A-14770, JUNE 30, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 1036

A-14770: Jun 30, 1926

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ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLES ARE THE DESIGN. THE ENGINEERING SERVICES REQUIRED ARE EITHER ADVISORY AND CONSULTATIVE OR CONSIST IN THE PREPARATION AND CHECKING OF SPECIFICATIONS AND THE CONSIDERATION OF THE RELATIVE MERITS FROM AN ENGINEERING STANDPOINT OF APPARATUS TO BE PURCHASED OR CONSTRUCTED BY THE DEPARTMENT FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH RESEARCH AND OTHER PROJECTS. IT IS BELIEVED. YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER TRANSFERS OF FUNDS ON THE BASIS PROPOSED ARE PERMISSIBLE. * * * THE GENERAL RULE IN CASES WHERE ONE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT LENDS THE SERVICES OF AN EMPLOYEE TO ANOTHER IS THAT THE PAYMENT BY THE ESTABLISHMENT RECEIVING THE BENEFIT OF THE SERVICES COVERS ONLY THE EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE DURING THE PERIOD OF TIME HE IS ENGAGED IN THE WORK OF THE BORROWING ESTABLISHMENT.

A-14770, JUNE 30, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 1036

APPROPRIATIONS - EMPLOYEES PERFORMING WORK FOR DIFFERENT BUREAUS IN SAME DEPARTMENT WHERE AN EMPLOYEE OF ONE BUREAU OF A DEPARTMENT PERFORMS WORK IN ANOTHER BUREAU OF THE SAME DEPARTMENT, THE SALARY OF SUCH EMPLOYEE MAY BE APPORTIONED AMONG THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DIFFERENT BUREAUS IN PROPORTION TO THE WORK PERFORMED FOR EACH.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, JUNE 30, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 11, 1926, READING AS FOLLOWS:

ASIDE FROM THE BUREAUS OF THIS DEPARTMENT WHOSE OPERATIONS INCLUDE THE ADMINISTRATION OF MAJOR ENGINEERING PROJECTS--- AS, FOR INSTANCE, THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS AND IN PART THE FOREST SERVICE--- MANY OF OUR BRANCHES FIND OCCASION FROM TIME TO TIME FOR THE TEMPORARY USE OF ENGINEERS. ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLES ARE THE DESIGN, PURCHASE, OR CONSTRUCTION OF TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY CONTROL SYSTEMS, REFRIGERATING PLANTS, PUMPING PLANTS, ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT, FARM MACHINERY, AND INSTALLATIONS INVOLVING PROBLEMS IN STEAM ENGINEERING, ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING, STRENGTH OF MATERIALS, ETC., EITHER IN THE WASHINGTON LABORATORIES OR AT THE FIELD STATIONS. THE ENGINEERING SERVICES REQUIRED ARE EITHER ADVISORY AND CONSULTATIVE OR CONSIST IN THE PREPARATION AND CHECKING OF SPECIFICATIONS AND THE CONSIDERATION OF THE RELATIVE MERITS FROM AN ENGINEERING STANDPOINT OF APPARATUS TO BE PURCHASED OR CONSTRUCTED BY THE DEPARTMENT FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH RESEARCH AND OTHER PROJECTS.

THE DIVISION OF AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING IN THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS MAINTAINS AN ENGINEERING STAFF EQUIPPED FOR THE RENDITION OF SERVICES OF THIS CHARACTER. THE DEPARTMENT, IN THE INTEREST OF ECONOMY AND TO SECURE MORE EFFECTIVE HANDLING OF ITS WORK, DESIRES TO ENCOURAGE AND EXTEND THE AVAILABILITY OF THIS TECHNICAL PERSONNEL TO ITS BUREAUS. IT IS BELIEVED, HOWEVER, THAT THIS UTILIZATION CAN BE MOST ADVANTAGEOUSLY AND EQUITABLY MADE UPON THE BASIS OF REIMBURSEMENT TO THE FUNDS OF THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS FROM THE APPROPRIATIONS OF THE REQUIRING BUREAUS FOR THE TIME ACTUALLY CONSUMED IN THE CONSULTATIONS OR OTHER ENGINEERING SERVICES. REIMBURSEMENT HAS BEEN PLANNED ONLY IN THE CASE OF WORK REQUIRING A DAY OR MORE OF THE TIME OF THE ENGINEERS. FOR BRIEFER ASSIGNMENTS NO CHARGE WOULD BE MADE.

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER TRANSFERS OF FUNDS ON THE BASIS PROPOSED ARE PERMISSIBLE. * * *

THE GENERAL RULE IN CASES WHERE ONE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT LENDS THE SERVICES OF AN EMPLOYEE TO ANOTHER IS THAT THE PAYMENT BY THE ESTABLISHMENT RECEIVING THE BENEFIT OF THE SERVICES COVERS ONLY THE EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE DURING THE PERIOD OF TIME HE IS ENGAGED IN THE WORK OF THE BORROWING ESTABLISHMENT, THE SALARY OF SUCH EMPLOYEE REMAINING A CHARGE AGAINST THE APPROPRIATION OR FUND OF THE ESTABLISHMENT LENDING THE SERVICES. HOWEVER, WHERE, AS IN THE INSTANT CASE, THE APPROPRIATIONS INVOLVED ARE FOR DIFFERENT BUREAUS UNDER THE CONTROL OF ONE DEPARTMENT, THERE APPEARS TO BE NO REASON WHY THE SALARY OF AN EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE PRORATED AMONG THE DIFFERENT APPROPRIATIONS SO AS TO CHARGE EACH APPROPRIATION WITH THE VALUE OF THE SERVICES RENDERED TO THE BUREAU FOR WHICH SUCH APPROPRIATION IS MADE. THIS MIGHT BE DONE WHERE ONE DISBURSING OFFICER MAKES PAYMENTS FROM ALL THE APPROPRIATIONS INVOLVED BY SHOWING ON THE PAY ROLLS THE TIME SPENT ON THE WORK FOR EACH BUREAU AND DIVIDING THE AMOUNT OF THE SALARY BETWEEN THE APPROPRIATIONS ON A BASIS APPROXIMATING THE EXTENT OF THE SERVICE RENDERED UNDER EACH (SEE DECISION OF APRIL 27, 1926, A-13378), OR, AS SUGGESTED BY YOU, BY PAYING THE ENTIRE SALARY FROM ONE APPROPRIATION AND REIMBURSING SAID APPROPRIATION FROM THE OTHER ON THE BASIS OF THE DAYS SPENT ON WORK UNDER EACH. THE LATTER METHOD IS FEASIBLE, WHETHER PAYMENTS UNDER THE VARIOUS APPROPRIATIONS ARE MADE BY ONE DISBURSING OFFICER OR BY SEVERAL, AND IT WOULD APPEAR TO BE MORE EXPEDIENT.