A-26571, APRIL 2, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 519

A-26571: Apr 2, 1929

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IS NOT A "PUBLIC BUILDING" APPROPRIATION WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24. IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR OBLIGATION BEYOND THE FISCAL YEAR IN WHICH IT IS MADE. IN CONNECTION WITH THIS ITEM OF APPROPRIATION THERE IS PRESENTED HEREWITH A COMMUNICATION FROM THE ACTING SUPERVISING ARCHITECT. YOUR VIEWS ARE REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THIS DEPARTMENT IS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN LETTER OF THE ACTING SUPERVISING ARCHITECT TO ESTABLISH THIS APPROPRIATION ON THE BOOKS OF THIS DEPARTMENT WITHOUT YEAR TO BE AVAILABLE UNTIL EXPENDED. INASMUCH AS THE TIME UNTIL THE CLOSE OF THE FISCAL YEAR 1929 IS SHORT. IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF YOU WILL ADVISE THIS DEPARTMENT IN THE MATTER AS EARLY AS PRACTICABLE.

A-26571, APRIL 2, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 519

APPROPRIATIONS - FISCAL YEAR - CLEARING OF PUBLIC BUILDING SITES THE APPROPRIATION FOR CLEARING A SITE ACQUIRED BY THE UNITED STATES FOR A PUBLIC BUILDING, BUT NO BUILDING BEING CONTEMPLATED AT THE PRESENT TIME, IS NOT A "PUBLIC BUILDING" APPROPRIATION WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912, 37 STAT. 487, AND IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR OBLIGATION BEYOND THE FISCAL YEAR IN WHICH IT IS MADE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, APRIL 2, 1929:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MARCH---, 1929, AS FOLLOWS:

ON PAGE 36 OF THE SECOND DEFICIENCY ACT OF 1929 (PUBLIC, NO. 1035), APPROVED MARCH 4, 1929, UNDER THE CAPTION "MISCELLANEOUS PUBLIC BUILDING PROJECTS," THERE APPEARS THE FOLLOWING ITEM:

"BRONX (NEW YORK), NEW YORK, POST OFFICE: FOR CLEARING OF SITE, $10,000.'

IN CONNECTION WITH THIS ITEM OF APPROPRIATION THERE IS PRESENTED HEREWITH A COMMUNICATION FROM THE ACTING SUPERVISING ARCHITECT, DATED MARCH 15, 1929, CALLING ATTENTION TO EXISTING CONDITIONS PERTAINING TO THE CLEARING OF THIS SITE AND THE IMPROBABILITY OF THE AWARDING OF A CONTRACT FOR THE WORK PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1929.

YOUR VIEWS ARE REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THIS DEPARTMENT IS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN LETTER OF THE ACTING SUPERVISING ARCHITECT TO ESTABLISH THIS APPROPRIATION ON THE BOOKS OF THIS DEPARTMENT WITHOUT YEAR TO BE AVAILABLE UNTIL EXPENDED.

INASMUCH AS THE TIME UNTIL THE CLOSE OF THE FISCAL YEAR 1929 IS SHORT, IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF YOU WILL ADVISE THIS DEPARTMENT IN THE MATTER AS EARLY AS PRACTICABLE.

IT APPEARS FROM THE INCLOSURE ACCOMPANYING YOUR SUBMISSION THAT THE BUILDINGS UPON THE SITE IN QUESTION ARE NOW OCCUPIED UNDER LEASES REQUIRING 90 DAYS' NOTICE TO VACATE; AND THAT IN VIEW THEREOF IT IS THOUGHT IMPROBABLE THAT A CONTRACT FOR CLEARING THE SITE CAN BE AWARDED PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1929. IT IS NOT APPARENT WHY THE EXECUTION OF SUCH A CONTRACT CAN NOT BE ACCOMPLISHED BEFORE THE BUILDINGS ARE VACATED.

THE HEARINGS BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS DISCLOSE THAT THE CLEARING OF THE SITE IS NOT INCIDENT TO THE ERECTION OF ANY PUBLIC BUILDING THEREON AT THIS TIME, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THE SITE WAS ORIGINALLY PURCHASED FOR THAT PURPOSE,BUT THAT THE SITE IS TO BE CLEARED BECAUSE THE BUILDINGS THEREON ARE SO OLD THAT THEY CAN NOT BE MAINTAINED IN GOOD CONDITION AND WOULD BE CONDEMNED WERE THEY IN PRIVATE OWNERSHIP; AND THAT IT IS CONTEMPLATED AFTER CLEARING THE SITE TO RENT IT FOR USE AS AN AUTOMOBILE PARKING SITE.

SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912, 37 STAT. 487, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1919, 40 STAT. 1309, PROVIDES:

NO SPECIFIC OR INDEFINITE APPROPRIATION MADE HEREAFTER IN ANY REGULAR ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACT SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO BE PERMANENT OR AVAILABLE CONTINUOUSLY WITHOUT REFERENCE TO A FISCAL YEAR UNLESS IT BELONGS TO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING FOUR CLASSES: "RIVERS AND HARBORS," "LIGHTHOUSES," ,PUBLIC BUILDINGS," AND "PAY OF THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS," * * * OR UNLESS IT IS MADE IN TERMS EXPRESSLY PROVIDING THAT IT SHALL CONTINUE AVAILABLE BEYOND THE FISCAL YEAR FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION ACT IN WHICH IT IS CONTAINED MAKES PROVISION.

THE APPROPRIATION NOW IN QUESTION WAS NOT MADE IN TERMS EXPRESSLY PROVIDING THAT IT SHALL CONTINUE AVAILABLE BEYOND THE FISCAL YEAR FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION ACT IN WHICH IT IS CONTAINED MAKES PROVISION. IS OBVIOUS THAT IT DOES NOT COME WITHIN THE FIRST, SECOND, OR FOURTH CLASS MENTIONED, WHICH LEAVES FOR CONSIDERATION ONLY THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER IT IS A PUBLIC-BUILDING APPROPRIATION. THIS PROVISION GENERALLY HAS BEEN HELD NOT APPLICABLE TO ANY APPROPRIATION WHICH DOES NOT PROVIDE FOR THE ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTION OF A PUBLIC BUILDING. APPROPRIATIONS FOR REPAIRS, IMPROVEMENTS, OR REMODELING REPEATEDLY HAVE BEEN HELD NOT TO CONSTITUTE PUBLIC-BUILDING APPROPRIATIONS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912, SUPRA. 1 COMP. GEN. 435; ID. 32; 7 ID. 619.

IT MUST BE HELD, THEREFORE, THAT THE APPROPRIATION FOR CLEARING THE SITE OF THE BRONX (NEW YORK) POST OFFICE IS NOT A PUBLIC-BUILDING APPROPRIATION WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912, AND THAT, IF NOT LAWFULLY OBLIGATED BEFORE THE EXPIRATION OF THE FISCAL YEAR 1929, IT WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR OBLIGATION OR EXPENDITURE THEREAFTER.