A-62090, JULY 31, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 91

A-62090: Jul 31, 1935

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AGAINST THE USE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR FURNISHING SUBSISTENCE OR TRANSPORTATION TO ANY CONVENTION OR OTHER FORM OF ASSEMBLAGE OR GATHERING IS APPLICABLE TO AND PROHIBITS THE PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES OF PERSONS CALLED TO WASHINGTON. NEITHER IS THE PROHIBITION APPLICABLE TO OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF FEDERAL AGENCIES WITH WHOM THE RESPECTIVE VOCATIONAL EDUCATIONAL STATUTES AUTHORIZE COOPERATION WHEN SUCH OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES ARE REQUESTED TO COME TO WASHINGTON OR ELSEWHERE FOR PURPOSES AUTHORIZED BY THE RESPECTIVE STATUTES. 1935: THERE WAS RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MAY 14. " CREATING THE FEDERAL BOARD FOR VOCATIONAL EDUCATION (NOW A MAJOR DIVISION IN THE OFFICE OF EDUCATION) PROVIDES IN PART THAT: "THE BOARD SHALL HAVE POWER TO COOPERATE WITH THE STATE BOARDS IN CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.

A-62090, JULY 31, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 91

CONVENTIONS - SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSPORTATION THE PROHIBITION IN THE PUBLIC RESOLUTION APPROVED FEBRUARY 2, 1935, AGAINST THE USE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR FURNISHING SUBSISTENCE OR TRANSPORTATION TO ANY CONVENTION OR OTHER FORM OF ASSEMBLAGE OR GATHERING IS APPLICABLE TO AND PROHIBITS THE PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES OF PERSONS CALLED TO WASHINGTON, D.C., OR ELSEWHERE FOR CONSULTATION OR CONFERENCE AS A GROUP, BUT WOULD NOT BE APPLICABLE WHEN CALLED TO WASHINGTON, D.C., OR ELSEWHERE FOR CONSULTATION OR CONFERENCE AS INDIVIDUALS. NEITHER IS THE PROHIBITION APPLICABLE TO OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF FEDERAL AGENCIES WITH WHOM THE RESPECTIVE VOCATIONAL EDUCATIONAL STATUTES AUTHORIZE COOPERATION WHEN SUCH OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES ARE REQUESTED TO COME TO WASHINGTON OR ELSEWHERE FOR PURPOSES AUTHORIZED BY THE RESPECTIVE STATUTES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, JULY 31, 1935:

THERE WAS RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MAY 14, 1935, AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 6 OF THE ACT APPROVED FEBRUARY 23, 1917, ENTITLED "AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE VOCATIONAL EDUCATION * * *," CREATING THE FEDERAL BOARD FOR VOCATIONAL EDUCATION (NOW A MAJOR DIVISION IN THE OFFICE OF EDUCATION) PROVIDES IN PART THAT:

"THE BOARD SHALL HAVE POWER TO COOPERATE WITH THE STATE BOARDS IN CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT. IT SHALL BE THE DUTY OF THE FEDERAL BOARD FOR VOCATIONAL EDUCATION TO MAKE, OR CAUSE TO HAVE MADE, STUDIES, INVESTIGATIONS, AND REPORTS, WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO THEIR USE IN AIDING THE STATES IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS AND CLASSES AND IN GIVING INSTRUCTION IN AGRICULTURE, TRADES AND INDUSTRIES, COMMERCE AND COMMERCIAL PURSUITS, AND HOME ECONOMICS.'

SEC. 7 OF THE ACT PROVIDES:

"THAT THERE IS HEREBY APPROPRIATED TO THE FEDERAL BOARD FOR VOCATIONAL EDUCATION THE SUM OF $200,000 ANNUALLY, TO BE AVAILABLE FROM AND AFTER THE PASSAGE OF THIS ACT, FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING OR COOPERATING IN MAKING THE STUDIES, INVESTIGATIONS, AND REPORTS PROVIDED FOR IN SECTION SIX OF THIS ACT, AND FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING THE SALARIES OF THE OFFICERS, THE ASSISTANTS, AND SUCH OFFICE AND OTHER EXPENSES AS THE BOARD MAY DEEM NECESSARY TO THE EXECUTION AND ADMINISTRATION OF THIS ACT.'

