A-96933, AUGUST 10, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 147

A-96933: Aug 10, 1938

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APPROPRIATIONS - AVAILABILITY - RECREATIONAL FACILITIES FOR GOVERNMENT PROJECT PERSONNEL THE USE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR THE FURNISHING OF RECREATIONAL AND ENTERTAINMENT FACILITIES FOR GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL IS UNAUTHORIZED IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY OR AUTHORITY BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION. IS AS FOLLOWS: THE RIVER AND HARBOR ACT OF AUGUST 26. THE PROJECT WILL BE EXECUTED IN TWO YEARS BY A FORCE OF APPROXIMATELY ONE HUNDRED MEN OPERATING UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS. FUNDS HAVE BEEN PROVIDED IN THE WAR DEPARTMENT CIVIL APPROPRIATION ACT. THE ISLAND IS LOCATED IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN APPROXIMATELY 1. IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO TRANSPORT ALL LABOR. THE DIFFICULTIES UNDER WHICH THE PROJECT WILL BE EXECUTED ARE OBVIOUS.

A-96933, AUGUST 10, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 147

APPROPRIATIONS - AVAILABILITY - RECREATIONAL FACILITIES FOR GOVERNMENT PROJECT PERSONNEL THE USE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR THE FURNISHING OF RECREATIONAL AND ENTERTAINMENT FACILITIES FOR GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL IS UNAUTHORIZED IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY OR AUTHORITY BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION, NOTWITHSTANDING IT MAY BE HIGHLY DESIRABLE TO FURNISH SUCH FACILITIES BECAUSE OF THE ABSENCE THEREOF OTHERWISE AND THE LOCATION OF THE WORK--- IN THIS CASE, A RIVER AND HARBOR APPROPRIATION PROJECT AT MIDWAY ISLAND.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, AUGUST 10, 1938:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 2, 1938, IS AS FOLLOWS:

THE RIVER AND HARBOR ACT OF AUGUST 26, 1937, AUTHORIZED THE CONSTRUCTION OF A PROJECT AT WELLES HARBOR, MIDWAY ISLAND, INCLUDING DREDGING A HARBOR, SEAPLANE BASIN, ENTRANCE CHANNEL, AND CONSTRUCTING BREAKWATERS. THE PROJECT WILL BE EXECUTED IN TWO YEARS BY A FORCE OF APPROXIMATELY ONE HUNDRED MEN OPERATING UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS. FUNDS HAVE BEEN PROVIDED IN THE WAR DEPARTMENT CIVIL APPROPRIATION ACT, APPROVED JUNE 11, 1938. THE ISLAND IS LOCATED IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN APPROXIMATELY 1,140 MILES WEST OF HONOLULU, T.H.,AND 3,000 MILES FROM SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA.

THE ISLAND HAS NOT BEEN DEVELOPED, HAS NO PERMANENT POPULATION, POST OFFICE, STORES, OR FACILITIES FOR FURNISHING ANY EQUIPMENT OR SUPPLIES. IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO TRANSPORT ALL LABOR, EQUIPMENT, AND SUPPLIES FROM HONOLULU, T.H., OR OTHER DISTANT POINTS. THE DIFFICULTIES UNDER WHICH THE PROJECT WILL BE EXECUTED ARE OBVIOUS, AND THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS IS DESIROUS OF OBTAINING FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER AN OPINION AS TO WHETHER UNDER THESE CONDITIONS HE WOULD BE AUTHORIZED IN PROVIDING, WHILE ON THE ISLAND, RECREATIONAL FACILITIES NECESSARY TO THE HEALTH AND WELFARE OF THE WORKING FORCE, WHICH WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE UNLESS PROVIDED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

AS A MATERIAL AID IN RECRUITING THE NECESSARY FORCE, AND MAINTAINING MORALE AND EFFICIENCY IN PROSECUTING THE PROJECT TO COMPLETION, IT WOULD BE IN THE INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES TO PROVIDE ATHLETIC FACILITIES, A LIBRARY OF A FEW BOOKS, MAGAZINES, AND POSSIBLY NEWSPAPERS FROM HONOLULU, THE LATTER WITHIN THE AUTHORIZATION PROVIDED IN THE ACTS OF MARCH 2, 1903, AND JUNE 22, 1906, AND MOVING PICTURES.

INFORMATION IS DESIRED AS TO WHETHER REASONABLE EXPENDITURES FOR THESE PURPOSES WOULD RECEIVE YOUR FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION IN THE AUDIT, SUCH EXPENDITURES TO BE MAINTAINED AT A MINIMUM CONSISTENT WITH NECESSITY.

YOUR EARLY ADVICE WILL BE APPRECIATED.

WHILE THE FURNISHING OF RECREATIONAL FACILITIES MAY BE HIGHLY DESIRABLE, PARTICULARLY IN A PLACE SUCH AS REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, THEY CONSTITUTE EXPENSES WHICH ARE PERSONAL TO THE EMPLOYEES AND WHICH ARE NOT PERMITTED TO BE FURNISHED FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS UNLESS PROVIDED IN THE APPROPRIATION EITHER SPECIFICALLY OR BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION. SEE SECTION 3678, REVISED STATUTES. IN THE PRESENT CASE, WHILE IT APPEARS THAT THE PROPOSED EXPENDITURES WOULD PROVIDE RECREATIONAL AND ENTERTAINMENT FACILITIES FOR THE EMPLOYEES, THERE HAS BEEN NO SHOWING MADE OR EVEN ANY ALLEGATIONS THAT SUCH EXPENDITURES ARE REASONABLY WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS IMPROVEMENTS PROPOSED TO BE USED FOR THE PROSECUTION OF THE PROJECT IN QUESTION, OR THAT SUCH EXPENDITURES ARE ESSENTIAL IN, OR EVEN REASONABLY INCIDENT TO, PROSECUTING THE PROJECT. THEREFORE, THE QUESTION SUBMITTED IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.