A-88779, SEPTEMBER 4, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 219

A-88779: Sep 4, 1937

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- INDIVIDUALS WHOSE WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN. REPRESENTING UNCLAIMED MONEYS OF INDIVIDUALS WHOSE WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN ARE FOR CREDITING TO THE CONSOLIDATED TRUST FUND RECEIPT ACCOUNT ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 17 (A) OF THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT. AS WAS THE PRACTICE PRIOR TO THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT. IS AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 19. WITH CORRESPONDING CREDIT TO THE RECEIPT ACCOUNT "8881 DEPOSITS OF UNCLAIMED MONEYS OF INDIVIDUALS WHOSE WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN.'. THE BASIS FOR ISSUANCE OF THE WARRANT IS CITED AS SECTION 17 OF THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT. REFERENCE WAS MADE. NOR WAS THERE ANY STATUTORY DIRECTION REGARDING THE DISPOSAL OF FUTURE DEPOSITS OF TRUST FUND RECEIPTS OF THE SAME CHARACTER.

A-88779, SEPTEMBER 4, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 219

UNCLAIMED MONEYS--- INDIVIDUALS WHOSE WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN--- DEPOSIT PROCEDURE UNDER PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT, 1934 ALL DEPOSITS MADE SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE 30, 1935, REPRESENTING UNCLAIMED MONEYS OF INDIVIDUALS WHOSE WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN ARE FOR CREDITING TO THE CONSOLIDATED TRUST FUND RECEIPT ACCOUNT ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 17 (A) OF THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT, 1934, 48 STAT. 1230, AND NOT TO TRUST FUND RECEIPT ACCOUNTS UNDER THE SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES DEPOSITING SUCH RECEIPTS, AS WAS THE PRACTICE PRIOR TO THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, SEPTEMBER 4, 1937:

LETTER OF YOUR DEPARTMENT DATED MAY 17, 1937, IS AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 19, 1937, TRANSMITTING FOR TREASURY ACTION TRANSFER-COUNTER WARRANT NO. 0737, DATED APRIL 15, 1937, PROPOSING TO CHARGE THE RECEIPT ACCOUNT ,8602 DEPOSIT OF UNCLAIMED INDIVIDUAL INDIAN MONEYS, TRUST FUND" , IN THE SUM OF $88.07, REPRESENTING DEPOSITS CREDITED THERETO SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE 30, 1935, WITH CORRESPONDING CREDIT TO THE RECEIPT ACCOUNT "8881 DEPOSITS OF UNCLAIMED MONEYS OF INDIVIDUALS WHOSE WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN.'

THE BASIS FOR ISSUANCE OF THE WARRANT IS CITED AS SECTION 17 OF THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT, 1934, APPROVED JUNE 26, 1934 (48 STAT. 1230). THIS SECTION ABOLISHED A NUMBER OF APPROPRIATION ACCOUNTS LISTED THEREIN, PROVIDED THAT THE UNOBLIGATED BALANCES OF SUCH APPROPRIATION ACCOUNTS AS OF JUNE 30, 1935, SHOULD BE CREDITED TO AN "UNCLAIMED MONEYS" TRUST ACCOUNT, AND AUTHORIZED ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS FROM THAT ACCOUNT TO MEET EXPENDITURES PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE ACCOUNTS ABOLISHED. REFERENCE WAS MADE, HOWEVER, TO THE PREVAILING RECEIPT ACCOUNTS UNDER THE SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS, NOR WAS THERE ANY STATUTORY DIRECTION REGARDING THE DISPOSAL OF FUTURE DEPOSITS OF TRUST FUND RECEIPTS OF THE SAME CHARACTER. UNDER THOSE CONDITIONS, THE TREASURY DEEMED IT PROPER TO CONTINUE TO COVER SUCH DEPOSITS MADE SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE 30, 1935, INTO THE ESTABLISHED TRUST FUND RECEIPT ACCOUNTS PENDING FURTHER DIRECTION OF CONGRESS OR A DECISION CLARIFYING EXISTING LEGISLATION AS TO THE DISPOSITION OF THESE RECEIPTS. IF CONGRESS INTENDED THAT THESE FUNDS BE CONSERVED AND ACCOUNTED FOR IN THE CONSOLIDATED TRUST FUND APPROPRIATION ACCOUNT "2T080 UNCLAIMED MONEYS OF INDIVIDUALS WHOSE WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN" , SUBJECT TO ANNUAL APPROPRIATION, THEN IT NECESSARILY FOLLOWS THAT ALL RECEIPTS OF THIS CHARACTER SINCE JUNE 30, 1935, SHOULD BE APPROPRIATED FOR CREDIT OF THE CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATION ACCOUNT. IF NOT TO BE SO APPROPRIATED, NOTHING WOULD APPEAR TO BE GAINED BY A TRANSFER FROM ONE RECEIPT ACCOUNT INVOLVED TO ANOTHER, AS PROPOSED IN THE WARRANT.

