A-5365, OCTOBER 28, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 414

A-5365: Oct 28, 1924

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" IS NOT AN APPROPRIATION OR ITS EQUIVALENT. 1924: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 22. THESE MACHINES HAVE NOT YET BEEN PURCHASED. THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR THEM. I PRESUME THAT I HAVE AUTHORITY TO NOW PURCHASE THESE MACHINES. THE SALARIES AND INCIDENTAL EXPENSES OF THE OFFICE OF THE RECORDER OF DEEDS ARE PAYABLE FROM THE REVENUES OF SUCH OFFICE. PROVIDED: THE RECORDER OF DEEDS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO ACQUIRE BY PURCHASE FIVE ADDITIONAL ELLIOTT-FISHER BOOK TYPEWRITERS. IT IS NOT STATED WHAT IS THE EXACT QUESTION WHICH CREATES THE DOUBT AS TO THE AUTHORITY TO NOW MAKE THE PURCHASE OF THE MACHINES IN QUESTION. IT IS PRESUMED TO BE WHETHER THE AUTHORIZATION IS THE EQUIVALENT OF AN APPROPRIATION.

A-5365, OCTOBER 28, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 414

PURCHASES - BOOK TYPEWRITERS - OFFICE OF RECORDER OF DEEDS THE AUTHORITY GRANTED THE RECORDER OF DEEDS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BY THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923, 42 STAT. 1531,"TO ACQUIRE BY PURCHASE FIVE ADDITIONAL ELLIOTT-FISHER BOOK TYPEWRITERS, AND TO PAY FOR SAID MACHINES OUT OF THE FEES AND EMOLUMENTS OF HIS OFFICE, NOT EXCEEDING $1,790," IS NOT AN APPROPRIATION OR ITS EQUIVALENT, BUT AN AUTHORITY TO USE AN EXISTING APPROPRIATION OR ITS EQUIVALENT FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE, AND SUCH BOOK TYPEWRITERS MAY ACCORDINGLY NOW BE PURCHASED AND PAID FOR, NOT EXCEEDING $1,790, FROM THE FEES AND EMOLUMENTS OF HIS OFFICE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE RECORDER OF DEEDS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, OCTOBER 28, 1924:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 22, 1924, REQUESTING DECISION, AS FOLLOWS:

THE CONGRESS PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923, 42 STAT., 1531, THAT THE RECORDER OF DEEDS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MIGHT PURCHASE OUT OF THE FEES AND EMOLUMENTS OF HIS OFFICE FIVE (5) ELLIOTT-FISHER BOOK TYPEWRITERS FOR USE IN THE RECORDER'S OFFICE, AT A SUM NOT EXCEEDING $1,790.00.

THESE MACHINES HAVE NOT YET BEEN PURCHASED, AS UNTIL NOW, WHEN THE RECORDER OF DEEDS HAS SECURED THE ADDITIONAL FLOORS IN THIS BUILDING, THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR THEM. I PRESUME THAT I HAVE AUTHORITY TO NOW PURCHASE THESE MACHINES, BUT MOST RESPECTFULLY REQUEST YOUR OPINION IN THE MATTER BEFORE BEGINNING NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE ELLIOTT-FISHER COMPANY.

THE SALARIES AND INCIDENTAL EXPENSES OF THE OFFICE OF THE RECORDER OF DEEDS ARE PAYABLE FROM THE REVENUES OF SUCH OFFICE, SECTION 553 OF THE CODE OF LAW FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, 31 STAT. 1276, PROVIDING:

