A-36575, JUNE 1, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 531

A-36575: Jun 1, 1931

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IS NOT APPLICABLE TO A FIELD APPROPRIATION. WILL EXCEED THE $100 LIMITATION. " IS AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS CONTAINING INFORMATION RELATING TO NAVAL ACTIVITIES. EVEN THOUGH SAID CLIPPINGS ARE TO BE SENT TO THE NAVY DEPARTMENT. THE COLLECTION AND CLASSIFICATION THEREOF * * * IT APPEARS THAT THE DOUBT IN THE MATTER IS OCCASIONED BY THE DECISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED FEBRUARY 9. WHEREIN IT WAS STATED: IT HAS BEEN DECIDED BY THIS OFFICE THAT UNLESS THERE IS AN APPROPRIATION PROVIDING SPECIFICALLY FOR NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS. THAT IS TO SAY. IF A DEPARTMENT IS PROHIBITED BY THE STATUTE FROM EXPENDING MORE THAN $100 IN ANY ONE YEAR FOR NEWSPAPERS. THE QUESTIONS FOR CONSIDERATION ON THE BASIS OF YOUR SUBMISSION ARE (1) WHETHER THE COMBINED EXPENDITURES FOR NEWSPAPERS AND/OR NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS FROM THE APPROPRIATIONS ENTITLED "CONTINGENT EXPENSES" AND "PAY.

A-36575, JUNE 1, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 531

PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS - NAVY DEPARTMENT THE LIMITATION OF $100 IN ANY ONE YEAR ON THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS IMPOSED BY SECTION 192, REVISED STATUTES, IS NOT APPLICABLE TO A FIELD APPROPRIATION, SUCH AS "PAY, MISCELLANEOUS," UNDER THE NAVAL ESTABLISHMENT, IN WHICH THERE APPEARS A SPECIFIC ITEM FOR NEWSPAPERS BUT PURCHASES MAY NOT BE MADE OF NEWSPAPERS OR CLIPPINGS OF A GENERAL NATURE UNDER SUCH A FIELD APPROPRIATION FOR USE OF THE DEPARTMENT AT WASHINGTON IN AN AMOUNT, WHICH, WITH THE AMOUNT EXPENDED UNDER THE DEPARTMENTAL APPROPRIATION, WILL EXCEED THE $100 LIMITATION. "PAY, MISCELLANEOUS," A FIELD APPROPRIATION, UNDER THE ITEM "INFORMATION FROM ABROAD AND AT HOME, AND THE COLLECTION AND CLASSIFICATION THEREOF," IS AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS CONTAINING INFORMATION RELATING TO NAVAL ACTIVITIES, EVEN THOUGH SAID CLIPPINGS ARE TO BE SENT TO THE NAVY DEPARTMENT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, JUNE 1, 1931:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR COMMUNICATION OF MAY 8, 1931, REQUESTING DECISION---

WHETHER THE COST OF NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS CONTAINING NONCONFIDENTIAL INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION, FOR THE USE OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT MAY BE CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION "PAY, MISCELLANEOUS," IN THE NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACT UNDER THE FOLLOWING PROVISION: "INFORMATION FROM ABROAD AND AT HOME, AND THE COLLECTION AND CLASSIFICATION THEREOF * * *

IT APPEARS THAT THE DOUBT IN THE MATTER IS OCCASIONED BY THE DECISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED FEBRUARY 9, 1924, 3 COMP. GEN. 491, 492, WHEREIN IT WAS STATED:

IT HAS BEEN DECIDED BY THIS OFFICE THAT UNLESS THERE IS AN APPROPRIATION PROVIDING SPECIFICALLY FOR NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS, SUCH CLIPPINGS MAY BE OBTAINED ONLY UNDER THE GENERAL AUTHORITY TO OBTAIN NEWSPAPERS, AND THEREFORE THAT THE LIMITATION PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 192, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 22, 1906, 34 STAT. 449, ON THE AMOUNT THAT MAY BE EXPENDED IN ANY ONE YEAR FOR NEWSPAPERS, APPLIES TO NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS ALSO. THAT IS TO SAY, IF A DEPARTMENT IS PROHIBITED BY THE STATUTE FROM EXPENDING MORE THAN $100 IN ANY ONE YEAR FOR NEWSPAPERS, AND ITS APPROPRIATION MAKES NO SEPARATE PROVISION FOR, OR MENTION OF, NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS, THE TOTAL AMOUNT EXPENDED BY IT IN ANY ONE YEAR FOR NEWSPAPERS AND NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS MUST NOT EXCEED THE STATUTORY LIMITATION OF $100. * * *

