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Office of the Legal Advisor

The Office of Legal Advisor performs the traditional in-house counsel role for the Agency. It provides, to the staff and management, representational services in litigation, including administrative hearings management and representation in matters before the Equal Employment Opportunity, Merit Systems Protection Board and FLRA related arbitrations. It anticipates and advises on matters of authorization and appropriations, acquisitions/contract, environmental assessment planning, report review, and the issuance of FONSI and other environmental assessment determinations. In the area of personnel management it consults on discipline, awards, grievances, hiring, promotion, and reorganization. Externally, the Office advises and represents the Agency in matters raised by other international organizations, the Congress, federal agencies, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations. The Office also has assigned claims management, Governmental Ethics, Privacy Act and FOIA. Under the Treaty of 1944 between the United State and Mexico the General Counsel is a treaty officer holding diplomatic status. The office thus provides guidance in the formulation of the United States Sections position on bi-national issues and interprets international law as part of the implementation of the Agency’s Foreign Policy Program.

The Legal Advisor's office also responds to all FOIA requests.