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ACCOUNTING PROCEDURE FOR THE DISTRICT OF

COLUMBIA

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TUESDAY, JUNE 8, 1971

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

SPECIAL STUDIES SUBCOMMITTEE
OF THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS,

Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10 a.m., in room 2203, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Wm. J. Randall (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.

Present: Representatives Randall, Garmatz, Collins, Abzug, Wydler, Goldwater, and Robinson.

Staff present: Erskine Stewart, staff director; Jacob N. Wasserman, counsel; and Thomas H. Saunders, minority staff, Committee on Government Operations.

Mr. RANDALL. The Subcommittee on Special Studies of the House Government Operations Committee will come to order.

Let the record show that the ranking member on our side, the gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Garmatz, was here and unavoidably had to leave for a while.

OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN WM. J. RANDALL

The purpose of this subcommittee meeting is to consider H.R. 8712. The purpose of the bill is to amend an act entitled "An Act to authorize any executive department or independent establishment of the Government, or any bureau or office thereof, to make appropriate accounting adjustment or reimbursement between the respective appropriations available to such departments and establishments, or any bureau or office thereof."

The original act was approved January 29, 1966, and the sole and entire purpose of H.R. 8712 is to include within the coverage of the 1966 enactment the government of the District of Columbia.

And in order that we may, for the record, exhibit an orderly procedure I ask unanimous consent at this time that the bill itself, H.R. 8712, and correspondence from the Office of Management and Budget, the Comptroller General of the United States, the District government signed by Graham W. Watt, Assistant to the Commissioner or to the Mayor, Walter E. Washington, be included as part of the record. (The bill, H.R. 8712, and correspondence follow :)

(1)

92D CONGRESS

1st SESSION

H. R. 8712

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 25, 1971 Mr. RANDALL (for himself, Mr. HOLIFIELD, Mrs. DWYER, and Mr. WYDLER)

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Government Operations

A BILL

To amend the Act entitled “An Act to authorize any executive

department or independent establishment of the Government, or any bureau or office thereof, to make appropriate accounting adjustment or reimbursement between the respective appropriations available to such departments and establishments, or any bureau or office thereof”, approved June 29, 1966, so as to include within its coverage the government of the District of Columbia.

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1

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa

2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

3 That the Act entitled "An Act to authorize any executive

4 department or independent establishment of the Government, 5 5 or any bureau or office thereof, to make appropriate account

6 ing adjustment or reimbursement between the respective

I

2

1 appropriations available to such departments and establish2 ments, or any bureau or office thereof”, approved June 29, 3 1966 (80 Stat. 221; 31 U.S.C. 628a), is amended by 4 striking out "Government” and inserting in lieu thereof

5 "Federal Government or the government of the District of

6 Columbia".

COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES

Washington, D.C., February 25, 1971. Hon. Chet HOLIFIELD, Chairman, Committee on Government Operations, House of Representatives.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Reference made to your letter of February 12, 1971, requesting our comments on H.R. 3644, 92d Congress. The bill proposes to amend Public Law 89-473, approved June 29, 1966, so as to include within its coverage the municipal government of the District of Columbia.

Public Law 89 473 authorizes any appropriation of a Federal agency to be used for initially financing within limitations available thereto, the procurement of materials and services, or financing activities or other costs for the benefit of any other appropriation available to such agency for which funds are available in both the financing appropriation and the appropriation to be benefited, subject to final adjustment during or as of the close of each fiscal year of the charges to the benefiting appropriations and with credit to the financing appropriations.

We believe the authority contained in Public Law 89 473 can facilitate the accounting and payrolling for common service types of activities and that savings can be realized through the establishment of joint service activities and the elimination of duplicate activities that might have been maintained within an agency. We see no reason why the District of Columbia would not benefit from the provisions of Public Law 89–473 equally as well as the Federal Government. We believe also that making its provisions available to the District of Columbia would encourage it to develop more effective management and accounting techniques so that the authority granted will produce the maximum benefits possible. Accordingly, we recommend that H.R. 3644 be favorably considered. Sincerely yours,

R. F. KELLER, Assistant Comptroller General.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT,
OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET,

Washington, D.C., May 20, 1971.
Hon. CHET HOLIFIELD,
Chairman, Committee on Government Operations,
House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This is in response to your request of February 12, 1971, for a report from the Office of Management and Budget on H.R. 3644, a bill to amend the act entitled "an act to authorize any executive department or independent establishment of the Government, or any bureau or office thereof, to make appropriate accounting adjustment or reimbursement between the respective appropriations available to such departments and establishments, or any bureau or office thereof," approved June 29, 1966, so as to include within its coverage the municipal government of the District of Columbia.

