Security and Privacy
Response to Sept. 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks


Memo sent to Department Heads.
AG (202) 514-2007 TDD (202) 514-1888


SUBJECT: Comprehensive Review and Reorganization of the Department of Justice to Meet Counterterrorism Mission

The Department of Justice is the guardian of liberty in our land. Our mission is to preserve the Constitutional rights and freedoms of all Americans, and our sacred responsibility is to protect those who are weak, vulnerable or oppressed.

We build upon the heritage of our predecessors the men and women who were the trust busters in the nineteenth century, who safeguarded our Nation's internal security from fascists and communists, who declared legal war on mafia bosses and corrupt political machines, and who crusaded for every American's equality and civil rights. Their victories built the foundation upon which we now stand, and helped to secure the liberties we must now safeguard from terrorism.

The Justice Department may be more complex, but our mission today must be just as clear as it was for our predecessors. This Department exists to protect American's Constitutional rights from threats, foreign and domestic, that would rob us our basic liberties. To pursue this noble cause, we exercise sweeping powers and vast resources. Guided by the Constitution, we are limited only by the depth of our resolve and the clarity of our vision. In the days following September 11th, our vision became clear as our resolve hardened. The President has charged us with a critical mission: to protect our nation and its citizens from a serious, immediate and ongoing threat of terrorism. To fulfill this mission, we will devote all resources necessary to disrupt, weaken, and eliminate terrorist networks, to prevent or thwart terrorist attacks, and to bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorist acts. The fight against terrorism is now the first and overriding priority of the Department of Justice.

We are releasing today the Department of Justice's Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2001-2006. This plan reflects the new realities of our mission, and describes the goals and objectives we will pursue to accomplish it. First and foremost, a new mission requires a new way of doing business. We must look closely at the many functions and responsibilities of the Department of Justice and realign our resources to support the critical tasks ahead -- all while continuing to enforce vigorously the laws of the United States.

To this end, below are a series of goals and management initiatives that reflect the changed priorities of the Department in this new environment. I have consulted closely with the Deputy Attorney General on the development of these goals. In addition, I have asked him to lead the effort, with the assistance of the Strategic Management Council (SMC), to develop and implement appropriate measures to accomplish these goals with all practicable timeliness. The goals are as follows:

GOAL 1: Develop Performance-Based, Mission-Focused Leadership

  • Revise the Department of Justice Performance Plan to include clear, consistent performance measures that support the Department's Strategic Plan of long-term goals and objectives.
  • Link individual performance reviews to the performance of organization units and components.

GOAL 2: Streamline, Eliminate or Consolidate Duplicative Functions

  • Develop plan to consolidate duplicative functions within the Department.
  • Streamline Departmental processes, as appropriate, to eliminate inefficiencies. Achieve 10% budget savings to be realigned to support counterterrorism mission.

GOAL 3: Focus Resources on Front-Line Positions

  • Reallocate caseload and field positions consistent with the Department's mission.
  • Transfer 10% of current headquarters positions to front lines to support the Department's long-term goals and objectives reflected in the Strategic Plan.

GOAL 4: Reform the FBI

  • Complete the FBI review currently underway, prioritizing the FBI's counterterrorism mission.
  • Implement recommended reforms of the Strategic Management Council, upon approval by the Attorney General.

GOAL 5: Restructure the Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)

  • Consistent with the President's objective, restructure the INS to separate enforcement and service functions, reduce backlog in application processing, and improve effectiveness and accountability.
  • Strengthen INS border security and interior enforcement.
  • Restructure the EOIR and streamline its processes to improve its organizational effectiveness and eliminate all case backlog.

GOAL 6: Restructure the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and Reform Grant Management

  • Restructure the OJP to flatten its organizational structure and improve its operational efficiency.
  • Develop and implement a uniform grant application and improve the accountability, reliability and efficiency of the grant system.
  • Improve the accessibility of information by, and the service to, state and local law enforcement, crime victims and other constituencies.

GOAL 7: Coordinate Internal and External Communications and Outreach

  • Expand outreach to state and local law enforcement agencies to improve information sharing and operational cooperation.
  • Improve coordination and facilitate the information flow to and from U.S. Attorney's offices.

GOAL 8: Improve Department-Wide Financial Performance

  • Improve performance by all components to achieve unqualified opinions and eliminate material weaknesses.
  • Implement a uniform financial system.

GOAL 9: Strengthen Hiring, Training And Diversity Policies

  • Develop consistent, Department-wide hiring policy.
  • Coordinate training efforts to elevate and maximize employee's skill and performance.
  • Strengthen policies to attract a highly qualified, diverse workforce.

GOAL 10: Utilize Technology to Improve Government

  • Develop a comprehensive information technology plan to support strategic goals and improve information management.
  • Develop and implement a service plan that is citizen-centered, and includes appropriate online citizen accessibility.
  • Our service men and women are risking their lives to battle the enemy overseas. It falls to the men and women of justice and law enforcement to lead America in fighting terrorism at home. By aligning our resources with the critical mission ahead, and by improving operational effectiveness and efficiency, the Department will help win the war against terrorism and protect the safety and liberty of all Americans.

Our mission is clear. As the President said, in this mission "we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail." Thank you for your continued leadership, and for your hard work in accomplishing these critical goals.