Legal Services Corporation Act
As Amended, 42 U.S.C. 2996 et seq
This version of the LSC Act is provided for the convenience of interested parties. The official version appears in the United States Code. The PDF of the LSC Act also contains the official U.S. Code annotations and historical notes.
Public Law 93-355
93 Congress, H.R. 7824
July 25, 1974
Public Law 95-222
95 Congress, H.R. 6666
December 28, 1977
LSC Reauthorization Act
And other amendments.
AN ACT To amend the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to provide for the transfer of the legal services program from the Office of Economic Opportunity to a Legal Services Corporation, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the Legal Services Corporation Act of 1974.
SEC. 2. The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new title:
TITLE X-LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION ACT
STATEMENT OF FINDINGS AND DECLARATION OF PURPOSE
SEC.1001. The Congress finds and declares that--
(1) there is a need to provide equal access to the system of justice in our Nation for individuals who seek redress of grievances;
(2) there is a need to provide high quality legal assistance to those who would be otherwise unable to afford adequate legal counsel and to continue the present vital legal services program;
(3) providing legal assistance to those who face an economic barrier to adequate counsel will serve best the ends of justice and assist in improving opportunities for low-income persons consistent with the purposes of this Act;
(4) for many of our citizens, the availability of legal services has reaffirmed faith in our government and laws;
(5) to preserve its strength, the legal services program must be kept free from the influence of or use by it of political pressures; and
(6) attorneys providing legal assistance must have full freedom to protect the best interests of their clients in keeping with the Code of Professional Responsibility, the Canons of Ethics, and the high standards of the legal profession.
SEC.1002. As used in this title, the term--
(1) `Board' means the Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation;
(2) `Corporation' means the Legal Services Corporation established under this title;
(3) `eligible client' means any person financially unable to afford legal assistance;
(4) `Governor' means the chief executive officer of a State;
(5) `legal assistance' means the provision of any legal services consistent with the purposes and provisions of this title;
(6) `recipient' means any grantee, contractee or recipient of financial assistance described in clause (A) of section 1006(a)(1);
(7) `staff attorney' means an attorney who receives more than one-half if his annual professional income from a recipient organized solely for the provision of legal assistance to eligible clients under this title; and
(8) `State' means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and any other territory or possession of the United States.
ESTABLISHMENT OF CORPORATION
SEC.1003.(a). There is established in the District of Columbia a private nonmembership nonprofit corporation, which shall be known as the Legal Services Corporation, for the purpose of providing financial support for legal assistance in noncriminal proceedings or matters to persons financially unable to afford legal assistance.
(b) The Corporation shall maintain its principal office in the District of Columbia and shall maintain therein a designated agent to accept service of process for the Corporation. Notice to or service upon the agent shall be deemed notice to or service upon the Corporation.
(c) The Corporation, and any legal assistance program assisted by the Corporation, shall be eligible to be treated as an organization described in section 170(c)(2)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 and as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 which is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such Code. It such treatments are conferred in accordance with the provision of such Code, the Corporation, and legal assistance programs assisted by the Corporation, shall be subject to all provisions of such Code relevant to the conduct of organizations exempt from taxation.
SEC.1004(a) The Corporation shall have a Board of Directors consisting of eleven voting members appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, no more than six of whom shall be of the same political party. A majority shall be members of the bar of the highest court of any State, and none shall be a full-time employee of the United States. Effective with respect to appointments made after the date of enactment of the Legal Services Corporation Act Amendments of 1977 but not later than July 31, 1978, the membership of the Board shall be appointed so as to include eligible clients, and to be generally representative of the organized bar, attorneys providing legal assistance to eligible clients, and the general public.
(b) The term of office of each member of the Board shall be three years, except that five of the members first appointed, as designated by the President at the time of appointment, shall serve for a term of two years. Each member of the Board shall continue to serve until the successor to such member has been appointed and qualified. The term of initial members shall be computed from the date of the first meeting of the Board. The term of each member other than initial members shall be computed from the date of termination of the preceding term. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which such member's predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of such term. No member shall be reappointed to more than two consecutive terms immediately following such member's initial term.
(c) The members of the Board shall not, by reason of such membership, be deemed officers or employees of the United States.
