B-23144, FEBRUARY 4, 1942, 21 COMP. GEN. 744

B-23144: Feb 4, 1942

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THE COSTS OF ABSTRACTS OF TITLE REQUIRED AND OBTAINED FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH PROCEEDINGS ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION OF THE ACQUIRING AGENCY RATHER THAN TO DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE APPROPRIATIONS AS WOULD BE REQUIRED UNDER THE USUAL RULE STATED IN 8 COMP. 1942: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 13. THIS TITLE EVIDENCE IS ORDERED UNDER CONTRACTS WITH LOCAL TITLE AND ABSTRACT COMPANIES. WHERE VOLUNTARY PURCHASE IS IMPOSSIBLE. THESE CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS ARE PROSECUTED BY THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS FOR THE DISTRICT IN WHICH THE LAND IS LOCATED. THE TITLE EVIDENCE ACQUIRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE PRIOR ATTEMPTS TO SECURE THE NECESSARY INTEREST IN LAND ON A VOLUNTARY BASIS IS ALWAYS USED IN THE CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS.

B-23144, FEBRUARY 4, 1942, 21 COMP. GEN. 744

ABSTRACTS OF TITLE IN CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS - APPROPRIATION AVAILABILITY UNDER THE BONNEVILLE ACT OF AUGUST 20, 1937, WHICH AUTHORIZES THE BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATOR TO ACQUIRE BY CONDEMNATION REAL ESTATE OR ANY INTEREST THEREIN FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE ACT AND AUTHORIZES THE HANDLING OF CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS JOINTLY BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE ADMINISTRATION, THE COSTS OF ABSTRACTS OF TITLE REQUIRED AND OBTAINED FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH PROCEEDINGS ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION OF THE ACQUIRING AGENCY RATHER THAN TO DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE APPROPRIATIONS AS WOULD BE REQUIRED UNDER THE USUAL RULE STATED IN 8 COMP. GEN. 308.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, FEBRUARY 4, 1942:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 13, 1942, AS FOLLOWS:

IN ITS PROGRAM FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF ELECTRIC TRANSMISSION LINES AND SUBSTATIONS, THE BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION SECURES MOST OF THE NECESSARY RIGHT OF WAY AND SITES BY VOLUNTARY PURCHASE. THIS REQUIRES THE PURCHASE OF PRELIMINARY CERTIFICATES OR ABSTRACTS OF TITLE IN ORDER THAT THE PROPER PERSONS WITH WHOM TO NEGOTIATE AND FROM WHOM TO OBTAIN OPTIONS AND DEEDS CAN BE ASCERTAINED. THIS TITLE EVIDENCE IS ORDERED UNDER CONTRACTS WITH LOCAL TITLE AND ABSTRACT COMPANIES.

WHERE VOLUNTARY PURCHASE IS IMPOSSIBLE, EITHER BECAUSE OF INABILITY TO AGREE WITH RESPECT TO PRICE OR BECAUSE OF COMPLICATIONS IN THE TITLE, THE NECESSARY INTERESTS IN LAND MUST BE CONDEMNED. AS PROVIDED BY SECTION 12 OF THE BONNEVILLE ACT (50 STAT. 736), THESE CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS ARE PROSECUTED BY THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS FOR THE DISTRICT IN WHICH THE LAND IS LOCATED, AND BY OTHER ATTORNEYS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, IN CONJUNCTION WITH REGULARLY EMPLOYED ATTORNEYS OF THE ADMINISTRATION. THE TITLE EVIDENCE ACQUIRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE PRIOR ATTEMPTS TO SECURE THE NECESSARY INTEREST IN LAND ON A VOLUNTARY BASIS IS ALWAYS USED IN THE CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS, AS, FOR EXAMPLE, IN DETERMINING THE NECESSARY PARTIES DEFENDANT, THE PROPER DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS, ETC.