SALARY SURPLUS TO BE PAID INTO THE TREASURY.--- THE RECORDER OF DEEDS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SHALL NOT RETAIN OF THE FEES AND EMOLUMENTS OF HIS OFFICE FOR HIS PERSONAL COMPENSATION OVER AND ABOVE HIS NECESSARY CLERK HIRE AND THE INCIDENTAL EXPENSES OF HIS OFFICE, CERTIFIED TO BY THE SUPREME COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, OR BY ONE OF ITS JUSTICES APPOINTED BY IT FOR THAT PURPOSE, AND TO BE AUDITED AND ALLOWED BY THE PROPER ACCOUNTING OFFICER OF THE TREASURY, A SUM EXCEEDING FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR OR EXCEEDING THAT RATE FOR ANY TIME LESS THAN A YEAR; AND THE SURPLUS OF SUCH FEES AND EMOLUMENTS SHALL BE PAID INTO THE TREASURY TO THE CREDIT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: PROVIDED, THAT THE NUMBER OF CLERKS AND OTHERS EMPLOYED IN THE OFFICE OF THE RECORDER OF DEEDS SHALL NOT BE INCREASED, EXCEPT THAT ADDITIONAL COPYISTS MAY BE EMPLOYED FOR TEMPORARY SERVICE AS THE NECESSITIES OF THE OFFICE MAY REQUIRE, NOR SHALL THE SALARY OR COMPENSATION OF CLERKS AND OTHERS BE INCREASED BEYOND THE SALARIES OR COMPENSATION PAID DURING THE FISCAL YEAR EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND NINETY ONE; AND THE SALARY OF THE DEPUTY RECORDER OF DEEDS SHALL BE TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER ANNUM, TO BE PAID OUT OF THE FEES AND EMOLUMENTS OF SAID OFFICE OF RECORDER OF DEEDS.

THE AUTHORITY TO PURCHASE THE BOOK TYPEWRITERS CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923, ENTITLED ,AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS TO SUPPLY DEFICIENCIES IN CERTAIN APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1923, AND PRIOR FISCAL YEARS, TO PROVIDE SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1924, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," 42 STAT. 1527-1531, PROVIDED:

THE RECORDER OF DEEDS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO ACQUIRE BY PURCHASE FIVE ADDITIONAL ELLIOTT-FISHER BOOK TYPEWRITERS, AND TO PAY FOR SAID MACHINES OUT OF THE FEES AND EMOLUMENTS OF HIS OFFICE, NOT EXCEEDING $1,790.

IT IS NOT STATED WHAT IS THE EXACT QUESTION WHICH CREATES THE DOUBT AS TO THE AUTHORITY TO NOW MAKE THE PURCHASE OF THE MACHINES IN QUESTION, BUT IT IS PRESUMED TO BE WHETHER THE AUTHORIZATION IS THE EQUIVALENT OF AN APPROPRIATION, AND, IF SO, WHETHER SUCH APPROPRIATION IS ANNUAL IN CHARACTER WITHIN THE INTENT AND MEANING OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912, 37 STAT. 487, SO AS NOT TO BE AVAILABLE FOR OBLIGATION BEYOND THE CLOSE OF THE FISCAL YEAR 1924.

THE GENERAL AUTHORITY OF THE RECORDER OF DEEDS TO USE THE FEES AND EMOLUMENTS OF HIS OFFICE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE SALARIES AND INCIDENTAL EXPENSES THEREOF IS FOR SOME PURPOSES CONSIDERED THE EQUIVALENT OF AN APPROPRIATION. 6 COMP. DEC. 668. HOWEVER, THE AUTHORITY TO PURCHASE THE BOOK TYPEWRITERS, GRANTED APPARENTLY BECAUSE THE EXPENSE OF SUCH PURCHASE MIGHT NOT OTHERWISE BE CLASSED AS AN INCIDENTAL EXPENSE AND BECAUSE OF THE PURPORTED NECESSITY FOR THE PARTICULAR MAKE OF MACHINE THUS PRECLUDING ADVERTISING FOR BIDS AS OTHERWISE REQUIRED BY SECTION 3709, REVISED STATUTES, IS NOT AN APPROPRIATION, OR ITS EQUIVALENT, BUT SIMPLY AN AUTHORITY TO USE AN EXISTING APPROPRIATION, OR ITS EQUIVALENT, FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE.

YOU ARE ADVISED THAT YOU ARE NOW AUTHORIZED TO PURCHASE THE BOOK TYPEWRITERS IN QUESTION AND TO PAY FOR SAME, NOT EXCEEDING $1,790, FROM THE FEES AND EMOLUMENTS OF YOUR OFFICE.