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RISMEDIA, January 13, 2010—A coalition representing 35,000 real estate appraisers, led by the Appraisal Institute, recently called on the U.S. Department of the Interior to follow its own Inspector General’s direction to hire a chief appraiser.

The Appraisal Institute, one of the nation’s largest organizations of real estate appraisers, was joined by the American Society of Appraisers, the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers in asking Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to select a “strong and competent chief appraiser to lead further change within ASD (Appraisal Services Directorate) and to provide a single point of contact, offer sound judgment and have final decision authority on appraisal matters,” as the Inspector General’s report said.

In a letter to Salazar, the four appraiser organizations wrote: “Our organizations believe appraisal issues are extremely complex, and the importance of the appraisal function must be elevated within the Department. It is critical for the appraisal function to be led by a technically competent appraiser.”

The Inspector General’s report noted the chief appraiser vacated the position in 2006 and that it has not been filled by a fully-qualified senior executive for nearly three years. “Unfortunately, this lack of consistent, competent and empowered leadership remains to date as the Department decided not to proceed with the selection of a new ASD Chief Appraiser in June 2009,” the report stated. “Without the presence of a strong Chief Appraiser as lead, ASD cannot become a strong appraisal organization and cannot work to enforce policy directives.”

For more information, visit www.appraisalinstitute.com.

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