B-60978, OCTOBER 30, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 281

B-60978: Oct 30, 1946

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" IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING THAT THE EXPENSES WERE NECESSARY TO ENABLE THE COMMISSION TO CARRY OUT ITS DUTIES. 1946: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 23. AS FOLLOWS: ATTACHED HERETO IS A VOUCHER FOR $261.00. ALSO ATTACHED IS A CERTIFIED TRUE COPY OF A PORTION OF THE OFFICIAL MINUTES OF THE PHILIPPINE WAR DAMAGE COMMISSION AUTHORIZING THE EXPENDITURE OF NOT MORE THAN $500 FOR OFFICIAL ENTERTAINMENT. YOUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE PAYMENT OF THIS CLAIM IS A PROPERLY CHARGEABLE ONE TO THESE FUNDS WILL BE APPRECIATED. WHICH EXPENSE IS DESCRIBED ON SAID VOUCHER AS COVERING " INCIDENTAL EXPENSES ( OFFICIAL ENTERTAINMENT).'. SUCH EXPENSES PRESUMABLY WERE INCURRED BY MR. THE PORTION OF THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SAID COMMISSION AT WHICH THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES WAS AUTHORIZED.

B-60978, OCTOBER 30, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 281

ENTERTAINMENT EXPENSES - PHILIPPINE WAR DAMAGE COMMISSION THE PROVISION OF SECTION 101 (A) OF THE PHILIPPINE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1946 FOR PAYMENT OF ,NECESSARY TRAVELING AND OTHER EXPENSES" OF MEMBERS OF THE PHILIPPINE WAR DAMAGE COMMISSION WITHOUT REGARD TO EXISTING STATUTORY LIMITATION MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES OF OFFICIAL ENTERTAINING IN THE PHILIPPINES; NOR MAY SUCH EXPENSES BE CHARGED TO THE COMMISSION'S FUNDS ON THE BASIS OF THE AUTHORITY OF SECTION 101 (B) OF SAID ACT TO "MAKE SUCH EXPENDITURES, AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT ITS FUNCTIONS," IN THE ABSENCE OF A SHOWING THAT THE EXPENSES WERE NECESSARY TO ENABLE THE COMMISSION TO CARRY OUT ITS DUTIES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE CHAIRMAN, PHILIPPINE WAR DAMAGE COMMISSION, OCTOBER 30, 1946:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 23, 1946, AS FOLLOWS:

ATTACHED HERETO IS A VOUCHER FOR $261.00, THE AMOUNT EXPENDED BY COMMISSIONER JOHN S. YOUNG WHILE IN THE PHILIPPINES BETWEEN JUNE 28 AND AUGUST 8, 1946, FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT OF DISTINGUISHED GUESTS. ALSO ATTACHED IS A CERTIFIED TRUE COPY OF A PORTION OF THE OFFICIAL MINUTES OF THE PHILIPPINE WAR DAMAGE COMMISSION AUTHORIZING THE EXPENDITURE OF NOT MORE THAN $500 FOR OFFICIAL ENTERTAINMENT.

IN VIEW OF THE ABSENCE OF A SPECIFIC PROVISION IN PUBLIC LAW 521, 79TH CONGRESS, APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR THE USE OF THIS COMMISSION IN THE ENTERTAINING OF DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, YOUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE PAYMENT OF THIS CLAIM IS A PROPERLY CHARGEABLE ONE TO THESE FUNDS WILL BE APPRECIATED.

THE VOUCHER SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER PROPOSES REIMBURSEMENT TO COMMISSIONER YOUNG OF THE AMOUNT STATED THEREON AS AN EXPENSE INCIDENT TO OFFICIAL TRAVEL PERFORMED BY HIM DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 28 TO AUGUST 8, 1946, WHICH EXPENSE IS DESCRIBED ON SAID VOUCHER AS COVERING " INCIDENTAL EXPENSES ( OFFICIAL ENTERTAINMENT).' EXAMINATION OF THE RECEIPTS SUPPORTING SAID VOUCHER SHOWS THAT THE AMOUNT CLAIMED CONSTITUTES THE COST OF A LUNCHEON GIVEN BY MR. YOUNG ON JULY 13, 1946, AND OF DINNERS GIVEN BY HIM ON JULY 23 AND 30, 1946--- ALL AT MANILA, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. SUCH EXPENSES PRESUMABLY WERE INCURRED BY MR. YOUNG PURSUANT TO AUTHORITY GRANTED BY THE PHILIPPINE WAR DAMAGE COMMISSION. THE PORTION OF THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SAID COMMISSION AT WHICH THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES WAS AUTHORIZED, IS AS FOLLOWS:

THE COMMISSION AUTHORIZED THE EXPENDITURE OF NOT TO EXCEED $500 FOR OFFICIAL ENTERTAINING BY THE COMMISSION DURING THEIR TEMPORARY STAY IN THE PHILIPPINES BEGINNING JULY 3, 1946.

HOWEVER, THE BASIS FOR SUCH ACTION BY THE COMMISSION IS NOT SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTER NOR OTHERWISE SHOWN IN THE RECORD.

THE THIRD DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, 1946, PUBLIC LAW 521, APPROVED JULY 23, 1946, 60 STAT. 613, APPROPRIATES FUNDS TO THE PHILIPPINE WAR DAMAGE COMMISSION FOR CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF TITLE I OF THE PHILIPPINE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 128, INCLUDING NOT TO EXCEED $800,000 "FOR ALL NECESSARY EXPENSES OF THE WAR DAMAGE COMMISSION.' HOWEVER, AS STATED IN YOUR LETTER, THE APPROPRIATION ACT CONTAINS NO SPECIFIC AUTHORITY FOR THE USE OF FUNDS FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT OF DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, AND NO PROVISION FOR ENTERTAINMENT IS MADE IN THE PHILIPPINE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1946, PUBLIC LAW 370, APPROVED APRIL 30, 1946. MOREOVER, WHILE TITLE I, SECTION 101 (A), OF THE LATTER ACT, 60 STAT. 128, PROVIDES THAT " MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION SHALL RECEIVE THEIR NECESSARY TRAVELING AND OTHER EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH THEIR DUTIES AS SUCH MEMBER, OR A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IN LIEU THEREOF, TO BE FIXED BY THE COMMISSION WITHOUT REGARD TO THE LIMITATION PRESCRIBED IN ANY EXISTING LAW," I FIND NOTHING IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE STATUTE INDICATING THAT SUCH PROVISION WAS INTENDED TO GRANT TO THE COMMISSION AUTHORITY TO EXPEND ANY MONEYS FOR "OFFICIAL ENTERTAINING" WHILE THEY MAY BE IN THE PHILIPPINES. ON THE CONTRARY, AT THE TIME THE AFORESAID PROVISION WAS BEING DISCUSSED AT THE HEARINGS ON THE BILL S. 1610, BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON INSULAR AFFAIRS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, IT APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN THE UNDERSTANDING OF ALL CONCERNED THAT THE PROVISION IN QUESTION WAS DESIGNED ONLY TO AUTHORIZE THE REIMBURSEMENT OF LIVING EXPENSES OF THE COMMISSIONERS WHILE THEY WERE IN THE PHILIPPINES WITHOUT REGARD TO ANY LIMITATIONS ON ALLOWANCES THEREFOR THAT MAY BE IN ANY EXISTING LAWS. THIS CONNECTION, IT IS NOTED THAT MR. PAUL MCNUTT, AS HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, TESTIFYING BEFORE THE HOUSE COMMITTEE, OFFERED AS AN AMENDMENT TO THE BILL, S. 1610, AS IT HAD PASSED THE SENATE THE LANGUAGE WHICH NOW APPEARS IN THE ABOVE-QUOTED PORTION OF SECTION 101 (A) FOLLOWING THE WORD "THEREOF," AND STATED:

THE AMENDMENT HERE PROPOSED IS TO CHANGE THE PERIOD AFTER THE WORD "THEREOF" IN LINE 12, PAGE 2, OF S. 1610, AND INSERT THE FOLLOWING:

"TO BE FIXED BY THE COMMISSION WITHOUT REGARD TO THE LIMITATION PRESCRIBED IN ANY EXISTING W.'

THE COMMENT IS THAT THIS AMENDMENT PERMITS THE COMMISSION TO FIX ADEQUATE REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES IN LINE WITH EXISTING CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE PHILIPPINES, IRRESPECTIVE OF ANY LIMITATIONS IN EXISTING LAW. COSTS OF LIVING AND OTHER NECESSARY EXPENSES OF THE MEMBERS ARE SUCH THAT PRESENT PER DIEM ALLOWANCES WILL BE WHOLLY INADEQUATE AND THIS WILL RESULT IN THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION HAVING TO PERSONALLY PAY PART OF THEIR EXPENSES. THEY SHOULD NEITHER BE REQUIRED NOR EXPECTED TO DO THAT.

ACCORDINGLY, I AM CONSTRAINED TO HOLD THAT THE REFERRED-TO LANGUAGE IN SECTION 101 (A) OF TITLE I OF THE PHILIPPINE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1946 DOES NOT AUTHORIZE THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS BY THE PHILIPPINE WAR DAMAGE COMMISSION FOR OFFICIAL ENTERTAINING. SEE 5 COMP. GEN. 455.

FURTHERMORE, WHILE SECTION 101 (B) OF THE PHILIPPINE REHABILITATION ACT, 60 STAT. 128, PROVIDES THAT "THE COMMISSION * * * MAY MAKE SUCH EXPENDITURES, AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT ITS FUNCTIONS," THERE IS NOTHING OF RECORD TO SHOW THAT THE EXPENSES INCURRED IN GIVING THE LUNCHEON AND DINNERS HERE INVOLVED WERE NECESSARY IN ORDER TO ENABLE THE COMMISSION TO CARRY OUT ITS DUTIES. CONSEQUENTLY, IT MUST BE HELD THAT SECTION 101 (B) OF THE BASIC ACT AFFORDS NO AUTHORITY FOR CHARGING THE COST OF THE ENTERTAINMENT IN QUESTION TO FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE COMMISSION BY THE THIRD DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, 1946, PUBLIC LAW 521, SUPRA.

THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND YOU ARE ADVISED THAT PAYMENT THEREON IS NOT AUTHORIZED.