B-44040, SEPTEMBER 5, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 184

B-44040: Sep 5, 1944

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THE COSTS OF ANY REPAIRS NECESSARY TO MAINTAIN THE USE OF SUCH AIRCRAFT BY THE BOARD ARE CHARGEABLE TO THAT AGENCY'S APPROPRIATION FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES. WHICH IS SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE FOR THE HIRE AND OPERATION OF AIRCRAFT. 1944: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 19. AS FOLLOWS: THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD IS EXPERIENCING AN URGENT NEED FOR A NUMBER OF SMALL AIRCRAFT TO BE USED BY MEMBERS OF ITS SAFETY BUREAU IN ORDER TO REACH SCENES OF ACCIDENTS OCCURRING IN REMOTE AREAS WITH ALL POSSIBLE EXPEDITION. THE IMPERATIVENESS OF THIS NEED IS ACCENTUATED BY THE DIFFICULTY DURING WARTIMES OF OBTAINING ACCOMMODATIONS ON SHORT NOTICE ON VEHICLES AFFORDED THE GENERAL TRAVELING PUBLIC. THE INVESTIGATORS EMPLOYED BY THE BOARD ARE REQUIRED TO BE PILOTS.

B-44040, SEPTEMBER 5, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 184

INTER-AGENCY LEASING OF AIRCRAFT SURPLUS AIRCRAFT MAY BE LEASED BY THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD FROM ANOTHER GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT UNDER AN AGREEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 601 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, AS AMENDED, TO REIMBURSE THE DEPARTMENT FOR THE COST, IF ANY, NECESSARILY INCURRED BY IT IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH TRANSACTION, AND THE COSTS OF ANY REPAIRS NECESSARY TO MAINTAIN THE USE OF SUCH AIRCRAFT BY THE BOARD ARE CHARGEABLE TO THAT AGENCY'S APPROPRIATION FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES, WHICH IS SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE FOR THE HIRE AND OPERATION OF AIRCRAFT.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE CHAIRMAN, CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD, SEPTEMBER 5, 1944:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 19, 1944, AS FOLLOWS:

THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD IS EXPERIENCING AN URGENT NEED FOR A NUMBER OF SMALL AIRCRAFT TO BE USED BY MEMBERS OF ITS SAFETY BUREAU IN ORDER TO REACH SCENES OF ACCIDENTS OCCURRING IN REMOTE AREAS WITH ALL POSSIBLE EXPEDITION, AND FOR COMPARABLE OFFICIAL USES. THE IMPERATIVENESS OF THIS NEED IS ACCENTUATED BY THE DIFFICULTY DURING WARTIMES OF OBTAINING ACCOMMODATIONS ON SHORT NOTICE ON VEHICLES AFFORDED THE GENERAL TRAVELING PUBLIC. MOREOVER, THE INVESTIGATORS EMPLOYED BY THE BOARD ARE REQUIRED TO BE PILOTS, AND AS SUCH SHOULD FLY AS OFTEN AS PRACTICABLE SO AS TO MAINTAIN THEIR CONVERSANCY WITH MODERN AIRCRAFT.

INVESTIGATION DISCLOSES THAT AIRCRAFT NOW OWNED BY THE UNITED STATES AND SURPLUS TO THE NEEDS OF THE PRESENT HOLDER CAN PROBABLY BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE BOARD AT A VERY REASONABLE RENTAL FEE. SUBJECT TO YOUR OPINION, THE BOARD IS CONSIDERING THE ACQUISITION OF SUCH AIRCRAFT BY VIRTUE OF A LEASING ARRANGEMENT INCORPORATING A CONDITION REQUIRING THE LESSEE TO MAINTAIN AND REPAIR THE SUBJECT OF THE LEASE FOR THE DURATION THEREOF. HOWEVER, SOME QUESTION IN CONNECTION WITH THE BOARD'S BECOMING A PARTY TO SUCH A LEASE MIGHT CONCEIVABLY BE RAISED BECAUSE OF THE LANGUAGE OF THE ACT FIXING THE BOARD'S APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1945 ( PUB. LAW 365 78TH CONG., CH. 294-2D SESS. ( H.R. 4204), PP. 26-27), WHICH ALLOTS A LUMP SUM FOR VARIOUS PURPOSES, INCLUDING THE "HIRING AND OPERATION OF AIRCRAFT," TOGETHER WITH A STATUTE WHICH THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY HAS PARAPHRASED IN A DECISION AS PROHIBITING "* * * EXPENDITURES OUT OF ANY APPROPRIATION FOR THE PURCHASE, MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, OR OPERATION OF MOTOR-PROPELLED OR HORSE-DRAWN PASSENGER CARRYING VEHICLES, UNLESS THE SAME IS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY LAW" (22 DEC. OF THE COMP. OF THE TREAS. 187, 188).

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED RELATIVE TO THE PROPRIETY OF THE EXPENDITURE BY THE BOARD OF FUNDS FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR OF AIRCRAFT, WHERE SUCH MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR IS CONDUCTED PURSUANT TO A CONDITION IN THE LEASE BY VIRTUE OF WHICH THE AIRCRAFT IS ACQUIRED BY THE BOARD.

THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD FOR 1945, ACT OF JUNE 28, 1944, PUBLIC LAW 365, PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

FOR NECESSARY EXPENSES OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD, INCLUDING * * * HIRE AND OPERATION OF AIRCRAFT; HIRE, MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, AND OPERATION OF PASSENGER-CARRYING AUTOMOBILES * * *.

