A-80379, SEPTEMBER 17, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 263

A-80379: Sep 17, 1936

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ARE NOT FOR APPLICATION TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS UNDER THE HEADING "FOREST SERVICE. THE LIMITATION FOR WHICH IS SPECIFICALLY STATED AS $5. THE COST OF WHICH WAS $5. IN VIEW OF THE NEW BUILDING COST LIMITATION CONTAINED IN THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION ACT IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE ABOVE QUOTED LIMITATION IN SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF MAY 22. IS SUSPENDED AS LONG AS SUCH NEW LIMITATION CONTINUES IN EFFECT. THAT IF IT IS NECESSARY TO ERECT A BUILDING IN CARRYING OUT ANY OF THE ACTIVITIES PROVIDED FOR UNDER THE CENTER HEADING "SALARIES AND XPENSES" (FOREST SERVICE) THE COST THEREOF IS CHARGEABLE AGAINST THE SUBAPPROPRIATION FOR THAT PARTICULAR ACTIVITY. WHICH IS NECESSARY IN THE CONDUCT OF AUTHORIZED RESEARCH WORK.

A-80379, SEPTEMBER 17, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 263

BUILDING CONSTRUCTION - FOREST SERVICE - SPECIFIC VERSUS GENERAL COST LIMITATIONS THE GENERAL PROVISIONS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1936, DATED JUNE 4, 1936, 49 STAT. 1438, FOR "FOREST RESEARCH," IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF CERTAIN SECTIONS OF THE ACT OF MAY 22, 1928, 49 STAT. 700, WHICH LATTER PROVISIONS LIMIT THE CONSTRUCTION COST OF A BUILDING TO $2,500, ARE NOT FOR APPLICATION TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS UNDER THE HEADING "FOREST SERVICE, SALARIES AND EXPENSES," 49 STAT. 1436, THE LIMITATION FOR WHICH IS SPECIFICALLY STATED AS $5,000.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, SEPTEMBER 17, 1936:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 31, 1936, READING IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

THE ACT (PUB. NO. 637) MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1937 CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING AUTHORIZATION UNDER THE HEADING "FOREST SERVICE, SALARIES AND EXPENSES:"

"TO ERECT NECESSARY BUILDINGS: PROVIDED, THAT THE COST OF ANY BUILDING PURCHASED, ERECTED, OR AS IMPROVED, EXCLUSIVE OF THE COST OF CONSTRUCTING A WATER-SUPPLY OR SANITARY SYSTEM AND OF CONNECTING THE SAME WITH ANY SUCH BUILDING, AND EXCLUSIVE OF THE COST OF ANY TOWER UPON WHICH A LOOKOUT HOUSE MAY BE ERECTED, SHALL NOT EXCEED $5,000, WITH THE EXCEPTION THAT ANY BUILDING ERECTED, PURCHASED, OR ACQUIRED, THE COST OF WHICH WAS $5,000 OR MORE, MAY BE IMPROVED OUT OF THE APPROPRIATIONS MADE UNDER THIS ACT FOR THE FOREST SERVICE BY AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED TWO PERCENTUM OF THE COST OF SUCH BUILDING AS CERTIFIED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE; "

THE AGRICULTURAL APPROPRIATION ACT (49 STAT. 261) FOR THE PRECEDING FISCAL YEAR LIMITED THE COST OF ANY BUILDING TO $2,500, AS FOLLOWS:

"TO ERECT NECESSARY BUILDINGS: PROVIDED, THAT THE COST OF ANY BUILDING PURCHASED, ERECTED, OR AS IMPROVED, EXCLUSIVE OF THE COST OF CONSTRUCTING A WATER-SUPPLY OR SANITARY SYSTEM AND OF CONNECTING THE SAME WITH ANY SUCH BUILDING, AND EXCLUSIVE OF THE COST OF ANY TOWER UPON WHICH A LOOKOUT HOUSE MAY BE ERECTED, SHALL NOT EXCEED $2,500; "

SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF MAY 22, 1928 (45 STAT. 699; 16 U.S.C. 581), WHICH AUTHORIZES VARIOUS KINDS OF INVESTIGATIONS, EXPERIMENTS, AND TESTS PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 2 TO 10 THEREOF, CONTAINS A SIMILAR PROVISION, READING AS FOLLOWS:

"PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE COST OF ANY BUILDING PURCHASED, ERECTED, OR AS IMPROVED IN CARRYING OUT THE PURPOSES OF THIS ACT SHALL NOT EXCEED $2,500, EXCLUSIVE IN EACH INSTANCE OF THE COST OF CONSTRUCTING A WATER SUPPLY OR SANITARY SYSTEM AND OF CONNECTING THE SAME WITH ANY SUCH ILDING.'

IN VIEW OF THE NEW BUILDING COST LIMITATION CONTAINED IN THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION ACT IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE ABOVE QUOTED LIMITATION IN SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF MAY 22, 1928, IS SUSPENDED AS LONG AS SUCH NEW LIMITATION CONTINUES IN EFFECT, AND THAT IF IT IS NECESSARY TO ERECT A BUILDING IN CARRYING OUT ANY OF THE ACTIVITIES PROVIDED FOR UNDER THE CENTER HEADING "SALARIES AND XPENSES" (FOREST SERVICE) THE COST THEREOF IS CHARGEABLE AGAINST THE SUBAPPROPRIATION FOR THAT PARTICULAR ACTIVITY. BEFORE PROCEEDING ON THIS ASSUMPTION I SHALL APPRECIATE THE BENEFIT OF YOUR JUDGMENT AS TO THE APPLICABILITY OF THIS NEW BUILDING COST LIMITATION TO THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR FOREST RESEARCH (PAGE 20, PUB. NO. 637). SPECIFICALLY, THE FOREST SERVICE WISHES TO KNOW IF IT CAN CONSTRUCT A BUILDING COSTING BETWEEN $2,500 AND $5,000, WHICH IS NECESSARY IN THE CONDUCT OF AUTHORIZED RESEARCH WORK, AND PAY THE COST THEREOF OUT OF FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR FOREST RESEARCH, SUCH AS THAT FOR "FOREST MANAGEMENT" (APPROPRIATION, SYMBOL NO. 1271100.014).

IN VIEW OF THE SPECIFIC PROVISIONS IN THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1936, 49 STAT. 1436, UNDER THE HEADING "FOREST SERVICE," LIMITING TO $5,000 THE COST OF CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS THEREUNDER, THIS OFFICE IS NOT REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE OTHERWISE PROPER USE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS WITHIN SUCH PRESCRIBED LIMIT FOR NECESSARY BUILDINGS REQUIRED BY SAID FOREST SERVICE, NOTWITHSTANDING THE GENERAL PROVISION CONTAINED IN SAID ACT FOR FOREST RESEARCH IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, AND 10 OF THE ACT OF MAY 22, 1928, 45 STAT. 700; SECTION 1 OF WHICH CONTAINS, IN ADDITION TO THE AUTHORIZATION OF VARIOUS KINDS OF INVESTIGATIONS, EXPERIMENTS AND TESTS AS OUTLINED IN SECTIONS 2 TO 10 THEREOF, A BUILDING LIMITATION OF $2,500. SEE UNITED STATES V. SALEN, 235 U.S. 237, 249, AND AUTHORITIES CITED THEREIN, SETTING FORTH THE SETTLED RULE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION THAT "WORDS WHICH STANDING ALONE MIGHT HAVE A WIDE AND COMPREHENSIVE IMPORT WILL, WHEN JOINED WITH THOSE DEFINING SPECIFIC ACTS, BE INTERPRETED IN THEIR NARROWER SENSE AND UNDERSTOOD TO REFER TO THINGS OF THE SAME NATURE AS THOSE DESCRIBED IN THE ASSOCIATED LIST, ENUMERATION OR CLASS.'

ACCORDINGLY, THE QUESTION CONTAINED IN YOUR SUBMISSION IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.