A-85081, APRIL 19, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 948

A-85081: Apr 19, 1937

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EXCEPT FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH THE GRANTS ARE MADE. ANY EXPENDITURE OF SUCH FUNDS FOR THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH GRANTED TO THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA IS SUBJECT TO THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO THE EXPENDITURE OF TERRITORIAL FUNDS RATHER THAN FEDERAL LAWS APPLICABLE TO THE EXPENDITURE OF APPROPRIATED MONEYS BY THE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT. IS AS FOLLOWS: IN VIEW OF THE UNSATISFACTORY CONDITION WHICH EXISTED AT THE TIME OF DISBURSING CWA AND FERA FUNDS. WHICH IS LIKELY TO AGAIN ARISE IN CONNECTION WITH FUNDS SUPPLIED BY THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT UNDER THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT. IN VIEW OF THE FURTHER FACT THAT YOUR OFFICE IS APPARENTLY CHARGED WITH THE LAST SAY ON THESE QUESTIONS.

A-85081, APRIL 19, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 948

GRANTS TO STATES AND TERRITORIES - SOCIAL SECURITY ACT - EXPENDITURES GOVERNED BY STATE OR TERRITORIAL, AND NOT FEDERAL, LAWS AND REGULATIONS GRANTS TO A STATE OR TERRITORY UNDER THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, 49 STAT. 620, BECOME FUNDS OF THE PARTICULAR STATE OR TERRITORY, AND, EXCEPT FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH THE GRANTS ARE MADE, ANY EXPENDITURE OF SUCH FUNDS FOR THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH GRANTED TO THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA IS SUBJECT TO THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO THE EXPENDITURE OF TERRITORIAL FUNDS RATHER THAN FEDERAL LAWS APPLICABLE TO THE EXPENDITURE OF APPROPRIATED MONEYS BY THE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE AUDITOR OF ALASKA, APRIL 19, 1937:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 25, 1937, IS AS FOLLOWS:

IN VIEW OF THE UNSATISFACTORY CONDITION WHICH EXISTED AT THE TIME OF DISBURSING CWA AND FERA FUNDS, AND WHICH IS LIKELY TO AGAIN ARISE IN CONNECTION WITH FUNDS SUPPLIED BY THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT UNDER THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, AND IN VIEW OF THE FURTHER FACT THAT YOUR OFFICE IS APPARENTLY CHARGED WITH THE LAST SAY ON THESE QUESTIONS, I AM GOING TO IMPOSE UPON YOU FOR AN OPINION ON THIS SUBJECT.

THE VARIOUS ACTS MAKING GRANTS DEPENDENT UPON MATCHING APPROPRIATIONS BY THE TERRITORIAL LEGISLATURE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN MORE OR LESS INDEFINITE SO FAR AS ADMINISTRATION IS CONCERNED. FOR INSTANCE THE ACT OF CONGRESS APPROVED FEBRUARY 23, 1917, AND ACTS AMENDATORY THEREOF, PROVIDED FOR GRANTS OF FUNDS FOR VOCATIONAL EDUCATION, AND THE TERRITORY APPROPRIATED A TOTAL OF $30,000 FOR THE LAST BIENNIUM TO MATCH THE SUM RECEIVED FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. THE EXPENDITURE OF THIS MONEY IS UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION, BUT WHAT PROVISION, IF ANY, IS MADE FOR AN ACCOUNTING OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FUNDS? THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT PROVIDES FOR GRANTS TO STATES IN THE FOLLOWING INSTANCES:

1. OLD AGE ASSISTANCE.

2. OLD AGE RESERVE.

3. AID TO DEPENDENT CHILDREN.

4. AID TO MATERNAL AND CHILD WELFARE.

5. AID TO PUBLIC HEALTH WORK.

UP TO THE PRESENT TIME THE COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH HAS RECEIVED GRANTS ON BEHALF OF THE TERRITORY AND UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

PUBLIC HEALTH ---------------------------------- $28,100.64

CRIPPLED CHILDREN ------------------------------ 2,449.00

MATERNAL AND CHILD WELFARE --------------------- 20,221.60

50,771.24

THERE IS CONSIDERABLE DIFFERENCE OF OPINION BETWEEN THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION, THE COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH AND MYSELF ON THE ACCOUNTING FOR THOSE MENTIONED ABOVE, AND PAYING VOUCHERS. UNDER THE CWA ADMINISTRATION I WAS INFORMED THAT CONGRESS HAD RELIEVED THE SPECIAL DISBURSING OFFICER FROM RESPONSIBILITY OF ACCOUNTING FOR VOUCHERS THAT WERE APPROVED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR, AND ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS I ASKED FOR REGULATIONS GOVERNING EXPENDITURES BY THE CWA AND FERA BUT SUCH REGULATIONS WERE NOT FORTHCOMING, AND I WAS TOLD THAT THE ADMINISTRATOR WAS THE JUDGE OF THE EXPENDITURES AND THAT I SHOULD DEPEND UPON HIS APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS. EXPERIENCE HAS PROVEN OTHERWISE AND IT IS NOW NECESSARY FOR THE TERRITORY TO ACCOUNT TO YOUR OFFICE FOR SUCH EXPENDITURES.

BEFORE GOING TOO DEEPLY INTO THE "GRANT EXPENDITURES" AGAIN, I WISH YOU WOULD INFORM ME WHETHER OR NOT EXPENDITURES UNDER THESE GRANTS WOULD BE MADE AS TERRITORIAL FUNDS OR AS FEDERAL FUNDS. FOR INSTANCE THE TERRITORY AUTHORIZES CERTAIN TRAVEL ALLOWANCES, AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS A DIFFERENT SYSTEM AND MAKES DIFFERENT ALLOWANCES. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GRANTS US THE MONEY AND WE PAY, FOR INSTANCE, $6.00 A DAY AS PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE UNDER THE TERRITORIAL LAW, WHILE THE FEDERAL REGULATIONS ON THE SAME SUBJECT ONLY ALLOW $5.00 PER DIEM. WILL IT BE NECESSARY TO ACCOUNT FOR THE DIFFERENCE?

THERE ARE MANY OTHER INSTANCES IN WHICH THERE ARE DIFFERENCES, SOME OF WHICH ARISE OUT OF CONDITIONS EXISTING IN ALASKA, AND ONE WHICH IS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT HERE IS THE PAYMENT OF SALARIES. UNDER OUR PRESENT SYSTEM, WHERE A SALARY IS STIPULATED, A WARRANT IS ISSUED IN PAYMENT OF THE MONTH'S SALARY UPON THE APPROVAL OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER. FOR INSTANCE THERE ARE AT PRESENT SEVERAL EMPLOYEES OF THE COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH IN THE FIELD AND ARRANGEMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE TO DEPOSIT CHECKS FOR THEIR SALARIES AT THE END OF THE MONTH WITHOUT THE SIGNATURE OF THE PAYEE TO THE VOUCHER BUT WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH. THIS SYSTEM HAS BEEN FOLLOWED IN ALASKA AND CONDITIONS PRACTICALLY COMPEL US TO FOLLOW IT, SINCE THERE ARE TIMES WHEN SUCH EMPLOYEES WILL BE ABSENT IN THE FIELD FOR A CONSIDERABLE LENGTH OF TIME WITHOUT EVEN HAVING MAIL CONVENIENCE AND IT IS ALWAYS NECESSARY FOR THEM TO HAVE FUNDS AVAILABLE, WHICH IS POSSIBLE UNDER OUR PRACTICE.

THE QUESTION NOW IS, WILL IT BE NECESSARY FOR US TO ULTIMATELY HAVE VOUCHERS CERTIFIED BY THE INDIVIDUAL WHERE THE FUNDS COME FROM THE GRANTS MENTIONED ABOVE?

I WISH YOU WOULD GIVE THIS CAREFUL CONSIDERATION. I DESIRE TO ADMINISTER THE FUNDS GRANTED TO THE TERRITORY IN THE MANNER REQUIRED BY THE LAW FURNISHING THE FUNDS, AND IF THAT LAW GIVES THE LOCAL ADMINISTRATOR THE POWER TO MAKE REGULATIONS I WISH TO BE ADVISED OF THIS ALSO.

SECTION 1101 (2) OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT PROVIDES THAT THE TERM "STATE," EXCEPT UNDER SECTION 531, INCLUDES ALASKA. GRANTS TO A STATE OR TERRITORY UNDER THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT BECOME FUNDS OF THE PARTICULAR STATE OR TERRITORY AND--- EXCEPT FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH THE GRANTS ARE MADE--- ANY EXPENDITURE OF SUCH FUNDS FOR THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH GRANTED TO THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA IS SUBJECT TO THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO THE EXPENDITURE OF TERRITORIAL FUNDS RATHER THAN FEDERAL LAWS APPLICABLE TO THE EXPENDITURE OF APPROPRIATED MONEYS BY THE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT.