A-10995, OCTOBER 5, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 233

A-10995: Oct 5, 1925

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APPROPRIATIONS - BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING - REPAIRS TO SMOKESTACKS AS THE REPAIRING AND PAINTING OF THE IRONWORK OF THE SMOKESTACKS AT THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING IS CONSIDERED TO BE AN OPERATION IN THE ACTIVITIES OF THE BUREAU. THE COST FOR LABOR AND MATERIALS FURNISHED IN DOING SUCH WORK BY CONTRACT IS PROPERLY PAYABLE AS A MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE FROM THE APPROPRIATION "MATERIAL AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES. IT APPEARS THAT THE CONTRACT WAS COMPLETED JULY 14. THE SECRETARY WAS ADVISED THAT A CONTEMPLATED EXPENSE OF PUTTING TWO NEW ROOFS ON THE ROOF GARDENS OF THE BUREAU DID NOT CONSTITUTE A MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE PAYABLE FROM THE LIKE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1924.

A-10995, OCTOBER 5, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 233

APPROPRIATIONS - BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING - REPAIRS TO SMOKESTACKS AS THE REPAIRING AND PAINTING OF THE IRONWORK OF THE SMOKESTACKS AT THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING IS CONSIDERED TO BE AN OPERATION IN THE ACTIVITIES OF THE BUREAU, THE COST FOR LABOR AND MATERIALS FURNISHED IN DOING SUCH WORK BY CONTRACT IS PROPERLY PAYABLE AS A MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE FROM THE APPROPRIATION "MATERIAL AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING, 5," ACT OF APRIL 4, 1924, 43 STAT. 74.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, OCTOBER 5, 1925:

REVIEW HAS BEEN REQUESTED OF SETTLEMENT NO. 0-104235, DATED AUGUST 11, 1925, DISALLOWING THE CLAIM OF S. E. KILLIAN FOR $612 FOR LABOR AND MATERIAL FURNISHED IN REPAIRING AND PAINTING THE IRONWORK OF THREE SMOKESTACKS AT THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING UPON ORDER DATED MAY 1, 1925, ISSUED UNDER CONTRACT APPROVED APRIL 29, 1925.

IT APPEARS THAT THE CONTRACT WAS COMPLETED JULY 14, 1925, AND THE APPROPRIATION SOUGHT TO BE CHARGED,"MATERIAL AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING, 1925," 43 STAT. 74, PROVIDES:

FOR ENGRAVERS' AND PRINTERS' MATERIALS AND OTHER MATERIALS EXCEPT DISTINCTIVE PAPER, MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, INCLUDING PAPER FOR INTERNAL- REVENUE STAMPS, AND FOR PURCHASE, MAINTENANCE, AND DRIVING OF NECESSARY MOTOR-PROPELLED AND HORSE-DRAWN PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES, WHEN, IN WRITING, ORDERED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, * * * TO BE EXPENDED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.

IN DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 21, 1923, A.D. 7874, THE SECRETARY WAS ADVISED THAT A CONTEMPLATED EXPENSE OF PUTTING TWO NEW ROOFS ON THE ROOF GARDENS OF THE BUREAU DID NOT CONSTITUTE A MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE PAYABLE FROM THE LIKE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1924, SUCH REPLACEMENT OR REPAIRS NOT BEING A MATTER OF OPERATION IN THE SENSE OF CONDUCTING THE ACTIVITIES OF THE BUREAU; AND IN DECISION OF OCTOBER 2, 1923, A.D. 7839, HE WAS LIKEWISE ADVISED WITH RESPECT TO A CONTEMPLATED EXPENSE OF CONSTRUCTING A DRIVEWAY BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW BUREAU BUILDINGS FOR THE USE OF ELECTRIC TRUCKS, ETC.

IN THE SETTLEMENT HERE UNDER REVIEW REFERENCE WAS MADE TO THESE DECISIONS AND THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED ON THE GROUND THAT THE REPAIRS WERE NOT A MATTER OF OPERATION IN THE SENSE OF CONDUCTING THE ACTIVITIES OF THE BUREAU.

IN DECISION OF AUGUST 21, 1925, A.D. NO. 9626, WHEREIN WAS SUSTAINED THE DISALLOWANCE OF CREDIT IN DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS OF EXPENSE INCURRED FOR INSTALLATION OF A SHOWER BATH IN THE BUREAU BUILDING, IT WAS STATED THAT SAID APPROPRIATION WAS AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF MATERIALS USED IN THE WORK OF THE BUREAU AND FOR MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES NECESSARILY INCIDENTAL THERETO, BUT NOT FOR THE PURCHASE OF EQUIPMENT FOR THE BUREAU BUILDING.

