B-5952, SEPTEMBER 26, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 400

B-5952: Sep 26, 1939

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

THE SAID ACTION WILL BE RECOGNIZED AS AUTHORIZING THE GOVERNOR OF THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION TO SIGN "BY DIRECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE" REQUESTS FOR DECISIONS OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. I ALSO ENCLOSE A COPY OF A PRESS RELEASE WHICH WAS ISSUED. I HOPE YOU WILL ASK THE SEVERAL UNITS OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO DEAL DIRECTLY WITH THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION IN THE SAME WAY THAT MATTERS AFFECTING THAT ORGANIZATION WERE HANDLED PRIOR TO JULY 1. I AM SURE YOUR COOPERATION IN THIS WAY WILL EXPEDITE THE HANDLING OF ALL MATTERS BETWEEN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AND THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION. PARTICULARLY SINCE THE BUILDING OCCUPIED BY THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION IS LOCATED AT SOME DISTANCE FROM THE MAIN GROUP OF BUILDINGS OCCUPIED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.

B-5952, SEPTEMBER 26, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 400

FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION - TRANSFER TO AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT - EFFECT OF ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TO RESTORE AUTONOMOUS STATUS SECTION 401 (A) OF REORGANIZATION PLAN NO. 1, TRANSFERRING THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TO BE "ADMINISTERED IN SUCH DEPARTMENT UNDER THE GENERAL DIRECTION AND SUPERVISION OF THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE," BECAME EFFECTIVE AS A LAW ON JULY 1, 1939, BY VIRTUE OF PUBLIC RESOLUTION NO. 20, APPROVED JUNE 7, 1939, 53 STAT. 813, AND CANNOT BE NULLIFIED OR CHANGED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TO RESTORE, BY A TRANSFER OF AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY, THE SAID ADMINISTRATION TO ITS FORMER STATUS AS AN AUTONOMOUS FEDERAL AGENCY, BUT THE SAID ACTION WILL BE RECOGNIZED AS AUTHORIZING THE GOVERNOR OF THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION TO SIGN "BY DIRECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE" REQUESTS FOR DECISIONS OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, THE DECISIONS ON SUCH REQUESTS, HOWEVER, TO BE RENDERED TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF JULY 31, 1894, AS AMENDED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, SEPTEMBER 26, 1939:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 5, 1939, AS FOLLOWS:

I TRANSMIT HEREWITH COPY OF MY MEMORANDUM NO. 823 OF JUNE 3, 1939, DELEGATING TO THE GOVERNOR OF THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION THE POWERS CONFERRED UPON THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WITH RESPECT TO THE FUNCTIONS AND ACTIVITIES, AND THE PERSONNEL, RECORDS, AND PROPERTY OF THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION AND THE FEDERAL FARM MORTGAGE CORPORATION BY SECTION 401, PART 4, OF REORGANIZATION PLAN NO. 1, WHICH BECAME EFFECTIVE ON JULY 1, 1939. I ALSO ENCLOSE A COPY OF A PRESS RELEASE WHICH WAS ISSUED, WITH THE CONCURRENCE OF THE PRESIDENT, TO EXPLAIN THE REASONS FOR THIS ACTION.

IN VIEW OF THIS SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT, I HOPE YOU WILL ASK THE SEVERAL UNITS OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO DEAL DIRECTLY WITH THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION IN THE SAME WAY THAT MATTERS AFFECTING THAT ORGANIZATION WERE HANDLED PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1939. IN ADDITION TO THE ROUTINE ITEMS, THESE MATTERS SHOULD INCLUDE THE FURNISHING OF COPIES OF GENERAL REGULATIONS, AMENDMENTS THERETO, CIRCULARS, AND OTHER INSTRUCTIONS ISSUED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR THE INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE OF THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS.

I AM SURE YOUR COOPERATION IN THIS WAY WILL EXPEDITE THE HANDLING OF ALL MATTERS BETWEEN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AND THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION, PARTICULARLY SINCE THE BUILDING OCCUPIED BY THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION IS LOCATED AT SOME DISTANCE FROM THE MAIN GROUP OF BUILDINGS OCCUPIED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.

IF YOU SHOULD FIND IT NECESSARY, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RULE SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 3, 1939 (B-5157) TO THE FEDERAL WORKS ADMINISTRATOR, TO ADDRESS TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE ANSWERS TO REQUESTS FOR ADVANCE DECISIONS SUBMITTED BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION, WE SHALL OF COURSE SEND THEM PROMPTLY TO THE GOVERNOR.

