Availability of Appropriate Funds for Payment of Settlement in Court Case

B-182219: Oct 23, 1974

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The Department of Justice requested a decision on whether any funds appropriated by Congress were available for payment of a possible settlement in the case of a National Guard technician who brought suit because he was discharged from the Guard for objecting to participate in a firing squad for a military funeral service. GAO held that: (1) the United States was not named as a defendant in the case, since the judgment was against the adjutant general who issued the dismissal order; (2) the appropriation provided by 31 U.S.C. 724a was not available for payment of the judgment; (3) there was a general prohibition against using appropriated funds from any other source to pay such judgments absent specific authority to do so and such authority did not exist; and (4) likewise, there was no authority to allow the use of any appropriated funds to pay for a settlement in the case.

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