[District of Columbia Courts Appropriation Accounting] Page: 3 of 6
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appropriation accounts. The District of Columbia Appropriation Act, 2000, provides a
"Federal Payment to the District of Columbia Courts" to fund salaries and expenses
of court operations and capital improvements. The Act separately appropriates funds
for "Defender Services in the District of Columbia Courts" to fund the CJA, CCAN,
and Guardianship programs.
Congress also included two provisos in the Defender Services appropriation to
reduce the likelihood that there would be unpaid CJA, CCAN, and Guardianship
Program obligations at the end of fiscal year 2000. The first proviso authorizes D.C.
Courts to use the "Federal Payment to the District of Columbia Courts" account to
make payments for the same purposes that the Defender Services account is
available. The second proviso provides that in addition to the Defender Services
appropriation, D.C. Courts may use interest earned on the fiscal year 1999 Federal
Payment made to the District of Columbia Courts and the fiscal year 2000 "Federal
Payment to the District of Columbia Courts" account to pay prior year obligations.7
Congress included these provisos because of concern that D.C. Courts had
underestimated the amount needed to pay obligations carried over from fiscal year
1999 and to be incurred in fiscal year 2000, and that the planned fiscal year 2000
appropriation for Defender Services would be inadequate to meet these needs.8
"Applicable Appropriation" for Purposes of Section 108 of the Continuing Resolution
From October 1 to November 28, 1999, D.C. Courts received funding for fiscal year
2000 through a continuing resolution. During this period, D.C. Courts used authority
provided by the continuing resolution to pay some fiscal year 1999 obligations for
attorney services provided under the CJA, CCAN, and Guardianship programs.
Section 108 of the continuing resolution clearly provides that expenditures made
under the continuing resolution should subsequently be charged to the applicable
appropriation, fund, or authorization when the fiscal year 2000 appropriation bill is
enacted. Accordingly, once the District of Columbia Appropriation Act, 2000, became
law on November 29, 1999, D.C. Courts had to determine the applicable
appropriation, fund, or authorization for paying the fiscal year 1999 obligations.
D.C. Courts has decided to charge the payments for prior year obligations made from
October 1 to November 28 against the Defender Services appropriation account.
7 The proviso authorizes the use of these funding sources only "if the Comptroller
General certifies that the amount of obligations lawfully incurred for such payments
during fiscal year 1999 exceeds the obligational authority otherwise available for
making such payments." We made the certification to the Joint Committee on
Judicial Administration, D.C. Courts. DC Courts: Review of Fiscal Year 1999
Defender Services Obligations, B-284464, January 27, 2000.
8 H.R. Rep. No. 106-299 (1999)(conference report on H.R. 2587); 145 Cong. Rec.
H111097 (daily ed. October 28, 1999) (statement of Chairman Istook on H.R. 3064).
For reasons not relevant here, the President vetoed H.R. 2587 and H.R. 3064, the first
two District of Columbia appropriations bills for fiscal year 2000 passed by Congress.
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United States. General Accounting Office. [District of Columbia Courts Appropriation Accounting], text, April 3, 2000; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc294613/m1/3/: accessed December 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.