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  • News: DOJ Publishes Final Rule on Delegation of Authority Concerning Mutual Legal Assistance

    [Federal Register Volume 82, Number 29 (Tuesday, February 14, 2017)]
    [Rules and Regulations]
    [Pages 10546-10547]
    From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
    [FR Doc No: 2017-02955]

    =======================================================================
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

    Office of the Attorney General

    28 CFR Part 0

    [Docket No. CRM 116; AG Order No. 3847-2017]

    Delegation of Authority Concerning Mutual Legal Assistance

    AGENCY: Department of Justice.

    ACTION: Final rule.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    SUMMARY: The Attorney General has delegated to the Assistant Attorney
    General for the Criminal Division, with certain restrictions, the
    authority to perform the functions of the ``Central Authority'' or
    ``Competent Authority'' under treaties and executive agreements between
    the United States and other countries on mutual assistance in criminal
    matters that designate the Attorney General or the Department of
    Justice as such authority. The Assistant Attorney General for the
    Criminal Division is authorized to re-delegate this authority to the
    Deputy Assistant Attorneys General and to the Director and Deputy
    Directors of the Office of International Affairs (OIA). This final rule
    will expand the scope of persons to whom this authority may be re-
    delegated to include OIA's Associate Directors.

    DATES: Effective February 14, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Vaughn Ary, Director, Office of
    International Affairs, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice,
    Washington, DC 20005; Telephone (202) 616-1503.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Office of International Affairs (OIA)
    serves as the United States Central Authority with respect to all
    requests for information and evidence received from and made to foreign
    authorities under Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties and multilateral
    conventions regarding assistance in criminal matters. OIA's inventory
    of pending mutual legal assistance (MLA) requests has grown
    substantially in recent years. OIA received over 6,000 new requests in
    FY16, the most since OIA's inception in 1979. With only three senior
    leaders (the Director and two Deputy Directors) authorized to sign
    outgoing MLA requests, it can be difficult for OIA to process these MLA
    requests expeditiously. To address this issue, the Department of
    Justice is modifying its delegation of authority in 28 CFR 0.64-1 to
    add the Associate Directors who supervise OIA's regional teams and
    designated units as persons who may sign MLA requests. Associate
    Directors represent the most

    [[Page 10547]]

    experienced attorneys within the organization and are responsible for
    providing legal and policy guidance to the Assistant Attorney General
    and Deputy Assistant Attorney General, approving the arrest of
    international fugitives, providing oversight of extradition litigation
    in U.S. and foreign courts, and participating in the negotiation of
    bilateral and multilateral law enforcement treaties. Authorizing these
    senior supervisory attorneys to sign outgoing MLA requests is
    commensurate with their existing duties and provides OIA with the
    capability to more efficiently process these requests, avoid
    unnecessary delays, and effectively satisfy MLA requests.

    Administrative Procedure Act--5 U.S.C. 553

    This rule is a rule of agency organization and relates to a matter
    relating to agency management and is therefore exempt from the
    requirements of prior notice and comment and a 30-day delay in the
    effective date. See 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2), 553(b)(3)(A).

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Attorney General, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility
    Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), has reviewed this regulation and by approving it
    certifies that this regulation will not have a significant economic
    impact on a substantial number of small entities because it pertains to
    personnel and administrative matters affecting the Department. Further,
    a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is not required to be prepared for
    this final rule because the Department was not required to publish a
    general notice of proposed rulemaking for this matter. 5 U.S.C. 604(a).

    Executive Order 12866--Regulatory Planning and Review

    This action has been drafted and reviewed in accordance with
    Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, section 1(b),
    Principles of Regulation. This rule is limited to agency organization,
    management, and personnel as described in section 3(d)(3) of Executive
    Order 12866 and, therefore, is not a ``regulation'' or ``rule'' as
    defined by the order. Accordingly, this action has not been reviewed by
    the Office of Management and Budget.

    Executive Order 13132--Federalism

    This rule will not have substantial direct effects on the States,
    on the relationship between the national government and the States, or
    on distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels
    of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132, it
    is determined that this rule does not have sufficient federalism
    implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

    Executive Order 12988--Civil Justice Reform

    This rule was drafted in accordance with the applicable standards
    set forth in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local and
    tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of
    $100,000,000 or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or
    uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed
    necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of
    1995.

    Congressional Review Act

    This action pertains to agency management, personnel, and
    organizations and does not substantially affect the rights or
    obligations of non-agency parties and, accordingly, is not a ``rule''
    as that term is used by the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C.
    804(3)(B). Therefore, the reporting requirement of 5 U.S.C. 801 does
    not apply.

    List of Subjects in 28 CFR Part 0

    Authority delegations (Government agencies), Counterterrorism,
    Crime, Government employees, Law enforcement, National security
    information, Organization and functions (Government agencies), Privacy,
    Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Terrorism, Whistleblowing.

    Accordingly, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Attorney
    General, including 5 U.S.C. 301 and 28 U.S.C. 509 and 510, title 28 of
    the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

    PART 0--ORGANIZATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

    0
    1. The authority citation for part 0 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510, 515-519.

    0
    2. Revise the last sentence of Sec. 0.64-1 to read as follow:

    Sec. 0.64-1 Central or Competent Authority under treaties and
    executive agreements on mutual assistance in criminal matters.

    * * * The Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, is
    authorized to re-delegate this authority to the Deputy Assistant
    Attorneys General, Criminal Division, and to the Director, Deputy
    Directors, and Associate Directors of the Office of International
    Affairs, Criminal Division.

    Dated: February 8, 2017.
    Dana J. Boente,
    Acting Attorney General.
    [FR Doc. 2017-02955 Filed 2-13-17; 8:45 am]
    BILLING CODE 4410-14-P

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