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Administrative Office of the United States Courts

The Director

The director of the Administrative Office is the administrative officer of all the federal courts except the Supreme Court. The Judicial Conference of the United States—the federal agency charged with overseeing federal judicial matters—supervises and guides the director's work. The director and the deputy director are appointed by the SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES.

The director is required to perform a variety of tasks. First and foremost, the director must supervise all administrative matters relating to the offices of clerks and other clerical and administrative personnel of the federal courts. These administrative matters can range from performance policies and pay scales to guidelines on clerical procedures.

The director is charged with providing many reports to various governmental bodies. With the aid of the deputy director and the Audit Office and other operatives, the director must examine court dockets, determine the needs of the various courts, and report the results four times a year to the chief judges of the circuits. This allows the federal courts to analyze and plan for their own clerical and administrative costs. This information is also used when the director prepares and submits to Congress the budget of the federal courts.

The director must submit a report of the Administrative Office to the annual meeting of the Judicial Conference of the United States. At least two weeks before the conference, the director prepares an overview of the activities of the Administrative Office and the state of the business of the courts, together with certain statistical data submitted to the chief judges of the circuits. This report also contains the director's recommendations on administrative efficiency. The director submits the report, data, and recommendations to Congress, and makes all these materials available to the public.

The director is responsible for many financial matters of the federal courts. The director must fix the compensation of employees of the courts whose compensation is not otherwise fixed by law, regulate and pay annuities to the surviving spouses and dependent children of judges, disburse monies appropriated for the maintenance and operation of the federal courts, examine accounts of court officers, regulate travel of judicial personnel, and provide accommodations and supplies for the courts and their clerical and administrative personnel.

The director must also establish and maintain programs for the certification and utilization of court interpreters and the provision of special interpretation services in the courts. Other duties may be assigned to the director by the Supreme Court or the Judicial Conference of the United States.

Additional topics

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