A-86332, MAY 25, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 1036

A-86332: May 25, 1937

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

IS AS FOLLOWS: THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE IS PLANNING TO UNDERTAKE AN INVESTIGATION OF THE ETIOLOGY OF TRACHOMA. THE WORK WILL BE CARRIED ON AT THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH. WILL NECESSITATE THE PRESENCE IN WASHINGTON FROM TIME TO TIME OF HUMANS WHO HAVE THE DISEASE. IT IS PROPOSED THAT SELECTED PATIENTS BE MOVED TO THE U.S. IT IS ASSUMED THERE WOULD BE NO OBJECTION TO DETAILING A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE AS THEIR ESCORT AND REIMBURSING SUCH EMPLOYEE FOR EXPENSES NECESSARILY INCURRED FOR THE TRAVELING EXPENSES AND SUBSISTENCE OF THE PATIENTS. IS MAINTAINED BY THE APPROPRIATION "PAY OF PERSONNEL AND MAINTENANCE OF HOSPITALS. THE INVESTIGATION WILL BE FINANCED BY THE APPROPRIATION "DISEASES AND SANITATION INVESTIGATIONS.

A-86332, MAY 25, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 1036

TRANSPORTATION, LODGING, AND SUBSISTENCE OF PATIENTS FOR DISEASE STUDY - USE OF GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION AND MEAL REQUESTS - REIMBURSEMENT OF MARINE HOSPITAL WHERE LODGED THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF PATIENTS AND THEIR LODGING AND SUBSISTENCE WHILE REQUIRED FOR AN INVESTIGATION AT WASHINGTON, D.C., BY THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE OF THE ETIOLOGY OF TRACHOMA, UNDER AUTHORITY CONFERRED BY SECTION 603 (A) OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, 49 STAT. 635, INCLUDING EXPENSES OF ATTENDANTS WHEN NECESSARY, MAY BE PAID FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR "DISEASES AND SANITATION INVESTIGATIONS," 49 STAT. 1841, AND THE MARINE HOSPITAL AT WHICH HOSPITALIZED FOR THIS PURPOSE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR ALL EXPENSES SO INCURRED, BUT ALL GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION AND MEAL REQUESTS FURNISHED THESE PATIENTS SHOULD BE DULY FILLED OUT AND SIGNED BY THE PROPER OFFICIAL BEFORE DELIVERY TO THEM.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, MAY 25, 1937:

YOUR LETTER OF MAY 13, 1937, IS AS FOLLOWS:

THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE IS PLANNING TO UNDERTAKE AN INVESTIGATION OF THE ETIOLOGY OF TRACHOMA, AN INFECTIOUS DISEASE. THE WORK WILL BE CARRIED ON AT THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH, WASHINGTON, D.C., AND WILL NECESSITATE THE PRESENCE IN WASHINGTON FROM TIME TO TIME OF HUMANS WHO HAVE THE DISEASE.

IT IS PROPOSED THAT SELECTED PATIENTS BE MOVED TO THE U.S. MARINE HOSPITAL, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, PROBABLY FROM THE TRACHOMA HOSPITALS AT RICHMOND, KENTUCKY, AND ROLLA, MISSOURI, INSTITUTIONS MAINTAINED BY THE STATES WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF FUNDS ALLOTTED PURSUANT TO SECTION 602 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, 49 STAT. 634 (U.S.C. TITLE 42, SEC. 802). FROM BALTIMORE THEY WOULD COME, OR BE BROUGHT, TO THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH DURING THE DAY AS NEEDED, RETURNING TO THE HOSPITAL THE SAME DAY. THE STUDY COULD PROBABLY BE CARRIED OUT WITH TEN OR TWELVE CASES, PREFERABLY ONE OR TWO AT A TIME. IT WOULD NOT BE NECESSARY FOR PATIENTS TO REMAIN IN THE HOSPITAL AT BALTIMORE MORE THAN TWO OR THREE DAYS.

SINCE THE PRESENCE OF THE PATIENTS AT THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH WOULD BE NECESSARY, IT IS ASSUMED THERE WOULD BE NO OBJECTION TO DETAILING A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE AS THEIR ESCORT AND REIMBURSING SUCH EMPLOYEE FOR EXPENSES NECESSARILY INCURRED FOR THE TRAVELING EXPENSES AND SUBSISTENCE OF THE PATIENTS.

HOWEVER, MOST, IF NOT ALL, OF THE PATIENTS WOULD BE ABLE TO TRAVEL UNATTENDED. WOULD IT BE PERMISSIBLE TO ISSUE THEM TRANSPORTATION AND MEAL REQUESTS TO COVER THEIR TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES, AND, IN ADDITION, REIMBURSE THEM FOR SUCH OTHER NECESSARY INCIDENTAL EXPENSE AS MIGHT BE INCURRED BY THEM? IN CASES WHERE IT MIGHT NOT BE PRACTICABLE TO FURNISH EITHER TRANSPORTATION OR MEAL REQUESTS, CAN REIMBURSEMENT BE MADE TO THE PATIENTS FOR SUCH EXPENSES?

