B-15520, MARCH 20, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 542

B-15520: Mar 20, 1941

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MONEYS COLLECTED AS RENTS FROM OCCUPANTS OF NATIONAL DEFENSE HOUSING PROJECTS MAY NOT BE USED TO PAY THE COST OF PREMIUMS ON BONDS REQUIRED TO BE FURNISHED BY WARRANT OFFICERS AND CHIEF PETTY OFFICERS OF THE NAVY WHO HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED TO COLLECT RENTS AND HANDLE DETAIL WORK IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH PROJECTS. 1941: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 11. THE MEMORANDUM IS AS FOLLOWS: 1. ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO RENT SUCH HOUSING UNITS. TO WORKERS WITH FAMILIES WHO ARE ENGAGED. THE SECRETARY OF WAR AND THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY ARE FURTHER AUTHORIZED TO USE SUCH RENTALS AS MAY BE COLLECTED FROM EACH HOUSING PROJECT FOR THE MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF THE HOUSING UNITS THEREIN. THE COST OF WHICH IS AUTHORIZED TO BE CHARGED TO THE AMOUNTS RECEIVED AS RENTS.

B-15520, MARCH 20, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 542

BONDS - PREMIUMS - NAVAL PERSONNEL COLLECTING HOUSING PROJECT RENTS IN VIEW OF THE INHIBITION IN THE ACT OF AUGUST 5, 1909, AGAINST PAYMENT OF PREMIUMS ON BONDS REQUIRED OF OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES, MONEYS COLLECTED AS RENTS FROM OCCUPANTS OF NATIONAL DEFENSE HOUSING PROJECTS MAY NOT BE USED TO PAY THE COST OF PREMIUMS ON BONDS REQUIRED TO BE FURNISHED BY WARRANT OFFICERS AND CHIEF PETTY OFFICERS OF THE NAVY WHO HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED TO COLLECT RENTS AND HANDLE DETAIL WORK IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH PROJECTS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, MARCH 20, 1941:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 11, 1941, REQUESTING A DECISION ON THE QUESTION PRESENTED IN MEMORANDUM OF FEBRUARY 20, 1941, TRANSMITTED TO YOU BY THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF YARDS AND DOCKS. THE MEMORANDUM IS AS FOLLOWS:

1. SECTION 201 OF THE SECOND SUPPLEMENTAL NATIONAL DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1941, APPROVED SEPTEMBER 9, 1940, PUBLIC NO. 781, 76TH CONGRESS, PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

" PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE SECRETARY OF WAR AND THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, AT THEIR DISCRETION, ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO RENT SUCH HOUSING UNITS, UPON COMPLETION, TO ENLISTED MEN OF THE ARMY, NAVY, MARINE CORPS WITH FAMILIES, TO FIELD EMPLOYEES OF THE MILITARY AND NAVAL ESTABLISHMENTS WITH FAMILIES, AND TO WORKERS WITH FAMILIES WHO ARE ENGAGED, OR TO BE ENGAGED, IN INDUSTRIES ESSENTIAL TO THE MILITARY AND NAVAL NATIONAL DEFENSE PROGRAMS, INCLUDING WORK ON SHIPS UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE MARITIME COMMISSION. THE SECRETARY OF WAR AND THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY ARE FURTHER AUTHORIZED TO USE SUCH RENTALS AS MAY BE COLLECTED FROM EACH HOUSING PROJECT FOR THE MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF THE HOUSING UNITS THEREIN, INCLUDING UTILITIES, ROADS, WALKS, AND ACCESSORIES, AND TO SET UP SPECIAL RESERVE ACCOUNTS FOR THE AMORTIZATION OF THE COST OF THE PROJECT:

2. IN CONNECTION WITH THE MANAGEMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE HOUSING PROJECTS, THE COST OF WHICH IS AUTHORIZED TO BE CHARGED TO THE AMOUNTS RECEIVED AS RENTS, CERTAIN WARRANT OFFICERS AND CHIEF PETTY OFFICERS OF THE NAVY HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED AS ASSISTANT MANAGERS TO HANDLE ALL DETAIL WORK, SUCH AS COLLECTING AND DEPOSITING RENTS, SUPERINTENDING MINOR MAINTENANCE AND MAKING OUT NECESSARY DAILY AND MONTHLY REPORTS TO THE BUREAU OF YARDS AND DOCKS. INASMUCH AS THESE ASSISTANT MANAGERS ARE REQUIRED TO HANDLE MONEY, IT IS NECESSARY THAT THEY BE BONDED.

3. IT IS REQUESTED THAT A DECISION BE OBTAINED FROM THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE SUMS COLLECTED IN THE FORM OF RENTS FROM OCCUPANTS OF NATIONAL DEFENSE HOUSING PROJECTS AND SUBSEQUENTLY WARRANTED TO THE NAVY FOR THE PURPOSE OF MANAGING AND MAINTAINING THESE PROJECTS, IS PROPERLY CHARGEABLE WITH THE COSTS OF THE PREMIUMS ON BONDS MADE NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE AFOREMENTIONED ASSISTANT MANAGERS ARE TO BE BONDED IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE RENTAL ON ALL UNITS OF THE PROJECT FOR A PERIOD OF TWO MONTHS.

IT IS PROVIDED, AMONG OTHER THINGS, IN THE ACT OF AUGUST 5, 1909, 36 STAT. 125 (6 U.S.C. 14):

* * * THAT HEREAFTER THE UNITED STATES SHALL NOT PAY ANY PART OF THE PREMIUM OR OTHER COST OF FURNISHING A BOND REQUIRED BY LAW OR OTHERWISE OF ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES.

AS STATED IN DECISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED FEBRUARY 17, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 670, 671---

THIS STATUTE, IN EXPRESS TERMS, PROHIBITS THE PAYMENT OF PREMIUMS ON BONDS OF OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES FROM PUBLIC FUNDS AND IT IS CLEAR THAT THE PROVISION APPLIES TO ALL SUCH BONDS WHETHER REQUIRED BY LAW OR OTHERWISE. THERE APPEARS TO BE NO QUESTION BUT THAT THE WARRANT OFFICERS AND CHIEF PETTY OFFICERS OF THE NAVY, HERE INVOLVED, ARE OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THIS PROVISION. ALSO, IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT THE RENT MONEYS TO BE COLLECTED BY THESE OFFICIALS ARE MONEYS BELONGING TO THE UNITED STATES, AND THAT PAYMENT OF BOND PREMIUMS FROM SAID FUNDS WOULD, THEREFORE, CONSTITUTE PAYMENT OF PREMIUMS BY THE UNITED STATES IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE PROVISION OF LAW, SUPRA.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE, AND SINCE THERE IS NOTHING IN THE TERMS OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 9, 1940, PUBLIC NO. 781, 76TH CONGRESS, WHICH RENDERS THE ABOVE-QUOTED PROVISION OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 5, 1909, INAPPLICABLE IN A CASE OF THIS NATURE, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT MONEYS COLLECTED AS RENTS FROM OCCUPANTS OF NATIONAL DEFENSE HOUSING PROJECTS MAY NOT BE USED TO PAY THE COST OF PREMIUMS ON BONDS REQUIRED TO BE FURNISHED BY OFFICERS OF THE NAVY UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES AS OUTLINED IN THE ABOVE MEMORANDUM.