A-55197, MAY 10, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 344

A-55197: May 10, 1934

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WHICH WAS BEGUN BY THE UNITED STATES ARMY ENGINEERS. NOTWITHSTANDING THAT SUCH ADVANCE IS TO BE REPAID WHEN A NEW APPROPRIATION HAS BECOME AVAILABLE. THIS WORK WAS BEGUN UNDER A GENERAL AUTHORIZATION FOR DEVELOPING NAVIGATION ON THE TENNESSEE RIVER. THE LOCK IS NOW NEARING COMPLETION. IT IS NECESSARY THAT THE LOCK BE COMPLETED SO THAT WE CAN PASS FLOATING CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT AND CONCRETE MATERIAL THROUGH THE LOCK AND UP AND DOWN THE RIVER TO THE UPPER AND LOWER SIDE OF THE DAM. THE ARMY ENGINEERS OFFICE ADVISES US THAT ITS PRESENT FUNDS FOR THIS WORK ARE SUBSTANTIALLY EXHAUSTED AND THAT IT DOES NOT HAVE MONEY AT PRESENT TO PUT IN THE LOCK- OPERATING EQUIPMENT. WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THIS WORK.

A-55197, MAY 10, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 344

APPROPRIATIONS - EXPENDITURES IN EXCESS - LOANS BETWEEN SERVICES THE ADVANCE OF MONEYS BY THE TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY TO THE WAR DEPARTMENT TO COMPLETE CONSTRUCTION OF A NAVIGATION LOCK AT DAM NO. 3, MUSCLE SHOALS, WHICH WAS BEGUN BY THE UNITED STATES ARMY ENGINEERS, BUT THE APPROPRIATION FOR WHICH HAS BEEN EXHAUSTED, WOULD BE IN VIOLATION OF SECTION 3679, REVISED STATUTES, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT SUCH ADVANCE IS TO BE REPAID WHEN A NEW APPROPRIATION HAS BECOME AVAILABLE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY, MAY 10, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 25, 1934, AS FOLLOWS:

SOMEWHAT MORE THAN A YEAR AGO THE UNITED STATES ARMY ENGINEERS OFFICE BEGAN THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NAVIGATION LOCK AT THE SITE OF THE JOE WHEELER DAM, OR DAM NO. 3, ABOVE MUSCLE SHOALS IN ALABAMA. THIS WORK WAS BEGUN UNDER A GENERAL AUTHORIZATION FOR DEVELOPING NAVIGATION ON THE TENNESSEE RIVER. THE LOCK IS NOW NEARING COMPLETION. SINCE THAT TIME THE TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY HAS BEGUN THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE DAM ITSELF.

IN ORDER TO ALLOW CONTINUOUS OPERATION OF THE CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM, IT IS NECESSARY THAT THE LOCK BE COMPLETED SO THAT WE CAN PASS FLOATING CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT AND CONCRETE MATERIAL THROUGH THE LOCK AND UP AND DOWN THE RIVER TO THE UPPER AND LOWER SIDE OF THE DAM. THE ARMY ENGINEERS OFFICE ADVISES US THAT ITS PRESENT FUNDS FOR THIS WORK ARE SUBSTANTIALLY EXHAUSTED AND THAT IT DOES NOT HAVE MONEY AT PRESENT TO PUT IN THE LOCK- OPERATING EQUIPMENT. THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY, WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THIS WORK, RECOGNIZES THE CONSTRUCTION OF THIS LOCK AS AN ARMY OBLIGATION. HOWEVER, IN ORDER FOR CONSTRUCTION TO GO ON WITHOUT INTERRUPTION, IT MUST BE PROCEEDED WITH BEFORE FURTHER ARMY APPROPRIATIONS ARE AVAILABLE. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY WOULD LIKE TO ADVANCE THE MONEY FOR INSTALLING THIS MACHINERY AND THEN HAVE IT REPAID FROM THE FIRST AVAILABLE APPROPRIATION TO THE WAR DEPARTMENT.

WHEN THE CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM OF THE TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY WAS INITIATED WITH REFERENCE TO WHEELER DAM, WE WERE NOT TOLD OF THIS SHORTAGE OF APPROPRIATION, AND BY AGREEMENT WITH THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, WE PLANNED OUR CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT IN A WAY THAT MADE THE USE OF THIS LOCK NECESSARY.

IF THE TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY CANNOT BE REIMBURSED FOR SUCH AN EXPENDITURE, IT WILL BE NECESSARY FOR US TO CARRY THIS AS A CONSTRUCTION EXPENSE, AS THERE IS NO OTHER FEASIBLE WAY TO COMPLETE THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE DAM. INASMUCH AS THE ARMY RECOGNIZES THIS OBLIGATION AND WOULD NATURALLY INCLUDE THE COMPLETION OF THE LOCK IN ITS NEXT APPROPRIATION, I HOPE THAT IT WILL BE FEASIBLE FOR THE TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY TO ADVANCE THIS AS A LOAN TO BE REPAID BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT OUT OF FUNDS AVAILABLE.

I SHOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE A PROMPT RESPONSE, AS AT BEST WE WILL BE NO MORE THAN ABLE TO KEEP UP OUR CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM UNTIL THIS CONSTRUCTION IS COMPLETED.

YOUR QUESTION APPEARS TO BE, WHETHER THE WAR DEPARTMENT'S APPROPRIATION CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR PROSECUTION OF THE WORK BEING PRACTICALLY EXHAUSTED, SUCH DEPARTMENT MAY LEGALLY ACCEPT AN ADVANCE OF MONEYS UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY, PROCEED THEREWITH IMMEDIATELY IN COMPLETING THE NAVIGATION LOCK, AND REPAY SAID ADVANCE FROM SUCH AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE WAR DEPARTMENT AS WOULD OTHERWISE BE AVAILABLE FOR SAID WORK, WHEN SUCH APPROPRIATION HEREAFTER BECOMES AVAILABLE FOR USE.

SECTION 3679, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 27, 1906, 34 STAT. 48, PROVIDES:

NO EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR OTHER GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENT OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL EXPEND, IN ANY ONE FISCAL YEAR, ANY SUM IN EXCESS OF APPROPRIATIONS MADE BY CONGRESS FOR THAT FISCAL YEAR, OR INVOLVE THE GOVERNMENT IN ANY CONTRACT OR OTHER OBLIGATION FOR THE FUTURE PAYMENT OF MONEY IN EXCESS OF SUCH APPROPRIATIONS UNLESS SUCH CONTRACT OR OBLIGATION IS AUTHORIZED BY LAW. * * *

AN ADVANCE OF MONEYS BY THE TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY TO THE WAR DEPARTMENT AS SUGGESTED WOULD APPEAR TO BE A VIOLATION OF SAID SECTION 3679, REVISED STATUTES, AND NOT AUTHORIZED.