A-94445, MAY 23, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 974

A-94445: May 23, 1938

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

APPROPRIATIONS - SPECIFIC VERSUS GENERAL - DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EXHIBITS AT FAIRS AS A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION IS MADE EACH YEAR UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR EXHIBITS AT FAIRS. ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE COST OF PREPARING EXHIBITS AT STATE. IT BEING WELL ESTABLISHED THAT A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES IS AVAILABLE THEREFOR TO THE EXCLUSION OF A MORE GENERAL APPROPRIATION. IS AS FOLLOWS: IN CARRYING OUT THE CONGRESSIONAL POLICIES CONTAINED IN THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1933. OTHER LEGISLATION WHICH IT IS DESIGNATED TO ADMINISTER. HERETOFORE SUCH DISPLAYS HAVE BEEN ROUTINE AND PERFUNCTORY. IT IS NOW DECIDED. TO ENGAGE IN THE CREATION AND DISPLAY OF SUCH EXHIBITS AS WILL CONVEY USEFUL AND BENEFICIAL INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC RELATIVE TO THE WORK OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ADMINISTRATION.

A-94445, MAY 23, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 974

APPROPRIATIONS - SPECIFIC VERSUS GENERAL - DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EXHIBITS AT FAIRS AS A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION IS MADE EACH YEAR UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR EXHIBITS AT FAIRS, FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO CARRY OUT CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE SOIL CONSERVATION AND DOMESTIC ALLOTMENT ACT, AND THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938, ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE COST OF PREPARING EXHIBITS AT STATE, INTERSTATE OR INTERNATIONAL FAIRS, NOTWITHSTANDING SECTION 9 OF THE SOIL CONSERVATION AND DOMESTIC ALLOTMENT ACT AUTHORIZES THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE "TO MAKE PUBLIC SUCH INFORMATION" AS HE DEEMS NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF SAID ACT, IT BEING WELL ESTABLISHED THAT A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES IS AVAILABLE THEREFOR TO THE EXCLUSION OF A MORE GENERAL APPROPRIATION.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, MAY 23, 1938:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 22, 1938, IS AS FOLLOWS:

IN CARRYING OUT THE CONGRESSIONAL POLICIES CONTAINED IN THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1933, AS AMENDED AND REENACTED, THE SOIL CONSERVATION AND DOMESTIC ALLOTMENT ACT, THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938, AND OTHER LEGISLATION WHICH IT IS DESIGNATED TO ADMINISTER, THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ADMINISTRATION HAS FOUND IT NECESSARY TO PREPARE AND DISPLAY AT STATE, INTERSTATE, AND COUNTY FAIRS, AS WELL AS OTHER GATHERINGS AND SPECIAL ASSEMBLIES, INFORMATIONAL EXHIBITS RELATING TO THE OPERATIONS CARRIED ON BY THE ADMINISTRATION UNDER THESE ACTS. UP TO THE PRESENT TIME, BECAUSE OF THE CONSTANTLY ALTERED PLANS ENACTED BY CONGRESS, IT HAS BEEN DIFFICULT TO FORMULATE ANY POLICY OR SYSTEM IN THE DEPARTMENT OF DISPLAYING EXHIBITS AS DESCRIBED ABOVE. CONSEQUENTLY, HERETOFORE SUCH DISPLAYS HAVE BEEN ROUTINE AND PERFUNCTORY. IT IS NOW DECIDED, IN THE LIGHT OF ALL EXISTING LAW AND AUTHORIZATIONS CONTAINED IN THE VARIOUS ACTS, TO ENGAGE IN THE CREATION AND DISPLAY OF SUCH EXHIBITS AS WILL CONVEY USEFUL AND BENEFICIAL INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC RELATIVE TO THE WORK OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ADMINISTRATION.

SECTION 9 OF THE SOIL CONSERVATION AND DOMESTIC ALLOTMENT ACT (APRIL 27, 1935, AS ADDED, FEBRUARY 29, 1936, 49 STAT. 1150), PROVIDES IN PART:

"THE SECRETARY IS AUTHORIZED TO CONDUCT SURVEYS, INVESTIGATIONS, AND RESEARCH RELATING TO THE CONDITIONS AND FACTORS AFFECTING, AND METHODS OF ACCOMPLISHING MOST EFFECTIVELY, THE POLICY AND PURPOSES OF SECTION 7 (A). NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF EXISTING LAW THE SECRETARY IS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PUBLIC SUCH INFORMATION AS HE DEEMS NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.'

SECTION 392 (A) OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938 (FEBRUARY 16, 1938, PUBLIC NO. 430, 75TH CONGRESS), PROVIDES:

"THE SECRETARY IS AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO MAKE SUCH EXPENDITURES AS HE DEEMS NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT, INCLUDING PERSONAL SERVICES AND RENTS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND ELSEWHERE, TRAVELING EXPENSES (INCLUDING THE PURCHASE, MAINTENANCE, AND REPAIR OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES), SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT, LAW BOOKS, BOOKS OF REFERENCE, DIRECTORIES, PERIODICALS, AND NEWSPAPERS.'

IN 7 COMP. GEN. 357, THERE WAS FOR CONSIDERATION WHETHER THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS OF THE DEPARTMENT WAS AUTHORIZED TO INCUR EXPENSES IN PRESENTING AN EXHIBIT AT A CONVENTION UNDER SECTION 21 OF THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ACT OF NOVEMBER 9, 1921, 42 STAT. 212, WHICH MAKES PROVISION FOR SUCH EXPENDITURES "AS THE SECRETARY MAY DEEM NECESSARY * * * FOR CARRYING ON NECESSARY HIGHWAY RESEARCH AND INVESTIGATIONAL STUDIES INDEPENDENTLY OR IN COOPERATION WITH THE STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENTS AND OTHER RESEARCH AGENCIES AND FOR PUBLISHING THE RESULTS THEREOF.' IT WAS HELD IN THE DECISION THAT WHILE THE TERM "PUBLICATION," IN ITS USUAL SENSE, MEANS THE DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF PRINTED MATTER, THE PHRASE "PUBLISHING THE RESULTS THEREOF" MAY REASONABLY BE ACCORDED A BROADER MEANING IN VIEW OF THE EXPRESS TERMS OF THE BASIC ACT OF MAY 15, 1862, 12 STAT. 387, CREATING THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, SECTION 2 OF WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"THAT THERE IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED, AT THE SEAT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES A DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, THE GENERAL DESIGNS AND DUTIES OF WHICH SHALL BE TO ACQUIRE AND TO DIFFUSE AMONG THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES USEFUL INFORMATION ON SUBJECTS CONNECTED WITH AGRICULTURE IN THE MOST GENERAL AND COMPREHENSIVE SENSE OF THAT WORD AND TO PROCURE, PROPAGATE, AND DISTRIBUTE AMONG THE PEOPLE NEW AND VALUABLE SEEDS AND PLANTS.'

IT WAS ACCORDINGLY HELD THAT WHILE PARTICIPATION IN FAIRS AND EXHIBITS HAD NOT BEEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY CONGRESS FOR THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS, AND PROBABLY NOT AS TO THE WORK OF THE OTHER BUREAUS OF THIS DEPARTMENT, YET IN VIEW OF THE TERMS OF THE BASIC STATUTE QUOTED ABOVE "SUCH PARTICIPATION BY THE BUREAUS OF THE DEPARTMENT, THE DUTY OF WHICH IS TO DISSEMINATE USEFUL INFORMATION, MAY BE CONSIDERED AS A LAWFUL PART OF THE WORK OF THE BUREAU.'

IN 14 COMP. GEN. 664, WHILE POINTING OUT THAT APPROPRIATED FUNDS ARE NOT TO BE USED FOR EXHIBITS WITHOUT EXPRESS STATUTORY AUTHORITY, THE DECISION STATES:

"THE EXCEPTIONS TO THAT GENERAL RULE ARE CASES IN WHICH THE EXHIBIT IS PURSUANT TO A DUTY IMPOSED BY LAW UPON THE DEPARTMENT OR SERVICE TO DISSEMINATE USEFUL INFORMATION CONCERNING THE ACTIVITIES TO WHICH THE EXHIBIT RELATES. 4 COMP. GEN. 457; 7 ID. 357; 14 ID. 427.'

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, IT WOULD SEEM THAT UPON AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT PARTICIPATION IN FAIRS AND EXHIBITS IS A NECESSARY MEDIUM OF MAKING PUBLIC INFORMATION BY THIS DEPARTMENT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACTS ADMINISTERED BY THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ADMINISTRATION, SUCH EXPENSES MAY BE INCURRED. HOWEVER, THE FOLLOWING PROVISION CONTAINED ANNUALLY IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THIS DEPARTMENT, BEING FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1938, THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1937, 50 STAT. 395 (401), IS FOR CONSIDERATION:

"AGRICULTURAL EXHIBITS AT FAIRS: TO ENABLE THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE TO MAKE SUITABLE AGRICULTURAL EXHIBITS AT STATE, INTERSTATE, AND INTERNATIONAL FAIRS HELD WITHIN THE UNITED STATES; FOR THE PURCHASE OF NECESSARY SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT; FOR TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH SERVICE, FREIGHT AND EXPRESS CHARGES; FOR TRAVEL, AND FOR EVERY OTHER EXPENSE NECESSARY, INCLUDING THE EMPLOYMENT OF ASSISTANCE IN OR OUTSIDE THE CITY OF WASHINGTON, $85,000.'

