A-90515, NOVEMBER 24, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 424

A-90515: Nov 24, 1937

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IS APPLICABLE TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT. AS NO PROVISION FOR RENT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS MADE IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR GRANTS TO STATES FOR PUBLIC HEALTH WORK. IS AS FOLLOWS: THE COMMISSIONERS HAVE BEFORE THEM FOR EXECUTION A PROPOSED LEASE BETWEEN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE FAULTLESS SILK HOSIERY CORPORATION FOR THE RENTAL OF THE SECOND FLOOR OF PREMISES 901 8TH STREET NORTHWEST. AS LOCAL FUNDS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF RENTAL. DOUBT IS EXPRESSED AS TO THE AUTHORITY OF THE COMMISSIONERS TO EXECUTE A LEASE CHARGEABLE TO EITHER FEDERAL OR DISTRICT FUNDS. PROVIDES: "ALL SUMS APPROPRIATED FOR THE VARIOUS BRANCHES OF EXPENDITURE IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE SHALL BE APPLIED SOLELY TO THE OBJECTS FOR WHICH THEY ARE RESPECTIVELY MADE.

A-90515, NOVEMBER 24, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 424

LEASES - DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - STATUTORY REQUIREMENT FOR PRIOR APPROPRIATION - AVAILABILITY OF FEDERAL PUBLIC HEALTH GRANTS FOR SUCH LEASES THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1877, 19 STAT. 370, PROHIBITING ANY CONTRACT FOR RENT OF BUILDINGS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR GOVERNMENTAL PURPOSES UNTIL AN APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN MADE THEREFOR, IS APPLICABLE TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT, AS WELL AS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, AND AS NO PROVISION FOR RENT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS MADE IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR GRANTS TO STATES FOR PUBLIC HEALTH WORK-- ACT OF MAY 14, 1937, 50 STAT. 137--- FUNDS ALLOTTED TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNDER SECTIONS 601 AND 602 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, 49 STAT. 634, WHETHER REGARDED AS FEDERAL OR DISTRICT FUNDS, MAY NOT BE USED FOR RENT OF QUARTERS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE PRESIDENT, BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, NOVEMBER 24, 1937:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 11, 1937, IS AS FOLLOWS:

THE COMMISSIONERS HAVE BEFORE THEM FOR EXECUTION A PROPOSED LEASE BETWEEN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE FAULTLESS SILK HOSIERY CORPORATION FOR THE RENTAL OF THE SECOND FLOOR OF PREMISES 901 8TH STREET NORTHWEST, FOR USE AS A PERMIT OFFICE OF THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 1, 1937, TO JUNE 30, 1938, AT A MONTHLY RENTAL OF $125.00. AS LOCAL FUNDS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF RENTAL, THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE UNDER DATE OF AUGUST 10, 1937, APPROVED THE USE OF $1,500 OF MONEYS CARRIED IN THE APPROPRIATION "99 9998 PUBLIC HEALTH WORK, SOCIAL SECURITY GRANTS BY PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, D.C. (TRUST FUND)," MADE TO THE DISTRICT UNDER SECTION 601 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT OF AUGUST 14, 1935, AND APPROPRIATIONS MADE PURSUANT THERETO. THIS ACT DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF RENT BUT DOES AUTHORIZE THE ESTABLISHING AND MAINTAINING OF ADEQUATE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICES, AND AS THE DISTRICT LAWS DO NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF RENT, DOUBT IS EXPRESSED AS TO THE AUTHORITY OF THE COMMISSIONERS TO EXECUTE A LEASE CHARGEABLE TO EITHER FEDERAL OR DISTRICT FUNDS.

SECTION 3678, REVISED STATUTES, REFERRED TO IN YOUR DECISION TO THE RECORDER OF DEEDS, D.C., DATED SEPTEMBER 21, 1936 (16 COMP. GEN. 282), PROVIDES:

"ALL SUMS APPROPRIATED FOR THE VARIOUS BRANCHES OF EXPENDITURE IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE SHALL BE APPLIED SOLELY TO THE OBJECTS FOR WHICH THEY ARE RESPECTIVELY MADE, AND FOR NO OTHERS.'

SECTION 34, TITLE 40, U.S. CODE, PROVIDES:

"RENT OF BUILDING IN DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; CONTRACTS NOT TO BE MADE UNTIL APPROPRIATION. NO CONTRACT SHALL BE MADE FOR THE RENT OF ANY BUILDING, OR PART OF ANY BUILDING, TO BE USED FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNTIL AN APPROPRIATION THEREFOR SHALL HAVE BEEN MADE IN TERMS BY CONGRESS, AND THIS CLAUSE SHALL BE REGARDED AS NOTICE TO ALL CONTRACTORS OR LESSORS OF ANY SUCH BUILDING OR ANY PART OF BUILDING.'

MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF THE PERMIT OFFICE IS AUTHORIZED BY THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION ACT APPROVED JUNE 29, 1937, WHICH PROVIDES:

"FOR PERSONAL SERVICES, INCLUDING NOT EXCEEDING $19,360 FOR EMPLOYEES IN THE PERMIT OFFICE AND AMBULANCE SERVICE, AND NOT EXCEEDING $16,880 FOR THE INSPECTION OF ALL PUBLIC ESTABLISHMENTS AND EMPLOYEES WHERE FOOD IS SOLD OR SERVED, $217,690.'

THIS OFFICE WAS TRANSFERRED FROM THE DISTRICT BUILDING TO THE PREMISES ABOVE REFERRED TO ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO, WHICH WAS AT THAT TIME OPERATED IN ITS ENTIRETY AS A PRIVATE AGENCY.

THE IMPORTANCE OF MAINTAINING THE PRESENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CENTRAL ADMITTING BUREAU AND THE PERMIT BUREAU OF THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT CAN NOT BE OVEREMPHASIZED AND THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PRESENT ARRANGEMENT WAS FULLY APPRECIATED BY THE CENTRAL ADMITTING BUREAU AND THE BOARD OF PUBLIC WELFARE WHEN THE ARRANGEMENT WAS MADE. UNDER THE PRESENT LAWS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, BEFORE ADMISSIONS CAN BE MADE TO DISTRICT HOSPITALS OR CONTRACT HOSPITALS, IT IS NECESSARY FOR PATIENTS TO DECLARE ELIGIBILITY THROUGH THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT PERMIT BUREAU. THE SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

1. THE PATIENT MUST BE INDIGENT.

2. MUST HAVE RESIDED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR.

IT MAY WELL BE SURMISED THAT CERTAIN HARDSHIPS WOULD RESULT IF INDIGENT PEOPLE COMING TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND WHO ARE HERE LESS THAN ONE YEAR, IF OTHER ARRANGEMENTS COULD NOT BE MADE FOR THEIR CARE, AND IT IS THE CENTRAL ADMITTING BUREAU THAT MAKES POSSIBLE THE CARE OF INDIGENTS WHO ARE NOT REALLY RESIDENTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

THE CENTRAL ADMITTING BUREAU IS A COMMUNITY CHEST ORGANIZATION AND WILL PAY THE EXPENSES FOR HOSPITAL CARE OUT OF COMMUNITY CHEST FUNDS. THIS VERY EXCELLENT ARRANGEMENT MAKES NECESSARY THE CARE OF ALL NEEDY PEOPLE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHO MUST GO TO THE HOSPITAL. TO SEPARATE THESE TWO BUREAUS AT THE PRESENT TIME, WOULD INCREASE THE HARDSHIP, BURDENS, AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF BOTH AGENCIES.

ABOUT THE TIME THAT THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT TOOK OVER THE HOSPITALS, THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT WAS NOTIFIED BY MR. ROSS GARRETT, OF THE CENTRAL ADMITTING BUREAU, THAT RENTAL WOULD BE NECESSARY, AND THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT WAS ASKED TO TAKE ON THIS OBLIGATION. THE REASONS STATED, WHICH HAVE BEEN VERIFIED FROM SEVERAL SOURCES, WERE THAT THE MEDICAL DENTAL SERVICE BUREAU, WHICH OCCUPIED A PORTION OF THE BUILDING, HAD JOINTLY, WITH THE CENTRAL ADMITTING BUREAU, PAID RENT FOR THE BUILDING. IT MUST BE UNDERSTOOD THAT THE PERMIT BUREAU WENT IN FREE OF CHARGE.

THE MEDICAL DENTAL BUREAU, WHICH IN REALITY IS A COLLECTION AGENCY FOR PHYSICIANS, WAS NOT ABLE TO CARRY THEIR PART OF THE RENT, WHICH WAS $125.00, AND AS SUCH WENT OUT OF EXISTENCE. THIS MADE IT ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY FOR THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO ASSUME THIS RESPONSIBILITY OR MOVE ELSEWHERE. IN THE EMERGENCY THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT, OF COURSE, HAD NO FUNDS, OR HAD NO APPROPRIATION FOR RENTAL, AND THEREFORE DECIDED TO USE ACCUMULATED SOCIAL SECURITY FUNDS TO HELP OUT IN THE EMERGENCY. THE BUDGET WAS APPROVED BY THE SURGEON GENERAL OF THE U.S. PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE IN ACCORDANCE WITH USUAL ROUTINE.

IF THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT IS REQUIRED TO MOVE OUT OF THIS BUILDING, IT IS FEARED THAT SICK PEOPLE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WILL ACTUALLY SUFFER BECAUSE OF INABILITY TO GET PERMITS TO THE HOSPITALS WHERE THEY MAY BE TAKEN FOR TREATMENT. THERE IS NO PLACE THAT THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT HAS AT PRESENT WHERE IT COULD GO AND IF THERE WERE IT WOULD REQUIRE WEEKS TO ACTUALLY GAIN OCCUPANCY, BECAUSE OF FIRE, BUILDING, AND OTHER REGULATIONS THAT MUST BE COMPLIED WITH BEFORE OCCUPANCY CAN ACTUALLY BE ESTABLISHED. THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT FEELS THAT IT CAN IN NO WAY ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR THESE PEOPLE IF IT WERE NECESSARY FOR IT TO BE TRANSFERRED ELSEWHERE AT THE PRESENT.

IN YOUR DECISION OF APRIL 19, 1937 (16 COMP. GEN. 948), TO THE AUDITOR OF ALASKA, YOU HELD:

"SECTION 1101 (2) OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT PROVIDES THAT THE TERM "STATE," EXCEPT UNDER SECTION 531, INCLUDES ALASKA. GRANTS TO A STATE OR TERRITORY UNDER THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT BECOME FUNDS OF THE PARTICULAR STATE OR TERRITORY AND--- EXCEPT FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH THE GRANTS ARE MADE--- ANY EXPENDITURE OF SUCH FUNDS FOR THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH GRANTED TO THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA IS SUBJECT TO THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO THE EXPENDITURE OF TERRITORIAL FUNDS RATHER THAN FEDERAL LAWS APPLICABLE TO THE EXPENDITURE OF APPROPRIATED MONEYS BY THE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT.'

THIS DECISION WOULD IMPLY THAT FUNDS ADVANCED TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT BECOME APPLICABLE TO THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND NOT THOSE FEDERAL LAWS WHICH IN TERMS DO NOT SPECIFICALLY INCLUDE THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AS FOR EXAMPLE THE RESTRICTION ON THE RENTAL OF PROPERTY IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1877, SUPRA, WHICH RELATES TO FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND IF CONSIDERATION IS TO BE GIVEN TO THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH THE GRANT WAS MADE, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SHOULD BE AUTHORIZED IN THE ESTABLISHING AND MAINTAINING OF ADEQUATE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, INCLUDING THE RENTAL OF NECESSARY QUARTERS FOR THAT PURPOSE.

IN YOUR LETTER TO THE COMMISSIONERS DATED SEPTEMBER 13, 1937 (A 88735), INTERPRETING SECTION 111, TITLE 44, U.S. CODE, YOU HELD THAT THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WAS "A FEDERAL, NOT A DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ESTABLISHMENT," AND THAT EXPENDITURES FOR PRINTING AND BINDING FOR SUCH FEDERAL ESTABLISHMENT WERE NOT SUBJECT TO THE TERMS AND RESTRICTIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 1, 1919 (40 STAT. 1270), WHICH WAS QUOTED IN THE SUBMISSION. THERE IS A DISTINCTION TO BE MADE BETWEEN FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE TO THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION AND DISBURSED BY THE DIVISION OF DISBURSEMENTS THAN THOSE FUNDS WHICH ARE GRANTED TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT AND EXPENDED AND DISBURSED BY THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

IN YOUR DECISION TO THE COMMISSIONERS DATED JULY 9, 1936 (A-75447), INTERPRETING THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 22, 1899 (30 STAT. 864), PROHIBITING THE PURCHASE AND REPAIR OF RECORDING CLOCKS, YOU HELD THAT "THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS NOT AN EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT AND THEREFORE THE PROVISION IN SAID ACT IS NOT APPLICABLE THERETO.' THE SAME REASONING WAS APPLIED IN YOUR DECISION OF OCTOBER 1, 1937, TO THE COMMISSIONERS (A-89206), WHEREIN YOU HELD THAT THE ACT OF AUGUST 14, 1937 (PUBLIC 284) "IS FOR APPLICATION ONLY TO EMPLOYEES OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES WHO HAVE SUBSCRIBED TO THE OATH OF OFFICE REQUIRED BY SECTION 1757, REVISED STATUTES," CONCLUDING WITH THE STATEMENT THAT THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WAS NOT AN EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. THE SAME APPEARS TO BE TRUE WITH RESPECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1877, AND OF SECTION 3678, REVISED STATUTES, QUOTED ABOVE.

AS THE OWNER OF PREMISES 901 8TH ST. NW. IS DESIROUS OF AN EARLY DECISION IN THIS MATTER, THE COMMISSIONERS WOULD APPRECIATE EARLY ADVICE FROM YOU AS TO WHETHER RENTAL CHARGES MAY BE MADE AGAINST FUNDS ADVANCED TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BY THE U.S. PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE.

AS THE YEARLY RENTAL WILL NOT AMOUNT TO $2,000, SECTION 322 OF THE ECONOMY ACT, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1517, IS NOT FOR APPLICATION. THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1877, 19 STAT. 370, PROHIBITING ANY CONTRACT FOR RENT OF BUILDINGS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR GOVERNMENTAL PURPOSES UNTIL AN APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN MADE THEREFOR ARE, HOWEVER, APPLICABLE TO THE RENTING OF BUILDINGS BY THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT, AS WELL AS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. SEE 10 COMP. DEC. 117; ID. 181. THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3709, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1911, 36 STAT. 975, PUBLISHED AS TITLE 20, D.C. CODE, SECTION 51, ALSO REQUIRE COMPETITION FOR ALL SERVICES OR SUPPLIES, INCLUDING RENTAL OF SPACE. ACCORDINGLY, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER THE FUNDS ALLOTTED TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNDER SECTIONS 601 AND 602 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, 49 STAT. 634, ARE REGARDED AS DISTRICT FUNDS OR FEDERAL FUNDS, THEY MAY NOT BE USED FOR RENT OF QUARTERS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AS NO PROVISION FOR RENT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS MADE IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR GRANTS TO STATES FOR PUBLIC HEALTH WORK, ACT MAY 14, 1937, PUBLIC 77, 50 STAT. 137.