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money or property arising out of the activities of, or referred to, his agency.

(b) with respect to such claims of the United States that have not been referred to another agency, including the General Accounting Office, for further collection action and that do not exceed $20,000, exclusive of interest, the head of an agency or his designee, pursuant to regulations prescribed by him and in conformity with such standards as may be promulgated jointly by the Attorney General and the Comptroller General, may (1) compromise any such claim, or (2) cause collection action on any such claim to be terminated or suspended where it appears that no person liable on the claim has the present or prospective financial ability to pay any significant sum thereon or that the cost of collecting the claim is likely to exceed the amount of recovery. The Comptroller General or his designee shall have the foregoing authority with respect to claims referred to the General Accounting Office by another agency for further collection action. The head of an agency or his designee shall not exercise the foregoing authority with respect to a claim as to which there is an indication of fraud, the presentation of a false claim, or misrepresentation on the part of the debtor or any other party having an interest in the claim, or a claim based in whole or in part on conduct in violation of the antitrust laws; nor shall the head of an agency, other than the Comptroller General of the United States, have authority to compromise a claim that arises from an exception made by the General Accounting Office in the account of an accountable officer.

(c) A compromise effected pursuant to authority conferred by subsection (b) of this section shall be final and conclusive on the debtor and on all officials, agencies, and courts of the United States, except if procured by fraud, misrepresentation, the presentation of a false claim, or mutual mistake of fact. No accountable officer shall be liable for any amount paid or for the value of property lost, damaged, or destroyed, where the recovery of such amount or value may not be had because of a compromise with a person primarily responsible under subsection (b). (31 U.S.C. 952.)

Sec. 4. Nothing in this Act shall increase or diminish the existing authority of the head of an agency to litigate claims, or diminish his existing authority to settle, compromise, or close claims. (31 U.S.C. 953.)

Sec. 5. This Act shall become effective on the one hundred and eightieth day following the date of its enactment.

OATHS, WITNESSES, AND RECORDS;
AND AFFIRMATIONS; AFFIDAVITS

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That hereafter, in the performance of the duties required of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics 18 in the administration or enforcement of provisions of Acts (United States Cotton Futures Act, Thirty-ninth Statutes at Large, page 476,19 United States Grain Standards Act, Thirtyninth Statutes at Large, page 482; United States Warehouse Act, Thirtyninth Statutes at Large, page 486; Standard Container Act, Thirtyninth Statutes at Large, page 673; and the Acts making annual appropriations for the Department of Agriculture) relating to the Department of Agriculture, the Secretary of Agriculture, or any representative specifically authorized in writing by him for the purpose, shall have power to administer oaths, examine witnesses, and call for the production of books and papers. (7 U.S.C. 420.)

17 Extract from the Department of Agriculture Appropriation Act, 1920, approved July 24, 1919, 41 Stat. 267; as amended by the Act of May 11, 1922, 42 Stat. 532.

18 Functions of Bureau of Agricultural Economics transferred to Secretary of Agriculture by Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953, 67 Stat. 633. Section 110 of Secretary's Order dated November 27, 1964, 29 F.R. 16210, assigned responsibilities for administering the Acts contained in this provision to the Agricultural Marketing Service. Secretary's Order dated February 17, 1965, 30 F.R. 2160, changed name from Agricultural Marketing Service to Consumer and Marketing Service. Secretary's Order dated March 28, 1972, 37 F.R. 6327, changed name back to the Agricultural Marketing Service. United States Grain Standards Act, as amended, is now administered by the Federal Grain Inspection Service established November 20, 1976, pursuant to_authority of the U.S. Grain Standards Act of 1976. Standard Container Act was repealed by Pub. L. 90-628, approved October 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1320.

(Act of January 31, 1925) 20

AN ACT To empower certain officers, agents, or employees of the Department of

Agriculture to administer and take oaths, affirmations, and affidavits in certain cases and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That such officers, agents, or employees of the Department of Agriculture of the United States as are designated by the Secretary of Agriculture for the purpose are hereby authorized and empowered to administer to or take from any person an oath, affirmation or affidavit whenever such oath, affirmation, or affidavit is for use in any prosecution or proceeding under or in the enforcement of any law committed to or which may hereafter be committed to the Secretary of Agriculture or the Department of Agriculture or any bureau or subdivision thereof for administration. Any such oath, affirmation, or affidavit administered or taken by or before such officer, agent, or employee when certified under his hand and authenticated by the seal of the Department of Agriculture may be offered or used in any court of the United States and shall have like force and effect as if administered or taken before a clerk of such court without further proof of the identity or authority of such officer, agent, or empolyee. (7 U.S.C. 2217.) 21

SEC. 2. That no officer, agent, or employee of the Department of Agriculture shall demand or accept any fee or compensation whatsoever for administering or taking any oath, affirmation, or affidavit under the authority conferred by this Act. (7 U.S.C. 2218.) 22

SEC. 3. An employee of an Executive agency or an individual employed by the government of the District of Columbia who, on original appointment, subscribed to the oath of office required by section 3331 of this title is not required to renew the oath because of a change in status so long as his service is continuous in the agency in which he is employed, unless, in the opinion of the head of the Executive agency, the Secretary of a military department with respect to an employee of his department, or the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, the public interest so requires.23 (5 U.S.C. 2905.)

19 Provisions of U.S. Cotton Futures Act formerly in Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (26 U.S.C. 4851–54, 4861–65, 4871-73, 4875–4877, 7233, 7263, 7492–7493) were recodified by Pub. L. 94-455 at 7 U.S.C. 15b.

20 43 Stat. 803.
21 Formerly 5 U.S.C. 521.
22 Formerly 5 U.S.C. 522.

EMPLOYMENT OF TEMPORARY PERSONNEL

The Department of Agriculture may employ persons or organizations on a temporary basis, by contract or otherwise, without regard to the Classification Act of 1923, as amended: 24 Provided that no expenditures for such temporary employment shall be made unless provision is made therefore in the applicable appropriation and the cost thereof is not in excess of limitations prescribed therein.25 ( 7 U.S.C. 2225.)

EMPLOYMENT OF EXPERTS AND CONSULTANTS; TEMPORARY OR

INTERMITTENT

When authorized by an appropriation or other statute, the head of an agency may procure by contract the temporary (not in excess of 1 year) or intermittent services of experts or consultants or an organization thereof, including stenographic reporting service. Services procured under this section are without regard to

(1) The provisions of this title governing appointment in the competitive service;

(2) chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of this title; and

(3) section 5 of title 41, except in the case of stenographic reporting services by an organization.

However, an agency subject to chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of this title may pay a rate for services under this section in excess of the daily equivalent of the highest rate payable under section 5332 of this title only when specifically authorized by the appropriation or other statute authorizing the procurement of the services.26 (5 U.S.C. 3109.)

ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE ACT
AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC

5 U.S.C. 8552.27 Public information; agency rules, opinions, orders,

records, and proceedings

(a) Each agency shall make available to the public information as follows:

(1) Each agency shall separately state and currently publish in the Federal Register for the guidance of the public23 Formerly 5 U.S.C. 17.

24 The Classification Act of 1923, as amended, now cited as 5 U.S.C. chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53.

25 Act of September 21, 1944, 58 Stat. 742; Ex. Ord. No. 9577, June 29, 1945, 10 F.R. 4253; October 28, 1949, 63 Stat. 972.

23 P. L. 89-554, September 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 416.

27 Codified by Pub. L. 90–23. 81 Stat. 54, approved June 5, 1967. Further amended by Pub. L. 93-502, approved November 21, 1974, 88 Stat. 1561-1565. Known as the Freedom of Information Act.

(A) descriptions of its central and field organization and the established places at which, the employees (and in the case of a uniformed service, the members) from whom, and the methods whereby, the public may obtain information, make submittals or requests, or obtain decisions;

(B) statements of the general course and method by which its functions are channeled and determined, including the nature and requirements of all formal and informal procedures available;

(C) rules of procedure, descriptions of forms available or the places at which forms may be obtained, and instructions as to the scope and contents of all papers, reports, or examinations;

(D) substantive rules of general applicability adopted as authorized by law, and statements of general policy or interpretations of general applicability formulated and adopted by the agency; and

(E) each amendment, revision, or repeal of the foregoing. Except to the extent that a person has actual and timely notice of the terms thereof, a person may not in any manner be required to resort to, or be adversely affected by, a matter required to be published in the Federal Register and not so published. For the purpose of this paragraph, matter reasonably available to the class of persons affected thereby is deemed published in the Federal Register when incorporated by reference therein with the approval of the Director of the Federal Register.

(2) Each agency, in accordance with published rules, shall make available for public inspection and copying

(A) final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, as well as orders, made in the adjudication of cases;

(B) those statements of policy and interpretations which have been adopted by the agency and are not published in the Federal Register; and

(C) administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that

affect a member of the public; unless the materials are promptly published and copies offered for sale. To the extent required to prevent a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, an agency may delete identifying details when it makes available or publishes an opinion, statement of policy, interpretation, or staff manual or instruction. However, in each case the justification for the deletion shall be explained fully in writing. Each agency shall also maintain and make available for public inspection and copying current indexes providing identifying information for the public as to any matter issued, adopted, or promulgated after July 4, 1967, and required by this paragraph to be made available or published. Each agency shall promptly publish, quarterly or more frequently, and distribute (by sale or otherwise) copies of each index or supplements thereto unless it determines by order published in the Federal Register that the publication would be unnecessary and impracticable, in which case the agency shall nonetheless provide copies of such index on request at a cost not to exceed the direct cost of duplication. A final order, opinion, statement of policy, interpretation, or staff manual or instruction that affects a member of the public may be relied on, used, or cited as precedent by an agency against a party other than an agency only if

(i) it has been indexed and either made available or published as provided by this paragraph; or

(ii) the party has actual and timely notice of the terms thereof.

(3) Except with respect to the records made available under paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, each agency, upon any request for records which (A) reasonably describes such records and (B) is made in accordance with published rules stating the time, place, fees (if any), and procedures to be followed, shall make the records promptly available to any person.

(4) (A) In order to carry out the provisions of this section, each agency shall promulgate regulations, pursuant to notice and receipt of public comment, specifying a uniform schedule of fees applicable to all constituent units of such agency. Such fees shall be limited to reasonable standard charges for document search and duplication and provide for recovery of only the direct costs of such search and duplication. Documents shall be furnished without charge or at a reduced charge where the agency determines that waiver or reduction of the fee is in the public interest because furnishing the information can be considered as primarily benefiting the general public.

(B) On complaint, the district court of the United States in the district in which the complainant resides, or has his principal place of business, or in which the agency records are situated, or in the District of Columbia, has jurisdiction to enjoin the agency from withholding agency records and to order the production of any agency records improperly withheld from the complainant. In such a case the court shall determine the matter do novo, and may examine the contents of such agency records in camera to determine whether such records or any part thereof shall be withheld under any of the exemptions set forth in subsection (b) of this section, and the burden is on the agency to sustain its action.

(C) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the defendant shall serve an answer or otherwise plead to any complaint made under this subsection within thirty days after service upon the defendant of the pleading in which such complaint is made, unless the court otherwise directs for good cause shown.

(D) Except as to cases the court considers of greater importance, proceedings before the district court, as authorized by this subsection, and appeals therefrom, take precedence on the docket over all cases and shall be assigned for hearing and trial or for argument at the earliest practicable date and expedited in every way.

(E) The court may assess against the United States reasonable attorney fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred in any case under this section in which the complainant has substantially prevailed.

(F) Whenever the court orders the production of any agency records improperly withheld from the complainant and assesses against the United States reasonable attorney fees and other litigation costs, and the court additionally issues a written finding that the circumstances surrounding the withholding raise questions whether agency personnel acted arbitrarily or capriciously with respect to the withholding, the Civil Service Commission shall promptly initiate a proceeding to determine

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