Relocating Pole Lines of the Southern California Edison Company

B-122171: Apr 5, 1955

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Reference is made to the letter of November 18, 1954 from the Solicitor, Bureau of Public Roads, Department of Commerce, to the Director, Claims Division, requesting decision whether the cost of adjusting and relocating certain telephone and distribution pole lines of the Southern California Edison Company can be paid from funds made available for carrying out the provisions of section 23 of the Federal Highway Act.

The current appropriation provides for expenses, not otherwise provided for, necessary for carrying out the provisions of section 23 of the Federal Highway Act. While the appropriation does not specifically provide for relocating pole lines on public lands of the United States it is readily apparent that, in this instance, such relocation is a necessary expense incident to the construction of Highway No. 48-E. It is well settled that, with certain exceptions not here material, an appropriation made available to accomplish a particular purpose by implication confers authority to incur expenses which are necessary and incident to that purpose. In view of the Commission's opinion that the license is not obligated to repay for the relocation of the pole in this instance, the decisions cited holding that appropriated funds are not available for such expenses based upon the paramount right of the United States have no application to the present case. The decision is decided in the affirmative.