oversight

Findings and Recommendations Contained in Prior GAO Reports on Areas Similar to Those Covered in the National Academy of Sciences' June 1977 Report on Health Care for Veterans

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-10-17.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

Illlllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
       LM103759                     Is,   w7-r
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              ~.~~I?-164105    _-. .                              .^ -_._ _-._ __..~_ - __._--_--. _._..-.


                  by any enactment of Congress" for certairi lobby2ng activities       without
                  express authorization.    31 U.S.C. § 628.proh%b&ts-the use Xappropriated
                  funds for other than their iutendedTpurpose.-mAlsomperttint         ia sect&a
                  607(a) of the Ireasury,   PostalService;and       CeneralCover&m&:Appropri-
                  ation Act, 1977, Pub. L: No. 94;363- (July 14, J-976); 90-Stat;       963;97g,
                  which provides:
                                                                  I
                              "No part of anp appropriation    eouU.ued fB
                        this or any other Act, or of the fux~ds avaXkabla
                        for expenditure by any corporation     or ageuey,
                        shall be used for publicity    or propaganda pur- '.
                        poses designed to support or defeat leg?=;~atZon
                        pendiug before Congress."     (Emphasis &b&d.)
                  Ihe fdeutical provision is found ti sect&i .607(a) -of the Treae~uy, Postal
                  Service and General Goverument Approppiatio~ Act, 1976, Pub. L. No. 94-91
                   (@T&St g, 1975).        g9 s-t,     441, 45g*-.---(.-A---.-     - -- -" - ---:-‘:-           -
                     . ._                                   --_.__
                                                                --_.       -me-.--- ,, ..^... 1v.c
                                                                  __. __.;;;--~~-1-~-=.--------.-
                                                                                                -.. -...-: ;;i-.- _
                           In iute+!eting      "publicity     and propagau&!%pm&&ous-such            as section
                   607(a), we have consistently           reco@zed that any ag&y liars a legitinate
                   interest      iu comumuicatig with the'public           and witi leg&&xtuws regardTug
                   its policies and actitities,            If auy policy=or~activityof~aaageucy           fs
                   affected by pending or proposed le~sla~~~~~-d~~~~~~I;~~fficidls                        of
                   that policy or activity        will necessarily,,       either axplic%tly-or    by impli-
                   cation, refer to such legfslatiou            and will presumably be either In support
                   of or in opposition to it.            An interpretation      of sectbon 607(a) whkh
              . __-~~
                   strictly-pmhibited        expeuditures      of-publ~~-~ds~f~fdbs-~~i~~
                             o*. p~d.~g~ le~l~ti~~~-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ud~                       &getiaaly tif
                                                                                                        my
     .
                  comneut by officials  OIL administration                or.agency      policy     or activities,    a
                  resulr we do not believe was intended.
                        --We- believe,' therefore,‘.t~at-C~~ess'-;l~d~~--~~~~by'the                           &actraent
                  of section 607(a) and like measures, to preclude all expression by agency
                  officials     of views OIPpeudiug or proposed legislation.                     Rather, the pro-
                  hibition     of section 607(a), iu our view, applies priwarily                     to expeudftures
                  iuvolviug appeals addressed to the public suggesting that they contact
                  their alected representatives           aud indicate the              support of or opposition
                  to pending or proposed legislation,             *,,       appeals to members of the public
                  for them in turn to urge their represantatives~tmvote-&a                             particular
                  mauuer. These general cousideratious                 fozXttie.bqsis       for-our determiuatioxt
                  in any gives instance of whether there basbee& a vzkolation of section
                  607(a).      See, e.g., B-128938, July 12, 2-976,. copy enclosed, .
                                                                      _.       . __...__... _. _- .; -- --I
                          In th5s context, the comeu ts attributed                 to Hr. Van More saam claarly
                  desigued to urge members CC the public to contact their Congressmen in