SEE, ALSO, 3 COMP. GEN 169

THE APPROPRIATION "PAY, MISCELLANEOUS" CONTAINS, ALSO, A PROVISION FOR "NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS FOR THE NAVAL SERVICE.' ACT OF JUNE 11, 1930, 46 STAT. 557, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR OF 1931, AND ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1931, 46 STAT. 1431, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1932.

THE APPROPRIATION "CONTINGENT EXPENSES" FOR THE NAVY DEPARTMENT CONTAINS A PROVISION FOR ,NEWSPAPERS.' ACT OF JUNE 11, 1930, 46 STAT. 578, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1931, AND THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1931, 46 STAT. 1452, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1932.

UNDER THE DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE, UNLESS THERE EXISTS SUFFICIENT STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE PURCHASE OF "NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS" OTHER THAN AS "NEWSPAPERS" THE FORMER MAY BE PURCHASED ONLY AS THE LATTER, SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATION OF $100 FOR ANY ONE FISCAL YEAR IMPOSED BY SECTION 192, REVISED STATUTES. ACCORDINGLY, THE QUESTIONS FOR CONSIDERATION ON THE BASIS OF YOUR SUBMISSION ARE (1) WHETHER THE COMBINED EXPENDITURES FOR NEWSPAPERS AND/OR NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS FROM THE APPROPRIATIONS ENTITLED "CONTINGENT EXPENSES" AND "PAY,MISCELLANEOUS," FOR ONE FISCAL YEAR, MUST BE BROUGHT WITHIN THE $100 LIMITATION; (2) IF NOT, WHETHER NEWSPAPERS AND/OR NEWSPAPERS CLIPPINGS MAY BE PURCHASED UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "PAY MISCELLANEOUS," FOR USE OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IN WASHINGTON; AND (3) WHETHER THE ITEM IN THE APPROPRIATION "PAY, MISCELLANEOUS," FOR "INFORMATION FROM ABROAD AND AT HOME, AND THE COLLECTION AND CLASSIFICATION THEREOF," IS SUFFICIENT IN TERMS TO AUTHORIZE PURCHASE OF "NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS" AS "INFORMATION" FOR THE USE OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT, OTHER THAN AS "NEWSPAPERS," AND, THEREFORE, NOT SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATION OF $100 IMPOSED BY SECTION 192, REVISED STATUTES.

THE APPROPRIATION "CONTINGENT EXPENSES" IS FOR THE NAVY DEPARTMENT PROPER "AND ITS VARIOUS BUREAUS AND OFFICER," AND THE APPROPRIATION "PAY, MISCELLANEOUS," IS FOR THE NAVAL ESTABLISHMENT AS A FIELD SERVICE. DECISION OF JUNE 22, 1895, 1 COMP. DEC 566, A FORMER COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY HELD THAT SECTION 192, REVISED STATUTES, WAS APPLICABLE TO APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FIELD SERVICE AS WELL AS TO THOSE FOR THE DEPARTMENT PROPER. HOWEVER, IN DECISION OF APRIL 14, 1904, 10 COMP. DEC. 706, A LATER COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY HELD TO THE CONTRARY; THAT IS, THAT THE LIMITATION ON THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS IMPOSED BY SECTION 192, REVISED STATUTES, DID NOT APPLY TO THE FIELD SERVICE. THIS RULE HAS SUBSEQUENTLY BEEN RECOGNIZED BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS WHERE THE FIELD APPROPRIATION CONTAINS SPECIFIC AUTHORITY FOR PURCHASES OF NEWSPAPERS. A DECISION OF JANUARY 31, 1910, IT WAS HELD THAT "THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 192, REVISED STATUTES, SUPRA,APPLY ONLY TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR PROPER.' IN DECISION OF FEBRUARY 19, 1919, IT WAS STATED THAT "THE PRACTICAL CONSTRUCTION OF SECTION 192 HAS APPARENTLY BEEN THAT IT DOES NOT APPLY BEYOND THE DEPARTMENT.' IN DECISION OF AUGUST 18, 1927, A- 19474, IT WAS HELD AS FOLLOWS:

THE SPECIFIC AUTHORITY TO PURCHASE NEWSPAPERS IN THE APPROPRIATION

QUOTED (A FIELD APPROPRIATION) NEGATIVES BY IMPLICATION THE APPLICATION OF THE $100 LIMIT PROVIDED BY SECTION 192, REVISED STATUTES. * * *

THIS OFFICE HAS BEEN ADVISED, INFORMALLY, THAT SINCE THE DECISION OF APRIL 14, 1904, SUPRA, THE NAVY DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN APPLYING THE LIMITATION OF SECTION 192, REVISED STATUTES, ONLY TO THE NAVY DEPARTMENT PROPER; THAT IS, TO THE PURCHASES OF NEWSPAPERS UNDER THE "CONTINGENT EXPENSES" APPROPRIATION.

QUESTION NUMBERED (1) SUPRA MAY BE ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE. THERE HAVE NOT BEEN OVERLOOKED THE DICTA TO THE CONTRARY IN DECISION OF OCTOBER 18, 1928, A-24569, BOTTOM OF PAGE 2.

IN DECISION OF FEBRUARY 15, 1922, IT WAS STATED:

* * * THIS ENACTMENT (SECTION 192, REVISED STATUTES) IS SUCH THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO PROCURE NEWSPAPERS AS FOR A FIELD SERVICE AND TRANSMIT THEM TO AN ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE WHICH HAS OTHERWISE PURCHASED NEWSPAPERS TO AN AMOUNT OF $100. * * *

THIS RULE WOULD APPLY ALSO TO NEWSPAPERS CLIPPINGS WHERE THE ONLY STATUTORY AUTHORITY WAS FOR THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS. IN ADDITION TO THIS GENERAL RULE, THE APPROPRIATION FOR CONTINGENT EXPENSES FOR THE NAVY DEPARTMENT CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING EXPRESS LIMITATION:

* * * IT SHALL NOT BE LAWFUL TO EXPEND, UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED HEREIN, FOR ANY OF THE OFFICES OR BUREAUS OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ANY SUM OUT OF APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR THE NAVAL SERVICE FOR ANY OF THE PURPOSES MENTIONED OR AUTHORIZED IN THIS PARAGRAPH: * * *.

QUESTION NUMBERED (2) SUPRA MAY BE ANSWERED BY STATING THAT SINCE AN ITEM FOR PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS APPEARS IN BOTH APPROPRIATIONS, NEWSPAPERS, OR NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS PURCHASED AS NEWSPAPERS, MAY NOT BE PURCHASED UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "PAY, MISCELLANEOUS," FOR USE IN THE NAVY DEPARTMENT PROPER.

THE PROVISION IN THE APPROPRIATION "PAY, MISCELLANEOUS," FOR "INFORMATION FROM ABROAD AND AT HOME, AND THE COLLECTION AND CLASSIFICATION THEREOF," IS VERY BROAD IN ITS TERMS. AS THERE IS NO SIMILAR PROVISION IN THE APPROPRIATION "CONTINGENT EXPENSES" FOR THE NAVY DEPARTMENT, THE PROHIBITION AGAINST USE OF A NAVAL SERVICE APPROPRIATION FOR THE NAVY DEPARTMENT PROPER IS NOT APPLICABLE. THEREFORE, WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS PROPOSED TO BE PURCHASED CONTAIN INFORMATION RELATIVE TO NAVAL ACTIVITIES, QUESTION NUMBERED (3) MAY BE ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE EVEN THOUGH SAID CLIPPINGS ARE TO BE SENT TO THE NAVY DEPARTMENT.