B-18355, JULY 15, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 29

B-18355: Jul 15, 1941

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - STATE EMPLOYEES COOPERATING WITH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THE FISCAL YEAR 1942 APPROPRIATION OF THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH PERFORMING THE DUTIES IMPOSED BY THE COMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1934 IS AVAILABLE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF STATE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES WHILE ENGAGED IN COOPERATIVE WORK UNDER AGREEMENTS DEEMED NECESSARY AND ADVANTAGEOUS FOR THE COMMISSION TO ENTER INTO WITH THE SEVERAL STATES. 1941: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 27. THE SPECIFIC STUDY TO BE UNDERTAKEN AT THIS TIME IS THE SEPARATION OF PROPERTY INVESTMENT AND EXPENSES JOINTLY INCURRED FOR SEVERAL CLASSES OF TELEPHONE SERVICE. SOME OF WHICH ARE SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE VARIOUS STATES AND SOME OF WHICH ARE UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THIS COMMISSION.

B-18355, JULY 15, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 29

TRAVELING EXPENSES - STATE EMPLOYEES COOPERATING WITH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THE FISCAL YEAR 1942 APPROPRIATION OF THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH PERFORMING THE DUTIES IMPOSED BY THE COMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1934 IS AVAILABLE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF STATE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES WHILE ENGAGED IN COOPERATIVE WORK UNDER AGREEMENTS DEEMED NECESSARY AND ADVANTAGEOUS FOR THE COMMISSION TO ENTER INTO WITH THE SEVERAL STATES. WHILE STATE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES WHOSE SERVICES THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION MAY UTILIZE UNDER COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS WOULD NOT BE OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES, THE COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS MAY PROVIDE FOR PAYMENT OF THEIR TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES EITHER ON A COMMUTATION BASIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE MILEAGE LAW OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, AS AMENDED, THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926, AS AMENDED, AND THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, OR ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS WITHIN PROPER LIMITATIONS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, JULY 15, 1941:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 27, 1941, AS FOLLOWS:

THE COMMISSION DESIRES TO AVAIL ITSELF OF THE SERVICES OF CERTAIN EXPERTS REGULARLY EMPLOYED BY VARIOUS STATE REGULATORY BODIES FOR THE PURPOSE OF COOPERATIVE STUDY WITH MEMBERS OF THIS COMMISSION'S STAFF, AND IN EFFECTING THIS COOPERATION A QUESTION OF PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OUT OF THE COMMISSION'S APPROPRIATIONS ARISES ON WHICH THE OPINION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL WOULD BE APPRECIATED.

THE SPECIFIC STUDY TO BE UNDERTAKEN AT THIS TIME IS THE SEPARATION OF PROPERTY INVESTMENT AND EXPENSES JOINTLY INCURRED FOR SEVERAL CLASSES OF TELEPHONE SERVICE, SOME OF WHICH ARE SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE VARIOUS STATES AND SOME OF WHICH ARE UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THIS COMMISSION. INITIALLY, IT IS PLANNED TO CONDUCT THESE STUDIES ON AN INFORMAL BASIS, ALTHOUGH THE COMMISSION HAS UNDER CONSIDERATION ALSO THE POSSIBILITY OF PROCEEDING IN A MORE FORMAL MANNER THROUGH THE USE OF A JOINT BOARD OR BOARDS.

THE STATE COMMISSIONS HAVE INDICATED THAT THEY WILL MAKE AVAILABLE TO THE COMMISSION FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE INFORMAL STUDIES ABOVE MENTIONED, CERTAIN OF THEIR EXPERTS ON THE BASIS OF PAYMENT BY THIS COMMISSION OF (1) TRAVEL AND (2) SUBSISTENCE OF THESE EXPERTS WHILE AWAY FROM THEIR HEADQUARTERS AND PAYMENT BY THE PARTICULAR STATE OF THE SALARIES OF THE EMPLOYEES.

SECTION 410 (A) OF THE COMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1934, AS AMENDED, PROVIDES FOR THE CREATION OF JOINT BOARDS AND SPECIFICALLY FOR SUCH ALLOWANCES FOR EXPENSES OF JOINT BOARD MEMBERS AS THE COMMISSION SHALL PROVIDE. SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION AUTHORIZES THE COMMISSION TO CONFER WITH STATE COMMISSIONS ON MATTERS SUCH AS THOSE HERE INVOLVED AND AUTHORIZES THIS COMMISSION "TO AVAIL ITSELF OF SUCH COOPERATION, SERVICES, RECORDS, AND FACILITIES AS MAY BE AFFORDED BY ANY STATE COMMISSION.'

SECTION 4 (G) OF THE COMMUNICATIONS ACT AUTHORIZES THE COMMISSION TO "MAKE SUCH EXPENDITURES * * * AS MAY BE NECESSARY FOR THE EXECUTION OF THE FUNCTIONS VESTED IN THE COMMISSION AND AS FROM TIME TO TIME MAY BE APPROPRIATED FOR BY CONGRESS.'

THE COMMISSION IS DESIROUS OF PROCEEDING AS EXPEDITIOUSLY AS POSSIBLE IN THIS MATTER. ACCORDINGLY, AN EXPRESSION OF OPINION FROM THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL WILL BE APPRECIATED AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE DATE AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE (1) TRAVEL AND (2) SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF THE PERSONS REFERRED TO MAY BE PAID FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF THIS COMMISSION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1942.

SECTION 410 OF THE ACT F JUNE 19, 1934, 48 STAT. 1098, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

(A) THE COMMISSION MAY REFER ANY MATTER ARISING IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THIS ACT TO A JOINT BOARD TO BE COMPOSED OF A MEMBER, OR OF AN EQUAL NUMBER OF MEMBERS, AS DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSION, FROM EACH OF THE STATES IN WHICH THE WIRE OR RADIO COMMUNICATION AFFECTED BY OR INVOLVED IN THE PROCEEDING TAKES PLACE OR IS PROPOSED, AND ANY SUCH BOARD SHALL BE VESTED WITH THE SAME POWERS AND BE SUBJECT TO THE SAME DUTIES AND LIABILITIES AS IN THE CASE OF A MEMBER OF THE COMMISSION WHEN DESIGNATED BY THE COMMISSION TO HOLD A HEARING AS HEREINBEFORE AUTHORIZED. THE ACTION OF A JOINT BOARD SHALL HAVE SUCH FORCE AND EFFECT AND ITS PROCEEDINGS SHALL BE CONDUCTED IN SUCH MANNER AS THE COMMISSION SHALL BY REGULATIONS PRESCRIBE. THE JOINT BOARD MEMBER OR MEMBERS FOR EACH STATE SHALL BE NOMINATED BY THE STATE COMMISSION OF THE STATE OR BY THE GOVERNOR IF THERE IS NO STATE COMMISSION, AND APPOINTED BY THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION. THE COMMISSION SHALL HAVE DISCRETION TO REJECT ANY NOMINEE. JOINT BOARD MEMBERS SHALL RECEIVE SUCH ALLOWANCES FOR EXPENSES AS THE COMMISSION SHALL PROVIDE.

(B) THE COMMISSION MAY CONFER WITH ANY STATE COMMISSION HAVING REGULATORY JURISDICTION WITH RESPECT TO CARRIERS, REGARDING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RATE STRUCTURES, ACCOUNTS, CHARGES, PRACTICES, CLASSIFICATIONS, AND REGULATIONS OF CARRIERS SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION OF SUCH STATE COMMISSION AND OF THE COMMISSION; AND THE COMMISSION IS AUTHORIZED UNDER SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS IT SHALL PRESCRIBE TO HOLD JOINT HEARINGS WITH ANY STATE COMMISSION IN CONNECTION WITH ANY MATTER WITH RESPECT TO WHICH THE COMMISSION IS AUTHORIZED TO ACT. THE COMMISSION IS AUTHORIZED IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THIS ACT TO AVAIL ITSELF OF SUCH COOPERATION, SERVICES, RECORDS, AND FACILITIES AS MAY BE AFFORDED BY ANY STATE COMMISSION.

THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1942, CONTAINED IN PUBLIC LAW 28, APPROVED APRIL 5, 1941, 55 STAT. 98, IS MADE AVAILABLE, AMONG OTHER THINGS,"FOR ALL OTHER AUTHORIZED EXPENDITURES OF THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION IN PERFORMING THE DUTIES IMPOSED BY THE COMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1934, APPROVED JUNE 19, 1934, 48 STAT. 1064, * * * TRAVEL EXPENSES, * * *.'

IN DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 281, 282, AFTER QUOTING FROM AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE CHILDREN'S BUREAU AVAILABLE FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES, IT WAS STATED---

THE TRAVELING EXPENSE AUTHORIZED UNDER THIS ACT IS PRIMARILY THAT OF THE PERSONNEL OF THE CHILDREN'S BUREAU IN CONNECTION WITH THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE ACT. IT HAS, HOWEVER, BEEN HERETOFORE RECOGNIZED THAT GOVERNMENT FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES, UPON SUBMISSION OF SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE WITH THE ACCOUNTS OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER SHOWING THAT SUCH USE OF THE FUNDS IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE. DECISION OF AUGUST 26, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 210, AND MS. DECISION OF JULY 14, 1924. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

ALSO, SEE DECISION OF NOVEMBER 30, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 277, HOLDING AS FOLLOWS (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

THE APPROPRIATION " GENERAL EXPENSES, CHILDREN'S BUREAU" IS AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES OF PERSONS EMPLOYED IN STATE DEPARTMENTS OF PUBLIC WELFARE OR SIMILAR STATE AGENCIES TO WASHINGTON AND RETURN HOME FOR THE PURPOSE OF ATTENDING CONFERENCES CALLED BY THE CHILDREN'S BUREAU IN THE INTEREST OF ITS WORK, WITHOUT THE NECESSITY OF APPOINTING THE STATE OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES AS SPECIAL AGENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT AT A NOMINAL COMPENSATION.

IN DECISION OF FEBRUARY 26, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 465, IT WAS HELD AS FOLLOWS (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

WHEN A PERSON WHO IS NOT A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE OR OFFICER IS REQUESTED BY A PROPER FEDERAL OFFICER TO COME TO WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR A CONFERENCE UPON OFFICIAL MATTERS, THE REQUEST TO DO SO STATING THAT HIS EXPENSES WOULD BE PAID IN ACCORDANCE WITH DEPARTMENTAL REGULATIONS, SUCH PERSON MAY BE REIMBURSED HIS ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE NOT IN EXCESS OF THOSE PERMITTED BY THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

IF, IN PERFORMANCE OF THE DUTIES IMPOSED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 19, 1934, SUPRA, IT BE DEEMED NECESSARY OR ADVANTAGEOUS FOR THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION TO ENTER INTO COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS WITH THE SEVERAL STATES TO PAY BOTH THE TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF STATE OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES WHILE ENGAGED ON COOPERATIVE WORK UNDER SUCH AGREEMENTS, THE APPROPRIATION, SUPRA, IS AVAILABLE FOR SUCH PAYMENTS.

WHILE THE EMPLOYEES OF THE STATE WHOSE SERVICES THE COMMISSION PROPOSES TO UTILIZE IN THE MANNER INDICATED IN YOUR LETTER WOULD NOT BE OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES, THE COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS LEGALLY MAY PROVIDE FOR PAYMENT OF THEIR TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES EITHER ON A COMMUTATION BASIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE MILEAGE LAW OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931, 46 STAT. 1103, AS AMENDED BY THE ACTS OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1516, AND APRIL 25, 1940, 54 STAT. 167, AND THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926, APPROVED JUNE 3, 1926, 44 STAT. 688, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 405, AND THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, OR ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS WITHIN PROPER LIMITATIONS.