B-196841.OM, DEC 18, 1980

B-196841.OM: Dec 18, 1980

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" IS REVIEWING CURRENT EXECUTIVE AND CONGRESSIONAL INITIATIVES TO COORDINATE THE FEDERAL PROGRAM FOR RADIATION PROTECTION. THE COUNCIL WAS CONSTITUTED TO INCLUDE REPRESENTATIVES OF 13 FEDERAL AGENCIES AND TO FUNCTION FOR 4 YEARS. THE CREATION OF THE RADIATION POLICY COUNCIL IS NOT BASED ON ANY SPECIAL. WE ARE PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN THIS ISSUE BECAUSE GAO HAS TESTIFIED AND PREPARED WRITTEN COMMENTS IN SUPPORT OF SENATE BILL 1938. WE HAVE DISCUSSED THESE ISSUES WITH HIM INFORMALLY. THE METHOD OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR INTERAGENCY BODIES MUST HAVE PRIOR AND SPECIFIC CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL BEFORE ANY APPROPRIATIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THEIR USE. WE ARE NOT AWARE THAT THE METHOD OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR EITHER THE RADIATION POLICY COUNCIL OR THE INTERAGENCY RADIATION RESEARCH COMMITTEE HAS RECEIVED CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL.

B-196841.OM, DEC 18, 1980

SUBJECT: REQUEST REVIEW OF THE LEGAL BASIS OF RECENT PRESIDENTIAL ORDERS TO CREATE RADIATION REVIEW GROUPS

GENERAL COUNSEL:

OUR ONGOING ASSIGNMENT, "THE CANCER RISKS OF LOW-LEVEL IONIZING RADIATION EXPOSURE," IS REVIEWING CURRENT EXECUTIVE AND CONGRESSIONAL INITIATIVES TO COORDINATE THE FEDERAL PROGRAM FOR RADIATION PROTECTION. ON FEBRUARY 21, 1980, PRESIDENT CARTER CREATED THE RADIATION POLICY COUNCIL BY EXECUTIVE ORDER 12194. THE COUNCIL WAS CONSTITUTED TO INCLUDE REPRESENTATIVES OF 13 FEDERAL AGENCIES AND TO FUNCTION FOR 4 YEARS. THE PRESIDENT ALSO CREATED AN INTERAGENCY RADIATION RESEARCH COMMITTEE THROUGH A MEMORANDUM ISSUED ON FEBRUARY 21.

THE CREATION OF THE RADIATION POLICY COUNCIL IS NOT BASED ON ANY SPECIAL, NEW LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY. THE ISSUE HAS BEEN RAISED WHETHER THE PRESIDENT, UNDER HIS EXISTING AUTHORITY, CAN FORM SUCH A COUNCIL TO FUNCTION FOR MORE THAN ONE YEAR. THE LEGAL BASIS FOR CREATING THE INTERAGENCY RADIATION RESEARCH COMMITTEE MAY BE DIFFERENT, BECAUSE CONGRESS, IN P.L. 95-622, ORDERED THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE TO REVIEW THE RADIATION RESEARCH PROGRAM.

WE REQUEST THAT YOU REVIEW THE PRESIDENT'S AUTHORITY TO CREATE THE COUNCIL AND THE COMMITTEE FOR MORE THAN ONE YEAR. WE ARE PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN THIS ISSUE BECAUSE GAO HAS TESTIFIED AND PREPARED WRITTEN COMMENTS IN SUPPORT OF SENATE BILL 1938, WHICH WOULD CREATE SIMILAR GROUPS THROUGH LEGISLATION. RICK SPRINGER OF YOUR STAFF HAS WORKED WITH US, AND WE HAVE DISCUSSED THESE ISSUES WITH HIM INFORMALLY.

INDORSEMENT

DIRECTOR, EMD

RETURNED. IN RESPONSE TO THE SPECIFIC QUESTIONS POSED, WE CONCLUDE THAT THE PRESIDENT COULD LEGALLY CREATE BOTH THE RADIATION POLICY COUNCIL AND THE INTERAGENCY RADIATION RESEARCH COMMITTEE FOR DURATIONS IN EXCESS OF ONE YEAR. HOWEVER, THE METHOD OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR INTERAGENCY BODIES MUST HAVE PRIOR AND SPECIFIC CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL BEFORE ANY APPROPRIATIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THEIR USE. WE ARE NOT AWARE THAT THE METHOD OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR EITHER THE RADIATION POLICY COUNCIL OR THE INTERAGENCY RADIATION RESEARCH COMMITTEE HAS RECEIVED CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL. UNLESS AND UNTIL CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL IS OBTAINED, APPROPRIATED FUNDS CAN NOT BE LEGALLY OBLIGATED OR EXPENDED ON BEHALF OF EITHER BODY.

THE RADIATION POLICY COUNCIL WAS ESTABLISHED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 12194, 45 F.R. 12209 (FEBRUARY 25, 1980), FOR A DURATION OF FOUR YEARS. THE COUNCIL IS COMPOSED OF THE HEADS OF 13 AGENCIES OR THEIR REPRESENTATIVES AND SUCH OTHERS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY DESIGNATE. THE CABINET-LEVEL AGENCIES INCLUDE THE DEPARTMENTS OF DEFENSE; JUSTICE; COMMERCE; LABOR; HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE (NOW HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES); HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT; TRANSPORTATION; AND ENERGY. ALSO INCLUDED ARE THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION, AND THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY. THE NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION WAS INVITED TO PARTICIPATE. THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA), OR ANY AGENCY REPRESENTATIVE DESIGNATED BY HIM, IS TO CHAIR THE COUNCIL. THE COUNCIL'S FUNCTIONS ARE TO COORDINATE THE FORMULATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF FEDERAL POLICY RELATING TO RADIATION PROTECTION. EPA, "TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW," IS TO FURNISH ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT, FUNDS, STAFF, AND OTHER ASSISTANCE TO THE COUNCIL AS NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT ITS FUNCTIONS.

BY WHITE HOUSE MEMORANDUM OF FEBRUARY 21, 1980, THE PRESIDENT INSTRUCTED THE THEN SECRETARY OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE TO ESTABLISH AN INTERAGENCY RADIATION RESEARCH COMMITTEE, WHOSE DURATION WOULD BE FOUR YEARS UNLESS EXTENDED BY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE. THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMITTEE WAS TO BE DRAWN FROM THE DEPARTMENTS OF DEFENSE; LABOR; HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE; AND ENERGY; AND FROM THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY; THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION; AND THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION. THE NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION WAS INVITED TO PARTICIPATE. THE COMMITTEE'S PURPOSES, AMONG OTHERS, ARE TO "COORDINATE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S CONDUCT OF A COMPREHENSIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM ON THE BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF IONIZING RADIATION IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT THE PROGRAM IS COMPREHENSIVE AND CARRIED OUT EFFICIENTLY, OBJECTIVELY, OPENLY, AND IN ACCORD WITH THE HIGHEST SCIENTIFIC STANDARDS." THE STAFF AND OTHER SUPPORT NECESSARY FOR THE COMMITTEE TO CARRY OUT ITS FUNCTIONS IS TO BE PROVIDED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE.

YOU ARE CONCERNED WITH THE ONE-YEAR TIME LIMITATION CONTAINED IN THE SO- CALLED "RUSSELL AMENDMENT," SECTION 213 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1945, A PROVISION OF PERMANENT LAW. 31 U.S.C. SEC. 696 (1976). THE RUSSELL AMENDMENT STATES:

"AFTER JANUARY 1, 1945, NO PART OF ANY APPROPRIATION OR FUND MADE AVAILABLE BY THIS OR ANY OTHER ACT SHALL BE ALLOTTED OR MADE AVAILABLE TO, OR USED TO PAY THE EXPENSES OF, ANY AGENCY OR INSTRUMENTALITY INCLUDING THOSE ESTABLISHED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER AFTER SUCH AGENCY OR INSTRUMENTALITY HAS BEEN IN EXISTENCE FOR MORE THAN ONE YEAR, IF THE CONGRESS HAS NOT APPROPRIATED ANY MONEY SPECIFICALLY FOR SUCH AGENCY OR INSTRUMENTALITY OR SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS BY IT. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, ANY AGENCY OR INSTRUMENTALITY INCLUDING THOSE ESTABLISHED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE BEEN IN EXISTENCE DURING THE EXISTENCE OF ANY OTHER AGENCY OR INSTRUMENTALITY, ESTABLISHED BY A PRIOR EXECUTIVE ORDER, IF THE PRINCIPAL FUNCTIONS OF BOTH OF SUCH AGENCIES OR INSTRUMENTALITIES ARE SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME OR SIMILAR. WHEN ANY AGENCY OR INSTRUMENTALITY IS OR HAS BEEN PREVENTED FROM USING APPROPRIATIONS BY REASON OF THIS SECTION, NO PART OF ANY APPROPRIATION OR FUND MADE AVAILABLE BY THIS OR ANY OTHER ACT SHALL BE USED TO PAY THE EXPENSES OF THE PERFORMANCE BY ANY OTHER AGENCY OR INSTRUMENTALITY OF FUNCTIONS WHICH ARE SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME AS OR SIMILAR TO THE PRINCIPAL FUNCTIONS OF THE AGENCY OR INSTRUMENTALITY SO PREVENTED FROM USING APPROPRIATIONS, UNLESS THE CONGRESS HAS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS FOR PERFORMING SUCH FUNCTIONS."

THE AMENDMENT WAS INTRODUCED BY SENATOR RICHARD RUSSELL AS A COMMITTEE AMENDMENT IN THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS. S. REP. NO. 730, 78TH CONG., 2D SESS. 10 (1944). ITS PURPOSE WAS

"*** TO RETAIN IN THE CONGRESS THE POWER OF LEGISLATING AND CREATING BUREAUS AND DEPARTMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND OF GIVING TO CONGRESS THE RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT THE BUREAUS AND DEPARTMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT WHICH HAVE BEEN CREATED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER ARE DOING.

"REGARDLESS OF WHAT AGENCIES MIGHT BE AFFECTED, THE PURPOSE OF THIS AMENDMENT IS TO REQUIRE THEM ALL TO COME TO CONGRESS FOR THEIR APPROPRIATIONS AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN IN EXISTENCE FOR MORE THAN A YEAR."

REMARKS OF SENATOR RUSSELL, 90 CONG. REC. 3059 (1944). SEE ALSO, INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION BILL FOR 1945, HEARINGS BEFORE A SENATE APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE ON H.R. 4070, 78TH CONG., 2D SESS. 332-336, 509-517 (1944).

BOTH THE RADIATION POLICY COUNCIL AND THE INTERAGENCY RADIATION RESEARCH COMMITTEE WOULD CLEARLY FALL WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF THE RUSSELL AMENDMENT, EXCEPT FOR SECTION 214 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 1946, 31 U.S.C. SEC. 691 (1976). IT PROVIDES:

"APPROPRIATIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR THE EXPENSES OF COMMITTEES, BOARDS, OR OTHER INTERAGENCY GROUPS ENGAGED IN AUTHORIZED ACTIVITIES OF COMMON INTEREST TO SUCH DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS AND COMPOSED IN WHOLE OR IN PART OF REPRESENTATIVES THEREOF WHO RECEIVE NO ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION BY VIRTUE OF SUCH MEMBERSHIP: PROVIDED, THAT EMPLOYEES OF SUCH DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS RENDERING SERVICE FOR SUCH COMMITTEES, BOARDS, OR OTHER GROUPS, OTHER THAN AS REPRESENTATIVES, SHALL RECEIVE NO ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION BY VIRTUE OF SUCH SERVICE."

SECTION 214 MADE PERMANENT A PROVISION CONTAINED IN SECTION 401 OF THE FIRST SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1945, APPROVED DECEMBER 22, 1944, 58 STAT. 853, 885. IT WAS INTENDED AS A CLARIFICATION OF THE COVERAGE OF THE RUSSELL AMENDMENT, WHICH HAD BEEN ENACTED SHORTLY BEFORE, ON JUNE 27, 1944. SEE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION BILL FOR 1946, HEARINGS BEFORE A SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, 79TH CONG., 1ST SESS. 1301 AND 1324 (1945).

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE RUSSELL AMENDMENT AND SECTION 214 WAS EXPLAINED WHEN THE SUBSTANCE OF SECTION 214 WAS PROPOSED BY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET. FIRST SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION BILL FOR 1945, HEARINGS BEFORE A SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, 78TH CONG., 2D SESS. 43 AND 44 (1944). THE EFFECT OF SECTION 214, 31 U.S.C. SEC. 691, WAS TO REMOVE THE LIMITATION TO ONE YEAR AFTER DATE OF ESTABLISHMENT BY EXECUTIVE ORDER IMPOSED BY THE RUSSELL AMENDMENT, ON THE AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS FOR INTERAGENCY BODIES. B-75669, JUNE 16, 1948. THUS, AS A RESULT OF SECTION 214, THE PRESIDENT COULD LEGALLY CREATE BOTH THE RADIATION POLICY COUNCIL AND THE INTERAGENCY RADIATION RESEARCH COMMITTEE FOR DURATIONS IN EXCESS OF ONE YEAR.

THIS DOES NOT END THE MATTER, HOWEVER. OVER THE YEARS SECTION 214 HAS BEEN SUBJECT TO ABUSE. SEE, E.G., CONFERENCE REPORT, H.R. REP. NO. 746, 90TH CONG., 1ST SESS. 11 AND 12 (1967); DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS FOR 1968, HEARINGS BEFORE A SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, 90TH CONG., 1ST SESS., PT. 1, AT 36 AND 37 (1967); S. REP. NO. 1275, 90TH CONG., 2D SESS. 2 AND 3 (1968); H.R. REP. NO. 1335, 90TH CONG., 2D SESS. 30 (1968). CONSEQUENTLY, THE CONGRESS HAS INSERTED THE FOLLOWING PROVISION, APPLICABLE TO THE ENTIRE GOVERNMENT, IN RECENT APPROPRIATION ACTS:

"NO PART OF ANY APPROPRIATION CONTAINED IN THIS OR ANY OTHER ACT, SHALL BE AVAILABLE TO FINANCE INTERDEPARTMENTAL BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, COUNCILS, COMMITTEES, OR SIMILAR GROUPS UNDER SECTION 214 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1946 (31 U.S.C. 691) WHICH DO NOT HAVE PRIOR AND SPECIFIC CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL OF SUCH METHOD OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT."

SECTION 608 OF THE TREASURY, POSTAL SERVICE, AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATION ACT, 1980, PUB. L. NO. 96-74, APPROVED SEPTEMBER 29, 1979, 93 STAT. 559, 575. THIS PROVISION HAS BEEN CONTAINED IN EVERY TREASURY, POSTAL SERVICE, AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATION ACT, BEGINNING IN FISCAL YEAR 1972. PREVIOUSLY, IT HAD APPEARED IN OTHER DIFFERENT APPROPRIATION ACTS, GOING BACK TO FISCAL YEAR 1969 WHEN IT APPEARED IN SEVEN INDIVIDUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS. SEE, E.G., SECTION 302 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1969, PUB. L. NO. 90 425, APPROVED JULY 26, 1968, 82 STAT. 425, 444; SECTION 508 OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1969, PUB. L. NO. 90-463, APPROVED AUGUST 8, 1968, 82 STAT. 639, 653. FOR FISCAL YEAR 1981, THE PROVISION APPEARS AS SECTION 608 OF H.R. 7583, 96TH CONGRESS, THE PROPOSED TREASURY, POSTAL SERVICE, AND GENERAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1981. SINCE H.R. 7583 HAS NOT YET BEEN ENACTED, THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 608 ARE APPLICABLE PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION 101(A) OF THE JOINT RESOLUTION MAKING CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1981, PUB. L. NO. 96-369, APPROVED OCTOBER 1, 1980, 94 STAT. 1351.

WITHOUT COMPLIANCE WITH SECTION 608, APPROPRIATIONS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE USE OF EITHER THE RADIATION POLICY COUNCIL OR THE INTERAGENCY RADIATION RESEARCH COMMITTEE. WE ARE NOT AWARE THAT THE METHOD OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR EITHER HAS RECEIVED CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL. THIS MATTER WAS SPECIFICALLY RAISED DURING THE COURSE OF THE APPROPRIATION HEARINGS FOR FISCAL YEAR 1981 WITH RESPECT TO THE RADIATION POLICY COUNCIL:

"MR. BOLAND. HOW ARE YOU PROPOSING TO FUND THE ACTIVITIES OF THE COUNCIL IN 1980 AND IN 1981?

"MR. HAWKINS. UNTIL THERE IS A SEPARATE APPROPRIATION DEVELOPED AND REQUESTED BY THE AGENCY, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO AWAIT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ACTIVITIES OF THE COUNCIL. WHAT EPA INTENDS TO DO IN THE INTERIM IS TO CONTINUE THE KIND OF INTERAGENCY COORDINATION THAT OUR STAFF HAS ATTEMPTED TO UNDERTAKE IN THE PAST.

"MR. BOLAND. DOESN'T THIS COUNCIL HAVE TO BE AUTHORIZED IN ORDER TO RECEIVE APPROPRIATED FUNDS?

"MR. HAWKINS. I BELIEVE OUR GENERAL COUNSEL HAS ADVISED US THAT AN AUTHORIZATION WOULD BE REQUIRED."

