Independent Counsels

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-02-20.

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

GAO~  n
              United States
              General Accounting Office
              Washington, D.C. 20548                                                   IlllIlIlllI
              Accounting and Information                                          158191
              Management Division


              February 20, 1997

              The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
              Ranking Minority Member
              Comminuttee on the Judiciary
              House of Representatives

              Dear Mr. Conyers:
              This letter provides the expenditure and payroll information for independent
              counsel David M. Barrett recently requested by your office. Mr. Barrett was
              appointed to investigate certain allegations against the then Secretary of the
              Department of Housing and Urban Development. Specifically, you requested the
              (1) total expenditures related to Mr. Barrett's investigation, (2) gross pay for
              Mr. Barrett, and (3) gross pay for Lawrence F. Scalise, deputy independent
              counsel, for the period from Mr. Barrett's appointment as an independent counsel
              on May 24, 1995, through March 31, 1996.
              Total expenditures for Mr. Barrett's investigation through March 31, 1996, were
              $902,000. Of this amount, $714,000 was expended from the permanent, indefinite
              appropriation established to fund independent counsel operations. The
              remaining $188,000 was for other operating costs that were financed from other
              appropriations. These costs related to employees assigned to work on
              Mr. Barrett's investigation by other federal agencies, such as the Federal Bureau
              of Investigation, and were not audited.
              The independent counsel law limits an independent counsel's pay to the
              equivalent of level IV of the Executive Schedule, which was $115,700 annually as
              of March 31, 1996. During the period from May 24, 1995, through March 31, 1996,
              Mr. Barrett received $64,119 in gross pay.
              The independent counsel law limits independent counsel employee pay to
              amounts payable for comparable positions in the Office of the United States
              Attorney for the District of Columbia. It further stipulates that independent
              counsel employee pay not exceed the base pay for level ES-4 of the Senior
              Executive Service Schedule, as adjusted for the District of Columbia, which was

                                                      GAO/AIMD-97-40R Independent Counsels

$116,007' as of March 31, 1996. During the period from May 24, 1995, through
March 31, 1996, Mr. Scalise received $86,689 in gross pay.

The information provided was obtained during January 1997 from our prior
independent counsel audit work, which was performed in accordance with
generally accepted government auditing standards. We discussed the results of
our work with representatives of Mr. Barrett's office and have incorporated their
comments where appropriate.

We are sending a copy of this letter to the Chairman of the Committee on the
Judiciary, House of Representatives. Copies will be made available to others
upon request. If you or your staff have any questions about our work, I can be
reached on (202) 512-9489.

Sincerely yours,

David L. Clark
Director, Audit Oversight and Liaison


'While Executive Schedule individuals are not entitled to locality pay, Senior
Executive Service Schedule employees are entitled to locality pay at the rate
applicable to the District of Columbia. As a result, an independent counsel's pay
is limited to a salary of $115,700, but an independent counsel employee can earn
a salary plus locality pay of $116,007.

2                                       GAO/AIMD-97-40R Independent Counsels