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NCJ Number: 68127 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: FEDERAL LAND ACQUISITIONS BY CONDEMNATION - OPPORTUNITIES TO REDUCE DELAYS AND COSTS
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: US Comptroller General
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 115
Sponsoring Agency: Azimuth Inc.
Fairmont, WV 26554
US Comptroller General
Washington, DC 20548
Sale Source: Azimuth Inc.
1000 Technology Drive, Suite 3120
Fairmont, WV 26554
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE REPORT RECOMMENDS MANAGEMENT IMPROVEMENTS BY FEDERAL AGENCIES IN THE ACQUISTION OF PRIVATE LANDS BY CONDEMNATION, WHICH COULD EXPEDITE TRIALS AND IMPROVE THE TREATMENT OF LANDOWNERS.
Abstract: THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS A BACKLOG OF OVER 2,000 COURT CASES IN WHICH IT SEEKS TO ACQUIRE BY CONDEMNATION PRIVATE LAND FOR PUBLIC USE. ADMINISTRATION COSTS AND RISING REAL ESTATE PRICES MAKE LAND ACQUIRED BY LENGTHY CONDEMNATION PROCESSES EXPENSIVE. THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE (GAO) REVIEWED ABOUT 100 CASES FROM THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, WATER AND POWER RESOURCES SERVICE, FOREST SERVICE, ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, AND THE NAVY. SELECTED FIELD OFFICES OF THREE AGENCIES WERE VISTED. ALTHOUGH THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IS DEVELOPING AN EFFECTIVE COMPUTER CASELOAD TRACKING SYSTEM, GAO FELT THAT IT SHOULD BE SHARED WITH CLIENT AGENCIES. ALTERNATIVE PROCEDURES ARE NEEDED TO OBTAIN EVIDENCE OF TITLE OTHER THAN CONTRACTING TO COMMERCIAL SERVICES, AND MANY OFFICIALS QUESTIONED WHETHER THE GOVERNMENT REALLY NEEDS A TITLE CERTIFICATE OR TITLE INSURANCE IN MOST CASES. WEAKNESSES NOTED IN PROPERTY APPRAISALS ARE DETAILED, WITH ATTENTION TO UPDATING APPRAISALS AND PRESENTING PERSUASIVE EVIDENCE IN COURT. AGENCIES COULD IMPROVE THEIR CHANCES OF REACHING AGREEMENT WITH OWNERS BY MORE REALISTICALLY WEIGHING COUNTEROFFERS WITH ESTIMATES OF LITIGATION COSTS. TO OBTAIN FAIR AND SPEEDY TRIALS, GAO RECOMMENDS CHANGES IN JUDICIAL RULES AND JUSTICE DEPARTMENT POLICY TO ENCOURAGE THE USE OF U.S. MAGISTRATES AND COURT-APPOINTED COMMISSIONS IN CONDEMNATIONS. CONGRESS SHOULD AMEND THE DECLARATION OF TAKING ACT TO ALLOW LANDOWNERS AN INTEREST RATE THAT CORRESPONDS TO CURRENT MARKET CONDITIONS. AGENCY COMMENTS ON GAO'S FINDINGS ARE INCLUDED. THE APPENDIXES CONTAIN SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS ON FEDERAL CONDEMNATION PROCEDURES, A LIST OF AGENCIES WHICH COMMONLY USE CONDEMNATION, A SUMMARY OF MAJOR PROJECTS REVIEWED, AND COMMENTS FROM THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND OTHER AGENCIES. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--MJM)
Index Term(s): Federal government; Land sale fraud; Management; US Government Accountability Office (GAO)
Note: REPORT TO THE CONGRESS BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68127

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