We defer to the views of the Government of the District of Columbia concerning the need for this legislation. Sincerely,

(s) Wilfred H. Rommel,

WILFRED H. ROMMEL, Assistant Director for Legislative Reference.

THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,

Washington, D.C., April 1, 1971. Hon. CHET HOLIFIELD, Chairman, Committee on Government Operations, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. HOLIFIELD: The Commissioner of the District of Columbia has for report H.R. 3644, a bill To amend the act entitled "an act to authorize any executive department or independent establishment of the Government, or any bureau or office thereof, to make appropriate accounting adjustment or reimbursement between the respective appropriations available to such departments and establishments, or any bureau or office thereof”, approved June 29, 1966, so as to include within its coverage the municipal government of the District of Columbia.”

H.R. 3644 amends the aforesaid act (80 Stat. 221 ; 31 U.S.C. 628a ; Public Law 89 473), by adding thereto a section 4 so as to extend the authority conferred by such Act upon the Federal government to departments and agencies of the District government. The proposed section 4 reads as follows:

"Sec. 4. The word 'Government', as used in this act, shall be construed to include the municipal government of the District of Columbia.”

According to its legislative history, Public Law 89–473 is an outgrowth of the study and activities of the joint accounting improvement program of the Bureau of the Budget (now the Office of Management and Budget), the Treasury Department, and the General Accounting Office. The reports accompanying H.R. 6438, the bill which became Public Law 89_473, state that the bill was necessary because then existing law and decisions of the Comptroller General did not permit reimbursements and transfer of funds between appropriations in the absence of express authority. Enactment of the legislation, the reports continued, would facilitate the accounting and payrolling for common service types of activities such as supply inventories, technical services, and joint use of automatic data processing equipment, and would provide greater flexibility and efficiency in the accounting offices of Federal departments and agencies by making unnecessary the need for estimating and precharging various accounts and appropriations.

The benefits afforded by Public Law 89–473 are not available to the District government. The act is primarily applicable to an executive department or independent establishment of the Federal Government having more than one appropriation available for its operations during the fiscal year. It permits such a Federal agency to charge one appropriation, at any time during the the year, for the benefit of any other appropriation available to the agency for the purpose of financing the procurement of materials or supplies, or to finance other costs for which funds are available both in the appropriation to be initially charged and the appropriations benefited, subject to later accounting adjustments.

At present, the Commissioner of the District of Columbia is authorized, pursuant to the provisions of subsections (j) and (k) of section 1 of the Additional Powers Act, as amended (72 Stat. 292; District of Columbia Code, sec. 1-244(j) and (k)), to place orders for materials, supplies, equipment, work, or services with any Federal department or agency, and between District departments and agencies, subject to either advance payments therefor or subsequent reimbursement. The District government, however, does not have authority, subject to subsequent reimbursement or adjustment, to use one appropriation for the purchase of goods or services which are required for carrying out activities for which several appropriations have been made. Accordingly, if Public Law 89-473 were amended to include activities of the District government, any appropriation for any department or agency within the District government could be charged for the benefit of any other appropriation of other departments or agencies within the District. Thus, for example, a consolidated order for equipment for all District departments could be charged initially to the District's Department of General Services, subject to later accounting adjustments.

Inasmuch as the appropriation processes and the accounting practices and procedures of the District of Columbia are similar in principle to those of the Federal Government, and because the benefits and economies provided by Public Law 89–473 would be equally advantageous to the District, the Commissioner of the District of Columbia strongly urges the favorable consideration of H.R. 3644, so as to include agencies and departments of the District municipal government within the coverage of the act approved June 29, 1966. Sincerely yours,

GRAHAM W. WATT,

Assistant to the Commissioner (For Walter E. Washington, Commissioner).

Mr. RANDALL. Well, for the record, which is somewhat repetitive of course, the purpose of this hearing is to consider H.R. 8712. This bill carries the name of the chairman and also the name of the chairman of our full committee, Mr. Holifield, the gentlelady from New Jersey, Mrs. Dwyer, and the ranking minority member from New York, Mr. Wydler.

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