(d) The President shall select from among the voting members of the Board a chairman, who shall serve for a term of three years. Thereafter the Board shall annually elect a chairman from among its voting members.
(e) A member of the Board may be removed by a vote of seven members for malfeasance in office or for persistent neglect of or inability to discharge duties, or for offenses involving moral turpitude, and for no other cause.
(f) Within six months after the first meeting of the Board, the Board shall request the Governor of each State to appoint a nine-member advisory council for such State. A majority of the members of the advisory council shall be appointed, after recommendations have been received from the State bar association, from among the attorneys admitted to practice in the State, and the membership of the council shall be subject to annual reappointment. If ninety days have elapsed without such an advisory council appointed by the Governor, the Board is authorized to appoint such a council. The advisory council shall be charged with notifying the Corporation of any apparent violation of the provisions of this title and applicable rules, regulations, and guidelines promulgated pursuant to this title. The advisory council shall, at the same time, furnish a copy of the notification to any recipient affected thereby, and the Corporation shall allow such recipient a reasonable time (but in no case less than thirty days) to reply to any allegation contained in the notification.
(g) All meetings of the Board, of any executive committee of the Board, and of any advisory council established in connection with this title shall be open and shall be subject to the requirements and provisions of section 552b of title 5, United States Code (relating to open meetings).
(h) The Board shall meet at least four times during each calendar year.
OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES
SEC.1005(a). The Board shall appoint the president of the Corporation, who shall be a member of the bar of the highest court of a State and shall be a non-voting ex officio member of the Board, and such other officers as the Board determines are necessary. No officer of the Corporations may receive any salary or other compensation for services from any source other than the Corporation during his period of employment by the Corporation, except as authorized by the Board. All officers shall serve at the pleasure of the Board.
(b)(1) The president of the Corporation, subject to general policies established by the Board, may appoint and remove such employees of the Corporation as he determines necessary to carry out the purposes of the Corporation.
(2) No political test or political qualification shall be used in selecting, appointing, promoting or taking any other personnel action with respect to any officer, agent, or employee of the Corporation or of any recipient, or in selecting or monitoring any grantee, contractor, or person or entity receiving financial assistance under this title.
(c) No member of the Board may participate in any decision, action, or recommendation with respect to any matter which directly benefits such member or pertains specifically to any firm or organization with which such member is then associated or has been associated within a period of two years.
(d) Officers and employees of the Corporation shall be compensated at rates determined by the Board, but not in excess of the rate of level V of the Executive Schedule specified in section 5316 of title 5, United States Code.
(e)(1) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this title, officers and employees of the corporation shall not be considered officers or employees, and the Corporation shall not be considered a department, agency, or instrumentality, of the Federal Government.
(2) Nothing in this title shall be construed as limiting the authority of the Office of Management and Budget to review and submit comments upon the Corporation's annual budget request at the time it is transmitted to the Congress.
(f) Officers and employees of the Corporation shall be considered officers and employees of the Federal Government for purposes of the following provisions of title 5, United States Code: subchapter I of chapter 81 (relating to compensation for work injuries); chapter 83 (relating to civil service retirement); chapter 87 (relating to life insurance); and chapter 89 (relating to health insurance). The Corporation shall make contributions at the same rates applicable to agencies of the Federal Government under the provisions referred to in this subsection.
(g) The Corporation and its officers and employees shall be subject to the provisions of section 552 of title 5, United States Code (relating to freedom of information).
POWERS, DUTIES, AND LIMITATIONS
SEC.1006(a). To the extent consistent with the provisions of this title, the Corporation shall exercise the powers conferred upon a nonprofit corporation by the District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Act (except for section 1005(o) of title 29 of the District of Columbia Code). In addition, the Corporation is authorized--
(1)(A) to provide financial assistance to qualified programs furnishing legal assistance to eligible clients, and to make grants to and contracts with--
(i) individuals, partnerships, firms, corporations, and nonprofit organizations, and
(ii) State and local governments (only upon application by an appropriate State or local agency or institution and upon a special determination by the Board that he arrangements to be made by such agency or institution will provide services which will not be provided adequately through nongovernmental arrangements), for the purpose of providing legal assistance to eligible clients under this title and
(B) to make such other grants and contracts as are necessary to carry out the purposes and provisions of this title;
(2) to accept in the name of the Corporation, and employ or dispose of in furtherance of the purposes of this title, any money or property, real, personal, or mixed, tangible or intangible, received by gift, devise, bequest, or otherwise; and
(3) to undertake directly, or by grant or contract, the following activities relating to the delivery of legal assistance--
(A) research, except that broad general legal or policy research unrelated to representation of eligible clients may not be undertaken by grant or contract.
(B) training and technical assistance, and
(C) to serve as a clearinghouse for information.
(b)(1)(A) The Corporation shall have the authority to insure the compliance of recipients and their employees with the provisions of this title and the rules, regulations, and guidelines promulgated pursuant to this title, and to terminate, after a hearing in accordance with section 1011, financial support to a recipient which fails to comply.
(1)(B) No question of whether representation is authorized under this title, or the rules, regulations or guidelines promulgated pursuant to this title, shall be considered in, or affect the final disposition of, any proceeding in which a person is represented by a recipient or an employee of a recipient. A litigant in such a proceeding may refer any such question to the Corporation which shall review and dispose of the question promptly, and take appropriate action. This subparagraph shall not preclude judicial review available under applicable law.
(2) If a recipient finds that any of its employees has violated or caused the recipient to violate the provisions of this title or the rules, regulations, and guidelines promulgated pursuant to this title, the recipient shall take appropriate remedial or disciplinary action in accordance with the types of procedures prescribed in the provisions of section 1011.
(3) The Corporation shall not, under any provision of this title, interfere with any attorney in carrying out his professional responsibilities to his client as established in the Canons of Ethics and the Code of Professional Responsibility of the American Bar Association (referred to collectively in this title as `professional responsibilities') or abrogate as to attorneys in programs assisted under this title the authority of a State or other jurisdiction to enforce the standards of professional responsibility generally applicable to attorneys in such jurisdiction. The Corporation shall ensure that activities under this title are carried out in a manner consistent with attorneys' professional responsibilities.
(4) No attorney shall receive any compensation, either directly or indirectly, for the provision of legal assistance under this title unless such attorney is admitted or otherwise authorized by law, rule, or regulation to practice law or provide such assistance in the jurisdiction where such assistance in initiated.
(5) The Corporation shall insure that (A) no employee of the Corporation or of any recipient (except as permitted by law in connection with such employee's own employment situation), while carrying out legal assistance activities under this title, engage in, or encourage others to engage in, any public demonstration or picketing, boycotting, or strike; and (B) no such employee shall, at any time, engage in, or encourage others to engage in, any of the following activities: (i) any rioting or civil disturbance, (ii) any activity which is in violation of an outstanding injunction of any court of competent jurisdiction, (iii) any other illegal activity, or (iv) any intentional identification of the Corporation or any recipient with any political activity prohibited by section 1007(a)(6). The Board, within ninety days after its first meeting, shall issue rules and regulations to provide for the enforcement of this paragraph and section 1007(a)(5), which rules shall include, among available remedies, provisions, in accordance with the types of procedures prescribed in the provisions of section 1011, for suspension of legal assistance supported under this title, suspension of an employee of the Corporation or of any employee of any recipient by such recipient, and, after consideration of other remedial measures and after a hearing in accordance with section 1011, the termination of such assistance or employment, as deemed appropriate for the violation in question.
(6) In areas where significant numbers of eligible clients speak a language other than English as their principal language, the Corporation shall, to the extent feasible, provide that their principal language is used in the provision of legal assistance to such clients under this title.
(c) The Corporation shall not itself--
(1) participate in litigation unless the Corporation or a recipient of the Corporation is a party, or a recipient is representing an eligible client in litigation in which the interpretation of this title or a regulation promulgated under this title is an issue, and shall not participate on behalf of any client other than itself; or
(2) undertake to influence the passage or defeat of any legislation by the Congress of the United States or by any State or local legislative bodies, except that personnel of the Corporation may testify or make other appropriate communication (A) when formally requested to do so by a legislative body, a committee, or a member thereof, or (B) in connection with legislation or appropriations directly affecting the activities of the Corporation.
