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Detailed Information on the
Department of Justice General Legal Activities Assessment

Program Code 10003800
Program Title Department of Justice General Legal Activities
Department Name Department of Justice
Agency/Bureau Name Legal Activities and U.S. Marshals
Program Type(s) Direct Federal Program
Assessment Year 2005
Assessment Rating Effective
Assessment Section Scores
Section Score
Program Purpose & Design 100%
Strategic Planning 88%
Program Management 100%
Program Results/Accountability 73%
Program Funding Level
(in millions)
FY2007 $797
FY2008 $853
FY2009 $912

Ongoing Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments
2006

Establishing a leadership training and mentoring program to continue improving the quality of program management.

Action taken, but not completed Each of the litigating components has developed a leadership training and/or mentoring program, or is in the process of developing one. Over the course of this fiscal year, the litigating components trained 1,817 attorneys and 623 non-attorneys after conducting 682 training sessions. Additionally, 117 new employees are enrolled in a mentoring program.
2006

Working with the Department's Chief Information Officer to evaluate and purchase litigation software that will improve productivity and efficiency.

Action taken, but not completed Development of LCMS continues towards deployment. Stage 1 completed the JAD sessions bringing users & designers together to review proposed designs. Stage 1 is on track to deploy to 4 USAOs in mid 2008. Stage 2 WG met bi-weekly thru 2007 with Stage 3 components in attendance. Contractors worked w/Stage 2 Divisions (ENRD, CIV and CRT) to complete a requirements tool to project resources & time for implementing LCMS. Requirements planning begins in Spring 2008 with deployment targeted for 2009.
2006

Implementing a plan to conduct an independent evaluation

Action taken, but not completed After an unsuccessful attempt to get onto the OIG's docket for FY07, the Department is reaching out to the Federal Consulting Group at the Department of Treasury. The FCG assists federal agencies in building an organization's program evaluation and performance measurement capacity.

Completed Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

Program Performance Measures

Term Type  
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Percent of criminal cases favorably resolved


Explanation:Cases favorably resolved includes those cases that resulted in court judgments favorable to the government, as well as settlements. For merger cases, favorably resolved data includes: abandoned mergers, mergers "fixed," or mergers with consent decrees. Non-merger cases favorably resolved also includes instances where practices changed after the investigation and complaints filed with consent decrees. The data set includes non-appellate litigation cases closed during the fiscal year.

Year Target Actual
2003 Baseline 92%
2004 90% 91%
2007 90% 92%
2008 90%
2009 90%
2010 90%
2011 90%
2012 90%
2013 90%
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Total Dollars Saved the Government per $1 of Expenditures (Defensive) [ENRD]


Explanation:Return on investment analysis of dollars saved in defensive cases for claims against the Federal Government, compared with dollars spent by the government to litigate. The ratio between these two values will serve as the rate of return on each dollar expended by ENRD. In other words, dollars recovered vs. dollars expended for affirmative and defense activities. * FY03 and FY04 were anomalies compared to historical data.

Year Target Actual
2004 Baseline $16*
2005 $32 $15
2006 $16 $14
2007 $17 $25
2008 $18
2009 $19
2010 $20
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Increase the percentage of successful matters resolved through mediation [CRT]


Explanation:Because mediation costs significantly less money/time than taking a case to trial, CRT chose this to measure their efficiencies.

Year Target Actual
2003 Baseline 75.18%
2004 75% 73.91%
2005 76% 78%
2006 77% 81.25%
2007 75% 83%
2008 75%
2009 75%
2010 75%
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Total dollar value awarded per $1 of expenditures (affirmative) [ENRD]


Explanation:Return on investment analysis of dollars awarded, includes impositions, cost recoveries, fines, penalties, injunctive relief, and Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs), compared with dollars spent by the government to litigate.

Year Target Actual
2003 Baseline $58
2004 $73 $87
2005 $74 $171
2006 $75 $75
2007 $76 $117
2008 $77
2009 $78
2010 $79
Annual Outcome

Measure: Percent of criminal cases favorably resolved


Explanation:

Year Target Actual
2003 90% 92%
2004 90% 91%
2005 90% 91%
2006 90% 92%
2007 90% 92%
2008 90%
2009 90%
2010 90%
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Ratio of administrative support costs to program costs [CRM]


Explanation:Administrative support costs are defined as those that are not completely attributable to specific programmatic outputs, such as the favorable resolution of a case. Examples of administrative support costs include rent, information technology, and headquarters support functions such as finance, human resources and security. These categories, although necessary to operate an organization, can be analyzed and improved over-time to create a more efficient organization.

Year Target Actual
2003 Baseline 69%
2004 69% 69%
2005 69.3% 69.6%
2006 69.6% 70.27%
2007 69.9% 70.40%
2008 69.9%
2009 69.9%
2010 69.9%
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Increase in Criminal and civil active investigations and HSR (Hart-Scott-Rodino Improvements Act of 1976) transactions reviewed per FTE [ATR]


Explanation:ATR will realize an efficiency if they show an increase in activities with either the same or fewer FTE. Additionally, the activities play an essential role in relation to their long-term outcome measure, "Percent of cases favorably resolved" [Hart-Scott-Rodino requires certain enterprises planned to merge or enter into acquisition transactions to notify ATR and the FTC of their intention, and to submit certain information to ATR.]

Year Target Actual
2003 Baseline Avg 01-03 13.0
2004 13.1 16.9
2005 13.2 18.6
2006 13.3 17.4
2007 14.6 16.5
2008 15.6
2009 16.0
2010 16.2
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Ratio of dollars defeated and recovered to dollars obligated for litigation [CIV]


Explanation:The ratio between these two values will serve as the rate of return on each dollar obligated by the Civil Division. Each target covers three fiscal years i.e., Target Year 2003 represents 2001-2003. FY06 Actual: Approximately 90 percent of total dollars defeated and recovered is the result of the Division's defensive work. Thus, the annual amount saved through litigation is driven largely by the amount sought in court by the government's opponents - a metric that is extremely difficult to predict. The Division did not meet its FY 2006 target because it is impossible to predict accurately the number and value of cases that will be resolved in a given year. In addition, recoveries in affirmative cases are dependent upon the defendant's ability to pay.

Year Target Actual
2003 Baseline $64
2004 $63 $67
2005 $69 $64
2006 $61 $52
2007 $62 $49
2008 $42
2009 $43
2010 $44
Annual Outcome

Measure: Percent of civil cases favorably resolved


Explanation:Cases favorably resolved includes those cases that resulted in court judgments favorable to the government, as well as settlements. For merger cases, favorably resolved data includes: abandoned mergers, mergers "fixed," or mergers with consent decrees. Non-merger cases favorably resolved also includes instances where practices changed after the investigation and complaints filed with consent decrees. The data set includes non-appellate litigation cases closed during the fiscal year.

Year Target Actual
2003 Baseline 87%
2004 80% 85%
2005 80% 84%
2006 80% 83%
2007 80% 83%
2008 80%
2009 80%
2010 80%
Annual Outcome

Measure: Percent of criminal cases favorably resolved


Explanation:Cases favorably resolved includes those cases that resulted in court judgments favorable to the government, as well as settlements. For merger cases, favorably resolved data includes: abandoned mergers, mergers "fixed," or mergers with consent decrees. Non-merger cases favorably resolved also includes instances where practices changed after the investigation and complaints filed with consent decrees. The data set includes non-appellate litigation cases closed during the fiscal year.

Year Target Actual
2003 Baseline 92%
2004 90% 91%
2005 90% 91%
2006 90% 97%
2007 90%
2008 90%
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Increase the average of significant civil litigation activities to civil attorney FTE [TAX]


Explanation:TAX will realize an efficiency when more activities are being completed compared to the number of FTE it takes to perform the activities. "Significant Activities" are actions taken by attorneys that advance the litigation of a particular case, including court filings, trials, hearings, memoranda, depositions, written discovery, court-ordered conferences, and alternative dispute resolution. *Target for FY2004 entered because database requires an entry. The Tax Division did not use this data to track efficiency in 2004.

Year Target Actual
2003 Baseline 107.72
2004 108.72* 111.29
2005 112.29 116.68
2006 113.29 123.66
2007 114.29 116.68
2008 115.29
2009 116.29
2010 Discontinued

Questions/Answers (Detailed Assessment)

Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design
Number Question Answer Score
1.1

Is the program purpose clear?

Explanation: The litigating divisions (GLA) have two separate, but related, purposes. The first is to enforce federal civil and criminal laws fully, fairly, and consistently through affirmative litigation. The second is to protect the laws, programs, and policies of the United States government through defensive litigation. Successful achievement of these activities protects the federal fisc, ensures the integrity of federal laws and programs, and punishes/deters violations of the law. Additional responsibilities of GLA include providing expert legal advice, assistance, and education to other law enforcement and prosecutorial entities, as well as liaising with foreign, state, local, and other federal counterparts.

