B-105782, MARCH 10, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 459

B-105782: Mar 10, 1952

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1952: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 19. IT IS STATED THAT IN SOME INSTANCES PERMITTEES OR ASSOCIATIONS OF PERMITTEES WHO HAVE STOCK ON THE NATIONAL FOREST RANGE CONSTRUCT OR MAINTAIN IMPROVEMENTS ON THE RANGE AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE PAYING DIRECTLY FOR THE MATERIALS AND LABOR. IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT IT WOULD SEEM IMMATERIAL WHETHER THE COOPERATOR DEPOSITS FUNDS WITH THE GOVERNMENT FOR RANGE IMPROVEMENTS OR CONTRIBUTES MATERIALS AND LABOR. SINCE THE END RESULT IS THE SAME. IT IS SUGGESTED. - LIMITS THE AMOUNT OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS TO BE EXPENDED ON ANY NATIONAL FOREST TO THREE TIMES THE "AMOUNT AVAILABLE" FOR SUCH FOREST FROM SOURCES OTHER THAN FEDERAL SO THAT WHAT MUST BE CONSIDERED IS THE EXTENT AND SCOPE OF SUCH WORDS.

B-105782, MARCH 10, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 459

APPROPRIATIONS - FOREST SERVICE - COOPERATIVE RANGE IMPROVEMENTS - MATCHING FUNDS THE WORDS "AMOUNT AVAILABLE" AS USED IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FOREST SERVICE FOR " COOPERATIVE RANGE IMPROVEMENTS" CONTAINED IN THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1952, LIMITING THE AMOUNT WHICH MAY BE EXPENDED FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR COOPERATIVE RANGE IMPROVEMENTS ON A PARTICULAR NATIONAL FOREST TO A MATCHING BASE OF ONE TO-THREE, REFERS ONLY TO DEPOSITS OR CREDIT OF FUNDS, SO THAT THE VALUE OF "OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS," SUCH AS IMPROVEMENTS BY PERMITTEES, MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS "AMOUNTS AVAILABLE" TO MEET THE ONE-TO-THREE MATCHING REQUIREMENT OF THE STATUTE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, MARCH 10, 1952:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 19, 1952, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, RELATIVE TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FOREST SERVICE FOR " COOPERATIVE RANGE IMPROVEMENTS" CONTAINED IN THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1952, PUBLIC LAW 135, 65 STAT. 235, APPROVED AUGUST 31, 1951, AS FOLLOWS:

FOR ARTIFICIAL REVEGETATION, CONSTRUCTION, AND MAINTENANCE OF RANGE IMPROVEMENTS, CONTROL OF RODENTS, AND ERADICATION OF POISONOUS AND NOXIOUS PLANTS ON NATIONAL FORESTS, AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF APRIL 24, 1950 ( PUBLIC LAW 479), $700,000, TO REMAIN AVAILABLE UNTIL EXPENDED: PROVIDED, THAT NO PART OF THIS APPROPRIATION SHALL BE AVAILABLE IN ANY NATIONAL FOREST IN EXCESS OF THREE TIMES THE AMOUNT AVAILABLE FOR SUCH FOREST FROM SOURCES (INCLUDING CLAIMS RECOGNIZED BY THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1950, AND RECEIPTS UNDER 16 U.S.C. 500) OTHER THAN FEDERAL SOURCES. AND REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER "OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS" MAY BE ACCEPTED AS "AMOUNTS AVAILABLE" TO MEET THE ONE TO-THREE MATCHING REQUIREMENTS PROVIDED FOR THEREIN.

IN EXPLANATION OF THE MATTER, IT IS STATED THAT IN SOME INSTANCES PERMITTEES OR ASSOCIATIONS OF PERMITTEES WHO HAVE STOCK ON THE NATIONAL FOREST RANGE CONSTRUCT OR MAINTAIN IMPROVEMENTS ON THE RANGE AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE PAYING DIRECTLY FOR THE MATERIALS AND LABOR; THAT IN OTHER CASES THEY CONTRIBUTE MATERIALS AND LABOR TOWARDS RANGE IMPROVEMENT WORK PERFORMED BY THE FOREST SERVICE; AND THAT SUCH CONTRIBUTIONS MAY ALSO CONSIST OF LABOR ON THE PART OF THE PERMITTEE OR HIS REGULAR RANCH HANDS.

IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT IT WOULD SEEM IMMATERIAL WHETHER THE COOPERATOR DEPOSITS FUNDS WITH THE GOVERNMENT FOR RANGE IMPROVEMENTS OR CONTRIBUTES MATERIALS AND LABOR, SINCE THE END RESULT IS THE SAME, AND THAT SUCH CONTRIBUTIONS--- AS CONTRASTED WITH DEPOSITS OF FUNDS--- MAY BE TERMED ,CONTRIBUTIONS IN KIND" OR "OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS," THE VALUE OF WHICH, IT IS SUGGESTED, BE USED BY THE GOVERNMENT AS A MATCHING BASE IN EXPENDING THE APPROPRIATION OF $700,000.

THE PROVISION UNDER CONSIDERATION--- BY ITS SPECIFIC TERMS--- LIMITS THE AMOUNT OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS TO BE EXPENDED ON ANY NATIONAL FOREST TO THREE TIMES THE "AMOUNT AVAILABLE" FOR SUCH FOREST FROM SOURCES OTHER THAN FEDERAL SO THAT WHAT MUST BE CONSIDERED IS THE EXTENT AND SCOPE OF SUCH WORDS. THE PHRASE "AMOUNT AVAILABLE," IN AN APPROPRIATION ACT, IN ITS USUAL AND ORDINARY SENSE, REFERS TO MONEY. IT IS ENTIRELY INCONSISTENT WITH THE CONCEPT OF PROPERTY OR SERVICES IN TRIBUTE TO SUCH WORDS A SPECIAL OR BROADENED MEANING, IN CONSIDERATION OF THE PARTICULAR FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED, RESORT MAY BE HAD TO ITS LEGISLATIVE HISTORY.

THE APPROPRIATION " COOPERATIVE RANGE IMPROVEMENTS" AS ORIGINALLY APPROVED AND SENT TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES BY THE AGRICULTURAL SUBCOMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS ( H.R. 3973, 82D CONGRESS, ST SESSION, HOUSE REPORT NO. 421), CONTAINED A PROVISION " PROVIDED, THAT HEREAFTER NO PART OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR " COOPERATIVE RANGE IMPROVEMENTS" SHALL BE EXPENDED IN ANY NATIONAL FOREST UNTIL FUNDS OR OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS AT LEAST EQUAL TO SUCH EXPENDITURES ARE MADE AVAILABLE BY STATES OR OTHER LOCAL PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SOURCES, EXCEPT THAT CLAIMS RECOGNIZED BY THE ACT OF DECEMBER 29, 1950, SHALL BE ACCEPTED AS CONTRIBUTIONS FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS SECTION.' AS STATED IN THE LETTER, IT SEEMS CLEAR FROM SUCH LANGUAGE THAT IT WAS THE INTENT OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE TO AUTHORIZE THE APPLICATION OF THE VALUE OF "OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS" IN LIEU OF OR IN ADDITION TO FUNDS AS A MATCHING BASE FOR THE EXPENDITURE OF FEDERAL FUNDS. HOWEVER, THE APPROPRIATION ITEM WAS NOT INCLUDED IN THE BILL AS IT PASSED THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES BY REASON OF A POINT OF ORDER BEING MADE THERETO. SEE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD MAY 10, 1951, PAGES 5341-5344.

IT APPEARS THAT THE PROVISO AS ENACTED INTO LAW FIRST APPEARED AS AN AMENDMENT OFFERED BY CONGRESSMAN WHITTEN ( CHAIRMAN OF THE AGRICULTURE SUBCOMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, AND SPOKESMAN FOR THE MANAGERS ON THE PART OF THE HOUSE PARTICIPATING IN THE CONFERENCE ON THE BILL), DURING THE DEBATE ON THE CONFERENCE REPORT. SEE PAGE 10437, CONGRESSIONAL RECORD FOR AUGUST 17, 1951. EXAMINATION OF THE LEGISLATIVE PROCEEDINGS ATTENDANT UPON THE ENACTMENT OF THE APPROPRIATION INVOLVED DISCLOSES NOTHING THEREIN WHICH WOULD FURNISH A CONCLUSIVE BASIS THAT THE PHRASE "AMOUNT AVAILABLE" WAS USED IN OTHER THAN ITS ORDINARY SENSE, OR THAT IT WAS INTENDED TO INCLUDE THE VALUE OF "OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS," AS MAY HAVE BEEN CONTEMPLATED BY THE LANGUAGE OF THE ORIGINAL PROVISION.

IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE PROVISO WAS TO LIMIT THE AMOUNT WHICH MIGHT BE EXPENDED FROM THE APPROPRIATION OF $700,000 FOR COOPERATIVE RANGE IMPROVEMENTS ON A PARTICULAR NATIONAL FOREST ON A MATCHING BASE OF 1 TO 3. IF THE CONGRESS HAD INTENDED TO BROADEN THE MATCHING REQUIREMENTS OF THE PROVISO, IT IS TO BE PRESUMED THAT THE SPECIFIC WORDS "OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS" OR WORDS OF SIMILAR IMPORT WOULD HAVE BEEN USED TO SHOW SUCH INTENT. FOR EXAMPLE, SEE SECTION 208 OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 21, 1944, 58 STAT. 736, WHICH REQUIRED THE MATCHING OF FEDERAL FUNDS AND AUTHORIZED "CONTRIBUTIONS OTHER THAN MONEY," AS A BASIS FOR THE MATCHING REQUIREMENT. AND, SINCE THE WORDING OF THE PROVISO AS ENACTED INTO LAW DIFFERS SO MATERIALLY FROM THE LANGUAGE ORIGINALLY CONSIDERED, I BELIEVE IT MAY NOT BE SAID THAT THE SAME MATCHING AUTHORITY WAS CONTEMPLATED THEREBY.

ACCORDINGLY, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE WORDS "AMOUNT AVAILABLE" IN THE PROVISO UNDER CONSIDERATION WERE INTENDED TO INCLUDE ONLY DEPOSITS OR CREDITS OF FUNDS, AND THAT THE VALUE OF ,OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS" MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR APPLICATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE ONE-TO-THREE MATCHING REQUIREMENT OF THE STATUTE. THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.