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Use of the special anchorage areas which have been designated by the Corps of Engineers in Mobile Bay and Mississippi Sound awaits changes in the inland and western rivers rules as proposed in H.R. 4300. Use of these special anchorage areas without the rules changes proposed would require that vessels show the same lights (with one minor exception) and sound the same fog signals as vessels anchored elsewhere, and therefore the use of these special anchorage areas without the proposed changes in lighting requirements and fog signal requirements would be of little value to the industry.
Under existing provisions of the rules of the road concerning anchor lights and fog signals, vessels that anchor in special anchorage areas, with the one minor exception previously mentioned, would be required to carry the same lights and sound the same fog signals as vessels anchored elsewhere. Vessels under 150 feet in length would have to carry a single all-around white light in the forward part of the vessel, visible for at least 2 miles under the western rivers rules and 1 mile under the inland rules; those of 150 feet in length or more would have to carry a second such light in the after part of the vessel at least 15 feet lower than the forward light. All such vessels under conditions of fog or reduced visibility would be required to sound the prescribed fog signal which consists of rapidly ringing a bell for about 5 seconds at intervals of not more than once every minute. (The one exception is that vessels of not more than 65 feet in length would not be required to display any anchor light.)
The purpose of H.R. 4300 is to modify these regulations to provide relief from the present lighting requirements when vessels are anchored in the special designated anchorage areas.
At this point we should call the committee's attention to the fact that special anchorage areas established by the Corps of Engineers must always be removed from the immediate vicinity of navigable channels or fairways, that they must be marked in such fashion as to be identifiable, that their location is published to mariners. Because of these conditions the members of the American Waterways Operators, Inc., and members of the Western Rivers Panel believe that the existing requirements for anchor lights and fog signals can safely be changed without creating any undue hazard to navigation.
Under the proposed amendment, individual vessels that anchor in special anchorage areas would carry a single anchor light in lieu of the two lights where that requirement applies ; vessels tied together and anchored as a group would be required to show only a single light on the vessel with its anchor down, and all vessels would be relieved of the requirement for sounding a fog signal. (In this connection, we should point out that one of the primary purposes of seeking special anchorage areas is to provide a safe mooring place where such vessels can be left unmanned.) Vessels of any type not more than 65 feet in length would continue to be exempt from all requirements for showing lights or sounding fog signals.
The purpose of seeking these changes in requiremeents for anchor lights and fog signals is to relieve the barge and towing vessel industry of what we believe to be an unnecessary and what we know to be a burdensome requirement. Careful study of the problem indicates to us that this purpose can be accomplished in this instance without impairing safety of navigation.
As we have pointed out there are already two special anchorage areas designated by the Corps of Engineers and these proposed changes in the requirements for anchor lights and fog signals are needed so that the barge and towing vessel industry can avail itself of the use of these areas without burdensome lighting and signal requirements. Undoubtedly, in time, as commerce grows on the inland and coastal waters, as we believe it will, the need will arise for other such special anchorage areas and if this becomes the case this proposed legislation will facilitate their estabilshment.
My purpose before the committee today is to convey to you an expression of endorsement and support of the barge and towing vessel industry as represented in the American Waterways Operators, Inc., for H.R. 4300 and urge its early approval by the Congress.
Mr. GARMATZ. Are there any questions!
Mr. ZINCKE. Mr. Chairman, the Department of Commerce report on this bill has not been received. Mr. Pearce of the Department has stated that the report will be favorable when we receive it.
Mr. GARMATZ. Thank you very much, Mr. Carr.
(Whereupon at 11:08 a.m. the committee proceeded to other business.)
MISCELLANEOUS COAST GUARD HEARINGS
MERGER OF CERTAIN COAST GUARD APPROPRIATIONS
THURSDAY, MAY 9, 1963
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
GEODETIC SURVEY, AND NAVIGATION OF THE
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10:10 a.m., pursuant to call, in room 219, Cannon House Office Building, Hon. Frank M. Clark presiding.
Mr. Clark. We will take up H.R. 73 now, by Mr. Bonner, to provide for the merger of certain Coast Guard appropriations for operating expenses, Reserve training, and retired pay.
