On February 1, Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking for an explanation as to why the DOJ has not complied with a provision in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (2021 NDAA), which requires the Department to report metrics on its use of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) data to the Treasury Department. According to Luetkemeyer, section 6201 of the 2021 NDAA requires the DOJ to also report “on the use of data derived from financial institutions reporting under the [BSA]” in order to increase transparency on the usefulness of BSA data filed with FinCEN from financial institutions and ensure bad actors are not using the U.S. financial system to fund illicit activities.

Specifically, the DOJ is required by the 2021 NDAA to examine how often the reported data contains actionable information, the number of legal entities and individuals identified within the reported data, and information on investigations resulting from the reported data that are conducted by state and federal authorities, the letter said. Citing a Government Accountability Office report (which found that the DOJ’s report failed to “include new statistics on the use and impact of BSA reports, including the summary statistics required under the act”), Luetkemeyer claimed the lack of transparency “begs the question if the burdensome reporting is worthwhile” and prevents “FinCEN and Congress from determining the effectiveness of the U.S. anti-money laundering regime.” Luetkemeyer asked the DOJ for an explanation as to why it failed to provide the required information.