Bert Lance has supplied the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee with answers to questions that the former budget director promised two months ago during hearings on his finances and his role as president of two Georgia banks.
The replies, submitted to the committee Monday by Robert A. Altman, Lance's attorney, were made public yesterday. A committee staff member said that the official position of committee Chairman Abraham A. Ribicoff (D-Conn) was that the "questions and answers stand on their own" in the record.
But unofficially, staff members interviewed yesterday were unanimous in criticizing Lance's replies as evasive, at the very least. Indeed, a comparison of questions and answers show that, in several instances, Lance simply ignored the questions altogether.
In the hearings, Lance promised to provide the records of overdrafts at Calhoun First National Bank for himself his wife, her family and non-family members. Yet in his letter. Altman listed only the average of Bert and LaBelle Lance's overdrafts as a percentage of total annual overdrafts at the banks.
Lance was president of Calhoun First National until 1974, when he ran for governor, then chairman until January when he joined the Carter administration. From January, 1974, until he went to Washington, he was also president, then chairman of National Bank of Georgia in Atlantia.
Lance was asked if he had power of attorney to write checks on the accounts of his wife or her relatives. In his answer, Altman said: "Mr Lance did not have any written power of attorney over other accounts." But, he added, Lance "in accordance with oral understandings signed checks, notes and other documents for various persons at the bank."
Altman said Lance could not supply the assets of his various partnerships because the "records have been subpoenaed . . . by other government agencies."
He also declined to supply information about Lance's use of bank-owned airplanes because of the "ongoing investigation by the Justice Department."
Lance was asked to supply a list of "any non-bank loans" to him. In reply, Altman sent a list of names of nonbank lenders for 1975 and 1976, without describing the loans, amounts, or even the lenders' addresses.