump from strategies to performance indicators and you have got a missing link. The same thing would be true with espionage and terrorism, where you are estimating the number of terrorist incidents prevented and increasing the exchange of personnel and collaboration within the FBI and other agencies.
To what extent do we measure reducing? First of all, you have to know how many. What are we measuring against? Are we reducinghow many are there now? Is there a plan to keep track of how many there are today? And how much illegal drug abuse is there? What are we measuring it against? How do you measure your success if you don't know where you are now, if you don't have a benchmark? There are no benchmarks in this report and there is no indication anywhere there is a benchmark. It is just broad objectives.
Does anybody want to respond to that? Can you do it either on drugs or terrorism, anybody? Do you want to do that, Mr. Milford?
Mr. MILFORD. Yes, sir. I will do it as far as DEA is concerned.
Mr. HYDE. Excuse me, the gentleman's time has expired again. Without objection, the gentleman is granted 3 additional minutes.
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Mr. MCCOLLUM. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. MILFORD. Sir, as you well know, when we are looking at organizations and we are looking at drug organizations working within the United States or internationally, we have identified the major organizations which are impacting the United States, whether it be the Cali drug cartels or the Mexican groups that are working now. Also, the internal groups that are producing clandestinely manufactured drugs.
What we are saying here is that we are looking at a dynamic plan which we are changing from day-to-day from time to time. We are looking at, for example, coordination not only between the DEA and other Federal agencies. We are looking also at coordination and input from our SACs with the State and local law enforcement agencies.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. Okay. I hear you.
Mr. MILFORD. So we are looking at this and then moving it up and saying it is very hard to quantify the amount of drugs coming in.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. I hear you. The Chairman is giving me 3 additional minutes. I just want to make a point and ask another question and take advantage of that.
The point is that if the goal were to disrupt and dismantle major drug organizations and increase foreign support or whatever, then the performance indicators would, indeed, match that as the goal. But that is a strategy. And I don't think the three match up is what I am really saying, that the goal itself is either too broad, or you don't have the right complement underneath it.
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Is there anything in the Department's strategic plan that assures us that it will properly prioritize and dedicate sufficient resources to attacking the very largest of the drug organizations? There is nothing here that says we are really going to put enough money in there that I see, or is there anything there? I am curious because DEA is still being criticized by many as being a buy-bust organization, I guess.
Mr. Milford, do you want to respond to that while we have got you here talking?
Mr. MILFORD. I will. And as you well know, we are far beyond the buy-bust organizations. We are working very closely with, for example, the national cases that you are well aware of. We are working those cases in coordination, not only with other Federal agencies, but the State and local agencies and our international counterparts, whether it be Colombia, where we were very successful with the Cali cartel, or Mexico. We are hopeful that we can have the same impact over a period of time in Mexico as we have had in Colombia.
As you well know, what we can control is our domestic enforcement programs. And that is where I think we are focussing most of our efforts, particularly with Mexico from the Southwest border type operations and into the cities, the major cities and some of the smaller cities throughout the United States. And yes we are.
Mr. MCCOLLUM. I know you are doing it. I guess the bottom line is, DEA is doing what you can, but there is nothing in this plan on its face that would indicate that the prioritization within the Department is clearly there for this purpose with sufficient resources to do it. That is what is missing in the plan in large measure in my way of thinking. I am not going to be overly critical. I realize this is the first stab, Mr. Colgate. I am just pointing out that I think that there is more meat that needs to be in here. It needs to be developed over time. And I am using my area of expertise as best I know it to try to point that out.
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I have taken more than my 5 minutes. I have probably exhausted the 3, and while I would love to let everybody else answer, I would be in deep trouble if I keep going. So I yield back, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.
Mr. BRYANT [presiding]. Thank you.
Mr. Meehan is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. MEEHAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Colgate, the Justice Department's August Draft Strategic Plan doesn't seem to prioritize among strategies, for example, to uphold the rights of victims of crime. The Department states that it will support State and local efforts along these lines, train criminal Justice professionals and victim service providers, advocate for increased rights for crime victims in the juvenile justice system and identify promising practices. And while all of these are certainly worthy goals, it is unclear which of them the Department considers to be the most promising.
Similarly, the Department calls, for example, for full implementation of the Violence Against Women Act in order to reduce incidents of violence against women. But the Violence Against Women Act comprises many programs. And again the plan fails expressly to indicate which of these programs provides the greatest bang for the buck.
Many of us with certain experiences, for example, feel that certain strategies are far more effective than other strategies. And it seems that, with resources as limited as they are, prioritization is important.
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Do you think the August draft plan provides Congress and the public with sufficient guidance as to the Justice Department's strategic priorities? And if not, can you attempt to remedy this problem in terms of prioritization?
Mr. COLGATE. I think that is a very good question. I would like to move us from the August report to the September report that we delivered to the Congress yesterday. I think some of the shortcomings that you have mentioned have been addressed from the August draft to the September draft.
I think another key point, though, is the annual performance plan that is tied with the budget. The strategic plan is a large umbrella. It says these are the areas, this is the mission of the Department of Justice. These are the long range goals that we are trying to accomplish based on that mission.
As you further move down to the annual performance plan, you will see in detail the programs and activities that we plan to undertake to achieve these goals with the commensurate resources that we are requesting in fiscal year 1999.
I think you also raise another good point and that is the issue of evaluation that has been pointed out as one of the shortcomings in our plan. I share that concern with the committee. I think evaluation is critical to this process. When we look at these programs, we need weevaluations tell us where we are getting the biggest bang for the buck. But I think you will see the relative priorities and where our emphasis will be articulated in the annual performance plan and the 1999 budget. But this is sort of the global aspect.
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Mr. MEEHAN. Thank you. I appreciate that. Twenty minutes after the hearing started they handed out the plan, I am just not that quick to read through that, but I appreciate that.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to welcome Don Stern, the U.S. attorney from Massachusetts. And, Mr. Stern, I know that one of the greatest challenges that you face is deciding what types of criminal cases warrant Federal action. It is clearly not your job, to prosecute every violation of criminal law. And as we all know, that criminal law has traditionally been the province of the States with Federal jurisdiction serving as more of a limited backdrop. Furthermore, your actions are constrained by the inevitable problem of limited resources. On the other hand, it is clear that the scope of criminal law has dramatically expanded over the past decade to cover conduct that either previously was unpunished or prohibited only by State law. My experiences as a former prosecutor clearly point out that there are advantages of involving Federal law enforcement in the effort to make our streets safer. In large part I think this is because of the Federal minimum mandatory sentences that promise to take, for example, repeat offenders off the street for a long period of time.
Furthermore, even routine street crime has interstate connection these days, so that whether it is gun running, drug dealing or interstate witness intimidation, Federal law enforcement is particularly well-equipped to deal with these interstate issues.
I was wondering based on your experience, what should be the criteria for Federal involvement in fighting street crime, and does the Department's strategic plan in your view provide you with sufficient guidance on this issue?
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Mr. STERN. Well, I think it does. But it highlights, Congressman, part of the problem of quantifying, if you will, in hard and fast terms the contribution that Federal prosecutors can make. And what I mean by that, if you were to measurefor example, what we have been able to do in the city of Boston with our violent crime initiative, and you would add up the number of Federal prosecutions in Boston, we would probably be doing about the same last year as we did, let's say, 5 years ago. The difference is there has been a consultation and strategic process working with the police chief, working with District Attorney Martin, working with local community leaders, religious leaders, so that our focal point has been on the hard core repeat violent offender. And so if you were to quantify objectively, you would say how many cases could you bring. It doesn't quite capture the full spirit of what I think the Federal contribution can be.
As you know, Congressman, I was up in Lowell about 2 weeks ago meeting with Eddie Davis, the police chief. And I had two meetings, one a private law enforcement meeting with the chief, the other with community groups. And the private meeting with the chief was basically: Ed, who are the worst people in Lowell that we should be focusing on? Who are the people that have slipped through the State system?
As you know, Congressman, having been a State prosecutor yourself, tht happens over and over again. I am not quite sure how you describe that. I am not sure how you objectify that in a way that makes sense. But we have been taking our marching orders really from the Attorney General who says over and over again, sit down and consult with the local prosecutors and have your priorities be shaped by what is important to people at the local level.
Page 95 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Chairman, just as a follow-up, if I could have unanimous consent, I am familiar with the tremendous success in Boston, where homicides dropped to a 30-year low, robberies to a 26-year low, and armed assaults are at a 10-year low. We have had similar success in Lowell on a smaller scale and I think it is due to the involvement of the U.S. Attorney's Office, in addition to the other initiatives that have come from the Justice Department all geared towards local and State coordination of efforts and resources. And I am justI want assurances, I guess, that you have input in terms of the Justice Department's short- and long-term priorities, vis-a-vis these types of initiatives. I am not that familiar with whether they have been as successful in other parts of the country. So I hope that your experiences in Boston and Massachusetts got passed on within the Justice Department at the point, and you get an opportunity to provide input as to some of those short- and long-term priorities.
