A-82819, JANUARY 28, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 695

A-82819: Jan 28, 1937

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A PRIOR DECISION AUTHORIZING DELEGATION TO OTHER SUBORDINATES IN MATTERS NOT INVOLVING THE APPLICATION OF STATUTORY PROVISIONS REQUIRING THE EXERCISE OF JUDGMENT OR DISCRETION BY A PARTICULAR OFFICER IS NO AUTHORITY FOR SUCH DELEGATION IN A CASE SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED. IT APPEARS THE PUBLIC PRINTER WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE CHIEF. THE VOUCHER WHEN FIRST PRESENTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR PREAUDIT WAS RETURNED WITHOUT CERTIFICATION UNDER DATE OF NOVEMBER 21. THE VOUCHER WAS LATER RESUBMITTED ACCOMPANIED ONLY BY A PHOTOSTATIC COPY OF THE LETTER DELEGATING THE AUTHORITY. THE VOUCHER WAS AGAIN RETURNED WITHOUT CERTIFICATION ON DECEMBER 3. WITH THE RETURN OF THE VOUCHER THERE WAS ATTACHED THERETO A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 25.

A-82819, JANUARY 28, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 695

DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY - ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS - EXPENDITURES FOR ILLUSTRATIONS, ENGRAVINGS, OR PHOTOGRAPHS THE OBLIGATION IMPOSED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1905, 33 STAT. 1213, UPON THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS TO FURNISH PERSONAL CERTIFICATES OF THE CHARACTER SET FORTH IN SAID ACT IN CONNECTION WITH EXPENDITURES FROM APPROPRIATIONS FOR PRINTING AND BINDING, FOR ILLUSTRATIONS, ENGRAVINGS, OR PHOTOGRAPHS, MAY NOT BE DELEGATED TO A SUBORDINATE OTHER THAN AN ASSISTANT HEAD AUTHORIZED BY STATUTE TO ACT IN PLACE OF THE HEAD, AND A PRIOR DECISION AUTHORIZING DELEGATION TO OTHER SUBORDINATES IN MATTERS NOT INVOLVING THE APPLICATION OF STATUTORY PROVISIONS REQUIRING THE EXERCISE OF JUDGMENT OR DISCRETION BY A PARTICULAR OFFICER IS NO AUTHORITY FOR SUCH DELEGATION IN A CASE SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, JANUARY 28, 1937:

THERE HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR AUDIT BEFORE PAYMENT A VOUCHER, ADMINISTRATIVE NO. 3587, IN FAVOR OF WILLIAMS AND HEINTZ CO. FOR $223, COVERING THE FURNISHING OF PAPER, REPRODUCING, AND REPRINTING ILLUSTRATIONS FOR THE USE OF THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD IN ACCORDANCE WITH PROPOSAL OF AUGUST 28, 1936, AND ACCEPTANCE THEREOF BY THE PUBLIC PRINTER, SEPTEMBER 2, 1936.

IT APPEARS THE PUBLIC PRINTER WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE CHIEF, DIVISION OF PRINTING, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, TO PERFORM THE WORK, AND THE VOUCHER WHEN FIRST PRESENTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR PREAUDIT WAS RETURNED WITHOUT CERTIFICATION UNDER DATE OF NOVEMBER 21, 1936, FOR CITATION TO THE STATUTE AUTHORIZING THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY TO DELEGATE THE CHIEF, DIVISION OF PRINTING, TO SIGN THE REQUISITION FOR THE WORK, AND, ALSO, FOR A COPY OF THE ORDER DELEGATING SUCH AUTHORITY. THE VOUCHER WAS LATER RESUBMITTED ACCOMPANIED ONLY BY A PHOTOSTATIC COPY OF THE LETTER DELEGATING THE AUTHORITY. THE REPLY THUS BEING INCOMPLETE, THE VOUCHER WAS AGAIN RETURNED WITHOUT CERTIFICATION ON DECEMBER 3, 1936, FOR THE STATUTE CITATION FIRST REQUESTED, INCLUDING, ALSO, A REQUEST FOR THE ORIGINAL COPY OF THE ORDER FOR ILLUSTRATIONS SIGNED BY THE CHIEF, DIVISION OF PRINTING. WITH THE RETURN OF THE VOUCHER THERE WAS ATTACHED THERETO A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 25, 1936, TO THE PUBLIC PRINTER FROM THE CHIEF, DIVISION OF PRINTING, AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR MEMORANDA OF NOVEMBER 23 AND 24, 1936, RETURN CERTIFICATES COVERING ILLUSTRATIONS ON TREASURY REQUISITIONS 3009 AND 236, RESPECTIVELY, BECAUSE THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL ASKS CITATION TO STATUTE AUTHORIZING THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY TO DELEGATE AUTHORITY TO THE CHIEF OF THE DIVISION OF PRINTING TO SIGN SUCH CERTIFICATES, WITH A COPY OF THE SECRETARY'S ORDER DELEGATING SUCH AUTHORITY.

HEREWITH, IN DUPLICATE, PLEASE FIND NOTICE DATED NOVEMBER 24, 1936, BY THE ACTING SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY OF THE DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY TO THE CHIEF OF THE DIVISION OF PRINTING TO SIGN ALL REQUISITIONS, TO CERTIFY TO THE NECESSITY FOR ILLUSTRATIONS, AND TO APPROVE FOR PAYMENT ALL VOUCHERS COVERING PRINTING AND BINDING, AND BLANK BOOK WORK. THIS LETTER, IN EFFECT, IS A RESTATEMENT OF DEPARTMENT LETTER TO YOU UNDER DATE OF APRIL 11, 1927, BY ACTING SECRETARY OGDEN L. MILLS, TO THE SAME PURPORT.

