B-122713, MAY 25, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 631

B-122713: May 25, 1955

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WHERE THE PARTICULAR TRAINING IS (1) SPECIAL IN NATURE AND FOR LIMITED DURATION. (2) ESSENTIAL TO THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE. (3) IS NOT THE TYPE WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WOULD BE EXPECTED TO FURNISH AT HIS OWN EXPENSE. 1955: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JANUARY 24. IN WHICH IT WAS HELD THAT PARTICULAR FUNDS APPROPRIATED IN THE CIVIL FUNCTIONS APPROPRIATION ACT. ARE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE TRAINING OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES AT PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS. HE STATES IT IS THE VIEW OF YOUR DEPARTMENT THAT THE DECISION PROVIDES A BASIS FOR TRAINING SCIENTISTS. SUCH A VIEW IS PREMISED UPON THE BASIS THAT THE LANGUAGE OF THE APPROPRIATION CONSIDERED IN THE DECISION IS NOT DISSIMILAR TO THE LANGUAGE EMPLOYED IN THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR.

B-122713, MAY 25, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 631

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - TRAINING - SCHOOLS - PERSONAL V. GOVERNMENT EXPENSE EXPENSES OF TRAINING SELECTED EMPLOYEES AT UNIVERSITIES AND NONFEDERAL FACILITIES MAY BE PAID FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS, IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY, WHERE THE PARTICULAR TRAINING IS (1) SPECIAL IN NATURE AND FOR LIMITED DURATION, (2) ESSENTIAL TO THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE, AND (3) IS NOT THE TYPE WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WOULD BE EXPECTED TO FURNISH AT HIS OWN EXPENSE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL CAMPBELL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, MAY 25, 1955:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JANUARY 24, 1955, FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, STATING THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR DESIRES TO ASSIGN SELECTED EMPLOYEES TO ATTEND SPECIAL COURSES OF TRAINING AT UNIVERSITIES AND OTHER NONFEDERAL FACILITIES AND TO PAY THEIR EXPENSES OF TUITION, PER DIEM, AND RELATED COSTS.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY CITES THE DECISION OF OCTOBER 12, 1954, B-121101, 34 COMP. GEN. 168, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, IN WHICH IT WAS HELD THAT PARTICULAR FUNDS APPROPRIATED IN THE CIVIL FUNCTIONS APPROPRIATION ACT, 1955, PUBLIC LAW 453, APPROVED JUNE 30, 1954, 68 STAT. 330, ARE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE TRAINING OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES AT PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS. IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, HE STATES IT IS THE VIEW OF YOUR DEPARTMENT THAT THE DECISION PROVIDES A BASIS FOR TRAINING SCIENTISTS, TECHNICIANS, AND OTHER EMPLOYEES AT UNIVERSITIES AND OTHER OUTSIDE ORGANIZATIONS THROUGH THE USE OF REGULARLY APPROPRIATED FUNDS. SUCH A VIEW IS PREMISED UPON THE BASIS THAT THE LANGUAGE OF THE APPROPRIATION CONSIDERED IN THE DECISION IS NOT DISSIMILAR TO THE LANGUAGE EMPLOYED IN THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR.

HOWEVER, DOUBT IN THE MATTER IS SAID TO ARISE BY REASON OF INFORMAL ADVISE ON THE PART OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION TO THE EFFECT THAT THE REFERRED-TO DECISION IS NOT GENERALLY APPLICABLE THROUGHOUT THE GOVERNMENT. SUCH DOUBT, IT IS STATED, MAKES THE DEPARTMENT RELUCTANT TO PROCEED WITHOUT ADVICE WHETHER PAYMENT OF THE COST OF TRAINING HERE IN QUESTION WOULD BE APPROVED.

AS INDICATED, THE DECISION OF OCTOBER 12, 1954, AND SIMILAR DECISIONS PREVIOUSLY ISSUED (SEE 31 COMP. GEN. 623, 32 ID. 339), DID NOT AND WERE NOT INTENDED TO HOLD THAT, IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY, DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES COULD ASSIGN EMPLOYEES GENERALLY TO ATTEND COURSES OF INSTRUCTION OR TRAINING IN NONFEDERAL FACILITIES AND TO PAY THEIR TUITION, PER DIEM, AND RELATED COSTS. THE AUTHORIZATIONS GRANTED IN THE DECISIONS WERE BASED ON A SHOWING THAT THE PARTICULAR TRAINING INVOLVED (1) WAS SPECIAL IN NATURE AND WAS FOR A PERIOD OF LIMITED DURATION, (2) WAS ESSENTIAL TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION WAS MADE, AND (3) WAS NOT OF A TYPE WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WOULD NORMALLY BE EXPECTED TO FURNISH AT HIS OWN EXPENSE. ALSO, SEE 34 COMP. GEN. 587.

THE LETTER OF JANUARY 24 MAKES NO MENTION OF THE SPECIFIC APPROPRIATIONS PROPOSED TO BE CHARGED WITH THE COST OF THE SPECIAL COURSES OF TRAINING NOR DOES IT SET FORTH THE PARTICULAR NATURE OR EXTENT OF THE TRAINING OR THE CIRCUMSTANCES ATTENDING THE NEED THEREFOR. IT IS UNDERSTOOD FROM INFORMATION OBTAINED INFORMALLY FROM YOUR DEPARTMENT THAT A TRAINING PROGRAM HAS NOT BEEN SET UP AND THAT THE LETTER OF JANUARY 24 WAS DESIGNED TO ASCERTAIN THE GENERAL AUTHORITY OF YOUR DEPARTMENT IN SUCH RESPECT. YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE THREE ELEMENTS SET FORTH ABOVE SHOULD BE PRESENT IN ORDER FOR THIS OFFICE TO APPROVE EXPENDITURES FOR COURSES OF TRAINING IN THE ABSENCE OF EXPRESS STATUTORY AUTHORITY. WHEN A DEFINITE PROGRAM HAS BEEN SET UP BY YOUR DEPARTMENT, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE MATTER BE SUBMITTED FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN THE LIGHT OF SUCH PROGRAM.