B-8341, MARCH 4, 1940, 19 COMP. GEN. 774

B-8341: Mar 4, 1940

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WORKING FUND - FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY - NECESSITY FOR SPECIFIC AUTHORITY THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR FINANCING ACTIVITIES WHICH HAVE BEEN CONSOLIDATED INTO THE DIVISION OF INFORMATION. BY ESTABLISHING A WORKING FUND BY MEANS OF ADVANCES FROM THE APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE TO THE CONSTITUENT UNITS OF THE FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY FOR ACTIVITIES SUCH AS HAVE BEEN CONSOLIDATED. (COPIES OF THE ORDERS AND CIRCULAR ARE ATTACHED.). CERTAIN DIFFICULTIES HAVE ARISEN IN HANDLING EXPENDITURES FOR THESE COMMON ACTIVITIES DUE TO THE DIVERSE SOURCES FROM WHICH THE FUNDS ARE OBTAINED. IT IS DESIRED. TO FINANCE SUCH ACTIVITIES BY MEANS OF ADVANCES FROM THE CONSTITUENT UNITS OF THE FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY OF FUNDS WHICH ARE AVAILABLE TO THOSE CONSTITUENT UNITS FOR SUCH ACTIVITIES.

B-8341, MARCH 4, 1940, 19 COMP. GEN. 774

WORKING FUND - FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY - NECESSITY FOR SPECIFIC AUTHORITY THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR FINANCING ACTIVITIES WHICH HAVE BEEN CONSOLIDATED INTO THE DIVISION OF INFORMATION, FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY, BY ESTABLISHING A WORKING FUND BY MEANS OF ADVANCES FROM THE APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE TO THE CONSTITUENT UNITS OF THE FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY FOR ACTIVITIES SUCH AS HAVE BEEN CONSOLIDATED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE FEDERAL WORKS ADMINISTRATOR, MARCH 4, 1940:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN THE MATTER SUBMITTED IN YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 31, 1940, AS OLLOWS:

PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1939 UNDER THE FIRST PLAN ON GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION (PART 3) THE PRESIDENT CONSOLIDATED CERTAIN AGENCIES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INTO AN AGENCY KNOWN AS THE FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY WITH A FEDERAL WORKS ADMINISTRATOR AT THE HEAD THEREOF.

FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY, GENERAL CIRCULAR NO. 2 DATED SEPTEMBER 23, 1939, CONSOLIDATED INTO THE DIVISION OF INFORMATION, FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY, THE PHOTOGRAPHIC LABORATORY OF THE DIVISION OF INFORMATION, PUBLIC WORKS ADMINISTRATION; THE PHOTOGRAPHIC LABORATORY OF THE DIVISION OF INFORMATION, WORK PROJECTS ADMINISTRATION AND THE PHOTOGRAPHERS EMPLOYED BY THE U.S. HOUSING AUTHORITY. FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY, GENERAL ORDER NO. 3 DATED NOVEMBER 17, 1939, CONSOLIDATED INTO THE EXHIBITS SECTION, DIVISION OF INFORMATION, FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY THE EXHIBITS SECTIONS OF THE INFORMATION DIVISIONS OF THE WORK PROJECTS ADMINISTRATION, THE PUBLIC ROADS ADMINISTRATION AND THE UNITED STATES HOUSING AUTHORITY. FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY, GENERAL ORDER NO. 4 DATED DECEMBER 27, 1939, PRESCRIBED THE PROCEDURE FOR OPERATION OF THE CONSOLIDATED PHOTOGRAPHIC AND EXHIBIT ACTIVITIES OF THE CONSTITUENT UNITS OF THE FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY. (COPIES OF THE ORDERS AND CIRCULAR ARE ATTACHED.)