Evidence: US Government Manual 2004/2005, p. 269-273. (www.gpoaccess.gov/gmanual/browse-gm-04.html)

YES 20%
1.2

Does the program address a specific and existing problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: Without a competent attorney staff to enforce and defend federal laws and programs, the government's ability to operate would be severely compromised. The United States could find itself liable for billions of dollars, which would directly impact efforts to fund basic government operations. In addition, compliance with federal laws could drop due to a lack of credible punishment, and federal policies and programs could be more easily blocked. This would undermine important government interests across the full range of federal activities. GLA was established within the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prevent these problems. The continued relevance of these problems is illustrated by the large numbers of cases filed by and against the government in recent years. Cases and matters in GLA are at an all time high, with billions of federal dollars at risk and thousands of pending cases. Clearly, there is still a need for highly skilled attorneys to litigate these cases and handle the related legal matters, and that need is not likely to diminish in the future. As the government continues to adopt policies to address changing conditions, additional individuals and interests will be impacted and, consequently, more litigation can be expected.

Evidence: Workload indicators (cases filed for and against the government, dollars at risk, dollars recovered, etc.) from FY 2006 Performance Budgets for each division--TAX (p. 14), CIV (p. 14-16), CRM (p. 11-15), ENRD (p. 9-11), CRT (p. 16-19), and ATR (p. 13-18).

YES 20%
1.3

Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of any other Federal, state, local or private effort?

Explanation: GLA's work is focused exclusively on federal laws and programs. State, local or private litigating entities lack the jurisdiction and authority to enforce or defend these laws, so there is necessarily no duplication or redundancy at these levels. There are other federal entities that perform litigation activities. However, in each of these instances, the workload is highly regulated to prevent duplication of effort. In some cases, the division of responsibility is established via statute. In other cases, GLA has negotiated specific standards as to jurisdiction, referrals, delegation, and consultation. The most detailed example of this negotiated division of responsibility exists between GLA and the US Attorneys (USA). Extensive standards guide the activities of each component to avoid redundancy and target cases toward the component best equipped to handle any expected challenges. Generally speaking, GLA handles cases that are multi-jurisdictional, require very specific substantive expertise, have significant national policy implications, or require uniform treatment. This complements the divisions' centralized, specialized design while recognizing that the USAs are the more appropriate litigators for other types of cases.

Evidence: 28 USC 516 restricts the conduct of litigation to DOJ except where authorized by law. The US Attorneys Manual provides standards for consultation, notification, delegation, etc. within DOJ. Interdepartmental jurisdictional disputes are resolved by the Attorney General per 28 CFR 0.195. Examples of negotiated standards of responsibility with non-DOJ federal entities include "Clearance Procedures for Investigations" between Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission and a Memorandum of Understanding (42 Fed. Reg. 48942) between the Environment and Natural Resources Division and the Environmental Protection Agency.

YES 20%
1.4

Is the program design free of major flaws that would limit the program's effectiveness or efficiency?

Explanation: The design of GLA calls for a strongly centralized structure, specialized substantive units within each division, and flexibility to shift resources between units as needs change. There is no evidence of major flaws in the design and no indication that a different design would better accomplish GLA's purpose. In fact, a comparison of the relative benefits and efficiencies of this design against a more decentralized alternative, similar to the structure of the USAs, provides support for the current design. GLA cases are often complex, multi-jurisdictional, and have national implications. These conditions require a high degree of consistency and national oversight that would be difficult to maintain in a decentralized system with each district acting semi-autonomously. GLA cases also require in-depth substantive expertise. It would be expensive and often wasteful to staff a large number of decentralized offices with substantive experts. These experts are better utilized in a centralized office where they can provide assistance when a need is demonstrated, either through the main office or through one of a few strategically chosen field offices. Finally, the inherent flexibility in the system allows the divisions to reallocate resources between units in reaction to changing needs. This type of flexibility would be difficult to maintain across a bunch of geographically diverse, decentralized offices.

Evidence: There is no existing evidence demonstrating major flaws in the design. A JMD design summary document outlines reasons why GLA's centralized design complements its caseload and provides relevant examples. A number of independent reviews also argue in favor of the current litigating division design. These include a 2005 report by the American Bar Association's Section of Antitrust Law and a letter from former IRS Commissioners, former Tax Division AAGs, and the Tax Section of the American Bar Association. Weekly management meetings and division procedures on the delegation of cases among substantive units allow managers the opportunity to monitor workload across units and take steps to shift resources to meet changing needs.

