A-84096, MARCH 5, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 816

A-84096: Mar 5, 1937

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TO ACCOMMODATE SPECIAL TESTING DEVICES REQUIRED BY THE BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION FOR MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTING FARM PRODUCTS WAS MADE. AS FOLLOWS: THE BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS FINDS IT NECESSARY TO HAVE ALTERNATING CURRENT AVAILABLE IN THE CUSTOMHOUSE BUILDING AT NEW ORLEANS. FOR USE IN OPERATING SPECIAL MOTORIZED EQUIPMENT WHICH WILL BE REQUIRED FOR CONDUCTING RICE INVESTIGATIONAL WORK. IT WAS NECESSARY TO RE-EQUIP THE DEVICES WITH MOTORS FOR USE ON ALTERNATING CURRENT. A CONSTANT UNIFORM SPEED IS VERY ESSENTIAL IN ORDER TO SECURE ACCURATE RESULTS IN THE TESTS. HE WAS ADVISED THAT NO OBJECTION WOULD BE INTERPOSED TO THE INSTALLATION.

A-84096, MARCH 5, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 816

PUBLIC BUILDINGS - INSTALLATION OF ALTERNATING CURRENT SYSTEM FOR SPECIAL PURPOSES - APPROPRIATION CHARGEABLE THE COST OF INSTALLING AN ELECTRIC WIRING AND CONDUIT SYSTEM IN A PUBLIC BUILDING TO SUPPLY ALTERNATING CURRENT POWER, IN LIEU OF DIRECT CURRENT NOW AVAILABLE AND UNSATISFACTORY, TO ACCOMMODATE SPECIAL TESTING DEVICES REQUIRED BY THE BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION FOR MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTING FARM PRODUCTS WAS MADE--- ACT OF JUNE 4, 1936, 49 STAT. 1449--- SHOULD BE CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE ACTIVITIES TO BE BENEFITED THEREBY, NOTWITHSTANDING THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION FOR "REPAIR, PRESERVATION, AND EQUIPMENT OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS," ACT OF JUNE 23, 1936, 49 STAT. 1842, PROVIDES FOR "INSTALLATION AND REPAIR OF * * * CONDUITS, WIRING," ETC.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, MARCH 5, 1937:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 18, 1937, AS FOLLOWS:

THE BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS FINDS IT NECESSARY TO HAVE ALTERNATING CURRENT AVAILABLE IN THE CUSTOMHOUSE BUILDING AT NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, FOR USE IN OPERATING SPECIAL MOTORIZED EQUIPMENT WHICH WILL BE REQUIRED FOR CONDUCTING RICE INVESTIGATIONAL WORK. AN EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE AT ANOTHER POINT TO USE TESTING DEVICES EQUIPPED WITH MOTORS FOR OPERATION ON DIRECT CURRENT, BUT DUE TO THE VARIATIONS IN THE RESULTS OBTAINED BECAUSE OF SPEED FLUCTUATIONS, IT WAS NECESSARY TO RE-EQUIP THE DEVICES WITH MOTORS FOR USE ON ALTERNATING CURRENT. A CONSTANT UNIFORM SPEED IS VERY ESSENTIAL IN ORDER TO SECURE ACCURATE RESULTS IN THE TESTS.

THE QUESTION OF INSTALLING THE NECESSARY CIRCUITS HAS BEEN TAKEN UP BY THE LOCAL CUSTODIAN OF THE CUSTOMHOUSE BUILDING WITH THE DISTRICT ENGINEER'S OFFICE AT ATLANTA, GEORGIA, AND HE WAS ADVISED THAT NO OBJECTION WOULD BE INTERPOSED TO THE INSTALLATION; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THE WORK IS DONE WITHOUT COST TO THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT. THE MATTER HAS ALSO BEEN DISCUSSED INFORMALLY WITH THE PROCUREMENT SECTION OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT AND IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS ITS OWN PLANT FOR FURNISHING DIRECT CURRENT TO THE BUILDING, AND SINCE THE ALTERNATING CURRENT IS REQUIRED FOR SPECIAL USE IN A LABORATORY, THE FUNDS FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE BUILDING AND PURCHASE OF FURNITURE WOULD NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR INSTALLING THE NECESSARY EQUIPMENT FOR SUPPLYING THE DESIRED CURRENT AND IT WOULD BE INCUMBENT UPON THE ACTIVITY CONCERNED TO DEFRAY THE EXPENSE.

THE DEPARTMENT HAS SECURED BIDS FOR FURNISHING THE NECESSARY MATERIALS AND INSTALLING A COMPLETE ELECTRIC WIRING AND CONDUIT SYSTEM FOR SUPPLYING ALTERNATING CURRENT POWER. THE LOWEST BID SUBMITTED IS IN THE AMOUNT OF $363.00, LESS A DISCOUNT OF 2 PERCENT FOR PAYMENT WITHIN TEN DAYS. IT IS PROPOSED TO MAKE PAYMENT FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTING FARM PRODUCTS, SYMBOL NO. 1271700.030, AND BEFORE AN AWARD IS MADE, WE WILL APPRECIATE ADVICE AS TO WHETHER THESE FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE PURPOSE CONTEMPLATED.

THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION FOR "REPAIR, PRESERVATION, AND EQUIPMENT OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS," ACT OF JUNE 23, 1936, 49 STAT. 1842, PROVIDES SPECIFICALLY FOR "INSTALLATION AND REPAIR OF * * * ELECTRIC LIGHT FIXTURES, CONDUITS, WIRING" IN COMPLETED FEDERAL BUILDINGS AND, THEREFORE, PRECLUDES THE USE OF ANY OTHER APPROPRIATION FOR CONDUITS AND WIRING AS MAY BE FOUND NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH THE GENERAL USE OF THE BUILDING AS A PUBLIC BUILDING. HOWEVER, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE WIRING NOW DESIRED IS NOT NECESSARY TO THE ORDINARY USE OR OPERATION OF THE BUILDING, BUT TO ACCOMMODATE THE SPECIAL DEVICES REQUIRED TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION FOR MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTING FARM PRODUCTS, ACT OF JUNE 1936, 49 STAT. 1449, WAS MADE. SUCH BEING THE CASE, THE NECESSARY EXPENSE INCIDENT TO THE INSTALLATION OF THE SPECIAL WIRING, ETC., IS CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE ACTIVITIES TO BE BENEFITED THEREBY RATHER THAN TO THE PUBLIC BUILDING APPROPRIATION. COMP. GEN. 513; 3 ID. 812; 4 ID. 471; A-15023, JULY 19, 1926. YOUR SUBMISSION IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.