A-27621, JULY 31, 1929, 9 COMP. GEN. 43

A-27621: Jul 31, 1929

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WAS AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1917 AND 1918 AND THE FACT THAT IT WAS SET UP AND TREATED AS A PART OF THE NO-YEAR APPROPRIATION UNDER THE SAME TITLE DOES NOT MAKE IT A NO-YEAR APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE UNTIL EXPENDED. CLAIMS ACCRUING AGAINST SUCH APPROPRIATION AFTER THE BALANCE THEREUNDER HAD BEEN CARRIED TO THE SURPLUS FUND OF THE TREASURY PURSUANT TO LAW ARE NOT FOR REPORTING TO THE CONGRESS BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS FOR AN APPROPRIATION AS CERTIFIED CLAIMS. AS THEY WERE NOT INCURRED DURING THE PERIOD OF AVAILABILITY OF THE APPROPRIATION. THE MATTER OF SECURING AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE PAYMENT OF SAID CLAIMS IS FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE. 1929: THERE ARE BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION AND SETTLEMENT SEVERAL CLAIMS AGGREGATING $268 FORWARDED BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT INVOLVING PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION TO PRIVATE OWNERS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF EASEMENTS OVER PRIVATE LANDS IN CONNECTION WITH THE INSTALLATION OF TELEPHONE CONTROL LINES BETWEEN THE KEYPORT RADIO STATION AND THE NAVY YARD AT PUGET SOUND.

A-27621, JULY 31, 1929, 9 COMP. GEN. 43

APPROPRIATIONS - LAPSED - CERTIFICATION OF CLAIMS ARISING SUBSEQUENT THERETO THE APPROPRIATIONS UNDER THE TITLE NAVY YARD, PUGET SOUND, WASH., MADE BY THE ACT OF JUNE 15, 1917, 40 STAT. 208, WAS AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1917 AND 1918 AND THE FACT THAT IT WAS SET UP AND TREATED AS A PART OF THE NO-YEAR APPROPRIATION UNDER THE SAME TITLE DOES NOT MAKE IT A NO-YEAR APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE UNTIL EXPENDED. CLAIMS ACCRUING AGAINST SUCH APPROPRIATION AFTER THE BALANCE THEREUNDER HAD BEEN CARRIED TO THE SURPLUS FUND OF THE TREASURY PURSUANT TO LAW ARE NOT FOR REPORTING TO THE CONGRESS BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS FOR AN APPROPRIATION AS CERTIFIED CLAIMS, AS THEY WERE NOT INCURRED DURING THE PERIOD OF AVAILABILITY OF THE APPROPRIATION. THE MATTER OF SECURING AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE PAYMENT OF SAID CLAIMS IS FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, AND FOR PRESENTATION TO THE CONGRESS THROUGH THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, JULY 31, 1929:

THERE ARE BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION AND SETTLEMENT SEVERAL CLAIMS AGGREGATING $268 FORWARDED BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT INVOLVING PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION TO PRIVATE OWNERS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF EASEMENTS OVER PRIVATE LANDS IN CONNECTION WITH THE INSTALLATION OF TELEPHONE CONTROL LINES BETWEEN THE KEYPORT RADIO STATION AND THE NAVY YARD AT PUGET SOUND, WASHINGTON.

THE ACT OF JUNE 15, 1917, 40 STAT. 208, PROVIDED:

PUGET SOUND, WASHINGTON, NAVY YARD: THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY IS AUTHORIZED TO ACQUIRE BY GIFT, PURCHASE, OR CONDEMNATION, EASEMENTS OVER PRIVATE LAND WHERE NECESSARY FOR THE INSTALLATION OF A TELEPHONE, POWER, AND DISTANT-CONTROL LINE FOR THE RADIO STATION AT KEYPORT, WASHINGTON, BETWEEN SAID STATION AND THE NAVY YARD, PUGET SOUND, WASHINGTON, $3,500, WHICH SUM IS HEREBY APPROPRIATED.

IT APPEARS THAT THIS APPROPRIATION OF $3,500 WAS SET UP AND CARRIED ON THE BOOKS OF THE TREASURY AS A PART OF THE NO-YEAR APPROPRIATION "NAVY YARD, PUGET SOUND, WASH., " AND THAT DURING THE FISCAL YEARS 1917 AND 1918 THERE WAS PAID OUT FOR THE PURPOSES CONTEMPLATED BY THE APPROPRIATION THE SUM OF $714, LEAVING AN UNEXPENDED BALANCE OF $2,786. BY LETTER OF AUGUST 12, 1924, THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY FORWARDED A STATEMENT TO THE TREASURY INVOLVING NO-YEAR APPROPRIATIONS STATING THAT THE BALANCES THEREUNDER WERE NO LONGER NEEDED FOR EXPENDITURES, THE PROJECTS HAVING BEEN COMPLETED, AND REQUESTING THAT THE AMOUNT GIVEN IN SUCH STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO EACH APPROPRIATION BE CARRIED TO THE SURPLUS FUND OF THE TREASURY AS OF JUNE 30, 1924. UNDER THE "NAVY YARD, PUGET SOUND, WASH., " APPROPRIATION THERE WERE GIVEN FIVE ITEMS FOR CARRYING TO THE SURPLUS FUND, INCLUDING THE ITEM OF $2,786 ABOVE MENTIONED. THE FUNDS IN QUESTION WERE CARRIED TO THE SURPLUS FUND IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUEST OF THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY BY WARRANT NO. 105, DATED JUNE 30, 1924.

