Payment of Judgments Against the United States

B-178551: Mar 7, 1979

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Shirley Jones
(202) 512-8156


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

This decision was the result of two questions which have arisin in recent months concerning the source of funds for payment of judgments and awards against the United States in relation to the Back Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Judgments awarding back pay will be certified for payment from the permanent appropriation, but where the judgment does not specify the amount to be paid, the employing agency's computation must be furnished, together with written indication that the plaintiff will accept the amount in satisfaction of the judgment. The judgment is not final for payment purposes until there is an agreed-upon amount. Disputes over the amount to be paid must be resolved prior to the submission for payment. In regard to Title VII, even though the agency or unit head is the nominal defendant in an employment discrimination suit, the suit is nevertheless a suit against the United States. Judgments against the Federal Government in Title VII actions are, therefore, payable from the permanent appropriation.