(d)(1) The Corporation shall have no power to issue any shares of stock, or to declare or pay any dividends.
(2) No part of the income or assets of the Corporation shall inure to the benefit of any director, officer, or employee, except as reasonable compensation for services or reimbursement for expenses.
(3) Neither the Corporation nor any recipient shall contribute or make available corporate funds or program personnel or equipment to any political party or association, or the campaign of any candidate for public or party office.
(4) Neither the Corporation nor any recipient shall contribute or make available corporate funds or program personnel or equipment for use in advocating or opposing any ballot measures, initiatives, or referendums. However, an attorney may provide legal advice and representation as an attorney to any eligible client with respect to such client's legal rights.
(5) No class action suit, class action appeal, or amicus curiae class action may be undertaken, directly or through others, by a staff attorney, except with the express approval of a project director of a recipient in accordance with policies established by the governing body of such recipient.
(6) Attorneys employed by a recipient shall be appointed to provide legal assistance without reasonable compensation only when such appointment is made pursuant to a statute, rule, or practice applied generally to attorneys practicing in the court where the appointment is made.
(e)(1) Employees of the Corporation or of recipients shall not at any time intentionally identify the Corporation or the recipient with any partisan or nonpartisan political activity associated with a political party or association, or the campaign of any candidate for public or party office.
(2) Employees of the Corporation and staff attorneys shall be deemed to be State or local employees for purposes of chapter 15 of title 5, United States Code, except that no staff attorney may be a candidate in a partisan political election.
(f) In an action is commenced by the Corporation or by a recipient and a final order is entered in favor of the defendant and against the Corporation or a recipient's plaintiff, the court shall, upon motion by the defendant and upon a finding by the court that the action was commenced or pursued for the sole purpose of harassment of the defendant or that the Corporation or a recipient's plaintiff maliciously abused legal process, enter an order (which shall be appealable before being made final) awarding reasonable costs and legal fees incurred by the defendant in defense of the action, except when in contravention of a State law, a rule of court, or a statute of general applicability. Any such costs and fees shall be directly paid by the Corporation.
GRANTS AND CONTRACTS
SEC.1007.(a) With respect to grants and contracts in connection with the provision of legal assistance to eligible clients under this title, the Corporation shall--
(1) insure the maintenance of the highest quality of service and professional standards, the preservation of attorney-client relationships, and the protection of integrity of the adversary process from any impairment in furnishing legal assistance to eligible clients;
(2)(A) establish, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and with the Governors of the several states, maximum income levels (taking into account family size, urban and rural differences, and substantial cost-of-living variations) for individuals eligible for legal assistance under this title;
(B) establish guidelines to insure that eligibility of clients will be determined by recipients on the basis of factors which include-
(i) the liquid assets and income level of the client,
(ii) The fixed debts, medical expenses, and other factors which affect the client's ability to pay,
(iii) the cost of living in the locality, and,
(iv) such other factors as relate to financial inability to afford legal assistance, which may include evidence of a prior determination that such individual's lack of income results from refusal or unwillingness, without good cause, to seek or accept an employment situation; and
(C) insure that (i) recipients, consistent with goals established by the Corporation, adopt procedures for determining and implementing priorities for the provision of such assistance, taking into account the relative needs of eligible clients for such assistance (including such outreach, training, and support services as may be necessary), including particularly the needs for service on the part of significant segments of the population with eligible clients with special difficulties of access to legal services or special legal problems (including elderly and handicapped individuals); and (ii) appropriate training and support services are provided in order to provide such assistance to such significant segments of the population of eligible clients;
(3) insure that grants and contracts are made so as to provide the most economical and effective delivery of legal assistance to persons in both urban and rural areas:
(4) insure that attorneys employed full time in legal assistance activities supported in major part by the Corporation refrain from (A) any compensated outside practice of law, and (B) any uncompensated outside practice of law except as authorized in guidelines promulgated by the Corporation;
(5) insure that no funds made available to recipients by the Corporation shall be used at any time, directly or indirectly, to influence the issuance, amendment, or revocation of any executive order or similar promulgation by any Federal, State for local agency, or to undertake to influence the passage or defeat of any legislation by the Congress of the United States, or by any State or local legislative bodies, or State proposals by initiative petition, except where--
(A) representation by an employee of a recipient for any eligible client is necessary to the provision of legal advice and representation with respect to such client's legal rights and responsibilities (which shall not be construed to permit an attorney or a recipient employee to solicit a client, in violation of professional responsibilities, for the purpose of making such representation possible); or
(B) a governmental agency, legislative body, a committee, or a member thereof--
(i) requests personnel of the recipient to testify, draft, or review measures or to make representations to such agency, body, committee, or member, or
(ii) is considering a measure directly affecting the activities under this title of the recipient or the Corporation.
