A-21793, APRIL 5, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 629

A-21793: Apr 5, 1928

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" IS AVAILABLE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A COVER OF THE GREENHOUSE TYPE TO PROTECT A SERIES OF ARTIFICIAL CHANNELS BY MEANS OF WHICH RESEARCH STUDIES ARE CONDUCTED ON THE RATES OF NATURAL PURIFICATION OF POLLUTED WATER. 1928: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 15. OF A COVER OF THE GREENHOUSE TYPE TO PROTECT A SERIES OF ARTIFICIAL CHANNELS BY MEANS OF WHICH RESEARCH STUDIES ARE BEING CONDUCTED ON THE RATES OF NATURAL PURIFICATION OF POLLUTED WATER. YOU STATE THAT THE CONSTRUCTION IS DESIGNED SOLELY AS A NECESSARY ADDITION TO AN EXISTING TEMPORARY EXPERIMENTAL PLANT AND AS OF TEMPORARY NATURE. THE NECESSITY FOR THE CONSTRUCTION IS THAT THE STUDIES MAY BE CARRIED ON CONTINUOUSLY INSTEAD OF BEING DISCONTINUED DURING THE WINTER MONTHS.

A-21793, APRIL 5, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 629

APPROPRIATIONS - PUBLIC-BUILDING CONSTRUCTION THE APPROPRIATION "FIELD INVESTIGATIONS OF PUBLIC HEALTH, 1928," IS AVAILABLE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A COVER OF THE GREENHOUSE TYPE TO PROTECT A SERIES OF ARTIFICIAL CHANNELS BY MEANS OF WHICH RESEARCH STUDIES ARE CONDUCTED ON THE RATES OF NATURAL PURIFICATION OF POLLUTED WATER, SUCH STRUCTURE NOT BEING REGARDED AS A PUBLIC BUILDING OR PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 3733, REVISED STATUTES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, APRIL 5, 1928:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 15, 1928, REQUESTING DECISION AS TO THE LEGALITY OF THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS OUT OF THE APPROPRIATION "FIELD INVESTIGATIONS OF PUBLIC HEALTH, 1928," FOR THE CONSTRUCTION, ON THE GROUNDS OF THE STREAM POLLUTION INVESTIGATION STATION AT CINCINNATI, OHIO, OF A COVER OF THE GREENHOUSE TYPE TO PROTECT A SERIES OF ARTIFICIAL CHANNELS BY MEANS OF WHICH RESEARCH STUDIES ARE BEING CONDUCTED ON THE RATES OF NATURAL PURIFICATION OF POLLUTED WATER. YOU STATE THAT THE CONSTRUCTION IS DESIGNED SOLELY AS A NECESSARY ADDITION TO AN EXISTING TEMPORARY EXPERIMENTAL PLANT AND AS OF TEMPORARY NATURE, NO FURTHER USE BEING ANTICIPATED FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF THE PRESENT STUDIES WITH ARTIFICIAL CHANNELS. THE NECESSITY FOR THE CONSTRUCTION IS THAT THE STUDIES MAY BE CARRIED ON CONTINUOUSLY INSTEAD OF BEING DISCONTINUED DURING THE WINTER MONTHS.

THE APPROPRIATION "FIELD INVESTIGATIONS OF PUBLIC HEALTH, 1928," ACT OF JANUARY 26, 1927, 44 STAT. 1039, PROVIDES:

FOR INVESTIGATIONS OF DISEASES OF MAN AND CONDITIONS INFLUENCING THE PROPAGATION AND SPREAD THEREOF, INCLUDING SANITATION AND SEWAGE, AND THE POLLUTION OF NAVIGABLE STREAMS AND LAKES OF THE UNITED STATES. * * *

THE RULE IS WELL SETTLED THAT AN APPROPRIATION FOR A PARTICULAR OBJECT IS AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES NECESSARILY INCIDENT THERETO IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATUTORY PROHIBITION, A MORE SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION, OR PREVIOUS SPECIFIC LEGISLATION FOR SIMILAR OBJECTS, WHICH BY IMPLICATION MAKE SUCH EXPENSES DEPENDENT ON DIRECT LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY.

THERE IS NO SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION FOR THE PURPOSE HEREIN CONSIDERED AND THERE DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN ANY PREVIOUS LEGISLATION FOR SIMILAR OBJECTS WHICH WOULD MAKE IT NECESSARY TO HAVE SPECIFIC LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY FOR THE EXPENDITURE IN QUESTION. IT IS APPARENT FROM YOUR LETTER THAT THE PROPOSED EXPENDITURE IS NECESSARILY INCIDENT TO THE PROPER EXECUTION OF THE OBJECT FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION UNDER CONSIDERATION WAS MADE. THERE REMAINS FOR CONSIDERATION ONLY THE QUESTION WHETHER THERE IS ANY STATUTORY PROHIBITION AGAINST SUCH USE OF THE APPROPRIATION.

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 EXTRACT FROM THE ACT OF JANUARY 26, 1927, QUOTED, SUPRA, DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY APPROPRIATE FOR ANY PUBLIC BUILDING OR PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT, AND IF THE CONSTRUCTION DESCRIBED IN YOUR LETTER IS A PUBLIC BUILDING OR PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 3733, REVISED STATUTES, THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION WOULD NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR THE PURPOSE.

IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THE ERECTION OF A TEMPORARY SHED TO HOUSE A FUMIGATION TANK USED IN FUMIGATING COTTON AGAINST THE PINK BOLLWORM WAS NOT IN CONTRAVENTION OF SECTION 3733, REVISED STATUTES. SEE DECISION OF MARCH 16, 1927, A-17265. IT HAS ALSO BEEN HELD THAT THE CONSTRUCTION OF A CABINET 30 FEET SQUARE FOR USE OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE IN AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY OF THE EFFECT OF LIGHT IN RELATION TO DISEASES OF MAN WAS NOT WITHIN THE INHIBITION OF SAID SECTION. SEE DECISION TO YOU OF MAY 16, 1927, A-18335. SEE, ALSO, DECISION OF OCTOBER 3, 1925, A-11233, AUTHORIZING THE ERECTION OF TEMPORARY POST OFFICES OF A TEMPORARY CHARACTER OF CONSTRUCTION.

IT WAS HELD BY THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY IN DECISIONS TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE THAT GREENHOUSES ARE NOT PUBLIC BUILDINGS OR PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 3733, REVISED STATUTES. SEE PARTICULARLY DECISIONS OF APRIL 16, 1907, AND JANUARY 19, 1916. DECISION OF THIS OFFICE OF JUNE 24, 1926, A-14192, IT WAS HELD THAT A GREENHOUSE COULD NOT BE ERECTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ON AN EXPERIMENTAL FARM AT BELL, MD., WITHOUT SPECIFIC LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY, ON THE GROUND THAT CONGRESS HAD ALREADY AUTHORIZED IN A PREVIOUS APPROPRIATION THE ERECTION OF NECESSARY FARM BUILDINGS ON THE EXPERIMENTAL FARM IN QUESTION.

YOU ARE ADVISED THAT FROM YOUR DESCRIPTION OF THE CHARACTER OF THE PROPOSED STRUCTURE AND THE USE TO BE MADE THEREOF, IT IS NOT REGARDED AS A PUBLIC BUILDING OR PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 3733, REVISED STATUTES, AND ACCORDINGLY, IF FOUND TO BE NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH THE WORK CARRIED ON UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "FIELD INVESTIGATIONS OF PUBLIC HEALTH, 1928," SAID APPROPRIATION IS AVAILABLE FOR SUCH CONSTRUCTION.