(202) 514-2007


TDD (202) 514-1888


Attorney General John Ashcroft today sent the attached memorandum to Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson regarding a comprehensive review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Strategic Management Council referred to in the memorandum was created in May by the Attorney General to serve as the formal board within the Department of Justice to provide direction and leadership on long range planning and initiatives. The Council reinforces the linkages among the Department's Strategic Plan, Performance Plan and the budget process. Primary responsibilities of the Council include strategic policy and planning, resource guidance and management, budget planning and decision-making, and performance planning, reporting and accountability. The Council reports to the Attorney General.

The Deputy Attorney General chairs the Council and the other permanent members include:

  • Associate Attorney General

  • Assistant Attorney General for Administration

  • Director of the Bureau of Prisons

  • Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

  • DEA Administrator

  • INS Commissioner

  • Chief of Staff to the Attorney General





SUBJECT: Comprehensive Review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

As you know, the mission of the FBI is to uphold the law through the investigation of violations of federal criminal law; to protect the United States from foreign intelligence and terrorist activities; to provide leadership and law enforcement assistance to federal, state, local, and international agencies; and to perform these responsibilities in a manner that is responsive to the needs of the public and is faithful to the Constitution of the United States. One core value that guides the pursuit of this mission is uncompromising personal and institutional integrity.

In the spirit of enhancing the institutional integrity and performance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), I request that the Strategic Management Council of the Justice Department (SMC) undertake a comprehensive review of the Bureau, and by January 1, 2002, submit recommendations to me for reforms within the FBI. The members of the SMC - including the Deputy Attorney General, Associate Attorney General, Assistant Attorney General for Administration, Director of the Bureau of Prisons, Director of the FBI, DEA Administrator, INS Commissioner and the Chief of Staff to the Attorney General - should identify and recommend actions dedicated to improving and upgrading the performance of the FBI, assisting the incoming Director with the many challenges to be faced, and reinforcing the FBI's effectiveness as the premier law enforcement organization in the world. In order to assist the SMC in this important task, I have several additional requests.

First, there are several ongoing reviews or investigations of the FBI, including the Webster review of the FBI's internal security procedures and the Department of Justice Inspector General's investigations of both the Hanssen and McVeigh matters. Please ensure that each of these reviews are submitted to the SMC on or before November 1, 2001, so they may inform the Council's recommendations.

Second, I request that the SMC commission a management study of the FBI, by a private firm, to review policies and practices of the Bureau including information technology, personnel, crisis management and performance appraisal. The results of this study should be submitted to the SMC on or before November 1, 2001, so it may inform the Council's recommendations.

Finally, the SMC should independently solicit input from other individuals and organizations, both internal and external, including Congress, who may have constructive ideas on reforming and improving the FBI.

Should you need additional information on these requests, please contact David Ayres, Chief of Staff to the Attorney General. Thank you for your continued leadership.