B-110835, JULY 21, 1952, 32 COMP. GEN. 35

B-110835: Jul 21, 1952

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WERE CONSIDERED INDEPENDENTLY BY CONGRESS AT APPROXIMATELY THE SAME TIME AND SERVE THE SINGLE PURPOSE OF REQUIRING GOVERNMENT AGENCIES FURNISHING LIVING QUARTERS TO CIVILIAN AND MILITARY PERSONNEL TO COLLECT CHARGES THEREFOR ON A BASIS APPROVED BY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET. SECTION 1413 WHICH IS THE LATER IN POINT OF TIME SUPERSEDES THE CONFLICTING PROVISO OF SECTION 204 (Q). 1952: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 15. THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBSECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO HOUSING UNITS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION WHERE FEDERAL RENT CONTROL IS NOW IN EFFECT. IF QUESTION 1 IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE. DOES IT FOLLOW THAT (A) THE JULY 15 DATE SPECIFIED IN SECTION 204 (Q) IS OF NO FURTHER SIGNIFICANCE.

B-110835, JULY 21, 1952, 32 COMP. GEN. 35

HOUSING - RENTING TO GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL - RATES - BUREAU OF BUDGET APPROVAL INASMUCH AS SECTION 1413 OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1953, AND SECTION 202 OF DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1952, WHICH ADDED SECTION 204 (Q) TO THE HOUSING AND RENT ACT OF 1947, WERE CONSIDERED INDEPENDENTLY BY CONGRESS AT APPROXIMATELY THE SAME TIME AND SERVE THE SINGLE PURPOSE OF REQUIRING GOVERNMENT AGENCIES FURNISHING LIVING QUARTERS TO CIVILIAN AND MILITARY PERSONNEL TO COLLECT CHARGES THEREFOR ON A BASIS APPROVED BY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET, SECTION 1413 WHICH IS THE LATER IN POINT OF TIME SUPERSEDES THE CONFLICTING PROVISO OF SECTION 204 (Q), AND PLACES THE ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION IN THE POSITION WITH RESPECT TO SECTION 1413 AS ANY OTHER AGENCY. THE STATUTORY DIRECTIVE CONTAINED IN SECTION 1413 OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1953, FOR COMPLIANCE IN THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR WITH PROVISION OF SAID ACT WHICH REQUIRES GOVERNMENT AGENCIES FURNISHING LIVING QUARTERS TO CIVILIAN AND MILITARY PERSONNEL TO COLLECT CHARGES THEREFOR ON A BASIS APPROVED BY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET, REFERS TO ADOPTION OF THE ARRANGEMENT SET OUT IN BUREAU OF BUDGET CIRCULAR A-45, DATED JUNE 3, 1952, WHICH CONTEMPLATES ADJUSTMENT OF CHARGES IN GRADUAL STEPS OVER A PERIOD OF UP TO 12 MONTHS RATHER THAN AN IMMEDIATE RENTAL ADJUSTMENT UNDER THE SUPERSEDED CONFLICTING PROVISIONS OF SECTION 204 (Q) OF THE HOUSING AND RENT ACT OF 1947, AS AMENDED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF THE BUDGET, JULY 21, 1952:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 15, 1952, CONCERNING AN APPARENT CONFLICT BETWEEN PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAWS 429 AND 547, 82D CONGRESS, DEALING WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CHARGES ON AN UNIFORM AND EQUITABLE BASIS FOR THE USE OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, AND MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES, OF GOVERNMENT-OWNED LIVING QUARTERS.

SECTION 204 (Q) OF THE HOUSING AND RENT ACT OF 1947, AS ADDED BY SECTION 202 OF THE DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1952 ( PUBLIC LAW 429, APPROVED JUNE 30, 1952, 66 STAT. 307), PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS

(Q) CONSISTENT WITH THE OTHER PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT, ALL AFFECTED AGENCIES, DEPARTMENTS, AND ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHALL, BY JULY 15, 1952, ESTABLISH AND ADMINISTER RENTS AND SERVICE CHARGES FOR QUARTERS SUPPLIED TO FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AND MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES FURNISHED QUARTERS ON A RENTAL BASIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBSECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO HOUSING UNITS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION WHERE FEDERAL RENT CONTROL IS NOW IN EFFECT.

SECTION 1413 OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1953 ( PUBLIC LAW 547, APPROVED JULY 15, 1952, 66 STAT. 661), PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 1413. DURING THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR, THE PROVISIONS OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR A-45, DATED JUNE 3, 1952, SHALL BE CONTROLLING OVER THE ACTIVITIES OF ALL DEPARTMENTS, AGENCIES, AND CORPORATIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT: PROVIDED, THAT SAID CIRCULAR MAY BE AMENDED OR CHANGED DURING SUCH YEAR BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUDGET WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET SHALL MAKE A REPORT TO CONGRESS NOT LATER THAN JANUARY 31, 1953, OF THE OPERATIONS OF THIS ORDER UPON ALL DEPARTMENTS, AGENCIES, AND CORPORATIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT, NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF ANY OTHER LAW NO OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE SHALL BE REQUIRED TO OCCUPY ANY GOVERNMENT-OWNED QUARTERS UNLESS THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY CONCERNED SHALL DETERMINE THAT NECESSARY SERVICE CANNOT BE RENDERED OR PROPERTY OF THE UNITED STATES CANNOT BE ADEQUATELY PROTECTED OTHERWISE.

SINCE THERE APPEARS TO BE NOTHING IN THE HISTORY OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1953, INDICATING AN INTENTION TO AMEND, SUPPLEMENT, OR REPEAL THE EARLIER LEGISLATION, YOU REQUEST ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

1. DOES SECTION 1413 OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 1953, SUPERSEDE SECTION 204 (Q) OF THE HOUSING AND RENT ACT OF 1947, AS AMENDED?

2. IF QUESTION 1 IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, DOES IT FOLLOW THAT (A) THE JULY 15 DATE SPECIFIED IN SECTION 204 (Q) IS OF NO FURTHER SIGNIFICANCE, AND (B) THAT THE ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION IS IN THE SAME POSITION WITH RESPECT TO SECTION 1413 AS ANY OTHER AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT?

3. IF QUESTION 1 IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, WILL AN AGENCY BE REGARDED AS COMPLYING WITH SECTION 1413 IF IT PROCEEDS AS EXPEDITIOUSLY AS POSSIBLE WITH THE APPRAISALS REQUIRED TO BE MADE BY CIRCULAR A-45 AND DETERMINES PROMPTLY THE PROPER RENTAL CHARGE IN ACCORDANCE THEREWITH, EVEN THOUGH, AS PERMITTED BY CIRCULAR A-45, THE ACTUAL ADJUSTMENT IS MADE EFFECTIVE IN GRADUAL STEPS OVER A PERIOD OF UP TO 12 MONTHS FOLLOWING SUCH A DETERMINATION?

4. IF THE ANSWER TO ANY OF THE FOREGOING QUESTIONS IS IN THE NEGATIVE, WHAT ACTION IS REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH THE LAW UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES CONTEMPLATED BY SUCH QUESTION?

SECTION 204 (Q) OF THE HOUSING AND RENT ACT OF 1947 APPEARS FIRST IN THE TEXT OF H.R. 8210 AS INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ON JUNE 16, 1952. IT WAS APPROVED BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON BANKING AND CURRENCY ON THE SAME DATE AND PASSED THE HOUSE ON JUNE 26. THEREAFTER, AS A PROVISION OF S. 2594, IT WAS RETAINED BY CONFEREES AND FINALLY APPROVED BY THE SENATE AND BY THE HOUSE ON JUNE 28, AND BY THE PRESIDENT ON JUNE 30.

SECTION 1413 OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1953, APPEARS FIRST IN THE TEXT OF H.R. 8370 AS INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND APPROVED BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS ON JUNE 26, 1952. PASSED THE HOUSE ON JUNE 27. THE LANGUAGE WAS ACCEPTED BY THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON JULY 2, AND PASSED BY THE SENATE ON JULY 3. AFTER CONFERENCE IT WAS APPROVED BY THE SENATE AND BY THE HOUSE ON JULY 7.

IT IS EVIDENT FROM THIS HISTORY THAT THE TWO STATUTORY PROVISIONS WERE CONSIDERED BY THE CONGRESS AT APPROXIMATELY THE SAME TIME. IN FACT, IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY INDICATION OTHERWISE IN THE OFFICIAL RECORD, AND BEARING IN MIND THAT BOTH SERVE THE SINGLE PURPOSE OF REQUIRING AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT FURNISHING LIVING QUARTERS TO FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AND MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES TO COLLECT CHARGES THEREFOR ON A BASIS APPROVED BY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET, IT SEEMS MOST LIKELY, AND IT IS REASONABLE TO CONCLUDE, THAT THEY WERE ADOPTED INDEPENDENTLY ONE OF THE OTHER. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT WOULD NOT BE A TRUE MEASURE OF THE LEGISLATIVE INTENT TO REGARD THE LATER STATUTE AS ACTUALLY PRESUPPOSING SOME CONSEQUENTIAL CHANGE IN THE EXISTING LAW BROUGHT INTO BEING BY THE EARLIER STATUTE, SUCH AS WOULD IMPLY A COMPLETE REPEAL OF THE FORMER, OR EVEN TO INFER THAT THEIR RESPECTIVE PROVISIONS WERE DESIGNED TO SUPPLEMENT EACH OTHER. BOTH APPEAR TO BE ORIGINAL AND INDEPENDENT IN FORM. CF. 23 COMP. GEN. 823; 22 ID. 446. HOWEVER, INSOFAR AS THEIR TERMS ARE CONFLICTING AND CAN NOT BE GIVEN COTERMINOUS OPERATION BECAUSE OF IRRECONCILABLE CONFLICT, IT IS WELL SETTLED THAT THE LEGISLATIVE EXPRESSION LATEST IN POINT OF TIME SHOULD PREVAIL. SUTHERLAND, STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION, SECTIONS 1913 AND 2012, TOGETHER WITH DECISIONS OF THE COURTS CITED IN THE NOTES THERETO.

ACCORDINGLY, IN RESPONSE TO YOUR FIRST QUESTION, THOSE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 204 (Q) OF THE HOUSING AND RENT ACT OF 1947, WHICH ARE INCONSISTENT WITH THE TERMS OF SECTION 1413 OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1953, ARE SUPERSEDED. INASMUCH AS THE EFFECTIVE DATE UNDER THE EARLIER SECTION IS FIXED AS JULY 15, 1952, AND SECTION 1413 BECAME LAW AT THAT TIME, IT IS PROBABLE THAT SECTION 204 (Q), ALTHOUGH NOT REPEALED IN ITS ENTIRETY, HAS FOR ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES BEEN SUPERSEDED.

BOTH PARTS OF THE SECOND QUESTION ARE ANSWERED AFFIRMATIVELY. THE TERMS OF SECTION 204 (Q), FIXING AN EFFECTIVE DATE OF JULY 15, 1952, AND EXCLUDING ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION HOUSING, ARE IN DIRECT CONFLICT WITH THE TERMS OF SECTION 1413 AND, THEREFORE, ARE TO BE TREATED AS YIELDING TO THE LATTER.

IN ADOPTING THE SPECIFIC PROVISIONS OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR A- 45, DATED JUNE 3, 1952, WHICH CONTEMPLATE ADJUSTMENT OF CHARGES IN GRADUAL STEPS OVER A PERIOD OF UP TO TWELVE MONTHS FOLLOWING DETERMINATIONS OF THOSE PROPER, THE DIRECTION IN SECTION 1413 THAT SUCH "PROVISIONS" SHALL BE CONTROLLING DURING THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR OBVIOUSLY REFERS TO THE ARRANGEMENT SET OUT IN THAT CIRCULAR RATHER THAN THE IMMEDIATE ADJUSTMENTS APPARENTLY CONTEMPLATED IN THE EARLIER STATUTE. QUESTION THREE THEREFORE IS ANSWERED AFFIRMATIVELY.

YOUR FOURTH QUESTION REQUIRES NO ANSWER IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE REPLIES.

I SHALL BE GLAD TO RENDER DECISIONS TO YOU AT YOUR REQUEST ON QUESTIONS OF GENERAL APPLICATION ARISING UNDER THIS LEGISLATION AND TO KEEP YOU INFORMED AS TO REQUESTS FOR DECISIONS WHICH MAY BE PRESENTED DIRECTLY TO THOS OFFICE BY THE VARIOUS AGENCIES CONCERNED.