A-61003, JULY 8, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 20

A-61003: Jul 8, 1935

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SUCH AS A MEDICAL OFFICER HAVING KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS AND CONDITIONS EXISTING AT THE TIME THE EXPENDITURES ARE MADE. IS REQUIRED TO SUPPORT PAYMENTS FOR INOCULATIONS. 1935: THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE AUDIT OF THE JULY 1934 ACCOUNT OF G. IT APPEARS THAT IN ALL BUT ONE CASE TWO INOCULATIONS PER EMPLOYEE WERE GIVEN AT THE RATE OF $2.50 PER INOCULATION AND THE BILLS WERE CERTIFIED AND APPROVED FOR PAYMENT BY THE OFFICER IN CHARGE OF THE SURVEY PARTY AND THE ENGINEER IN CHARGE OF THE PACIFIC DIVISION. IN THE AUDIT EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THE EXPENDITURES FOR THE REASON THE UNUSUAL EXPENSE OF INOCULATION AGAINST TYPHOID AND SPOTTED FEVER APPEARED TO BE AN INDIVIDUAL OR PERSONAL EXPENSE REQUIRED TO BE BORNE BY THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE AND NOT TO BE PAID FROM PUBLIC FUNDS.

A-61003, JULY 8, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 20

MEDICAL TREATMENT - INOCULATIONS - TYPHOID AND SPOTTED FEVER A SHOWING OF ACTUAL NEED IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE OR BY A QUALIFIED AUTHORITY, SUCH AS A MEDICAL OFFICER HAVING KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS AND CONDITIONS EXISTING AT THE TIME THE EXPENDITURES ARE MADE, IS REQUIRED TO SUPPORT PAYMENTS FOR INOCULATIONS, ANTITOXINS, ETC.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, JULY 8, 1935:

THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE AUDIT OF THE JULY 1934 ACCOUNT OF G. F. ALLEN, CHIEF DISBURSING OFFICER, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, VOUCHERS NOS. 412 AND 1013, IN FAVOR OF DR. G. T. MOUNTFORD AND DR. A. J. HOOD FOR $60 AND $52.50, RESPECTIVELY, COVERING SERVICES RENDERED BY THEM IN GIVING INOCULATIONS AGAINST TYPHOID AND SPOTTED FEVER DURING MAY AND JUNE 1934, TO EMPLOYEES OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY ENGAGED IN PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES IN THE STATES OF CALIFORNIA AND NEVADA.

IT APPEARS THAT IN ALL BUT ONE CASE TWO INOCULATIONS PER EMPLOYEE WERE GIVEN AT THE RATE OF $2.50 PER INOCULATION AND THE BILLS WERE CERTIFIED AND APPROVED FOR PAYMENT BY THE OFFICER IN CHARGE OF THE SURVEY PARTY AND THE ENGINEER IN CHARGE OF THE PACIFIC DIVISION, GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION "4-03/5640.6 NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL RECOVERY, INTERIOR, GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, 1933-35," PUBLIC WORKS ALLOTMENTS, F.P. NO. 72 AND NO. 94. IN THE AUDIT EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THE EXPENDITURES FOR THE REASON THE UNUSUAL EXPENSE OF INOCULATION AGAINST TYPHOID AND SPOTTED FEVER APPEARED TO BE AN INDIVIDUAL OR PERSONAL EXPENSE REQUIRED TO BE BORNE BY THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE AND NOT TO BE PAID FROM PUBLIC FUNDS, THE THEORY BEING THAT THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE ISTO QUALIFY AT HIS OWN EXPENSE FOR THE POSITION TO WHICH APPOINTED OR FOR THE WORK TO BE PERFORMED. REPLY TO THE NOTICE OF EXCEPTION THE CHIEF, SECTION OF ACCOUNTS, GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, STATES AS FOLLOWS:

THE INOCULATIONS WERE MADE PRIMARILY IN THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES, AND WERE TO AID IN ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE WORK FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION WAS MADE, BY PREVENTING THE LOSS OF TIME BY EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN OFFICIAL SURVEY WORK.

THERE IS NO KNOWN REQUIREMENT BY REGULATION NOR BY STATUTE, THAT, IN ORDER TO QUALIFY THEMSELVES FOR THE WORK FOR WHICH THEY WERE EMPLOYED, EMPLOYEES SHOULD SUBJECT THEMSELVES TO INOCULATION AS A PREVENTATIVE AGAINST SPOTTED FEVER. IT WOULD APPEAR, THEREFORE, THAT THE ASSUMPTION THAT THIS EXPENSE IS A PERSONAL ONE IS ERRONEOUS AS IT IS AN OFFICIAL EXPENSE NECESSARY FOR THE PROPER CARRYING OUT OF GEOLOGICAL SURVEY WORK. THESE MEN, ACTING ON OFFICIAL ORDERS, ARE SENT INTO THE TERRITORIES WHERE FEVER IS PREVALENT, NOT BECAUSE OF ANY PERSONAL DESIRE, BUT BECAUSE OF OFFICIAL NECESSITY, AND IT WOULD BE VERY MUCH TO THE DISADVANTAGE OF THE GOVERNMENT IF THE INOCULATIONS WERE NOT MADE. SEE COMP. GEN. A-32786, DATED AUGUST 8, 1930, IN WHICH DECISION INOCULATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AGAINST POISON OAK WAS ALLOWED.

THE REPLY TO THE NOTICE OF EXCEPTION IS A MERE CONCLUSION UNSUPPORTED BY A SHOWING OF ACTUAL NEED IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE OR A SHOWING BY A QUALIFIED AUTHORITY, SUCH AS A MEDICAL OFFICER HAVING KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS AND CONDITIONS EXISTING AT THE TIME THE EXPENDITURES WERE MADE, AND MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED AS SHOWING A NEED OR EMERGENCY SUFFICIENT TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS. IN THE DECISION OF AUGUST 8, 1930, A-32786, ADDRESSED TO YOU, INVOLVING INOCULATION FOR POISON OAK, IT WAS SHOWN THAT A DANGEROUS CONDITION ACTUALLY EXISTED RESULTING IN EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT IN THE TREATMENT OF AFFECTED EMPLOYEES AT THE EXPENSE OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION AND THAT A SAVING WOULD ACCRUE TO THE GOVERNMENT AS A RESULT OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF A SUITABLE ANTITOXIN FOR THE POISON. IN THE PRESENT MATTER NO SUCH SHOWING BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY IS MADE, AND IN THE ABSENCE THEREOF, CREDIT IN THE ACCOUNT OF THE CHIEF DISBURSING CLERK, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, WILL NOT BE ALLOWED.