(6) insure that all attorneys engaged in legal assistance activities supported in whole or in part by the Corporation refrain, while so engaged, from--
(A) any political activity, or
(B) any activity to provide voters or prospective voters with transportation to the polls or provide similar assistance in connection with an election (other than legal advice and representation), or
(C) any voter registration activity (other than legal advice and representation);
(7) require recipients to establish guidelines, consistent with regulations promulgated by the Corporation, for a system for review of appeals to insure the efficient utilization of resources and to avoid frivolous appeals (except that such guidelines or regulations shall in no way interfere with attorneys' professional responsibilities);
(8) insure that recipients solicit the recommendations of the organized bar in the community being served before filling staff attorney positions in any project funded pursuant to this title and give preference in filling such positions to qualified persons who reside in the community to be served;
(9) insure that every grantee, contractor or person or entity receiving financial assistance under this title or predecessor authority under this Act which files with the Corporation a timely application for refunding is provided interim funding necessary to maintain its current level of activities until (A) the application for refunding has been approved and funds pursuant thereto received, or (B) the application for refunding has been finally denied in accordance with section 1011 of this Act;
(10) insure that all attorneys, while engaged in legal assistance activities supported in whole or in part by the Corporation, refrain from the persistent incitement of litigation and any other activity prohibited by the Canons of Ethics and Code of Professional Responsibility of the American Bar Association, and insure that such attorneys refrain from personal representation for a private fee in any cases in which they were involved while engaged in such legal assistance activities and;
(11) ensure that an indigent individual whose primary residence is subject to civil forfeiture is represented by an attorney for the Corporation in such civil action.
(b) No funds made available by the Corporation under this title, either by grant or contract, may be used--
(1) to provide legal assistance (except in accordance with guidelines promulgated by the Corporation) with respect to any fee-generating case (which guidelines shall not preclude the provision of legal assistance in cases in which a client seeks only statutory benefits and appropriate private representation is not available);
(2) to provide legal assistance with respect to any criminal proceeding, except to provide assistance to a person charged with an offense in an Indian tribal court;
(3) to provide legal assistance in civil actions to persons who have been convicted of a criminal charge where the civil action arises out of alleged acts or failures to act and the action is brought against an officer of the court or against a law enforcement official for the purpose of challenging the validity of the criminal conviction;
(4) for any of the political activities prohibited in paragraph (6) of subsection (a) of this section;
(5) to make grants to or enter into contracts with any private law firm which expends 50 percent or more of its resources and time litigating issues in the broad interests of a majority of the public;
(6) to support or conduct training programs for the purpose of advocating particular public policies or encouraging political activities, labor or antilabor activities, boycotts, picketing, strikes, and demonstrations, as distinguished from the dissemination of information about such policies or activities, except that this provision shall not be construed to prohibit the training of attorneys or paralegal personnel necessary to prepare them to provide adequate legal assistance to eligible clients;
(7) to initiate the formation, or act as an organizer, of any association, federation, or similar entity, except that this paragraph shall not be construed to prohibit the provision of legal assistance to eligible clients;
(8) to provide legal assistance with respect to any proceeding or litigation which seeks to procure a nontherapeutic abortion or to compel any individual or institution to perform an abortion, or assist in the performance of an abortion, or provide facilities for the performance of an abortion, contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of such individual or institution;
(9) to provide legal assistance with respect to any proceeding or litigation relating to the desegregation of any elementary or secondary school or school system, except that nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit the provision of legal advice to eligible clients with respect to such clients's legal rights and responsibilities;
(10) to provide legal assistance with respect to any proceeding or litigation arising out of violation of the Military Selective Service Act or of desertion from the Armed Forces of the United States, except that legal assistance may be provided to an eligible client in a civil action in which such client alleges that he was improperly classified prior to July 1, 1973 under the Military Selective Service Act or prior corresponding law or;
(11) to provide legal assistance in a manner inconsistent with the Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act of 1977.