THE NAVY DEPARTMENT STATES IN LETTER OF FEBRUARY 4, 1929, THAT UPON THE ENACTMENT OF THE LAW QUOTED HEREIN STEPS WERE TAKEN TO SECURE EASEMENTS AS PROVIDED BY THE APPROPRIATION BUT THAT DIFFICULTY WAS EXPERIENCED IN EFFECTING SATISFACTORY ARRANGEMENTS WITH SEVERAL OF THE OWNERS DUE TO EXCESSIVE PRICES DEMANDED OR INABILITY TO OBTAIN THE ADDRESSES OF THE PARTIES IN WHOM TITLE WAS VESTED, AND THAT IT BECAME NECESSARY TO REQUEST THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO INSTITUTE CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS TO ACQUIRE THE EASEMENTS. NO FURTHER ACTION APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN TAKEN IN CONNECTION WITH THE MATTER UNTIL BY LETTER OF MARCH 24, 1928, THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY DIRECTED THE COMMANDANT, THIRTEENTH NAVAL DISTRICT, TO AGAIN TAKE UP WITH THE VARIOUS OWNERS OF THE LAND OVER WHICH A RIGHT-OF-WAY WAS REQUIRED THE QUESTION OF ARRIVING AT A REASONABLE PRICE AND THAT AS A RESULT OF SUCH NEGOTIATIONS EASEMENTS WERE OBTAINED FROM THE PROPERTY OWNERS WHOSE CLAIMS ARE NOW FOR CONSIDERATION AT PRICES WHICH IT IS STATED ARE CONSIDERED TO BE REASONABLE AND JUST. IT IS STATED BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT THAT IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT NO FORMAL AGREEMENTS WERE MADE WITH THE OWNERS PRIOR TO THE RETURN OF THE BALANCE OF THE FUNDS TO THE SURPLUS FUND OF THE TREASURY THERE ARE NO FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE PRESENT CLAIMS, AND THE SUGGESTION IS MADE THAT SAID CLAIMS BE SUBMITTED TO THE CONGRESS FOR APPROPRIATION AS CERTIFIED CLAIMS.

THERE IS NOTHING IN THE APPROPRIATION MADE BY THE ACT OF JUNE 15, 1917, UNDER THE TITLE "NAVY YARD, PUGET SOUND, WASH., " INDICATING THAT THE SAID APPROPRIATION WAS TO BE CONSIDERED AND TREATED AS A NO YEAR APPROPRIATION CARRIED ON THE BOOKS OF THE TREASURY UNDER THAT TITLE. SECTION 2 OF THE ACT PROVIDED THAT THE APPROPRIATIONS MADE BY THAT ACT UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED THEREIN SHOULD BE AVAILABLE DURING THE FISCAL YEARS 1917 AND 1918, AND IN VIEW THEREOF THE ITEM OF APPROPRIATION INVOLVED HERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SET UP AND CARRIED AS AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE TWO FISCAL YEARS REFERRED TO. IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED AS AN APPROPRIATION COVERING OBLIGATIONS INCURRED DURING THOSE TWO FISCAL YEARS ONLY AND THE UNEXPENDED BALANCE THEREUNDER SHOULD HAVE BEEN CARRIED TO THE SURPLUS FUND OF THE TREASURY AS OF JUNE 30, 1920, INSTEAD OF JUNE 30, 1924, AS PROVIDED BY THE SURPLUS FUND ACT OF JUNE 20, 1874, 18 STAT. 110.

IT APPEARS THAT THE OBLIGATIONS REPRESENTED BY THE CLAIMS NOW UNDER CONSIDERATION WERE INCURRED, NOT IN 1917 OR 1918, BUT IN 1928 AND 1929 OSTENSIBLY UNDER AN APPROPRIATION THE BALANCE OF WHICH HAD BEEN CARRIED TO THE SURPLUS FUND IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR ACCOUNTING ACTION AS SUGGESTED BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT, I.E., THE REPORTING OF THE CLAIMS TO THE CONGRESS BY THIS OFFICE FOR APPROPRIATION AS CERTIFIED CLAIMS, AS THE SAID CLAIMS WERE NOT INCURRED DURING THE PERIOD OF AVAILABILITY OF THE APPROPRIATION. THE MATTER APPEARS ONE PROPERLY FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, WITH A VIEW TO BRINGING TO THE ATTENTION OF THE CONGRESS THROUGH THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET FOR REAPPROPRIATION FROM THE SURPLUS FUND OF A SUFFICIENT AMOUNT OF THE FUNDS UNDER THE LAPSED APPROPRIATION OR THE MAKING OF A NEW APPROPRIATION FOR THE PAYMENT OF THESE CLAIMS.

THE CLAIMS IN QUESTION WILL BE HELD IN ABEYANCE BY THIS OFFICE UNTIL AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE SAME HAS BEEN MADE BY LAW AT WHICH TIME THE NECESSARY ACTION FOR THE SETTLEMENT OF THE SAME WILL BE TAKEN.