B-37929, NOVEMBER 17, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 370

B-37929: Nov 17, 1943

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WAS ENTERED INTO DURING ONE FISCAL YEAR. THE ENTIRE CONTRACT PRICE SHOULD BE CHARGED TO THE FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION CURRENT AT THE TIME THE CONTRACT WAS MADE. AS FOLLOWS: ENCLOSED IS FORM 1034 VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MRS. THE PROJECT MANAGER STATES THAT TWO THIRDS OF THE WORK WAS PERFORMED DURING FY 1943 AND THAT ONE THIRD WAS PERFORMED DURING FY 1944. HE WAS PRESENTED THE VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT CHARGING $928.00 TO FY 1943 FUNDS AND $464.00 FROM FY 1944 FUNDS. IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT THE GENERAL RULE IS TO CHARGE THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR IN WHICH THE LIABILITY WAS INCURRED. I SHALL APPRECIATE YOUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE VOUCHER IS A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST FUNDS OF BOTH FISCAL YEARS AS INDICATED ON THE VOUCHER.

B-37929, NOVEMBER 17, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 370

APPROPRIATIONS - FISCAL YEAR CHARGEABLE - CONTRACT SERVICES COVERING A PART OF TWO FISCAL YEARS WHERE A CONTRACT FOR THE CULTIVATION AND PROTECTION OF A SPECIFIED NUMBER OF ACRES OF RUBBER-BEARING PLANTS AT A DEFINITE PRICE PER ACRE, PAYABLE UPON COMPLETION OF THE SERVICES, WAS ENTERED INTO DURING ONE FISCAL YEAR, AND THE SERVICES RENDERED THEREUNDER NECESSARILY COVERED THE CROP YEAR WHICH EXTENDED INTO THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR, THE ENTIRE CONTRACT PRICE SHOULD BE CHARGED TO THE FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION CURRENT AT THE TIME THE CONTRACT WAS MADE, RATHER THAN DIVIDED BETWEEN THE TWO FISCAL YEARS INVOLVED ON THE BASIS OF THE SERVICES ACTUALLY PERFORMED DURING EACH FISCAL YEAR.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO H. B. HERMS, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, NOVEMBER 17, 1943:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 14, 1943, AS FOLLOWS:

ENCLOSED IS FORM 1034 VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MRS. FRANCES MCELMURREY CATES, WAYNESBORO, GEORGIA, IN AMOUNT OF $1,392.00 FOR CULTIVATION OF 46.4 ACRES OF GOLDENROD PLANTINGS AT $30.00 PER ACRE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 3, SECTION 2 OF CONTRACT, A8FS-4435, DATED MARCH 30, 1943.

THIS VOUCHER HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO ME FOR SIGNATURE AS AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER.

I AM UNCERTAIN AS TO LEGALITY OF PAYING THE VOUCHER PARTLY FROM FY 1943 FUNDS AND PARTLY FROM FY 1944 FUNDS. THE PROJECT MANAGER STATES THAT TWO THIRDS OF THE WORK WAS PERFORMED DURING FY 1943 AND THAT ONE THIRD WAS PERFORMED DURING FY 1944, THEREFORE, HE WAS PRESENTED THE VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT CHARGING $928.00 TO FY 1943 FUNDS AND $464.00 FROM FY 1944 FUNDS.

IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT THE GENERAL RULE IS TO CHARGE THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR IN WHICH THE LIABILITY WAS INCURRED. THE OTHER HAND, CULTIVATION OF A GROWING CROP OBVIOUSLY MUST BE DONE AT VARIOUS TIMES DURING THE GROWING SEASON AND CANNOT BE DELIVERED IN COMPLETE FORM LIKE SUPPLIES.

BEFORE CERTIFYING THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT, I SHALL APPRECIATE YOUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE VOUCHER IS A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST FUNDS OF BOTH FISCAL YEARS AS INDICATED ON THE VOUCHER.

THE CONTRACT HERE INVOLVED WAS ENTERED INTO PURSUANT TO AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN PUBLIC LAW 473, APPROVED MARCH 5, 1942, 56 STAT. 126, ENTITLED," AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE PLANTING OF GUAYULE AND OTHER RUBBER- BEARING PLANTS AND TO MAKE AVAILABLE A SOURCE OF CRUDE RUBBER FOR EMERGENCY AND DEFENSE USES.' THE APPROPRIATION TO BE CHARGED WITH THE COST OF THE SERVICES COVERED BY THE CONTRACT WAS NOT INDICATED OR DESIGNATED IN THE CONTRACT BUT THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED FOR PAYMENT UNDER THE CONTRACT PROPOSES PAYMENT UNDER TWO APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR CARRYING OUT THE PURPOSES OF THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1942, ONE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1943, THE OTHER FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1944, THE AMOUNT CHARGEABLE UNDER EACH BEING BASED UPON AN ESTIMATE THAT TWO THIRDS OF THE WORK WAS PERFORMED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1943, AND ONE THIRD DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1944.

THE CONTRACT WAS ENTERED INTO MARCH 30, 1943--- IN THE FISCAL YEAR 1943-- - AND PROVIDES FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF TWO SEPARATE OPERATIONS BY THE CONTRACTOR, NAMELY (1) GROUND PREPARATION, AND (2) CULTIVATION AND PROTECTION OF A CROP, AND PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT OF A PRICE CERTAIN FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF EACH OPERATION. THERE IS NO QUESTION RAISED IN RESPECT OF OPERATION (1) AS THE VOUCHER COVERS THE SERVICES PROVIDED FOR UNDER OPERATION (2).

THE SERVICES CONTRACTED FOR UNDER OPERATION (2) WERE TO BE PERFORMED DURING THE 1943 CROP YEAR--- IN THE INSTANT CASE, EXTENDING FROM (AS INDICATED BY THE STATEMENT DATED OCTOBER 1, 1943, FROM THE PROJECT MANAGER, ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER) APRIL 15 TO AUGUST 5, 1943--- AND, THEREFORE, OF NECESSITY, COVERED A PORTION OF TWO FISCAL YEARS. THE FACT THAT A CONTRACT COVERS A PART OF TWO FISCAL YEARS DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN THAT PAYMENTS THEREUNDER ARE FOR SPLITTING BETWEEN THE TWO FISCAL YEARS INVOLVED UPON THE BASIS OF SERVICES ACTUALLY PERFORMED DURING EACH FISCAL YEAR. IN FACT, THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT THE FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION CURRENT AT THE TIME THE CONTRACT IS MADE IS CHARGEABLE WITH PAYMENTS UNDER THE CONTRACT, ALTHOUGH PERFORMANCE THEREUNDER MAY EXTEND INTO THE ENSUING FISCAL YEAR. 18 COMP. GEN. 363; 22 ID. 156.

IT IS TRUE, OF COURSE, THAT UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS, SUCH AS WHERE A CONTRACT CALLS FOR PERFORMANCE OF PURELY PERSONAL SERVICES WITH COMPENSATION THEREFOR FIXED IN PROPORTION TO THE AMOUNT OF WORK PERFORMED, THE FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION PROPERLY FOR CHARGING IS THAT CURRENT AT THE TIME THE PERSONAL SERVICES ARE RENDERED. 10 COMP. DEC. 285. SUCH A CONTRACT IS TERMED SEVERABLE AS DISTINGUISHED FROM ENTIRE. SEE 17 CORPUS JURIS 786. HOWEVER, THAT IS NOT THE SITUATION HERE. THE INSTANT CONTRACT PROVIDES--- IN ADDITION TO THE "GROUND PREPARATION"--- FOR THE CULTIVATION OF CERTAIN ACREAGE FOR A DEFINITE PRICE PER ACRE, PAYMENT TO BE MADE UPON THE COMPLETION THEREOF. THUS, THERE IS INVOLVED ONE UNDERTAKING, WHICH ALTHOUGH EXTENDING OVER A PART OF TWO FISCAL YEARS, NEVERTHELESS WAS DETERMINABLE BOTH AS TO THE SERVICES NEEDED AND THE PRICE TO BE PAID THEREFOR AT THE TIME THE CONTRACT WAS ENTERED INTO. SUCH BEING THE CASE, THE FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION CURRENT AT THE TIME THE CONTRACT WAS MADE WAS OBLIGATED FOR PAYMENTS TO BE MADE THEREUNDER. ACCORDINGLY, THE ENTIRE PAYMENT COVERED BY THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED IS CHARGEABLE TO THE APPLICABLE 1943 FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION AND IS NOT FOR SPLITTING AS STATED ON THE VOUCHER.