A-83678, MARCH 16, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 861

A-83678: Mar 16, 1937

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APPROPRIATIONS - LAPSED - AUTHORITY FOR ADJUSTMENTS INVOLVING CREDITS TO MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS THE ADJUSTMENT BY TRANSFER AND COUNTER WARRANT OF A LAPSED APPROPRIATION CARRIED TO THE SURPLUS FUND IS AUTHORIZED. THE BROAD PURPOSE OF WHICH IS TO EFFECT ADJUSTMENT OF LAPSED APPROPRIATIONS WITHOUT THE NECESSITY FOR CERTIFICATION TO CONGRESS WHERE SUCH ADJUSTMENTS INVOLVE MERE BOOKKEEPING ENTRIES AND NO EXPENDITURES OF MONEY FROM THE TREASURY. IT WAS FOUND THAT THE SUM OF $93.13 SHOULD BE TRANSFERRED FROM THE APPROPRIATION "63254 ENFORCEMENT OF NAVIGATION LAWS. THIS TRANSFER WAS NECESSARY FOR THE REASON THAT ON HIS VOUCHER 64170 FOR APRIL 1933. THE SUM OF $36.63 WAS TRANSFERRED FROM THE APPROPRIATION TO MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS.

A-83678, MARCH 16, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 861

APPROPRIATIONS - LAPSED - AUTHORITY FOR ADJUSTMENTS INVOLVING CREDITS TO MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS THE ADJUSTMENT BY TRANSFER AND COUNTER WARRANT OF A LAPSED APPROPRIATION CARRIED TO THE SURPLUS FUND IS AUTHORIZED, NOTWITHSTANDING IT INVOLVES A CREDIT TO MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS, BY SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1875, 18 STAT. 418, THE BROAD PURPOSE OF WHICH IS TO EFFECT ADJUSTMENT OF LAPSED APPROPRIATIONS WITHOUT THE NECESSITY FOR CERTIFICATION TO CONGRESS WHERE SUCH ADJUSTMENTS INVOLVE MERE BOOKKEEPING ENTRIES AND NO EXPENDITURES OF MONEY FROM THE TREASURY.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, MARCH 16, 1937:

IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF CHARLES E. MOLSTER, DISBURSING CLERK, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, IT WAS FOUND THAT THE SUM OF $93.13 SHOULD BE TRANSFERRED FROM THE APPROPRIATION "63254 ENFORCEMENT OF NAVIGATION LAWS, 1933" TO MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS "135130 SALE OF EQUIPMENT, ETC.' THIS TRANSFER WAS NECESSARY FOR THE REASON THAT ON HIS VOUCHER 64170 FOR APRIL 1933, COVERING PAYMENT FOR A BATTERY PURCHASED BY THE BUREAU OF NAVIGATION AND STEAMBOAT INSPECTION, $93.13, DEDUCTED FROM THE PURCHASE PRICE AS AN ALLOWANCE IN EXCHANGE FOR AN OLD BATTERY, REMAINED IN THE APPROPRIATION INSTEAD OF BEING CHARGED AGAINST IT AND DEPOSITED TO THE CREDIT OF MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS AS REQUIRED BY 3 COMP. GEN. 606, 7 ID. 230. BY TRANSFER AND COUNTER WARRANT NO. 0484, DATED MAY 15, 1935, THE SUM OF $36.63 WAS TRANSFERRED FROM THE APPROPRIATION TO MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS. ADJUSTMENT OF THE BALANCE, $56.50, COULD NOT BE EFFECTED BEFORE THE APPROPRIATION WAS CARRIED TO THE SURPLUS FUND FOR THE REASON THAT THERE WERE INSUFFICIENT FUNDS TO THE CREDIT OF THE APPROPRIATION BUT MONEYS HAVE SINCE BEEN REPAID THERETO.

TO ACCOMPLISH THE TRANSFER OF $56.50 FROM THE APPROPRIATION WHICH HAS NOW BEEN CARRIED TO THE SURPLUS FUND, THERE WAS TRANSMITTED BY THIS OFFICE TO THE DIVISION OF BOOKKEEPING AND WARRANTS, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, TRANSFER AND COUNTER WARRANT NO. 0375 FOR THE PURPOSE OF ADJUSTING THE MATTER UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1875, 18 STAT. 418, AND TREASURY CIRCULAR NO. 11, FEBRUARY 3, 1908. SAID WARRANT WAS RETURNED TO THIS OFFICE BY LETTER OF JANUARY 6, 1937, FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION WITH THE STATEMENT THAT THE ACT AND THE CIRCULAR CITED SEEM NOT TO APPLY IN THIS CASE.

SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1875, SUPRA, PROVIDES:

THAT WHENEVER IT MAY BE NECESSARY IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF DISBURSING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR EXPENDITURES ALREADY MADE IN PURSUANCE OF LAW, TO USE APPROPRIATIONS CARRIED TO THE SURPLUS FUND UNDER SECTION FIVE OF THE ACT OF JUNE TWENTIETH, EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND SEVENTY- FOUR THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO MAKE THE NECESSARY ENTRIES ON THE BOOKS OF THE DEPARTMENT TO EFFECT SUCH SETTLEMENTS: PROVIDED, THAT SUCH ENTRIES SHALL NOT INVOLVE THE EXPENDITURE OF ANY MONEYS FROM THE TREASURY.

IN LETTER DATED JUNE 20, 1923, THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY PRESENTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR DECISION THE QUESTION WHETHER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 5, SUPRA, WERE APPLICABLE TO EFFECT ADJUSTMENTS MADE NECESSARY IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF A CONSULAR OFFICER BY REASON OF PAYMENTS FROM RECEIPTS FROM CONSULAR FEES OF ITEMS CHARGEABLE UNDER THE APPROPRIATION FOR "RELIEF AND PROTECTION OF AMERICAN SEAMEN, 1920.' SUBMITTING THAT QUESTION THE FOLLOWING COMMENTS WERE MADE:

IN THIS CONNECTION IT MAY BE STATED THAT THIS CASE IS ONLY ONE OF A CONSIDERABLE NUMBER OF SIMILAR ADJUSTMENTS CALLED FOR BY DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR FISCAL OFFICERS' CERTIFICATES OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE NOW BEFORE THIS DEPARTMENT FOR ATTENTION. THE USUAL PRACTICE IN THE PAST HAS BEEN TO APPLY THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1875 (18 STAT., P. 418, SEC. 5), ONLY TO CASES WHERE TRANSFER AND COUNTER WARRANTS WERE TO BE ISSUED BETWEEN APPROPRIATION ACCOUNTS, BOTH OF WHICH HAD EXPIRED BY LIMITATION, AND A SUFFICIENT AMOUNT BEEN CARRIED TO THE SURPLUS FUND UNDER THE APPROPRIATION TO BE CHARGED TO MEET THE SUM NECESSARY TO COVER THE ADJUSTMENT. IN CASES LIKE THE ONE HEREWITH PRESENTED WHERE THE CHARGE IS AGAINST A PRIOR APPROPRIATION AND THE CREDIT TO MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS, THE ITEMS OF APPROPRIATION HAVE BEEN CERTIFIED TO CONGRESS WITH OTHER CERTIFIED CLAIMS FOR THE NECESSARY AMOUNTS TO ESTABLISH PROPER CREDITS TO THE APPROPRIATIONS INVOLVED. IF THE SAME METHOD PURSUED WITH THE TRANSFER AND COUNTER WARRANTS COULD BE PROPERLY APPLIED TO THE ADJUSTMENTS BETWEEN PRIOR APPROPRIATIONS AND MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS IT WOULD OBVIATE THE NECESSITY OF PRESENTING A LARGE NUMBER OF THESE ADJUSTMENT CASES TO CONGRESS FOR APPROPRIATIONS TO COVER THEM.

IN DECISION OF JUNE 30, 1923, A.D. 7744, IT WAS HELD THAT THE ACT OF 1875 AUTHORIZED THE ADJUSTMENT IN THAT CASE. THE PRESENT CASE APPEARS TO INVOLVE A SIMILAR SITUATION AND APPEARS TO BE COVERED BY THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1875, SUPRA, THE BROAD PURPOSE OF WHICH IS TO AUTHORIZE ADJUSTMENTS OF LAPSED APPROPRIATIONS WITHOUT THE NECESSITY FOR CERTIFICATION TO CONGRESS WHERE SUCH ADJUSTMENTS MAY BE ACCOMPLISHED BY MERE BOOKKEEPING ENTRIES AND DO NOT INVOLVE THE EXPENDITURE OF ANY MONEYS FROM THE TREASURY.

ACCORDINGLY, THE TRANSFER AND COUNTER WARRANT IS RETURNED FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION WITH A VIEW TO EFFECTING THE PROPOSED ADJUSTMENT.