A-11320, AUGUST 26, 1929, 9 COMP. GEN. 89

A-11320: Aug 26, 1929

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AUTHORIZES THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS FROM ONE DEPARTMENT OR BUREAU TO ANOTHER FOR DIRECT EXPENDITURE WHENEVER THERE IS A PROCUREMENT BY PURCHASE OR MANUFACTURE OF STORES OR MATERIALS OF ANY KIND OR THE PERFORMANCE OF SERVICES FOR THE DEPARTMENT OR BUREAU WHOSE FUNDS ARE TO BE USED. THE TRANSFERS ARE CONDITIONED UPON THE FUNDS PROPOSED TO BE TRANSFERRED BEING AVAILABLE FOR SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS AND THE FUNDS ARE TO BE USED FOR SUCH PURPOSE. ARE NOT COMPLIED WITH. IS FOR CONSIDERATION UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF MAY 21. IN WHICH IT IS STATED. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR COMMUNICATION OF JULY 8. UNDER WHICH IT IS PROPOSED TO TRANSFER THE SUM OF $2. REQUESTING TO BE ADVISED WHY THIS TRANSFER IS PROPOSED UNDER THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE (ACT OF JANUARY 25.

A-11320, AUGUST 26, 1929, 9 COMP. GEN. 89

APPROPRIATIONS - TRANSFERS FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER FOR DIRECT EXPENDITURE SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, 41 STAT. 613, AUTHORIZES THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS FROM ONE DEPARTMENT OR BUREAU TO ANOTHER FOR DIRECT EXPENDITURE WHENEVER THERE IS A PROCUREMENT BY PURCHASE OR MANUFACTURE OF STORES OR MATERIALS OF ANY KIND OR THE PERFORMANCE OF SERVICES FOR THE DEPARTMENT OR BUREAU WHOSE FUNDS ARE TO BE USED, AND SUCH AUTHORITY, BEING GENERAL IN ITS SCOPE, COVERS ALL CASES OF AUTHORIZED TRANSFERS EXCEPT WHERE OTHERWISE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED BY LAW. UNDER THE SPECIFIC AUTHORIZATIONS IN ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS FOR SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS TO THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS, THE BUREAU OF MINES, AND THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, THE TRANSFERS ARE CONDITIONED UPON THE FUNDS PROPOSED TO BE TRANSFERRED BEING AVAILABLE FOR SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS AND THE FUNDS ARE TO BE USED FOR SUCH PURPOSE, ETC. IF SUCH CONDITIONS, AND THE OTHER SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS WITH REFERENCE TO SUCH TRANSFERS, ARE NOT COMPLIED WITH, THE TRANSFER, IF OTHERWISE PROPER, IS FOR CONSIDERATION UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, 41 STAT. 613.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, AUGUST 26, 1929:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR LETTER OF JULY 18, 1929, IN WHICH IT IS STATED, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR COMMUNICATION OF JULY 8, 1929 (A-11320), RETURNING WITHOUT COUNTERSIGNATURE WAR TRANSFER APPROPRIATION WARRANT NO. 5, UNDER WHICH IT IS PROPOSED TO TRANSFER THE SUM OF $2,800 FROM WAR APPROPRIATION "GAUGES, DIES, AND JIGS FOR MANUFACTURE, 1930," TO THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, FOR DEVELOPMENT WORK ON ORDNANCE MATERIAL AT THE ORDNANCE GAUGE LABORATORY DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1930, AND REQUESTING TO BE ADVISED WHY THIS TRANSFER IS PROPOSED UNDER THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE (ACT OF JANUARY 25, 1929, 45 STAT. P. 1124), RATHER THAN UNDER THE FORTIFICATIONS ACT OF MAY 21, 1920 (41 STAT. P. 613).

