A-60371, MARCH 20, 1935, 14 COMP. GEN. 701

A-60371: Mar 20, 1935

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

MUST BE CONFINED TO AMOUNTS WHICH MAY REASONABLY BE NECESSARY FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF THE PARTY TO WHOM THE ADVANCES ARE MADE AND SUCH ADVANCES COULD NOT BE MADE UNDER THAT STATUTE FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF PURCHASING INFORMATION OR PAYING REWARDS UNDER THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION LAWS. PROVIDED SUCH PROCEDURE IS EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE BY REGULATION OR BY INSTRUCTIONS IN PARTICULAR CASES. REWARDS HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED IN SEVERAL CASES AND PAYMENTS MADE ON MISCELLANEOUS VOUCHERS. THE PAYMENT OF CASH AT THE TIME CONTACT IS MADE WITH AN INFORMANT FREQUENTLY PRODUCES INFORMATION CONCERNING CONTEMPLATED PLANS OF ALIEN SMUGGLING WHICH WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE UPON A PROMISE TO PAY A REWARD AFTER RESULTS ARE OBTAINED.

A-60371, MARCH 20, 1935, 14 COMP. GEN. 701

SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEM - ADVANCES - REWARDS THE ADVANCES UNDER SECTION 8 OF THE SUBSISTENCE ACT OF 1926, 44 STAT. 689, MUST BE CONFINED TO AMOUNTS WHICH MAY REASONABLY BE NECESSARY FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF THE PARTY TO WHOM THE ADVANCES ARE MADE AND SUCH ADVANCES COULD NOT BE MADE UNDER THAT STATUTE FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF PURCHASING INFORMATION OR PAYING REWARDS UNDER THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION LAWS. IF ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE NECESSARY THAT PAYMENTS FOR INFORMATION BE MADE CURRENTLY WITH RECEIPT OF THE INFORMATION IN LIEU OF PROMISES TO MAKE PAYMENT THEREAFTER, THERE WOULD BE NO OBJECTION IN THE INVESTIGATION OFFICERS MAKING LIMITED PAYMENTS FOR SUCH INFORMATION OUT OF THEIR PERSONAL FUNDS AND CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, PROVIDED SUCH PROCEDURE IS EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE BY REGULATION OR BY INSTRUCTIONS IN PARTICULAR CASES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF LABOR, MARCH 20, 1935:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 14, 1935, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE PROVIDES FOR AN EXPENDITURE OF NOT EXCEEDING $10,000 FOR THE PAYMENT OF REWARDS FOR "INFORMATION LEADING TO THE DETECTION, ARREST, OR CONVICTION OF PERSONS VIOLATING THE IMMIGRATION OR NATURALIZATION LAWS.'

UNDER DATE OF JUNE 23, 1934, YOUR OFFICE RULED THAT PAYMENTS UNDER THE ABOVE AUTHORITY MIGHT PROPERLY BE MADE FOR FILES OR OTHER EVIDENCE NOT OTHERWISE ACCESSIBLE TO THE GOVERNMENT, PROVIDED THE INFORMATION OBTAINED THEREFROM LEADS TO THE DETECTION, ARREST, OR CONVICTION OF PERSONS VIOLATING OR CONTEMPLATING VIOLATING THE IMMIGRATION OR NATURALIZATION LAWS.

UNDER THE FOREGOING AUTHORITY, REWARDS HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED IN SEVERAL CASES AND PAYMENTS MADE ON MISCELLANEOUS VOUCHERS, AND, UNDER A GENERAL AUTHORITY ISSUED BY THE SECRETARY OF LABOR, ONE INVESTIGATING OFFICER HAS BEEN PAYING FOR "INFORMATION" OUT OF HIS PERSONAL FUNDS AND CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR IN HIS MONTHLY EXPENSE VOUCHERS. HOWEVER, ON THE MEXICAN BORDER IN PARTICULAR, THE PAYMENT OF CASH AT THE TIME CONTACT IS MADE WITH AN INFORMANT FREQUENTLY PRODUCES INFORMATION CONCERNING CONTEMPLATED PLANS OF ALIEN SMUGGLING WHICH WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE UPON A PROMISE TO PAY A REWARD AFTER RESULTS ARE OBTAINED. IN THIS CONNECTION THERE IS ENCLOSED A COPY OF A MEMORANDUM DATED DECEMBER 1, 1934, RECEIVED FROM OUR DISTRICT SUPERVISOR AT LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, WHICH EXPLAINS THE SITUATION IN DETAIL.