HOWEVER, SUPPLEMENTARY TITLE EVIDENCE MUST FREQUENTLY BE ACQUIRED AFTER COMMENCEMENT OF THE CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS, AND IT HAS BECOME NECESSARY TO DETERMINE WHETHER BONNEVILLE APPROPRIATIONS MAY BE USED IN OBTAINING SUCH SUPPLEMENTARY TITLE EVIDENCE, OR WHETHER IN ALL CASES THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE MUST PAY FOR SUCH EVIDENCE WITH ITS FUNDS.

BONNEVILLE APPROPRIATIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR MAKING ALL PAYMENTS NECESSARY IN CARRYING OUT THE BONNEVILLE ACT (50 STAT. 731, 16 U.S.C.A. 832-832 1). THE BONNEVILLE ACT AUTHORIZES THE ADMINISTRATOR TO ACQUIRE LANDS AND ANY INTERESTS THEREIN, INCLUDING EASEMENTS, BY PURCHASE OR BY CONDEMNATION. CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS ARE TO FOLLOW THE FORMS AND PROCEDURES PRESCRIBED BY LAW FOR THE CONDEMNATION OF REAL PROPERTY. IN ALL SUCH PROCEEDINGS THE GOVERNMENT IS TO BE REPRESENTED BY THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS OR OTHER DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ATTORNEYS "IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE REGULARLY APPOINTED ATTORNEYS OF THE ADMINISTRATOR.'

ALL OF THE CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS IN QUESTION ARE BROUGHT UNDER THE DECLARATION OF TAKING PROCEDURE PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 26, 1931 (46 STAT. 1422). BONNEVILLE FIRST PREPARES A DECLARATION OF TAKING AND TRANSMITS IT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE THEN FILES A PETITION FOR CONDEMNATION AND THE DECLARATION OF TAKING, AND DEPOSITS THE ESTIMATED COMPENSATION IN THE REGISTRY OF THE COURT. THIS VESTS TITLE IN THE UNITED STATES, AND LEAVES FOR DETERMINATION ONLY THE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION TO BE PAID AND THE PROPER DISTRIBUTION THEREOF. COPY OF A JUDGMENT SHOWING THE FILING OF THE DECLARATION OF TAKING AND THE MAPS AND THE DEPOSIT OF ESTIMATED COMPENSATION, AND AWARDING POSSESSION TO THE GOVERNMENT, IS RECORDED. SUPPLEMENTARY TITLE EVIDENCE IS THEN OBTAINED. THIS TITLE EVIDENCE SHOWS ALL CHANGES IN RECORD TITLE SUBSEQUENT TO THE PRELIMINARY CERTIFICATE OR ABSTRACT, INCLUDING THE RECORDING OF THE JUDGMENT ON THE DECLARATION OF TAKING. IT MAY ALSO SHOW CERTAIN MATTERS NOT OF RECORD IN THE COUNTY AS, FOR EXAMPLE, PROBATE PROCEEDINGS RECORDED IN ANOTHER COUNTY, OR THE ACTUAL HEIRS OF A DECEASED RECORD OWNER DETERMINED BY AFFIDAVIT RATHER THAN PROCEEDINGS FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF HIS ESTATE.

ALL OF THIS INFORMATION IS REQUIRED BY BONNEVILLE IN ORDER PROPERLY TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE BONNEVILLE ACT. IT IS ON THE BASIS OF THIS INFORMATION THAT FINAL DECISIONS ARE MADE AS TO WHAT PERSONS MUST BE MADE DEFENDANTS IF BONNEVILLE IS TO HAVE QUIET POSSESSION OF ITS RIGHT OF WAY, AND OF COURSE IT FOLLOWS THAT THIS INFORMATION DETERMINES THE PERSONS TO WHOM BONNEVILLE'S PURCHASE MONEY IS TO BE PAID PURSUANT TO SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS OR VERDICTS.

IT SHOULD BE NOTED HERE THAT UNDER THE ABOVE QUOTED PROVISIONS OF THE BONNEVILLE ACT BONNEVILLE'S ATTORNEYS ARE RESPONSIBLE JOINTLY WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ATTORNEYS FOR THE HANDLING OF THESE CONDEMNATION CASES. IN PRACTICE, BONNEVILLE OFFICIALS ARE GIVEN EXCLUSIVE RESPONSIBILITY FOR HANDLING NEGOTIATIONS FOR SETTLEMENTS OF SUCH CASES. SINCE 90 PERCENT OF THE CASES ARE DISPOSED OF BY SETTLEMENTS RATHER THAN BY TRIALS, IT IS THE BONNEVILLE OFFICIALS WHO MAKE THE MOST FREQUENT AND EXTENSIVE USE OF THE SUPPLEMENTARY TITLE EVIDENCE.

THE SUPPLEMENTARY TITLE EVIDENCE IS ALSO OF VALUE TO BONNEVILLE IN ANOTHER RESPECT, SINCE IT IS RETAINED PERMANENTLY IN THE BONNEVILLE FILES AS EVIDENCE OF THE FACT THAT RECORD TITLE VESTED IN THE UNITED STATES WHEN THE DECLARATION OF TAKING WAS FILED AND THAT THE PROPER PARTIES WERE PAID IN FULL.

THE ONLY AUTHORITY WHICH HAS BEEN FOUND WHICH COULD CAST ANY DOUBT ON THE PROPRIETY OF USING BONNEVILLE FUNDS FOR THE PURCHASE OF SUPPLEMENTARY TITLE EVIDENCE AFTER CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS HAVE BEEN INSTITUTED IS THE DECISION OF COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL REPORTED IN 8 COMP. GEN. 328 (308) (1928). IN THAT DECISION IT WAS HELD THAT PAYMENT FOR TITLE SERVICES NEEDED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IN THE PROSECUTION OF CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS AT THE REQUEST OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT UNDER THE FLOOD CONTROL ACT (45 STAT. 536) MUST BE MADE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE APPROPRIATIONS. THE DECISION CLASSIFIES ALL TITLE SERVICES REQUIRED FOR USE IN SUCH PROCEEDINGS AFTER THE INSTITUTION THEREOF AND PRIOR TO THE ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT AS NECESSARY FOR SUCH PROCEEDINGS AND HENCE AS PAYABLE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.

THE PROCEDURE UNDER THE FLOOD CONTROL ACT DIFFERS FROM THE BONNEVILLE PROCEDURE IN TWO IMPORTANT RESPECTS, EITHER OF WHICH MAKES THE DECISION INAPPLICABLE TO THE BONNEVILLE PROCEDURE. IN THE FIRST PLACE, IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE WAR DEPARTMENT PARTICIPATED IN THE DETERMINATION OF NECESSARY AND PROPER PARTIES DEFENDANT, THE SETTLEMENT OF CASES BY NEGOTIATION, AND THE DETERMINATION OF THE PROPER DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS. NO SPECIAL RIGHT OF PARTICIPATION IS GIVEN TO THE WAR DEPARTMENT BY THE FLOOD CONTROL ACT OR THE RIVERS AND HARBORS ACT,APPROVED JULY 18, 1918, CH. 155, SECS. 5 AND 6 (45 STAT. 536) (40 STAT. 911). UNDER THE ACT APPROVED MARCH 3, 1863, CH. 76, SEC. 13 (12 STAT. 741), IT WAS THEREFORE THE DUTY OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY IN THE DISTRICT IN WHICH THE LAND WAS SITUATED TO PROSECUTE THE ACTION AND TO INCUR ANY EXPENSES INCIDENT THERETO. INASMUCH AS THE WAR DEPARTMENT HAD NO SPECIAL AUTHORIZATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROCEEDING, ITS APPROPRIATION COULD NOT BE CHARGED WITH SUCH EXPENSES. THIS IS IN MARKED CONTRAST TO THE BONNEVILLE CASES, WHERE THE TITLE EVIDENCE SERVESA FUNCTION PROPERLY PERFORMED BY BONNEVILLE.

IN THE SECOND PLACE, THE DECISION IS INAPPLICABLE TO THE DECLARATION OF TAKING PROCEDURE USED IN THE BONNEVILLE CASES BECAUSE IT EXPRESSLY EXCLUDES FROM ITS RULE ANY TITLE EVIDENCE SECURED AFTER FINAL JUDGMENT. THE DECISION INDICATES THAT ANY TITLE EVIDENCE OBTAINED AFTER TITLE HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED AND HAS VESTED IN THE UNITED STATES, E.G., AFTER A FINAL JUDGMENT HAS BEEN ENTERED, WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE BUT WOULD SERVE A WAR DEPARTMENT FUNCTION IN SHOWING TITLE TO BE VESTED IN THE GOVERNMENT. UNDER THE DECLARATION OF TAKING PROCEDURE USED IN THE BONNEVILLE CASES, HOWEVER, TITLE VESTS IN THE GOVERNMENT UPON THE FILING OF THE DECLARATION OF TAKING, AND SUPPLEMENTARY TITLE EVIDENCE OBTAINED AT ANY TIME THEREAFTER, EVEN THOUGH DURING THE PENDENCY OF THE PROCEEDING, SERVES A BONNEVILLE FUNCTION AND THE COST THEREOF SHOULD THEREFORE BE REGARDED AS CHARGEABLE AGAINST THE BONNEVILLE APPROPRIATION.

ALTHOUGH THE STATUTORY FUNCTIONS OF BONNEVILLE ATTORNEYS IN CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS AND THE DIFFERENCE IN THE DECLARATION OF TAKING CONDEMNATION PROCEDURE MAKE THE DECISION IN 8 COMP. GEN. 308 INAPPLICABLE TO THE PRESENT QUESTION, WE SUGGEST THAT IN ANY EVENT THE DECISION SHOULD BE RECONSIDERED IN THE LIGHT OF SEC. 355 OF THE REVISED STATUTES, WHICH REQUIRES THAT THE HEAD OF AN ACQUIRING DEPARTMENT MUST, AT THE EXPENSE OF THE ACQUISITION APPROPRIATION, PROCURE EVIDENCE OF TITLE DEEMED NECESSARY BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. THE DECISION DOES NOT REFER TO OR DISCUSS THE PROVISIONS OF THIS STATUTE. HOWEVER, THE APPLICATION OF THIS AND OTHER PROVISIONS OF SECTION 355 TO LAND ACQUISITIONS UNDER THE DECLARATION OF TAKING PROCEDURE IS IMPLIED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 26, 1931 (46 STAT. 1422, 40 U.S.C. 258E) WHICH MODIFIES THE TITLE OPINION REQUIREMENT OF SECTION 355, PROVIDED THE ATTORNEY GENERAL RENDERS AN OPINION THAT TITLE IS VESTED IN THE GOVERNMENT OR THAT ALL NECESSARY PARTIES HAVE BEEN JOINTED IN THE PROCEEDING AND WILL BE BOUND BY THE FINAL JUDGMENT THEREIN. SEE ALSO OPINION OF ATTORNEY GENERAL CUSHING, 7 OPS. ATTY. GEN. 114 (1855).

IN LIGHT OF THESE CONSIDERATIONS, YOUR VIEWS ARE REQUESTED WITH RESPECT TO WHETHER BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION APPROPRIATIONS ARE AVAILABLE TO PAY CHARGES FOR TITLE SERVICES SECURED AFTER THE INSTITUTION OF CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS UNDER THE DECLARATION OF TAKING PROCEDURE.

IN THE DECISION OF DECEMBER 18, 1928, OF FORMER COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, 8 COMP. GEN. 308, CITED IN YOUR LETTER, THERE ARE DISCUSSED THREE DIFFERENT SITUATIONS UNDER WHICH ABSTRACTS OF TITLE MAY BE REQUIRED, AND THE APPROPRIATIONS CHARGEABLE IN EACH INSTANCE (1) WHERE THE ABSTRACTS ARE REQUIRED PRIOR TO THE INSTITUTION OF CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS; (2) WHEN THEY ARE REQUIRED INCIDENT TO AND AFTER THE CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS HAVE BEEN INSTITUTED; AND (3) WHEN REQUIRED AFTER THE TERMINATION OF THE CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS. WITH RESPECT TO (1) AND (3) THE DECISION HOLDS THAT THE APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE PROPERTY IS PROPERLY CHARGEABLE, BUT AS TO (2) IT WAS HELD THAT THE COST OF SUCH ABSTRACTS OF TITLE SHOULD BE CHARGED TO THE APPLICABLE APPROPRIATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.

YOU QUESTION THE APPLICABILITY OF SAID DECISION INSOFAR AS IT RELATES TO THE PAYMENT FOR ABSTRACTS OF TITLE OBTAINED AFTER THE COMMENCEMENT OF, AND FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH, CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF LANDS OR INTERESTS THEREIN FOR THE BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION AND URGE THAT THEY SHOULD BE PAID FOR UNDER THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE BONNEVILLE ACT, APPROVED AUGUST 20, 1937, 50 STAT. 731. IN SUPPORT OF YOUR VIEW, YOU URGE (1) THAT, UNLIKE THE CIRCUMSTANCES APPEARING IN THAT DECISION, THE ATTORNEYS FOR THE BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION PARTICIPATE, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 12 OF THE BONNEVILLE ACT, IN BONNEVILLE CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS AND THAT THE CONDUCT OF SUCH PROCEEDINGS IS A JOINT DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION; AND (2) THAT THE CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS ARE BROUGHT UNDER THE DECLARATION OF TAKING PROCEDURE PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 26, 1931, 46 STAT. 1422, UNDER WHICH TITLE TO THE PROPERTY VESTS IN THE UNITED STATES WHEN THE DECLARATION OF TAKING IS FILED.

SECTION 2 (C) OF THE BONNEVILLE ACT, 50 STAT. 732, AUTHORIZES THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION, IN THE NAME OF THE UNITED STATES, TO ACQUIRE BY, AMONG OTHER METHODS OF ACQUISITION, CONDEMNATION SUCH REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY, OR ANY INTEREST THEREIN, AS THE ADMINISTRATOR FINDS NECESSARY OR APPROPRIATE TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT, AND SECTION 2 (D) EMPOWERS THE ADMINISTRATOR TO ACQUIRE ANY PROPERTY OR PROPERTY RIGHTS, WHICH IN HIS OPINION ARE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES OF THE ACT, BY THE EXERCISE OF THE RIGHT OF EMINENT DOMAIN AND TO INSTITUTE CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS THEREFOR IN THE SAME MANNER AS IS PROVIDED BY LAW FOR THE CONDEMNATION OF REAL ESTATE. SECTION 12 OF THE ACT, 50 STAT. 736, REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, PROVIDES:

THE ADMINISTRATOR MAY, IN THE NAME OF THE UNITED STATES, UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, BRING SUCH SUITS AT LAW OR IN EQUITY AS IN HIS JUDGMENT MAY BE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES OF THIS ACT; AND HE SHALL BE REPRESENTED IN THE PROSECUTION AND DEFENSE OF ALL LITIGATION AFFECTING THE STATUS OR OPERATION OF BONNEVILLE PROJECT BY THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS FOR THE DISTRICTS, RESPECTIVELY, IN WHICH SUCH LITIGATION MAY ARISE, OR BY SUCH ATTORNEY OR ATTORNEYS AS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL MAY DESIGNATE AS AUTHORIZED BY LAW, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE REGULARLY EMPLOYED ATTORNEYS OF THE ADMINISTRATOR.

ALSO, THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE BONNEVILLE PROJECT FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR ( PUBLIC LAW NO. 136, APPROVED JUNE 28, 1941, 55 STAT. 308), PROVIDES IN PART:

