A-19893, OCTOBER 17, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 275

A-19893: Oct 17, 1927

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

" IS NOT AVAILABLE TO PAY FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS THERETO FOR THE USE OF COLLECTORS OF CUSTOMS AND UNITED STATES APPRAISERS IN GATHERING INFORMATION NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH THEIR WORK. WHEREIN CREDIT WAS DISALLOWED FOR PAYMENT MADE ON VOUCHER 25791. THE DISALLOWANCE WAS MADE ON THE GROUND THAT THE APPROPRIATION FROM WHICH PAYMENT WAS MADE CONTAINS NO PROVISION FOR THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS. IT IS CONTENDED BY THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS THAT THE SUBSCRIPTIONS WERE PURCHASED UNDER THE RULE ANNOUNCED IN THE DECISION REPORTED IN 10 COMP. WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 192. THAT THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS FOR FIELD USE IS NOT AUTHORIZED IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY THEREFOR IN THE APPROPRIATION INVOLVED OR OTHERWISE. 1 COMP.

A-19893, OCTOBER 17, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 275

PURCHASES - NEWSPAPERS - CUSTOMS SERVICE THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE AND COMMERCIAL BULLETIN BEING A NEWSPAPER, THE APPROPRIATION "COLLECTING THE REVENUE FROM CUSTOMS, 1927," IS NOT AVAILABLE TO PAY FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS THERETO FOR THE USE OF COLLECTORS OF CUSTOMS AND UNITED STATES APPRAISERS IN GATHERING INFORMATION NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH THEIR WORK, IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC AUTHORITY IN SAID APPROPRIATION FOR THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, OCTOBER 17, 1927:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 22, 1927, WITH INCLOSURE, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT NO. K-4561-5, DATED MARCH 10, 1927, ACCOUNTS OF J. L. SUMMERS, DISBURSING CLERK, WHEREIN CREDIT WAS DISALLOWED FOR PAYMENT MADE ON VOUCHER 25791, DATED AUGUST 25, 1926, COVERING SUBSCRIPTIONS TO THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE AND COMMERCIAL BULLETIN FOR THE PERIOD JULY 1, 1926, TO JUNE 30, 1927, FOR THE USE OF THE COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS AND THE UNITED STATES APPRAISER AT PHILADELPHIA, PA., AMOUNTING TO $30. THE DISALLOWANCE WAS MADE ON THE GROUND THAT THE APPROPRIATION FROM WHICH PAYMENT WAS MADE CONTAINS NO PROVISION FOR THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS.

THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION, ACT OF MARCH 2, 1926, 44 STAT. 141, PROVIDES:

FOR COLLECTING THE REVENUE FROM CUSTOMS, FOR THE DETECTION AND PREVENTION OF FRAUDS UPON THE CUSTOMS REVENUE, AND NOT TO EXCEED $10,000 FOR THE SECURING OF EVIDENCE OF VIOLATIONS OF THE CUSTOMS LAWS, INCLUDING NOT TO EXCEED $5,000 FOR THE HIRE OF MOTOR-PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES, $16,993,000, OF WHICH SUCH AMOUNT AS MAY BE NECESSARY SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR SALARIES OF GENERAL APPRAISERS RETIRED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 518 OF THE TARIFF ACT OF 1922, AND $138,980 SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA EXCLUSIVE OF EIGHT PERSONS FROM THE FIELD FORCE AUTHORIZED TO BE DETAILED UNDER SECTION 525 OF THE TARIFF ACT OF 922: PROVIDED, THAT NOT TO EXCEED $10,000 OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT APPROPRIATED SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR ADVANCES TO BE MADE BY DISBURSING OFFICERS WHEN AUTHORIZED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3648 OF THE REVISED STATUTES TO THE CONTRARY NOTWITHSTANDING.

IT IS CONTENDED BY THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS THAT THE SUBSCRIPTIONS WERE PURCHASED UNDER THE RULE ANNOUNCED IN THE DECISION REPORTED IN 10 COMP. DEC. 706, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 192, REVISED STATUTES, LIMITING THE AMOUNT THAT MAY BE EXPENDED IN ANY ONE YEAR FOR NEWSPAPERS FOR ANY DEPARTMENT, EXCEPT THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE, INCLUDING ALL THE BUREAUS AND OFFICES CONNECTED THEREWITH, DID NOT APPLY TO THE PURCHASE, BY INTERNAL-REVENUE AGENTS IN THE FIELD, UNDER THE APPROPRIATION FOR THEIR SALARIES AND EXPENSES, OF A FINANCIAL PAPER FOUND NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH THE FIELD WORK.

IT HAS BEEN HELD REPEATEDLY, SINCE THE DATE OF THAT DECISION, THAT THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS FOR FIELD USE IS NOT AUTHORIZED IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY THEREFOR IN THE APPROPRIATION INVOLVED OR OTHERWISE. 1 COMP. GEN. 92; 2 ID. 367; 3 ID. 169, 491.

IN THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 9, 1924, 3 COMP. GEN. 491, IT WAS SAID THAT WHILE THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 192, REVISED STATUTES, DID NOT SPECIFICALLY MENTION GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENTS NOT CONNECTED WITH ANY OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS, IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE CONGRESS HAS SEEN FIT TO LEGISLATE SPECIFICALLY WITH REFERENCE TO THE SUBJECT, AND IN MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR SOME SUCH SERVICES HAS SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED NEWSPAPERS AND NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS, IT MUST BE PRESUMED THAT UNLESS SUCH EXPENDITURES ARE SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED IN THE APPROPRIATION, OR ARE OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY LAW, THE APPROPRIATION WAS NOT INTENDED TO BE USED THEREFOR. THAT DECISION FURTHER HELD THAT NO PAYMENT ON ACCOUNT OF SUCH EXPENDITURES WOULD BE AUTHORIZED AFTER JUNE 30, 1924.

ACCORDINGLY, THE APPROPRIATION "COLLECTING THE REVENUE FROM CUSTOMS, 1927," WAS NOT AVAILABLE TO PAY FOR NEWSPAPERS PURCHASED OR ORDERED FOR USE BY COLLECTORS OF CUSTOMS AND UNITED STATES APPRAISERS. THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE AND COMMERCIAL BULLETIN HAS BEEN HELD TO BE A NEWSPAPER. 4 COMP. GEN. 384. UPON REVIEW, THE SETTLEMENT IS SUSTAINED.