Questions Regarding the Departments of Labor, and Health, Education, and Welfare Appropriation Act

B-139524: Jun 1, 1959

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On April 30, 1959, the Under Secretary of Labor presented for our decision a question arising from certain provisions of the Department of Labor, and Health, Education, and Welfare Appropriation Act, 1959, and the Independent Offices Appropriation Act, 1959 in regards to whether the quoted rider nullifies the authority contained in the quoted portion of the Act.

It is our opinion that the quoted rider in the Independent Offices Appropriation Act, 1959, does not nullify the special authorization granted by the quoted portion of the Departments of Labor, and Health, Education, and Welfare Appropriation Act, 1959, to acquire a building to provide quarters for the United States Employment Service for the District of Columbia and the District of Columbia Unemployment Compensation Board. However, in view of the admitted ambiguity of the language incorporated in the quoted portion of the Departments' 1959 appropriation act with reference to the method of procurement of a building as compared with the Congressional policy against the use of lease-purchase contracts as expressed in the Independent Offices Appropriation Act, 1959, we recommend that, before entering into such an arrangement which would necessarily involve a long term commitment, complete disclosure of your plans be made to the respective appropriation committees.