A-96658, MAY 18, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 866

A-96658: May 18, 1939

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IS AUTHORIZED TO TRANSFER TO OTHER AGENCIES. SUCH SUMS AS ARE REQUIRED TO PAY ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES INCURRED * * * BY SUCH DEPARTMENT OR AGENCIES IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THIS TITLE.'. TRANSFERS OF FUNDS AS LISTED IN THE ATTACHED SCHEDULE HAVE BEEN MADE FROM THE APPROPRIATIONS: 1292215. THE TRANSFERS MADE TO THE DIVISION OF DISBURSEMENT AND THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES HAVE BEEN MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH ADDITIONAL AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1939. IN REQUESTING THE TRANSFERS WHICH HAVE BEEN MADE TO THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT AND THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. IT IS NOW THE BELIEF OF THIS DEPARTMENT THAT THE TRANSFERS LISTED IN THE ATTACHED SCHEDULE HAVE BEEN ERRONEOUSLY RECOMMENDED AND CHARGED TO THE 1- AND 2-PERCENT LEGISLATIVE LIMITATIONS.

A-96658, MAY 18, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 866

APPROPRIATIONS - AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM - ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE LIMITATIONS FUNDS TRANSFERRED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TO COVER INCREASED EXPENSES OF THE DIVISION OF DISBURSEMENT, THE OFFICE OF THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES, AND THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, IN CONNECTION WITH CHECK ISSUANCE, CLEARANCE, AND AUDITING SERVICES, RESPECTIVELY, NEED NOT BE CONSIDERED AS ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES FOR PURPOSES OF THE 1- AND 2- PERCENT ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE LIMITATIONS CONTAINED IN SECTION 392 (B) OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938, 52 STAT. 70.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, MAY 18, 1939:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED LETTER FROM THE ACTING SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE DATED APRIL 11, 1939, AS FOLLOWS:

THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938 (PUBLIC, NO. 430, 75TH CONG.), APPROVED FEBRUARY 16, 1938, PROVIDES UNDER SECTION 393, AS FOLLOWS:

"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.'

THE ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1939 (PUBLIC, NO. 644, 75TH CONG.), APPROVED JUNE 16, 1938, PROVIDES IN PART UNDER THE ITEM CONSERVATION AND USE OF AGRICULTURAL LAND RESOURCES, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE MAY, IN HIS DISCRETION, FROM TIME TO TIME, TRANSFER TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SUCH SUMS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO PAY ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN AUDITING PAYMENTS UNDER THIS ITEM * * *. AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE FUNDS PROVIDED BY SECTION 32 OF THE ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT TO AMEND THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," APPROVED AUGUST 24, 1935 (7 .S.C., 612C), SHALL BE AVAILABLE DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1939 FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 392 OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938 * * *.'

THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT, APPROVED MAY 12, 1933, AS CONTINUED BY THE AGRICULTURAL MARKETING AGREEMENT ACT OF 1937 (PUBLIC, NO. 137, 75TH CONG.), APPROVED JUNE 3, 1937, PROVIDES UNDER SECTION 12 (C) IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE SHALL TRANSFER TO THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, AND IS AUTHORIZED TO TRANSFER TO OTHER AGENCIES, OUT OF FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES UNDER THIS TITLE, SUCH SUMS AS ARE REQUIRED TO PAY ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES INCURRED * * * BY SUCH DEPARTMENT OR AGENCIES IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THIS TITLE.'

PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY QUOTED ABOVE, TRANSFERS OF FUNDS AS LISTED IN THE ATTACHED SCHEDULE HAVE BEEN MADE FROM THE APPROPRIATIONS: 1292215--- CONSERVATION AND USE OF AGRICULTURAL LAND RESOURCES,

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, 1939.

1292100--- EXPORTATION AND DOMESTIC CONSUMPTION OF AGRICULTURAL

COMMODITIES, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, 1939, TO THE DIVISION OF DISBURSEMENT, AND TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, AND TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, TO COVER EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH ISSUING OF CHECKS, THE PAYING OF CHECKS, ETC., AND THE AUDIT OF VOUCHERS AND ACCOUNTS INCIDENT TO CARRYING OUT THE EMERGENCY AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMS CONDUCTED UNDER THE FOREGOING APPROPRIATIONS. THE TRANSFERS MADE TO THE DIVISION OF DISBURSEMENT AND THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES HAVE BEEN MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH ADDITIONAL AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1939, WHICH PERMITS TRANSFERS TO BE MADE TO AND INCLUDED IN THE DIRECT APPROPRIATIONS MADE TO THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT FOR THE CONDUCT OF THESE AGENCIES.

