A-18608, NOVEMBER 15, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 305

A-18608: Nov 15, 1948

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IS CORRECT IN STATING THAT THE BASIC AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE NEWSPAPER ADVERTISING DELEGATED BY THE HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT TO SUBORDINATE OFFICIALS PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 (3) OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2. THE SUBORDINATE OFFICIAL TO WHOM SUCH BASIC AUTHORITY WAS DELEGATED MAY ASSIGN TO OTHERS THE ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH THE ADVERTISING AUTHORIZED. SAID PARAGRAPH WILL BE AMENDED ACCORDINGLY. WITH A VIEW TO REVISING PARAGRAPH 5 THEREOF SO THAT IT WILL NOT PROHIBIT REDELEGATION OF AUTHORITY TO ADVERTISE. IT IS BELIEVED. THE PARAGRAPH AS PRESENTLY CONSTITUTED IS CORRECT IN STATING THAT THE BASIS AUTHORITY DELEGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 (3) OF PUBLIC LAW 600.

A-18608, NOVEMBER 15, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 305

DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY - REDELEGATION - AUTHORITY TO ADVERTISE WHILE PARAGRAPH 5 (A) OF GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 109, AS PRESENTLY CONSTITUTED, IS CORRECT IN STATING THAT THE BASIC AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE NEWSPAPER ADVERTISING DELEGATED BY THE HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT TO SUBORDINATE OFFICIALS PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 (3) OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2, 1946, MAY NOT BE REDELEGATED, THE SUBORDINATE OFFICIAL TO WHOM SUCH BASIC AUTHORITY WAS DELEGATED MAY ASSIGN TO OTHERS THE ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH THE ADVERTISING AUTHORIZED, AND SAID PARAGRAPH WILL BE AMENDED ACCORDINGLY.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, NOVEMBER 15, 1948:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED LETTER OF THE UNDER SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, DATED AUGUST 16, 1948, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 109, DECEMBER 20, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 986, WITH A VIEW TO REVISING PARAGRAPH 5 THEREOF SO THAT IT WILL NOT PROHIBIT REDELEGATION OF AUTHORITY TO ADVERTISE.

IT APPEARS THAT THERE HAS BEEN SOME MISUNDERSTANDING AS TO THE INTENT OF SUBPARAGRAPH (A) OF PARAGRAPH 5 OF THE GENERAL REGULATIONS, DUE, IT IS BELIEVED, TO FAILURE TO RECOGNIZE THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN A DELEGATION OF THE BASIC AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE ADVERTISING AND THE ASSIGNMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES AND DETAILS TO CARRY OUT THAT AUTHORITY. THE PARAGRAPH AS PRESENTLY CONSTITUTED IS CORRECT IN STATING THAT THE BASIS AUTHORITY DELEGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 (3) OF PUBLIC LAW 600, 60 STAT. 809, MAY NOT BE REDELEGATED. TO THAT EXTENT I DO NOT AGREE WITH THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THE UNDER SECRETARY'S LETTER OF AUGUST 16, 1948. IT WAS NOT THE INTENT OF THE PARAGRAPH, HOWEVER, TO PROHIBIT ANY NECESSARY ASSIGNMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES, SUCH AS THE SELECTION OF ADVERTISING MEDIA, THE APPROVAL OF ADVERTISING TEXTS, AND SIMILAR MINISTERIAL FUNCTIONS BY THE PERSON OR PERSONS TO WHOM THE BASIC AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE ADVERTISING MAY BE DELEGATED BY THE HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT. IN THIS RESPECT THE SITUATION DOES NOT DIFFER FROM THAT WHICH EXISTED PRIOR TO THE ENACTMENT OF SECTION 12 (3) OF PUBLIC LAW 600, EXCEPT THAT NOW, INSTEAD OF THE HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT BEING REQUIRED PERSONALLY TO AUTHORIZE ADVERTISING, HE MAY DELEGATE THAT RESPONSIBILITY AND AUTHORITY TO SUCH NUMBER OF SUBORDINATES, BY NAME OR POSITION, AS HE DESIRES. BUT HE CANNOT NOW DELEGATE A GREATER AUTHORITY THAN HE HAD PRIOR TO THE ENACTMENT OF PUBLIC LAW 600. AS HE HAD NO AUTHORITY PRIOR TO SUCH TIME TO DELEGATE HIS RESPONSIBILITY IT NECESSARILY FOLLOWS THAT THOSE TO WHOM HE NOW DELEGATES AUTHORITY BY VIRTUE OF THE NEW STATUTE CANNOT DELEGATE THE AUTHORITY WHICH THEY ACQUIRE THROUGH HIM. SUCH PERSONS ARE PLACED IN PRECISELY THE SAME SITUATION, WITH NO MORE AUTHORITY THAN THE HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT HAD PRIOR TO PUBLIC LAW 600. BUT NOW, AS THEN, THE HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT OR ONE TO WHOM HE HAS DELEGATED HIS AUTHORITY, IS NOT REQUIRED PERSONALLY TO PERFORM ALL MINISTERIAL AND OPERATIONAL FUNCTIONS INCIDENT TO AUTHORIZED ADVERTISING. THE STATUTE REQUIRES THAT ADVERTISING CONTROL REMAIN WITH THE HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT OR THOSE TO WHOM HE HAD DELEGATED HIS AUTHORITY BUT HE OR THE PERSONS DESIGNATED BY HIM MAY ASSIGN SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES TO OTHERS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH THE ADVERTISING AUTHORIZED. AND THOSE ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES MAY BE RESTRICTED OR CONDITIONED TO SUCH EXTENT, IF ANY, AS MAY BE DEEMED NECESSARY OR DESIRABLE.

TO PREVENT ANY FURTHER MISUNDERSTANDING, I HAVE TODAY ISSUED INSTRUCTIONS THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO AMEND PARAGRAPH 5 OF SAID REGULATIONS TO MAKE CLEAR THAT, THE DELEGATION OF BASIC AUTHORITY HAVING BEEN ACHIEVED BY THE ISSUANCE OF A PROPER DOCUMENT, ASSIGNMENTS BY THE OFFICIAL TO WHOM SUCH AUTHORITY WAS DELEGATED, TO SUBORDINATE OFFICIALS, OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES INVOLVED, ARE PERMISSIBLE.