B-131569, JUN. 11, 1957

B-131569: Jun 11, 1957

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ARE REGARDED AS FEDERAL AGENCIES OR INSTRUMENTALITIES. EXCEPT FOR A FEW INDIVIDUALS IN EACH GOVERNMENT WHO ARE PAID FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS. EXCEPT FOR CERTAIN EMPLOYEES OF THE TRUST TERRITORY GOVERNMENT WHO HAVE BEEN ACCORDED FEDERAL STATUS AS A CONSEQUENCE OF A 1951 RULING OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION (DESCRIBED AT SOME LENGTH IN MY LETTER TO YOU OF MARCH 2. ALL THE EMPLOYEES OF SUCH GOVERNMENTS ARE TERRITORIAL. THE RULE IS WELL-SETTLED THAT GRANT FUNDS WHICH ARE TRANSFERRED TO ONE OF THE STATES OF THE UNITED STATES BECOME THE PROPERTY OF THE TRANSFEREE. ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE STATUTORY RESTRICTIONS WHICH MAY EXIST WITH RESPECT TO THE EXPENDITURE OF APPROPRIATED MONEYS UNLESS THEY ARE MADE A CONDITION OF THE GRANT. 14 COMP.

B-131569, JUN. 11, 1957

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR:

ON APRIL 17, 1957, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY REQUESTED OUR OPINION UPON THE QUESTION WHETHER THE GOVERNMENTS OF AMERICAN SAMOA AND THE TRUST TERRITORY OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS MAY USE FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS IN PURCHASING TRANSPORTATION FOR THEIR EMPLOYEES TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS FOR THOSE GOVERNMENTS. HE SAYS THAT:

"NONE OF THE TERRITORIAL GOVERNMENTS, INCLUDING THE GOVERNMENT OF THE TRUST TERRITORY, ARE REGARDED AS FEDERAL AGENCIES OR INSTRUMENTALITIES. EXCEPT FOR A FEW INDIVIDUALS IN EACH GOVERNMENT WHO ARE PAID FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS, AND EXCEPT FOR CERTAIN EMPLOYEES OF THE TRUST TERRITORY GOVERNMENT WHO HAVE BEEN ACCORDED FEDERAL STATUS AS A CONSEQUENCE OF A 1951 RULING OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION (DESCRIBED AT SOME LENGTH IN MY LETTER TO YOU OF MARCH 2, 1956, CONCERNING B-120653), ALL THE EMPLOYEES OF SUCH GOVERNMENTS ARE TERRITORIAL, NOT FEDERAL, EMPLOYEES.'

AN EXAMINATION OF THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF APPROPRIATIONS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR FOR THE PURPOSES OF CARRYING OUT THE TRUSTEESHIP AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE SECURITY COUNCIL OF THE UNITED NATIONS INCIDENT TO THE TRUST TERRITORY OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS SHOWS THAT, EXCEPT FOR THE AMOUNTS BUDGETED AND APPROPRIATED FOR THE UNITED STATES HIGH COMMISSIONER AND FOR THE JUDICIARY, THE MAJOR PORTION OF SUCH APPROPRIATIONS CONSTITUTE GRANT FUNDS TO SUPPLEMENT LOCAL REVENUES TO ENABLE THE TRUST TERRITORY CIVIL GOVERNMENT TO OPERATE ESSENTIAL GOVERNMENTAL FUNCTIONS.

THE RULE IS WELL-SETTLED THAT GRANT FUNDS WHICH ARE TRANSFERRED TO ONE OF THE STATES OF THE UNITED STATES BECOME THE PROPERTY OF THE TRANSFEREE, AND ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE STATUTORY RESTRICTIONS WHICH MAY EXIST WITH RESPECT TO THE EXPENDITURE OF APPROPRIATED MONEYS UNLESS THEY ARE MADE A CONDITION OF THE GRANT. 14 COMP. GEN. 916; 16 ID. 948; 17 ID. 593; 25 ID. 869. A COROLLARY TO THAT RULE, IT WOULD SEEM TO FOLLOW THAT FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR IN THE NATURE OF UNCONDITIONAL GRANTS TO THE TRUST TERRITORY WHEN PAID OVER TO THE TRUST TERRITORY CIVIL GOVERNMENT AND MINGLED WITH LOCAL REVENUES LOSE THEIR CHARACTER AS PUBLIC FUNDS. THE SAME RULE WOULD APPLY TO GRANTS PAID OVER TO AMERICAN SAMOA AND MINGLED WITH THE LOCAL REVENUES OF THOSE ISLANDS.

THE USE OF A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST CONTEMPLATES A LAWFUL CHARGE UPON FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR TRANSPORTATION OF FEDERAL PERSONNEL OR PERSONNEL ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION AT FEDERAL EXPENSE. IN THAT REGARD, PARAGRAPH 15, OF OUR GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 123 PROVIDES THAT GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS "SHALL NOT BE USED FOR OTHER THAN OFFICIALLY AUTHORIZED TRAVEL FOR THE ACCOUNT OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.'

ACCORDINGLY, OUR VIEW IS THAT THE GOVERNMENTS OF AMERICAN SAMOA AND THE TRUST TERRITORY OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS MAY NOT USE FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS TO PURCHASE TRANSPORTATION FOR THEIR EMPLOYEES TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS FOR THOSE GOVERNMENTS WHEN SUCH TRANSPORTATION IS PAID FROM LOCAL REVENUES MINGLED WITH FEDERAL GRANTS.