B-20102, SEPTEMBER 22, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 239

B-20102: Sep 22, 1941

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1941: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 26. IT IS CONTEMPLATED THAT THE FUNDS TO BE USED FOR SUCH TELEPHONE SERVICE WILL BE DERIVED FROM RENTS AND NOT FROM APPROPRIATIONS MADE OR TO BE MADE BY CONGRESS. IT IS. THE LANGUAGE OF THE SECTION QUOTED IS PLAIN AND COMPREHENSIVE AND HAS BEEN UNIFORMLY CONSTRUED TO PROHIBIT THE FURNISHING AT PUBLIC EXPENSE OF TELEPHONE INSTALLATION AND SERVICE IN A PRIVATE RESIDENCE OR QUARTERS. OR THE CHAIRMAN OF THE MARITIME COMMISSION SHALL CERTIFY THAT SUCH HOUSING IS IMPORTANT FOR PURPOSES UNDER THEIR RESPECTIVE JURISDICTION AND NECESSARY TO THE NATIONAL DEFENSE PROGRAM * * *. 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.

B-20102, SEPTEMBER 22, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 239

TELEPHONES - INSTALLATION IN PRIVATE RESIDENCES - AVAILABILITY OF RENTALS FROM DEFENSE HOUSING THE AUTHORIZATION IN SECTION 201 OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 9, 1940, TO USE THE RENTALS FROM CERTAIN DEFENSE HOUSING PROJECTS FOR THE MANAGEMENT, MAINTENANCE, ETC., OF THE HOUSING UNITS CONSTITUTES SUCH RENTALS APPROPRIATED FUNDS, AND, THEREFORE, THE PROHIBITION IN SECTION 7, OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 23, 1912, AGAINST THE USE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR THE INSTALLATION OF TELEPHONES IN PRIVATE RESIDENCES PRECLUDES THE USE OF THE RENTALS FOR INSTALLING AND MAINTAINING TELEPHONES IN THE PRIVATE QUARTERS OF MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL AT THE PROJECTS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, SEPTEMBER 22, 1941:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 26, 1941, AS FOLLOWS:

THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE NAVAL AIR STATION, CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS, HAS REQUESTED AUTHORITY TO INSTALL AND MAINTAIN FOUR TELEPHONES FOR THE USE OF THE COMBINED POLICE AND FIRE STATION, AND IN THE RESIDENCES OF THE CHIEF MAINTENANCE MECHANIC, THE ASSISTANT MANAGER AND THE SENIOR CLERK OF THE OFFICE OF DEFENSE HOUSING PROJECT AT PEARY PLACE, CIVILIAN HOUSING PROJECT ON THE CAYO DEL OSO, CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS, WHICH PROJECT HAS BEEN CONSTRUCTED FOR THE USE OF EMPLOYEES OF THE U.S. NAVAL AIR STATION, CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS, PURSUANT TO SECTION 201, SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT APPROVED SEPTEMBER 9, 1940 ( PUBLIC, NO. 781, 76TH CONGRESS, 3D SESSION).

IT CONSIDERED TO BE ESSENTIAL THAT THE RESIDENCES OF THE PERSONS STATED BE CONNECTED BY TELEPHONE AND THAT THE POLICE AND FIRE STATION BE PROVIDED WITH SUCH SERVICE IN CONNECTION WITH THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF THE PROJECT.

IT IS CONTEMPLATED THAT THE FUNDS TO BE USED FOR SUCH TELEPHONE SERVICE WILL BE DERIVED FROM RENTS AND NOT FROM APPROPRIATIONS MADE OR TO BE MADE BY CONGRESS. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 23, 1912 (37 STAT. 414; 31 U.S.C. 679), WHICH PROHIBITS THE USE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR TELEPHONE SERVICE INSTALLED IN PRIVATE QUARTERS AND FOR SIMILAR CHARGES, A QUESTION HAS BEEN RAISED AS TO WHETHER THE REQUEST REFERRED TO MAY LEGALLY BE COMPLIED WITH.