AS A RESULT OF THIS SPECIFIC PROVISION IT MAY POSSIBLY BE SAID THAT AS TO THE CLASS OF FAIRS DESIGNATED AS STATE, INTERSTATE, AND INTERNATIONAL FAIRS, AS OPPOSED TO COUNTY AND OTHER FAIRS OF LESS THAN STATE-WIDE INTEREST, THIS APPROPRIATION IS EXCLUSIVE IN THE DEPARTMENT. HOWEVER, IT IS FELT THAT WHEN THE ESTIMATES WERE CONSIDERED FOR INCLUSION IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE DEPARTMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1938, SUPRA, THE ITEM FOR EXHIBITS AT FAIRS WAS NOT INTENDED TO INCLUDE LARGE AMOUNT OF EXPENDITURES WHICH WOULD BE NECESSARY TO MAKE APPROPRIATE EXHIBITS CONTAINING INFORMATION RELATIVE TO THE SEVERAL ACTS ADMINISTERED BY THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ADMINISTRATION. THIS VIEW IS SUPPORTED BY THE FACT THAT, WHILE FUNDS FOR THE WORK OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ADMINISTRATION WERE INCLUDED IN AN APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE DEPARTMENT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE FISCAL YEAR 1937, 49 STAT. 1421, 1427, CARRIED THE SAME APPROPRIATION AMOUNT OF $85,000 AS IS CONTAINED IN THE SIMILAR ITEM IN THE ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1938. FURTHERMORE, THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR CARRYING OUT THE ACTS ADMINISTERED BY THE DISPROPORTIONATE TO THE SUM APPROPRIATED SPECIFICALLY FOR EXHIBITS AT FAIRS IN THE EXHIBIT ITEM IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE DEPARTMENT.

IT IS REQUESTED, THEREFORE, THAT YOU ADVISE WHETHER FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR CARRYING INTO EFFECT SECTIONS 7 TO 17, INCLUSIVE, OF THE SOIL CONSERVATION AND DOMESTIC ALLOTMENT ACT AND THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938 MAY BE ALLOTTED TO THE OFFICE OF EXHIBITS OF THIS DEPARTMENT TO COVER THE COST OF PREPARING EXHIBITS AT STATE, INTERSTATE, AND INTERNATIONAL FAIRS. THIS CONNECTION, SPECIFIC ATTENTION IS DIRECTED TO SECTION 11 OF THE SOIL CONSERVATION AND DOMESTIC ALLOTMENT ACT (APRIL 27, 1935, AS ADDED, FEBRUARY 29, 1936, 49 STAT. 1155), AND TO SECTION 393 OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938 (FEBRUARY 16, 1938, PUBLIC NO. 430, 75TH CONGRESS), AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 11---

"ALL FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR CARRYING OUT THIS ACT SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR ALLOTMENT TO THE BUREAUS AND OFFICES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND FOR TRANSFER TO SUCH OTHER AGENCIES OF THE FEDERAL OR STATE GOVERNMENTS AS THE SECRETARY MAY REQUEST TO COOPERATE OR ASSIST IN CARRYING OUT THIS ACT

SECTION 393---

"ALL FUNDS FOR CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR ALLOTMENT TO BUREAUS AND OFFICES OF THE DEPARTMENT, AND FOR TRANSFER TO SUCH OTHER AGENCIES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, AND TO SUCH STATE AGENCIES, AS THE SECRETARY MAY REQUEST TO COOPERATE OR ASSIST IN CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.'

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ADMINISTRATION HAS ALREADY RECEIVED SEVERAL REQUESTS FOR THE DISPLAY OF EXHIBITS, IT IS REQUESTED THAT YOUR REPLY BE EXPEDITED.

IT IS A WELL ESTABLISHED RULE THAT A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES IS AVAILABLE THEREFOR TO THE EXCLUSION OF A MORE GENERAL APPROPRIATION. ACCORDINGLY, WHILE SECTION 9 OF THE SOIL CONSERVATION ACT AUTHORIZES THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE "TO MAKE PUBLIC SUCH INFORMATION" AS HE DEEMS NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF SAID ACT, IT DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZE OR REQUIRE THAT SUCH INFORMATION BE MADE PUBLIC BY THE USE OF EXHIBITS AT FAIRS. AND SINCE FOR EXHIBITS AT FAIRS A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION IS MADE EACH YEAR UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 7 TO 17, INCLUSIVE, OF THE SOIL CONSERVATION ACT AND THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938 ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE COST OF PREPARING EXHIBITS AT STATE, INTERSTATE, OR INTERNATIONAL FAIRS.