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Federal Bankruptcy Judges: Measuring Judges' Case-Related Workload

GAO-09-808T Published: Jun 16, 2009. Publicly Released: Jun 16, 2009.
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The Judicial Conference of the United States, the federal judiciary's principal policymaking body, uses 1,500 annual weighted case filings per authorized judgeship (judgeship position) in a bankruptcy court as an indicator of the need for additional bankruptcy judgeships for that court. Total annual weighted case filings for any specific bankruptcy court is the sum of the weights associated with each of the cases filed in the court in a year. Total annual weighted case filings per judgeship represent the estimated average amount of judge time that would be required to complete the cases filed in a specific bankruptcy court in a year. In May 2003 GAO testified on whether weighted case filings were a reasonably accurate measure of the case-related workload of bankruptcy judges. The accuracy of weighted case filings rests in turn on the soundness of the methodology used to develop them. GAO's work focused on whether the methodologies used to develop the current case weights and to revise and update those weights were likely to result in reasonably accurate measures of bankruptcy judges' case-related workload. This statement is based on GAO's May 2003 testimony on weighted case filings as a measure of bankruptcy judges' case-related workload and documentation provided by the Federal Judicial Center (FJC) in June 2009 on subsequent efforts to update the current weighted filings measure.

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BankruptcyData collectionDocumentationFederal courtsJudgesNeeds assessmentPerformance measuresReporting requirementsStatistical dataWork measurementCase managementPerfromance measuresPolicies and proceduresWorkloads