WITH REFERENCE TO THE APPROPRIATION AND TO THE EXPENSE HERE IN QUESTION THE ACTING SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY STATES:

THE APPROPRIATION "MATERIALS AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING," HAS ALWAYS BEEN AVAILABLE FOR THE REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE OF MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT, APPARATUS, AND APPLIANCES. SUCH REPAIRS ARE ESSENTIAL TO THE SUCCESSFUL AND ECONOMIC CONDUCT OF THE ACTIVITIES OF THE BUREAU AND NECESSARILY INCLUDE CHARGES FOR BOTH MATERIALS AND LABOR. THESE ELEMENTS OF OVERHEAD COST ARE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION AT THE TIME THE ESTIMATES OF APPROPRIATIONS ARE PREPARED.

IT IS FROM THE AFOREMENTIONED APPROPRIATION THAT REPAIRS, INCLUDING LABOR AND MATERIALS, ARE MADE TO PUMPS, PRESSES, SWITCHBOARDS, GENERATORS, CONVERTORS, BOILERS, PIPING, WIRING CONVEYORS, ETC.

ALTHOUGH THE STACKS MAY BE ATTACHED TO THE BUILDING OR CONSTRUCTED ON THEIR OWN FOUNDATION NEAR THE BUILDING, THEY ARE AS MUCH A PART OF THE BOILER PLANT EQUIPMENT AS ARE THE GRATES, CONVEYORS, COAL-WEIGHING SCALES, FIRE-BOX DOORS, BLOWERS, OR PIPING, ETC. IF IT WERE POSSIBLE TO SECURE THE NECESSARY DRAFT THROUGH THE USE OF A SMALL CHIMNEY, SAY 10 FEET HIGH, IT WOULD BE ATTACHED TO AND REST UPON THE FIRE BOX OF THE BOILER PLANT. THE REPAIRING A STACK OF THIS SORT WOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED BY MECHANICS IN THE EMPLOY OF THE BUREAU, AND THE COST THEREOF, INCLUDING LABOR AND MATERIALS, WOULD BE BORNE BY THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION IN THE SAME MANNER AS REPAIRS TO OTHER PARTS OF THE BOILER PLANT EQUIPMENT.

IT SO HAPPENS THAT THE STACK IN QUESTION MUST OF NECESSITY BE BUILT TO A HEIGHT WHICH WILL PRODUCE THE PROPER AND NECESSARY DRAFT, AND FOR OTHER REASONS. OWING TO THE WEIGHT OF A TALL STACK IT IS IMPRACTICABLE TO REST IT UPON THE BOILER. PROVISION IS MADE, THEREFORE, EITHER TO PLACE THE STACK UPON THE BUILDING OR TO CONSTRUCT A SEPARATE FOUNDATION FOR IT. THIS, HOWEVER, DOES NOT CHANGE THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE STACK TO THE BOILER. THE STACK WHEREVER CONSTRUCTED REMAINS A PART OF THE BOILER AND NOT A PART OF THE BUILDING.

THE DEPARTMENT DOES NOT EMPLOY ANYONE WHO WOULD SUBJECT HIMSELF TO THE HAZARDS OF PAINTING THESE STACKS. FURTHERMORE, IT WOULD BE CONSIDERED UNWISE TO ASSIGN ANYONE TO THIS WORK ON ACCOUNT OF THE LITTLE OR NO EXPERIENCE THE DEPARTMENT'S EMPLOYEES RECEIVE IN THIS LINE OF WORK. WAS NECESSARY, THEREFORE, IN THIS CASE TO EMPLOY SOME ONE EXPERT IN THIS WORK AND THROUGH COMPETITIVE BIDS THE SERVICES OF MR. KILLIAN WERE SECURED.

IN VIEW OF THIS SHOWING OF THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE SMOKESTACKS TO THE BOILER PLANT, THE LONG-CONTINUED PRACTICE IN THE USE OF THE APPROPRIATION INVOLVED, AND THE ROOM FOR REASONABLE DOUBT WHETHER THE SMOKESTACKS CONSTITUTE A PART OF THE WORKING EQUIPMENT OF THE PLANT AS DISTINGUISHED FROM A PART OF THE BUILDING AS A PUBLIC BUILDING, I AM CONSTRAINED TO HOLD THAT THE EXPENSE HERE INVOLVED MAY BE REGARDED AS A MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE INCIDENT TO THE OPERATIONS OF THE BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING PLANT AND AS SUCH CHARGEABLE UNDER THE APPROPRIATION, SUPRA. ..END :