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stractor or title company procuring the title evidence for the Government handles or assists in handling this work.

When the Attorney General's preliminary title opinion is received on the local scene, the person handling the closing meets with the vendor, ascertains that any title defects shown in the opinion are cured, sees to it that the deed is properly executed, delivered, and recorded, and then turns over the check to the vendor.

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

The Bureau does not have a regular staff of settlement officers. Usually the negotiator, with the assistance of the regional office staff and the advice and help of the field solicitor, attends to title curative work and closing. The negotiator ordinarily visits the vendor to get the deed executed, then records the deed, orders the title continuation search, procures tax certificates, and makes a physical inspection of the property. Upon receipt of the continuation search and other requirements of the Attorney General, the regional office staff processes the case for final opinion and payment.

BUREAU OF RECLAMATION

We do not have a regular staff of closing or settlement officers. These duties are handled by our land acquisition personnel and by attorneys in the appropriate regional or field solicitor's offices.

TVA

All closings and settlements are the responsibility of the title section's staff of title attorneys. TVA title attorneys are licensed attorneys who are qualified and exeprienced in the handling of real estate titles and related matters. The title attorneys examine abstracts of title and prepare title opinions and all legal documents necessary to perfect title and enable the property owner to convey, by deed, the unencumbered fee simple title to the United States. Furthermore, they have a definite responsibility to see that this work is carried forward in an orderly manner, that the closings are effected promptly after the contracts are executed, and that every effort is exerted to avoid condemnation actions solely to clear title.

They work with property owners, lien holders, and attorneys representing the sellers and assist in the preparation and handling of proceedings when the interests of incompetents are involved. They are responsible for the preparation and execution of all closing papers and the disbursement of all funds. They prepare and execute the final certificates of title in which title is certified in the United States.

ARMY ENGINEERS

This agency does have a regular staff of closing agents. These closing agents must be attorneys at law and members in good standing of a bar, but they need not be classified (civil service designation) as attorneys. (Par. 18a, EM 405–1-600, is to be amended in this respect; in the meantime, division and district engineers have been so instructed.). The closing agent must have been properly instructed by a qualified corps employee, and proved, to the satisfaction of such

employee, that he is fully competent. On larger projects, we sometimes contract with the title companies which are furnishing the title evidence, to effect the closings, at the option of the Government, on a per-closing-cost basis. These contracts require the same type of closing actions as performed by our own closing agents. The duties of closing agents are fully set forth in EM 405–1–600, paragraphs 18 through 21, which are in such detail that they are not briefed here.

NAVY

Direct purchase closing is accomplished by the DPWO counsel staff with assistance of the realty specialist responsible for the project. The settlement officer in this case is a qualified attorney.

RLA-DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Our settlements and disbursements are made by local title companies under contract with the Agency. 108. Does your agency provide advisory services for property

owners and tenants; i.e., help in finding a replacement home, business, or farm, information on available financing; information on special tax provisions designed to ease hardships?

GSA

GSA informs property owners that questions concerning special tax provisions designed to ease hardships should be taken up with the Director of Internal Reveue. GSA is not authorized to provide advisory services for property owners or tenants in respect to replacement of home, business, farm, or financing.

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE The National Park Service does not provide advisory services for property owners.

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE Only during negotiations to the extent the negotiator has knowledge of these matters.

BUREAU OF RECLAMATION We have no advisory facilities for furnishing relocation information to persons from whom we have purchased property.

TVA

From the very beginning, TVA has carried on a program in cooperation with the agricultural extension services to assist farm owners and tenants to relocate. Members of the Land Branch staff supply owners with general information relating to financing and special tax provisions

designed to ease hardships.

ARMY

We do not perform these services. Information which is given to a landowner would be practical advice, and at his request; such as referring him to an agency which might help with his particular prob

lem or problems. Advise might also be given, if known, as to properties for sale; but no contact with the owner of such property would be made. We do not advise on tax problems, our policy being that such problems are exclusively within the responsibility of the Internal Revenue Service. Landowners, when they raise tax questions, are advised to seek IRS advice from their District Director of Internal Revenue. However, we do furnish the landowner a statement of severance damages included in direct purchase payments, to be used in connection with his income tax return.

NAVY

No; except with respect to special tax provisions, for the effect of which owners are advised to consult Internal Revenue or their own attorney.

