|Legal Services Corporation
America's Partner For Equal Justice
Program Letter 02-2
John N. Erlenborn
Board of Directors
Douglas S. Eakeley
LaVeeda M. Battle
Hulett H. Askew
John N. Erlenborn
On November 17, 2001, the LSC Board of Directors adopted the
Report of the LSC Task Force to Study and Report on Configuration of
Service Areas. The Board
action codifies LSCís standards for reconfiguration of service areas and
amends LSCís review process for configuration decisions, previously
contained in Program Letter 01-4. This
Program Letter implements the review process outlined in the Report
adopted by the Board.
reconfiguration review process provided below replaces Program Letter
01-4. It is based on the
premise that while the LSC President, as LSC's Chief Executive Officer,
should be knowledgeable about state planning, he/she should be
sufficiently removed from the particulars of decision making in a given
state so that he/she retains the ability to render a final decision on
service area configuration that is impartial and based upon his or her
independent review of the relevant materials.
It also more clearly provides that the LSC Vice-President and
President shall provide written notice of the reasons for their decisions.
Finally, it would give some limited participation in the review
process to stakeholders who may not be part of the designated state
planning body (DSPB).
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
delivery activities. 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. Presidential
review of LSC staff recommendations is provided.
review process 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.
 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.
This date may be adjusted for states in which grants are not on the
normal calendar year grants cycle.
 The February 1 date may not be applicable to states where grants are not on the normal calendar year cycle. In such instances, notice shall be at least 60 days prior to publication of such stateís service areas in the Federal Register.
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