A-80273, AUGUST 31, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 205

A-80273: Aug 31, 1936

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825 WAS MADE AVAILABLE FOR SALARIES AND NECESSARY ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES TO COMPLETE THE WORK OF AUDITING VOUCHERS AND PAYMENT OF FREIGHT BILLS WITH RELATION TO THE PURCHASE AND SALE OF SEED. THE ABOVE FUNDS HAVE BEEN SET UP UNDER APPROPRIATION 62114. PRACTICALLY ALL OF THE AMOUNT MADE AVAILABLE AS ABOVE SET FORTH WAS TO COVER PAYMENTS OF ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT PAYMENTS FROM THE ABOVE APPROPRIATIONS MAY BE MADE AFTER SEPTEMBER 1. FOR THE REDEMPTION OF TAX-PAYMENT WARRANTS UNDER THE KERR TOBACCO ACT IN THOSE CASES WHERE THE APPLICATION FOR REDEMPTION IS FILED WITH THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE PRIOR TO THE CLOSE OF THE DAY. PAYMENT THEREON IS NOT MADE PRIOR TO SUCH TIME.

A-80273, AUGUST 31, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 205

APPROPRIATIONS - AVAILABILITY BEYOND SPECIFIED DATE - AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT PAYMENTS THE AVAILABILITY OF AN APPROPRIATION UNTIL A SPECIFIED DATE RELATING GENERALLY TO ITS AVAILABILITY FOR OBLIGATING RATHER THAN FOR ACTUAL PAYMENTS, UNLESS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY STATUTE, THE APPROPRIATION MADE BY PUBLIC RESOLUTION NUMBER 76, 49 STAT. 1163, FOR "PAYMENTS FOR AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT" REMAINS AVAILABLE SUBSEQUENT TO THE SPECIFIED DATE OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1936, FOR PAYMENTS OF ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES LAWFULLY INCURRED PRIOR THERETO, AND FOR REDEMPTION OF TAX-PAYMENT WARRANTS ISSUED UNDER THE KERR TOBACCO ACT, IF FILED ON OR BEFORE SAID DATE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, AUGUST 31, 1936:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 26, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

PUBLIC RESOLUTION NUMBER 76, 74TH CONGRESS, PROVIDES THAT NOT TO EXCEED $1,068,825 (TO BE AVAILABLE UNTIL SEPTEMBER 1, 1936) OF THE APPROPRIATION OF $296,185,000 FOR "PAYMENTS FOR AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT" MAY BE USED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE FOR THE REDEMPTION OF TAX-PAYMENT WARRANTS AS PROVIDED IN THE KERR TOBACCO ACT, INCLUDING ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES THEREFOR, AND FOR CERTAIN SALARIES AND ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH ACT AS WELL AS THE BANKHEAD COTTON ACT OF 1934 AND THE POTATO ACT OF 1935. OF THE AMOUNT OF $1,068,825, NOT TO EXCEED $42,825 WAS MADE AVAILABLE FOR SALARIES AND NECESSARY ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES TO COMPLETE THE WORK OF AUDITING VOUCHERS AND PAYMENT OF FREIGHT BILLS WITH RELATION TO THE PURCHASE AND SALE OF SEED. THE ABOVE FUNDS HAVE BEEN SET UP UNDER APPROPRIATION 62114,"PAYMENTS FOR AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT (PAYMENTS UNDER TOBACCO, COTTON, AND POTATO ACTS), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, 1936--- SEPTEMBER 1, 1936," AND APPROPRIATION 1262115,"PAYMENTS FOR AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT (ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES, PURCHASE AND SALE OF SEED), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, 1936--- SEPTEMBER 1, 1936.'

PRACTICALLY ALL OF THE AMOUNT MADE AVAILABLE AS ABOVE SET FORTH WAS TO COVER PAYMENTS OF ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES, THE ONLY EXCEPTION BEING AN ITEM ESTIMATED AT APPROXIMATELY $40,000 FOR THE REDEMPTION OF TAX PAYMENT WARRANTS UNDER THE KERR TOBACCO ACT. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT PAYMENTS FROM THE ABOVE APPROPRIATIONS MAY BE MADE AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 1936, FOR OBLIGATIONS PROPERLY INCURRED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES UP TO MIDNIGHT OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1936. THE QUESTION HAS BEEN RAISED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT PAYMENTS MAY ALSO BE MADE FROM THE APPROPRIATION 1262114 AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 1936, FOR THE REDEMPTION OF TAX-PAYMENT WARRANTS UNDER THE KERR TOBACCO ACT IN THOSE CASES WHERE THE APPLICATION FOR REDEMPTION IS FILED WITH THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE PRIOR TO THE CLOSE OF THE DAY, OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1936, BUT PAYMENT THEREON IS NOT MADE PRIOR TO SUCH TIME.

