B-122090, JANUARY 3, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 321

B-122090: Jan 3, 1955

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1955: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 15. TO WHICH REFERENCE IS MADE IN YOUR LETTER. FOR EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS OF ORGANIZATIONS CONCERNED WITH THE FUNCTION OR ACTIVITY FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATIONS CONCERNED IS MADE. PRESUMABLY SECTION 105 WAS INCLUDED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE PURPOSE OF OVERCOMING THE PROHIBITIONS CONTAINED IN SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26. THE FIRST OF THESE PROHIBITIONS IS AGAINST THE EXPENDITURE. THE SECOND IS AGAINST THE USE. IT IS EXPLAINED IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SECURITIES ADMINISTRATORS CONSISTS OF THE SECURITIES ADMINISTRATORS OF THE VARIOUS STATE GOVERNMENTS AND THEIR ASSISTANTS. THE OBJECTIVE OF WHOSE WORK IS SIMILAR IN CERTAIN RESPECTS TO THE WORK PERFORMED BY THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION.

B-122090, JANUARY 3, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 321

CONVENTIONS - REGISTRATION FEES FOR ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS IN VIEW OF THE AUTHORITY IN SECTION 105 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1955 FOR PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS FROM TRAVEL APPROPRIATIONS, THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION AVAILABLE FOR TRAVEL MAY BE CHARGED WITH THE COST OF A REGISTRATION FEE PAID BY A MEMBER OF THE COMMISSION FOR ATTENDANCE AT A CONVENTION OF SECURITIES ADMINISTRATORS; HOWEVER, IF THE FEE INCLUDES MEALS WITHOUT ADDITIONAL COST, A DEDUCTION OF ONE FIFTH SHOULD BE MADE FROM THE MEMBER'S PER DIEM FOR EACH MEAL FURNISHED.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO JAMES J. RIORDAN, SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, JANUARY 3, 1955:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 15, 1954, REQUESTING A DECISION RELATIVE TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH, IN FAVOR OF MR. CLARENCE H. ADAMS, COMMISSIONER, SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, COVERING A "REGISTRATION FEE" PAID TO THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SECURITIES ADMINISTRATORS, IN THE SUM OF $25, TO ATTEND ITS ANNUAL CONVENTION HELD IN NEW YORK, NEW YORK, ON SEPTEMBER 28 AND 29, 1954.

THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1955, CONTAINED IN TITLE I OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1955 PUBLIC LAW 428, 68 STAT. 272, 286, AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF "NECESSARY EXPENSES" INCLUDING NOT TO EXCEED $125,000 FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL. SECTION 105 OF TITLE I OF THE ACT, 68 STAT. 2, TO WHICH REFERENCE IS MADE IN YOUR LETTER, ROVIDES:

APPROPRIATIONS CONTAINED IN THIS TITLE (TITLE I), AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL SHALL BE AVAILABLE, WHEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE HEAD OF THE ACTIVITY OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED, FOR EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS OF ORGANIZATIONS CONCERNED WITH THE FUNCTION OR ACTIVITY FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATIONS CONCERNED IS MADE.

PRESUMABLY SECTION 105 WAS INCLUDED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE PURPOSE OF OVERCOMING THE PROHIBITIONS CONTAINED IN SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1912, 5 U.S.C. 83, AND THE JOINT RESOLUTION DATED FEBRUARY 2, 1935, 31 U.S.C. 551. THE FIRST OF THESE PROHIBITIONS IS AGAINST THE EXPENDITURE, WITHOUT SPECIFIC AUTHORIZATION, OF APPROPRIATED MONEY FOR MEMBERSHIP FEES OR DUES OF ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES IN ANY SOCIETY OR ASSOCIATION OR FOR THE EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE OF ANY PERSON AT ANY MEETING OR CONVENTION OF MEMBERS OF ANY SOCIETY OR ASSOCIATION; THE SECOND IS AGAINST THE USE, UNLESS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED BY LAW, OF MONEYS FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR ANY PURPOSE FOR THE PURPOSE OF LODGING, FEEDING, CONVEYING, OR FURNISHING TRANSPORTATION TO ANY CONVENTION OR OTHER FORM OF ASSEMBLAGE OR GATHERING, PROVIDED THAT THE PROHIBITION SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO PREVENT THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE DISCHARGE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES.

IT IS EXPLAINED IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SECURITIES ADMINISTRATORS CONSISTS OF THE SECURITIES ADMINISTRATORS OF THE VARIOUS STATE GOVERNMENTS AND THEIR ASSISTANTS, THE OBJECTIVE OF WHOSE WORK IS SIMILAR IN CERTAIN RESPECTS TO THE WORK PERFORMED BY THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION. IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT THE COMMISSION AND THE ASSOCIATION HAVE UNUSUAL PROBLEMS IN COMMON RELATIVE TO THE CURRENT INCREASE IN THE SALES OR URANIUM STOCKS IN THE WESTERN STATES; NEW OFFERINGS OF SECURITIES BY CANADIAN ISSUERS AT THIS TIME; THE FEDERAL AND STATE COOPERATION IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE SECURITIES LAWS; AND INCIDENT TO CERTAIN OTHER ACTIVITIES WHICH ARE PERFORMED IN PART BY THE STATE AUTHORITIES AND THE COMMISSION.

YOU STATE THAT ON SEPTEMBER 13, 1954, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 105, ABOVE, THE COMMISSION AUTHORIZED MR. ADAMS TO ATTEND THE CONVENTION. TRAVEL EXPENSES, INCLUDING PER DIEM, FOR THE TRIP WERE AUTHORIZED BY TRAVEL ORDER DATED SEPTEMBER 17, 1954. MR. ADAMS STATES ON THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER THAT HE IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE ASSOCIATION, AND THAT HIS ATTENDANCE AT THE CONVENTION WAS SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF DISCUSSING PROBLEMS OF MUTUAL INTEREST TO THE COMMISSION AND THE STATE COMMISSIONERS.

IN VIEW OF THE SPECIFIC AUTHORITY PROVIDED IN SECTION 105, ABOVE, AND IN THE LIGHT OF THE FACTUAL CIRCUMSTANCES OUTLINED HEREIN THE REGISTRATION FEE PAID BY THE COMMISSIONER TO PERMIT HIS ATTENDANCE AT THE CONVENTION IN QUESTION CLEARLY APPEARS TO BE A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST THE APPROPRIATION INVOLVED. SEE B-61648, DECEMBER 10, 1946; B 105919, DECEMBER 3, 1951.

HOWEVER, IN THE EVENT THE REGISTRATION FEE INCLUDES MEALS WITHOUT ANY ADDITIONAL COST TO THE TRAVELER THERE WOULD BE FOR APPLICATION HEREIN THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 47A. OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED, WHICH EXPRESSLY REQUIRE A DEDUCTION OF ONE-FIFTH OF THE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM RATE "FOR EACH MEAL AND/OR LODGING FURNISHED WITHOUT CHARGE BY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY.' SEE, IN THIS CONNECTION, B-66978, AUGUST 25, 1947, AND B-95413, JUNE 7, 1950.

ACTION ON THE VOUCHER, RETURNED HEREWITH TOGETHER WITH SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS, SHOULD BE TAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.