OFFICES
US Department of Education Principal Office Functional Statements
Office of the General Counsel

Functional Statements > Office of the General Counsel

SECTIONS

  1. MISSION AND RESPONSIBILITIES
  2. ORGANIZATION
  3. ORDER OF SUCCESSION
  4. FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF OGC COMPONENTSs
    1. IMMEDIATE OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL
    2. PROGRAM SERVICE
    3. DEPARTMENTAL LAW AND POSTSECONDARY SERVICE
    4. ETHICS, REGULATORY, AND LEGISLATIVE SERVICE
  5. PRIMARY DELEGATIONS OF AUTHORITY

I. MISSION AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The General Counsel serves as principal adviser to the Secretary on all legal matters affecting Departmental programs and activities. The Office directs, coordinates, and recommends policy for activities that are designed to:

  • Provide legal advice and services to the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Principal Officers of the Department, or any other person authorized to request such advice or services.
  • Prepare or review for legal form and effect public documents, rules, regulations issued by the Department, and legal instruments entered into by the Department.
  • Represent the Secretary, the Department, or any of its officers or units in court or administrative litigation, except for administrative proceedings initiated by the Office for Civil Rights.
  • Serve as liaison to other Federal agencies in connection with legal matters involving the Department.
  • Draft legislative proposals originating in the Department and review the legal aspects of proposed or pending legislation.
  • Prepare or review pleadings, briefs, memoranda, and other legal documents for proceedings involving the Department or requested by other Government agencies for use in proceedings except for administrative proceedings initiated by the Office for Civil Rights.

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II. ORGANIZATION

The Office of the General Counsel is under the supervision of the General Counsel who reports directly to the Deputy Secretary and the Secretary of Education. The Immediate Office of the General Counsel provides overall direction, coordination, and leadership to the following major elements of the Office:

  • Program Service;
  • Departmental Law and Postsecondary Service; and
  • Ethics, Regulatory, and Legislative Service.

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III. ORDER OF SUCCESSION

In the event that the General Counsel dies, resigns or is otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the office and the office is thereby deemed to be vacant, as defined by the Vacancies Act, and the President has not designated in writing another individual to act as the General Counsel, the Deputy General Counsel, Program Service, as the designated “first assistant” under the Vacancies Act, shall perform the functions and duties of the office in an acting capacity. If both the offices of the General Counsel and the Deputy General Counsel, Program Service are vacant, or the time period during which the Deputy General Counsel, Program Service may serve in acting capacity has expired, the individuals listed below the Deputy General Counsel, Program Service, in the order shown, are authorized to perform the functions and duties of the office of the General Counsel, except for any functions and duties that are required by law to be performed only by the General Counsel or by someone officially acting in such capacity.

In instances where the office of the General Counsel is filled, but the General Counsel is absent, unavailable, otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the position, and/or there is a disruption in the normal channels of direction and communication, and there is no person officially serving in an acting capacity, and unless the General Counsel or the Secretary, in writing, designates another individual to perform the functions and duties of the General Counsel, the following officials, in the order shown, are delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the office of the General Counsel, except for any functions and duties that are required by law to be performed only by the General Counsel or by someone officially acting in such capacity:

Deputy General Counsel, Program Service

Deputy General Counsel

Deputy General Counsel, Ethics, Regulatory and Legislative Service

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Last Modified: 06/28/2013