B-140445, SEPTEMBER 29, 1959, 39 COMP. GEN. 244

B-140445: Sep 29, 1959

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

A COPY OF WHICH WAS FORWARDED TO YOU ON JANUARY 12. THAT ALTHOUGH THE APPROPRIATION AS INITIALLY ESTABLISHED WAS TO CONTINUE AVAILABLE UNTIL EXPENDED. WAS NOW FOR WITHDRAWAL AND REDEPOSIT INTO THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY. IS HEREBY CONTINUED AVAILABLE UNTIL EXPENDED FOR PREPARATION OF PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS FOR A BUILDING OR BUILDINGS TO MEET THE SPECIAL NEEDS OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY IN THE METROPOLITAN AREA OF WASHINGTON. STATES IN PART: THE UNOBLIGATED BALANCES OF APPROPRIATIONS WHICH ARE NOT LIMITED TO A DEFINITE PERIOD OF TIME SHALL BE WITHDRAWN * * * WHENEVER THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY CONCERNED SHALL DETERMINE THAT THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION WAS MADE HAS BEEN FULFILLED.

B-140445, SEPTEMBER 29, 1959, 39 COMP. GEN. 244

APPROPRIATIONS - OBLIGATIONS - UNEXPENDED BALANCES - AVAILABILITY V. TRANSFER TO TREASURY A SPECIFIC AMOUNT REAPPROPRIATED IN THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT, 1955, FROM PRIOR UNUSED FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATIONS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE USE, FOR PREPARATION OF PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS FOR CERTAIN BUILDINGS, WHICH HAS NOT BEEN OBLIGATED OR REDUCED BY ANY DISBURSEMENTS AS OF JUNE 30, 1958, MUST BE REGARDED AS AN APPROPRIATION FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE FOR THAT FISCAL YEAR, RATHER THAN AS A PART OF THE MULTIPURPOSE APPROPRIATION WHICH MAY BE USED IN THE FISCAL YEAR 1959 TO LIQUIDATE UNPAID OBLIGATIONS, AND PURSUANT TO SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF JULY 25, 1956, 31 U.S.C. 706, WHICH REQUIRES THE CLOSING OF INACTIVE APPROPRIATIONS, THE SPECIFIC UNOBLIGATED AMOUNT MUST BE WITHDRAWN FROM AVAILABILITY AND DEPOSITED INTO THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, SEPTEMBER 29, 1959:

IN A LETTER OF AUGUST 7, 1959, THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR REQUESTED OUR FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF THE QUESTION WHETHER THERE REMAINS AVAILABLE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE USE THE AMOUNT OF $75,000 ESTABLISHED BY THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT, 1955, APPROVED JULY 1, 1954, 68 STAT. 361, 368, 43 U.S.C. 50, FOR THE PREPARATION OF PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS FOR A GEOLOGICAL SURVEY BUILDING IN THE METROPOLITAN AREA OF WASHINGTON, D.C.

THE QUESTION INVOLVED ORIGINALLY AROSE IN CONNECTION WITH OUR EXAMINATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR REPORTS, UNDER SECTION 1311 OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1955, 31 U.S.C. 200, WITH RESPECT TO THE BALANCES OF APPROPRIATIONS AND FUNDS UNDER THE DEPARTMENT'S CONTROL AS OF JUNE 30, 1958. OUR EXAMINATION HAVING DISCLOSED THAT NO PART OF THE $75,000 APPROPRIATION HAD BEEN OBLIGATED AND NO DISBURSEMENT HAD BEEN MADE THEREFROM AS OF JUNE 30, 1958, WE INDICATED IN OUR REPORT, A COPY OF WHICH WAS FORWARDED TO YOU ON JANUARY 12, 1959, THAT ALTHOUGH THE APPROPRIATION AS INITIALLY ESTABLISHED WAS TO CONTINUE AVAILABLE UNTIL EXPENDED, IT NEVERTHELESS, IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF JULY 25, 1956, 70 STAT. 649, 31 U.S.C. 706, WAS NOW FOR WITHDRAWAL AND REDEPOSIT INTO THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY.