OF THE TOTAL OF THAT WARRANT, $88.07, THE SUM OF $74.47 REPRESENTS UNAPPROPRIATED DEPOSITS DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1936. (SEE PAGE 51 OF COMBINED STATEMENT OF RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURES, 1936.) THE BALANCE, $13.60, REPRESENTS AMOUNTS DEPOSITED AND COVERED DURING THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR. IT IS PERTINENT TO NOTE THAT THIS AMOUNT WAS ORIGINALLY COVERED BY THE TREASURY FOR CREDIT OF "8881 DEPOSITS OF UNCLAIMED MONEYS OF INDIVIDUALS WHOSE WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN" , BUT THIS ACTION WAS UNACCEPTABLE TO YOUR OFFICE. THE TRANSACTION WAS SUBSEQUENTLY RESCINDED, THAT AMOUNT BEING CREDITED TO "8602 DEPOSITS OF UNCLAIMED INDIVIDUAL INDIAN MONEYS" , THE WARRANT IN THAT CASE BEING COUNTERSIGNED AND RETURNED IN DUE COURSE.

IT SEEMS DESIRABLE THAT SOME APPROPRIATE DISPOSITION BE MADE OF THESE RECEIPTS. IN THE ABSENCE OF EXPRESS STATUTORY DIRECTION COVERING THEIR DISPOSITION, AND IN THE INTEREST OF PROPER CLASSIFICATION, THE TREASURY HAS, AS INDICATED ABOVE, CONSIDERED IT ADVISABLE TO HANDLE THESE RECEIPTS IN THE SAME MANNER AS PRIOR TO THE ENACTMENT OF THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT, NO QUESTION HAVING HERETOFORE BEEN RAISED THERETO BY YOUR OFFICE. THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO REASON WHY THESE RECEIPTS, AFTER BEING COVERED TO THE SEVERAL TRUST FUND RECEIPT ACCOUNTS, COULD NOT BE APPROPRIATED AND ESTABLISHED IN THE CONSOLIDATED TRUST FUND APPROPRIATION ACCOUNT "2T080 UNCLAIMED MONEYS OF INDIVIDUALS WHOSE WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN" AND THUS BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR APPROPRIATION ON ANNUAL ESTIMATES PRESENTED BY THIS DEPARTMENT. IF YOU AGREE, I WILL BE GLAD TO HAVE THE NECESSARY WARRANTS TO ACCOMPLISH THAT PURPOSE PREPARED AND TRANSMITTED TO YOUR OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION.

TRANSFER-COUNTER WARRANT NO. 0737 IS RETURNED FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION.

SECTION 17 (A) OF THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT, 1934, 48 STAT. 1230, PROVIDES:

EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1935, THE APPROPRIATION ACCOUNTS APPEARING ON THE BOOKS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND LISTED IN SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION, AS WELL AS APPROPRIATION ACCOUNTS BEARING SIMILAR TITLES ON THE BOOKS OF THE GOVERNMENT, ARE ABOLISHED, AND ANY UNOBLIGATED BALANCES UNDER SUCH ACCOUNTS AS OF JUNE 30, 1935, SHALL BE COVERED INTO A TRUST FUND RECEIPT ACCOUNT IN THE TREASURY TO BE DESIGNATED "UNCLAIMED MONEYS OF INDIVIDUALS WHOSE WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN.' ANY APPROPRIATIONS TO WHICH EXPENDITURES UNDER SUCH ACCOUNTS HAVE BEEN CHARGEABLE THERETOFORE ARE HEREBY REPEALED. THERE ARE AUTHORIZED TO BE APPROPRIATED ANNUALLY FROM SUCH ACCOUNT SUCH SUMS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO MEET ANY EXPENDITURES OF THE CHARACTER NOW CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION ACCOUNTS ABOLISHED BY THIS SECTION. THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY OR THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AS THE CASE MAY BE, SHALL SUBMIT WITH THEIR ANNUAL ESTIMATES OF APPROPRIATIONS AN AMOUNT NECESSARY TO MEET EXPENDITURES PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THIS ACCOUNT.

