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1952: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF NOVEMBER 13. - THE NAVY IS PRECLUDED FROM PROVIDING AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S LETTER STATES THAT THE FIRE-FIGHTING CIRCUIT IS A LIMITED INTERCOMMUNICATION SYSTEM DEVELOPED TO PROVIDE FOR THE PROMPT REPORTING OF FIRES AND THE DISPATCHING OF FIRE-FIGHTING EQUIPMENT AND THAT INCOMING CALLS ORIGINATING WITHIN THE FIRE-FIGHTING CIRCUIT CANNOT BE CONNECTED THROUGH THE SWITCHBOARD TO THE GENERAL TELEPHONE SYSTEM NOR CAN THOSE ORIGINATING IN THE LATTER SYSTEM BE CONNECTED THROUGH TO THE STATIONS IN THE FIRE-FIGHTING CIRCUIT. IT IS STATED THAT THE SOLE PURPOSE OF THE PROPOSED INSTALLATION IS TO ASSURE 24-HOUR IMMEDIATE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE DISTRICT FIRE MARSHAL AND THE STATIONS ON THE FIRE-FIGHTING CIRCUIT AND THAT REGULAR TELEPHONE SERVICE TO THE FIRE MARSHAL WILL CONTINUE TO BE FURNISHED ON THE GENERAL TELEPHONE SYSTEM AT HIS OWN EXPENSE.

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B-112819, DECEMBER 4, 1952, 32 COMP. GEN. 271

TELEPHONES - PRIVATE RESIDENCES - STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION REQUIREMENT WHILE SECTION 7 OF AUGUST 23, 1912, PROHIBITS PAYMENT FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS OF ANY PART OF THE EXPENSES OF FURNISHING TELEPHONE SERVICE TO A GOVERNMENT OFFICER IN HIS QUARTERS IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY, THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, UNDER SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, MAY ISSUE REGULATIONS AUTHORIZING THE INSTALLATION AND OFFICIAL USE OF EXTENSION TELEPHONES CONNECTING PUBLIC QUARTERS OCCUPIED BY NAVAL PERSONNEL WITH THE SWITCHBOARDS OF OFFICIAL STATIONS AND THE COST OF THE INSTALLATIONS AND USE MAY BE PAID OUT OF NAVAL APPROPRIATIONS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, DECEMBER 4,1952:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF NOVEMBER 13, 1952, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER--- IN VIEW OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 23, 1912, 37 STAT. 414, 31 U.S.C. 679, PROVIDING THAT "EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY LAW, NO MONEY APPROPRIATED BY ANY ACT SHALL BE EXPENDED FOR TELEPHONE SERVICE INSTALLED IN ANY PRIVATE RESIDENCE OR PRIVATE APARTMENT"--- THE NAVY IS PRECLUDED FROM PROVIDING AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, IN THE GOVERNMENT-OWNED RESIDENCE OF THE FOURTEENTH NAVAL DISTRICT FIRE MARSHAL, A TELEPHONE CONNECTION WITH THE FIRE-FIGHTING INTERCOMMUNICATION CIRCUIT AT THE UNITED STATES NAVAL BASE, PEARL HARBOR.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S LETTER STATES THAT THE FIRE-FIGHTING CIRCUIT IS A LIMITED INTERCOMMUNICATION SYSTEM DEVELOPED TO PROVIDE FOR THE PROMPT REPORTING OF FIRES AND THE DISPATCHING OF FIRE-FIGHTING EQUIPMENT AND THAT INCOMING CALLS ORIGINATING WITHIN THE FIRE-FIGHTING CIRCUIT CANNOT BE CONNECTED THROUGH THE SWITCHBOARD TO THE GENERAL TELEPHONE SYSTEM NOR CAN THOSE ORIGINATING IN THE LATTER SYSTEM BE CONNECTED THROUGH TO THE STATIONS IN THE FIRE-FIGHTING CIRCUIT. ALSO, IT IS STATED THAT THE SOLE PURPOSE OF THE PROPOSED INSTALLATION IS TO ASSURE 24-HOUR IMMEDIATE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE DISTRICT FIRE MARSHAL AND THE STATIONS ON THE FIRE-FIGHTING CIRCUIT AND THAT REGULAR TELEPHONE SERVICE TO THE FIRE MARSHAL WILL CONTINUE TO BE FURNISHED ON THE GENERAL TELEPHONE SYSTEM AT HIS OWN EXPENSE.

IN B-61938 OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1950, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, IT WAS STATED THAT THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT CONSISTENTLY HAVE HELD THAT, IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY, THE LANGUAGE OF SECTION 7 OF THE 1912 ACT PROHIBITS PAYMENT FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS OF ANY PART OF THE EXPENSE OF FURNISHING TELEPHONE SERVICE TO A GOVERNMENT OFFICER IN HIS QUARTERS AND THAT SUCH PROVISION IS APPLICABLE TO THE FURNISHING OF TELEPHONE SERVICE BY A GOVERNMENT INTRA-BASE SYSTEM EVEN THOUGH THE SYSTEM IS NOT CONNECTED TO OUTSIDE COMMERCIAL LINES. HOWEVER, SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 853, 34 U.S.C. 915A, SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES THAT UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE SECRETARY MAY PRESCRIBE, THERE MAY BE PAID OUT OF NAVAL APPROPRIATIONS THE COST OF INSTALLATION AND USE (OTHER THAN FOR PERSONAL LONG DISTANCE CALLS) OF EXTENSION TELEPHONES CONNECTING PUBLIC QUARTERS OCCUPIED BY NAVAL PERSONNEL WITH THE SWITCHBOARDS OF THEIR OFFICIAL STATIONS. IN VIEW OF SUCH PROVISION, THE 1912 STATUTE IS NOT FOR APPLICATION AND THERE IS PERCEIVED NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO CHARGING THE COST OF THE PROPOSED INSTALLATION AND OFFICIAL USE THEREOF TO OTHERWISE AVAILABLE APPROPRIATIONS TO THE NAVY, PROVIDED OF COURSE THAT SUCH CHARGES BE AUTHORIZED UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY.

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