B-11445, JULY 29, 1940, 20 COMP. GEN. 55

B-11445: Jul 29, 1940

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PUERTO RICO ARE "PUBLIC AUTHORITIES" WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE APPROPRIATION IN THE ACT OF JUNE 27. THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND OTHER BOARDS OF EDUCATION FUNCTIONING ON SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME BASIS ARE "PUBLIC AUTHORITIES" WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE APPROPRIATION IN THE ACT OF JUNE 27. 1940: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 23. YOUR ATTENTION IS DIRECTED TO THE FACT THAT AN INQUIRY RESULTING IN AN ESTIMATE OF 1. THE LANGUAGE IN P.L. 668 UNDER THE HEADING " OFFICE OF EDUCATION" IS A CONTRACTION OR SUMMARY OF THAT DRAFT. YOUR ATTENTION IS DIRECTED TO THE FACT THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE INTERPRETATION PLACED ON THE ACT IN QUESTION FROM THE VERY OUTSET HAS BEEN THAT IT APPLIED TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

B-11445, JULY 29, 1940, 20 COMP. GEN. 55

APPROPRIATION FOR VOCATIONAL EDUCATION OF DEFENSE WORKERS - AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS FOR DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, TERRITORIES, ETC. THE TERM " STATES" AS USED IN THE FEDERAL STATUTES DOES NOT NECESSARILY INCLUDE THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE TERRITORIES UNLESS THE TERM BE EXPRESSLY DEFINED AS INCLUDING THEM, OR UNLESS SUCH INCLUSION BE REQUIRED BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION. THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, HAWAII, ALASKA, AND PUERTO RICO ARE "PUBLIC AUTHORITIES" WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE APPROPRIATION IN THE ACT OF JUNE 27, 1940, PUBLIC, NO. 668, 54 STAT. 628,"FOR PAYMENT TO STATES, SUBDIVISIONS THEREOF, OR OTHER PUBLIC AUTHORITIES," FOR VOCATIONAL EDUCATION OF DEFENSE WORKERS. THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND OTHER BOARDS OF EDUCATION FUNCTIONING ON SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME BASIS ARE "PUBLIC AUTHORITIES" WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE APPROPRIATION IN THE ACT OF JUNE 27, 1940, PUBLIC, NO. 668, 54 STAT. 628,"FOR PAYMENT TO STATES, SUBDIVISIONS THEREOF, OR OTHER PUBLIC AUTHORITIES," FOR VOCATIONAL EDUCATION OF DEFENSE WORKERS.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE FEDERAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATOR, JULY 29, 1940:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 23, 1940, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ACT OF CONGRESS APPROPRIATING $15,000,000 FOR THE VOCATIONAL EDUCATION OF DEFENSE WORKERS ( P.L. 668, 76TH CONGRESS, CHAPTER 437, 3RD SESSION, TITLE I, HEADING " OFFICE OF EDUCATION") PROVIDES "FOR PAYMENT TO STATES, SUBDIVISIONS THEREOF, OR OTHER PUBLIC AUTHORITIES.' IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THIS ACT, THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ARISE:

1. DOES THE PHRASE " FOR PAYMENT TO STATES, SUBDIVISIONS THEREOF, OR OTHER PUBLIC THORITIES," AUTHORIZE THE UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION TO CERTIFY PAYMENTS FOR THE PURPOSES SPECIFIED IN SAID ACT TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, HAWAII, ALASKA, AND PUERTO RICO.

2. WOULD A PUBLIC BOARD OF EDUCATION, OR A PUBLIC BOARD PERFORMING FUNCTIONS SIMILAR TO THOSE PERFORMED BY SUCH BOARDS, BE CONSIDERED WITHIN THE WORDS "OTHER PUBLIC AUTHORITIES.'

IN SUPPORT OF AN AFFIRMATIVE ANSWER TO THE FIRST OF THE TWO FOREGOING QUESTIONS, YOUR ATTENTION IS DIRECTED TO THE FACT THAT AN INQUIRY RESULTING IN AN ESTIMATE OF 1,043 SCHOOLS AS AVAILABLE FOR GIVING THE TRAINING CONTEMPLATED IN THE ABOVE-MENTIONED ACT INCLUDED SCHOOLS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, IN HAWAII, AND IN PUERTO RICO. ALSO, AN ESTIMATE F 750,000 TRAINEES MADE BY THIS OFFICE AS POSSIBLE ENROLLEES IN SUCH SCHOOLS INCLUDED ENROLLEES IN THE SCHOOLS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE TERRITORY OF HAWAII. FURTHERMORE, A SEPARATE BILL DRAFTER TO ACCOMPLISH THE PURPOSES OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED ACT SPECIFICALLY INCLUDED THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ALASKA, HAWAII, AND PUERTO RICO. THE LANGUAGE IN P.L. 668 UNDER THE HEADING " OFFICE OF EDUCATION" IS A CONTRACTION OR SUMMARY OF THAT DRAFT. FINALLY, YOUR ATTENTION IS DIRECTED TO THE FACT THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE INTERPRETATION PLACED ON THE ACT IN QUESTION FROM THE VERY OUTSET HAS BEEN THAT IT APPLIED TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, THE TWO TERRITORIES, AND PUERTO RICO.

BY WAY OF EXPLANATION OF THE SECOND OF THE FOREGOING QUESTIONS THERE IS SUBMITTED THE FOLLOWING ILLUSTRATION: COULD THE UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION, INSTEAD OF CERTIFYING PAYMENT TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, CERTIFY PAYMENT TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ON THE THEORY THAT SUCH BOARD OF EDUCATION AS SUCH IS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE WORDS "OTHER PUBLIC AUTHORITIES.'

THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HAS PROCEEDED ON A THEORY THAT IT IS EMBRACED BY THE LANGUAGE ABOVE REFERRED TO AND IT HAS MADE ALL ARRANGEMENTS FOR GIVING SUCH COURSES AS ARE CONTEMPLATED BY THE ACT IN QUESTION. TEACHERS HAVE BEEN ENGAGED AND TRAINEES ARE BEING ENROLLED ON THE BASIS OF SUCH AN INTERPRETATION OF THE ACT. FOR THAT REASON IT IS HIGHLY DESIRABLE THAT YOU FAVOR US WITH AN OPINION IN REPLY TO THE ABOVE INQUIRIES AT YOUR EARLIEST CONVENIENCE.

THE TERM " STATES" AS USED IN THE FEDERAL STATUTES DOES NOT NECESSARILY INCLUDE THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE TERRITORIES UNLESS THE TERM BE EXPRESSLY DEFINED AS INCLUDING THEM, OR UNLESS SUCH INCLUSION BE REQUIRED BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION. SEE WITH RESPECT TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA A- 91956, JANUARY 24, 1938. HOWEVER, IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR NATIONAL- DEFENSE TRAINING THE DESIGNATION OF " STATES, SUBDIVISIONS THEREOF" IS FOLLOWED BY THE ADDITIONAL WORDS "OR OTHER PUBLIC AUTHORITIES.' IT IS BEYOND QUESTION THAT THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE TERRITORIES, WHETHER CLASSIFED AS STATES OR NOT, ARE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THAT APPROPRIATION. ALSO, THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS A PUBLIC AUTHORITY. SEE THE ACT OF JUNE 20, 1906, 34 STAT. 316, ESTABLISHING AND DEFINING THE JURISDICTION OF THE SAID BOARD OF EDUCATION. OTHER BOARDS OF EDUCATION FUNCTIONING ON SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME BASIS LIKEWISE MAY BE CONSIDERED AS COVERED BY THE WORDING "OTHER PUBLIC AUTHORITIES.' ACCORDINGLY, BOTH QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

INSOFAR AS CONCERNS THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, WHILE ITS EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES ARE CONDUCTED PRIMARILY BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION RATHER THAN DIRECTLY BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, THERE MIGHT BE SOME ADVANTAGE IN MAKING THE PAYMENTS TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHO HAVE SUPERVISORY JURISDICTION OVER EXPENDITURES BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, BUT THE LAW DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT SUCH PAYMENTS BE MADE TO THE COMMISSIONERS RATHER THAN TO THE BOARD.