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT - INDEPENDENT AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS FOR 1981, HEARINGS BEFORE A SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE, 96TH CONG., 2D SESS., PT. 6, AT 294 (1980). IN LIGHT OF THESE CONCERNS, THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE IN ITS REPORT REGARDING FUNDING OF THE RADIATION POLICY COUNCIL BY THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY:

"THE PRESIDENT ESTABLISHED A RADIATION POLICY COUNCIL BY EXECUTIVE ORDER DATED FEBRUARY 21, 1980. THE ORDER STATED THAT THE EPA SHOULD PROVIDE STAFF, FUNDS AND OTHER SUPPORT TO THE COUNCIL TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. THE TREASURY, POSTAL SERVICE AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATION ACT HAS INCLUDED A PROVISION FOR SEVERAL YEARS WHICH PROHIBITS ANY APPROPRIATION FROM BEING USED TO FINANCE INTERDEPARTMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS WITHOUT PRIOR AND SPECIFIC CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL. THE RADIATION POLICY COUNCIL DOES NOT HAVE SPECIFIC CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL TO BE FINANCED BY OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. THEREFORE, THE COMMITTEE DIRECTS THAT THE EPA PROVIDE NO FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO THE COUNCIL UNLESS SPECIFIC CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL IS OBTAINED."

H.R. REP. NO. 96-1114, 96TH CONG., 2D SESS. 22 (1980).

WE DO NOT HAVE A SPECIFIC INDICATION OF CONGRESSIONAL CONSIDERATION AND INTENT WITH RESPECT TO THE INTERAGENCY RADIATION RESEARCH COMMITTEE. HOWEVER, APPROPRIATION HEARINGS FOR FISCAL YEAR 1981 COVERING THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, INCLUDING THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, WERE HELD IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 1980. THE INTERAGENCY RADIATION RESEARCH COMMITTEE WAS ESTABLISHED SUBSEQUENT TO THAT TIME, ALTHOUGH THE PRESIDENT'S MEMORANDUM DIRECTING ITS CREATION WAS DATED FEBRUARY 21, 1980.

ACCORDINGLY, WE DO NOT THINK THAT THE METHOD OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR EITHER THE RADIATION POLICY COUNCIL OR THE INTERAGENCY RADIATION RESEARCH COMMITTEE HAS RECEIVED CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL. UNLESS AND UNTIL CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL IS OBTAINED, APPROPRIATED FUNDS MAY NOT LEGALLY BE OBLIGATED OR EXPENDED ON BEHALF OF EITHER.

NEVERTHELESS, IT IS DESIRABLE THAT BOTH THE RADIATION POLICY COUNCIL AND THE INTERAGENCY RADIATION RESEARCH COMMITTEE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO RESPOND TO OUR FUNDING CONCERNS BEFORE WE REACH A FINAL DECISION. AT THE SAME TIME, WE DO NOT WANT TO HOLD UP THE ISSUANCE OF YOUR REPORT AWAITING THEIR RESPONSES OR TO RISK IMPLICIT APPROVAL OF THESE INTERAGENCY COMMITTEES BY NOT RAISING OUR CONCERNS IN YOUR REPORT. CONSEQUENTLY, WE SUGGEST CONSIDERATION OF THESE CONCERNS BY OUR OFFICE, SEPARATE AND APART FROM YOUR REPORT, COUPLED WITH MINIMAL CHANGES TO THE REPORT TO PLACE READERS ON NOTICE OF GAO'S CONCERN.

THE POSITION TAKEN IN THIS MEMORANDUM IS NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THE EXPRESS POLICIES AND PAST ACTIONS OF YOUR DIVISION, OR WITH YOUR OBJECTIVES IN THE REPORT. IN THE PAST, GAO HAS SUPPORTED THE CREATION OF BOTH A RADIATION POLICY COUNCIL AND A RADIATION RESEARCH COMMITTEE, BUT HAS ALSO RECOMMENDED THAT THEY BE STATUTORY. STATEMENT OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL, DECEMBER 4, 1979, BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON ENERGY, NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION, AND FEDERAL SERVICES, SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS, ON S. 1938, 96TH CONGRESS; B-196841, FEBRUARY 20, 1980 (COMMENTS ON S. 1938, 96TH CONGRESS, TO THE CHAIRMAN, SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS); AND B-198243, MAY 28, 1980 (COMMENTS ON H.R. 6745, 96TH CONGRESS, TO THE CHAIRMAN, HOUSE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS). AS YOU KNOW, S. 1938, 96TH CONGRESS, HAS JUST RECENTLY BEEN REPORTED FAVORABLY BY THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS, WHICH STRONGLY SUPPORTS LEGISLATIVE ACTION, DESPITE SOME APPARENT RESISTANCE FROM THE ADMINISTRATION. S. REP. NO. 96-925, 96TH CONG., 2D SESS. 11-14 (1980).

COPIES OF THE LETTERS OF INQUIRY WE ARE SENDING TO THE CHAIRMEN OF THE RADIATION POLICY COUNCIL AND THE INTERAGENCY RADIATION RESEARCH COMMITTEE ARE ATTACHED.