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      --.--                                                 _.                      . _-...---_.-__
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                                 support of the CRBRPand related legislation.                Thus, -a
                                 statutes are othetise          applkable,    pubHcatim-oi       tbe cmmen
                                 pear highly questionable;---However9          the sta?xtory prohSb%gj[bns have one
                                 elemcsne    in _.-cxnmEon-*~y
                                       _ __~-_-.     -- ----     are.&r               heme _of appropt.-iat
                                 rather than the-1obbyin.g &&vi                       a.v4&,- TAxikihzeal               sfte
                                 t0 a'tioiaiion         of these &atutesp             re,- is th~use-of    appropzgated
                                 funds inconnect%o~wXththeactitities                inguestkm,        Basedou theMor-
                                 titicm we received horn BRl& it appears that appropr%a                                    t
                                 involved, either in the pnblkation            of the newsletter o
                                 of Hr. van NOgtVs salary.           AscordI~@y~ we do not beI%-
                                 have been violated.                                                :

                                   -We would caut&       tha&tbe-titexpretatforc        of 18 W.§.C. S 19         e
                           . of its pea&E satdons;-fcs         the respomsdbS.Z&ty of the Justice De
                             and the cour~s,‘and &e wo&d generally refra&u fronr expresgbng aa~ optikm
                             OIL it.   Ourconclus5o~shoaikd         tbereforebetiewedas         r-a     prS.wa&ly
                             to sect&on 607(a).      However, sizaseappropriated          fin&s
                             bavebeen involved, it.skews unI%kely that timkstfc
                             pursue_the- matter.further.
                                      The material. that follows, which formed &a basicr for oBgt coskclms&o~,
                                 as s~b~nrafttec&.by.ERDA.on June lQ, l977, in response to.spe&fic                       qszestfons
                                 w~presenteck-c We--are--IueluBing thtiwaterkal-                esstit%a.lly~as       prow&k&, as
                                 backgropmd iafomatioa    in order tq,be responsive to all aspects                       of pur

                                 request;
                                                                         .
                                _Gener;PI;--co~tsL-e-.-+   ___.__ -.-. ---_-           --- _-..- ..-- . - --- _-I_ -
                                                                                                        ;>.+qFy--- . F.
                                                               -c-rbz.i--..-?;7,-.;~~.~~.~'-i'3~~~..~.~..~
                                           "['FJhe CR& Project 5s a cooperat&we effort between
                                           the Energy Research and Developwent Adf&&&mtSon
                                           (ERLN) and approxAwate3.y 740 Utited s'tates electrk
                                .- -.- --- uti~ity-s;gst~,--These-gt~ity--'sys~~-ame     C&itrG
                                           but&q Szr exce8s of $257 m5.llim to the Project,
                                           They are represented in the CRBRPProject by the
                                           Breeder Reactor Corporation (BRC) and the Project
                                           MaQagement coszporat~os% (PHQ.
                                       "The Breeder Reactor Corpora&m is the utilitp           or-
                                       ganization established ratprovide utility       advice at
                                       the top-management level to the Project ax&to sezwe
                                       asliaisonbe~~then~ities~d                 t&Project.
                                       BRCkeeps tbeutKkkti&sapp3;Psedofprojectstatas               _ -
                                       byholdiq     regdaa         tS.o~weetkgsa&bypm-
                                       viding for various types of wrftten reports,         *d&kg
                                       Breeder Briefs,


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    B-164105



            'The Project M&xagemznt Corporation is tbemn%ng-
            level organization      established    by t&e utilities      to
            administer their interests        in tbe.Pxoject.       m~car-
            ries out itsmftict&+by-&y++ay               mmZto+g        of     --
            Project progress, nmnamg the d%Ui&kntof                         -
            uaity     fimds,diss~t~info~~to~~aed-
            to the utilities     as reqwsted by BE, axed zmmng5ng
            for the participation       of ut&lity   personas& * the
            Project.

            "ERDA*s role in the Project is to pxovide owera$
            project mnagement and the necesm             projeee.fu&@g
            in excess of that provided by tbenttlitrt-es,           RRUA
            has established     aProject    Officeinlkk
            Tennessee, to provide day-to-day
            project activities     w&h the except&m of those
            activities    descrikd     above th%z a%e the so& r-Sspo&                        -
            sif3l~tJ-ofPMc.'*      ---- -   ------------ ~- .- -                                 .         -

    1.    GAOquestioB:           Legal autbotity         for #klcatlan           of tbekwsXetter.

    RRDArespo&se:

             'eeeder     Briefs is published           as oneof theways iu
             rJBichPP%C-fulf~sac~~~t~o~~~~ts~
             to dissdte          inforiiui.on~a3oua;_~~           PTo&et. -.--- -_~---- -- . - _ __._
         T ._~z-c-,=l
                  <?.~__
                       -=c- .'=?.y'=-~T~~;":y.:
                                              zy$~2<=7;s;---- ---xm '- __:.,;- ~~"“&x-')-"y     "-.--..? --. -
             IFArticle XJJl (a) of KodZfication            No. 1 to Ckract
             MO. AT (49-18)-12-l         between BRC and PEE recogu%zea
             tbatBRCwillserveas              'prinary     Uaisonbetweemthe
                   ect amb the dectrie-         utirity    5sa&lstrp-            the-.----..  .
                   ic, ad in this respect shall me kts
                   s to help assure the broad dissw&at
             Projectdataand         information..          cI@REand
             &all conmltregularlywitbrespedztto                        program
             for~s~tfonofsachdata~~o~~~.'
             Under th%s provision BRC: has requested EWCm assise
             iaperfor&ug       theinformsatioadisszmknaticmfuactioz?
             and PM-Chas accepted that responsib%Ii~,~.

    2. GAOquestlan:              8ourceoffondingfoztbe                         etter&&&icatim                     md
    distribntti) .                                                                ^.
    ERDA respouse:



                                                 -4.
               3. GA.6questi&:            Is the newsletter          published      by Govermnent persomelZ
               ERDA reqmnse:                                                                t
                     .- "The~newsletter~3.s vrftten           by &e Information          M-
                        +sion      of the CgBap Project 0ffl;ce and published.
                     . uudq contract by aprkvate                 prbtiug     ffmt.    AZ1
                          dj+i.sion personuel. are either employees of PMC or
                          TW.. ThePIG employees are paidfzm.PMC.*s-operating
                   ---L bu8get~~i;clh'fs--fund~ddfby         utility     contributti+
                    ---.-Ia-a~~~~~~:~t~~~ragrap~                  ~;2~~~~f~&pGi&x         D'of --
                      ---Ho$ificat&.m     Ef-:-'f'to-&&kract         No; AT@!%18)~I.2
                          betweezt'El?BA, TVA, CE and PEE, the~TVA employees 3.~ .
                          the &fomatio~~DiVisfo~'~ak~              assigned to and receivs
                          d~~aet~erPfsio~fram~~~~~r~.~~er                             of. PMC
                         'wb&a Go&&~&~         the newsXettmi2r:~ The salaries of             .
                          the. !iVA persome& are pai&by'l!V&front               nompproprii
                          ated.TVA funds- and,.TVA 5s re&nbursed>by PEE for such
           -..----i- expenses out of PMC's     _--__ ope.~a~~g,budget,,-~eitheP-;---          ---- ----.--
                 m;r~~~~~~~~,~&~~~~~~n~~xopr~s~~f~dsr"
        -=:~TwTeq7       Tc-=h      - _-                                                              "j'--.
                          are~federally-appropriated.
                     "Paragzaph D-Z.1 of-I%odzLficaticm~No. 1 provfdes that,
               _ .~~~with_.certaieexreptions--not-relevaot--here~--TvA's           -- -. --
                     dfrectaad.     indfrect    expenses incurred in conxtection
                     with TVA's Project Activities           &all be reimbursed by
                     ERDA. -Contr+ct No. AT(49-18)-U,             as orighally    entered
                     into,. providea for PWto reimburse. TVA. for a.II such
                     direct and indirect        expenses. After Modification
                     ISo,- 1 was executed PIE has cout$nued to reimburse TVA
                     for fts expenses without interruption.              Paragraph
                     4.l,3.2_ofJfodifzEcatiou       Noi-X~irovides    that :PHC shall
                     be rezqmsS.bXe for paying, or arranging for payment
                     of, sakr&es and related costs of all PMC personnel
                     and utility      industry personnel assigned..to the inte-             *
               _.    grate&Prafect        Isaniagmti or~iioll.          r Even though
                     paragraphs DGZ.1 and 4.1.12 appear to be in conflict,


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                                                                          ._       ~.
              _. R-164105
                  _       ..- -     ~- -- .-                                                         .._ _-_.- _.    _. . .
                                                                  ._ .-   -.----

                        it was ass-med by Project offkdals     tbatunder   para-
                        graph 4.1.12 PIT, had authority  for re.i&ursing   TVA
                        for the expenses of TVA.persounel ass&hed to-the
                        Project, and under paragraph D-2.1 RRDAwas to z&t-
                        burse TVA for all other-expenses~Sm%rred:b~      TVA fu                        _
                        connections with the Project,' ~ThattiGGption     app&m3
                        to have been confirmed by TVA's General Counsel in
                        a letter dated April 21, 1977, to PIE's Comptroller."
                 4.  GAO question:       If published by mm-Covknmeut personnel, hes
                 protided   any instructions      regardhg the publication or conteut of th@
                 newsletter?
                 ERDAresponse:
                             '%RDA has.pr&ded    uo instruction     to PHC or
                      BRC regarding publkatioon or dfstr%.but&m _ .. I of Breeder _-
                      Briefs.t'    -.       *                    ,. _ '-.~
                                                      _.-._ ~_ __.----__- .~ ~- -.- - - -
                 5. GAO question:     If published by m&-C&Wtpersbnuel,                 are there
                 any procedures for review aud/or approv& of the neweletter by RRDA, aud
                 if so, wer& they followed for the my1976 tisue'P
                 ERDAresponse:          '- .
                                  "There are no procedures per se for retiew
              .  _._-_.- of   the
                         _____.-.    newsletter
                                      -_--... --..- --.--byJJDA.-. %w~r~-S,
                                  .._-.                                                - .-.. -,-----I- --..        - -- . - -
                         ar.ticles.,concerniu~~or-,
                - -i ------                                   quotiug~RRDA.~personneJ.- . -: :.: Ir'. I. .. - I - - --."
                         may be coordinated with the person(s) about whom
                         the article          is wr%tten,"                                                                       i

                 6, CA0 question:.--What was- the approximate cost of the-May 1976 issue
                 of the newsletter   (pubU.cation and distribution)?
                 ERJIAresponse:
                             "Total publication and dWzrlbut%ee costs     *
                        for the May issue of Breeder Briefs were $561.00."

                 7. CA0 question:    Descpfbe the distributioa     of the May T9?6 Issue (total
                 number of copies printed and approximate          er or portion d3strfbunted to
                 Government employees aud to non-Govm          t individuals   or entitbs).
                                                                                 ,
                 ERDAresponse:


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     z.
--    t
                 'A total of 4,080 copies of the May 1976 Breeder
                 Briefs were printed.       Of the total prin*g,        ap-
                 prox$mkteXy 140 were df.st.+uted.      to.govexment
               m.m-personnel and- the.r+der.were        distributed     to
                 nongovernment personnel.'       Govermeat agesxcies
                 receiving copies of the May mewsletter fncluded
                 TVA, FLRDA,the Nuclear Regulatory Cowmissfon,
                  the Federal Energy Ads&&3tration,        the Environ-
                 mental Protecttin     Agency, and the General AccounF-
                 ing Office.    Nongovernment recipieuta       kluded
                 utilities,   CR88P consultants and contractors,
                 news media, Tennessee community and business
                 leaders, educational institutions,        and- private
                 citizens by request."

      ._   8.:,~O,%e$tion:..What       .is the source of the quotation attributed     to              -
           Mx..Van     Nort (speech,
                   _---- -. -- ---   other: publiwtfon,~ comte.nt.dire.ctly to  newsletter
           mstaff,_etc.)?      ~_
           ERM response:
              -     .-.'- .,;
                          _ "The quotat%ous-in the newsletter were
                   obtained from discussionsbetween           Wr. Vap Nort          .
                   and: the-Breeder Erfefs staff."
                                                    ..
_ _,__=:~.._i_r>iG ~f~nakfquestioP-we-raised-~t~~A-conce~          r _ among
                                                                       -...   Appendix Pto'Eodfpica-
---i~~t~~~outrac~-No~49~~&)~12~~~                       cbf&rfig,             Ott ~:r things; the
            General Manager's salary,-which-yo11 wentgoned- in your request.                  We obtained
            copfes of the original 1973 contract and L%dificatfm                  I, dated May 1976,
            andreviewed pertinent provfsions.            As in the case of tie coiitxact provi-
   - - -----sbo~-desa;tPng-wl~TVA~personnel-(see--~-fe8p'bnse~                 to questtin 3 above),
            them contract provisions appear somewhat confusing.                   Sectfon 4,1.12
            provides-that        PMC shall be responsible for payIng,or arrauging for payment
            of, salaries and related costs of utility             industry personnel assigned to            .
            the.integrated         project management organization..        Section F-6.1 provides
            that ERDA will reimburse Comonwealth Edison (CE) for all direct and
            indirect       Project-related   expenses.

