oversight

Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship Requests, 1993-1997

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-09-22.

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

                          United States General Accounting Office

GAO                       Testimony
                          Before the Subcommittee on Administrative
                          Oversight and the Courts
                          Committee on the Judiciary
                          U.S. Senate

For Release on Delivery
Expected at 2:00 p.m.
on September 22, 1997
                          FEDERAL JUDICIARY

                          Bankruptcy Judgeship
                          Requests, 1993-1997
                          Statement of Richard M. Stana
                          Acting Associate Director
                          Administration of Justice Issues
                          General Government Division




GAO/T-GGD-97-183
Summary

Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship
Requests, 1993-1997

               The Judicial Conference of the United States, the federal judiciary’s
               principal policymaking body, is statutorily required to periodically submit
               to Congress recommendations for new bankruptcy judgeships. Congress
               last approved new bankruptcy judgeships in 1992. The Judicial Conference
               has subsequently sent Congress recommendations for additional
               bankruptcy judgeships in 1993, 1995, and 1997. Congress considered, but
               did not approve, the 1993 and 1995 requests, and is currently considering
               the 1997 request. In 1991, the Judicial Conference established a process,
               with policies and weighted workload standards, for assessing the need for
               additional bankruptcy judges. At the request of the Subcommittee, GAO
               reviewed the 1993, 1995, and 1997 assessment cycles. GAO found that the
               Conference’s Bankruptcy Committee and the Judicial Conference
               generally followed the Conference’s process and policies. The Committee
               and Conference placed heaviest emphasis on whether the districts
               requesting additional judgeships had a caseload that exceeded 1,500
               weighted filings per authorized judgeship. Neither the Committee nor the
               Conference approved any requests for additional judgeships from districts
               whose weighted case filings did not meet this standard.

               The Bankruptcy Committee also asked that districts requesting judgeships
               provide information on several factors, other than weighted filings, that
               may affect their need for additional judges, such as case management
               practices and the district’s demographics and economic conditions. Most
               of these districts provided information on at least four of these factors.
               According to officials at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
               (AOUSC), the use of such information is inherently judgmental. The
               judiciary keeps no documentation on how the Bankruptcy Committee or
               Judicial Conference used this nonstatistical information in assessing
               bankruptcy districts’ judgeship requests.

               The Subcommittee also asked GAO to obtain information for calendar years
               1995 and 1996 on bankruptcy judges’ noncase-related travel—travel not
               related to adjudicating specific cases. Time devoted to noncase-related
               travel could affect the time judges have to devote to individual cases. In
               assessing bankruptcy judges’ workload, the Judicial Conference assumes
               that a bankruptcy judge will spend, on average, about 30 percent of his or
               her time—about 600 hours, or 75 work days per year—on noncase-related
               matters, such as travel, training, administrative affairs, and general case
               management activities that cannot be attributed to a specific case. GAO
               received information on noncase-related travel from 80 of the 84
               authorized judges in the 15 districts that would receive or share one of the
               judgeships requested in 1997. These 80 judges reported a total of 416



               Page 1                                                      GAO/T-GGD-97-183
Summary
Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship
Requests, 1993-1997




noncase-related trips in 1995 and 403 in 1996, and GAO calculated that they
each traveled an average of 12.5 work days in each of these years. About
98 percent of these trips were made to destinations within the United
States. Together, circuit or district meetings and activities; Judicial
Conference meetings and activities; and workshops, seminars, and other
activities sponsored by the AOUSC or the Federal Judicial Center (FJC),
accounted for about 66 percent of all trips and 74 percent of all travel
workdays in 1995. Comparable figures for 1996 were about 67 percent and
about 73 percent, respectively.




Page 2                                                     GAO/T-GGD-97-183
Statement

Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship
Requests, 1993-1997

               Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:

               I am pleased to be here today to discuss the results of our review of the
               federal judiciary’s assessment of its bankruptcy judgeship needs in the
               1993, 1995, and 1997 assessment cycles. Limiting judgeship requests to the
               number necessary is important because each bankruptcy judgeship costs
               about $721,000 to establish and about $575,000 per year to maintain. At the
               same time, it is important that there be sufficient bankruptcy judgeships to
               enable the bankruptcy courts to adjudicate bankruptcy cases fairly and
               efficiently.

               Specifically, my testimony focuses on three principal issues: (1) the
               process, policies, and workload standards that the Judicial Conference of
               the United States1 used to assess the bankruptcy districts’ requests for
               additional bankruptcy judgeships; (2) how the Judiciary applied its
               policies and workload standards across the districts that requested
               bankruptcy judgeships; and (3) the extent of noncase-related travel in 1995
               and 1996 by bankruptcy judges in the 14 districts for which the Judicial
               Conference of the United States has requested bankruptcy judgeships in
               1997.

               In brief, we found that the Bankruptcy Committee and the Judicial
               Conference generally followed the Judicial Conference’s process and
               policies and consistently applied the Conference’s statistical workload
               standards in assessing individual district’s requests for additional
               judgeships in 1993, 1995, and 1997. For example, the Bankruptcy
               Committee and Judicial Conference placed heaviest emphasis on whether
               the districts requesting additional judgeships had a caseload that exceeded
               1,500 weighted filings per existing authorized judgeship. Neither the
               Committee nor the Conference approved any request for additional
               judgeships from districts that did not meet this minimum standard.
               According to officials at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
               (AOUSC), neither the Committee nor the Judicial Conference keeps written
               documentation on how other available data, such as case management
               practices or a district’s geography (travel distances between places of
               holding court), were used in assessing districts’ judgeship requests. AOUSC
               officials also stated that the use of data other than weighted case filings in
               assessing judgeship needs is inherently judgmental.




               1
                The Judicial Conference is the federal judiciary’s principal policymaking body. It consists of 26 judges
               plus the Chief Justice of the United States, who presides over the conference.



               Page 3                                                                             GAO/T-GGD-97-183
Statement
Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship
Requests, 1993-1997




The amount of time judges use for noncase-related travel—travel that is
not related to adjudicating specific cases—could potentially affect the
amount of time judges have to devote to individual cases. In assessing a
bankruptcy judge’s workload, the Judicial Conference assumes that a
bankruptcy judge will spend, on average, about 30 percent of his or her
time—about 600 hours, or 75 work days per year—on noncase-related
matters, such as travel, training, administrative affairs, and general case
management activities that cannot be attributed to a specific case. We
received information on noncase-related travel from 80 of the 84
authorized judges in the 15 districts that would receive or share 1 of the
judgeships requested in 1997.2 These 80 judges reported a total of 416
noncase-related trips in 1995 and 403 in 1996. On the basis of the
information reported, we calculated that overall these judges each used an
average of 12.5 work days for noncase-related travel in each of these years.
About 98 percent of these trips were made to destinations within the
United States. Together, circuit or district meetings and activities; Judicial
Conference meetings and activities; and workshops, seminars, and other
activities sponsored by AOUSC or the Federal Judicial Center (FJC),
accounted for about 66 percent of all noncase-related trips and about
74 percent of all noncase-related travel workdays in 1995. Comparable
figures for 1996 were about 67 percent and about 73 percent, respectively.
In correspondence to the Subcommittee Chairman on August 8, 1997, we
provided more details about these trips for each district.3

Through AOUSC, we also surveyed the 13 authorized judges in the 4 districts
with weighted filings of 1,500 or more during the 1997 assessment cycle
that did not request judgeships. The 12 judges in these four districts (one
position was vacant) reported a total of 177 noncase-related trips—75 in
calendar year 1995 and 102 in calendar year 1996.4 Based on these
reported data, we calculated that the 12 judges spent a total of 178
workdays in 1995 and 258 workdays in 1996 on noncase-related travel.
This is a per judge average of 14.8 workdays in 1995 and 21.5 workdays in
1996. Overall, about 23 percent of all trips in these two years were
sponsored and paid for by organizations other than the federal judiciary.

2
 One additional judge responded, but did not provide information on the dates of travel or paying
organizations. Thus, our analysis excluded data from this judge.
3
Federal Judiciary: Information on the Noncase-Related Travel of Bankruptcy Judges in 14 Bankruptcy
Districts (GAO/GGD-97-166R, Aug. 8, 1997).
4
 Although the Eastern District of Texas has two authorized bankruptcy judgeships, one of the
positions is vacant. Currently, the district is served by one permanent judge and one recalled judge.
For comparability, we did not include the travel of the recalled judge in our analysis because we did
not request or use data for recalled judges in the 15 districts for which we had previously reported on
bankruptcy judges’ noncase-related travel.



Page 4                                                                            GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                              Statement
                              Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship
                              Requests, 1993-1997




                              To develop the information in this statement, we obtained documentation
                              from AOUSC on (1) the process, policies, and workload standards the
                              Judicial Conference has established for assessing the need for bankruptcy
                              judgeships; (2) how the process, policies, and workload standards were
                              used in the 1993, 1995, and 1997 assessment cycles to determine the
                              number of additional bankruptcy judgeships needed and requested; and
                              (3) the temporary assistance requested by and provided to the districts
                              that sought additional judgeships in 1993, 1995, and/or 1997. Through
                              AOUSC, we surveyed the 84 judges in the 15 districts that would receive or
                              share one of the bankruptcy judgeships the Judicial Conference requested
                              in 1997 to obtain information on the judges’ noncase-related travel in
                              calendar years 1995 and 1996. Through AOUSC, we also surveyed the 13
                              judges in the 4 districts with weighted filings of 1,500 or more in the 1997
                              assessment cycle that did not request additional judgeships to obtain data
                              on their noncase-related travel in calendar years 1995 and 1996. We did our
                              work between March and August 1997 in Washington, D.C., and Dallas, TX,
                              in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
                              Details of our scope and methodology are presented in appendix I.


                              Bankruptcy cases in the United States are filed in 1 of the 90 federal
The Federal                   bankruptcy courts. The Judicial Conference is statutorily required to
Judiciary’s Process for       periodically submit to Congress recommendations for new federal
Assessing Bankruptcy          bankruptcy judgeships. Congress last authorized new bankruptcy
                              judgeships in 1992. Subsequently, the Conference has sent
Judgeship Needs               recommendations for additional bankruptcy judgeships to Congress in
                              1993, 1995, and 1997. Congress considered, but not approve, any new
                              judgeships from the 1993 and 1995 requests and is currently considering
                              the 1997 request. To assist the Conference in advising Congress on the
                              need for additional judgeships, the Conference’s Committee on
                              Administration of the Bankruptcy System (Bankruptcy Committee) is to
                              conduct periodic national judgeship surveys to evaluate requests for
                              additional bankruptcy judgeships. In 1993, 1995, and 1997, the Bankruptcy
                              Committee conducted its surveys and analyses through its Subcommittee
                              on Judgeships.

