A-12938, MARCH 24, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 757

A-12938: Mar 24, 1926

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APPROPRIATIONS - TRANSFER UNLESS AND UNTIL SPECIFICALLY SO PROVIDED BY STATUTE NO FURTHER TRANSFER OF FUNDS WILL BE APPROVED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 21. TO ANOTHER DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT TO BE USED FOR PAYMENT OF THE SALARIES OF THE REGULAR FORCE OF EMPLOYEES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WITHOUT REGARD TO THE SPECIFIC WORK REQUESTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT FROM WHICH THE FUNDS ARE TRANSFERRED. ARE AVAILABLE FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THE AUDIT DISCLOSES THAT IT IS THE PRACTICE. IT IS DISCLOSED. THAT IN CERTAIN INSTANCES THE APPROPRIATIONS FROM WHICH THE FUNDS ARE TRANSFERRED ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR PERSONAL SERVICES AT LL.

A-12938, MARCH 24, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 757

APPROPRIATIONS - TRANSFER UNLESS AND UNTIL SPECIFICALLY SO PROVIDED BY STATUTE NO FURTHER TRANSFER OF FUNDS WILL BE APPROVED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, 41 STAT. 613, OR THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS PROVIDING FOR SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS BY THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS OR THE BUREAU OF MINES, FROM APPROPRIATIONS UNDER ONE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT NOT EXPRESSLY PROVIDING FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, TO ANOTHER DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT TO BE USED FOR PAYMENT OF THE SALARIES OF THE REGULAR FORCE OF EMPLOYEES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WITHOUT REGARD TO THE SPECIFIC WORK REQUESTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT FROM WHICH THE FUNDS ARE TRANSFERRED.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, MARCH 24, 1926:

IN THE AUDIT OF DISBURSING OFFICERS' ACCOUNTS FOR VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS THERE HAS BEEN PRESENTED THE QUESTION WHETHER FUNDS TRANSFERRED BY ONE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT TO ANOTHER, AS ALLOCATIONS EITHER UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, 41 STAT. 613, OR UNDER ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS BY THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS OR THE BUREAU OF MINES, ARE AVAILABLE FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

THE AUDIT DISCLOSES THAT IT IS THE PRACTICE, PARTICULARLY IN THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS AND THE BUREAU OF MINES, TO USE SUCH TRANSFERRED FUNDS TO PAY SALARIES OF A REGULAR PERMANENT FORCE OF EMPLOYEES IN SAID ESTABLISHMENTS. IT IS DISCLOSED, ALSO, THAT IN CERTAIN INSTANCES THE APPROPRIATIONS FROM WHICH THE FUNDS ARE TRANSFERRED ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR PERSONAL SERVICES AT LL; IN OTHER INSTANCES THAT SUCH APPROPRIATIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE FIELD BUT NOT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; AND IN STILL OTHER INSTANCES THAT SUCH APPROPRIATIONS ARE AVAILABLE GENERALLY FOR SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS WITHOUT EXPRESS MENTION OF PERSONAL SERVICES.

IN DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 5, 1925, A-10412, IT WAS HELD AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS ALSO FOR CONSIDERATION THE STATUTE OF AUGUST 5, 1882, 22 STAT. 255, PROHIBITING THE EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNLESS THE APPROPRIATION EXPRESSLY PROVIDES FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. IT HAS NOT BEEN DEFINITELY STATED THAT DR. MONROE AND HIS STENOGRAPHER ARE EMPLOYED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, BUT SUCH IS UNDERSTOOD TO BE THE CASE. THERE IS NO EXPRESS AUTHORITY FOR EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN THE WAR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION SOUGHT TO BE CHARGED WITH THE SALARIES OF THESE TWO PERSONS FOR FOUR MONTHS. THE PROHIBITION IN THE ACT OF 1882 IS NOT OVERCOME BY THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS FROM AN APPROPRIATION UNDER ONE DEPARTMENT NOT PROVIDING FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TO ANOTHER DEPARTMENT WHICH MAY HAVE AN APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR THE CHARACTER OF PERSONAL SERVICES DESIRED, AND THERE IS NO PROVISION IN THE ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, 41 STAT. 613, AUTHORIZING TRANSFER OF FUNDS BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS FOR PROCUREMENT OF SUPPLIES OR PERFORMANCE OF SERVICES, THAT MAY BE SO CONSTRUED.

THIS DECISION WAS APPLIED AND FOLLOWED IN DECISION OF NOVEMBER 3, 1925. THESE DECISIONS DEALT EXPRESSLY WITH FUNDS TRANSFERRED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, SUPRA. THE AUTHORITY OF THIS ENACTMENT TO MAKE TRANSFERS DOES NOT EXTEND THE USES OF THE TRANSFERRED FUNDS TO ANY OTHER PURPOSES THAN THOSE FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION WAS MADE.

