B-103167, JUNE 5, 1951, 30 COMP. GEN. 493

B-103167: Jun 5, 1951

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SO THAT WHEN IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT AND WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 8. PREEMPLOYMENT EXAMINATIONS BY MEDICAL OFFICERS OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION ARE AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE WITHOUT CHARGE TO THE APPLICANT. 1951: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE LETTER OF THE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS AFFAIRS DATED APRIL 30. REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION IS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PREEMPLOYMENT EXAMINATIONS OF APPOINTEES TO POSITIONS IN THE ADMINISTRATION WITHOUT CHARGE UNDER AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF AUGUST 8. THE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR'S LETTER STATES THE UNDERSTANDING TO BE THAT SOME FEDERAL AGENCIES ARE MAKING PREEMPLOYMENT EXAMINATIONS WITHOUT CHARGE UNDER THE CITED PROVISIONS OF LAW AND APPLICABLE APPROPRIATIONS AND CALLS ATTENTION TO THE PROVISIONS OF FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL.

B-103167, JUNE 5, 1951, 30 COMP. GEN. 493

PREEMPLOYMENT PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS - VETERANS ADMINISTRATION - APPROPRIATION AVAILABILITY THE PROVISION IN THE " GENERAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1951," REQUIRING THAT APPROPRIATIONS OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION BE REIMBURSED THE COST OF HOSPITALIZATION OR EXAMINATION OF PERSONS OTHER THAN THOSE ENTITLED TO BENEFITS UNDER LAWS APPLICABLE TO VETERANS HAS REFERENCE ONLY TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF EXAMINATION OF NON-VETERAN EMPLOYEES OF OTHER AGENCIES, SO THAT WHEN IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT AND WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 8, 1946, AS AMENDED, AUTHORIZING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF HEALTH SERVICE PROGRAMS FOR EMPLOYEES, PREEMPLOYMENT EXAMINATIONS BY MEDICAL OFFICERS OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION ARE AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE WITHOUT CHARGE TO THE APPLICANT.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, JUNE 5, 1951:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE LETTER OF THE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS AFFAIRS DATED APRIL 30, 1951, REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION IS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PREEMPLOYMENT EXAMINATIONS OF APPOINTEES TO POSITIONS IN THE ADMINISTRATION WITHOUT CHARGE UNDER AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF AUGUST 8, 1946, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 150, AND THE SPECIFIC APPROPRIATIONS TO THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FOR CONDUCTING HEALTH SERVICE PROGRAMS UNDER SAID ACT.

THE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR'S LETTER STATES THE UNDERSTANDING TO BE THAT SOME FEDERAL AGENCIES ARE MAKING PREEMPLOYMENT EXAMINATIONS WITHOUT CHARGE UNDER THE CITED PROVISIONS OF LAW AND APPLICABLE APPROPRIATIONS AND CALLS ATTENTION TO THE PROVISIONS OF FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL, TS-329, M1-3, GOVERNING PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS GENERALLY. THE LETTER ALSO EXPRESSES THE VIEW THAT THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION IS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PREEMPLOYMENT EXAMINATIONS OF ITS OWN APPOINTEES WITHOUT CHARGE UPON THE PREMISE THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THE 1946 ACT AND OF THE SPECIFIC APPROPRIATIONS TO THE ADMINISTRATION CONSTITUTE AN EXCEPTION TO THE LANGUAGE IN THE " GENERAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1,"APPROVED SEPTEMBER 6, 1950, PUBLIC LAW 759, 64 STAT. 595, REQUIRING REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF HOSPITALIZATION AND EXAMINATION OF ANY PERSONS EXCEPT THOSE ENTITLED TO VETERANS' BENEFITS.

THE ACT OF AUGUST 8, 1946, AUTHORIZES THE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES, INCLUDING GOVERNMENT-OWNED AND CONTROLLED CORPORATIONS, TO ESTABLISH HEALTH SERVICE PROGRAMS FOR THEIR EMPLOYEES IN LOCALITIES WHERE THE NUMBER OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES WARRANT THE FURNISHING OF HEALTH SERVICES, AFTER CONSULTATION WITH AND UPON CONSIDERATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE.

THE " GENERAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1951," PROVIDES IN THE APPROPRIATION TO THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FOR NECESSARY EXPENSES OF ADMINISTRATION, MEDICAL, HOSPITAL, AND DOMICILIARY SERVICES FOR A "HEALTH SERVICE PROGRAM AS AUTHORIZED BY LAW (5 U.S.C. 150)," AND, GENERALLY, THAT APPROPRIATIONS TO THE ADMINISTRATION CONTAINED THEREIN SHALL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR HOSPITALIZATION OR EXAMINATION OF ANY PERSON EXCEPT THOSE ENTITLED TO VETERANS BENEFITS UNLESS THE COST THEREOF IS REIMBURSED TO THE APPROPRIATION CHARGED.

IN PARI MATERIA TO THOSE PROVISIONS ARE THE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 4071, DATED SEPTEMBER 4, 1924, DIRECTING AGENCIES WITH MEDICAL FACILITIES TO MAKE PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS OF APPLICANTS FOR CIVILIAN POSITIONS AS REQUESTED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, AND THE PROVISIONS OF PART M1-3, TS-329, OF THE FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL, APPROVED FEBRUARY 2, 1951, DIRECTING THAT PREEMPLOYMENT EXAMINATIONS "BE CONDUCTED SO FAR AS PRACTICABLE BY FEDERAL MEDICAL OFFICERS WITHOUT EXPENSE TO THE APPOINTEE.'

THERE APPEARS TO BE NO DOUBT THAT IN PROVIDING FOR SUCH PREEMPLOYMENT EXAMINATIONS AS A PART OF HEALTH SERVICE PROGRAMS FOR CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT, THE CONGRESS INTENDED THAT THE COST OF PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS OF CIVILIAN APPOINTEES BY FEDERAL MEDICAL OFFICERS PURSUANT TO ADMINISTRATIVE NEEDS SHOULD BE CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATIONS MADE AVAILABLE TO THE AGENCIES FOR CONDUCTING SUCH PROGRAMS. CONSEQUENTLY, THE GENERAL RULE, AS STATED IN 22 COMP. GEN. 243--- RENDERED PRIOR TO THE ACT OF AUGUST 8, 1946, PROVIDING FOR HEALTH PROGRAMS FOR GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES- -- THAT SUCH COSTS MUST BE ABSORBED BY THE APPLICANTS FOR POSITIONS IS NOT FOR APPLICATION WHERE THE EXAMINATIONS ARE MADE IN PURSUANCE OF SAID SPECIFIC PROVISIONS AND RELATED REGULATIONS OR EXECUTIVE ORDERS.

THE PROVISION IN THE " GENERAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1951," REQUIRING REIMBURSEMENT TO THE APPROPRIATIONS OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION CHARGED WITH THE COST OF HOSPITALIZATION OR EXAMINATION OF PERSONS OTHER THAN THOSE ENTITLED TO BENEFITS UNDER LAWS APPLICABLE TO VETERANS, WAS FIRST INCLUDED IN SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT LANGUAGE IN THE " INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 41," APPROVED APRIL 18, 1940, 54 STAT. 141, AND AMENDED BY THE " SECOND DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, 1940," APPROVED JUNE 27, 1940, 54 STAT. 635, TO READ AS IT NOW APPEARS IN THE 1951 ACT. THE PURPOSE OF THE PROVISION AS MANIFESTED BY THE DISCUSSIONS ON THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES--- 86 CONG. REC. 509-511--- IS TO REQUIRE REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF EXAMINATION OF NON-VETERAN EMPLOYEES OF OTHER AGENCIES IN ORDER TO AVOID DEPLETION OF FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE FOR MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL SERVICES TO VETERANS.

IN THE LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING, IT IS ABUNDANTLY CLEAR THAT THE PURPOSES OF THE INVOLVED APPROPRIATION PROVISIONS ARE WHOLLY SEPARATE AND DISTINCT AND ARE IN NO WISE IN CONFLICT WITH EACH OTHER. ACCORDINGLY, WHEN IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT AND OTHERWISE WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 8, 1946, PREEMPLOYMENT EXAMINATIONS BY MEDICAL OFFICERS OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION OF APPOINTEES TO POSITIONS IN THE ADMINISTRATION ARE AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE WITHOUT CHARGE TO THE APPLICANT.