A-10203, AUGUST 17, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 118

A-10203: Aug 17, 1925

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FISCAL YEAR - INDEMNITIES FOR DESTRUCTION OF DISEASED ANIMALS THE DATE ON WHICH INFECTED ANIMALS REACTING TO THE TUBERCULIN TEST ARE SLAUGHTERED IS THE DATE UPON WHICH THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION AT THE TIME BECOMES OBLIGATED. REGARDLESS OF THE DATE OF THE AGREEMENT OF COOPERATION WITH THE OWNER AND THE DATE THE INDEMNITY IS DETERMINED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW. DECISIONS OR PRACTICES TO THE CONTRARY WILL NOT BE FOLLOWED HEREAFTER. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRACTICE HERETOFORE EXISTING WILL NOT BE DISTURBED IF OTHERWISE LEGAL AND PROPER. 1925: THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION BEFORE THIS OFFICE THE QUESTION AS TO WHAT APPROPRIATION IS PROPERLY CHARGEABLE WITH PAYMENTS MADE AS INDEMNITY FOR ANIMALS SLAUGHTERED AS REACTING TO THE TUBERCULIN TEST.

A-10203, AUGUST 17, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 118

APPROPRIATIONS, FISCAL YEAR - INDEMNITIES FOR DESTRUCTION OF DISEASED ANIMALS THE DATE ON WHICH INFECTED ANIMALS REACTING TO THE TUBERCULIN TEST ARE SLAUGHTERED IS THE DATE UPON WHICH THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION AT THE TIME BECOMES OBLIGATED, REGARDLESS OF THE DATE OF THE AGREEMENT OF COOPERATION WITH THE OWNER AND THE DATE THE INDEMNITY IS DETERMINED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW. DECISIONS OR PRACTICES TO THE CONTRARY WILL NOT BE FOLLOWED HEREAFTER, BUT PAYMENTS MADE PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 1, 1925, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRACTICE HERETOFORE EXISTING WILL NOT BE DISTURBED IF OTHERWISE LEGAL AND PROPER.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, AUGUST 17, 1925:

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION BEFORE THIS OFFICE THE QUESTION AS TO WHAT APPROPRIATION IS PROPERLY CHARGEABLE WITH PAYMENTS MADE AS INDEMNITY FOR ANIMALS SLAUGHTERED AS REACTING TO THE TUBERCULIN TEST, AND MORE SPECIFICALLY WHETHER THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR IN WHICH THE AGREEMENT WITH THE OWNER WAS MADE SHOULD BE CHARGED OR THAT OF THE FISCAL YEAR IN WHICH THE ANIMALS WERE SLAUGHTERED AND THE AMOUNT OF INDEMNITY FOUND DUE BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW.

IT WAS HELD BY A FORMER COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY, IN A LETTER TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE DATED APRIL 8, 1921, THAT---

* * * THE AUDITOR IS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE SUCH ADJUSTMENTS WHERE IT APPEARS THE PROPER FISCAL YEAR WAS NOT CHARGED, AND FOR THIS PURPOSE THE AGREEMENTS MADE WITH THE OWNERS MAY BE CONSIDERED AS CREATING AN OBLIGATION UNDER THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR IN WHICH THE AGREEMENTS WERE MADE, SO THAT THE INDEMNITIES PROVIDED FOR BY THE AGREEMENTS MAY BE CHARGED AGAINST SAID APPROPRIATION.

IT NOW APPEARS FROM A CAREFUL EXAMINATION OF A FORM OF THE AGREEMENT OF COOPERATION THAT THERE IS NO PROVISION MADE THEREIN FOR THE PAYMENT OF INDEMNITY, AND THAT THE ONLY PROVISION RELATIVE TO THE SLAUGHTERING OF THE CATTLE PROVIDES THAT THE OWNER, IN CONSIDERATION OF RECEIVING ASSISTANCE FROM THE UNITED STATES AND THE STATE, AGREES AS FOLLOWS:

I WILL CAUSE ALL ANIMALS WHICH SHOW PHYSICAL EVIDENCE OF TUBERCULOSIS TO BE PROMPTLY SLAUGHTERED UNDER THE U.S. MEAT-INSPECTION REGULATIONS, AND WILL CAUSE THE CARCASSES OF SAID ANIMALS TO BE DISPOSED OF ACCORDING TO THE MEAT-INSPECTION REGULATIONS OF THE U.S. BUREAU OF ANIMAL INDUSTRY AND STATE LAWS, BASED UPON THE LESIONS OF POST-MORTEM INSPECTION.

THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS FROM WHICH THE INDEMNITIES ARE PAYABLE AS APPEAR IN THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 10, 1925, 43 STAT. 827, AND ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS PRIOR THERETO PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

FOR INVESTIGATING THE DISEASE OF TUBERCULOSIS OF ANIMALS FOR ITS CONTROL AND ERADICATION, FOR THE TUBERCULIN TESTING OF ANIMALS, AND FOR RESEARCHES CONCERNING THE CAUSE OF THE DISEASE, ITS MODES OF SPREAD, AND METHODS OF TREATMENT AND PREVENTION, INCLUDING DEMONSTRATIONS, THE FORMATION OF ORGANIZATIONS, AND SUCH OTHER MEANS AS MAY BE NECESSARY, EITHER INDEPENDENTLY OR IN COOPERATION WITH FARMERS' ASSOCIATIONS, STATE, TERRITORY, OR COUNTY AUTHORITIES * * *: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT IN CARRYING OUT THE PURPOSE OF THIS APPROPRIATION, IF IN THE OPINION OF THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE IT SHALL BE NECESSARY TO DESTROY TUBERCULOUS ANIMALS AND TO COMPENSATE OWNERS FOR LOSS THEREOF, HE MAY, IN HIS DISCRETION, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS HE MAY PRESCRIBE, EXPEND IN THE CITY OF WASHINGTON OR ELSEWHERE OUT OF THE MONEYS OF THIS APPROPRIATION, SUCH SUMS AS HE SHALL DETERMINE TO BE NECESSARY, WITHIN THE LIMITATIONS ABOVE PROVIDED, FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF OWNERS OF ANIMALS SO DESTROYED, IN COOPERATION WITH SUCH STATES, TERRITORIES, COUNTIES, OR MUNICIPALITIES, AS SHALL BY LAW OR BY SUITABLE ACTION IN KEEPING WITH ITS AUTHORITY IN THE MATTER, AND BY RULES AND REGULATIONS ADOPTED AND ENFORCED IN PURSUANCE THEREOF, PROVIDE INSPECTION OF TUBERCULOUS ANIMALS AND FOR COMPENSATION TO OWNERS OF ANIMALS SO DESTROYED, BUT NO PART OF THE MONEY HEREBY APPROPRIATED SHALL BE USED IN COMPENSATING OWNERS OF SUCH ANIMALS EXCEPT IN COOPERATION WITH AND SUPPLEMENTARY TO PAYMENTS TO BE MADE BY STATE, TERRITORY, COUNTY, OR MUNICIPALITY WHERE CONDEMNATION OF SUCH ANIMALS SHALL TAKE PLACE, NOR SHALL ANY PAYMENT BE MADE HEREUNDER AS COMPENSATION FOR OR ON ACCOUNT OF ANY SUCH ANIMAL DESTROYED IF AT THE TIME OF INSPECTION OR TEST OF SUCH ANIMAL, OR AT THE TIME OF CONDEMNATION THEREOF, IT SHALL BELONG TO OR BE UPON THE PREMISES OF ANY PERSON, FIRM, OR CORPORATION, TO WHICH IT HAS BEEN SOLD, SHIPPED, OR DELIVERED FOR THE PURPOSE OF BEING SLAUGHTERED: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT OUT OF THE MONEY HEREBY APPROPRIATED NO PAYMENT AS COMPENSATION FOR ANY TUBERCULOUS ANIMAL DESTROYED SHALL EXCEED ONE-THIRD OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE APPRAISED VALUE OF SUCH ANIMAL AND THE VALUE OF THE SALVAGE THEREOF; THAT NO PAYMENT HEREUNDER SHALL EXCEED THE AMOUNT PAID OR TO BE PAID BY THE STATE, TERRITORY, COUNTY, AND MUNICIPALITY, WHERE THE ANIMAL SHALL BE CONDEMNED; AND THAT IN NO CASE SHALL ANY PAYMENT HEREUNDER BE MORE THAN $25 FOR ANY GRADE ANIMAL OR MORE THAN $50 FOR ANY PUREBRED ANIMAL, AND NO PAYMENT SHALL BE MADE UNLESS THE OWNER HAS COMPLIED WITH ALL LAWFUL QUARANTINE REGULATIONS;

IT WILL BE NOTED FROM THE LANGUAGE USED THEREIN THAT THE APPROPRIATION FOR INDEMNITIES COULD NOT BECOME OBLIGATED MERELY BY THE AGREEMENT OR CONSENT OF THE OWNER TO SUBMIT THE HERD TO THE TESTS, ETC. AS TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND CONDITIONS NECESSARY TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF THE INDEMNITIES, SEE 4 COMP. GEN. 685.

THE AGREEMENT OF COOPERATION ENTERED INTO BY THE OWNER PROVIDES MERELY IN GENERAL TERMS THAT, IN CONSIDERATION OF RECEIVING ASSISTANCE FROM THE UNITED STATES AND THE STATE, HE AGREES TO DO CERTAIN THINGS FOR THE PURPOSE OF OBTAINING A "TUBERCULOSIS FREE ACCREDITED HERD CERTIFICATE," AND DOES NOT EVEN PURPORT TO OBLIGATE THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE PAYMENT OF INDEMNITIES WHICH, AS SET FORTH IN THE DECISION HEREINBEFORE CITED, ARE IN THE NATURE OF GRATUITIES PAYABLE IN THE DISCRETION OF THE SECRETARY SUBJECT TO THE STATUTORY LIMITATIONS AND RESTRICTIONS.

ACCORDINGLY, IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE APPROPRIATION CURRENT ON THE DATE OF SLAUGHTERING OF THE INFECTED CATTLE IS THE APPROPRIATION PROPERLY CHARGEABLE WITH THE INDEMNITIES FOUND PAYABLE, REGARDLESS OF THE DATES OF THE AGREEMENTS, AND ANY DECISION OR PRACTICE TO THE CONTRARY WILL NOT BE FOLLOWED HEREAFTER. PAYMENTS MADE BY DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 1, 1925, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRACTICE HERETOFORE EXISTING WILL NOT BE DISTURBED IF OTHERWISE LEGAL AND PROPER, BUT WITH RESPECT TO PAYMENTS MADE ON AND AFTER SAID DATE CREDIT WILL BE ALLOWED ONLY UNDER THE PROPER APPROPRIATION AS HEREIN INDICATED.