THE TERMS OF THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS PROVIDING FOR TRANSFER OF FUNDS TO THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS AND THE BUREAU OF MINES AUTHORIZE THE TRANSFER AND USE OF FUNDS FOR "SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS.' FISCAL YEAR 1926, ACTS OF FEBRUARY 27, 1925, 43 STAT. 1043, AND MARCH 3, 1925, 43 STAT. 1176. EXPRESSED AUTHORITY IN AN APPROPRIATION FOR "SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS" COUPLED WITH STATUTORY AUTHORITY TO TRANSFER FROM SUCH APPROPRIATION FOR THE PURPOSES OF SUCH INVESTIGATIONS, WOULD APPEAR SUFFICIENT TO AUTHORIZE EMPLOYMENT OF NECESSARY PERSONAL SERVICES BY THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS OR THE BUREAU OF MINES, EVEN IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE PARTICULAR INVESTIGATION.

THERE IS EVIDENCE, HOWEVER, FROM THE FACTS DISCLOSED IN THE AUDIT THAT SOME DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT, PARTICULARLY THE BUREAU OF MINES AND THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS, HAVE A MISCONCEPTION OF THE AUTHORITY GRANTED BY THE ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, AND THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS PROVIDING FOR TRANSFER OF FUNDS FOR SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS.

THERE IS NO AUTHORITY UNDER EITHER STATUTE FOR A DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT TO MAINTAIN A FORCE OF REGULAR EMPLOYEES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OR ELSEWHERE AND PAY THE SALARIES OF SUCH EMPLOYEES FROM FUNDS TRANSFERRED FROM APPROPRIATIONS PROVIDED FOR ANOTHER DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT WITHOUT REGARD TO THE SPECIFIC WORK ON WHICH THE EMPLOYEES ARE ENGAGED OR THE EXACT COST OF THE SPECIFIC WORK ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISHED FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT WHOSE APPROPRIATIONS ARE TRANSFERRED. THE AUTHORITY TO TRANSFER FUNDS FROM ONE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT TO ANOTHER HAS RELATION ONLY TO PERFORMANCE OF SPECIFIC PIECES OF WORK SUCH AS ORDINARILY WOULD BE FOR ACCOMPLISHING BY MEANS OF A CONTRACT WITH A COMMERCIAL CONTRACTOR.

THE PROHIBITORY STATUTE OF 1882 CLEARLY SHOWS THE INTENT THAT THE CONGRESS DESIRES TO MAINTAIN AN ABSOLUTE CONTROL OVER THE AMOUNT OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS TO BE EXPENDED FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR TRANSFER OF FUNDS FROM ONE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT TO ANOTHER WAS NOT INTENDED TO, AND DOES NOT, REMOVE THE PROHIBITION OR LESSEN THE RESTRICTION TO THE EXTENT OF PERMITTING THAT TO BE DONE INDIRECTLY, BY TRANSFER OF FUNDS, WHICH MAY NOT BE DONE DIRECTLY.

ACCORDINGLY, UNLESS AND UNTIL SPECIFICALLY SO PROVIDED BY STATUTE, NO FURTHER TRANSFER OF FUNDS WILL BE APPROVED BY THIS OFFICE, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, SUPRA, OR UNDER THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS RELATING TO THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS OR THE BUREAU OF MINES, FROM APPROPRIATIONS UNDER ONE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT NOT EXPRESSLY PROVIDING FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, TO ANOTHER DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT TO BE USED FOR PAYMENT OF THE SALARIES OF THE REGULAR FORCE OF EMPLOYEES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WITHOUT REGARD TO THE SPECIFIC WORK REQUESTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT FROM WHICH THE FUNDS ARE TRANSFERRED. A COMPLIANCE WITH CIRCULAR NO. 22, DATED OCTOBER 5, 1925, WILL DISCLOSE THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE TRANSFERRED FUNDS ARE TO BE USED. NO OBJECTION WILL BE RAISED FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE PRESENT FISCAL YEAR TO THE USE OF THE FUNDS HERETOFORE TRANSFERRED FROM ONE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT TO ANOTHER FOR PAYMENT OF PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ON THE BASIS OF THE PAST PRACTICE.

THE MATTER WOULD APPEAR TO BE ONE FOR SUBMISSION TO THE CONGRESS FOR ITS CONSIDERATION IF IT IS DESIRED THAT THE FUNDS SO TRANSFERRED BE USED TO PAY SALARIES OF REGULAR PERSONNEL IN THE ESTABLISHMENT TO WHICH TRANSFERRED. IN SUCH CONNECTION THERE IS SUGGESTED THE ADVISABILITY, HOWEVER, OF PROVIDING IN THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE PERFORMING ESTABLISHMENTS FOR SUFFICIENT PERSONNEL TO TAKE CARE OF THE WORK WHICH SUCH ESTABLISHMENTS MAY BE REQUIRED OR AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO PERFORM FOR OTHER BRANCHES OF THE SERVICE, WITH CORRESPONDING REDUCTIONS IN APPROPRIATIONS FOR SUCH OTHER BRANCHES OF THE SERVICE.