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acter of the expense having been fully disclosed by the vouchers already presented to this office for credit, and that neither the letter nor the purpose of the statute and appropriation extends them to after allowance of payments in excess of regularly made specific appropriations which have been regularly accounted for on vouchers specifying the exact nature and amount of the expense.
In his application for review the Secretary of State does not question the correctness of the statement of facts herein, but bases his application solely upon the conclusiveness and finality of his certificate under the provisions of section 291, Revised Statutes, and the supporting emergency appropriation.
Speaking generally and without reference to the facts and certification in the instant case, I may say that this office recognizes to its full extent the discretionary power conferred upon the Secretary of State by section 291, Revised Statutes, and in no case will a certificate made by the Secretary in conformity with the provisions of that section and in support of a payment from the supporting appropriation be questioned by this office. But the terms of the statute and appropriation are clear and specific, and their scope does not extend to the case now in hand.
The facts of the case are as follows:
Under dates of September 30, 1920; December 31, 1920; March 31, 1921; and June 30, 1921, respectively, the chargé d'affaires made quarterly payments of 600 yen each to the Union Estate and Investment Company on account of rent of premises No. 13 Renianzaka, which premises are understood to have been used for student interpreters' quarters. Reduced to American currency, these payments represented $299.10 each, or $1,196.40 for the four quarters of the fiscal year. Each of the vouchers was charged to the appropriation for rent of quarters for student interpreters. The first two quarterly payments, aggregating $598.20, were approved by the State Department as chargeable to the said appropriation. Of the third quarterly payment only $1.80 was approved by the State Department as chargeable to this appropriation. No part of the fourth and last quarterly payment was approved as a charge against this appropriation.
Under date of August 30, 1920, the chargé d'affaires drew for $1,173.02 on account of salaries, tuition, and house rent for student interpreters, and the requisition of the State Department for payment of the draft apportioned to house rent only $149.55. Like draft for $1,742.09 was drawn November 2, 1920, of which the requisition apportioned $150 to rent of quarters. Draft of February 7, 1921, was for $1,799.10, of which $299.10 was apportioned to rent of quarters. Draft of April 30, 1921, was for $1,016.32, of which $299.10 was apportioned to rent. As originally rendered, the
account showed rent payment aggregating $1,196.40, of which $600 only was approved by the State Department. The chargé d'affaires stood charged with $897.75 drawn under this appropriation. The certificate of the Secretary of State hereinbefore quoted was apparently given for the purpose of relieving the chargé d'affaires of the charge standing against him because of payment of rent in excess of the amount appropriated for that purpose.
There can be no doubt, I think, that the transaction and certificate in this case are within neither the letter nor the intent and purpose of the law. The letter of the law is to the effect that the Secretary may make "a certificate of the amount of such expenditure as he may wink i advisable not to specify.” The certificate in question specifies with particularity the exact expenditures which the certificate is designed to cover, thus conclusively negativing any assumption that the expenses were of the confidental character contemplated by the intent and purpose of the law, which is to protect expenditures which the policy of the State Department requires shall not be made public.
The effect of the procedure followed by the State Department in this case is to place upon the General Accounting Office the responsibility for the allowance of payments known to be in excess of the amount appropriated and therefore known to be unlawful. Such an allowance can be justified only by the certificate, which, in my judgment, does not conform to either the letter or the intent and purpose of the law. In case of a certificate conforming to the provisions of section 291, Revised Statutes, the Secretary of State assumes entire responsibility for expenditures not specified to the General Accounting Office. The payments now in question were not made from the emergency appropriation but were made in regular course of business from funds drawn under a regular appropriation and accounted for on fully itemized vouchers, in accordance with the first of the two alternative procedures provided for in section 291, Revised Statutes. There is no warrant in the certificate which has been made for allowance of the payments under the second alternative procedure of the section as emergency expenses which the Secretary deems it not advisable to specify.
I find no error in the former decision as applied to the facts of this case, and it must accordingly be affirmed.
NATIONAL GUARD DRILL PAY_ENLISTED MAN TRANSFERRED Comptroller General McCarl to Maj. M. T. Legg, August 16, 1922:
FROM ONE ORGANIZATION TO ANOTHER DURING MONTH.
An enlisted man of the National Guard who is transferred from one organiza
to another during the month is entitled to drill pay for that month pra vided he attended 60 per cent of the drills prescribed for the respective organizations for the portion of the month he was a member thereof.
There has been received your letter of June 27, 1922, requesting decision whether you are authorized to pay supplemental pay roll (therewith transmitted) of the headquarters detachment and combat train, Two Hundred and Twelfth Coast Artillery Corps, New York National Guard, for the period July 1 to December 31, 1921, containing the claim of Pvt. William R. Odell, for pay for five drills attended during the month of December.
It appears that Odell was a member of the headquarters battery December 1 to 8, inclusive; that during this period two drills were ordered for the organization and that Odell attended both. During the entire month of December five drills were ordered for this organization. During the period December 9 to 31, inclusive, four drills were ordered for the headquarters detachment and combat train (the only drills ordered for the organization during the entire month) and Odell attended three of these drills.
The question is whether under section 110 of the national defense act, 41 Stat., 784, he may be paid for the five drills as in excess of 60 per cent of the drills “prescribed for his organization” for the period he was a member of each organization or whether the total of the drills prescribed for both organizations during the entire month of December, nine, were the number “prescribed for his organization,” 60 per cent of which he must have attended to be
entitled to pay.