IN THE DECISION 22 COMP. DEC. 187, REFERRED TO BY YOU, THERE WAS CONSIDERED AN APPROPRIATION PROVIDING THAT "NOT TO EXCEED $55,000 * * * SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE, MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, AND OPERATION OF MOTOR-PROPELLED AND HORSE-DRAWN PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES AND MOTOR BOATS" WITH A RESTRICTION THAT NOT TO EXCEED $5,000 OF THAT AMOUNT "SHALL BE EXPENDED FOR THE PURCHASE OF SUCH VEHICLES AND BOATS," AND IT WAS THEREIN HELD THAT THE EXPENSE OF HIRING SUCH VEHICLES SHOULD BE CHARGED TO THE $5,000 LIMITATION UPON PURCHASES. THE APPLICATION OF THAT DECISION TO THE QUESTION PRESENTED BY YOU IS NOT APPARENT AS THERE IS NO EXPRESS LIMITATION IN YOUR APPROPRIATION UPON THE AMOUNT AVAILABLE FOR "HIRE AND OPERATION OF AIRCRAFT" OR ANY PROVISION FOR THE PURCHASE OF AIRCRAFT. THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1914, 38 STAT. 454, 508, REFERRED TO IN THAT DECISION, IS APPLICABLE ONLY TO PASSENGER-CARRYING "VEHICLES" WHICH DO NOT INCLUDE AIRCRAFT. 22 COMP. DEC. 262. SEE, ALSO, SECTION 4 OF THE REVISED STATUTES, 1 U.S.C. 4.

THE HIRE OF AIRCRAFT FROM ANOTHER GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT WOULD BE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 601 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 20, 1942, 56 STAT. 662, WHICH PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

(A) ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT, OR ANY BUREAU OF OFFICE THEREOF, IF FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE THEREFOR AND IF IT IS DETERMINED BY THE HEAD OF SUCH EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, ESTABLISHMENT, BUREAU, OR OFFICE TO BE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT SO TO DO, MAY PLACE ORDERS WITH ANY OTHER SUCH DEPARTMENT, ESTABLISHMENT, BUREAU, OR OFFICE FOR MATERIALS, SUPPLIES EQUIPMENT, WORK, OR SERVICES, OF ANY KIND THAT SUCH REQUISITIONED FEDERAL AGENCY MAY BE IN A POSITION TO SUPPLY OR EQUIPPED TO RENDER, AND SHALL PAY PROMPTLY BY CHECK TO SUCH FEDERAL AGENCY AS MAY BE REQUISITIONED, UPON ITS WRITTEN REQUEST, EITHER IN ADVANCE OR UPON THE FURNISHING OR PERFORMANCE THEREOF, ALL OR PART OF THE ESTIMATED OR ACTUAL COST THEREOF AS DETERMINED BY SUCH DEPARTMENT, ESTABLISHMENT, BUREAU, OR OFFICE AS MAY BE REQUISITIONED; BUT PROPER ADJUSTMENTS ON THE BASIS OF THE ACTUAL COST OF THE MATERIALS, SUPPLIES, OR EQUIPMENT FURNISHED, OR WORK OR SERVICES PERFORMED, PAID FOR IN ADVANCE, SHALL BE MADE AS MAY BE AGREED UPON BY THE DEPARTMENTS, ESTABLISHMENTS, BUREAUS, OR OFFICES CONCERNED * * *.

IN 9 COMP. GEN. 415, IT WAS HELD WITH RESPECT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR EQUIPMENT LOANED BY ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS) AS FOLLOWS:

WHERE EQUIPMENT OF ONE GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY IS BORROWED AND USED BY ANOTHER GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW TO DEMAND A RETURN OR COMPENSATION BASED UPON THE USE ALONE, HENCE REIMBURSEMENT FOR USE AND DEPRECIATION OF SUCH PROPERTY IS NOT AUTHORIZED. 3 COMP. GEN. 74 DISTINGUISHED.

COMPARE 13 COMP. GEN. 150; 15 ID. 1111. IN 5 COMP. GEN. 162, WITH RESPECT TO REPAIRS TO EQUIPMENT LOANED BY ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER, IT WAS HELD (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

THE COST OF REPAIRS TO A SEAPLANE LOANED BY THE NAVY TO THE COAST GUARD FOR USE IN DETECTING VIOLATIONS OF THE CUSTOMS AND NATIONAL PROHIBITION LAWS, IF NECESSARY TO PUT THE SEAPLANE IN CONDITION FOR RETURN TO THE NAVY, ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE NAVAL APPROPRIATIONS EXCLUSIVELY AVAILABLE FOR SUCH REPAIRS; OR, IF NECESSARY FOR CONTINUED USE OF THE SEAPLANE BY THE COAST GUARD, ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE COAST GUARD APPROPRIATIONS.

SEE, ALSO, 17 COMP. GEN. 1020.

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTION SPECIFICALLY YOU ARE ADVISED THAT IN THE LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING, SURPLUS AIRCRAFT MAY BE LEASED FROM ANOTHER GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT UNDER AN AGREEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 601 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, SUPRA, TO REIMBURSE THE DEPARTMENT FOR THE COST, IF ANY, NECESSARILY INCURRED BY IT IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH TRANSACTION, THE COSTS OF ANY REPAIRS NECESSARY TO MAINTAIN THE USE OF SUCH AIRCRAFT BY YOUR BOARD TO BE CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD.