A-12364, JANUARY 29, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 553

A-12364: Jan 29, 1926

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BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS AS THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR THE CREATION OF THE COORDINATING COMMISSION ON NATIONAL PARKS AND NATIONAL FORESTS APPOINTED TO INVESTIGATE AND REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT'S COMMITTEE ON OUTDOOR RECREATION. PAYMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED BY OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE ACTIVITIES OF SAID COMMISSION IS PROHIBITED BY SECTION 3681. 1926: THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED OF THE CLAIM OF THE DIAMOND G RANCH. THE CLAIM IS APPROVED BY THE FOREST SUPERVISOR OF THE WYOMING DISTRICT. 000.00 THE CLAIM IS ALSO APPROVED BY THE DIRECTOR. IS UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. IS UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR.

A-12364, JANUARY 29, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 553

BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS AS THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR THE CREATION OF THE COORDINATING COMMISSION ON NATIONAL PARKS AND NATIONAL FORESTS APPOINTED TO INVESTIGATE AND REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT'S COMMITTEE ON OUTDOOR RECREATION, PAYMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED BY OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE ACTIVITIES OF SAID COMMISSION IS PROHIBITED BY SECTION 3681, REVISED STATUTES, AND SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1909, 35 STAT. 1027.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, JANUARY 29, 1926:

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED OF THE CLAIM OF THE DIAMOND G RANCH, JAMES T. GRATIOT, OWNER, FOR USE OF 35 PACK AND SADDLE HORSES, PACK SADDLES AND PACK EQUIPMENT, RIDING SADDLES AND RIDING EQUIPMENT, BEDDING, TENTS, AND ALL CAMP EQUIPMENT AND SERVICE MOVING CAMP AS REQUIRED FOR A PARTY OF 10 PERSONS, INCLUDING 7 MEMBERS OF THE PRESIDENT'S COORDINATING COMMISSION ON NATIONAL PARKS AND NATIONAL FORESTS, TWO NATIONAL FOREST OFFICERS, AND ONE NATIONAL PARK OFFICER, FROM AUGUST 7, 1925, TO AUGUST 21, 1925, 15 DAYS AT $200 PER DAY, OR $3,000.

THE CLAIM IS APPROVED BY THE FOREST SUPERVISOR OF THE WYOMING DISTRICT, WHO RECOMMENDS PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM FROM APPROPRIATIONS AS FOLLOWS: GENERAL EXPENSES, FOREST SERVICE, 1926 ---------------------- $2,159.00 YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, 1926 ---------------------------- 841.00

3,000.00

THE CLAIM IS ALSO APPROVED BY THE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE AND BY THE ACTING FORESTER.

THE APPROPRIATION FOR "GENERAL EXPENSES, FORREST SERVICE," ACT OF FEBRUARY 10, 1925, 43 STAT. 833, IS UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, WHILE THE APPROPRIATION FOR ,YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK," ACT OF MARCH 3, 1925, 43 STAT. 1178, IS UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR.

THE STATEMENT IS MADE THAT THE PRESIDENT'S COMMITTEE ON OUTDOOR RECREATION, CONSISTING OF THE SECRETARIES OF WAR, INTERIOR, AGRICULTURE, COMMERCE, AND LABOR, ON FEBRUARY 10, 1925, ADOPTED A RESOLUTION PROVIDING FOR THE CREATION OF A COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE AND REPORT TO THE COMMITTEE ON ALL PROJECTS UNDER CONSIDERATION BY THE DEPARTMENTS OF INTERIOR AND AGRICULTURE DEALING WITH PROPOSED ENLARGEMENTS OR ADJUSTMENTS OF NATIONAL PARKS OR NATIONAL FORESTS WHICH INVOLVED THE TWO DEPARTMENTS. THE COMMISSION SO CREATED CONSISTED OF DR. HENRY W. TEMPLE, MEMBER OF CONGRESS FROM PENNSYLVANIA; MR. CHARLES SELDON; MAJ. WILLIAM A. WELCH, UNITED STATES ARMY; COL. W. B. GREELEY, FORESTER; AND MR. STEPHEN T. MATHER, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE; AND POSSIBLY MR. BARRINGTON MOORE AND MR. ARTHUR RINGLAND. THIS COMMISSION HELD MEETINGS IN WASHINGTON AND IN THE FIELD. PUBLIC HEARINGS WERE HELD IN WYOMING, ARIZONA, NEW MEXICO, AND COLORADO, AND ON OCTOBER 19, 1925, THE COMMISSION SUBMITTED ITS REPORT TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE PRESIDENT'S COMMITTEE ON OUTDOOR RECREATION.

THE EXPENSE HERE IN QUESTION WAS INCURRED WHILE THE COMMISSION WAS ON A TRIP TO WYOMING.

SECTION 3681, REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES THAT:

NO ACCOUNTING OR DISBURSING OFFICER OF THE GOVERNMENT SHALL ALLOW OR PAY ANY ACCOUNT OR CHARGE WHATEVER, GROWING OUT OF, OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH, ANY COMMISSION OR INQUIRY, EXCEPT COURTS-MARTIAL OR COURTS OF INQUIRY IN THE MILITARY OR NAVAL SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES, UNTIL SPECIAL APPROPRIATIONS SHALL HAVE BEEN MADE BY LAW TO PAY SUCH ACCOUNTS AND CHARGES. THIS SECTION, HOWEVER, SHALL NOT EXTEND TO THE CONTINGENT FUND CONNECTED WITH THE FOREIGN INTERCOURSE OF THE GOVERNMENT, PLACED AT THE DISPOSAL OF THE PRESIDENT.

SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1909, 35 STAT. 1027, PROVIDES:

THAT HEREAFTER NO PART OF THE PUBLIC MONEYS, OR OF ANY APPROPRIATION HERETOFORE OR HEREAFTER MADE BY CONGRESS, SHALL BE USED FOR THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION OR EXPENSES OF ANY COMMISSION, COUNCIL, BOARD, OR OTHER SIMILAR BODY, OR ANY MEMBERS THEREOF, OR FOR EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH ANY WORK OR THE RESULTS OF ANY WORK OR ACTION OF ANY COMMISSION, COUNCIL, BOARD, OR OTHER SIMILAR BODY, UNLESS THE CREATION OF THE SAME SHALL BE OR SHALL HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED BY LAW; NOR SHALL THERE BE EMPLOYED BY DETAIL, HEREAFTER OR HERETOFORE MADE, OR OTHERWISE PERSONAL SERVICES FROM ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR OTHER GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENT IN CONNECTION WITH ANY SUCH COMMISSION, COUNCIL, BOARD, OR OTHER SIMILAR BODY.

THE CREATION OF THE COMMISSION HERE INVOLVED WAS NOT AUTHORIZED BY LAW AND NEITHER OF THE APPROPRIATIONS FROM WHICH IT IS PROPOSED TO PAY THE CLAIM SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZES THE EXPENSE OF A COMMISSION OF THIS CHARACTER. THEREFORE, I AM CONSTRAINED TO HOLD THAT IN VIEW OF THE STATUTORY INHIBITIONS, SUPRA, PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM IS NOT AUTHORIZED.