IT IS PROVIDED IN PART 4, SECTION 401 (A) OF REORGANIZATION PLAN NO. 1, THAT THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION AND ITS FUNCTIONS AND ACTIVITIES, TOGETHER WITH ITS PERSONNEL, RECORDS AND PROPERTY ,ARE HEREBY TRANSFERRED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND SHALL BE ADMINISTERED IN SUCH DEPARTMENT UNDER THE GENERAL DIRECTION AND SUPERVISION OF THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE.' THIS PLAN BECAME EFFECTIVE AS A LAW ON JULY 1, 1939, BY VIRTUE OF PUBLIC RESOLUTION NO. 20, APPROVED JUNE 7, 1939, 53 STAT. 813. CONSEQUENTLY, THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION MUST BE REGARDED AS NO LONGER AN INDEPENDENT AGENCY BUT AS AN AGENCY WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND UNDER THE GENERAL DIRECTION AND SUPERVISION OF THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE.

IT IS STATED IN DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PRESS RELEASE, DATED MAY 22, 1939, WHICH PRECEDED MEMORANDUM NO. 823 REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER (BOTH OF WHICH IT WILL BE NOTED WERE ISSUED PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ABOVE REORGANIZATION PLAN), THAT---

THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION, INCLUDING THE FEDERAL FARM MORTGAGE CORPORATION, WILL NOT BECOME AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. RESPONSIBILITY FOR CARRYING OUT THE MANY FEDERAL STATUTES WHICH FORM THE BASIS FOR SEVERAL TYPES OF FARM CREDIT, FOR FORMATION AND EXECUTION OF OPERATING POLICIES, FOR CONTROL OF FISCAL, PERSONNEL, LEGAL, INFORMATIONAL, AND RELATED AFFAIRS WILL REMAIN WITH THE GOVERNOR OF THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION. IT IS THROUGH SUCH CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES THAT THE HEAD OF AN AGENCY DISCHARGES HIS PUBLIC RESPONSIBILITY. THEREFORE, TO THIS EXTENT THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION WILL BE AN AUTONOMOUS FEDERAL AGENCY AS HERETOFORE.

* * * THE SECRETARY'S RESPONSIBILITY WILL THEREFORE BE THAT HERETOFORE EXERCISED DIRECTLY BY THE PRESIDENT.

WHILE A REASONABLE DELEGATION OF THE POWERS AND DUTIES VESTED IN YOU AS SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE UNDER THE TERMS OF REORGANIZATION PLAN NO. 1 IS, OF COURSE, PERMISSIBLE ( OPS. ATTY. GEN. VOL. 39, OP. NO. 80), THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO AUTHORITY UNDER EXISTING LAW FOR THE EFFECTING OF SUCH A TRANSFER OF AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY AS WOULD AMOUNT TO A RESTORATION OF THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION TO ITS FORMER STATUS AS "AN AUTONOMOUS FEDERAL AGENCY.' IN OTHER WORDS, THE PLAIN TERMS OF SECTION 401 (A) OF REORGANIZATION PLAN NO. 1, NOW HAVING THE FULL FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAW, CANNOT BE NULLIFIED OR CHANGED BY REGULATION OR OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION. CAMPBELL V. GALENO CHEMICAL COMPANY, 281 U.S. 599, 610; MILLER V. UNITED STATES, 294 U.S. 435, 439 40; HARROP V. UNITED STATES, 10 FED. SUPP. 753, 754. THEREFORE, THIS OFFICE CANNOT RECOGNIZE THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION AS AN INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT OR AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT. HOWEVER, YOUR MEMORANDUM NO. 823 OF JUNE 3, 1939, WILL BE CONSIDERED AS AUTHORIZING THE GOVERNOR OF THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION TO SIGN "BY DIRECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE" REQUESTS FOR DECISIONS BY THIS OFFICE CONCERNING MATTERS RELATING TO SAID AGENCY. SUCH REQUESTS WILL, HOWEVER, BE CONSIDERED AS SUBMISSIONS BY YOU AS HEAD OF THE ESTABLISHMENT--- THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE--- OF WHICH THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION IS NOW A PART AND, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF JULY 31, 1894, AS AMENDED (31 U.S.C. 74), THE DECISIONS BASED ON SUCH SUBMISSIONS WILL BE RENDERED TO YOU RATHER THAN TO THE GOVERNOR OF THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION. SEE B-5157 OF AUGUST 3, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 150. SEE ALSO 1 COMP. DEC. 87; ID. 500; 4 COMP. DEC. 332.

WITH REFERENCE TO YOUR REQUEST THAT THIS OFFICE FURNISH DIRECTLY TO THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION "COPIES OF GENERAL REGULATIONS, AMENDMENTS THERETO, CIRCULARS, AND OTHER INSTRUCTIONS ISSUED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR THE INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE OF THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS" YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THERE APPEARS NO OBJECTION TO THIS PROCEDURE, EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF SUCH DOCUMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS AS ARE REQUIRED OR DIRECTED BY LAW TO BE SENT TO THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS, AND SUCH WILL BE THE PRACTICE HEREAFTER.