A-83935, FEBRUARY 18, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 773

A-83935: Feb 18, 1937

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

PROVIDED THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE IN GENERAL TERMS. IF THERE IS DETAILED IN THE APPROPRIATION PARTICULAR PURPOSES FOR WHICH IT MAY BE USED. IS AS FOLLOWS: "SALARIES AND EXPENSES: FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES AND EXPENSES OF STUDIES. OR MAINTENANCE OF ANY MOTOR-PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES UNLESS SPECIFIC AUTHORITY THEREFOR IS GIVEN. IT IS BELIEVED THAT MONEYS APPROPRIATED FOR THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES BY VIRTUE OF THE AUTHORITY CONFERRED BY SECTION 11 OF THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ACT OF 1936. WHICH READS: "* * * THE ADMINISTRATOR IS AUTHORIZED. PRINTING AND BINDING) AS ARE APPROPRIATE AND NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OT HIS T.'.

A-83935, FEBRUARY 18, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 773

APPROPRIATION AVAILABILITY - PURCHASE, MAINTENANCE, AND OPERATION OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES - RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION THE SPECIFIC AUTHORITY OF LAW REQUIRED BY REASON OF THE PROHIBITION OF SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1914, 38 STAT. 508, BEFORE APPROPRIATIONS MAY BE USED FOR THE PURCHASE, OPERATION OR MAINTENANCE OF PASSENGER- CARRYING VEHICLES NEED NOT BE CONTAINED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT ITSELF BUT MAY APPEAR ELSEWHERE IF CLEARLY APPLICABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION OUGHT TO BE CHARGED, PROVIDED THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE IN GENERAL TERMS, BUT IF THERE IS DETAILED IN THE APPROPRIATION PARTICULAR PURPOSES FOR WHICH IT MAY BE USED, OTHERWISE PROHIBITED BY LAW, THE OMISSION OF THE PASSENGER- CARRYING VEHICLE AUTHORIZATION WOULD PRECLUDE THE USE OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR THAT PURPOSE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION, FEBRUARY 18, 1937:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 8, 1937, AS FOLLOWS:

A QUESTION HAS BEEN RAISED AS TO THE AVAILABILITY OF OUR APPROPRIATION FOR THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR FOR THE PURCHASE AND OPERATION OF A PASSENGER- CARRYING VEHICLE.

THE TEXT OF THE PROPOSED APPROPRIATION FOR ADMINISTERING THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ACT FOR THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR, AS APPROVED BY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET AND AS PASSED BY THE HOUSE, IS AS FOLLOWS:

"SALARIES AND EXPENSES: FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES AND EXPENSES OF STUDIES, INVESTIGATIONS, PUBLICATIONS, AND REPORTS, NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ACT OF 1936, APPROVED MAY 20, 1936, INCLUDING THE SALARY THE ADMINISTRATOR AND OTHER PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND ELSEWHERE, TRAVELING EXPENSES, INCLUDING EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES AT MEETINGS WHEN DETERMINED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR TO BE NECESSARY IN FURTHERING THE WORK OF THE ADMINISTRATION; CONTRACT STENOGRAPHIC REPORTING SERVICES; EXPERT WITNESS FEES; MATERIALS, SUPPLIES, EQUIPMENT, AND SERVICES; RENTALS, INCLUDING BUILDINGS AND PARTS OF BUILDING AND GARAGES, IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND ELSEWHERE; PURCHASE AND EXCHANGE OF BOOKS, LAW BOOKS, BOOKS OF REFERENCE, DIRECTORIES AND PERIODICALS; NOT TO EXCEED $200 FOR NEWSPAPERS AND PRESS CLIPPINGS; FINANCIAL AND CREDIT REPORTS; PURCHASE, RENTAL, EXCHANGE, OPERATION, MAINTENANCE, AND REPAIR OF TYPEWRITERS, CALCULATING MACHINES, AND OTHER OFFICE APPLIANCES; AND ALL OTHER EXPENSES NECESSARY TO ADMINISTER SAID ACT, $---: PROVIDED, THAT SECTION 3709 OF THE REVISED STATUTES (U.S.C., TITLE 41, SEC. 5) SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO APPLY TO ANY PURCHASE OR SERVICE RENDERED FOR THE RURAL ADMINISTRATION WHEN THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT INVOLVED DOES NOT EXCEED $100.'

ALTHOUGH THE ABOVE CONTAINS NO EXPRESS APPROPRIATION FOR THE PURCHASE AND OPERATION OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES, AND ALTHOUGH SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1914, 38 STAT. 508, PROHIBITS THE USE OF ANY APPROPRIATION FOR THE PURCHASE, OPERATION, OR MAINTENANCE OF ANY MOTOR-PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES UNLESS SPECIFIC AUTHORITY THEREFOR IS GIVEN, IT IS BELIEVED THAT MONEYS APPROPRIATED FOR THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES BY VIRTUE OF THE AUTHORITY CONFERRED BY SECTION 11 OF THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ACT OF 1936, WHICH READS:

"* * * THE ADMINISTRATOR IS AUTHORIZED, FROM SUMS APPROPRIATED PURSUANT TO SEC. 6, TO MAKE SUCH EXPENDITURES (INCLUDING EXPENDITURES FOR PERSONAL SERVICES; SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT; LAW BOOKS AND BOOKS OF REFERENCE; DIRECTORIES AND PERIODICALS; TRAVEL EXPENSES, RENTAL AT THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT AND ELSEWHERE; THE PURCHASE, OPERATION, OR MAINTENANCE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES; AND PRINTING AND BINDING) AS ARE APPROPRIATE AND NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OT HIS T.'

THE PLAIN MEANING OF SECTION 11 IS THAT THE ADMINISTRATOR MAY MAKE EXPENDITURES, WITHIN LUMP SUMS APPROPRIATED PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORIZATION IN SECTION 6, FOR ANY OF THE ENUMERATED PURPOSES WITHOUT REGARD TO EARLIER LAWS PLACING RESTRICTIONS OR PROHIBITIONS ON THE SAME. A CONTRARY INTERPRETATION WOULD RENDER SUPERFLUOUS ALL THE WORDS IN SECTION 11 ENCLOSED IN PARENTHESES, AND VIOLATE THE SETTLED RULE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION THAT INTERPRETATIONS WHICH WILL DENY EFFECT TO ANY PART OF THE LANGUAGE OF A STATUTE SHOULD BE AVOIDED. MARKET CO. V. HOFFMAN, 101 U.S. 112 (1879).

IF OUR CONSTRUCTION OF THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ACT IS CORRECT, WILL YOU CONFIRM IT? INASMUCH AS THE MATTER IS OF SOME URGENCY, A DECISION FROM YOU AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE MOMENT WILL BE APPRECIATED.

SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1914 (38 STAT. 508), PROHIBITS THE USE OF ANY APPROPRIATION FOR THE PURCHASE, OPERATION, OR MAINTENANCE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES UNLESS SUCH USE IS ,AUTHORIZED BY LAW.' DOES NOT NECESSARILY FOLLOW THAT THE AUTHORIZATION MUST BE IN THE APPROPRIATION ITSELF IF SUCH AUTHORIZATION IS FOUND ELSEWHERE AND IS CLEARLY APPLICABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION SOUGHT TO BE USED. ACCORDINGLY, IF THE APPROPRIATION SHOULD MERELY PROVIDE A SPECIFIED SUM FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES "AS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ACT OF 1936," THERE WOULD BE NO DOUBT AS TO THE AVAILABILITY OF THE MONEY SO APPROPRIATED FOR ALL OF THE PURPOSES SPECIFIED IN SECTION 11 OF THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ACT APPROVED MAY 20, 1936 (49 STAT. 1366), INCLUDING THE PURCHASE, OPERATION, AND MAINTENANCE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES. HOWEVER, IF THE APPROPRIATION BE MADE IN THE TERMS AS QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER, SUPRA, SPECIFICALLY MENTIONING ALL OF THE CLASSES OF EXPENDITURES (OTHERWISE PROHIBITED BY LAW) MENTIONED IN SECTION 11 OF THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ACT, EXCEPT THE PURCHASE, OPERATION OR MAINTENANCE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES, IT WOULD HAVE TO BE HELD, UNDER THE WELL KNOWN RULE OF STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION--- EXPRESSIO UNIUS EST EXCLUSIO ALTERIUS--- THAT THE APPROPRIATION WOULD NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE, OPERATION, OR MAINTENANCE OF PASSENGER- CARRYING VEHICLES.