Saturday, November 29, 2008

CAAF's budget

Pop quiz: what is CAAF's annual budget? Make a guess. Do you have a figure in mind?

The correct answer for Fiscal Year 2009, as provided by this document from OMB (scroll to pages 263 and 264), is $13,254,000. Salary and benefits account for more than half of the court's budget -- $6 million for salaries and $1 million for benefits. The report indicates that CAAF has the equivalent of 59 full-time employees. (This means that CAAF may actually have more than 59 employees. Say 2 of the court's employees work 20 hours a week. They would be counted as 1 full-time equivalent.)

It appears, however, that the $13,254,000 figure is actually somewhat artificially inflated. To put it mildly, I'm no accountant. If any of you are, please let me know whether I'm right or wrong about this. $1 million of CAAF's budget is for "Rental payments to GSA." I assume this represents some sort of artificial accounting trick to shift money from one federal department (DOD) to another federal agency (GSA), since the federal government owns CAAF's courthouse. If I'm right about that (and, again, I may very well not be), then this doesn't represent any actual cost to U.S. taxpayers. In that case, CAAF's actual cost to taxpayers is about $12.25 million.

For comparison purposes, the Supreme Court's annual budget is $69,776,849 plus another $18,447,000 for care of the Supreme Court's building and grounds. $55 million of that that total is for 480 full time equivalent employees' salary and benefits. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's annual budget is $32,357,000. But this figure may also be artificially inflated, since it includes $6 million in rent payments to GSA. I assume that the court's Lafayette Square quarters are owned by the federal government.


Anonymous said...

Could we use a couple of bucks to change the old plater reliefs hanging in the courtroom that still refer to the Court as the Court of Military Appeals?

Anonymous said...

Me thinks someone is getting over paid for about 100 opinions (give or take) a year.