A-16110, NOVEMBER 5, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 318

A-16110: Nov 5, 1926

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

THE REIMBURSING FROM SUCH APPROPRIATION FOR THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL INCURRED BY AN EMPLOYEE IS NOT AUTHORIZED. CREDIT WILL BE ALLOWED IN THIS CASE IN VIEW OF THE LONG-CONTINUED PRACTICE. CREDIT WILL NOT BE ALLOWED FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED AFTER JUNE 30. PROVIDES FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE DEPARTMENT WHICH ARE STRICTLY LOCAL IN NATURE AND FROM WHICH THE NECESSITY FOR TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS NOT APPARENT. YOU SUBMIT A MEMORANDUM BY THE AUDITOR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN WHICH IT IS ALLEGED THAT NO SPECIFIC AUTHORITY IS NECESSARY FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES FROM GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS. IN THAT DECISION IT WAS HELD THAT THE EXPENSES OF A DETECTIVE OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT IN ATTENDING.

A-16110, NOVEMBER 5, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 318

APPROPRIATIONS - DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - TRAVELING EXPENSES AS THE APPROPRIATION "FIRE DEPARTMENT, D.C., 1926," DOES NOT PROVIDE FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES EITHER SPECIFICALLY OR BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION, THE REIMBURSING FROM SUCH APPROPRIATION FOR THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL INCURRED BY AN EMPLOYEE IS NOT AUTHORIZED. CREDIT WILL BE ALLOWED IN THIS CASE IN VIEW OF THE LONG-CONTINUED PRACTICE, BUT CREDIT WILL NOT BE ALLOWED FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED AFTER JUNE 30, 1926, UNDER APPROPRIATIONS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA NOT SPECIFICALLY OR BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION PROVIDING THEREFOR.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, NOVEMBER 5, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1926, REQUESTING THAT CREDIT BE ALLOWED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF J. R. LUSBY, DISBURSING OFFICER OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, FOR PAYMENT MADE ON VOUCHER NO. 11971 TO O. E. FEARN, SUPERINTENDENT OF MACHINERY, AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES INCURRED BY TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER ORDER OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1925, AND CHARGED TO THE PROPRIATION,"FIRE DEPARTMENT, D.C., 1926.' SAID APPROPRIATION, ACT OF MARCH 3, 1925, 43 STAT. 1236, MAKES NO SPECIFIC PROVISION FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES, BUT PROVIDES FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE DEPARTMENT WHICH ARE STRICTLY LOCAL IN NATURE AND FROM WHICH THE NECESSITY FOR TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS NOT APPARENT. THE DUTY ENJOINED UPON THE EMPLOYEE BY THE TRAVEL ORDER IN THIS CASE CONSISTED IN "INSPECTING MOTOR FIRE APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES AND INVESTIGATING FIRE DEPARTMENT REPAIR SHOP PRACTICES" IN THE CITIES OF LOUISVILLE, KY., AND INDIANAPOLIS, IND.

IT HAS BEEN HELD BY THIS OFFICE THAT APPROPRIATIONS FOR SPECIFIC PROJECTS OR ACTIVITIES CAN NOT BE USED FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES UNLESS THE APPROPRIATION SPECIFICALLY, OR BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION, AUTHORIZES SUCH EXPENSES, A-2920, JULY 8, 1924; A-10428, JULY 28, 1925; 5 COMP. GEN. 281. YOU SUBMIT A MEMORANDUM BY THE AUDITOR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN WHICH IT IS ALLEGED THAT NO SPECIFIC AUTHORITY IS NECESSARY FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES FROM GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS, CITING AS AUTHORITY THEREFOR THE DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY IN 17 COMP. DEC. 153. THE DECISION CITED, HOWEVER, DOES NOT SUPPORT THE CONTENTION. IN THAT DECISION IT WAS HELD THAT THE EXPENSES OF A DETECTIVE OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT IN ATTENDING, UNDER PROPER ORDERS, A HEARING BEFORE A UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER IN CONNECTION WITH THE RETURN TO THE DISTRICT OF A FUGITIVE FROM JUSTICE WAS PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE METROPOLITAN POLICE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. IS SHOWN IN THAT DECISION THAT THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION PROVIDED SPECIFICALLY FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN "PREVENTION AND DETECTION OF CRIME," AND THAT THE DETECTIVE WAS AIDING IN THE PREVENTION AND DETECTION OF CRIME BY PERFORMING THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION. IT WILL THUS BE SEEN THAT WHILE THE APPROPRIATION DID NOT PROVIDE IN SPECIFIC TERMS FOR "TRAVELING EXPENSES," IT DID PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE PREVENTION AND DETECTION OF CRIME, AND THE TRAVEL INVOLVED WAS SHOWN TO BE NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE OBJECT FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION WAS SPECIFICALLY MADE AVAILABLE.

IT IS FURTHER NOTED THAT IN VARIOUS APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1926 THERE IS INCLUDED SPECIFIC AUTHORITY FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES, THUS SUPPORTING THE PROPOSITION THAT HAD THE CONGRESS INTENDED THE USE OF OTHER APPROPRIATIONS FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES IT WOULD HAVE SO SPECIFIED. THE AUDITOR REFERS TO THE HEARINGS BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE APPROPRIATION BILL FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1927 AS SHOWING THAT CONGRESS HAD SANCTIONED THE PRACTICE OF PAYING TRAVELING EXPENSES FROM GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS. A CAREFUL CONSIDERATION OF THE HEARINGS, HOWEVER, LEADS TO AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT CONCLUSION. WHILE IT IS TRUE THAT THE DISTRICT COMMISSIONER AND EMPLOYEES WHO APPEARED BEFORE THE COMMITTEE TESTIFIED THAT THE PRACTICE OF PAYING TRAVELING EXPENSES FROM GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS HAD BEEN FOLLOWED FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE CRITICIZED THAT PRACTICE AND INSISTED THAT SPECIFIC AUTHORITY SHOULD APPEAR FOR INCURRING SUCH EXPENSES. AS THE RESULT OF THE HEARING THERE WAS INSERTED IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR "CONTINGENT AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, 1927," SPECIFIC PROVISION FOR "TRAVELING EXPENSES, INCLUDING NOT EXCEEDING $1,000 FOR PAYMENT OF DUES AND TRAVELING EXPENSES IN ATTENDING CONVENTIONS WHEN AUTHORIZED BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.' ACT OF MAY 10, 1926, 44 STAT. 421. AS THE CONTINGENT AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE APPROPRIATION FOR PREVIOUS YEARS DID NOT CONTAIN ANY AUTHORITY FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES, IT MUST BE ASSUMED THAT THIS APPROPRIATION FOR 1927 WAS INTENDED TO BE EXCLUSIVE OF ALL OTHERS NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZING SUCH EXPENSES AND THAT THE CONGRESS DID NOT SANCTION THE PRACTICE OF INCURRING AND PAYING SUCH EXPENSE WITHOUT STATUTORY AUTHORITY. SEE 1 COMP. GEN. 312; 4 ID. 187, 365.

IN VIEW OF THE LONG-CONTINUED PRACTICE, THE PAYMENT MADE ON VOUCHER NO. 11971 AND CHARGED TO THE GENERAL APPROPRIATION "FIRE DEPARTMENT, D.C., 1926," WILL NOW BE CREDITED IN THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT AND PROPER. BUT CREDIT WILL NOT BE ALLOWED FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED AFTER JUNE 30, 1926, UNDER DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATIONS NOT SPECIFICALLY OR BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION PROVIDING THEREFOR.