B-123303, MAY 12, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 593

B-123303: May 12, 1955

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REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH FUNDS ARE DISTRICT OR FEDERAL. IT APPEARS FROM YOUR LETTER THAT THE SPACE PROPOSED TO BE RENTED IS INTENDED TO BE USED IN CARRYING OUT AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE ABOVE BUREAU. IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT IN ORDER TO PROVIDE THE FUNDS TO CARRY OUT THESE ARRANGEMENTS THE BUREAU WILL MAKE GRANTS FROM THEIR APPROPRIATED FUNDS TO PAY ALL OF THE COSTS INVOLVED AS WILL BE DONE IN THE CASE OF ALL OF THE STATES AND TERRITORIES. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 11 (G) OF THE " VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AMENDMENTS OF 1954. THE TERM " STATE" INCLUDES THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND IN VIEW THEREOF IT IS STATED THAT IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE DISTRICT SHOULD NOT BE TREATED OTHERWISE IN SECURING THE BENEFITS OF THAT ACT.

B-123303, MAY 12, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 593

LEASES - DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SPACE - PRIOR APPROPRIATION NECESSITY - AVAILABILITY OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE GRANTS IN THE ABSENCE OF A SPECIFIC PROVISION FOR THE PAYMENT OF RENTS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR REHABILITATION OF DISABLED RESIDENTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND THE ABSENCE OF A SIMILAR PROVISION IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR GRANTS FOR REHABILITATION SERVICES, THE PROHIBITION IN THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1877, PRECLUDES THE USE OF FUNDS GRANTED THE DISTRICT'S DEPARTMENT OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE, FOR RENTAL OF SPACE IN PRIVATELY-OWNED BUILDINGS, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH FUNDS ARE DISTRICT OR FEDERAL.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL CAMPBELL TO THE PRESIDENT, BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MAY 12, 1955:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 10, 1955, SUBMITS FOR DECISION A QUESTION WHETHER FUNDS GRANTED TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BY THE BUREAU OF OLD AGE AND SURVIVORS INSURANCE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE, MAY BE USED FOR THE RENTAL OF SPACE IN A PRIVATELY-OWNED BUILDING. IT APPEARS FROM YOUR LETTER THAT THE SPACE PROPOSED TO BE RENTED IS INTENDED TO BE USED IN CARRYING OUT AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE ABOVE BUREAU. UNDER SUCH AGREEMENT THE DISTRICT'S DEPARTMENT OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION WOULD DETERMINE FOR THE BUREAU THE EXISTENCE AND DEGREE OF DISABILITIES OF BENEFICIARIES FOR THE PURPOSE OF "FREEZING" CERTAIN BENEFIT RIGHTS DURING PERIODS OF DISABILITY.

IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT IN ORDER TO PROVIDE THE FUNDS TO CARRY OUT THESE ARRANGEMENTS THE BUREAU WILL MAKE GRANTS FROM THEIR APPROPRIATED FUNDS TO PAY ALL OF THE COSTS INVOLVED AS WILL BE DONE IN THE CASE OF ALL OF THE STATES AND TERRITORIES. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 11 (G) OF THE " VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AMENDMENTS OF 1954," 68 STAT. 661, THE TERM " STATE" INCLUDES THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND IN VIEW THEREOF IT IS STATED THAT IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE DISTRICT SHOULD NOT BE TREATED OTHERWISE IN SECURING THE BENEFITS OF THAT ACT. IT IS URGED THAT IF THE DISTRICT IS NOT TO BE TREATED AS A STATE, AS AUTHORIZED BY THE STATUTE, THE DISTRICT WOULD BE PLACED IN A RATHER UNFAIR POSITION.

THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1877, 19 STAT. 370 (40 U.S.C. 34) PROHIBITS THE EXECUTION OF ANY CONTRACT FOR THE RENT OF ANY BUILDING, OR PART OF ANY BUILDING, IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNTIL AN APPROPRIATION THEREFOR SHALL HAVE BEEN MADE IN "TERMS" BY THE CONGRESS. THE ACT WAS INTENDED TO RETAIN UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE CONGRESS THE HOUSING OF THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHERE THE COSTS OF MAINTAINING SUCH ACTIVITIES INVOLVE EXPENDITURES NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED. THE PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE HAVE BEEN HELD APPLICABLE TO THE RENTING OF BUILDINGS BY THE DISTRICT. COMP. DEC. 117; ID. 178. IN 17 COMP. GEN. 424, IT WAS HELD, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1877, 19 STAT. 370, PROHIBITING ANY CONTRACT FOR RENT OF BUILDINGS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR GOVERNMENTAL PURPOSES UNTIL AN APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN MADE THEREFOR, IS APPLICABLE TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT, AS WELL AS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, AND AS NO PROVISION FOR RENT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS MADE IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR GRANTS TO STATES FOR PUBLIC HEALTH WORK--- ACT OF MAY 14, 1937, 50 STAT. 137--- FUNDS ALLOTTED TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNDER SECTIONS 601 AND 612 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, 49 STAT. 634, WHETHER REGARDED AS FEDERAL OR DISTRICT FUNDS, MAY NOT BE USED FOR RENT OF QUARTERS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

RECONSIDERATION OF THE DECISION WAS REQUESTED BY THE PRESIDENT, BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS. IN HIS LETTER DATED DECEMBER 7, 1937, HE POINTED OUT THAT THE STATES OF MARYLAND, WEST VIRGINIA AND SOUTH CAROLINA, WERE AUTHORIZED TO USE GRANT IN AID FUNDS TO COVER PAYMENT OF RENTAL SPACE AND URGED, AS CONTENDED BY YOU, THAT THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AS A " STATE," SHOULD RECEIVE THE SAME CONSIDERATION AS THE STATES MENTIONED. IN DECISION OF DECEMBER 23, 1937, A-90515, AFFIRMING THE DECISION IN 17 COMP. GEN. 424, IT WAS STATED:

WHILE THE FUNDS ALLOTTED TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNDER SECTION 602 (A) OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY PACT OF AUGUST 14, 1935, 49 STAT. 634, CEASE TO BE FEDERAL FUNDS UPON PAYMENT TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AS PROVIDED FOR UNDER SECTION 602 (C) OF SAID ACT AND THEREAFTER ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE SAME PURPOSES AND OBJECTS AS ARE SIMILAR ALLOTMENTS PAID TO THE SEVERAL STATES, IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE EXPENDITURES OF SAID FUNDS BY THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE SUBJECT TO THE GENERAL LAWS GOVERNING THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS OF SAID DISTRICT.

AS STATED IN MY DECISION TO YOU OF NOVEMBER 24, 1937, THE QUOTED STATUTE (ACT OF MARCH 3, 1877) IS APPLICABLE TO THE RENTING OF QUARTERS BY THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AS WELL AS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT * * *. THIS RESTRICTION APPLICABLE TO THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WITH RESPECT TO THE PAYMENT OF RENT, IS, OF COURSE, NOT APPLICABLE TO THE FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE TO THE VARIOUS STATES UNDER TITLE VI OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT. HENCE, THE FACT THAT SOME OF THE STATES MAY BE AUTHORIZED TO PAY RENT FROM THE ALLOTMENTS SO MADE TO THEM IS NOT FOR CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING WHETHER THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS AUTHORIZED TO PAY RENT FROM THE ALLOTMENT MADE TO IT.

THE SITUATION NOW PRESENTED DIFFERS IN NO MATERIAL RESPECT FROM THAT CONSIDERED IN THE DECISIONS CITED ABOVE. CONSEQUENTLY, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE FUNDS ALLOTTED TO THE DISTRICT BY FEDERAL AGENCIES BE REGARDED AS DISTRICT FUNDS OR FEDERAL FUNDS THEY MAY NOT BE USED FOR THE RENTAL OF QUARTERS IN THE ABSENCE OF A SPECIFIC PROVISION THEREFOR.

THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION FOR REHABILITATION OF DISABLED RESIDENTS IN THE DISTRICT ( PUBLIC LAW 468, APPROVED JULY 1, 1954 (68 STAT. 384) (, CONTAINS NO PROVISION FOR RENT. ACCORDINGLY, AND SINCE THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION FOR MAKING GRANTS TO STATES, THE SEVERAL TERRITORIES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PROVIDING FOR REHABILITATION SERVICES ( PUBLIC LAW 472, APPROVED JULY 2, 1954 (68 STAT. 440) (, CONTAINS NO PROVISION WHICH "IN TERMS" AUTHORIZES THE RENTAL OF BUILDINGS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, FUNDS GRANTED THE DEPARTMENT OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION BY THE BUREAU MAY NOT BE USED FOR THE RENTAL OF SPACE IN A PRIVATELY-OWNED BUILDING.