Statement from the President and the Chairman of the Board of the Legal Services Corporation on the GAO's Report on LSC Grants Management and Oversight

January 17, 2008

January 17, 2008


Washington, DC--LSC President Helaine M. Barnett and Board Chairman Frank B. Strickland today issued the following statement regarding the Government Accountability Office Report, Legal Services Corporation-Improved Internal Controls Needed in Grants Management and Oversight:

"We consider our stewardship of the taxpayer's dollars as one of our most important responsibilities and have informed GAO that we will implement all recommendations made to LSC management and Board in the report. In addition, we have no tolerance for any spending of grantee funds outside the law or the regulations of the LSC and have formally referred all potential violations noted in the report to our Office of Inspector General (OIG). The referrals have been accepted by the OIG and we will take whatever actions are warranted when all of the facts are known. We will remain vigilant in addressing all issues brought to our attention by this report."

More specifically, LSC management and Board have responded to GAO that they will work with the OIG to ensure stronger, better documented, and better coordinated internal controls. LSC will issue a complete listing of the actions to be taken when the report is formally released by GAO.

Update: Responses to the GAO report from LSC's Board of Directors and LSC Management are now available. Download the Board's response. Download Managment's response.

LSC is an independent, non-profit Corporation created by the Congress in 1974 to promote equal access to justice and to provide high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans. The Corporation gives grants to independent, local programs--in 2007, 138 programs with more than 900 offices nationwide. Grants are awarded through a competitive process. The size of each grant is based on the number of people living in poverty in a given state or geographic service area.

Last year, LSC-funded programs closed 900,000 civil cases for clients of all races and ethnicities, young and old, the working poor, people with disabilities, single parents, veterans, victims of domestic violence, and victims of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and victims of the recent foreclosure crisis. LSC-funded programs make a meaningful difference in the lives of their clients-helping them secure basic human needs such as safe and habitable housing, access to needed health care, a job that pays a living wage, protection from abusive relationships, and assistance in preventing foreclosures.

For more information:

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 133 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.