A-14010, APRIL 29, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 877

A-14010: Apr 29, 1926

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IS NEVERTHELESS A PART OF THE AMOUNT APPROPRIATED FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30. 1926: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 16. THE APPROPRIATION IS IN THE FOLLOWING TERMS: FOR EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE OCCUPATION OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS AND TO THE EXECUTION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT PROVIDING A TEMPORARY GOVERNMENT FOR THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS ACQUIRED BY THE UNITED STATES FROM DENMARK. IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT: THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS IN A RECENT DISPATCH EXPRESSES HIS UNDERSTANDING THAT THE BONUS OF $29. THE GOVERNOR REPORTS THAT IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO DETERMINE THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF LOCAL REVENUES UNTIL ABOUT THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE END OF THE FISCAL YEAR ON ACCOUNT OF WHICH THE AMOUNT OF THE BONUS WILL NOT BE KNOWN UNTIL SOME TIME IN AUGUST.

A-14010, APRIL 29, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 877

APPROPRIATIONS, AVAILABILITY BEYOND FISCAL YEAR - VIRGIN ISLANDS THE INDEFINITE AMOUNT APPROPRIATED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 11, 1925, 43 STAT. 863, FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE TEMPORARY GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS, EVEN THOUGH CONTINGENT UPON THE AMOUNT OF LOCAL REVENUES COLLECTED AND PAID INTO THE TREASURIES OF SAID ISLANDS, IS NEVERTHELESS A PART OF THE AMOUNT APPROPRIATED FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1926, AND MAY BE USED ONLY FOR THE PAYMENT OF OBLIGATIONS LEGALLY INCURRED DURING THAT FISCAL YEAR.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, APRIL 29, 1926:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 16, 1926, REQUESTING DECISION UPON A QUESTION ARISING IN CONNECTION WITH THE SO-CALLED BONUS APPROPRIATION MADE BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 11, 1925, 43 STAT. 863, CONTAINING AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE TEMPORARY GOVERNMENT OF THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS, AND MORE PARTICULARLY AS TO WHEN SUCH BONUS AMOUNT BECOMES AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE. THE APPROPRIATION IS IN THE FOLLOWING TERMS:

FOR EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE OCCUPATION OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS AND TO THE EXECUTION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT PROVIDING A TEMPORARY GOVERNMENT FOR THE WEST INDIAN ISLANDS ACQUIRED BY THE UNITED STATES FROM DENMARK, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, APPROVED MARCH 3, 1917, TO BE APPLIED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE PRESIDENT, $270,150, PLUS SO MUCH OF $29,850 ADDITIONAL AS MAY EQUAL THE SUM OF REVENUE COLLECTED AND PAID INTO THE TREASURIES OF SAID ISLANDS IN EXCESS OF $270,150; * * *.

IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT:

THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS IN A RECENT DISPATCH EXPRESSES HIS UNDERSTANDING THAT THE BONUS OF $29,850.00 AUTHORIZED BY THE ABOVE QUOTED ACT "CAN BE SPENT ANY TIME AFTER THE END OF THE PRESENT FISCAL YEAR IF EARNED.' THE GOVERNOR REPORTS THAT IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO DETERMINE THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF LOCAL REVENUES UNTIL ABOUT THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE END OF THE FISCAL YEAR ON ACCOUNT OF WHICH THE AMOUNT OF THE BONUS WILL NOT BE KNOWN UNTIL SOME TIME IN AUGUST.

THE APPROPRIATION MADE BY THE PROVISION OF LAW QUOTED ABOVE IS AN ANNUAL ONE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1926, AND THE AMOUNTS THEREIN MADE AVAILABLE ARE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING CARE OF EXPENDITURES LAWFULLY AUTHORIZED TO BE INCURRED DURING THAT FISCAL YEAR ONLY, INCIDENT TO THE OCCUPATION OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS AND THE EXECUTION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1917, 39 STAT. 1132, THERE BEING NOTHING IN THE APPROPRIATION SPECIFICALLY PROVIDING FOR ITS CONTINUING AVAILABILITY FOR EXPENDITURES INCURRED SUBSEQUENT THERETO. SEE PARAGRAPH 1, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE GENERAL REGULATION NO. 39, 4 COMP. GEN. 1085. UNDER THE TERMS OF THE APPROPRIATION NO PART OF THE AMOUNT OF $29,850 BECOMES AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE UNTIL THE AMOUNT OF LOCAL REVENUES COLLECTED AND PAID INTO THE TREASURIES OF THE ISLANDS EXCEEDS THE SUM OF $270,150. UNTIL THAT AMOUNT OF REVENUES HAS BEEN COLLECTED AND PAID INTO THE TREASURIES OF SAID ISLANDS THERE IS NO AUTHORITY UNDER THE APPROPRIATION TO USE FOR EXPENDITURES AN AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF THE $270,150 APPROPRIATED THEREUNDER UNCONDITIONALLY.

THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS, AS INDICATED IN YOUR LETTER, THAT THE BONUS CAN BE SPENT ANY TIME AFTER THE END OF THE PRESENT FISCAL YEAR IF EARNED IS CORRECT ONLY IN SO FAR AS SUCH BONUS MAY BE USED TO PAY OBLIGATIONS LEGALLY INCURRED DURING THE PRESENT FISCAL YEAR FOR NEEDS OF SUCH FISCAL YEAR BUT NOT FOR THE PAYMENT OF OBLIGATIONS INCURRED SUBSEQUENT THERETO. WHILE THE ALLEGATIONS OF THE GOVERNOR THAT IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO DETERMINE THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF LOCAL REVENUES UNTIL ABOUT 30 DAYS AFTER THE END OF THE PRESENT FISCAL YEAR MAY BE TRUE, IT SHOULD NOT BE DIFFICULT TO DETERMINE WITH SOME DEGREE OF CERTAINTY WHEN THE AMOUNT OF REVENUES WILL EXCEED THE SUM OF $270,150 AND THEREAFTER KEEP SUCH RECORDS AS WILL ENABLE THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO DETERMINE THE INCOMING REVENUES AND THE AMOUNT OR AMOUNTS AS BONUS WHICH MAY BE LEGALLY OBLIGATED DURING THE PRESENT FISCAL YEAR. IT IS OBVIOUS, HOWEVER, THAT THE BONUS PROVIDED FOR IN THIS APPROPRIATION, BEING A PART OF THE APPROPRIATION ITSELF, MADE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1926, CAN NOT BE CONSIDERED AS AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE IN PAYING FOR EXPENSES INCURRED SUBSEQUENT TO THAT FISCAL YEAR.