B-126010, NOVEMBER 29, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 306

B-126010: Nov 29, 1955

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION IS NECESSARY AND PREREQUISITE TO THE FURNISHING OF UNIFORMS OR THE GRANTING OF UNIFORM ALLOWANCES. 1955: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER OF NOVEMBER 4. AS FOLLOWS: THERE IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO BE APPROPRIATED ANNUALLY TO EACH AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (INCLUDING GOVERNMENT-OWNED CORPORATIONS). AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $100 MULTIPLIED BY THE NUMBER OF THE EMPLOYEES OF SUCH AGENCY WHO ARE REQUIRED BY REGULATION OR BY LAW TO WEAR A PRESCRIBED UNIFORM IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OR HER OFFICIAL DUTIES AND WHO ARE NOT BEING FURNISHED WITH SUCH UNIFORM. THE HEAD OF ANY AGENCY TO WHICH ANY SUCH APPROPRIATION IS MADE SHALL. THAT WHERE THAT IS DONE.

B-126010, NOVEMBER 29, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 306

APPROPRIATIONS - AUTHORIZATIONS - FEDERAL EMPLOYEES UNIFORM ACT OF 1955 AN APPROPRIATION AUTHORIZATION SUCH AS THAT CONTAINED IN SECTION 402 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES UNIFORM ACT OF 1955 DOES NOT, IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC LANGUAGE, CONSTITUTE AN APPROPRIATION OF PUBLIC MONEYS FOR UNIFORMS OR RESULT IN EXPANDING THE AVAILABILITY OF APPROPRIATIONS SUBSEQUENTLY MADE, AND, THEREFORE, A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION IS NECESSARY AND PREREQUISITE TO THE FURNISHING OF UNIFORMS OR THE GRANTING OF UNIFORM ALLOWANCES.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, NOVEMBER 29, 1955:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER OF NOVEMBER 4, 1955, FROM THE ACTING SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY REQUESTING OUR VIEWS AS TO WHETHER, IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES UNIFORM ACT, 68 STAT. 1114, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF MAY 13, 1955, 69 STAT. 49, 5 U.S.C. 2131, APPROPRIATION LANGUAGE SHOULD CONTAIN SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO THE PURCHASE OF UNIFORMS.

SECTION 402 OF THE CITED ACT, 5 U.S.C. 2131, AS AMENDED, PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO BE APPROPRIATED ANNUALLY TO EACH AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (INCLUDING GOVERNMENT-OWNED CORPORATIONS), UPON A SHOWING OF THE NECESSITY OR DESIRABILITY THEREOF, AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $100 MULTIPLIED BY THE NUMBER OF THE EMPLOYEES OF SUCH AGENCY WHO ARE REQUIRED BY REGULATION OR BY LAW TO WEAR A PRESCRIBED UNIFORM IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OR HER OFFICIAL DUTIES AND WHO ARE NOT BEING FURNISHED WITH SUCH UNIFORM. THE HEAD OF ANY AGENCY TO WHICH ANY SUCH APPROPRIATION IS MADE SHALL, OUT OF FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE BY SUCH APPROPRIATION, (1) FURNISH TO EACH SUCH EMPLOYEE SUCH UNIFORM AT A COST NOT TO EXCEED $100 PER ANNUM, OR (2) PAY TO EACH SUCH EMPLOYEE AN ALLOWANCE FOR DEFRAYING THE EXPENSES OF ACQUISITION OF SUCH UNIFORM AT SUCH TIMES AND IN SUCH AMOUNTS, NOT TO EXCEED $100 PER ANNUM, AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED IN ACCORDANCE WITH RULES AND REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 404. * * *

SECTION 402 FURTHER PROVIDES THAT THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY MAY IN HIS DISCRETION CONTINUE THE FURNISHING OF UNIFORMS OR THE PAYMENT OF A UNIFORM ALLOWANCE UNDER OTHER LAWS OR REGULATION IN EFFECT ON THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES UNIFORM ACT ( SEPTEMBER 1, 1954), BUT THAT WHERE THAT IS DONE, NO UNIFORMS SHALL BE FURNISHED OR ALLOWANCE PAID UNDER SECTION 402. SECTION 404 AUTHORIZES THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET TO PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS NECESSARY TO PROVIDE FOR CONSISTENT ADMINISTRATION OF THE ACT.

IT IS STATED IN THE ACTING SECRETARY'S LETTER THAT CERTAIN EMPLOYEES OF A NUMBER OF BUREAUS OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT ARE REQUIRED TO WEAR PRESCRIBED UNIFORMS, SOME OF WHOM WERE BEING FURNISHED UNIFORMS AT THE TIME OF ENACTMENT OF THE ACT, WHILE OTHERS WERE NOT. IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT AS CONTEMPLATED BY THE ACT, THE DEPARTMENT'S ESTIMATES FOR APPROPRIATIONS FOR ALL SUCH BUREAUS WILL INCLUDE ESTIMATES FOR THE PURCHASE OF UNIFORMS FOR SUCH EMPLOYEES AND THAT THE ESTIMATES WILL BE JUSTIFIED LIKE OTHER ESTIMATES. IT ALSO APPEARS FROM THE LETTER THAT, WITH THE SHOWING OF NECESSITY OR DESIRABILITY THUS SATISFIED, SOME QUESTION ARISES WHETHER THE APPROPRIATION LANGUAGE ITSELF NEED CONTAIN A SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO THE PURCHASE OF UNIFORMS. IT IS STATED THAT, IN VIEW OF THE DESIRE ON THE PART OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS THAT APPROPRIATION LANGUAGE BE SIMPLIFIED AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, THE DEPARTMENT WOULD NOT WISH TO HAVE SPECIFIC LANGUAGE ON THE PURCHASE OF UNIFORMS IF IT IS NOT NECESSARY BUT THAT, BY REASON OF THE FORM OF THE ACT, DOUBT EXISTS AS TO THE NECESSITY FOR SPECIFIC LANGUAGE IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT IN THIS REGARD. IT IS STATED THAT, BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT PROPOSES APPROPRIATION LANGUAGE, OUR ADVICE IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER SPECIFIC LANGUAGE IS NECESSARY.

SECTION 402 OF THE CITED ACT IS A STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION FOR APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE PURPOSES THEREIN STATED. IT DOES NOT APPROPRIATE FUNDS. IT HAS LONG BEEN ESTABLISHED THAT AN AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS, SUCH AS MADE BY SECTION 402, DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN APPROPRIATION OF PUBLIC MONEYS BUT CONTEMPLATES SUBSEQUENT LEGISLATION BY THE CONGRESS ACTUALLY APPROPRIATING SUCH FUNDS; NOR DOES SUCH AN AUTHORIZATION RESULT IN EXPANDING THE AVAILABILITY OF APPROPRIATIONS THEREAFTER MADE IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS IN SUCH APPROPRIATIONS TO INDICATE SUCH A PURPOSE. 16 COMP. GEN. 1007; 19 ID. 961; 26 ID. 452.

THE VIEW THAT SECTION 402 IS MERELY AN AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE PURCHASE OF UNIFORMS OR ALLOWANCES THEREFOR AND DOES NOT IN ITSELF MAKE FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR THOSE PURPOSES ALSO IS EVIDENCED BY THE SUBSEQUENT ENACTMENT OF PROVISIONS MAKING APPROPRIATIONS SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE THEREFOR. THUS SECTION 1401 OF THE SECOND SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1955, 69 STAT. 42, MADE VARIOUS APPROPRIATIONS TO CERTAIN DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1955 AVAILABLE DURING THAT FISCAL YEAR FOR UNIFORMS OR ALLOWANCES THEREFOR AS AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1954--- THAT IS, THE CITED FEDERAL EMPLOYEES UNIFORM ACT. ALSO, SECTION 1501 OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1956, 69 STAT. 468, MADE SIMILAR PROVISIONS WITH REFERENCE TO VARIOUS APPROPRIATIONS FOR CERTAIN DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1956. HAD THE CONGRESS INTENDED IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION PROVISIONS TO MAKE APPROPRIATIONS TO FEDERAL AGENCIES AVAILABLE FOR UNIFORMS OR UNIFORM ALLOWANCES, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO OCCASION FOR THE ENACTMENT OF SAID SECTIONS 1401 AND 1501. ALSO, IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE LANGUAGE OF SECTION 402 OF THE ACT AS AMENDED AUTHORIZES THE FURNISHING OF UNIFORMS OR ALLOWANCES BY THE HEADS OF ANY AGENCY "TO WHICH ANY SUCH APPROPRIATION IS MADE.'

IT THUS FOLLOWS THAT A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION IS NECESSARY AND PREREQUISITE TO THE FURNISHING OF UNIFORMS OR THE GRANTING OF UNIFORM ALLOWANCES UNDER SECTION 402. THE MANNER IN WHICH SUCH AN APPROPRIATION IS MADE IS INCONSEQUENTIAL SO FAR AS THIS OFFICE IS CONCERNED. THE INCLUSION OF ITEMS IN ESTIMATES SUBMITTED TO THE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES, THE SUBSEQUENT JUSTIFICATION OF SUCH ESTIMATES AND THE APPROPRIATION OF THE FULL AMOUNTS, WITHOUT SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO ITEMS NOT OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED BY LAW, HAVE BEEN RECOGNIZED AS MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE PURPOSE. 18 COMP. GEN. 533, 26 ID. 545. ACCORDINGLY, SHOULD THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT ADOPT THE PROCEDURE OF MERELY INCLUDING AMOUNTS TO COVER THE UNIFORMS AND ALLOWANCES IN ESTIMATES FOR THE VARIOUS BUREAUS AND THE FULL AMOUNT SOUGHT BE ALLOWED, AN APPROPRIATION THEREFOR WILL HAVE BEEN MADE AND NO QUESTION WILL BE RAISED BY THIS OFFICE TO THE FURNISHING OF UNIFORMS OR THE PAYING OF OTHERWISE PROPER UNIFORM ALLOWANCES THEREFROM. HOWEVER, SHOULD THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE ESTIMATES NOT BE APPROPRIATED AND THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF WHY THE FULL AMOUNTS WERE NOT APPROPRIATED BE OBSCURE, QUESTIONS MAY ARISE AS TO WHETHER AN APPROPRIATION ACTUALLY WAS MADE FOR UNIFORMS UNDER SECTION 402. ACCORDINGLY, IT WOULD APPEAR PREFERABLE FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT TO RECOMMEND LANGUAGE TO MAKE APPROPRIATIONS TO YOUR DEPARTMENT SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE FOR UNIFORMS UNDER SECTION 402 OF THE ACT.