UNDER THE HEADING " GEOLOGICAL SURVEY--- SURVEYS, INVESTIGATIONS, AND RESEARCH" THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT, 1955, PROVIDED:

NOT TO EXCEED $75,000 OF THE UNEXPENDED BALANCE OF THE FUNDS APPROPRIATED UNDER THIS HEADING IN THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT, 1954, IS HEREBY CONTINUED AVAILABLE UNTIL EXPENDED FOR PREPARATION OF PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS FOR A BUILDING OR BUILDINGS TO MEET THE SPECIAL NEEDS OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY IN THE METROPOLITAN AREA OF WASHINGTON, D.C.

SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF JULY 25, 1956, ENACTED TWO YEARS AFTER THE APPROPRIATION ACT ESTABLISHING THE $75,000 APPROPRIATION, STATES IN PART:

THE UNOBLIGATED BALANCES OF APPROPRIATIONS WHICH ARE NOT LIMITED TO A DEFINITE PERIOD OF TIME SHALL BE WITHDRAWN * * * WHENEVER THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY CONCERNED SHALL DETERMINE THAT THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION WAS MADE HAS BEEN FULFILLED; OR IN AN EVENT, WHENEVER DISBURSEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN MADE AGAINST THE APPROPRIATION FOR TWO FULL CONSECUTIVE FISCAL YEARS: * * *. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

THE LETTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY ADVANCES THE VIEW THAT "THE FUNDS (THE $75,000) ARE MERELY A PART OF THE OVERALL 1954 FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE USE OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY," AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS "AN ITEM SEPARATE AND APART FROM THE BASIC APPROPRIATION FROM WHICH IT WAS DERIVED.' UPON THE PREMISE, AND "SINCE DISBURSEMENTS HAVE CONTINUED TO BE MADE AGAINST THE 1954 APPROPRIATION DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1959 IN LIQUIDATING UNPAID OBLIGATIONS CHARGED TO THE 1954 APPROPRIATION FOR SURVEYS, INVESTIGATIONS AND RESEARCH," IT IS BELIEVED "THE SPECIAL FUND OF $75,000 IS STILL AVAILABLE AND SHOULD NOT BE RETURNED TO THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY.'

THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT, 1955, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1954, REAPPROPRIATED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE USE A PART OF THE UNEXPENDED BALANCE, NOT TO EXCEED $75,000, OF THE PRIOR FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION FOR THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY TO BE USED FOR PREPARATION OF PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS FOR CERTAIN BUILDINGS. AS THE $75,000 APPROPRIATION WAS ESTABLISHED OUT OF UNOBLIGATED AND UNUSED MONEYS OF THE 1954 FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION AND WAS DESIGNATED BY THE CONGRESS FOR A SINGLE PURPOSE AS OPPOSED TO THE MULTIPURPOSE APPROPRIATION OF 1954, WE SEE NO JUSTIFICATION, PARTICULARLY WITH REFERENCE TO THE APPLICATION OF SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF JULY 25, 1956, FOR VIEWING THE $75,000 APPROPRIATION AS HAVING REMAINED A PART OF THE 1954 FUNDS OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY. NOR IS SUCH A VIEW DEEMED TO BE IN KEEPING WITH ESTABLISHED FISCAL PRACTICE OR IN CONSONANCE WITH LEGISLATIVE POLICY AS REFLECTED BY 31 U.S.C. 717, WHICH REQUIRES THE REAPPROPRIATION AND DIVERSION OF THE UNEXPENDED BALANCE OF ANY APPROPRIATION TO A PURPOSE OTHER THAN THAT FOR WHICH IT WAS ORIGINALLY MADE TO BE "CONSTRUED AND ACCOUNTED AS A NEW APPROPRIATION.'

THE APPARENT PURPOSE OF SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF JULY 25, 1956, IS THE CLOSING OF INACTIVE APPROPRIATIONS NOT LIMITED TO A DEFINITE PERIOD OF TIME. THE APPROPRIATION HERE INVOLVED WAS ESTABLISHED BY THE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1955. IT CAME INTO BEING JULY 1, 1954, AND NO PART OF THE APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN OBLIGATED OR DISBURSED. THE CLOSING OF SUCH AN INACTIVE APPROPRIATION IS CLEARLY CONTEMPLATED BY SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF JULY 25, 1956, AND WE SEE NO BASIS FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF THAT EFFECT.

YOU ARE ADVISED WE REMAIN OF THE VIEW THAT THE APPROPRIATION UNDER CONSIDERATION IS REQUIRED BY LAW TO BE WITHDRAWN AND REDEPOSITED INTO THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY.