A-33354, DECEMBER 1, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 239

A-33354: Dec 1, 1930

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" REMOVES RESTRICTIVE PROVISIONS OF OTHER ACTS SO FAR AS EXPENDITURES FOR THE AUTHORIZED PURPOSES OF THE COMMISSION ARE CONCERNED. WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN INCURRED. IS A MATTER OF STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION RATHER THAN STATUTORY RESTRICTION. 1930: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 10. RELATIVE TO PREAUDIT ACTION BY THIS OFFICE ON THREE VOUCHERS SUBMITTED BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER OF THE GEORGE WASHINGTON BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION ON WHICH IT WAS PROPOSED TO PAY PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES TO A MEMBER AND TWO EMPLOYEES OF THE COMMISSION AT THE RATES OF $10. WHICH WERE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT AT THE RATE OF ONLY $6 FOR THE REASON STATED THAT PAYMENT OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IN EXCESS OF $6 AS PROVIDED IN THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926 IS UNAUTHORIZED.

A-33354, DECEMBER 1, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 239

SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEM IN LIEU OF - GEORGE WASHINGTON BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION WHILE THE PROVISION OF THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1930, 46 STAT. 864, MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE GEORGE WASHINGTON BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE COMMISSION "NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF ANY OTHER ACT," REMOVES RESTRICTIVE PROVISIONS OF OTHER ACTS SO FAR AS EXPENDITURES FOR THE AUTHORIZED PURPOSES OF THE COMMISSION ARE CONCERNED, AND, THEREFORE, MAY BE CONSTRUED AS PERMITTING REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE, ETC., OF MEMBERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE COMMISSION, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE LIMITATIONS OF THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF JUNE 3, 1926, 44 STAT. 688, THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF OR AS A COMMUTATION OF SUCH EXPENSES, WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN INCURRED, IS A MATTER OF STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION RATHER THAN STATUTORY RESTRICTION, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF OTHER EXPRESS STATUTORY AUTHORITY THEREFOR, MAY NOT BE ALLOWED IN EXCESS OF THE RATES AUTHORIZED BY THE GENERAL PROVISIONS OF THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO LIEUT. COL. U.S. GRANT, 3D, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, GEORGE WASHINGTON BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION, DECEMBER 1, 1930:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 10, 1930, RELATIVE TO PREAUDIT ACTION BY THIS OFFICE ON THREE VOUCHERS SUBMITTED BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER OF THE GEORGE WASHINGTON BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION ON WHICH IT WAS PROPOSED TO PAY PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES TO A MEMBER AND TWO EMPLOYEES OF THE COMMISSION AT THE RATES OF $10, $8, AND $7, RESPECTIVELY, AND WHICH WERE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT AT THE RATE OF ONLY $6 FOR THE REASON STATED THAT PAYMENT OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IN EXCESS OF $6 AS PROVIDED IN THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926 IS UNAUTHORIZED.

YOU CITE AS AUTHORITY FOR THE PROPOSED PAYMENTS OF PER DIEM IN EXCESS OF $6 THE PROVISIONS OF THE SECOND DEFICIENCY ACT OF JULY 3, 1930, 46 STAT. 864, MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE COMMISSION AVAILABLE UNTIL EXPENDED "FOR EACH AND EVERY OBJECT OF EXPENDITURE CONNECTED WITH THE CELEBRATION NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF ANY OTHER ACT RELATING TO THE EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC MONEYS, UPON VOUCHERS APPROVED BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, OR SUCH PERSON AS MAY BE DESIGNATED BY HIM TO APPROVE VOUCHERS.'

THE DIFFICULTY IS THAT WHILE THE CITED PROVISION REMOVES RESTRICTIVE PROVISIONS OF OTHER ACTS SO FAR AS EXPENDITURES FOR THE AUTHORIZED PURPOSES OF THE COMMISSION ARE CONCERNED, AND, THEREFORE, MAY BE CONSTRUED AS PERMITTING REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE, ETC., OF MEMBERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE COMMISSION, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE LIMITATIONS OF THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF JUNE 3, 1926, 44 STAT. 688, THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUCH EXPENSES IS NOT A MATTER OF STATUTORY RESTRICTION, BUT ONE OF STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATUTORY PROVISION THEREFOR NO GENERAL AUTHORITY EXISTS TO PAY A FIXED AMOUNT IN LIEU OF OR AS A COMMUTATION OF EXPENSES WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN INCURRED. THE ONLY AUTHORITY APPEARING FOR PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM TO MEMBERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GEORGE WASHINGTON BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION IS THAT CONTAINED IN THE GENERAL PROVISIONS OF THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926, SUPRA, AND, CONSEQUENTLY, SO FAR AS PAYMENT OF PER DIEM IS CONCERNED THERE APPEARS NO AUTHORITY TO PAY IN EXCESS OF THE RATES SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THAT ACT, NOT, AS STATED ABOVE, BECAUSE SUCH ACT PROHIBITS PAYMENTS IN EXCESS OF SUCH RATES BUT BECAUSE NO STATUTORY AUTHORITY EXISTS TO PAY IN EXCESS OF SUCH RATES IN LIEU OF SUPPOSED EXPENSES FOR THE PURPOSES AND OBJECTS OF THE COMMISSION WHICH MAY NOT HAVE BEEN ACTUALLY INCURRED.

THE PREAUDIT ACTION ON THE THREE VOUCHERS (WHICH WERE NOT RETURNED WITH YOUR LETTER) APPEARS TO HAVE FOLLOWED THE SETTLED CONSTRUCTION APPLIED TO SIMILAR PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN PRIOR APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR OTHER BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS AUTHORIZING EXPENDITURE "NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF ANY OTHER ACT.' SEE, FOR EXAMPLE, THE ACT OF DECEMBER 5, 1924, 43 STAT. 692, MAKING APPROPRIATION FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE AMERICAN DELEGATION TO THE INTERNATIONAL NARCOTIC CONFERENCE, AND THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 27, 1925, 43 STAT. 1024, APPROPRIATING MONEY FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE MIXED CLAIMS COMMISSION, UNITED STATES AND MEXICO. ON THE FACTS SUBMITTED, THE ACTION TAKEN IN THE PRESENT CASE APPEARS CORRECT AND, ACCORDINGLY, MAY NOT BE MODIFIED AS REQUESTED.