B-128987, SEP. 24, 1956

B-128987: Sep 24, 1956

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

THE COURSES COVERING VARIOUS PHASES OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT ARE STATED TO VARY FROM ONE TO THREE WEEKS EACH. THE SUBMISSION EXPLAINS THAT BECAUSE OF THE HIGHLY SPECIALIZED AND TECHNICAL NATURE OF THE WORK PERFORMED MOST PERSONS HOLDING THE EXECUTIVE POSITIONS HERE INVOLVED MUST NECESSARILY POSSESS HIGHLY SPECIALIZED BACKING IN ECONOMICS OR FOREIGN TRADE AND THAT ORDINARILY PERSONS WHO HAVE THESE QUALIFICATIONS HAVE NOT HAD MANAGEMENT TRAINING. NO SPECIFIC AUTHORITY IS FOUND IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR 1957 FOR THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN COMMERCE. 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 OR TRAINING 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.

B-128987, SEP. 24, 1956

TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE:

BY LETTER OF AUGUST 15, 1956, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ADMINISTRATION REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER FUNDS AVAILABLE TO THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN COMMERCE MAY BE USED TO PAY THE SALARY AND EXPENSES, INCLUDING TRANSPORTATION AND PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, TO EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU IN ORDER TO ATTEND A TRAINING COURSE CONDUCTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AT REDSTONE ARSENAL, HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA, AND THE ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS. THE COURSES COVERING VARIOUS PHASES OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT ARE STATED TO VARY FROM ONE TO THREE WEEKS EACH. THE SUBMISSION EXPLAINS THAT BECAUSE OF THE HIGHLY SPECIALIZED AND TECHNICAL NATURE OF THE WORK PERFORMED MOST PERSONS HOLDING THE EXECUTIVE POSITIONS HERE INVOLVED MUST NECESSARILY POSSESS HIGHLY SPECIALIZED BACKING IN ECONOMICS OR FOREIGN TRADE AND THAT ORDINARILY PERSONS WHO HAVE THESE QUALIFICATIONS HAVE NOT HAD MANAGEMENT TRAINING. ALSO, WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY HAS AGREED TO PERMIT ATTENDANCE AT THE MANAGEMENT COURSES, WITHOUT CHARGE, OF A LIMITED NUMBER OF BUREAU OF FOREIGN COMMERCE PERSONNEL.

NO SPECIFIC AUTHORITY IS FOUND IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR 1957 FOR THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN COMMERCE, ACT OF JUNE 20, 1956, 70 STAT. 316, FOR ATTENDANCE OF THE EMPLOYEES AT COURSES OF INSTRUCTION OR TRAINING.

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 OR TRAINING 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 THE TYPE WHICH THE EMPLOYEE NORMALLY WOULD BE EXPECTED TO ATTEND AT HIS OWN EXPENSE. SEE 34 COMP. GEN. 631. THE SAME RULE IS APPLICABLE TO IN-SERVICE TRAINING THAT IS APPLICABLE TO TRAINING RECEIVED FROM PRIVATE SOURCES. SEE 15 COMP. GEN. 585.

WHILE THE ATTENDANCE OF EMPLOYEES AT THE MANAGEMENT COURSE MIGHT WELL RESULT IN THE IMPROVEMENT OF YOUR INTERNAL MANAGEMENT WE ARE OF THE VIEW THAT THE IMMEDIATE ATTENDANCE AT SUCH A COURSE IS NOT SO ESSENTIAL TO THE PROPER PERFORMANCE OF THE DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS IMPOSED UPON THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN COMMERCE BY LAW (AS DISTINGUISHED FROM THE GOVERNMENT SERVICES GENERALLY) AS TO OBVIATE THE NECESSITY FOR THE BUREAU'S PROCURING SPECIAL AUTHORITY FROM THE CONGRESS FOR THE EXPENSES OF SUCH TRAINING. SEE 34 COMP. GEN. 719; 35 ID. 375, B 125742, DECEMBER 30, 1955, AND B-126370, JANUARY 11, 1956.