A-75478, JULY 16, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 32

A-75478: Jul 16, 1936

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EXPENSES OF INVESTIGATION OF THE MURDER OF A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE TREASURY DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATIONS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED BY A SPECIAL AGENT OF THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE IN INVESTIGATING THE MURDER OF A NARCOTIC AGENT. " WAS NOT AVAILABLE TO PAY THE EXPENSES INVOLVED IN THE INVESTIGATION OF THE MURDER OF A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE. THE LETTER IS IN PART AS FOLLOWS: IN VIEW OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE MURDER OF THIS NARCOTIC AGENT. IT WAS ESSENTIAL THAT THIS DEPARTMENT BE FULLY INFORMED OF ALL THE FACTS. THE DUTIES OF A NARCOTIC AGENT AND AN INTERNAL REVENUE OFFICER ARE IDENTICAL IN INTERESTS INSOFAR AS THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT IS CONCERNED. THE FUNCTIONS OF THESE TWO BUREAUS ARE OF A SIMILAR NATURE.

A-75478, JULY 16, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 32

EXPENSES OF INVESTIGATION OF THE MURDER OF A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE TREASURY DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATIONS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED BY A SPECIAL AGENT OF THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE IN INVESTIGATING THE MURDER OF A NARCOTIC AGENT.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, JULY 16, 1936:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED THE LETTER OF YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT DATED APRIL 29, 1936, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE AUDIT ACTION OF THIS OFFICE SUSPENDING CREDIT ON VOUCHER 1148944, MARCH 1935 ACCOUNT OF GUY F. ALLEN, IN THE SUM OF $149.21 REPRESENTING THE AMOUNT REIMBURSED SPECIAL AGENT FRANK W. LOHN, BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE, FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE INVESTIGATION OF THE MURDER OF NARCOTIC AGENT SPENCER STAFFORD AT POST, TEX., FOR THE REASON THAT THE APPROPRIATION CHARGED,"COLLECTING THE INTERNAL REVENUE, 1935," WAS NOT AVAILABLE TO PAY THE EXPENSES INVOLVED IN THE INVESTIGATION OF THE MURDER OF A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE. THE LETTER IS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

IN VIEW OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE MURDER OF THIS NARCOTIC AGENT, IT WAS ESSENTIAL THAT THIS DEPARTMENT BE FULLY INFORMED OF ALL THE FACTS.

THE DUTIES OF A NARCOTIC AGENT AND AN INTERNAL REVENUE OFFICER ARE IDENTICAL IN INTERESTS INSOFAR AS THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT IS CONCERNED. THE FUNCTIONS OF THESE TWO BUREAUS ARE OF A SIMILAR NATURE, THEY HAVING AT ONE TIME BEEN UNDER THE ONE HEAD, NAMELY, THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE. IN VIEW OF HIS DEEP INTEREST IN A MATTER INVOLVING THE MURDER OF ONE OF HIS FIELD AGENTS WHILE OFFICIALLY EMPLOYED, THE SECRETARY PERSONALLY DIRECTED THAT THIS INVESTIGATION BE MADE BY AN AGENT IN THE INTELLIGENCE UNIT.

IN VIEW OF ALL THE FACTS IN THIS CASE, I FEEL YOU WILL AGREE WITH ME THAT THE EXPENDITURES NECESSARY FOR THIS INVESTIGATION WERE MADE IN THE INTERESTS OF THE SERVICE AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES WERE SUCH AS TO MAKE IT ADVISABLE TO HAVE SPECIAL AGENT LOHN OBTAIN ALL THE FACTS. IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF YOU WILL TAKE THE NECESSARY STEPS WITH THE VIEW TO REMOVING THIS SUSPENSION.

IT APPEARS TO BE THE CONTENTION OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, BY REASON OF THE SIMILARITY OF THE DUTIES OF A NARCOTIC AGENT AND AN INTERNAL REVENUE OFFICER, INSOFAR AS THE DEPARTMENT IS CONCERNED, THAT THE APPROPRIATION MADE FOR THE CONDUCT OF THE WORK OF THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF THE NECESSARY EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH THE INVESTIGATION.

NEITHER THE APPROPRIATION "COLLECTING THE INTERNAL REVENUE, 1935" NOR "SALARIES AND EXPENSES, BUREAU OF NARCOTICS, 1935" CONTAIN ANY PROVISION WHICH AUTHORIZES THE USE THEREOF FOR THE PURPOSE OF INVESTIGATING THE KILLING OF A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE.

IT IS A WELL ACCEPTED PRINCIPLE THAT AN APPROPRIATION, GENERAL IN TERMS, IS ONLY AVAILABLE TO BE EXPENDED FOR PURPOSES ESSENTIAL TO THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE WORK AUTHORIZED BY THE APPROPRIATION TO BE DONE. COMP. GEN. 613; 9 ID. 309.

THE INVESTIGATION OF THE MURDER OF A NARCOTIC AGENT HAS NO CONNECTION WITH THE ASSESSMENT AND COLLECTION OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE ITSELF, AND, ACCORDINGLY, THE APPROPRIATION FOR COLLECTING THE INTERNAL REVENUE IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES INCURRED BY AN INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTIES HAVING NO CONNECTION WITH THE COLLECTION OF INTERNAL REVENUE. FURTHERMORE, THE INVESTIGATION OF THE MURDER OF A GOVERNMENT AGENT IS A MATTER PRIMARILY FOR THE STATE AUTHORITIES, UNLESS COMMITTED UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS AS TO CONSTITUTE A FEDERAL CRIME--- SEE, FOR INSTANCE, ACT OF MAY 18, 1934, 48 STAT. 780-- IN WHICH CASE THE PROPER BUREAU OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WOULD BE CHARGED WITH THE DUTY OF MAKING THE NECESSARY INVESTIGATIONS AND THE EXPENSES WOULD BE PAYABLE UNDER AN APPROPRIATION OF THAT DEPARTMENT. A-34875, A-35032, FEBRUARY 11, 1931, AND MAY 21, 1931.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT MUST BE HELD THAT NO APPROPRIATION UNDER YOUR CONTROL IS AVAILABLE FOR THE EXPENSES OF THIS INVESTIGATION, AND CREDIT FOR THE ITEM IN QUESTION IS FOR DISALLOWANCE IN THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNT.