Page 84 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
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No recommendation presented herein represents A D H O C C O M M I T T E E T O R E V I E W T H E C R I M I N A L J U S T I C E A C T the policy of the Judicial Conference of the United States unless approved by the Conference itself.
to influence Budget Committee and JCUS decisions. This is not a recent develop- ment; the former deputy assistant director of DSO told the Committee that for years before any jurisdictional changes in JCUS committees, “recommendations regarding Defender Services appropriations requests would come in and [BAPO] would look at our request that was put forth by the Committee of Defender Services. They’d look at the justification for it and they would say that’s simply too much. We’re going to cut that appropriation request by ‘X’ percentage.”145
After this extensive review process has taken place and the Judicial Conference has approved a Defender Services budget request, defenders, DSO and the DSC
are excluded from the advocacy for the funding in Congress. The Chair of the Budget Committee and the Director of the AO represent the judiciary branch in Congressional budget hearings and answer questions regarding appropriations from legislators for the entire branch. BAPO staff represents the branch in day-to-day communications with Congressional appropriations staff.
Under this structure, none of the people with the subject matter expertise—not the chair of the DSC, not the chief of DSO, not the defenders—may appear before the appropriations committees in the House and Senate, or have any contact with appropriations staffers on behalf of the national program. Any questions about the CJA program and advocacy for its budget to Congress are handled by the Budget Committee Chair, the Director of the AO, or the BAPO staff.146 Therefore, those who ultimately must approve funding for the defender services program are unable to make fully-informed decisions about the needs of that program.
Fundamental conflict over funding
As stated, each year, the Judicial Conference approves the requests that will be pre- sented to Congress. The judiciary’s appropriations strategy, the Committee was told, is to limit requests for increases in funding to demonstrate to the appropriators that the judiciary is a prudent manager of resources. The belief underlying this approach is that it increases the likelihood that Congress will fully fund these limited requests.147
While the Executive Branch agencies request appropriations to meet their programmatic needs, the Committee was told that there is a pervasive belief within the judicial branch that a request to fully fund the judiciary “would undermine their
145 StevenG.Asin,FormerDeputyAssistantDirector,DSO,AdministrativeOfficeoftheU.S.Courts, Public Hearing—Philadelphia, Pa., Panel 7, Tr., at 18.
146 TheCommitteewastoldthattheBAPOstaffhasagoodworkingrelationshipwithappropriations staffers on Capitol Hill, and so many of these exchanges happen informally and cannot be relayed here. BAPO’s Financial Liaison and Analysis Office is tasked with preparing testimony on the judiciary’s budget and coordinating responses to congressional inquiries and reports. See Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, 1 AO Manual § 340.30.20 (2).
with Congress in our budget requests and has helped the judiciary secure adequate appropriations.”).
(“[T]he judiciary’s cost containment program has helped tremendously to provide credibility

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