A-46439, JANUARY 11, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 488

A-46439: Jan 11, 1933

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APPROPRIATIONS - PUBLIC BUILDINGS - PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS ARE AVAILABLE ONLY FOR THE COST OF CONSTRUCTION PROPER AND FOR EQUIPMENT AND/OR FIXTURES PERMANENTLY ATTACHED TO THE BUILDING AND SO ESSENTIALLY A PART THEROF THAT THEIR REMOVAL MIGHT CAUSE SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE TO THE BUILDING. SUCH APPROPRIATIONS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS. 1933: REFERENCE IS HAD TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 7. CARBON COPY OF WHICH WAS RECENTLY RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE. WERE REDUCED TO A MINIMUM. THE RESULT IS THAT DIFFICULTY IS BEING EXPERIENCED IN MEETING THE REQUIRED EXPENDITURES CAUSED BY ORDINARY WEAR AND TEAR ON THE FEDERAL BUILDINGS UNDER THE CONTROL OF THIS DEPARTMENT.

A-46439, JANUARY 11, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 488

APPROPRIATIONS - PUBLIC BUILDINGS - PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS ARE AVAILABLE ONLY FOR THE COST OF CONSTRUCTION PROPER AND FOR EQUIPMENT AND/OR FIXTURES PERMANENTLY ATTACHED TO THE BUILDING AND SO ESSENTIALLY A PART THEROF THAT THEIR REMOVAL MIGHT CAUSE SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE TO THE BUILDING. SUCH APPROPRIATIONS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, JANUARY 11, 1933:

REFERENCE IS HAD TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 7, 1932, CARBON COPY OF WHICH WAS RECENTLY RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE, THE ORIGINAL APPARENTLY HAVING BEEN LOST IN TRANSIT, AS FOLLOWS:

IN THE ACT OF JULY 5, 1932, MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE TREASURY AND POST OFFICE DEPARTMENTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1933, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR REPAIRS, EQUIPMENT, AND GENERAL EXPENSES OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS, INCLUDING THE APPROPRIATION FOR REPAIRS AND PRESERVATION, WERE REDUCED TO A MINIMUM, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ECONOMY PROGRAM, AND THE RESULT IS THAT DIFFICULTY IS BEING EXPERIENCED IN MEETING THE REQUIRED EXPENDITURES CAUSED BY ORDINARY WEAR AND TEAR ON THE FEDERAL BUILDINGS UNDER THE CONTROL OF THIS DEPARTMENT.

AT THE SAME TIME, AS BUILDINGS ARE BEING COMPLETED UNDER THE EXTENSIVE PROGRAM NOW UNDER WAY, FURTHER DRAINS ON THE APPROPRIATION REPAIRS AND PRESERVATION ARE BEING MADE FOR INITIAL EQUIPMENT WHICH HAS HERETOFORE BEEN PURCHASED OUT OF THIS APPROPRIATION. THIS IS PARTICULARLY TRUE OF FIRE EXTINGUISHERS, REQUISITIONS FOR WHICH ARE NOW BEING RECEIVED FROM CUSTODIANS OF NEARLY COMPLETED BUILDINGS. WHILE FOR ANY ONE BUILDING THE TOTAL COST OF SUCH FIRE EXTINGUISHERS IS NOT VERY GREAT, THE EFFECT ON THE REPAIRS AND PRESERVATION APPROPRIATION IS VITAL WHEN THE REQUISITIONS FOR ALL OF THE BUILDINGS ARE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION.

UNDER REPEATED DECISIONS OF FORMER COMPTROLLERS OF THE TREASURY, IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT FIRE EXTINGUISHERS, FIRE HOSE, AND RACKS FOR SAME, ETC., ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION REPAIRS AND PRESERVATION. SEE FOR EXAMPLE DECISION OF JULY 31, 1914, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY. THESE DECISIONS OF COURSE, REFER TO THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF FIRE- PREVENTION EQUIPMENT IN COMPLETED AND OCCUPIED PUBLIC BUILDINGS. FOR INITIAL INSTALLATIONS OF FIRE-PREVENTION EQUIPMENT SUCH AS STANDPIPES, HOSE, AND HOSE RACKS, IT HAS BEEN CUSTOMARY TO MAKE PROVISION IN THE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT, IN VIEW OF THEIR SUBSTANTIALLY PERMANENT NATURE. PROBABLY BECAUSE OF THE PORTABLE NATURE OF THE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS, IT HAS ALSO BEEN CUSTOMARY TO PAY FOR THEIR INITIAL INSTALLATION FROM THE APPROPRIATION, REPAIRS AND PRESERVATION. THE EXTINGUISHERS, AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE FIRE PREVENTION SYSTEM, ARE REMOVABLY ATTACHED TO THE WALLS OF BUILDINGS UPON HANGERS WHICH ARE PERMANENTLY FIXED.

