A-81228, NOVEMBER 14, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 492

A-81228: Nov 14, 1936

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NOTWITHSTANDING SCHOOL FACILITIES ARE NOT AVAILABLE WITHIN THE NATIONAL PARK AREA AND THE FURNISHING OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION WOULD REQUIRE NO ADDITIONAL OR SPECIAL EQUIPMENT. AS FOLLOWS: AN UNSATISFACTORY SITUATION EXISTS IN THE NATIONAL PARKS REGARDING SCHOOL FACILITIES AS THERE IS NO AUTHORITY IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR THEIR ESTABLISHMENT OR OPERATION. WHERE THERE IS CONCURRENT JURISDICTION. THE STATE SCHOOL AUTHORITIES ARE NOT INCLINED TO FURNISH SCHOOL FACILITIES IN FEDERAL AREAS. IN ORDER TO ACCORD EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES TO CHILDREN OF PARK EMPLOYEES LOCATED IN ISOLATED AREAS IN WHICH SCHOOL FACILITIES ARE NOT AVAILABLE. IT IS NECESSARY THAT THIS DEPARTMENT PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THE NEAREST SCHOOL AND RESIDENCES OF SUCH EMPLOYEES.

A-81228, NOVEMBER 14, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 492

TRANSPORTATION - USE OF GOVERNMENT EQUIPMENT - CHILDREN OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES ATTENDING PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY, GOVERNMENT-OWNED EQUIPMENT MAY NOT BE USED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF CHILDREN OF NATIONAL PARK SERVICE EMPLOYEES TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS, NOTWITHSTANDING SCHOOL FACILITIES ARE NOT AVAILABLE WITHIN THE NATIONAL PARK AREA AND THE FURNISHING OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION WOULD REQUIRE NO ADDITIONAL OR SPECIAL EQUIPMENT.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, NOVEMBER 14, 1936:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 23, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

AN UNSATISFACTORY SITUATION EXISTS IN THE NATIONAL PARKS REGARDING SCHOOL FACILITIES AS THERE IS NO AUTHORITY IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR THEIR ESTABLISHMENT OR OPERATION. SUCH FACILITIES CANNOT BE PROVIDED LEGALLY BY LOCAL STATE SCHOOL BOARDS IN PARK AREAS UNDER EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES AND, WHERE THERE IS CONCURRENT JURISDICTION, THE STATE SCHOOL AUTHORITIES ARE NOT INCLINED TO FURNISH SCHOOL FACILITIES IN FEDERAL AREAS.

IN ORDER TO ACCORD EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES TO CHILDREN OF PARK EMPLOYEES LOCATED IN ISOLATED AREAS IN WHICH SCHOOL FACILITIES ARE NOT AVAILABLE, IT IS NECESSARY THAT THIS DEPARTMENT PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THE NEAREST SCHOOL AND RESIDENCES OF SUCH EMPLOYEES. ACCOMPLISH THIS PURPOSE, NO ADDITIONAL OR SPECIAL EQUIPMENT WILL BE REQUIRED AS ONLY AVAILABLE PARK EQUIPMENT WILL BE UTILIZED. THEREFORE, YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER, AS AN INCIDENT TO THE ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM, THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, BY ACT OF CONGRESS OF AUGUST 25, 1916 (39 STAT. 535), IS AUTHORIZED TO FURNISH TRANSPORTATION FOR THE CHILDREN OF PARK EMPLOYEES TO THE NEAREST PUBLIC SCHOOL WHEN SCHOOL FACILITIES ARE NOT AVAILABLE IN A NATIONAL PARK.

THERE IS NO PROVISION IN THE ACT OF AUGUST 25, 1916, 39 STAT. 535, CITED BY YOU, OR IN ANY APPROPRIATION ITEM FOR THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE AUTHORIZING--- EITHER IN EXPRESS TERMS OR BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION--- THE USE OF PUBLIC FUNDS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF CHILDREN OF PARK EMPLOYEES UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTER.

YOU STATE IN YOUR LETTER THAT NO ADDITIONAL OR SPECIAL EQUIPMENT WILL BE REQUIRED BUT THAT AVAILABLE PARK EQUIPMENT WILL BE USED IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF CHILDREN TO THE SCHOOLS. HOWEVER, THE UTILIZATION OF SUCH EQUIPMENT FOR THE PURPOSE CONTEMPLATED WILL NECESSARILY REQUIRE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF THE VEHICLES USED IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH TRANSPORTATION. WHILE THE FURNISHING OF SUCH SERVICE MAY BE DESIRABLE AND CONVENIENT--- PARTICULARLY FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES CONCERNED -- ANY EXPENDITURE THEREFOR MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS AN EXPENDITURE REQUISITE FOR AND INCIDENT TO THE AUTHORIZED WORK OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE. THAT IS TO SAY, THERE APPEARS NO DIRECT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE EXPENDITURE IS PROPOSED AND THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE FUNDS ARE APPROPRIATED.

FURTHERMORE, THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES IS NOT A RESPONSIBILITY OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, BUT ON THE CONTRARY IS A PERSONAL DUTY OR RESPONSIBILITY OF THE EMPLOYEES OR THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES. SEE 15 COMP. GEN. 121. AS TO THE USE OF GOVERNMENT-OWNED PASSENGER CARRYING VEHICLES FOR OTHER THAN OFFICIAL PURPOSES, SEE SECTION 3 (B) OF THE ACT OF JUNE 23, 1936, 49 STAT. 1854.

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS SPECIFICALLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY THEREFOR, GOVERNMENT-OWNED EQUIPMENT MAY NOT BE USED TO FURNISH TRANSPORTATION OF THE CHARACTER CONTEMPLATED IN YOUR LETTER.

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