B-90978, FEBRUARY 2, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 318

B-90978: Feb 2, 1950

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MAY BE USED TO PAY THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF COURT PERSONNEL ONLY WHEN THERE IS IN EFFECT NO APPROPRIATION SPECIFICALLY PROVIDING FOR SUCH EXPENSES OR UNDER WHICH SUCH EXPENSES ARE BUDGETED. FOR THE REASONS THAT SUCH PAYMENTS SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED BY THE CONGRESS RATHER THAN FROM THE SCHEDULE C FUND. IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT IT HAS BEEN CONCLUDED THAT IT IS THE VIEW OF THE AUDIT DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE THAT NO EXPENSES ARE PAYABLE FROM THE SCHEDULE C FUND IF THERE IS A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION FOR THE COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES AVAILABLE FOR SUCH EXPENDITURES IN ALASKA. FURTHER IS STATED THAT IF THE EXCEPTIONS ARE SOUND AND CARRIED TO THE LOGICAL CONCLUSION. SINCE THERE ARE AVAILABLE SPECIFIC ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR PRACTICALLY ALL EXPENSES INCURRED FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF ALL UNITED STATES COURTS.

B-90978, FEBRUARY 2, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 318

TRAVELING EXPENSES - PERSONNEL OF UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR ALASKA - AVAILABILITY OF SPECIAL FUND THE SPECIAL FUND ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO 48 U.S.C. 106, FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEFRAYING THE ,INCIDENTAL EXPENSES" OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR ALASKA FROM THE FEES, FINES, ETC., COLLECTED BY THE COURT CLERK, MAY BE USED TO PAY THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF COURT PERSONNEL ONLY WHEN THERE IS IN EFFECT NO APPROPRIATION SPECIFICALLY PROVIDING FOR SUCH EXPENSES OR UNDER WHICH SUCH EXPENSES ARE BUDGETED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE DIRECTOR, ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS, FEBRUARY 2, 1950:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 25, 1949, RELATIVE TO THE EXCEPTIONS TAKEN BY THE AUDIT DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE TO PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES ON VOUCHERS 4, 5, 6, 7, 13, AND 16, SEPTEMBER 1947 QUARTER, ACCOUNT OF NORWIN W. LEWIS, CLERK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA, FOR THE REASONS THAT SUCH PAYMENTS SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED BY THE CONGRESS RATHER THAN FROM THE SCHEDULE C FUND.

IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT IT HAS BEEN CONCLUDED THAT IT IS THE VIEW OF THE AUDIT DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE THAT NO EXPENSES ARE PAYABLE FROM THE SCHEDULE C FUND IF THERE IS A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION FOR THE COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES AVAILABLE FOR SUCH EXPENDITURES IN ALASKA. FURTHER IS STATED THAT IF THE EXCEPTIONS ARE SOUND AND CARRIED TO THE LOGICAL CONCLUSION, THE PURPOSE OF THE STATUTE ESTABLISHING THE SCHEDULE C FUND WOULD BE COMPLETELY NULLIFIED, SINCE THERE ARE AVAILABLE SPECIFIC ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR PRACTICALLY ALL EXPENSES INCURRED FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF ALL UNITED STATES COURTS, INCLUDING THOSE IN ALASKA; THAT IT IS THE VIEW OF YOUR OFFICE THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE STATUTE IS A SALUTARY ONE, SINCE THE ALASKA COURTS ARE PECULIAR IN THEIR JURISDICTION, HAVING MANY PURELY LOCAL FUNCTIONS TO PERFORM NOT ORDINARILY IMPOSED UPON OTHER UNITED STATES COURTS; AND THAT IT SEEMS APPROPRIATE THAT THEY SHOULD BE FINANCED TO A LARGE EXTENT BY LOCALLY COLLECTED MONEYS SUCH AS THOSE WHICH MAKE UP THE SCHEDULE C FUND.

THE SCHEDULE C FUND WAS ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 6, 1900, 31 STAT. 326, AS AMENDED, 48 U.S.C. 106, AS FURTHER AMENDED BY SECTION 10 OF PUBLIC LAW 773, APPROVED JUNE 25, 1948, 62 STAT. 987, WHICH PROVIDES, WITH REFERENCE TO THE DUTIES, ETC., OF CLERKS OF THE DISTRICT COURT IN ALASKA, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * HE SHALL ALSO COLLECT AND RECEIVE ALL MONEYS ARISING FROM THE FEES OF HIS OFFICE, FROM LICENSES, FINES, FORFEITURES, JUDGMENTS, OR ON ANY OTHER ACCOUNT AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO BE PAID TO OR COLLECTED BY HIM, AND SHALL APPLY THE SAME, EXCEPT THE MONEY DERIVED FROM LICENSES AND FINES IMPOSED FOR FAILURE TO PAY LICENSE TAXES, TO THE INCIDENTAL EXPENSES OF THE PROPER DIVISION OF THE DISTRICT COURT AND THE ALLOWANCE THEREOF AS DIRECTED IN WRITTEN ORDERS, DULY MADE AND SIGNED BY THE JUDGE, AND SHALL ACCOUNT FOR THE SAME IN DETAIL, AND FOR ANY BALANCES ON ACCOUNT THEREOF, UNDER OATH, QUARTERLY, OR MORE FREQUENTLY IF REQUIRED, TO THE COURT, THE DIRECTOR OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS, AND THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY * * *. SECTION 10 OF THE SAME ACT, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 13 OF PUBLIC LAW 773, APPROVED JUNE 25, 1948, 62 STAT. 987, PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

THE SALARIES OF THE JUDGES, MARSHALS, CLERKS, AND DISTRICT ATTORNEYS SHALL BE PAYABLE FROM THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES, AS LIKE OFFICERS ARE PAID IN OTHER DISTRICTS.

