B-150074, OCTOBER 29, 1962, 42 COMP. GEN. 226

B-150074: Oct 29, 1962

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- FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE WOULD BE IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE PROHIBITORY STATUTES. 1962: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED OCTOBER 5. THE ACTING DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY STATES THAT AFTER EXPERIENCE DEMONSTRATED THE NEED FOR AROUND-THE-CLOCK FASTER MEANS OF EXCHANGE OF DOCUMENTS AND MESSAGES BETWEEN THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE A STUDY OF THE MATTER WAS INITIATED. THE CONSTRUCTION OF A SECURE PNEUMATIC TUBE DELIVERY SYSTEM WAS CONCLUDED TO BE THE MOST APPROPRIATE MEANS OF SOLVING THE PROBLEM. IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER THAT SUCH A SYSTEM WOULD OFFER THE FOLLOWING ADVANTAGES: 1. IT IS FURTHER STATED IN THE LETTER THAT SUFFICIENT FUNDS REMAIN IN THE DEPARTMENT'S NO YEAR ACCOUNT "19X0536.

B-150074, OCTOBER 29, 1962, 42 COMP. GEN. 226

APPROPRIATIONS - AVAILABILITY - EXPENSES INCIDENT TO SPECIFIC PURPOSES - PUBLIC BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS THE USE OF AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE EXTENSION AND REMODELING OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT BUILDING TO PAY THE COST OF CONSTRUCTING A PNEUMATIC TUBE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM BETWEEN THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT WHEN SUCH A SYSTEM CANNOT REASONABLY BE RELATED TO THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE--- EXTENDING OR REMODELING THE STATE DEPARTMENT BUILDING--- FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE WOULD BE IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE PROHIBITORY STATUTES--- SECTIONS 3678 AND 3733, REVISED STATUTES, 31 U.S.C. 628 AND 41 U.S.C. 12, WHICH REQUIRE APPROPRIATIONS TO BE APPLIED SOLELY TO THE OBJECTS FOR WHICH MADE, AND THE SPECIFIC DESIGNATION OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR EXTENSION AND REMODELING OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT BUILDING PRECLUDES ITS USE FOR GENERAL PURPOSES IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONDUCT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, OCTOBER 29, 1962:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED OCTOBER 5, 1962, FROM THE ACTING DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR ADMINISTRATION CONCERNING THE PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION OF A PNEUMATIC TUBE DELIVERY SYSTEM BETWEEN THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE.

THE ACTING DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY STATES THAT AFTER EXPERIENCE DEMONSTRATED THE NEED FOR AROUND-THE-CLOCK FASTER MEANS OF EXCHANGE OF DOCUMENTS AND MESSAGES BETWEEN THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE A STUDY OF THE MATTER WAS INITIATED. AS A RESULT OF THE STUDY, THE CONSTRUCTION OF A SECURE PNEUMATIC TUBE DELIVERY SYSTEM WAS CONCLUDED TO BE THE MOST APPROPRIATE MEANS OF SOLVING THE PROBLEM. IT IS STATED IN THE LETTER THAT SUCH A SYSTEM WOULD OFFER THE FOLLOWING ADVANTAGES:

1. TRANSMISSION TIME WOULD BE REDUCED TO A MATTER OF SECONDS.

2. REDUCED TRANSMISSION TIME WOULD PROVIDE DOCUMENTS AND MESSAGES FOR MORE RAPID RESPONSE TO CRISES SITUATIONS.

3. THE RISKS INVOLVED IN ENTRUSTING DOCUMENTS OF THE HIGHEST CLASSIFICATION AND SENSITIVITY TO LOW GRADE MESSENGER-DRIVER PERSONNEL WOULD BE ELIMINATED.

4. THE DELIVERY OF DOCUMENTS WOULD NOT BE SUBJECTED TO THE WHIMS OF HEAVY TRAFFIC, ACCIDENTS, WEATHER, ETC.

5. AFTER INSTALLATION, THE ANNUAL MAINTENANCE COST OF THE PNEUMATIC TUBE SYSTEM WOULD BE NOMINAL.

IT IS FURTHER STATED IN THE LETTER THAT SUFFICIENT FUNDS REMAIN IN THE DEPARTMENT'S NO YEAR ACCOUNT "19X0536, EXTENSION AND REMODELING OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT BUILDING," TO COVER THE ESTIMATED COST OF $234,000 FOR THE INSTALLATION OF THE SECURE PNEUMATIC TUBE SYSTEM. WE ARE ADVISED THAT YOUR DEPARTMENT IS OF THE OPINION THAT THESE FUNDS CAN BE USED, SINCE THE BASIC LEGISLATIVE HISTORY DISCLOSES THAT THE NEED FOR A PNEUMATIC TUBE SYSTEM FOR THE DEPARTMENT WAS RECOGNIZED. IN THIS CONNECTION REFERENCE IS MADE IN THE LETTER TO THE HEARINGS BEFORE A SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, 85TH CONGRESS, 1ST SESSION.

THE ACTING DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY FOR ADMINISTRATION STATES THAT IN ONE INSTANCE A SUM OF $2,435,000 WAS HEADED "SPECIAL ITEMS" AND THAT INCLUDED IN THIS SUM WAS MONEY FOR PNEUMATIC TUBES. HE FURTHER STATES, HOWEVER, THAT THE TUBES WERE SPECIFICALLY JUSTIFIED AS BEING WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT AND THAT A FURTHER EXAMINATION OF THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE EXTENSION AND REMODELING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE BUILDING IN QUESTION DOES NOT DISCLOSE ANY SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO EXTENSION OF THE PNEUMATIC TUBE SYSTEM BEYOND THE STATE DEPARTMENT BUILDING PROPER.

THE LETTER CONTINUES:

NEVERTHELESS, IN RECOGNITION THAT ONLY THE PRESIDENT IS CHARGED WITH THE CONDUCT OF OUR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND HIS COUNSEL IS REQUIRED ON MATTERS AFFECTING THE SECURITY OF THE COUNTRY AND OF THE HIGHEST IMPORTANCE, IT BECOMES APPARENT THAT THE SECURE PNEUMATIC TUBE SYSTEM TO THE WHITE HOUSE IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM OF THE DEPARTMENT AND IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE DEPARTMENT'S OPERATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITY.

RECOGNIZING THAT AN APPROPRIATION MAY BE LEGALLY AVAILABLE FOR AN ITEM THAT MAY NOT HAVE BEEN SPECIFICALLY IDENTIFIED IN BUDGET JUSTIFICATIONS IF IT IS REASONABLY RELATED TO THE GENERAL PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE--- AS WE BELIEVE THIS TUBE SYSTEM IS-- THE DEPARTMENT WOULD APPRECIATE BEING INFORMED WHETHER YOUR OFFICE WOULD INTERPOSE ANY OBJECTION IF THE COST OF CONSTRUCTING THE SUBJECT SECURE PNEUMATIC TUBE WERE CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION ,EXTENSION AND REMODELING, STATE DEPARTMENT BUILDING, 19X0536.'

SECTION 3678, REVISED STATUTES, 31 U.S.C. 628, STATES:

EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY LAW, SUMS APPROPRIATED FOR THE VARIOUS BRANCHES OF EXPEDITURE IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE SHALL BE APPLIED SOLELY TO THE OBJECTS FOR WHICH THEY ARE RESPECTIVELY MADE, AND FOR NO OTHERS.

SECTION 3733, REVISED STATUTES, 41 U.S.C. 12, PROVIDES:

NO CONTRACT SHALL BE ENTERED INTO FOR THE ERECTION, REPAIR, OR FURNISHING OF ANY PUBLIC BUILDING, OR FOR ANY PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT WHICH SHALL BIND THE GOVERNMENT TO PAY A LARGER SUM OF MONEY THAN THE AMOUNT IN THE TREASURY APPROPRIATED FOR THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE.

THE PERTINENT LANGUAGE USED IN THE ACTS (70 STAT. 689 AND 71 STAT. 56) MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE EXTENSION AND REMODELING OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT BUILDING IS AS FOLLOWS:

FOR EXPENSES NECESSARY FOR PLANNING, AND THE EXTENSION AND REMODELING, UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT BUILDING, WASHINGTON, D.C., AND FOR EXPENSES NECESSARY FOR PROVIDING TEMPORARY OFFICE SPACE, INCLUDING PAYMENT OF RENT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ALTERATIONS, PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF AIR CONDITIONING EQUIPMENT, TO REMAIN AVAILABLE UNTIL EXPENDED, * * *.

THE LANGUAGE USED IN THE QUOTED APPROPRIATION PROVISION MAKES IT CLEAR THAT THE FUNDS CONTAINED THEREIN ARE AVAILABLE--- AS FAR AS PERTINENT HERE --- FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE, NAMELY, THE EXTENSION AND REMODELING OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT BUILDING. HENCE, IT IS OUR OPINION THAT ONLY THOSE ITEMS WHICH MAY BE CONSIDERED PART OF THE EXTENSION AND REMODELING OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT BUILDING MAY LEGALLY BE CHARGED AGAINST THE APPROPRIATION "19X0536 EXTENSION AND REMODELING, STATE DEPARTMENT BUILDING.'

THE CONSTRUCTION OF A SECURE PNEUMATIC TUBE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM BETWEEN THE STATE DEPARTMENT BUILDING AND THE WHITE HOUSE WOULD NOT BE ENCOMPASSED IN THE ORDINARY USAGE OF THE PHRASE ,EXTENSION AND REMODELING, * * * OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT BUILDING.' FURTHER, THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION WAS NOT MADE FOR "GENERAL PURPOSES" BUT FOR (AS FAR AS PERTINENT HERE) THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE OF EXTENDING AND REMODELING THE STATE DEPARTMENT BUILDING. IT IS OUR VIEW THE CONSTRUCTION OF A PNEUMATIC TUBE SYSTEM BETWEEN THE BUILDING IN QUESTION AND THE WHITE HOUSE WOULD NOT BE REASONABLY RELATED TO THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION WAS MADE.

IT IS TRUE THAT UNDER THE GENERAL RULE OF APPROPRIATION CONSTRUCTION AN EXPRESS STATUTORY PROVISION IS NOT REQUIRED FOR EVERY ITEM OF EXPENDITURE, BUT AN APPROPRIATION IN GENERAL TERMS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE IS AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURES NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH THAT PURPOSE, EXCEPT AS TO EXPENDITURES IN CONTRAVENTION OF SOME STATUTORY PROVISION OR FOR WHICH OTHER APPROPRIATIONS ARE MORE SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE. HOWEVER, THE CONSTRUCTION OF A PNEUMATIC TUBE SYSTEM BETWEEN THE WHITE HOUSE AND STATE DEPARTMENT BUILDING IS NOT NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION INVOLVED HERE WAS MADE, I.E., TO EXTEND AND REMODEL THE STATE DEPARTMENT BUILDING. THIS PARTICULAR APPROPRIATION WAS NOT MADE FOR AND IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE GENERAL PURPOSE OF ENABLING YOUR DEPARTMENT TO CARRY OUT THE RESPONSIBILITIES IMPOSED ON IT BY LAW IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONDUCT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

IN LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE APPROPRIATION "19X0536 EXTENSION AND REMODELING STATE DEPARTMENT BUILDING," IS NOT AVAILABLE TO PAY THE COST OF CONSTRUCTING A SECURE PNEUMATIC TUBE SYSTEM BETWEEN THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT BUILDING.