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to this, it is our attempt to work in complete harmony with the Comptroller General, who has manifested a spirit and is motivated by the same purposes which we are, and we are, therefore, urging the passage and consideration of this amendment.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Lilienthal, do you think that under the provisions of that amendment the T. V. A. would be brought under the jurisdiction of the Accounting Office for the audit and settlement of its accounts with the two exceptions as mentioned in the amendment?
Mr. LILIENTHAL. Yes; it is brought under the Budget and Accounting Act, except as provided in the amendment submitted by the Comptroller General.
The CHAIRMAN. One of those exceptions is that they may settle any claim arising out of litigation or lawsuits that the Ť. V. A.
Mr. LILIENTHAL. That I believe was understood to be part of our present power, but was retained in to make sure of it.
The CHAIRMAN. That is in there?
The CHAIRMAN. The other exception, that is, after expenditures have been made by your treasurer, if by resolution of the Board, it approves the expenditure as necessary to the program of the T. V. A., it becomes final.
Mr. LILIENTHAL. Yes; it places squarely upon us the full responsibility in the expenditure of funds, and holds us responsible for them.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you, is your treasurer bonded ?
Mr. ELSTON. You heard what I think was a very clear statement of what this amendment means, by Mr. Warren, and counsel for the Comptroller General.
Now, do you agree fully in what each of those gentlemen said as to the terms of this amendment ?
Mr. LILENTHAL. I heard nothing with which I disagreed. As a matter of accuracy as to completeness, perhaps we would put it somewhat differently, but I heard nothing with which I disagreed.
Mr. Elston. Do you feel that the amendment means just exactly what he said it meant ?
Mr. LILENTHAL. Yes; I think the amendment means what it says. The language is well drawn, and they have described it accurately.
Mr. ELSTON. The question is whether they have placed the proper interpretation upon the amendment and whether or not you agree to their interpretation of the amendment?
Mr. LILENTHAL. Yes, sir.
it for you.
The CHAIRMAN. No further questions. Thank you very much Mr. Lilenthal.
Mr. ELSTON. I would like to ask Mr. Fitts if he feels the same way.
STATEMENT OF W. C. FITTS, GENERAL COUNSEL, TENNESSEE
VALLEY AUTHORITY, KNOXVILLE, TENN. Mr. Elston. Do you feel that this amendment means exactly what Mr. Warren and Mr. Yates said it would ?
Mr. Fitts. Substantially, yes. I would like to state it in my own way. I can do it in about 5 minutes.
The CHAIRMAN. That is all right. You may proceed.
Mr. Fitts. The way I consider this amendment, and I think we are in agreement on it, we discussed it for a day. The way I consider it, it unquestionably places the T. V. A. under the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, in respect to the regular rendition of accounts; that is, it requires the Tennessee Valley Authority to render its accounts, an accounting of its disbursing officer, to the General Accounting Office in Washington, in accordance with the same forms and the same procedures as the agencies that are under the Budget and Accounting Act, but the difference is that this bill preserves to the Authority the final independence of its Board of Directors in making administrative decisions.
In other words, under this bill the decisions of the Board of Directors on questions of policy, and questions of law would be final, insofar as the General Accounting Office is concerned.
By that I mean there would be no power under this bill to disallow any payments that have been made which have been declared by the Board of Directors to be necessary and essential for the purposes of the Authority.
Of course there remains the power of the Comptroller General to criticize and to look into the books and records and make whatever report to Congress he may desire.
Now, that is my construction of it.
Mr. Elston. Do you agree with what was said with respect to the interpretation of this amendment? Were there any differences of opinion?
Mr. Fitts. I do not think there is. I think we agree on that, sir.
(Whereupon, at 4:30 p. m., the committee proceeded to the transaction of other business.)
(At this point the committee was ready to consider the amendment offered jointly by the General Accounting Office and the Tennessee Valley Authority and representatives of the General Accounting Office, in order to save time, did not avail themselves of an opportunity to offer lengthy testimony, which they were prepared to offer, in order to answer and correct for the record a number of statements made by Mr. Fitts, General Counsel of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Likewise the Tennessee Valley Authority representatives did not avail themselves of an opportunity to comment, for the record, on the statement of exceptions placed in the record by the General Accounting Office, at the request of the chairman.)