A-18121, APRIL 22, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 691

A-18121: Apr 22, 1927

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APPROPRIATIONS - INFORMERS' FEES - BUREAU OF PROHIBITION EXPENSES COMMONLY KNOWN AS INFORMERS' FEES WHICH ARE NECESSARILY INCURRED BY THE BUREAU OF PROHIBITION IN DETECTING AND BRINGING TO TRIAL AND PUNISHMENT PERSONS GUILTY OF VIOLATING THE NARCOTIC LAWS ARE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION MADE FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE NARCOTIC AND NATIONAL PROHIBITION ACTS AND NOT TO THE APPROPRIATION "COLLECTING THE INTERNAL REVENUE.'. 1927: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 9. SUBMITTING FOR DECISION A QUESTION WHETHER EXPENSES COMMONLY KNOWN AS INFORMER'S FEES FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE DETECTING AND BRINGING TO TRIAL AND PUNISHMENT PERSONS GUILTY OF VIOLATING THE NARCOTIC LAWS ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION .

A-18121, APRIL 22, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 691

APPROPRIATIONS - INFORMERS' FEES - BUREAU OF PROHIBITION EXPENSES COMMONLY KNOWN AS INFORMERS' FEES WHICH ARE NECESSARILY INCURRED BY THE BUREAU OF PROHIBITION IN DETECTING AND BRINGING TO TRIAL AND PUNISHMENT PERSONS GUILTY OF VIOLATING THE NARCOTIC LAWS ARE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION MADE FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE NARCOTIC AND NATIONAL PROHIBITION ACTS AND NOT TO THE APPROPRIATION "COLLECTING THE INTERNAL REVENUE.'

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, APRIL 22, 1927:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 9, 1927, SUBMITTING FOR DECISION A QUESTION WHETHER EXPENSES COMMONLY KNOWN AS INFORMER'S FEES FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE DETECTING AND BRINGING TO TRIAL AND PUNISHMENT PERSONS GUILTY OF VIOLATING THE NARCOTIC LAWS ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION ,COLLECTING THE INTERNAL REVENUE" OR TO THE APPROPRIATION "ENFORCEMENT OF NARCOTIC AND NATIONAL PROHIBITION ACTS.'

THE APPROPRIATION "COLLECTING THE INTERNAL REVENUE, 1927," AS MADE BY THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1926, 44 STAT. 142, CONTAINS A PROVISO AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THAT NOT MORE THAN $100,000 OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT APPROPRIATED HEREIN MAY BE EXPENDED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE FOR DETECTING AND BRINGING TO TRIAL PERSONS GUILTY OF VIOLATING THE INTERNAL REVENUE LAWS OR CONNIVING AT THE SAME, INCLUDING PAYMENTS FOR INFORMATION AND DETECTION OF SUCH VIOLATION.

IN DECISION 26 COMP. DEC. 780, IT WAS HELD THAT THE APPROPRIATION "RESTRICTING THE SALE OF OPIUM, 1920," WAS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF REWARDS FOR DETECTING AND BRINGING TO TRIAL PERSONS GUILTY OF VIOLATING THE NARCOTIC LAWS, BECAUSE THAT APPROPRIATION CONTAINED NO PROVISION FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES, AND THE NARCOTIC LAW BEING CONSIDERED AN INTERNAL REVENUE LAW WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 3463, REVISED STATUTES, IT WAS ALSO HELD THAT THE APPROPRIATION ,COLLECTING THE INTERNAL REVENUE" CONTAINING PROVISIONS SUCH AS THAT QUOTED ABOVE WAS AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH REWARDS.

WITH RESPECT TO THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION LAWS IT WAS SAID IN THAT DECISION:

THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION ACT IS NOT AN INTERNAL REVENUE LAW. THEREFORE SECTION 3463, REVISED STATUTES, DOES NOT IN ITSELF CONFER UPON THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, AUTHORITY TO PAY REWARDS IN CONNECTION WITH ITS ENFORCEMENT. 17 COMP. DEC. 823. TITLE II, SECTION 28, OF THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION ACT, HOWEVER, PROVIDES THAT THE COMMISSIONER SHALL HAVE ALL THE POWER IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF THAT ACT OR ANY PROVISION THEREOF WHICH IS CONFERRED BY LAW FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF EXISTING LAWS RELATING TO THE MANUFACTURE AND SALE OF INTOXICATING LIQUORS UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES. THIS PROVISION CONFERS UPON THE COMMISSIONER THE SAME AUTHORITY TO PAY REWARDS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION ACT THAT HE HAS TO PAY THEM IN CONNECTION WITH ENFORCEMENT OF INTERNAL REVENUE LAWS, AND SUBJECT TO THE SAME CONDITIONS AND RESTRICTIONS. IN THIS CONNECTION SEE 24 COMP. DEC. 430. THE EXPENSE OF LAWFUL REWARDS UNDER THE PROHIBITION LAW IS PAYABLE FROM THE GENERAL APPROPRIATION FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THAT LAW, THERE BEING NO MORE SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR THAT PURPOSE.

BEGINNING WITH THE FISCAL YEAR 1921 THE APPROPRIATION FOR RESTRICTING THE SALE OF OPIUM AND THAT FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION ACT HAVE BEEN MERGED BY THE CONGRESS INTO ONE APPROPRIATION, VIZ, "ENFORCEMENT OF NARCOTIC AND NATIONAL PROHIBITION ACTS, INTERNAL REVENUE," AND PROVISION IS MADE THEREIN FOR "THE SECURING OF EVIDENCE OF VIOLATIONS OF THE ACTS.' SEE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1926, 44 STAT. 143. THE CONSOLIDATING OF THE TWO APPROPRIATIONS AND THE PROVISION IN THE CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATION FOR THE SECURING OF EVIDENCE MUST HAVE HAD IN CONTEMPLATION THE PAYMENT THEREFROM OF ALL EXPENSES NECESSARY FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF BOTH THE NARCOTIC AND THE PROHIBITION LAWS, INCLUDING, WHEN NECESSARY AND PROPER, LAWFUL REWARDS OR INFORMERS' FEES FOR DETECTING AND BRINGING TO TRIAL PERSONS GUILTY OF VIOLATIONS OF SAID LAWS. NO REASON APPEARS WHY THE ACTIVITIES OF ENFORCING BOTH THE NARCOTIC AND THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION ACTS SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED ON THE SAME BASIS SINCE BOTH ARE NOW APPROPRIATED FOR UNDER THE SAME APPROPRIATION. THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1927, 44 STAT. 1378, HAS NO BEARING UPON, AND DOES NOT AFFECT THE AVAILABILITY OF THE APPROPRIATIONS HERE INVOLVED FOR THE PURPOSE IN QUESTION. STATED IN DECISION A-17893, OF MARCH 31, 1927, THE ACT MERELY CHANGED THE FORM OF ORGANIZATION WITH RESPECT TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF PROHIBITION MATTERS, AND IT NEITHER RESTRICTS NOR BROADENS THE AVAILABILITY OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR PURPOSES FOR WHICH MADE.

YOU ARE ACCORDINGLY ADVISED THAT EXPENSES COMMONLY KNOWN AS INFORMERS' FEES, IF AND WHEN NECESSARY FOR DETECTING AND BRINGING TO TRAIL AND PUNISHMENT PERSONS GUILTY OF VIOLATION OF THE NARCOTIC ACTS, ARE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION "ENFORCEMENT OF NARCOTIC AND NATIONAL PROHIBITION ACTS.'