B-73693, MAY 24, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 722

B-73693: May 24, 1948

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POSTAGE STAMPS - PURCHASE AS AUGMENTING PENALTY-MAIL APPROPRIATION THE PURCHASE OF POSTAGE STAMPS BY THE NATIONAL CAPITAL HOUSING AUTHORITY FROM A SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS FOR THE SAME PURPOSE FOR WHICH A SPECIFIC AMOUNT WAS APPROPRIATED TO COVER THE COST OF PENALTY MAIL OF THE AUTHORITY FOR DEPOSIT IN THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 28. IS TO BE REGARDED AS AN UNAUTHORIZED AUGMENTATION OF THE PENALTY-MAIL APPROPRIATION. 1948: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 21. WHEREIN YOU WERE ADVISED THAT CERTIFICATION OF A VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $30. WAS NOT AUTHORIZED INASMUCH AS THE PURCHASE WOULD IMPLEMENT THE CURRENT PENALTY-MAIL APPROPRIATION ESTABLISHED UNDER PUBLIC LAW 269.

B-73693, MAY 24, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 722

POSTAGE STAMPS - PURCHASE AS AUGMENTING PENALTY-MAIL APPROPRIATION THE PURCHASE OF POSTAGE STAMPS BY THE NATIONAL CAPITAL HOUSING AUTHORITY FROM A SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS FOR THE SAME PURPOSE FOR WHICH A SPECIFIC AMOUNT WAS APPROPRIATED TO COVER THE COST OF PENALTY MAIL OF THE AUTHORITY FOR DEPOSIT IN THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1944, IS TO BE REGARDED AS AN UNAUTHORIZED AUGMENTATION OF THE PENALTY-MAIL APPROPRIATION, AND THE VOUCHER COVERING SUCH PURCHASE MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO A. J. HASKELL, NATIONAL CAPITAL HOUSING AUTHORITY, MAY 24, 1948:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 21, 1948, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF DECISION DATED MARY 1, 1948, B-73693, WHEREIN YOU WERE ADVISED THAT CERTIFICATION OF A VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $30, COVERING THE PURCHASE OF POSTAGE STAMPS, WAS NOT AUTHORIZED INASMUCH AS THE PURCHASE WOULD IMPLEMENT THE CURRENT PENALTY-MAIL APPROPRIATION ESTABLISHED UNDER PUBLIC LAW 269, APPROVED JULY 30, 1947, 61 STAT. 600, FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL HOUSING AUTHORITY'S PENALTY MAILING COSTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1948.

IT WAS POINTED OUT IN SAID DECISION THAT, IN THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1948, PUBLIC LAW 269, APPROVED JULY 30, 1947, THE CONGRESS APPROPRIATED THE SPECIFIC AMOUNT OF $750 FOR THE COST OF PENALTY MAIL OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL HOUSING AUTHORITY FOR DEPOSIT IN THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1944, 58 STAT. 394, AND THAT, AS A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION HAD BEEN MADE FOR COST OF PENALTY MAIL, THE AMOUNT SO APPROPRIATED MAY NOT BE EXCEEDED WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE CONGRESS. IN SUCH CONNECTION, THERE WAS CITED THE PROVISION OF TITLE 31, U.S.C., SECTION 665, PROVIDING IN PART, THAT NO EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENT OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL EXPEND IN ANY ONE FISCAL YEAR ANY SUM IN EXCESS OF APPROPRIATIONS MADE BY CONGRESS IN THAT FISCAL YEAR.

