B-137547, OCTOBER 16, 1958, 38 COMP. GEN. 312

B-137547: Oct 16, 1958

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MEETINGS - SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM COMMISSIONED OFFICERS - GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT - MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE THE SPECIFIC EXCLUSION OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES FROM THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT PRECLUDES USE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS OF ANY MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES DURING PERIODS HE IS RECEIVING ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCES UNDER TITLE II OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 EVEN THOUGH DURING SUCH PERIOD THE MEMBER IS ASSIGNED TO ACTIVE DUTY WITH A CIVILIAN GOVERNMENT AGENCY WHICH REIMBURSES THE MILITARY SERVICE FOR THE MEMBER'S PAY AND ALLOWANCES. EVEN THOUGH KNOWLEDGE GAINED BY A MILITARY OFFICER ASSIGNED TO THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM THROUGH PARTICIPATION IN A MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE WILL BE OF FUTURE BENEFIT TO THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM.

B-137547, OCTOBER 16, 1958, 38 COMP. GEN. 312

MEETINGS - SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM COMMISSIONED OFFICERS - GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT - MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE THE SPECIFIC EXCLUSION OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES FROM THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT PRECLUDES USE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS OF ANY MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES DURING PERIODS HE IS RECEIVING ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCES UNDER TITLE II OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 EVEN THOUGH DURING SUCH PERIOD THE MEMBER IS ASSIGNED TO ACTIVE DUTY WITH A CIVILIAN GOVERNMENT AGENCY WHICH REIMBURSES THE MILITARY SERVICE FOR THE MEMBER'S PAY AND ALLOWANCES. EVEN THOUGH KNOWLEDGE GAINED BY A MILITARY OFFICER ASSIGNED TO THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM THROUGH PARTICIPATION IN A MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE WILL BE OF FUTURE BENEFIT TO THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM, IN THE ABSENCE OF INFORMATION WHICH ESTABLISHES THAT THE INSTITUTE IS CONCERNED WITH CURRENT PROBLEMS RELATING TO SOME SPECIFIC STATUTORY ACTIVITY OR FUNCTION OF THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM, THE EXPENSES OF THE OFFICER'S ATTENDANCE WOULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED UNDER SECTION 105 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1959.

TO THE DIRECTOR OF SELECTIVE SERVICE, OCTOBER 16, 1958:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 2, 1958, REQUESTS OUR DECISION CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF SENDING A MILITARY OFFICER ASSIGNED TO DUTY WITH THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM UNDER THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 10 (B) (2) OF THE ACT OF JUNE 24, 1948, AS AMENDED, 50 U.S.C., APP. 460 (B) (2), TO THE 1958 MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE SERIES SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION.

WE UNDERSTAND THAT MILITARY PERSONNEL ASSIGNED TO THE NATIONAL SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM CONTINUE TO SERVICE THEIR MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCES FROM THE MILITARY SERVICE OF WHICH THEY ARE A PART ALTHOUGH THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM REIMBURSES THE MILITARY SERVICE CONCERNED FOR THE PAY AND ALLOWANCES OF SUCH PERSONNEL WHILE SO ASSIGNED TO THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM.

WE NOTE THAT SECTION 19 (B) OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT, 72 STAT. 336, 5 U.S.C. 2318 (B), PROVIDES THAT THE APPROPRIATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENTS FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS WHICH ARE CONCERNED WITH THE FUNCTIONS OR ACTIVITIES FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE, OR WHICH WILL CONTRIBUTE TO IMPROVED CONDUCT, SUPERVISION, OR MANAGEMENT OF THOSE FUNCTIONS OR ACTIVITIES. HOWEVER, SECTION 19 (B) HAS NO APPLICATION TO THE CASE YOU PRESENT BECAUSE OF THE PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN SECTION 4 (A) OF THE ACT, 5 U.S.C. 2303 (A), THE EFFECT OF WHICH IS TO RENDER THE ACT INAPPLICABLE TO ANY MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES DURING PERIODS HE IS RECEIVING ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCES UNDER TITLE II OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 802 AS AMENDED, 37 U.S.C. 231 ET SEQ.

THAT SECTION 19 (B) WAS NOT INTENDED TO APPLY TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS CLEARLY DEMONSTRATED BY MR. HEMPHILL'S EXPLANATION OF THE SECTION ON THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. SEE PAGE 11155 OF THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD--- HOUSE FOR JUNE 26, 1958, WHERE MR. HEMPHILL STATES "IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE FOREIGN SERVICE ALREADY HAS AUTHORITY TO HAVE ITS EMPLOYEES ATTEND MEETINGS, AND THAT A REQUEST FOR SIMILAR AUTHORITY FOR THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WILL BE SUBMITTED TO THE CONGRESS FOR REFERENCE TO AN APPROPRIATE COMMITTEE IN THE NEAR FUTURE.'

INASMUCH AS THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION FOR THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM IS INCLUDED IN THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1959, 72 STAT. 1063, YOUR QUESTION WOULD INVOLVE THE CONSTRUCTION OF SECTION 105 OF THAT ACT, 72 STAT. 1076. SECTION 105 IS AS FOLLOWS:

APPROPRIATIONS CONTAINED IN THIS TITLE, AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL SHALL BE AVAILABLE, WHEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE HEAD OF THE ACTIVITY OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED, FOR EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS OF ORGANIZATIONS CONCERNED WITH THE FUNCTION OR ACTIVITY FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION CONCERNED IS MADE.

AS YOU HAVE INDICATED, OUR DECISION, 36 COMP. GEN. 474, WOULD CONSTITUTE A PRECEDENT FOR APPROVAL OF THE EXPENSES INVOLVED IN THE CASE YOU SUBMIT EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT THE SCOPE AND APPLICATION OF SUCH DECISION HAS BEEN SUBSTANTIALLY RESTRICTED BY OUR SUBSEQUENT DECISIONS OF NOVEMBER 15, 1957, AND APRIL 28, 1958, 37 COMP. GEN. 335 AND 708, RESPECTIVELY. UNDER THE LATER OF THESE DECISIONS (37 COMP. GEN. 708) WE CONSTRUED THE LANGUAGE APPEARING IN SECTION 102 OF THE TREASURY-POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT, 1956, 5 U.S.C. 277, WHICH IS SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR TO THE LANGUAGE OF SECTION 105 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1959. IN THAT DECISION WE SAID:

* * * WE CONCLUDE THAT THE TERM "FUNCTION OR ACTIVITY FOR WHICH THE APPLICABLE APPROPRIATION IS MADE" IN SECTION 102 OF THE TREASURY POST OFFICE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1956, WAS INTENDED BY CONGRESS TO APPLY ONLY TO ACTIVITIES PECULIARLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE WORK OF AGENCIES OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR STATUTORY FUNCTIONS. IT THUS APPEARS CLEAR THAT THE CRITERION TO BE APPLIED HERE IS WHETHER A MEETING OF AN ORGANIZATION CONCERNS ACTIVITIES PECULIARLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE WORK OF AN AGENCY OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT IN THE PERFORMANCE OF ITS STATUTORY FUNCTIONS AND NOT SOLELY WHETHER ATTENDANCE AT THE MEETING WILL BE BENEFICIAL TO ONE OR MORE FUNCTIONS OR ACTIVITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT.

* * * THE MEETING MUST CONCERN CURRENT PROBLEMS RELATING TO A SPECIFIC STATUTORY ACTIVITY OR FUNCTION OF THE DEPARTMENT. IF THE MEETING IS OF SUCH A CHARACTER, ATTENDANCE WOULD BE AUTHORIZED REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE MEETING DEALS WITH MANAGERIAL OR OPERATING PHASES OF SUCH ACTIVITY OR FUNCTION OR A COMBINATION OF BOTH. * * *

YOU SAY THAT IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE KNOWLEDGE GAINED BY THE MILITARY OFFICER THROUGH HIS PARTICIPATION IN THE MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE WILL BE OF INESTIMABLE VALUE TO THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM, WHICH OPERATES ON A DECENTRALIZED BASIS THROUGH STATE DIRECTORS AND OVER 4,000 LOCAL BOARDS. WHILE IT WOULD APPEAR FROM YOUR STATEMENT THAT A FUTURE BENEFIT TO THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM MAY RESULT FROM THE OFFICER'S ATTENDANCE, THE INFORMATION PRESENTED DOES NOT ESTABLISH THAT THE INSTITUTE IS CONCERNED WITH CURRENT PROBLEMS RELATING TO SOME SPECIFIC STATUTORY ACTIVITY OR FUNCTION OF THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM. UNLESS SUCH FACT IS ESTABLISHED, THE EXPENSES OF THE OFFICER'S ATTENDANCE WOULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED UNDER SECTION 105 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1959, OR UNDER ANY OTHER ACT THAT HAS COME TO OUR ATTENTION.