B-142760, MAY 18, 1960, 39 COMP. GEN. 784

B-142760: May 18, 1960

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WHICH TERMS HAVE BEEN DEFINED AS TO MAKE OVER. THE APPROPRIATION OF FUNDS AS STATUTORY LIMITATIONS IN THE IDENTICAL AMOUNTS SPECIFIED IN AN AGENCY'S BUDGET ESTIMATES FOR "LAND AND STRUCTURES" AND "IMPROVEMENT AND CARE OF GROUNDS AND REPAIRS TO BUILDINGS" IS REGARDED AS A DEFINITE DETERMINATION BY THE CONGRESS THAT EXPENDITURES CHARGEABLE TO THOSE APPROPRIATIONS ARE REQUIRED TO BE KEPT WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THE FUNDS PROVIDED FOR THE PARTICULAR OBJECTS. 12 X 18 FEET OF FRAME AND CELOTEX CONSTRUCTION WAS RECENTLY DESTROYED BY FIRE LEAVING INTACT ONLY THE CONCRETE FOUNDATION. THE INCREASES AND DECREASES REQUESTED FOR THE ITEMS UNDER THIS OBJECT CLASS ARE SPELLED OUT IN THE DETAILED PORTION OF THIS BUDGET DOCUMENT AND SUMMARIZED BELOW: THE REQUEST FOR $13.

B-142760, MAY 18, 1960, 39 COMP. GEN. 784

APPROPRIATIONS - AVAILABILITY - MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS - REPLACEMENT OF BUILDINGS EXPENDITURES FOR THE REPLACEMENT OF A BUILDING ENTIRELY DESTROYED BY FIRE, USING THE SAME SITE AND FOUNDATION, MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS EXPENSES FOR WORK INCIDENT TO THE "REPAIR" OR "MAINTENANCE" OF BUILDINGS, WHICH TERMS HAVE BEEN DEFINED AS TO MAKE OVER, TO RESTORE TO A GOOD OR SOUND STATE, TO PRESERVE OR KEEP IN EXISTING STATE OR CONDITION, TO PREVENT DECLINE; THEREFORE, SUCH EXPENSES MAY NOT BE CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR "IMPROVEMENT AND CARE OF GROUNDS AND REPAIR TO BUILDINGS" BUT MUST BE CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR "LAND AND STRUCTURES.' THE APPROPRIATION OF FUNDS AS STATUTORY LIMITATIONS IN THE IDENTICAL AMOUNTS SPECIFIED IN AN AGENCY'S BUDGET ESTIMATES FOR "LAND AND STRUCTURES" AND "IMPROVEMENT AND CARE OF GROUNDS AND REPAIRS TO BUILDINGS" IS REGARDED AS A DEFINITE DETERMINATION BY THE CONGRESS THAT EXPENDITURES CHARGEABLE TO THOSE APPROPRIATIONS ARE REQUIRED TO BE KEPT WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THE FUNDS PROVIDED FOR THE PARTICULAR OBJECTS.

TO THE CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, MAY 18, 1960:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 29, 1960 (REFERENCE 3300), REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO THE AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS ESTABLISHED UNDER THE APPROPRIATION " SALARIES AND EXPENSES, FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, 1960," FOR EXPENDITURES INCIDENT TO RECONSTRUCTING A BUILDING DESTROYED BY FIRE.

YOU STATE THAT THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, IN PERFORMING ITS STATUTORY FUNCTIONS, BUILDS AND MAINTAINS CERTAIN RADIO MONITORING STATIONS AT VARIOUS POINTS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. FURTHER, THAT ONE OF THE SMALL AUXILIARY TRANSMITTER BUILDINGS AT THE DOUGLAS, ARIZONA, STATION, 12 X 18 FEET OF FRAME AND CELOTEX CONSTRUCTION WAS RECENTLY DESTROYED BY FIRE LEAVING INTACT ONLY THE CONCRETE FOUNDATION.

YOU POINT OUT TWO ALLOTMENTS UNDER THE CITED APPROPRIATION AND SUGGEST THAT EITHER OF THEM, OR BOTH, MAY OR MAY NOT COVER RECONSTRUCTION. THE ALLOTMENTS, AS QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER IN PERTINENT PART, READ AS FOLLOWS:

107 OTHER CONTRACTUAL SERVICES. THE INCREASES AND DECREASES REQUESTED FOR THE ITEMS UNDER THIS OBJECT CLASS ARE SPELLED OUT IN THE DETAILED PORTION OF THIS BUDGET DOCUMENT AND SUMMARIZED BELOW:

THE REQUEST FOR $13,900 FOR BUILDINGS AND GROUND MAINTENANCE IS $1,500 LESS THAN WE EXPECT TO SPEND DURING THE CURRENT YEAR FOR THIS ESSENTIAL WORK. THE SUM REQUESTED WILL PROVIDE FOR UPKEEP OF ROADS, BUILDINGS, HEATING SYSTEMS, HOT WATER FACILITIES, WELLS, CULVERTS, ETC., FOR THE 17 MONITORING STATIONS ON GOVERNMENT PROPERTY AND THE LAUREL LABORATORY.

10 LAND AND STRUCTURES. WE ARE REQUESTING THE SUM OF $81,800 UNDER THIS OBJECT CLASS. $57,300 OF THIS SUM WILL BE USED TO CONSTRUCT A NEW MONITORING STATION ON GOVERNMENT-OWNED LAND AT CANANDAIGUA, N.Y., TO WHICH WE WILL MOVE OUR PRESENT MILLIS MONITORING STATION. $8,000 WILL BE USED TO CONSTRUCT A SHOP AND STORAGE BUILDING AT OUR POWDER SPRINGS MONITORING STATION. $5,000 WILL BE USED TO PURCHASE LAND ADJOINING OUR GOVERNMENT- OWNED SITE AT GRAND ISLAND TO PROVIDE SPACE FOR ADDITIONAL ANTENNA ARRAYS. $6,500 WILL BE USED TO INSTALL A WELL FOR DRINKING WATER AND SANITARY FACILITIES, AND ROADWAY AT FAIRBANKS, ALASKA, MONITORING STATION. $5,000 WILL BE USED FOR MISCELLANEOUS LAND AND STRUCTURES IMPROVEMENTS AT THE OTHER MONITORING STATIONS.

IT IS PROPOSED TO RECONSTRUCT THE BUILDING ON THE SAME SITE AND FOUNDATION AT AN ESTIMATED EXPENDITURE OF BETWEEN $1,500 AND $2,000. THE VIEW IS EXPRESSED THAT RECONSTRUCTION OF THE STATION IS WITHIN THE SCOPE OF BUILDING MAINTENANCE OR UPKEEP; AND THAT USE OF THE FUNDS FROM ALLOTMENT ," OTHER CONTRACTUAL SERVICES" WOULD BE MORE APPROPRIATE THAN ALLOTMENT 10, WHICH RELATES PRIMARILY TO DESIGNATED NEW CONSTRUCTION.

SECTION 4 (G) OF THE COMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1934, 48 STAT. 1067, AS AMENDED, 47 U.S.C. 154 (G), AUTHORIZES THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION TO MAKE SUCH EXPENDITURES FOR "* * * LAND FOR USE AS SITES FOR RADIO MONITORING STATIONS AND RELATED FACILITIES * * * FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF SUCH STATIONS AND FACILITIES, AND FOR THE IMPROVEMENT, FURNISHING, EQUIPPING AND REPAIRING OF SUCH STATIONS AND FACILITIES * * * AS MAY BE NECESSARY FOR THE EXECUTION OF THE FUNCTIONS VESTED IN THE COMMISSION AND AS FROM TIME TO TIME MAY BE APPROPRIATED FOR BY CONGRESS.' THE APPROPRIATION " SALARIES AND EXPENSES, FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION," AS CONTAINED IN THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1960, PUBLIC LAW 86-255, APPROVED SEPTEMBER 14, 1959, 73 STAT. 504, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

FOR NECESSARY EXPENSES IN PERFORMING THE DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION AS AUTHORIZED BY LAW, INCLUDING NEWSPAPERS (NOT TO EXCEED $200), LAND AND STRUCTURES (NOT TO EXCEED $81,800), SPECIAL COUNSEL FEES, IMPROVEMENT AND CARE OF GROUNDS AND REPAIRS TO BUILDINGS (NOT TO EXCEED $13,900), SERVICES AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 15 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946 (5 U.S.C. 55A), AND PURCHASE OF NOT TO EXCEED THREE PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLES FOR REPLACEMENT ONLY, $10,550,000.

THUS, IT APPEARS THAT THE IDENTICAL AMOUNTS INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET ESTIMATES FOR THIS APPROPRIATION UNDER OBJECT CLASSES 107 AND 10, QUOTED ABOVE, WERE CARRIED INTO THE APPROPRIATION AS STATUTORY LIMITATIONS. THE EFFECT OF THIS ACTION IS TO EXPRESS A DEFINITE DETERMINATION THAT EXPENDITURES CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR "LAND AND STRUCTURES," AND "IMPROVEMENT AND CARE OF GROUNDS AND REPAIRS TO BUILDINGS" ARE REQUIRED TO BE KEPT WITHIN THE LIMITS OF FUNDS PROVIDED FOR THE PARTICULAR OBJECTS OF EXPENDITURE. SEE 19 COMP. GEN. 892.

THERE APPEARS TO BE INVOLVED HERE THE REPLACEMENT OF A BUILDING ENTIRELY DESTROYED BY FIRE, UTILIZING THE SAME SITE AND FOUNDATION OCCUPIED BY THE DESTROYED BUILDING, TO TAKE ITS PLACE AND BE USED FOR THE SAME PURPOSES OF THE PREVIOUS STRUCTURE. THE WORK INCIDENT TO RECONSTRUCTING THE BUILDING DOES NOT FALL WITHIN THE CATEGORY OF "REPAIRS TO BUILDINGS" NOR MAY IT BE SAID TO CONSTITUTE "BUILDING MAINTENANCE OR UPKEEP" WITHIN THE MEANING OF SUCH TERMS AS USED IN APPROPRIATIONS ACTS. THUS, THE TERMS "REPAIR" AND "MAINTENANCE," AS APPLIED TO BUILDINGS, HAVE BEEN DEFINED TO MEAN TO MAKE OVER, TO RESTORE TO A GOOD OR SOUND STATE, TO PRESERVE OR KEEP IN EXISTING STATE OR CONDITION TO PREVENT A DECLINE, AS REPAIRING THE ROOF, REPAIRING WINDOWS, ETC. SEE 20 COMP. DEC. 73; 4 COMP. GEN. 1063; 21 ID. 90; 27 ID. 634.

ACCORDINGLY, WE CONCLUDE THAT THE FUNDS AUTHORIZED UNDER LIMITATION "IMPROVEMENT AND CARE OF GROUNDS AND REPAIRS TO BUILDINGS" ARE NOT AVAILABLE TO RECONSTRUCT THE BUILDING DESTROYED BY FIRE, BUT THAT THE EXPENSE THEREOF FALLS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE PROVISIONS FOR "LAND AND STRUCTURES" UNDER THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION.