B-87722, JULY 25, 1949, 29 COMP. GEN. 49

B-87722: Jul 25, 1949

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- IF IT BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE ARE NECESSARY TO FURTHER SUCH PROGRAM. 1949: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE UNDER SECRETARY'S LETTER OF JULY 7. WAS SCHEDULED TO MEET AT CORNELL UNIVERSITY DURING THE PERIOD JULY 11 TO 16. WHOSE SALARIES AND TRAVELING EXPENSES ARE PAID FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS. IT IS STATED FURTHER THAT. WHILE A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF THE COST OF THE CONFERENCE WILL BE ABSORBED BY THE EXTENSION SERVICE AT CORNELL UNIVERSITY. A FEE OF $10 WILL BE ASSESSED EACH PERSON ATTENDING THE CONFERENCE. DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER SUCH FEE ASSESSED AGAINST REGULAR EMPLOYEES OF THE EXTENSION SERVICE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IS A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST APPROPRIATED FUNDS.

B-87722, JULY 25, 1949, 29 COMP. GEN. 49

FEES - ATTENDANCE - MEETINGS - WORK CONFERENCE SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1912, AS AMENDED, PROHIBITING THE USE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS EXCEPT AS TO EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE GIVING OR ACQUIRING OF INSTRUCTION OR INFORMATION RESPECTING THE WORK OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AUTHORIZED BY LAW, DOES NOT PROHIBIT THE PAYMENT OF FEES FOR ATTENDANCE OF EXTENSION SERVICE EMPLOYEES, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AT A "WORK CONFERENCE"--- A MEETING DESIGNED TO INSTRUCT AND INFORM EMPLOYEES ON METHODS OF MORE EFFICIENTLY PERFORMING THE WORK OF THE COOPERATIVE EXTENSION PROGRAM AUTHORIZED BY LAW --- IF IT BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE ARE NECESSARY TO FURTHER SUCH PROGRAM.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, JULY 25, 1949:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE UNDER SECRETARY'S LETTER OF JULY 7, 1949, ADVISING THAT A NATIONAL VISUAL AIDS "WORK CONFERENCE," SPONSORED JOINTLY BY THE EXTENSION SERVICE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND THE EXTENSION SERVICES OF 38 STATE LAND-GRANT INSTITUTIONS, IN CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MAY 8, 1914, 38 STAT. 372, AS AMENDED, AUTHORIZING COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION WORK BETWEEN THE AGRICULTURAL COLLEGES OF THE SEVERAL STATES AND THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, WAS SCHEDULED TO MEET AT CORNELL UNIVERSITY DURING THE PERIOD JULY 11 TO 16, INCLUSIVE.

THE LETTER STATES THAT THE "WORK CONFERENCE" WOULD BE ATTENDED BY COOPERATIVE EXTENSION EMPLOYEES--- JOINT REPRESENTATIVES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND OF STATE INSTITUTIONS, WHO HOLD APPOINTMENTS AS AGENTS WITHOUT COMPENSATION FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE--- AND BY REGULAR EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EXTENSION SERVICE, WHOSE SALARIES AND TRAVELING EXPENSES ARE PAID FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS.

IT IS STATED FURTHER THAT, WHILE A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF THE COST OF THE CONFERENCE WILL BE ABSORBED BY THE EXTENSION SERVICE AT CORNELL UNIVERSITY, THE ENTIRE COST THEREOF CANNOT BE ABSORBED BY THE UNIVERSITY, AND, FOR THAT REASON, A FEE OF $10 WILL BE ASSESSED EACH PERSON ATTENDING THE CONFERENCE. DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER SUCH FEE ASSESSED AGAINST REGULAR EMPLOYEES OF THE EXTENSION SERVICE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IS A PROPER CHARGE AGAINST APPROPRIATED FUNDS, AND, IF SO, WHETHER IT MAY BE PAID BY THE EMPLOYEE AND CLAIMED ON HIS TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHER.

IT APPEARS THAT THE SAID QUESTION IS OCCASIONED BECAUSE OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 8, OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1912, 37 STAT. 184, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1913, 37 STAT. 854, 5 U.S.C. 83, WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

NO MONEY APPROPRIATED BY ANY ACT SHALL BE EXPENDED FOR MEMBERSHIP FEES OR DUES OF ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES OR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN ANY SOCIETY OR ASSOCIATION OR FOR EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE OF ANY PERSON AT ANY MEETING OR CONVENTION OF MEMBERS OF ANY SOCIETY OR ASSOCIATION, UNLESS SUCH FEES, DUES, OR EXPENSES ARE AUTHORIZED TO BE PAID BY SPECIFIC APPROPRIATIONS FOR SUCH PURPOSES OR ARE PROVIDED FOR IN EXPRESS TERMS AND IN SOME GENERAL APPROPRIATION. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE SO CONSTRUED AS TO PROHIBIT THE PAYMENT FROM THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE OF EXPENSES INCIDENTAL TO THE DELIVERY OF LECTURES, THE GIVING OF INSTRUCTION, OR THE ACQUIRING OF INFORMATION AT MEETINGS BY ITS EMPLOYEES ON SUBJECTS RELATING TO THE WORK OF THE DEPARTMENT AUTHORIZED BY LAW.

THE "WORK CONFERENCE" AS ABOVE OUTLINED IS NOT A MEETING OR CONVENTION OF PERSONS ASSOCIATED BY REASON OF AFFILIATION WITH A SOCIETY OR ORGANIZATION. RATHER, IT APPEARS THAT THE MEETING IS A CONFERENCE DESIGNED TO ENHANCE THE EFFICIENCY OF THE OFFICIAL PERFORMANCE OF INDIVIDUALS, EACH OF WHOM HOLDS AN APPOINTMENT AS AN AGENT OR AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND WHO ARE ASSOCIATED SOLELY BY REASON OF THEIR SIMILAR RESPONSIBILITIES INHERENT IN SUCH EMPLOYMENT. HENCE, THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1912, SUPRA, IS NOT APPLICABLE IN SUCH INSTANCES. 5 COMP. GEN. 834; 17 ID. 38; 26 ID. 53. MOREOVER, THE PROPOSED "WORK CONFERENCE" APPEARS TO BE A MEETING DESIGNED TO GIVE INSTRUCTION AND INFORMATION TO DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EMPLOYEES ON METHODS AND MEANS OF MORE EFFICIENTLY PERFORMING WORK OF THE DEPARTMENT AUTHORIZED BY LAW. THEREFORE, IF IT BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH ATTENDANCE AT SUCH "WORK CONFERENCE" ARE NECESSARY TO FURTHER THE COOPERATIVE EXTENSION PROGRAM AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF MAY 8, 1914, AS AMENDED, SUPRA, THE FEE ASSESSED FOR ATTENDANCE THEREAT MAY BE PAID AS A PROPER ITEM OF TRAVEL EXPENSE TO BE CLAIMED BY THE EMPLOYEE IN HIS REGULAR TRAVEL VOUCHER.