Mr. STERN. Well, the Attorney General has made clear to the U.S. attorneys over and over again, this cannot be a cookie cutter approach. What works in Arizona may not work in Boston; what works in Boston may not work in Arizona. But she has been, if you will, taking on the road the success stories. I mean, one of the things that the Justice Department can do in Washington, main Justice as we refer to it, is to take the success stories, and I am proud to say Boston I think is one of those, and like little Johnny Appleseed, kind of spread that around the rest of the country.
We have had delegations, as you know, Congressman, from all around the country coming to sit with the Boston police and the district attorney's office to try to figure out what is going on. We always tell them it is not one thing. Don't try to copy what we are doing. Try to get behind them and figure out what is working and then graft that onto your community.
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Mr. BRYANT. Thank you.
The Chair is being a little bit lenient here because we do have such a distinguished panel and the Members are low. And as such I would recognize the gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Barr.
Mr. BARR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
It is a very interesting document. And it has a number of very laudable goals and interesting establishment of priorities. There is both general information here as well as specifics. So I am presuming that a great deal of thought has gone into this, and if something is included or not included, it is either in there or not in there for a particular reason. Is that a fair assumption?
Mr. COLGATE. That is a fair assumption.
Mr. BARR. With that in mind, and remembering that this administration was one that heralded itself as going to be the most honest and corruption free and full of integrity of any administration in the history of the country, I am a little bit, perhaps not baffled, but would be interested in your comment as to why the strategies here, which purports to be fairly comprehensive in setting forth the priorities over the next 5 years of the Department of Justice, are utterly silent as to public corruption and the integrity of the executive branch system, understanding, as I know that you do, that the system of laws that we have, those regarding the full, good and faithful amount of services of public officials, the integrity of officials in the executive branch are, or at least always have been, important tools, responsibilities, priorities, and unique tools of the Department of Justice.
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Do you have any knowledge as to why none of that is reflected in any of the priorities or goals of the Department of Justice for the next 5 years?
Mr. COLGATE. My general observation is that we are committed to the enforcement of all laws thatand because we have taken that stance, we have not gone through and reiterated every single statute or category of statute. But, you know, you are absolutely right, there has to be the fundamental notion of public integrity in the system. And we take that
Mr. BARR. Then why is this document utterly silent as to that? We go into great deal about all sorts of things in here, some of which we agree with, some that I am sure the people might disagree with, the prioritization. But why is there no mention whatsoever other than the fact that it is not a priority of this Department of Justice over the next 5 years, any mention at all of integrity or public corruption?
Ms. WARREN. May I offer some suggestions? Your point is very well taken that it does not appear as a separate priority. I suggest it really underlies many of the other priorities. There is no way that we will be able to see
Mr. BARR. If that is true, wouldn't the document say that?
Ms. WARREN. I think your point is very well taken. And it is an ongoing process and maybe needs, clearly needs further discussion within the Department.
Page 98 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But there is no way we can be successful in the drug trafficking area, in violent crime, in espionage, if we don't consider that priority. It is considered and is not articulated here, as you have pointed out. The same with the white collar crime area, not to have it clearly stated, more just understood andthe intention I think is there in the strategies, but not as clearly articulated as the Congressman suggests might be helpful.
Mr. BARR. It is not articulated at all. I appreciate you all's observations. I think it is reflective of the priorities of this Department of Justice.
Let me ask, Mr. Colgate, and as the Assistant AG for Administration, you may be in a position to shed some light on a discussion that I had previously that you were here to hear with the gentleman from GAO, and that is regarding the Vacancies Act.
I have read the Department's letter. I think the most recent missive from the Department is a letter dated July 10th of this year. And it sort of reiterates to Senator Thurmond, who has raised this issue over in the Senate, the historic reasons or historic precedents why the Department believes that the Vacancies Act does not apply to it. But in reviewing that and also in reviewing the CRS document that I referred to earlier when I was speaking with Mr. Rabkin from GAO, missing is any explanation as to why the Department wouldn't want to be subject to the Vacancies Act. I mean, I understand that they keep citing precedence as to why they think subsequent specific statutes in title 28 exempt them from a broader statute in title 5. But what is itwhy does the Department object to the subjectthe process that applies to all other executive agencies that seems clearly designed simply to fill vacancies in top level positions? Why would the Department not want to do that?
Page 99 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. COLGATE. As you point out, we do have, under 28 U.S.C. 510, a separate statute that allows the Attorney General where he or she considers it to be appropriate to authorize performance of the duties of, the functions of the Attorney General, for another officer or another employee. And that gives us the ability to appoint people in acting positions.
I am not in the position to comment on why we have not followed the Vacancies Act versus the use of this flexibility that is provided to us in 28 U.S.C. 510 other than to say it is my understanding that it has been a long-held position by the Department for many years that we do have this additional authority under 28 U.S.C. 510.
Mr. BARR. Okay. Thank you.
Mr. MEEHAN. Mr. Chairman?
Mr. BRYANT. Yes.
Mr. MEEHAN. Just in terms of Mr. Barr's comments, I don't know whether anyone else wants to respond, but with regard to the priority given by the Department of Justice to public corruption, public integrity units and the U.S. Attorney's Offices across the country have had a rather aggressive and great reputation for aggressively pursuing public corruption cases.
I don't know if Mr. Stern wants to talk about the Massachusetts public corruption unit. I know that many of the assistant U.S. attorneys here have been recognized nationally for cutting-edge cases in terms of public corruption and white collar cases. Maybe there is something to be said in terms of the listing of it. But I, just as one Member, don't want to sit here and have, without response, the incredible cutting-edge work that has been done in public corruption and white collar crime all across America by this Justice Department ignored, and I wonder if Mr. Stern would comment on Massachusetts, as one example.
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Mr. BRYANT. Well, let me do this in the interest
Mr. BARR. Mr. Chairman, regular order.
Mr. BRYANT. In the interest of time
Mr. BARR. The Department of Justice historically has done a good job. That is not the point.
Mr. MEEHAN. I just wanted the record to reflect that.
Mr. BRYANT. If the gentleman would sustain, let me just say, in the interest of time, and so I might ask a question or two also before we go vote, and we can let this panel go at that time, if you could just supplement your testimony in writing, and I, too, would welcome that information.
Mr. BRYANT. Very quickly, Mr. Colgate, and Mr. Houk, Mr. Milford, I would like the three of you to briefly respond to what Mr. McCollum was getting into in terms of the overlap in drug cases between the FBI and the DEA. I know there is need to work together, but I am just wondering if, in the big scheme, it wouldn't be appropriate to take away that jurisdiction from the FBI.
The DEA has made much progress. And I am wondering, there are many criminals out there to fight, that the FBI certainly has their hands full there, would that be a possibility of letting DEA, at least within the DOJ, focus on drugs and let the FBI go elsewhere with the rest of their jurisdiction? Mr. Colgate.
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Mr. COLGATE. I will just offer some general observations and let my colleagues from FBI and DEA respond. I also think it would be helpful if Ms. Warren in the Criminal Division offered her observations since she has been involved in the narcotics issues for a number of years with both agencies.
I think it is very important, one, to address the coordination and the duplication issue. I think that is something that we absolutely have to address. But I think it would be not appropriate to totally remove the FBI from drug issues, because many crimes transcend these standard definitions of drugs and so on and so forth. So I think that there is a benefit of having the FBI, which has a very broad jurisdiction and expertise, involved in this effort. A crime may start out in a particular area and transcend into the drug area or from the drug area into another type of organized crime or some type of other type of crime that is important to have that FBI expertise. But I would defer to my colleagues.
Mr. BRYANT. Let me also add, I agree that there are lots of other crimes that you can bring in other agencies under that theory. What is unique, is that the FBI can supply over and above what the DEA's expertise can do now?
Mr. HOUK. Well, maybe I am making an extension of Mr. Colgate's comments. I believe that in all instances we are trying to disrupt or destroy the criminal enterprise, the drug criminal enterprise. And because of the broader statutory authorities of the FBI, we are able to work with and assist DEA in a variety of ways when going after those organizations. These organizations are not simply involved in drug activities, they are also involved in bank fraud, money laundering, insurance fraud, and a whole variety of other violations of criminal statutes. In addition, the FBI has experience in undercover work in a variety of those areas. So I think the two agencies complement each other.
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I might add, from my perspective, that the whole Results Act is a piece of legislation that will further increase the coordination that exists among several Federal agencies and State and locals.
Mr. MILFORD. Sir, we very much take the coordination issue as probably the focus of all our investigations at this point. We are working today probably better than we have ever worked, not only with the FBI, but with other Federal agencies. This we have to do to be able to coordinate the kind of activity and the type of investigations that we are producing.
I might also point out that with our coordination with the FBI, most of our ongoing investigations also implement working relationships with State and local authorities. And, again, together we are working many of those programs out.
We have a program now where we are working a lot of long-term major investigations. In some instances, the FBI has allied with us because they have initiated an investigation. And many times it is DEA. We are also working in coordination with Justice, and, just as importantly, the U.S. Attorney's Office in each one of the districts to ensure that we get the prosecution and take the prosecution of the investigation into the appropriate location.
And what is important here I think, at this point, is for us to be able to look at all the investigations which dovetail into one of these larger organizations. And then look at the appropriate way to do it.
Page 103 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The FBI has been in partnership with us since the 1980s. It has worked out very well for us. And our partnership, of course, with U.S. Customs Service and with the State and local agencies throughout the country has made a tremendous change and difference in our ability to work these longtime major organizations to the point we are at today.
Mr. BRYANT. Thank you. I would encourage any of you that would like to submit additional comments to do so for this.
Mr. BRYANT. Now we have a vote going on. I think we have concluded with this panel. I want to thank each of you, very distinguished witnesses, including my good friend, Mr. Moscato, for coming with you today. We look forward to seeing you again sometime. Thank you.
This hearing is recessed.
[Whereupon, at 12:22 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]
SEEKING RESULTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
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COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
SEEKING RESULTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
SEPTEMBER 30, 1997
Serial No. 40
Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary
For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois, Chairman
F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, Jr., Wisconsin
BILL McCOLLUM, Florida
Page 105 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCGEORGE W. GEKAS, Pennsylvania
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
LAMAR SMITH, Texas
STEVEN SCHIFF, New Mexico
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
CHARLES T. CANADY, Florida
BOB INGLIS, South Carolina
BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia
STEPHEN E. BUYER, Indiana
SONNY BONO, California
ED BRYANT, Tennessee
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
BOB BARR, Georgia
WILLIAM L. JENKINS, Tennessee
ASA HUTCHINSON, Arkansas
EDWARD A. PEASE, Indiana
CHRISTOPHER B. CANNON, Utah
JOHN CONYERS, Jr., Michigan
BARNEY FRANK, Massachusetts
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
RICK BOUCHER, Virginia
JERROLD NADLER, New York
ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
Page 106 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina
ZOE LOFGREN, California
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
MAXINE WATERS, California
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
STEVEN R. ROTHMAN, New Jersey
THOMAS E. MOONEY, Chief of Staff-General Counsel
JULIAN EPSTEIN, Minority Staff Director
C O N T E N T S
September 30, 1997
Hyde, Hon. Henry J., a Representative in Congress from the State of Illinois, and Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary
Colgate, Hon. Stephen R., Assistant Attorney General for Administrtion, Justice Management Division, U.S. Department of Justice
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Rabkin, Norman J., Director, Administration of Justice Issues, General Government Division, United States Accounting Office
LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING
Colgate, Hon. Stephen R., Assistant Attorney General for Administrtion, Justice Management Division, U.S. Department of Justice: Prepared statement
Conyers, John, Jr., a Representative in Congress from the State of Michigan: Prepared statement
Hyde, Hon. Henry J., a Representative in Congress from the State of Illinois, and Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary: Prepared statement
Jackson Lee, Sheila, a Representative in Congress from the State of Texas: Prepared statement
Rabkin, Norman J., Director, Administration of Justice Issues, General Government Division, United States Accounting Office: Prepared statement
Smith, Lamar, Chairman, Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims: Prepared statement
(Footnote 1 return)
(Footnote 2 return)
The Results Act: Observations on the Department of Justice's February 1997 Draft Strategic Plan (GAO/GGD97153R, July 11, 1997).
(Footnote 3 return)
Justice also revised its February 1997 plan on July 21, 1997.
(Footnote 4 return)
The primary financial management reform legislation Congress enacted is the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, as expanded by the Government Management Reform Act of 1994. These laws provide the basis for identifying and correcting financial management weaknesses that have cost the federal government billions of dollars and leave it vulnerable to waste, fraud, and mismanagement. They also set expectations for agencies to deploy modern systems to replace existing, antiquated, often manual processes; develop better performance and cost measures; and design results-oriented reports on the government's financial condition and operating performance by integrating budget, accounting, and program information. Information technology reform legislation, including the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, was based on the best practices used by leading public and private organizations to more effectively manage information technology.
(Footnote 5 return)
We discussed this issue in our reportCustoms Service and INS: Dual Management Structure for Border Inspections Should Be Ended (GAO/GGD93111, June 30, 1993).
(Footnote 6 return)
This legislation requires agencies to have their agencywide financial statements audited annually beginning with the fiscal year 1996 financial statements. The first year financial audits of Justice and its components focused primarily on evaluating their control structures and environments and did not include auditing of their statements of operation, which include the entities' operating costs. The fiscal year 1996 audit reports are expected to be issued before the September 30, 1997, submission date for strategic plans.