B-126299, JAN. 5, 1956

B-126299: Jan 5, 1956

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 5. YOU STATE IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE REQUESTS FOR PUBLICATION OF THESE NOTICES WERE GIVEN TO THE PUBLISHERS BY A MEMBER OF THE COMMISSION WITHOUT THE WRITTEN AUTHORITY REQUIRED BY SECTION 3828. ARE MANDATORY AND MAY NOT BE WAIVED. IS LIKEWISE REQUIRED. 44 U.S.C. 324 IS APPLICABLE TO THE COMMISSION ON THE APPLICATION OF FEDERAL LAWS TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS. SINCE THE NOTICES HERE WERE NOT PUBLISHED "IN PURSUANCE OF A WRITTEN AUTHORITY" AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 3828. - WHICH WILL BE RETAINED HERE. UNIFORMLY HAVE HELD THAT A SUBSEQUENT APPROVAL OR ATTEMPTED RATIFICATION OF AN EXPENDITURE FOR ADVERTISING DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A COMPLIANCE WITH THE MANDATORY REQUIREMENT OF THE STATUTE THAT "WRITTEN AUTHORITY FOR SUCH PUBLICATION" FIRST BE OBTAINED.

B-126299, JAN. 5, 1956

TO MR. CHARLES BONNEVILLE, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 5, 1955, TRANSMITTING SIX BILLS, TOTALLING $204.47, RECEIVED FROM CERTAIN PUBLISHERS OF NEWSPAPERS IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS, COVERING THE PUBLICATION OF NOTICES RELATING TO THE WORK OF THE PRESIDENT'S COMMISSION ON THE APPLICATION OF FEDERAL LAWS TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS. YOU REQUEST OUR DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING THE BILLS FOR PAYMENT.

YOU STATE IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE REQUESTS FOR PUBLICATION OF THESE NOTICES WERE GIVEN TO THE PUBLISHERS BY A MEMBER OF THE COMMISSION WITHOUT THE WRITTEN AUTHORITY REQUIRED BY SECTION 3828, REVISED STATUTES, 44 U.S.C. 324, WHICH PROVIDES--- QUOTING FROM THE CODE--- AS FOLLOWS:

"NO ADVERTISEMENT, NOTICE, OR PROPOSAL FOR ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT, OR FOR ANY BUREAU THEREOF, OR FOR ANY OFFICE THEREWITH CONNECTED, SHALL BE PUBLISHED IN ANY NEWSPAPER WHATEVER, EXCEPT IN PURSUANCE OF A WRITTEN AUTHORITY FOR SUCH PUBLICATION FROM THE HEAD OF SUCH DEPARTMENT; AND NO BILL FOR ANY SUCH ADVERTISING, OR PUBLICATION, SHALL BE PAID UNLESS THERE BE PRESENTED, WITH SUCH BILL, A COPY OF SUCH WRITTEN AUTHORITY.'

THE FOREGOING PROVISIONS, REQUIRING THAT THERE BE PRIOR WRITTEN AUTHORITY FOR ADVERTISING AND PROHIBITING PAYMENT IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH WRITTEN AUTHORITY, ARE MANDATORY AND MAY NOT BE WAIVED. MOREOVER, IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3828 INCLUDE BY IMPLICATION ALL BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, OR ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT NOT UNDER ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT AND THAT THE WRITTEN AUTHORITY OF THE HEAD OF SUCH BOARD, COMMISSION OR ESTABLISHMENT, OR HIS DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE, IS LIKEWISE REQUIRED. SEE 5 COMP. DEC. 702; 25 COMP. DEC. 348; AND 27 COMP. DEC. 134. HENCE, IT MUST BE HELD THAT SECTION 3828, REVISED STATUTES, 44 U.S.C. 324 IS APPLICABLE TO THE COMMISSION ON THE APPLICATION OF FEDERAL LAWS TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS.

SINCE THE NOTICES HERE WERE NOT PUBLISHED "IN PURSUANCE OF A WRITTEN AUTHORITY" AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 3828, REVISED STATUTES, THE BILLS--- WHICH WILL BE RETAINED HERE--- MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION, WE WOULD ALSO LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THEIR INTERPRETATION OF SECTION 3828, REVISED STATUTES, UNIFORMLY HAVE HELD THAT A SUBSEQUENT APPROVAL OR ATTEMPTED RATIFICATION OF AN EXPENDITURE FOR ADVERTISING DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A COMPLIANCE WITH THE MANDATORY REQUIREMENT OF THE STATUTE THAT "WRITTEN AUTHORITY FOR SUCH PUBLICATION" FIRST BE OBTAINED. SEE 5 COMP. DEC. 166; 3 COMP. GEN. 737; 4 ID. 841; 17 ID. 693; 26 ID. 76, B-125630, OCTOBER 26, 1955.