oversight

Audit of the Office of Economic Opportunity Grant to Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc., Pompano Beach, Florida

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-11-18.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                      GENERAL ACCOUNTING CFFICE AUDIT OF
             1                                                                 9I'; -,y
                  THE OFFICE OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY GRANT TO

            62.       FLORIDA RURAL LEGAL SERVICES, INC.
           /*'
                                         INTRODUCTION
.                                  C\&(--,
                                        i,E‘-NC'1
    %         Pursuant     to congressional          requests, 1 we audited-the   rec-
    \ ords pertaining         to a grant to Florida           Rural Legal Services,    ;,   '-'
      Inc.,- for operation          of a legal       services   program in six
      southern     Florida      counties,         The grant of $514,499 was made
      under section        ,222 of the Economic Opportunity            Act of 1964,
      as amended (42 U.S.C. 28091, by the Office                    of Economic Op-
      portunity      (OEO) for the period October 1, 1970, to Septem-
      ber 30, 1971.

              Florida     Rural maintains     law offices  in Homestead,
      Delray Beach, Fort Myers, Pompano Beach, Belle Glade, and
      Immokalee,       Florida.   For the period April       20, 1967, to Sep-
      tember 30, 1970, Florida           Rural and its predecessor     organiza-
      tion,    South Florida     Migrant     Legal Services Program, Inc.,
      received      grants from CEO totaling        about $1.3 million    for
      operating       a legal services     program.

              The audit was made during July ;qnd August 1971 at the
      Homestead and Belle Glade offices             of Florida    Rural,   OEO's
      Atlanta    Regional     Office,    and OEO headquarters      in Washington,
      D.C., and was directed          toward (1) dete-rmining      whether grant
      funds were expended in accordance with the financial                   condi-
      tions of the grant and the applicable             CEO policies      and (2)
      examining     into statements       by a Belle Glade attorney,         con-
      cerning    the ineligibility         of a certain   Florida    Rural client
.     for legal assistance          and the propriety     of Florida     Rural at-
      torneys'     acceptance      of certain   legal cases for representa-
      tion.

              We reviewed   applicable    legislation,    OEO policies    and
      instructions,      and the grant agreement.        We also interviewed
      Florida     Rural and OEO officials        and the City Attorney    for
      Belle Glade, Florida.

            Our audit of the records of Florida               Rural included    an
      examination   of the $25,625 of expenditures              incurred   by the
                                              1
Belle Glade office       of Florida    Rural for the period April           1
to June 30, 1971.        Cur examination      also included      tests of
selected    transactions     entered   into by Florida      Rural's    other
lag offices     during   the period October 1, 1970, to June 30,
1971.    Expenditures      by Florida    Rural during the g-month pe-
riod ended June 30, 1971, amounted to about $389,600.                   A
summary of expenditures         for the Belle Glade office          of Flor-
ida Rural for the period April           1 to June 30, 1971, and Flor-
ida Rural's     Legal Services program budget for the year ended
September 30, 1971, and expenditures             incurred   through
June 30, 1971, are listed          in appendixes     I and II, respec-
tively.

        Except for consideration      given    to the propriety      of
Florida    Rural attorneys'     acceptance     of certain     legal cases
for representation,        the scope of our      audit did not include
an evaluation     of whether the activities          of Florida    Rural
were being carried       out in accordance      with the objectives      of
the authorizing     legislation    and with     QEO policies.

        As of June 30, 1971, Florida         Rural's    personnel     paid
from the OEO grant included         10 lawyers,       13 secretaries,      14
investigators,        a bookkeeper,  a business manager, an execu-
tive director,        and a deputy director.         The staff    also in-
cluded at that time a lawyer and a law clerk whose salaries
were being paid by the Reginald          Heber Smith Community Lawyer
Fellowship      Program.     Howard University       Law School operates
this program, which is funded by CEO at about $5.4 million
annually      to recruit,    train, and place young graduate           lawyers
in Legal Services programs throughout              the country.

       The staff was assisted   by 13 Neighborhood Youth Center
worlcers, a member of Volunteers    in Service to America (VISTA)
and a lap7 student paid by the Law Students Civil    Rights Re-
search Council.

        Although      the officials    of OEO, Florida    Rural,    and other
interested       parties   were not given an opportunity         to examine
and comment formally           on this report,  the findings      were dis-
cussed with representatives            of QEO and Florida     Rural.




                                       2
                                  AUDIT RESULTS

        Our examination       of financial    transactions   and internal
controls      revealed     some deviations    from Om policies     and
instructions.          With respect     to the claims made by the Belle
Glade attorney,         we found that:

        --Although      we were unable to make a definitive                  deter-
           mination     as to the eligibility            of the client,       Florida
           Rural's    acceptance       of this client's         case appeared
           questionable.           OEO permits Legal Services           program
           attorneys,     under certain       conditions,         to handle legal
           cases when the financial            situation       of a client      is
           nearly poor.         We found, however,          that the client's
           annual income, Florida           Rural's      prime factor      for de-
           termining     eligibility,       exceeded by $680 the income
           limitation      established      by Florida        Rural for its
           clients.

        --Florida     Rural's   involvement    in a suit for damages
           filed    by the same client,     in our opinion,    is con-
           trary    to OEO's Legal Services      program guidelines
           which prohibit      Legal Services    program attorneys     from
           providing     legal advice in cases involving       contingent
           fees when the fee is sufficient          to employ private
           counsel.

        --Florida     Rural's    representation         of this client       and
           other persons charged with quasi-criminal1                  acts un-
           der municipal      ordinances,       although    not technically
           violating    the Federal law precluding             representation
           in criminal     matters,     does, in our opinion,          violate
           the spirit     and intent     of the Federal law because the
           acts are generally        considered       to be criminal       in na-
           ture.

These matters       are discussed        in detail      below.

      The last audit of Florida                 Rural by a certified public
accountant   (CPA) was made for               the program year ended


1
    All offenses  not crimes         or misdemeanors        that   are   in the
    nature of crimes.

                                          3
September 30, 1970.     In his reports    dated February             24, and
April  5, 1971, the CPA stated that Florida      Rural's             account-
ing system and internal    controls   were adequate.

PERSONNEL MATTERS

      We found that Florida     Rural did not always adhere to
(1) OEO instructions   relating     to starting    salary limitations
of new employees and to the maintenance         of leave records
and (2) its policy   which permits severance pay to be granted
only to employees who are involuntarily         terminated   from em-
ployment.

      OR0 instructions      require   that starting       salaries    of new
employees paid over $5,000 annually            be limited     to an in-
crease of 20 percent       over their    prior   salary or $2,500,
whichever    is less, unless OEO approval          is obtained,       A sim-
ilar  requirement      is specified   in Florida     Rural's     administra-
tive manual.

        An examination      of the personnel   folders  of 39 individ-
uals employed by Florida          Rural between December 1969 and
June 1971 showed that eight of 23 employees for whom prior
salary and starting         salary data was available    had received
starting    salaries     in excess of 0ED"s limitation      without    OM)
approval.      The limitation      on starting   annual salaries    for
the eight employees was exceeded by $7,211.

        For the remaining     16 employees,     information     on prior
and/or starting      salaries    was not on file.        The personnel
folders    for the 16 employees showed that the annual start-
 ing salaries    for six of 11 employees exceeded $5,000,              and,
for the remaining       five employees,     the folders     did not con-
tain information      on starting    salaries.

        Florida      Rural officials      stated that they were not aware
of the OEO starting           salary limitation;        therefore,      they had
not given consideration             to the limitation        in establishing
employees'        starting    salaries.      They stated that they would
recognize       the salary limitation          in establishing      employees'
starting      salaries     in the future.

       OEO instructions  require grantees  to maintain  records
for   each employee showing balances available    for annual and

                                       4
sick leave.        We noted the following          weaknesses in Florida
Rural's     procedures     and practices      relating       to leave records:
(1) records did not show current              balances       of employees'     an-
nual and sick leave,          (2) leave records were not designed
to readily      provide    leave information,          and (3) leave computa-
tions contained        mathematical     errors,        Florida    Rural offi-
cials agreed to consider           our suggestions          on improving    the
preparation      of leave records.

