Created in 1939, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO) serves the federal Judiciary in carrying out its constitutional mission to provide equal justice under law.
The AO is the central support entity for the Judicial Branch. It provides a wide range of administrative, legal, financial, management, program, and information technology services to the federal courts. The AO provides support and staff counsel to the Judicial Conference of the United States and its committees, and implements and executes Judicial Conference policies, as well as applicable federal statutes and regulations. The AO facilitates communications within the Judiciary and with Congress, the Executive Branch, and the public on behalf of the Judiciary.
The agency is a unique entity in government. Neither the Executive Branch nor the Legislative Branch has any one comparable organization that provides the broad range of services and functions that the Administrative Office does for the Judicial Branch. The agency's lawyers, public administrators, accountants, systems engineers, analysts, architects, statisticians, and other staff provide a long list of professional services to meet the needs of judges and the more than 32,000 Judiciary employees working in more than 800 locations nationwide.
Judge John D. Bates, director of the Administrative Office since July 1, 2013, is the chief administrative officer for the federal courts and secretary to the Judicial Conference of the United States.