A-18809, JUNE 20, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 836

A-18809: Jun 20, 1927

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THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION IS ACCORDINGLY AVAILABLE FOR SUCH EXPENSE. FOR WHICH APPROPRIATIONS FOR CONTINGENT AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ARE NOT SPECIFICALLY MADE. TO MAKE A VISIT TO THE VARIOUS CITIES AND POSTS WHERE THE IMMIGRATION BORDER PATROL AND OTHER REGULATORY OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE STATIONED. " IT IS PROPOSED TO PAY THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF AN INVESTIGATING COMMITTEE TO CONSIST OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS. IT IS ALSO PROPOSED THAT MAJOR JONES OF THAT BUREAU ACCOMPANY THIS COMMITTEE OF INVESTIGATION. YOUR OPINION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE ITEM QUOTED AUTHORIZES THE TRAVELING EXPENSES AS PROPOSED. IT IS ALSO DESIRED THAT MR. IT IS GENERALLY FOR THE CONGRESS TO PROVIDE FOR THEIR EXPENSES.

A-18809, JUNE 20, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 836

APPROPRIATIONS - TRAVELING EXPENSES OF CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES THE INSERTION IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR CONTINGENT EXPENSES, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, OF A PROVISION FOR "TRAVELING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO EXAMINATION OF ESTIMATES OF APPROPRIATIONS IN THE FIELD," FOLLOWS THE ESTABLISHED PRACTICE OF INSERTING SUCH PROVISIONS TO PROVIDE FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES OF A COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS FOR THE PURPOSE INDICATED, AND THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION IS ACCORDINGLY AVAILABLE FOR SUCH EXPENSE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF LABOR, JUNE 20, 1927:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 8, 1927, REQUESTING DECISION OF QUESTIONS PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS:

THE ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENTS OF STATE AND JUSTICE AND FOR THE JUDICIARY, AND FOR THE DEPARTMENTS OF COMMERCE AND LABOR, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1928, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES (44 STAT. 1178, 1221), UNDER THE HEADING "CONTINGENT EXPENSES, DEPARTMENT OF OR," CONTAINS THE PROVISION:

"FOR CONTINGENT AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES OF THE OFFICES AND BUREAUS OF THE DEPARTMENT, FOR WHICH APPROPRIATIONS FOR CONTINGENT AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ARE NOT SPECIFICALLY MADE, INCLUDING THE PURCHASE OF STATIONARY, FURNITURE AND REPAIRS TO THE SAME, CARPETS, MATTING, OILCLOTH, FILE CASES, TOWELS, ICE, BROOMS, SOAP, SPONGES, LAUNDRY, STREET-CAR FARES NOT EXCEEDING $200; TRAVELING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO EXAMINATION OF ESTIMATES OF APPROPRIATIONS IN THE FIELD; LIGHTING AND HEATING; PURCHASE, EXCHANGE, MAINTENANCE, AND REPAIR OF MOTOR CYCLES AND MOTOR TRUCKS; PURCHASE, EXCHANGE, MAINTENANCE, AND REPAIR OF A MOTOR-PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLE TO BE USED ONLY FOR OFFICIAL PURPOSES; FREIGHT AND EXPRESS CHARGES, NEWSPAPERS NOT EXCEEDING $275, FOR WHICH PAYMENT MAY BE MADE IN ADVANCE; NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS NOT TO EXCEED $1,800; POSTAGE TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES; TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE SERVICE; TYPEWRITERS, ADDING MACHINES, AND OTHER LABOR-SAVING DEVICES; PURCHASES OF LAW BOOKS, BOOKS OF REFERENCE, AND PERIODICALS NOT EXCEEDING $3,250; IN ALL, $43,700.'

HOUSE REPORT NO. 1837, BEING THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS ON THE BILL CONTAINING THAT QUOTATION, PAGE 25, UNDER THE HEADING "CONTINGENT EXPENSES," CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE:

"* * * AN AMOUNT OF $5,000 HAS BEEN INCLUDED UNDER "CONTINGENT EXPENSES," TOGETHER WITH LANGUAGE TO THE EFFECT OF "EXAMINATION OF ESTIMATES IN THE FIELD," TO PROVIDE FOR THE EXPENSE OF TRAVEL TO ENABLE THE SUBCOMMITTEE IN CHARGE OF THIS BILL TO AVAIL ITSELF OF AN OPPORTUNITY, IF POSSIBLE, THIS SUMMER, TO MAKE A VISIT TO THE VARIOUS CITIES AND POSTS WHERE THE IMMIGRATION BORDER PATROL AND OTHER REGULATORY OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE STATIONED, WITH THE VIEW OF MAKING A STUDY OF THE SITUATION AND A REPORT ON THE POSSIBILITY OF CONSOLIDATING THESE SERVICES AND AVOID DUPLICATION OF EFFORT. * * *"

UNDER THE ITEM IN THE FIRST QUOTATION,"TRAVELING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO EXAMINATION OF ESTIMATES OF APPROPRIATIONS IN THE FIELD," IT IS PROPOSED TO PAY THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF AN INVESTIGATING COMMITTEE TO CONSIST OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, NAMELY, HONORABLE MILTON W. SHREVE, HONORABLE WILLIAM B. OLIVER, AND HONORABLE ANTHONY J. GRIFFIN, AND MR. PAUL A. MALONE, THE CLERK TO THE SUBCOMMITTEE. AT THE REQUEST OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET, IT IS ALSO PROPOSED THAT MAJOR JONES OF THAT BUREAU ACCOMPANY THIS COMMITTEE OF INVESTIGATION, HIS TRAVELING EXPENSES ALSO TO BE PAID OUT OF THAT ITEM. THE DEPARTMENT DESIRES TO COOPERATE IN EVERY WAY WITH THE INVESTIGATION, BUT THERE HAS COME TO ITS ATTENTION THE DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY OF DECEMBER 7, 1897 (IV COMP. DEC. 287), AND HIS DECISION AUGUST 5, 1902 (IX COMP. DEC. 59), WHICH RAISES A DOUBT WHETHER THE DEPARTMENT UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED AUTHORITY CAN PAY THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF THIS SUBCOMMITTEE, THE CLERKS TO THE SUBCOMMITTEE, AND THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET. YOUR OPINION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE ITEM QUOTED AUTHORIZES THE TRAVELING EXPENSES AS PROPOSED.

IT IS ALSO DESIRED THAT MR. MALONE, THE CLERK TO THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, BE DESIGNATED AS SPECIAL DISBURSING CLERK FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES OF THE PARTY FROM THE ITEM MENTIONED, AND THE DEPARTMENT ALSO REQUESTS YOUR OPINION WHETHER SUCH DESIGNATION CAN LEGALLY BE MADE.

IN OBTAINING INFORMATION FOR USE IN CONSIDERING ESTIMATES FOR APPROPRIATIONS THE COMMITTEES ACT FOR THE CONGRESS, AND IT IS GENERALLY FOR THE CONGRESS TO PROVIDE FOR THEIR EXPENSES. THE CONGRESS HAS SEPARATED THE LEGISLATIVE FROM THE EXECUTIVE APPROPRIATIONS, AND THIS IS CONSIDERED GENERALLY TO FORBID THE USE OF THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR ONE BRANCH FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE OTHER, EXCEPT WHERE THE INTENT TO SO USE THE APPROPRIATION SPECIFICALLY APPEARS. 4 COMP. DEC. 287; 9 ID. 59; 23 ID. 493; 4 COMP. GEN. 848.

IT IS DISCLOSED, HOWEVER, BY YOUR SUBMISSION THAT THE PROVISION IN THE CONTINGENT APPROPRIATION FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR FOR "TRAVELING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO EXAMINATION OF ESTIMATES OF APPROPRIATIONS IN THE FIELD" WAS INSERTED BY THE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF PROVIDING FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE TO MAKE CERTAIN FIELD INVESTIGATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE IMMIGRATION SERVICE. SIMILAR LANGUAGE FOR IDENTICAL PURPOSES HAS BEEN USED IN VARIOUS OF THE APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS, AND HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED BY THIS OFFICE AS AUTHORIZING THE USE OF THE CONTINGENT APPROPRIATIONS IN WHICH INSERTED FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES OF THE COMMITTEES OF CONGRESS. SEE 23 COMP. DEC. 493.

THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1928, ACT OF JANUARY 26, 1927, 44 STAT. 1032, CONTAINS A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES. AS IT IS THE DUTY OF THAT BUREAU, UNDER THE BUDGET AND ACCOUNTING ACT OF JUNE 10, 1921, 42 STAT. 20, TO EXAMINE THE ESTIMATES OF APPROPRIATIONS SUBMITTED BY THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS, ITS APPROPRIATION FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES IS EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE FOR ANY TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES THEREOF ENGAGED UPON THE DUTIES IMPOSED UPON THAT BUREAU BY STATUTE. NO INTENTION IS SHOWN ON THE PART OF THE CONGRESS TO MAKE THE CONTINGENT APPROPRIATION OF YOUR DEPARTMENT AVAILABLE FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES OF PERSONS NOT CONNECTED WITH YOUR DEPARTMENT OTHER THAN THE COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS. IT MUST BE HELD, THEREFORE, THAT THE CONTINGENT APPROPRIATION OF YOUR DEPARTMENT IS NOT AVAILABLE TO PAY THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF MAJOR JONES OR ANY OTHER OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET.

THERE APPEARS TO BE NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE DESIGNATION BY YOU OF THE CLERK OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS AS A SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES OF A CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE FROM THE CONTINGENT APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION, PROVIDED A PROPER BOND IS GIVEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 3614, REVISED STATUTES. SEE 2 COMP. DEC. 262.