A-56466, AUGUST 7, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 97

A-56466: Aug 7, 1934

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IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF VAULTS. ARE SO CONSTRUCTED AND INSTALLED IN PRIVATELY-OWNED PREMISES LEASED BY THE GOVERNMENT AS NOT TO BECOME PERMANENTLY ATTACHED TO THE REALTY AND READILY REMOVABLE AS PROVIDED FOR UNDER PARAGRAPH 8 OF THE STANDARD FORM OF GOVERNMENT LEASES WITHOUT DESTROYING ITS USEFULNESS OR DAMAGING THE PROPERTY. SUCH PURCHASES AND INSTALLATIONS FROM PUBLIC FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE SERVICE OR PROJECT INVOLVED ARE AUTHORIZED. THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT SUCH INSTALLATIONS ARE NOT AUTHORIZED. 1934 (JWG) AS FOLLOWS: I HAVE RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING MEMORANDUM FROM THE DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF INVESTIGATION: "IT IS REQUESTED THAT A DECISION BE RENDERED BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL RELATIVE TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULTS OR STRONG ROOMS IN RENTED SPACE AND IN GOVERNMENT-OWNED SPACE NOW OCCUPIED AND TO BE OCCUPIED BY THE SEVERAL FIELD OFFICES OF THE DIVISION OF INVESTIGATION OF THIS DEPARTMENT.

A-56466, AUGUST 7, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 97

INSTALLATION OF VAULTS, STRONG ROOMS, ETC., IN GOVERNMENT-OWNED AND LEASED PREMISES IN VIEW OF THE MORE SPECIFIC PROVISIONS OF APPROPRIATIONS UNDER THE TREASURY AND POST OFFICE DEPARTMENTS, THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES AND EXPENSES, DIVISION OF INVESTIGATION, 1935," UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF VAULTS, SAFES, OR SIMILAR EQUIPMENT IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS OWNED BY THE UNITED STATES AND UNDER THE CONTROL OR ADMINISTRATION OF EITHER THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT OR THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. WHERE VAULTS, STRONG ROOMS, ETC., ARE SO CONSTRUCTED AND INSTALLED IN PRIVATELY-OWNED PREMISES LEASED BY THE GOVERNMENT AS NOT TO BECOME PERMANENTLY ATTACHED TO THE REALTY AND READILY REMOVABLE AS PROVIDED FOR UNDER PARAGRAPH 8 OF THE STANDARD FORM OF GOVERNMENT LEASES WITHOUT DESTROYING ITS USEFULNESS OR DAMAGING THE PROPERTY, SUCH PURCHASES AND INSTALLATIONS FROM PUBLIC FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE SERVICE OR PROJECT INVOLVED ARE AUTHORIZED, BUT WHERE SUCH INSTALLATION CONTEMPLATES IMPROVEMENTS PERMANENTLY ATTACHED TO THE REALTY AND NOT READILY REMOVABLE AS INDICATED, THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT SUCH INSTALLATIONS ARE NOT AUTHORIZED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, AUGUST 7, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 27, 1934 (JWG) AS FOLLOWS:

I HAVE RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING MEMORANDUM FROM THE DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF INVESTIGATION:

"IT IS REQUESTED THAT A DECISION BE RENDERED BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL RELATIVE TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULTS OR STRONG ROOMS IN RENTED SPACE AND IN GOVERNMENT-OWNED SPACE NOW OCCUPIED AND TO BE OCCUPIED BY THE SEVERAL FIELD OFFICES OF THE DIVISION OF INVESTIGATION OF THIS DEPARTMENT.

"FOR YOUR INFORMATION IN THIS REGARD PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE DIVISION OF INVESTIGATION NOW MAINTAINS 30 FIELD OFFICES THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY; EACH OFFICE BEING FULLY EQUIPPED TO HANDLE ALL TYPES OF INVESTIGATIONS PRESENTLY UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE DIVISION. THE ADDITIONAL DUTIES THAT HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED TO THE DIVISION WITHIN THE PAST EIGHTEEN MONTHS HAVE NECESSITATED EQUIPPING ALL FIELD OFFICES WITH FIREARMS AND OTHER TECHNICAL EQUIPMENT. AT THE PRESENT TIME THIS EQUIPMENT, TO THE VALUE OF MANY THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS, IS BEING STORED AT THE VARIOUS OFFICES AND IT HAS BECOME ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY TO HAVE ARRANGEMENTS MADE TO HAVE SUCH EQUIPMENT PROPERLY SAFEGUARDED. IT IS DEEMED ADVISABLE AND ESSENTIAL TO CONSTRUCT VAULTS OR STRONG ROOMS IN THESE OFFICES SO THAT THE FIREARMS, AMMUNITION, AND TECHNICAL EQUIPMENT MAY BE STORED THEREIN WHEN NOT IN USE. IT IS THEREFORE REQUESTED THAT THIS DEPARTMENT BE ADVISED AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE DATE WHETHER STEPS MAY BE TAKEN BY THE DIVISION OF INVESTIGATION TO INSTALL SPECIALLY CONSTRUCTED DOORS AND IF NECESSARY HAVE INSTALLED BOLTS, BARS, OR ANY OTHER LIKE APPLIANCE TO PROPERLY SAFEGUARD THE AFOREMENTIONED EQUIPMENT, THE EXPENSE THEREOF TO BE PAYABLE FROM THE PROPRIATION,"SALARIES AND EXPENSES, DIVISION OF INVESTIGATION, 1935.' IS OF COURSE UNDERSTOOD THAT WHEREVER POSSIBLE, SUCH INSTALLATIONS WILL BE MADE TO CONFORM WITH PARAGRAPH 8 OF THE STANDARD FORM OF GOVERNMENT LEASE.

"FOR THE FURTHER INFORMATION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL, PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE PROTECTION PRESENTLY AFFORDED THE VARIOUS FIELD OFFICES OF THE DIVISION BOTH IN RENTED SPACE AND IN GOVERNMENT-OWNED SPACE, IS INADEQUATE, AND IT WOULD BE A RELATIVELY SIMPLE MATTER FOR AN ORGANIZED GANG OF CRIMINALS TO OVERPOWER SUCH GUARDS AS ARE PRESENTLY ON DUTY AND THEN LOOT THE DIVISION OFFICES. DURING THE PAST YEAR IT WILL BE NOTED THAT SUCH GANGSTERS HAVE LOOTED POLICE DEPARTMENTS IN VARIOUS SECTIONS OF THE COUNTRY, REPLENISHING THEIR STOCK OF FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION. WITH THE ABOVE-REQUESTED ADDITIONAL SAFEGUARDS, THE POSSIBILITY OF THE SUCCESS OF SUCH RAIDS WILL BE REDUCED TO AN ABSOLUTE MINIMUM.'

WILL YOU KINDLY ADVISE THE DEPARTMENT WHETHER THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES AND EXPENSES, DIVISION OF INVESTIGATION" MAY BE USED FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF VAULTS OR STRONG ROOMS IN RENTED SPACE AND IN GOVERNMENT-OWNED SPACE NOW OCCUPIED AND TO BE OCCUPIED BY THE FIELD OFFICES OF THE DIVISION OF INVESTIGATION, IN ORDER TO PROPERLY PROTECT FIREARMS AND OTHER VALUABLE EQUIPMENT.

THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES AND EXPENSES, DIVISION OF INVESTIGATION, 1935," PROVIDES AS OLLOWS:

DETECTION AND PROSECUTION OF CRIMES: FOR THE DETECTION AND PROSECUTION OF CRIMES AGAINST THE UNITED STATES; FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE PERSON OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES; THE ACQUISITION, COLLECTION, CLASSIFICATION, AND PRESERVATION OF IDENTIFICATION AND OTHER RECORDS AND THEIR EXCHANGE WITH THE DULY AUTHORIZED OFFICIALS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, OF STATES, CITIES, AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS; FOR INVESTIGATION OF THE OFFICIAL ACTS, RECORDS, AND ACCOUNTS OF MARSHALS, ATTORNEYS, CLERKS OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS AND TERRITORIAL COURTS, PROBATION OFFICERS, AND UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS, FOR WHICH PURPOSE ALL THE OFFICIAL PAPERS, RECORDS, AND DOCKETS OF SAID OFFICERS, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, SHALL BE EXAMINED BY THE AGENTS OF THE DIVISION OF INVESTIGATION AT ANY TIME; AND ALSO, WHEN REQUESTED BY THE PRESIDING JUDGE, THE OFFICIAL ACTS, RECORDS, AND ACCOUNTS OF REFEREES AND TRUSTEES OF SUCH COURTS; FOR SUCH OTHER INVESTIGATIONS REGARDING OFFICIAL MATTERS UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE AS MAY BE DIRECTED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL; HIRE, MAINTENANCE, UPKEEP, AND OPERATION OF MOTOR- PROPELLED PASSENGER CARRYING VEHICLES WHEN NECESSARY; FOR COPYING IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OR ELSEWHERE, REPORTS OF EXAMINERS AT FOLIO RATES; FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION, SUCH STATIONERY, SUPPLIES, AND EQUIPMENT FOR USE AT THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT OR ELSEWHERE AS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL MAY DIRECT, INCLUDING NOT TO EXCEED $13,000 FOR TAXICAB HIRE TO BE USED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE PURPOSES SET FORTH IN THIS PARAGRAPH AND TO BE EXPENDED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL; TRAVELING EXPENSES, INCLUDING EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS CONCERNED WITH THE WORK OF SUCH DIVISION WHEN AUTHORIZED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL; PAYMENT OF REWARDS WHEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE APPREHENSION OF FUGITIVES FROM JUSTICE, AND INCLUDING NOT TO EXCEED $520,000 FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; $2,880,000.

