A-13010, MARCH 23, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 755

A-13010: Mar 23, 1926

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

OR THAT THE PARTICULAR GRADE OF ARTICLES DESIRED FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE WAS NOT INTENDED TO BE ELIMINATED FROM THE SCHEDULE. OR THAT THE NEEDS OF THE PARTICULAR DEPARTMENT WERE NOT TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION WHEN THE REGULAR CONTRACT WAS AWARDED. IS IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE ACT OF JUNE 17. PAYMENT THEREFOR IN EXCESS OF THE CONTRACT PRICE OF THE SCHEDULED ARTICLE IS NOT AUTHORIZED. WHEREIN WAS DISALLOWED $4.05 OF THE L. THE AMOUNT DISALLOWED BEING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNT PAID FOR THE RIBBONS PURCHASED IN THE OPEN MARKET AND WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST THE GOVERNMENT HAD THE PURCHASE BEEN MADE FROM THE REGULAR SUPPLY CONTRACTOR. WAS NOT LISTED ON THE GENERAL SUPPLY COMMITTEE SCHEDULE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1926 FOR THIS CLASS OF SUPPLIES.

A-13010, MARCH 23, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 755

PURCHASES - OPEN MARKET, INSTEAD OF FROM GENERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE THE PURCHASE IN THE OPEN MARKET OF ARTICLES OF A DIFFERENT QUALITY FROM THOSE OF THE SAME CLASS LISTED ON THE GENERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE WITHOUT A SHOWING THAT A PUBLIC EXIGENCY EXISTED AT THE TIME OF PURCHASE THAT COULD NOT BE MET BY PURCHASE FROM THE SCHEDULED CONTRACTOR, OR THAT THE PARTICULAR GRADE OF ARTICLES DESIRED FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE WAS NOT INTENDED TO BE ELIMINATED FROM THE SCHEDULE, OR THAT THE NEEDS OF THE PARTICULAR DEPARTMENT WERE NOT TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION WHEN THE REGULAR CONTRACT WAS AWARDED, IS IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE ACT OF JUNE 17, 1910, 36 STAT. 531. PAYMENT THEREFOR IN EXCESS OF THE CONTRACT PRICE OF THE SCHEDULED ARTICLE IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, MARCH 23, 1926:

REVIEW HAS BEEN REQUESTED OF SETTLEMENT NO. 011092, DATED NOVEMBER 17, 1925, WHEREIN WAS DISALLOWED $4.05 OF THE L. C. SMITH AND BROS. TYPEWRITER CO.'S CLAIM OF $4.50, REPRESENTING THE COST OF THREE SILK TYPEWRITER RIBBONS PURCHASED BY THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1925, THE AMOUNT DISALLOWED BEING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE AMOUNT PAID FOR THE RIBBONS PURCHASED IN THE OPEN MARKET AND WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST THE GOVERNMENT HAD THE PURCHASE BEEN MADE FROM THE REGULAR SUPPLY CONTRACTOR.

THE L. C. SMITH AND BROS. TYPEWRITER CO. WAS NOT LISTED ON THE GENERAL SUPPLY COMMITTEE SCHEDULE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1926 FOR THIS CLASS OF SUPPLIES.

THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE SUBMITS THE FOLLOWING EXPLANATION OF THE REASONS FOR DISREGARDING THE GENERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE IN THIS INSTANCE:

THERE IS ONLY ONE ITEM FOR RECORD TYPEWRITER RIBBONS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE UNDER THE GENERAL SCHEDULE OF SUPPLIES FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR, VIZ, ITEM NO. 1312. THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS USES THE RIBBONS CALLED FOR UNDER ITEM NO. 1312 FOR ALL PURPOSES WITH THE EXCEPTION OF VERY SPECIAL CLASSES OF WORK FOR WHICH THE CONTRACT RIBBONS ARE NOT SUITABLE OR ADAPTABLE. THIS SPECIAL WORK CONSISTS OF PREPARING THE TYPEWRITTEN ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS REQUIRED BY SECTION 19 OF THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ACT, WHICH PROVIDES FOR AN ELABORATE AND DETAILED REPORT TO BE MADE, SHOWING THE WORK DONE UNDER THAT ACT, THE STATUS OF EACH PROJECT UNDERTAKEN, THE ALLOCATION OF APPROPRIATIONS, AN ITEMIZED STATEMENT OF THE EXPENDITURES AND RECEIPTS, AN ITEMIZED STATEMENT OF TRAVELING AND OTHER EXPENSES, INCLUDING A LIST OF EMPLOYEES, THEIR DUTIES, SALARIES, AND TRAVELING EXPENSES. THIS ANNUAL REPORT COMPRISES BETWEEN 260 AND 270 PAGES, APPROXIMATELY TWO-THIRDS OF WHICH IS ON SHEETS SIZE 12 INCHES BY 18 INCHES. AS THERE IS NO APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR THE PRINTING OF THIS VOLUMINOUS REPORT, THE ORIGINAL AND FIRST CARBON COPIES MUST BE SENT TO CONGRESS, ONE FOR THE SENATE AND ONE FOR THE HOUSE; THE THIRD COPY IS SENT TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE; THE FOURTH COPY IS FILED; WHILE THE FIFTH COPY IS IN CONSTANT USE AS A WORKING COPY FOR THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS. EIGHTY PERCENT OF THIS TYPEWRITTEN REPORT IS IN FIGURES AND TABULAR STATEMENTS. IT HAS BEEN FOUND THAT THE GENERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE RIBBON WILL NOT PERMIT OF FIVE CLEAR CUT COPIES WHERE FIGURES ARE USED TO SO LARGE AN EXTENT; THAT SAID RIBBON SMEARS THE ORIGINAL COPY AND THE CARBON COPIES ARE OFTEN ILLEGIBLE WHEN FIVE OR MORE COPIES ARE MADE.

THESE RIBBONS ARE USED ALSO TO PREPARE THE MONTHLY TABULAR STATEMENTS COMPILED BY THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS ON SHEETS SIZE 16 INCHES BY 24 INCHES WHICH SHEETS MUST BE REDUCED IN SIZE AND PHOTOGRAPHED. THE SILK RIBBON PURCHASED ON B.P.R. REQUISITION NO. 17721 IS THE ONLY RIBBON OF WHICH THAT BUREAU IS AWARE WILL MAKE THE NECESSARY CLEAR-CUT COPIES FOR THIS SPECIAL WORK.

PURCHASES OF THESE RIBBONS HAVE BEEN MADE BY THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS DURING THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS AND THIS IS THE FIRST TIME A DISALLOWANCE HAS BEEN MADE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.

AS THERE IS NO RIBBON UNDER CONTRACT ON THE GENERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE WHICH WILL MEET THE NEEDS OF THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS FOR THE LIMITED AMOUNT OF SPECIAL WORK FOR WHICH THEY ARE USED A REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT IN QUESTION IS REQUESTED.

IT HAS BEEN REPEATEDLY HELD THAT THE DESIRE FOR A BETTER OR DIFFERENT QUALITY, OR THE OPINION OF THE PURCHASING OFFICER AS TO THE MERITS OF ARTICLES IS NO JUSTIFICATION FOR PURCHASING OTHERWISE THAN PURSUANT TO THE SCHEDULE. 18 COMP. DEC. 642; A-6797, APRIL 6, 1925.

THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 17, 1910, 36 STAT. 531, WHICH WAS ENACTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF STANDARDIZING SUCH SUPPLIES AS ARE HERE INVOLVED AND ELIMINATING UNNECESSARY GRADES AND VARIETIES, CONTRACTED FOR AND SCHEDULED GRADES OF TYPEWRITER RIBBONS PRESUMABLY AS BEING SUITABLE FOR THE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND SUCH FIELD SERVICES AS ARE INCLUDED IN THE AWARD FOR THE FISCAL YEAR, 1926. SUCH CONTRACTS EXCLUDE ANY OTHER MEANS OF PROCURING SUCH SUPPLIES EXCEPT IN CASES OF PUBLIC EXIGENCY REQUIRING SUCH IMMEDIATE DELIVERY AS COULD NOT BE EFFECTED IN PURCHASES FROM THE SCHEDULED CONTRACTOR. THIS ACT IS A PUBLIC LAW AND PRIVATE DEALERS, NO LESS THAN PUBLIC OFFICIALS, MUST BE PRESUMED TO HAVE KNOWLEDGE THEREOF, AND TRANSACTIONS IN VIOLATION THEREOF CAN NOT RIGHTFULLY CLAIM FAVOR AS HAVING BEEN MADE IN GOOD FAITH. 18 COMP. DEC. 900.

IN THIS CONNECTION IT MAY BE STATED THAT THE PURCHASE OF ANY GRADE OR VARIETY OF TYPEWRITER RIBBON OTHER THAN THOSE LISTED ON THE GENERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULE IS PROHIBITED BY LAW UNLESS UPON INQUIRY OF THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY A SHOWING IS MADE THAT NO ELIMINATION OF THE PARTICULAR GRADE OF TYPEWRITER RIBBON, DEEMED TO BE MORE DESIRABLE OR NECESSARY FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WAS INTENDED, OR THAT THE NEEDS OF THE PARTICULAR BUREAU OR DEPARTMENT CONCERNED WERE NOT TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION BY HIM WHEN CONTRACTING FOR TYPEWRITER RIBBONS SO SCHEDULED. 18 COMP. DEC. 765.

NO SHOWING ESTABLISHING AN EXIGENCY SUCH AS ABOVE REFERRED TO, OR THAT THE PARTICULAR GRADE OF RIBBON PURCHASED WAS NOT INTENDED TO BE ELIMINATED FROM THE GENERAL SCHEDULE OF SUPPLIES HAVING BEEN MADE, IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE PURCHASE IN QUESTION WAS IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE LAW AND THAT SETTLEMENT OF THE CLAIM ON THE BASIS OF THE REGULAR CONTRACT PRICE WAS CORRECT.