THE RESULT OF THE FOREGOING ORDERS AND CIRCULAR HAS BEEN TO BRING TOGETHER IN ONE LOCATION, UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THAT MEMBER OF THE STAFF OF THE ADMINISTRATOR MOST CLOSELY IDENTIFIED WITH SUCH ACTIVITIES, THOSE PERSONS PERFORMING ACTIVITIES COMMON TO THE CONSTITUENT UNITS OF THE FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY NAMED THEREIN WITHOUT THEIR BECOMING A PART OF THE OFFICE OF THE ADMINISTRATOR. THIS HAS BEEN DONE TO FURTHER EFFECTUATE THE PURPOSES OF THE REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1939. HOWEVER, CERTAIN DIFFICULTIES HAVE ARISEN IN HANDLING EXPENDITURES FOR THESE COMMON ACTIVITIES DUE TO THE DIVERSE SOURCES FROM WHICH THE FUNDS ARE OBTAINED.

IN ORDER TO SIMPLIFY THE HANDLING OF THE ACCOUNTS CONNECTED WITH SUCH PHOTOGRAPHIC AND EXHIBIT ACTIVITIES AND TO SHOW THE COST OF THESE ACTIVITIES IN CONSOLIDATED FORM IN THE BUDGET, IT IS DESIRED, IN THE FUTURE, TO FINANCE SUCH ACTIVITIES BY MEANS OF ADVANCES FROM THE CONSTITUENT UNITS OF THE FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY OF FUNDS WHICH ARE AVAILABLE TO THOSE CONSTITUENT UNITS FOR SUCH ACTIVITIES. THESE ADVANCES WOULD COME FROM THE FOLLOWING ACCOUNTS:

1. FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY, SALARIES AND EXPENSES, OFFICE OF THE ADMINISTRATOR, 1940.

2. GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES, PUBLIC BUILDINGS ADMINISTRATION, 1940.

3. CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS, PUBLIC BUILDINGS ADMINISTRATION, ACT OF AUGUST 25, 1937.

4. ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES, PUBLIC WORKS ADMINISTRATION, 1940.

5. ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES, UNITED STATES HOUSING AUTHORITY, 1940.

6. EMERGENCY RELIEF, WORK PROJECTS ADMINISTRATION, ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES, 1940.

7. FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAY SYSTEM, PUBLIC ROADS ADMINISTRATION - ADMINISTRATIVE FUNDS.

8. FEDERAL-AID SECONDARY OR FEEDER ROADS, PUBLIC ROADS ADMINISTRATION - ADMINISTRATION.

9. ELIMINATION OF GRADE CROSSINGS, PUBLIC ROADS ADMINISTRATION - ADMINISTRATION.

MAY ADVANCES AND SUPPLEMENTAL ADVANCES, FOR PHOTOGRAPHIC AND EXHIBIT ACTIVITIES, TRANSFERRED FROM THE FOREGOING ACCOUNTS, WHETHER OR NOT TRANSFERRED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 601 OF THE ECONOMY ACT ( PUBLIC, NO. 212, 72D CONGRESS, APPROVED JUNE 30, 1932), BE CONSOLIDATED INTO A SINGLE ACCOUNT TO BE KNOWN AS " WORKING FUND, FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY, DIVISION OF INFORMATION (CURRENT FISCAL YEAR/? "

IF SUCH A CONSOLIDATED ACCOUNT IS ESTABLISHED WOULD ANY UNOBLIGATED BALANCE REMAINING AT THE END OF THE FISCAL YEAR BE DISPOSED OF---

A. BY TRANSFERRING SUCH UNOBLIGATED BALANCE TO THE ACCOUNTS FROM WHICH DERIVED IN THE SAME PROPORTION AS THE ADVANCES AND SUPPLEMENTAL ADVANCES WERE MADE?

B. BY TRANSFERRING SUCH UNOBLIGATED BALANCES TO THE ACCOUNTS FROM WHICH DERIVED ON CERTIFICATION BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE AMOUNT TO BE RETRANSFERRED TO EACH CONSTITUENT UNIT OF THE FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY?

YOUR DECISION IS RESPECTIVELY REQUESTED AS TO THE FOREGOING QUESTIONS.