Odell was, prior to December 1, 1921, a member of the National Guard, and during that month was transferred from one organization to another. While a member of the first organization two drills were prescribed, and while a member of the second four drills were prescribed, a total of six, of which Odell attended five, more than 60 per cent of the drills prescribed. Had he been a member of one organization during the entire month there would be no question of his right to pay, and the right is not affected by his transfer from one organization to another so long as he attends 60 per cent of the total of drills or other exercises prescribed for both the organizations during the portions of the month he was a member of each.
The case here considered is entirely different from the case considered in decision of December 13, 1921, 1 Comp. Gen., 320, where men enlist or are discharged from the National Guard during a month, and who do not attend the required proportion of drills prescribed during that entire month. The month is the unit of calculation fixed by the statute, and no pay accrues where during a month there is attendance at less than 60 per cent of the drills or other exercises prescribed for the organization of which the man is a member, and the fact that he was not a member during the entire month does not change the unit.
But this rule has no application where a man is a member of the National Guard during the entire month and is transferred from one organization to another. In such a case during the month in which transferred “his organization” has reference to the organizations of which he was a member, and the total of the drills or other exercises prescribed for each during the portion of the month he was a member constitutes the drills or other exercises of which he must attend 60 per cent.
If the voucher herewith returned is otherwise correct, you are authorized to pay it.
WATER FOR CENTER MARKET, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
No payment is required to be made to the District of Columbia for water
used in Center Market by the Government, said market being owned and
operated by the United States. The exemption of the Federal Government from payment for water furnished
for its use in Center Market in the District of Columbia does not extend to the tenants of Center Market, and payment for water furnished such tenants may be made from the appropriation for operation and manage
ment of Center Market, subject to reimbursement by said tenants. Comptroller General McCarl to the Secretary of Agriculture, August 17, 1922:
I have your letter of July 25, 1922, requesting decision whether the appropriation for operation and management of the Center Market, District of Columbia, is available to pay charges made by the District of Columbia for water used at said market.
The Center Market is now owned and operated by the United States Government. See act of March 4, 1921, 41 Stat. 1441. Therefore the District of Columbia is not authorized to charge for water used therein by the Government itself unless specific statutory authority exists therefor. 5 Comp. Dec., 960; 27 id., 163.
The act of May 11, 1922, 42 Stat. 538, contains a provision as follows:
CENTEB VARKET, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
Operation and management: To enable the Secretary of Agriculture, in car. rying out the provisions of the Act of March 4, 1921 (Forty-first Statutes at Large, page 1441), to pay for ice, electricity, gas, water, fuel, travel, stationery, printing, telegrams, telephones, labor, supplies, materials, equipment, miscellaneous expenses, necessary repairs and alterations, to be reimbursed by any person for whose account any such expenditure may be made; $165,000
The appropriation thus made must be held to provide specifically for payment for water furnished for the use of Government tenants in the market, the amount of such payment to be reimbursed by said tenants. It is not a use of water by the Government itself. You are advised, therefore, that to the extent that the charges made by the District of Columbia are for water furnished for the use of tenants in the market payment therefor is authorized under the appropriation in question, the amount of such payments to be charged against the tenants.
ADDITIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS BY THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
TO LEASED PREMISES.
The authority conferred on the Commissioners of the District of Columbia
under the act of July 11, 1919, 41 Stat. 39, “to purchase or lease the necessary plants, builuings, and land” for the disposal of the city refuse did not authorize them to erect extensive additions or improvements for the owner of the land leased thereunder, and such an agreement for their erection, the cost to be deducted from the monthly rental until fully reimbursed, would be an advance payment and prohibited by section 3648,
Revised Statutes. Comptroller General McCarl to the President, Board of Commissioners of the
District of Columbia, August 17, 1922:
I have your letter of August 7, 1922, with inclosures requesting decision of a question presented as follows:
a. Whether the commissioners unaer the act of July 11, 1919, and the terms of the lease and agreement of June 7, 1922, may pay from the appropriation “For disposal of city refuse" the cost of the work contemplated by the proposal of the Sparks Crematory Construction Company, accepted by the commissioners by their order of July 28, 1922, a copy of which is transmitted herewith.
b. What improvements, if any, may be made by the commissioners under the act of July 11, 1919, and of the lease and agreement of June 7, 1922, to the plant of the Washington Reduction Company and paid for from the appropriation “ Disposal of city refuse," such payments to be reimbursed to the District of Columbia by monthly deductions from the agreed rental until the full amount has been repaid. In this connection attention is invited to the fact that some of the proposed improvements are removable in their entirety, while others, such as the chimney, are not.
The proposal of the Sparks Crematory Construction Co. is not before me, but the order of the commissioners accepting it indicates that said proposal covers the construction of additional incinerators and increasing the height of the chimney, at a total cost of $16,450.
The act of July 11, 1919, 41 Stat. 39, contains provisions as follows:
And the said commissioners are further authorized, if in their opinion such action shall be to the best interests of the District of Columbia, to hereafter to conduct any or all of the operations involved in the collection and disposal of city refuse of every kind as municipal functions, and for that purpose to purchase or lease the necessary plants, buildings, and land, to purchase or hire horses and horse-drawn vehicles, passenger-carrying and other motor. propelled vehicles, equipment, and machinery, and to employ expert and other personal services, and labor, and to pay traveling, maintenance, incidental, and contingent expenses : Provided, That products arising from such oper. ations conducted as authorized herein may be sold and the proceeds arising therefrom shall be paid into the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the United States and the District of Columbia in equal parts: Provided