RLA-DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Yes. We have a Relocation and Property Management Division for this purpose. 109. Does your agency have a "grievance procedure" for property

owners and tenants? Explain indicating how owners and tenants are informed of the procedure.

GSA

Complaints received from landowners or tenants alleging grievances receive individual consideration by appropriate officials with a view of resolving them wherever possible. We consider this tantamount to a formal grievance procedure.

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

The National Park Service does not have a formal grievance procedure for property owners and tenants. However, any complaints on the part of owners or tenants will be received by the Nation Park Service, investigated, and, if warranted, action taken to correct the difficulty.

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

No.

BUREAU OF RECLAMATION

We do not have an established "grievance procedure” for property owners and tenants. Any landowner having a grievance normally communicates with the project construction engineer, the regional director, the Commissioner, or the Secretary of the Interior.

TVA

No. However, all complaints are heard and carefully considered.

ARMY ENGINEERS

We do not have a “grievance procedure," as such, but each inquiry or complaint is given full consideration.

NAVY

There is no formal grievance procedure but any owner having a grievance is given full consideration.

RLA-DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

No. 110. What procedure do you follow after the completion of a

project to check on the accuracy of your appraisals, the reasonableness of prices paid, and the actual impact of the project on persons from whom property has been acquired?

GSA

Information regarding the accuracy of appraisals, the reasonableness of the price paid and the actual impact of the project on persons from whom property has been acquired is of continuing interest to GSA. Continuous attention is given to these problems and where inadequacies are disclosed, and corrective action is initiated to preclude repetition.

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE The National Park Service has no post project procedure for checking the accuracy of appraisals, the reasonableness of prices paid, or of the impact upon vendors.

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

No such procedure in this Bureau.

BUREAU OF RECLAMATION

No followup is made after the completion of a project to check on the accuracy of appraisals or the reasonableness of prices paid for land.

TVA

No regular procedure has been established.

ARMY ENGINEERS

We have never established a standard operating policy requiring further appraisal review after all land has been acquired.

NAVY

The negotiator or negotiators on the project follow the progress of relocation of owners and tenants and from their observations determine the reasonableness of the prices paid and get some idea of the impact on the persons affected.

RLA-DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Throughout the acquisition program, care is exercised that fair and reasonable prices are paid, and that the owners are not harmed or enriched. Complete records are maintained so that such comparisons as those between appraisals, and prices paid for properties sold voluntarily and prices paid for properties acquired by condemnation, are easily computed. 111. Does your agency have authority to exchange Government

owned land for lands to be acquired for your programs? Under what conditions and to what extent do you exercise this authority? Furnish copies of authorizing legislation and implementing regulations, policies, and procedures.

GSA

Under the provisions of the Public Buildings Act of 1959 (73 Stat. 479, as amended (40 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)) the Administrator is authorized to acquire by purchase, condemnation, donation, exchange, or otherwise, such lands or interests in lands as he deems necessary for use as sites, or additions to sites for public buildings authorized to be constructed or altered under the referenced act. A copy of this act is enclosed.

The Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (63 Stat. 377, as amended (40 U.S.C. 490 et seq.)) authorizes the Administrator of General Services to acquire by purchase, condemnation, or otherwise, real estate or interests therein required to maintain, operate, and protect any building, property, or grounds situated in or outside the District of Columbia including the construction, repair, preservation, demolition, furnishing, and equipment thereof. A copy of this act is enclosed.

The authorities cited are utilized to acquire needed property by exchange whenever it is found practicable to do so. The extent to which this authority has been utilized has been limited because of limited opportunities. The procedure for making such exchanges is set forth in chapter 4, paragraphs 23-28, of GSA handbook, "Acquisition of Real Property. Except Leasehold Interests,” a copy of which has been previously furnished to your office.

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

Statutes pertaining to several National Park Service areas authorize acquisition of lands by exchange. Those of current importance are attacked. Several other statutes relating to other park areas have exchange authority but are no longer of significance since the programs authorized by them have been completed. Regulations pertaining to some of these completed programs may be found in part 150 of title 43, Code of Federal Regulations. Regulations to govern exchanges under the statute authorizing Point Reyes National Seashore are in the process of preparation.

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

Yes, for refuge land only, as well as authority to exchange products for land. This is used only to consolidate a refuge project and where values are equal.

BUREAU OF RECLAMATION

Authority for the exchange of lands in connection with relocations is contained in section 14 of the Reclamation Projects Act of 1939

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