A-11494, OCTOBER 23, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 285

A-11494: Oct 23, 1925

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

FOR PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS IN ADMIRALTY RENDERED AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS RENDERED AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IN ADMIRALTY SUITS BROUGHT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3. SUCH JUDGMENTS ARE PAYABLE ONLY AFTER AN APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN MADE UPON AN ESTIMATE TRANSMITTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF APRIL 27. 1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 10. IS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT OF $17. THE SUIT IN THIS CASE WAS NOT BROUGHT UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 9. THE PROVISIONS FOR PAYMENT OF THE JUDGMENTS IN THE TWO STATUTES ARE INCONSISTENT. OTHERWISE THERE IS HEREBY APPROPRIATED. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE LATER ACT TO INDICATE THAT THE INDEFINITE APPROPRIATION AUTHORIZED BY THE EARLIER ACT IS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS RESULTING FROM SUITS INSTITUTED UNDER THE LATER ACT.

A-11494, OCTOBER 23, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 285

PAYMENTS OF JUDGMENTS IN ADMIRALTY THE INDEFINITE APPROPRIATION AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 9, 1920, 41 STAT. 527, FOR PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS IN ADMIRALTY RENDERED AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS RENDERED AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IN ADMIRALTY SUITS BROUGHT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1925, 43 STAT. 1112, WHICH CONTAINS NO AUTHORITY FOR AN INDEFINITE APPROPRIATION BUT PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT OF THE JUDGMENTS ONLY FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED THEREFOR BY CONGRESS. SUCH JUDGMENTS ARE PAYABLE ONLY AFTER AN APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN MADE UPON AN ESTIMATE TRANSMITTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF APRIL 27, 1904, 33 STAT. 422.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, OCTOBER 23, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 10, 1925, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE INDEFINITE APPROPRIATION FOR PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS IN ADMIRALTY UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 9, 1920, 41 STAT. 527, IS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT OF $17,261.47 ALLOWED BY THE JUDGMENT AGAINST THE UNITED STATES IN THE CASE OF THE ATLANTIC REFINING CO. (S.S. TUSTEM) V. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (S.S. CURLEW), ENTERED IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, SEPTEMBER 21, 1925, OR WHETHER THE AMOUNT OF THE JUDGMENT MUST BE CERTIFIED TO CONGRESS FOR AN APPROPRIATION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF APRIL 27, 1904, 33 STAT. 422.

THE SUIT IN THIS CASE WAS NOT BROUGHT UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 9, 1920, SUPRA, BUT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1925, 43 STAT. 1112. THE LATER ACT, IN SECTION 2, PROVIDES THAT THE SUITS INSTITUTED UNDER ITS PROVISIONS "SHALL BE SUBJECT TO AND PROCEED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF" THE PRIOR ACT OF MARCH 9, 1920, SUPRA, IN SO FAR AS NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THE LATER ACT AND WITH AN EXCEPTION RELATIVE TO PAYMENT OF INTEREST. THIS PROVISION MEANS THAT THE COURT PROCEEDINGS OF THE SUIT UNDER THE LATER LAW SHALL BE THE SAME AS UNDER THE EARLIER LAW WITH THE EXCEPTIONS NOTED, BUT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE PROVISIONS FOR PAYMENT OF THE AMOUNT OF THE JUDGMENTS RESULTING FROM SUITS UNDER THE LATER LAW SHALL BE THE SAME AS UNDER THE EARLIER LAW. FURTHERMORE, THE PROVISIONS FOR PAYMENT OF THE JUDGMENTS IN THE TWO STATUTES ARE INCONSISTENT.

SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 9, 1920, 41 STAT. 527, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THAT ANY FINAL JUDGMENT RENDERED IN ANY SUIT HEREIN AUTHORIZED, AND ANY FINAL JUDGMENT WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTIONS 4 AND 7 OF THIS ACT, AND ANY ARBITRATION AWARD OR SETTLEMENT HAD AND AGREED TO UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 9 OF THIS ACT, SHALL, UPON THE PRESENTATION OF A DULY AUTHENTICATED COPY THEREOF, BE PAID BY THE PROPER ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES OUT OF ANY APPROPRIATION OR INSURANCE FUND OR OTHER FUND ESPECIALLY AVAILABLE THEREFOR; OTHERWISE THERE IS HEREBY APPROPRIATED, OUT OF ANY MONEY IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES NOT OTHERWISE APPROPRIATED, A SUM SUFFICIENT TO PAY ANY SUCH JUDGMENT OR AWARD OR SETTLEMENT.

SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1925, 43 STAT. 1113, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THAT ANY FINAL JUDGMENT RENDERED ON ANY LIBEL OR CROSS LIBEL HEREIN AUTHORIZED, AND ANY SETTLEMENT HAD AND AGREED TO UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 6 OF THIS ACT, SHALL, UPON PRESENTATION OF A DULY AUTHENTICATED COPY THEREOF, BE PAID BY THE PROPER ACCOUNTING OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES OUT OF ANY MONEYS IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES APPROPRIATED THEREFOR BY CONGRESS.

THERE IS NOTHING IN THE LATER ACT TO INDICATE THAT THE INDEFINITE APPROPRIATION AUTHORIZED BY THE EARLIER ACT IS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF JUDGMENTS RESULTING FROM SUITS INSTITUTED UNDER THE LATER ACT. ON THE CONTRARY, THE LATER ACT EXPRESSLY PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT ONLY FROM MONEYS ,APPROPRIATED THEREFOR.'

ACCORDINGLY, THE PROCEDURE IN THIS CASE MUST BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF APRIL 27, 1904, SUPRA, WHICH REQUIRES THAT ESTIMATES FOR THE PAYMENT OF ALL JUDGMENTS RENDERED AGAINST THE UNITED STATES BE TRANSMITTED TO CONGRESS AS OTHER ESTIMATES OF APPROPRIATIONS ARE REQUIRED TO BE TRANSMITTED.