                              In considering each district’s bankruptcy judgeship request, the
                              Bankruptcy Committee may recommend to the Judicial Conference one of
                              seven options:

                          •   one or more permanent judgeships,
                          •   a temporary judgeship,



                              Page 5                                                      GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                Statement
                                Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship
                                Requests, 1993-1997




                            •   a combination of permanent and temporary judgeships,
                            •   the conversion of a temporary judgeship to a permanent judgeship,
                            •   the extension of the term of an existing temporary judgeship,
                            •   a judgeship to be shared by two or more districts; or,
                            •   no changes to the district’s existing number and type of authorized
                                judgeships.

                                A permanent judgeship is a position that is statutorily added to the
                                bankruptcy district’s current authorized total and remains authorized until
                                statutorily rescinded.5 A temporary judgeship is a position that is
                                statutorily created and authorized for 5 years after a judge is appointed to
                                fill the temporary judgeship. It is important to note that it is the judgeship
                                that is temporary, not the judge appointed to fill the position. The judge
                                appointed to a temporary judgeship serves the same full 14-year term as a
                                colleague appointed to fill a permanent position. When a temporary
                                judgeship’s 5-year authorization expires, the next vacancy to occur in the
                                district cannot be filled. However, between the time that the temporary
                                judgeship expires and a vacancy occurs, it is possible for the district to
                                have more judges than authorized judgeships. Converting a district’s
                                existing temporary judgeship to a permanent judgeship reclassifies an
                                existing judgeship, rather than adding a judgeship to a district’s existing
                                authorized total.


Basic Steps in the Formal       In 1991, the Judicial Conference established a process, with policies and
Assessment Process              weighted workload standards, for reviewing bankruptcy judgeships. The
                                formal process has 8 basic steps (see fig. 1) that, when fully implemented,
                                would take about 9 months to 1 year to complete. As I will discuss later in
                                my testimony, this process was generally followed in developing the
                                Judicial Conference’s 1993, 1995, and 1997 bankruptcy judgeship requests.
                                The eight basic steps in this formal process are as follows:




                                5
                                 Nationally, there are 326 authorized bankruptcy judgeships. Each of the 90 bankruptcy districts is
                                statutorily authorized a specific number of judgeships, which currently ranges from 1 to 21.



                                Page 6                                                                            GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                               Statement
                                               Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship
                                               Requests, 1993-1997




Figure 1: the Judicial Conference’s Formal Process for Assessing Bankruptcy Judgeship Needs
 Step 1                               Judicial Conference                                                                   Step 8
                                                                                            Makes final recommendation.

                                    Bankruptcy Committee                                       Bankruptcy Committee         Step 7
                            requests that the chief judge of each court                       votes on each request and
                       assess the need for additional bankruptcy judgeships.                  makes recommendations.


 Step 2
                    Appellate            District                              Bankruptcy
                     Courts              Courts            Bankruptcy            Courts
                                                          courts provide
                       Chief               Chief              views              Chief
                      Judges              Judges                                Judges



                               Each court provides views on the need for
                                  additional judges to their respective
                                            judicial councils.

 Step 3
                                       Circuit Judicial Council
                                    forwards its recommendations.


                              Bankruptcy Judges Division AOUSC
                           (serves as staff to the Bankruptcy Committee)
                                  forwards its recommendations.


 Step 4                              Bankruptcy Committee,
                                  Subcommittee on Judgeships
                          organizes a team to conduct surveys and collect
                         information from written mail and on-site surveys.


                         Survey team prepares a written report regarding
                          the bankruptcy court's judgeship request and
                               sends it back to the subcommittee.

 Step 5
                                Subcommittee on Judgeships
                       prepares a draft recommendation for the Bankruptcy
                         Committee on each district's judgeship request.


 Step 6                            Subcommittee on Judgeships
                           draft recommendations and survey reports are
                          forwarded to the requesting courts for additional
                         comments, then their comments are mailed back.

                                  Subcommittee on Judgeships
                              reviews the comments, prepares its final                                          Congress receives the
                               recommendations, and forwards these                                              Judicial Conference's
                          recommendations to the Bankruptcy Committee.                                           recommendations.




                                               Page 7                                                                     GAO/T-GGD-97-183
Statement
Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship
Requests, 1993-1997




1. The Bankruptcy Committee requests that the chief judge of each
appellate, district, and bankruptcy court assess the need for additional
bankruptcy judgeships within their respective jurisdictions based on the
Judicial Conference’s policies. At the same time, the Committee provides
each bankruptcy court (or district) information on its weighted filings per
current authorized judgeship.

2. The bankruptcy and district courts provide their views on the need for
additional judges to their respective circuit judicial councils.6 The
bankruptcy court also sends its views to the district court.7

3. After reviewing the material provided by the bankruptcy and district
courts, the circuit judicial council forwards its recommendations, which
may differ from those of the bankruptcy and district courts in the circuit,
to the Bankruptcy Judges Division of AOUSC, which serves as staff to the
Bankruptcy Committee.

4. Under the direction of the Bankruptcy Committee’s Subcommittee on
Judgeships, written mail surveys are sent to those districts for which
judgeships have been requested. The Subcommittee on Judgeships
conducts an on-site survey whenever a district initially requests additional
judgeships. When a district renews a request previously approved by the
Judicial Conference, but which Congress has not approved, the
Bankruptcy Committee determines whether to conduct another survey.
The on-site survey team is to generally consist of a bankruptcy judge
member of the Bankruptcy Committee and staff of AOUSC’s Bankruptcy
Judges Division. The team interviews a variety of court officials and local
attorneys, and reviews court files, dockets, and reports. The survey team
then prepares a written report with a recommendation to the
Subcommittee on Judgeships regarding the bankruptcy court’s judgeship
request.

5. For each bankruptcy district requesting judgeships, the Subcommittee
on Judgeships reviews the district’s judgeship request, the district’s
completed mail survey, and the on-site survey report (if done), then


6
 Each of the 12 geographic circuits has a circuit council that consists of an equal number of district
and court of appeals judges from the circuit. Among other duties, the council is statutorily charged
with making all necessary and appropriate orders for the effective and expeditious administration of
justice within the circuit.
7
 Bankruptcy courts are under the general supervision of the district court, which appoints the chief
bankruptcy judge in each district. Both district courts and bankruptcy courts are organized into 12
geographic circuits, headed by a court of appeals. Each circuit includes a number of district and
bankruptcy courts.



Page 8                                                                            GAO/T-GGD-97-183
Statement
Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship
Requests, 1993-1997




prepares a recommendation for the Bankruptcy Committee on the
district’s judgeship request.

6. The Subcommittee sends its recommendations, along with the
applicable on-site survey reports (where done), to the circuit councils,
district courts, and bankruptcy courts in those circuits and bankruptcy
districts for which bankruptcy judges were requested. The circuit councils,
district courts, and bankruptcy courts may provide any comments they
have on the Subcommittee’s recommendations, the survey report, and
provide any other additional information they believe is relevant to the
judgeship requests in their circuit or bankruptcy district. The
Subcommittee on Judgeships reviews these comments, makes its final
recommendation for each district, and sends its recommendations and
accompanying documentation to the Bankruptcy Committee.

7. The Bankruptcy Committee reviews the mail survey, on-site survey
report (if done), any other accompanying documents, and the
Subcommittee on Judgeships’ recommendations for each district, votes on
each request, and forwards its recommendations to the Judicial
Conference.

8. The Judicial Conference considers the Bankruptcy Committee’s
recommendations, approves or alters the Committee’s recommendations,
and forwards the Conference’s final recommendations to Congress.

In reviewing judgeship requests, the Bankruptcy Committee is to consider
a number of factors adopted by the Judicial Conference in 1991. The first
factor is weighted filings. Based on the results of a study of the time
bankruptcy judges devoted to individual categories of bankruptcy cases,8
each case filed is assigned to 1 of 17 categories. Each category is
determined on the basis of the bankruptcy chapter under which the case is
filed, and within each chapter, the dollar value of the debtor’s assets or




8
 The bankruptcy case weights were developed by the Federal Judicial Center based on a 1988-1989
time study in which 272 bankruptcy judges recorded the time they spent on specific cases. The case
weights resulting from this study were approved by the Judicial Conference in March 1991. In
evaluating the weighted caseload of the Southern District of New York, the Committee in 1997 used a
new method of measuring the workload required for very large (“mega”) chapter 11 cases that had
been developed by the Federal Judicial Center and approved by the Bankruptcy Committee. The
Southern District had an unusually large number of such “mega” cases, which are defined as “those
involving extremely large assets, unusual public interest, a high level of creditor involvement, complex
debt, a significant amount of related litigation, or a combination of such factors.”



Page 9                                                                            GAO/T-GGD-97-183
Statement
Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship
Requests, 1993-1997




liabilities.9 A case weight is assigned to each of the 17 categories,
representing the average amount of judicial time the case would be
expected to require. Generally, to be eligible for an additional judgeship,
the Judicial Conference expects a bankruptcy district to have a minimum
annual average of 1,500 weighted filings for each current authorized
judgeship. To be eligible for a permanent judgeship, the Judicial
Conference’s standard is that a district’s weighted filings per judgeship
must be 1,500 or higher after adding any judgeships to the district’s
existing judgeship total. For example, a district with 5 judges could qualify
for an additional permanent judgeship if its weighted filings per judgeship
would be at least 1,500 with 6 judgeships (its existing 5 plus the requested
position). If the weighted filings per judgeship would drop below 1,500
with the additional judgeship, the district could potentially qualify for a
temporary, but not permanent, judgeship.

The Judicial Conference’s policy recognizes that bankruptcy judges’
workloads may be affected by factors not captured in the most recent
report of weighted filings and states that the Bankruptcy Committee is to
consider a number of factors in addition to weighted filings. These factors
include (1) the nature and mix of the court’s caseload; (2) historical
caseload data and filing trends (generally, the most recent 5-year period);
(3) geographic, economic, and demographic factors in the district;10 (4) the
effectiveness of the requesting court’s case management efforts;11 (5) the
availability of alternative solutions and resources for handling the court’s
workload, such as assistance from judges outside the district; (6) the
impact that approval of requested additional resources would have on the
court’s per judgeship caseload; and (7) any other pertinent factors. The
Bankruptcy Committee’s written description of the assessment process
also recognized that (1) bankruptcy case filings may fluctuate because
they are dependent upon national and local economic conditions, and
(2) temporary fluctuations can often be addressed by short-term



9
 Debtors may file for bankruptcy under one of several bankruptcy chapters, as defined in the U.S.
Code, and report their assets and debts on their filing forms. The case weights are based on the value
of the debtor’s stated assets in four of the five bankruptcy categories and on the debtor’s stated
liabilities in the remaining category. Liabilities were used for this one category based on the
assumption that future earnings were the principal asset of debtors who file under this category.
10
 In describing the use of statistical factors other than weighted filings, the Conference has noted that
higher than average population growth may be an indicator of increased future bankruptcies due to
more possible debtors, and a more dynamic economy.
11
  According to the Conference’s explanation of its policy, case management issues may not be a major
issue for courts that clearly meet the statistical workload standard of 1,500 case-related hours per
judgeship. However, for courts with lower workloads or courts that use pending case loads as
justification for their request, case management issues would be explored as much as possible.



Page 10                                                                            GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                          Statement
                          Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship
                          Requests, 1993-1997




                          resources, such as temporary assistance from judges outside the district
                          and the use of temporary law clerks.

                          At its September 1996 meeting, the Judicial Conference approved a change
                          in the schedule for completing the biennial surveys for evaluating
                          judgeship needs for district courts, courts of appeals, and bankruptcy
                          courts. Beginning in 1998, the surveys are generally to be done in
                          even-numbered years so that the Conference’s recommendations for
                          additional judgeships can be delivered to Congress in odd-numbered
                          years. This change is intended to permit the judiciary to work with
                          Congress on a judgeship bill over an entire 2-year congressional term.


                          In 1993, 1995, and 1997, the Bankruptcy Committee generally followed the
The Judicial              Judicial Conference’s established process, policies, and workload
Conference Generally      standards in assessing bankruptcy judgeship needs. The Bankruptcy
Followed Its Process,     Committee recommended to the Judicial Conference fewer judgeships
                          than districts requested or the circuit councils recommended. Overall, the
Policies, and             Committee also recommended fewer permanent and more temporary
Workload Standards        judgeships than were requested. The Conference adopted the Bankruptcy
                          Committee’s recommendations in each year, 1993, 1995, and 1997. (See
in 1993, 1995, and        tables II.1 - II.3 in app. II for additional details.)
1997
1993 Assessment Process   In 1993, 16 districts requested 22 additional judgeships (21 permanent and
                          1 temporary). The Bankruptcy Committee’s Subcommittee on Judgeships
                          conducted both a written mail survey and an on-site survey of each of the
                          16 bankruptcy districts that requested one or more additional judges. The
                          Bankruptcy Committee recommended 19 additional judgeships (13
                          permanent and 6 temporary) for 15 judicial districts, and the Judicial
                          Conference approved this recommendation in September 1993. The
                          Bankruptcy Committee declined requests for 3 permanent judgeships and
                          converted requests for 5 permanent judgeships to temporary judgeships.
                          At its January and June 1994 meetings, the Bankruptcy Committee
                          concluded that these 19 positions were still needed based on weighted
                          filings alone. Congress did not approve any judgeships from the Judicial
                          Conference’s 1993 request.


1995 Assessment Process   At its January 1995 meeting, the Committee, using more recent statistical
                          data, determined that some of the positions the Committee had approved
                          in 1993 and 1994 may no longer have been needed. At this meeting, the




                          Page 11                                                    GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                          Statement
                          Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship
                          Requests, 1993-1997




                          Committee also adopted new guidelines for reassessing the additional
                          judgeship positions that the Conference had approved in 1993 and 1994.
                          Under the new guidelines, districts whose previously approved requests
                          were still pending before Congress would be asked to reassess their need
                          for these additional judgeship positions and submit a statement to the
                          Committee on whether or not the positions were still needed. The
                          Committee considered a position still needed, without a new survey, if the
                          district’s weighted filings per authorized judgeship were 1,500 or more.
                          The Committee retained the option to resurvey any district renewing its
                          request for additional judgeships whose weighted filings were below 1,500
                          per authorized judgeship.

                          The Bankruptcy Committee’s Subcommittee on Judgeships conducted
                          on-site visits to each district for which an additional judgeship had been
                          approved in 1993, and whose case filings during 1994 fell below 1,500
                          weighted filings per authorized judgeship. On the basis of these surveys,
                          the circuit judicial councils of the Fifth and Ninth Circuits withdrew their
                          requests for additional judgeships in the Southern District of Mississippi
                          and the District of Arizona, respectively. In five other districts, the Circuit
                          Councils reaffirmed their bankruptcy districts’ requests for a total of six
                          judgeships. However, the Bankruptcy Committee declined the requests for
                          these six judgeships. Overall, the Bankruptcy Committee recommended
                          that the Judicial Conference reduce the number of requested positions
                          from 19 judgeships in 15 districts to 11 judgeships (including 6 temporary)
                          in 8 districts. The Conference approved the Bankruptcy Committee’s
                          recommendation at its September 1995 meeting and transmitted it to
                          Congress. Congress did not approve any judgeships from the Judicial
                          Conference’s 1995 request.


1997 Assessment Process   At its September 1996 meeting, the Judicial Conference approved a new
                          schedule for judgeship surveys. As a result of this change and because
                          Congress had not approved the Conference’s 1995 bankruptcy judgeship
                          request, the Bankruptcy Committee began an expedited survey process in
                          November 1996. In January 1997, the Bankruptcy Committee found that
                          each of the 11 positions approved in 1995 continued to be needed based on
                          the weighted case filings as of September 30, 1996. The Committee also
                          considered requests for 9 additional positions (for a total of 20).12 In each
                          district, the weighted filings per judgeship exceeded the 1,500 standard.
                          The Committee recommended to the Judicial Conference 18 additional

                          12
                            This number included five judgeships approved by the Conference in 1993 but not in 1995; and four
                          judgeships that had not been requested in either 1993 or 1995.



                          Page 12                                                                         GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                         Statement
                                         Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship
                                         Requests, 1993-1997




                                         judgeships (including 11 temporary). The Judicial Conference adopted the
                                         Committee’s recommendations and sent the Conference’s judgeship
                                         request to Congress. The Conference’s 1997 request is now pending before
                                         Congress. Table 1 provides an overview of the number of judgeships
                                         requested and approved at each major step in the process in 1993, 1995,
                                         and 1997.


Table 1: Results of the Federal Judiciary’s 1993, 1995, and 1997 Bankruptcy Judgeship Needs Assessments
                                                   1993 judgeship requests 1995 judgeship requests 1997 judgeship requests
                                                    Number        Number of          Number         Number of         Number         Number of
                                                   of courts     judgeships         of courts      judgeships        of courts      judgeships
Initial bankruptcy
court request                                              16       21P & 1T                14        13P & 5T               15        17P & 3Ta
Approved by the
                                                                                               b                b               b                 b
district court                                             16       21P & 1T
Approved by the
Circuit Judicial Council                                   16       20P & 2T                14        11P & 7T               15        17P & 4T
Supported by the
                                                                                               b                b               b                 b
AOUSC survey                                               15       14P & 5T
Approved by the
Bankruptcy Committee                                       15       13P & 6T                 8         5P & 6T               14        7P & 11Tc
Approved by the
Judicial Conference                                        15       13P & 6T                 8         5P & 6T               14        7P & 11Tc
                                         Legend: P = permanent judgeships; T = temporary judgeships.
                                         a
                                          The Southern District of Mississippi requested that a survey be performed to determine if any
                                         additional judgeships were warranted. Thus, while no specific request was made for additional
                                         judges, a temporary judgeship was recommended by the Circuit Council and later approved by
                                         the Bankruptcy Committee and the Judicial Conference.
                                         b
                                          The last formal survey of all districts requesting additional bankruptcy judges was conducted in
                                         1993. In 1995, there were relatively few surveys. Surveys were conducted only when the
                                         requesting district made no request in 1993 or the requesting district’s weighted case filings were
                                         below 1,500. In most bankruptcy districts, the district reviewed its weighted case filings data,
                                         and, if the filings met the 1,500 threshold, renewed its request through its Circuit Judicial Council.
                                         In 1997, a survey was conducted for only one district. Thus, there is little documentation from the
                                         district courts and few surveys for 1995 and 1997. As a result, we did not attempt to include data
                                         for the district courts or AOUSC surveys in the table because the data could be misleading.
                                         c
                                          Includes the recommended extension of one temporary judgeship. This recommendation would
                                         not add a judgeship position, but it would extend the duration of an existing temporary judgeship
                                         position.

                                         Source: GAO analysis of AOUSC data.




                                         Page 13                                                                            GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                            Statement
                            Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship
                            Requests, 1993-1997




Weighted Filings Standard   In our analysis, we found that in the 1993 and 1997 assessment cycles, all
Consistently Applied        of the districts requesting additional bankruptcy judgeships—16 in 1993
Across Districts            and 15 in 1997—had weighted case filings over 1,500 per authorized
                            judgeship prior to the addition of any judgeships. However, in the 1995
                            assessment cycle, 8 of the 14 requesting districts had weighted case filings
                            per judgeship over 1,500; the remaining 6 districts had weighted case
                            filings below 1,500. (See table II.1 in app. II.)

                            Our analysis also showed that the Judicial Conference approved additional
                            permanent bankruptcy judgeships only when the weighted case filings
                            would be 1,500 or more per judgeship after adding the requested
                            judgeship(s) to the district’s current authorized number of judgeships. If
                            the weighted case filings would drop below 1,500 per judgeship after
                            adding the requested judge(s), the Bankruptcy Committee and the
                            Conference approved a temporary judgeship or no increase in judgeships.
                            In two districts, the Committee approved both one permanent and one
                            temporary judgeship—the Southern District of New York in 1993, and the
                            District of Maryland in 1997. In these two districts, the weighted workload
                            was considered sufficiently high after adding one permanent judgeship to
                            merit another judgeship, but not sufficiently high to merit a second
                            permanent judgeship.


Some Districts That Met     Not all districts whose weighted case filings met the minimum threshold of
the Minimum Weighted        1,500 weighted filings per authorized judgeship requested additional
Filings Standard Did Not    judgeships in 1993, 1995, or 1997. We found that during the 1993
                            assessment cycle, 10 districts with weighted case filings above 1,500 per
Request Additional          authorized judgeship did not request additional judges. In 1995, four such
Judgeships                  districts did not request additional judgeships; and, in 1997, five such
                            districts did not. (See tables II.5-II.7 in app. II.) However, one of the five
                            districts in 1997 was the Northern District of Mississippi, which is to share
                            the additional position requested for the Southern District of Mississippi.
                            Conversely, in 1995, six districts whose weighted filings were below 1,500
                            per authorized judgeship requested additional judgeships. None of these
                            six districts’ requests were approved by the Bankruptcy Committee. (See
                            table II.3 in app. II.)

                            We spoke to officials in the four districts that had more than 1,500
                            weighted case filings per authorized judgeship in 1997, but had not asked
                            for additional judgeships.13 The officials in these four districts told us that

                            13
                             We did not speak to officials in the Northern District of Mississippi since that district is to share the
                            additional judgeship the Conference has requested for the Southern District of Mississippi.



                            Page 14                                                                              GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                            Statement
                            Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship
                            Requests, 1993-1997




                            they had not requested any additional judgeships because (1) one district
                            was not aware that its weighted case filings were at or above 1,500 per
                            authorized judgeship; (2) one district said it could handle the workload if
                            the district’s temporary judgeship, scheduled to expire in October 1998,
                            was converted to a permanent judgeship;14 and (3) the remaining two
                            districts currently share a judgeship and could not agree on how an
                            additional judgeship would be allocated between the two districts.


Little Documentation        The Judicial Conference’s policy for assessing a bankruptcy district’s need
Exists on the Effect of     for additional judgeships states that the Bankruptcy Committee is to
Other Available Data on     review a number of workload factors in addition to weighted filings. These
                            factors include the nature and mix of the bankruptcy district’s workload;
the Judicial Conference’s   historical caseload data and filing trends; geographic, economic, and
Recommendations             demographic factors in the district; the effectiveness of case management
                            efforts; the availability of alternative solutions and resources for handling
                            the district’s workload; the impact that approval of requested additional
                            resources would have on the district’s per judgeship caseload; and any
                            other pertinent factors. The Bankruptcy Committee asked that districts
                            requesting additional judgeships address these factors “with as much
                            specificity as possible.” A district could also provide any additional
                            information it thought relevant to its request.

                            Most of the districts surveyed in 1993, 1995, and 1997 provided information
                            on at least four of these factors. AOUSC officials said they provided us with
                            all the written information on these factors that was available to the
                            Bankruptcy Committee for its deliberations. AOUSC officials said that the
                            use of this information in assessing judgeship requests is inherently
                            judgmental and that neither AOUSC nor the Committee keeps minutes of the
                            Committee’s discussions regarding individual districts. Consequently, it
                            was not possible to determine from the documentation we received, how
                            this information was or was not used in assessing districts’ bankruptcy
                            judgeship requests. Nevertheless, none of the judgeship requests approved
                            by the Judicial Conference were in districts that did not meet the 1,500
                            weighted filings standard.




                            14
                              Converting an existing temporary judgeship to a permanent judgeship reclassifies an existing
                            judgeship. It does not add a judgeship for the district.



                            Page 15                                                                          GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                           Statement
                           Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship
                           Requests, 1993-1997




Most Districts That        The Judicial Conference’s policies encourage districts to use visiting and
Requested Additional       recalled judges wherever possible as an alternative to requesting
Judges Have Requested      additional judgeships. For each district that requested additional
                           bankruptcy judgeships in the 1993, 1995, and/or 1997 assessment cycles,
Assistance From Visiting   we requested information on whether the districts had requested,
and Recalled Judges        received, and/or used assistance from visiting or recalled judges. The
                           circuit executives for all 12 circuits provided us documentation on each of
                           the bankruptcy districts that had requested and been assigned assistance
                           from judges outside their districts in each of those years.15 However, the
                           circuit executives did not have information on whether and to what extent
                           the districts actually used the assistance available from visiting and
                           recalled judges.

                           Our analysis of this information showed that 18 of the 19 districts that
                           requested additional bankruptcy judges during 1993 to1997 had requested
                           assistance from judges outside their districts during this period. (See table
                           II.4 in app. II.) Only the Middle District of Pennsylvania had not requested
                           either visiting or recalled judges at some time during the period from
                           January 1, 1993, to June 1997. Ten of the 18 districts that requested
                           assistance received intracircuit assignments (judges from within their
                           circuit) to provide assistance with their caseloads. None of the four
                           districts in California relied on intracircuit assignments. These districts are
                           in the Ninth Circuit, which uses its own “workload equalization program”
                           that transfers cases from districts in the circuit with above-average
                           caseloads to districts in the circuit that have below-average caseloads.
                           This program allows cases to be transferred rather than judges. According
                           to the circuit, transferring cases minimizes both the inconvenience to the
                           parties involved as well as judges’ travel time and expenses.

                           Six districts received intercircuit assignments (judges from outside their
                           circuits) to provide assistance with their caseloads. Only four of these six
                           districts received both intracircuit and intercircuit assignments of
                           bankruptcy judges. Eleven of the 18 districts that requested assistance had
                           been assigned recalled judges as a means to alleviate the heavy caseloads.16




                           15
                             Our information for 1997 covers the period from January to June 1997.
                           16
                            A recalled judge is a retired bankruptcy judge who is recalled for duty for a specific period of time,
                           usually 1 year. Some of the recalled judges were assigned to more than one district at the same time.



                           Page 16                                                                            GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                      Statement
                      Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship
                      Requests, 1993-1997




                      Bankruptcy judges’ travel can be categorized as case-related and
Bankruptcy Judges’    noncase-related. Case-related travel is travel to work on specific
Noncase-Related       bankruptcy cases whether within a judge’s district or in other districts.
Travel in Calendar    Noncase-related travel is travel that is not related to adjudicating specific
                      bankruptcy cases. The amount of time devoted to noncase-related travel
Years 1995 and 1996   could potentially affect the amount of time judges have to devote to work
Varied by District    on individual cases.

                      In assessing bankruptcy judges’ workloads, the Judicial Conference
                      assumes that each bankruptcy judge will spend, on average, about
                      30 percent of his or her time—about 600 hours, or 75 work days per
                      year—on matters that cannot be attributed to a specific case, such as
                      travel, training, court administration matters, and general case
                      management activities that cannot be attributed to a specific case. These
                      600 hours, or 75 work days, are in addition to the average of 1,500 hours or
                      187.5 workdays that each judge is assumed to spend annually on work
                      attributable to specific bankruptcy cases.

                      Through AOUSC, we requested information on the noncase-related travel of
                      the judges in the 14 districts for which the Judicial Conference requested
                      judgeships in 1997, plus the Northern District of Mississippi which is to
                      share the position requested for the Southern District of Mississippi. We
                      received information from 80 of the 84 judges in these districts judges on
                      noncase-related travel in calendar years 1995 and 1996. These judges
                      reported a total of 416 trips in 1995 and 403 trips in 1996. On the basis of
                      the data reported, we calculated that these judges had an average of 12.5
                      noncase-related travel work days each year.17 As shown in table 2, there
                      was a marked difference between the districts with the highest and lowest
                      average number of noncase-related trips per judge and between the
                      districts with the highest and lowest average number of workdays per
                      judge for noncase-related trips. The reasons for these differences were not
                      apparent from our data.




                      17
                        We identified workdays by excluding weekend days and federal holidays in 1995 and 1996.



                      Page 17                                                                        GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                          Statement
                                          Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship
                                          Requests, 1993-1997




Table 2: Range in Number of Trips and
Workdays Per Judge for                                                                                 District range           1995         1996
Noncase-Related Travel in Calendar        Average number of noncase-related trips per                  High                        9.3       12.0
Years 1995 and 1996 in the 15 Districts   judge
for Which the Judiciary Requested
                                                                                                       Low                         0.5         1.3
Bankruptcy Judgeships in 1997
                                          Average number of workdays per judge for                     High                      22.3        28.5
                                          noncase-related travel
                                                                                                       Low                         1.5         5.2
                                          Source: GAO analysis of bankruptcy judges’ travel data.



                                          Together, circuit or district meetings and activities; Judicial Conference
                                          meetings and activities; and AOUSC- or FJC-sponsored workshops, seminars,
                                          or other activities accounted for about 66 percent of all noncase-related
                                          trips and about 74 percent of all noncase-related travel workdays reported
                                          for 1995. Comparable figures for calendar year 1996 were about 67 percent
                                          and 73 percent, respectively. About 98 percent of the 819 trips were for
                                          destinations within the United States. Overall, about 34 percent of all trips
                                          made in these two years were sponsored by organizations other than the
                                          federal judiciary and were paid for by the judges themselves or the
                                          sponsoring organizations.


Noncase-Related Travel in                 You requested that we also obtain information on the noncase-related
the Four Districts With                   travel of the 13 authorized judges in the four districts with weighted filings
Weighted Filings of 1,500                 of 1,500 or more in 1997 that did not request judgeships. The 12 judges in
                                          these 4 districts (one position was vacant) reported a total of 177
or More in 1997 That Did                  noncase-related trips—75 in calendar year 1995 and 102 in calendar year
Not Request Judgeships                    1996.18 On the basis of these reported data, we calculated that the 12
                                          judges spent a total of 178 workdays in 1995 and 258 workdays in 1996 on
                                          noncase-related travel. This is a per judge average of 14.8 workdays in
                                          1995 and 21.5 workdays in 1996.

                                          Together, circuit or district meetings and activities; Judicial Conference
                                          meetings and activities; and AOUSC- or FJC-sponsored workshops, seminars,
                                          or other activities accounted for 72 percent of all noncase-related trips and
                                          about 79 percent of all noncase-related travel workdays reported for 1995.
                                          Comparable figures for calendar year 1996 were about 80 percent and
                                          about 83 percent, respectively. All but 1 of the 177 trips reported were for

                                          18
                                           Although the Eastern District of Texas has two authorized bankruptcy judgeships, one of the
                                          positions is vacant. Currently, the district is served by one permanent judge and one recalled judge.
                                          For comparability, we did not include the travel of the recalled judge in our analysis because we did
                                          not request or use data for recalled judges in the 15 districts for which we had previously reported on
                                          bankruptcy judges’ noncase-related travel.



                                          Page 18                                                                           GAO/T-GGD-97-183
Statement
Federal Judiciary: Bankruptcy Judgeship
Requests, 1993-1997




destinations within the United States. Overall, about 23 percent of all trips
made in these 2 years were sponsored and paid for by organizations other
than the federal judiciary. (Additional details are in app. II, tables II.8 -
II.10.)

On September 18, 1997, we provided a draft of this statement to AOUSC
officials for comment. On September 19, 1997, we met with AOUSC officials
to discuss their comments. Overall, AOUSC officials said they found the
statement to be fair and accurate. AOUSC suggested that we change our
description of the formal judgeship assessment process to state that
on-site surveys are always to be done when a district made its initial
request for additional judgeships, but are not required when the district
renews a previously-approved request and district’s weighted workload
remained at or above 1,500 weighted filings. AOUSC provided a formal
written support for this change, and we incorporated the new language
into our statement. AOUSC official also noted that judges’ personal
vacations were not included in the average of 600 hours that bankruptcy
judges are assumed to spend on activities that cannot be attributed to a
specific case. We also included several technical changes, as appropriate.


This concludes my prepared statement, Mr. Chairman. I would be pleased
to answer any questions you or other members of the Subcommittee may
have.




Page 19                                                      GAO/T-GGD-97-183
Appendix I

Scope and Methodology


             To identify the process, policies, and standards the Judicial Conference
             used to assess the need for additional bankruptcy judgeships, we asked
             the Administrative Office of U. S. Courts (AOUSC) to provide all available
             documentation on the Conference’s policies, process, and standards from
             1993 through 1997, including any changes that occurred during this period
             and the reasons for those changes. To determine how the process,
             policies, and standards were applied during the 1993, 1995, and 1997
             assessment cycles, we asked AOUSC to provide all available documentation
             for each step in the process from the initial bankruptcy district request to
             the final Judicial Conference decision. With this documentation, we used a
             structured data collection instrument to review how the Conference’s
             process, policies, and standards were applied to each bankruptcy district’s
             judgeship request in 1993, 1995, and 1997. We also interviewed AOUSC
             officials about how the process, policies, and standards were used in the
             1993, 1995, and 1997 assessment cycles.

             To determine which districts had requested and used temporary assistance
             from recalled judges or judges outside their districts from January 1993 to
             June 1997, we contacted each of the 12 circuit executives. AOUSC did not
             maintain these data, and the circuit executives had no consistent data on
             the extent to which the districts actually used the assistance available.

             To identify districts whose weighted case filings for each assessment
             cycle—1993, 1995, 1997—were at least 1,500 per authorized judgeship, but
             which did not request additional judgeships, we obtained AOUSC data on
             weighted filings for each of the 90 bankruptcy districts for each of those
             assessment cycles. To determine why each these districts did not request
             additional judgeships, we interviewed AOUSC officials. We also interviewed
             local court officials in the four districts with weighted filings of 1,500 or
             more during the 1997 assessment cycle that did not request additional
             judgeships.19

             To identify the number, purpose, and destination of noncase-related trips
             for the judges in each of the 14 districts for which the Judicial Conference
             requested bankruptcy judgeships in 1997, through the AOUSC we surveyed
             the judges in each district, plus the Northern District of Mississippi, which
             is to share the judgeship requested for the Southern District of Mississippi.
             These 15 districts have a total of 84 authorized judgeships, and we
             received responses from 81 judges. However, one judge did not provide
             information on the dates of each trip or the paying organization. Thus, our

             19
               We did not speak to officials in the Northern District of Mississippi, because this district is to share
             the judgeship requested for the Southern District of Mississippi.



             Page 20                                                                               GAO/T-GGD-97-183
Appendix I
Scope and Methodology




analysis is based on the responses of 80 judges. We organized the reported
trips into five categories: (1) judicial meetings and activities within the
district or circuit;20 (2) workshops, seminars, and other activities
sponsored by AOUSC or the FJC; (3) meetings, conferences, and seminars
sponsored by the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (NCBJ), the
National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees (NABT), or the National
Association of Chapter 13 Trustees (NACTT); (4) Judicial Conference
activities;21 and (5) other.22

We did not independently verify the data on weighted filings, nor the
information bankruptcy judges provided on their noncase-related travel,
including the dates, purpose, cost, destination, or paying organization for
each trip.




20
 This category includes trips to circuit conferences and circuit committee meetings as well as
bankruptcy judges meetings within the circuit, either for a specific district or more than one district.
We included such meetings in this category whether or not the listed destinations were within the
geographic boundaries of the district or circuit.
21
 This category included trips to attend meetings of Judicial Conference committees or
subcommittees.
22
 This category included any activity not contained in the other four categories. It includes activities,
such as meetings or seminars sponsored by law schools, bar associations, civic associations, executive
branch agencies of the federal government, or foreign governments.
Page 21                                                                             GAO/T-GGD-97-183
Appendix II




Table II.1: Authorized Judgeships,
Judgeships Approved by the Judicial                            Weighted case       Number of
Conference, and Weighted Case                     Number of      filings prior         judges
Filings for Bankruptcy Courts                     authorized      to the 1993       approved
Requesting Additional Judgeships,     District   judgeships           request         in 1993
1993, 1995, and 1997                  D.C.                1             1,732              0
                                      NY (E)              6             1,904             1P
                                      NY (N)              2             1,855             1T
                                      NY (S)              9             1,916        1P&1T
                                      DE                  2               848            N/A
                                      NJ                  8             1,894             1P
                                      PA (E)              5             1,969             1P
                                      PA (M)              2             1,595            N/A
                                      MD                  4             2,235             1P
                                      VA (E)              5             1,935             1P
                                                                             c
                                      MS (S)              2             1,781             1T
                                      MI (E)              4             2,067             1P
                                      TN (W)              4             1,968            N/A
                                      AZ                  7             1,758             1T
                                      CA (C)             21             2,144             4P
                                      CA (E)              6             1,576             1T
                                      CA (N)              9             1,828             1P
                                      CA (S)              4             1,817             1T
                                      FL (S)              5             1,965             1P
                                      Totals             10               N/A      13 P & 6 T




                                      Page 22                                GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                       Appendix II




Weighted case     Weighted case            Number of     Weighted case           Weighted case               Number of          Weighted case
  filings after     filings prior              judges      filings after           filings prior                 judges           filings after
      the 1993       to the 1995            approved           the 1995             to the 1997               approved                the 1997
       request           request              in 1995           request                 request                 in 1997                request
         1,732               988                 N/A                    988                  1,053                    N/A                      1,053
         1,632             1,675                  1T                 1,436                   1,753                     1T                      1,487
                                   a                                         a
         1,237             1,538                  1T                 1,025                   1,895                     1T                      1,263
         1,568             1,271                   0                 1,271                   1,510e                    1T                      1,359e
           848               883                 N/A                    883                  2,065                       0f                    2,065
         1,684             1,648                  1T                 1,465                   1,748                     1P                      1,554
         1,641             1,568                  1T                 1,307                   1,708                     1T                      1,423
         1,595             1,816                 N/A                 1,816                   1,525                      1T                     1,017
         1,788             1,982                  1P                 1,586                   2,230              1P&1T                          1,487
         1,613             1,347b                  0                 1,347b                  1,631                     1T                      1,359
              c                    c                                         c                      c
         1,336             1,324                   0                 1,324                   1,646                     1T                      1,234c
                                b                                           b
         1,654             1,788                  1T                 1,430                   1,679                     1T                      1,343
         1,968             1,984                 N/A                 1,984                   2,345                     1P                      1,876
         1,538             1,117                 N/A                 1,117                   1,014                    N/A                      1,014
         1,801             1,795                  4P                 1,508                   1,940                     4P                      1,630
         1,351             1,496b                  0d                1,496b                  1,523                     1T                      1,306
                                b                                           b
         1,645             1,490                   0                 1,490                   1,403                    N/A                      1,403
         1,454             1,440b                  0                 1,440b                  1,361                    N/A                      1,361
                                b                                           b
         1,638             1,502                  1T                 1,251                   1,584                     1T                      1,320
           N/A               N/A            5P&6T                       N/A                    N/A            7 P & 11 T                        N/A
                                       Note: N/A = not applicable. For entries for individual districts, N/A indicates that the district did
                                       not request additional judgeships in that assessment cycle. For the total columns, it was not
                                       meaningful to total the weighted filings workloads per authorized judgeship for all districts
                                       a
                                       The weighted case filing data for the Northern District of New York are as of June 30, 1995.
                                       b
                                        Weighted case filing data for these districts are as of the end of the calendar year preceding the
                                       request rather than the end of the fiscal year preceding the request.
                                       c
                                        Weighted case filing data are combined for the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi
                                       since the additional judgeship is to be shared by the two districts.
                                       d
                                        The additional temporary judgeship initially approved for the Eastern District of California was
                                       later withdrawn when the case filings declined.
                                       e
                                        The weighted case filings for the Southern District of New York were computed using a 2-year
                                       average for “mega cases.”
                                       f
                                        While no new judgeships were approved for the District of Delaware, the Conference requested
                                       the extension of a temporary judgeship.

                                       Source: GAO analysis of AOUSC data.




                                       Page 23                                                                                GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                          Appendix II




Table II.2: Results of the 1993, 1995, and 1997 Needs Assessments for Additional Bankruptcy Judges, by Type of
Judgeship
                                                                Convert temporary Extension of
Initial requests and      Permanent           Temporary         to permanent         temporary           Total number
subsequent actions        judgeships          judgeships        judgeships           judgeships          of judges
Initial bankruptcy
court request
1993                   21                 1                    0                   0                    22
1995                   13                 5                    0                   0                    18
                                           a                    b
1997                   17                 3                    1                   0                    20a
Approved by the
district court
1993                   21                 1                    0                   0                    22
1995                   N/A                N/A                  N/A                 N/A                  N/A
1997                   N/A                N/A                  N/A                 N/A                  N/A
Approved by the
Circuit Judicial
Council
1993                   20                 2                    0                   0                    22
1995                   11                 7                    0                   0                    18
1997                   17                 4                    1b                  0                    21
Supported by the
AOUSC survey
1993                   14                 5                    0                   0                    19
1995                   N/A                N/A                  N/A                 N/A                  N/A
1997                   N/A                N/A                  N/A                 N/A                  N/A
Approved by the
Bankruptcy
Committee
1993                   13                 6                    0                   0                    19
1995                   5                  6                    0                   0                    11
                                                                                    b
1997                   7                  11                   0                   1                    18
Approved by the
Judicial Conference
1993                   13                 6                    0                   0                    19
1995                   5                  6                    0                   0                    11
1997                   7                  11                   0                   1b                   18

                                                                                                     (Table notes on next page)




                                          Page 24                                                         GAO/T-GGD-97-183
Appendix II




Note: N/A indicates data were not sufficiently complete to be meaningful. The last formal survey of
all districts requesting additional bankruptcy judges was conducted in 1993. In 1995 there were
relatively few surveys. Surveys were conducted only when the requesting district had made no
request in 1993 or the requesting district’s weighted case filings were below 1,500. In most
bankruptcy districts, the district reviewed its weighted case filings data and, if the filings met the
1,500 threshold, renewed its request through its Circuit Judicial Council. Thus, there is little
documentation from the district courts and few surveys for 1995. Only one district was surveyed
for the 1997 request. As a result, we did not attempt to include data for the district courts or
AOUSC surveys for 1995 and 1997 in the table because it could be misleading.
a
 The Southern District of Mississippi did not ask for a specific number of judges in 1997; rather
the district requested that a survey be conducted to determine if additional judgeships were
warranted.
b
 These positions are not new judgeships; rather they are a change in category for existing
judgeships. As a result, these positions do not change the total number of judgeships approved.

Source: GAO analysis of AOUSC data.




Page 25                                                                           GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                         Appendix II




Table II.3: Data on the Results of the
1993, 1995, and 1997 Bankruptcy                              Weighted case
Judgeships Needs Assessments and                             filings prior to
the Resulting Changes in Weighted                             the judgeship     Initial bankruptcy
Case Filings, by District                District and year         requests          court request
                                         D.C.
                                         1993                          1,732                  1P
                                         1995                            988                    0
                                         1997                          1,053                    0
                                         NY (E)
                                         1993                          1,904                  2P
                                         1995                          1,675                  1P
                                         1997                          1,753                  2P
                                         NY (N)
                                         1993                          1,855                  1P
                                                                            b
                                         1995                         1,538                   1T
                                         1997                          1,895                  1P
                                         NY (S)
                                         1993                          1,916             1P&1T
                                         1995                          1,271             1P&1T
                                         1997                         1,510c             1P&1T
                                         DE
                                         1993                            848                    0
                                         1995                            883                    0
                                         1997                          2,065                  1 Td
                                         NJ
                                         1993                          1,894                  1P
                                         1995                          1,648                  1P
                                         1997                          1,748                  1P
                                         PA (E)
                                         1993                          1,969                  1P
                                         1995                          1,568                  1T
                                         1997                          1,708                  1P
                                         PA (M)
                                         1993                          1,595                    0
                                         1995                          1,816                    0
                                         1997                          1,525                  1T
                                         MD
                                         1993                          2,235                  1P
                                         1995                          1,982                  1P
                                         1997                          2,230                  2P



                                         Page 26                                GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                         Appendix II




