A-34035, DECEMBER 29, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 288

A-34035: Dec 29, 1930

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PUBLIC PROPERTY - LOANS BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS - REPAIRS AND REPLACEMENTS WHERE PUBLIC PROPERTY IN THE CUSTODY OF ONE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT IS TEMPORARILY LOANED TO ANOTHER DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT. THE MARINE CORPS BILL IS ITEMIZED AS FOLLOWS: TABLE REPAIRING AND VARNISHING CHAIRS. THE FURNITURE WAS LOANED TO THE CENSUS SUPERVISORS OF THE TWENTY-NINTH AND THIRTY-FIRST PENNSYLVANIA DISTRICTS WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE ARTICLES WERE TO BE RETURNED IN GOOD CONDITION AS SOON AS THEY HAD SERVED THEIR PURPOSE AND THAT THE DEPOT WOULD BE REIMBURSED FOR THE COST OF RECRATING THE PROPERTY. THAT THE PROPERTY WAS RETURNED ON THE 18TH OF JULY (1930) AND THE TOTAL COST OF PLACING THE ARTICLES IN THE SAME CONDITION AS THEY WERE PRIOR TO BEING LOANED AMOUNTED TO $50.07.

A-34035, DECEMBER 29, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 288

PUBLIC PROPERTY - LOANS BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS - REPAIRS AND REPLACEMENTS WHERE PUBLIC PROPERTY IN THE CUSTODY OF ONE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT IS TEMPORARILY LOANED TO ANOTHER DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT, THE COST OF REPAIRS AND REPLACEMENT UPON RETURN OF THE PROPERTY BEING FOR THE FUTURE USE AND BENEFIT OF THE LOANING ESTABLISHMENT MAY NOT BE PAID UNDER THE APPROPRIATIONS OF THE BORROWING ESTABLISHMENT.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, DECEMBER 29, 1930:

THE BUREAU OF THE CENSUS HAS SUBMITTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR PREAUDIT A VOUCHER PROPOSING TO PAY THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS UNDER THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE FIFTEENTH CENSUS THE AMOUNT OF $50.07 FOR RECONDITIONING FURNITURE LOANED THE BUREAU OF THE CENSUS BY THE MARINE CORPS AND OTHER EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE USE AND RETURN OF THE FURNITURE. THE MARINE CORPS BILL IS ITEMIZED AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE REPAIRING AND VARNISHING CHAIRS, TABLES, ETC ---------------- --- $36.15 CRATING (2 MEN, 1 DAY) ----------------------------------- ------ 10.40 1 CHAIR, BARRACKS (MISSING) --------------------------- --------- 2.67 1 SCREW, WOOD, ASSORTED, GROSS --------------------- ------------ .25 10 LUMBER, ASSORTED, FEET (OAK, 1 INCH) --------- --------------- .60

TOTAL ----------------------------------------------------- 50.07

THE REPORT OF THE DEPOT QUARTERMASTER, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, AT PHILADELPHIA, ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER, STATES THAT UPON THE REQUEST OF THE COORDINATOR, THIRD AREA, THE FURNITURE WAS LOANED TO THE CENSUS SUPERVISORS OF THE TWENTY-NINTH AND THIRTY-FIRST PENNSYLVANIA DISTRICTS WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE ARTICLES WERE TO BE RETURNED IN GOOD CONDITION AS SOON AS THEY HAD SERVED THEIR PURPOSE AND THAT THE DEPOT WOULD BE REIMBURSED FOR THE COST OF RECRATING THE PROPERTY; THAT THE PROPERTY WAS RETURNED ON THE 18TH OF JULY (1930) AND THE TOTAL COST OF PLACING THE ARTICLES IN THE SAME CONDITION AS THEY WERE PRIOR TO BEING LOANED AMOUNTED TO $50.07. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE DEPOT QUARTERMASTER REPORTED THAT THE SERVICES OF THE TWO MEN, REQUIRED FOR ONE DAY TO CRATE THE FURNITURE, WERE PERFORMED BY REGULAR EMPLOYEES OF THE MARINE CORPS, AND--- AS TO THE UNDERSTANDING WHEN THE FURNITURE WAS LOANED--- THAT AS THE MARINE CORPS OFFICIALS IN CHARGE HESITATED TO LOAN THE FURNITURE WITHOUT SOME GUARANTEE THAT IT WOULD BE REPLACED IN THE SAME CONDITION AS WHEN TRANSFERRED, THE AREA COORDINATOR QUOTED A LETTER FROM THE CHIEF COORDINATOR THAT HIS OFFICE "HAD BEEN ADVISED BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE CENSUS BUREAU THAT IT WILL GLADLY GIVE THE ABOVE GUARANTY.'

