A-15182, AUGUST 25, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 157

A-15182: Aug 25, 1926

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IS NOT AUTHORITY FOR ENTERING INTO CONTRACTS UNDER WHICH THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE OBLIGATED AT THE TIME OF RECEIVING THE BOOK. SUBSCRIBING TO OR LEASING ATLASES FOR A FIXED PRICE PAYABLE IN ADVANCE IS NOT AUTHORIZED. YOU REQUEST DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO AVAIL ITSELF OF THE OFFER CONTAINED IN A LETTER ADDRESSED TO YOU BY A SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF RAND MCNALLY AND CO. WITH YOUR REQUEST IS A BLANK CONTRACT OR LEASING FORM SIMILAR TO. THE ONES WHICH WERE CONSIDERED BY THIS OFFICE IN DECISIONS OF MARCH 7. IN EACH OF SAID DECISIONS IT WAS HELD THAT THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED WAS NOT AUTHORIZED TO OBTAIN THE ATLAS SERVICE UNDER THE ARRANGEMENT PROPOSED.

A-15182, AUGUST 25, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 157

PURCHASES - BOOKS OF REFERENCE THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE PURCHASE OR EXCHANGE OF LAW BOOKS, BOOKS OF REFERENCE, ETC., IS NOT AUTHORITY FOR ENTERING INTO CONTRACTS UNDER WHICH THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE OBLIGATED AT THE TIME OF RECEIVING THE BOOK, ETC., TO EXCHANGE IT AT A FUTURE DATE AT A NOMINAL PRICE FIXED BY THE DEALERS. SUBSCRIBING TO OR LEASING ATLASES FOR A FIXED PRICE PAYABLE IN ADVANCE IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, AUGUST 25, 1926:

BY INDORSEMENT DATED JULY 23, 1926, YOU REQUEST DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO AVAIL ITSELF OF THE OFFER CONTAINED IN A LETTER ADDRESSED TO YOU BY A SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF RAND MCNALLY AND CO., TO FURNISH COPIES OF SAID COMPANY'S COMMERCIAL ATLAS OF AMERICA TO THE VARIOUS OFFICES OF THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT IN NEED OF SAME, UNDER A PLAN INVOLVING SUBSCRIPTION AND EXCHANGE OF THESE ATLASES AT THE END OF THE ATLAS YEAR, WITH AN ALLOWANCE FEATURE OF $1 FOR EACH ATLAS RETURNED, TO BE APPLIED AS PART PAYMENT ON A RENEWAL CONTRACT FOR A COPY OF THE NEXT SUCCEEDING EDITION TO TAKE THE PLACE OF THE OLD ATLAS RETURNED.

WITH YOUR REQUEST IS A BLANK CONTRACT OR LEASING FORM SIMILAR TO, IF NOT IDENTICAL WITH, THE ONES WHICH WERE CONSIDERED BY THIS OFFICE IN DECISIONS OF MARCH 7, 1925, A-7670, TO SECRETARY OF LABOR, APRIL 2, 1925, A-8193, TO YOU AND JANUARY 23, 1926, A-12635, TO FEDERAL POWER COMMISSION. IN EACH OF SAID DECISIONS IT WAS HELD THAT THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED WAS NOT AUTHORIZED TO OBTAIN THE ATLAS SERVICE UNDER THE ARRANGEMENT PROPOSED.

THERE IS NOW SUBMITTED A PLAN INVOLVING SUBSCRIPTION AND EXCHANGE OF THESE ATLASES AT THE END OF THE ATLAS YEAR, WITH AN ALLOWANCE FEATURE OF $1 FOR EACH ATLAS RETURNED TO BE APPLIED AS PART PAYMENT ON A RENEWAL CONTRACT FOR THE USE OF A COPY OF THE NEXT SUCCEEDING EDITION TO TAKE THE PLACE OF THE OLD ATLAS RETURNED, AND IT HAS BEEN SUGGESTED THAT WITH THIS EXCHANGE FEATURE THE ACQUISITION OF THE ATLAS SERVICE IS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE SPECIFIC AUTHORITY IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR PURCHASE OR EXCHANGE OF BOOKS OF REFERENCE.

IN ANSWER TO THIS PROPOSITION I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THE AUTHORITY TO PURCHASE OR EXCHANGE DOES NOT AUTHORIZE A CONTRACT UNDER WHICH THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE OBLIGATED AT THE TIME OF RECEIVING THE ATLAS TO EXCHANGE IT AT A FUTURE DATE AT A NOMINAL PRICE FIXED BY THE DEALER. THE ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF THE PROPOSED ARRANGEMENT WOULD BE THE SAME AS HAVE BEEN NEGATIVED IN PREVIOUS DECISIONS. CONSEQUENTLY THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO ENTER INTO AGREEMENTS FOR THE LEASING AND EXCHANGE OF THE ATLASES IN THE MANNER PROPOSED.