A-9986, JULY 3, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 1

A-9986: Jul 3, 1925

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WHEN SUCH TRAVEL EXTENDS OVER PORTIONS OF TWO FISCAL YEARS AND IS COVERED BY TWO TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS BECAUSE OF A DELAY OCCASIONED BY A LEAVE OF ABSENCE GRANTED EN ROUTE. SHOULD BE CHARGED TO THE RESPECTIVE FISCAL YEARS IN WHICH EACH TRIP IS BEGUN. WHERE TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS IS ORDERED IN ONE FISCAL YEAR AND. THE TRAVEL IS NOT BEGUN UNTIL THE SUCCEEDING FISCAL YEAR. 1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 4. YOU STATE TWO HYPOTHETICAL CASES AND CONTEND THAT WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS OBTAINED AFTER THE BEGINNING OF A NEW FISCAL YEAR BY REASON OF DELAY DUE TO A LEAVE OF ABSENCE. ALL SUMS APPROPRIATED FOR THE VARIOUS BRANCHES OF EXPENDITURE IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE SHALL BE APPLIED SOLELY TO THE OBJECTS FOR WHICH THEY ARE RESPECTIVELY MADE.

A-9986, JULY 3, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 1

TRAVELING EXPENSES COVERING PORTIONS OF TWO FISCAL YEARS THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF AN EMPLOYEE OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT TRANSFERRED FROM ONE STATION TO ANOTHER, WHEN SUCH TRAVEL EXTENDS OVER PORTIONS OF TWO FISCAL YEARS AND IS COVERED BY TWO TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS BECAUSE OF A DELAY OCCASIONED BY A LEAVE OF ABSENCE GRANTED EN ROUTE, SHOULD BE CHARGED TO THE RESPECTIVE FISCAL YEARS IN WHICH EACH TRIP IS BEGUN. WHERE TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS IS ORDERED IN ONE FISCAL YEAR AND, AS A RESULT OF A GRANT OF LEAVE OF ABSENCE, THE TRAVEL IS NOT BEGUN UNTIL THE SUCCEEDING FISCAL YEAR, THE EXPENSE THEREOF SHOULD BE CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE NEW FISCAL YEAR.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, JULY 3, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 4, 1925, REQUESTING DECISION AS TO THE RULE TO BE FOLLOWED IN CHARGING THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF EMPLOYEES OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT, RELIEVED FROM DUTY AT ONE STATION AND ASSIGNED TO DUTY AT A NEW STATION, WHEN SUCH TRANSPORTATION EXTENDS OVER PORTIONS OF TWO FISCAL YEARS BECAUSE OF AN INTERVENING LEAVE OF ABSENCE. YOU STATE TWO HYPOTHETICAL CASES AND CONTEND THAT WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS OBTAINED AFTER THE BEGINNING OF A NEW FISCAL YEAR BY REASON OF DELAY DUE TO A LEAVE OF ABSENCE, THE COST THEREOF SHOULD NOT BE CHARGED AGAINST AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE NEW FISCAL YEAR.

THE REVISED STATUTES, SECTION 3678, 3679, AND 3690, PROVIDE:

SEC. 3678. ALL SUMS APPROPRIATED FOR THE VARIOUS BRANCHES OF EXPENDITURE IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE SHALL BE APPLIED SOLELY TO THE OBJECTS FOR WHICH THEY ARE RESPECTIVELY MADE, AND FOR NO OTHERS.

SEC. 3679. NO DEPARTMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT SHALL EXPEND, IN ANY ONE FISCAL YEAR, ANY SUM IN EXCESS OF APPROPRIATIONS MADE BY CONGRESS FOR THAT FISCAL YEAR, OR INVOLVE THE GOVERNMENT IN ANY CONTRACT FOR THE FUTURE PAYMENT OF MONEY IN EXCESS OF SUCH APPROPRIATIONS.

SEC. 3690. ALL BALANCES OF APPROPRIATIONS CONTAINED IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION BILLS AND MADE SPECIFICALLY FOR THE SERVICE OF ANY FISCAL YEAR, AND REMAINING UNEXPENDED AT THE EXPIRATION OF SUCH FISCAL YEAR, SHALL ONLY BE APPLIED TO THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES PROPERLY INCURRED DURING THAT YEAR, OR TO THE FULFILLMENT OF CONTRACTS PROPERLY MADE WITHIN THAT YEAR; AND BALANCES NOT NEEDED FOR SUCH PURPOSES SHALL BE CARRIED TO THE SURPLUS FUND. THIS SECTION, HOWEVER, SHALL NOT APPLY TO APPROPRIATIONS KNOWN AS PERMANENT OR INDEFINITE APPROPRIATIONS.

IN A DECISION OF THIS OFFICE ADDRESSED TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, DATED DECEMBER 20, 1924, A-5831, IT WAS SAID:

* * * IT IS A GENERAL RULE THAT EXPENSES OF SERVICES ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR DURING WHICH SUCH SERVICES ARE RENDERED. TO APPLY PAYMENT OTHERWISE WOULD BE A DIVERSION OF FUNDS FROM THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH APPROPRIATED AND IN VIOLATION OF SECTIONS 3676, 3679 AND 3690, OF THE REVISED STATUTES, CITED.

THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT THE EXPENSE OF TRANSPORTATION IS CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE YEAR IN WHICH THE TRAVEL IS PERFORMED, EXCEPT THAT WHERE THE TRANSPORTATION HAS BEEN SECURED BEFORE THE END OF THE FISCAL YEAR AND JOURNEY ACTUALLY BEGUN, THE EXPENSES OF SUCH JOURNEY ARE CHARGEABLE WHOLLY TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE YEAR WHEN THE OBLIGATION HAS BEEN THUS FULLY INCURRED AND WHICH IS AN ACTUAL OBLIGATION EFFECTIVE BEFORE THE CLOSE OF THE FISCAL YEAR * * *.

IN THE FIRST ILLUSTRATION GIVEN IN YOUR SUBMISSION TWO TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS WERE ISSUED TO THE EMPLOYEE; ONE OF WHICH WAS USED BEFORE THE CLOSE OF THE FISCAL YEAR WHILE THE OTHER WAS USED AFTER THE LEAVE PERIOD AND IN THE SUCCEEDING FISCAL YEAR. IT IS CLEAR THAT THE EXPENSE OF THE TRANSPORTATION SECURED ON THE FIRST REQUEST COVERING THE FIRST JOURNEY BECAME AN OBLIGATION AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT WHEN SUCH TRANSPORTATION WAS SECURED AND IS CHARGEABLE TO THE OLD FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION. THE EXPENSE OF THE TRANSPORTATION FURNISHED UNDER THE SECOND REQUEST COVERING THE SECOND STAGE OF THE JOURNEY WAS PERFORMED SOME TIME LATER AND IN THE NEW FISCAL YEAR DID NOT BECOME AN OBLIGATION ON THE PART OF THE GOVERNMENT UNTIL SUCH TRANSPORTATION WAS SECURED AND ACCORDINGLY IT IS CHARGEABLE TO THE NEW FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION.

IN THE SECOND ILLUSTRATION NO PART OF THE TRANSPORTATION WAS SECURED AND NO PART OF THE JOURNEY WAS BEGUN BEFORE THE CLOSE OF THE FISCAL YEAR IN WHICH THE CHANGE OF STATION WAS DIRECTED, AND ACCORDINGLY THE EXPENSE OF SUCH TRAVEL WHEN PERFORMED IN THE NEW FISCAL YEAR IS CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR THAT YEAR INASMUCH AS THE OBLIGATION FOR THE PAYMENT THEREFOR WAS NOT ACTUALLY INCURRED PRIOR TO THE CLOSE OF THE OLD FISCAL YEAR.