IN REPLY IT MAY BE STATED THAT THERE APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN SOME MISUNDERSTANDING AND CONFUSION HERETOFORE ON THE PART OF SOME DEPARTMENTS AS TO THE PROPER ACT REFERENCE TO BE QUOTED IN REQUESTING TRANSFERS OF FUNDS TO OTHER DEPARTMENTS, PARTICULARLY IN CASES WHERE, IN ADDITION TO THE GENERAL AUTHORITY FOR THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS CONTAINED IN THE FORTIFICATIONS ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, SPECIFIC AUTHORIZATIONS ARE INCORPORATED IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS, SUCH AS OBTAIN UNDER THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS AND BUREAU OF MINES, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, AND UNDER THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. A GENERAL PROPOSITION, YOUR OFFICE HAS HELD THAT WHERE SPECIFIC AUTHORITY FOR THE TRANSFER IS GIVEN IN THE ANNUAL ACTS, SUCH AUTHORITY SHOULD BE REFERRED TO IN MAKING THE TRANSFERS. FROM PAST EXPERIENCE IT HAS BEEN FOUND THAT THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE DEPARTMENT REQUESTING THE TRANSFER AS TO THE ACT REFERENCE AUTHORIZING SUCH TRANSFER CAN NOT BE FOLLOWED IN ALL CASES. ACCORDINGLY, THIS DEPARTMENT IN PREPARING TRANSFER APPROPRIATION WARRANTS FOR SUBMISSION TO YOU, FOR COUNTERSIGNATURE, IS ENDEAVORING TO CAREFULLY CONSIDER THE ACT REFERENCE UNDER EACH REQUEST FOR TRANSFER, HAVING IN VIEW A STRICT APPLICATION OF AND COMPLIANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE AUTHORIZING ACTS.

IN THE PRESENT CASE COVERING THE PROPOSED TRANSFER OF FUNDS FROM WAR APPROPRIATION "GAUGES, DIES, AND JUGS FOR MANUFACTURE, 1930," TO THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, WAR DEPARTMENT, IN REQUESTING THE TRANSFER, STATES THAT THE FUNDS ARE TO BE USED IN CONNECTION WITH "EXPERIMENTAL AND DEVELOPMENT WORK ON ORDNANCE MATERIAL.' UNDER THE ANNUAL COMMERCE ACT OF JANUARY 25, 1929 (45 STAT., P. 1124), IT IS PROVIDED THAT DEPARTMENTS HAVING FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR "SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS AND REQUIRING COOPERATIVE WORK BY THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS" MAY TRANSFER TO SAID BUREAU SUCH SUMS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO CARRY ON SUCH INVESTIGATIONS. THIS TERMINOLOGY WOULD SEEM TO COVER THE EXPERIMENTAL AND DEVELOPMENT WORK REFERRED TO BY THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, HENCE THIS ACT WAS QUOTED AS THE AUTHORITY FOR THE TRANSFER.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, WAR TRANSFER APPROPRIATION WARRANT NO. 5 IS RETURNED FOR YOUR FURTHER CONSIDERATION. THIS DEPARTMENT, HOWEVER, HAS NO OBJECTION TO CHANGING THIS TRANSFER APPROPRIATION WARRANT SO AS TO REFER TO THE FORTIFICATIONS ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, IF IT IS HELD BY YOUR OFFICE THAT THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS SHOULD BE EFFECTED UNDER THAT ACT INSTEAD OF UNDER THE ANNUAL COMMERCE ACT OF JANUARY 25, 1929.

IN THIS CONNECTION IT IS SUGGESTED THAT IT WOULD BE HELPFUL TO THIS DEPARTMENT AND TO OTHER DEPARTMENTS AND OFFICES CONCERNED IN MAKING TRANSFERS OF FUNDS, IF A DECISION COULD BE RENDERED BY YOUR OFFICE DEFINITELY SETTING FORTH THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH TRANSFERS OF FUNDS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE FORTIFICATIONS ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, SHOULD BE EFFECTED, INSTEAD OF UNDER THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS PROVIDING SPECIFICALLY FOR THE TRANSFERS OF FUNDS.

SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, 41 STAT. 613, PROVIDES:

THAT WHENEVER ANY GOVERNMENT BUREAU OR DEPARTMENT PROCURES, BY PURCHASE OR MANUFACTURE, STORES OR MATERIALS OF ANY KIND, OR PERFORMS ANY SERVICE FOR ANOTHER BUREAU OR DEPARTMENT, THE FUNDS OF THE BUREAU OR DEPARTMENT FOR WHICH THE STORES OR MATERIALS ARE TO BE PROCURED OR THE SERVICE PERFORMED MAY BE PLACED SUBJECT TO THE REQUISITIONS OF THE BUREAU OR DEPARTMENT MAKING THE PROCUREMENT OR PERFORMING THE SERVICE FOR DIRECT EXPENDITURE: PROVIDED, THAT FUNDS SO PLACED WITH THE PROCURING BUREAU SHALL REMAIN AVAILABLE FOR A PERIOD OF TWO YEARS FOR THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE ALLOCATION WAS MADE UNLESS SOONER EXPENDED.