WHILE THE DELEGATION OF THE AUTHORITY IN QUESTION IS NOT BASED ON STATUTORY ENACTMENT, THE PRINCIPLE INVOLVED HAS BEEN SANCTIONED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE HERETOFORE. COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S LETTER OF APRIL 10, 1925 (RE-A-602), COPY HEREWITH, STATES:

"THE IMPRACTICABILITY OF THE SECRETARY OR ASSISTANT AND ACTING SECRETARIES OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT APPROVING AND TRANSMITTING FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT ALL CLAIMS AGAINST THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT AND ITS BUREAUS AND OFFICES WAS UNDERSTOOD AND APPRECIATED, AND THE NECESSITY FOR THE DELEGATION OF SUCH AUTHORITY WAS CONCEDED. HOWEVER, IT WAS THOUGHT, AND YOU WERE SO ADVISED, THAT THE DELEGATION OF SUCH AUTHORITY TO ONE OF POSITION BELOW THAT OF THE CHIEF OF A BUREAU, OR OTHER CORRESPONDING UNIT,OR TO ONE DELEGATED TO ACT IN HIS STEAD, WAS NOT IN THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES.'

THAT IS TO SAY, THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL CONCEDES THE PROPRIETY OF THE DELEGATION OF SUCH AUTHORITY TO A CHIEF OF A BUREAU OR OTHER CORRESPONDING UNIT, AND, IN THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, A DIVISION OF THE SECRETARY'S OFFICE IS A UNIT CORRESPONDING TO A BUREAU.

THERE WAS ATTACHED, ALSO, A COPY OF THE NOTICE OF NOVEMBER 24, 1936, REFERRED TO IN SECOND PARAGRAPH OF QUOTED LETTER, TOGETHER WITH LETTER OF JULY 1, 1936, SIGNED BY THE CHIEF, DIVISION OF PRINTING, AUTHORIZING THE WORK COVERED BY THE VOUCHER.

THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1905, 33 STAT. 1213, INSOFAR AS HERE MATERIAL, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

* * * NO PART OF THE APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR PRINTING AND BINDING SHALL BE USED FOR ANY ILLUSTRATION, ENGRAVING, OR PHOTOGRAPH IN ANY DOCUMENT OR REPORT ORDERED PRINTED BY CONGRESS UNLESS THE ORDER TO PRINT EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZES THE SAME, NOR IN ANY DOCUMENT OR REPORT OF ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR OTHER GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENT UNTIL THE HEAD OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENT SHALL CERTIFY IN A LETTER TRANSMITTING SUCH REPORT THAT THE ILLUSTRATION IS NECESSARY AND RELATES ENTIRELY TO THE TRANSACTION OF PUBLIC BUSINESS.

WHERE, AS IN THIS CASE, THE LAW REQUIRES IN SPECIFIC TERMS THE CERTIFICATION BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT, THE AUTHORITY TO CERTIFY MAY NOT BE DELEGATED. THE ACTION MAY BE ONLY BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY OR AN UNDER SECRETARY OR ASSISTANT SECRETARY AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO PERFORM ANY DUTY THE SECRETARY MAY PERFORM. THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1905, SUPRA, REQUIRES AS A CONDITION PRECEDENT--- I.E., BEFORE THE APPROPRIATION MAY BE CHARGED FOR THE PARTICULAR WORK--- THAT THERE BE FURNISHED A CERTIFICATE BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED STATING SPECIFICALLY THAT "THE ILLUSTRATION IS NECESSARY AND RELATES ENTIRELY TO THE TRANSACTION OF PUBLIC BUSINESS.' IT IS OBVIOUS, THEREFORE, THAT THE OBLIGATION TO FURNISH A CERTIFICATE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES IS ONE THAT MAY NOT BE WAIVED OR DELEGATED. IN CONSTRUING SIMILAR PROVISIONS IN OTHER STATUTES IN WHICH THE AUTHORITY TO DO OR TO AUTHORIZE A PARTICULAR THING IS VESTED BY STATUTE IN THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT, IT HAS BEEN UNIFORMLY HELD THAT THE HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT MAY NOT DELEGATE THAT AUTHORITY TO A SUBORDINATE OTHER THAN AN ASSISTANT HEAD AUTHORIZED BY STATUTE TO ACT IN PLACE OF THE HEAD. 3 COMP. GEN. 460; 7 ID. 482; 14 ID. 5; ID. 81; ID. 601; 15 COMP. GEN. 171 AND 763. THE DECISION OF THIS OFFICE A 6002, DATED APRIL 10, 1925, RELIED UPON BY THE CHIEF, DIVISION OF PRINTING, AS SUPPORTING THE DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY GIVEN TO HIM IN THIS MATTER, DID NOT INVOLVE THE APPLICATION OF STATUTORY PROVISIONS REQUIRING THE EXERCISE OF JUDGMENT OR DISCRETION BY ANY PARTICULAR OFFICER SUCH AS THAT REQUIRED BY THE STATUTE HERE. THAT DECISION, THEREFORE, IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY IN QUESTION HERE.

IN VIEW OF THE APPARENT MISCONCEPTION AS TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ACT,SUPRA, AND THE PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED WITH RESPECT TO EXPENDITURES THEREUNDER, THE VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF WILLIAMS AND HEINTZ CO. WILL BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, AND RETURNED THROUGH USUAL PREAUDIT CHANNELS, BUT WITH RESPECT TO ALL SUCH EXPENDITURES HEREAFTER, PAYMENT OR CREDIT WILL NOT BE AUTHORIZED UNLESS THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW AS HEREIN CONSTRUED ARE COMPLIED WITH.