Department of Transportation--Homer-Halibut Cove-Jakolof Bay-Seldovia Ferry
B-322791: Apr 3, 2012
At the request of Senator Lisa Murkowski and Congressman Don Young, GAO issues this legal opinion regarding amounts enacted for a ferry in Alaska. For each of fiscal years 2004, 2005, and 2006, Congress enacted appropriations requiring that the Secretary of Transportation (Transportation) make amounts available for a project identified as the Homer-Halibut Cove-Jakolof Bay-Seldovia Ferry, Alaska. The amounts were made available to the Seldovia Village Tribe (Tribe), a federally-recognized Indian tribe, which used the amounts for expenses related to a ferry.
Transportation involved one other agency, the Department of the Interior (Interior), in the conveyance of funds to the Tribe. Although Transportations actions with respect to the fiscal years 2004 and 2005 amounts were consistent with specific provisions in the appropriations acts, no similar provisions applied to the actions Transportation took in fiscal year 2006. Given the facts and circumstances, if Transportation lacks specific authority, we would not object if Transportation involved Interior in the 2006 conveyance pursuant to the Economy Act. GAO also concluded that the documents Transportation used to involve Interior and the documents through which Interior conveyed the funds to the Tribe were consistent with the language of the appropriations.