5a U.S. Code § 8E. Special provisions concerning the Department of Justice

(a)
(1) Notwithstanding the last two sentences of section 3(a), the Inspector General shall be under the authority, direction, and control of the Attorney General with respect to audits or investigations, or the issuance of subpoenas, which require access to sensitive information concerning—
(A)
ongoing civil or criminal investigations or proceedings;
(B)
undercover operations;
(C)
the identity of confidential sources, including protected witnesses;
(D)
intelligence or counterintelligence matters; or
(E)
other matters the disclosure of which would constitute a serious threat to national security.
(2)
With respect to the information described under paragraph (1), the Attorney General may prohibit the Inspector General from carrying out or completing any audit or investigation, from accessing information described in paragraph (1), or from issuing any subpoena, after such Inspector General has decided to initiate, carry out, or complete such audit or investigation, access such information, or to issue such subpoena, if the Attorney General determines that such prohibition is necessary to prevent the disclosure of any information described under paragraph (1) or to prevent the significant impairment to the national interests of the United States.
(3)
If the Attorney General exercises any power under paragraph (1) or (2), the Attorney General shall notify the Inspector General in writing stating the reasons for such exercise. Within 30 days after receipt of any such notice, the Inspector General shall transmit a copy of such notice to the Committees on Governmental Affairs and Judiciary of the Senate and the Committees on Government Operations and Judiciary of the House of Representatives, and to other appropriate committees or subcommittees of the Congress.
(b) In carrying out the duties and responsibilities specified in this Act, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice—
(1)
may initiate, conduct and supervise such audits and investigations in the Department of Justice as the Inspector General considers appropriate;
(2)
except as specified in subsection (a) and paragraph (3), may investigate allegations of criminal wrongdoing or administrative misconduct by an employee of the Department of Justice, or may, in the discretion of the Inspector General, refer such allegations to the Office of Professional Responsibility or the internal affairs office of the appropriate component of the Department of Justice;
(3)
shall refer to the Counsel, Office of Professional Responsibility of the Department of Justice, allegations of misconduct involving Department attorneys, investigators, or law enforcement personnel, where the allegations relate to the exercise of the authority of an attorney to investigate, litigate, or provide legal advice, except that no such referral shall be made if the attorney is employed in the Office of Professional Responsibility;
(4)
may investigate allegations of criminal wrongdoing or administrative misconduct by a person who is the head of any agency or component of the Department of Justice; and
(5)
shall forward the results of any investigation conducted under paragraph (4), along with any appropriate recommendation for disciplinary action, to the Attorney General.
(c)
Any report required to be transmitted by the Attorney General to the appropriate committees or subcommittees of the Congress under section 5(d) shall also be transmitted, within the seven-day period specified under such section, to the Committees on the Judiciary and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committees on the Judiciary and Government Operations of the House of Representatives.
(d)
The Attorney General shall ensure by regulation that any component of the Department of Justice receiving a nonfrivolous allegation of criminal wrongdoing or administrative misconduct by an employee of the Department of Justice, except with respect to allegations described in subsection (b)(3), shall report that information to the Inspector General.
(Pub. L. 95–452, § 8E, formerly § 8D, as added Pub. L. 100–504, title I, § 102(f), Oct. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 2520; renumbered § 8E, Pub. L. 103–204, § 23(a)(3), Dec. 17, 1993, 107 Stat. 2408; Pub. L. 107–273, div. A, title III, § 308, Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1784; Pub. L. 114–317, §§ 6(3), 7(d)(3)(D), Dec. 16, 2016, 130 Stat. 1604, 1606.)
Prior Provisions

A prior section 8E of the Inspector General Act of 1978, relating to special provisions concerning the Corporation for National and Community Service, was renumbered section 8F by Pub. L. 103–204.

Another prior section 8E of the Inspector General Act of 1978, relating to requirements for Federal entities and designated Federal entities, was successively renumbered section 8F by Pub. L. 103–82, and section 8G by Pub. L. 103–204.

