A-9341, MAY 13, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 951

A-9341: May 13, 1925

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D.C. - PURCHASE OF DISTRICT CODE THE CODE OF LAW FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS A LAW BOOK WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 15. MAY NOT BE PURCHASED BY THE RECORDER OF DEEDS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FROM THE FEES AND EMOLUMENTS OF HIS OFFICE WHICH ARE IN THE NATURE OF APPROPRIATED MONEYS. 1925: THIS OFFICE IS IN RECEIPT OF YOUR REQUEST OF APRIL 27. FOR DECISION OF THE QUESTION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY FROM THE RECEIPTS OF YOUR OFFICE FOR TWO COPIES OF THE CODE OF LAW FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TO ENABLE YOU TO PASS UPON THE LEGAL QUESTIONS ARISING IN THE CONDUCT OF YOUR OFFICE. THE SALARIES AND INCIDENTAL EXPENSES OF THE OFFICE OF THE RECORDER OF DEEDS ARE PAYABLE FROM THE REVENUES OF SUCH OFFICE.

A-9341, MAY 13, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 951

RECORDER OF DEEDS, D.C. - PURCHASE OF DISTRICT CODE THE CODE OF LAW FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS A LAW BOOK WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 15, 1898, 30 STAT. 316, AND MAY NOT BE PURCHASED BY THE RECORDER OF DEEDS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FROM THE FEES AND EMOLUMENTS OF HIS OFFICE WHICH ARE IN THE NATURE OF APPROPRIATED MONEYS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE RECORDER OF DEEDS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MAY 13, 1925:

THIS OFFICE IS IN RECEIPT OF YOUR REQUEST OF APRIL 27, 1925, FOR DECISION OF THE QUESTION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY FROM THE RECEIPTS OF YOUR OFFICE FOR TWO COPIES OF THE CODE OF LAW FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TO ENABLE YOU TO PASS UPON THE LEGAL QUESTIONS ARISING IN THE CONDUCT OF YOUR OFFICE.

THE SALARIES AND INCIDENTAL EXPENSES OF THE OFFICE OF THE RECORDER OF DEEDS ARE PAYABLE FROM THE REVENUES OF SUCH OFFICE, SECTION 553 OF THE CODE OF LAW FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, PROVIDING:

SALARY; SURPLUS TO BE PAID INTO THE TREASURY.--- THE RECORDER OF DEEDS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SHALL NOT RETAIN OF THE FEES AND EMOLUMENTS OF HIS OFFICE FOR HIS PERSONAL COMPENSATION OVER AND ABOVE HIS NECESSARY CLERK HIRE AND THE INCIDENTAL EXPENSES OF HIS OFFICE, CERTIFIED TO BY THE SUPREME COURT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, OR BY ONE OF ITS JUSTICES APPOINTED BY IT FOR THAT PURPOSE, AND TO BE AUDITED AND ALLOWED BY THE PROPER ACCOUNTING OFFICER OF THE TREASURY, A SUM EXCEEDING FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR OR EXCEEDING THAT RATE FOR ANY TIME LESS THAN A YEAR; AND THE SURPLUS OF SUCH FEES AND EMOLUMENTS SHALL BE PAID INTO THE TREASURY TO THE CREDIT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: PROVIDED, THAT THE NUMBER OF CLERKS AND OTHERS EMPLOYED IN THE OFFICE OF THE RECORDER OF DEEDS SHALL NOT BE INCREASED, EXCEPT THAT ADDITIONAL COPYISTS MAY BE EMPLOYED FOR TEMPORARY SERVICE AS THE NECESSITIES OF THE OFFICE MAY REQUIRE, NOR SHALL THE SALARY OR COMPENSATION OF CLERKS AND OTHERS BE INCREASED BEYOND THE SALARIES OR COMPENSATION PAID DURING THE FISCAL YEAR NINETEEN HUNDRED AND ONE, TO TAKE EFFECT WITH THIS CODE, AND THE SALARY OF THE DEPUTY RECORDER OF DEEDS SHALL BE TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER ANNUM, TO BE PAID OUT OF THE FEES AND EMOLUMENTS OF SAID OFFICE OF RECORDER OF DEEDS.

THE GENERAL AUTHORITY TO USE THE FEES OF YOUR OFFICE FOR THE PAYMENT OF SALARIES AND ,INCIDENTAL EXPENSES" THEREOF IS IN THE NATURE OF AN APPROPRIATION. 6 COMP. DEC. 668. SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 15, 1898, 30 STAT. 316, PROVIDES:

THAT HEREAFTER LAW BOOKS, BOOKS OF REFERENCE, AND PERIODICALS FOR USE OF ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, OR OTHER GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENT NOT UNDER AN EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, AT THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT, SHALL NOT BE PURCHASED OR PAID FOR FROM ANY APPROPRIATION MADE FOR CONTINGENT EXPENSES OR FOR ANY SPECIFIC OR GENERAL PURPOSE UNLESS SUCH PURCHASE IS AUTHORIZED AND PAYMENT THEREFOR SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THE LAW GRANTING THE APPROPRIATION.

THE OFFICE OF THE RECORDER OF DEEDS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS UNDOUBTEDLY A GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ABOVE ACT; AND THE CODE OF LAWS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS A LAW BOOK. THEREFORE, IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY THEREFOR, THE USE OF THE REVENUES OF YOUR OFFICE FOR THE PURCHASE OF, OR PAYMENT FOR, THE DISTRICT CODES IN QUESTION IS PROHIBITED BY THE STATUTE HEREINBEFORE QUOTED.