« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Mr. Tulloss. If the T. V. A. had rendered the accounts in the same manner as the other establishments, the audit would be current.
Senator SCHWARTZ. Your delay has been due to the fact that you haven't had sufficient funds, hasn't it?
Mr. Tulloss. That was our principal difficulty for 1 year.
Senator SCHWARTZ. It was the fault of Congress and not your fault?
Mr. Tulloss. For 1 year we lacked the funds, which caused us to fall in arrears and then the work pyramided by reason of being in arrears, and we haven't been able to overcome that pyramiding effect of that 1 year's delay.
Mr. BIDDLE. I am not very clear in my understanding of the reason why the Washington office doesn't pass on the recommendations for release of exceptions a little bit more promptly. You tell me that still the 1934 and 1935 exceptions have in no instance, on recommendations of your field auditors for withdrawal, been acted on. Is there a reason for that?
Mr. Tulloss. Nothing except-there is only one reason for that, and that is simply this; in the beginning the law required us to make a report in quadruplicate, and did not require us to report the reply of the T. V. A.
Mr. BIDDLE. It is a running audit.
Mr. BIDDLE. Why then, when a withdrawal of a recommendation is recommended, why can't it be acted upon without waiting for the final report. Couldn't that be done?
Mr. Tulloss. No; because our record is in that report, and we just can't tear it to pieces.
Mr. Biddle. You mean until every exception taken is passed on, nobody knows whether the exception is finally acted on or not?
Mr. Tulloss. That is true; yes, sir.
Mr. BIDDLE. Before you leave this, there has been submitted to me, I think that I submitted some of these figures to you in a letter from Knoxville sometime ago, a statement by the T. V. A., judging from their view-I asked them to let me know how much they thought the exceptions were outstanding, and then asked you to furnish me with the same figures.
Now, in making your summary, will you bear this in mind, that I am giving figures, and I know nothing about them; I am simply telling you what is stated, that for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1934, there have been recommended for removal all but $80,705.05 covering 886 exceptions. Will you bear that in mind in checking your figures?
Mr. Tulloss. Yes, sir.
Mr. BIDDLE. You stated yesterday, that changes were made in the budget. They were not made, as I understand it, in the budget submitted to the Director of the Budget, but in the internal budget of the T. V. A.; is that what you meant in that? In other words, where a budget figure was entered on the T. V. A. budget, that item might be increased or decreased according to the need of the operation.
Mr. Tulloss. I was asked whether or not the T. V. A. departed from the letter, you might say, of their budget.
Mr. BIDDLE. Of their budget, their internal budget?
Mr. Tulloss. As finally approved by the Director of the Budget and submitted to the Congress.
Mr. BIDDLE. But that is their internal budget, and their internal budget isn't submitted for any purposes of appropriation. Mr. Tulloss. Yes, sir; it is passed to the Director of the Budget. Mr. BIDDLE. The Director of the Budget, but not to the Committee on Appropriations. Mr. TULLOSS. He transmits that to the Congress. Mr. Biddle. Do you know-I understand that it is a fact, I am so advised, and I want to ask you if that is a fact--that in every instance the Director of the Budget of the United States has approved those items of change.
Mr. TULLOSS. I do not know that.
Mr. Tulloss. No, I don't know that it would be necessary for him
Mr. BIDDLE (interrupting). I am not asking you wbether it is necessary; I am asking you whether he has done it.
Mr. TULLOSS. I do not know. Mr. BIDDLE. Now, would you again look at the amendment of the act, with respect to your duty under the 1935 amendment of August 31, your duty with respect to submitting exceptions to the T. V. A. before putting them in your report? Mr. Tulloss. You have a copy of it there; I don't have a copy.
Mr. BIDDLE. This is the amended act that I hand you. Would you read that?
Mr. Tulloss. Yes. Mr. BIDDLE. The portion with respect to exceptions being first submitted to T. V. A.
