B-120676, OCTOBER 25, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 195

B-120676: Oct 25, 1954

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1954: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED JULY 2. REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF A SUBSCRIPTION OR MEMBERSHIP CHARGE IN CONNECTION WITH THE OPERATION OF AN ORGANIZATION FORMED FOR THE PURPOSE OF FIRE PROTECTION. IT IS STATED THAT SOME COMMUNITIES IN WHICH THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS MAINTAINS FACILITIES HAVE ESTABLISHED ORGANIZATIONS FOR FIRE PROTECTION. THAT SUCH FIRE PROTECTION ORGANIZATIONS ARE SUPPORTED BY THE SUBSCRIPTIONS OF PARTICIPATING BENEFICIARIES. THAT THE FUNDS DERIVED FROM THE SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE ORDINARILY USED FOR THE PURCHASE AND REPLACEMENT OF EQUIPMENT AND NECESSARY SUPPLIES. THAT THE EQUIPMENT IS USUALLY MANNED BY VOLUNTEERS.

B-120676, OCTOBER 25, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 195

APPROPRIATIONS - AVAILABILITY - FIRE-FIGHTING SERVICE THE PURCHASE OF SUBSCRIPTIONS OR MEMBERSHIPS IN VOLUNTARY FIRE FIGHTING ORGANIZATIONS NECESSARY FOR THE PROTECTION OF INDIAN SCHOOLS LOCATED OUTSIDE COMMUNITY LIMITS MAY BE MADE FROM APPROPRIATIONS OF THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS AVAILABLE FOR THE PROTECTION OF FACILITIES.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, OCTOBER 25, 1954:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED JULY 2, 1954, FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF A SUBSCRIPTION OR MEMBERSHIP CHARGE IN CONNECTION WITH THE OPERATION OF AN ORGANIZATION FORMED FOR THE PURPOSE OF FIRE PROTECTION.

IT IS STATED THAT SOME COMMUNITIES IN WHICH THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS MAINTAINS FACILITIES HAVE ESTABLISHED ORGANIZATIONS FOR FIRE PROTECTION; THAT SUCH FIRE PROTECTION ORGANIZATIONS ARE SUPPORTED BY THE SUBSCRIPTIONS OF PARTICIPATING BENEFICIARIES; THAT THE FUNDS DERIVED FROM THE SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE ORDINARILY USED FOR THE PURCHASE AND REPLACEMENT OF EQUIPMENT AND NECESSARY SUPPLIES; AND THAT THE EQUIPMENT IS USUALLY MANNED BY VOLUNTEERS. THE FLANDREAU INDIAN SCHOOL IS CITED AS A TYPICAL EXAMPLE OF AN INSTITUTION AT WHICH THE SERVICES OF SUCH ORGANIZATIONS MAY BE REQUIRED. THE SCHOOL, WHICH IT IS STATED IS LOCATED ABOUT ONE MILE FROM THE CITY OF FLANDREAU, SOUTH DAKOTA, HAS A WATER SYSTEM AND FIRE HYDRANTS, BUT HAS NO MAJOR FIRE-FIGHTING EQUIPMENT OR PERSONNEL ESPECIALLY TRAINED FOR FIRE FIGHTING. FIRE PROTECTION IN THE CITY OF FLANDREAU IS SUPPLIED BY AN ORGANIZATION KNOWN AS THE " COMMUNITY FIRE TRUCK" WHICH IS SUPPORTED BY SUBSCRIPTIONS OF $35 EACH BY LOCAL BUSINESS PLACES. SUBSCRIBERS ARE ENTITLED TO FIRE FIGHTING SERVICES INDEFINITELY WITHOUT LIMIT ON THE NUMBER OF RUNS MADE WHILE NONMEMBERS ARE CHARGED $35, PLUS $1.50 PER MAN UTILIZED, FOR EACH RUN. FURTHER, THE " COMMUNITY FIRE TRUCK" IS NOT UNDER OBLIGATION TO RESPOND TO CALLS FROM THE FLANDREAU SCHOOL, ALTHOUGH IF SUCH SERVICE WAS REQUESTED AND FURNISHED, THE SCHOOL WOULD CREATE AN OBLIGATION TO PAY THE CHARGES WHICH WOULD BE BILLED TO ANY NON-MEMBER. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, IT IS STATED IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S LETTER THAT IT APPEARS REASONABLE TO ASSUME THAT IT WOULD BE TO THE ADVANTAGE OF THE GOVERNMENT TO PAY THE $35 NON-RECURRING CHARGE AND THEREBY OBVIATE THE POSSIBILITY OF INCURRING MUCH LARGER ACTUAL COSTS.

THE APPROPRIATIONS OF THE BUREAU DO NOT EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZE EXPENDITURES SUBSCRIPTIONS TO FIRE FIGHTING ORGANIZATIONS. HOWEVER, UNDER THE GENERAL RULE OF APPROPRIATION CONSTRUCTION AN EXPRESS PROVISION IS NOT NECESSARY FOR EACH AND EVERY ITEM OF EXPENDITURE, BUT AN APPROPRIATION MADE IN GENERAL TERMS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE IS AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES NECESSARY TO THE PROPER ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE OBJECT OR PURPOSE FOR WHICH MADE, EXCEPT AS TO EXPENDITURES IN CONTRAVENTION OF SOME STATUTORY PROVISION OR FOR SOME PURPOSE FOR WHICH OTHER APPROPRIATIONS ARE MORE SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE. 29 COMP. GEN. 419, 421.

SINCE IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER OF JULY 2 THAT THE " COMMUNITY FIRE TRUCK" IS NOT UNDER A LEGAL OBLIGATION TO RESPOND TO CALLS FROM THE FLANDREAU SCHOOL, THE PURCHASE OF A MEMBERSHIP APPEARS TO BE NECESSARY TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE FIRE PROTECTION. ACCORDINGLY, AND SINCE THE PAYMENT OF A NONRECURRING MEMBERSHIP FEE OR SUBSCRIPTION CHARGE WOULD OBVIATE THE POSSIBILITY OF INCURRING MUCH LARGER ACTUAL COSTS, THIS OFFICE WILL NOT OBJECT TO THE USE OF APPROPRIATIONS OF THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS AVAILABLE FOR PROTECTION OF FACILITIES FOR THE EXPENSE OF OBTAINING MEMBERSHIPS OR SUBSCRIPTIONS TO FIRE FIGHTING ORGANIZATIONS UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES SUCH AS OUTLINED ABOVE.