A-18624, JUNE 2, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 783

A-18624: Jun 2, 1927

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" IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF ANY OBLIGATIONS INCURRED AFTER JUNE 30. 1927: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 21. WERE IT NOT FOR THE WORDS "FISCAL YEAR 1927" AT THE END THEREOF. IF IT IS HELD TO BE LIMITED TO THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30. IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO TAKE IMMEDIATE STEPS TO CONCLUDE NEGOTIATIONS FOR THE ACQUISITION BY GIFT OF A SITE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE BUILDING IN QUESTION. AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE MOMENT IS REQUESTED AS TO THE STATUS OF THIS APPROPRIATION. THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION WAS MADE PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10. WHICH IS IN THE FOLLOWING TERMS: THAT THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE BE. HE IS HEREBY. IT THUS APPEARS THAT THE AUTHORITY FOR INCURRING THE OBLIGATIONS IN QUESTION WAS GRANTED JUNE 10.

A-18624, JUNE 2, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 783

APPROPRIATIONS - FISCAL YEAR - PUBLIC BUILDINGS - COMMERCE DEPARTMENT THE APPROPRIATION "MASTER TRACK SCALE AND TEST-CAR DEPOT, BUREAU OF STANDARDS, 1927," AS MADE BY THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1926, 44 STAT. 853, FOR THE ACQUISITION OF A SITE BY GIFT, THE CONSTRUCTION THEREON OF A BUILDING, AND THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF THE NECESSARY EQUIPMENT, BEING BY ITS TERMS RESTRICTED TO THE "FISCAL YEAR 1927," IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF ANY OBLIGATIONS INCURRED AFTER JUNE 30, 1927, NOTWITHSTANDING THE APPROPRIATION PROVIDES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A BUILDING.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, JUNE 2, 1927:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MAY 21, 1927, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1926 (44 STAT. 725), AUTHORIZES THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE TO ACQUIRE A SITE AND TO CONTRACT FOR THE CONSTRUCTION THEREON OF A BUILDING FOR A MASTER TRACK SCALE AND TEST-CAR DEPOT, AND FOR THE INSTALLATION THEREIN OF THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS' MASTER TRACK SCALE. THE ,SECOND DEFICIENCY ACT, FISCAL YEAR 1926" (44 STAT. 853), PROVIDES:

"FOR THE ACQUIREMENT OF A SUITABLE SITE BY GIFT, THE CONSTRUCTION THEREON OF A BUILDING, AND THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF NECESSARY EQUIPMENT, AS AUTHORIZED IN THE ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASE BY THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE OF A SITE AND THE CONSTRUCTION AND EQUIPMENT OF A BUILDING THEREON FOR USE AS A MASTER TRACK SCALE AND TEST-CAR DEPOT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," APPROVED JUNE 10, 1926, FISCAL YEAR 1927, $50,000.'

THIS APPROPRIATION BEING FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A PUBLIC BUILDING WOULD UNDOUBTEDLY BE DEEMED A PERMANENT SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION AND REMAIN AVAILABLE UNTIL THE COMPLETION OF THE WORK, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 23, 1874 (18 STAT. 275; SECTION 682, TITLE 31, U.S. CODE), AND THE ACT OF JUNE 20, 1874, AS AMENDED (SECTION 713, TITLE 31, U.S. CODE), WERE IT NOT FOR THE WORDS "FISCAL YEAR 1927" AT THE END THEREOF. IF IT IS HELD TO BE LIMITED TO THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1927, IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO TAKE IMMEDIATE STEPS TO CONCLUDE NEGOTIATIONS FOR THE ACQUISITION BY GIFT OF A SITE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE BUILDING IN QUESTION.

YOUR DECISION, THEREFORE, AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE MOMENT IS REQUESTED AS TO THE STATUS OF THIS APPROPRIATION.

THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION WAS MADE PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1926, 44 STAT. 725, WHICH IS IN THE FOLLOWING TERMS:

THAT THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE BE, AND HE IS HEREBY, AUTHORIZED TO PURCHASE A SUITABLE SITE, OR ACQUIRE SAME BY GIFT OR OTHERWISE; AND TO CONTRACT FOR THE CONSTRUCTION THEREON OF A BUILDING FOR A MASTER TRACK SCALE AND TEST-CAR DEPOT, AND FOR THE INSTALLATION THEREIN OF THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS' MASTER TRACK SCALE; AND FOR THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION IN SAID BUILDING OF THE NECESSARY EQUIPMENT FOR THE CALIBRATION OF RAILROAD TRACK SCALE TEST CARS, ACCESSORIES, AND RELATED HEAVY WEIGHTS AND SCALES, AT A COST NOT TO EXCEED $50,000.

IT THUS APPEARS THAT THE AUTHORITY FOR INCURRING THE OBLIGATIONS IN QUESTION WAS GRANTED JUNE 10, 1926, AND THAT THE APPROPRIATION TO PAY SAID OBLIGATIONS WAS MADE AVAILABLE JULY 3, 1926. AS THE APPROPRIATION WAS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED AS "FISCAL YEAR 1927" IT MUST BE ASSUMED THAT THE PERIOD FROM JUNE 10, 1926, TO JUNE 30, 1927--- MORE THAN A YEAR--- WAS REGARDED AS AMPLE TIME IN WHICH TO INCUR ALL THE OBLIGATIONS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE SAID PROVISION IN THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1926. THERE IS NOTED IN THIS CONNECTION THAT IN THE HEARINGS BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, IN THE DISCUSSION OF THIS ITEM ON JUNE 17, 1926, IT WAS STATED THAT THE MASTER TRACK SCALE WOULD BE INSTALLED WITHIN A YEAR, INDICATING THAT IF THE APPROPRIATION WAS GRANTED, THE ACQUISITION OF THE SITE, THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE BUILDING, AND THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF THE EQUIPMENT WOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED WITHIN THE FISCAL YEAR 1927. BUT BE THAT AS IT MAY, AND REGARDLESS OF THE FACT THAT THE APPROPRIATION IS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A BUILDING, IN VIEW OF THE PLAIN TERMS OF THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION IT MUST BE HELD THAT ITS AVAILABILITY FOR THE INCURRING OF OBLIGATIONS THEREUNDER CEASES ON JUNE 30, 1927.