A-33345, SEPTEMBER 25, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 135

A-33345: Sep 25, 1930

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

IS NOT REQUIRED IN CONNECTION WITH EXPENDITURES UNDER CURRENT APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR SAID PARKS. AS FOLLOWS: IT IS ADVISED THAT A RECOMMENDATION HAS BEEN MADE BY THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL OF THE ARMY FOR A CHANGE IN THE PROCEDURE FOLLOWED IN MAKING DISBURSEMENTS UNDER APPROPRIATIONS FOR CERTAIN NATIONAL MILITARY PARKS. THE PARKS IN QUESTION ARE THE CHICKAMAUGA AND CHATTANOOGA. THESE PARKS HAVE HITHERTO BEEN UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL AND DISBURSEMENTS UNDER THE APPLICABLE APPROPRIATIONS HAVE BEEN MADE BY THE DISBURSING CLERK OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT. IT IS NOW PROPOSED THAT THE SUPERVISION OF SAID PARKS BE TRANSFERRED FROM THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL TO CORPS AREA COMMANDERS.

A-33345, SEPTEMBER 25, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 135

APPROPRIATIONS - NATIONAL MILITARY PARKS THE APPROVAL OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR, REQUIRED WITH RESPECT TO THE DISBURSEMENTS UNDER THE ORIGINAL APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CHICKAMAUGA AND CHATTANOOGA, SHILOH, GETTYSBURG, AND VICKSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARKS, IS NOT REQUIRED IN CONNECTION WITH EXPENDITURES UNDER CURRENT APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR SAID PARKS, NO SPECIFIC PROVISION FOR SUCH REQUIREMENT BEING CONTAINED IN SAID APPROPRIATIONS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, SEPTEMBER 25, 1930:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1930, AS FOLLOWS:

IT IS ADVISED THAT A RECOMMENDATION HAS BEEN MADE BY THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL OF THE ARMY FOR A CHANGE IN THE PROCEDURE FOLLOWED IN MAKING DISBURSEMENTS UNDER APPROPRIATIONS FOR CERTAIN NATIONAL MILITARY PARKS.

THE PARKS IN QUESTION ARE THE CHICKAMAUGA AND CHATTANOOGA, SHILOH, GETTYSBURG, VICKSBURG, GUILDFORD COURTHOUSE, AND MOORES CREEK NATIONAL MILITARY PARKS. THESE PARKS HAVE HITHERTO BEEN UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL AND DISBURSEMENTS UNDER THE APPLICABLE APPROPRIATIONS HAVE BEEN MADE BY THE DISBURSING CLERK OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT, AFTER APPROVAL BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR, BUT IT IS NOW PROPOSED THAT THE SUPERVISION OF SAID PARKS BE TRANSFERRED FROM THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL TO CORPS AREA COMMANDERS, AND THAT VOUCHERS PERTAINING THERETO BE ROUTED FROM THE OFFICES OF THE PARK SUPERINTENDENTS TO THE CORPS AREA COMMANDERS, WHO WILL APPROVE THE SAME FOR PAYMENT, AFTER WHICH SUCH VOUCHERS WILL BE PAID BY FINANCE OFFICERS.

THE PARKS IN QUESTION WERE ESTABLISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING ACTS:

CHICKAMAUGA AND CHATTANOOGA--- ACT OF AUGUST 19, 1890 (26 STAT. 333).

SHILOH--- ACT OF DECEMBER 27, 1894 (28 STAT. 597).

GETTYSBURG--- ACT OF FEBRUARY 11, 1895 (28 STAT. 651).

VICKSBURG--- ACT OF FEBRUARY 21, 1899 (30 STAT. 841).

GUILFORD COURTHOUSE--- ACT OF MARCH 2, 1917 (39 STAT. 996).

MOORES CREEK--- ACT OF JUNE 2, 1926 (44 STAT. 684).

