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Mr. DICKINSON. Has it been done in any other committee other than this particular committee!
The WITNESS. Not to my knowledge.
Mr. DICKINSON. I am still getting back to the significance of it. The significance is that you have to make a sworn statement as to the services performed and the travel made if you file for per diem. If you do not ask for per diem, there is no representation whatever or no sworn statement or no certificate affidavit.
The WITNESS. That is right.
The WITNESS. If you do not ask for it, then you are not on record anywhere.
Mr. DICKINSON. There is no way you can really tie down who did what and why unless you ask for per diem.
The WITNESS. That is correct.
Mr. DICKINSON. Unless you go through a proceeding that we are going through now.
The WITNESS. On the face of it, it just does not exist.
Mr. DICKINSON. That is the point I was trying to make. Thank you.
Mr. Hays. Mr. Langston, I have a question there. It has come to my attention, and you said it is almost unthinkable, that on occasion members who maintain homes in Washington and have to come into committee hearing such as this hearing during a recess have obtained travel reimbursement but have not asked for per diem because they maintain a home here. Do you know if that has happened?
The WITNESS. That is correct. My remark was directed primarily toward employees of committees who are conducting investigations. Of course, coming back to Washington for a hearing, there is a specific provision in the regulations which provides for payment of per diem to a member. Many do not claim it.
Mr. Hays. I want to bring it out, because I have a couple of members on one of my subcommittees who just refused to claim any per diem during the recess on the grounds that they have to eat and sleep somewhere and they have a home here and they cannot conscientiously collect from the Government. However, they would be perfectly entitled to the per diem if they asked for it.
The WITNESS. That is correct.
The regulations state when Congress is not in session a member may be paid per diem in Washington for a hearing.
Mr. HAYS. I thought that was important.
Mr. NEDZI. I think there is just one point that should be clarified. Mr. Dickinson referred to a sworn statement. This is not sworn to, is it?
The WITNESS. It is not sworn to in the sense of being notarized. It is a printed certification on the face of the voucher.
Mr. Hays. Would you just read that? It is very short.
I certify that the above bill is correct and just and that payment therefor has not been received.
Mr. DEVINE. That is the certification of the payee?
The WITNESS. That is right. There is a different certification for the committee.
Mr. Hays. That is underneath. I suppose you should read that. The WITNESS. The certification of the committee chairman:
I certify that the above articles have been received in good condition and in the quality and quantity above specified, or the services performed as stated, and that they are in accordance with the orders therefor; that the prices charged are just and reasonable and in accordance with the agreement.
Mr. DICKINSON. One further question. In connection with the certification by the chairman himself, is it true that the payee or employee could travel but he could not receive per diem without the express approval of the chairman?
The WITNESS. That is correct, Mr. Dickinson. In fact, the resolution that provides the money specifically states that all payments shall be made upon signature of the chairman.
Mr. DICKINSON. So the chairman has the ultimate responsibility in any event?
The WITNESS. Yes, sir; that is in the resolution or the law.
Mr. Hays. Are there any other question; if not, that is all Mr. Langston.
(Witness excussed.) Mr. Hays. The committee will adjourn now and without objection will meet at 2 o'clock sharp.
(Whereupon, at 12:45 p.m., the committee was recessed to reconvene at 2 p.m., the same day.)
Mr. HAYS. Let the record show that I have received an ITT World Communication telegram dated at 11:12 this morning, addressed to Wayne L. Hays, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. Unable to testify public hearing.
(Signed) Mrs. ADAM CLAYTON POWELL. The record will further show that I have instructed the clerk to ask the U.S. marshal to indicate to Mrs. Powell that this is not a public hearing and that she will not be asked to testify in public. She has been served with a subpena and we expect her to honor that subpena, or she could possibly
be held in contempt. We will hear now from Mrs. Dargans. Mrs. Dargans, I have a statement here I wish to read to you.
Your appearance before this committee will be in executive session unless you request that it be a public session. If your appearance is in executive session, the public and the press will not be admitted to the hearing room, and pursuant to paragraph 26, House of Representatives rule XÍ, your testimony may not be released or used in a public session without consent of the committee, nor will you be permitted to purchase a copy of your transcript unless authorized by the committee.
If your appearance is in public session, the public and news reporters will be admitted, but television cameras and news photographers will be excluded except news photographers may be admitted briefly to take pictures. We have already ruled against that.
The question now is: Do you choose to appear in executive or public session?
Mrs. DARGANS. Executive session, sir, if you please.
Mr. Hays. But you did receive a copy of paragraph 26, rule XI, rules of the House, with the subpena?
Mr. Hays. You understand that you were permitted to have counsel if you so desired!
Mr. Hays. Your constitutional rights, of course, will be recognized by the committee and properly you can make the claim of privilege.
feel any answer might tend to incriminate you, you may say so. If you do, the committee will consider the claim and pass upon its validity.
Will you stand and raise your right hand, please.
LOUISE M. DARGANS having been duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:
By Mr. TAYLER:
Q. Are you appearing before this committee today pursuant to a subpena served upon you?
Mr. Hays. The statement I read this morning when you were all here?
By Mr. TAYLER :
Mr. TAYLER. Mr. Chairman, may the witness be furnished with a copy
your opening statement? I believe we have some available. The WITNESS. I was asked to step out.
Mr. Hays. I think you went back to the office, and we allowed the rest of them in to hear the opening statement.
Here is a copy of the opening statement, Mrs. Dargans. You may read it. The WITNESS. I have finished it, sir.
By Mr. TAYLER: Q. Mrs. Dargans, while we were off the record, did you receive and read a copy of the chairman's opening statement?
Q. What is your present employment with the House of Representatives?
A. Chief clerk of the Committee on Education and Labor.
Q. Will you briefly describe your duties as chief clerk of the Education and Labor Committee, particularly any duties you have relating to the handling of travel tickets and expense vouchers?
A. A brief outline of my duties, sir, are to attend all meetings of the full committee and other meetings as directed;
Record and hold for safekeeping record of all record sheets taken at the meetings;
See that minutes of the meetings reflect the proceedings and hold them in safekeeping;
See that notices of all meetings and caucuses are sent to the members of the committee;
Arrange adequate meeting space for the full committee, the subcommittee, the ad hocs and task forces as requested;
Notify members of meetings before House Administration and Rules Committee of particular interest to them;
Announce meetings and reports of the meetings to the Digest and the Press Gallery;
Prepare and present to the Clerk of the House, the Committee on House Administration, the Rules Committee and the chairman monthly, semiannual, and annual reports as required;
Notify the Rules Committee of legislation reported by the full committee, and request hearings as directed;
See that reports are filed in accordance with committee instructions when legislation is reported;
See that these reports are filed in the House;
Maintain accounting of expenditure of funds and process vouchers as authorized ;
See that adequate equipment and supplies are furnished the full committee and our branches as required;
Supervise the preparation and distribution of all printing for the committee.
Mr. Hays. Let's go off the record.
By Mr. TAYLER: Q. Mrs. Dargans, you said that among other duties you process vouchers as authorized.
Would you explain what vouchers you are referring to and what sort of processing you give them?
A. All vouchers, because all vouchers would have to do with expenditure of funds. They come to me from the chairman's office, the office of the minority, and from the offices of our several subcommittees, ad hocs, and task forces. We have a control in my office where we indicate the expenditures against the allotment.
Q. Is that the only review that you make of these vouchers, to check the amount of the voucher ?
A. Strictly a figure review.
Q. Let me finish it. Check the voucher against the amount of the appropriation available ? A. Yes.
Mr. Hays. Mrs. Dargans, you do not make any attempt when you process these vouchers to verify the expenditure that was actually made?
The WITNESS. No; other than meeting the requirement of House Administration that the proper receipts be attached to the vouchers.
Mr. Hays. But if a person sends through a voucher with the proper receipts and with an airline ticket, we will say, for a hypothetical question, and asks to be reimbursed, so long as everything is in order from the appearance of it, you process it?
The WITNESS. And provided I get from the subcommittees the signatures from the subcommittee chairmen, and the initials of the ranking minority member. I need either a signature or a memo or word from the chairmen that that voucher is in order.
Mr. Hays. Do you know whether other committees follow that same procedure, or is this a special procedure with the House Education and Labor Committee?
The WITNESS. This is just a procedure which we devised. We haven't been afforded the opportunity to compare our method of control.
Mr. Hays. Wasn't there something in your appropriation—I am speaking from memory, but it seems to me there was some dispute about your appropriation between the majority and the minority, and some subcommittee chairmen, and didn't the House Administration Committee say that, “We will give you the money provided it is allocated so much to each subcommittee, and expenditures from those subcommittees have to have the subcommittee chairman's signature in addition to the full committee"?
The WITNESS. That is right. That is why I mention the special units which had to have the signatures of those chairmen, and the minority had the initials of the ranking minority member.
The full committee gets 70 percent of the allotment. The minority gets 30 percent. The subcommittees get money as outlined in the resolution. Mr. HAYS. Thank you.
By Mr. TAYLER: Q. Mrs. Dargans, when you receive a voucher for processing in your office-let's take, for example, the voucher for travel by one of the committee staff members do you check the supporting data, such as receipts for automobile rental and things of that sort? Do you check other supporting data, such as airline transportation receipts, to see if they are in order and whether they match up with the items on the voucher?
A. Yes, we do, because if these receipts are not in order, they would be returned by House Administration unpaid unless the proper supporting data accompanied the voucher.
Q. When you check a voucher that has airline-travel expense on it, what would be attached to that voucher to support the claim for payment for the airline ticket?
A. A voucher which claimed reimbursement of airline travel would have to have the receipt or the coupon left from the ticket.
Q. A traveler's coupon?
Q. And you would check that to see whether it coincided with the name of the person submitting the expense voucher?