A-86426, JUNE 9, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 1065

A-86426: Jun 9, 1937

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THAT APPROPRIATION IS LIMITED IN ITS AVAILABILITY FOR OBLIGATION TO MARCH 31. IS AS FOLLOWS: PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN THE PRESIDENT BY THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935 (PUBLIC RESOLUTION NO. 11). IS HEREBY CONTINUED TO AND INCLUDING MARCH 31. IS HEREBY CONTINUED IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT TO AND INCLUDING JUNE 30. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT SEVERAL AGENCIES OF THIS DEPARTMENT TO WHICH PORTIONS OF THE FOREGOING AMOUNT HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED HAVE UNOBLIGATED BALANCES ON HAND. PARTICULARLY IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE FUNDS HAVE BEEN USED TO PAY SALARIES. THE DEPARTMENT IS DESIROUS OF SECURING FROM YOU EARLY ADVICE AS TO THE AVAILABILITY OF SUCH UNOBLIGATED BALANCES FOR EXPENDITURE AFTER MARCH 31.

A-86426, JUNE 9, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 1065

APPROPRIATIONS - EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK - EXTENSION OF PERIOD OF AVAILABILITY OF PRIOR APPROPRIATION ON BASIS OF A SUBSEQUENT ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATION AS THE FIRST DEFICIENCY ACT OF FEBRUARY 9, 1937, 50 STAT. 10, IN MAKING AN ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATION FOR EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK TO BE AVAILABLE UNTIL JUNE 30, 1937, FAILS TO EXTEND THE PERIOD OF AVAILABILITY OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE SAME PURPOSE MADE BY THE ACT OF JUNE 22, 1936, 49 STAT. 1601, THAT APPROPRIATION IS LIMITED IN ITS AVAILABILITY FOR OBLIGATION TO MARCH 31, 1937, THE DATE ORIGINALLY FIXED, AND THERE EXISTS NO AUTHORITY IN THE PRESIDENT TO EXTEND OR OTHERWISE CHANGE THIS SPECIFICALLY FIXED PERIOD OF AVAILABILITY.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, JUNE 9, 1937:

YOUR LETTER OF MAY 21, 1937, IS AS FOLLOWS:

PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN THE PRESIDENT BY THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935 (PUBLIC RESOLUTION NO. 11), THE PRESIDENT ALLOCATED TO THIS DEPARTMENT BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7029, DATED APRIL 30, 1936, FROM THE APPROPRIATION MADE IN SAID ACT FOR EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK PURPOSES, THE SUM OF $400,000.

SECTION 14 OF PUBLIC RESOLUTION NO. 11, SUPRA, PROVIDES THAT:

"THE AUTHORITY OF THE PRESIDENT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT FOR THE RELIEF OF UNEMPLOYMENT THROUGH THE PERFORMANCE OF USEFUL PUBLIC WORK, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," APPROVED MARCH 31, 1933, AS AMENDED, IS HEREBY CONTINUED TO AND INCLUDING MARCH 31, 1937.'

THE FIRST DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, FISCAL YEAR 1937, APPROVED FEBRUARY 9, 1937 (PUBLIC, NO. 4, 75TH CONGRESS), CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING PROVISION:

"EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK

"FOR AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT FOR THE PURPOSE OF CARRYING INTO EFFECT THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT FOR THE RELIEF OF UNEMPLOYMENT THROUGH THE PERFORMANCE OF USEFUL PUBLIC WORK, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," APPROVED MARCH 31, 1933, WHICH ACT, AS AMENDED, IS HEREBY CONTINUED IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT TO AND INCLUDING JUNE 30, 1937, $95,000,000, TO BE EXPENDED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE PRESIDENT AND TO BE AVAILABLE UNTIL JUNE 30, 1937, FOR THE SAME PURPOSES AND OBJECTS AS THOSE SPECIFIED UNDER THIS HEAD IN THE FIRST DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, FISCAL YEAR 1936.'

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT SEVERAL AGENCIES OF THIS DEPARTMENT TO WHICH PORTIONS OF THE FOREGOING AMOUNT HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED HAVE UNOBLIGATED BALANCES ON HAND, AND PARTICULARLY IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE FUNDS HAVE BEEN USED TO PAY SALARIES, THE DEPARTMENT IS DESIROUS OF SECURING FROM YOU EARLY ADVICE AS TO THE AVAILABILITY OF SUCH UNOBLIGATED BALANCES FOR EXPENDITURE AFTER MARCH 31, 1937. THE FOREGOING PROVISIONS FROM THE FIRST DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT SEEM TO BE SUSCEPTIBLE OF DUAL INTERPRETATION. IT WOULD APPEAR TO US THAT IT SHOULD BE CONSTRUED TO ALLOW THE EXPENDITURE OF ALL UNOBLIGATED BALANCES AFTER MARCH 31, 1937, UP TO AND INCLUDING JUNE 30, 1937, WITHOUT FURTHER "DIRECTION OF THE PRESIDENT," AND THAT ONLY THE "ADDITIONAL AMOUNT" OF $95,000,000 IS "TO BE EXPENDED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE PRESIDENT.'

SPECIFICALLY, WE WISH TO BE ADVISED WHETHER THE FUNDS ALLUDED TO ABOVE IN THE POSSESSION OF THIS DEPARTMENT MAY BE EXPENDED UP TO JUNE 30, 1937--- (A) UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE PRESIDENT; (B) WITHOUT REGARD TO FURTHER PRESIDENTIAL ORDERS RELATING THERETO.

THE APPROPRIATION FOR EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK, ACT OF JUNE 22, 1936 (49 STAT. 1601), PROVIDES---

FOR THE PURPOSE OF CARRYING INTO EFFECT THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT FOR THE RELIEF OF UNEMPLOYMENT THROUGH THE PERFORMANCE OF USEFUL PUBLIC WORK, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," APPROVED MARCH 31, 1933, AS AMENDED, INCLUDING PERSONAL SERVICES, WITHOUT REGARD TO CIVIL SERVICE LAWS AND REGULATIONS AND THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT, PURCHASE AND EXCHANGE OF LAW BOOKS, BOOKS OF REFERENCE, PERIODICALS AND NEWSPAPERS, PRINTING AND BINDING, TRAVEL EXPENSES, RENTS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND ELSEWHERE, PURCHASE, EXCHANGE, MAINTENANCE, REPAIR AND OPERATION OF MOTOR PROPELLED, PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES, ALSO THE PURCHASE (INCLUDING EXCHANGE) OF ONE AT NOT TO EXCEED $1,500, AND OTHER NECESSARY EXPENSES, FISCAL YEAR 1937, $308,000,000, TO BE EXPENDED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE PRESIDENT AND TO REMAIN AVAILABLE UNTIL MARCH 31, 1937, OF WHICH SUM $10,000,000 SHALL BE IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE. * * *

AS THE FIRST DEFICIENCY ACT OF FEBRUARY 9, 1937 (50 STAT. 10) IN MAKING AN ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATION FOR EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK, TO BE AVAILABLE UNTIL JUNE 30, 1937, ONLY EXTENDS THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 31, 1933, TO JUNE 30, 1937, BUT DOES NOT EXTEND THE PERIOD OF AVAILABILITY FOR THE APPROPRIATION FOR EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK IN THE ABOVE ACT OF JUNE 22, 1936, THAT APPROPRIATION IS LIMITED TO AVAILABILITY TO MARCH 31, 1937. ACCORDINGLY, THE FUNDS SO APPROPRIATED WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR OBLIGATION AFTER THAT DATE. I FIND NO AUTHORITY VESTED IN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO EXTEND OR OTHERWISE CHANGE THE PERIOD OF AVAILABILITY SPECIFICALLY FIXED IN THE APPROPRIATION.