Attorney General Order No. 1473-91

B-243175: Aug 2, 1991

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Congress requested our opinion on the legality of the Attorney General Order No 1473-91, dated February 19, 1991. In that order, the Attorney General delegated to the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) a number of functions with respect to OJP's five component agencies. Prompted by Justice Department reports referring to management problems within OJP, the Attorney General order assigns the Assistant Attorney General for OJP broad policy-making authority over the contract and grant programs of the OJP agencies.

We conclude that the February 1991 order, by assigning the Assistant Attorney General policy-setting and counterman authority over the OJP programs, exceeds the Attorney General's "general authority" over the agency heads; is contrary to their statutory "final authority" over grant and contract matters; and conflicts with the overall statutory scheme.