WHILE ACTION WAS TAKEN AS INDICATED IN THE THIRD PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER, SUCH ACTION WAS AS AN EXPEDIENCY MEASURE ONLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF IMMEDIATELY EFFECTUATING THE PURPOSES OF THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT, 1934, AND TO TAKE CARE OF A CONDITION EXISTING AT THAT TIME. HOWEVER, SUCH ACTION WAS NOT, AND COULD NOT HAVE BEEN, UNDERSTOOD AS A PRECEDENT FOR CONTINUED ACTION IN THAT RESPECT. SECTION 17 (A) OF THE ACT AUTHORIZES AN ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FROM THE TRUST FUND RECEIPT ACCOUNT ESTABLISHED THEREUNDER IN SUCH AMOUNT AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO MEET EXPENDITURES FORMERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION ACCOUNTS ABOLISHED BY SUCH SECTION. BEGINNING WITH THE FISCAL YEAR 1936, WHEN THE SECTION BECAME EFFECTIVE, THE CONGRESS HAS MADE APPROPRIATIONS FROM THE TRUST-FUND RECEIPT ACCOUNT ESTABLISHED UNDER SECTION 17 (A) OF THE ACT, AND THERE NO LONGER EXISTS ANY BASIS FOR RESORTING TO THE EXPEDIENCY MEASURE FIRST TAKEN TO EFFECTUATE THE PURPOSE OF THE ACT. THE SUGGESTION IN THE FOURTH PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER TO APPROPRIATE TO THE ACCOUNT "UNCLAIMED MONEYS OF INDIVIDUALS WHOSE WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN (TRUST FUND)" FROM SEVERAL RECEIPT ACCOUNTS AND HOLD THE FUNDS IN SUCH APPROPRIATION ACCOUNT FOR FUTURE APPROPRIATION BY THE CONGRESS IS CLEARLY NOT AUTHORIZED UNDER THE LAW. THE LAW CLEARLY CONTEMPLATES THAT THE FUNDS SHALL BE HELD IN A RECEIPT ACCOUNT UNTIL APPROPRIATED BY THE CONGRESS-- NOT IN AN APPROPRIATION ACCOUNT.

IT IS STATED IN THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER THAT THERE IS NO EXPRESS PROVISION IN SECTION 17 (A) OF THE ACT, SUPRA, RELATING TO THE DISPOSITION OF FUTURE DEPOSITS OF UNCLAIMED MONEYS OF INDIVIDUALS WHOSE WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN. BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION, HOWEVER, IT SHOULD BE CLEAR THAT SINCE THE SECTION AUTHORIZES APPROPRIATIONS FROM ONLY ONE RECEIPT ACCOUNT ONLY ONE SUCH ACCOUNT WAS CONTEMPLATED AND INTENDED. THIS CONNECTION ATTENTION IS ALSO INVITED TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 20 (A) OF THE ACT:

* * * THAT ON JUNE 30 OF EACH YEAR THERE SHALL BE TRANSFERRED TO THE TRUST FUND RECEIPT ACCOUNT DIRECTED TO BE ESTABLISHED IN SECTION 17 OF THIS ACT SUCH PORTION OF THE BALANCES IN ANY TRUST-FUND ACCOUNT HEREINBEFORE OR HEREAFTER LISTED OR ESTABLISHED, EXCEPT THE BALANCES IN THE ACCOUNTS LISTED IN SUBSECTION (C) OF THIS SECTION, WHICH HAVE BEEN IN ANY SUCH FUND FOR MORE THAN ONE YEAR AND REPRESENT MONEYS BELONGING TO INDIVIDUALS WHOSE WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN, AND SUBSEQUENT CLAIMS THEREFOR SHALL BE DISBURSED FROM THE TRUST FUND RECEIPT ACCOUNT "UNCLAIMED MONEYS OF INDIVIDUALS WHOSE WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN" DIRECTED TO BE ESTABLISHED IN SECTION 17 OF THIS ACT.

UNDER THIS PROVISION OF LAW ALL MONEYS WHICH HAVE BEEN IN THE FUND PROVIDED BY SECTION 20 OF THE CITED ACT FOR MORE THAN A YEAR AUTOMATICALLY BECOME UNCLAIMED MONEYS OF INDIVIDUALS WHOSE WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN AND, AS SUCH, ARE DIRECTED BY THE STATUTE TO BE TRANSFERRED YEARLY "TO THE TRUST-FUND RECEIPT ACCOUNT DIRECTED TO BE ESTABLISHED IN SECTION 17 OF THIS ACT.' SINCE THE STATUTE DIRECTS THE TRANSFERRING OF THIS CLASS OF MONEYS TO THE ONE TRUST-FUND RECEIPT ACCOUNT ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 17 (A) OF THE ACT--- CONSTITUTING DEPOSITS THEREIN SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE 30, 1935--- THERE IS A CLEAR RECOGNITION THAT THE CONSOLIDATED TRUST-FUND RECEIPT ACCOUNT SO ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 17 (A) SHOULD REPLACE THE FORMER PREVAILING RECEIPT ACCOUNTS UNDER THE SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS.

IN VIEW OF WHAT IS SAID HEREIN, IT MUST BE HELD THAT ALL DEPOSITS MADE SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE 30, 1935, REPRESENTING UNCLAIMED MONEYS OF INDIVIDUALS WHOSE WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN ARE FOR CREDITING TO THE CONSOLIDATED TRUST- FUND RECEIPT ACCOUNT ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 17 (A) OF THE CITED ACT. IT BE NECESSARY FOR THE CLASSIFICATION PURPOSES OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT TO MAINTAIN A RECORD OF SUCH RECEIPTS UNDER THE SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES DEPOSITING SUCH RECEIPTS, SUCH RECORD MAY BE BY SUBSIDIARY ACCOUNTS ESTABLISHED FOR SUCH PURPOSE.

TRANSFER-COUNTER WARRANT NO. 0737 IS RETURNED FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION AND APPROPRIATE ACTION ACCORDINGLY.