Office of Public Affairs [Department of Justice] Law and Legal Definition

The Office of Public Affairs is an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice that functions as the principal point of contact for the department with the news media. It is responsible for ensuring that the public is informed about the department's activities and about the priorities and policies of the Attorney General and the President with regard to law enforcement and legal affairs.

The functions of the Office of Public Affairs are:

a. to advice the Attorney General and other department officials on all aspects of media relations and communications issues;

b. to coordinate the public affairs units of all Department component organizations;

c. to prepare and issue the department news releases and review and approve those issued by component agencies;

d. to assign reporters to the Department by responding to queries, issuing news releases and statements, arranging interviews and conducting news conferences;

e. to ensure that information provided to the news media by the department is current, complete and accurate; and

d. to ensure that all applicable laws, regulations and policies involving the release of information to the public are followed so that maximum disclosure is made without jeopardizing investigations and prosecutions, violating rights of individuals, or compromising national security interests.