A-77564, AUGUST 20, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 160

A-77564: Aug 20, 1936

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IS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF THE COST OF NECESSARY MINOR STRUCTURAL ALTERATIONS IN A PUBLIC BUILDING INCIDENTAL TO THE INSTALLATION OF SPECIAL EQUIPMENT NECESSARY TO THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTIES IMPOSED BY LAW. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR DECISION A-77564 DATED JUNE 30. WAS TO MAKE CERTAIN ALTERATIONS IN THE OLD HOSPITAL BUILDING AT STAPLETON. YOU INDICATE IN THIS CONNECTION THAT THE APPROPRIATION "DISEASES AND SANITATION INVESTIGATIONS" IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE WORK BECAUSE THE PURPOSE SOUGHT TO BE ACCOMPLISHED IS "FOR PHYSICAL IMPROVEMENTS ON PUBLIC BUILDINGS.'. IT IS RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED THAT SUCH IS NOT THE PURPOSE SOUGHT TO BE ACCOMPLISHED. IN ORDER TO DO SO TWO LARGE WARDS AND A LARGE PRIVATE ROOM HAVE BEEN MADE AVAILABLE FOR THIS WORK.

A-77564, AUGUST 20, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 160

APPROPRIATIONS - AVAILABILITY - BUILDING ALTERATIONS INCIDENTAL TO DUTIES IMPOSED BY LAW THE APPROPRIATION "DISEASES AND SANITATION INVESTIGATIONS, PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE," MADE BY THE ACT OF JUNE 23, 1936, 49 STAT. 1841, FOR CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 603 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT OF AUGUST 14, 1935, 49 STAT. 635, IS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF THE COST OF NECESSARY MINOR STRUCTURAL ALTERATIONS IN A PUBLIC BUILDING INCIDENTAL TO THE INSTALLATION OF SPECIAL EQUIPMENT NECESSARY TO THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTIES IMPOSED BY LAW.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, AUGUST 20, 1936:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 23, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR DECISION A-77564 DATED JUNE 30, 1936, RETURNING WITHOUT COUNTERSIGNATURE COVERING WARRANT NO. 15571, DATED JUNE 15, 1936, CREDITING AN ITEM OF $5,738.50 TO A WORKING FUND UNDER WHICH THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, WAS TO MAKE CERTAIN ALTERATIONS IN THE OLD HOSPITAL BUILDING AT STAPLETON, N.Y. YOU INDICATE IN THIS CONNECTION THAT THE APPROPRIATION "DISEASES AND SANITATION INVESTIGATIONS" IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE WORK BECAUSE THE PURPOSE SOUGHT TO BE ACCOMPLISHED IS "FOR PHYSICAL IMPROVEMENTS ON PUBLIC BUILDINGS.' IT IS RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED THAT SUCH IS NOT THE PURPOSE SOUGHT TO BE ACCOMPLISHED.

THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE PLANS TO INCREASE THE SIZE OF THE VENEREAL DISEASE RESEARCH LABORATORY IN THE U.S. MARINE HOSPITAL, STAPLETON, STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK. IN ORDER TO DO SO TWO LARGE WARDS AND A LARGE PRIVATE ROOM HAVE BEEN MADE AVAILABLE FOR THIS WORK. CERTAIN MINOR ALTERATIONS ARE REQUIRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE INSTALLATION OF THE NECESSARY LABORATORY EQUIPMENT. THE EQUIPMENT CONSISTS OF SUCH APPARATUS AS INCUBATORS, ELECTRIC OVENS, STERILIZERS, VACUUM AND PRESSURE PUMPS, CENTRIFUGES AND WATER BATHS, CABINETS, CUPBOARDS AND SHELVES FOR STORING OF LABORATORY REAGENTS AND SUPPLIES; WORK BENCHES FOR MICROSCOPES AND OTHER EASILY MOVABLE APPARATUS FOR LABORATORY ANIMALS; SINKS TO PROVIDE FOR THE MIXING OF REAGENTS AND THE DISPOSAL OF REFUSE IN CONNECTION WITH LABORATORY WORK; AND THE INSTALLATION OF ELECTRIC AND GAS APPLIANCES AND WIRING FOR MOVABLE APPARATUS. THE SETTING UP OF THIS LABORATORY EQUIPMENT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN IMPROVEMENT TO THE BUILDING.

THE CASE HERE PRESENTED IS PARALLEL IN ALL RESPECTS TO THE ONE CONSIDERED BY YOU IN YOUR DECISION OF APRIL 29, 1924, 3 COMP. GEN. 812, IN WHICH YOU HELD THAT THE COST OF STRUCTURAL CHANGES PROXIMATELY INCIDENT TO SPECIAL EQUIPMENT INSTALLATION, AND SOLELY NECESSARY FOR THE OPERATION, INCLOSING, ETC., THEREOF, SUCH AS THE "CHANGES IN THE NATURE OF CUTTING OF WALLS AND OF FLOORS, PLASTER WORK, ETC., AND THE NECESSARY REPLACEMENT OF SAME, THE REMOVAL OF STRUCTURAL OBSTACLES AND REPLACING OR REARRANGING OF SAME" IS CHARGEABLE UNDER THE APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF SUCH EQUIPMENT. THE APPROPRIATION "DISEASES AND SANITATION INVESTIGATIONS" IS SURELY AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF LABORATORY EQUIPMENT, OTHERWISE, THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE COULD NOT CONDUCT A LARGE PORTION OF ITS SCIENTIFIC WORK. IN THE CASE UNDER CONSIDERATION THE ROOMS WHICH HAVE BEEN SET ASIDE FOR LABORATORY WORK CANNOT BE USED UNLESS THE PROPER EQUIPMENT IS INSTALLED, AND THE EQUIPMENT CANNOT BE INSTALLED UNLESS THE INCIDENTAL CHANGES ARE MADE.

THIS DEPARTMENT HAS ACCEPTED THE PROPOSALS OF THE TWO LOW BIDDERS, ONE OF THE BELLMANN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY OF NEW YORK FOR ALTERATIONS, AND THE OTHER OF E. H. SHELDON AND COMPANY OF NEW YORK FOR THE FURNISHING AND INSTALLATION OF CABINETS, TABLES, SINKS, ETC., BUT NOTICE TO PROCEED HAS NOT BEEN GIVEN THE CONTRACTORS BECAUSE OF YOUR DECISION A-77564 REFERRED TO IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS COMMUNICATION. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES THIS DEPARTMENT IS OBLIGED TO REQUEST RECONSIDERATION OF THIS DECISION AS TO THE INSTALLATION OF THE LABORATORY EQUIPMENT, SOME OF WHICH HAS BEEN PURCHASED. INASMUCH AS THE MATTER IS NOW BEING HANDLED BY THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE THROUGH THIS DEPARTMENT, IT WILL NOT BE NECESSARY THAT A WORKING FUND BE SET UP UNDER THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION. THE WORK, HOWEVER, WILL NOT BE PROCEEDED WITH UNTIL ASSURANCE IS GIVEN BY YOUR OFFICE THAT THE NECESSARY STRUCTURAL CHANGES TO PROVIDE FOR THE PROPER INSTALLATION OF EQUIPMENT CAN BE MADE.

SECTION 603 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT OF AUGUST 14, 1935, 49 STAT. 635, READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

(A) THERE IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO BE APPROPRIATED FOR EACH FISCAL YEAR, BEGINNING WITH THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1936, THE SUM OF $2,000,000 FOR EXPENDITURE BY THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE FOR INVESTIGATION OF DISEASE AND PROBLEMS OF SANITATION * * *

THE APPROPRIATION "DISEASES AND SANITATION INVESTIGATIONS" AS MADE BY THE ACT OF JUNE 23, 1936, 49 STAT. 1841, PROVIDES IN PART:

DISEASES AND SANITATION INVESTIGATIONS: FOR CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 603 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, APPROVED AUGUST 14, 1935, * *

IT APPEARS FROM THE EXPLANATIONS NOW SUBMITTED THAT THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE SOUGHT TO BE ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH USE OF THE PROPOSED APPROPRIATION,"DISEASES AND SANITATION INVESTIGATIONS, PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE," IS THE INVESTIGATION OF DISEASE AND PROBLEMS OF SANITATION, AND THAT THE MINOR STRUCTURAL ALTERATIONS IN THE PUBLIC BUILDING, INVOLVED APPEAR TO BE MERELY INCIDENTAL TO THE INSTALLATION OF THE LABORATORY EQUIPMENT REQUIRED TO CONDUCT THE INVESTIGATIONS AUTHORIZED BY LAW AND FOR WHICH AN APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN MADE. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES THIS OFFICE IS NOT REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE USE OF THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION, SUPRA, FOR THE PURCHASE OF LABORATORY EQUIPMENT AND FOR SUCH STRUCTURAL CHANGES IN THE BUILDING IN WHICH SUCH EQUIPMENT IS TO BE USED AS MAY BE NECESSARY FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF INSTALLING THE EQUIPMENT.