B-140745, OCT. 1, 1959

B-140745: Oct 1, 1959

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THE VOUCHER IS FOR RENT FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER FOR PREMISES OCCUPIED BY THE REGIONAL OFFICE. IT IS EXPLAINED THAT FROM THE TIME THE REGIONAL OFFICE WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1955 UNTIL AUGUST 31. AFTER SEPTEMBER 1 THE REGIONAL OFFICE WAS REQUIRED TO MOVE TO A COMMERCIAL BUILDING TO MAKE ROOM IN THE POST OFFICE BUILDING FOR ADDITIONAL EMPLOYEES OF THE DEFENSE MINERALS RESOURCES GROUP. THIS GROUP IS PAID FROM APPROPRIATIONS OTHER THAN THOSE FOR THE REGIONAL OFFICE. YOU QUESTION WHETHER UNDER THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES THE REGIONAL OFFICE FUNDS ARE BEING CHARGED TWICE FOR THE SPACE OCCUPIED BY IT. REGIONAL OFFICE FUNDS HAVE BEEN USED TO COVER RENTAL FOR SPACE OCCUPIED BY THE DEFENSE MINERALS RESOURCES GROUP.

B-140745, OCT. 1, 1959

TO MRS. CORA A. BAILEY, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 11, 1959, ASKS OUR OPINION AS TO WHETHER THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH PROPERLY MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT FROM REGIONAL OFFICE FUNDS. THE VOUCHER IS FOR RENT FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER FOR PREMISES OCCUPIED BY THE REGIONAL OFFICE, BUREAU OF MINES, REGION IV, BARTLESVILLE, OKLAHOMA.

IT IS EXPLAINED THAT FROM THE TIME THE REGIONAL OFFICE WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1955 UNTIL AUGUST 31, 1959, IT OCCUPIED SPACE IN THE POST OFFICE BUILDING, PAYMENT THEREFOR BEING MADE THROUGH ADJUSTMENTS IN APPROPRIATIONS AT THE WASHINGTON LEVEL. AFTER SEPTEMBER 1 THE REGIONAL OFFICE WAS REQUIRED TO MOVE TO A COMMERCIAL BUILDING TO MAKE ROOM IN THE POST OFFICE BUILDING FOR ADDITIONAL EMPLOYEES OF THE DEFENSE MINERALS RESOURCES GROUP. THIS GROUP IS PAID FROM APPROPRIATIONS OTHER THAN THOSE FOR THE REGIONAL OFFICE.

YOU QUESTION WHETHER UNDER THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES THE REGIONAL OFFICE FUNDS ARE BEING CHARGED TWICE FOR THE SPACE OCCUPIED BY IT.

AS STATED ABOVE, THE VOUCHER IN QUESTION COVERS RENT FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER FOR SPACE ACTUALLY OCCUPIED BY THE REGIONAL OFFICE. CONSEQUENTLY, WE SEE NO VALID REASON TO OBJECT TO ITS CERTIFICATION. IF, AS INDICATED IN YOUR LETTER, REGIONAL OFFICE FUNDS HAVE BEEN USED TO COVER RENTAL FOR SPACE OCCUPIED BY THE DEFENSE MINERALS RESOURCES GROUP, AN ADJUSTMENT OF FUNDS MAY BE REQUIRED. HOWEVER, THIS FACT WOULD NOT IN ANY WAY AFFECT THE VALIDITY OF THE PAYMENT PROPOSED BY THE PRESENT VOUCHER. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND IF OTHERWISE PROPER, IT MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

THE QUESTION WHETHER REGIONAL OFFICE FUNDS HAVE BEEN IMPROPERLY CHARGED FOR SPACE OCCUPIED BY THE DEFENSE MINERALS RESOURCES GROUP WILL BE CONSIDERED IN OUR AUDIT AND CORRECTIVE ACTION WILL BE TAKEN IF REQUIRED. WE ARE WITHOUT JURISDICTION TO RENDER A DECISION TO YOU AS AN AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER UPON THIS QUESTION WHICH IS NOT INVOLVED IN A VOUCHER BEFORE YOU FOR CERTIFICATION. SEE 26 COMP. GEN. 797; 21 ID. 1128.