A-4756, AUGUST 28, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 222

A-4756: Aug 28, 1924

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CURRENT APPROPRIATIONS OF THE VETERANS' BUREAU ARE AVAILABLE ONLY FOR PAYMENT OF OBLIGATIONS PROPERLY INCURRED THEREUNDER. " ARE PAYABLE UNDER THAT APPROPRIATION. TO THE EXTENT THAT THE BALANCE THEREUNDER IS SUFFICIENT TO PAY THEM. 1924: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 13. READING: AT THE PRESENT TIME THERE ARE A GREAT MANY UNPAID VOUCHERS IN THIS BUREAU PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION. IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF YOU WILL ADVISE ME WHETHER THE COURSE PROPOSED TO TAKE CARE OF THESE OUTSTANDING OBLIGATIONS IS AVAILABLE SO THAT THEY CAN BE PAID BY THE BUREAU AS SUGGESTED. PROVIDES: THERE IS ESTABLISHED AN INDEPENDENT BUREAU UNDER THE PRESIDENT TO BE KNOWN AS THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU.

A-4756, AUGUST 28, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 222

APPROPRIATIONS - VETERANS' BUREAU SECTION 15 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 611, AUTHORIZING SUMS HERETOFORE APPROPRIATED FOR CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE WAR RISK INSURANCE ACT AND AMENDMENTS THERETO "TO BE EXPENDED IN SUCH MANNER AS THE DIRECTOR DEEMS NECESSARY" DOES NOT APPROPRIATE ADDITIONAL FUNDS, BUT LIKE SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 9, 1921, 42 STAT. 149, MERELY IMPOSES UPON THE DIRECTOR THE DUTY OF AND AUTHORITY TO EXPEND THE THEN CURRENT AND SUBSEQUENT APPROPRIATIONS WITH FISCAL YEAR LIMITATIONS, AND THE OTHER APPROPRIATIONS WITHOUT FISCAL YEAR LIMITATIONS, WHICH APPROPRIATIONS THERETOFORE HAD BEEN AUTHORIZED TO BE EXPENDED BY OTHERS. CURRENT APPROPRIATIONS OF THE VETERANS' BUREAU ARE AVAILABLE ONLY FOR PAYMENT OF OBLIGATIONS PROPERLY INCURRED THEREUNDER, AND UNPAID VOUCHERS OTHERWISE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE UNDER THE APPROPRIATION FOR "VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION, 1923," ARE PAYABLE UNDER THAT APPROPRIATION, TO THE EXTENT THAT THE BALANCE THEREUNDER IS SUFFICIENT TO PAY THEM, THE ITEMS IN EXCESS OF SUCH BALANCE BEING IN THE STATUS OF DEFICIENCY ITEMS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU, AUGUST 28, 1924:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 13, 1924, READING:

AT THE PRESENT TIME THERE ARE A GREAT MANY UNPAID VOUCHERS IN THIS BUREAU PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION,"VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION, 1923," WHICH HAS BEEN EXHAUSTED. IT HAS OCCURRED TO ME THAT THE LEGISLATION CONTAINED IN SECTION 15 OF THE WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, 1924, MIGHT BE CONSTRUED TO PERMIT PAYMENT FROM THE CURRENT YEAR'S APPROPRIATION UNDER THIS TITLE OF EXPENSES WHICH WOULD ORDINARILY BE PAYABLE ONLY FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1923.

IT HAS BEEN SUGGESTED THAT SECTION 15 MIGHT BE HELD TO MAKE AVAILABLE APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR PRIOR FISCAL YEARS WHERE UNEXPENDED. IF THE UNPAID BILLS REFERRED TO AND OTHERS WHICH MAY BE SUBMITTED FROM TIME TO TIME COULD BE PAID UNDER ANY FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE BY SECTION 15, IT WOULD GREATLY RELIEVE THE BUREAU IN PERMITTING SETTLEMENT WITHOUT THE DELAY INCIDENT TO OBTAINING ANOTHER DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION.

IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF YOU WILL ADVISE ME WHETHER THE COURSE PROPOSED TO TAKE CARE OF THESE OUTSTANDING OBLIGATIONS IS AVAILABLE SO THAT THEY CAN BE PAID BY THE BUREAU AS SUGGESTED.

SECTION 4, TITLE I, OF THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, CITED AS THE "WORLD WAR VETERANS' ACT, 1924," 43 STAT. 608, PROVIDES:

THERE IS ESTABLISHED AN INDEPENDENT BUREAU UNDER THE PRESIDENT TO BE KNOWN AS THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU, THE DIRECTOR OF WHICH SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT BY AND WITH THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE. THE DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU SHALL RECEIVE A SALARY OF $10,000 PER ANNUM, PAYABLE MONTHLY.

SECTION 15, TITLE I, OF THE SAME ACT, 43 STAT. 611, PROVIDES:

ALL SUMS HERETOFORE APPROPRIATED FOR CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE WAR RISK INSURANCE ACT AND AMENDMENTS THERETO AND TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND RETURN TO CIVIL EMPLOYMENT OF DISABLED PERSONS DISCHARGED FROM THE MILITARY OR NAVAL FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," APPROVED JUNE 27, 1918, AND AMENDMENTS THERETO, AND ALL SUMS HERETOFORE APPROPRIATED FOR CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT TO ESTABLISH A VETERANS' BUREAU AND TO IMPROVE THE FACILITIES AND SERVICE OF SUCH BUREAU, AND FURTHER TO AMEND AND MODIFY THE WAR RISK INSURANCE ACT,"APPROVED AUGUST 9, 1921, AND AMENDMENTS THERETO SHALL, WHERE UNEXPENDED, BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE BUREAU AND MAY BE EXPENDED IN SUCH MANNER AS THE DIRECTOR DEEMS NECESSARY IN CARRYING OUT THE PURPOSES OF THIS ACT.

SECTION 1, TITLE I, OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 9, 1921, 42 STAT. 147, ENTITLED "AN ACT TO ESTABLISH A VETERANS' BUREAU AND TO IMPROVE THE FACILITIES AND SERVICE OF SUCH BUREAU, AND FURTHER TO AMEND AND MODIFY THE WAR RISK INSURANCE ACT," PROVIDES:

THERE IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED AN INDEPENDENT BUREAU UNDER THE PRESIDENT TO BE KNOWN AS THE VETERANS' BUREAU, THE DIRECTOR OF WHICH SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT, BY AND WITH THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE. THE DIRECTOR OF THE VETERANS' BUREAU SHALL RECEIVE A SALARY OF $10,000 PER ANNUM, PAYABLE MONTHLY.

SECTION 8, TITLE I, OF THE SAME, PROVIDES:

ALL SUMS HERETOFORE APPROPRIATED FOR CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE WAR RISK INSURANCE ACT AND AMENDMENTS THERETO, AND TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND RETURN TO CIVIL EMPLOYMENT OF DISABLED PERSONS DISCHARGED FROM THE MILITARY OR NAVAL FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," APPROVED JUNE 27, 1918, AND AMENDMENTS THERETO, SHALL, WHERE UNEXPENDED, BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE VETERANS' BUREAU, AND MAY BE EXPENDED IN SUCH MANNER AS THE DIRECTOR DEEMS NECESSARY IN CARRYING OUT THE PURPOSES OF THIS ACT, WITH THE RESTRICTIONS HERETOFORE IMPOSED AS TO NUMBER OF PERSONS THAT MAY BE EMPLOYED AT STATED SALARIES.

THE APPARENT PURPOSE OF SECTION 8 OF TITLE I OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 9, 1921, WAS TO IMPOSE AND CONFER UPON THE DIRECTOR OF THE NEWLY CREATED BUREAU,"TO BE KNOWN AS THE VETERANS' BUREAU," THE DUTY OF AND AUTHORITY TO EXPEND THE THEN CURRENT AND SUBSEQUENT APPROPRIATIONS WITH FISCAL YEAR LIMITATIONS AND THE OTHER APPROPRIATIONS WITHOUT FISCAL YEAR LIMITATIONS, WHICH APPROPRIATIONS THERETOFORE HAD BEEN AUTHORIZED TO BE EXPENDED BY OTHERS. THE DUTY AND AUTHORITY IMPOSED AND CONFERRED BY SECTION 15 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, APPEARS THE SAME, THERE APPEARING NO PURPOSE TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATIONS TO SUPPLY DEFICIENCIES IN PRIOR APPROPRIATIONS, OR TO REAPPROPRIATE FOR CURRENT OBLIGATION UNEXPENDED BALANCES OF APPROPRIATIONS NO LONGER AVAILABLE FOR OBLIGATION, OR OTHERWISE.

CURRENT APPROPRIATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU ARE AVAILABLE ONLY FOR PAYMENT OF OBLIGATIONS PROPERLY INCURRED THEREUNDER, AND UNPAID VOUCHERS OTHERWISE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE UNDER THE APPROPRIATION FOR "VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION, 1923," ARE PAYABLE UNDER THAT APPROPRIATION, TO THE EXTENT THAT THE BALANCE THEREUNDER IS SUFFICIENT. THE ITEMS REPRESENTED BY THE VOUCHERS IN QUESTION, TO THE EXTENT THAT THE BALANCE UNDER THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION IS INSUFFICIENT, ARE IN THE STATUS OF DEFICIENCY ITEMS, AND THERE APPEARS NOTHING IN SECTION 15 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, WARRANTING THEIR PAYMENT EITHER UNDER CURRENT OR OTHERWISE INAPPLICABLE APPROPRIATIONS. THE DECISION IS ACCORDINGLY.