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12. Procedure for Retaining Services of an Independent Appraiser

  1. A request to the Department to retain the services of an independent appraiser should be submitted on Form OBD-47, and should indicate:

    1. The amount to be paid the expert for an appraisal in a lump sum (however), you should show the estimated number of days required for such appraisal); or

    2. The rate per diem and the estimated number of days necessary to prepare the appraisal.

  2. Submit a separate Form OBD-47 for each such appraiser which includes his/her fee for conferences with you in preparation for trial and for testifying at trial, generally on a per diem rate, giving the anticipated number of days required for such purposes. If it is anticipated that such conferences and trial will not occur during the current fiscal year, do not submit an OBD-47 for these services until after the end of the current fiscal year, as funds otherwise will be set aside for such purpose which could be used for other purposes during the fiscal year. The expense must be justified. See USAM 5-15.552.

  3. If the services of the appraiser, previously authorized, will not be utilized, in whole or in part, immediately notify the Department, so obligated funds may be released.

  4. When an independent appraiser is to be retained, you should be sure that his/her appraisal is made before improvements have been removed or the condemned property is otherwise altered.

  5. To insure efficiency in incurring appraisal and expert witness expenses:

    1. Secure adequate appraisals from the acquiring agency;

    2. Incur expenses only where necessary; and

    3. Negotiate a fair price for appraisers' services.

  6. Upon receipt of appraisal date;

    1. Examine appraisals carefully; and

    2. As necessary, arrange for consultations and viewing of the land with the appraiser.

  7. If the acquiring agency has agreed to reimburse the Department for the cost of obtaining the services of the independent appraiser, then the usual pay voucher should be submitted to the United States Marshal's office for payment. In support of the voucher, the bill of the appraiser and a copy of the reimbursement agreement from the acquiring agency should be submitted with a cover memorandum advising the United States Marshal that a copy of these documents should be submitted to Financial Manager, Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, Room 1618, Main Building, who will contact the acquiring agency to obtain reimbursement.