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75THCONGRESS THE HOUSE OF KEPKESEtfTATIVES AUGUST 18,1937 Mr. FEED M. VINSON introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Select Committee on Government Organization and ordered to be printed A BILL To amend the Budget and Accounting Act, 1921, to establish the office of Auditor General of the United States, and for other purposes. 1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Itepresenta- 2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 3 That the first sentence of section 301 of the Budget and 4 Accounting Act, 1921, hereinafter referred to as the "Act" 5 (IT. S. C , 1934 edition, title 31, sec. 41). is amended to 6 read as follows: 7 "There is created an establishment of the Government 8 to be known as the General Accounting Office, at the head 9 of which shall be a Comptroller General of the United 10 States/' 2 1 2 SEC. 2. Section 302 of the Act (U. S. 0., 1934 edition, 31, sec. 42), is amended to read as follows: 3 "SEC. 302. There shall be in the General Accounting 4 Office a Comptroller General of the United States, who 5 shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice 6 and consent of the Senate, and shall receive a salary of 7 $10,000 a year. 8 one of his assistants to act as Comptroller General during 9 the absence or incapacity of the Comptroller General. 10 The Comptroller General shall designate SEC. 3. Section 303 of the Act (U. S. C , 1934 edition, 11 title 31, sec. 43) is repealed. 12 SEC. 4. Section 304 of the Act (U. S. C , 1934 edition, 13 title 31, sees. 44, 45) is amended by designating the present 14 two paragraphs thereof as subsections (a) and (b), respec15 tively, and by adding after such subsections the following new 16 subsections: 17 " (c) The functions of settling and adjusting accounts 18 and claims vested in and imposed upon the General Account19 ing Office by this Act shall include the power to determine 20 the availability of appropriations, but such functions of the 21 General Accounting Office shall not include the power to 22 revise the action of other officers of the Government under 23 statutes vesting in and imposing upon them power to make 24 findings of fact or decisions in matters arising in their de25 partments or establishments. 3 3 " (d) In addition to all other functions vested in and 2 imposed upon him by law, the Attorney General of the 3 United States shall render opinions as to the jurisdiction and 4 authority of the General Accounting Office in connection 5 with the settlement and adjustment of any account or claim, 6 upon request of the Comptroller General or the head of the 7 executive department or independent establishment con- 8 cerned not later than sixty days after receipt of notice of 9 the settlement and adjustment of any such account or claim, 10 and such opinions of the Attorney General shall be final 11 and conclusive as to the question of such jurisdiction and 12 authority upon the Comptroller General and all departments 13 and establishments of the Government/' 14 SEC. 5. Section 309 of the Act (U. S. C , 1934 edition, 15 title 31, sec. 49) is amended to read as follows: 16 "SEC. 309, (a) The Secretary of the Treasury shall 17 supervise, and prescribe the forms, systems, and procedures 18 for, administrative appropriation and fund accounting in the 19 several departments and establishments, and the administra20 tive examination of fiscal officers' accounts and claims against 21 the United States in the District of Columbia and elsewhere; 22 and shall prescribe the titles and symbols by which appropria23 tions shall be designated on vouchers and other papers per24 taining to accounts and claims. 4 1 "(b) The Comptroller General shall prescribe the form 2 and manner in which accounts shall be submitted to the 3 General Accounting Office for settlement and adjustment." 4 SEC. 6. The following new title is added at the end of 5 section 318 of the Act: 6 "TITLE IV 7 " T H E OFFICE OF THE AUDITOB GESTEEAL 8 "SEC. 401. (a) There shall be in the General Accounting 9 Office an officer to be known as the Auditor General of the 10 United States (hereinafter referred to as the 'Auditor Genii eral'), who shall be appointed by the President, by and with 12 the advice and consent of the Senate, and shall receive a 13 salary of $10,000 a year. The Auditor General shall be the 14 head of the Audit Division of the General Accounting Office, 15 which division shall hereafter be known as the 'Office of the 16 Auditor General'. The Auditor General shall be an agent 17 of Congress and all functions vested in and imposed upon 18 him by law shall be exercised by him without direction from 19 any other officer. 20 "(b) The Auditor General shall designate one of his 21 assistants to act as Auditor General during the absence or 22 incapacity of the Auditor General. 23 "SEC. 402. Except as hereinafter provided in this sec- 24 tion. the Auditor General shall hold office for fifteen years 25 and shall not be eligible for reappointment. The Auditor 5 1 General may be removed at any time by joint resolution of 2 Congress after notice and hearing when, in the judgment 3 of Congress, he has become permanently incapacitated or 4 has been inefficient, or guilty of neglect of duty, or of inal- 5 feasance in office, or of any felony or conduct involving moral 6 turpitude, and for no other cause and in no other manner 7 except by impeachment. 8 the manner herein provided shall be ineligible for reappoint- 9 ment to that office. Any Auditor General removed in When an Auditor General attains the 10 age of seventy years, he shall be retired from his office. 11 "SEC. 403. (a) The accountable officers of the Govern- 12 ment shall daily transmit their accounts of disbursements, 13 together with all supporting documents, to the Auditor 14 General. 15 " ( b ) The Auditor General shall promptly make an 16 audit of all expenditures of the Government after payment 17 and prior to settlement and adjustment by the General 18 Accounting Office of the accountable officers' accounts con19 taining such expenditures, which audit shall be conducted 20 as nearly as practicable in the vicinity of disbursing offices 21 of the United States located in the District of Columbia and 22 elsewhere. The Auditor General shall promptly transmit 23 to the accountable officer and the head of the executive 24 department or independent establishment concerned and the 25 Comptroller General the findings made by him in such audit. 6 1 " (c) The findings of the Auditor General in the audit 2 required by subsection (b) of this section shall be final and 3 conclusive upon the General Accounting Office in the settle4 ment and adjustment of accounts and claims, except that 5 such findings shall not be final and conclusive (1) in the 6 case of a review of such findings by the General Accounting 7 Office under subsection (d) of this section, or (2) to the 8 extent that any such findings are not in accord with an 9 advance decision rendered by the Comptroller General under 10 section 8 of the Act of July 31, 1894, as amended (XL S. 0., 11 1934 edition, title 31, sec. 74). 12 " (d) The accountable officer or the head of the execu- 13 tive department or independent establishment concerned 14 may within sixty days after the receipt of the findings of the 15 Auditor General under subsection (b) of this section, request 16 the General Accounting Office to review such findings. 17 When such a request is made or, in the absence of such a 18 request, whenever the Comptroller General in his discretion 19 deems it necessary in the public interest, the General Ac20 counting Office shall review such findings of the Auditor 21 General in the settlement and adjustment of the accounts 22 containing the expenditures involved in such findings. 23 "SEC. 404. (a) The Comptroller General shall promptly 24 furnish to the Auditor General copies of all certificates issued 25 by the General Accounting Office in the settlement and 7 1 adjustment of accounts and claims, and copies of all advance 2 decisions rendered by the Comptroller General under section 3 8 of the Act of July 31, 1894, as amended (U. S. 0., 1934 4 edition, title 31, sec. 7 4 ) . 5 " (b) The Auditor General shall examine all copies of 6 the certificates of settlement furnished to him by the Comp- 7 troller General under subsection (a) of this section, and the 8 Auditor General shall promptly notify the Comptroller Gen- 9 eral of, and report to Congress, all accounts and claims 10 deemed by the Auditor General to have been improperly 11 settled and adjusted by the General Accounting Office: 12 Provided, That no report shall be made to Congress with 13 respect to any such disagreement between the Auditor Gen14 eral and the General Accounting Office until thirty days 15 after the Comptroller General has been notified of such dis16 agreement: Provided further, That no report of any such 17 disagreement shall be made to Congress if the General Ac18 counting Office revises its settlement and adjustment to ac19 cord with the views of-the Auditor General: Provided fur20 fher, That no report of any such disagreement need be made 21 if the Auditor General deems that the question involved 22 therein has previously been reported by him to Congress, 23 " ( c ) The Auditor General shall examine all copies of 24 the advance decisions furnished to him by the Comptroller 25 General under subsection (a) of this section, and the Audi- ' 8 1 tor General shall notify the Comptroller General of, and 2 report io Congress, all advance decisions authorizing the 3 expenditure of public funds deemed by the Auditor General 4 to be not in accordance with law. Expenditures made in 5 conformity with advance decisions reported to Congress 6 under this subsection need not be reported to Congress under 7 subsection (b) of this section if otherwise correct. 8 "SEC. 405. (a) The Auditor General shall investigate 9 in the District of Columbia and elsewhere matters relating 10 to the receipt, disbursement, and application of public funds 11 and the acquisition, transfer, sale, disposition, or use of 12 property of the United States. The Auditor General shall 13 promptly report to Congress all cases in which he deems 14 there has been failure to collect, deposit, or account for, or 15 there has been misapplication or improvident use of, public 16 funds, or there has been unauthorized or improvident acquisi17 tion, transfer, sale, disposition, or use of property of the 18 United States. In such reports the Auditor General shall 19 make recommendations looking- to greater efficiency 20 or economy in the administration of the Government. 21 "(b) The Auditor General shall render to Congress 22 from time to time such reports as he may deem advisable, 23 and an annual report not later than March 1 of each year 24 in which he shall report fully with respect to his audit of 25 the Receipts and expenditures of the Government. Such 9 1 annual report shall be made as nearly as practicable in 2 accordance with the accepted principles of auditing followed 3 in auditing the fiscal transactions of large private corpora4 tions, and shall contain all necessary memoranda and tables, 5 together with an appropriate certificate of audit and such 6 comments as may be pertinent to the subject matter of the 7 audit. 8 " (c) The Auditor General shall make such investiga- 9 tions and reports as shall be requested by either House of 10 Congress, or by any committee of either House having juris- 11 diction over expenditures, appropriations, or revenue; and 12 the Auditor General shall, at the request of any such corti13 mittee, direct any of his assistants to furnish the committee 14 such aid and information as it may request. 