A request was made for a decision on the propriety of the General Services Administration (GSA) making lump-sum payments for initial space alterations in leased premises from appropriations made available for the rental of space rather than from an appropriation for alterations and major repairs. The problem arose during fiscal year (FY) 1977, when the alterations budget was exhausted and the rental budget had a surplus. GSA believed that both funds were equally available to fund initial space alterations and that the administrative officer concerned could determine which fund to use. The decision held that the use of funds appropriated for the rental of space are not available to make lump-sum payments for the cost of initial alterations of leased premises was improper. Such payments can only be made from specific appropriation for alterations and major repairs. The fact that initial alterations to the leased premises may be made from rental appropriations when the alteration costs are amortized and made part of the rental consideration does not make the rental appropriation equally available for purposes of making such alterations so as to give the agency the right to choose which fund to charge. If amounts made available for alterations in FY 1977 were exceeded, a technical violation has occurred. An accounting adjustment can be made only if the central office still has unobligated funds which were available in 1977 for alterations.
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