THIS PROVISION OF LAW AUTHORIZES THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS FROM ONE DEPARTMENT OR BUREAU TO ANOTHER FOR DIRECT EXPENDITURE WHENEVER THERE IS A PROCUREMENT BY PURCHASE OR MANUFACTURE OF STORES AND MATERIALS OF ANY KIND OR THE PERFORMANCE OF SERVICES FOR THE DEPARTMENT OR BUREAU WHOSE FUNDS ARE TO BE USED. THE AUTHORITY IS GENERAL IN ITS SCOPE AND COVERS ALL CASES OF SUCH AUTHORIZED TRANSFER OF FUNDS FROM ONE DEPARTMENT OR BUREAU TO ANOTHER FOR DIRECT EXPENDITURE EXCEPT WHERE OTHERWISE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED BY LAW.

WITH RESPECT TO AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT ENGAGED IN SCIENTIFIC OR TECHNICAL INVESTIGATIONS SUCH AS THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS, THE BUREAU OF MINES, AND THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, SPECIFIC AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS FOR SUCH PURPOSES IS CONTAINED IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR SUCH AGENCIES. FOR THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS THE SPECIFIC AUTHORIZATION HAS BEEN IN EFFECT SINCE THE FISCAL YEAR 1921 (ACT OF MAY 29, 1920, 41 STAT. 683), FOR THE BUREAU OF MINES SINCE 1923 (ACT OF MAY 24, 1922, 42 STAT. 589), AND FOR THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY SINCE 1927 (ACT OF MAY 10, 1926, 44 STAT. 486). IT SHOULD BE NOTED, HOWEVER, THAT UNDER THESE SPECIFIC AUTHORIZATIONS THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS THEREUNDER TO THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY PERFORMING THE COOPERATIVE WORK IS CONDITIONED UPON THE FUNDS PROPOSED TO BE USED BEING AVAILABLE FOR SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS AND THE FUNDS TRANSFERRED ARE TO BE USED FOR THAT PURPOSE.

IN CASES OF REQUESTS FOR TRANSFER OF FUNDS TO THE THREE AGENCIES HAVING SPECIFIC AUTHORITY TO RECEIVE FUNDS FROM OTHER DEPARTMENTS FOR COOPERATIVE WORK IN CONNECTION WITH SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS, IF THE TRANSFER IS OTHERWISE PROPER UNDER THE LAW, THERE SHOULD BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION, IN ORDER TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE TRANSFER, IF AUTHORIZED, SHOULD BE MADE UNDER THE GENERAL ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, OR UNDER THE SPECIFIC AUTHORIZATIONS IN ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS, THE AVAILABILITY OF THE FUNDS INVOLVED AND THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE TRANSFER IS REQUESTED. IF THE FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE FOR SCIENTIFIC OR TECHNICAL INVESTIGATIONS OR FOR RESEARCH WORK, AND THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS IS FOR COOPERATIVE WORK WITH RESPECT TO SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS, THE TRANSFER, IF OTHERWISE IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW AND THE REGULATIONS GOVERNING, PROPERLY MAY BE STATED AND MADE UNDER THE SPECIFIC AUTHORIZATIONS IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS, BUT IF SUCH CONDITIONS DO NOT EXIST THE TRANSFER, IF OTHERWISE PROPER, IS FOR CONSIDERATION UNDER THE GENERAL ACT OF MAY 21, 1920.

WITH RESPECT TO THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS PROPOSED BY WAR TRANSFER APPROPRIATION WARRANT NO. 5, NOW UNDER CONSIDERATION, IT APPEARS THAT THE APPROPRIATION "GAUGES, DIES, AND JIGS FOR MANUFACTURE, 1930," AS MADE BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1929, 45 STAT. 1365, PROVIDES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND PROCUREMENT OF GAUGES, DIES, JIGS, ETC., AND THE REQUEST FOR TRANSFER STATES THAT THE FUNDS ARE TO BE USED BY THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS FOR WORK "IN CONNECTION WITH EXPERIMENTAL AND DEVELOPMENT WORK ON ORDNANCE MATERIAL.' IN VIEW OF THE EXPLANATIONS AND REPRESENTATIONS NOW MADE, THE TRANSFER MAY BE MADE UNDER THE SPECIFIC AUTHORIZATION CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF JANUARY 25, 1929, 45 STAT. 1124. ACCORDINGLY, THE WARRANT, AS STATED, HAS BEEN COUNTERSIGNED.