FOR ALL EXPENSES NECESSARY TO ENABLE THE BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATOR TO EXERCISE AND PERFORM THE POWERS AND DUTIES IMPOSED UPON HIM BY THE ACT "TO AUTHORIZE THE COMPLETION, MAINTENANCE, AND OPERATION OF THE BONNEVILLE PROJECT, FOR NAVIGATION AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," APPROVED AUGUST 20, 1937 (50 STAT. 731), * * * IT THUS APPEARS THAT THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION IS AUTHORIZED TO ACQUIRE REAL ESTATE OR ANY INTEREST THEREIN FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE ACT BY CONDEMNATION AND THAT, UNLIKE THE HANDLING OF USUAL CONDEMNATION CASES WHERE THE DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF INSTITUTING AND PROSECUTING THEM ARE ORDINARILY UPON THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AFTER THE MATTER HAS BEEN PLACED IN THE HANDS OF THAT DEPARTMENT BY THE ACQUIRING AGENCY, CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY FOR THE BONNEVILLE PROJECT APPEAR TO BE FOR HANDLING JOINTLY BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, THE COST OF ABSTRACTS OF TITLE REQUIRED AND OBTAINED FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS PROPERLY MAY BE REGARDED AS EXPENSES CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION OF THE ACQUIRING AGENCY RATHER THAN UNDER THE USUAL RULE AS STATED IN 8 COMP. GEN. 308, TO APPROPRIATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. ACCORDINGLY, THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION MAY BE REGARDED AS AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE COST OF SUCH ABSTRACTS OF TITLE TO WHICH YOU REFER NOTWITHSTANDING ONE OF THE USES FOR WHICH THEY MAY BE REQUIRED AND OBTAINED IS IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS.

AS TO THE SUGGESTION IN THE PENULTIMATE PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER THAT, REGARDLESS OF THE CONCLUSION REACHED WITH RESPECT TO THE SPECIFIC QUESTION YOU SUBMIT THE DECISION IN 8 COMP. GEN. 308, INSOFAR AS IT HOLDS THAT ABSTRACTS REQUIRED AND OBTAINED FOR USE IN CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS ARE TO BE REGARDED AS PART OF THE EXPENSES OF THE PROCEEDINGS AND CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE RATHER THAN TO THOSE OF THE ACQUIRING AGENCY, BE RECONSIDERED IN THE LIGHT OF THE PROVISION OF SECTION 355, REVISED STATUTES, TO THE EFFECT THAT THE HEAD OF AN ACQUIRING AGENCY SHALL PROCURE ANY EVIDENCE OF TITLE WHICH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SHALL DEEM NECESSARY AND THAT THE EXPENSES OF PROCURING THE SAME SHALL BE CHARGED TO THE ACQUIRING AGENCY, IT MAY BE SAID THAT NO REASON IS APPARENT TO ME AT THIS TIME WHY THE RULE SHOULD BE CHANGED. THE PROVISION REFERRED TO, AS NOW CONTAINED IN SAID SECTION 355, AS AMENDED AND REENACTED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, 54 STAT. 1083, IS AS FOLLOWS:

THE HEAD OR OTHER AUTHORIZED OFFICER OF ANY DEPARTMENT, INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT, OR AGENCY, SHALL PROCURE ANY EVIDENCE OF TITLE WHICH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL MAY DEEM NECESSARY, AND THE EXPENSES OF PROCUREMENT, EXCEPT WHERE OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY LAW OR PROVIDED BY CONTRACT, MAY BE PAID OUT OF THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF LAND OR OUT OF THE APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR THE CONTINGENCIES OF THE ACQUIRING DEPARTMENT, INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT, OR AGENCY.

A COMPARABLE, THOUGH LESS COMPREHENSIVE, PROVISION WAS CONTAINED IN SECTION 355, REVISED STATUTES, AS THE LATTER EXISTED AT THE TIME OF THE DECISION IN 8 COMP. GEN. 308. THERE IS NOTHING IN SUCH PROVISION AS IT NOW APPEARS IN THE LAW OR IN THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 26, 1931, 46 STAT. 1422, WHICH WOULD REQUIRE OR WARRANT THAT THERE BE ALTERED OR MODIFIED THE LONG ESTABLISHED RULE THAT ABSTRACTS NECESSITATED BY AND OBTAINED FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS ARE TO BE REGARDED AS EXPENSES OF SUCH PROCEEDINGS AND PAID FROM SUCH APPROPRIATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AS MAY BE AVAILABLE THEREFOR.