A-37633, AUGUST 5, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 51

A-37633: Aug 5, 1931

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THERE IS NO AUTHORITY IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO CERTIFY A CLAIM TO THE CONGRESS FOR THE REAPPROPRIATION OF SUCH BALANCES IN FAVOR OF THE PAN AMERICAN SANITARY BUREAU. THE CLAIM IS FOR THE AMOUNT COVERED INTO THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY AS UNEXPENDED BALANCES OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SANITARY BUREAU FOR THE FISCAL YEARS FROM 1905 TO 1909. ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER THERE IS A COPY OF A STATEMENT. AS FOLLOWS: IT WILL BE RECALLED THAT AT MY REQUEST SURG. THIS OCCURRED AT TIMES WHEN MANY OTHER REPUBLICS WERE NOT PAYING THEIR QUOTAS AND WHEN THE BUREAU WAS NOT VERY ACTIVE. A NUMBER OF GOVERNMENTS HAVE PAID ALL OF THEIR PREVIOUS INDEBTEDNESS. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE PAID ALL OF THEIR ASSESSMENTS DUE SINCE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BUREAU.

A-37633, AUGUST 5, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 51

APPROPRIATIONS - PAN AMERICAN SANITARY BUREAU THE APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR THE ANNUAL SHARE OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THE PAN AMERICAN SANITARY BUREAU, FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE INTERNATIONAL SANITARY BUREAU, FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1905 TO 1923, HAVING BEEN TREATED AS REGULAR FISCAL-YEAR APPROPRIATIONS, AND THE UNEXPENDED BALANCES THEREOF CARRIED TO THE SURPLUS FUND OF THE TREASURY, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO CERTIFY A CLAIM TO THE CONGRESS FOR THE REAPPROPRIATION OF SUCH BALANCES IN FAVOR OF THE PAN AMERICAN SANITARY BUREAU. ANY ACTION FOR THE REAPPROPRIATION OF SAID FUNDS SHOULD BE TAKEN BY THE CONGRESS AS IT MAY DEEM PROPER UPON PRESENTATION OF THE MATTER ADMINISTRATIVELY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, AUGUST 5, 1931:

THERE HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO THIS OFFICE A VOUCHER SUBMITTED AS A CLAIM FOR $20,531.48 IN FAVOR OF THE PAN AMERICAN SANITARY BUREAU, SIGNED BY THE DIRECTOR GENERAL, PAN AMERICAN UNION. THE CLAIM IS FOR THE AMOUNT COVERED INTO THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY AS UNEXPENDED BALANCES OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SANITARY BUREAU FOR THE FISCAL YEARS FROM 1905 TO 1909, FROM 1911 TO 1921, AND FOR 1923.

ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER THERE IS A COPY OF A STATEMENT, DATED OCTOBER 9, 1929, FROM THE DIRECTOR OF THE PAN AMERICAN SANITARY BUREAU TO THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE, AS FOLLOWS:

IT WILL BE RECALLED THAT AT MY REQUEST SURG. B. J. LLOYD RECENTLY TOOK UP WITH YOUR OFFICE INFORMALLY THE MATTER OF UNUSED FUNDS OF PREVIOUS YEARS' QUOTAS OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE PAN AMERICAN SANITARY BUREAU HAVING BEEN RETURNED TO THE GENERAL TREASURY. THIS OCCURRED AT TIMES WHEN MANY OTHER REPUBLICS WERE NOT PAYING THEIR QUOTAS AND WHEN THE BUREAU WAS NOT VERY ACTIVE. WITHIN RECENT YEARS, HOWEVER, A NUMBER OF GOVERNMENTS HAVE PAID ALL OF THEIR PREVIOUS INDEBTEDNESS, AND ANY UNPAID QUOTAS REMAIN AS LIABILITIES OF THE COUNTRIES ASSESSED; FURTHERMORE, THESE BACK QUOTAS CONTINUE TO BE PAID FROM TIME TO TIME.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE PAID ALL OF THEIR ASSESSMENTS DUE SINCE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BUREAU, THE QUESTION MIGHT WELL BE RAISED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THOSE FUNDS WHICH REVERTED TO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES OUGHT NOW TO BE RETURNED TO THE PAN AMERICAN SANITARY BUREAU.

THE INTERNATIONAL SANITARY BUREAU, KNOWN AND APPROPRIATED FOR SINCE 1926 AS THE PAN AMERICAN SANITARY BUREAU, WITH PERMANENT HEADQUARTERS AT WASHINGTON, D.C., WAS CREATED BY THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF AMERICAN STATES HELD AT MEXICO CITY FROM OCTOBER, 1901, TO JANUARY, 1902, AND THE SEVENTH PARAGRAPH OF THE RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THIS CONFERENCE, COVERING INTERNATIONAL SANITARY POLICE, PROVIDED:

SEVENTH. THAT THE SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF THE DELEGATES TO THE CONVENTION AND OF THE MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL SANITARY BUREAU HEREIN REFERRED TO AND RECOMMENDED, SHALL BE PAID BY THEIR RESPECTIVE GOVERNMENTS, BUT THAT THE OFFICE EXPENSES OF SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS IT MAY MAKE, TOGETHER WITH THOSE FOR THE TRANSLATION, PUBLICATION, AND DISTRIBUTION OF REPORTS, SHALL BE PAID FROM A SPECIAL FUND TO BE CREATED BY ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS BY THE REPUBLICS REPRESENTED IN SUCH CONVENTIONS, ON THE SAME BASIS NOW IN FORCE BETWEEN THE AMERICAN REPUBLICS FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THE BUREAU OF AMERICAN REPUBLICS. FURTHER, THAT IN THE INTEREST OF ECONOMY, THE SAID BUREAU OF AMERICAN REPUBLICS SHALL BE UTILIZED BY THE CONVENTIONS HEREIN REFERRED TO, AND BY THE INTERNATIONAL SANITARY BUREAU HEREIN RECOMMENDED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT POSSIBLE, FOR THE CORRESPONDENCE, ACCOUNTING, DISBURSING, AND PRESERVATION OF THE RECORDS INCIDENT TO THE WORK COMPRISED WITHIN THESE RESOLUTIONS.

THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL SANITARY CONFERENCE OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLICS, PURSUANT TO RESOLUTION OF THE CONVENTION REFERRED TO ABOVE, CONVENED IN WASHINGTON IN DECEMBER, 1902, AND IN ITS SEVENTH RESOLUTION IT WAS PROVIDED:

(E)IT IS ALSO RECOMMENDED BY THIS CONVENTION, THAT IN ORDER TO CARRY OUT THE ABOVE MEASURES A FUND OF $5,000 SHALL BE COLLECTED BY THE BUREAU OF AMERICAN REPUBLICS IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 7 OF THE RESOLUTIONS OF THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL AMERICAN CONFERENCE ABOVE REFERRED TO.

FROM THE ABOVE-QUOTED PROVISIONS OF THE RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE TWO CONVENTIONS IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE FUNDS TO BE CONTRIBUTED BY THE SEVERAL AMERICAN REPUBLICS WERE TO CONSTITUTE A SPECIAL FUND FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THE SANITARY BUREAU IN THE SAME MANNER AS QUOTAS OF THE SEVERAL AMERICAN STATES FOR THE PAN AMERICAN UNION WERE TO BECOME A PART OF A SPECIAL FUND FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE UNION.

AS TO THE FUNDS OF THE PAN AMERICAN UNION, IT WAS HELD BY DECISION OF A FORMER COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY, 21 COMP. DEC. 850, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS:

THE PAN AMERICAN UNION IS THE ADMINISTRATIVE ARM OF AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF WHICH THE UNITED STATES IS A CONTRIBUTING MEMBER AND CUSTODIAN OF THE FUNDS OF THE UNION CONTRIBUTED BY IT AND OTHER MEMBER COUNTRIES. DISBURSEMENTS FROM SAID FUNDS ARE MADE UPON ORDER OF THE GOVERNING BOARD OF THE UNION, SUBJECT TO AN ACCOUNTING TO THE UNITED STATES AS CUSTODIAN, AND ARE NOT SUBJECT TO GENERAL STATUTES RESTRICTING THE USE OF UNITED STATES MONEYS IN THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES.

TO TAKE CARE OF THE FUNDS OF THE PAN AMERICAN UNION, BOTH THE FUNDS APPROPRIATED BY THE UNITED STATES AND THOSE CONTRIBUTED BY OTHER AMERICAN COUNTRIES, A SPECIAL FUND APPROPRIATION ACCOUNT HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED ON THE BOOKS OF THE TREASURY AND OF THIS OFFICE AND THE YEARLY APPROPRIATIONS MADE BY THE CONGRESS ARE TRANSFERRED AS MADE TO THAT FUND TO BE USED BY THE UNION AS NEED THEREFOR ARISES. NO SUCH PROCEDURE HAS BEEN ADOPTED WITH RESPECT TO FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SANITARY BUREAU, OR--- AS IT IS NOW KNOWN--- THE PAN AMERICAN SANITARY BUREAU. THE FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR SAID BUREAU HAVE BEEN TREATED AS OTHER ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND ADVANCES MADE THEREFROM, ON ACCOUNTABLE WARRANTS, TO THE DISBURSING OFFICER FOR THE PAN AMERICAN UNION. APPARENTLY THE REASON FOR TREATING THE FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE SANITARY BUREAU ON A DIFFERENT BASIS THAN THOSE APPROPRIATED FOR THE UNION --- NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT APPARENTLY IT WAS THE INTENTION OF THE CONFERENCES HEREINBEFORE MENTIONED THAT THE SAME BASIS SHOULD BE ADOPTED-- - IS THAT THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE UNION ARE MADE "FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE QUOTA OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE PAN AMERICAN UNION," WHEREAS THOSE FOR THE SANITARY BUREAU ARE MADE "FOR THE ANNUAL SHARE OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THE PAN AMERICAN SANITARY BUREAU.' THE DIFFERENCE IN THE TERMS OF THE APPROPRIATIONS IS READILY APPARENT. IN THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE SANITARY BUREAU THE LOGICAL CONSTRUCTION IS THAT WHILE A CERTAIN AMOUNT IS APPROPRIATED ONLY SO MUCH THEREOF AS IS NECESSARY FOR THE EXPENSES, ETC., OF THE MAINTENANCE OF THE BUREAU FOR THE YEAR FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE IS MADE AVAILABLE, THE BALANCE, IF ANY, TO REVERT TO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES, WHEREAS, WITH RESPECT TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE QUOTA OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE PAN AMERICAN UNION, THE FULL AMOUNT IS TO BE TURNED OVER TO THE UNION FOR USE AS NEEDS THEREFOR MAY ARISE. ACCORDINGLY, THE UNEXPENDED BALANCES OF THE APPROPRIATIONS MADE ANNUALLY FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF THE SANITARY BUREAU WERE CARRIED TO THE SURPLUS FUND OF THE TREASURY AS ARE THE UNEXPENDED BALANCES OF OTHER ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE APPROPRIATIONS ARE MADE FOR USE FOR A PARTICULAR YEAR, THUS NEGATIVING THE PRESUMPTION THAT FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE FOR ONE YEAR MAY BE USED FOR ANOTHER.

SINCE THE BALANCES HAVE BEEN COVERED INTO THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY, THE CLAIM CAN NOT BE PAID WITHOUT FURTHER ACTION BY THE CONGRESS, AND IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE TREATING OF THESE APPROPRIATIONS OF THE SANITARY BUREAU ON THIS BASIS HAS MAINTAINED SINCE THE FIRST APPROPRIATION WAS MADE--- APRIL 28, 1904--- APPARENTLY WITHOUT OBJECTION, FOR A PERIOD OF OVER 25 YEARS, I DO NOT FEEL WARRANTED IN CERTIFYING THE CLAIM AND HAVING IT REPORTED TO THE CONGRESS FOR A REAPPROPRIATION OF THE BALANCES WHICH LAPSED, NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 7 OF THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF AMERICAN STATES HEREINBEFORE QUOTED. ACCORDINGLY, NO ACTION BY THIS OFFICE WILL BE TAKEN ON THE VOUCHER AS PRESENTED.

IF, AS STATED IN THE MEMORANDUM FROM THE DIRECTOR OF THE SANITARY BUREAU QUOTED HEREIN, THE AMOUNT CLAIMED STANDS CHARGED BY THE SANITARY BUREAU AGAINST THE UNITED STATES, AND THE OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE PAID THEIR FULL SHARE, ETC., FOR THE YEARS INVOLVED, AND YOUR DEPARTMENT DEEMS IT ADVISABLE TO HAVE THESE FUNDS REAPPROPRIATED AND MADE AVAILABLE TO THE SANITARY BUREAU, THE MATTER WOULD APPEAR TO BE FOR PRESENTATION BY YOU TO THE CONGRESS FOR SUCH ACTION AS MAY BE FOUND APPROPRIATE.