On July 14, 2014, two congressional Democrats introduced the Civilian Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (H.R. 5096/S.2598) which would amend the federal criminal code to grant jurisdiction over and right to impose sanctions on United States government contractors and employees who commit serious crimes while, among other things, employed by any agency of the United States.

The legislation is designed to complement the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (“MEJA”), which provides similar criminal jurisdiction over Department of Defense employees and contractors but does not clearly apply to U.S. contractors working overseas for other federal agencies, such as the Department of State.

The bill directs the Attorney General to:

  1. assign personnel and resources through task forces to investigate allegations of criminal offenses by federal contractors and employees overseas, and
  2. report to Congress annually on the number of prosecutions and actions taken.

The bill also grants the Attorney General principal authority for the enforcement of this Act.