Mr. Tulloss (reading): He shall make report of each such audit in quadruplicate, one copy for the President of the United States, one for the chairman of the Board, one for public inspection at the principal office of the Corporation, and the other to be retained by him for the uses of the Congress: Provided, That such report shall not be made until the Corporation shall have had reasonable opportunity to examine the exceptions and criticisms of the Comptroller General or the General Accounting Office, to point out errors therein, explain or answer the same, and to file a statement which shall be submitted by the Comptroller General with his report.
Mr. BIDDLE. Am I correct in stating that no report has as yet been submitted to the T. V. A. under the provisions of that amendment?
Mr. Tulloss. That is correct.
EXCEPTIONS IN 1937 REPORT
Mr. BIDDLE. Now, I show you a copy of your annual report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1937, and call your attention to this language on page 68—this is under a section headed “Tennessee Valley Authority”:
While the officials of the Authority contend that the act required the General Accounting Office to make a complete audit at the offices of the Authority, leaving all vouchers, schedules, etc., on file there, they consented to the submission of accounts as required beginning with July 1935. Such submission of accounts current with supporting vouchers and schedules permits this office to make a current audit of transactions and to keep the Authority advised of any exceptions, thereby eliminating, to a great extent, the delay which would be necessary under the former procedure of completing a detail audit in the field.
By the way, they have a special office have they not, which deals only with exceptions filed by you? Mr. Tulloss. That is, the T. V. A. has a group of employees.
Mr. BIDDLE. A special office and a group of employees dealing only with the questions of exemptions and working full time on that?
Mr. Tulloss. I understand that they have.
During the fiscal years 1936 and 1937 exceptions were made and the Authority regularly notified on a total of 7,964 transactions, involving $15,542,459.70. Of such number and amount there was released, after proper explanation or recovery, a total of 3,077 exceptions amounting to $4,814,950, leaving 4,887 still pending in the amount of $10,727,509.70.
Now, were those figures submitted, before giving it to the public, to the T. V. A. in the form of a report required by the amendent to the act?
Mr. Tulloss. You mean-
Mr. BIDDLE. I don't mean the notification, but this requires that the report be submitted before it is made to the public, and it would seem that this report was given out-wait a minute--before the audit was submitted to the T. V. A., and I was wondering whether you thought that that complied with the provisions of the amendment.
Mr. Tulloss. I think that it does. This is a work report, merely giving Congress the information as to the work involved, whereas this speaks of the combined report of the exceptions that would be made to the T. V. A., and the information that would be contained in such a report is not comparable to the information there.
Mr. BIDDLE. Let us examine that a little further. Was not the very purpose of the amendment to prevent being given out to the public and to Congress or to Congress and the public generally, exceptions which might be removed, and in order that you could further discuss it with the T. V. A.?
Now, if you put them in your annual report, I should think that you could put any exceptions that you want in this report. What would prevent you from putting in this report all of the outstanding exceptions, and therefore what meaning has the amendment?
Mr. Tulloss. We view the amendment as giving the T. V. A. an opportunity to answer the detail that would be carried in the report, whereas this is nothing more than a report of volume of work, and we haven't said anything about what is the basis of these exceptions.
Mr. BIDDLE. You mean that you think it is appropriate to carry. in your annual report the total of exceptions without giving the details.
Mr. Tulloss. The law requires, the Budget and Accounting Act requires us to make an annual report, and this report is made pursuant to that authority, and carries the volume of work.
Mr. BIDDLE. Now, did you with respect to other departments in the annual report show the amount of exceptions carried against the other departments also?
Mr. TULLOSS. I don't recall.
Mr. BIDDLE. Take a look at it and answer my question. I presume that there are exceptions in every department, some exceptions, are there not?
Mr. Tulloss. Yes, in practically all of them, I would say. Mr. BIDDLE. Pick out one department, let us say the Department of Agriculture. Did you pick out the Department of Agriculture?
Mr. Tulloss. I don't know that I can; I will see what we have here. United States Shipping Board, Merchant Fleet Corporation
Mr. BIDDLE. I spoke of departments particularly; is that a department?
