B-131091, APR. 8, 1957

B-131091: Apr 8, 1957

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REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE THE DELEGATIONS OF POWER AND AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 12 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946. WHICH MATTER WAS THE SUBJECT OF A CONFERENCE ON FEBRUARY 28 BETWEEN REPRESENTATIVES OF THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS AND THIS OFFICE. THE QUESTION ARISES BY REASON OF SECTION 18 OF THE SAME ACT WHEREIN IT IS PROVIDED THAT THE WORD "DEPARTMENT" AS USED THEREIN SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS INCLUDING INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS. IT IS ALSO EVIDENT FROM THE FOREGOING THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE ACT AS A WHOLE IS NOT CONFINED TO THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT AS SOME OF THE AGENCIES WHICH THE CONGRESS HAS SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED FROM SECTION 18 ARE UNDER THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT.

B-131091, APR. 8, 1957

TO THE HONORABLE L. QUINCY MUMFORD, LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 14, 1957, REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE THE DELEGATIONS OF POWER AND AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 12 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 809, 5 U.S.C. 22A, WHICH MATTER WAS THE SUBJECT OF A CONFERENCE ON FEBRUARY 28 BETWEEN REPRESENTATIVES OF THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS AND THIS OFFICE.

SECTION 12 OF THE REFERRED-TO ACT PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"SEC. 12. THE HEAD OF ANY DEPARTMENT MAY DELEGATE TO SUBORDINATE OFFICIALS (1) THE POWER VESTED IN HIM BY LAW TO TAKE FINAL ACTION ON MATTERS PERTAINING TO THE EMPLOYMENT, DIRECTION, AND GENERAL ADMINISTRATION OF PERSONNEL UNDER HIS DEPARTMENT; (2) THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN HIM BY SECTION 3683 OF THE REVISED STATUTES (31 U.S.C. 675) TO DIRECT THE PURCHASE OF ARTICLES FROM CONTINGENT FUNDS; AND (3) THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN HIM BY SECTION 3828, REVISED STATUTES (44 U.S.C. 324), TO AUTHORIZE THE PUBLICATION OF ADVERTISEMENTS, NOTICES OR PROPOSALS.'

THE QUESTION ARISES BY REASON OF SECTION 18 OF THE SAME ACT WHEREIN IT IS PROVIDED THAT THE WORD "DEPARTMENT" AS USED THEREIN SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS INCLUDING INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS, OTHER AGENCIES,WHOLLY-OWNED GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS, AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, BUT SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDES THE SENATE, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND THE OFFICE OF THE ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL, OR THE OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES THEREOF.

IN OUR DECISION, 27 COMP. GEN. 738, WE CONSIDERED THE MATTER OF WHETHER THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE CAME WITHIN THE TERM "DEPARTMENT" AS DEFINED IN SECTION 18 AND AT PAGES 739, 740, WE SAID:

"APPLYING THE GENERAL RULE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION--- EXPRESSIO UNIUS EST EXCLUSIO ALTERIUS--- IT REASONABLY MAY BE CONCLUDED THAT SINCE THE FOREGOING SECTION 18 EXPRESSLY LISTS THE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO BE EXCLUDED FROM THE DEFINITION OF "DEPARTMENT," ANY GOVERNMENT AGENCY NOT SO SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED PROPERLY MAY BE CONSIDERED AS INCLUDED WITHIN THE DEFINITION. IT IS ALSO EVIDENT FROM THE FOREGOING THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE ACT AS A WHOLE IS NOT CONFINED TO THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT AS SOME OF THE AGENCIES WHICH THE CONGRESS HAS SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED FROM SECTION 18 ARE UNDER THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT. SEE DECISION OF DECEMBER 4, 1947, B-70309, 27 COMP. GEN. 313.'

IT IS PLAINLY EVIDENT FROM THE SIMILARITY OF THE FACTUAL SITUATIONS INVOLVED THAT THE CONCLUSIONS TO BE REACHED IN THE PRESENT MATTER MUST BE CONTROLLED BY THE SAME PRINCIPLES UPON WHICH REFERRED-TO DECISION WAS DECIDED. THERE, AS HERE, THERE WAS INVOLVED A GOVERNMENT AGENCY LONG RECOGNIZED AS NOT UNDER THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT. 21 COMP. GEN. 987. SUCH BEING THE CASE, WE CONCLUDE THAT THE LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS IS AUTHORIZED TO DELEGATE TO SUBORDINATES THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 12 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, SUPRA. ..END :