B-115039, MAY 25, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 532

B-115039: May 25, 1953

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - DISPOSITION OF FUNDS DERIVED FROM SCHOOL ATHLETIC EVENTS SPONSORED BY PRIVATE PARTIES INASMUCH AS THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PUBLIC SCHOOL'S SHARE OF THE PROCEEDS FROM A FOOTBALL GAME IN WHICH IT PARTICIPATED WAS DERIVED FROM A POST SEASON GAME SPONSORED BY PRIVATE PARTIES RATHER THAN RECEIPTS FROM THE REGULAR SCHOOL ATHLETIC PROGRAMS. THAT COLLECTIONS FROM SCHOOL ATHLETIC CONTESTS BE DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE CREDIT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE NOT FOR APPLICATION TO THE RECEIPTS FROM THE POST SEASON GAME. 1953: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 28. IS REQUIRED TO BE DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE CREDIT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

B-115039, MAY 25, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 532

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - DISPOSITION OF FUNDS DERIVED FROM SCHOOL ATHLETIC EVENTS SPONSORED BY PRIVATE PARTIES INASMUCH AS THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PUBLIC SCHOOL'S SHARE OF THE PROCEEDS FROM A FOOTBALL GAME IN WHICH IT PARTICIPATED WAS DERIVED FROM A POST SEASON GAME SPONSORED BY PRIVATE PARTIES RATHER THAN RECEIPTS FROM THE REGULAR SCHOOL ATHLETIC PROGRAMS, THE PROVISIONS IN THE ACT OF AUGUST 3, 1951, THAT COLLECTIONS FROM SCHOOL ATHLETIC CONTESTS BE DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE CREDIT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE NOT FOR APPLICATION TO THE RECEIPTS FROM THE POST SEASON GAME, AND THEREFORE, SUCH RECEIPTS MAY BE TREATED AS A GIFT TO BE DISBURSED BY THE SPONSORS FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE SCHOOL UPON AUTHORIZATION BY THE SCHOOL AUTHORITIES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE PRESIDENT, BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MAY 25, 1953:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 28, 1953, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER (1) THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS' SHARE OF THE PROCEEDS DERIVED FROM A POST SEASON FOOTBALL GAME PLAYED IN THE FISCAL YEAR 1952, IN WHICH ONE OF THE PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS OF THE DISTRICT PARTICIPATED, IS REQUIRED TO BE DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE CREDIT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, OR (2) SUCH PROCEEDS MAY BE TREATED AS A GIFT AND DISBURSED BY THE SPONSORS OF THE GAME UPON AUTHORIZATION BY THE PUBLIC SCHOOL AUTHORITIES.

YOUR LETTER STATES THAT SINCE THE FALL OF 1948 IT HAS BEEN THE CUSTOM OF THE TIMES-HERALD NEWSPAPER AND THE TOUCHDOWN CLUB OF WASHINGTON TO SPONSOR POST SEASON FOOTBALL GAMES EACH YEAR BETWEEN THE WINNERS OF THE DISTRICT WHITE SENIOR AND VOCATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SERIES AND OF THE METROPOLITAN CATHOLIC ATHLETIC LEAGUE SERIES. WHILE THE PROPER SCHOOL OFFICIALS OF THE DISTRICT HAVE APPROVED THESE GAMES, IT IS STATED THAT THEY HAVE NOT BEEN CONSIDERED AS A PART OF THE REGULAR SEASON'S SCHEDULE. THE JOINT SPONSORS HAVE ASSUMED FULL FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE GAMES, ABSORBING ANY DEFICITS AND HANDLING ALL RECEIPTS AND DISBURSEMENTS. THE NET PROFITS, HOWEVER, HAVE BEEN DIVIDED EQUALLY BETWEEN THE WHITE PUBLIC AND CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOLS.

THE GAME PLAYED IN THE FISCAL YEAR 1952 WAS APPROVED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION ON MARCH 7, 1951. THE DISTRICT HIGH SCHOOLS' SHARE OF THE PROCEEDS FROM THIS GAME IS REPORTED AS APPROXIMATELY $5,500, OF WHICH $3,968.83 HAS BEEN EXPENDED IN THEIR BEHALF BY THE SPONSORS IN LIQUIDATING 1951 OBLIGATIONS OF THE SCHOOLS AND FOR ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT, LEAVING A BALANCE OF $1,252.95 REMAINING IN THE POSSESSION OF THE SPONSORS. IN THIS CONNECTION IT IS STATED THAT THE SPONSORS AND SCHOOL AUTHORITIES HAVE TREATED SUCH PROCEEDS AS GIFTS TO THE SCHOOLS TO BE EXPENDED FOR ATHLETIC USES AND WERE NEVER INTENDED TO BE DIVERTED TO OTHER PURPOSES.

ALSO, THE LETTER STATES THAT PRIOR TO THE FISCAL YEAR 1951, THE PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC PROGRAM WAS FINANCED FROM THE PROCEEDS OF ATHLETIC CONTESTS, CONTRIBUTIONS, AND FUND RAISING CAMPAIGNS UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE SCHOOL PRINCIPALS, AND THAT THE VOLUME OF INCOME AS A WHOLE WAS NOT ADEQUATE FOR THE PROPER CONDUCT OF THE PROGRAM. THE LETTER POINTS OUT THAT IN ORDER TO SUPPLY THIS DEFICIENCY, THE APPROPRIATIONS IN THE ACTS OF JULY 18, 1950, 64 STAT. 350, AND JULY 5, 1952, 66 STAT. 376, FOR OPERATING EXPENSES OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1951 AND 1953, RESPECTIVELY, INCLUDED AMOUNTS TO AUGMENT INCOME FROM ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES, AND THAT SUCH APPROPRIATION IN THE ACT OF AUGUST 3, 1951, 65 STAT. 157, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1952 INCLUDED FUNDS FOR ATHLETIC APPAREL AND ACCESSORIES BUT CONTAINED A PROVISION AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THAT COLLECTIONS FROM SCHOOL ATHLETIC CONTESTS SHALL BE DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE CREDIT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

THE LANGUAGE OF THIS PROVISION INDICATES THAT IT WAS DESIGNED TO APPLY ONLY TO CASH COLLECTIONS FROM SCHOOL ATHLETIC CONTESTS AND WAS NOT INTENDED TO AFFECT EQUIPMENT PURCHASED WITH NON-PUBLIC FUNDS AND DONATED TO THE PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS FOR ATHLETIC USES.

IN THAT LIGHT AND HAVING REGARD TO THE FACT THAT ALL ARRANGEMENTS AND COMMITMENTS FOR, INCLUDING FISCAL, AND MANAGEMENT OF THE POST SEASON FOOTBALL GAME IN QUESTION, WERE THE COMPLETE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PRIVATE SPONSORS OF THE GAME, THE ONLY OFFICIAL ACTION REQUIRED OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOL AUTHORITIES BEING THE APPROVAL BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE PARTICIPATION BY THE WINNER OF THE PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL SERIES, AND FURTHER THAT THE PUBLIC SCHOOL AUTHORITIES APPEAR TO HAVE DETERMINED THAT POST SEASON GAMES ARE NOT A PART OF THE REGULAR SCHOOL ATHLETIC PROGRAM, THERE APPEARS TO BE A REASONABLE BASIS FOR THE CONCLUSION THAT THE ABOVE- QUOTED PROVISION IS NOT APPLICABLE TO THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS' DONATED SHARE OF THE NET PROCEEDS REALIZED BY THE SPONSORS FROM THE SAID GAME. ACCORDINGLY, IN ANSWER TO YOUR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS (1) SUCH FUNDS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO BE DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY AS GENERAL REVENUES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND (2) THIS OFFICE PERCEIVES NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO TREATING SUCH FUNDS AS A GIFT TO BE DISBURSED BY THE SPONSORS UPON AUTHORIZATION BY THE SCHOOL AUTHORITIES.