             -- .Accokd5ng- to an-ERM officikl,     the pa&es fiave interpreted     these
           provisions to mean that PEE w5l.l re5wburse CE for salaries of assigned
           personnel out of utility   contributions    as long as those contributions
           rem&n (es-ted       to 19821. When the utility     funds have been depleted,
           ERDAwfll be responsible for reimbursement under section P-6.1.           At



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                 B-164105


                 present, PMC is still making the reimbursements out of the utilfty     con-
                 tributions.  ERDA's explanation,     set forth belowS makes it clear that,
                 as a matter of fact, the Ceueral Manager is not being paid, directly       or
                 fndirectly, with appropriated    funds:
                        "According to paragraph F-l.1 of AppendrX H to
                        Modification    No. I to Contract No. ATC49-18).12,
                        Commowealth EXson (CE) shall see 'That there
                        are made available to PMC;at Project cost, ixxdiy                                   .
                        viduals qualified      to serve and/or perform, as
                        required, the functions of General Manager, and
                        such additional     functions as PMC and CE shall
                        agree upon from time to time.'           The individuals
                        made available by CE are to be at Project cost,
                        although CE has agreed in paragraph F-6.2 to
                        contribute$2     milliw.    (above aad- beyond &tts
                        contribution    to.design.~~build,the:.CB88P).                       aa ~~
                        a credit agsinst CEJs billings. for-work-or-                        ser-
                        vices performed by CE under the contract,                           A
                        credit of $14,891.00 is being deduct& currently
                        on a monthly=basfs fo~Lwoices=undmzAppesdix                               F;
                                                                  -.'......,--=.;,;; r- -
                                                                                 ___..~
                        "Mr. Van No& is a CE &ploy&             assigned to PMC
                        to perform the.functions         of General Eanager.
                        His salary is paid by CB. C'E is reimbursed by
-_   ~.          -----PMC for-the= salaries--of-Mrz-Van-Nort-azrd+other----         v.?----             -
          -   ---.-"-" CE- persoMek =&asQ&+g=_.-        _
                                                    t.-.jaJ$~~&>j+f;'~&                 the-.- =-.-~-
                         above-noted credit.      PM6 makes such reimburse-
                         ments out of its operating funds derived from
                         utility  contrjibutions.   No federally_ -_-appropriatad
                                                                        .--
                         funds-are involved. * *-*-        ---
                         "Contract No. ATf49-18)-12,    as orig5nalQ    entered
                         31t0, provided in paragraph F-l.l.tbat      CE would
                         make awaS.able to PMC; at Project cost, individ-
                         uals to serve fulltime    In various positions fn-
                         eluding General Manager of the Project.       Paragraph
                         F-6.1 provided for PEC to reimburse afur         al&
                         direct and indfrect    expenses incurredby~CE%n
                         connection w:'th Project ActivLties.      Paragraph
                         F-6.1 of Eodificatiou    No. 1 provides for BKDA to
                         reimburse CE for such expenses, Afte=&d%f&8-
                         tion No. 1 to Contract No. AT(49-181-12 became


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         B-164105


               effective,   PI& continued to reimburse CB for
               its expenses tithout     iuterrupSm.      Project
               Office offfcials.assumed       that, as was the case
               with TVA * * * uuder paragraph 4.1.12 of HIGH-
               ficatiou   No. 1 Pi% has authority     to reimburse
               GE for expenses of CE personnel assigned to the
               Project and under paragraph F-6.1 EBBA is to
               reimburse CE for other expenses incurred by CE
               in connection with the Project. * * *,,
                                                                        .
               We reviewed the above information     independently but found no reason .
         to question its accuracy.    We therefora reiterate       our conclusion that the
         publication   of the May 1976 newsletter,     "Breeder Briefs" did not constitute
         a violation   of Fede& anti-lobbyiug      skutes     since no appropriated   funds
         were involved.

               We hope the forego&g    information      is helpful.
                                                   Sincerely   yours,




                                          -      -
                                                 . of ihe United States
a

        .Enclosure.




                                           -9-