IN YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 21, IT IS STATED THAT THE PROPOSED EXPENDITURE IS NOT INTENDED TO COVER THE PURCHASE OF PENALTY INDICIA FROM THE PENALTY- MAIL APPROPRIATION BUT THAT THE PROPOSED EXPENDITURE IS FOR THE PURCHASE OF STAMPS. ALSO, IT IS POINTED OUT THAT THE PURCHASE IS NOT TO BE MADE FROM ANY APPROPRIATION BUT IS TO BE CHARGED TO THE SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT 62 F 8092--- ESTABLISHED BY THIS OFFICE- - IN WHICH RECEIPTS FROM PROPERTIES AIDED BY OR LEASED FROM THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION ARE DEPOSITED AND ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF SUCH PROPERTIES. IT IS POINTED OUT FOR FURTHER THAT, IN ADDITION TO BEING A FEDERAL AGENCY FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF TITLE I OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ALLEY DWELLING ACT, AS AMENDED, 52 STAT. 1186, THE NATIONAL CAPITAL HOUSING AUTHORITY ALSO FUNCTIONS AS A LOCAL HOUSING AGENCY UNDER TITLE II OF SAID ACT, 52 STAT. 1188, FOR THE PURPOSE OF MANAGING AND OPERATING HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. HENCE, IT IS URGED THAT, WHILE THE AUTHORITY HAS BEEN PERMITTED TO USE THE PENALTY-MAIL PRIVILEGE, SUCH PERMISSIVE USE OF THE PRIVILEGE SHOULD NOT PROHIBIT THE AUTHORITY FROM USING OTHER FUNDS FOR THE PURCHASE OF POSTAGE STAMPS WHEN THE PENALTY INDICIA PURCHASED FROM THE PENALTY-MAIL APPROPRIATION HAVE BEEN EXHAUSTED. IN SUCH RESPECT, IT IS STATED THAT, WHILE THE COST OF COMMUNICATION IS ONE OF THE COSTS OF OPERATION WHICH MAY BE CHARGED TO THE SPECIAL DEPOSIT FUND REFERRED TO ABOVE, THE AUTHORITY MERELY TAKES ADVANTAGE OF ITS STATUS AS A FEDERAL AGENCY BY USING THE PRIVILEGE ACCORDED BY THE PENALTY-MAIL APPROPRIATION, TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH IS PERMISSIBLE, IN LIEU OF THE SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT.

AS INDICATED ABOVE, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1948 THE CONGRESS APPROPRIATED THE SUM OF $750 TO COVER THE COST OF PENALTY MAIL OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL HOUSING AUTHORITY. AN EXAMINATION OF THE BUDGET ESTIMATES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1948 DISCLOSES THAT, OF SAID SUM, $10 WAS TO COVER PENALTY-MAIL COSTS INCIDENT TO THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF TITLE I PROPERTIES WHEREAS THE REMAINDER, OR $740, WAS TO COVER PENALTY-MAIL COSTS INCIDENT TO THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF PROPERTIES AIDED BY CR LEASED FROM THE PUBLIC HOUSING ADMINISTRATION. THUS, IT IS APPARENT THAT THE CONGRESS HAS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FROM THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY A SUM DETERMINED TO BE ADEQUATE TO COVER ANY PENALTY-MAIL COST OF THE AUTHORITY INCIDENT TO ITS MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF LOCAL HOUSING PROPERTIES. VIEW OF SUCH FACTS, IT IS OBVIOUS THAT TO PERMIT THE NATIONAL CAPITAL HOUSING AUTHORITY TO PURCHASE STAMPS FROM THE SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT, REFERRED TO ABOVE, TO BE USED FOR THE SAME PURPOSE FOR WHICH A PENALTY- MAIL APPROPRIATION WAS MADE AVAILABLE, WOULD RESULT IN AN AUGMENTATION OF THE PENALTY-MAIL APPROPRIATION WITHOUT SPECIFIC AUTHORITY OF THE CONGRESS. IN SUCH CONNECTION, IT IS WELL SETTLED THAT, WHERE THE CONGRESS MAKES AN APPROPRIATION IN A DEFINITE AMOUNT FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE, THE USE OF A MORE GENERAL APPROPRIATION OR FUND FOR THAT PURPOSE IS PROHIBITED. 19 COMP. GEN. 892; 17 ID. 1050.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE DECISION OF MARCH 1, 1948, MUST BE ADHERED TO, AND THAT THE VOUCHER INVOLVED MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.