|Legal Services Corporation
For 25 Years, America's
Partner For Equal Justice
Program Letter 01-4
Board of Directors
Douglas S. Eakeley
John N. Erlenborn
Hulett H. Askew
LaVeeda M. Battle
John T. Broderick, Jr.
F. Wm. McCalpin
St. Louis, MO
Maria Luisa Mercado
Nancy H. Rogers
Thomas F. Smegal, Jr.
San Francisco, CA
Ernestine P. Watlington
part of the competitive bidding process, LSC publishes in the Federal
Register a Request for Proposals (ďRFPĒ) in the spring of each year
for grants for the following year. The RFP defines the geographical areas,
or service areas, which will be in competition.
is committed to effective communication and coordination with state
planning bodies on matters where decisions are likely to have a direct
impact on other important state civil equal justice planning initiatives.
One such area of decision-making involves the designation of LSC
geographic service areas (i.e., configuration) that will be competed in a
given state or region.
recognizes and appreciates the increasingly active role that state
planning bodies have assumed in overseeing state civil equal justice
LSC further recognizes that our decisions have the potential to
directly affect a range of state level funding, resource allocation, and
other related civil legal services delivery considerations.
For these reasons, LSC believes it important to take special steps
to maximize the potential for effective communication and coordination in
the development and implementation of decisions that will result in
changes to the boundaries of LSC geographic service areas before such
decisions are made effective.
objective of the process outlined in this Program Letter is to maximize
the potential for meaningful and principled engagement with designated
state planning bodies
on matters relating to service area configuration decisions before such
decisions are implemented.
Such a process, however, must not be viewed as an abdication by LSC
of its responsibility to make decisions that in its judgment promote its
statutory mission, the articulated goals and objectives of LSCís State
Planning Initiative, and the efficient and effective delivery of civil
legal services to low income people in each state.
Nor should this process be viewed as providing designated state
planning bodies with the power to veto service area configuration
decisions made by the LSC President.
At the earliest possible time, LSCís state planning team will
advise the designated state planning body (DSPB) in each state whether and
to what degree issues of geographic service area configuration are matters
of concern to LSC.
Where such issues are of active concern to LSC, the LSC designated
representative(s) of the LSC state planning team will outline the concerns
in relation to the issues identified for state planning focus in Program
Letters 98-1, 98-6 and 2000-7.
To the extent reasonably practicable, LSCís state planning team
will work with the DSPB, LSCís grantees, and other key stakeholders in
such states to foster timely and effective consideration of the issues
relating to service area configuration.
At least sixty (60) days prior to publication of service areas in
the Federal Register, LSCís state planning team will identify in which
states, if any, it recommends that LSC compete a new or different set of
LSC will notify the DSBP in each such state of the state planning
Such notification will include a description of the substance of
the recommendation and the consultation process by which such
recommendation might be affected before it becomes effective.
If the LSC state planning team recommends a service area
configuration that differs from one approved or recommended by the DSPB,
the authorized representatives of the DSPB may seek a meeting with LSCís
Vice-President for Programs to ask for reconsideration of the state
planning team recommendation.
The DSPB will be asked to articulate in writing the concerns and
objections that it has regarding the recommendation of the state planning
team in relationship to the considerations and criteria outlined in
Program Letters 98-1, 98-6, and 2000-7, as well as any other
considerations or criteria it believes relevant to the decision.
Upon such request, the Vice-President for Programs will convene a
face to face meeting with the authorized representatives of the DSPB. As
soon as practical thereafter, the Vice-President for Programs shall advise
the DSPB of the service area configuration recommendation that will be
forwarded to the LSC President.
In making this recommendation, the Vice-President for Programs
shall be guided by the considerations and criteria outlined in Program
Letters 98-1, 98-6, 2000-7, the analysis and recommendations of the state
planning team, the articulated concerns of the DSPB, and such other
information that the Vice-President for Programs believes to be relevant.
If the DSPB is not satisfied with the LSC Vice-President for
Programs' recommendation, it may seek a meeting with the LSC President to
ask for reconsideration of the Vice-Presidentís recommendation.
The DSPB will be asked to provide such additional written
information as it believes will assist the LSC President to fully and
fairly entertain its concerns and objections.
such request, the President will convene a face to face meeting with the
authorized representatives of the DSPB. As soon as practical thereafter,
the LSC President will advise the designated state planning body of the
final decision relating to program configuration in the affected state. In
making the final decision, the President shall be guided by the
considerations and criteria outlined in Program Letters 98-1, 98-6,
2000-7, the analysis and recommendations of the state planning team and
the Vice-President for Programs, the articulated concerns of the DSPB, and
such other information that President believes to be relevant.
The decision of the LSC President shall be final and binding.
 A ďDesignated State Planning BodyĒ is an entity that has been established and charged with responsibility for coordinating state legal services delivery planning in accordance with LSC Program Letters 98-1, 98-6, and 2000-7. Such planning entities are generally composed of an array of civil equal justice delivery stakeholders, including but not limited to representatives from the state bar association, state IOLTA funding entity, staffed legal services programs (LSC and non-LSC), the pro bono community, client organizations, clients and others with an interest and commitment to effective delivery of civil legal services to poor and vulnerable people in the state. In the absence of a designated state planning body, the review process outlined in this Program Letter will be extended to the organized bar association and/or IOLTA funding entity in the state.
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Washington, DC 20002-4250
Phone 202.336.8800 Fax 202.336.8959