A-77237, JUNE 30, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 1148

A-77237: Jun 30, 1936

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AS FOLLOWS: ATTENTION IS INVITED TO A DECISION OF YOUR OFFICE. THE APPROPRIATION UNDER DISCUSSION IN THE DECISION IS COVERED BY ITEM 13 OF SECTION 4 OF THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT. IN WHICH "IT WAS STATED THAT IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT SECTION 4. IN DIRECTING DISPOSITION OF THESE FUNDS (THAT IS. AN APPROPRIATION FOR SPECIAL PURPOSES WHICH WAS REPEALED BY THE ACT) MADE NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN RECEIPTS PRIOR TO JUNE 30. RECEIPTS THEREAFTER AND SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED THAT IF THE TOTAL OF RECEIPTS FOR ANY ONE FISCAL YEAR "IS GREATER THAN THE AMOUNT APPROPRIATED FOR SUCH PURPOSE. SUCH EXCESS IS AUTHORIZED TO BE APPROPRIATED FOR THE FOLLOWING FISCAL YEAR. " THE AMOUNT SPECIFICALLY APPROPRIATED FOR ANY OF THE PROJECTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1936 IS AVAILABLE FOR USE THEREON BUT ONLY TO THE EXTENT OF AMOUNTS COVERED INTO THE TREASURY FROM THE UNEXPENDED BALANCE ON JUNE 30.

A-77237, JUNE 30, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 1148

PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT, 1934 - "MIGRATORY BIRD CONSERVATION FUND" - AVAILABILITY BEYOND JUNE 30, 1936 THE INDEFINITE APPROPRIATION ACCOUNT "MIGRATORY BIRD CONSERVATION FUND," ALTHOUGH CARRIED UNDER SECTION 4 (B) OF THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT OF JUNE 26, 1934, 48 STAT. 1227, SUBJECT TO THE REPEALING PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4 (A) OF SAID ACT, REMAINS AVAILABLE, BECAUSE OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1937, 49 STAT. 1446, SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE 30, 1936, FOR THE PAYMENT OF OBLIGATIONS LEGALLY INCURRED THEREUNDER PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1936. 15 COMP. GEN. 898, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, JUNE 30, 1936:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 18, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

ATTENTION IS INVITED TO A DECISION OF YOUR OFFICE, A-61818 OF APRIL 14, 1936, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, RELATIVE TO THE AVAILABILITY OF APPROPRIATIONS REPEALED BY THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT OF 1934 (48 STAT. 1224-1226), FOR PAYMENT OF OBLIGATIONS INCURRED PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE REPEAL OF THE APPROPRIATION BUT NOT PAID UNTIL AFTER THAT DATE.

THE APPROPRIATION UNDER DISCUSSION IN THE DECISION IS COVERED BY ITEM 13 OF SECTION 4 OF THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT, AND IN THE COURSE OF YOUR DECISION YOU MAKE REFERENCE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 8, 1935, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, IN WHICH "IT WAS STATED THAT IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT SECTION 4, IN DIRECTING DISPOSITION OF THESE FUNDS (THAT IS, AN APPROPRIATION FOR SPECIAL PURPOSES WHICH WAS REPEALED BY THE ACT) MADE NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN RECEIPTS PRIOR TO JUNE 30, 1935, AND RECEIPTS THEREAFTER AND SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED THAT IF THE TOTAL OF RECEIPTS FOR ANY ONE FISCAL YEAR "IS GREATER THAN THE AMOUNT APPROPRIATED FOR SUCH PURPOSE, SUCH EXCESS IS AUTHORIZED TO BE APPROPRIATED FOR THE FOLLOWING FISCAL YEAR," THE AMOUNT SPECIFICALLY APPROPRIATED FOR ANY OF THE PROJECTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1936 IS AVAILABLE FOR USE THEREON BUT ONLY TO THE EXTENT OF AMOUNTS COVERED INTO THE TREASURY FROM THE UNEXPENDED BALANCE ON JUNE 30, 1935, OF RECEIPTS FROM SUCH PROJECTS DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1935, AND FROM RECEIPTS FROM SUCH PROJECTS DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1936.'

YOU HOLD THAT---

"UNDER THIS CONSTRUCTION OF THE APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR 1936, IT MUST BE READILY APPARENT THAT OBLIGATIONS INCURRED PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1935, MAY NO LONGER BE CHARGED TO THE INDEFINITE APPROPRIATION ACCOUNTS BUT ARE FOR CHARGING TO THE 1936 APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE REASON THAT THE UNEXPENDED BALANCE ON JUNE 30, 1935, BECOMES A RECEIPT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1936 AUTHORIZED TO BE EXPENDED DURING THAT FISCAL YEAR BY THE APPROPRIATION FOR 1936.'

YOU ALSO POINT OUT THAT---

"THE APPROPRIATIONS LISTED UNDER (B) OF THIS SECTION (SECTION 4) WERE REPEALED EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1935, SO THAT ON AND AFTER THAT DATE THERE CEASED TO BE ANY INDEFINITE APPROPRIATION * * * AVAILABLE EITHER FOR OBLIGATION OR FOR PAYMENT OF OBLIGATIONS PREVIOUSLY INCURRED.'

ITEM 29 OF SECTION 4 OF THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT READS AS FOLLOWS:

"AFTER JUNE 30, 1936, MIGRATORY BIRD CONSERVATION FUND (35632).' THE WORK CONDUCTED UNDER THIS APPROPRIATION CONSISTS OF THE ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE FEDERAL HUNTING STAMP AND MIGRATORY BIRD TREATY ACTS (INCLUDING EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT) AND THE ACQUISITION, DEVELOPMENT, AND MAINTENANCE OF MIGRATORY BIRD CONSERVATION REFUGES. UNDER THE FOREGOING DECISION, THE QUESTION ARISES AS TO WHETHER THIS APPROPRIATION WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF JUNE FIELD SALARIES, JUNE TRAVEL VOUCHERS, AND ANY OTHER ITEMS WHICH HAVE NOT CLEARED THE TREASURY BY JUNE 30.

IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR CONSIDERATION OF THIS MATTER, YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE LANGUAGE PERTAINING TO THE MIGRATORY BIRD CONSERVATION FUND (1937) IN THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1937:

"MIGRATORY BIRD CONSERVATION FUND: FOR CARRYING INTO EFFECT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4 OF THE ACT ENTITLED AN ACT TO SUPPLEMENT AND SUPPORT THE MIGRATORY BIRD CONSERVATION ACT BY PROVIDING FUNDS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF AREAS FOR USE AS MIGRATORY-BIRD SANCTUARIES, REFUGES, AND BREEDING GROUNDS, FOR DEVELOPING AND ADMINISTERING SUCH AREAS, FOR THE PROTECTION OF CERTAIN MIGRATORY BIRDS, FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE MIGRATORY BIRD TREATY ACT AND REGULATIONS THEREUNDER AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, APPROVED MARCH 16, 1934 (48 STAT. P. 451), AS AMENDED BY AN ACT ENTITLED,"AN ACT TO AMEND THE MIGRATORY BIRD HUNTING STAMP ACT OF MARCH 16, 1934, AND CERTAIN OTHER ACTS RELATING TO GAME AND OTHER WILDLIFE, ADMINISTERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AND FOR OTHER POSES," APPROVED JUNE 15, 1935 (49 STAT. PP. 378-384), AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE SUM RECEIVED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1937 FROM THE PROCEEDS FROM THE SALE OF STAMPS, TO BE WARRANTED MONTHLY; AND, IN ADDITION THERETO, AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE UNOBLIGATED BALANCE ON JUNE 30, 1936, OF THE TOTAL OF THE PROCEEDS RECEIVED FROM THE SALE OF STAMPS PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1936: PROVIDED, THAT THE SUM OF $125,000 SHALL BE ADVANCED FROM THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE FISCAL YEAR TO THE FOREGOING APPROPRIATION, TO BE RETURNED TO THE SURPLUS FUND OF THE TREASURY WHEN THE FIRST $125,000 OF REVENUE FROM THE SALE OF STAMPS HAS BEEN RECEIVED AND WARRANTED FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1937.'

IT WOULD SEEM, THEREFORE, THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1937, IN APPROPRIATING THE "UNOBLIGATED BALANCE ON JUNE 30, 1936," PROVIDES SUFFICIENT AUTHORITY TO PAY ALL OBLIGATIONS INCURRED PRIOR TO JUNE 30, 1936, FROM THE APPROPRIATION--- "3S362 MIGRATORY BIRD CONSERVATION FUND (SPECIAL FUND)," AND THAT THE CONSTRUCTION PLACED ON THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT REGARDING THE UNEXPENDED BALANCE AS APPLIED TO THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT, IS NOT APPLICABLE IN THIS CASE FOR THE REASON THAT, AS YOU SPECIFICALLY NOTE IN YOUR OPINION, SECTION 4 (A) OF THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT OF JUNE 26, 1934, PROVIDED:

"* * * THAT IF THE TOTAL OF RECEIPTS FOR ANY OTHER FISCAL YEAR FOR ANY OF THE FOREGOING PURPOSES UNDER THIS AUTHORITY IS GREATER THAN THE AMOUNT APPROPRIATED FOR SUCH PURPOSE SUCH EXCESS IS AUTHORIZED TO BE APPROPRIATED FOR THE FOLLOWING FISCAL YEAR.'

FURTHERMORE, IT IS TO BE NOTED IN THE FOREGOING CITATIONS FROM THE ACTS IN QUESTION THAT THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT PROVIDES THAT ANY EXCESS IN RECEIPTS "IS AUTHORIZED TO BE APPROPRIATED FOR THE FOLLOWING FISCAL YEAR; " WHEREAS THE PERTINENT SECTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR 1937 MAKES A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION. FEEL, THEREFORE, THAT YOUR DECISION OF APRIL 14, 1936, IS NOT FOR APPLICATION UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED AND THAT THE OBLIGATIONS INCURRED PRIOR TO JUNE 30, 1936, MAY BE PAID FROM THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION.

THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEM RAISED HEREIN MAKES IT ADVISABLE FOR US TO REQUEST A REPLY FROM YOU BEFORE JULY 1, 1936.

THERE WAS INVOLVED IN THE DECISION OF APRIL 14, 1936, A-61818, 15 COMP. GEN. 898, AN APPROPRIATION ACCOUNT DESIGNATED UNDER SECTION 4 (B) OF THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT OF JUNE 26, 1934, 48 STAT. 1227, WHICH, UNDER THE TERMS OF SECTION 4 (A) OF THE ACT, HAD BEEN REPEALED EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1935, WITH THE PROVISION THAT RECEIPTS OF THE CHARACTER THERETOFORE CREDITED TO SUCH APPROPRIATION ACCOUNT SHOULD BE DEPOSITED INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS, AND IN VIEW OF THE FURTHER PROVISION IN SECTION 4 (A) THAT IF THE TOTAL OF SUCH RECEIPTS FOR ANY ONE FISCAL YEAR IS GREATER THAN THE AMOUNTS APPROPRIATE FOR THE PURPOSES THERETOFORE COVERED BY THE REPEALED APPROPRIATION SUCH EXCESS IS AUTHORIZED TO BE APPROPRIATED FOR THE FOLLOWING FISCAL YEAR, IT WAS HELD THAT THE UNEXPENDED BALANCE TO THE CREDIT OF THE REPEALED APPROPRIATION ACCOUNT AS OF JUNE 30, 1935, WAS A RECEIPT WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 4 (A) REQUIRED TO BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS, TO BE AVAILABLE FOR REAPPROPRIATION FOR THE SUCCEEDING FISCAL YEAR, AND THAT, THEREFORE, OBLIGATIONS OUTSTANDING ON JULY 1, 1935, WERE NOT PROPERLY FOR PAYMENT FROM THE REPEALED APPROPRIATION ACCOUNT BUT FROM, AND WITHIN THE LIMITS OF, THE SPECIFIC ANNUAL APPROPRIATION MADE FOR SUCH PURPOSES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1936.

IN THE PRESENT MATTER, WHILE THE APPROPRIATION ACCOUNT ITEM IN QUESTION, "MIGRATORY BIRD CONSERVATION FUND (3S362)," IS LIKEWISE CARRIED UNDER SECTION 4 (B) OF THE SAID PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT, SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4 (A) OF THE ACT, IT IS PRECEDED BY THE TERM "AFTER JUNE 30, 1936," SHOWING THAT AS TO THIS ACCOUNT THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 4 (A) ARE NOT TO TAKE EFFECT UNTIL AFTER THAT DATE, OR A YEAR LATER THAN FOR THE OTHER ACCOUNTS LISTED. HOWEVER, PRIOR TO SUCH EFFECTIVE DATE THERE WAS ENACTED ON JUNE 4, 1936, THE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1937, 49 STAT. 1446, PROVIDING, INTER ALIA, AN APPROPRIATION UNDER THE HEADING "MIGRATORY BIRD CONSERVATION FUND" OF AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE SUM RECEIVED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1937 FROM THE SALE OF HUNTING STAMPS "AND IN ADDITION THERETO AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE UNOBLIGATED BALANCE ON JUNE 30, 1936, OF THE TOTAL RECEIVED FROM THE SALE OF STAMPS PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1936.'

AS ONLY THE "UNOBLIGATED" BALANCE OF THE FUND AS OF JUNE 30, 1936, IS THUS IN EFFECT TO BE CARRIED OVER INTO THE 1937 APPROPRIATION AND MADE AVAILABLE FOR OBLIGATING AFTER JUNE 30, 1936, THE LEGISLATION EVINCES A CLEAR INTENT THAT NO PART OF THE 1937 APPROPRIATION IS FOR THE PAYMENT OF PRIOR OBLIGATIONS; AND AS IT IS NOT TO BE ASSUMED THAT, UNDER THESE CONDITIONS, IT WAS THE INTENT TO DEPOSIT THE OBLIGATED BALANCE OF THE FUND INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS, THE APPROPRIATION ACT MUST BE TAKEN AS AMENDING TO THIS EXTENT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4 (A) OF THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT INSOFAR AS THIS PARTICULAR APPROPRIATION ACCOUNT IS CONCERNED. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT SO MUCH OF THE BALANCE OF SUCH APPROPRIATION ACCOUNT AS IS REQUIRED THEREFOR WILL REMAIN AVAILABLE AFTER JUNE 30, 1936, FOR THE PAYMENT OF OBLIGATIONS LEGALLY INCURRED THEREUNDER PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1936. SEE 15 COMP. GEN. 445.