SINCE ORGANIZATION OF THE BOARD, IT HAS BEEN NECESSARY AT TIMES TO CALL TO WASHINGTON FOR CONFERENCE, CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS SPECIALLY QUALIFIED IN A PARTICULAR SUBJECT TO OBTAIN THE BENEFIT OF THEIR KNOWLEDGE AND ASSISTANCE IN MAKING STUDIES, INVESTIGATIONS, AND REPORTS AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 6 OF THE ACT ABOVE QUOTED. THESE CONFEREES HAVE COME AT THE REQUEST OF THE OFFICE WITHOUT SALARY, BUT HAVE BEEN REIMBURSED FOR PER DIEM AND NECESSARY TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONFERENCE. IN SOME INSTANCES, ALSO, IT HAS BEEN NECESSARY TO CALL IN SMALL GROUPS OF EIGHT TO TEN PERSONS FOR THE SAME PURPOSE.

IN THE CASE OF OCCASIONAL CONFERENCES CALLED OUTSIDE OF WASHINGTON THE SAME NEED HAS ARISEN, AND EITHER AN INDIVIDUAL, OR INDIVIDUALS, HAVE BEEN CALLED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CONFERENCE AND REIMBURSEMENT HAS BEEN MADE FOR PER DIEM AND NECESSARY TRAVELING EXPENSES.

THIS HAS NOT BEEN A GENERAL PRACTICE, BUT HAS BEEN ESSENTIAL AT TIMES TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE ACT.

THE SAME NECESSITY HAS ARISEN ON OCCASION IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE ACT APPROVED JUNE 2, 1920, AS AMENDED, ENTITLED "AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE PROMOTION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION OF PERSONS DISABLED IN INDUSTRY OR OTHERWISE AND THEIR RETURN TO CIVIL EMPLOYMENT," AND CONFEREES HAVE BEEN CALLED TO WASHINGTON AND TO CONFERENCES HELD OUTSIDE OF WASHINGTON.

PUBLIC RESOLUTION NO. 2, 74TH CONGRESS, APPROVED FEBRUARY 2, 1935, A JOINT RESOLUTION TO PROHIBIT EXPENDITURE OF ANY MONEYS FOR HOUSING, FEEDING, AND TRANSPORTING CONVENTIONS OR MEETINGS, PROVIDES:

"THAT UNLESS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED BY LAW, NO MONEYS FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR ANY PURPOSE SHALL BE USED FOR THE PURPOSE OF LODGING, FEEDING, CONVEYING, OR FURNISHING TRANSPORTATION TO, ANY CONVENTIONS OR OTHER FORM OF ASSEMBLAGE OR GATHERING TO BE HELD IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OR ELSEWHERE.'

IN NO INSTANCE HAS THE OFFICE ADMINISTERING THE VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATION ACTS TRANSPORTED "CONVENTIONS," OR REPRESENTATIVES OF ORGANIZATIONS AS SUCH. THE INDIVIDUALS CALLED HERE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE OFFICE HAVE BEEN PERSONS WITH KNOWLEDGE PECULIAR TO THE SUBJECT UNDER DISCUSSION, WHOSE ASSISTANCE WAS REQUIRED IN TECHNICAL MATTERS TO ACCOMPLISH AN EXPRESSLY DESIGNATED RESULT. ALTHOUGH THE NEED IS NOT OF FREQUENT OCCURRENCE, AND IS USUALLY FOR THE SERVICES OF AN INDIVIDUAL RATHER THAN OF A GROUP, SUCH SERVICE IS RECOGNIZED AS REQUISITE. IT WOULD BE A DISTINCT HANDICAP TO THE OFFICE IF THE PROHIBITION CONTAINED IN PUBLIC RESOLUTION NO. 2 SHOULD BE INTERPRETED TO BE APPLICABLE TO THIS TYPE OF INDIVIDUAL SERVICE.

THE OFFICE OF EDUCATION HAS ESPECIAL NEED AT THIS TIME FOR THE ASSISTANCE OF SEVERAL INDIVIDUALS, AND IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF YOU WILL FURNISH, AT AS EARLY A DATE AS POSSIBLE, YOUR OPINION ON THE FOLLOWING POINTS WITH REFERENCE TO THE EFFECT OF THE RESOLUTION, IF ANY, UPON THE AVAILABILITY OF THE FUNDS IN QUESTION:

1. UNDER THE AUTHORITY GRANTED IN SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 23, 1917, FOR THE PAYMENT OF "SUCH OFFICE AND OTHER EXPENSES AS THE BOARD MAY DEEM NECESSARY TO THE EXECUTION AND ADMINISTRATION OF THIS ACT," ARE FUNDS APPROPRIATED UNDER THIS ACT, AND THE ACT OF MAY 21, 1934, TO WHICH THIS SECTION IS ALSO APPLICABLE, AVAILABLE FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING PER DIEM AND NECESSARY TRAVELING EXPENSES OF AN INDIVIDUAL OR INDIVIDUALS, CALLED TO ASSIST IN A PARTICULAR STUDY, OR CONFERENCE, HELD BY THE OFFICE OF EDUCATION (A) IN WASHINGTON? (B) OUTSIDE OF WASHINGTON?

2. ARE FUNDS APPROPRIATED UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 2, 1920, AS AMENDED, AVAILABLE TO PAY PER DIEM AND NECESSARY TRAVELING EXPENSES OF AN INDIVIDUAL, OR INDIVIDUALS, CALLED TO ASSIST IN A PARTICULAR STUDY, OR CONFERENCE, HELD BY THE OFFICE OF EDUCATION (A) IN WASHINGTON? (B) OUTSIDE OF WASHINGTON?

3. ARE FUNDS APPROPRIATED UNDER THE FOLLOWING ACTS (COPIES ATTACHED) AVAILABLE FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING PER DIEM AND NECESSARY TRAVELING EXPENSES TO AND FROM MEETINGS CALLED IN WASHINGTON, OR ELSEWHERE, OF AN INDIVIDUAL, OR INDIVIDUALS, EMPLOYED BY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY WITH WHOM THIS OFFICE IS COOPERATING:

ACT APPROVED FEBRUARY 23, 1917, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 6, 1917.

ACT APPROVED JUNE 2, 1920, AS AMENDED (47 STAT. 450).

ACT APPROVED FEBRUARY 23, 1929 (45 STAT. 1260).

ACT APPROVED MAY 21, 1934 (48 STAT. 792).

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE QUOTED PROVISION OF PUBLIC RESOLUTION NO. 2 OF FEBRUARY 2, 1935, IS NOT RESTRICTED TO CONVENTIONS, BUT THE RESTRICTION THEREIN IMPOSED IS APPLICABLE ALSO TO ANY ,OTHER FORM OF ASSEMBLAGE OR GATHERING.' ACCORDINGLY, UNLESS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY STATUTE, THE RESTRICTION WOULD BE APPLICABLE TO AND WOULD PROHIBIT PAYMENT OF PER DIEM OR TRAVEL EXPENSES OF ANY PERSONS CALLED TO WASHINGTON OR ELSEWHERE FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONSULTATION OR CONFERENCE AS A GROUP, 14 COMP. GEN. 638, BUT WOULD NOT BE APPLICABLE TO INDIVIDUALS CALLED TO WASHINGTON OR ELSEWHERE FOR CONSULTATION AS INDIVIDUALS. A-41751, APRIL 15, 1932.

WITH RESPECT TO QUESTION NO. 1, I FIND NO SPECIFIC AUTHORITY IN THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 23, 1917, 39 STAT. 929, 936, WHICH WOULD AUTHORIZE THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE PURPOSES OF THAT ACT IN CONTRAVENTION OF PUBLIC RESOLUTION OF FEBRUARY 2, 1935.

WITH RESPECT TO QUESTION NO. 2, SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 2, 1920, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 450, AUTHORIZES APPROPRIATIONS TO BE AVAILABLE, AMONG OTHER THINGS,"FOR ACTUAL TRAVELING AND OTHER NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED BY MEMBERS OF THE BOARD AND BY ITS EMPLOYEES UNDER ITS ORDERS, INCLUDING ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS OF EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS.' SUCH APPROPRIATIONS WOULD NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR THE EXPENSES OF PERSONS NOT MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF EMPLOYEES OF THE BOARD, OR NOT OTHERWISE CONNECTED WITH THE GOVERNMENT, CALLED TO WASHINGTON, OR ELSEWHERE, TO ATTEND ANY ASSEMBLAGE OR GATHERING WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF PUBLIC RESOLUTION NO. 2 OF FEBRUARY 2, 1935.

WITH RESPECT TO QUESTION NO. 3, THE PROHIBITION IN THE PUBLIC RESOLUTION OF FEBRUARY 2, 1935, IS NOT CONSIDERED AS APPLICABLE TO OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF FEDERAL AGENCIES WITH WHOM THE RESPECTIVE VOCATIONAL EDUCATIONAL STATUTES AUTHORIZE COOPERATION, AND SUCH OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES MAY BE PAID PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AND TRAVELING EXPENSES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHEN AUTHORIZED OR REQUESTED BY THE BOARD TO COME TO WASHINGTON, D.C., OR ELSEWHERE, FOR AUTHORIZED PURPOSES OF THE RESPECTIVE STATUTES.