A-20535, DECEMBER 19, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 391

A-20535: Dec 19, 1927

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MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS - PROCEEDS FROM SALE OF ELECTRIC POWER AND MONEYS DERIVED AS RENTAL OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY IN NATIONAL PARKS DEDUCTIONS MADE FROM CLAIMS OF ROAD CONTRACTORS IN NATIONAL PARKS FOR ELECTRICITY FURNISHED THEM FROM THE POWER PLANT OF THE PARK ARE NOT PROPERLY FOR CREDIT TO A CURRENT APPROPRIATION FOR EXPENDITURE. DEDUCTIONS MADE FROM AMOUNTS OTHERWISE DUE ROAD CONTRACTORS IN NATIONAL PARKS ON ACCOUNT OF RENTAL OF GOVERNMENT EQUIPMENT AND FURNISHING OF SUPPLIES ARE NOT FOR CREDIT TO A CURRENT APPROPRIATION FOR EXPENDITURE. WHEN THE EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES WERE PURCHASED FROM AN APPROPRIATION OTHER THAN THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION. 1927: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 7. UNDER THE ARRANGEMENT OUTLINED HEREIN MAY THE DEDUCTIONS MADE FROM ROAD CONTRACTORS' ESTIMATES FOR ELECTRICITY FURNISHED AS PROVIDED IN THEIR CONTRACTS BE USED TO REIMBURSE THE REGULAR PARK APPROPRIATION WHICH IS CHARGED WITH THE COST THEREOF IN THE FIRST INSTANCE? 2.

A-20535, DECEMBER 19, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 391

MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS - PROCEEDS FROM SALE OF ELECTRIC POWER AND MONEYS DERIVED AS RENTAL OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY IN NATIONAL PARKS DEDUCTIONS MADE FROM CLAIMS OF ROAD CONTRACTORS IN NATIONAL PARKS FOR ELECTRICITY FURNISHED THEM FROM THE POWER PLANT OF THE PARK ARE NOT PROPERLY FOR CREDIT TO A CURRENT APPROPRIATION FOR EXPENDITURE, BUT SHOULD BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS, WHEN THE ELECTRICITY REPRESENTS SURPLUS POWER OF THE PARK PLANT. DEDUCTIONS MADE FROM AMOUNTS OTHERWISE DUE ROAD CONTRACTORS IN NATIONAL PARKS ON ACCOUNT OF RENTAL OF GOVERNMENT EQUIPMENT AND FURNISHING OF SUPPLIES ARE NOT FOR CREDIT TO A CURRENT APPROPRIATION FOR EXPENDITURE, BUT, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 3617 AND 3618 OF THE REVISED STATUTES, SHOULD BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS, WHEN THE EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES WERE PURCHASED FROM AN APPROPRIATION OTHER THAN THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, DECEMBER 19, 1927:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 7, 1927, REQUESTING DECISION AS TO THE DISPOSITION TO BE MADE OF FUNDS REPRESENTING DEDUCTIONS FROM ROAD CONTRACTORS' MONTHLY ESTIMATES BY VIRTUE OF ELECTRICITY FURNISHED THEM THROUGH THE ELECTRIC PLANT AT YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK AND OF GOVERNMENT EQUIPMENT RENTED AND SUPPLIES FURNISHED ROAD CONTRACTORS FOR USE ON CONTRACT WORK IN THE PARK.

YOU SUBMIT FOR CONSIDERATION THREE QUESTIONS, AS FOLLOWS:

1. UNDER THE ARRANGEMENT OUTLINED HEREIN MAY THE DEDUCTIONS MADE FROM ROAD CONTRACTORS' ESTIMATES FOR ELECTRICITY FURNISHED AS PROVIDED IN THEIR CONTRACTS BE USED TO REIMBURSE THE REGULAR PARK APPROPRIATION WHICH IS CHARGED WITH THE COST THEREOF IN THE FIRST INSTANCE?

2. MAY THE DEDUCTIONS FROM ROAD CONTRACTORS' ESTIMATES FOR RENTAL OF EQUIPMENT AND FURNISHING OF SUPPLIES, WHEN SUCH DEDUCTIONS ARE PROVIDED FOR IN THE CONTRACT, BE LEFT TO THE CREDIT OF THE ROADS AND TRAILS APPROPRIATION?

3. MAY DEDUCTIONS BE MADE FROM ROAD CONTRACTORS' ESTIMATES FOR RENTAL OF EQUIPMENT AND FURNISHING OF SUPPLIES, WHEN SUCH DEDUCTIONS ARE NOT PROVIDED FOR IN THE CONTRACT, AND THE SAME RETAINED TO THE CREDIT OF THE ROADS AND TRAILS APPROPRIATION?

WITH RESPECT TO THE FIRST QUESTION RELATING TO THE ELECTRICITY FURNISHED THROUGH THE ELECTRIC-POWER PLANT AT YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK YOUR LETTER STATES:

IN REGARD TO ELECTRICITY FURNISHED ROAD CONTRACTORS IT IS SUBMITTED, FOR YOUR INFORMATION, THAT OWING TO LOW-WATER PERIODS OF THE MERCED RIVER IN THE PARK DURING CERTAIN SEASONS OF THE YEAR THE PARK PLANT IS UNABLE TO SUPPLY THE NECESSARY AMOUNT OF ELECTRICITY NEEDED AND THEREFORE A CONNECTING ARRANGEMENT AGREEMENT HAS BEEN ENTERED INTO BY THIS DEPARTMENT WITH THE SAN JOAQUIN LIGHT AND POWER COMPANY WHEREBY ADDITIONAL CURRENT IS FURNISHED BY THE COMPANY DURING THESE PERIODS FOR PARK NEEDS. UNDER THE AGREEMENT THE GOVERNMENT IS ALSO ENABLED DURING THE HIGH-WATER PERIODS OF THE MERCED RIVER TO DISPOSE OF SURPLUS ELECTRICITY GENERATED TO THE COMPANY. COPY OF THE CONNECTION AGREEMENT DATED MAY 21, 1924, IS ON FILE IN YOUR OFFICE. IN ORDER THAT CONTRACTORS MAY BE SUPPLIED WITH ELECTRICITY NEEDED IN CONNECTION WITH CONTRACT WORK IN THE PARK IT IS NECESSARY TO SECURE THE SAME THROUGH THE PARK POWER PLANT AND IN TURN THE GOVERNMENT IS REQUIRED TO PURCHASE THE ELECTRICITY FROM THE SAN JOAQUIN LIGHT AND POWER COMPANY, THE COST BEING CHARGEABLE TO THE REGULAR PARK APPROPRIATION. IF IT WERE PRACTICABLE, IT WOULD SIMPLIFY THESE TRANSACTIONS FOR THE CONTRACTORS TO ARRANGE FOR THEIR NEEDS FOR ELECTRICITY DIRECT WITH THE POWER COMPANY AND TO MAKE PAYMENT THEREFOR DIRECT TO THE COMPANY. HOWEVER, BY REASON OF THE OPERATING ARRANGEMENTS OF THE PARK ELECTRIC POWER PLANT THIS PROCEDURE CAN NOT BE FOLLOWED AND IT IS NECESSARY FOR THE CONTRACTORS TO SECURE THEIR ELECTRICITY SUPPLY THROUGH THE PARK POWER PLANT. UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES THE PARK OFFICIALS FELT JUSTIFIED IN CREDITING THE PARK APPROPRIATION WITH THE AMOUNTS DEDUCTED FROM CONTRACTORS' ESTIMATES BY REASON OF ELECTRICITY FURNISHED.

IN LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 28, 1927, RELATIVE TO THE MATTER, THE ACTING SUPERINTENDENT OF THE YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK ADVISED THE DIRECTOR NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * OUR COST RECORDS SHOW THAT THE COST OF GENERATING ONE KILOWATT OF ELECTRICITY IS APPROXIMATELY 1 CENT PER KILOWATT HOUR. OUR REGULAR RATES FOR THE SALE OF ELECTRICITY VARY FROM 6 CENTS TO 9 CENTS PER KILOWATT FOR LIGHT AND 4 CENTS PER KILOWATT FOR POWER, BUT THIS SPECIAL COST RATE WAS AUTHORIZED IN THE HOPE THAT IT WOULD BE REFLECTED IN THE BIDS.

THIS OFFICE TOOK THE STAND THAT, THIS BEING A SPECIAL COST PRICE AND THE ELECTRICITY BEING FURNISHED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE REGULAR PARK APPROPRIATION "YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK," IT WAS ONLY FAIR THAT THE COST SHOULD BE CHARGED TO THE ROADS-AND-TRAILS APPROPRIATION AND THE YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK APPROPRIATION SHOULD BE REIMBURSED FOR THIS EXPENSE, EXACTLY IN THE SAME WAY AS WE SECURE REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EXPENSE OF FURNISHING HORSES FROM OUR PARK CORRALS, TRUCKS FROM OUR MOTOR TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT, AND MEALS AT OUR BOARDING CAMPS TO ROADS AND TRAILS JOBS. THEREFORE WERE AUTHORIZED BY YOUR OFFICE TO MAKE DEDUCTION ON THE MONTHLY VOUCHER OF THE ROAD CONTRACTORS FOR THE ELECTRIC ENERGY FURNISHED TO THEM AT COST AND, THROUGH TRANSFER BETWEEN APPROPRIATIONS, REIMBURSE THE YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK APPROPRIATION FOR THE COST OF FURNISHING THIS SERVICE. OUR ARGUMENT WAS THAT THIS WAS NOT A SALES SERVICE IN THE USUAL SENSE, AS THIS SERVICE WAS NOT AT THE SALES RATE AND IT WOULD BE ILLEGAL TO SUPPLEMENT THE ROADS-AND-TRAILS APPROPRIATION BY THE VALUE OF THE ELECTRIC CURRENT FURNISHED BY YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK. THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS SEEMS TO HAVE NO OBJECTION TO THIS, AS THEIR LETTER OF AUGUST 29 STATES THAT THIS PROCEDURE APPEARS TO BE UNQUESTIONABLE.

THE CONTRACT WITH THE SAN JOAQUIN LIGHT AND POWER CO. REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER RECITES IN THE THIRD AND FOURTH "WHEREAS" CLAUSES THAT THE HYDROELECTRIC-GENERATING PLANT IN THE YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK CAN HAVE AT TIMES A SURPLUS ELECTRIC ENERGY AND AT OTHER TIMES NEEDS AND DESIRES TO ACQUIRE FURTHER AND ADDITIONAL ELECTRIC ENERGY, AND THE POWER COMPANY DESIRING AT CERTAIN TIMES TO PURCHASE THE SURPLUS POWER OUTPUT OF THE YOSEMITE PARK PLANT AND TO SUPPLY SUCH PLANT AND SYSTEM WITH ADDITIONAL POWER WHEN AND AS REQUIRED, THE CONTRACT WAS ENTERED INTO WITH SUCH PREMISES IN VIEW AND CONDITIONS AND CROSS AGREEMENTS INCORPORATED THEREIN FOR THE PURPOSE OF CARRYING OUT THE GENERAL SCHEME.

IT HAS NOT BEEN STATED WHAT ADJUSTMENTS ARE MADE WITH THE POWER COMPANY UNDER THIS CONTRACT, AND WHETHER THE ENERGY FURNISHED BY THE COMPANY TO THE PARK IS IN EXCESS OF THAT FURNISHED BY THE PARK PLANT TO THE COMPANY. THE STATEMENT IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE PARK FURNISHES THE ELECTRICITY TO THE ROAD CONTRACTORS AND IN TURN THE GOVERNMENT IS REQUIRED TO PURCHASE THE ELECTRICITY FROM THE POWER COMPANY WOULD APPEAR TO CONVEY THE IMPRESSION THAT AT ALL TIMES THE POWER SECURED FROM THE PARK PLANT BY THESE ROAD CONTRACTORS IS POWER GENERATED BY THE SAN JOAQUIN CO. SUCH DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE THE CASE, HOWEVER, SINCE THERE ARE PERIODS, AS STATED IN YOUR LETTER, WHEN THE POWER PLANT OF THE PARK PRODUCES MORE ENERGY THAN IT CAN UTILIZE AND SUCH SURPLUS IS PURCHASED BY THE POWER COMPANY. IT WOULD THUS APPEAR THAT DURING SOME PERIODS OF THE YEAR, WHEN THE POWER PLANT OF THE PARK YIELDS A SURPLUS OF ENERGY, THE ELECTRICITY FURNISHED THE ROAD CONTRACTORS IS NOT OBTAINED FROM THE SAN JOAQUIN LIGHT AND POWER CO.

IT MAY BE STATED GENERALLY THAT THE PROCEEDS DERIVED FROM THE SALE OF SURPLUS ELECTRICITY PRODUCED BY THE PARK PLANT ARE PROPERLY FOR COVERING INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS AND NOT FOR CREDITING TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF THE YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, WHICH MAY BE USED FOR THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF SUCH PLANT; AND IF SUCH SURPLUS IS FURNISHED ROAD CONTRACTORS, THE AMOUNTS DEDUCTED FROM THEIR VOUCHERS ARE PROPERLY FOR DISPOSITION AS OTHER PROCEEDS OF THE SALE OF SURPLUS ELECTRICITY. 5 COMP. GEN. 389.

IN THIS CONNECTION YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1918, 40 STAT. 153, IN WHICH IT IS PROVIDED:

FROM AND AFTER JULY FIRST, NINETEEN HUNDRED AND EIGHTEEN, ALL REVENUES OF THE NATIONAL PARKS, EXCEPT HOT SPRINGS RESERVATION, ARKANSAS, SHALL BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY TO THE CREDIT OF MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS; AND THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS DIRECTED TO SUBMIT, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR NINETEEN HUNDRED AND NINETEEN AND ANNUALLY THEREAFTER, ESTIMATES OF THE AMOUNTS REQUIRED FOR THE CARE, MAINTENANCE, AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE SAID PARKS.

THE PROCEEDS DERIVED FROM THE SALE OF SURPLUS ELECTRICITY PRODUCED BY THE POWER PLANT OF THE YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK ARE REVENUES OF THE PARK WITHIN THE MEANING OF THIS ACT AND SHOULD PROPERLY BE DISPOSED OF AS PROVIDED THEREIN.

ANSWERING YOUR FIRST QUESTION SPECIFICALLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT DEDUCTIONS MADE FROM ROAD CONTRACTORS' ESTIMATES FOR ELECTRICITY FURNISHED THEM FROM THE POWER PLANT OF THE PARK SHOULD NOT BE TRANSFERRED FROM THE ROADS AND TRAILS APPROPRIATION TO THE REGULAR PARK APPROPRIATION, BUT SHOULD BE TAKEN FROM THE ROADS AND TRAILS APPROPRIATION AND COVERED INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS, EXCEPT FOR SUCH PERIODS AS IT CAN BE SHOWN THAT THE ELECTRIC POWER FURNISHED THEM WAS NOT SURPLUS ELECTRICITY OF THE PARK PLANT, BUT WAS ENERGY PURCHASED FROM THE SAN JOAQUIN LIGHT AND POWER CO. AND THE REGULAR PARK APPROPRIATION HAD ORIGINALLY BEEN CHARGED WITH THE COST THEREOF. IN SUCH CASES WHERE, AS HEREIN INDICATED, A TRANSFER OF FUNDS FROM THE ROADS AND TRAILS APPROPRIATION TO THE REGULAR PARK APPROPRIATION IS PROPER, THE TRANSFER SHOULD BE STATED IN SUCH MANNER AS TO GIVE FULL INFORMATION, SUCH AS NUMBERS OF VOUCHERS INVOLVED, ETC., SO THAT A PROPER AUDIT OF THE TRANSACTION MAY BE MADE AND DETERMINATION REACHED AS TO WHETHER THE TRANSFER OF THE FUNDS FROM ONE APPROPRIATION TO THE OTHER WAS OR WAS NOT PROPER.

WITH RESPECT TO THE OTHER TWO QUESTIONS SUBMITTED RELATING TO DEDUCTIONS FROM ROAD CONTRACTORS' CLAIMS ON ACCOUNT OF EQUIPMENT RENTED AND SUPPLIES FURNISHED THEM FOR ROAD WORK IN THE PARK, IT IS STATED BY THE ACTING SUPERINTENDENT OF YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK IN LETTER HERETOFORE MENTIONED HAT:

THE SECOND ITEM FOR CONSIDERATION IS THE DEDUCTION FROM THE ROAD CONTRACTORS' MONTHLY VOUCHERS OF RENTAL CHARGES MADE FOR AIR COMPRESSORS, JACK HAMMERS, TENT PLATFORMS, COOKING RANGES, COOKING EQUIPMENT, AND OTHER SIMILAR ITEMS OF EQUIPMENT. WHEN THE FIRST ALLOTMENT FROM THE ROADS AND TRAILS MONEY WAS MADE TO YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK THREE LARGE ROAD CAMPS WERE ESTABLISHED IN THE PARK FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE WAWONA ROAD AND THE ROAD IN THE MARIPOSA GROVE OF BIG TREES. THESE CAMPS WERE ESTABLISHED AT THE FOOT OF THE WAWONA ROAD NEAR BRIDALVEIL FALLS, AT INSPIRATION POINT AT THE TOP OF THE WAWONA GRADE, AND IN THE MARIPOSA BIG TREE GROVE. THE CAPACITY OF THESE CAMPS WAS FROM FIFTY TO SEVENTY-FIVE MEN. WORK WAS DONE BY THE GOVERNMENT UNDER FORCE ACCOUNT.

AS THIS WAS THE FIRST ROAD CONSTRUCTION MONEY OF ANY AMOUNT TO BE ALLOTTED, IT WAS NECESSARY TO PURCHASE ALL OF THE EQUIPMENT NECESSARY FOR EQUIPPING THESE WORKING ORGANIZATIONS, AND SOMETHING LIKE $30,000 WAS EXPENDED IN THE PURCHASE OF AIR COMPRESSORS, AIR PIPE AND WATER PIPE, JACK HAMMERS, TOOL STEEL, DRILL-SHARPENING EQUIPMENT, TENTS, PLATFORMS, COOKING RANGES, HEATING STOVES WITH NECESSARY BOILERS, PLUMBING FIXTURES, AND A COMPLETE SET OF COOKING UTENSILS. WHEN THIS WORK WAS SUBSEQUENTLY SHUT DOWN AFTER A FEW MONTHS' OPERATION BECAUSE OF A CHANGE IN THE STANDARDS OF THE ROADS TO BE BUILT AND A CHANGE IN POLICY UNDER WHICH THIS ROAD CONSTRUCTION WOULD BE UNDERTAKEN BY THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS, THIS EQUIPMENT WAS ALL STORED IN OUR WAREHOUSE AT YOSEMITE. ALL ROAD WORK SINCE THAT TIME HAS BEEN DONE UNDER CONTRACT, AND THERE SEEMED LITTLE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE PARK SERVICE TO USE IT AGAIN IN ROAD CONSTRUCTION. HENCE IT WAS THOUGHT ADVISABLE TO RENT THIS EQUIPMENT TO CONTRACTORS DOING ROAD WORK IN THE PARK. THE PLAN WAS TO RENT ONLY SUCH EQUIPMENT AS HAD BEEN BOUGHT ORIGINALLY BY THE PARK FROM ROADS AND TRAILS FUNDS AND FOR WHICH WE WOULD NOT HAVE IMMEDIATE USE, AND THE IDEA IN MAKING DEDUCTIONS ON THE MONTHLY VOUCHER OF THE CONTRACTOR OF THE RENTAL VALUE WAS IN ORDER THAT THE CREDIT FOR THE USE OF THIS EQUIPMENT WOULD REMAIN IN THE ROADS AND TRAILS APPROPRIATIONS, SO THAT ADDITIONAL WORK COULD BE DONE OR THE JOB WOULD HAVE A CREDIT BALANCE REMAINING AT THE COMPLETION OF THE WORK.

IN OTHER WORDS, IT IS OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT WHERE THE ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT PURCHASED WAS MADE FROM ROADS AND TRAILS FUNDS THE RENTAL EACH MONTH SHOULD BE CREDITED TO THE ROADS AND TRAILS APPROPRIATION FROM WHICH THE ORIGINAL PURCHASE WAS MADE. THIS POLICY HAS BEEN FOLLOWED CONSISTENTLY, AND IN NO CASE HAS ANY OF THE REGULAR PARK EQUIPMENT PURCHASED FROM PARK APPROPRIATIONS BEEN RENTED TO THE CONTRACTORS, BUT IN CASE ANY SUCH EQUIPMENT WERE RENTED, IT WOULD BE OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT THE RENTAL MONEY SHOULD BE TURNED IN TO MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS OF THE TREASURY.

IN THIS CONNECTION, IT SHOULD BE STATED THAT IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN OUR POLICY IN THE PAST, WHEN CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS WERE AWARDED FOR BRIDGES, BUILDINGS, OR OTHER JOBS PAYABLE FROM THE REGULAR PARK APPROPRIATION AND STOCK OR EQUIPMENT HAVE BEEN FURNISHED BY THE PARK, TO DEDUCT THE RENTAL VALUE FROM THE VOUCHERS OF THE CONTRACTOR, THUS BUILDING UP A RESERVE IN THE APPROPRIATION, WHICH, ORDINARILY, HAS BEEN USED IN GIVING EXTRA WORK ORDERS, TO MEET ADDITIONAL EXPENSE OR ADDITIONAL WORK THAT COMES UP DURING THE PROCESS OF CONSTRUCTION, OR HAS BEEN ALLOTTED TO THE PARK SERVICE FOR DOING CERTAIN FORCE ACCOUNT WORK NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONSTRUCTION JOB THAT WAS NOT COVERED BY FORMAL CONTRACT. THIS APPEARS TO BE GOOD BUSINESS PRACTICE AND HAS NEVER BEEN QUESTIONED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OR ACCOUNTING OFFICERS IN THE PAST. IN A DECISION BY A FORMER COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY, 17 COMP. DEC. 712, IT WAS HELD IN SUBSTANCE THAT MONEY RECEIVED FROM RENTAL OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY IS FOR THE USE OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTIONS 3617 AND 3618, REVISED STATUTES, AND AS SUCH SHOULD BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS UNLESS ITS USE IS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY LAW. THIS IS A WELL-ESTABLISHED RULE AND IS BASED UPON THE THEORY THAT BY CREDITING THE AMOUNT OF SUCH DEDUCTIONS TO AN APPROPRIATION FOR EXPENDITURE WOULD AMOUNT TO AUGMENTING THE APPROPRIATION IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT APPROPRIATED BY LAW FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

IN THE PRESENT MATTER YOU STATE THAT THE EQUIPMENT RENTED AND SUPPLIES FURNISHED THE ROAD CONTRACTORS WERE ORIGINALLY PAID FOR FROM ALLOTMENTS TO THE YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK FROM THE ROADS AND TRAILS APPROPRIATION. APPROPRIATIONS FOR ROADS AND TRAILS IN NATIONAL PARKS HAVE BEEN MADE ANNUALLY SINCE THE ENACTMENT OF APRIL 9, 1924, 43 STAT. 90, IN WHICH THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR WAS AUTHORIZED TO CONSTRUCT, RECONSTRUCT, AND IMPROVE ROADS AND TRAILS IN NATIONAL PARKS AND MONUMENTS UNDER HIS JURISDICTION. THE ACT PROVIDED THAT FOR THE PURPOSE THERE WERE AUTHORIZED TO BE APPROPRIATED CERTAIN AMOUNTS FOR THE FISCAL YEARS, 1924, 1925, 1926, AND 1927, AND WHILE THE ACT AUTHORIZED THE MAKING OF APPROPRIATIONS TO BE AVAILABLE UNTIL EXPENDED, THE ACTS MAKING SUCH APPROPRIATIONS HAVE NOT SO PROVIDED. THE FIRST APPROPRIATION FOR ROADS AND TRAILS IN NATIONAL PARKS WAS MADE BY THE DEFICIENCY ACT OF DECEMBER 5, 1924, 43 STAT. 686, AND IT CONTAINED A CLAUSE TO THE EFFECT THAT THE AMOUNT OF $1,000,000 APPROPRIATED THEREIN FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1924 AND 1925 WAS "TO REMAIN AVAILABLE UNTIL JUNE 30, 1925," THUS MAKING THE APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1924 AND 1925 ONLY. THE SUBSEQUENT APPROPRIATIONS WERE MADE IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS OF MARCH 3, 1925, 43 STAT. 1179, MAY 10, 1926, 44 STAT. 491, AND JANUARY 12, 1927, 44 STAT. 966, AND WHILE SUCH ENACTMENTS CONTAINED PROVISIONS THAT THE APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR PHYSICAL IMPROVEMENTS IN NATIONAL PARKS SHOULD BE IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE, THERE WAS NO PROVISION THAT SUCH APPROPRIATIONS SHOULD REMAIN AVAILABLE UNTIL EXPENDED. THEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912, 37 STAT. 487, THEY CAN NOT BE REGARDED AS NO-YEAR APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE UNTIL EXPENDED. IN THIS CONNECTION YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO ATTACHED COPY OF LETTER OF EVEN DATE TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY RELATIVE TO THE MATTER.

THE ACTING SUPERINTENDENT STATES IN HIS LETTER QUOTED ABOVE THAT THE EQUIPMENT RENTED TO ROAD CONTRACTORS WAS PURCHASED FROM THE FIRST ALLOTMENT MADE THE YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK FROM ROADS AND TRAILS FUNDS. THIS EVIDENTLY HAS REFERENCE TO THE FIRST APPROPRIATION MADE FOR THE PURPOSE BY THE ACT OF DECEMBER 5, 1924, HEREINBEFORE REFERRED TO, WHICH WAS MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1924 AND 1925 ONLY. THE RETAINING OF THE DEDUCTIONS MADE FROM CLAIMS PAID ROAD CONTRACTORS ON ACCOUNT OF RENTED EQUIPMENT AS A CREDIT TO THE CURRENT ROADS AND TRAILS APPROPRIATIONS FROM WHICH THE CONTRACTORS ARE PAID FOR WORK DONE IN THE PARK, WOULD OPERATE TO AUGMENT SAID APPROPRIATIONS, AS THE EXPENDITURES AS A RESULT OF WHICH THE RENT WAS DERIVED WERE MADE FROM A PRIOR OR DIFFERENT APPROPRIATION. SUCH PRACTICE IS UNAUTHORIZED. THE SAME RULE IS APPLICABLE WITH RESPECT TO SUPPLIES FURNISHED THE ROAD CONTRACTORS IF SUCH SUPPLIES WERE PURCHASED FROM APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR FISCAL YEARS OTHER THAN THOSE FROM WHICH THE DEDUCTIONS ARE MADE.

WHETHER OR NOT THE CONTRACTS UNDER WHICH THE ROAD CONTRACTORS OPERATE PROVIDE FOR DEDUCTIONS IN THEIR VOUCHERS FOR THE RENTAL OF EQUIPMENT AND FURNISHING OF SUPPLIES IS IMMATERIAL. IF THE DEDUCTIONS ARE MADE FROM AMOUNTS OTHERWISE DUE THE CONTRACTORS THE AMOUNTS SO DEDUCTED ARE MONEYS RECEIVED FOR THE USE OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTIONS 3617 AND 3618, REVISED STATUTES, AND, AS STATED IN THE DECISION HERETOFORE CITED, ARE FOR DISPOSITION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SUCH SECTIONS BY COVERING THE SAME INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS.

THE LAST TWO QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY YOUR ARE, ACCORDINGLY, ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.