A-81564, A-22156, MAY 4, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 900

A-22156,A-81564: May 4, 1938

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APPROPRIATIONS - TRANSFERS - SERVICES BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS - EXPENDITURE LIMITATIONS STATEMENTS IN A PRIOR DECISION TO THE EFFECT THAT RESTRICTIONS ON LIMITATIONS ARE REMOVED BY TRANSFER OF FUNDS FROM ONE FEDERAL AGENCY TO ANOTHER UNDER A PROVISION WHICH AUTHORIZED TRANSFERRED FUNDS TO BE EXPENDED IN THE SAME MANNER AS MONEYS APPROPRIATED FOR THE PERFORMING DEPARTMENT. ARE NOT FOR APPLICATION WHERE THE OBJECTS FOR WHICH THE FUNDS ARE PROPOSED TO BE USED ARE SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED BY A GENERAL LAW AS IN THE CASE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES. OR OTHERWISE THE AMOUNT AUTHORIZED TO BE EXPENDED FOR A SPECIFIED PURPOSE IS SPECIFICALLY LIMITED IN THE APPROPRIATION TRANSFERRED. 16 COMP.

A-81564, A-22156, MAY 4, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 900

APPROPRIATIONS - TRANSFERS - SERVICES BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS - EXPENDITURE LIMITATIONS STATEMENTS IN A PRIOR DECISION TO THE EFFECT THAT RESTRICTIONS ON LIMITATIONS ARE REMOVED BY TRANSFER OF FUNDS FROM ONE FEDERAL AGENCY TO ANOTHER UNDER A PROVISION WHICH AUTHORIZED TRANSFERRED FUNDS TO BE EXPENDED IN THE SAME MANNER AS MONEYS APPROPRIATED FOR THE PERFORMING DEPARTMENT, ARE NOT FOR APPLICATION WHERE THE OBJECTS FOR WHICH THE FUNDS ARE PROPOSED TO BE USED ARE SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED BY A GENERAL LAW AS IN THE CASE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES, OR OTHERWISE THE AMOUNT AUTHORIZED TO BE EXPENDED FOR A SPECIFIED PURPOSE IS SPECIFICALLY LIMITED IN THE APPROPRIATION TRANSFERRED. 16 COMP. GEN. 545, AND 17 ID. 73, AFFIRMED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, MAY 4, 1938:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 20, 1938, IS AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR DECISIONS IN 16 COMP. GEN. 545 AND 17 ID. 73. THESE DECISIONS RELATE PRIMARILY TO THE AUTHORIZATION, CONTAINED IN THE ANNUAL INTERIOR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACTS, FOR THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS FROM OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES TO THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY FOR SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL INVESTIGATIONS; AND TO THE LEGAL EFFECT OF THE FIRST PROVISO OF THAT AUTHORIZATION UPON THE AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS, TRANSFERRED THEREUNDER, FOR VARIOUS TYPES OF EXPENDITURES.

AT THE TIME WHEN THIS DEPARTMENT WAS ENGAGED IN THE CORRESPONDENCE WITH YOUR OFFICE THAT LED TO THE FOREGOING DECISIONS, THERE ESCAPED OUR ATTENTION THE UNPUBLISHED DECISIONS A-22156 ISSUED BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ON MARCH 23, 1928. THAT DECISION DISCUSSED THE PROVISION IN THE STATE DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT WHICH AUTHORIZED THE TRANSFER OF FUNDS TO THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, AND COMPARED IT WITH THE ABOVE-MENTIONED AUTHORIZATION IN THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACTS. IN THE COMPARISON IT STATED, IN PART:

"* * * THESE TWO PROVISOS ARE NOT IN DIRECT CONFLICT WITH EACH OTHER, BUT THE ONE IN THE (STATE DEPARTMENT) APPROPRIATION TENDS TO RESTRICT ITS USE WHILE THAT IN THE (INTERIOR DEPARTMENT) ACT OF JANUARY 12, 1927, REMOVES ALL RESTRICTIONS UPON APPROPRIATED FUNDS WHICH ARE TRANSFERRED PURSUANT THERETO AND MAKES THEM AVAILABLE FOR ALL PURPOSES FOR WHICH APPROPRIATIONS UNDER THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY ARE AVAILABLE.' (PARENTHETICAL MATTER SUPPLIED.)

IN THE LIGHT OF THIS EXPRESSION OF THE OPINION WHICH PREVIOUSLY WAS HELD BY YOUR OFFICE AND WHICH RECOGNIZED THE PURPOSE THAT WAS INTENDED TO BE ACCOMPLISHED BY THE INSERTION OF THE PROVISO IN THE LANGUAGE OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY AUTHORIZATION, IT IS HOPED THAT THIS MATTER MAY RECEIVE YOUR RECONSIDERATION WITH A VIEW TO THE MODIFICATION OF THE ATTITUDE EXPRESSED IN 16 COMP. GEN. 545 AND 17 ID. 73, AND TO THE END THAT FUNDS TRANSFERRED BY OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES TO THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY FOR SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL INVESTIGATIONS UNDER ITS SPECIAL AUTHORIZATION MAY BE AVAILABLE FOR SUCH OF THOSE OBJECTS OR CLASSES OF EXPENDITURES FOR WHICH THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY APPROPRIATIONS ARE AVAILABLE THAT ARE ESSENTIAL TO THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE WORK FOR WHICH THE FUNDS ARE TRANSFERRED.

IN VIEW OF SEVERAL URGENT PROBLEMS PENDING IN THIS OFFICE, THE SOLUTIONS TO WHICH DEPEND UPON YOUR DECISION IN THIS MATTER, THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE REPLY WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.

THE QUESTION FOR CONSIDERATION UPON WHICH THE DECISION OF MARCH 23, 1928, A-22156, WAS RENDERED, WAS WHETHER THE SUM OF $75,000 CONTAINED IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE STATE DEPARTMENT WITH A SPECIFIC PROVISO IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR ITS TRANSFER TO GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, ACT OF FEBRUARY 15, 1928, COULD BE TRANSFERRED UNDER THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY APPROPRIATION OF JANUARY 12, 1927, 44 STAT. 761, WHICH LATTER ACT WAS WORDED SIMILAR TO THE STATUTORY PROVISION CONSIDERED IN THE DECISIONS OF DECEMBER 1, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 545, JULY 28, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 73, AND OCTOBER 6, 1937, A-81564. THE APPROPRIATION UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE CONTAINING A SPECIFIC AUTHORIZATION FOR ITS TRANSFER, IT WAS HELD THAT THE SPECIFIC AUTHORIZATION CONTROLLED, AND THAT THE TRANSFER COULD NOT BE ACCOMPLISHED UNDER THE GENERAL PROVISIONS IN THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY APPROPRIATION ACT. IN COMMENTING IN THAT DECISION UPON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE WAS USED. SUCH COMMENTS, HOWEVER, WERE NOT ONLY NOT NECESSARY TO THE DECISION OF THE QUESTION THEREIN CONSIDERED, BUT CAN HAVE NO APPLICATION WHERE THE OBJECTS FOR WHICH THE FUNDS ARE PROPOSED TO BE USED ARE SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED BY A GENERAL LAW AS IN THE CASE OF PASSENGER- CARRYING VEHICLES, OR OTHERWISE THE AMOUNT AUTHORIZED TO BE EXPENDED FOR A SPECIFIED PURPOSE IS SPECIFICALLY LIMITED IN THE APPROPRIATION TRANSFERRED.

UPON FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF THE MATTER, THEREFORE, IT MUST BE HELD THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR MODIFYING THE DECISIONS OF DECEMBER 1, 1936, JULY 28, 1937, AND OCTOBER 6, 1937.