Mr. TULLOSS. No.
Mr. TULLOSS. I don't know that I have it on the departments. The United States Maritime Commission shows exceptions, disallowances, vouchers seven, amount $12,393.23.
Mr. BIDDLE. Do you show exceptions of any department of the United States-I am not speaking of independent corporations or commissions. Why don't you show all of your exceptions: Do you pick out some departments to show exceptions?
Mr. Tulloss. No, this report is an assembling of reports from the several activities of the General Accounting Office. I think that your point is well taken, that there should be consistency in reporting information.
Mr. BIDDLE. Well, do you think that that report is consistent in reporting information?
Mr. Tulloss. If it doesn't carry any other than those two, why it would seem-or three
Mr. BIDDLE. You mean that you have picked out two or three departments of all of the United States Government, and reported exceptions on those particular departments and not on others?
Mr. Tulloss. I think that we do have something here on the others. I have a statement here, entitled "Departments or establishment, vouchers preaudited for department or establishment per units, total vouchers preaudited for department or establishment.'
Mr. BIDDLE. I am talking about exceptions. Mr. Tulloss. I am coming to that. [Reading:) Preaudited vouchers, certified by the General Accounting Office, for less than administratively approved or for less than administratively approved or disallowed in full as invalid claims for department or establishment per units.
Mr. BIDDLE. Well, Mr. Tulloss, I don't want to labor on this too long, but isn't it true that you took out a few departments of the Government and commented on the exceptions that you found in those departments, and didn't say anything about any of the other departments with respect to exceptions; is that true?
Mr. Tulloss. I do not know.
at all. As I said, this is a consolidation of the reports of the several activities, and I can't answer offhand as to whether this particular information is shown. I find several pages here listing departments and establishments, and the number of items involved and the exceptions, and the number of items questioned.
Mr. BIDDLE. You omitted some and included others, was there any reason for that?
Mr. Tulloss. In this particular statement, they seem to have been all included.
Mr. BIDDLE. You mean included in dealing with exceptions, you included every department in the Government in commenting on the number of the outstanding exceptions?
Mr. Tulloss. This statement that I was just reading from has reference to the preaudit; that isn't comparable.
Mr. BIDDLE. My question is very simple; my question is whether, in that annual report, you didn't omit exceptions with respect to some of the departments and included them in others, and I was wondering why the distinction.
Mr. Tulloss. I don't know that they have omitted them; I am still trying to find out.
Representative WOLVERTON. What report is that?
Mr. BIDDLE. The report of the Acting Comptroller General of the United States for the current year.
Representative WOLVERTON. For what year?
Representative WOLVERTON. I suppose that reports were rendered each year?
Mr. BIDDLE. Yes.
Representative WOLVERTON. I thought that maybe with a continuity of reports, that the situation that we are now addressing our attention to
Mr. BIDDLE (interrupting). The purpose of this question was that the report shows exceptions to the T. V. A., which it seemed to me the amendment to the T. V. A. Act required should not be shown until the T. V. A. had a right to answer them, and the witness has stated that he did not think that that was the purpose of the amendment, and I was asking him why exceptions were omitted, now, in some departments and put in others.
Mr. Tulloss. We have other statements in here involving other departments, but they are on a different basis. For instance, the Post Office Department shows the amounts of the allowed accounts, and not the amounts of the disallowed.
Mr. BIDDLE. It doesn't show the disallowed ones?
Mr. BIDDLE. That answers the question, and then some are and some are not shown, and now you have admitted that there is a difference; and why the difference?
Mr. Tulloss. I would say that the difference, if it is consistent that way, was mere accident.
Mr. BIDDLE. I see.
RELEASE OF 1934 AUDIT REPORT
Now, is it a fact that before your 1934 audit, the audit that we have been speaking of, the only one that you have made, was released to the public, to Colonel Cassidy, and that Colonel Cassidy was per, mitted to examine the report of the General Accounting Office, and take excerpts from the report, before it was made to Congress?