A-35023, JANUARY 30, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 333

A-35023: Jan 30, 1931

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

APPROPRIATIONS - PUBLIC BUILDINGS - ADAPTING FOR FEDERAL JAILS THE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO CONVERTING A MINT BUILDING FOR USE AS A FEDERAL JAIL ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION MADE BY THE ACT OF JULY 3. AS FOLLOWS: THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IS DESIROUS OF SECURING THE MINT BUILDING AT NEW ORLEANS. THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY IS WILLING TO GRANT PERMISSION FOR THE USE OF THE BUILDING FOR SUCH PURPOSES. INDICATING AMONG OTHER PLACES THAT THE GOVERNMENT-OWNED BUILDING USED AS A MINT AT NEW ORLEANS IS CONTEMPLATED AS ONE OF THE PLACES TO BE USED AS A JAIL. IT WOULD SEEM TO ME THE APPROPRIATION FOR FEDERAL JAILS CARRIED IN THE SECOND DEFICIENCY BILL ABOVE MENTIONED IS A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR THE CONVERSION OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS TO USE AS A PRISON AND THAT THE APPROPRIATIONS OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT FOR REPAIR OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS WOULD NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR THIS PURPOSE.

A-35023, JANUARY 30, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 333

APPROPRIATIONS - PUBLIC BUILDINGS - ADAPTING FOR FEDERAL JAILS THE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO CONVERTING A MINT BUILDING FOR USE AS A FEDERAL JAIL ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION MADE BY THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1930, 46 STAT. 882, PROVIDING IN SPECIFIC TERMS FOR ADAPTING, ETC., GOVERNMENT PROPERTY FOR JAIL PURPOSES, AND NOT TO THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS UNDER THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT MADE FOR THE REPAIRS AND PRESERVATION OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, JANUARY 30, 1931:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 21, 1931, AS FOLLOWS:

THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IS DESIROUS OF SECURING THE MINT BUILDING AT NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, FOR PRISON PURPOSES. THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY IS WILLING TO GRANT PERMISSION FOR THE USE OF THE BUILDING FOR SUCH PURPOSES, BUT CALLS ATTENTION TO YOUR DECISION OF OCTOBER 4, 1909, TO THE EFFECT THAT SINCE THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY HAS A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION FOR THE REPAIR AND PRESERVATION OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC LEGISLATION, EVEN THOUGH A PUBLIC BUILDING MIGHT BE ASSIGNED TO THE USE OF ANOTHER DEPARTMENT, HIS APPROPRIATIONS WOULD STILL BE REQUIRED TO STAND THE COST OF CONVERSION OR REMODELING. THE HEARINGS BEFORE THE SUBCOMITTEE OF THE HOUSE ON APPROPRIATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE SECOND DEFICIENCY BILL, FISCAL YEAR 1930, APPROVED JULY 3, 1930, PAGES 791 TO 794, INCLUSIVE, OUTLINED THE PROGRAM FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF CONCENTRATION JAILS FOR FEDERAL PRISONERS, INDICATING AMONG OTHER PLACES THAT THE GOVERNMENT-OWNED BUILDING USED AS A MINT AT NEW ORLEANS IS CONTEMPLATED AS ONE OF THE PLACES TO BE USED AS A JAIL.

THE SECOND DEFICIENCY ACT, APPROVED JULY 3, 1930 (PUBLIC 519, PAGE 25), APPROPRIATING $1,000,000 FOR FEDERAL JAILS, PROVIDES "FOR THE PURCHASE OF SITES, CONSTRUCTING, REMODELING, AND EQUIPPING NECESSARY BUILDINGS, PURCHASE, AND INSTALLATION OF MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT, AND ALL NECESSARY EXPENSES INCIDENT THERETO, FOR ESTABLISHING TWO NEW FEDERAL JAILS AND ALTERING AND ADAPTING OTHER GOVERNMENT PROPERTY FOR JAIL PURPOSES * * *.'

IT WOULD SEEM TO ME THE APPROPRIATION FOR FEDERAL JAILS CARRIED IN THE SECOND DEFICIENCY BILL ABOVE MENTIONED IS A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR THE CONVERSION OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS TO USE AS A PRISON AND THAT THE APPROPRIATIONS OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT FOR REPAIR OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS WOULD NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR THIS PURPOSE. HOWEVER, SINCE THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY HAS RAISED THIS POINT, IN ORDER THAT THERE MAY BE NO MISUNDERSTANDING, I AM SUBMITTING THE QUESTION TO YOUR OFFICE FOR DECISION.

WILL YOU PLEASE ADVISE WHETHER THE APPROPRIATION OF $1,000,000 FOR FEDERAL JAILS CARRIED IN THE SECOND DEFICIENCY ACT, FISCAL YEAR 1930, APPROVED JULY 3, 1930 (PUBLIC 519, PAGE 25), IS AVAILABLE FOR THE EXPENSE OF CONVERTING THE MINT BUILDING IN NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, FOR USE AS A FEDERAL JAIL.

THE DECISION OF 1909 CITED IN YOUR LETTER AS REFERRED TO BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY WAS RENDERED BY A FORMER COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY UNDER THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1898, 30 STAT. 614, IN WHICH IT IS PROVIDED:

THAT ALL COURTHOUSES, CUSTOMHOUSES, POST OFFICES, APPRAISER'S STORES, BARGE OFFICES, SUBTREASURIES, AND OTHER PUBLIC BUILDINGS OUTSIDE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND OUTSIDE OF MILITARY RESERVATIONS WHICH HAVE BEEN HERETOFORE PURCHASED OR ERECTED, OR ARE AT PRESENT IN COURSE OF CONSTRUCTION, OR WHICH MAY HEREAFTER BE ERECTED OR PURCHASED OUT OF ANY APPROPRIATION UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, TOGETHER WITH THE SITE OR SITES THEREOF, ARE HEREBY EXPRESSLY DECLARED TO BE UNDER THE EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION AND CONTROL AND IN THE CUSTODY OF THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, WHO SHALL HAVE FULL POWER TO TAKE POSSESSION OF AND ASSIGN AND REASSIGN ROOMS THEREIN TO SUCH FEDERAL OFFICIALS, CLERKS, AND EMPLOYEES AS IN HIS JUDGMENT AND DISCRETION SHOULD BE FURNISHED WITH OFFICES OR ROOMS THEREIN.

THE QUESTION PRESENTED WAS WHETHER CERTAIN REPAIRS TO AN OLD POST OFFICE BUILDING AT CHARLESTON, S.C., WHICH WAS OCCUPIED BY OFFICES OF THE LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE, COULD BE PAID FOR UNDER THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF SUCH SERVICE, OR WHETHER THE APPROPRIATION UNDER THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT FOR REPAIRS AND PRESERVATION OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS SHOULD BEAR THE COST OF REPAIRING THE BUILDING. THE DECISION HELD THAT THE LAST-MENTIONED APPROPRIATION SHOULD BEAR SUCH EXPENSES AND IT WAS STATED IN THE COURSE OF THE DECISION:

* * * IT IS A WELL ESTABLISHED RULE OF CONSTRUCTION IN THE ACCOUNTING OFFICES THAT WHERE AN APPROPRIATION SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES FOR A SPECIAL OBJECT SUCH APPROPRIATION IS EXCLUSIVE, ALTHOUGH THERE MAY BE ANOTHER APPROPRIATION WHICH WOULD, BUT FOR SUCH SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION, BE AVAILABLE, 1 COMP. DEC. 126; ALSO WHERE ONE APPROPRIATION IS AVAILABLE FOR A SPECIFIC OBJECT, A SECOND APPROPRIATION CAN NOT BE USED FOR THE SAME WORK UNLESS FROM THE SECOND APPROPRIATION IT CLEARLY APPEARS THAT IT WAS THE INTENTION OF CONGRESS THAT SUCH SECOND APPROPRIATION SHOULD BE AVAILABLE IN ADDITION TO THE SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION. * * *

THE RULE AS STATED IN THIS AND OTHER PRIOR AND SUBSEQUENT DECISIONS OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS FULLY SETS FORTH THE REASONS FOR THE HOLDING IN THAT RESPECT, BUT THE RULE DOES NOT PRECLUDE WHAT IS HERE PROPOSED.

BY SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF MAY 14, 1930, 46 STAT. 326, BEING AN ACT TO REORGANIZE THE ADMINISTRATION OF FEDERAL PRISONS, AUTHORIZE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO CONTRACT FOR THE CARE OF UNITED STATES PRISONERS, ESTABLISH FEDERAL JAILS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, IT IS PROVIDED THAT THE CONTROL AND MANAGEMENT OF ANY INSTITUTIONS ESTABLISHED UNDER THE ACT SHALL BE VESTED IN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, WHO SHALL HAVE POWER TO PROMULGATE RULES FOR THE GOVERNMENT THEREOF, ETC. THIS SUPERSEDES THE ACT OF 1898, WITH RESPECT TO THE BUILDINGS THUS PLACED UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL INSTEAD OF THAT OF THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY. FURTHERMORE, THE APPROPRIATION MADE BY THE DEFICIENCY ACT OF JULY 3, 1930, 46 STAT. 882, CITED AND QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER, PROVIDES IN SPECIFIC TERMS FOR REMODELING AND EQUIPPING NECESSARY BUILDINGS AND FOR ALTERING AND ADAPTING OTHER GOVERNMENT PROPERTY FOR JAIL PURPOSES.

ACCORDINGLY, IN SPECIFIC ANSWER TO THE QUESTION SUBMITTED, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THE APPROPRIATION OF $1,000,000 MADE BY THE ACT OF JULY 3,1930, SUPRA, IS AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE NECESSARY EXPENSES OF CONVERTING THE MINT BUILDING IN NEW ORLEANS, LA., FOR USE AS A FEDERAL JAIL.