A-43755, AUGUST 11, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 233

A-43755: Aug 11, 1932

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IF SPACE IS NOT BY THE COMMISSION. IF FORMAL ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WAS TAKEN PRIOR TO JULY 1. SUCH ACTION WAS MADE OF RECORD AND NOW STANDS AS SUCH. THERE IS NO IMPOUNDING REQUIRED UNDER SECTION 203 OF THE ECONOMY ACT. AS FOLLOWS: THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ARE PRESENTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION. AN EXPRESSION OF YOUR VIEWS WILL BE APPRECIATED: 1. WITH REFERENCE TO THE BOARD OF MEDIATION: "* * * RENT OF QUARTERS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IF SPACE IS NOT PROVIDED BY THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS COMMISSION * * *.'. CONTAINED IN OUR ESTIMATES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1933 WAS AN AMOUNT OF $10. AFTER THE ESTIMATES WERE PRESENTED. BEFORE THE APPROPRIATION BILL WAS PASSED. THE BOARD OF MEDIATION WAS MOVED TO A GOVERNMENT-OWNED BUILDING.

A-43755, AUGUST 11, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 233

ECONOMY ACT - UNEXPENDED APPROPRIATIONS - ABOLISHMENT OF VACANT POSITIONS WHERE AN APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN MADE AVAILABLE, AMONG OTHER THINGS, FOR "RENT OF QUARTERS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, IF SPACE IS NOT BY THE COMMISSION, THE AMOUNT ESTIMATED AND APPROPRIATED FOR THE RENT OF QUARTERS SHOULD REMAIN UNEXPENDED. IF FORMAL ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WAS TAKEN PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1932, TO ABOLISH VACANT POSITIONS AS OF JUNE 30, 1932, AND SUCH ACTION WAS MADE OF RECORD AND NOW STANDS AS SUCH, THERE IS NO IMPOUNDING REQUIRED UNDER SECTION 203 OF THE ECONOMY ACT, BUT ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 1932, PURPORTING TO ABOLISH VACANT POSITIONS RETROACTIVELY OF JUNE 30, 1932, WOULD BE WITHOUT ANY FORCE OR EFFECT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF MEDIATION, AUGUST 11, 1932:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 28, 1932, AS FOLLOWS:

THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ARE PRESENTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION, AND AN EXPRESSION OF YOUR VIEWS WILL BE APPRECIATED:

1. THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE APPEARS IN THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1933, WITH REFERENCE TO THE BOARD OF MEDIATION:

"* * * RENT OF QUARTERS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IF SPACE IS NOT PROVIDED BY THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS COMMISSION * * *.'

CONTAINED IN OUR ESTIMATES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1933 WAS AN AMOUNT OF $10,000, FOR RENT OF QUARTERS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. AFTER THE ESTIMATES WERE PRESENTED, BUT BEFORE THE APPROPRIATION BILL WAS PASSED, THE BOARD OF MEDIATION WAS MOVED TO A GOVERNMENT-OWNED BUILDING.

CAN THIS AMOUNT OF $10,000 BE USED FOR OTHER MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES?

2. IN OUR ESTIMATES AS ABOVE APPEARED ITEMS FOR CERTAIN POSITIONS WHICH WERE AT THAT TIME VACANT. CONGRESS, IN PASSING THE BILL, MAY HAVE TAKEN COGNIZANCE OF THESE VACANCIES AS THE AMOUNT OF THE LIMITATION FOR SALARIES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WAS REDUCED FROM $127,000, AS PRESENTED TO THEM BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUDGET, TO $117,000. SINCE THE PRESENTATION OF OUR ESTIMATES OTHER POSITIONS HAVE BECOME VACANT, AND ALL THESE POSITIONS WERE ABOLISHED AS OF JUNE 30, 1932.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC ACT NO. 212, SEVENTY-SECOND CONGRESS, IS IT NECESSARY TO IMPOUND THE SUMS REPRESENTED BY THESE VACANCIES?

3. IN OUR ESTIMATES AS ABOVE THERE WAS AN ITEM FOR A FIELD MEDIATOR TO BE PAID OUT OF THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES AND EXPENSES," BUT WHOSE SALARY WAS NOT INCLUDED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA LIMITATION. THIS POSITION WAS VACANT AT THE TIME THE ESTIMATES WERE PRESENTED AND WAS ALSO ABOLISHED AS OF JUNE 30, 1932. REPRESENTED BY THIS VACANCY?

THE FACTS BEING AS STATED BY YOU THAT YOUR ESTIMATES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1933, AS MADE AND AS APPROVED AND RECOMMENDED BY THE PRESIDENT IN TRANSMITTING SUCH ESTIMATES TO THE CONGRESS CONTAINED AN ITEM OF $10,000 FOR RENT OF QUARTERS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND THE APPROPRIATION AS MADE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDING FOR "RENT OF QUARTERS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, IF SPACE IS NOT PROVIDED BY THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS COMMISSION," IT WOULD APPEAR THE ITEM AS SO ESTIMATED AND RECOMMENDED WAS INCLUDED IN THE APPROPRIATION AS MADE EVEN THOUGH SPACE WAS ACTUALLY PROVIDED BY THE COMMISSION BEFORE THE MEASURE CONTAINING THE APPROPRIATION WAS SIGNED ON JUNE 30, 1932, PUBLIC NO. 228, 47 STAT. 454. IF RENT-FREE SPACE IS CONTINUED TO BE PROVIDED THROUGHOUT THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR THERE COULD BE NO PROPER USE MADE OF THE AMOUNT SO ESTIMATED AND APPROPRIATED AND IT SHOULD REMAIN UNEXPENDED. YOUR FIRST QUESTION IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.

IF FORMAL ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WAS TAKEN PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1932, TO ABOLISH THE VACANT POSITIONS REFERRED TO AS OF JUNE 30, 1932, AND SUCH ACTION WAS MADE OF RECORD AND NOW STANDS AS SUCH, THERE IS NO IMPOUNDING REQUIRED, AS SECTION 203 OF THE ECONOMY ACT IS APPLICABLE ONLY TO POSITIONS "VACANT ON JULY 1, 1932, OR TO ANY SUCH POSITION WHICH MAY BECOME VACANT AFTER SUCH E.' HOWEVER, ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 1932, PURPORTING TO ABOLISH VACANT POSITIONS RETROACTIVELY OR NUNC PRO TUNC AS OF JUNE 30, 1932, WOULD BE WITHOUT ANY FORCE OR EFFECT FOR THE REASON THAT THE REQUIREMENTS FOR IMPOUNDING THE SALARIES OF VACANT POSITIONS CONTAINED IN SECTION 203 BECAME OPERATIVE IMMEDIATELY AS OF THE FIRST MOMENT OF JULY 1, 1932, AND COULD NOT BE RENDERED INOPERATIVE BY ANY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN ON OR AFTER SAID DATE. SEE DECISION OF JULY 30, 1932, TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, A-43525, 12 COMP. GEN. 142.