A-44267, SEPTEMBER 16, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 357

A-44267: Sep 16, 1932

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ARE FOR APPLICATION ONLY WHERE THERE IS A SPECIFIC AMOUNT OF COST FIXED EITHER BY THE APPROPRIATION OR BY PRIOR AUTHORIZATION OF LAW. ARE NOT APPLICABLE IN CASES WHERE A LUMP SUM HAS BEEN APPROPRIATED FOR A GENERAL CLASS OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS AND AS TO WHICH NO PRIOR AUTHORIZATION HAS FIXED THE LIMIT OF COST FOR PARTICULAR PROJECTS. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO SECTION 320 OF THE SO-CALLED ECONOMY ACT (PUBLIC 212. THE QUESTIONS IN THIS CONNECTION ARE: 1. WHICH ARE IN GENERAL TERMS FOR THE PURPOSES SPECIFIED. TO WHAT PART OF THE APPROPRIATED FUNDS WILL THE REDUCTION OF 10 PERCENTUM BE APPLIED? ALL OF THESE FUNDS ARE APPLICABLE BOTH TO CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE.

A-44267, SEPTEMBER 16, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 357

ECONOMY ACT - REDUCTION OF AMOUNTS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 320 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 412, REDUCING 10 PERCENT THE LIMIT OF COST FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS CONTAINED IN PRIOR AUTHORIZATIONS, ARE FOR APPLICATION ONLY WHERE THERE IS A SPECIFIC AMOUNT OF COST FIXED EITHER BY THE APPROPRIATION OR BY PRIOR AUTHORIZATION OF LAW, AND ARE NOT APPLICABLE IN CASES WHERE A LUMP SUM HAS BEEN APPROPRIATED FOR A GENERAL CLASS OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS AND AS TO WHICH NO PRIOR AUTHORIZATION HAS FIXED THE LIMIT OF COST FOR PARTICULAR PROJECTS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, SEPTEMBER 16, 1932:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 23, 1932, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO SECTION 320 OF THE SO-CALLED ECONOMY ACT (PUBLIC 212, 72D CONGRESS). UNCERTAINTY EXISTS AS TO THE EFFECT, IF ANY, OF THIS SECTION UPON (A) THE IMPROVEMENT SUBAPPROPRIATION UNDER SALARIES AND GENERAL EXPENSES IN THE FOREST SERVICE SECTION OF THE 1933 APPROPRIATION ACT, PASSED AFTER THE ECONOMY ACT, (B) THE (A) AUTHORIZATIONS AND (B) APPROPRIATION FOR FOREST ROADS AND TRAILS IN THE MISCELLANEOUS SECTION OF THE APPROPRIATION ACT, AND (C) THE APPROPRIATION FOR NATIONAL-FOREST HIGHWAYS AND FOR CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE OF ROADS, TRAILS, ETC., IN SECTION 301 (A) (2) OF THE EMERGENCY RELIEF AND CONSTRUCTION ACT OF 1932. (PUBLIC NO. 302, APPROVED JULY 21.)

THE QUESTIONS IN THIS CONNECTION ARE:

1. DOES SECTION 320 APPLY (A) TO CONSTRUCTION OF THE CLASS COVERED BY THE ABOVE-MENTIONED APPROPRIATIONS, WHICH ARE IN GENERAL TERMS FOR THE PURPOSES SPECIFIED, WITH NO AMOUNT FIXED AS TO ANY PROJECT, OR (B) ONLY TO PROJECTS CARRYING SPECIFIC AUTHORIZATIONS, SUCH AS A BUILDING OR OTHER IMPROVEMENT FOR WHICH A DEFINITE AMOUNT THERETOFORE HAD BEEN AUTHORIZED?

2. IF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 320 APPLY TO 1 (A), TO WHAT PART OF THE APPROPRIATED FUNDS WILL THE REDUCTION OF 10 PERCENTUM BE APPLIED? ALL OF THESE FUNDS ARE APPLICABLE BOTH TO CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE, WHILE THE REDUCTION APPLIES ONLY TO CONSTRUCTION. OF THE IMPROVEMENT SUBAPPROPRIATION AN APPRECIABLE AMOUNT IS NECESSARY FOR MAINTENANCE OF EXISTING IMPROVEMENTS; THE SAME IS TRUE OF THE FOREST DEVELOPMENT PORTION ($3,000,000 ANNUALLY) OF THE FOREST ROADS AND TRAILS APPROPRIATION.

IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE BUILDING LIMITS IN THE FOREST ROADS AND TRAILS APPROPRIATION ARE REDUCED 10 PERCENTUM, AS IN THE CASE OF THE BUILDING LIMITATION IN THE FOREST SERVICE SALARY AND EXPENSE SECTION.

IT IS, THEREFORE, REQUESTED THAT YOU ADVISE THIS OFFICE JUST WHAT PROCEDURE SHOULD BE FOLLOWED UNDER THE QUESTIONS ABOVE OUTLINED.

SECTION 320 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 412, PROVIDES THAT:

AUTHORIZATIONS HERETOFORE GRANTED BY LAW FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS, WHETHER AN APPROPRIATION THEREFOR HAS OR HAS NOT BEEN MADE, ARE HEREBY AMENDED TO PROVIDE FOR A REDUCTION OF 10 PERCENTUM OF THE LIMIT OF COST AS FIXED IN SUCH AUTHORIZATION, AS TO PROJECTS WHERE NO CONTRACT FOR THE CONSTRUCTION HAS BEEN MADE. AS TO SUCH PROJECTS WHERE A CONTRACT HAS BEEN MADE AT A COST LESS THAN THAT UPON WHICH THE AUTHORIZATION WAS BASED, SUCH COST SHALL NOT, UNLESS AUTHORIZED BY THE PRESIDENT, BE INCREASED BY ANY CHANGES OR ADDITIONS NOT ESSENTIAL FOR THE COMPLETION OF THE PROJECT AS ORIGINALLY PLANNED.

THE PROVISIONS OF THIS LAW WOULD APPEAR TO CONTEMPLATE THE EXISTENCE OF A PRIOR LAW LIMITING THE AMOUNT TO BE EXPENDED ON A PARTICULAR PROJECT IN THAT IT PROVIDES FOR AMENDING THE PRIOR AUTHORIZATION. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 803 OF THE ECONOMY ACT PROVIDING THAT THE PROVISIONS OF PART 2 OF SAID SECTION UNDER WHICH SECTION 320 IS INCLUDED ARE MADE APPLICABLE TO THE APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1933, WHETHER CONTAINED IN ACTS PRIOR OR SUBSEQUENT TO THE DATE OF THE APPROVAL OF THAT ACT, HAS THE EFFECT OF MAKING THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 320 APPLICABLE TO AUTHORIZATIONS CONTAINED IN APPROPRIATIONS FOR PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1933, REGARDLESS OF THE FACT THAT THERE MAY HAVE BEEN NO PRIOR AUTHORIZATIONS LIMITING THE AMOUNT TO BE EXPENDED FOR A PARTICULAR PROJECT. SEE DECISION OF AUGUST 5, 1932, A 43587.

HOWEVER, IN CASES WHERE APPROPRIATIONS ARE MADE IN A LUMP SUM FOR THE CONSTRUCTION IN GENERAL OF BUILDINGS AND IMPROVEMENTS OF A PARTICULAR CLASS OR IN A PARTICULAR SERVICE WITHOUT LIMITATION, EITHER IN THE APPROPRIATION OR IN A PRIOR LAW, THERE WOULD BE NO BASIS FOR THE APPLICATION OF SECTION 320 IN THAT THERE BEING NO AUTHORIZATION FOR THE AMOUNT TO BE EXPENDED FOR A PARTICULAR PROJECT THE LIMIT OF COST HAS NOT BEEN FIXED BY LAW, AND, THEREFORE, THERE COULD BE NO AMENDING OF AN AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXPENDITURE OF A PARTICULAR SUM FOR A GIVEN PROJECT.

ACCORDINGLY, IN SPECIFIC ANSWER TO THE FIRST QUESTION SUBMITTED BY YOU, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT SECTION 320 DOES NOT APPLY TO THE CONSTRUCTION APPROPRIATIONS MADE IN A LUMP SUM WITHOUT SPECIFYING A FIXED AMOUNT FOR A GIVEN PROJECT, BUT ONLY TO PROJECTS CARRYING SPECIFIC AUTHORIZATIONS, SUCH AS A BUILDING OR OTHER PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT FOR WHICH A DEFINITE AMOUNT THERETOFORE OR IN THE APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED.

IN VIEW OF THE ANSWER MADE TO YOUR FIRST QUESTION, IT APPEARS UNNECESSARY TO ANSWER THE SECOND QUESTION SUBMITTED BY YOU.