YES 20%
1.5

Is the program design effectively targeted so that resources will address the program's purpose directly and will reach intended beneficiaries?

Explanation: The "beneficiaries" of the litigating divisions include American citizens as well as the government itself. In order for the divisions to ensure that resources are effectively and efficiently expended to benefit these groups, the cases that are pursued need to be those with the greatest potential for major substantive impacts on the beneficiaries. The litigating divisions accomplish this by maintaining a prioritization system for cases, selecting those with significant legal, financial, or policy ramifications. Once cases are selected, financial and human resources are allocated in a flexible manner to allow efficient redirection to any new or emerging area as required. The results of these cases show that expended resources are, indeed, having an impact on the selected beneficiaries. The litigating divisions have protected the government (and taxpayers) from billions of dollars in liability and lost revenue, punished thousands of defendants who violated federal laws, and recovered millions of dollars in restitution and fines that are provided to crime victims.

Evidence: GLA priorities are set forth in the Department's Strategic Plan (2003-2008), individual divisions' strategic plans (e.g., Criminal Division Strategic Plan), and each division's FY 06 Performance Budget. Statistics on case outcomes (dollars protected, dollars recovered, defendants convicted, restitution and fees reclaimed, etc.) are provided in each division's FY 06 Performance Budget.

YES 20%
Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design Score 100%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning
Number Question Answer Score
2.1

Does the program have a limited number of specific long-term performance measures that focus on outcomes and meaningfully reflect the purpose of the program?

Explanation: The mission of the program, as stated in 1.1, is to enforce federal laws and to defend federal laws, programs, and policies. The desired outcome of this mission is to achieve settlements, pleas, or judgments in favor of the government. This, in turn, protects federal financial resources, ensures the integrity of federal laws and policies, and punishes violations of those laws and policies. GLA can directly measure its achievement of the desired outcome using two long term performance goals: the percentage of civil cases resolved in favor of the government and the percentage of criminal cases resolved in favor of the government. These measures, which were developed to comply with the requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), are included in both the DOJ Strategic Plan (2003-2008) and the annual DOJ Performance and Accountability Report (PAR). Each division uses very specific definitions of case outcomes to ensure that favorable resolutions are consistently reported. The data behind the measures are collected through case management systems, and accuracy is verified through a number of quality assurance efforts, including management reviews and independent data audits.

Evidence: FY 2004 DOJ PAR; DOJ Strategic Plan (2003-2008)

YES 12%
2.2

Does the program have ambitious targets and timeframes for its long-term measures?

Explanation: GLA has set both baselines and targets for its long term outcome goals. The baseline for each measure is FY 2003, and there are quantified targets for FY 2008, the latest year under DOJ's current strategic plan. The targets are to favorably resolve 80% of civil cases and 90% of criminal cases by FY 2008. Both targets are held constant from the baseline, but, due to internal and external circumstances, are still ambitious. One major reason for this is caseload. The number of cases per attorney has greatly increased as the caseload expanded much more quickly than available staffing and funds. This makes it challenging to maintain the level of success achieved in previous years. This trend is not expected to level off or reverse itself in the foreseeable future. In addition, GLA has seen the character of some of its cases change. For example, Criminal Division is dealing with an increased national security caseload. These cases tend to be more time consuming and complex than traditional criminal cases, and they often break new legal ground and set new precedents. Other divisions have similar challenges stemming from circumstances such as advances in technology and ever increasing levels of internationalization.

Evidence: 2004 DOJ PAR; DOJ Strategic Plan (2003-2008)

YES 12%
2.3

Does the program have a limited number of specific annual performance measures that can demonstrate progress toward achieving the program's long-term goals?

Explanation: The mission of the program, as stated in 1.1, is to enforce federal laws and to defend federal laws, programs, and policies. The desired outcome of this mission is to achieve settlements, pleas, or judgments in favor of the government. This, in turn, protects federal financial resources, ensures the integrity of federal laws and policies, and punishes violations of those laws and policies. GLA can directly measure its achievement of the desired outcome using its annual performance goals: the percentage of civil cases resolved in favor of the government and the percentage of criminal cases resolved in favor of the government. These measures are the same as the long term measures discussed under question 2.1, but reported annually. By tracking the achievement of the long term measure on an annual basis, GLA can clearly measure its progress toward its long term goals. Each division also has an approved efficiency measure that will be discussed under question 3.4.

