A-74761, AUGUST 21, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 165

A-74761: Aug 21, 1936

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1936: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 2. THE FUND WAS SUBJECT TO THE CONTROL OF THIS DEPARTMENT BUT MADE AVAILABLE FOR DISBURSEMENT BY THE FINANCE OFFICER. SUBSEQUENT ALLOCATIONS OF FUNDS WERE MADE FOR EACH ENROLLMENT PERIOD AND AT PRESENT THE AREAS ARE OPERATING UNDER FUNDS ALLOCATED AS FOLLOWS: F.D. 1672 P99 A6001-5-7 TERRITORY OF HAWAII . 231 WHEN THE CCC CAMPS WERE FIRST ESTABLISHED IN HAWAII IT WAS THE PRACTICE OF THE FINANCE OFFICER AT FORT SHAFTER TO ADVANCE FUNDS TO THE CAMP SUPERINTENDENTS FOR THE PURCHASE OF MESS SUPPLIES. THIS RESULTED IN CONSIDERABLE CASH BEING INTRUSTED TO CAMP SUPERINTENDENTS WHO WERE TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES. FOLLOWING THE DISCONTINUANCE OF THIS PRACTICE IT WAS ARRANGED FOR ALL MESS PURCHASES TO BE MADE BY THE FINANCE OFFICER AT FORT SHAFTER WITH PAY- ROLL DEDUCTIONS FOR MEALS FURNISHED APPOINTED EMPLOYEES AND THE MESS ACCOUNT TO BE CREDITED WITH SUCH DEDUCTIONS.

A-74761, AUGUST 21, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 165

SUBSISTENCE - IN KIND - DISPOSITION OF COMPENSATION DEDUCTIONS FOR MEALS FURNISHED EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK PERSONNEL COMPENSATION DEDUCTIONS FOR MEALS FURNISHED SUPERVISORY PERSONNEL ENGAGED ON THE EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK PROGRAM FOR HAWAII UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, MAY BE CREDITED TO THE EMERGENCY CONSERVATION FUNDS ALLOTTED FOR SAID PROGRAM.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, AUGUST 21, 1936:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 2, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

ON JANUARY 10, 1934, THE PRESIDENT APPROVED AN EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK PROGRAM FOR HAWAII AT A COST OF $421,258 ($121,373 FOR HAWAII NATIONAL PARK AND $299,885 FOR THE TERRITORY OF HAWAII). THE FUND WAS SUBJECT TO THE CONTROL OF THIS DEPARTMENT BUT MADE AVAILABLE FOR DISBURSEMENT BY THE FINANCE OFFICER, U.S. ARMY, FORT SHAFTER, HAWAII, TO ACCOMPLISH PROMPT PAYMENT OF ALL APPROVED BILLS FOR SUPPLIES, SERVICES, ETC., AUTHORIZED BY EXISTING LAW, REGULATIONS AND EXECUTIVE ORDERS, FOR BOTH THE HAWAII NATIONAL PARK AND APPROVED PROJECTS OF THE TERRITORY OF HAWAII.

SUBSEQUENT ALLOCATIONS OF FUNDS WERE MADE FOR EACH ENROLLMENT PERIOD AND AT PRESENT THE AREAS ARE OPERATING UNDER FUNDS ALLOCATED AS FOLLOWS: F.D. 1672 P99 A6001-5-7 TERRITORY OF HAWAII ------------- $1,094,890 F.D. 1673 P99 A6001-5-7 HAWAII NATIONAL PARK ------------ 200,231

WHEN THE CCC CAMPS WERE FIRST ESTABLISHED IN HAWAII IT WAS THE PRACTICE OF THE FINANCE OFFICER AT FORT SHAFTER TO ADVANCE FUNDS TO THE CAMP SUPERINTENDENTS FOR THE PURCHASE OF MESS SUPPLIES. THE CAMP SUPERINTENDENTS MADE CASH COLLECTIONS FOR MEALS SERVED TO THE APPOINTED SUPERVISORY PERSONNEL OF THE DEPARTMENT WHOSE RATES OF PAY DID NOT INCLUDE SUBSISTENCE. THIS RESULTED IN CONSIDERABLE CASH BEING INTRUSTED TO CAMP SUPERINTENDENTS WHO WERE TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES, NOT BONDED FOR THE SAFEGUARDING OF PUBLIC FUNDS, AND WHO HAD NOT BEEN DESIGNATED AS COLLECTING OR DISBURSING OFFICERS.

FOLLOWING THE DISCONTINUANCE OF THIS PRACTICE IT WAS ARRANGED FOR ALL MESS PURCHASES TO BE MADE BY THE FINANCE OFFICER AT FORT SHAFTER WITH PAY- ROLL DEDUCTIONS FOR MEALS FURNISHED APPOINTED EMPLOYEES AND THE MESS ACCOUNT TO BE CREDITED WITH SUCH DEDUCTIONS.

UNDER DATE OF DECEMBER 28, 1935, AN ORDER REGARDING "FISCAL PROCEDURE PERTAINING TO FUNDS FOR EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK" WAS ISSUED BY THE ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE, WAR DEPARTMENT, TO THE COMMANDING GENERALS OF ALL CORPS AREAS, PART OF WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"/A) EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 1936, ALL COLLECTIONS RECEIVED WHICH MAY BE CREDITED TO THE APPROPRIATION "EMERGENCY RELIEF, EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK, WAR, CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS, 1935-MARCH 31, 1937," INSTEAD OF BEING CREDITED TO THE CURRENT PROCUREMENT AUTHORITY WILL BE CREDITED TO A PROCUREMENT AUTHORITY OF A SERIES NUMBERED FROM 1701 TO 1799. REPAYMENTS, WHICH UNDER THE PRESENT PROCEDURE WOULD BE CREDITED TO FD 1601, WILL BE CREDITED TO FD 1701, ETC.FUNDS THUS ACCRUING TO THE FD 1700 SERIES OF PROCUREMENT AUTHORITIES WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR OBLIGATION THEREUNDER, BUT THE CHIEF OF FINANCE WILL MAINTAIN A RECORD OF THE AGGREGATE COLLECTIONS RECEIVED FROM EACH PROCUREMENT AUTHORITY.'

THIS PROVISION HAS BEEN INTERPRETED BY THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, WAR DEPARTMENT, TO APPLY TO THE DEDUCTIONS FOR MEALS FURNISHED TO APPOINTED PERSONNEL OF THIS DEPARTMENT ENGAGED IN EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS RULING THE FINANCE OFFICER AT FORT SHAFTER HAS DECLINED TO CREDIT THE MESS ACCOUNTS WITH PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS FOR SUCH MEALS IN THE HAWAII NATIONAL PARK AND TERRITORY OF HAWAII CCC CAMPS.

THE 1936 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR APPROPRIATION ACT, APPROVED MAY 9, 1935 (49 STAT. 209), PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"HEREAFTER CASH COLLECTIONS AND PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS MADE FOR MEALS AND QUARTERS FURNISHED BY THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE TO EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE FIELD AND TO COOPERATING AGENCIES MAY BE CREDITED AS A REIMBURSEMENT TO THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE PARK OR MONUMENT IN WHICH THE ACCOMMODATIONS ARE FURNISHED.'

THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE OF THIS DEPARTMENT HAS ADVISED THE FINANCE OFFICE OF THIS SPECIAL AUTHORIZATION FOR REIMBURSING THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION WITH PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS FOR MEALS, AND IT IS FELT THAT IT APPLIES TO ALL FUNDS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, BUT THE FINANCE OFFICE INSISTS THAT THIS PROVISION DOES NOT APPLY TO EMERGENCY CONSERVATION FUNDS DISBURSED BY FINANCE OFFICERS OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT. HAWAII NATIONAL PARK AND TERRITORY OF HAWAII ARE THE ONLY UNITS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE WHERE ALL CCC OPERATIONS EXCEPT DISBURSEMENTS ARE CONTROLLED BY THAT SERVICE.

THE CONTENTION OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE IS STRENGTHENED BY YOUR DECISION A-62188 DATED AUGUST 15, 1935, ADDRESSED TO CHIEF OF FINANCE, WAR DEPARTMENT. THE DECISION WAS BASED UPON A SPECIAL PROVISION OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1925 (43 STAT. 1133), AUTHORIZING THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE TO FURNISH SUBSISTENCE TO EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREST SERVICE AND TO MAKE DEDUCTIONS THEREFOR FROM MONEYS APPROPRIATED FOR SALARY PAYMENTS DUE SUCH EMPLOYEES. IN THAT DECISION IT WAS HELD THAT THE SPECIAL PROVISION PERTAINING TO FOREST SERVICE EMPLOYEES WAS ALSO APPLICABLE TO EMERGENCY CONSERVATION FUNDS.

IT IS IMPORTANT AND NECESSARY FOR CONTINUED SUCCESSFUL OPERATION OF THE C.C.C. CAMP MESSES IN HAWAII NATIONAL PARK AND THE TERRITORY OF HAWAII TO CONTINUE THE PROCEDURE OF REIMBURSING THE CURRENT PROCUREMENT AUTHORITY WITH THE MESS DEDUCTIONS MADE ON THE PAY ROLLS OF THE SUPERVISORY PERSONNEL.

THE FINANCE OFFICER AT FORT SHAFTER IS NOW RETAINING MESS DEDUCTIONS IN HIS SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT, PENDING YOUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER SUCH DEDUCTIONS MADE ON THE PAY ROLLS OF SUPERVISORY PERSONNEL IN THE C.C.C. CAMPS LOCATED IN HAWAII NATIONAL PARK AND THE TERRITORY OF HAWAII MAY BE CREDITED AS A REIMBURSEMENT TO THE CURRENT PROCUREMENT AUTHORITY SERIES OF 1600 AND MADE AVAILABLE FOR FUTURE MESS PURCHASES INSTEAD OF BEING DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS.

THIS OFFICE IS IN RECEIPT OF THE FOLLOWING REPORT DATED AUGUST 12, 1936, FROM THE SECRETARY OF WAR:

THE RECEIPT IS ACKNOWLEDGED OF YOUR LETTER OF JULY 14, 1936 (A 74761), RELATIVE TO THE DISPOSITION OF CASH COLLECTIONS AND PAY-ROLL DEDUCTIONS FOR MEALS FURNISHED BY THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE TO EMPLOYEES ENGAGED ON WORK PERTAINING TO THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS.

THE FINANCE OFFICER, HAWAII, REQUESTED INFORMATION AS TO THE METHOD OF CREDITING DEDUCTIONS MADE ON C.C.C. NATIONAL PARK SERVICE EMPLOYEES' PAY ROLLS PAID BY HIM, ADVISING THAT THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, WAS TAKING UP THE MATTER WITH THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL FOR DECISION. UPON RECEIPT OF THIS INFORMATION THE FINANCE OFFICER WAS ADVISED THAT ALL DEDUCTIONS FOR MEALS FURNISHED TO C.C.C. NATIONAL PARK SERVICE EMPLOYEES APPEARING ON PAY ROLLS WOULD BE TAKEN UP AS COLLECTIONS IN HIS SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT IN ORDER THAT, WHEN THE DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL WAS RENDERED AS TO THE USE OF EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK FUNDS IN SUCH CASES, THERE COULD BE TRANSFERRED FROM THE SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT ALL SUCH COLLECTIONS MADE AND TAKEN UP IN THAT ACCOUNT, EITHER TO THE CREDIT OF THE APPROPRIATION OR OF MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS.

WERE IT NOT FOR THE FACT THAT THE WAR DEPARTMENT WAS ADVISED THAT THE SUBJECT MATTER WAS TAKEN UP WITH THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL FOR DECISION, THE DISBURSING OFFICER WOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN INSTRUCTIONS PURSUANT TO REGULATIONS PUBLISHED FOR THEIR GUIDANCE IN FINANCE BULLETIN 35, DATED APRIL 21, 1923, AND FINANCE BULLETIN 81, DATED MAY 20, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

"DEPARTMENTAL REGULATIONS.--- PROCUREMENT OF SERVICES, SUPPLIES, AND EQUIPMENT FROM THE EMERGENCY CONSERVATION FUND FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH THE EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK WILL BE MADE UNDER THE REGULATIONS OR PROCEDURE OF THE PROCURING DEPARTMENT.'

IT WAS EVIDENTLY THROUGH A MISAPPREHENSION OF THEIR PURPORT THAT REFERENCE TO WAR DEPARTMENT INSTRUCTIONS OF DECEMBER 28, 1935, REGARDING "FISCAL PROCEDURE PERTAINING TO FUNDS FOR EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK" WAS INCLUDED IN STATEMENT OF THE CASE PRESENTED TO YOU BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. THOSE INSTRUCTIONS MERELY SPECIFIED THE METHOD OF HANDLING COLLECTIONS WITH A VIEW TO INSURING PROMPTITUDE AND ACCURACY IN THE PREPARATION OF ACCOUNTING DATA REQUIRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE APPROPRIATION FROM WHICH THE FUNDS FOR EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK WERE DERIVED. THE NECESSITY FOR THE PROCEDURE WAS OF ONLY TEMPORARY DURATION AND SUCH PROCEDURE IS NO LONGER REQUIRED, AND AT NO TIME DID IT SERVICE AND LEGALLY AVAILABLE FOR ITS USE WOULD NOT BE PLACED TO ITS CREDIT.

BASED UPON SUCH INFORMATION AS IS AVAILABLE, IT IS THE VIEW OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT THAT THE CASH COLLECTIONS AND PAY ROLL DEDUCTIONS IN QUESTION MAY PROPERLY BE CREDITED TO THE APPROPRIATION AS IS INTENDED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.

THE DECISION OF AUGUST 15, 1935, A-62188, CITED BY YOU WOULD APPEAR TO BE A PRECEDENT FOR THE ACTION PROPOSED IN YOUR LETTER. AND WHILE THE SITUATION HERE PRESENTED IS NOT NECESSARILY CONTROLLED BY THE PROVISION IN THE ACT OF MAY 9, 1935, QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT, IN VIEW OF ALL THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED IN THIS CASE, THERE MAY BE REESTABLISHED AND CONTINUED THE PROCEDURE OF REIMBURSING THE CURRENT ALLOTMENT OF EMERGENCY CONSERVATION FUNDS WITH MESS DEDUCTIONS MADE ON THE PAY ROLLS OF THE SUPERVISORY PERSONNEL, AND THAT THE AMOUNT ACCOUNT OF THE FINANCE OFFICER MAY BE TRANSFERRED TO THE CURRENT MAINTAINED.