IN REQUESTING THE TRANSFERS WHICH HAVE BEEN MADE TO THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT AND THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, THIS DEPARTMENT RECOMMENDED THAT SUCH TRANSFERS BE CHARGED TO THE LEGISLATIVE LIMITATIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE STATES ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 392 (B) OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938, APPROVED FEBRUARY 16, 1938, WHICH PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THIS TITLE, SECTIONS 7 TO 17, INCLUSIVE OF THE SOIL CONSERVATION AND DOMESTIC ALLOTMENT ACT, AS AMENDED, AND SECTION 32 * * *, THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT EXPENDED IN ANY FISCAL YEAR, BEGINNING WITH THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1939, FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, INCLUDING REGIONAL OFFICES, SHALL NOT EXCEED 1 PERCENTUM OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT AVAILABLE FOR SUCH FISCAL YEAR FOR CARRYING OUT SUCH ACTS, AND THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT EXPENDED IN ANY FISCAL YEAR FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES IN THE SEVERAL STATES (NOT INCLUDING THE EXPENSES OF COUNTY AND LOCAL COMMITTEES) SHALL NOT EXCEED 2 PERCENTUM OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT AVAILABLE FOR SUCH FISCAL YEAR FOR CARRYING OUT SUCH ACTS * * *.'

UPON FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF THE PERTINENT LEGISLATIVE PROVISIONS, IT IS NOW THE BELIEF OF THIS DEPARTMENT THAT THE TRANSFERS LISTED IN THE ATTACHED SCHEDULE HAVE BEEN ERRONEOUSLY RECOMMENDED AND CHARGED TO THE 1- AND 2-PERCENT LEGISLATIVE LIMITATIONS. THIS BELIEF IS BASED ON THE CONCLUSION THAT SUCH LIMITATIONS ARE INAPPLICABLE TO TRANSFERS WHICH ARE REQUIRED TO BE MADE TO OTHER DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES, IN CONNECTION WITH EMERGENCY AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMS, TO SUPPLEMENT THEIR REGULAR BUDGETS, IN MEETING EXTRAORDINARY EXPENSES RESULTING FROM A VAST AMOUNT OF ADDITIONAL SERVICES WHICH THEY ARE REQUIRED OR REQUESTED TO PERFORM AND FOR WHICH NO DIRECT APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN PROVIDED. IT IS NOW THE OPINION OF THIS DEPARTMENT THAT THE LIMITATIONS IN QUESTION ARE FOR APPLICATION ONLY TO ALLOTMENTS OR TRANSFERS MADE TO ADMINISTRATIVE BUREAUS OR OFFICES OF HIS DEPARTMENT, OR TO OTHER AGENCIES, WHO PERFORM FUNCTIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ACTUAL ADMINISTRATION OF THE ACTS CITED ABOVE.

IT IS THEREFORE REQUESTED THAT THE LEGISLATIVE LIMITATIONS CHARGED WITH THE APPROPRIATION TRANSFERS LISTED ON THE ATTACHED SCHEDULE BE AMENDED, AS FOLLOWS:

SCHEDULE

DEBIT 1292215--- CONSERVATION AND USE OF AGRICULTURAL LAND RESOURCES,

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, 1939:

.031--- CONSERVATION PAYMENTS -------------------------------- $732,500 1292100--- EXPORTATION AND DOMESTIC CONSUMPTION OF AGRICULTURAL

COMMODITIES, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, 1939:

.032--- PAYMENTS FOR EXPORTATION AND DIVERSION --------------- 136,800

TOTAL -------------------------------------------------------- 869,300

CREDIT 1292215--- CONSERVATION AND USE OF AGRICULTURAL LAND RESOURCES,

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, 1939:

.011--- D.C. ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES, GENERAL ---------------- $235,500

.021--- FIELD ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES, GENERAL --------------- 497,000 1292100--- EXPORTATION AND DOMESTIC CONSUMPTION OF AGRICULTURAL

COMMODITIES, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, 1939:

.012--- D.C. ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES--- COTTON PRICE

ADJUSTMENT ------------------------------------------- 61,800

.022--- FIELD ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES--- COTTON PRICE

ADJUSTMENT ------------------------------------------- 75,000

TOTAL -------------------------------------------------------- 869,300

UNDER SECTION 392 (B) OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938, QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE 1- AND 2-PERCENT LIMITATIONS ARE APPLICABLE TO ALL FUNDS USED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE LAWS THEREIN REFERRED TO. HOWEVER, THE WORK PERFORMED OR THE SERVICES RENDERED BY THE DIVISION OF DISBURSEMENT IN ISSUING CHECKS COVERING PAYMENTS FOUND DUE IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF SAID LAWS, THE WORK AND SERVICES IN THE OFFICE OF THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES IN CLEARING SUCH CHECKS, AND THE WORK AND SERVICES IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN AUDITING THE ACCOUNTS ARE WORK AND SERVICES REQUIRED BY LAW TO BE PERFORMED BY SUCH AGENCIES, AND WHILE SUCH WORK AND SERVICES WERE GREATLY INCREASED AS A RESULT OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE LAWS INVOLVED, THE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO SUCH INCREASED WORK AND SERVICES ARE NOT, IN FACT, ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF SAID LAWS. CONSIDERED ON SUCH BASIS THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO REQUIREMENT THAT THE FUNDS NECESSARY TO COVER THE INCREASED EXPENSES OF THE DIVISION OF DISBURSEMENT, THE OFFICE OF THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE BE CONSIDERED AS PART OF THE 1- AND 2 PERCENT LIMITATIONS CONTAINED IN SAID SECTION 392 (B) OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1938.

ACCORDINGLY, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THE NECESSARY ACTION WILL BE TAKEN BY THIS OFFICE TO EFFECT THE ADJUSTMENTS REQUESTED UNDER THE LIMITATION ACCOUNTS INVOLVED.