Evidence: 2004 DOJ PAR

YES 12%
2.4

Does the program have baselines and ambitious targets for its annual measures?

Explanation: GLA has set both baselines and targets for its annual goals. The baseline for each measure is FY 2003, and there are quantified targets for each fiscal year up to FY 2007. In accordance with the discussion of targets under question 2.2, the annual goal targets are held constant from the baseline, but, due to internal and external circumstances, are still ambitious. As noted above, one major reason for this is caseload. The number of cases per attorney has greatly increased as the caseload expanded much more quickly than available staffing and funds. This makes it challenging to maintain the level of success achieved in previous years. This trend is not expected to level off or reverse itself in the foreseeable future. In addition, GLA has seen the character of some of its cases change. For example, Criminal Division is dealing with an increased national security caseload. These cases tend to be more time consuming and complex than traditional criminal cases, and they often break new legal ground and set new precedents. Other divisions have similar challenges stemming from circumstances such as advances in technology and ever increasing levels of internationalization.

Evidence: 2004 DOJ PAR

YES 12%
2.5

Do all partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) commit to and work toward the annual and/or long-term goals of the program?

Explanation: GLA's main program partner, the US Attorneys, is committed to and works toward GLA's long term and annual goals of cases resolved in favor of the government. The shared commitment to these goals is codified in GPRA and strategic planning documents, which also contain data that track both programs' progress toward these goals. The commitment of additional partners is reflected in Interagency Agreements, MOUs, or other planning documents that specify shared goals and mechanisms for reporting information. ENRD, for example, has an Interagency Agreement with the EPA on Superfund litigation that outlines litigation goals and requires the sharing of certain performance indicators.

Evidence: FY 2004 DOJ PAR; DOJ Strategic Plan (2003-2008); ENRD-EPA Interagency Agreement

YES 12%
2.6

Are independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality conducted on a regular basis or as needed to support program improvements and evaluate effectiveness and relevance to the problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: GLA has been assessed many times by various internal and external evaluators, but no single evaluation or group of evaluations together meet each of the standards of quality, independence, scope, and regularity. There is a particular dearth of evaluations looking at overall program impact and effectiveness; most existing evaluations focused either on a specific process (hiring practices, financial management) or a small portion of the overall program (prosecutions under a particular piece of legislation, for example). GLA has taken steps to address its need for an evaluation. It has a plan to commission an evaluation that will meet the standards of this question. The plan is discussed in additional detail under question 2.8.

Evidence: There are no qualifying evaluations to submit as evidence.

NO 0%
2.7

Are Budget requests explicitly tied to accomplishment of the annual and long-term performance goals, and are the resource needs presented in a complete and transparent manner in the program's budget?

Explanation: Litigating division budget requests explicitly tie resources to the accomplishment of performance goals. This is done through a variety of mechanisms. The first is to align resources (both in the base and requested enhancements) with the Department's strategic goals and objectives, making it obvious what overarching purpose the funds support. The second mechanism is the Performance and Resource Table (PRT). The PRT shows each division's resources tied to a specific level of performance; for example, $x million in resources supports the achievement of an x% favorable outcome rate. The tie between resources and performance outcomes is made for the prior year, current year, and budget year so that the reader can evaluate the change in performance that is "bought" for each change in resources. The budget requests also present resource needs in a complete and transparent manner. This includes the presentation of reimbursable resources and overhead/administrative costs for services provided through the Department.

Evidence: FY 06 Performance Budgets

YES 12%
2.8

Has the program taken meaningful steps to correct its strategic planning deficiencies?

Explanation: The divisions have a plan in place to address the strategic planning deficiency identified in question 2.6??the lack of an independent evaluation of sufficient scope and rigor. The divisions intend to request such an evaluation through the FY 2008 budget process. In a broader sense, the divisions have established procedures to continually review their strategic planning efforts and make updates and changes as necessary. GLA contributes to updates of the Department's strategic plan approximately every two years. Each division also goes through an annual strategic planning exercise in order to update either individual strategic plans or the Strategies, Issues, and Outcomes sections of congressional budget submissions. This ensures that, even if the absence of an identified weakness, the strategic planning process is undergoing constant improvement, which reduces the likelihood of a deficiency occurring in the future.

