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Judiciary Conferences That Cost More Than $100,000

In fiscal year 2019, the judiciary held 62 conferences that cost more than $100,000. The judiciary’s policies that govern meeting planning and administration provide guidance and oversight of conferences and ensure that funds are used properly and effectively to promote the mission of the federal judiciary.

Conferences estimated to cost over $100,000 for court and Administrative Office (AO) sponsored conferences are reviewed by the AO Director's assignee, for the Federal Judicial Center (FJC) sponsored conferences by the FJC Director's assignee, and for the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) sponsored conferences by the USSC Chair's assignee for compliance with Judicial Conference of the United States (JCUS) policy that requires consideration be given to minimize meeting related costs, including administrative costs, travel, and staff time away from daily duties. Conferences that are expected to exceed $500,000 must be approved by the Director of the AO or FJC or by the Chair of the USSC. For circuit judicial conferences costing more than $500,000, approval by the JCUS Executive Committee is required. All approvers ensure that conference expenditures and arrangements are advantageous to the judiciary, that appropriate internal controls and procedures are applied, and that the objectives of the conference are best met by an in-person experience, keeping costs reasonable, and avoiding any appearance of extravagance.

These conferences play a critical role in furthering the administration of justice. Congress recognized the value of the circuit judicial conferences by specific authorization in 28 U.S.C. § 333. Congress created the FJC and authorized its educational mission in 28 U.S.C. § 620. Congress created the USSC and authorized the commission to provide guidance and instruction in the sentencing process in 28 U.S.C. § 995. 

Reports for Previous Fiscal Years