print-only banner
The White House Skip Main Navigation
In Focus
News by Date
Federal Facts
West Wing

 Home > News & Policies > May 2007

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 16, 2007

Executive Order: Protecting American Taxpayers From Payment of Contingency Fees

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 301 of title 3, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:

     Section 1Policy.  To help ensure the integrity and effective supervision of the legal and expert witness services provided to or on behalf of the United States, it is the policy of the United States that organizations or individuals that provide such services to or on behalf of the United States shall be compensated in amounts that are reasonable, not contingent upon the outcome of litigation or other proceedings, and established according to criteria set in advance of performance of the services, except when otherwise required by law.

     Sec. 2Duties of Agency Heads.  (a) Heads of agencies shall implement within their respective agencies the policy set forth in section 1, consistent with such instructions as the Attorney General may prescribe.

     (b)  After the date of this order, no agency shall enter into a contingency fee agreement for legal or expert witness services addressed by section 1 of this order, unless the Attorney General has determined that the agency's entry into the agreement is required by law.

     (c)  Within 90 days after the date of this order, the head of each agency shall notify the Attorney General and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget of any contingency fee agreements for services addressed by section 1 of this order that are in effect as of the date of this order.

     Sec. 3.  Definitions.  For purposes of this order:

     (a) The term "agency" means an executive agency as defined in section 105 of title 5, United States Code, and the United States Postal Service and the Postal Regulatory Commission, but shall exclude the Government Accountability Office and elements of the intelligence community (as defined in section 3(4) of the National Security Act of 1947 as amended (50 U.S.C. 401a(4)).

     (b)  The term "contingency fee agreement" means a contract or other agreement to provide services under which the amount or the payment of the fee for the services is contingent in whole or in part on the outcome of the matter for which the services were obtained.  The term does not include:

     (i)   qualified tax collection contracts defined in section 6306 of title 26, United States Code, and

     (ii)  contracts described in sections 3711 and 3718 of title 31, United States Code.

     Sec. 4.  General Provisions.  (a) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

     (b)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

     (i)   authority granted by law to an agency or the head thereof; or

     (ii)  functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budget, administrative, or legislative proposals.

     (c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right, benefit, or privilege, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, instrumentalities, or entities, its officers or employees, or any other person.



    May 16, 2007.

# # #