B-120544, JULY 26, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 42

B-120544: Jul 26, 1954

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SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION IS MADE TO THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION. 1954: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JUNE 23. IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER OF JUNE 23 THAT SINCE THE PASSAGE OF THE CITED ACT OF MARCH 4. THE PREPARATION OF CROP REPORTS HAS BEEN DONE UNDER CONDITIONS DESIGNED TO PREVENT THE PREMATURE DISCLOSURE OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE REPORTS AND ONE OF THE STEPS TAKEN HAS BEEN THE STATIONING OF GUARDS AT THE ENTRANCES TO THE ROOM WHERE THE REPORTS ARE PREPARED. THE GUARDS AND APPLICABLE FUNDS WERE TRANSFERRED TO THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE. THE GUARD SERVICE HAS BEEN FURNISHED CONTINUOUSLY TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WITHOUT REIMBURSEMENT AND NO FUNDS FOR THIS PURPOSE WERE SPECIFICALLY INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF YOUR DEPARTMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1954 AND 1955.

B-120544, JULY 26, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 42

APPROPRIATIONS - REIMBURSEMENT - SECURITY GUARD SERVICE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ACT OF 1949, SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION IS MADE TO THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, PUBLIC BUILDINGS SERVICE, FOR CARRYING OUT THE FUNCTION OF PROTECTING PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PROPERTY, AND THEREFORE, APPROPRIATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, NOT SPECIFICALLY MADE AVAILABLE THEREFOR, MAY NOT BE USED TO REIMBURSE THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION FOR SPECIAL GUARD SERVICE FURNISHED THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IN CONNECTION WITH THE ISSUANCE OF CROP REPORTS.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, JULY 26, 1954:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JUNE 23, 1954, FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE APPROPRIATION UNDER THE ADING," BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ^1ECONOMICS," IN THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1954, PUBLIC LAW 156, 83D CONGRESS, 67 STAT. 205, AND THE APPROPRIATION UNDER THE HEADING," AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE," IN THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION FOR SPECIAL GUARD SERVICE FURNISHED IN CONNECTION WITH THE CROP REPORTS ISSUED AT LEAST EACH MONTH BY THE CROP REPORTING BOARD UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1909, AS AMENDED, 7 U.S.C. 411A.

IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER OF JUNE 23 THAT SINCE THE PASSAGE OF THE CITED ACT OF MARCH 4, 1909, THE PREPARATION OF CROP REPORTS HAS BEEN DONE UNDER CONDITIONS DESIGNED TO PREVENT THE PREMATURE DISCLOSURE OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE REPORTS AND ONE OF THE STEPS TAKEN HAS BEEN THE STATIONING OF GUARDS AT THE ENTRANCES TO THE ROOM WHERE THE REPORTS ARE PREPARED. WHILE THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ORIGINALLY FURNISHED THIS GUARD SERVICE, THE GUARDS AND APPLICABLE FUNDS WERE TRANSFERRED TO THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6166; THEN TO THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS MANAGEMENT BRANCH, FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY, UNDER REORGANIZATION PLAN 1 OF 1939 (5 U.S.C. 133T); AND FINALLY TO THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 377, PUBLIC LAW 152, 81ST CONGRESS. UNDER THESE AUTHORITIES, THE GUARD SERVICE HAS BEEN FURNISHED CONTINUOUSLY TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WITHOUT REIMBURSEMENT AND NO FUNDS FOR THIS PURPOSE WERE SPECIFICALLY INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET OF YOUR DEPARTMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1954 AND 1955.

HOWEVER, THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION HAS REQUESTED YOUR DEPARTMENT TO REIMBURSE IT FOR THIS GUARD SERVICE BEGINNING AS OF JANUARY 1, 1954. THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS NOT AWARE OF WHAT, IF ANY, BASIS THERE COULD BE FOR CHARGING THE COST OF THIS GUARD SERVICE TO ONE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FIRST HALF OF THE SAME FISCAL YEAR. OBVIOUSLY, ONE APPROPRIATION SHOULD BE AVAILABLE TO THE EXCLUSION OF ALL OTHERS AND THE QUESTION HERE IS AS TO WHICH ONE IS AVAILABLE.

THE APPROPRIATIONS," OPERATING EXPENSES, PUBLIC BUILDINGS SERVICE," UNDER THE HEADING " GENERAL ADMINISTRATION," CONTAINED IN THE FIRST INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1954, 67 STAT. 302, AND IN THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1955, 68 STAT. 280, PROVIDE SPECIFICALLY " FOR NECESSARY EXPENSES OF REAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT AND RELATED ACTIVITIES AS PROVIDED BY LAW * * *.' THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORIES OF THESE APPROPRIATIONS CLEARLY SHOW THAT AMOUNTS WERE BUDGETED AND APPROPRIATED UNDER THESE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE PROTECTION OF BUILDINGS AND PROPERTY. WHILE NOT SPECIFICALLY SO STATED, THERE APPEARS NO DOUBT THAT THE GUARD SERVICE HERE INVOLVED IS BEING FURNISHED IN A BUILDING UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION AND THAT IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PUBLIC BUILDING SERVICE TO MAINTAIN AND OPERATE SUCH BUILDING.

IT IS A WELL ESTABLISHED RULE THAT A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION FOR A PARTICULAR OBJECT PRECLUDES THE USE OF A MORE GENERAL APPROPRIATION THEREFORE EVEN THOUGH THE GENERAL APPROPRIATION MIGHT HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE FOR SUCH USE IN THE ABSENCE OF THE SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION (20 COMP. GEN. 739; 18 ID. 1013; 17 ID. 23; ID. 89; ID. 974) AND, SINCE THE REFERRED TO APPROPRIATIONS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL ARE NOT SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE FOR GUARD SERVICES NOR WERE ANY AMOUNTS THEREFOR BUDGETED UNDER THOSE APPROPRIATIONS, SUCH RULE IS DECISIVE OF THE QUESTION PRESENTED.

MOREOVER, IT WAS HELD IN OFFICE DECISION OF AUGUST 23, 1949, B 87255, TO A CERTIFYING OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, THAT THE COSTS INCURRED BY THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS ADMINISTRATION (NOW PUBLIC BUILDINGS SERVICE) IN FURNISHING SECURITY GUARD SERVICE TO THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION WAS CHARGEABLE TO THE PROPER APPROPRIATION OF THAT ADMINISTRATION AND THAT THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR REIMBURSING SUCH APPROPRIATION FROM ANY APPROPRIATION OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION NOT SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE THEREFOR. THAT DECISION, WHICH WAS RECONSIDERED AT THE REQUEST OF THE ADMINISTRATOR, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, WAS AFFIRMED IN OFFICE DECISION OF OCTOBER 18, 1949, B-87255, TO HIM, AND CLEARLY WOULD BE APPLICABLE IN THE INSTANT MATTER.

ACCORDINGLY, THE CITED APPROPRIATIONS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE MAY NOT BE USED TO REIMBURSE THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION FOR SPECIAL GUARD SERVICE FURNISHED IN CONNECTION WITH THE CROP REPORTS ISSUED BY THE CROP REPORTING BOARD.