|Legal Services Corporation
For 25 Years, America's
Partner For Equal Justice
Program Letter 2000-5
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
The purpose of this program letter is to distribute the certification form mandated by Part 1635 of the Legal Services Corporation ("LSC") regulations. The LSC Board of Directors have promulgated and adopted revisions to Part 1635, the Timekeeping Requirement. This revised final rule became effective on August 7, 2000. Under one section of the newly revised regulation, recipients of LSC funding are required to maintain certifications for part-time advocates (attorneys and paralegals) who also work for organizations that engage in restricted activities ("restricted activities" is defined in the regulation).
The pertinent section of the revised regulation, 45 CFR Section 1635.3(d) provides:
In completing the form, several things should be kept in mind. First, the certification must only be completed by employees who are (1) either attorneys or paralegals, (2) part-time workers, and (3) work for an organization which performs restricted activities, as defined by the LSC regulations. Second, the certification requirement does not apply to de minimis activities. Of primary import, is whether the part time employee initiates these activities. If the covered employee receives an unavoidable telephone call, this would be considered de minimis. If the covered employee places a telephone call on behalf of the restricted activity, this would be a violative activity.1 Third, as noted in the "Supplementary Information" the requirement is a record keeping rather than a reporting requirement. Accordingly, these certificates are to be maintained by the program rather than submitted to LSC. The regulation does not specify the period of time these certifications must be maintained. Pursuant to prior LSC instructions mandating retention of records for at least five years, these records should also be maintained for at least five years.2
If an employee is required to certify, but is not able to do so, a statement of explanation should be prepared by that employee and attached to the form. Upon receipt of this statement of non-certification, the recipient should immediately notify the Office of the Inspector General and/or the Office of Compliance and Enforcement.3
The certification form includes an optional Part C for those programs that do not have any employees who are covered by this provision. It allows you to record that it was determined that there were no covered staff during the time period. This is not required by the regulation, however, we provide it to assist you in documenting continued compliance with this regulation.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact me.
In addition, it should be noted that as LSC funds
are provided for the purpose of "furnishing legal assistance to
eligible clients" (Section 1006(a)(1)(A)), these funds may not be
used for any other purpose. See also, the January 5, 1978, letter from
Alice Daniel, LSC General Counsel, to Mary K. Hanna.
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Washington, DC 20002-4250
Phone 202.336.8800 Fax 202.336.8959