A-60394, AUGUST 19, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 143

A-60394: Aug 19, 1935

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PERSONAL SERVICES - STENOGRAPHIC - SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION AN OFFICER OF THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION IN A TRAVEL STATUS IN NEW YORK CITY IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO EMPLOY TEMPORARY STENOGRAPHERS WITHOUT REGARD TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OR THE CIVIL SERVICE LAWS AND REGULATIONS EXCEPT AS AN INCIDENT TO THE TRAVEL STATUS TO THE EXTENT AUTHORIZED BY THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. WAS RECEIVED FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION IN SUPPORT OF THE CLAIMS OF LYDIA B. WHICH HAVE HERETOFORE BEEN PRESENTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR PREAUDIT ON VOUCHERS NOS. 967 AND 968. WHITE BOTH IN THE AMOUNT OF $70.60 ARE SUBMITTED HEREWITH FOR RECONSIDERATION.

A-60394, AUGUST 19, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 143

PERSONAL SERVICES - STENOGRAPHIC - SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION AN OFFICER OF THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION IN A TRAVEL STATUS IN NEW YORK CITY IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO EMPLOY TEMPORARY STENOGRAPHERS WITHOUT REGARD TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OR THE CIVIL SERVICE LAWS AND REGULATIONS EXCEPT AS AN INCIDENT TO THE TRAVEL STATUS TO THE EXTENT AUTHORIZED BY THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AND WHICH WOULD NOT AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT FOR STENOGRAPHIC SERVICES, OVERTIME, RAILROAD AND TAXI FARES, AND SUBSISTENCE TO STENOGRAPHERS CALLED TO NEW YORK CITY FROM NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT, DUE TO AN ALLEGED LACK OF STENOGRAPHERS IN NEW YORK CITY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, AUGUST 19, 1935:

THE FOLLOWING COMMUNICATION DATED MAY 21, 1935, WAS RECEIVED FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION IN SUPPORT OF THE CLAIMS OF LYDIA B. HAND AND ALICE M. WHITE, STENOGRAPHERS, FOR $70.60 EACH, WHICH HAVE HERETOFORE BEEN PRESENTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR PREAUDIT ON VOUCHERS NOS. 967 AND 968, RESPECTIVELY, ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED, REPRESENTING REIMBURSEMENT FOR STENOGRAPHIC SERVICES IN THE FORM OF SALARY, PER DIEM, AND TRAVEL EXPENSES DURING THE PERIOD DECEMBER 30, 1934, TO JANUARY 3, 1935, IN NEW YORK CITY:

THE ATTACHED CLAIMS OF LYDIA B. HAND AND ALICE M. WHITE BOTH IN THE AMOUNT OF $70.60 ARE SUBMITTED HEREWITH FOR RECONSIDERATION. BOTH OF THE CLAIMS WERE RETURNED WITHOUT CERTIFICATION ON MARCH 26, 1935, FOR THE REASON THAT STENOGRAPHERS ARE NOT "EXPERTS" AND WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS APPEARS TO BE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO MAKE ANY EMPLOYMENTS.

IN CONSIDERATION OF THE CLAIMS THE FOLLOWING ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS OFFERED:

(1) MR. WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS IS IN CHARGE OF THE PROTECTIVE COMMITTEE STUDY DIVISION OF THIS COMMISSION THE DUTIES OF WHICH RELATE TO THE STUDY AND INVESTIGATION OF THE WORK, ACTIVITY, PERSONNEL, AND FUNCTIONS OF PROTECTIVE AND REORGANIZATION COMMITTEES AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 211 OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934.

(2) MR. DOUGLAS AS DIRECTOR OF THE PROTECTIVE COMMITTEE STUDY DIVISION WAS GRANTED THE AUTHORITY TO EMPLOY CLERICAL ASSISTANCE WHENEVER IN HIS JUDGMENT SUCH SERVICES WERE REQUIRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE STUDY AND INVESTIGATION BEING UNDERTAKEN BY HIM.

(3) ON DECEMBER 29, 1934, WHILE IN NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT, MR. DOUGLAS WAS ADVISED BY MR. SAMUEL O. CLARK, ATTORNEY FOR THE PROTECTIVE COMMITTEE STUDY LOCATED IN NEW YORK CITY, THAT THE COMMISSION HAD DIRECTED THAT THE REPORT ON THE REORGANIZATION OF THE CELOTEX COMPANY SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO WASHINGTON SO AS TO ARRIVE NOT LATER THAN JANUARY 4, 1935.

(4) TO COMPLETE THIS REPORT ADDITIONAL CLERICAL ASSISTANCE WAS REQUIRED BY MR. CLARK AND THERE WERE NO GOVERNMENT STENOGRAPHERS AVAILABLE IN NEW YORK CITY THAT MR. CLARK COULD USE.

(5) MR. DOUGLAS COMMUNICATED WITH THE GENERAL COUNSEL OF THIS COMMISSION (MR. JOHN J. BURNS) AND ADVISED HIM OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND STATED THAT THERE WERE NO GOVERNMENT STENOGRAPHERS AVAILABLE IN NEW YORK CITY AND THAT MR. CLARK WAS UNABLE TO SECURE THE NECESSARY CLERICAL ASSISTANCE. MR. DOUGLAS ADVISED JUDGE BURNS THAT THERE WERE TWO COMPETENT STENOGRAPHERS IN NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT, THAT COULD BE SENT TO NEW YORK CITY TO ASSIST MR. CLARK IN THE WORK OF PREPARING THE REPORT.

(6) JUDGE BURNS ADVISED MR. DOUGLAS THAT THE SUGGESTION OF SENDING TWO STENOGRAPHERS FROM NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT, TO NEW YORK CITY, APPEARED REASONABLE AND NECESSARY UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

(7) MR. DOUGLAS THEN ARRANGED FOR MISS HAND AND MISS WHITE TO PROCEED TO NEW YORK CITY AND REPORT TO MR. CLARK. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT MR. DOUGLAS WAS CLOTHED WITH THE AUTHORITY TO EMPLOY TEMPORARY CLERICAL ASSISTANCE, THE ATTACHED CLAIMS ARE ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED IN THE FULL AMOUNTS, IT BEING FELT THAT WHILE THE TRAVEL AND PERSONAL EXPENSES MAY NOT BE ALLOWABLE UNDER THE GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, NO OBJECTION COULD BE INTERPOSED TO THE PAYMENT FOR THE SERVICES ACTUALLY PERFORMED BY THE CLAIMANTS.

THE VOUCHERS WERE RETURNED TO THE COMMISSION BY THIS OFFICE MARCH 26, 1935, WITHOUT CERTIFICATION FOR PAYMENT FOR THE REASON THAT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4 (B) OF THE ACT OF JUNE 6, 1934, 48 STAT. 881, 885, DO NOT AUTHORIZE THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION TO APPOINT TEMPORARY STENOGRAPHERS IN AN EMERGENCY WITHOUT REGARD TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OR THE CIVIL-SERVICE LAWS AND REGULATIONS. SEE 14 COMP. GEN. 70.

THE ONLY OTHER POSSIBLE BASIS FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF STENOGRAPHIC SERVICES TO PREPARE A REPORT IN THE MANNER INDICATED IS THAT AUTHORIZED BY PARAGRAPHS 75 AND 77 OF THE STANDARD GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL PERSONNEL TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS. HOWEVER, THIS HAS RELATION TO THE EMPLOYMENT OF STENOGRAPHIC SERVICES AVAILABLE LOCALLY AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION OF THE TRAVELER. EVEN IF MR. DOUGLAS WAS IN FACT IN A TRAVEL STATUS IN NEW YORK CITY DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON, AS INDICATED, AND THE EMERGENT NECESSITY FOR PREPARATION OF THE REPORT IN QUESTION WAS AS REPORTED, THIS OFFICE CANNOT APPROVE AS TRAVEL EXPENSES THE ITEMS CLAIMED IN CONNECTION WITH EMPLOYMENT OF TWO STENOGRAPHERS WHO WERE BROUGHT FROM NEW HAVEN AND WHO ARE ASKING REIMBURSEMENT FOR STENOGRAPHIC SERVICES, PAY FOR OVERTIME, RAILROAD AND TAXI FARES, AND SUBSISTENCE. THIS OFFICE CANNOT ACCEPT THE STATEMENT THAT THERE WERE NO AVAILABLE STENOGRAPHERS IN NEW YORK CITY.

FROM THE FACTS APPEARING THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE VOUCHERS, NOR ANY PART THEREOF. THE AUDIT ACTION MUST BE AND IS APPROVED.