The Treasury reports received are favorable. (H.R. 73 and the reports referred to follow :)
[H.R. 73, 88th Cong., 1st sess.) A BILL To provide for the merger of certain Coast Guard appropriations for operating
expenses, Reserve training, and retired pay Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That chapter 17 of title 14, United States Code, is amended by adding the following new section: "8 656. Annual Coast Guard appropriations
"At the beginning of each fiscal year, amounts equal to the obligated balances outstanding against the Coast Guard appropriations for 'Operating expenses', 'Reserve training', and 'Retired pay for the two preceding fiscal years shall be transferred to and merged with the Coast Guard appropriations for 'Operating expenses', 'Reserve training', and 'Retired pay' for the current fiscal year and, except for accounting purposes of the Coast Guard, each merged appropriation shall be available as one fund under each title for the payment of obligations properly incurred against these prior year appropriations and the appropriation for the current year.”
SEC. 2. The analysis of chapter 17 of title 14, United States Code, is amended by adding the following new item : "656. Annual Coast Guard appropriations."
THE GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE TREASURY,
Washington, February 13, 1963. Hon. HERBERT C. BONNER, Chairman, Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Reference is made to your request for the views of this Department on H.R. 73, to provide for the merger of certain Coast Guard appropriations for operating expenses, Reserve training, and retired pay.
The bill is identical to a draft of legislation which was submitted by the Treasury Department to the Speaker of the House of Representatives on September 7, 1962. Its purpose, which is explained in more detail in the letter of transmittal, is to enact as permanent law provisions which have appeared annually for over 10 years in acts making appropriations for the Coast Guard. A copy of the letter of transmittal is attached.
The annual appropriations acts have provided for the merger of Coast Guard appropriations for the current fiscal year with the obligated balances of appropriations for the prior 2 fiscal years in the case of appropriations for operating expenses and Reserve training. Each merged appropriation is thus available as one fund for the payment of obligations incurred both during the current and prior fiscal years. H.R. 73 would provide permanent authority for this merger process and extend it to retired pay, thereby placing all Coast Guard appropriations on the same basis.
The merger of appropriations is necessary to permit the use of the accrual system of accounting by the Coast Guard and the Department recommends favorable consideration of the bill.
The Department has been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that there is no objection from the standpoint of the administration's program to the submission of this report to your committee. Sincerely yours,
G. D'ANDELOT BELIN,
General Counsel. Enclosure.
Washington, D.C., September 7, 1962. Hon. John W. McCORMACK, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Washington, D.O.
DEAR MR. SPEAKER: There is transmitted herewith a draft of a proposed bill to provide for the merger of certain Coast Guard appropriations for operating expenses, Reserve training, and retired pay.
În 1950, language was enacted in the Treasury Department Appropriations Act for the fiscal year 1951 (act of Sept. 6, 1950, 64 Stat. 639) which provided for the transfer and merger of amounts equal to the unliquidated obligations outstanding against Coast Guard appropriations for fiscal years 1949 and 1950 for "Salaries, Office of the Commandant," "Pay and allowances," "General expenses," and “Civilian employees" with the fiscal year 1951 appropriation for "Operating expenses.” This act authorized such merged appropriations to be available as one fund for the payment of obligations properly incurred against both the prior appropriations and the fiscal year 1951 appropriation, but required that the identity and integrity of each fiscal year appropriation be maintained in Coast Guard accounting records. Since 1951, each "Operating expenses” appropriation act has contained similar authorization, and beginning with fiscal year 1953, such authorization was extended to include appropriations for "Reserve training.” The need for merger authorization was created by the Coast Guard's adoption, in fiscal year 1951, of a system of accounting based upon the accrual principle. This system developed more meaningful and current financial management information on the operating costs of units and programs; it is a system which was later made mandatory for all executive agencies by the act of August 1, 1956 (70 Stat. 782).
Under the accrual accounting principle, accrued expenditures are entered in the accounting records when liabilities are incurred for goods and services received and other assets acquired and performance accepted, whether or not payment has been made and whether or not invoices have been received. Operating costs are distributed to units and programs in the accounting period in which the cost is incurred. Under this system it often occurs that an expendi. ture is entered during a fiscal year subsequent to the year in which the obligation is incurred. Lacking some sort of merger authorization such as that contained in the 1951 and subsequent appropriations acts, the Coast Guard would be required to (1) maintain three separate fiscal year appropriation accounts for both “Operating expenses" and "Reserve training," (2) cause disbursements to be charged to the appropriation account for the year the obliga. tion was incurred, and (3) relate cost information retroactively to appropriate accounts of previous fiscal years. This would serve no practical accounting purpose, but would be required in conformity with governmental accounting regulations. The merged appropriation system, on the other hand, permits the Coast Guard to authorize disbursements from a single account for obligations