B-231615.2, Mar 1, 1990

B-231615.2: Mar 1, 1990

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The interest rate for certain judgments against the United States is the equivalent coupon issue yield of the last auction of 52-week Treasury bills settled immediately prior to the date of the judgment. The interest rate is determined on the auction date immediately prior to the judgment date. The issue is whether the interest rate is determined on the "auction" or the "settlement" date for 52-week Treasury bills. We agree that the language of section 1961(a) concerning the interest rate was a last-minute amendment that occurred after bills had been reported to both Houses of the Congress for which there is no helpful legislative history. /1/ We do not disagree with your interpretation and will henceforth use the auction date of 52-week T Bills immediately prior to the date of a judgment as the date on which that judgment's interest rate is determined.

B-231615.2, Mar 1, 1990

APPROPRIATIONS/FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT - Judgment Payments - Interest - Computation DIGEST: Under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1961(a), the interest rate for certain judgments against the United States is the equivalent coupon issue yield of the last auction of 52-week Treasury bills settled immediately prior to the date of the judgment. Based upon information received from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the interest rate is determined on the auction date immediately prior to the judgment date. B-231615(1), Sept. 28, 1988, overruled.

Honorable L. Ralph Mecham

Director, Administrative Office of the United States Courts:

This replies to your letter of October 20, 1988, and supporting material, concerning the proper method of calculating the rate of interest on federal court judgments under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1961(a) (1982). The issue is whether the interest rate is determined on the "auction" or the "settlement" date for 52-week Treasury bills.

Section 1961(a) states in part:

"... Such interest shall be calculated from the date of the entry of the judgment, at a rate equal to the coupon issue yield equivalent (as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury) of the average accepted auction price for the last auction of fifty-two week United States Treasury bills settled immediately prior to the date of the judgment.

We agree that the language of section 1961(a) concerning the interest rate was a last-minute amendment that occurred after bills had been reported to both Houses of the Congress for which there is no helpful legislative history. /1/ We do not disagree with your interpretation and will henceforth use the auction date of 52-week T Bills immediately prior to the date of a judgment as the date on which that judgment's interest rate is determined.

We appreciate your assistance in this matter.

/1/ The request is presented by Lieutenant Colonel L.E. Moser, Chief, Pay Travel Systems Division, Directorate of Plans Systems, Headquarters, United States Air Force.