(c) In making grants or entering into contracts for legal assistance, the Corporation shall insure that any recipient organized solely for the purpose of providing legal assistance to eligible clients is governed by a body at least 60 percent of which consists of attorneys who are members of the bar of a State in which the legal assistance is to be provided (except that the Corporation (1) shall, upon application, grant waivers to permit a legal services program, supported under Section 222(a)(3) of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, which on the date of enactment of this title has a majority of persons who are not attorneys on its policy-making board to continue such a non-attorney majority under the provisions of this title, and (2) may grant, pursuant to regulations issued by the Corporation, such a waiver for recipients which, because of the nature of the population they serve, are unable to comply with such requirement) and at least one-third of which consists of persons who are, when selected, eligible clients who may also be representatives of associations or organizations of eligible clients. Any such attorney, while serving on such board, shall not receive compensation from a recipient.
(d) The Corporation shall monitor and evaluate and provide for independent evaluations of programs supported in whole or in part under this title to insure that the provisions of this title and by bylaws of the Corporation and applicable rules, regulations, and guidelines promulgated pursuant to this title are carried out.
(e) The president of the Corporation is authorized to make grants and enter into contracts under this title.
(f) At least thirty days prior to the approval of any grant application or prior to entering into a contract or prior to the initiation of any other project, the Corporation shall announce publicly, and shall notify the Governor, the State bar association of any State, and the principal bar associations (if there be any) of any community, where legal assistance will thereby be initiated, of such grant, contract, or project. Notification shall include a reasonable description of the grant application or proposed contract or project and request comments and recommendations.
(g) The Corporation shall provide for comprehensive, independent study of the existing staff-attorney program under this Act and, through the use of appropriate demonstration projects, of alternative and supplemental methods of delivery of legal services to eligible clients, including judicare, vouchers, prepaid legal insurance, and contracts with law firms; and, based upon the results of such study, shall make recommendations to the President and the Congress, not later than two years after the first meeting of the Board, concerning improvements, changes, or alternative methods for the economical and effective delivery of such services.
(h) The Corporation shall conduct a study on whether eligible clients who are--
(2) native Americans,
(3) migrants or seasonal farm workers,
(4) persons with limited English-speaking abilities, and,
(5) persons in sparsely populated areas where a harsh climate and an inadequate transportation system are significant impediments to receipt of legal services
have special difficulties of access to legal services or special legal problems which are not being met. The Corporation shall report to Congress no later than January 1, 1979, on the extent and nature of any such problems and difficulties and shall include in the report and implement appropriate recommendations.
RECORDS AND REPORTS
SEC.1008.(a) The Corporation is authorized to require such reports as it deems necessary from any grantee, contractor or person or entity receiving financial assistance under this title regarding activities carried out pursuant to this title.
(b) The Corporation is authorized to prescribe the keeping of records with respect to funds provided by grant or contract and shall have access to such records at all reasonable times for the purpose of insuring compliance with the grant or contract or the terms and conditions upon which financial assistance was provided.
(c) The Corporation shall publish an annual report which shall be filed by the Corporation with the President and the Congress. Such report shall include a description of services provided pursuant to section 1007(a)(2)(C)(i) and (ii).
[ Section 1008(c), 2996g(c), regarding annual reports ceased to be effective as of December 21, 1999, pursuant to section 3003 of the Federal Reports Elimination and Sunset Act, Pub. L. 104-66, 109 Stat. 707 (1995). ]
(d) Copies of all reports pertinent to the evaluation, inspection, or monitoring of any grantee, contractor, or person or entity receiving financial assistance under this title shall be submitted on a timely basis to such grantee, contractor, or person or entity, and shall be maintained in the principal office of the Corporation for a period of at least five years subsequent to such evaluation, inspection, or monitoring. Such reports shall be available for public inspection during regular business hours, and copies shall be furnished, upon request, to interested parties upon payment of such reasonable fees as the Corporation may establish.
(e) The Corporation shall afford notice and reasonable opportunity for comment to interested parties prior to issuing rules, regulations, and guidelines, and it shall publish in the Federal Register at least 30 days prior to their effective date all its rules, regulations, guidelines and instructions.
SEC.1009.(a)(1) The accounts of the Corporation shall be audited annually. Such audits shall be conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards by independent certified public accountants who are certified by a regulatory authority of the jurisdiction in which the audit is undertaken.
(2) The audits shall be conducted at the place or places where the accounts of the Corporation are normally kept. All books, accounts, financial records, reports, files, and other papers or property belonging to or in use by the Corporation an necessary to facilitate the audits shall be made available to the person or persons conducting the audits; and full facilities for verifying transactions with the balances and securities held by depositories, fiscal agents, and custodians shall be afforded to any such person.
(3) The report of the annual audit shall be filed with the General Accounting Office and shall be available for public inspection during business hours at he principal office of the Corporation.
(b)(1) In addition to the annual audit, the financial transactions of the Corporation for any fiscal year during which Federal funds are available to finance any portion of its operations may be audited by the General Accounting Office in accordance with such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the Comptroller General of the United States.
(2) Any such audit shall be conducted at the place or places where accounts of the Corporation are normally kept. The representatives of the General Accounting Office shall have access to all books, accounts, financial records, reports, files, and other papers or property belonging to or in use by the Corporation and necessary to facilitate the audit; and full facilities for verifying transactions with the balances and securities help by depositories, fiscal agents, and custodians shall be afforded to such representatives. All such books, accounts, financial records, reports, files, and other papers or property of the Corporation shall remain in the possession and custody of the Corporation throughout the period beginning on the date such possession or custody commences and ending three years after such date, but the General Accounting Office may require the retention of such books, accounts, financial records, reports, files, papers, or property for a longer period of under section 117(b) of the Accounting and Auditing Act of 1950 (31 U.S.C. 67(b)).
(3) A report of such audit shall be made by the Comptroller General to the Congress and to the President, together with such recommendations with respect thereto as he shall deem advisable.
(c)(1) The Corporation shall conduct, or require each grantee, contractor, or person or entity receiving financial assistance under this title to provide for, an annual financial audit. The report of each audit shall be maintained for a period of at least five years at the principal office of the Corporation.
(2) The Corporation shall submit to the Comptroller General of the United States copies of such reports, and the Comptroller General may, in addition, inspect the books, accounts, financial records, files, and other papers or property belonging to or in use by such grantee, contractor, or person or entity which relate to the disposition or use of funds received from the corporation. Such audit reports shall be available for public inspection, during regular business hours, at the principal office of the Corporation.
(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section or section 1008, neither the Corporation nor the Comptroller General shall have access to any reports or records subject to attorney-client privilege.
SEC.1010.(a) There are authorized to be appropriated for the purpose of carrying out the activities of the Corporation, $90,000,000 for fiscal year 1975, $100,000,000 for fiscal year 1976, and such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 1977. There are authorized to be appropriated for the purpose of carrying out the activities of the Corporation $205,000,000 for the fiscal year 1978, and such sums as may be necessary for each of the two succeeding fiscal years. The first appropriation may be made available to the Corporation at any time after six or more members of the Board have been appointed and qualified. Appropriations for that purpose shall be made for not more than two fiscal years, and shall be paid to the Corporation in annual installments at the beginning of each fiscal year in such amounts as may be specified in Acts of Congress making appropriations.
(b) funds appropriated pursuant to this section shall remain available until expended.
(c) Non-Federal funds received by the Corporation, and funds received by any recipient from a source other than the Corporation, shall be accounted for and reported as receipts and disbursements separate and distinct from Federal funds; but any funds so received for the provision of legal assistance shall not be expended by recipients for any purpose prohibited by this title, except that this provision shall not be construed to prevent recipients from receiving other public funds or tribal funds (including foundation funds benefiting Indians or Indian tribes) and expending them in accordance with the purposes for which they are provided, or to prevent contracting or making other arrangements with private attorneys, private law firms, or other State or local entities of attorneys, or with legal aid societies having separate public defender programs, for the provision of legal assistance to eligible clients under this title.
