A-22070, MARCH 30, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 619

A-22070: Mar 30, 1928

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

FOR REMODELING AND ENLARGING CERTAIN BUILDINGS AND INSTALLATION OF ELEVATORS AT FREEDMEN'S HOSPITAL IS NOT AN APPROPRIATION FOR PUBLIC BUILDINGS WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24. PAYMENT AS SALARY OR COMPENSATION OF ENGINEERS OR ARCHITECTS ENGAGED FOR THE PREPARATION OF PLANS AND SUPERVISING THE WORK AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT CAN ONLY BE MADE THEREUNDER DURING THE PERIOD FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION IS AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE. WHILE AN APPROPRIATION MADE FOR ENLARGING AND REMODELING A BUILDING IS NOT AS A RULE AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF FURNITURE. WHEN IT APPEARS THAT THE APPROPRIATION IS SPECIFICALLY MADE AVAILABLE FOR EQUIPMENT AND THAT THE AMOUNT APPROPRIATED INCLUDES AN ITEM ESTIMATED FOR FURNITURE.

A-22070, MARCH 30, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 619

APPROPRIATIONS - FISCAL YEAR - FREEDMEN'S HOSPITAL - REMODELING OF BUILDINGS AND INSTALLATION OF FURNITURE THE APPROPRIATION MADE BY THE ACT OF MARCH 7, 1928, 45 STAT. 243, FOR REMODELING AND ENLARGING CERTAIN BUILDINGS AND INSTALLATION OF ELEVATORS AT FREEDMEN'S HOSPITAL IS NOT AN APPROPRIATION FOR PUBLIC BUILDINGS WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912, 37 STAT. 487, AND PAYMENT AS SALARY OR COMPENSATION OF ENGINEERS OR ARCHITECTS ENGAGED FOR THE PREPARATION OF PLANS AND SUPERVISING THE WORK AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT CAN ONLY BE MADE THEREUNDER DURING THE PERIOD FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION IS AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE. WHILE AN APPROPRIATION MADE FOR ENLARGING AND REMODELING A BUILDING IS NOT AS A RULE AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF FURNITURE, WHEN IT APPEARS THAT THE APPROPRIATION IS SPECIFICALLY MADE AVAILABLE FOR EQUIPMENT AND THAT THE AMOUNT APPROPRIATED INCLUDES AN ITEM ESTIMATED FOR FURNITURE, ETC., SUCH APPROPRIATION PROPERLY MAY BE USED FOR THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF THE NECESSARY FURNITURE. 7 COMP. GEN. 474, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, MARCH 30, 1928:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 14, 1928, REQUESTING DECISION ON THREE QUESTIONS PRESENTED, AS FOLLOWS:

IN THE ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1929, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES (APPROVED MARCH 7, 1928), APPROPRIATION WAS MADE AMONG OTHER THINGS FOR FREEDMEN'S HOSPITAL, AS FOLLOWS:

FOR OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES AND COMPENSATION FOR ALL OTHER PROFESSIONAL AND OTHER SERVICES THAT MAY BE REQUIRED AND EXPRESSLY APPROVED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, $142,000; FOR SUBSISTENCE, FUEL AND LIGHT, CLOTHING, TO INCLUDE WHITE DUCK SUITS AND WHITE CANVAS SHOES FOR THE USE OF INTERNES, AND RUBBER SURGICAL GLOVES, BEDDING, FORAGE, MEDICINE, MEDICAL AND SURGICAL SUPPLIES, SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, ELECTRIC LIGHTS, REPAIRS, REPLACEMENT OF X-RAY APPARATUS, FURNITURE, MOTOR-PROPELLED AMBULANCE, INCLUDING NOT EXCEEDING $200 FOR THE PURCHASE OF BOOKS, PERIODICALS, AND NEWSPAPERS, FOR WHICH PAYMENTS MAY BE MADE IN ADVANCE, AND NOT TO EXCEED $1,000 FOR THE INSTRUCTION OF PUPIL NURSES, AND OTHER ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY EXPENSES, $80,500; FOR AN ADDITION TO AND REMODELING OF THE NURSES' HOME, INCLUDING NECESSARY EQUIPMENT, $150,000; FOR REMODELING AND ENLARGING POWER PLANT, INCLUDING NECESSARY EQUIPMENT, $52,000; FOR REMODELING AND ENLARGING DINING ROOM AND KITCHEN, INCLUDING NECESSARY EQUIPMENT, $32,000; FOR ENLARGING EMPLOYEES' QUARTERS, $8,000; FOR INSTALLATION OF NEW ELEVATORS, $10,000; IN ALL, $252,000, INCLUDING COST OF ADVERTISING FOR PROPOSALS, PREPARATION OF PLANS, AND SUPERVISION OF WORK; TO BE IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE. IN ALL, FOR FREEDMEN'S HOSPITAL, $474,500, OF WHICH AMOUNT ONE-HALF SHALL BE CHARGEABLE TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND PAID IN LIKE MANNER AS OTHER APPROPRIATIONS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE PAID.

IT IS DESIRABLE THAT THE WORK ON THE BUILDINGS ABOVE AUTHORIZED BE UNDERTAKEN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, AND AS THE APPROPRIATIONS ARE IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE I HAVE, THEREFORE, TO REQUEST YOUR OPINION UPON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS AS TO MY AUTHORITY IN EFFECTUATING THE ACT:

(1) AS THE APPROPRIATION IS MOSTLY FOR BUILDINGS, CAN IT BE REGARDED AS WITHOUT YEAR, OR WILL IT BE NECESSARY TO MAKE A CONTRACT FOR THE WORK IN ORDER THAT THE APPROPRIATION MAY BE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE AFTER JUNE 30, 1929? FROM PRESENT INDICATIONS IT APPEARS THAT THERE IS A LIKELIHOOD THAT THE TIME FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS WILL EXTEND BEYOND JUNE 30, 1929.

(2) CAN A CONTRACT BE MADE WITH A COMPETENT ENGINEER OR ARCHITECT FOR THE PREPARATION OF PLANS AND SUPERVISION OF THE WORK CONTEMPLATED BY THE ACT, UNDER WHICH PAYMENTS COULD BE MADE FROM THE APPROPRIATION AFTER JUNE 30, 1929, IF DESIRABLE? IT WILL BE SEEN FROM THE ACCOMPANYING COPY OF A LETTER FROM THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT THAT IT WOULD BE IMPRACTICABLE FOR THE SUPERVISING ARCHITECT OF THE TREASURY TO FURNISH PLANS OR SUPERVISE THE WORK.

(3) WILL THE WORDS "INCLUDING NECESSARY EQUIPMENT" AS AUTHORIZED FOR EACH STRUCTURE MENTIONED IN THE BILL BE SUFFICIENT AUTHORITY TO ENABLE THE DEPARTMENT TO PURCHASE AND INSTALL NECESSARY FURNITURE?

1. THE AMOUNT OF $252,000 WHICH IS MADE IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE BY THE APPROPRIATION IS FOR ADDITIONS, REMODELING, AND ENLARGING BUILDINGS OF THE HOSPITAL, INSTALLATION OF NEW ELEVATORS, C., AND IS NOT FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912, 37 STAT. 487. SEE 1 COMP. GEN. 435; ID. 532; 2 COMP. GEN. 820. THE AMOUNT IN QUESTION HAS ACCORDINGLY BEEN PLACED ON THE BOOKS OF THIS OFFICE AND OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT AS A DOUBLE YEAR APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1928 AND 1929. IT CAN NOT BE REGARDED AS AN APPROPRIATION WITHOUT YEAR, BUT MAY BE CONSIDERED AS AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED UNDER CONTRACTS ENTERED INTO PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1929, OBLIGATING THE APPROPRIATION FOR PURPOSES FOR WHICH MADE.

2. IN CONNECTION WITH THE SECOND QUESTION SUBMITTED, YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO DECISION OF THIS OFFICE, 6 COMP. GEN. 134, AND DECISION TO YOU OF JUNE 28, 1924, A-3372. ANSWERING THE QUESTION SPECIFICALLY YOU ARE ADVISED THAT AS THE APPROPRIATION WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR THE INCURRING OF OBLIGATIONS SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE 30, 1929, NO PAYMENT FOR COMPENSATION OR SALARY CAN BE MADE THEREFROM SUBSEQUENT TO THAT DATE.

3. WITH RESPECT TO THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF NECESSARY FURNITURE UNDER THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE APPROPRIATION RELATIVE TO EACH STRUCTURE IN THE WORDS "INCLUDING NECESSARY EQUIPMENT" YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO DECISION OF THIS OFFICE, 7 COMP. GEN. 474. THE GENERAL RULE ANNOUNCED THEREIN IS FOR APPLICATION IN ALL CASES INVOLVING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS AND WHERE THERE IS A CONTINGENT APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR THE PARTICULAR OBJECT TO BE OBTAINED. HOWEVER, IN THE PRESENT MATTER IT APPEARS THAT WHEN ESTIMATES WERE SUBMITTED FOR ENLARGING AND REMODELING THE STRUCTURES HERE INVOLVED, THERE WAS INCLUDED AN ITEM OF $10,000 FOR FURNITURE, FURNISHING, AND FIXTURES. THE ITEM AS APPROPRIATED FOR, $252,000, APPEARS TO INCLUDE THE ITEMS ESTIMATED FOR, TO WIT, $232,000 FOR STRUCTURES AND $10,000 FOR FURNITURE, ETC. THE ADDITIONAL $10,000, ALTHOUGH NOT APPEARING IN THE BUDGET, WAS INSERTED IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE INSTALLATION OF NEW ELEVATORS. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE TERM "EQUIPMENT" AS USED IN THIS APPROPRIATION WAS INTENDED TO INCLUDE, AND MAY BE REGARDED AS INCLUDING THE NECESSARY FURNITURE, ETC., FOR THE NEW OR ENLARGED STRUCTURES. ACCORDINGLY, THE THIRD QUESTION PRESENTED IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.