B-4507, JUNE 24, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 978

B-4507: Jun 24, 1939

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- IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENTS FOR RECORDING OR BROADCASTING. THAT SUCH DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION IS ESSENTIAL TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES AND FUNCTION CONFERRED BY STATUTE UPON THE HEAD OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION. 1939: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 23. AS FOLLOWS: THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY COUNCIL IS UNDERTAKING A PROGRAM OF RADIO DISCUSSIONS REGARDING THE FUNCTIONS AND ACTIVITIES OF THE SEVERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HAVING HERETOFORE CONFINED THE PROGRAM TO DISCUSSIONS WITH MEMBERS OF THE CABINET. IT IS NOW PROPOSED TO EXTEND THIS PROGRAM TO INCLUDE THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION AND OTHER INDEPENDENT AGENCIES. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY COUNCIL INTERROGATES THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY AND A TRANSCRIPTION IS MADE OF THE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS CONSTITUTING THE MASTER RECORD.

B-4507, JUNE 24, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 978

APPROPRIATIONS - AVAILABILITY - RADIO BROADCASTING, ETC., OF ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTIONS AND ACTIVITIES THE APPROPRIATION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION--- ACT OF MAY 23, 1938, 52 STAT. 428--- IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENTS FOR RECORDING OR BROADCASTING, OR THE PURCHASE OF RECORDS FOR BROADCASTING, INFORMATION REGARDING THE FUNCTIONS AND ACTIVITIES OF THE SAID AGENCY, THERE HAVING BEEN GIVEN NO SPECIFIC LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY FOR SUCH PAYMENTS, NOR ANY SHOWING ADMINISTRATIVELY MADE, OR OTHERWISE APPARENT, THAT SUCH DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION IS ESSENTIAL TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES AND FUNCTION CONFERRED BY STATUTE UPON THE HEAD OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS, JUNE 24, 1939:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 23, 1939, AS FOLLOWS:

THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY COUNCIL IS UNDERTAKING A PROGRAM OF RADIO DISCUSSIONS REGARDING THE FUNCTIONS AND ACTIVITIES OF THE SEVERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HAVING HERETOFORE CONFINED THE PROGRAM TO DISCUSSIONS WITH MEMBERS OF THE CABINET. IT IS NOW PROPOSED TO EXTEND THIS PROGRAM TO INCLUDE THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION AND OTHER INDEPENDENT AGENCIES.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY COUNCIL INTERROGATES THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY AND A TRANSCRIPTION IS MADE OF THE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS CONSTITUTING THE MASTER RECORD, THE COST OF WHICH UNDER THE PRESENT CONTRACT HELD BY THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION IS $35.00. ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY PRESSINGS ARE MADE OF EACH RECORD AT A COST OF $1.08 EACH. THESE IN TURN ARE DISTRIBUTED THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY AND PRESENTED THROUGH THE MANY RADIO STATIONS AT AN AGREED-UPON HOUR AND ARE INTENDED FOR THE INFORMATION OF THE PUBLIC REGARDING THE ACTIVITIES OF THE GOVERNMENT. AFTER THE INITIAL BROADCAST THE RECORDS ARE AVAILABLE TO THE VARIOUS GOVERNMENT AGENCIES FOR THEIR USE.

THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY COUNCIL DOES NOT HAVE THE FUNDS TO PAY FOR THE TRANSCRIPTION AND THE NECESSARY RECORDS FOR THE SEVERAL RADIO STATIONS AND LOOKS TO THE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT AGENCIES TO MEET THE COST OF THE TRANSCRIPTION AND THE PRESSINGS, THE EXPENSE APPROXIMATING $200.00.

YOUR ADVICE IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE APPROPRIATION GRANTED TO THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE PURPOSES IS AVAILABLE FOR THE ABOVE DESCRIBED EXPENSE. AS THE PRESENT CONTRACT EXPIRES ON JUNE 30, 1939, AND SINCE IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT IF A NEW CONTRACT IS ENTERED INTO FOR THIS PURPOSE THE EXPENSE WILL BE HIGHER, A PROMPT DECISION WILL BE APPRECIATED.

SECTION 3678, REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES THAT ALL SUMS APPROPRIATED FOR THE VARIOUS BRANCHES OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE SHALL BE APPLIED SOLELY TO THE OBJECTS FOR WHICH THEY ARE RESPECTIVELY MADE AND FOR NO OTHERS.

THE APPROPRIATION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION, ACT OF MAY 23, 1938, 52 STAT. 428, PROVIDES:

ADMINISTRATION, MEDICAL, HOSPITAL, AND DOMICILIARY SERVICES: FOR ALL SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION, INCLUDING THE EXPENSES OF MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF MEDICAL, HOSPITAL, AND DOMICILIARY SERVICES OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION, IN CARRYING OUT THE DUTIES, POWERS, AND FUNCTIONS DEVOLVING UPON IT PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE ACT ENTITLED ,AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE PRESIDENT TO CONSOLIDATE AND COORDINATE GOVERNMENTAL ACTIVITIES AFFECTING WAR VETERANS," APPROVED JULY 3, 1930 (38 U.S.C. 11-11F), AND ANY AND ALL LAWS FOR WHICH THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION IS NOW OR MAY HEREAFTER BE CHARGED WITH ADMINISTERING, $93,000,000: * * *.

THE ABOVE-QUOTED LANGUAGE IS FOLLOWED BY SPECIFIC AUTHORITY TO EXPEND PORTIONS OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR ITEMS THEREIN NAMED BUT I DO NOT FIND ANY SPECIFIC AUTHORITY FOR THE RECORDING, BROADCASTING, OR PURCHASE OF RECORDS FOR BROADCASTING PURPOSES, OR FOR THE DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION BY ANY MEANS. IN SOME INSTANCES EXPENSES OF THIS CHARACTER HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED WHERE THE FUNCTIONS OR DUTIES VESTED BY LAW IN THE DEPARTMENT, BUREAU, OR AGENCY, EITHER SPECIFICALLY OR BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION, REQUIRE OR AUTHORIZE THE DISSEMINATION TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC OF INFORMATION OF THE CHARACTER TO BE BROADCAST. A-82749, JANUARY 7, 1937. HOWEVER, YOUR SUBMISSION DOES NOT STATE--- AND IT IS NOT OTHERWISE APPARENT TO THIS OFFICE--- THAT THERE IS ANY FUNCTION VESTED IN THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION REQUIRING THE BROADCASTING OR DISSEMINATION TO THE PUBLIC GENERALLY OF INFORMATION REGARDING ITS OFFICIAL DUTIES OR ACTIVITIES. ACCORDINGLY, UNLESS IT CAN BE ESTABLISHED THAT THE RECORDING AND BROADCASTING OF THE INFORMATION TO BE CONTAINED UPON SUCH RECORDS ARE ESSENTIAL TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS CONFERRED UPON YOU BY STATUTE AS THE HEAD OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION, IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE APPROPRIATION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES OF THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION IS NOT AVAILABLE THEREFOR.