B-120480, SEP. 6, 1967

B-120480: Sep 6, 1967

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THERE IS A VIOLATION OF SEC. 3679. HARRISON: THIS IS IN FURTHER REFERENCE TO THE ACTING PUBLIC PRINTER'S LETTER OF JUNE 29. REQUESTING ADVICE AS TO WHETHER THE APPROPRIATION MADE TO THE OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1967 IS AVAILABLE TO REIMBURSE THE REVOLVING FUND OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED DURING FISCAL YEAR 1967 IN EXCESS OF $1. IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER THAT IN ACCORDANCE WITH ESTABLISHED PROCEDURE. THE EXPENSES OF THE OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS (INCLUDING TRAVEL EXPENSES) ARE PAID OUT OF THE REVOLVING FUND OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE AND PERIODICALLY BILLED TO THE APPROPRIATION WHICH IN TURN REIMBURSES THE REVOLVING FUND.

B-120480, SEP. 6, 1967

ANTIDEFICIENCY ACT VIOLATION - TRAVEL EXPENSES DECISION TO GPO CONCERNING AVAILABILITY OF APPROPRIATIONS MADE TO SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS TO REIMBURSE GPO REVOLVING FUND FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES. TRAVEL EXPENSES IN EXCESS OF LIMITATION IN APPROPRIATION FOR SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS MAY NOT BE PAID FROM REVOLVING FUND OF GPO SINCE SUCH FUND WHICH SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDES OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS MAY NOT BE USED INDEPENDENTLY OF THE AUTHORITY AND LIMITATIONS AS PROVIDED IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS AND TO THE EXTENT THAT EXPENDITURES FOR TRAVEL EXCEEDED THE LIMITATION, THERE IS A VIOLATION OF SEC. 3679, R.S., 31 U.S.C. 665, WHICH MUST BE REPORTED TO CONGRESS.

TO MR. HARRISON:

THIS IS IN FURTHER REFERENCE TO THE ACTING PUBLIC PRINTER'S LETTER OF JUNE 29, 1967, REQUESTING ADVICE AS TO WHETHER THE APPROPRIATION MADE TO THE OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1967 IS AVAILABLE TO REIMBURSE THE REVOLVING FUND OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED DURING FISCAL YEAR 1967 IN EXCESS OF $1,500.

THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH APPROPRIATION ACT, 1967, PUB. L. 89-545, APPROVED AUGUST 27, 1966, 80 STAT. 354, 368, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"FOR NECESSARY EXPENSES OF THE OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS, INCLUDING * * * TRAVEL EXPENSES (NOT TO EXCEED $1,500) * * *.'

IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER THAT IN ACCORDANCE WITH ESTABLISHED PROCEDURE, THE EXPENSES OF THE OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS (INCLUDING TRAVEL EXPENSES) ARE PAID OUT OF THE REVOLVING FUND OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE AND PERIODICALLY BILLED TO THE APPROPRIATION WHICH IN TURN REIMBURSES THE REVOLVING FUND. TRAVEL EXPENSES IN THE SUM OF $3,720.91 WERE INCURRED UNDER THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES AS REPORTED IN THE LETTER:"DURING FISCAL YEAR 1967, THERE WAS AN UNEXPECTED INCREASE IN TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS. THIS WAS DUE IN PART TO AN EXPANSION IN THE DEPOSITORY PROGRAM AND IN PART TO AN EXPANSION IN THE SALES OF PUBLICATIONS PROGRAM. THE EXPANSION IN THE SALES PROGRAM WAS BY FAR THE MOST SIGNIFICANT FACTOR IN THE INCREASED TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THAT EXPANSION ARE DISCUSSED BELOW. "IN A MEMORANDUM TO THE HEADS OF ALL FEDERAL DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES, PRESIDENT JOHNSON REQUESTED THAT STEPS BE TAKEN TO IMPROVE THE SERVICES WHICH THE GOVERNMENT OFFERS TO THE PUBLIC. THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WAS SUBSEQUENTLY REPRESENTED AT SEVERAL MEETINGS WITH CHAIRMAN MACY OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, WHO IS ADMINISTERING THIS PROGRAM FOR THE PRESIDENT, AND A NUMBER OF CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE AS A RESULT OF THESE MEETINGS. "DISCUSSIONS WITH THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION AND THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION PRODUCED THE IDEA FOR SETTING UP COMBINED FEDERAL INFORMATION CENTERS USING THE THREE AGENCIES AS THE OPERATING AGENCIES. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION WOULD OPERATE AN INFORMATION JOB CENTER, THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION WOULD OPERATE A GOVERNMENT INFORMATION CENTER, AND THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WOULD OPERATE A BOOKSTORE. MAKING IT EASIER AND QUICKER FOR THE PUBLIC TO PURCHASE GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS WAS CONSIDERED TO BE IN COMPLETE ACCORD WITH THE PRESIDENT'S PROGRAM. ACCORDINGLY, DURING FISCAL YEAR 1967, THIS OFFICE REQUESTED AND RECEIVED PERMISSION FROM THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING OF THE CONGRESS TO ESTABLISH, ON A TRIAL BASIS, BRANCH BOOKSTORES IN CHICAGO AND KANSAS CITY. "WHEN IT APPEARED THAT THE TRAVEL REQUIRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE VARIOUS APPROVED ACTIVITIES OF THE OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS MIGHT EXCEED $1,500, A REQUEST FOR AN INCREASE IN THE LIMITATION WAS PREPARED AND TRANSMITTED TO THE CONGRESS. THE SECOND SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS BILL FOR FISCAL YEAR 1967 (H.R. 9481) WAS AMENDED BY THE SENATE TO PROVIDE AN ADDITIONAL $2,500 TO THE LIMITATION ON TRAVEL EXPENSES AND THUS PROVIDED FOR A REVISED LIMITATION OF $4,000. THIS AMENDMENT WAS, HOWEVER, DELETED FROM THE BILL DURING CONFERENCE WITHOUT ANY PUBLISHED EXPLANATION. ,CONSEQUENTLY, OF $3,720.91 OF TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED AND BILLED TO THE 1967 APPROPRIATION, ONLY $1,500 HAS BEEN ACCEPTED AND PAID. THE REMAINING $2,220.91 HAS BEEN TENTATIVELY REJECTED PENDING YOUR REVIEW AND DETERMINATION.'

THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE REVOLVING FUND WAS AUTHORIZED TO BE ESTABLISHED BY THE LEGISLATIVE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1954, APPROVED AUGUST 1, 1953, 67 STAT. 330, 44 U.S.C. 63. THIS LAW PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART THAT THE REVOLVING FUND SHALL "BE AVAILABLE WITHOUT FISCAL YEAR LIMITATION, FOR EXPENSES NECESSARY FOR THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE (EXCEPT THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS).' THEREFORE APPROPRIATED FUNDS ARE REQUIRED TO FINANCE THE NECESSARY EXPENSES OF THE OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS. WHILE IT IS STATED BY THE ACTING PUBLIC PRINTER THAT EXPENSES ARE INITIALLY PAID FROM THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE REVOLVING FUND, THAT FUND MAY NOT, IN VIEW OF THE SPECIFIC EXCLUSION, BE USED INDEPENDENTLY OF THE AUTHORITY AND LIMITATIONS AS PROVIDED IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS. ACCORDINGLY, TO THE EXTENT THAT EXPENDITURES WERE MADE FROM THE REVOLVING FUND IN EXCESS OF THE $1,500 LIMITATION ON TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1967, THERE HAS BEEN A VIOLATION OF SECTION 3679, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED, 31 U.S.C. 665. THE NEED FOR AN INCREASE IN THE LIMITATION, AS INDICATED IN THE LETTER OF JUNE 29, HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE SENATE, BUT THE LIMITATION OF $1,500 HAS NOT BEEN INCREASED.

THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE AND WE SEE NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO ADVISE YOU TO REPORT THE MATTER AS A VIOLATION OF SECTION 3679, REVISED STATUTES, AS REQUIRED BY SUBSECTION (I) (2) THEREOF.