THAT EXPRESS LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY FOR THE PROPOSED PROCEDURE WOULD BE REQUIRED SEEMS CLEAR. SECTION 3678, REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES:

ALL SUMS APPROPRIATED FOR THE VARIOUS BRANCHES OF EXPENDITURE IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE SHALL BE APPLIED SOLELY TO THE OBJECTS FOR WHICH THEY ARE RESPECTIVELY MADE, AND FOR NO OTHERS. WHILE SECTION 309 OF THE PRESIDENT'S FIRST PLAN ON GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION, MADE EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1939, BY PUBLIC RESOLUTION NO. 20, APPROVED JUNE 7, 1939, PROVIDES THAT THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET SHALL ALLOCATE TO THE FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY FROM APPROPRIATIONS OR OTHER FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES OF ITS CONSTITUENT AGENCIES SUCH SUMS, AND IN SUCH PROPORTIONS, AS HE MAY FIND NECESSARY FOR "THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES OF THE FEDERAL WORKS ENCY," NEITHER THIS NOR ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THE PLAN AUTHORIZES THE TRANSFER OF ADMINISTRATIVE FUNDS BETWEEN THE CONSTITUENT AGENCIES, OR AUTHORIZES THE USE IN ANY MANNER, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, OF FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO ONE AGENCY FOR THE PURPOSES OF ANY OTHER OF THE CONSTITUENT AGENCIES, OR FOR ANY GENERAL PURPOSES OF THE FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY (EXCEPT AS ALLOCATED BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET PURSUANT TO THE SAID SEC. 309). THE FUNDS OF THE VARIOUS AGENCIES INVOLVED ARE DIFFERENTLY DERIVED AND ARE SUBJECT TO DIFFERENT CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS AS TO EMPLOYMENT AND EXPENDITURE. TRANSFERRING THEM IN PART INTO A COMMON FUND COULD NOT ALTER OR REMOVE SUCH CONDITIONS AND RESTRICTIONS, OR MAKE THEM LAWFULLY AVAILABLE FOR PURPOSES, OR THE WORK OF AGENCIES, OTHER THAN THOSE FOR WHICH ORIGINALLY APPROPRIATED. IT FOLLOWS THAT ALL EXPENDITURES FROM SUCH A COMMON FUND WOULD HAVE TO BE ACCOUNTED FOR STRICTLY ON THE BASIS OF THE AMOUNTS AND USES AUTHORIZED BY THE ORIGINAL APPROPRIATIONS AND THAT NO USEFUL PURPOSE IN THAT RESPECT WOULD BE SERVED BY SETTING UP SUCH A FUND. ON THE CONTRARY, THE PROPOSED WORKING FUND PROCEDURE WOULD TEND TO CONFUSE AND DELAY A PROPER ACCOUNTING FOR EXPENDITURES UNDER THE VARIOUS APPROPRIATIONS INVOLVED, AND TO INVITE A LOOSE APPLICATION OF THE FUND FOR OBJECTIVES OR IN AMOUNTS NOT WHOLLY CONSISTENT WITH THE PURPOSES AND LIMITATIONS OF THE SEPARATE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DIFFERENT AGENCIES. HENCE, THE PROPOSED PROCEDURE DOES NOT APPEAR JUSTIFIED ON THE BASIS OF ACCOUNTING EXPEDIENCY.

SECTION 601 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 417, CITED IN YOUR LETTER, AUTHORIZES CREDITING TO SPECIAL WORKING FUNDS OF ADVANCE PAYMENTS MADE FOR MATERIALS, SUPPLIES, EQUIPMENT, WORK, OR SERVICES FOR WHICH ORDERS MAY BE PLACED BY ONE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT, OR ANY BUREAU OR OFFICE THEREOF, WITH ANY OTHER SUCH DEPARTMENT, ESTABLISHMENT, BUREAU, OR OFFICE. THIS CONTEMPLATES SPECIFIC ORDERS FOR PARTICULAR MATERIALS OR SERVICES AND HAS NO APPLICATION TO THE MATTER HERE PROPOSED OF CONSOLIDATING APPROPRIATIONS TO FINANCE A CONSOLIDATION OF ACTIVITIES NOT OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY LAW.

IN THE ABSENCE OF EXPRESS STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE PROPOSED ADVANCES TO A WORKING FUND ACCOUNT FOR THE ACTIVITIES INVOLVED, THE PRIMARY QUESTION SUBMITTED IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE, MAKING UNNECESSARY A DETERMINATION OF THE MATTER INVOLVED IN YOUR SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.