A-8035, APRIL 7, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 841

A-8035: Apr 7, 1925

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" IS MANDATORY AND PERMITS OF NO EXCEPTION DUE TO HARDSHIP IN PARTICULAR CASES. 1925: THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION WHETHER CREDIT MAY BE ALLOWED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF JAMES E. THE ADVERTISEMENT WAS INSERTED WITHOUT SECURING THE PRIOR WRITTEN AUTHORITY OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT IN WHICH MR. MILLER WAS EMPLOYED AND THEREFORE COMES WITHIN THE INHIBITION OF THE PLAIN PROVISION OF SECTION 3828. WHICH IS AS FOLLOWS: NO ADVERTISEMENT. THE STATUTE PROVIDES FOR NO EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE THUS PLAINLY PRESCRIBED AND THEREFORE NO EXCEPTION THERETO IS AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE BY THIS OFFICE. AS WAS SAID IN CORONA COAL CO. 540: * * * BUT THE WORDS OF THE STATUTE ARE PLAIN. NO ROOM IS LEFT FOR CONSTRUCTION.

A-8035, APRIL 7, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 841

ADVERTISING THE PROHIBITION IN SECTION 3828, REVISED STATUTES, AGAINST THE PAYMENT FOR ADVERTISEMENTS PUBLISHED IN NEWSPAPERS "EXCEPT IN PURSUANCE OF A WRITTEN AUTHORITY FOR SUCH PUBLICATION FROM THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT," IS MANDATORY AND PERMITS OF NO EXCEPTION DUE TO HARDSHIP IN PARTICULAR CASES. THE SUBSEQUENT APPROVAL OR RATIFICATION BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT DOES NOT REMOVE THE STATUTORY BAR.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, APRIL 7, 1925:

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION WHETHER CREDIT MAY BE ALLOWED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF JAMES E. MILLER, TRADE COMMISSIONER, BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, FOR THE SUM OF $6.88, THE EQUIVALENT IN UNITED STATES MONEY OF 23 RUPEES, EXPENDED BY HIM FOR AN ADVERTISEMENT INSERTED IN THE TIMES OF INDIA, PUBLISHED IN BOMBAY, INDIA. THE ADVERTISEMENT WAS INSERTED WITHOUT SECURING THE PRIOR WRITTEN AUTHORITY OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT IN WHICH MR. MILLER WAS EMPLOYED AND THEREFORE COMES WITHIN THE INHIBITION OF THE PLAIN PROVISION OF SECTION 3828, REVISED STATUTES, WHICH IS AS FOLLOWS:

NO ADVERTISEMENT, NOTICE, OR PROPOSAL FOR ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT, OR FOR ANY BUREAU THEREOF, OR FOR ANY OFFICE THEREWITH CONNECTED, SHALL BE PUBLISHED IN ANY NEWSPAPER WHATEVER, EXCEPT IN PURSUANCE OF A WRITTEN AUTHORITY FOR SUCH PUBLICATION FROM THE HEAD OF SUCH DEPARTMENT; AND NO BILL FOR ANY SUCH ADVERTISING, OR PUBLICATION, SHALL BE PAID, UNLESS THERE BE PRESENTED, WITH SUCH BILL, A COPY OF SUCH WRITTEN AUTHORITY.

THE STATUTE PROVIDES FOR NO EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE THUS PLAINLY PRESCRIBED AND THEREFORE NO EXCEPTION THERETO IS AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE BY THIS OFFICE. AS WAS SAID IN CORONA COAL CO. V. UNITED STATES, 263 U.S. 537, 540:

* * * BUT THE WORDS OF THE STATUTE ARE PLAIN, WITH NOTHING IN THE CONTEXT TO MAKE THEIR MEANING DOUBTFUL; NO ROOM IS LEFT FOR CONSTRUCTION, AND WE ARE NOT AT LIBERTY TO ADD AN EXCEPTION IN ORDER TO REMOVE APPARENT HARDSHIP IN PARTICULAR CASES. SEE AMY V. WATERTOWN, 130 U.S. 320; ST. LOUIS, IRON MOUNTAIN AND SOUTHERN RY.CO. V. TAYLOR, 210 U.S. 281, 295; UNITED STATES V. FIRST NATIONAL BANK, 234 U.S. 245, 259-260.

IT HAS BEEN HELD UNIFORMLY THAT A SUBSEQUENT APPROVAL OF AN EXPENDITURE FOR ADVERTISING IS NOT A COMPLIANCE WITH THE STATUTORY REQUIREMENT OF "A WRITTEN AUTHORITY FOR SUCH PUBLICATION.' SEE 5 COMP. DEC. 166; 3 COMP. GEN. 737.