B-29948, NOVEMBER 7, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 460

B-29948: Nov 7, 1942

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

APPROPRIATIONS - AVAILABILITY - EMPLOYEE'S EXPENSES OF QUALIFYING FOR ADMISSION TO BAR OF COURT INCIDENT TO GOVERNMENT LITIGATION IT IS THE DUTY OF AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES TO QUALIFY HIMSELF FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES. 1942: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 29. THERE IS RESPECTFULLY PRESENTED FOR YOUR DECISION A VOUCHER REPRESENTING A CLAIM BY MR. THIS SUM WAS PAID BY MR. IN VIEW OF THE LEGAL ASPECTS OF THIS CASE YOUR OPINION IS REQUESTED AS TO MY AUTHORITY TO CERTIFY THIS CLAIM FOR PAYMENT. IT HAS BEEN THE CONSISTENT HOLDING OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES THAT AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT HAS UPON HIS OWN SHOULDERS THE DUTY OF QUALIFYING HIMSELF FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES AND THAT IF A PERSONAL LICENSE IS NECESSARY TO RENDER HIM COMPETENT THEREFOR.

B-29948, NOVEMBER 7, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 460

APPROPRIATIONS - AVAILABILITY - EMPLOYEE'S EXPENSES OF QUALIFYING FOR ADMISSION TO BAR OF COURT INCIDENT TO GOVERNMENT LITIGATION IT IS THE DUTY OF AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES TO QUALIFY HIMSELF FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES, AND, THEREFORE, IN THE ABSENCE OF A PROVISION IN THE APPLICABLE APPROPRIATION EVIDENCING A CONTRARY INTENT, NECESSARY EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE ADMISSION OF A FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION ATTORNEY TO THE BAR OF A UNITED STATES CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS, FOR THE PURPOSE OF APPEARING IN BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT IN A PENDING CASE, MUST BE REGARDED AS A PERSONAL OBLIGATION OF THE ATTORNEY NOT CHARGEABLE TO APPROPRIATED FUNDS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO A. N. ROSS, FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, NOVEMBER 7, 1942:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 29, 1942, AS FOLLOWS:

ACTING UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE ACT "TO FIX THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF DISBURSING AND CERTIFYING OFFICERS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," APPROVED DECEMBER 29, 1941, 55 STAT. 875, SECTION 3, EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 1942, THERE IS RESPECTFULLY PRESENTED FOR YOUR DECISION A VOUCHER REPRESENTING A CLAIM BY MR. JOSEPH J. SMITH, JR., AN ASSISTANT CHIEF COUNSEL OF THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, FOR REIMBURSEMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF$10.00.

THIS SUM WAS PAID BY MR. SMITH ON ORDER OF THE UNITED STATES CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT, AT DENVER, COLORADO, AS A LIBRARY FEE FOR ADMISSION TO THE COURT'S BAR, A REQUIREMENT OF THE COURT BEFORE RECOGNIZING MR. SMITH'S APPEARANCE TO REPRESENT THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION IN A CASE WHICH HAD BEEN FILED AGAINST IT, NOTWITHSTANDING HIS MEMBERSHIP IN THE BAR OF THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT AND OF OTHER COURTS.

IN VIEW OF THE LEGAL ASPECTS OF THIS CASE YOUR OPINION IS REQUESTED AS TO MY AUTHORITY TO CERTIFY THIS CLAIM FOR PAYMENT.

IT HAS BEEN THE CONSISTENT HOLDING OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES THAT AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT HAS UPON HIS OWN SHOULDERS THE DUTY OF QUALIFYING HIMSELF FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES AND THAT IF A PERSONAL LICENSE IS NECESSARY TO RENDER HIM COMPETENT THEREFOR, HE MUST PROCURE IT AT HIS OWN EXPENSE. SEE 23 COMP. DEC. 386; 21 COMP. GEN. 769, AND CASES CITED THEREIN. HENCE, THE CONCLUSION IS REQUIRED THAT THE MATTER OF THE ADMISSION OF THE PRESENT CLAIMANT TO THE BAR OF THE UNITED STATES CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT, EVEN THOUGH HE APPLIED FOR ADMISSION FOR THE PURPOSE OF APPEARING IN BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT IN A CASE THEN PENDING IN SAID COURT, WAS PERSONAL TO THE CLAIMANT AS AN INCIDENT TO QUALIFYING HIMSELF FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES WITH RESPECT TO SUCH CASE AND THAT THE PAYMENT BY HIM OF THE FEE REQUIRED BY THE COURT IN THAT CONNECTION MUST BE REGARDED AS THE DISCHARGE OF A PERSONAL OBLIGATION ON THE PART OF THE CLAIMANT AND NOT OF ANY OBLIGATION OF THE UNITED STATES.

MOREOVER, AN EXAMINATION OF THE TERMS OF THE ACT APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR THE NECESSARY EXPENSES OF THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION DURING THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR (56 STAT. 405) FAILS TO DISCLOSE ANY PROVISION EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF A CLAIM OF THE TYPE HERE INVOLVED AND THERE IS NOTHING APPEARING EITHER IN THE ACT OR ITS LEGISLATIVE HISTORY EVIDENCING ANY INTENTION ON THE PART OF THE CONGRESS THAT THE APPROPRIATED MONEYS SHOULD BE AVAILABLE FOR SUCH A PURPOSE.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, IT MUST BE HELD THAT YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO CERTIFY THE INSTANT VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT.