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IN RE ACCOUNTS OF THE NATIONAL HOME FOR
DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS.
The provieion in the act of March 3, 1879, “that all purchases of supplies
exceeding the sum of one thousand dollars at any one time shall be made upon public tender after due advertisement,” in reference to the purchases for the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, was not repealed by the act of March 3, 1887, providing that “all expenditures of the said Home, including the expenses of the Board of Managers, shall be made subject to the general laws governing the disbursement of public moneys, so far as the same can be made applicable thereto, and shall be audited by the proper accounting officers of the ['reasury, under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by
the Secretary of the Treasury.” The provisions of section 3709, Revised Statutes, are only applicable to the
purchases made for the National Home in so far as provided by the regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury of September 7, 1893.
December 17, 1895. As a part of the unfinished business of the late Second Comptroller's Office, voucher No. 30 in settlement No. 2937, in the account of Gen. William B. Franklin, president and acting treasurer of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, for the disbursements of the Home for the period from July 1, 1893, to March 31, 1894, comes before me. Settlement No. 2937 was certified September 25, 1894, by the Second Auditor's Office, and confirmed November 28, 1894, by the Acting Comptroller as successor of the late Second Comptroller.
The Auditor in stating this account in reference to voucher 30 for $216.21, due D. M. Baldwin for supplies furnished, stated :
“ Explanation filed as to purchase of supplies not exceeding one thousand dollars, held insufficient to exempt the home from the necessity of making such purchases under contract as required by regulations."
The Comptroller, acting for the late Second Comptroller, approved this action and suspended payment on voucher No. 30. By this action the Auditor was divested of jurisdiction to take any further independent action in this matter; but in settlement No. 3381, for the period from July 1 to October 27, 1894, in reference to voucher No. 30, among others, he took this action: “Disallowed because not purchased under contract in accordance with section 3709, Revised Statutes." This was probably done under the supposition that it was necessary that there should be a formal disallowance by him of this item in order that the officers of the home might appeal to the Comptroller from this decision. While this is the correct practice under the existing law, under the law in effect prior to October 1, 1894, there was no power in the Auditors to disallow any item. They merely stated accounts, which were then acted upon by the Comptrollers, whose action alone was a settlement of the account, either allowing, disallowing, or suspending the items stated in the accounts furnished by the Auditors.
Accordingly, upon a sufficient explanation being furnished by the president and acting treasurer of the Board of Managers for the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers subsequent to this original suspension of voucher No. 30, this suspension is now removed and the same is allowed for the reasons appearing in this opinion.
In reference to the main question asked, to wit, whether the provisions of section 3709, Revised Statutes, are applicable to the purchases made for the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, and whether the following provision in the act of March 3, 1887 (24 Stat., 539)—
“But all the expenditures of the said Home, including the expenses of the Board of Managers, shall be made subject to the general laws governing the disbursement of public moneys, so far as the same can be made applicable thereto, and shall be audited by the proper accounting officers of the Treasury, under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury,” repeals the provision in the act of March 3, 1879 (20 Stat., 390), viz:
“ That all purchases of supplies exceeding the sum of one thousand dollars at any one time shall be made upon public tender after due advertisement, and that the expenditure for new buildings shall be expressly authorized in writing," or not, I am of opinion that the act of March 3, 1887, does not, by implication, repeal the authority impliedly given to the managers of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers to make purchases of supplies for a sum less than $1,000 in open market without advertisement.
From General Franklin's statement it appears that this question was submitted to the Secretary of the Treasury by
the late Second Comptroller at the time of his approval of the regulations prescribed by him September 7, 1893, and that to the words under the second section of those rules, “ all purchases shall be made by contract as required by section 3709, Revised Statutes," the words - and acts amendatory thereof” were added, because in the opinion of those officers the provisions of the acts of June 20, 1878 (20 Stat., 223), and March 3, 1879 (20 Stat., 390), were in full force. Based upon that construction, the officers of the National Home, upon March 4, 1895, issued a circular to the officers of the Home prescribing specifically the methods of purchasing supplies for amounts not exceeding $1,000, those between $100 and $.500, those between $500 and $1,000, and those exceeding $1,000 in value. These regulations seem to be ample to protect the funds appropriated, and in entire conformity with the law.
I may add that the provision of the act of March 3, 1887, requiring the auditing of the accounts of the National Home " by the proper accounting officers of the Treasury, under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury,” has reference to sections 236 and 277 of the Revised Statutes, and it may well be questioned whether the provisions of section 3709, Revised Statutes, have ever been applicable to the purchases made for the National Home, except as provided by the regulations of September 7, 1893.
