B-150352, FEB. 12, 1963

B-150352: Feb 12, 1963

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THE QUESTION SUBMITTED IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.

B-150352, FEB. 12, 1963

TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE:

ON NOVEMBER 21, 1962, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY REQUESTED OUR OPINION WHETHER YOUR DEPARTMENT COULD DISALLOW THOSE TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE TWO AGRICULTURAL STABILIZATION AND CONSERVATION COUNTY COMMITTEE EMPLOYEES FOLLOWING THEIR SUSPENSION BY YOU AT 12 NOON ON JULY 6, 1962. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY SAYS THAT THEIR SUSPENSIONS RESULTED FROM ADMISSIONS OF PARTICIPATION IN ACTIVITIES GROSSLY VIOLATING EMPLOYEE RULES OF CONDUCT AND ETHICS, SUCH ADMISSIONS HAVING BEEN MADE WHEN THEY TESTIFIED ON THE MORNING OF JULY 6 BEFORE A SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE SENATE GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS COMMITTEE BY WHICH THEY HAD BEEN SUBPOENAED.

SINCE THE TRAVEL RESULTED FROM THE ISSUANCE OF SUBPOENAS BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE, REQUIRING THE PRESENCE OF THE EMPLOYEES IN WASHINGTON TO TESTIFY ON MATTERS BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE, SUCH TRAVEL HAVING BEEN PERFORMED WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR DEPARTMENT AND WITHOUT THE ISSUANCE OF ORDERS AUTHORIZING THE OBLIGATION OF FUNDS OF THE DEPARTMENT, WE FIND NO BASIS FOR PAYMENT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE OF ANY PART OF SUCH TRAVEL EXPENSES. THE QUESTION SUBMITTED IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.