TO OVERCOME THE DIFFICULTY ABOVE REFERRED TO, IT IS PROPOSED TO ADVANCE FUNDS UNDER THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926 TO DISTRICT DIRECTORS AND CERTAIN OTHER SUPERVISORY OFFICERS TO ENABLE THEM TO MAKE CASH PAYMENTS TO INFORMANTS THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF RESPONSIBLE OFFICERS WORKING UNDER THEIR DIRECT CONTROL. RESPONSIBILITY FOR CASH ADVANCED WOULD REST UPON THESE OFFICIALS, WHO WOULD, IN TURN, TAKE RECEIPTS FROM THE INDIVIDUAL INSPECTORS AUTHORIZED BY THEM TO PURCHASE INFORMATION AND ATTACH THESE RECEIPTS TO THEIR MONTHLY REIMBURSEMENT VOUCHERS. THE FORM OF RECEIPT IT IS PROPOSED TO USE IN THIS CONNECTION IS STANDARD FORM 1012D, COPY HEREWITH.

AS AN ALTERNATIVE, IT IS FURTHER PROPOSED, WHERE PRACTICABLE, TO AUTHORIZE INVESTIGATING OFFICERS TO PAY FOR INFORMATION OUT OF THEIR PERSONAL FUNDS AND CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR IN THEIR PERSONAL EXPENSE VOUCHERS SUPPORTED BY PROPER INFORMATION OR RECEIPTS, IF OBTAINABLE.

YOUR DECISION IS THEREFORE REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE PLANS ABOVE OUTLINED HAVE THE APPROVAL OF YOUR OFFICE AND, IF NOT, THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH CASH PAYMENTS MAY BE MADE FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE DETECTION, ARREST, OR CONVICTION OF PERSONS VIOLATING OR CONTEMPLATING VIOLATING THE IMMIGRATION OR NATURALIZATION LAWS.

SECTION 3648, REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES:

NO ADVANCE OF PUBLIC MONEY SHALL BE MADE IN ANY CASE WHATEVER. AND IN ALL CASES OF CONTRACTS FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF ANY SERVICE, OR THE DELIVERY OF ARTICLES OF ANY DESCRIPTION, FOR THE USE OF THE UNITED STATES, PAYMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED THE VALUE OF THE SERVICE RENDERED, OR OF THE ARTICLES DELIVERED PREVIOUSLY TO SUCH PAYMENT. * * *

THE AUTHORITY UNDER SECTION 8 OF THE SUBSISTENCE ACT OF 1926 TO MAKE ADVANCES CREATES AN EXCEPTION TO THE FOREGOING STATUTE ONLY TO THE EXTENT AUTHORIZED BY SAID ACT, THAT IS, TO A PERSON ENTITLED TO ACTUAL EXPENSES OR PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE UNDER SAID ACT. THE ADVANCES UNDER THAT ACT MUST BE CONFINED TO AMOUNTS WHICH MAY BE REASONABLY NECESSARY FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF THE PARTY TO WHOM ADVANCED AND ADVANCES COULD NOT BE MADE UNDER THAT STATUTE FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF PURCHASING INFORMATION OR PAYING REWARDS.

IF IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE NECESSARY THAT PAYMENTS FOR INFORMATION BE MADE CURRENTLY WITH THE RECEIPT OF THE INFORMATION IN LIEU OF PROMISES TO MAKE PAYMENT THEREAFTER, THERE WOULD BE NO OBJECTION TO THE INVESTIGATING OFFICERS MAKING LIMITED PAYMENTS FOR SUCH INFORMATION OUT OF THEIR PERSONAL FUNDS AND CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT THEREFORE PROVIDED SUCH PROCEDURE IS EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE BY REGULATION OR BY INSTRUCTIONS IN PARTICULAR CASES, AND CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT ARE SUPPORTED BY SATISFACTORY FACTS AND EXPLANATIONS.