USUALLY THERE IS A SUFFICIENT AMOUNT OF MONEY LEFT IN EACH SPECIFIC BUILDING APPROPRIATION TO DEFRAY THE COMPARATIVELY SMALL EXPENSE OF AN INITIAL INSTALLATION OF FIRE EXTINGUISHERS, AND IF IT CAN NOW BE HELD TO BE PROPER TO PURCHASE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS AND THEIR SUPPORTING RACKS AS A PORTION OF THE INITIAL EQUIPMENT OF FIRE-PREVENTION APPARATUS OF THE SPECIFIC BUILDING APPROPRIATIONS, THEN PRACTICALLY ALL OF THE BUILDINGS, AS THEY ARE COMPLETED, CAN BE PROPERLY EQUIPPED FOR FIRE PREVENTION. HOWEVER, IF IT MUST STILL BE HELD THAT FIRE EXTINGUISHERS AND THEIR ACCOMPANYING RACKS MUST BE PAID FOR FROM REPAIRS AND PRESERVATION APPROPRIATION, IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO DEFER THE EQUIPMENT OF A NUMBER OF BUILDINGS WITH COMPLETE FIRE APPARATUS UNTIL SUCH TIME AS APPROPRIATIONS THEREFOR CAN BE SECURED.

THE QUESTION IS, THEREFORE, PRESENTED TO YOU FOR CONSIDERATION AND DECISION AS TO WHETHER, AS A PART OF THE INITIAL INSTALLATION OF FIRE PREVENTION APPARATUS, PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS MAY BE PURCHASED AND INSTALLED IN NEW BUILDINGS ALONG WITH THE USUAL EQUIPMENT OF STANDPIPES, HOSE, AND HOSE RACKS, AND PAYMENT MADE FOR THIS APPARATUS OUT OF THE BUILDING APPROPRIATIONS, WHERE THEY ARE ADEQUATE FOR THE PURPOSE, RENEWALS TO BE PAID FOR FROM THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS.

IN THIS CONNECTION, IT IS WELL TO CALL YOUR ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT OTHER INCIDENTAL APPARATUS FOR THE INITIAL EQUIPMENT OF A NEW BUILDING, SUCH AS FURNACE AND BOILER APPURTENANCES AND SIMILAR DEVICES, ARE FURNISHED OUT OF THE BUILDING APPROPRIATION AS INITIAL EQUIPMENT. IT DOES NOT APPEAR ILLOGICAL THAT THE SPECIFIC ITEMS OF FIRE EXTINGUISHERS SHOULD BE PURCHASED, IN INITIAL INSTALLATION, FROM THE PARTICULAR BUILDING APPROPRIATIONS, IT APPEARING THAT AN APPROPRIATION FOR A FEDERAL BUILDING SHOULD BE AVAILABLE TO INCLUDE SUCH MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT AND FIXTURES NECESSARY TO THE COMPLETION OF THE BUILDING FOR THE PURPOSE INTENDED.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD FROM YOUR SUBMISSION THAT IT HAS BEEN THE UNIFORM PRACTICE NOT TO USE THE CONSTRUCTION APPROPRIATION FOR THE INSTALLATION OF PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS OR THEIR RACKS IN NEW BUILDINGS AND THAT NO ESTIMATE THEREFOR IS CONTAINED IN THE ESTIMATES ON THE BASIS OF WHICH THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE BUILDINGS ARE MADE. THIS IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE WELL-SETTLED RULE THAT AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A BUILDING IS AVAILABLE ONLY FOR THE COST OF CONSTRUCTION PROPER AND FOR EQUIPMENT AND/OR FIXTURES PERMANENTLY ATTACHED TO THE BUILDING AND SO ESSENTIALLY A PART THEREOF THAT THE REMOVAL OF THE SAME MIGHT CAUSE SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE TO THE BUILDING. 26 DEC. 111; 7 COMP. GEN. 474; A-41533, APRIL 11, 1932.

THE FACT THAT THE APPROPRIATION PROPERLY CHARGEABLE WITH THE INSTALLATION OF FIRE EXTINGUISHERS IN NEW BUILDINGS IS INADEQUATE, DOES NOT AUTHORIZE THE USE THEREFOR OF THE CONSTRUCTION APPROPRIATION. 7 COMP. GEN. 474.

ACCORDINGLY, IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE INITIAL INSTALLATION OF PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS IN NEWLY CONSTRUCTED BUILDINGS.