A-12608, JANUARY 11, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 470

A-12608: Jan 11, 1926

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NOW SURPLUS TO THE NEEDS OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT WILL NOT BE OBJECTED TO IF MADE WITH THE LOWEST COMPETITIVE BIDDER FOR THE SAMPLE PLANE. 1926: I HAVE RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 9. THE MOTORS ARE REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN ACQUIRED FROM THE WAR DEPARTMENT UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE ACT OF APRIL 24. THAT THE SECRETARY OF WAR IS AUTHORIZED HEREAFTER. THE POSTMASTER GENERAL IS AUTHORIZED TO USE THE SAME IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE MAILS AND TO PAY THE NECESSARY EXPENSES THEREOF. OUT OF THE APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR THE SERVICE IN WHICH SUCH VEHICLES OR AEROPLANES ARE USED. YOU ALSO REPORT THE FACT THAT THERE ARE A LARGE NUMBER OF LIBERTY MOTORS ON HAND WITH THE WAR DEPARTMENT. THEY ARE DESIROUS THAT YOU TAKE AN ADDITIONAL 100.

A-12608, JANUARY 11, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 470

PURCHASES, EXCHANGE OF OLD EQUIPMENT FOR NEW - PROPOSAL CONDITIONS TRANSACTIONS WITH BIDDERS AFTER PROPOSAL WHICH MAY AFFECT CONDITIONS MUST BE CAREFULLY GUARDED SO AS NOT TO INVOLVE ANY QUESTION WITH OTHER BIDDERS. AN EXCHANGE FOR A SAMPLE AIRPLANE OF MOTORS TRANSFERRED FROM THE WAR DEPARTMENT OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE ACT OF APRIL 24, 1920, 41 STAT. 583, AND NOW SURPLUS TO THE NEEDS OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT WILL NOT BE OBJECTED TO IF MADE WITH THE LOWEST COMPETITIVE BIDDER FOR THE SAMPLE PLANE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, JANUARY 11, 1926:

I HAVE RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 9, 1926, RELATIVE IN SUBSTANCE WHETHER 10 CERTAIN LIBERTY MOTORS NOW ON HAND WITH YOU MAY BE EXCHANGED AT A VALUATION OF $2,300 EACH FOR A SAMPLE PLANE AT A PRICE OF $23,000 ASCERTAINED THROUGH COMPETITIVE BIDDING; THE MANUFACTURER OF THE AIRPLANE BEING WILLING TO MAKE SUCH EXCHANGE. THE MOTORS ARE REPORTED TO HAVE BEEN ACQUIRED FROM THE WAR DEPARTMENT UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE ACT OF APRIL 24, 1920, 41 STAT. 583, WHICH PROVIDES:

SEC. 3. THAT THE SECRETARY OF WAR IS AUTHORIZED HEREAFTER, IN HIS DISCRETION, TO DELIVER AND TURN OVER TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, WITHOUT CHARGE THEREFOR, FROM TIME TO TIME, SUCH MOTOR VEHICLES, AEROPLANES, AND PARTS THEREOF, AND MACHINERY AND TOOLS TO REPAIR AND MAINTAIN THE SAME, AS MAY BE SUITABLE FOR USE IN THE POSTAL SERVICE; AND THE POSTMASTER GENERAL IS AUTHORIZED TO USE THE SAME IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE MAILS AND TO PAY THE NECESSARY EXPENSES THEREOF, INCLUDING THE REPLACEMENT, MAINTENANCE, EXCHANGE, AND REPAIR OF SUCH EQUIPMENT, OUT OF THE APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR THE SERVICE IN WHICH SUCH VEHICLES OR AEROPLANES ARE USED.

YOU ALSO REPORT THE FACT THAT THERE ARE A LARGE NUMBER OF LIBERTY MOTORS ON HAND WITH THE WAR DEPARTMENT, AND THEY ARE DESIROUS THAT YOU TAKE AN ADDITIONAL 100, BUT YOU HAVE ALREADY ON HAND ABOUT 250 FROM WHICH YOU PROPOSE TO TAKE THE 10 FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS EXCHANGE AND HAVE NOW NO NEED OF ANY ADDITIONAL MOTORS FROM THE WAR DEPARTMENT STOCK; ALSO THAT THE WAR DEPARTMENT VALUES ITS MOTORS TO YOU AT APPROXIMATELY $1,800 AND THE PRESENT EXCHANGE OF 10 MOTORS FOR THE AIRPLANE IS PROPOSED TO BE MADE AT A VALUATION OF $2,300 EACH.

THE SINGLE QUESTION OF EXCHANGE MAY BE DETERMINED BY STATING IF YOUR DEPARTMENT'S USES FOR 10 LIBERTY MOTORS MAKE THEM SURPLUS, THE EXCHANGE NEED NOT BE QUESTIONED.

IN VIEW OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES APPEARING I AM RAISING NO QUESTION OF THE BASIS ON WHICH PROPOSALS WERE OBTAINED FOR THE AIRPLANES. A PROPOSITION TO EXCHANGE MOTORS FOR AN AIRPLANE INTRODUCES A CONDITION UPON WHICH ALL BIDDERS SHOULD ORDINARILY HAVE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES AND TRANSACTIONS WITH BIDDERS AFTER PROPOSAL WHICH MAY AFFECT CONDITIONS MUST BE CAREFULLY GUARDED SO AS NOT TO INVOLVE ANY QUESTION WITH OTHER BIDDERS. IN THE PRESENT MATTER THE BIDDER WHOSE SAMPLE AIRPLANE IS TO BE PURCHASED WAS THE LOWEST BIDDER AND THE EXCHANGE PROPOSITION NOW BEING ENTERED INTO APPEARS TO DISCLOSE NO CONTROLLING CONDITION THAT MIGHT OTHERWISE BE CONSIDERED DOUBTFUL IN THIS ASPECT.