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therefore of opinion that the act of January 12, 1895, requires that lithographing and printing of the drawings referred to shall also be done at the Government Printing Office, and by implication prohibits an Executive Department from procuring such photolithographing and printing to be done elsewhere. I am also of opinion that a contract entered into for photolithographing and printing in contravention of the provisions of this act is void, and that you are not authorized to pay for the photolithographing and printing done thereunder.
TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE OF NAVAL ATTACHÉ.
A naval attaché is entitled to have transported as baggage at public expense such household furniture as the Secretary of the Navy may deem it necessary for him to have at his official station in order to properly perform his duties.
(Comptroller Tracewell to the Secretary of the Navy, October 5, 1904.)
I have received your letter of the 8th instant stating that in the opinion of the Départment, owing to the exigencies of foreign service, household furniture is necessary to a naval attaché in the proper performance of his duty abroad, and requesting a reconsideration of the decision of this Office dated July 21, 1904, in so far as it relates to the transportation of a naval attaché's household furniture at public expense.
In said decision it was held:
"Under the law as it now exists I am of opinion that Lieutenant-Commander Howard is entitled to be paid for travel under his orders outside the limits of the United States actual expenses only, and that such expenses would include the transportation of such baggage as is necessarily required by him in connection with the performance of the duty to which he is assigned, and the character and amount of such articles is a matter primarily for the exercise of the judgment and discretion of the Secretary of the Navy. Unless such articles are necessarily required by the officer in connection with the performance of the duty to which he is assigned, I am of opinion there is no authority of law for their transportation at public expense. I do not think there is any authority of law for the transportation of the officer's household furniture at public expense.
* * *
"If the Secretary of the Navy in his judgment thinks the amount of baggage of an officer authorized by the above regulation to be transported at public expense does not exceed the amount necessarily required by the officer in connection with. the performance of this duty which may be assigned to him in view of the difficulty of determining in each case what articles of an officer traveling abroad are necessary in connection with his duties, I see no legal objections to said regulations and their application to the case under consideration. Otherwise I am of opinion the said regulations should be amended to conform to the views stated above.”
I agree with and adhere to the opinion expressed in said decision that the act of June 7, 1900, was intended to be a complete substitute for and superseded all prior legislation in regard to allowances for travel to navy officers. It took away from the officers of the line, Medical and Pay Corps of the Navy, the traveling allowances provided for army officers and made applicable to them by section 13 of the navy personnel act (30 Stat., 1007), and gave in lieu thereof mileage at the rate of 8 cents per mile for travel in the United States and actual expenses for travel abroad.
The question now. presented is whether household furniture can be included as baggage under paragraphs 3 and 4 of article 1229 of the Navy Regulations, 1900, as amended by General Orders, No. 3 of 1900, and No. 52 of 1901.
The baggage of an army or naval officer must necessarily be such articles of property, household furniture or other property, as is necessary for him to have at his place of official residence in order for him to properly and efficiently perform the duties of his office. The term baggage as used in the said regulations is necessarily different from the definition of personal baggage as applied by railroads and other transportation companies.
The practical definition of personal baggage by transportation companies is effects of a personal nature under lock and key, and the receptacle in which they are inclosed provided with handles in order to make their handling easy and convenient. It would be absurd to confine the baggage of an officer as used in the Navy Regulations to such a definition of baggage.
The Secretary of the Navy by the ninth indorsement accompanying the request for a reconsideration of the said decision of July 21, 1904, certifies that "household furniture" is a
necessary part of the baggage of a naval attaché in the performance of his duty as such. This indorsement brings the matter clearly within the reasons of the said decision of July 21, 1904, and I am of the opinion that Lieut. Commander W. L. Howard is entitled to have any amount of baggage transported at public expense as in the judgment of the Secretary of the Navy is necessary for him to have in connection with the performance of his duty as such naval attaché, which may include household effects, if such effects are considered by the Secretary of the Navy necessary for him to have in connection with his duties as such attaché.
This view is in entire harmony with the decision requested to be reconsidered, except to that part of it which says:
"I do not think there is any authority of law for the transportation of the officer's household furniture at public expense."
No reason is given for this statement, and I apprehend no good reason could be given for it.
If articles of household furniture are necessary, as the Secretary of the Navy certifies, to the proper discharge of the duties of an attaché serving in a foreign country, and if the word baggage is not used in the restricted sense of ordinary personal baggage as applied by railroads, which evidently it is not, it being evidently used to cover the articles necessary for an officer to have in the discharge of his duties, such, for example, as books and maps, which are ordinarily not personal baggage, no reason is seen on careful reconsideration of this question why household furniture can not be included as baggage under the circumstances of this case. The decision in question is therefore modified as herein set out.
TELEPHONE SERVICE FOR THE OFFICE OF THE RECORDER OF DEEDS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
The act of April 27, 1904, which provided that no part of the appropriation therein made for telephone service in the District of Columbia should be used in payment for such service in excess of the maximum rates therein stipulated, has no application to telephone service for the office of the recorder of deeds, for the reason that payment therefor is made out of the fees of said office, and not from any part of the appropriation made in said act.
(Comptroller Tracewell to John C. Dancy, recorder of deeds, District of Columbia, October 11, 1904.)
I am in receipt of your letter of the 5th instant, as follows: "I have the honor to submit herewith inclosed a proposed contract between this office and the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company of this city for telephone service, and to ask whether I am authorized to enter into the proposed contract at the rates named therein.
"As I understand the act of Congress of April 27, 1904 (33 Stat., 374), certain rates for telephone service is therein prescribed to govern all offices depending upon District of Columbia appropriations for such service. This office, as I am informed, is an United States office, supporting itself out of the fees and emoluments paid into it for filing and recording instruments required by law to be therein filed and recorded. It is therefore not dependent for its maintenance upon moneys provided for by the District of Columbia appropriation act, or, indeed, by any other appropriation act, and I respectfully submit, therefore, that it would seem I am authorized to enter into such a contract as the one herewith submitted."
The act of April 27, 1904 (33 Stat., 374), making an appropriation for the electrical department of the government of the District of Columbia, contained the following provisions:
"For general supplies, repairs, new batteries, and battery supplies, telephone rental and purchase, wire for extension of the telegraph and telephone service, repairs of lines and instruments, purchase of poles, tools, insulators, brackets, pins, hardware, cross-arms, ice, record books, stationery, printing, livery, horses and harness, washing, blacksmithing, forage, extra labor, new boxes, rent of stable and storeroom, and other necessary items, fifteen thousand dollars: Provided, That no part of the money herein appropriated shall be used for payment to any telephone company doing business in the District of Columbia for the use of any telephone within said District for communicating therefrom to any other telephone connected to a central office of such company in the District of Columbia at rates in excess of the following: Sixty dollars per annum for a telephone on an individual metallic circuit, forty-eight dollars per annum for each telephone on the same premises, there being not more than two on the same metallic circuit, and no contract shall be made with any telephone company for such use of such telephone in excess of the rates herein specified: Provided, That until the population of the city of Washington shall be three hundred and fifty thousand or over no more than the above specified rates shall be charged by any telephone company doing business in the District of Columbia for such use of such telephones at private
residences within the District of Columbia, and any acts or parts of acts heretofore enacted fixing telephone rates for grounded circuits in the District of Columbia are hereby repealed."
The above act, which is the only law now in force regulating charges for telephone service in the District of Columbia, provides, so far as your question is concerned, that no part of the money therein appropriated shall be used in payment for telephone service in excess of the rates therein stipulated.
Expenses of the office of Recorder of Deeds for telephone service are paid, as I am informed, from the fees of said office, under the authority of section 553 of the District Code and not from any part of the appropriation for telephone service made in the act of April 27, 1904 (supra).
If such are the facts the provision in the act of April 27, 1904 (supra), relative to telephone charges would not apply to your office, since said provision is limited to the use of the appropriation therein made, and you would be authorized to contract for telephone service at such rates as you may deem proper. Whether or not the rate named in the contract submitted by you is the lowest obtainable is an administrative matter for you to determine. One clause of the contract provides for payment in advance for the service therein specified. As advance payments are prohibited by section 3648 of the Revised Statutes this provision should be stricken out. With this exception I find no legal objection to the execution of the contract as submitted.
JUDGMENTS FOR EXTRA PAY UNDER THE ACT OF JANUARY 12, 1899.
A judgment of the Court of Claims in favor of an officer of the Army for extra pay under the act of January 12, 1899, is not payable from the appropriation for extra pay made in said act, but should be certified to Congress by the Secretary of the Treasury for an appropriation.
(Decision by Comptroller Tracewell, October 11, 1904.)
The Auditor for the War Department, under date of September 27, 1904, has submitted the following decision for approval, disapproval or modification:
"In the settlement of the claim of Frank Barr, formerly captain of Company F of the Sixteenth Regiment of Pennsyl