A-17978, MAY 16, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 741

A-17978: May 16, 1927

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OR SUCH ESTABLISHED FORCES AS WILL ENTAIL NO EXPENSE TO THE UNITED STATES. 1927: THERE WAS RECEIVED APRIL 1. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT ON VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED IS AUTHORIZED. THE VOUCHER IS IN FAVOR OF THE ARMORED MOTOR CAR SERVICE CO. THE VOUCHER INDICATES THAT THE SERVICE WAS PROCURED UPON ORAL AGREEMENT. IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE DISTRICT ENGINEER IS NOT THE DISBURSING OFFICER. THAT WHILE THE VOUCHER IS CERTIFIED ADMINISTRATIVELY BY THE DISTRICT ENGINEER. NO PROHIBITION AGAINST THE PROCUREMENT OF THIS NONPERSONAL SERVICE IS KNOWN TO THIS OFFICE BUT IT IS DEEMED ADVISABLE TO SECURE AN OPINION FROM THE DEPARTMENT IN THE MATTER. IT IS REQUESTED THAT THE VOUCHER BE TRANSMITTED TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION. 3.

A-17978, MAY 16, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 741

PUBLIC FUNDS - PROTECTION OF, WHILE IN TRANSIT LOCALLY IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSPORTATION OF PUBLIC MONEYS LOCALLY, AS FOR DEPOSIT OR FOR WITHDRAWAL AND PAY-ROLL PURPOSES, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE GOVERNMENT OFFICERS CHARGED WITH AND RESPONSIBLE FOR SUCH MONEYS, THE GENERAL RULE MUST BE THAT ANY PROTECTION FOR SUCH MONEYS MUST BE OBTAINED FROM WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICES, THE LOCAL POLICE, OR SUCH ESTABLISHED FORCES AS WILL ENTAIL NO EXPENSE TO THE UNITED STATES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, MAY 16, 1927:

THERE WAS RECEIVED APRIL 1, 1927, BY REFERENCE FROM THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, PRESUMABLY BY YOUR AUTHORITY, LETTER OF MAJ. DONALD H. CONNOLLY, DISTRICT ENGINEER, MISSISSIPPI RIVER COMMISSION, MEMPHIS, TENN., DATED MARCH 4, 1927, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER PAYMENT ON VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED IS AUTHORIZED.

THE VOUCHER IS IN FAVOR OF THE ARMORED MOTOR CAR SERVICE CO., MEMPHIS, TENN., IN THE AMOUNT OF $10 FOR SERVICE OF ARMORED CAR AND GUARDS IN TRANSPORTING MARCH 1, 1927, PUBLIC FUNDS FROM THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK TO THE OFFICE OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER COMMISSION IN MEMPHIS AND THENCE TO THE EXPRESS COMPANY, A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE OFFICE ACCOMPANYING THE CAR.

THE VOUCHER INDICATES THAT THE SERVICE WAS PROCURED UPON ORAL AGREEMENT, WITHOUT ADVERTISING, THERE BEING NO OTHER COMPANY IN THAT VICINITY PROVIDING SUCH SERVICE. IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE DISTRICT ENGINEER IS NOT THE DISBURSING OFFICER, AND THAT WHILE THE VOUCHER IS CERTIFIED ADMINISTRATIVELY BY THE DISTRICT ENGINEER, IT HAS NOT BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED FOR PAYMENT. SEE 25 COMP. DEC. 653.

THE DISTRICT ENGINEER STATES:

2. NO PROHIBITION AGAINST THE PROCUREMENT OF THIS NONPERSONAL SERVICE IS KNOWN TO THIS OFFICE BUT IT IS DEEMED ADVISABLE TO SECURE AN OPINION FROM THE DEPARTMENT IN THE MATTER. IF THE DEPARTMENT FOR ANY REASON ANTICIPATES A POSSIBILITY OF THE ACCOUNT BEING DISALLOWED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, IT IS REQUESTED THAT THE VOUCHER BE TRANSMITTED TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION.

3. THE TRANSPORTATION OF FUNDS BY ARMORED CAR IS MUCH SAFER THAN THAT OF HAVING GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRANSPORT THE FUNDS ON FOOT OR IN AN ORDINARY AUTOMOBILE, AND THE CHARGE FOR THE ARMORED CAR SERVICE IS NOT CONSIDERED EXCESSIVE.