OF THE ACTS CITED ABOVE, THE FIRST FOUR CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING OR SIMILAR LANGUAGE:

"* * * AND DISBURSEMENTS UNDER THIS ACT SHALL REQUIRE THE APPROVAL OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR, AND HE SHALL MAKE ANNUAL REPORT OF THE SAME TO CONGRESS.'

THE ACTS ESTABLISHING THE GUILFORD COURTHOUSE AND MOORES CREEK PARKS DID NOT CONTAIN THE QUOTED PROVISION OR SIMILAR LANGUAGE, BUT PROVIDED THAT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THOSE TWO PARKS WOULD BE CARRIED FORWARD UNDER THE CONTROL AND DIRECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR. IT APPEARS THEREFORE THAT PAYMENTS BY FINANCE OFFICERS OF EXPENDITURES PERTAINING TO THE GUILFORD COURTHOUSE AND MOORES CREEK PARKS MAY BE MADE UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1920 (41 STAT. 766; U.S.C. 10:172), WHICH PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE SECRETARY SHALL BE CHARGED WITH THE DISBURSEMENT OF ALL FUNDS OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT, INCLUDING THE PAY OF THE ARMY AND THE MILEAGE FOR OFFICERS AND THE ACCOUNTING THEREFOR; AND WITH SUCH OTHER FISCAL AND ACCOUNTING DUTIES AS MAY BE REQUIRED BY LAW, OR ASSIGNED TO HIM BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR. * *

HOWEVER, A QUESTION HAS ARISEN AS TO WHETHER, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACTS ESTABLISHING THE CHICKAMAUGA AND CHATTANOOGA, SHILOH, GETTYSBURG, AND VICKSBURG PARKS, AUTHORITY MAY BE DELEGATED TO CORPS AREA COMMANDERS TO APPROVE VOUCHERS FOR PAYMENT.

IN THIS CONNECTION REFERENCE MAY BE MADE TO THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912 (37 STAT. 442), CONTAINING THE FOLLOWING PROVISION:

"HEREAFTER VACANCIES OCCURRING BY DEATH OR RESIGNATION IN THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE SEVERAL COMMISSIONS IN CHARGE OF NATIONAL MILITARY PARKS SHALL NOT BE FILLED, AND THE DUTIES OF THE OFFICES THUS VACATED SHALL DEVOLVE UPON THE REMAINING COMMISSIONERS OR COMMISSIONER FOR EACH OF SAID PARKS: PROVIDED, THAT AS VACANCIES OCCUR HEREUNDER THE SECRETARY OF WAR SHALL BECOME EX OFFICIO A MEMBER OF THE COMMISSION EFFECTED WITH FULL AUTHORITY TO ACT WITH THE REMAINING COMMISSIONERS OR COMMISSIONER, AND IN CASE OF THE VACATION OF ALL THE OFFICES OF COMMISSIONER IN ANY ONE PARK HEREUNDER THE DUTIES OF SUCH COMMISSION SHALL THEREAFTER BE PERFORMED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR.'

IT APPEARS FROM THE RECORDS OF THIS DEPARTMENT THAT THE LAST COMMISSIONERS OF THE FOUR PARKS IN QUESTION DIED ON THE DATES INDICATED BELOW:

SHILOH ----------------------------------- JANUARY 19, 1920.

GETTYSBURG ------------------------------- MARCH 8, 1922.

CHICKAMAUGA AND CHATTANOOGA -------------- MAY 15, 1922.

VICKSBURG -------------------------------- SEPTEMBER 24, 1929.

IN VIEW OF THE FACTS THAT THE INITIAL APPROPRIATIONS UNDER THE BASIC ACTS ESTABLISHING THE CHICKAMAUGA AND CHATTANOOGA, SHILOH, GETTYSBURG, AND VICKSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARKS HAVE LONG SINCE BEEN EXHAUSTED, THAT THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE APPROVAL OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR IS NOT CONTAINED IN APPROPRIATION ACTS IN WHICH SUBSEQUENT APPROPRIATIONS HAVE BEEN MADE FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THESE PARKS, AND THAT THE CONTROL OF THE PARKS HAS NOW PASSED FROM THE ORIGINAL COMMISSIONS TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, IT IS REQUESTED THAT A DECISION BE RENDERED AS TO WHETHER THE APPROVAL OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR IS REQUIRED ON EXPENDITURES PERTAINING TO THE PARKS IN QUESTION FROM CURRENT APPROPRIATIONS, AND, IF SO, WHETHER SUCH APPROVAL IS REQUIRED ON INDIVIDUAL VOUCHERS, OR MAY BE IN THE FORM OF A GENERAL APPROVAL OF EXPENDITURES SIMILAR IN NATURE.

THE PROVISION REQUIRING THE APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR CONTAINED IN EACH OF THE ACTS AUTHORIZING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE FOUR PARKS IN QUESTION APPEARED IN THE APPROPRIATING SECTION OF THE SAID ACTS, AND WAS TO THE EFFECT THAT "DISBURSEMENTS UNDER THIS ACT SHALL REQUIRE THE APPROVAL OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR.' THE APPARENT PURPOSE AND INTENT OF THIS PROVISION WAS TO PROVIDE FOR A PROPER AND ADEQUATE CONTROL IN THE SECRETARY OF WAR OF THE EXPENDITURES OF THE FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE PURPOSE BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL OF THE PARKS INVOLVED WAS PLACED UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF INDEPENDENT COMMISSIONS. IN VIEW OF THE ENACTMENT OF THE ACT OF 1912, CITED AND QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER, PROVIDING THAT UPON THE DEATH OF ALL THE COMMISSIONERS OF THESE PARKS, THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL OF THESE PARKS SHOULD DEVOLVE UPON THE SECRETARY OF WAR, AND SINCE THERE ARE NO LONGER ANY COMMISSIONS OR COMMISSIONERS HAVING ANY CONTROL OVER SAID PARKS THE PURPOSE FOR THE REQUIREMENT NO LONGER EXISTS. THE FOUR NATIONAL PARKS IN QUESTION HAVE NOW BECOME, FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES, A PART OF THE NONMILITARY ACTIVITIES OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT, TO BE ADMINISTERED IN THE SAME MANNER AS ARE OTHER SUCH ACTIVITIES.

THE CURRENT APPROPRIATIONS FOR THESE FOUR NATIONAL PARKS, AS MADE BY THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1930, PUBLIC NO. 278, 46 STAT. 459, 460, PROVIDE FOR CONTINUING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PARKS, FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SAME, AND IN SPECIFIC TERMS SET FORTH THE VARIOUS ITEMS FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATIONS ARE MADE AVAILABLE. WHILE THESE APPROPRIATIONS PROVIDE FOR CONTINUING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PARKS, NO SPECIFIC REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE ORIGINAL ACTS AUTHORIZING SUCH ESTABLISHMENT, AND IN VIEW OF THE SPECIFIC PURPOSES FOR WHICH THESE APPROPRIATIONS ARE MADE, AND IN VIEW, ALSO, OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF 1912, HEREINBEFORE MENTIONED, DISBURSEMENTS UNDER SUCH CURRENT APPROPRIATIONS ARE NOT DISBURSEMENTS UNDER THE ORIGINAL ACTS AUTHORIZING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PARKS, WITHIN THE MEANING OF SAID ORIGINAL ACT REQUIRING THE APPROVAL OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR.

ACCORDINGLY, IN SPECIFIC ANSWER TO THE QUESTION SUBMITTED, I HAVE TO ADVISE, IN VIEW OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES AS PRESENTED, THAT THE APPROVAL BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR REQUIRED WITH RESPECT TO THE DISBURSEMENTS UNDER THE ORIGINAL APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CHICKAMAUGA AND CHATTANOOGA, SHILOH, GETTYSBURG, AND VICKSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARKS, IS NOT REQUIRED IN CONNECTION WITH EXPENDITURES UNDER CURRENT APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR THESE PARKS, NO SPECIFIC PROVISION FOR SUCH REQUIREMENT BEING CONTAINED IN SAID APPROPRIATIONS.