EDW. A. BOWERS,
TRAVELING EXPENSES OF FIELD FORCE OF COAST
AND GEODETIC SURVEY.
Paragraph 61 of the regulations of the Coast Survey, requiring “previous
special authority from the Superintendent" for the payment of certain expenses, is a limitation upon the subordinate officers of the Survey
and not upon the Superintendent, who may subsequently approve • expenses not previously authorized by him.
December 18, 1895. SIR: I am in receipt of your letter of the 2d instant, inclosing a voucher in favor of Henry A. Grady for traveling expenses from Seattle, Wash., to Turkey, N. C., via Washington. Mr. Grady was, ou April 6, 1895, ordered by the Superintendent to report to Assistant Walker, of the Survey, at Seattle for service in the Alaska survey. It was specified in this order that his expenses would be paid from his home to the field. On August 27, 1895, the Superintendent directed Mr. Grady to return from Seattle to Washington and authorized the necessary expense of the travel. On October 22, 1895, Mr. Grady arrived in Washington, and two days later proceeded to his home in North Carolina. On November 27, 1895, the Superintendent addressed to you the following direction:
60 In conformity with instructions issued April 6 to Mr. H. A. Grady, authorizing the payment of his traveling expenses from his home to the field, you are hereby authorized to pay them to his home on the completion of his work.”
Mr. Grady presents a bill for his expenses, including subsistence and lodging in Washington and railroad fare and subsistence in going to Turkey, N. C. You ask whether you are authorized to pay the bill as presented, amounting to $55.45.
Paragraph 61 of the regulations of the Coast and Geodetic Survey provides :
"Traveling expenses shall not be allowed to anyone not an officer of or permanently employed on the Survey, or of the Army or Navy serving on the Survey, for a distance exceeding 50 miles to the place of organization or from that of disbanding a field party, nor shall a party be organized or disbanded at a distance greater than 50 miles from the locality of field work without previous special authority from the Superintendent."
As this paragraph'was clearly adopted, not as a check upon the Superintendent but upon the subordinate officers of the Survey, I see no reason why the Superintendent may not waive the same.
You are therefore authorized to pay Mr. Grady his traveling expenses from Seattle to his home in Turkey, N. C. Respectfully, yours,
R. B. BOWLER,
Comptroller. Mr. R. J. GRIFFIN,
Disbursing Agent, Coast and Geodetic Survey.
IN RE CONSTRUCTION OF THE ACTS OF AUGUST 7, 1882, AND FEBRUARY 8, 1887, AND MODIFICA. TION OF EXISTING CONSTRUCTION OF SECTION 154, REGULATIONS OF INDIAN OFFICE OF 1894, IN RELATION TO THE DISTRIBUTION OF ANNUITIES TO INDIANS WHO ARE MINORS.
The acts of August 7, 1882, and February 6, 1887 (section 6), providing for
the allotment of lands in severalty to Indians, and making them citizens, and subjecting them to the laws of the State or Territory in which they reside, are not to be construed as emancipating for all purposes such Indians from the control of the Interior Department and subjecting their tribal or communal property to the ordinary incidents
of property of white citizens under the general laws. There is no necessary relation between the rights of Indians as citizens
and the right of the United States to impose such restrictions as it sees
fit in the distribution of the annuities paid in accordance with treaties. Because the acts of 1882 and 1887 make citizens of certain Indians and sub
ject them to the laws, both civil and criminal, of the State wherein they reside, it by no means follows that the funds which the United States has agreed to retain for subsequent distribution to the Indians
fall under the provisions of State legislation. The Treasury Department has no authority to impose restrictions which
may operate as a practical denial of rights guaranteed to the Indians.
December 19, 1895. The Auditor for the Interior Department has made the following decision and submitted the same to this office under section 8 of the act of July 31, 1894 (28 Stat., 208), for approval, disapproval, or modification:
“In the matter of the suspensions in the account of Capt. William H. Beck, Indian agent Omaha and Winnebago Agency, from July 1, 1893, to September 20, 1894, on account of minors without guardians. Original construction of the acts of August 7, 1882 (22 Stat., 342), and of February 8, 1887 (24 Stat., 388, 390, sec. 6). Also modification of existing construction of section 154, Indian Regulations, 1894, in relation to pay. ments made to heads of families who are minors. Also as to the manner of appointment and qualification of guardians to minor Indians who have had lands allotted to them in sev. eralty, these guardians to be appointed under the laws of the State in which said minor Indians are citizens.
"All of these Indians to whom lands have been allotted in severalty are subject to the laws of Nebraska. Act of August