A-13809, MAY 21, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 928

A-13809: May 21, 1926

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MUST BE DEPOSITED TO THE CREDIT OF POSTAL REVENUES AND MAY NOT BE CREDITED TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR VEHICLE SERVICE FROM WHICH THE REPAIR BILLS WERE ORIGINALLY PAID. REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER COLLECTIONS MADE FROM PRIVATE PARTIES AND FROM POSTAL EMPLOYEES TO COVER ACTUAL EXPENDITURES FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR VEHICLE SERVICE TO PAY THE COST OF REPAIRS TO TRUCKS DUE TO NEGLIGENCE OF THE PARTY FROM WHOM THE COLLECTION IS MADE. THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION IS FOUND IN THE ACT OF JANUARY 22. WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS: THE FOLLOWING SUMS ARE APPROPRIATED IN CONFORMITY WITH THE ACT OF JULY 2. WOULD APPEAR TO BE AN INADVERTENCE AS THAT ACT WAS EXPRESSLY REPEALED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 8.

A-13809, MAY 21, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 928

PROPERTY, PUBLIC - DAMAGES - POSTAL SERVICE COLLECTIONS MADE FROM PRIVATE PARTIES AND FROM POSTAL EMPLOYEES RESPONSIBLE FOR DAMAGE TO VEHICLES OF THE POSTAL SERVICE CONSTITUTE REVENUES ARISING FROM THE POSTAL SERVICE, OR DEBTS DUE THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 407, REVISED STATUTES, AND MUST BE DEPOSITED TO THE CREDIT OF POSTAL REVENUES AND MAY NOT BE CREDITED TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR VEHICLE SERVICE FROM WHICH THE REPAIR BILLS WERE ORIGINALLY PAID.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, MAY 21, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 30, 1926, REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER COLLECTIONS MADE FROM PRIVATE PARTIES AND FROM POSTAL EMPLOYEES TO COVER ACTUAL EXPENDITURES FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR VEHICLE SERVICE TO PAY THE COST OF REPAIRS TO TRUCKS DUE TO NEGLIGENCE OF THE PARTY FROM WHOM THE COLLECTION IS MADE, MAY BE DEPOSITED TO THE CREDIT OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR VEHICLE SERVICE, THE REPAIRS HAVING BEEN CHARGED TO THAT APPROPRIATION.

THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION IS FOUND IN THE ACT OF JANUARY 22, 1925, 43 STAT. 782-785, WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THE FOLLOWING SUMS ARE APPROPRIATED IN CONFORMITY WITH THE ACT OF JULY 2, 1836, FOR THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1926, NAMELY:

FOR VEHICLE ALLOWANCE, THE HIRING OF DRIVERS, THE RENTAL OF VEHICLES, AND THE PURCHASE AND EXCHANGE AND MAINTENANCE, INCLUDING STABLE AND GARAGE FACILITIES, OF WAGONS OR AUTOMOBILES FOR, AND THE OPERATION OF SCREENWAGON AND CITY DELIVERY AND COLLECTION SERVICE, $15,400,000: * * *.

THE ACT OF JULY 2, 1836, 5 STAT. 80, REFERRED TO IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THAT THE REVENUES ARISING IN THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, AND ALL DEBTS DUE TO THE SAME, SHALL, WHEN COLLECTED, BE PAID, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES.

SEC. 3. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, THAT THE AGGREGATE SUM REQUIRED "FOR THE SERVICE OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT," IN EACH YEAR, SHALL BE APPROPRIATED BY LAW OUT OF THE REVENUE OF THE DEPARTMENT, AND THAT ALL PAYMENTS OF THE RECEIPTS OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, INTO THE TREASURY, SHALL BE TO THE CREDIT OF THE SAID APPROPRIATION.

THE REFERENCE TO THE ACT OF 1836, HOWEVER, WOULD APPEAR TO BE AN INADVERTENCE AS THAT ACT WAS EXPRESSLY REPEALED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 8, 1872, 17 STAT. 327. NOTWITHSTANDING ITS EXPRESS REPEAL THE REFERENCE TO THE 1836 ACT HAS BEEN CONTINUED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACTS UP TO THE PRESENT TIME. THE PROVISIONS ABOVE QUOTED APPEAR IN SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME LANGUAGE IN SECTIONS 46 AND 54 OF THE SAID ACT OF 1872, 17 STAT. 291 AND 292. THESE SECTIONS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY CARRIED INTO THE REVISED STATUTES AS SECTIONS 407 AND 4054 AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 407. THE POSTAL REVENUES AND ALL DEBTS DUE THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT SHALL, WHEN COLLECTED, BE PAID INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES. * * *.

SEC. 4054. THE MONEY REQUIRED FOR THE POSTAL SERVICE IN EACH YEAR SHALL BE APPROPRIATED BY LAW OUT OF THE REVENUES OF THE SERVICE.

SECTION 3617, REVISED STATUTES, REQUIRES THE GROSS AMOUNT OF ALL MONEYS RECEIVED FROM WHATEVER SOURCE FOR THE USE OF THE UNITED STATES (WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS NOT HERE INVOLVED) TO BE DEPOSITED AND COVERED INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS, AND IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED BY A LONG LINE OF DECISIONS THAT THIS SECTION REQUIRES ALL SUMS COLLECTED AS DAMAGES OR REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES OF REPAIRS TO PUBLIC PROPERTY OTHER THAN THAT OF THE POSTAL SERVICE, TO BE DEPOSITED AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS AND PROHIBITS ANY REIMBURSEMENT TO THE APPROPRIATION FROM WHICH THE PROPERTY WAS PURCHASED, REPAIRED, OR MAINTAINED, IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY THEREFOR. 14 COMP. DEC. 87; 20 ID. 349; 22 ID. 379; 2 COMP. GEN. 677; 3 ID. 808; A-8333, MARCH 14, 1925, AND DECISIONS OF NOVEMBER 8, 1921, FEBRUARY 2, 1923, AND MARCH 10, 1923, ALL TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE. THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO JUSTIFICATION OR AUTHORITY FOR APPLYING A DIFFERENT RULE WITH RESPECT TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 407, REVISED STATUTES, AS TO SIMILAR COLLECTIONS ON ACCOUNT OF DAMAGES TO VEHICLES OR OTHER PROPERTY IN THE POSTAL SERVICE.

ACCORDINGLY IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE AMOUNTS RECOVERED FOR DAMAGES OR REPAIRS TO VEHICLES BELONGING TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT OR THE POSTAL SERVICE, WHETHER SUCH RECEIPTS BE CLASSED AS REVENUES ARISING FROM THE OPERATION OF THE POSTAL SERVICE OR DEBTS DUE THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, MUST BE PAID INTO THE TREASURY TO THE CREDIT OF POSTAL REVENUES AND WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE UNTIL APPROPRIATED BY CONGRESS. THEY MAY NOT BE CREDITED TO THE VEHICLE SERVICE APPROPRIATION.