THE GOVERNOR SHALL, IN ADDITION TO HIS SALARY, BE PAID HIS ACTUAL TRAVELING AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHEN TRAVELING IN THE DISCHARGE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES. THE JUDGES SHALL BE ENTITLED TO THE SAME TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCES AS THOSE OF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGES IN OTHER DISTRICTS. THE MARSHALS, CLERKS OF COURT, AND DISTRICT ATTORNEYS SHALL, IN ADDITION TO THEIR SALARIES, BE PAID THEIR ACTUAL TRAVELING AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926 (CHAPTER 457, 44 STAT. 688), AS AMENDED, AND GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, WHEN TRAVELING IN THE DISCHARGE OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES.

ACCOUNTS FOR SUCH EXPENSES OF JUDGES, MARSHALS, DISTRICT ATTORNEYS, AND CLERKS SHALL BE RENDERED AND PAID AS ARE ACCOUNTS OF JUDGES, MARSHALS, DISTRICT ATTORNEYS, AND CLERKS FOR LIKE EXPENSES IN OTHER DISTRICTS.

THERE WAS CONSIDERED THE PROPRIETY OF PAYING TRAVELING EXPENSES OF THE CLERK OF THE THIRD DIVISION OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA FROM THE SCHEDULE C FUND IN THE DECISION OF MAY 14, 1941, B-16150, IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 9, 1941, RELATIVE TO SIMILAR EXCEPTIONS TAKEN BY THE AUDIT DIVISION. IT WAS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT IF THIS OFFICE WOULD REMOVE THE INVOLVED EXCEPTIONS, YOUR ESTIMATES FOR APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1943, AND THEREAFTER, WOULD PROVIDE FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES OF CLERK OF COURTS IN ALASKA AND THE USE OF FUND C THEREFOR WOULD BE DISCONTINUED. THIS OFFICE ACQUIESCED THEREIN IN SAID DECISION OF MAY 14, 1941, AND THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE JUDICIARY APPROPRIATION ACT, 1943, 56 STAT. 501, 504, REVEALS THAT AN INCREASE IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES WAS GRANTED SPECIFICALLY FOR SUCH EXPENSES INCURRED IN ALASKA. IT ALSO APPEARS THAT SUCH APPROPRIATION FOR SUBSEQUENT FISCAL YEARS INCLUDED AN AMOUNT FOR ALL OF THE TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE COURTS IN ALASKA. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, PAYMENT OF SAID TRAVELING EXPENSES FROM THE SCHEDULE C FUND IS PRECLUDED BY THE APPLICATION OF THE WELL ESTABLISHED RULE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION THAT AN APPROPRIATION FOR A SPECIFIC OBJECT IS AVAILABLE FOR THAT OBJECT TO THE EXCLUSION OF A MORE GENERAL APPROPRIATION. 19 COMP. GEN. 892, 893. THE FACT THAT FUND C IS MERELY AN AUTHORIZATION TO USE RECEIPTS WHICH OTHERWISE WOULD BE FOR DEPOSITING INTO MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS IS IMMATERIAL FOR THE PURPOSE OF APPLYING THE FOREGOING RULE SINCE SUCH AUTHORIZATION IS ACTUALLY IN THE NATURE OF AN APPROPRIATION. 12 COMP. GEN. 344; 18 ID. 768, 772. ACCORDINGLY, THERE APPEARS TO BE NO BASIS FOR REMOVAL OF THE EXCEPTIONS INVOLVED.

WHILE THE STATUTES INVOLVED SPECIFICALLY PROVIDE THAT THE SALARIES OF THE JUDGES, MARSHALS, CLERKS, AND DISTRICT ATTORNEYS SHALL BE PAID FROM THE " TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES," THAT IS, FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS, THERE IS NO SIMILAR SPECIFIC REQUIREMENT WITH RESPECT TO THE PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES, AND UPON RECONSIDERATION OF THE PERTINENT PROVISIONS OF LAW, I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE UNITED STATES COURTS IN ALASKA ARE REQUIRED TO BE PAID FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS IN THE ABSENCE OF AN APPROPRIATION SPECIFIC IN TERMS THEREFOR OR UNDER WHICH SUCH EXPENSES ARE SPECIFICALLY BUDGETED. HENCE, IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH AN APPROPRIATION, THERE GENERALLY WOULD BE NO OBJECTION TO THE USE OF THE SCHEDULE C FUND THEREFOR.

ACCORDINGLY, IF THE APPROPRIATION COMMITTEES OF THE CONGRESS ARE APPRISED, DURING THE CONSIDERATION OF YOUR ANNUAL BUDGET ESTIMATES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1951 AND THEREAFTER, THAT SUCH TRAVELING EXPENSES WILL BE PAID FROM THE SCHEDULE C FUND AND NO AMOUNT IS SPECIFICALLY APPROPRIATED THEREFOR, NO OBJECTION WILL BE MADE BY THIS OFFICE PROVIDED THAT SUCH EXPENSES ACTUALLY ARE ,INCIDENTAL EXPENSES" OF THE COURT AS THAT TERM IS USED IN THE SAID SECTION 7.