Report: The OFAC List: Due process challenges in designation and delisting by LCCR of SF Bay Area

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Date: 
July 18, 2014

A July 2014 report by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area examines the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) at the U.S. Department of Treasury process for listing (designating) and delisting people and organizations as terrorists or supporters of terrorism. It points out the lack of adequate due process for challenging a listing or remedy for being wronged.  Titled The OFAC List: Due process challenges in designation and delisting, the report provides numerous examples of cases where the flawed process and harmed innocent people. It notes a disparate impact on Muslim Americans and organizations and provides specific suggestions for reform. These are:

  • Develop evidentiary standards for determining designations.
  • Provide a statement of reasons to the designee forviolations that have been allegedly committed.
  • Provide access to the evidence that allegedly forms the basis for the designation, including a non-classified summary of any classified evidence or access to classified evidence under procedures established by other laws.
  • Establish a deadline by which OFAC must respond to a designee’s petition to be removed from OFAC’s list.
  • Establish a deadline by which any investigation must be completed so assets are not frozen indefinitely.
  • Establish deadlines for responding to license requests allowing the use of blocked funds for specified purposes, and make the process more transparent.
  • Make the delisting process more transparent and accessible, including the addition of specific guidance on the delisting process in OFAC’s Frequently Asked Questions on the OFAC website.
  • Establish an online redress program in which individuals can submit delisting petitions via a website to facilitate processing.
  • Provide for an independent administrative review of OFAC’s designation.
  • Designate an Ombudsperson to oversee the processing of delisting requests.