oversight

Independent Counsel: Expenditure and Other Information for the Office of Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-08-26.

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

      United States

GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      Accounting and Information
      Management Division

      B-283209

      August 26,1999

      The Honorable Patrick Leahy
      Ranking Minority Member
      Committee on the Judiciary
      United States Senate

      Subject: Independent Counsel: Exnenditure and Other Jnformation for the Office of
               Indenendent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr

      Dear Senator Leahy:

      This letter responds to your April 6,1999, request regarding expenditures by the of&e
      of independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr. Specifically, you asked that we obtain
      answers to 46 questions grouped into 11 categories.

      Enclosure 1 lists the 46 questions and provides the office of independent counsel’s
      answers to 40 of the questions. According to officials in Mr. Starr’s office, they did
      not answer the remaining six questions because the office did not have sufficient
      information to respond or it would have had to expend significant resources to review
      over 4 years of records to provide responses. The answers are as of May 26,1999, or
      for the period from Mr. Starr’s appointment on August 5,1994, through May 26,1999,
      unless otherwise noted. As agreed with your office, we did not audit the answers, nor
      did we evaluate the reasons given for not answering questions.
                                               -----

      We provided a draft of this letter to officials in the office of independent counsel for
      their review and comment. The officials provided certain corrections and
      clartications to the information in the letter, which we incorporated. F’urther, in
      written comments included as enclosure 2, a Deputy Independent Counsel noted that
      the draft letter accurately represented the information provided by the office of
      independent counsel. We are sending a copy of this letter to the Members of the




                                     /6?47c5
                                                       GAO/AIMD-99-251R Independent Counsel
B-283209


Senate Committee on the Judiciary and other interested parties. Please contact me at
(202) 512-9489if you or your staff have any questions abotit this letter.




David L. Clark
Director, Audit Oversight and Liaison

Enclosures




                                                                                       :   L


                                              GAO/AIMD-99-251R Independent Counsel
Enclosure 1


                    Office of Indenendent  Counsel Kenneth W. Starr
                    Kesnonses to Exuenditure      and Other Questions
                 (As of Mav 26.1999. or for the Period August 5.1994,
                    Through Mav 26.1999. Unless Otherwise Noted)
                                       (Unaudited)


Personnel

1. How many attorneys are employed         by the Office of Independent      Counsel
   Kenneth W. Starr (OIC)?

    The OIC employs 15 attorneys, including the independent counsel and excluding
    detailees from the Department of Justice.

2. How many attorneys      have been detailed      to the OIC?

    Through May 4,1999, the Department of Justice had detailed 25 attorneys to the OIC over
    the course of the investigation.

3. What is the salary for each attorney      (without   naming the attorney)?

    See the answer to question 9.

4. How many paralegals      are employed    by the OIC?       _

    The OIC employs 10 paralegals.

5: How many paralegals      have been detailed     to the OIC?

    Through May 4,1999, the Department of Justice had detailed one paralegal to the OIC
    over the course of the investigation.

6. What is the salary for each paralegal     (without    naming the paralegal)?

    See the answer to question 9.

7. How many secretaries      or other assistants    are employed   by the OIC?

    The OIC employs 20 secretaries and other assistants or administrative staff.

8. How many secretaries      or other assistants    have been detailed   to the OIC?

    The Department of Justice detailed two administrative assistants to Mr. Starr’s office
    from August 1994 through approximately December 1994.

9. What is the salary for each secretary     or assistant   (without   naming the secretary
   or assistant)?



3                                                    GAO/AIMD-99-251R Independent Counsel
Enclosure 1


Table 1.1: Emdovee Job Titles and Salaries Through Mav 25,1999




Administrative Clerk



                                                 GAO/NMD-99-251R Independent Counsel
Enclosure 1


Clerk                                             $23,876        -
Clerk                                             $23,145
Legal Secretary                                   $22,740
Clerk                                             $19,849


Source: Office of Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr.

10. How many employees        of the OIC have received      or are eligible    for raises or
    bonuses?

    Since its inception in August 1994, the OIC has had 132 employees and detailees
    (excluding the independent counsel). Of this number, 76 have received raises, including
    the federal government’s annual pay and cost-of-living increases. The OIC has given 82
    special achievement and/or performance cash awards to 62 staff and detailees. The
    independent counsel has not received any cash awards.

11. What is the amount of each raise or bonus that has been granted?

    In general, staff receive the annual pay raises that all federal employees receive. Awards
    granted since the OIC’s inception range from $1,000 to $8,000. They have averaged about
    $3,100 overal&about $3,800 per award for attorneys and about $1,800 per award for
    paralegals and staff

Personnel   Salaries   and Bonuses

12. Howmany       employees   in the OIC are eligible    for overtime   pay?

    The OK’s policy is that no one above the GS13 level can receive overtime pay. No
    attorneys are paid overtime. On May 26,1999,28 OIC staff quabiied for overtime, all of
    whom were legal or administrative support staff.

13. What is the amount of overtime       pay that has been paid to OIC employees?

    Total overtime paid since inception in 1994 is $321,839.

14. How many consultants or other advisers (such as press or public relations                  or
    ethics consultants) are or have been employed by the OIC?

    The OIC has hired 57 consultants or other advisers since its inception.

15. Please identify    each of them.

    See the answer to question 16.

16. What is the amount that has been paid to each of the consultants              or other
    advisers employed by the OIC?




5                                                       GAO/AIMD-99-251R Independent Counsel
Enclosure 1


Table 1.2: ConsultantiAdvisor Pavments Throw& Mav 13.1999




                                                  $804 I




                                               GAWAIMD-99-25 1R Independent CounseI
Enclosure 1



Rutledge, William E.                                  $3,130 -
Shaw Pittman Potts & Trowbridge                      $49,706
Wolohojian, G.                                       $11,128




Pulmonary Associates                                    $756 j
Security:
Kroll Associates                                     $25,346
Spellings & Associates                                $2,200
Vucci, James                                         $40,225 ,
Other:
Cameron Communications (preparation                   $7,500
for congressional testimony)
Ford Motor Company (car leasing)                     $32,284
Landess, Michael (media and library                  $20,920

Lesnevich, Gus R. (handwriting analysis)              $6,702.
Morris, James (technical writing and                  $6,375
editing)


The names of criminal investigators are not provided for security reasons.

‘The consultant/advisor provided the OIC with legal representation on a sealed matter before
the U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, and is, therefore, not identified.

Source: Office of Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr.

Federal Agencv Detailees

17. How many federal agents are detailed      to the OIC?

     As of May 4,1999, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had detailed 78 agents to the
     OIC. The OIC did not provide information on agents detailed by other organizations.

18. From which agencies are these agents or employees            detailed?

     The OIC obtains agents from the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S.
     Marshal Service.



7                                                  GAO/AIMD-99-251R Independent Counsel
Enclosure 1


19. How many agents or other persons are detailed             from the FBI?

     See the answer to question 17.

20. How many agents or other persons are detailed             from the IRS?

     No IRS personnel are currently assigned to the OIC on a full-tim& basis.

21. How much of the cost of each detailed      federal      employee is charged to the OIC
    and how much to a federal agency?

     In general, the respective federal agency pays detailee salary and benefit amounts and
     the OIC pays travel and other costs, except that the OIC pays the salary and benefit costs
     for attorneys detailed from the Department of Justice. The amounts paid by agencies
     that provide detailees are identified in the notes to the statements of expenditures
     contained in our reports on independent counsel expenditures. Expenditures paid by the
     OIC are included in the appropriate line item in the statements of expenditures.

22. Please identify   the unit from which each detailed            agent was diverted    to work on
    the OIC?

     The OIC did not answer this question.

Travel Costs:   Air TransDortation

23. What is the total number of airplane trips      made by OIC staff at government
    expense and the total cost of these trips?

     The OIC did not answer t&is question.

24. How much money has been spent on airline             tickets    for (1) Kenneth     Starr and (2)
    other OIC staff?

     The OIC did not answer this question.

25. How many first-class    tickets   have been purchased           and at what cost?

     In general, OIC travelers have not used firs&class. The OIC estimated that of the over
     5,000 tickets purchased possibly three to four instances of first-class travel occurred and
     that these may have been for witnesses.

26. How many business class tickets       have been purchased           and at what cost?

     The OIC did not answer this question.




 8                                                    GAO/AIMD-99-251R Independent Counsel
Enclosure 1


Travel Costs:   Surface Transnortation

27. What is the total number      of automobiles      used by OIC staff at government
    expense?

    The OIC did not answer this question.

28. Please identify the make, model, and year of each automobile                  and the cost and
    length of each vehicle lease.

