Guidelines for Legislation Involving Federal Criminal Law Enforcement Activity   [open pdf - 5MB]

"Authority to perform Federal criminal law enforcement functions -- including exercise of traditional police powers -- has been granted by Congress in the past to numerous Federal agencies. it is necessary, from time to time, to consider whether such authority should be extended to additional agencies. There have never existed any general standards for systematically evaluating the assignment of such authority. Since such authority is critical to the preservation of ordered liberty and at the same time involves the most potentially intrusive of all governmental powers, a responsible government should assure that it is granted cautiously, monitored carefully, and exercised responsibly. It is important -- both from the standpoint of safeguarding the individual liberties of innocent citizens and of assuring the most effective operation of the law enforcement function -- that the Administration employ reasonable standards for evaluating future proposals for further statutory grants of Federal criminal law enforcement authority. Such standards, in the form of guidelines contained in an Administration's Policy Statement, are attached. This policy statement was proposed by the Cabinet Council on Legal Policy, and has been approved by the President. It is effective immediately."

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