Amendments

2016—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 114–317, § 7(d)(3)(D)(i), substituted “subpoenas” for “subpenas” in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 114–317, § 7(d)(3)(D)(ii), substituted “subpoena” for “subpena” in two places.

Pub. L. 114–317, § 6(3), inserted “from accessing information described in paragraph (1),” after “completing any audit or investigation,” and “, access such information,” after “complete such audit or investigation”.

2002—Subsec. (b)(2) to (5). Pub. L. 107–273, § 308(1), added pars. (2) to (5) and struck out former pars. (2) and (3) which read as follows:

“(2) shall give particular regard to the activities of the Counsel, Office of Professional Responsibility of the Department and the audit, internal investigative, and inspection units outside the Office of Inspector General with a view toward avoiding duplication and insuring effective coordination and cooperation; and

“(3) shall refer to the Counsel, Office of Professional Responsibility of the Department for investigation, information or allegations relating to the conduct of an officer or employee of the Department of Justice employed in an attorney, criminal investigative, or law enforcement position that is or may be a violation of law, regulation, or order of the Department or any other applicable standard of conduct, except that no such referral shall be made if the officer or employee is employed in the Office of Professional Responsibility of the Department.”

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 107–273, § 308(2), added subsec. (d).

Change of Name

Committee on Governmental Affairs of Senate changed to Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of Senate, effective Jan. 4, 2005, by Senate Resolution No. 445, One Hundred Eighth Congress, Oct. 9, 2004.

Committee on Government Operations of House of Representatives treated as referring to Committee on Government Reform and Oversight of House of Representatives by section 1(a) of Pub. L. 104–14, set out as a note preceding section 21 of Title 2, The Congress. Committee on Government Reform and Oversight of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Government Reform of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 5, One Hundred Sixth Congress, Jan. 6, 1999. Committee on Government Reform of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 6, One Hundred Tenth Congress, Jan. 5, 2007.

Effective Date

Section effective 180 days after Oct. 18, 1988, see section 113 of Pub. L. 100–504, set out as an Effective Date of 1988 Amendment note under section 5 of Pub. L. 95–452 in this Appendix.

Appointment of Oversight Official Within the Office of Inspector General

Pub. L. 107–273, div. A, title III, § 309(a), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1784, provided that:

“(1) In general.—
The Inspector General of the Department of Justice shall direct that 1 official from the office of the Inspector General be responsible for supervising and coordinating independent oversight of programs and operations of the Federal Bureau of Investigation until September 30, 2004.
“(2) Continuation of oversight.—
The Inspector General may continue individual oversight in accordance with paragraph (1) after September 30, 2004, at the discretion of the Inspector General.”
Review of Civil Rights Complaints by the Department of Justice

Pub. L. 107–56, title X, § 1001, Oct. 26, 2001, 115 Stat. 391, provided that:

“The Inspector General of the Department of Justice shall designate one official who shall—
“(1)
review information and receive complaints alleging abuses of civil rights and civil liberties by employees and officials of the Department of Justice;
“(2)
make public through the Internet, radio, television, and newspaper advertisements information on the responsibilities and functions of, and how to contact, the official; and
“(3)
submit to the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate on a semi-annual basis a report on the implementation of this subsection [section] and detailing any abuses described in paragraph (1), including a description of the use of funds appropriations used to carry out this subsection [section].”
Transfer of 20 Investigation Positions Within Department of Justice

Pub. L. 100–504, title I, § 102(h), Oct. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 2521, provided that:

“No later than 90 days after the date of appointment of the Inspector General of the Department of Justice, the Inspector General shall designate 20 full-time investigation positions which the Attorney General may transfer from the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Justice to the Office of Professional Responsibility of the Department of Justice for the performance of functions described under section 8D(b)(3) [now 8E(b)(3)] of the Inspector General Act of 1978 [subsec. (b)(3) of this section]. Any personnel who are transferred pursuant to this subsection, and who, at the time of being so transferred, are protected from reduction in classification or compensation under section 9(c) of such Act [section 9(c) of Pub. L. 95–452, set out in this Appendix], shall continue to be so protected for 1 year after the date of transfer pursuant to this subsection.”