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20.

The Appraisal Unit—Area of Responsibility

The Appraisal Unit assists the Land Acquisition Section in advising the Department's divisions or bureaus, and other agencies of the government, with respect to all matters relating to the evaluation of real and personal property. In particular, the Unit handles questions of appraising for just compensation as it relates to the law of federal land acquisition. The Unit's analyses of appraisal reports result in settlement recommendations in condemnation cases and critiques as to the adequacy of appraisals for support of just compensation, or for use in trial. It furnishes recommendations as to the approval or disapproval of the employment of appraisers and the amount of appraisal fees to be obligated by the Department. The Appraisal Unit also assists the personnel of the Environment and Natural Resources Division, as well as U.S. Attorneys and field attorneys, and acquiring agencies, in arranging for the employment of expert witnesses, such as appraisers, engineers, hydrologist s, etc., who are required to participate in establishing just compensation for land or property being acquired by the United States or in defending claims against the United States involving real or personal property. The employment by the Environment and Natural Resources Division of such experts and their remuneration, as well as the manner in which appraisals are made and reports are to be prepared, are referred to the Unit for review and approval.

In their role as in-house valuation experts of the Environment and Natural Resources Division, the members of the Appraisal Unit are, when requested, prepared to confer with the U.S. Attorneys in the field, inspect properties and assist in any case or situation wherein their services are needed or desirable.