B-121101, OCTOBER 12, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 168

B-121101: Oct 12, 1954

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RELATED ACTIVITIES ARE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES OF CONTRACT TRAINING OF SELECTED CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES IN SPECIALIZED COURSES OF INSTRUCTION. IF IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE INSTRUCTION IS ESSENTIAL TO CARRYING OUT ACTIVITIES FOR WHICH SUCH APPROPRIATIONS ARE MADE AND IS NOT FOR THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OR KNOWLEDGE OF THE EMPLOYEES. 1954: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF AUGUST 17. PROPERLY ARE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES OF CONTRACT TRAINING OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES. WHEN SUCH TRAINING IS APPROVED BY THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS AND THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY. IT IS STATED THAT. REQUESTS FOR TRAINING AT EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS ARE REVIEWED TO DETERMINE THE NEED THEREFOR AND THE BENEFITS TO BE DERIVED THEREFROM.

B-121101, OCTOBER 12, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 168

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - TRAINING - SCHOOLS - PERSONAL V. GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FUNDS APPROPRIATED IN THE CIVIL FUNCTIONS APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1955 FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS, FLOOD CONTROL, AND RELATED ACTIVITIES ARE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES OF CONTRACT TRAINING OF SELECTED CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES IN SPECIALIZED COURSES OF INSTRUCTION, IF IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE INSTRUCTION IS ESSENTIAL TO CARRYING OUT ACTIVITIES FOR WHICH SUCH APPROPRIATIONS ARE MADE AND IS NOT FOR THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OR KNOWLEDGE OF THE EMPLOYEES.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, OCTOBER 12, 1954:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF AUGUST 17, 1954, FROM ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY HUGH M. MILTON, II, REQUESTING A DECISION WHETHER FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE CIVIL FUNCTIONS ADMINISTERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY IN THE CIVIL FUNCTIONS APPROPRIATION ACT, 1955, APPROVED JUNE 30, 1954, PUBLIC LAW 453, 68 STAT. 330, PROPERLY ARE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES OF CONTRACT TRAINING OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES, WHEN SUCH TRAINING IS APPROVED BY THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS AND THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY REFERS TO DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY CIVILIAN PERSONNEL REGULATIONS (CPRT4), ESTABLISHING THE POLICY FOR CIVILIAN TRAINING ACTIVITIES WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT AND CONTAINING GENERAL CRITERIA FOR UTILIZING OUTSIDE AGENCIES WITH RESPECT TO CONTRACT TRAINING. IT IS STATED THAT, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUCH REGULATIONS, REQUESTS FOR TRAINING AT EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS ARE REVIEWED TO DETERMINE THE NEED THEREFOR AND THE BENEFITS TO BE DERIVED THEREFROM, AND ARE APPROVED ONLY WHEN IT IS NOT PRACTICABLE TO PROVIDE SUCH TRAINING THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FACILITIES AND WHERE IT IS DETERMINED THAT DIRECT BENEFIT TO THE GOVERNMENT WILL RESULT.

IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, IT IS STATED THAT THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS HAS EXPRESSED THE OPINION THAT PROPER PROSECUTION OF RIVER AND HARBOR, FLOOD CONTROL, AND RELATED ACTIVITIES CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED ONLY BY PROVIDING TRAINING TO KEEP TECHNICAL, SCIENTIFIC, PROFESSIONAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE EMPLOYEES CURRENTLY ABREAST OF TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENTS CLOSELY RELATED TO THEIR JOBS, AND THAT UTILIZATION OF THE SERVICES AND FACILITIES OF COLLEGES, UNIVERSITIES, LABORATORIES AND INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATIONS IS GENERALLY NECESSARY TO PROVIDE SUCH TRAINING. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY FURTHER STATES THAT HE CONCURS WITH THAT VIEW, AND AS ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE TYPES OF TRAINING COURSES CONTEMPLATED, THE LETTER CITES THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLE:

AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE TYPES OF TRAINING UNDER CONSIDERATION, THE MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTION OF TECHNOLOGY IS OFFERING A TEN-DAY SUMMER PROGRAM ON SOIL TECHNOLOGY, WHICH WILL CONSIDER THE ORIGIN, COMPOSITION AND COLLOIDAL BEHAVIOR OF SOIL, INCLUDING SUCH ASPECTS AS COLLOIDAL PHENOMENA, MINERALOGY, ION EXCHANGE, SEDIMENT FORMATION, TRANSPORTATION AND DEPOSITION, SOIL WEATHERING, COMPOSITIONAL ANALYSIS, ETC. IT WOULD BE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE FOR THE ATTENDANCE AT SUCH A COURSE OF SELECTED PROFESSIONAL PERSONNEL WHOSE DUTIES REQUIRE THAT THEY BE CURRENTLY ABREAST OF RECENT TECHNICAL ADVANCES IN THE FIELD OF SOIL TECHNOLOGY.

IT IS POINTED OUT, HOWEVER, THAT WHILE FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR MILITARY FUNCTIONS ADMINISTERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE EXPRESSLY ARE MADE AVAILABLE FOR "ALL NECESSARY EXPENSES * * * IN CONNECTION WITH (1) INSTRUCTION AND TRAINING, INCLUDING TUITION, SPECIFICALLY APPROVED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED AND NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR, OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES"--- SECTION 705 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1955, APPROVED JUNE 30, 1954, PUBLIC LAW 458, 68 STAT. 350--- THE ANNUAL CIVIL FUNCTIONS APPROPRIATION ACTS FAIL TO CONTAIN SUCH COMPARABLE LANGUAGE. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY THEN CALLS ATTENTION TO OFFICE DECISION REPORTED AT 31 COMP. GEN. 623, IN WHICH IT WAS STATED THAT, QUOTING THE SYLLABUS,"1THE APPROPRIATION "1SALARY AND EXPENSES, FOREST SERVICE" IS AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED BY AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FOREST SERVICE IN ATTENDING A COURSE OF INSTRUCTION OF BRIEF DURATION AT A UNIVERSITY FOR TRAINING IN IDENTIFICATION AND GRADING OF HARDWOOD LUMBER INCIDENT TO HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES," AND SUGGESTS THAT, SINCE SIMILAR GENERAL APPROPRIATION LANGUAGE IS EMPLOYED WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN APPROPRIATIONS CONTAINED IN THE CIVIL FUNCTIONS APPROPRIATION ACTS, SAID APPROPRIATIONS LIKEWISE COULD BE CONSIDERED AS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF SUCH TRAINING COSTS.

THE APPROPRIATIONS REFERRED TO IN THE LETTER, VIZ., "CONSTRUCTION, GENERAL," "OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE, GENERAL," "GENERAL EXPENSES," AND "FLOOD CONTROL, MISSISSIPPI RIVER AND TRIBUTARIES," WHILE NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE TRAINING OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES AT PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS, ARE STATED IN GENERAL TERMS AND ARE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES NECESSARY FOR THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF ALL OBJECTS OF EXPENDITURE FOR WHICH SUCH APPROPRIATIONS WERE PROVIDED.

IN VIEW OF THE GENERAL TERMS OF THE APPROPRIATIONS, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT IF IT BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT ATTENDANCE OF SELECTED CIVILIAN PERSONNEL AT SPECIALIZED COURSES OF INSTRUCTION, SIMILAR TO THE EXAMPLE SET FORTH ABOVE, IS ESSENTIAL TO THE CARRYING OUT OF THE RIVER AND HARBOR, FLOOD CONTROL, AND RELATED ACTIVITIES FOR WHICH SUCH APPROPRIATIONS ARE MADE AND NOT FOR THEIR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OR KNOWLEDGE, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE USE OF THE CITED APPROPRIATIONS FOR PAYMENT OF THE TRAINING COSTS HERE IN QUESTION. ACCORDINGLY, THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.