The Administrative Office of the United States Courts is the administrative agency of the United States federal court system. It was established in 1939. The Administrative Office provides administrative, legal, financial, management, program, and information technology services to federal courts. It provides support and staff counsel to the Judicial Conference of the United States and its committees, and implements and executes Judicial Conference policies, as well as applicable federal statutes and regulations. The Administrative Office also facilitates communications within the Judiciary and with Congress, the Executive Branch, and the public on behalf of the Judiciary.
The aim of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts is to:
- aid the development and implementation of Judiciary policies and procedures;
- deliver administrative, legal, and technological services to various courts;
- seek, on behalf of the Judiciary, needed resources, legislation, and other assistance from Congress and the Executive Branch; and
- promote accountability to the public and perform required oversight.
The Administrative Office prepares budgets for courts and submits them to the Judicial Conference for approval by Congress. It analyzes legislation from Congress that will affect the courts’ operations or personnel, and interprets and applies new laws. The Administrative Office also provides administrative help to members of courts in the form of clerks, probation and pretrial services officers, court reporters, and public defenders.
The Director of the Administrative Office is the chief administrative officer for the federal courts and secretary to the Judicial Conference of the United States. The Director is appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States, who serves as the head of the Judicial Conference. Other senior managers in the Administrative Office are an Associate Director for Management and Operations, an Associate Director, and a General Counsel. The Administrative Office is directly supervised by the Judicial Conference of the United States.