B-166117, MAR. 17, 1969

B-166117: Mar 17, 1969

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DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE HELD THAT EXPENSES FOR TRAINING CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED IN THE ABSENCE OF EXPRESS STATUTORY AUTHORITY UNLESS (1) THE TRAINING WAS ESSENTIAL TO CARRY OUT PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION WAS MADE. (2) THE TRAINING WAS OF BRIEF DURATION. (3) THE TRAINING WAS SPECIAL IN NATURE. THE INDIVIDUAL FOR WHOM PILOT TRAINING IS CONSIDERED IS A PRESIDENTIAL APPOINTEE (SEC. 5 (H). UNLESS THE INDIVIDUAL IS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED BY THE PRESIDENT FOR TRAINING UNDER THE CHAPTER.'. SINCE THE BOARD MEMBER IS NOT QUALIFIED. 1968) CONTAINS NO PROVISION FOR THE EXPENSE OF PILOT TRAINING OF A BOARD MEMBER IT IS OUR OPINION THAT NO AUTHORITY EXISTS UNDER WHICH EXPENDITURE OF BOARD FUNDS CAN BE ALLOWED FOR THE PURPOSE CONTEMPLATED.

B-166117, MAR. 17, 1969

TO THE HONORABLE JOSEPH J. O-CONNELL, JR.:

YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 4 REQUESTS OUR OPINION AS TO THE LEGALITY OF EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD TO PAY THE COST OF PILOT TRAINING LEADING TO A PRIVATE PILOT LICENSE FOR A MEMBER OF THE BOARD.

AS YOUR LETTER POINTS OUT, PRIOR TO ENACTMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT, DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE HELD THAT EXPENSES FOR TRAINING CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED IN THE ABSENCE OF EXPRESS STATUTORY AUTHORITY UNLESS (1) THE TRAINING WAS ESSENTIAL TO CARRY OUT PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION WAS MADE; (2) THE TRAINING WAS OF BRIEF DURATION; AND, (3) THE TRAINING WAS SPECIAL IN NATURE. (B-128464, 36 COMP. GEN. 621, MARCH 1, 1957.) RECOGNIZING THE NEED FOR TRAINING CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT, CONGRESS ENACTED THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT (PUBLIC LAW 85-507, 72 STAT. 328, JULY 7, 1958, 5 U.S.C. CHAPTER 41). THE ACT PROVIDES GENERAL AUTHORIZATION FOR AGENCIES TO ENGAGE IN TRAINING PROGRAMS UNDER CONDITIONS SPECIFIED IN THE LAW AND UNDER REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS PROMULGATED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION.

AS A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD, THE INDIVIDUAL FOR WHOM PILOT TRAINING IS CONSIDERED IS A PRESIDENTIAL APPOINTEE (SEC. 5 (H), PUBLIC LAW 89-670, 80 STAT. 935, OCTOBER 15, 1966). WE WOULD, THEREFORE, CALL TO YOUR ATTENTION 5 U.S.C. 4102 (A) (2) (B) WHICH EXCLUDES FROM APPLICATION OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT "AN INDIVIDUAL APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT (EXCEPT A POSTMASTER), UNLESS THE INDIVIDUAL IS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED BY THE PRESIDENT FOR TRAINING UNDER THE CHAPTER.'

SINCE THE BOARD MEMBER IS NOT QUALIFIED, WITHOUT DESIGNATION BY THE PRESIDENT, TO PARTICIPATE IN A PROGRAM AUTHORIZED BY THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT AND THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION APPROPRIATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 1969 (PUBLIC LAW 90-464, 82 STAT. 654, AUGUST 8, 1968) CONTAINS NO PROVISION FOR THE EXPENSE OF PILOT TRAINING OF A BOARD MEMBER IT IS OUR OPINION THAT NO AUTHORITY EXISTS UNDER WHICH EXPENDITURE OF BOARD FUNDS CAN BE ALLOWED FOR THE PURPOSE CONTEMPLATED.