      Florida     Rural's     administrative     manual provides    that an
employee whose employment is terminated                may be given sever-
ance pay.       The executive      director    of Florida   Rural informed
us that this provision          of the administrative       manual does
not authorize      the granting        of severance pay to employees
who voluntarily       resign,

         Florida    Rural's   records and our discussions     with its
officials        showed that,    during the period January 1970 to
July 1971, 13 employees who had voluntarily            resigned     from
employment with Florida           Rural to take jobs elsewhere      were
paid severance pay by Florida           Rural at the time of their
departure.         The severance pay, which amounted to $6,903,
represented        either   2 weeks' or 1 month's regular     salary.

       The executive     director      of Florida       Rural stated that he
had been of the opinion          that Florida         Rural's     administrative
manual contained      a provision        authorizing        the granting         of
severance pay to employees who had voluntarily                       resigned.
However, we were unable to locate                the authorizing          provision
in our review of Florida           Rural's      administrative         manual and
discussions     with the executive          director.         The executive         di-
rector    of Florida   Rural informed us that Florida                    Rural's      em-
ployees were underpaid         and severance pay was granted                   as a
bonus to departing       employees for services               rendered      to Flor-
ida Rural.      He stated that he would discontinue                    the prac-
tice of providing       all departing         employees with severance
pay until    a ruling    was obtained         from OR0 on this matter.

     An OED official     informed us in November 1971 that Flor-
ida Rural had requested       OEO's approval  to continue its prac-
tice of providing    all departing    employees with severance
pay and that OED had denied the request.
NON-FEDERALCO&TRIBUTIONS
      Authorizing legislation generally requires a grantee
to provide a specified percentage of total. project costs
in either cash or in-kind contributions.    OEOinstructions
require a grantee to maintain the rate of contribution      of
the non-Federal share so that, throughout the grant period,
Federal funds will not be used to pay for a substantially
larger percentage of project costs than authorized.
       The rate of non-Federal contributions    for Florida
Rural's legal services program is 10 percent of program
costs.     On the basis that program expenditures were
$389,600 through June 30, 1971, contributions      from non-
Federal sources should have been about $39,000. The rec-
ords showed, however, that, to June 30, 1971, non-Federal
contributions    amounted to about $3,000, or about 1 percent
of program costs.
       The executive director of Florida Rural informed us
that Florida Rural was doing the best it could to obtain
the required amount of non-Federal contributions     but that he
believed that it would be impossible for Florida Rural to
raise the required amount. An OEO official     informed us
that, if Florida Rural had not raised the required amount
of non-Federal contributions   by the end of the grant year,
OEOwould inquire into the matter and would either issue a
waiver for the requirement or reduce the amount of Florida
Rural's next OEOgrant by the amount of the unmet non-
Federal contributions.
ACCEPTANCE OF CERTAIN LEGAL
                         --a CASES BY FLORIDA RURAL
                                                 -
       A Belle Glade, Florida,        attorney    stated that the ap-
pearance of a Florida         Rural attorney     on behalf    of a Govern-
ment employee in the Municipal           Court of the City of South
Bay, Florida,      did not meet OEO guidelines          because the em-
ployee's     income and net worth made her ineligible            for such
assistance,       He stated also that the employee had filed             a
damage suit arising        from her arrest.       He stated further      that
after    1968 Florida    Rural attorneys       had appeared in municipal
court in this and a number of other cases which involved
criminal    matters    and that such legal representation           should
be in violation       of OEO guidelines.

        The attorney      referred     to a newspaper article             which
contained     information        on the scheduled         trial      of a certain
VISTA worker charged with obstructing                   traffic       and resisting
arrest.     The VISTA worker identified               in the newspaper arti-
cle was a VISTA volunteer.              Authorizing         legislation      provides
that VISTA volunteers            are not Federal employees and, with
certain    exceptions,       are not subject        to the provisions            of
laws relating       to Federal employment.

       The results       of our examination          into   these    matters     fol-
low.

Eligibility      of VISTA volunteer
for legal      services

       The manager of Florida         Rural's    Belle Glade office          in-
formed us that the VISTA volunteer's               case was handled by an
attorney    from his office.         The VISTA volunteer         was arrested
in South Bay, Florida,           and was charged in municipal          court
with obstructing      traffic      and resisting      arrest without       vio-
lence.     According    to    the  manager    of the   Belle   Glade    office,
the Florida     Rural attorney       handling    the case petitioned           the
municipal     court to have the case transferred              to the county
criminal    court of record and withdrew            from the case upon
acceptance     of the petition       by the municipal        court judge.
The charges against         the volunteer      were dropped by the county
prior    to action's    being taken by the prosecuting             attorney.
       Financial     eligibility     factors

          OEO's Legal Services         program guidelines       applicable     to
eligibility         for legal assistance         state that OEO will       not
provide       free legal assistance          for individuals     who can af-
ford to employ private             counsel and that the eligibility
criteria        established      by legal services       programs should in-
clude such factors             as (1) income and dependents,          (2) assets
and liabilities,            (3) cost of a decent living         in the commu-
nity,       and (4) an estimate        of the cost of the legal services
needed.

       Florida    Rural's  grant from OEO provides           that eligibil-
ity be based primarily         on income with other factors,           such
as number of dependents,         property  ownership,        bank accounts,
and debts, being taken into consideration.                  The grant states,
with respect      to determining     income eligibility,         that the
standard     is in accord with OEO poverty          guidelines.

       During our review of the eligibility              of the VISTA vol-
unteer   for legal       services,   Florida    Rural attorneys    would
not permit us to review the VISTA volunteer's                 case file
which contained        financial   information,       and we did not insist
on seeing these records because such action might be con-
sidered    to breach the confidential           nature of an attorney-
client   relationship.

        Because necessary    records were not available            to us, we
could not make a definitive         determination     of eligibility          in
the volunteer’s     case.    However, information        was provided        to
us by Florida     Rural attorneys      or was obtained      from sources
other than the case files        which showed that the volunteer's
income, Florida     Rural's   prime factor       for determining      eligi-
bility,    exceeded the limitation       established     for clients        of
Florida    Rural.

      ACTION1 records     showed that, on November 26, 1970, the
VISTA volunteer    involved   in the case began a l-year  volunteer
program.    We were informed by ACTION officials     that their


1
 Effective     July 1, 1971,       the Volunteers in Service           to America
 program     was transferred       from OEO to a new agency,           ACTION,


                                         8
records showed the volunteer     to be single with no dependents,
OEO's proverty  guidelines   establish   an income limitation of
$1,900 a year for a nonfarm family     of one.

        During the year of VISTA service,             the volunteer       is to
receive     monthly payments       from    VISTA  totaling      $2,580   annually,
before     taxes, for food, lodging,          and personal      expenses,     or
$680 more than the income limitation              established        for clients
of Florida      Rural.     The volunteer      was to receive       in addition
to the $2,580,        a $600 stipend     readjustment      allowance      at the
completion       of her enrollment      as a volunteer,        a $200 adjust-
ment allowance        at the beginning      of her VISTA project          assign-
ment for such items as travel            to the project        and household
furnishings,       and $70 at the time she took a vacation,

      Florida  Rural officials      informed us that the volunteer
had no car, house, savings account,           stocks,    or bonds and
that the Florida    Bar Association       did not have a specific
suggested minimum fee to represent           a client    for the kind of
charges brought    against    the volunteer       but that local attor-
neys charged about $100 for handling            traffic    cases.

       Nonfinancial       eligibility       factors

          OEO's Legal Services     program guidelines     applicable   to
eligibility        for legal assistance     also provide   that no eligi-
bility      standard   should be inflexible      and that an allowance
should be made for the provision            of assistance    in cases of
unusual hardship.

       The manager of the Belle Glade office                     informed us that,
although      the volunteer's       income exceeded the limits                estab-
lished     for clients      of Florida       Rural, her case was accepted
because several         hundred people from the South Bay community
had contacted        his office     requesting       that he take the case
to "put a stop to this sort of thing,"                    referring       to the al-
leged use of police          force disproportionate              to the need,        The
Chief of the Legal Services               Division     of OEO's Atlanta          Re-
gional     Office    informed us that he had discussed                  the volun-
teer's     case with Florida        Rural officials          and had been in-
formed that another reason for Florida                    Rural's      acceptance
of this case was that no attorney                  in the Belle Glade area
would have accepted the case arising                   from the arrest         of the
volunteer.        Florida    Rural    officials      informed       us  that,    except

                                            9
in the City of M'iami,there    was no public               defender or court-
appointed  attorney  to represent   persons               charged in Florida
municipal  courts.

       We discussed      the eligibility      of the volunteer       for le-
gal assistance       with OEO officials       who informed us that it
was OEO policy       to permit Legal Services         program attorneys
to handle legal cases when the financial               situation     of a
client     was nearly    poor if mitigating       reasons for accepting
such cases existed.          They informed us that cases which are
concerned with major interests             of the community poverty
population      and situations      wherein applicants        for legal as-
sistance     have no recourse under the law because private
attorneys     would not accept their         cases are examples of
mitigating      reasons.

        The'Director        of OEO's Legal Services          Operations       Divi-
sion informed          us that,     in his opinion,     although     mitigating
reasons for accepting             the VISTA volunteer's        case existed
(the reaction          of the community and the refusal             of private
attorneys       to accept the case), the extent              to which the in-
come of the volunteer             exceeded the annual income limitation
established         for clients       of Florida  Rural, made the eligibil-
ity of the volunteer            for legal assistance         a borderline       case.
He informed         us that the need for adequate justification                    of
client    eligibility        would be brought       to the attention         of
Florida     Rural officials.




                                          10
Damage suit     filed   by VISTA volunteer

       The manager of Florida          Rural's   Belle Glade office        con-
firmed that,      as a result     of the arrest      action,     the VISTA
volunteer     had filed     a suit in the Federal district           court
charging    the arresting      officers     with violation       of her civil
rights    and seeking damages in excess of $10,000,                 He stated
that a private       attorney    engaged by the VISTA volunteer            and
a Florida     Rural attorney      had signed the brief        filed    in the
case arising      from the suit as attorneys          for t'he plaintiff.

       OEO's Legal Services      program guidelines           state     that le-
gal services    programs should not provide             free legal        advice
in cases involving     contingent        fees when the fee is           suffi-
cient to retain     an attorney.         The guidelines       state     that,
when a contingent-fee       case involves       a fee sufficient           to em-
ploy competent private        counsel,      the client     should     be re-
ferred   under an appropriate        lawyer referral         system     and that,
if the fee is not sufficient           to attract      a private      lawyer,
the client    may be eligible      for assistance.

          The manager of the Belle Glade office          informed     us that
the private        attorney    was handling   the damages aspect of the
suit filed       in Federal court under a standard          contingent-fee
arrangement.          He stated that the private     attorney      could not
handle all aspects of the case because he was located                    in
Gainesville,         Florida,   and that it would, therefore,         be very
difficult      for him to do all the fieldwork         necessary      for pre-
sentation      of the case.       The manager of the Belle Glade of-
fice stated that he had contacted             three attorneys      and that
all three attorneys           had declined  to accept the case.

       The manager of the Belle Glade            office     informed   us in
August 1971 that,        at that time, the       private      attorney  was
attempting     to settle    the case before       it came to trial        and
that,    if that effort     were unsuccessful,          the private    attorney
and the Florida      Rural attorney    would      appear at the trial,

       Although      Florida   Rural has not entered       into a
contingent-fee        arrangement      with respect   to the damage suit,
we believe       that the handling        of the case by a private     at-
torney on a contingent-fee             basis makes Florida     Rural's   in-
volvement      in the case contrary         to OEO's Legal Services     pro-
gram guidelines         which prohibit      Legal Services    program


                                      11
                                                                        .


attorneys  from providing   legal advice in cases involving
contingent    fees when the fee is sufficient to employ pri-
vate counsel.

        It should     be noted, with respect  to Florida   Rural's
involvement      in   the damage suit case, that the eligibility
of the volunteer         for legal assistance from Florida     Rural
attorneys     also    appeared questionable,  as discussed     previ-
ously,    because     of her income.




                                     12
     .

Florida   Rural representation
in criminal    cases

       The Belle    Glade attorney          claimed      that the appearance      by
a Florida    Rural attorney          in the Municipal         Court of the City
of South Bay on behalf           of the VISTA volunteer            does not meet
OEO guidelines       because OEO is not supposed to appear in crim-
inal matters     after     the indictment          or information1      and that,
in Florida     municipal       courts,    the trial        is based on arrest
warrants    and affidavits         which take the place of the indict-
ment and information.            He stated       that Florida      Rural attor-
neys had appeared in 373 cases in municipal                     court after     1968
and that such legal          representation          should be in violation       of
OEO guidelines.

      Section  222(a)(3)   of the Economic Opportunity        Act of
1964, as amended (42 U.S.C.      28091, provides     for a Legal Ser-
vices program.     This  section  states,  in  part,    that:

         “No funds or personnel          made available         for such
         program (whether       conducted       pursuant      to this sec-
         tion or any other section            in this part)        shall  be
         utilized     for the defense of any person indicted
         (or proceeded      against     by information)         for the
         commission      of a crime,     except      in extraordinary
         circumstances      where,after       consultation        with the
         court having jurisdiction,             the Director       has de-
         termined     that adequate      legal     assistance      will  not
         be available      for an indigent         d,efendant     unless
         such services       are made available.”

       As previously     discussed,      the VISTA volunteer         was ar-
rested     and charged in municipal          court with obstructing          traf-
fic and resisting       arrest   without      violence.      Florida     Rural
records     and a discussion     with the manager of the Belle               Glade
office     showed that,    of the 2,033 cases handled             by the pro-
gram during      the 6-month period        October      1, 1970, to March 31,
1971, about 200 cases involved             Florida     Rural attorneys’        rep-
resentation      of persons    charged in municipal          courts    in cases


1 An accusation        in the nature      of   an indictment      presented    by
  a competent       public   officer.


                                          13
                                                                                l




described  by the Belle Glade office      manager as quasi-
criminal.    We noted that,    among the 200 cases, 86 were han-
dled by Florida    Rural attorneys   in the Belle Glade office.

        In 1969, pursuant      to a congressional     request,      the Gen-
era1 Accounting       Office   examined into certain      aspects of the
operations      of Florida   Rural's     predecessor  organization,      South
Florida     Migrant   Legal Services      Program, Inc.,    including    the
representation      of persons charged in municipal           courts in
cases described       as quasi-criminal.

       In our report         dated November 19, 1969 (B-1305151,                 on the
South Florida        Migrant     Legal Services       Program, we reported
that program attorneys,             primarily    in the Belle Glade office,
had provided        assistance      to about 250 persons charged with
quasi-criminal        acts under municipal          ordinances,       including
cases where persons had been charged with such matters                           as as-
sault with a deadly weapon, assault                 and battery,        carrying
concealed      weapons, prostitution,         illegal        sale of alcohol.,       and
escape from custody to avoid arrest.                   We reported       also that,
in the cases handled by the program attorneys                      and described
as quasi-criminal,           the procedures     had been based on municipal
ordinances      and that, under Florida            practice,     violations       of
municipal      ordinances       were not considered          to be crimes.

       We concluded      that,  in view of this Florida          practice,
representation      by program attorneys        did not technically          vio-
late section      222(a)(3)    because, as a matter of law, the cli-
ents represented       were not indicted       or proceeded against          by
information     for the commission of a crime.               We expressed      the
view, however,      that such representation          violated     the spirit
and intent     of the statutory      provision     precluding     representa-
tion in criminal       matters    in those cases involving           charges
associated     with matters generally         considered      to be criminal
in nature.

        The manager of the Belle Glade office              informed     us that
the cases presently       being handled by Florida            Rural in munici-
pal court were the same types of cases as those handled in
1969.     Florida   Rural officials       informed us that their repre-
sentation      of persons being tried        in municipal       courts on
charges described       as quasi-criminal        was justified        because
such cases were, by law, not classed as criminal                    cases and
because, except in the City of Miami, there was no public

                                          14
                                                                                           .

defender     or col.xt-appointed        attorney      to represent     persons
charged in the municipal            courts.      Information     furnished     to
US by the City Attorney           for the City of Belle          Slade shous
that the municipal          court for that city         does not provide
court-appointed        attorneys     for indigent       defendants.
       Subsequent        to our 1969 review,          the Florida          statutes       were
amended, effective           July 1,      1970,   to  provide      that      a  person
charged with a violation               of a county or municipal                ordinance
for which no jury          trial     is provided,       when the violation              is
also a violation         of State law, may cause the transfer                        of the
case to the appropriate              court    in which a jury          trial      is gro-
vided.     (S ee chapter         70-372,    Florida     Statutes,        Senate Bill
No. 288.)        Under this law the Legal Services                   attorneys        could
represent       a client     not incarcerated         until     the prosecuting
attorney     files     charges on behalf          of the State or files                a no-
true bill .l       Under      these    procedures     there    would       be    no  techni-
cal violation         of the criminal         representation          preclusion        of
the act until         such time as the prosecuting                attorney        had
acted.
       The circumstances       existing    at the present        time, however,
are the same as those existing            at the time of our 1969 re-
view in terms of both the nature            of the cases being handled
and the substantive,         as opposed to the procedural,             provis-
ions of the governing         statutes.     Therefore,        our conclusion
as to the propriety        of Florida     Rural representation          of the
VISTA volunteer       in the case arising       from the arrest         and of
other persons     charged with quasi-criminal             acts under munici-
pal ordinances      is the same now as it was in 1969--although
such representations         do not technically        violate     sec-
tion 222(a)(3)      of the act,       they do violate       the spirit     and in-
tent of the Federal        law because the acts are generally                con-
sidered   to be criminal       in nature.


1
 Not a true bill    of indictment                 because    the accusation         was
  found to be without    basis.




                                             15
'.' APPENDIX I
     I
          SUMMARYOF EXPENDITURESFOR BELLE GLADE OFFICE
                      FLORIDA RURAL LEGAL SERVICES

                 FOR THE PERIOD AJ?RIL 1 TO JUNE 30, 1971


                   -Expense   category                  Expenditures

        Salaries      and related      costs              $17,898
        Travel                                              1,792
        Space costs                                         1,160
        Supplies                                               886
        Rental,     lease,    and purchase of
           equipment                                            273
        Other costs:
              Telephone                                      1,665
               Court costs                                      936
               Law books                                        953
               County-City      licenses     and dues            62

                   Total                                   $25,625




                                          14
                                                                              APPWDIX II

              FLORIDA RURAL LEGAL SERVICESPROGRAMBUDGET
                        FOR YEAR ENDEDSEPTmER               30,    1971

          AND EXPENDITURESINCURREDTHROUGHJUNE 30, 1971

                                    Program budget                   Expenditures
                                      10/l/70 to                      10/l/70 to
                                       g/30/71                         6/30/71
                                               Non-                             Non-
   Expense category                Federal   Federal               Federal     Federal
Salaries and related
  costs                           $374,280        $54,170         $278,424       $3,000
Consultant and con-
  tract services                    11,272            -              8,074
Travel                              34,415            -             23,211
Space costs                         23,100            -             19,640
Supplies                            14,500            -             10,318
Rental, lease, and
  purchase of equip-
  ment                              10,452            -               4,889
Other costs                         46,480            -             42,081a

      Total                        514,499         54,170          386,637         3,000

      Total Federal         and
        Non-Federal                      $568,669                         $389,637
aIncludes, among other things, $21,321 for telephone,
 $7,194 for law books and subscriptions,  and $4,986 for
 filing   fees and court costs.




U.S. GAO, Wash.. D.C.                        17
                            APPENDIX      IX                           b &                                       APPENDIX         --IX
        --        --                                --     -




                                                               THE POSfMAStER         GENERAL
             .*   __-                                               Wuhlnglon,    DC 20160,



                                                                                                August     20,    1975

                               Mr.     VictorL. Lowx3
                               Director,    General
                                 Government     Division
                               U. S. Ganeral     Accounting Office
                               Washington,     D. C. 20548

                               Dear     Mr.      Lowe:
                        .
                               Your proposed  report            correctly reflects the quality of mail service
                               in Naw Mexico  during            the year ending January 3, 1975, ‘;he period
                               coversd by the rspozt.

                               Aa the report notes, the Service          has been taking me .ures to
                               improve     eervice    and the Albuquerque       District’s       service   perforrrance
                               since January       3 does show an improvement              in the perce;lkgee       of
                               destinating    mail achieving targeted       delivery:

                                                                             Quarter I               Quarter       II
                                                                              CY 75                      ‘CY 75

                                              Overnight                          96                        95
                                              Second-Day                         85                        85
                                              Third-Day                          65                        86

                               It should also be noted that our service         Improvement       Program       has
                               advarxed       some mail arrivals    ten to twelve hours,     thereby     creating
I                              t’ 3 potential    f or upgrading  a significant  amount    of mail from three
                               day service to two day service,

                               We appreciate      your affording        u5     an opportunity    to comment             on this
                               fair and objective     report.

                                                                                 Sisxerely,




    i