(d) Not more than 10 percent of the amounts appropriated pursuant to subsection (a) of this section for any fiscal year shall be available for grants and contracts under section 1006(a)(3) in any such year.
SEC.1011. The Corporation shall prescribe procedures to insure that--
(1) financial assistance under this title shall not be suspended unless the grantee, contractor, or person or entity receiving financial assistance under this title has been given reasonable notice and opportunity to show cause why such action should not be taken, and
(2) financial assistance under this title shall not be terminated, an application for refunding shall not be denied, and a suspension of financial assistance shall not be continued for longer than thirty days, unless the grantee, contractor, or person or entity receiving financial assistance under this title has been afforded reasonable notice and opportunity for a
timely, full, and fair hearing, and, when requested, such hearing shall be conducted by an independent hearing examiner. Such hearing shall be held prior to any final decision by the Corporation to terminate financial assistance or suspend or deny funding. Hearing examiners shall be appointed by the Corporation in accordance with procedures established in regulations promulgated by the Corporation.
SEC.1012. The President may direct that appropriate support functions of the Federal Government may be made available to the Corporation in carrying out its activities under this title, to the extent not inconsistent with other applicable law.
RIGHT TO REPEAL, ALTER, OR AMEND
SEC.1013. The right to repeal, alter or amend this title at any time is expressly reserved.
SEC.1014. This title may be cited as the `Legal Services Corporation Act.'
SEC.3.(a). Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, effective ninety days after the date of the first meeting of the Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation established under the Legal Services Corporation Act (title X of the Economic Opportunity At of 1964, as added by this Act), the Legal Services Corporation shall succeed to all rights of the Federal Government to capital equipment in the possession of legal services programs or activities assisted pursuant to section 222(a)(3), 230, 232, or any other provision of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.
(b) Within ninety days after the first meeting of the Board, all assets, liabilities, obligations, property, and records as determined by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity or the head of any successor authority, to be employed directly or held or used primarily, in connection with any function of the Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity or the head of any successor authority in carrying out legal services activities under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, shall be transferred to the Corporation. Personnel transferred to the Corporation from the Office of Economic Opportunity or any successor authority shall be transferred in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, and shall not be reduced in compensation for one year after such transfer, except for cause. The Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity or the head of any successor authority shall take whatever action is necessary and reasonable to seek suitable employment for personnel who do not transfer to the Corporation.
(c) Collective-bargaining agreements in effect on the date of enactment of this Act covering employees transferred to the Corporation shall continue to be recognized by the Corporation until the termination date of such agreements, or until mutually modified by the parties.
(d)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity or the head of any successor authority shall take such action as may be necessary, in cooperation with the president of the Legal Services Corporation, including the provision (by grant or otherwise) of financial assistance to recipients and the Corporation and the furnishing of services and facilities to the Corporation--
(A) to assist the Corporation in preparing to undertake, and in the initial undertaking of, its responsibilities under this title;
(B) out of appropriations available to him, to make funds available to meet the organizational and administrative expenses of the Corporation;
(C) within ninety days after the first meeting of the Board, to transfer to the Corporation all unexpended balances of funds appropriated for the purpose of carrying out legal services programs and activities under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 or successor authority; and
(D) to arrange for the orderly continuation by such Corporation of financial assistance to legal services programs and activities assisted pursuant to the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 or successor authority.
Whenever the Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity or the head of any successor authority determines that an obligation to provide financial assistance pursuant to any contract or grant for such legal services will extend beyond six months after the date of enactment of this Act, he shall include, in any such contract or grant, provisions to assure that the obligation to provide such financial assistance may be assumed by the Legal Services Corporation, subject to such modifications of the terms and conditions of such contract or grant as the Corporation determines to be necessary.
(2) Section 222(a)(3) of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 is repealed, effective ninety days after the first meeting of the Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation.
(e) There are authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1975, such sums as may be necessary for carrying out this section.
(f) Title VI of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 is amended by inserting after section 625 thereof the following new section:
INDEPENDENCE OF LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION
SEC.626. Nothing is this Act, except title X, and no reference to this Act, unless such reference refers to title X, shall be construed to affect the powers and activities of the Legal Services Corporation.
Approved July 25, 1974.