Friday, September 28, 2018

DOJ "Justice Manual" -- the USAM Revised, Updated, Renamed (9/28/18)

The Department of Justice issues this Press Release:  Department of Justice Announces the Rollout of an Updated United States Attorneys’ Manual (9/25/18), here.  I quote it in full because it is short; I bold face things I want to draw attention to:
Department of Justice Announces the Rollout of an Updated United States Attorneys’ Manual
The Department of Justice announced the rollout of an updated United States Attorneys’ Manual, now titled the Justice Manual. It is the first comprehensive review and overhaul of the Manual in more than 20 years. The Department-wide effort involved the dedicated work of over 200 Department of Justice employees. 
“This was truly a Department-wide effort, involving hundreds of employees collaborating from many different Department components,” said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. “To mark this significant undertaking, and to emphasize that the Manual applies beyond the United States Attorneys’ Offices, we have renamed it the Justice Manual. Though the name has changed, the Manual will continue as a valuable means of improving efficiency, promoting consistency, and ensuring that applicable Department policies remain readily available to all employees as they carry out the Department’s vital mission.” 
By 2017, many provisions of the Manual no longer reflected current law and Department practice. This diminished the Manual’s effectiveness as an internal Department resource, and reduced its value as a source of transparency and accountability for the public. To bring the Manual up to date, employees from around the country, primarily career attorneys, undertook a yearlong, top-to-bottom review. The Department’s goals were to identify redundancies, clarify ambiguities, eliminate surplus language, and update the Manual to reflect current law and practice. 
Some specific changes include expanding the Principles of Federal Prosecution to incorporate current charging and sentencing policies, and adding new policies on religious liberty litigation, third-party settlement payments, and disclosure of foreign influence operations.
The Justice Manual is here.

The Tax Section is Title 6 and is here with the following sections (cut and paste):
6-1.000 - Policy
6-2.000 - Prior Approvals
6-3.000 - Prior Approvals
6-4.000 - Criminal Tax Case Procedures
6-5.000 - Civil Tax Case Responsibility
6-6.000 - Compromises And Concessions
6-7.000 - Post-Judgment Collection
I think there may be a mistake in the naming of the first three.  I think the Policy is in 6-2.000 and the Prior Approvals are in 6-3.000.  The first section (6-1.000) is just a description of the scope of the Tax Division's work, rather than statements of policy.  So, I think the first three sections should be named as follows:

6-1.000 - The Tax Division's Scope [My description]
6-2.000 - Policy
6-3.000 - Prior Approvals

I have not attempted to read through the provisions and thus cannot speak to how they may have been changed.  I really don't intend to try to compare to the provisions in the now superseded USAM, but I do plan to work my way through them (hopefully sometime in October) to see whether anything catches my attention.

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