IT IS BELIEVED THAT NEARLY ALL OF THE APPLICATIONS FOR REDEMPTION OF TAX- PAYMENT WARRANTS WILL HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AND PAID BY SEPTEMBER 1, 1936. HOWEVER, THERE ARE A FEW APPLICATIONS ALREADY RECEIVED WHICH PROBABLY CANNOT BE PAID BY SEPTEMBER 1 BECAUSE OF THE NECESSITY OF OBTAINING CERTAIN CORRECTIONS OR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. THERE PROBABLY WILL ALSO BE A FEW NEW APPLICATIONS RECEIVED AT THE LAST MINUTE WHICH CANNOT BE CLEARED FOR PAYMENT ON SEPTEMBER 1.

THE DEPARTMENT UNDERSTANDS THAT THE CONGRESS, IN PLACING THE LIMITATION UPON THE AVAILABILITY OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED FUNDS INTENDED THAT NO NEW OBLIGATIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES WOULD BE INCURRED AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, BUT DID NOT INTEND TO PROHIBIT THE PAYMENT AFTER THAT DATE OF OBLIGATIONS LEGITIMATELY INCURRED ON OR BEFORE THAT DATE OR TO PROHIBIT PAYMENTS AFTER THAT DATE WITH RESPECT TO APPLICATIONS FOR REDEMPTION OF TAX-PAYMENT WARRANTS WHERE SUCH APPLICATIONS HAD BEEN FILED WITH THE DEPARTMENT ON OR BEFORE THAT DATE.

YOUR OPINION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE ABOVE APPROPRIATIONS MAY BE DRAWN UPON AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 1936, FOR PAYMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES PROPERLY INCURRED PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 2, 1936, AND FOR THE REDEMPTION OF TAX-PAYMENT WARRANTS WHERE THE APPLICATION FOR SUCH REDEMPTION WAS FILED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ON OR BEFORE SEPTEMBER 1, 1936.

WHEN AN APPROPRIATION IS BY ITS TERMS MADE AVAILABLE UNTIL A SPECIFIED DATE, THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT THE AVAILABILITY RELATES TO THE AUTHORITY TO OBLIGATE THE APPROPRIATION, AND DOES NOT NECESSARILY PROHIBIT PAYMENTS AFTER THE AVAILABLE DATE FOR OBLIGATIONS PREVIOUSLY INCURRED, UNLESS THE PAYMENT IS OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED BY STATUTE. IN THE PRESENT CASE THE APPROPRIATION WAS MADE FOR TWO PURPOSES: (1) FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES, AND (2) FOR THE REDEMPTION OF TAX-PAYMENT WARRANTS ISSUED UNDER THE KERR TOBACCO ACT. AS TO ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES, IT IS CLEARLY APPARENT THAT THE APPROPRIATION MAY BE CHARGED AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 1936, FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES AS WERE LAWFULLY INCURRED UP TO THAT DATE. WITH RESPECT TO THE MATTER OF REDEMPTION OF TAX-PAYMENT WARRANTS UNDER THE KERR TOBACCO ACT, HOWEVER, THE MATTER IS NOT SO CLEAR. THE OBLIGATIONS APPARENTLY EXISTED AT THE TIME THE ACT MAKING THE APPROPRIATION BECAME LAW, AND IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, THE RULE THAT THE OBLIGATIONS WERE TO BE INCURRED DURING THE PERIOD OF THE AVAILABILITY OF THE APPROPRIATION IS NOT FOR APPLICATION. IT IS READILY APPARENT, HOWEVER, THAT IT WAS NOT THE INTENT OF THE CONGRESS BY LIMITING THE AVAILABILITY OF THE APPROPRIATION TO SEPTEMBER 1, 1936, TO PROHIBIT PAYMENT THEREAFTER OF CLAIMS ACTUALLY FILED BY HOLDERS OF THE TAX-PAYMENT WARRANTS ON OR BEFORE SEPTEMBER 1, 1936, AND NOT PAID ON OR PRIOR TO THAT DATE THROUGH NO FAULT OF THE CLAIMANTS. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES SAID APPROPRIATION WILL BE HELD CHARGEABLE AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 1936, FOR THE PAYMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES LAWFULLY INCURRED ON OR BEFORE THAT DATE, AND ALSO FOR THE PAYMENT OF CLAIMS FOR TAX-PAYMENT WARRANTS UNDER THE KERR TOBACCO ACT FILED BY CLAIMANTS ON OR BEFORE SEPTEMBER 1, 1936.