THE MARINE HOSPITAL, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, IS MAINTAINED BY THE APPROPRIATION "PAY OF PERSONNEL AND MAINTENANCE OF HOSPITALS," 49 STAT. 1839. THE INVESTIGATION WILL BE FINANCED BY THE APPROPRIATION "DISEASES AND SANITATION INVESTIGATIONS," 49 STAT. 1841. SHOULD THE FORMER BE REIMBURSED BY THE LATTER FOR THE CARE OF THE PATIENTS? IF SO, MAY SUCH REIMBURSEMENT BE MADE AT THE PER DIEM RATE OF $3.75, ESTABLISHED AS THE AMOUNT TO BE REIMBURSED ANY FEDERAL AGENCY HOSPITALIZING PATIENTS OF ANY OTHER FEDERAL AGENCY? IN CONNECTION WITH THE QUESTION OF REIMBURSEMENT, IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT IN BRINGING THE PATIENTS TO WASHINGTON DURING THE DAY IT WOULD PROBABLY BE NECESSARY FOR THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE TO FURNISH, OR THE PATIENTS TO OBTAIN FOR THEMSELVES, ONE OR MORE MEALS.

THE APPROPRIATION FOR "DISEASES AND SANITATION INVESTIGATIONS," ACT OF JUNE 23, 1936, 49 STAT. 1841, PROVIDES:

DISEASES AND SANITATION INVESTIGATIONS: FOR CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 603 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, APPROVED AUGUST 14, 1935, AND SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 14, 1912, INCLUDING RENT AND PERSONNEL AND OTHER SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND ELSEWHERE AND ITEMS OTHERWISE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR PRINTING AND BINDING, STATIONERY, AND MISCELLANEOUS AND CONTINGENT EXPENSES FOR THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 6, ACT OF AUGUST 23, 1912 (U.S.C., TITLE 31, SEC. 669), TO THE CONTRARY NOTWITHSTANDING, THE PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, AND TRANSPORTATION OF THE PERSONAL EFFECTS OF COMMISSIONED OFFICERS, SCIENTIFIC PERSONNEL, PHARMACISTS, AND NURSES OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE UPON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, AND INCLUDING THE PURCHASE (NOT TO EXCEED $5,000), EXCHANGE, MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, AND OPERATION OF PASSENGER-CARRYING AUTOMOBILES FOR OFFICIAL USE IN FIELD WORK, $1,320,000.

SECTION 603 (A) OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, 49 STAT. 635, PROVIDES:

THERE IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO BE APPROPRIATED FOR EACH FISCAL YEAR, BEGINNING WITH THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1936, THE SUM OF $2,000,000 FOR EXPENDITURE BY THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE FOR INVESTIGATION OF DISEASE AND PROBLEMS OF SANITATION (INCLUDING THE PRINTING AND BINDING OF THE FINDINGS OF SUCH INVESTIGATIONS), AND FOR THE PAY AND ALLOWANCES AND TRAVELING EXPENSES OF PERSONNEL OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, INCLUDING COMMISSIONED OFFICERS, ENGAGED IN SUCH INVESTIGATIONS OR DETAILED TO COOPERATE WITH THE HEALTH AUTHORITIES OF ANY STATE IN CARRYING OUT THE PURPOSES SPECIFIED IN SECTION 601: PROVIDED, THAT NO PERSONNEL OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE SHALL BE DETAILED TO COOPERATE WITH THE HEALTH AUTHORITIES OF ANY STATE EXCEPT AT THE REQUEST OF THE PROPER AUTHORITIES OF SUCH STATE.

THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THE SELECTED PATIENTS AND THEIR LODGING AND SUBSISTENCE WHILE REQUIRED FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE INVESTIGATION, INCLUDING EXPENSES OF ATTENDANTS WHEN NECESSARY, WOULD APPEAR TO BE PROPERLY PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR DISEASES AND SANITATION INVESTIGATIONS, SUPRA.

THE APPROPRIATION FOR "PAY OF PERSONNEL AND MAINTENANCE OF HOSPITALS," 49 STAT. 1839, SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES:

* * * PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT NO PART OF THIS SUM SHALL BE USED FOR THE QUARANTINE SERVICE, THE PREVENTION OF EPIDEMICS, OR SCIENTIFIC WORK OF THE CHARACTER PROVIDED FOR UNDER THE APPROPRIATIONS WHICH FOLLOW.

IN VIEW OF THIS PROVISO, IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO REIMBURSE THE UNITED STATES MARINE HOSPITAL FOR ALL EXPENSES INCURRED BY IT FOR THE LODGING AND CARE OF THE SELECTED PATIENTS IF THEIR PRESENCE IN THE HOSPITAL IS PRIMARILY FOR THE PURPOSES OF THAT INVESTIGATION.

THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO FURNISHING THE TRANSPORTATION AND MEALS TO THE SELECTED PATIENTS BY THE USE OF TRANSPORTATION AND MEAL REQUESTS BUT ALL SUCH REQUESTS SHOULD BE DULY FILLED OUT AND SIGNED BY THE PROPER OFFICIAL BEFORE DELIVERY TO THE PATIENT.