4. IN VIEW OF THE NUMEROUS RECENT HOLD-UPS IN THIS VICINITY, THIS OFFICE CONTEMPLATES THE USE OF THIS SERVICE FOR ALL TRANSPORTATION OF FUNDS BETWEEN THIS OFFICE AND THE LOCAL BANKS AND EXPRESS COMPANIES.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER COMMISSION, IN ENDORSEMENT FORWARDING THE LETTER TO THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, EXPRESSES CONCURRENCE IN THESE VIEWS.

WHILE NEITHER THE SOURCE OF THE PUBLIC FUNDS WITHDRAWN FROM THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK NOR THE PURPOSE OF THE EXPRESSAGE IS STATED, IT WILL BE ASSUMED FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS DECISION THAT THE WITHDRAWAL AND EXPRESSAGE OF SUCH FUNDS IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW AND REGULATIONS.

THE APPROPRIATION PROPOSED TO BE CHARGED,"FLOOD CONTROL, MISSISSIPPI RIVER," PROVIDES FOR PROSECUTING WORK OF FLOOD CONTROL IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE FLOOD CONTROL ACTS APPROVED MARCH 1, 1917, AND MARCH 4, 1923. ACT OF APRIL 15, 1926, 44 STAT. 292.

SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 1, 1917, 39 STAT. 948, PROVIDES IN PART:

* * * AND ALL EXPENDITURES OF FUNDS HEREAFTER APPROPRIATED FOR WORKS AND PROJECTS RELATING TO FLOOD CONTROL SHALL BE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH AND SUBJECT TO THE LAW GOVERNING THE DISBURSEMENT AND EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF RIVERS AND HARBORS.

SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923, 42 STAT. 1505, PROVIDES:

* * * THE SECRETARY OF WAR IS HEREBY EMPOWERED, AUTHORIZED, AND DIRECTED TO CARRY ON CONTINUOUSLY, BY HIRED LABOR OR OTHERWISE, THE PLANS OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER COMMISSION HERETOFORE OR HEREAFTER ADOPTED, TO BE PAID FOR AS APPROPRIATIONS MAY FROM TIME TO TIME BE MADE BY LAW: * * *.

THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1879, 20 STAT. 412, PROVIDES:

THAT UPON THE REQUEST OF THE HEAD OF ANY DEPARTMENT, THE SECRETARY OF WAR BE, AND HE HEREBY IS, AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO ISSUE ARMS AND AMMUNITION WHENEVER THEY MAY BE REQUIRED FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE PUBLIC MONEY AND PROPERTY, AND THEY MAY BE DELIVERED TO ANY OFFICER OF THE DEPARTMENT DESIGNATED BY THE HEAD OF SUCH DEPARTMENT, TO BE ACCOUNTED FOR TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, AND TO BE RETURNED WHEN THE NECESSITY FOR THEIR USE HAS EXPIRED. * * *

THE TRANSIT LOCALLY OF PUBLIC MONEYS BETWEEN OFFICES, AS FOR DEPOSIT OR FOR WITHDRAWAL AND PAY-ROLL PURPOSES, IS A MATTER OF RESPONSIBILITY AND PROTECTION UPON THOSE HANDLING THE MONEYS, AND ANY OTHER PROTECTION WOULD APPEAR TO BE A QUESTION OF PROTECTION BY ESTABLISHED POLICE FORCES TO BE REQUESTED WHEN NECESSARY BY THE GOVERNMENT OFFICERS CONCERNED RATHER THAN BY THE EMPLOYMENT OF PRIVATE GUARDS. SEE ALSO ACT OF MARCH 3, 1893, 27 STAT. 591, PROHIBITING EMPLOYMENT IN GOVERNMENT SERVICE OF EMPLOYEES OF DETECTIVE OR SIMILAR AGENCIES. UNDER THE PROVISION OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1879, CITED, ARMS AND AMMUNITION MAY BE ISSUED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR FOR THE PROTECTION OF PUBLIC MONEY AND PROPERTY. THE GENERAL RULE MUST BE THAT PROTECTION OF PUBLIC MONEYS IN TRANSIT LOCALLY UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE GOVERNMENT OFFICERS CHARGED WITH AND RESPONSIBLE FOR SUCH MONEYS MUST BE OBTAINED FROM WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE, THE LOCAL POLICE, OR SUCH ESTABLISHED FORCES AS WILL ENTAIL NO EXPENSE TO THE UNITED STATES.

I HAVE THEREFORE TO ADVISE THAT PAYMENT OF THE VOUCHER IS NOT AUTHORIZED.