A-10411, AUGUST 13, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 108

A-10411: Aug 13, 1925

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APPROPRIATIONS - CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS WHERE AUTHORITY IS GRANTED FOR THE ACQUISITION OF A SITE AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF A PUBLIC BUILDING FOR USE OF A POST OFFICE AND A LAND OFFICE. IT SUBSEQUENTLY DEVELOPS THAT QUARTERS FOR THE LAND OFFICE WILL NOT BE REQUIRED. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO USE ANY PORTION OF THE MONEYS APPROPRIATED FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A BUILDING FOR POST OFFICE USES ALONE. 1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 8. WILL PERMIT THE CONSTRUCTION OF A BUILDING FOR POST OFFICE PURPOSES ONLY. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR NOW ADVISES THAT NO QUARTERS WILL BE REQUIRED IN SAID BUILDING BY THE GENERAL LAND OFFICE. AMONG WHICH IS: UNITED STATES POST OFFICE AND LAND OFFICE AT CHAMBERLAIN.

A-10411, AUGUST 13, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 108

APPROPRIATIONS - CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS WHERE AUTHORITY IS GRANTED FOR THE ACQUISITION OF A SITE AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF A PUBLIC BUILDING FOR USE OF A POST OFFICE AND A LAND OFFICE, AND IT SUBSEQUENTLY DEVELOPS THAT QUARTERS FOR THE LAND OFFICE WILL NOT BE REQUIRED, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO USE ANY PORTION OF THE MONEYS APPROPRIATED FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A BUILDING FOR POST OFFICE USES ALONE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, AUGUST 13, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 8, 1925 (SA-L), REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE PROVISION IN SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1913, 37 STAT. 873, 876, AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASE OF A SITE AND ERECTION THEREON OF A PUBLIC BUILDING AT CHAMBERLAIN, S.DAK., FOR A POST OFFICE AND LAND OFFICE, WILL PERMIT THE CONSTRUCTION OF A BUILDING FOR POST OFFICE PURPOSES ONLY, IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR NOW ADVISES THAT NO QUARTERS WILL BE REQUIRED IN SAID BUILDING BY THE GENERAL LAND OFFICE.

SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1913, 37 STAT. 873, 876, AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY TO CONTRACT FOR THE ACQUISITION, BY PURCHASE OR OTHERWISE, OF A SITE AND TO CONTRACT FOR THE ERECTION AND COMPLETION THEREON OF A SUITABLE BUILDING FOR THE USE AND ACCOMMODATION OF THE UNITED STATES POST OFFICE AND OTHER GOVERNMENTAL OFFICES IN CERTAIN CITIES, AMONG WHICH IS:

UNITED STATES POST OFFICE AND LAND OFFICE AT CHAMBERLAIN, SOUTH DAKOTA, $60,000.

THE ACT OF JULY 29, 1914, 38 STAT. 559, APPROPRIATED FOR "CHAMBERLAIN, SOUTH DAKOTA, POST OFFICE AND LAND OFFICE: FOR SITE AND COMMENCEMENT, $3,500.'

THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1916, 39 STAT. 262, APPROPRIATED FOR "CHAMBERLAIN, SOUTH DAKOTA, POST FFICE: FOR SITE AND COMMENCEMENT, $2,000.'

THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1917, 40 STAT. 105, APPROPRIATED FOR "CHAMBERLAIN, SOUTH DAKOTA, POST OFFICE: FOR CONTINUATION, $10,000.'

THE ACT OF JULY 19, 1919, 41 STAT. 163, APPROPRIATED FOR "CHAMBERLAIN, SOUTH DAKOTA, POST OFFICE: FOR COMPLETION, $44,500.'

THE ORIGINAL AUTHORIZATION FOR THE ACQUISITION OF A SITE AND THE ERECTION OF A PUBLIC BUILDING AT CHAMBERLAIN, S.DAK., PROVIDES THAT SUCH BUILDING SHALL BE FOR THE USE AND ACCOMMODATION OF THE POST OFFICE AND LAND OFFICE, AND THE ACT OF JULY 29, 1914, MAKING AN APPROPRIATION OF $3,500 FOR A SITE AND COMMENCEMENT OF THE BUILDING EXPRESSLY INCLUDES QUARTERS FOR THE LAND OFFICE. HOWEVER, IN THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1916, MAKING A SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION OF $2,000 FOR THE PURCHASE OF A SITE AND COMMENCEMENT OF CONSTRUCTION, NO REFERENCE IS MADE TO QUARTERS FOR THE LAND OFFICE. NEITHER IS THE LAND OFFICE MENTIONED IN THE SUBSEQUENT ACTS OF JUNE 12, 1917, APPROPRIATING $10,000 FOR THE CONTINUATION OF SUCH CONSTRUCTION, AND THE ACT OF JULY 19, 1919, APPROPRIATING $44,500 FOR THE COMPLETION OF THE BUILDING.

THE CIRCUMSTANCES CONTROLLING THE DISCONTINUANCE OF THE WORDS "LAND OFFICE" IN THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1916, MAKING SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION FOR THE ACQUISITION OF A SITE AND COMMENCEMENT OF OPERATIONS, AND THE SUBSEQUENT ACTS APPROPRIATING MONEY FOR THE CONTINUATION AND COMPLETION OF THE BUILDING DO NOT APPEAR, BUT IN VIEW OF THE SPECIFIC LANGUAGE USED IN THE AUTHORIZATION ACT OF MARCH 4, 1913, AND THE ACT OF JULY 29, 1914, MAKING APPROPRIATION FOR THE ACQUISITION OF A SITE AND COMMENCEMENT, IT IS CLEAR THAT IT WAS THE ORIGINAL INTENTION OF THE CONGRESS TO PROVIDE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR BOTH A POST OFFICE AND A LAND OFFICE. ACCORDINGLY IT IS TO BE ASSUMED THAT THE TERM "POST OFFICE" AS USED IN THE LAST THREE APPROPRIATIONS WAS INTENDED TO RELATE TO THE BUILDING FOR A POST OFFICE AND LAND OFFICE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AUTHORIZATION AND WAS NOT INTENDED TO AUTHORIZE THE USE OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR A BUILDING FOR A POST OFFICE ONLY.

THE APPROPRIATIONS MADE WERE BASED ON FACTS SUBMITTED AT THE TIME INDICATING THE NEED FOR QUARTERS FOR A LAND OFFICE AS WELL AS A POST OFFICE, AND THE AMOUNTS APPROPRIATED MUST HAVE RELATION THERETO AND NOT FOR A POST OFFICE ONLY. THE RESPECTIVE APPROPRIATIONS SHOW THAT THEY WERE MADE BEGINNING IN 1914 FOR SITE AND COMMENCEMENT, IN 1917 FOR CONTINUATION, AND IN 1919 FOR COMPLETION, NOTWITHSTANDING WHICH, ACCORDING TO THE FACTS REPORTED, THE SITE WAS ONLY RECENTLY ACQUIRED AND PRELIMINARY SKETCHES ARE NOW ONLY BEING MADE FOR THE BUILDING, SO THAT NO CONSTRUCTION WORK HAS EITHER BEEN COMMENCED, CONTINUED, OR IS AT A COMPLETION STAGE, WITH REFERENCE TO WHICH CONDITIONS THE RESPECTIVE APPROPRIATIONS WERE MADE. IT APPEARING THAT CONDITIONS HAVE NOW SO CHANGED AS NOT TO REQUIRE QUARTERS FOR A LAND OFFICE, THE CONSTRUCTION OF A BUILDING TO PROVIDE FOR A LAND OFFICE IS NOT AUTHORIZED, AND THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE USE OF ANY PORTION OF THE UNOBLIGATED APPROPRIATIONS IN QUESTION FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A BUILDING FOR USE AS A POST OFFICE ONLY. 22 COMP. DEC. 323; 4 COMP. GEN. 179.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF FURTHER LEGISLATION IN THE MATTER THE EXPENDITURE OF THE UNOBLIGATED BALANCE OF THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION IS NOT AUTHORIZED.