                                                                                                     Weighted case
                    Approved by the                             Approved by the   Approved by the    filings after the
Approved by the      Circuit Judicial      Supported by the         Bankruptcy           Judicial          judgeship
   district court            Council         AOUSC survey            Committee        Conference            approval


             1P                 1 P/Ta                     0                 0                 0                1,732
             N/A                 N/A                     N/A               N/A               N/A                  988
             N/A                 N/A                     N/A               N/A               N/A                1,053


             2P                  2P                       1P                1P                1P                1,632
             N/A                 1P                      N/A                1T                1T                1,436
             N/A                 2P                      N/A                1T                1T                1,487


             1P                  1P                       1T                1T                1T                1,237
              1T                  1T                      1T                1T                1T                1,025b
             N/A                 1P                      N/A                1T                1T                1,263


        1P&1T               1P&1T                      1P&1T           1P&1T             1P&1T                  1,568
        1P&1T               1P&1T                         1T                 0                 0                1,271
             N/A            1P&1T                        N/A                1T                1T                1,359c


             N/A                 N/A                     N/A               N/A               N/A                  848
             N/A                 N/A                     N/A               N/A               N/A                  883
             1 Td                 1 Td                     0e                0e                0c               2,065


             1P                  1P                       1P                1P                1P                1,684
             N/A                 1P                      N/A                1T                1T                1,465
             N/A                 1P                      N/A                1P                1P                1,554


             1P                  1P                       1P                1P                1P                1,641
               0                  1T                      1T                1T                1T                1,307
             N/A                 1P                      N/A                1T                1T                1,423


             N/A                 N/A                     N/A               N/A               N/A                1,595
             N/A                 N/A                     N/A               N/A               N/A                1,816
             N/A                  1T                     N/A                1T                1T                1,017


             1P                  1P                       1P                1P                1P                1,788
             N/A                 1P                      N/A                1P                1P                1,586
             N/A                 2P                      N/A           1P&1T             1P&1T                  1,487
                                                                                                           (continued)


                                         Page 27                                                    GAO/T-GGD-97-183
Appendix II




                    Weighted case
                    filings prior to
                     the judgeship       Initial bankruptcy
District and year         requests            court request
VA (E)
1993                          1,935                    1P
                                     f
1995                         1,347                     1P
1997                          1,631                    1P
MS (S)
1993                         1,781g                    1P
                                   g
1995                         1,324                     1P
1997                         1,646g                       h

MI (E)
1993                          2,067                    1P
                                     f
1995                         1,788                     1P
1997                          1,679                    1P
TN (W)
1993                          1,968                      0
1995                          1,984                      0
1997                          2,345                    1P
AZ
1993                          1,758                    1P
1995                          1,117                      0
1997                          1,014                      0
CA (C)
1993                          2,144                    4P
1995                          1,795                    4P
1997                          1,940                    4P
CA (E)
1993                          1,576                    1P
                                     f
1995                         1,496                     1P
1997                          1,523                    1P
CA (N)
1993                          1,828                    2P
                                     f
1995                         1,490                     1T
1997                          1,403                      0
CA (S)
1993                          1,817                    1P
                                     f
1995                         1,440                     1T
1997                          1,361                      0




Page 28                                  GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                        Appendix II




                                                                                                  Weighted case
                    Approved by the                          Approved by the   Approved by the    filings after the
Approved by the      Circuit Judicial     Supported by the       Bankruptcy           Judicial          judgeship
   district court            Council        AOUSC survey          Committee        Conference            approval


             1P                  1P                    1P                1P                1P                1,613
             1P                  1P                     0                 0                 0                1,347f
             N/A                 1P                   N/A                1T                1T                1,359


             1P                  1P                    1P                1T                1T                1,336g
             N/D                  1T                    0                 0                 0                1,324g
                h
                                  1T                  N/A                1T                1T                1,234g


             1P                  1P                    1P                1P                1P                1,654
             1P                  1P                    1P                1T                1T                1,430f
             N/A                 1P                   N/A                1T                1T                1,343


             N/A                 N/A                  N/A               N/A               N/A                1,968
             N/A                 N/A                  N/A               N/A               N/A                1,984
             N/A                 1P                   N/A                1P                1P                1,876


             1P                  1P                    1T                1T                1T                1,538
             N/A                 N/A                  N/A               N/A               N/A                1,117
             N/A                 N/A                  N/A               N/A               N/A                1,014


             4P                  4P                    4P                4P                4P                1,801
             N/A                 4P                   N/A                4P                4P                1,508
             N/A                 4P                   N/A                4P                4P                1,630


             1P                  1P                    1T                1T                1T                1,351
             N/D                  1T                   1T                 0                 0                1,496f
             N/A                 1P                   N/A                1T                1T                1,306


             2P                  2P                    1P                1P                1P                1,645
             N/D                  1T                   1T                 0                 0                1,490f
             N/A                 N/A                  N/A               N/A               N/A                1,403


             1P                  1P                    1T                1T                1T                1,454
              1T                  1T                    0                 0                 0                1,440f
             N/A                 N/A                  N/A               N/A               N/A                1,361
                                                                                                        (continued)



                                        Page 29                                                  GAO/T-GGD-97-183
Appendix II




                    Weighted case
                    filings prior to
                     the judgeship     Initial bankruptcy
District and year         requests          court request
FL (S)
1993                          1,965                  1P
                                   f
1995                         1,502                   1P
1997                          1,584                  1P
Totals
1993                            N/A           21 P & 1 T
1995                            N/A           13 P & 5 T
1997                            N/A           17 P & 3 T




Page 30                                GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                         Appendix II




                                                                                                                             Weighted case
                    Approved by the                                    Approved by the           Approved by the             filings after the
Approved by the      Circuit Judicial         Supported by the             Bankruptcy                   Judicial                   judgeship
   district court            Council            AOUSC survey                Committee                Conference                     approval


             1P                   1P                           1P                      1P                        1P                        1,638
             1P                   1P                           1P                      1T                         1T                       1,251f
             N/A                  1P                          N/A                      1T                         1T                       1,320


       21 P & 1 T          20 P & 2 Ta                 14 P & 5 T              13 P & 6 T                13 P & 6 T                         N/A
             N/A           11 P & 7 T                         N/A                5P&6T                     5P&6T                            N/A
             N/A           17 P & 4 T                         N/A              7 P & 11 T                7 P & 11 T                         N/A
                                         Legends

                                         P = Permanent judgeship
                                         T = Temporary judgeship
                                         N/D = Not documented


                                         Note 1: N/A indicates data were not sufficiently complete to be meaningful. The last formal
                                         surveys of the districts requesting additional bankruptcy judges were performed in 1993. Only
                                         when the requests were new (i.e., no survey had been performed since 1993) or if the weighted
                                         case filings were below 1,500 were surveys conducted. In most districts, the bankruptcy courts
                                         reviewed the weighted case filings data; and if the case filings were above the 1,500 threshold,
                                         the courts would renew their request through their respective Circuit Judicial Council. Thus, there
                                         is little documentation from the district courts and relatively few surveys were performed in 1995
                                         or 1997. As a result, we did not attempt to factor in the data for the district courts or AOUSC
                                         surveys in these 2 years because the data would be misleading.

                                         Note 2: Based on guidance provided by AOUSC, unless documented otherwise, all requests by
                                         the bankruptcy courts for additional judgeships were assumed to be for permanent positions.
                                         a
                                          The Circuit Judicial Council supported the request for an additional judgeship but was unsure
                                         whether the judgeship should be a temporary or permanent position. In our analysis, we counted
                                         the judgeship approved for D.C. as a temporary judgeship.
                                         b
                                          The weighted case filing data for the northern district of New York are as current of June 30,
                                         1995.
                                         c
                                          The weighted case filings for the southern district of New York were computed using a 2-year
                                         average for “mega cases.”
                                         d
                                             Delaware also asked for a temporary judgeship to be converted to a permanent judgeship.
                                         e
                                         While no new judgeships were approved for Delaware, a temporary judgeship was extended.
                                         f
                                          Weighted case filing data for these districts are as current of the end of the calendar year
                                         preceding the request, rather than the end of the fiscal year preceding the request.
                                         g
                                          Weighted case filing data are shown for the northern and southern districts Mississippi combined
                                         since the additional judgeship is to be shared by the two districts.
                                         h
                                          Mississippi (Southern) did not ask for a specific number of judges in 1997, rather the district
                                         requested that a survey be performed to determine if any additional judgeships were warranted.

                                         Source: GAO analysis of AOUSC data.




                                         Page 31                                                                           GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                         Appendix II




Table II.4: Alternative Resources Assigned to and Provided by Districts Requesting Additional Bankruptcy Judgeships
During the Period January 1993 to June 1997
                                                                                          Resources provided by district
                                       Resources assigned to district                Provided judges to Provided judges to
                                          Judges from within Judges from                    other districts           districts in other
Circuit/District     Recalled judges      the circuit        another circuit                within the circuit        circuits
D.C.                                                               X                                                  X
Second
NY (E)               X                    X
NY (N)               X                    X                        X
NY (S)               X                    X                        X
Third
DE                                        X
NJ                   X                                                                      X
PA (E)               X                    X
PA (M)
Fourth
MD                                        X                        X                                                  X
VA (E)                                    X                        X
Fifth
MS (S)                                    X                                                 X
Sixth
MI (E)                                    X
TN (W)                                    X                                                 Xa                        X
Ninth
                                          b
AZ                   X
                                          b
CA (C)               X
                                          b
CA (E)               X
                                          b
CA (N)               X
                                          b
CA (S)               X
Eleventh
FL (S)               X                                             X
                                         a
                                          Tennessee (Western) provided a judge for one case in Tennessee (Middle) when all the judges
                                         in that district were disqualified.
                                         b
                                          The Ninth Circuit uses the “work equalization program” in which cases from districts with
                                         above-average caseloads are transferred to districts with below-average caseloads. According to
                                         the circuit, this minimizes the inconvenience to the parties and reduces travel expenses. Because
                                         of this program, the cases within the Ninth Circuit are transferred rather than using intracircuit
                                         assignments of judges.

                                         Source: GAO analysis of Circuit Executive data.




                                         Page 32                                                                          GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                        Appendix II




Table II.5: Weighted Case Filings Per
Bankruptcy Judgeship for 1993, in                                                                                   Weighted case filings
Rank Order by District for Districts                                                             Number of                per authorized
With Weighted Case Filings at or                                                                judgeships               judgeship as of
Above 1,500 Per Judgeship               District                                          requested in 1993                June 30, 1993
                                        MA                                                                    0                         2,183
                                        MD                                                                    1                         2,168
                                        CA (C)                                                                4                         2,058
                                        D.C.                                                                  1                         2,052
                                        MI (E)                                                                1                         2,025
                                        NY (E)                                                                2                         1,993
                                        NJ                                                                    1                         1,984
                                        TN (W)                                                                0                         1,965
                                        NY (N)                                                                1                         1,810
                                        NY (S)                                                                2                         1,807
                                        PA (M)                                                                0                         1,801
                                        MS (N)                                                               0a                         1,796
                                        AL (N)                                                                0                         1,774
                                        PA (E)                                                                1                         1,748
                                        VA (E)                                                                1                         1,742
                                        CA (S)                                                                1                         1,736
                                        CA (E)                                                                1                         1,734
                                        FL (S)                                                                1                         1,732
                                        CA (N)                                                                2                         1,729
                                        CT                                                                    0                         1,677
                                        TX (N)                                                                0                         1,629
                                        AZ                                                                    1                         1,623
                                        GA (S)                                                                0                         1,610
                                        TN (M)                                                                0                         1,560
                                        RI                                                                    0                         1,540
                                        Note: All districts in bold type had weighted case filings of more than 1,500 per judgeship but did
                                        not request additional judgeships.
                                        a
                                         While Mississippi (Northern) did not request a judgeship, it was to share the judgeship requested
                                        by Mississippi (Southern).

                                        Source: GAO analysis of AOUSC data.




                                        Page 33                                                                         GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                        Appendix II




Table II.6: Weighted Case Filings Per
Bankruptcy Judgeship for 1995, in                                                                                   Weighted case filings
Rank Order by District for Districts                                                             Number of                per authorized
With Weighted Case Filings at or                                                                judgeships               judgeship as of
Above 1,500 Per Judgeship               District                                          requested in 1995                June 30, 1995
                                        TN (W)                                                                0                         1,984
                                        MD                                                                    1                         1,982
                                        PA (M)                                                                0                         1,816
                                        CA (C)                                                                4                         1,795
                                        AL (N)                                                                0                         1,784
                                        PA (E)                                                                1                         1,686
                                        MI (E)                                                                1                         1,680
                                        NY (E)                                                                1                         1,675
                                        NJ                                                                    1                         1,648
                                        MA                                                                    0                         1,556
                                        NY (N)                                                                1                         1,538
                                        FL (S)                                                                1                         1,506
                                        Note: All districts in bold type had weighted case filings of more than 1,500 per judgeship but did
                                        not request additional judgeships.

                                        Source: GAO analysis of AOUSC data.




                                        Page 34                                                                         GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                        Appendix II




Table II.7: Weighted Case Filings Per
Bankruptcy Judgeship for 1997, in                                                                                   Weighted case filings
Rank Order by District for Districts                                                             Number of                per authorized
With Weighted Case Filings at or                                                                judgeships               judgeship as of
Above 1,500 Per Judgeship               District                                          requested in 1997                June 30, 1996
                                        TN (W)                                                                1                         2,345
                                        MD                                                                    2                         2,230
                                        DE                                                                    1                         2,065
                                        CA (C)                                                                4                         1,940
                                        NY (N)                                                                1                         1,895
                                                                                                              a
                                        MS (N) 0                                                                                        1,767
                                        AL (N)                                                                0                         1,765
                                        NJ                                                                    1                         1,748
                                        NY (E)                                                                2                         1,735
                                        PA (E)                                                                1                         1,708
                                        GA (M)                                                                0                         1,691
                                        MI (E)                                                                1                         1,679
                                        GA (S)                                                                0                         1,674
                                        VA (E)                                                                1                         1,631
                                        TX (E)                                                                0                         1,615
                                        MS (S)                                                               0b                         1,585
                                        FL (S)                                                                1                         1,584
                                        PA (M)                                                                1                         1,525
                                        CA (E)                                                                1                         1,523
                                        Note: All districts in bold type had weighted case filings of more than 1,500 per judgeship but did
                                        not request additional judgeships.
                                        a
                                         While Mississippi (Northern) did not request a judgeship, it was to share the judgeship requested
                                        by Mississippi (Southern).
                                        b
                                         Mississippi (Southern) did not ask for a specific number of judges in 1997, rather the district
                                        requested that a survey be performed to determine if any additional judgeships were warranted.

                                        Source: GAO analysis of AOUSC data.




                                        Page 35                                                                         GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                          Appendix II




Table II.8: Information on the Number Trips, Total Travel Days, Total Workdays, and the Purpose of Bankruptcy Judges’
Noncase-Related Trips in the Four Districts Whose Weighted Filings Were 1,500 or More but Did Not Request Judgeships
in the 1997 Assessment Cycle
                                            Number of        Number of      Number of
                                             trips each     travel days     work days
District/number of judges/year                     year       each year      each year Purpose
Alabama (Northern)                                  20            38             30   Circuit or district meetings, activities
6 judges
                                                    12            55             48   AOUSC or FJC workshops, seminars,
                                                                                      activities
                                                    2             12              7   NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT conferences
                                                    0              0              0   Judicial Conference meetings, activities
                                                    15            25             21   Other (e.g., law school seminars, bar
                                                                                      association meetings)
1995 total                                          49           130           106
                                                    25            44             37   Circuit or district meetings, activities
                                                    22            90             84   AOUSC or FJC workshops, seminars,
                                                                                      activities
                                                    1              5              4   NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT conferences
                                                    0              0              0   Judicial Conference meetings, activities
                                                    15            42             28   Other (e.g., law school seminars, bar
                                                                                      association meetings)
1996 total                                          63           181           153
                a
Georgia (Middle)                                    4             18             12   Circuit or district meetings, activities
2.5 judges
                                                    11            45             36   AOUSC or FJC workshops, seminars,
                                                                                      activities
                                                    0              0              0   NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT conferences
                                                    0              0              0   Judicial Conference meetings, activities
                                                    1              4              3   Other (e.g., law school seminars, bar
                                                                                      association meetings)
1995 total                                          16            67             51
Georgia (Middle) continued                          4             16             11   Circuit or district meetings, activities
                                                    16            54             48   AOUSC or FJC workshops, seminars,
                                                                                      activities
                                                    0              0              0   NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT conferences
                                                    0              0              0   Judicial Conference meetings, activities
                                                    3             10              9   Other (e.g., law school seminars, bar
                                                                                      association meetings)
1996 total                                          23            80             68
Georgia (Southern)a                                 3             12              9   Circuit or district meetings, activities
2.5 judges
                                                                                                                      (continued)




                                          Page 36                                                             GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                 Appendix II




                                 Number of            Number of         Number of
                                 trips each          travel days        work days
District/number of judges/year         year            each year         each year       Purpose
                                            3                    5                  3    AOUSC or FJC workshops, seminars,
                                                                                         activities
                                            0                    0                  0    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT conferences
                                            0                    0                  0    Judicial Conference meetings, activities
                                            1                    2                  2    Other (e.g., law school seminars, bar
                                                                                         association meetings)
1995 total                                  7                  19                 14
                                            3                  12                   7    Circuit or district meetings, activities
                                            6                  14                 12     AOUSC or FJC workshops, seminars,
                                                                                         activities
                                            0                    0                  0    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT conferences
                                            0                    0                  0    Judicial Conference meetings, activities
                                            1                    2                  2    Other (e.g., law school seminars, bar
                                                                                         association meetings)
1996 Total                                 10                  28                 21
               b
Texas (Eastern)                             1                    4                  3    Circuit or district meetings, activities
2 judges
                                            0                    0                  0    AOUSC or FJC workshops, seminars,
                                                                                         activities
                                            0                    0                  0    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT conferences
                                            0                    0                  0    Judicial Conference meetings, activities
                                            2                    6                  4    Other (e.g., law school seminars, bar
                                                                                         association meetings)
1995 total                                  3                  10                   7
                                            1                    4                  3    Circuit or district meetings, activities
                                            5                  16                 13     AOUSC or FJC workshops, seminars,
                                                                                         activities
                                            0                    0                  0    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT conferences
                                            0                    0                  0    Judicial Conference meetings, activities
                                            0                    0                  0    Other (e.g., law school seminars, bar
                                                                                         association meetings)
1996 total                                  6                  20                 16

                                 a
                                  The Middle and Southern Districts of Georgia share a bankruptcy judgeship. The travel data for
                                 this shared judgeship are included in the totals for the Middle District of Georgia.
                                 b
                                  The Eastern District of Texas has two authorized bankruptcy judgeships, but one of the positions
                                 is vacant. Currently, the second judge in the district is a recalled judge. Our analysis excluded
                                 the travel data for the recalled judge because we did not receive or report travel data for recalled
                                 judges in the 15 districts for which we reported in our correspondence of August 8, 1997.

                                 Source: GAO analysis of bankruptcy judges’ travel data.




                                 Page 37                                                                          GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                          Appendix II




Table II.9: Information on the Purpose and Destinations of Bankruptcy Judges’ Noncase-Related Trips in the Four Districts
Whose Weighted Filings Were 1,500 or More but Did Not Request Judgeships in the 1997 Assessment Cycle
                                            Number of
District/number of judges/year         trips each year Purpose                           Destination (number of trips)
Alabama (Northern)                                  20   Circuit or district meetings, activities Birmingham, AL (7); Asheville, NC
6 judges                                                                                          (4); Tuscaloosa, AL (4); Anniston, AL
                                                                                                  (4); Amelia Island FL
                                                    12   AOUSC or FJC workshops,                Washington, D.C. (4); San Antonio,
                                                         seminars, activities                   TX (3); Orlando, FL (2); Boston, MA;
                                                                                                Marina Del Rey, CA; Clearwater, FL
                                                    2    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT                   New Orleans, LA; Boston, MA
                                                         conferences
                                                    0    Judicial Conference meetings,          N/A
                                                         activities
                                                    15   Other (e.g., law school seminars,      Birmingham, AL (6); Montgomery, AL
                                                         bar association meetings)              (3); Washington, D.C. (2); Talladega,
                                                                                                AL; Troy, AL; Perdido Beach, AL;
                                                                                                Orlando, FL
1995 total                                          49                                          N/A
                                                    25   Circuit or district meetings, activities Birmingham, AL (9); Panama City, FL
                                                                                                  (6); Tuscaloosa, AL (4); Decatur, AL
                                                                                                  (3); Anniston, AL (3)
                                                    22   AOUSC or FJC workshops,                San Francisco, CA (7); Atlanta, GA
                                                         seminars, activities                   (6); San Antonio, Tx (3); Kansas City,
                                                                                                MO (2); Tempe, AZ; Mobile, AL;
                                                                                                Chicago, IL; Philadelphia, PA
                                                    1    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT                   San Diego, CA
                                                         conferences
                                                    0    Judicial Conference meetings,          N/A
                                                         activities
                                                    15   Other (e.g., law school seminars,      Perdido Beach, AL (4); Montgomery,
                                                         bar association meetings)              AL (3); Birmingham, AL (2); Hilton
                                                                                                Head, SC; San Antonio, TX; Orlando,
                                                                                                Florida; Tuskegee, AL; San
                                                                                                Francisco, CA; Sofia, Bulgaria
1996 total                                          63
Georgia (Middle)a                                   4    Circuit or district meetings, activities Asheville, NC (3); Amelia Island, FL
2.5 judges
                                                    11   AOUSC or FJC workshops,                Boston, MA (3); San Francisco, CA
                                                         seminars, activities                   (2); Washington, D.C. (2); Amelia
                                                                                                Island, FL; San Antonio, TX; Atlanta,
                                                                                                GA; Augusta, GA
                                                    0    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT                   N/A
                                                         conferences
                                                    0    Judicial Conference meetings,          N/A
                                                         activities
                                                                                                                            (continued)



                                          Page 38                                                                   GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                     Appendix II




                                      Number of
District/number of judges/year   trips each year    Purpose                                Destination (number of trips)
                                               1    Other (e.g., law school seminars,      San Francisco, CA
                                                    bar association meetings)
1995 total                                     16
                                               4    Circuit or district meetings, activities Panama City, FL (3); Ponte Vedra, FL
                                               16   AOUSC or FJC workshops,                Chicago, IL (3); San Antonio, TX (3);
                                                    seminars, activities                   Macon, GA (2); San Francisco, CA;
                                                                                           Philadelphia, PA; Washington, D.C.;
                                                                                           Savannah, GA; Amelia Island, FL;
                                                                                           Brunswick, GA; Atlanta, GA; Albany,
                                                                                           GA
                                               0    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT                   N/A
                                                    conferences
                                               0    Judicial Conference meetings,          N/A
                                                    activities
                                               3    Other (e.g., law school seminars,      Washington, D.C. (2); Santa Fe, NM
                                                    bar association meetings)
1996 total                                     23
Georgia (Southern)a                            3    Circuit or district meetings, activities Asheville, NC (2); Amelia Island, FL
2.5 judges
                                               3    AOUSC or FJC workshops,                Amelia Island, FL (2); Savannah, GA
                                                    seminars, activities
                                               0    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT                   N/A
                                                    conferences
                                               0    Judicial Conference meetings,          N/A
                                                    activities
                                               1    Other (e.g., law school seminars,      Atlanta, GA
                                                    bar association meetings)
1995 total                                     7
Georgia (Southern) continued                   3    Circuit or district meetings, activities Panama City, FL (2); Ponte Vedra, FL
                                               6    AOUSC or FJC workshops,                Amelia Island, FL (2); San Francisco,
                                                    seminars, activities                   CA; Brunswick, GA; Atlanta, GA;
                                                                                           Savannah, GA
                                               0    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT                   N/A
                                                    conferences
                                               0    Judicial Conference meetings,          N/A
                                                    activities
                                               1    Other (e.g., law school seminars,      Brunswick, GA
                                                    bar association meetings)
1996 total                                     10
Texas (Eastern)b                               1    Circuit or district meetings, activities New Orleans, LA
2 judges
                                               0    AOUSC or FJC workshops,                N/A
                                                    seminars, activities
                                                                                                                       (continued)




                                     Page 39                                                                   GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                         Appendix II




                                         Number of
District/number of judges/year      trips each year      Purpose                                    Destination (number of trips)
                                                    0    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT                       N/A
                                                         conferences
                                                    0    Judicial Conference meetings,              N/A
                                                         activities
                                                    2    Other (e.g., law school seminars,          Palm Beach, FL; Houston, TX
                                                         bar association meetings)
1995 total                                          3
                                                    1    Circuit or district meetings, activities Ft. Worth, TX
                                                    5    AOUSC or FJC workshops,                    Tyler, TX (2); San Francisco, CA;
                                                         seminars, activities                       Washington, DC; San Antonio, TX
                                                    0    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT                       N/A
                                                         conferences
                                                    0    Judicial Conference meetings,              N/A
                                                         activities
                                                    0    Other (e.g., law school seminars,          N/A
                                                         bar association meetings)
1996 total                                          6

                                         Note: N/A = not applicable.
                                         a
                                          The Middle and Southern Districts of Georgia share a bankruptcy judgeship. The travel data for
                                         this shared judgeship are included in the totals for the Middle District of Georgia.
                                         b
                                          The Eastern District of Texas has two authorized bankruptcy judgeships, but one of the positions
                                         is vacant. Currently, the second judge in the district is a recalled judge. Our analysis excluded
                                         the travel data for the recalled judge because we did not receive or report travel data for recalled
                                         judges in the 15 districts for which we reported in our correspondence of August 8, 1997.

                                         Source: GAO analysis of bankruptcy judges’ travel data.




Table II.10: Information on the Purpose and Paying Organizations for Bankruptcy Judges’ Noncase-Related Trips in the
Four Districts Whose Weighted Filings Were 1,500 or More but Did Not Request Judgeships in the 1997 Assessment Cycle
                                            Number of
District/number of judges/year         trips each year Purpose                           Paying organization
Alabama (Northern)                                 20    Circuit or district meetings, activities Federal Judiciary (20)
6 judges
                                                   12    AOUSC or FJC workshops,                    Federal Judiciary (12)
                                                         seminars, activities
                                                    2    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT                       NCBJ endowment; NACTT
                                                         conferences
                                                    0    Judicial Conference meetings,              N/A
                                                         activities
                                                                                                                                   (continued)




                                         Page 40                                                                          GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                     Appendix II




                                      Number of
District/number of judges/year   trips each year    Purpose                                 Paying organization
                                               15   Other (e.g., law school seminars,       Arts Council (4); Univ. of Alabama
                                                    bar association meetings)               Law School (3); Cumberland School
                                                                                            of Law (2); Alabama Bar Assoc. (2);
                                                                                            U.S. AID (2); Alabama Bankers;
                                                                                            American Bar Assoc.
1995 total                                     49
                                               25   Circuit or district meetings, activities Federal Judiciary (25)
                                               22   AOUSC or FJC workshops,                 Federal Judiciary (22)
                                                    seminars, activities
                                               1    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT                    NCBJ
                                                    conferences
                                               0    Judicial Conference meetings,           N/A
                                                    activities
                                               15   Other (e.g., law school seminars,       Alabama State Bar (4); Arts Council
                                                    bar association meetings)               (3); American Bar Assoc. (2);
                                                                                            Cumberland School of Law (2); U.S.
                                                                                            AID; ABI; Alabama Courts; Assoc. of
                                                                                            Bankruptcy Judicial Assts.
1996 total                                     63
Georgia (Middle)a                              4    Circuit or district meetings, activities Federal Judiciary (4)
2.5 judges
                                               11   AOUSC or FJC workshops,                 Federal Judiciary (11)
                                                    seminars, activities
                                               0    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT                    N/A
                                                    conferences
                                               0    Judicial Conference meetings,           N/A
                                                    activities
                                               1    Other (e.g., law school seminars,       Norton Institute on Bankruptcy Law
                                                    bar association meetings)
1995 total                                     16
                                               4    Circuit or district meetings, activities Federal Judiciary (4)
                                               16   AOUSC or FJC workshops,                 Federal Judiciary (16)
                                                    seminars, activities
                                               0    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT                    N/A
                                                    conferences
                                               0    Judicial Conference meetings,           N/A
                                                    activities
                                               3    Other (e.g., law school seminars,       NCBJ (2); National Bankruptcy
                                                    bar association meetings)               Review Commission
1996 total                                     23
                    a
Georgia (Southern)                             3    Circuit or district meetings, activities Federal Judiciary (3)
2.5 judges
                                               3    AOUSC or FJC workshops,                 Federal Judiciary (3)
                                                    seminars, activities
                                                                                                                      (continued)


                                     Page 41                                                                    GAO/T-GGD-97-183
                                     Appendix II




                                      Number of
District/number of judges/year   trips each year    Purpose                                 Paying organization
                                               0    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT                    N/A
                                                    conferences
                                               0    Judicial Conference meetings,           N/A
                                                    activities
                                               1    Other (e.g., law school seminars,       Institute for Continuing Legal
                                                    bar association meetings)               Education (ICLE) - Georgia
1995 total                                     7
Georgia (Southern) continued                   3    Circuit or district meetings, activities Federal Judiciary (3)
                                               6    AOUSC or FJC workshops,                 Federal Judiciary (6)
                                                    seminars, activities
                                               0    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT                    N/A
                                                    conferences
                                               0    Judicial Conference meetings,           N/A
                                                    activities
                                               1    Other (e.g., law school seminars,       Federal Judiciary
                                                    bar association meetings)
1996 total                                     10
Texas (Eastern)b                               1    Circuit or district meetings, activities Federal Judiciary
2 judges
                                               0    AOUSC or FJC workshops,                 N/A
                                                    seminars, activities
                                               0    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT                    N/A
                                                    conferences
                                               0    Judicial Conference meetings,           N/A
                                                    activities
                                               2    Other (e.g., law school seminars,       State Bar of Texas; American College
                                                    bar association meetings)               of Mortgage Attorneys
1995 total                                     3
                                               1    Circuit or district meetings, activities Federal Judiciary
                                               5    AOUSC or FJC workshops,                 Federal Judiciary (5)
                                                    seminars, activities
                                               0    NCBJ, NABT, or NACTT                    N/A
                                                    conferences
                                               0    Judicial Conference meetings,           N/A
                                                    activities
                                               0    Other (e.g., law school seminars,       N/A
                                                    bar association meetings)
1996 total                                     6

                                                                                                          (Table notes on next page)




                                     Page 42                                                                     GAO/T-GGD-97-183
           Appendix II




           Note: N/A = not applicable.
           a
            The Middle and Southern Districts of Georgia share a bankruptcy judgeship. The travel data for
           this shared judgeship are included in the totals for the Middle District of Georgia.
           b
            The Eastern District of Texas has two authorized bankruptcy judgeships, but one of the positions
           is vacant. Currently, the second judge in the district is a recalled judge. Our analysis excluded
           the travel data for the recalled judge because we did not receive or report travel data for recalled
           judges in the 15 districts for which we reported in our correspondence of August 8, 1997.

           Source: GAO analysis of bankruptcy judges’ travel data.




(188628)   Page 43                                                                          GAO/T-GGD-97-183
Ordering Information

The first copy of each GAO report and testimony is free.
Additional copies are $2 each. Orders should be sent to the
following address, accompanied by a check or money order
made out to the Superintendent of Documents, when
necessary. VISA and MasterCard credit cards are accepted, also.
Orders for 100 or more copies to be mailed to a single address
are discounted 25 percent.

Orders by mail:

U.S. General Accounting Office
P.O. Box 37050
Washington, DC 20013

or visit:

Room 1100
700 4th St. NW (corner of 4th and G Sts. NW)
U.S. General Accounting Office
Washington, DC

Orders may also be placed by calling (202) 512-6000
or by using fax number (202) 512-6061, or TDD (202) 512-2537.

Each day, GAO issues a list of newly available reports and
testimony. To receive facsimile copies of the daily list or any
list from the past 30 days, please call (202) 512-6000 using a
touchtone phone. A recorded menu will provide information on
how to obtain these lists.

For information on how to access GAO reports on the INTERNET,
send an e-mail message with "info" in the body to:

info@www.gao.gov

or visit GAO’s World Wide Web Home Page at:

http://www.gao.gov




PRINTED ON    RECYCLED PAPER
United States                       Bulk Rate
General Accounting Office      Postage & Fees Paid
Washington, D.C. 20548-0001           GAO
                                 Permit No. G100
Official Business
Penalty for Private Use $300

Address Correction Requested