A-11493, OCTOBER 21, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 281

A-11493: Oct 21, 1925

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1926 WERE PASSED. NO OBJECTION WILL BE MADE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1926 TO THE USE OF THE APPROPRIATION . TULLIS IS ASSIGNED TO THE DIVISION OF POST OFFICE SERVICE. YOU STATE THAT THE OFFICIAL TRAVEL TO BE PERFORMED BY HIM IS INCIDENT TO POST OFFICES OF THE FIRST AND SECOND CLASS. TULLIS IS IN THE FOLLOWING TERMS (43 STAT. 784): FOR MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS NECESSARY AND INCIDENTAL TO POST OFFICES OF THE FIRST AND SECOND CLASSES. IT IS OBSERVED THAT THIS ITEM DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY INCLUDE TRAVELING EXPENSES. ITS TERMS WOULD APPEAR TO INDICATE THAT IT IS A FIELD SERVICE APPROPRIATION AND NOT AVAILABLE FOR ANY ITEM OF EXPENDITURE IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES AT WASHINGTON. THE APPROPRIATION SPECIFICALLY PROVIDING FOR AN ITEM OF EXPENDITURE IS EXCLUSIVE OF ALL OTHER APPROPRIATIONS IN GENERAL TERMS.

A-11493, OCTOBER 21, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 281

POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT - AVAILABILITY OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES IN VIEW OF THE LONG-STANDING PRACTICE AND THE NATURE OF ESTIMATES SUBMITTED TO CONGRESS ON THE BASIS OF WHICH THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1924, 1925, AND 1926 WERE PASSED, NO OBJECTION WILL BE MADE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1926 TO THE USE OF THE APPROPRIATION ,MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS, FIRST AND SECOND CLASS POST OFFICES" FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES OF OFFICERS OF THE OFFICE OF THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL, NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH THE WORK OF FIRST AND SECOND CLASS POST OFFICES. FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1927 APPROPRIATIONS SOUGHT TO BE CHARGED WITH TRAVELING EXPENSES MAY NOT BE USED FOR THAT PURPOSE UNLESS THEY EXPRESSLY PROVIDE FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, OCTOBER 21, 1925:

I AM IN RECEIPT OF YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 9, 1925, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF THE ACTION OF THIS OFFICE OF SEPTEMBER 25, 1925, RETURNING TO YOUR OFFICE WITHOUT APPROVAL REQUISITION FOR AN ADVANCE OF $300 TO JOHN R. TULLIS FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES PROPOSED TO BE CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION "MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS, FIRST AND SECOND CLASS POST OFFICES," UNDER THE MAIN HEADING OF "OFFICE OF THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL.'

IT APPEARS THAT MR. TULLIS IS ASSIGNED TO THE DIVISION OF POST OFFICE SERVICE, OFFICE OF THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL. YOU STATE THAT THE OFFICIAL TRAVEL TO BE PERFORMED BY HIM IS INCIDENT TO POST OFFICES OF THE FIRST AND SECOND CLASS. THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATIONS ACT OF JANUARY 22, 1925, 43 STAT. 785, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1926, UNDER THE HEADING ,OFFICE OF THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL," CONTAINS A SPECIFIC ITEM OR PARAGRAPH, AS FOLLOWS:

FOR TRAVEL AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES IN THE POSTAL SERVICE, OFFICE OF THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL, $1,000.

SIMILAR ITEMS APPEAR UNDER THE OFFICES OF THE POSTMASTER GENERAL AND THE OTHER ASSISTANT POSTMASTERS GENERAL. NO OTHER ITEM OF APPROPRIATION UNDER THE MAIN HEADING OF THE "OFFICE OF THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL" SPECIFICALLY MENTIONS TRAVELING EXPENSES. THE APPROPRIATION ITEM PROPOSED TO BE CHARGED WITH THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF MR. TULLIS IS IN THE FOLLOWING TERMS (43 STAT. 784):

FOR MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS NECESSARY AND INCIDENTAL TO POST OFFICES OF THE FIRST AND SECOND CLASSES, $975,000.

IT IS OBSERVED THAT THIS ITEM DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY INCLUDE TRAVELING EXPENSES. ITS TERMS WOULD APPEAR TO INDICATE THAT IT IS A FIELD SERVICE APPROPRIATION AND NOT AVAILABLE FOR ANY ITEM OF EXPENDITURE IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES AT WASHINGTON, WHETHER IT BE FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES OR OTHERWISE. UNDER THE FUNDAMENTAL RULES OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION, THE APPROPRIATION SPECIFICALLY PROVIDING FOR AN ITEM OF EXPENDITURE IS EXCLUSIVE OF ALL OTHER APPROPRIATIONS IN GENERAL TERMS,NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THE MORE GENERAL APPROPRIATION MIGHT POSSIBLY BE CONSTRUED AS INCLUDING THE ITEM FOR WHICH THE SPECIFIC APPROPRIATIONS HAD BEEN PROVIDED. THUS, ASSUMING THAT THE APPROPRIATION HERE SOUGHT TO BE CHARGED IS AVAILABLE FOR THE TRAVELING EXPENSES IN QUESTION, THIS RULE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION WOULD ORDINARILY HAVE NECESSITATED CHARGING THE APPROPRIATION OF $1,000, ABOVE QUOTED, WHICH IN EXPRESS TERMS PROVIDES FOR THE TRAVELING EXPENSES IN THE OFFICE OF THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL.

YOU STATE:

THE APPROPRIATION OF $1,000 FOR TRAVEL AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES IN THE OFFICE OF THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL, AS WELL AS LIKE APPROPRIATIONS IN THE OFFICES OF THE OTHER ASSISTANT POSTMASTERS GENERAL, IS INTENDED TO COVER ONLY THE PERSONAL EXPENSES OF THAT OFFICER AND IT HAS NEVER BEEN THE PRACTICE TO CHARGE TO IT THE EXPENSES OF ANY OTHER OFFICER.

THERE IS NOTHING IN THE WORDING OF THE ACT ITSELF TO LIMIT THE $1,000 TO THE OFFICIAL TRAVELING EXPENSES OF THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL AND TO EXCLUDE THE OTHER OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF HIS OFFICE. HOWEVER, YOU REFER TO VARIOUS PORTIONS OF THE HEARINGS ON THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION BILLS FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1924, 1925, AND 1926, AND THE BUDGETS IN SUPPORT OF YOUR ABOVE-QUOTED STATEMENT AND OF YOUR CONTENTION THAT THE TRAVELING EXPENSES IN THE PRESENT CASE ARE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE ITEM FOR MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS, FIRST AND SECOND CLASS POST OFFICES.

THE STATEMENTS MADE IN THE CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS, ESTIMATES, ETC., IN THE PRESENT CASE, WHILE NOT ADMISSIBLE TO CHANGE OR ALTER THE PLAIN TERMS OF THE APPROPRIATION ACTS HERE INVOLVED, AS FINALLY ENACTED, DO SERVE TO CONFIRM YOUR STATEMENT THAT IT HAS BEEN THE PAST PRACTICE FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS TO USE THE $1,000 APPROPRIATION FOR THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL EXCLUSIVELY, AND TO USE THE APPROPRIATION FOR "MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS, FIRST AND SECOND CLASS POST OFFICES," FOR THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF OTHER OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES UNDER THE OFFICE OF THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL, AND THAT THE ESTIMATES WERE SUBMITTED TO THE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES AND THE ACT FINALLY PASSED WITH THAT UNDERSTANDING.

BECAUSE OF THIS LONG-STANDING PRACTICE AND THE BASIS OF THE ESTIMATES SUBMITTED TO CONGRESS, NO OBJECTION WILL BE MADE FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR TO THE USE OF THE APPROPRIATIONS "MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS, FIRST AND SECOND CLASS POST OFFICES," FOR THE NECESSARY TRAVELING EXPENSES OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES UNDER THE OFFICE OF THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS PERTAINING TO POST OFFICES OF THE FIRST AND SECOND CLASSES.

FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1927, APPROPRIATIONS SOUGHT TO BE CHARGED WITH TRAVELING EXPENSES MAY NOT BE USED FOR THAT PURPOSE UNLESS SO WORDED AS TO EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZE TRAVELING EXPENSES. SEE DECISION OF JULY 8, 1924, A- 2920, AND JULY 28, 1925, A-10428.