THE RULE HAS BEEN LONG ESTABLISHED THAT WHERE ONE DEPARTMENT LOANS PROPERTY OR EQUIPMENT TO ANOTHER IT IS NOT ENTITLED TO CHARGE FOR ITS USE OR DEPRECIATION, OR TO HAVE LOST PROPERTY REPLACED OR DAMAGED PROPERTY REPAIRED UPON ITS RETURN TO THE LOANING ESTABLISHMENT. IN DECISION OF AUGUST 29, 1903, 10 COMP. DEC. 222, IT WAS HELD THAT THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE QUARANTINE SERVICE COULD NOT BE USED TO PURCHASE A MULE TO REPLACE ONE BORROWED FROM THE QUARTERMASTER DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AND ACCIDENTALLY DROWNED. IN DECISION OF FEBRUARY 9, 1916, 22 COMP. DEC. 390, THE RULE WAS STATED IN THE SYLLABUS THAT THE OWNERSHIP OF PUBLIC PROPERTY IS IN THE GOVERNMENT AND NOT IN A DEPARTMENT OR BRANCH THEREOF HAVING POSSESSION OF THE PROPERTY, AND, ACCORDINGLY, AN EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT MAY NOT LAWFULLY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE VALUE OF SUCH PROPERTY LOANED TO, AND LOST BY, ANOTHER DEPARTMENT. SEE ALSO 3 COMP. GEN. 269. IN DECISION OF MARCH 21, 1919, 25 COMP. DEC. 682, RELATIVE TO THE USE OF A NAVY MACHINE SHOP BY THE EMERGENCY FLEET CORPORATION IT WAS SAID THAT, AS BETWEEN DIFFERENT BRANCHES OF THE GOVERNMENT, THEIR OPERATION GENERALLY IS NOT FOR PROFIT AND THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO DEMAND A RETURN OR COMPENSATION (FOR DEPRECIATION) BASED ON THE USE OF PROPERTY OR FACILITIES BY ANOTHER BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT. THE SAME RULE IS STATED IN DECISION OF AUGUST 3, 1923, 3 COMP. GEN. 74, AND MAY 11, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 600. IF APPROPRIATIONS OF AN ESTABLISHMENT TO WHICH PROPERTY HAS BEEN LOANED ARE NOT CHARGEABLE WITH THE COST OF REPLACING ARTICLES LOST OR FOR USE AND DEPRECIATION OF THE PROPERTY, OBVIOUSLY THEY ARE NOT CHARGEABLE WITH THE COSTS OF REPAIRS TO RESTORE THE PROPERTY TO ITS FORMER CONDITION UPON ITS RETURN TO THE LOANING ESTABLISHMENT. SUCH REPAIRS ARE NOT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE BORROWING ESTABLISHMENT BUT ARE FOR THE FUTURE USE AND BENEFIT OF THE ESTABLISHMENT TO WHICH THE PROPERTY IS RETURNED. IN DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1921, TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR RELATIVE TO THE COST OF REPAIRS OF CERTAIN TRACTORS LOANED THE AIR SERVICE, IT WAS STATED THAT WHILE REPAIRS MIGHT BE MADE UNDER AIR SERVICE APPROPRIATIONS IF NECESSARY FOR FURTHER WORK FOR WHICH THEY WERE BORROWED, REPAIRS TO THE EQUIPMENT OF ONE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE LOANED TO ANOTHER ARE NOT AUTHORIZED IN CONNECTION WITH RETURNING THE EQUIPMENT; AND IN DECISION OF AUGUST 31, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 162, IT WAS HELD THAT, WHILE REPAIRS TO THE ENGINE OF A SEAPLANE LOANED BY THE NAVY TO THE COAST GUARD WERE AUTHORIZED UNDER COAST GUARD APPROPRIATIONS IF THE REPAIRS WERE NECESSARY FOR THE CONTINUED USE OF THE PLANE BY THE COAST GUARD, THE REPAIRS MUST BE CHARGED TO NAVY APPROPRIATIONS IF FOR THE PURPOSE OF RETURNING THE PLANE TO THE NAVY IN LIKE CONDITION AS WHEN LOANED.

IN VIEW OF THESE ESTABLISHED PRINCIPLES, IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE REPORTED PROMISE OR GUARANTEE OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE CENSUS THAT THE FURNITURE WOULD BE RETURNED TO THE MARINE CORPS IN THE SAME CONDITION AS WHEN LOANED CAN NOT OPERATE TO MAKE THE COST OF REPAIRS AND REPLACEMENT INCURRED BY THE MARINE CORPS UPON RETURN OF THE FURNITURE A PROPER CHARGE UNDER THE CENSUS APPROPRIATION. AS FOR THE CHARGE FOR CRATING THE FURNITURE BY REGULAR EMPLOYEES OF THE MARINE CORPS, IT MAY BE FURTHER SAID THAT SUCH ITEM WOULD NOT BE REIMBURSABLE IN ANY EVENT, UNDER THE GENERAL RULE THAT WHEN THE PERFORMANCE OF SERVICES BY ONE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR ANOTHER DOES NOT INVOLVE THE INCURRING OF ANY EXTRA EXPENSE OR THE INCREASING OF THE REGULAR FORCE AND EQUIPMENT, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR CHARGING THE APPROPRIATION OF THE ESTABLISHMENT RECEIVING THE BENEFIT OF SUCH SERVICE. 5 COMP. GEN. 1036; 6 ID. 81, 217; 7 ID. 709; 10 ID. 131.