B-146003, JUN. 14, 1961

B-146003: Jun 14, 1961

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IT IS STATED THAT SECTION 105 OF THE CIVIL FUNCTIONS APPROPRIATION ACT. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT THE BASIC STATUTES AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO YOUR AGENCY CONTAIN NO AUTHORITY FOR PROVIDING MEDICAL CARE TO LOCAL EMPLOYEES AND QUESTION IS RAISED WHETHER SECTION 105. REQUIRES REIMBURSEMENT FOR SERVICES WHICH OTHERWISE COULD NOT LEGALLY HAVE BEEN PURCHASED BY YOUR AGENCY. THE APPROPRIATION OR FUND OF ANY SUCH AGENCY BEARING THE COST OF THE COMPENSATION OF THE EMPLOYEE CONCERNED IS HEREBY MADE AVAILABLE FOR SUCH REIMBURSEMENTS.'. IT IS NOT NECESSARY THAT APPROPRIATIONS FOR YOUR AGENCY BE MADE OTHERWISE AVAILABLE FOR SUCH REIMBURSEMENT. THE PROVISIONS OF SUCH SECTION MAKE NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN LOCAL EMPLOYEES AND EMPLOYEES WHO ARE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES NOR DO WE FIND ANYTHING IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY THEREOF WHICH INDICATES THAT THE CONGRESS INTENDED THAT ANY SUCH DISTINCTION SHOULD BE MADE.

B-146003, JUN. 14, 1961

TO DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY:

BY LETTER OF MAY 29, 1961, THE GENERAL COUNSEL OF YOUR AGENCY ASKED OUR DECISION ON A QUESTION INVOLVING REIMBURSEMENT OF THE CANAL ZONE GOVERNMENT FOR HOSPITAL CARE FURNISHED A PANAMANIAN NATIONAL EMPLOYED BY YOUR AGENCY'S POST IN PANAMA.

IT IS STATED THAT SECTION 105 OF THE CIVIL FUNCTIONS APPROPRIATION ACT, 1954, 67 STAT. 202, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 106 OF THE CIVIL FUNCTIONS APPROPRIATION ACT, 1955, 68 STAT. 335, AND OUR DECISION APPEARING IN 38 COMP. GEN. 408 APPEAR TO REQUIRE REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE SERVICES FURNISHED. HOWEVER, IT IS POINTED OUT THAT THE BASIC STATUTES AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO YOUR AGENCY CONTAIN NO AUTHORITY FOR PROVIDING MEDICAL CARE TO LOCAL EMPLOYEES AND QUESTION IS RAISED WHETHER SECTION 105, AS AMENDED, REQUIRES REIMBURSEMENT FOR SERVICES WHICH OTHERWISE COULD NOT LEGALLY HAVE BEEN PURCHASED BY YOUR AGENCY.

SECTION 105, AS AMENDED, READS IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

" * * * AMOUNTS EXPENDED BY THE CANAL ZONE GOVERNMENT FOR FURNISHING EDUCATION, AND HOSPITAL AND MEDICAL CARE TO EMPLOYEES OF AGENCIES OF THE UNITED STATES AND THEIR DEPENDENTS * * * LESS AMOUNTS PAYABLE BY SUCH EMPLOYEES AND THEIR DEPENDENTS HEREAFTER SHALL, NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, BE FULLY REIMBURSABLE TO THE CANAL ZONE GOVERNMENT BY SUCH AGENCIES. THE APPROPRIATION OR FUND OF ANY SUCH AGENCY BEARING THE COST OF THE COMPENSATION OF THE EMPLOYEE CONCERNED IS HEREBY MADE AVAILABLE FOR SUCH REIMBURSEMENTS.'

AS INDICATED IN THE NEXT TO LAST PARAGRAPH OF OUR DECISION APPEARING AT 38 COMP. GEN. 408, SECTION 105, AS AMENDED, MADE THE APPROPRIATIONS OF THE VARIOUS AGENCIES AVAILABLE FOR REIMBURSING THE CANAL ZONE GOVERNMENT FOR ANY UNRECOVERED COSTS OF HOSPITAL AND MEDICAL SERVICES FURNISHED TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES AND MILITARY PERSONNEL AND THEIR DEPENDENTS. CONSEQUENTLY, IT IS NOT NECESSARY THAT APPROPRIATIONS FOR YOUR AGENCY BE MADE OTHERWISE AVAILABLE FOR SUCH REIMBURSEMENT. FURTHERMORE, THE PROVISIONS OF SUCH SECTION MAKE NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN LOCAL EMPLOYEES AND EMPLOYEES WHO ARE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES NOR DO WE FIND ANYTHING IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY THEREOF WHICH INDICATES THAT THE CONGRESS INTENDED THAT ANY SUCH DISTINCTION SHOULD BE MADE.

ACCORDINGLY, IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY LEGISLATION APPLICABLE TO YOUR AGENCY ENACTED SUBSEQUENT TO ENACTMENT OF SECTION 105, AS AMENDED, WHICH PRECLUDES THE USE OF YOUR APPROPRIATIONS FOR SUCH PURPOSE (AND WE ARE AWARE OF NONE), IT IS OUR VIEW THAT YOUR AGENCY IS REQUIRED TO REIMBURSE THE CANAL ZONE GOVERNMENT FOR THE UNRECOVERED COSTS OF THE MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL SERVICES FURNISHED TO YOUR EMPLOYEES. SEE 34 COMP. GEN. 510.