15 "SEC. 406. The reports of the Auditor General shall be 16 referred by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of 17 the House of Representatives to the appropriate committees 18 of the Senate and House having jurisdiction over the subject 19 matter of such reports. To aid the committees in their exam20 ination and study of the reports of the Auditor General, such 21 committees are authorized (1) to request the Auditor Gen22 eral or such of his assistants as may be designated by him 23 to sit with such committees in an advisory capacity at public 24 hearings or in executive sessions; (2) to request any officer 25 or employee of any department or establishment of the 10 1 Government to attend any such hearings or sessions and to 2 produce any books, documents, papers, or records relative 3 to the subject matter of any such reports, and to testify with 4 respect thereto; and (3) to require, by subpena issued under 5 the signature of the chairmen of such committees, the at- 6 tendance of any other witnesses and the production of any 7 other books, documents, papers, or records. 8 "SEC. 407. The Auditor General, or any of his assistants 9 or employees when duly authorized by him, shall, to the 10 extent necessary to perform the functions vested in and im11 posed upon him, have access to and the right to examine 12 any books, documents, papers, or records of any depart13 ment or establishment of the Government. The authority 14 contained in this section shall not be applicable to expendi15 tures made under the provisions of section 291 of the Ee16 vised Statutes (IT. S. C , 1934 edition, title 31, sec. 107). 17 or any other provisions of law prohibiting or limiting review 18 by the accounting officers of the Government of expenditures 19 made by the President, the heads of executive departments 20 or independent establishments, or other officers of the lil Government. 22 "SEC. 408. (a) The Auditor General is authorized, 23 subject to the civil-service laws and regulations; to appoint 24 such officers and employees as he deems necessary to enable 25 him to exercise the functions vested in and imposed upon 11 1 him hy law; and the compensation of all such officers and 2 employees shall be fixed in accordance with the Classification 3 Act of 1923, as amended. 4 " (b) The Auditor General is authorized to delegate to 5 any officer or employee of the Office of the Auditor General 6 any functions vested in and imposed upon him by law. 7 "(c) The Auditor General is authorized to adopt an 8 official seal for the Office of the Auditor General and judicial 9 notice shall be taken of such seal. 10 "(d) The Auditor General is authorized to prescribe 11 such regulations as may be necessary to enable him to exer12 cise the functions vested in and imposed upon him by this 13 title. 14 "SEC. 409. The Auditor General and the Office of the 15 Auditor General shall exercise no functions other than those 16 vested in and imposed upon the Auditor General by this title 17 or by any subsequent law, and nothing contained in this 18 title shall be construed as authorizing the Auditor General 19 to revise the settlements and adjustments of accounts and 20 claims made by the General Accounting Office or the ad21 vance decisions rendered by the Comptroller General under 22 section 8 of the Act of July 31, 1894 (U. S. C, 1934 23 edition, title 31, sec. 74), or, except as provided in section 24 403 (c), to direct the manner in which the General Account- 12 1 ing Office or the Comptroller General shall exercise the 2 functions vested in and imposed upon them by law. 3 "SEC. 410. Such of the personnel of the General Ae- 4 counting Office employed in connection with the functions 5 exercised by the General Accounting Office through the 6 Audit Division of that Office, and such of the unexpended 7 balances of appropriations available to the General Account- 8 ing Office for the exercise of such functions, as the President 9 shall deem to be necessary to enable the Auditor General 10 to exercise the functions vested in and imposed upon him 11 by this title, are transferred to the Office of the Auditor 12 General, and any unexpended balances of appropriations 13 so transferred shall hereafter be available to the Auditor 14 General for the purpose of exercising the functions of his 15 Office and for otherwise canying out the provisions of this 16 title: Provided, That the transfer of personnel under this 17 section shall be without change in classification or compensa- 18 tion, except that this requirement shall not operate after 19 the end of the fiscal year during which the transfer becomes 20 effective to prevent the adjustment of classification or 21 compensation to conform to the duties to which such trans- 22 ferred personnel may be assigned: Provided further, That 23 such of the personnel so transferred who do not already 24 possess a classified civil-service status shall not acquire such 25 status by reason of such transfer except (a) upon recom- 26 mendation by the Auditor General to the Civil Service 13 1 Commission, and certification by him to such Commission, 2 within one year after such personnel have been so trans3 ferred, that such personnel have served with merit for not 4 less than six months prior to the transfer of such personnel; 5 and (b) upon passing such suitable noncompetitive exami6 nations as the Civil Service Commission may prescribe." 7 SEC. 7. There is authorized to be appropriated, out of 8 any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, such 9 sums as may be necessary to cany out the provisions of 10 this Act. 11 SEC. 8. The provisions of this Act shall become effective 12 sixty days after its enactment. 75TH CONGRESS! 1ST SESSION / I t | 1 f> # | \ # A BILL To amend the Budget and Accounting Act3 1921, to establish the office of Auditor General of the United States, and for other purposes. By Mr. FRED M. VINSON AUGUST 18,1937 Referred to the Select Committee on Government Organization and ordered to be printed