IT IS, THEREFORE, REQUESTED THAT YOU INFORM THE NAVY DEPARTMENT WHETHER UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES STATED, PAYMENT MAY LEGALLY BE MADE FOR TELEPHONES TO BE INSTALLED IN THE QUARTERS AND FOR THE PURPOSES MENTIONED AT SAID DEFENSE HOUSING PROJECT.

SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 23, 1912, 37 STAT. 414, PROVIDES:

THAT NO MONEY APPROPRIATED BY THIS OR ANY OTHER ACT SHALL BE EXPENDED FOR TELEPHONE SERVICE INSTALLED IN ANY PRIVATE RESIDENCE OR PRIVATE APARTMENT OR FOR TOLLS OR OTHER CHARGES FOR TELEPHONE SERVICE FROM PRIVATE RESIDENCES OR PRIVATE APARTMENTS, EXCEPT FOR LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE TOLLS REQUIRED STRICTLY FOR THE PUBLIC BUSINESS, AND SO SHOWN BY VOUCHERS DULY SWORN TO AND APPROVED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT, DIVISION, BUREAU, OR OFFICE IN WHICH THE OFFICIAL USING SUCH TELEPHONE OR INCURRING THE EXPENSE OF SUCH TOLLS SHALL BE EMPLOYED.

THE LANGUAGE OF THE SECTION QUOTED IS PLAIN AND COMPREHENSIVE AND HAS BEEN UNIFORMLY CONSTRUED TO PROHIBIT THE FURNISHING AT PUBLIC EXPENSE OF TELEPHONE INSTALLATION AND SERVICE IN A PRIVATE RESIDENCE OR QUARTERS. SEE 11 COMP. GEN. 87, AND DECISIONS THEREIN CITED.

SECTION 201 OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 9, 1940, 54 STAT. 883, PROVIDES, INSOFAR AS HERE MATERIAL, AS FOLLOWS:

TO THE PRESIDENT FOR ALLOCATION TO THE WAR DEPARTMENT AND THE NAVY DEPARTMENT FOR THE ACQUISITION OF NECESSARY LAND AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF HOUSING UNITS, INCLUDING NECESSARY UTILITIES, ROADS, WALKS, AND ACCESSORIES, AT LOCATIONS ON OR NEAR MILITARY OR NAVAL ESTABLISHMENTS, NOW IN EXISTENCE OR TO BE BUILT, OR NEAR PRIVATELY OWNED INDUSTRIAL PLANTS ENGAGED IN MILITARY OR NAVAL ACTIVITIES, WHICH FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS ACT SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO INCLUDE ACTIVITIES OF THE MARITIME COMMISSION, WHERE THE SECRETARY OF WAR, THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, OR THE CHAIRMAN OF THE MARITIME COMMISSION SHALL CERTIFY THAT SUCH HOUSING IS IMPORTANT FOR PURPOSES UNDER THEIR RESPECTIVE JURISDICTION AND NECESSARY TO THE NATIONAL DEFENSE PROGRAM * * *. 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:

THE AUTHORIZATION IN THE ABOVE SECTION 201 TO USE THE RENTALS FOR SPECIFIED PURPOSES CONSTITUTES THEM APPROPRIATED FUNDS AND LIMITS THEIR USE TO THE ITEMS SPECIFIED THEREIN. AS SAID SECTION 201 DOES NOT EXCEPT SUCH FUNDS FROM THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 23, 1912- -- THAT IS, DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZE THE USE OF RENTALS FOR THE INSTALLATION OF TELEPHONES IN PRIVATE QUARTERS--- IT MUST BE HELD THAT WHAT IS PROPOSED, TO WIT, THE USE OF RENTALS FOR THE INSTALLATION OF TELEPHONES IN PRIVATE RESIDENCES, IS NOT AUTHORIZED.