A-25520, JANUARY 5, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 335

A-25520: Jan 5, 1929

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APPROPRIATIONS - POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT - PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC PROVISION THEREIN THE APPROPRIATION "LABOR- SAVING DEVICES" UNDER THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE INSTALLATION OF AN ELEVATOR IN THE WASHINGTON CITY POST-OFFICE BUILDING. 1929: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 18. ARE SUCH THAT IT BECOMES NECESSARY TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL STORAGE SPACE FOR POST-OFFICE SUPPLIES. WILL YOU PLEASE ADVISE ME WHETHER THE COST OF THE INSTALLATION OF SUCH AN ELEVATOR COULD BE PROPERLY CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION ENTITLED "LABOR- SAVING DEVISES? - ALL SUMS APPROPRIATED FOR THE VARIOUS BRANCHES OF EXPENDITURE IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE SHALL BE APPLIED SOLELY TO THE OBJECTS FOR WHICH THEY ARE RESPECTIVELY MADE.

A-25520, JANUARY 5, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 335

APPROPRIATIONS - POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT - PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC PROVISION THEREIN THE APPROPRIATION "LABOR- SAVING DEVICES" UNDER THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE INSTALLATION OF AN ELEVATOR IN THE WASHINGTON CITY POST-OFFICE BUILDING, SUCH INSTALLATION BEING CONSIDERED A PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 3733, REVISED STATUTES.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL GINN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, JANUARY 5, 1929:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 18, 1928, AS FOLLOWS:

CONDITIONS IN THE WASHINGTON CITY POST-OFFICE BUILDING, LOCATED AT NORTH CAPITOL AND MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE, ARE SUCH THAT IT BECOMES NECESSARY TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL STORAGE SPACE FOR POST-OFFICE SUPPLIES. THE BUILDING HAS A ROOM IN THE SUBBASEMENT CONTAINING SEVERAL THOUSAND SQUARE FEET OF FLOOR SPACE, BUT AT THE PRESENT TIME IT CAN ONLY BE REACHED BY MEANS OF A STAIRWAY. IN ORDER TO UTILIZE THIS SPACE I WISH TO INSTALL AN ELEVATOR WHICH WOULD RUN FROM THE BASEMENT DIRECTLY TO THIS SPACE IN THE SUBBASEMENT.

WILL YOU PLEASE ADVISE ME WHETHER THE COST OF THE INSTALLATION OF SUCH AN ELEVATOR COULD BE PROPERLY CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION ENTITLED "LABOR- SAVING DEVISES?

THE APPROPRIATION REFERRED TO BY YOU, AS MADE BY THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, 45 STAT. 192, PROVIDES:

FOR RENTAL, PURCHASE, EXCHANGE, AND REPAIR OF CANCELING MACHINES AND MOTORS, MECHANICAL MAIL-HANDLING APPARATUS, AND OTHER LABOR-SAVING DEVICES, INCLUDING COST OF POWER IN RENTED BUILDINGS AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES OF INSTALLATION AND OPERATION OF SAME, INCLUDING SALARIES OF SEVEN TRAVELING MECHANICIANS AND FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES, $700,000.

SECTION 3678, REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES THAT---

ALL SUMS APPROPRIATED FOR THE VARIOUS BRANCHES OF EXPENDITURE IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE SHALL BE APPLIED SOLELY TO THE OBJECTS FOR WHICH THEY ARE RESPECTIVELY MADE, AND FOR NO OTHERS.

AND BY SECTION 3733, REVISED STATUTES, IT WAS PROVIDED THAT---

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 INSTALLING OF AN ELEVATOR IN A PUBLIC BUILDING DOES NOT INVOLVE MERELY THE ACQUISITION OF A LABOR-SAVING DEVICE AS CONTEMPLATED UNDER THE APPROPRIATION QUOTED ABOVE, BUT IS A PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 3733, REVISED STATUTES, SUPRA. SEE DECISIONS OF APRIL 16, 1925, A-7121, AND JUNE 2, 1925, A-7121, TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE AND THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTION SPECIFICALLY, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THERE BEING NO SPECIFIC PROVISION MADE IN THE APPROPRIATION LABOR-SAVING DEVICES" FOR THE INSTALLATION OF AN ELEVATOR, AS PROPOSED, SUCH APPROPRIATION IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PURPOSE.