Payment of Expenditures Incurred by the Government of American Samoa for the American Samoan Judiciary

B-196690: Mar 14, 1980

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The Department of the Interior asked about the propriety of certifying for payment expenditures from funds appropriated to the Office of Territorial Affairs. The expenditures were made by the Government of American Samoa in 1978 and 1979 on behalf of the American Samoan Judiciary for salaries, motor vehicles, and the entertainment of visiting dignitaries. The Interior asked that a previous decision involving the procedures for financing the Office of the U.S. Government Comptroller for American Samoa be applied in this case. The relationship between the Interior and the American Samoan Judiciary was held to be entirely different from that between the Interior and the Government Comptroller, and the previous decision was therefore not applicable. However, there were no objections to the use of the Interior appropriation for expenses of the American Samoan Judiciary to reimburse the Government of American Samoa for the expenditures described so long as the Interior determines they were incurred for allowable expenses of the American Samoan Judiciary. The appropriation to Interior for salaries and expenses for the Americn Samoan Judiciary established, in effect, a grant to a non-Federal entity unlike the appropriation for salaries and expenses of the Government Comptroller. Restrictions on the use of funds appropriated to Federal entities were not applicable in this case. So long as the expenditures incurred were in furtherance of the grant object and do not contravene statutory, regulatory, or other restrictions imposed on the use of money, they were permissible.