A-91926, MARCH 9, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 724

A-91926: Mar 9, 1938

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EQUIPMENT - EXCHANGES - DISPOSITION OF TRADE-IN VALUE - EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND ALLOTMENT TO DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WHERE OLD EQUIPMENT IS EXCHANGED IN PARTIAL PAYMENT FOR NEW. THE TRADE-IN ALLOWANCE IS REQUIRED TO BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY AS A MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPT IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC AUTHORITY FOR SUCH EXCHANGE. IS AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO TRANSFER AND COUNTER WARRANT NO. 0692. WHICH WAS APPLIED AS A PART-PAYMENT TOWARD THE PURCHASE OF A NEW ONE. 1937 IS FOUND AT 48 STAT. 498. IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE ACTION OF YOUR OFFICE IN CAUSING THE AMOUNT OF THIS EXCHANGE TO BE DEPOSITED TO THE CREDIT OF MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS WAS BASED UPON THE PRINCIPLE ENUNCIATED BY YOU IN 16 COMP.

A-91926, MARCH 9, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 724

EQUIPMENT - EXCHANGES - DISPOSITION OF TRADE-IN VALUE - EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND ALLOTMENT TO DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WHERE OLD EQUIPMENT IS EXCHANGED IN PARTIAL PAYMENT FOR NEW, THE TRADE-IN ALLOWANCE IS REQUIRED TO BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY AS A MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPT IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC AUTHORITY FOR SUCH EXCHANGE, AND THE STATUTORY PROVISIONS AUTHORIZING EXCHANGE OF MOTOR VEHICLES, ETC., UNDER DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATIONS MAY NOT BE EXTENDED TO FUNDS ALLOTTED FROM THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935 FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES TO TAKE CARE OF ADDITIONAL WORK IMPOSED UPON THE DEPARTMENT BY THE SAID ACT.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, MARCH 9, 1938:

YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 6, 1938, IS AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO TRANSFER AND COUNTER WARRANT NO. 0692, DATED APRIL 26, 1937, FROM YOUR OFFICE, TRANSFERRING THE AMOUNT OF $22 FROM THE APPROPRIATION "001009--- EMERGENCY RELIEF, AGRICULTURE, ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES, 1935-37" TO MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS "125160--- SALE OF SCRAP AND SALVAGED MATERIALS.'

THIS ITEM OF $22 REPRESENTS THE VALUE OF A USED AUTOMOBILE GENERATOR, WHICH WAS APPLIED AS A PART-PAYMENT TOWARD THE PURCHASE OF A NEW ONE. THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE OF THIS DEPARTMENT, IN CREDITING THE APPROPRIATION INVOLVED WITH THE VALUE OF THE GENERATOR, RELIED UPON THE FOLLOWING PROVISION IN THE DEPARTMENT'S APPROPRIATION ACT, WHICH APPEARS ANNUALLY, AND WHICH FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1935, 1936, AND 1937 IS FOUND AT 48 STAT. 498, 49 ID. 280, AND 1456. (SEE ALSO 5 U.S.C. 547):

"* * * THAT THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE MAY EXCHANGE MOTOR PROPELLED AND HORSE-DRAWN VEHICLES, TRACTORS, ROAD EQUIPMENT, AND BOATS, AND PARTS, ACCESSORIES, TIRES, OR EQUIPMENT THEREOF, IN WHOLE OR IN PART PAYMENT FOR VEHICLES, TRACTORS, ROAD EQUIPMENT, OR BOATS, OR PARTS, ACCESSORIES, TIRES, OR EQUIPMENT OF SUCH VEHICLES, TRACTORS, ROAD EQUIPMENT, OR BOATS PURCHASED BY HIM * * *.'

IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE ACTION OF YOUR OFFICE IN CAUSING THE AMOUNT OF THIS EXCHANGE TO BE DEPOSITED TO THE CREDIT OF MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS WAS BASED UPON THE PRINCIPLE ENUNCIATED BY YOU IN 16 COMP. GEN. 241, TO THE EFFECT THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY, NO EXCHANGES MAY BE MADE UNDER AN APPROPRIATION. HOWEVER, IT IS NOT BELIEVED THAT THAT DECISION IS CONTROLLING IN THE INSTANT CASE OR IN CASES SIMILAR THERETO, WHICH INVOLVE EXCHANGES BY THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE IN CONNECTION WITH PURCHASES WITH FUNDS ALLOCATED TO IT FROM THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935 (49 STAT. 115). SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF APRIL 27, 1935 (49 STAT. 164), CREATING THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE SHALL ESTABLISH AN AGENCY TO BE KNOWN AS THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE TO EXERCISE THE POWERS CONFERRED ON HIM BY THIS ACT AND MAY UTILIZE THE ORGANIZATION HERETOFORE ESTABLISHED FOR THE PURPOSE OF ADMINISTERING THOSE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 202 AND 203 OF THE NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL RECOVERY ACT WHICH RELATE TO THE PREVENTION OF SOIL EROSION TOGETHER WITH SUCH PERSONNEL THEREOF AS THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE MAY DETERMINE, AND ALL UNEXPENDED BALANCES OF FUNDS HERETOFORE ALLOTTED TO SAID ORGANIZATION SHALL BE AVAILABLE UNTIL JUNE 30, 1937, AND THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE SHALL ASSUME ALL OBLIGATIONS INCURRED BY SAID ORGANIZATION PRIOR TO TRANSFER TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. FUNDS PROVIDED IN H. J. RES. 117,"AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATION FOR RELIEF PURPOSES" (FOR SOIL EROSION) SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND IN ORDER THAT THERE MAY BE PROPER COORDINATION OF EROSION-CONTROL ACTIVITIES THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE MAY TRANSFER TO THE AGENCY CREATED UNDER THIS ACT SUCH FUNCTIONS, FUNDS, PERSONNEL, AND PROPERTY OF OTHER AGENCIES IN THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AS HE MAY FROM TIME TO TIME DETERMINE.'

THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE, IN MAKING EXCHANGES IN CONNECTION WITH PURCHASES WITH THE FUNDS ALLOCATED FROM THE EMERGENCY RELIEF ACT OF 1935, HAS RELIED ON THE LANGUAGE ABOVE IN THE BELIEF THAT SUCH FUNDS, BEING "FOR EXPENDITURE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT," BECAME FUNDS FOR THE USE OF THE SECRETARY IN CARRYING OUT THE ACT. INASMUCH AS THE SECRETARY HAS THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE EXCHANGES OF MOTOR VEHICLES AND THEIR PARTS, IT HAS BEEN BELIEVED THAT THIS POWER EXTENDED TO FUNDS WHICH ARE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE UNDER THE ACT WHICH THE SECRETARY IS EMPOWERED TO ADMINISTER.

THE DEPARTMENT HAS ALSO RELIED UPON A LETTER OF E. W. BELL, CHIEF, AUDIT DIVISION, OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, DATED FEBRUARY 26, 1936, ADDRESSED TO THE COMMISSIONER OF ACCOUNTS AND DEPOSITS OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT. A PORTION OF THAT LETTER IS QUOTED BELOW:

"BY THE ACT OF APRIL 27, 1935, 49 STAT. 164, THE CONGRESS CREATED THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE AS A REGULAR BUREAU OR AGENCY UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND IN LIEU OF MAKING NEW OR ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR ITS OPERATION REAPPROPRIATED THE UNEXPENDED BALANCES OF EMERGENCY FUNDS PREVIOUSLY ALLOTTED UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE NATIONAL RECOVERY ACT, AND PROVIDED, ALSO, THAT CERTAIN FUNDS PROVIDED BY THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935 SHOULD "BE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE UNDER THIS ACT.' THIS SPECIFIC ENACTMENT BY THE CONGRESS REAPPROPRIATING EMERGENCY FUNDS FOR THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE HAD THE EFFECT OF REMOVING SAID FUNDS FROM THE CLASS FOR EXPENDITURE IN THE DISCRETION OF THE PRESIDENT AND MADE THEM SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF APRIL 27, 1935, THE SAME AS THOUGH THEY HAD BEEN IN THE FIRST INSTANCE SPECIFICALLY APPROPRIATED TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF SAID ACT. CONSEQUENTLY, THE FUNDS SO TRANSFERRED TO THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE HAVE CEASED TO BE "EMERGENCY FUNDS" AND HAVE BECOME "APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE REGULAR ACTIVITIES OF THE GOVERNMENT," WITHIN THE MEANING OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7070.'

IT IS ACCORDINGLY REQUESTED THAT YOU GIVE CONSIDERATION TO THIS MATTER WITH REFERENCE TO THE TRANSFER AND COUNTER WARRANT DESCRIBED ABOVE, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER SIMILAR CASES WHICH HAVE ARISEN, OR WHICH MAY BE PENDING.

SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF APRIL 27, 1935, 49 STAT. 164, AUTHORIZED THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE TO UTILIZE THE ORGANIZATION THERETOFORE ESTABLISHED FOR THE PURPOSE OF ADMINISTERING THOSE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 202 AND 203 OF THE NATIONAL RECOVERY ACT, 48 STAT. 201, 202, RELATING TO THE PREVENTION OF SOIL EROSION, AND MADE AVAILABLE UNTIL JUNE 30, 1937, ALL UNEXPENDED BALANCES OF FUNDS THERETOFORE ALLOTTED TO SUCH ORGANIZATION; IT FURTHER MADE FUNDS PROVIDED FOR SOIL EROSION IN THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935, 49 STAT. 115, AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT, AND AUTHORIZED THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE TO TRANSFER TO THE AGENCY, SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE, CREATED UNDER THE ACT "SUCH FUNCTIONS, FUNDS, PERSONNEL, AND PROPERTY OF OTHER AGENCIES IN THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AS HE MAY FROM TIME TO TIME DETERMINE.'

THE EXPENDITURE UNDER VOUCHER 171957, APRIL 1936 ACCOUNTS OF W. F. CRAMER, DISBURSING CLERK, UNITED STATES TREASURY, STATE DISBURSING OFFICE, FOR AN AUTOMOBILE GENERATOR WAS CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION "EMERGENCY RELIEF, AGRICULTURE, ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES, 1935-37 (001009)," ALLOTTED BY THE PRESIDENT FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES TO TAKE CARE OF THE ADDITIONAL WORK IMPOSED UPON THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE BY REASON OF THE ENACTMENT OF THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935, SUPRA. THE TRADE-IN ALLOWANCE FOR THE USED AUTOMOBILE GENERATOR WAS APPLIED AS A PART PAYMENT AND THE AMOUNT THEREOF CREDITED TO THE APPROPRIATION CHARGED WITH THE PURCHASE. WHATEVER MAY BE THE STATUS OF THE FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE ACT OF APRIL 27, 1935, SUPRA, THE FUNDS HERE INVOLVED HAD THEIR ORIGIN IN THE APPROPRIATION PROVIDED BY THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935, SUPRA, AND WERE ALLOCATED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES OF THE DEPARTMENT IN CONNECTION WITH ADDITIONAL WORK IMPOSED UPON IT BY REASON OF SAID EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT RATHER THAN FOR THE SPECIFIC PURPOSES OF THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE.

THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935, SUPRA, CONTAINS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE EXCHANGE OF USED AUTOMOTIVE PARTS OR EQUIPMENT IN PART PAYMENT FOR NEW, THE ONLY SPECIFIC PROVISION THEREIN WITH REFERENCE TO MOTOR VEHICLES BEING THAT CONTAINED IN SECTION 3, AS FOLLOWS:

IN CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS JOINT RESOLUTION THE PRESIDENT MAY (A) AUTHORIZE EXPENDITURES FOR * * * PURCHASE, OPERATION, AND MAINTENANCE OF MOTOR-PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES; * * *

IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC AUTHORITY FOR THE EXCHANGE OF EQUIPMENT THE APPROPRIATION CHARGEABLE WITH THE PURCHASE PRICE OF THE NEW EQUIPMENT MUST BE CHARGED WITH THE FULL AMOUNT OF SUCH PURCHASE PRICE AND ANY TRADE-IN ALLOWANCE MADE FOR OLD EQUIPMENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE PURCHASE MUST BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY AS A MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPT AS REQUIRED BY SECTIONS 3617 AND 3618, REVISED STATUTES. 26 COMP. DEC. 534; 3 COMP. GEN. 304; A-70371, MAY 2, 1936.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES THERE WOULD APPEAR FOR APPLICATION THE PRINCIPLE ENUNCIATED IN 16 COMP. GEN. 241, AND ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTION HERETOFORE TAKEN BY THIS OFFICE MUST BE, AND IS, SUSTAINED.