IN THE ABSENCE OF A MORE SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION THE FOREGOING APPROPRIATION MIGHT BE CONSIDERED AVAILABLE FOR THE USE SUGGESTED IF SHOWN TO BE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION WAS MADE. 3 COMP. GEN. 812; 5 ID. 1014. I FIND, HOWEVER, IN THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT FOR 1935, ACT OF MARCH 15, 1934, 48 STAT. 440, THE FOLLOWING APPROPRIATION:

VAULTS AND SAFES: FOR VAULTS AND LOCK-BOX EQUIPMENTS AND REPAIRS THERETO IN ALL COMPLETED AND OCCUPIED PUBLIC BUILDINGS UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, AND FOR THE NECESSARY SAFE EQUIPMENTS AND REPAIRS THERETO IN ALL PUBLIC BUILDINGS UNDER THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, WHETHER COMPLETED AND OCCUPIED OR IN COURSE OF CONSTRUCTION, EXCLUSIVE OF PERSONAL SERVICES, EXCEPT FOR WORK DONE BY CONTRACT OR FOR TEMPORARY JOB LABOR UNDER EXIGENCY NOT EXCEEDING AT ONE TIME THE SUM OF $50 AT ANY ONE BUILDING, $50,000.

IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT FOR THE SAME FISCAL YEAR, ALSO CONTAINED IN THE ABOVE ACT, 48 STAT. 449, IS A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION FOR SAFES FOR USE IN ALL PUBLIC BUILDINGS UNDER THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. IT IS A WELL ESTABLISHED RULE THAT SPECIFIC APPROPRIATIONS FOR PARTICULAR OBJECTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR SUCH OBJECTS TO THE EXCLUSION OF A MORE GENERAL APPROPRIATION WHICH MIGHT OTHERWISE BE AVAILABLE THEREFOR. 7 COMP. GEN. 459; A-50981, DECEMBER 8, 1933. IT MUST BE HELD, THEREFORE, THAT THE APPROPRIATION FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES, DIVISION OF INVESTIGATION, 1935, IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR VAULTS, SAFES, OR SIMILAR EQUIPMENT IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS OWNED BY THE UNITED STATES AND UNDER THE CUSTODY OR ADMINISTRATION OF EITHER THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT OR THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.

WITH RESPECT TO THE PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION OF VAULTS, STRONG ROOMS, ETC., IN PRIVATELY OWNED PREMISES LEASED BY THE GOVERNMENT, IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT WHERE THE EQUIPMENT IS SUCH THAT IT IS NOT PERMANENTLY ATTACHED TO THE REALTY AND READILY MAY BE REMOVED THEREFROM AS PROVIDED FOR UNDER PARAGRAPH 8 OF THE STANDARD FORM OF GOVERNMENT LEASES WITHOUT DESTROYING ITS USEFULNESS OR DAMAGING THE PROPERTY, SUCH PURCHASES AND INSTALLATIONS FROM PUBLIC FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE SERVICE OR PROJECT INVOLVED ARE AUTHORIZED. SEE 5 COMP. GEN. 696 AND DECISIONS OF APRIL 13, AND JUNE 21, 1934, A-54725, AND A-55493.

WHERE, HOWEVER, CONSTRUCTION OF THE VAULTS, STRONG ROOMS, ETC., CONTEMPLATES CHANGES IN THE LEASED PREMISES IN THE NATURE OF PERMANENT IMPROVEMENTS TO THE LEASED PREMISES; THAT IS, IMPROVEMENTS PERMANENTLY ATTACHED TO THE REALTY AND NOT READILY REMOVABLE THEREFROM WITHOUT DAMAGE TO THE PROPERTY AND/OR EQUIPMENT, THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT SUCH INSTALLATIONS ARE NOT AUTHORIZED. SEE 5 COMP. DEC. 478; 2 COMP. GEN. 607; 5 ID. 366; DECISIONS OF OCTOBER 10, 1930, AND AUGUST 28, 1933, A 33513 AND A-50554. THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED ARE ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.