Evidence: GLA has developed a plan to obtain an independent evaluation meeting the standards of PART question 2.6. Updates to the DOJ Strategic Plan can be seen through various changes made to the plan since its creation in 2003. The next set of revisions to the plan will be done in FY 2006. Updates to individual divisions' strategic goals and objectives are seen in both the FY 06 Performance Budgets and examples of division strategic plans (e.g., Antitrust Division).

YES 12%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning Score 88%
Section 3 - Program Management
Number Question Answer Score
3.1

Does the agency regularly collect timely and credible performance information, including information from key program partners, and use it to manage the program and improve performance?

Explanation: The collection and use of performance information happens on multiple levels. At the lowest level, each division monitors workload statistics generated by its case management system in order to track how well resources are matched up with caseloads and other needs. At a higher level, GLA collects information on its established performance measures and reports it to the Department through the Quarterly Status Report system. Each quarter, the division heads, Justice Management Division, and the Assistant Attorney General for Administration review the budget and performance information provided, assess the program's progress toward its goals, and decide on any necessary actions to improve performance or realign resources. GLA does receive performance information from its key program partner, the USAs. This is done both through JMD, who consolidates and makes available the USAs' progress toward shared outcome goals, and through arrangements between individual divisions and the USAs, who trade information on the resolution of cases of common interest.

Evidence: Case management systems provide detailed workload statistics that are used by managers to allocate and reallocate resources as needed. One example of this is Civil Rights Division's Quarterly Management Report, which draws information from a case management system to provide division leaders with an accurate picture of work hours, attrition, cases status, etc. Managers then use this information to make decisions regarding human and financial resources. DOJ Quarterly Status Report forms track budget information as well as progress toward GPRA and PART goals. Programs are given a rating each quarter on their performance status and their progress, and these ratings are discussed with senior Department leaders.

YES 14%
3.2

Are Federal managers and program partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results?

Explanation: On June 30, 2004, the Attorney General transmitted decisions on the SES Performance-based Pay System to OPM and OMB with the Human Capital report, including a generic work plan for all Departmental SES members, with accompanying Performance "contract" that must explicitly relate to the Department's, the President's or the AG's defined goals. On December 10, 2004, DOJ obtained approval for the SES and GS/Prevailing Rate performance orders. Additionally, DOJ completed the application package for OPM/OMB certification of the DOJ SES Performance Management and Compensation Plan. DOJ components implemented five-level performance plans for all SES. New SES and manager plans include cascading tasks/assignments that are linked to the DOJ Strategic Plan and the PMA. By Dec 30, 2004, all DOJ components certified to the Attorney General that all SES and direct report performance work plans are in place. Finally, by the end of the FY05-1Q, the Department has performance appraisals for more than 60% of the work force, that: link to agency mission, goals and outcomes in DOJ's Strategic Plan; hold employees accountable for results appropriate to their level of responsibility; effectively differentiate between various levels of performance; and provide consequences based on performance.

Evidence: DOJ Performance and Accountability Report (p. IV-5); PMA (Human Capital and Performance and Budget Integration) Scorecard (December 31, 2004); DOJ's 2003-2008 Strategic Plan; sample performance work plans.

YES 14%
3.3

Are funds (Federal and partners') obligated in a timely manner and spent for the intended purpose?

Explanation: Obligations are planned and tracked through annual financial Operating Plans (OPs). An OP displays actual obligations from the prior fiscal year and estimates obligations for the current fiscal year by object class. It is submitted to the Assistant Attorney General for Administration within 20 working days of an enacted appropriation and must be revised immediately following any major change to the spending plan, including supplemental appropriations, reprogrammings, transfers, or rescissions. OPs are also updated quarterly as part of the Quarterly Status Review process. The updates compare projected and actual obligations as well as projected and actual performance to ensure that funds are being spent in accordance with the established plans and are achieving expected results. If there are significant deviations from the initial estimates, additional reviews are done to discuss the source of the deviation and possible routes of action to address the problem. Recent division OPs indicate that funds are, in fact, being obligated in a manner consistent with overall program plans. Additional proof of the timely and appropriate obligation of funds includes extremely low unobligated balances for the program (less than 2%) and consistent clean audits showing that obligations are accurate and proper.

Evidence: DOJ Budget Operations Manual and Budget Program Execution Manuals for instructions on format and content of OPs; division OPs comparing estimated and actual obligations by object class; 2004 DOJ Performance and Accountability Report, Part III: Financial Section for evidence of clean audits; MAX Schedule X for FY 2004 unobligated balances carried forward.

YES 14%
3.4

Does the program have procedures (e.g. competitive sourcing/cost comparisons, IT improvements, appropriate incentives) to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness in program execution?

Explanation: GLA has established measures to track progress toward greater efficiency. In recognition of the varied types of work performed by the different divisions, each division has developed its own measure. Each measure captures the concept of efficiency in a different way. ATR and TAX, for example, measure their ability to achieve greater outputs with fewer or constant human resources. CRT measures its ability to increase cost effectiveness by resolving cases and matters through mediation, which can be up to 90% less expensive than traditional litigation. CIV and ENRD measure the increase in the rate of return they can offer the government on its investment in their activities. CRIM measures its ability to handle administrative work more productively and with fewer resources, which frees up funds and time for mission-critical activities. In addition to having procedures to measure efficiency, GLA also has procedures to achieve efficiency and cost effectiveness. Competitive contracts are frequently used for commercial and support functions, which can often be done more cheaply by contractors than by civil servants. Past and existing contracts with GLA have provided administrative services, IT support, and paralegal/litigation support. In addition, the divisions have made significant IT investments that enable them to work more productively and, consequently, get more accomplished. IT initiatives include: 1) providing Blackberries to attorneys to allow them to continue working when outside the office; 2) implementing new document and case management systems to make files paperless, searchable, and easier to share; and 3) improving information sharing by standardizing IT systems across divisions.

Evidence: Sample competitive contracts (Civil Rights Division contract for litigation support and applications development staff via MEGA II); Division IT Investment Plans; Sample IT initiatives (Solution Brief on Tax Division's new document management system). Also see efficiency measures on Measures Tab.

YES 14%
3.5

Does the program collaborate and coordinate effectively with related programs?

Explanation: The litigating divisions collaborate and coordinate with other programs in a range of contexts. The divisions' closest partners are the USAs, who share primary responsibility for federal litigation with GLA. Collaboration between the two groups is guided by extensive provisions in the US Attorneys Manual, which lays out rules and procedures for referrals, consultation, delegation, joint prosecutions, and more. Other collaborative efforts vary in their degree of formality. Each division maintains close contact with its client agencies to discuss issues, strategies, and challenges. This is sometimes accomplished through formal MOUs and sometimes through less structured meetings and consultations. The divisions also work very closely with various law enforcement entities in order to build stronger, more compelling cases, and they participate in issue-specific groups that coordinate efforts on crosscutting issues such as drug enforcement, human trafficking, health care fraud, land management, economic regulation, and terrorism.

Evidence: US Attorneys Manual; Sample MOU guiding coordination (Memorandum of Understanding between ENRD and EPA (42 Fed. Reg. 48942)); Sample interagency coordination groups (Tax Division--Corporate Fraud Task Force (www.usdoj.gov/dag/cftf/); Civil Rights Division--Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force (www.usdoj.gov/crt/crim/tpwetf.htm )).

YES 14%
3.6

Does the program use strong financial management practices?

Explanation: The Department of Justice received a disclaimer of opinion on its FY 2004 financial statements (as audited by the Department's Inspector General and an external auditing firm, KPMG LLP). The consolidated disclaimer, however, was caused by a disclaimer on the financial statements of a component unrelated to GLA. GLA received an unqualified opinion on its FY 2004 financial audit with no material internal control weaknesses reported. The auditors also found no instances of noncompliance with the Federal Financial Managers Improvement Act within the divisions.

Evidence: DOJ Performance and Accountability Report, Section III. Commentary and Summary provided in OIG report #05-06 (www.usdoj.gov/oig/reports/OBD/a0506.htm).

YES 14%
3.7

Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its management deficiencies?

Explanation: Each division has regular meetings for senior managers to discuss issues and strategies in basic management areas such as budget, accounting, and personnel. Any identified problems are tasked to an individual for follow-up action, and progress is monitored until the issue is resolved. Additional guidance is provided by the Justice Management Division about agency-wide management initiatives to address issues identified through the President's Management Agenda (PMA). The divisions do not currently have any identified management deficiencies, but the performance appraisal system is an example of a recent deficiency that was appropriately addressed. Performance appraisals used to rate employees on a pass/fail basis that did not meaningfully tie the employees' performance to the goals and objectives of the program. In accordance with the PMA, the divisions recently restructured their appraisal systems to include new tiered ratings with direct connections to the strategic goals of the program and the Department and defined, meaningful criteria for assessment. OPM has certified the new system as meeting the standards of the PMA.

Evidence: Regular management meetings. Performance appraisal info referenced in question 3.2.

YES 14%
Section 3 - Program Management Score 100%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability
Number Question Answer Score
4.1

Has the program demonstrated adequate progress in achieving its long-term performance goals?

Explanation: This program has long term and annual peformance measures that are the same (i.e., the long term measure is also tracked on an annual basis). As such, meeting the annual goals constitutes progress toward achieving long term goals as well. As addressed below in 4.2, performance data indicates that the program is on its way to achieving its annual performance goals. FY 2004 actual data demonstrate that performance targets on favorable case resolutions were met for both civil and criminal cases. The actuals do indicate a slight decrease in comparison to the baseline of FY 2003. This is reflective of the workload-resource imbalances and case complexity issues that were factors in determining the targets for FY 2004-FY2008 (as discussed in Section 2. These trends are not expected to reverse themselves). This answer is contingent upon the receipt of FY 2005 actuals this fall. If the FY 05 targets are met, the answer will remain unchanged. If the FY 05 targets are unmet, that is an indication that progress toward the long term goal is not proceeding as planned, and the answer will be adjusted accordingly.

Evidence: Comparison of baselines, targets, and actuals--see measures tab.

YES 20%
4.2

Does the program (including program partners) achieve its annual performance goals?

Explanation: Information provided on measures, targets, and actuals indicates that the program is achieving its annual performance goals. FY 2004 actual data demonstrate that performance targets on favorable case resolutions were met for both civil and criminal cases. The actuals do indicate a slight decrease in comparison to the baseline of FY 2003. This is reflective of the workload-resource imbalances and case complexity issues that were factors in determining the targets for FY 2004-FY2008 (as discussed in Section 2. These trends are not expected to reverse themselves). This answer is contingent upon the receipt of FY 2005 actuals this fall. If the FY 05 targets are met, the answer will remain the same; if the FY 05 targets are unmet, the answer will be adjusted accordingly.

Evidence: 2004 DOJ PAR; FY 2006 Congressional Budget Submissions; See listing of measures, targets, and actuals.

YES 20%
4.3

Does the program demonstrate improved efficiencies or cost effectiveness in achieving program goals each year?

Explanation: A comparison of recent performance actuals to the baselines and targets set for GLA effiency measures indicate that the program has largely demonstrated improved efficiencies. Nearly all targets have been achieved, which indicates that the program is finding new ways to operate more cost effectively (CRT, CRM), do more work with fewer or constant resources (TAX, ATR), or increase the government's return on money invested in the program (CIV, ENRD). Additional consideration will be given to FY 05 performance actuals when they are reported in November. This answer could be adjusted up or down depending on the progress demonstrated by the FY 05 data.

Evidence: Comparison of baselines and targets to historical performance actuals--see measures tab.

LARGE EXTENT 13%
4.4

Does the performance of this program compare favorably to other programs, including government, private, etc., with similar purpose and goals?

Explanation: GLA's performance is most logically and meaningfully compared to DOJ's other major litigating component, the US Attorneys (USAs). While the types of cases being litigated by the two programs differ, they do share a similar purpose and have identical long term outcome goals. An examination of each component's progress towad those outcome goals shows that GLA compares quite favorably to the USAs. GLA favorable case resolutions often meet or exceed USA performance, and, in the few instances where GLA's favorable resolution percentages are lower than those of the USAs, the difference is extremely small. Comparisons to other external programs are difficult because of the general lack of evaluations looking at GLA in relation to state, local, or private litigation efforts. However, some limited information is available on individual activities within the overall program. For example: Global Competition Review regularly ranks the US first in the world for the effectiveness of its competition policy enforcement (done both through Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission), and the Simon Wiesenthal Center has given the Criminal Division's program to prosecute Nazi war criminals the only "A" grade out of all countries assessed.

Evidence: DOJ performance statistics; Global Competition Review, "Rating Enforcment," Volume 7, Issue 3, April 2004; Simon Wiesenthal Central, "Worldwide Investigation and Prosecution of Nazi War Criminals," August 2004.

YES 20%
4.5

Do independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality indicate that the program is effective and achieving results?

Explanation: No independent evaluation of sufficient scope and quality has yet been completed. Smaller evaluations of limited scope or less rigorous design indicate that the program has achieved some successes, but there is not currently enough information to draw conclusions about the overall impact and effectiveness of the entire program.

Evidence: No qualifying evaluations exist.

NO 0%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability Score 73%


Last updated: 09062008.2005SPR