B-125840, DEC. 2, 1955

B-125840: Dec 2, 1955

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NATIONAL CAPITAL PLANNING COMMISSION: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 17. YOU SAY THAT IT WAS DETERMINED ADMINISTRATIVELY THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S ATTENDANCE AT THE SEMINAR WAS NECESSARY "TO IMPROVE HIS WORK AND ORIENTATION" ON REDEVELOPMENT AND URBAN RENEWAL PROJECT PLANNING SUCH AS IS NOW UNDER WAY IN SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON UNDER AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN PUBLIC LAW 592. YOU FURTHER SAY THAT THE EMPLOYEE DID NOT ATTEND FOR HIS OWN BENEFIT AND THAT HIS NOTES ON THE DISCUSSION SESSIONS HAVE BEEN MADE AVAILABLE TO OTHER STAFF MEMBERS. THAT THE REDEVELOPMENT OF LARGE AREAS IS A RECENT ACTIVITY IN WHICH EXPERIENCE AND PRECEDENT ARE NOT TOO EXTENSIVE OR HIGHLY DEVELOPED. WE HAVE NOT BEEN FURNISHED ANY SPECIFIC OR DETAILED INFORMATION SHOWING WHAT THE SEMINAR COVERED.

B-125840, DEC. 2, 1955

TO MR. JOHN NOLEN, JR., AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, NATIONAL CAPITAL PLANNING COMMISSION:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 17, 1955, REQUESTING OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED IN THE AMOUNT OF $100 REPRESENTING REIMBURSEMENT TO CHESTER W. NICHOLS, FOR TUITION PAID BY HIM FOR ATTENDANCE AT A CITY AND REGIONAL PLANNING SEMINAR CONDUCTED BY THE MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY. YOU SAY THAT IT WAS DETERMINED ADMINISTRATIVELY THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S ATTENDANCE AT THE SEMINAR WAS NECESSARY "TO IMPROVE HIS WORK AND ORIENTATION" ON REDEVELOPMENT AND URBAN RENEWAL PROJECT PLANNING SUCH AS IS NOW UNDER WAY IN SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON UNDER AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN PUBLIC LAW 592, 79TH CONGRESS, AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSING ACT OF 1949. YOU FURTHER SAY THAT THE EMPLOYEE DID NOT ATTEND FOR HIS OWN BENEFIT AND THAT HIS NOTES ON THE DISCUSSION SESSIONS HAVE BEEN MADE AVAILABLE TO OTHER STAFF MEMBERS, AND THAT THE REDEVELOPMENT OF LARGE AREAS IS A RECENT ACTIVITY IN WHICH EXPERIENCE AND PRECEDENT ARE NOT TOO EXTENSIVE OR HIGHLY DEVELOPED. WE HAVE NOT BEEN FURNISHED ANY SPECIFIC OR DETAILED INFORMATION SHOWING WHAT THE SEMINAR COVERED, SUPPORTED BY AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT THE ATTENDANCE BY THE EMPLOYEE WAS ESSENTIAL TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION WAS MADE.

THE APPROPRIATION PROPOSED TO BE USED FOR THE PAYMENT IS THAT OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PLANNING COMMISSION FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES, ACT OF JUNE 16, 1955, 69 STAT. 156, READING:

"SALARIES AND EXPENSES: FOR NECESSARY EXPENSES, AS AUTHORIZED BY THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PLANNING ACT OF 1952 (66 STAT. 781), INCLUDING SERVICES AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 15 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946 (5 U.S.C. 55A); NOT TO EXCEED $175 FOR THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS; NOT TO EXCEED $7,500 FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL; PAYMENT IN ADVANCE FOR MEMBERSHIP IN SOCIETIES WHOSE PUBLICATIONS OR SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS ONLY OR TO MEMBERS AT A PRICE LOWER THAN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC; AND TRANSPORTATION AND NOT TO EXCEED $15 PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946 (5 U.S.C. 73B-2), FOR MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION SERVING WITHOUT COMPENSATION; $143,000.'

SECTION 9 OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PLANNING ACT OF 1952, 66 STAT. 790; PROVIDES:

"SEC. 9. ALL OTHER FUNCTIONS, POWERS, AND DUTIES OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK AND PLANNING COMMISSION, INCLUDING THOSE FORMERLY VESTED IN THE HIGHWAY COMMISSION ESTABLISHED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1893 (27 STAT. 532), AND THOSE FORMERLY VESTED IN THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK COMMISSION BY THE ACT OF JUNE 6, 1924 (43 STAT. 463), TOGETHER WITH THE PERSONNEL, RECORDS, PROPERTY, AND UNEXPENDED BALANCES (AVAILABLE OR TO BE MADE AVAILABLE) OF APPROPRIATIONS, ALLOCATIONS, AND ALL OTHER FUNDS, INCLUDING TRUST FUNDS, OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK AND PLANNING COMMISSION, ARE HEREBY TRANSFERRED TO THE COMMISSION.'

IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY, THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT MAY AUTHORIZE OR ASSIGN EMPLOYEES TO ATTEND COURSES OF INSTRUCTION, TRAINING, ETC., BY NON FEDERAL ORGANIZATIONS AND PAY THEIR SALARIES AND EXPENSES INCIDENT TO SUCH ATTENDANCE ONLY WHEN IT CAN BE SHOWN THAT THE PARTICULAR TRAINING INVOLVED (1) IS SPECIAL IN NATURE AND IS FOR A PERIOD OF LIMITED DURATION, (2) IS ESSENTIAL TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION WAS MADE, AND (3) IS NOT OF A TYPE WHICH THE EMPLOYEE NORMALLY WOULD BE EXPECTED TO ATTEND AT HIS OWN EXPENSE. SEE 34 COMP. GEN. 631. THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE EXPENSES OF YOUR COMMISSION CONTAINS NO LANGUAGE SUGGESTING THAT IT IS AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES INCLUDING SALARIES OR TUITION FEES OF EMPLOYEES DESIGNATED TO ATTEND COURSES OF INSTRUCTION OR TRAINING CONDUCTED BY NONGOVERNMENTAL INSTITUTIONS. WHILE ATTENDANCE AT THE SEMINAR DOUBTLESS WOULD RESULT IN SOME INCREASED KNOWLEDGE ON CITY PLANNING ON THE PART OF THE EMPLOYEE, THE PRESENT RECORD DOES NOT ESTABLISH THAT THE ATTENDANCE AT THE SEMINAR COMPLETELY FULFILLS THE THREE ESSENTIAL CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN THE CITED DECISION.

ACCORDINGLY, ON THE PRESENT RECORD THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.