A-94783, MAY 20, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 963

A-94783: May 20, 1938

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" IS AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1939 WHICH WILL REMAIN AVAILABLE FOR DISBURSEMENT PURPOSES FOR 2 FISCAL YEARS AFTER THE CLOSE THEREOF. PROVIDED THE TRAVEL ORDERS ARE ISSUED IN THE FISCAL YEAR 1939. IS AS FOLLOWS: THE APPROPRIATION "TRANSPORTATION. WHO HAVE DIED OR MAY DIE ABROAD OR IN TRANSIT WHILE IN THE DISCHARGE OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES. PREVIOUSLY WHEN FUNDS HAD BEEN MADE AVAILABLE AND EVERY EFFORT EXERTED TO UTILIZE THE FUNDS TO PROMOTE THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE SERVICE AND THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE FUNDS WERE APPROPRIATED. OR PERHAPS THE PRIOR UNAVAILABILITY OF APPROPRIATE BALANCES OR THE SHORTNESS OF TIME IN WHICH ORDERS COULD BE ISSUED TOWARD THE CLOSE OF THE FISCAL YEAR WHEN FUNDS MAY HAVE BEEN PROVIDED BY DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION.

A-94783, MAY 20, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 963

APPROPRIATIONS - FISCAL YEAR - AVAILABILITY FOR SUBSEQUENT YEARS THE APPROPRIATION "TRANSPORTATION, FOREIGN SERVICE," FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1939, PROVIDING THAT NOT TO EXCEED A SPECIFIED AMOUNT THEREOF "SHALL BE AVAILABLE UNTIL JUNE 30, 1940, FOR DISBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS ISSUED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1939," IS AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1939 WHICH WILL REMAIN AVAILABLE FOR DISBURSEMENT PURPOSES FOR 2 FISCAL YEARS AFTER THE CLOSE THEREOF, WITH THE UNEXPENDED BALANCE AS OF JUNE 30, 1939, NOT IN EXCESS OF THE SPECIFIED AMOUNT, AVAILABLE FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE FISCAL YEAR 1940, PROVIDED THE TRAVEL ORDERS ARE ISSUED IN THE FISCAL YEAR 1939.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, MAY 20, 1938:

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

THE APPROPRIATION "TRANSPORTATION, FOREIGN SERVICE," CONTAINED IN THE ACT APPROVED APRIL 27, 1938, PUBLIC NO. 495, 75TH CONGRESS, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"TO PAY THE TRAVELING EXPENSES, INCLUDING TRAVEL BY AIRPLANE WHEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE, OF DIPLOMATIC, CONSULAR, AND FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS, AND OTHER EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE, INCLUDING FOREIGN SERVICE INSPECTORS, AND UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE SECRETARY OF STATE MAY PRESCRIBE, OF THEIR FAMILIES AND EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF EFFECTS, IN GOING TO AND RETURNING FROM THEIR POSTS, INCLUDING NOT TO EXCEED $110,000 FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH LEAVE OF ABSENCE, AND OF THE PREPARATION AND TRANSPORTATION OF THE REMAINS OF THOSE OFFICERS AND SAID EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE, WHO HAVE DIED OR MAY DIE ABROAD OR IN TRANSIT WHILE IN THE DISCHARGE OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES, TO THEIR FORMER HOMES IN THIS COUNTRY OR TO A PLACE NOT MORE DISTANT FOR INTERMENT AND FOR THE ORDINARY EXPENSES OF SUCH INTERMENT, AND ALSO FOR PAYMENT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 1749 OF THE REVISED STATUTES (22 U.S.C. 130) OF ALLOWANCES TO THE WIDOWS OR HEIRS AT LAW OF DIPLOMATIC, CONSULAR, AND FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES DYING IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES IN THE DISCHARGE OF THEIR DUTIES, $556,700, OF WHICH AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $50,000 SHALL BE AVAILABLE UNTIL JUNE 30, 1940, FOR DISBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS ISSUED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1939: PROVIDED, THAT THIS APPROPRIATION SHALL BE AVAILABLE ALSO FOR THE AUTHORIZED SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF CONSULAR AND FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS WHILE ON TEMPORARY DETAIL UNDER COMMISSION.'

THE EXPERIENCE OF THE DEPARTMENT IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE FUND FOR TRANSPORTATION OF CONSULAR, DIPLOMATIC, AND FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS AND CLERKS PROMPTED THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO CHANGE THE WORDING OF THIS APPROPRIATION BY THE INCLUSION OF THE WORDS AFTER THE AMOUNT APPROPRIATED "OF WHICH AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $50,000 SHALL BE AVAILABLE UNTIL JUNE 30, 1940, FOR DISBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL UNDER ORDERS ISSUED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1939.'

PREVIOUSLY WHEN FUNDS HAD BEEN MADE AVAILABLE AND EVERY EFFORT EXERTED TO UTILIZE THE FUNDS TO PROMOTE THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE SERVICE AND THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE FUNDS WERE APPROPRIATED, DELAYS IN THE ISSUE AND RECEIPT OF ORDERS DUE TO THE CONDITIONS OBTAINING IN THE COUNTRY OF ASSIGNMENT, MARITIME STRIKES, THE NECESSITY OF AWAITING A RELIEF OFFICER OR AN AMERICAN VESSEL TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 901 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF 1936, OR PERHAPS THE PRIOR UNAVAILABILITY OF APPROPRIATE BALANCES OR THE SHORTNESS OF TIME IN WHICH ORDERS COULD BE ISSUED TOWARD THE CLOSE OF THE FISCAL YEAR WHEN FUNDS MAY HAVE BEEN PROVIDED BY DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION, AND OTHER UNFORESEEABLE AND UNPREDICTABLE CAUSES HAVE DEFEATED THE DEPARTMENT'S EFFORTS AND RESULTED IN POSTPONEMENT OF THE PERSONNEL PROGRAM CONTEMPLATED FOR THE CURRENT AND THE NEXT ENSUING FISCAL YEARS.

DELAYS IN THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER OF PERSONNEL WHO WITHOUT FAULT BUT FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER MAY NOT HAVE BEEN ENABLED TO COMMENCE OR COMPLETE UNTIL AFTER JUNE 30 THE TRAVEL ORDERED, WHICH ENVISAGED OBLIGATION OF THE FUNDS OF THE THEN CURRENT FISCAL YEAR HAS RESULTED YEAR AFTER YEAR IN ENCUMBRANCE OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE NEW FISCAL YEAR WITH AMOUNTS NOT CONTEMPLATED OR BUDGETED FOR THAT PARTICULAR YEAR. THIS HAS NECESSITATED THE DIVERSION OF CURRENT YEAR FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE FOR NECESSARY TRANSFERS OR DESIRABLE AND BUDGETED HOME LEAVES OF ABSENCE TO MEET THE EXPENDITURES INCIDENT TO TRAVEL PREVIOUSLY ORDERED AND BUDGETED FOR PRIOR YEARS AND FOR THE MORE URGENT REQUIREMENTS OR EXIGENCIES OF THE SERVICE AS THEY ARISE OR ARE FORESEEN. AS A CONSEQUENCE THE DEPARTMENT HAS FREQUENTLY BEEN UNDER THE NECESSITY OF SEEKING DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATIONS TO PERMIT THE REASONABLE COMPLETION OF ITS PERSONNEL PROGRAMS BUT DELAYS IN ENACTMENT OF AUTHORIZING LEGISLATION LIKEWISE HAVE PREVENTED THE DEPARTMENT FROM UTILIZATION OF THE FUNDS PROVIDED TO THEIR GREATEST EFFECTIVENESS AND UNEXPENDED BALANCES BY REASON OF THESE DELAYS HAVE ANNUALLY BEEN RETURNED TO THE TREASURY WHILE, BECAUSE OF THE URGENT NEED OF FUNDS, DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATIONS HAVE BEEN RECURRENTLY SOUGHT.

I SHALL APPRECIATE A DECISION FROM YOUR OFFICE, IN ORDER THAT THIS DEPARTMENT MAY HAVE THE ASSURANCE THAT THE LANGUAGE OF THIS APPROPRIATION AS REVISED BY THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WILL ACCOMPLISH THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH IT IS INTENDED, AS FOLLOWS:

1. THAT THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE APPROPRIATION WILL BE SUBJECT TO THE GENERAL LIMITATION OF AVAILABILITY FOR DISBURSEMENT FOR TWO YEARS AFTER THE CLOSE OF THE FISCAL YEAR FOR WHICH IT IS ORIGINALLY APPROPRIATED.

2. THAT ANY UNEXPENDED BALANCE OF NOT TO EXCEED $50,000 ON JUNE 30, 1939, SHALL REMAIN AVAILABLE UNTIL JUNE 30, 1940, TO MEET OBLIGATIONS AND EXPENSES INCURRED UNDER ORDERS ISSUED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1939, EVEN IF THE ACTUAL EXPENDITURES OF FUNDS IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH TRANSPORTATION ARE NOT MADE UNTIL DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1940.

THE PROVISION INSERTED IN THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION APPEARS TO BE SUFFICIENT TO ACCOMPLISH THE PURPOSES SET FORTH IN YOUR SUBMISSION. THAT IS TO SAY, (1) THE ENTIRE APPROPRIATION IS ONE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1939 AND WILL REMAIN ON THE BOOKS OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR TWO FISCAL YEARS AFTER JUNE 30, 1939, FOR DISBURSEMENT PURPOSES (SECTION 713, TITLE 31, U.S. CODE), BUT (2) NOT TO EXCEED $50,000 OF THE UNEXPENDED BALANCE ON JUNE 30, 1939, WILL BE AVAILABLE UNDER THE PROVISION OF LAW IN QUESTION FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES ACTUALLY INCURRED IN THE FISCAL YEAR 1940, PROVIDED THE TRAVEL ORDERS UNDER WHICH SUCH EXPENSES WERE INCURRED WERE ISSUED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1939.