A-25123, NOVEMBER 30, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 277

A-25123: Nov 30, 1928

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CHILDREN'S BUREAU" IS AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES OF PERSONS EMPLOYED IN STATE DEPARTMENTS OF PUBLIC WELFARE OR SIMILAR STATE AGENCIES TO WASHINGTON AND RETURN HOME FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTENDING CONFERENCES CALLED BY THE CHILDREN'S BUREAU IN THE INTEREST OF ITS WORK. AS FOLLOWS: YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE APPROPRIATION. " IS AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES AND NOMINAL COMPENSATION OF $1 PER ANNUM OF PERSONS EMPLOYED IN STATE DEPARTMENTS OF PUBLIC WELFARE OR SIMILAR STATE AGENCIES. THE BUREAU IS DEVELOPING PLANS FOR ASSEMBLING UNIFORM STATISTICS OF CHILD DELINQUENCY. IS SECURING FROM THEM OTHER MATERIAL FOR ITS REPORTS. THE IMPORTANCE OF AT LEAST A MINIMUM UNIFORMITY IN RECORDING FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING TRENDS AND INTERPRETATION OF CAUSES IS APPARENT.

A-25123, NOVEMBER 30, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 277

CHILDREN'S BUREAU - TRAVELING EXPENSES OF STATE OFFICERS THE APPROPRIATION "GENERAL EXPENSES, CHILDREN'S BUREAU" IS AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES OF PERSONS EMPLOYED IN STATE DEPARTMENTS OF PUBLIC WELFARE OR SIMILAR STATE AGENCIES TO WASHINGTON AND RETURN HOME FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTENDING CONFERENCES CALLED BY THE CHILDREN'S BUREAU IN THE INTEREST OF ITS WORK, WITHOUT THE NECESSITY OF APPOINTING THE STATE OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES AS SPECIAL AGENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT AT A NOMINAL COMPENSATION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF LABOR, NOVEMBER 30, 1928:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 12, 1928, AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE APPROPRIATION,"GENERAL EXPENSES, CHILDREN'S EAU," IS AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES AND NOMINAL COMPENSATION OF $1 PER ANNUM OF PERSONS EMPLOYED IN STATE DEPARTMENTS OF PUBLIC WELFARE OR SIMILAR STATE AGENCIES, USUALLY DESIGNATED DIRECTORS OF THE CHILD WELFARE DIVISIONS OR ACTIVITIES OF SUCH DEPARTMENTS, WHO MAY BE APPOINTED AS SPECIAL AGENTS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR IN COMFORMITY WITH THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1917, 39 STAT. 1106.

THE BUREAU IS DEVELOPING PLANS FOR ASSEMBLING UNIFORM STATISTICS OF CHILD DELINQUENCY, DEPENDENCY, ETC., THROUGH THE COOPERATION OF THE PUBLIC- WELFARE AGENCIES OF THE STATES, AND IS SECURING FROM THEM OTHER MATERIAL FOR ITS REPORTS. (SEE ATTACHED EXCERPTS FROM THE ANNUAL REPORT OF THE CHIEF OF THE CHILDREN'S BUREAU FOR 1927.) THE IMPORTANCE OF AT LEAST A MINIMUM UNIFORMITY IN RECORDING FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING TRENDS AND INTERPRETATION OF CAUSES IS APPARENT.

THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THIS PROJECT OF MUTUAL INTEREST TO THE CHILDREN'S BUREAU AND THE VARIOUS COOPERATING STATES REQUIRES THE APPOINTMENT OF THESE STATE REPRESENTATIVES AS SPECIAL AGENTS, THE TRANSMISSION OF OFFICIAL MATTER UNDER THE FRANKING PRIVILEGE, AND ATTENDANCE AT CONFERENCES IN WASHINGTON FROM TIME TO TIME. AT PRESENT I DESIRE TO CALL THESE PEOPLE TO WASHINGTON TO CONSIDER PLANS FOR SECURING UNIFORM STATISTICS OF DEPENDENCY AND RELATED SUBJECTS IN CONNECTION WITH PUBLIC PROVISION FOR DEPENDENT AND NEGLECTED CHILDREN, AND DESIRE TO PAY THEIR RAILROAD AND PULLMAN FARE TO WASHINGTON AND RETURN.

AN EARLY DECISION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THIS CAN BE DONE FROM THE CHILDREN'S BUREAU APPROPRIATION FOR GENERAL EXPENSES WILL BE MUCH APPRECIATED.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THE QUESTION RELATES ONLY TO TRAVELING EXPENSES TO WASHINGTON AND RETURN HOME FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTENDING CONFERENCES CALLED IN THE INTEREST OF THE WORK OF THE CHILDREN'S BUREAU AND THAT IT IS NOT PROPOSED TO REIMBURSE THE STATE OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES THE COST OF THEIR TRAVELING EXPENSES IN THEIR OWN STATES OR IN THE FIELD SERVICE GENERALLY.

THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION, FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR, ACT OF FEBRUARY 15, 1928, 45 STAT. 108, PROVIDES "FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES OF OFFICERS, SPECIAL AGENTS, AND OTHER EMPLOYEES OF THE CHILDREN'S BUREAU; * * *.' THE APPROPRIATION PROVIDES, ALSO, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * PROVIDED, THAT APPROPRIATIONS HEREIN MADE FOR THE CHILDREN'S BUREAU SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS FOR THE PROMOTION OF CHILD WELFARE AND FOR THE WELFARE AND HYGIENE OF MATERNITY AND INFANCY WHEN INCURRED ON THE WRITTEN AUTHORITY OF THE SECRETARY.

WHILE THE APPROPRIATION IS NOT SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE FOR THE EXPENDITURES PROPOSED, IT HAS BEEN HELD IN DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 281, AS FOLLOWS (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

WHERE IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE ATTENDANCE UPON A CONFERENCE IN WASHINGTON CALLED BY THE CHILDREN'S BUREAU OF STATE DIRECTORS WHO ADMINISTER THE MATERNITY AND INFANCY ACT LOCALLY IN THE DIFFERENT STATES IS NECESSARY FOR THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE PURPOSES OF THE STATUTE, THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION PROVIDING FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE ACT UNDER THE CHILDREN'S BUREAU IS PROPERLY CHARGEABLE, WITHIN THE STATUTORY LIMITATIONS, WITH THE ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND TRAVELING EXPENSES OF THE STATES' DIRECTORS INCURRED INCIDENT TO THEIR ATTENDANCE.

THE INSTANT CASE IS ANALOGOUS.

HOWEVER, TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF THE TRAVELING EXPENSES HERE INVOLVED, IT IS UNNECESSARY TO APPOINT STATE OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES AS SPECIAL AGENTS UNDER THE GOVERNMENT AT A NOMINAL SALARY. ATTENDANCE AT CONFERENCES IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND THE FORWARDING OF MATERIAL FOR DATA TO WASHINGTON AT THE REQUEST OF THE GOVERNMENT WOULD NOT BE PROHIBITED AS A VOLUNTEER SERVICE. SEE 27 COMP. DEC. 131, 4 COMP. GEN. 967, 968. IF A STATE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE HAS MATERIAL OR DATA NECESSARY FOR GOVERNMENT USE, IT IS POSSIBLE THERE MAY PROPERLY BE FURNISHED SUCH STATE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE THE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL OR PENALTY ENVELOPES OR WRAPPERS FOR USE IN FORWARDING THE MATERIAL, ETC., TO THE CHILDREN'S BUREAU, BUT IF YOU HAVE DOUBT WHETHER THE OFFICIAL OR PENALTY ENVELOPES AND WRAPPERS MAY LAWFULLY BE USED IN CONNECTION WITH THE MAILING OF THE PARTICULAR MATERIAL INVOLVED, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE FACTS AS TO THIS PHASE OF THE MATTER BE FIRST FULLY SUBMITTED TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL FOR HIS VIEWS.