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The principal witness today is the man we have been talking aboutthe Comptroller General, the Honorable Elmer B. Staats. Perhaps he will provide some answers to our questions, and in particular alleviate some of the fears expressed that he has become the head of a “fourth branch of government.
[The bills referred to follow :)
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
JULY 29, 1975 Mr. Metcalf introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred
to the Committee on Government Operations
А A BILI
To provide for the appointment of the Comptroller General of.
the United States by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate.
1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
3 That, effective with respect to the first vacancy occurring
4 after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller
5 General of the United States (hereafter in this Act referred 6 to as the “Comptroller General”) and the Deputy Comp7 troller General of the United States (hereafter in this Act 8 referred to as the “Deputy Comptroller General”) shall be 9 appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives 10 and the President pro tempore of the Senate after considering
1 recommendations from the Committees on Government
2 Operations of the House of Representatives and the Senate, 3 without regard to political affiliation and solely on the basis 4 of his fitness to perform his duties.
SEC. 2. (a) The terms of office of the Comptroller Gen6 eral and the Deputy Comptroller General first appointed 7 pursuant to this Ict shall expire seven years after the day 8 on which they take office, and the term of office of each 9 Comptroller General and Deputy Comptroller General sub10 sequently appointed shall expire seven years after the expira
11 tion of the preceding term.
12 (1) Any individual appointed as Comptroller General
SEC. 3. An individual appointed as Comptroller General
be 21 removed from office by either the Senate or the House of 22 Representatives by resolution.
SEC. 4. An individual shall not be eligible for reappoint
2 ment to the office of Comptroller General or Deputy Comp3 troller General if he has served as the Comptroller General
or Deputy Comptroller General, as the case may be, for
IN THE SENATE OF TIIE UNITED STATES
August 1 (legislative day: JULY 31), 1975 Mr. METCALF (for himself, Jr. PERCY, and Mr. RIBICOFF) introduced the fol
lowing bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Government Operations
To revise and restate certain functions and duties of the Comp
troller General of the United States, and for other purposes. 1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa2 tives of the United States of Imerica in Congress assembled, 3 That this Act may be cited as the "General Accounting
4 Office Act of 1975”.
TITLE I-ENFORCEMENT OF DECISIONS AND
SEC. 101. The Budget and Accounting Act, 1921, as 8 amended (31 U.S.C. 42 et seq.), is further amended by add9 ing at the end thereof the following new sections: 10 “Sec. 320. (a) The authority provided by this section 11 shall be exercised only in connection with accounts over
1 which the Comptroller General has settlement authority pur
2 suant to section 74 of title 31, United States Code, and shall
3 be construed as creating a procedural remedy in aid of such 4 authority, and not an enlargement or limitation of such 5 authority.
" (b) Subject to subsection (a), whenever the Comp7 troller General, in the performance of any of his functions 8 authorized by law, has reasonable cause to believe that any
9 officer or employee of the executive branch is about to
10 expend, obligate, or authorize the expenditure or obligation 11 of public funds in an illegal manner, he may institute a
12 civil action in the United States District Court for the
13 District of Columbia for declaratory relief. If the Attorney 14 General is in disagreement with the Comptroller General, 15 he is authorized to represent the defendant official in such 16 action. Other parties, including the prospective payee or 17 obligee, who shall be served with notice or process, may 18 intervenc or be impleaded as otherwise provided by law,
19 and process in such an action may be served by certified 20 mail beyond the territorial limits of the District of Columbia. 21
' (c) In the event the institution of suit under this
22 section serves to delay a payment beyond the date it was 23 due and owing in payment for goods or services actually 24 delivered to and accepted by the United States, then such 25 payment when made by the agency involved shall include