A-17673, MARCH 25, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 619

A-17673: Mar 25, 1927

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ERECTION - TEMPORARY STOREHOUSE A FRAME SHED OR STOREHOUSE PROPOSED TO BE ERECTED ON GOVERNMENT OWNED LAND FOR THE PURPOSE OF HOUSING MOTOR TRUCKS AND OTHER EQUIPMENT BELONGING TO THE MILITIA OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS A PUBLIC BUILDING OR PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT WITHIN THE INHIBITION OF SECTION 3733. THE ERECTION OF SUCH A BUILDING IS UNAUTHORIZED. 1927: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 7. REQUESTING DECISION OF A QUESTION PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS: DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT AUTHORITY EXISTS UNDER THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE MILITIA OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THE SHED WILL COST APPROXIMATELY $2. 500.00 AND WILL BE OF FRAME CONSTRUCTION WITH SHEET METAL SIDING AND TAR PAPER ROOFING.

A-17673, MARCH 25, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 619

PUBLIC BUILDINGS, ERECTION - TEMPORARY STOREHOUSE A FRAME SHED OR STOREHOUSE PROPOSED TO BE ERECTED ON GOVERNMENT OWNED LAND FOR THE PURPOSE OF HOUSING MOTOR TRUCKS AND OTHER EQUIPMENT BELONGING TO THE MILITIA OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS A PUBLIC BUILDING OR PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT WITHIN THE INHIBITION OF SECTION 3733, REVISED STATUTES, AND AS THE APPROPRIATION CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF MAY 10, 1926, 44 STAT. 417, FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE MILITIA OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDE FUNDS FOR THAT PURPOSE, THE ERECTION OF SUCH A BUILDING IS UNAUTHORIZED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO MAJ. GEN. ANTON STEPHAN, COMMANDING OFFICER, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MILITIA, MARCH 25, 1927:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 7, 1927, REQUESTING DECISION OF A QUESTION PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS:

DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT AUTHORITY EXISTS UNDER THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE MILITIA OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AS CONTAINED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION BILL FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR, FOR THE ERECTION OF A TEMPORARY SHED OR STOREHOUSE AT THE TARGET RANGE OF THE NATIONAL GUARD OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, LOCATED ON GOVERNMENT- OWNED GROUND AT CONGRESS HEIGHTS, D.C.

THE SHED WILL COST APPROXIMATELY $2,500.00 AND WILL BE OF FRAME CONSTRUCTION WITH SHEET METAL SIDING AND TAR PAPER ROOFING, SIZE 40 FEET BY 100 FEET.

THE BUILDING WILL BE USED TO HOUSE MOTOR EQUIPMENT ISSUED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT FOR USE OF THE NATIONAL GUARD OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THE EQUIPMENT IS ASSIGNED FOR USE OF UNITS OF THE NATIONAL GUARD OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND IS USED BY THEM IN CONNECTION WITH ENCAMPMENTS, INSTRUCTION, ETC.

THIS MOTOR EQUIPMENT HAS BEEN STORED IN UNOCCUPIED SPACE IN A GOVERNMENT GARAGE AND IN A BUILDING RENTED AT A COST OF $60.00 PER MONTH. THE DEPARTMENT HAVING JURISDICTION OVER THE GOVERNMENT-OWNED GARAGE HAS FOUND IT NECESSARY TO CAUSE THE REMOVAL OF OUR EQUIPMENT TO MAKE THE SPACE AVAILABLE FOR THEIR OWN NEEDS, AND SIX 3 TO 5 TON LIBERTY TRUCKS ARE NOW BEING HELD IN OPEN STORAGE, NOT UNDER COVER AT THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT GARAGE IN THIS CITY. IT WILL BE NECESSARY SHORTLY TO REMOVE FOUR ADDITIONAL TRUCKS OF THE SAME TYPE FROM THE GOVERNMENT GARAGE TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE DEPARTMENT. THE TOTAL VALUE OF THE TRUCKS WHICH IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO MAINTAIN IN OPEN STORAGE EXCEEDS $40,000.00.

WITH THE COMPLETION OF THE PROPOSED STORAGE BUILDING RENTED QUARTERS WILL BE VACATED AT A SAVING OF $60.00 PER MONTH.

TO RENT STORAGE FACILITIES FOR THE MOTOR EQUIPMENT WILL COST FROM $150.00 TO $200.00 PER MONTH, SO THAT THE EXPENDITURE OF APPROXIMATELY ONE YEAR'S RENTAL COST FOR THE ERECTION OF A BUILDING WILL GIVE MORE OR LESS PERMANENT HOUSING FACILITIES FOR THIS EQUIPMENT.

AN ADDITIONAL ADVANTAGE IN PROVIDING STORAGE AT THE NATIONAL GUARD TARGET RANGE IS THAT A LABOR AND CARETAKER FORCE IS MAINTAINED AT THAT PLACE, A CARETAKER LIVING ON THE RANGE WHICH WILL PROVIDE NECESSARY WATCH SERVICE WITHOUT ADDITIONAL EXPENDITURES.

IT IS PROPOSED THAT THE BUILDING WOULD BE ERECTED UNDER DIRECTION OF THIS HEADQUARTERS ON A MATERIAL AND LABOR BASIS, FULL USE BEING MADE OF THE LABOR FORCE NOW AVAILABLE AT THE TARGET RANGE.

THE COST WOULD BE CHARGED AGAINST THE SUBAPPROPRIATION FOR "EXPENSES OF CAMPS" AS ONE OF THE ,INCIDENTALS" OF THE SERVICE.

IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF REPLY TO THIS COMMUNICATION IS EXPEDITED, IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT A PART OF THE EQUIPMENT TO BE HOUSED IN THIS BUILDING IS NOW BEING MAINTAINED IN OPEN STORAGE AND WILL RAPIDLY DETERIORATE, UNLESS PROVISION IS MADE FOR PLACING IT UNDER COVER.

THE ACT OF MAY 10, 1926, 44 STAT. 417, 448, MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1927, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, UNDER THE TITLE "MILITIA," PROVIDES:

FOR THE FOLLOWING, TO BE EXPENDED UNDER THE AUTHORITY AND DIRECTION OF THE COMMANDING GENERAL, WHO IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND EMPOWERED TO MAKE NECESSARY CONTRACTS AND LEASES, NAMELY:

FOR EXPENSES OF CAMPS, INCLUDING HIRE OF HORSES FOR OFFICERS REQUIRED TO BE MOUNTED, AND SUCH HIRE NOT TO BE DEDUCTED FROM THEIR MOUNTED PAY, AND FOR THE PAYMENT OF COMMUTATION OF SUBSISTENCE FOR ENLISTED MEN WHO MAY BE DETAILED TO GUARD OR MORE THE UNITED STATES PROPERTY AT HOME STATIONS ON DAYS IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING AND IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE ANNUAL ENCAMPMENTS, DAMAGES TO PRIVATE PROPERTY INCIDENT TO ENCAMPMENT, INSTRUCTIONS, PURCHASE, AND MAINTENANCE OF ATHLETIC, GYMNASTIC, AND RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT AT ARMORY OR FIELD ENCAMPMENTS, NOT TO EXCEED $500; PRACTICE MARCHES AND PRACTICE CRUISES, DRILLS, AND PARADES; RENT OF ARMORIES AND DRILL HALLS; FUEL, LIGHT, HEAT, CARE, AND REPAIR OF ARMORIES AND DRILL HALLS, OFFICES, AND STOREHOUSES, PRACTICE SHIPS, BOATS, MACHINERY, AND DOCK, DREDGING ALONGSIDE OF DOCK, TELEPHONE SERVICE, HORSES AND MULES FOR MOUNTED ORGANIZATIONS, STREET-CAR FARES (NOT TO EXCEED $200) NECESSARILY USED IN THE TRANSACTION OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS, AND FOR GENERAL INCIDENTAL EXPENSES OF THE SERVICE, $36,400.

IT IS A WELL-SETTLED RULE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION THAT WHERE AN APPROPRIATION IS MADE FOR A PARTICULAR OBJECT, BY IMPLICATION IT CONFERS AUTHORITY TO INCUR EXPENSES WHICH ARE NECESSARY OR PROPER OR INCIDENT TO THE PROPER EXECUTION OF THE OBJECT, UNLESS THERE IS ANOTHER APPROPRIATION WHICH MAKES MORE SPECIFIC PROVISION FOR SUCH EXPENDITURES, OR UNLESS THEY ARE PROHIBITED BY LAW, OR UNLESS IT IS MANIFESTLY EVIDENT FROM VARIOUS PRECEDENT APPROPRIATION ACTS THAT CONGRESS HAS SPECIFICALLY LEGISLATED FOR CERTAIN EXPENSES OF THE GOVERNMENT CREATING THE IMPLICATION THAT SUCH EXPENDITURES SHOULD NOT BE INCURRED EXCEPT BY ITS EXPRESS AUTHORITY. DECISION OF AUGUST 12, 1911, AND CASES THEREIN CITED.

SECTION 3733, REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

NO CONTRACT SHALL BE ENTERED INTO FOR THE ERECTION, REPAIR, OR FURNISHING OF ANY PUBLIC BUILDING, OR FOR ANY PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT WHICH SHALL BIND THE GOVERNMENT TO PAY A LARGER SUM OF MONEY THAN THE AMOUNT IN THE TREASURY APPROPRIATED FOR THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE.

THE ACT OF MAY 10, 1926, SUPRA, DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY APPROPRIATE FOR ANY PUBLIC BUILDINGS OR PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS AND IF THE STRUCTURE DESCRIBED IN YOUR LETTER IS A PUBLIC BUILDING OR PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THIS SECTION, THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR ITS ERECTION.

IT HAS BEEN DECIDED REPEATEDLY THAT THE ERECTION OF STRUCTURES EVEN OF A MORE OR LESS TEMPORARY CHARACTER COME WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION AND THAT PAYMENT OF EXPENSES SO INCURRED IS PROHIBITED IN THE ABSENCE OF A SPECIFIC PROVISION OF LAW THEREFORE. 10 COMP. DEC. 683; 12 ID. 355; 16 ID. 685; 21 ID. 420; 2 COMP. GEN. 14, ID. 477; AND 5 ID. 575. IN THE DECISION DATED AUGUST 12, 1911, IT WAS HELD THAT AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE INVESTIGATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF METHODS OF CROP PRODUCTION UNDER SEMIARID OR DRY LAND CONDITIONS WAS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE ERECTION OF A SO -CALLED TEMPORARY SHED TO SHELTER THE NECESSARY FARM ANIMALS AND A PORTABLE HOUSE 12 BY 16 FEET FOR THE TEMPORARY USE OF EMPLOYEES, NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE REPORTED THESE BUILDINGS AS BEING ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE TO WHICH THE LAND WAS TO BE PUT BY THE DEPARTMENT IN CARRYING OUT THE PURPOSE OF THE APPROPRIATION.

IT APPEARS THAT THE LAND ON WHICH THE BUILDING NOW IN QUESTION IS PROPOSED TO BE ERECTED WAS PURCHASED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR UNDER THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF MAY 12, 1917, 40 STAT. 67, WHICH PROVIDES.---

FOR THE PURCHASE OF A RIFLE RANGE FOR THE USE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA NATIONAL GUARD, UPON A SUITABLE SITE TO BE SELECTED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR, $50,000--- AND THAT TITLE TO SAID LAND IS VESTED IN THE UNITED STATES.

THE CASE SUBMITTED BY YOU DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE DIFFERENT IN PRINCIPLE FROM THE CASE CITED, AND THE STRUCTURE DESCRIBED IN YOUR LETTER MUST, THEREFORE, BE REGARDED AS A PUBLIC BUILDING OR PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 3733, REVISED STATUTES.

ACCORDINGLY, IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE MILITIA OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, QUOTED SUPRA, IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE EXPENSE OF ERECTING THE STRUCTURE DESCRIBED IN YOUR LETTER. THE QUESTION SUBMITTED IS, THEREFORE, ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.