[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]



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 

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:


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.

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]