A-35903, MAY 21, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 381

A-35903: May 21, 1934

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NOT ONLY THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WAS UNABLE TO PERFORM THE WORK FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED WITHIN THE LIMITS OF ITS APPROPRIATION. THERE SHOULD BE A DETAILED STATEMENT OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE WORK SO THAT REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE MADE FOR THE ACTUAL EXPENSES ONLY WHICH ARE INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE MATTER. WAS INVITED TO THE CHANGE OF PRACTICE IN THIS CONNECTION AND IN REPLY THERETO THERE WAS RECEIVED HIS LETTER OF MARCH 14. ARE SIMILAR IN FORM TO THOSE RENDERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TO OTHER GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENTS AND THAT SUCH ACCOUNTS HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SINCE THE CONSIDERATION OF THIS SUBJECT BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL IN HIS DECISION NO.

A-35903, MAY 21, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 381

DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS - SERVICE BETWEEN - INSPECTION OF FOODS IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1465, AUTHORIZING THE TRANSFER OF APPROPRIATIONS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR INSPECTION, ANALYSES AND TESTS OF FOODS AND OTHER PRODUCTS FOR ANOTHER DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT, THERE SHOULD BE A SHOWING ON THE BILL SUBMITTED TO THE PROCURING DEPARTMENT, NOT ONLY THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WAS UNABLE TO PERFORM THE WORK FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED WITHIN THE LIMITS OF ITS APPROPRIATION, BUT THERE SHOULD BE A DETAILED STATEMENT OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE WORK SO THAT REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE MADE FOR THE ACTUAL EXPENSES ONLY WHICH ARE INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE MATTER.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, MAY 21, 1934:

IN CONNECTION WITH THE MATTER OF YOUR DEPARTMENT HAVING THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FURNISH LABOR AND MATERIAL IN CASES INVOLVING FRAUD WITHIN THE FOOD AND DRUG ACT BY THE USE OF THE MAIL, IT APPEARS THAT UP TO JUNE 30, 1933, THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE BILLED THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT FOR THE ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE FURNISHING OF SUCH LABOR AND MATERIAL. SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE 30 THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HAS BILLED THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT FOR SIMILAR SERVICES BUT, INSTEAD OF FURNISHING AN ITEMIZED STATEMENT OF EXPENSES SIMILAR TO PREVIOUS ACCOUNTS, THE ITEMIZED STATEMENT SHOWS ONLY THE NAMES OF THE CASES, THE NUMBER OF DAYS EMPLOYED ON EACH CASE, AND THE CHARGES OR EXPENSES AT A FLAT RATE OF $16.50 PER DAY.

ON MARCH 1, 1934, THE ATTENTION OF THE CHIEF INSPECTOR, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, WAS INVITED TO THE CHANGE OF PRACTICE IN THIS CONNECTION AND IN REPLY THERETO THERE WAS RECEIVED HIS LETTER OF MARCH 14, 1934, ONE PARAGRAPH OF WHICH STATES AS FOLLOWS:

I AM ADVISED THAT THE ACCOUNTS RENDERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, ARE SIMILAR IN FORM TO THOSE RENDERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TO OTHER GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENTS AND THAT SUCH ACCOUNTS HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SINCE THE CONSIDERATION OF THIS SUBJECT BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL IN HIS DECISION NO. A-35903 DATED JUNE 26, 1931, ADDRESSED TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE.

THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, FISCAL YEAR 1934, APPROVED MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1465, CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING PROVISION:

DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1934 THE HEAD OF ANY DEPARTMENT OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT REQUIRING INSPECTIONS, ANALYSES, AND TESTS OF FOOD AND OTHER PRODUCTS, WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND WHICH THAT DEPARTMENT IS UNABLE TO PERFORM WITHIN THE LIMITS OF ITS APPROPRIATIONS, MAY, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, TRANSFER TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR DIRECT EXPENDITURE SUCH SUMS AS MAY BE NECESSARY FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF SUCH WORK.

UNDER THIS PROVISION OF LAW IT IS CONTEMPLATED THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SHOULD BE REIMBURSED FOR THE ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED IN PERFORMING, INSPECTION, OR ANALYSES AND TESTS WITH THE PROVISION THAT SUCH WORK MUST BE WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND THAT THE DEPARTMENT IS UNABLE TO PERFORM SUCH WORK WITHIN THE LIMITS OF ITS APPROPRIATIONS. IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS LAW, THERE SHOULD BE A SHOWING MADE ON THE BILL SUBMITTED TO YOUR DEPARTMENT, NOT ONLY THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WAS UNABLE TO PERFORM THE WORK FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED WITHIN THE LIMITS OF ITS APPROPRIATIONS BUT THERE SHOULD BE A DETAILED STATEMENT OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE WORK SO THAT REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE MADE FOR THE ACTUAL EXPENSES ONLY WHICH ARE INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE MATTER.

THE DECISION OF THIS OFFICE OF JUNE 26, 1931, A-35903, TO WHICH REFERENCE IS MADE IN THE QUOTATION, SUPRA, WAS TO THE EFFECT THAT THIS OFFICE WOULD RAISE NO OBJECTION TO REIMBURSEMENTS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR INSPECTION, ANALYSES, AND TEST WORK, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT AND PROPER, PROVIDED THE VOUCHERS WERE PROPERLY EXECUTED AND STATED IN FULL DETAIL AS TO THE CHARGES MADE SO THAT A PROPER AUDIT OF THE TRANSACTIONS COULD BE MADE BY THIS OFFICE. THE HOLDING IN THIS DECISION IS REITERATED AND, IN THE SUBMISSION OF BILLS FOR PAYMENT UNDER APPROPRIATIONS OF YOUR DEPARTMENT, THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO GIVE A STATEMENT IN DETAIL WITH RESPECT TO THE CHARGES INVOLVED WITH A STATEMENT ALSO THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WAS UNABLE TO PERFORM THE WORK WITHIN THE LIMITS OF ITS APPROPRIATION.