    The OIC has used late model, mid-sized sedans and minivans-Ford Taurus, Ford
    Windstar, Dodge Acclaim, and Oldsmobile Achieva. All vehicles used were leased
    through General Services Administration and Department of Justice lease procedures
    and were at one-third to one-half the typical/average retail cost for comparable rental
    vehicles.

29. What is the total    number   of official   drivers    employed     by the OIC and the salary
    for each driver?

    The OIC has not hired drivers. It relies on special messengers, paralegals, and other staff
    to deliver packages and messages. Because of death threats, Mr. Starr has had a car and
    a protective detail Tom the U.S. Marshal Service.

Witness Transnortation

30. What is the total number      of times Starr’s        OIC has paid for witness     travel   at
    government expense?

    The OIC has made 199 payments for witness travel. The OIC counted each payment to
    American Express, which books OIC travel, as one item in arriving at the 199 figure,
    although each biIl may have included travel charges for more than one trip or witness.

31. What is the total cost of such travel to the government?

    See the answer to question 33.

32. How many witnesses      have traveled       at government      expense in connection        with
    the OIC?

    In total, the OIC has paid travel claims for 187 witnesses. Not all witnesses have filed
    travel-related claims.

33. What is the total cost to the government          of witness      travel   and lodging in
    connection with the OIC?

    The OIC has paid $91,239 for witness travel (airfare and lodging).




                                                           GAO/AIMD-99?25lR Independent Counsel
Enclosure 1


Office Snace

34. What Are the locations     of the offices used by the OIC?

      The OIC has offices in Washington,D.C.;Alexandria,Virginia; and Little Rock, Arkansas.

35. What is the cost of rent for each office used by the OIC?

      Current annual charges for the space are $598,099for Washington, DC.; $129,360 for
      Alexandria, Virginia; and $121,105 for Little Rock, Arkansas.

36. How much square footage has the OIC rented in each location?

      The OIC has rented 16,325 square feet of office space and 160 square feet of storage
      space in Washington, D.C.; 5,880 square feet of office space in Alexandria; and 7,744
      square feet of office space and 14 parking spaces in Little Rock.

37. What is the cost of the telephone      system used for each office?

      The total cost for the purchase of telephone systems for all offices was about $125,000 as
      of March 31,1999.

38. What is the cost of court reporting      services incurred   by the OIC?

      The total cost for court reporting and transcripts is $378,726.

Commuter      Services

39. What is the total cost of computers       and computer    systems incurred   by the OIC?

      The total cost for computers and computer systems is $273,246. This amount is for
      equipment and system purchases only.

40. Does the OIC lease computers        and computer     systems?

      The OIC does not lease computer equipment or systems.

41. If so, what systems are leased and at what cost per month?

      See the answer to question 40.

42. Does the OIC employ a systems administrator?

      The OIC does not employ a systems administrator. It contracts for computer services
      and maintenance.

 43. If so, what is the cost of the systems administrator?




 10                                                    GAO/AIMD-99-25112 Independent Counsel
Enclosure 1


     As of March 15,1999, the contract cost was about $592,doO.

Witnesses’ Attornev     Costs

44. What is the amount     of witnesses’ attorney’s fees in connection     with the OIC that
     the government    has reimbursed or anticipates reimbursing?

     The Department of Justice reimburses attorneys’ fees to some federal employees who are
     caRed as witnesses to testify before an independent counsel. Justice reports that it has
     paid $11,270 in such expenses and that it has 24 pending requests for payment as of May
     4,1999.

Lewinskv     Matter

45. What is the best estimate     of the total   cost to the government of the OIC
     investigation   of the Lewinsky matter,     including OIC staff salary, travel, and
     detailee salaries?

     The OK’s financial accounting system does not categorize costs by case or project. For
     the period January 15 through August 31,1998, the OIC estimated the time spent on the
     Lewinsky investigation by ah staff members and allocated certain other general costs
     based on those estimates. The estimated costs are as follows.

     Personnel compensation and benefits                  $1,861,456
     Travel costs                                            949,895
     Rent, communications and utilities                      356,494
     Contractual services                                    884,110
     Supplies and services                                     82,653
     Capital equipment                                        186,021
     Administrative services                                   73.294
     Total                                               $4.393.923

     These costs do not include payr0I.I costs of FRI personnel assigned to the OIC or certain
     administrative costs incurred by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and
     periodicaUy charged to the OIC. The OIC has not developed more current cost
     information.

Foster Suicide Matter

46. What is the best estimate of the total cost to the government of the OIC
    investigation   of the Vince Foster suicide, including OIC staff salary, travel,       and
    detaiIee salaries?

     The OIC did not answer this question.




11                                                    GAO/AIMD-99-251R Independent Counsel
Enclosure 2

              Comments       From the Office of the Indeuendent                       Counsel




                                                    Off&   of the Independent Counsel




                                                           August 13,1999




               JeflicyC.gtCilhff
               ACthlgAssistantCOUlpllQIl~GalUid
               Accountingand~ormationManaganentDivisiw
               GenedAccounting~ce
               Washington, D.C. 20548




               Dearsii

                      Thaak you fw the oppommity to comment on the dlaft of your report to senator L&y.
               We have a few bkfconiments on the draft repott, in addition to the corrdions which we made
               today during ameeting with Thomas Eroderick and Hedge Hey.

                       ThedataprrsenadinyourrcportEaithfuy~reprodrtcwthedatawe~~toGAO
               upon its mqoest. We offer two clarifications: (1) Oar response to question 1 rc5ccis cumzt
               cmploymcnt and dots not include attorneys detailed from the Department of hstice; (2) Our
               Rsponsesto~o~2~5nflectdctailas~mthe~~tovcrthccouncoftht
               investigation, through May 4,1999. We would also make the bllowing additional points ta
               supplement the dam presented:

                     Fii the Oflice of h&pen&     Counsel has made no Sort to formally aodit tbc data
               pmidedtotheGenemlAtxmmtbgOffi~.          Tl’ledatawebaveprovidedforyourustis~~
               ~mo~intemalaccountingsystcmandwcmakeeveryrdmanpttoinsrac~acnwcy.
               However, the khmation is, nonetheless, unaudited data.

                       second, we note that the General Accounting office’s scmi-ammal audits of our Of&
               he been uniformly unrcmahbk. Asthe General AccoMting Ofike basrouhcly conch&d,
               “for the controls we [the General Accounting Office] tested, we found no material we&n-      in
               the iotcrnai control siructure and [the Office of Independent Counsel’s] opcration~” The General
               Accounting Office has also noted that “[o]ur audit tests for complkmce with selectedprotim




12                                                          GAOIAIMD-99-251R Independent Counsel
Enclosure 2




               Jeflky C. Steinhoff
               August 13,1999
               page2
               pepomo Honorable Patrick Leaily]

               of laws and mgalaticm disclosedDOinstances of noncompIiance that would be reportable uader
               generaUyacqted governmentauditiug standa&” Though these comhsions do not, invclve
               ~particular~~desaibedinthedraftrrporfwcarcconfidenttbattheorpaadiarrrs
               catalogedin the report were all consistent with applicable Jaws and reguhtior~~

                      Third, 28 U.S.C. 5 595(Z)(l)(C) nquires an indkpendent Wuuscl to romply with
               establislledDeparbnentalJKdiciesregardingexpuldiibn+s. J3eymdfmr~wtothis
              sxquimncnL we think it is sigaiticant to note that many of the expenditma on which you rrpoa
              were, in fkct, expend       under the auspices of the Department of Justice. For example, the
              expulswreportedfortelephone !3erviceinvolveduseofthe Depammt of hstic~stelephonc
              system. Wepayforwurtreportingservicesandvehicielals*rasridcrstoan~
              D”p”““‘pf       Justice ccntract Thus, in many ir&mes, our expenditum welt at rates ideatical
              to,andmmsteatwith,thoseincumdbytheDepartmentofJustice.

                      Fourth,wtwishtDprovideamorecompletecxplanationofourinabilitytorrspondb
              certain questions. We did not amverquestion~27,and46bccausewedonotbavesufficient
              ir&mation to aiable us to amwer the question. We did not answa questions 23,24, and 26
              becausethe Office of lndepmdeat Could does not ma&in its travel records in a format that
              would enable us to mdiIy answerthe questions The only possiile way to answer these
              questionsis tc retrievt all trawl vouchers fiom stored xeccudsand conduct a time consuming and
              labor intensive hand-countto mate the data requested

                    Thanlcyoufortheopporhlnitytocommultonthedraftreport




(911945)


13                                                      GAO/AIMD-99-251R Independent Counsel
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