A-21349, FEBRUARY 6, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 464

A-21349: Feb 6, 1928

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PRINTING AND BINDING - TABULATING CARDS TABULATING CARDS FOR USE OF THE GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS OR ESTABLISHMENTS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 1. TO BE PROCURED FROM THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE UNLESS IT BE ESTABLISHED AS A FACT THAT THAT OFFICE CAN NOT FURNISH CARDS THAT CAN BE SATISFACTORILY USED IN THE PARTICULAR KIND OF MACHINE FOR WHICH THE CARDS ARE REQUIRED. LEASES COVERING TABULATING MACHINES OFFERED BY THE TABULATING-MACHINE COMPANIES HAVE CONTAINED A CLAUSE TO THE EFFECT THAT THE RENTAL PRICE SHALL BE INCREASED BY 15 PERCENT IN ALL CASES WHERE THE CARDS ARE PURCHASED FROM OTHERS THAN THE LESSOR. I AM OF THE OPINION THAT IT WAS NOT THE INTENT OF CONGRESS TO PROHIBIT THE PURCHASE OF CARDS FROM THE LESSOR IF SUCH PURCHASES COULD BE MADE MORE ECONOMICALLY OF THE LESSOR.

A-21349, FEBRUARY 6, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 464

PRINTING AND BINDING - TABULATING CARDS TABULATING CARDS FOR USE OF THE GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS OR ESTABLISHMENTS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 1, 1919, 40 STAT. 1270, TO BE PROCURED FROM THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE UNLESS IT BE ESTABLISHED AS A FACT THAT THAT OFFICE CAN NOT FURNISH CARDS THAT CAN BE SATISFACTORILY USED IN THE PARTICULAR KIND OF MACHINE FOR WHICH THE CARDS ARE REQUIRED. TABULATING CARDS FOR THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF ANY FIELD FORCE MAY, BY VIRTUE OF THE ORDER OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING, DATED JUNE 17, 1927, BE PROCURED ELSEWHERE THAN AT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, PROVIDED THEY CAN BE MORE ECONOMICALLY PURCHASED CONSIDERING THE RENTAL COST OF THE MACHINE AND THE NET PRICE OF THE CARDS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, FEBRUARY 6, 1928:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 16, 1928, AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR DECISION OF MAY 28, 1927, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, 6 COMP. GEN. 772, REQUIRES THAT ALL TABULATING CARDS SHALL BE PURCHASED OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE EXCEPT IN THOSE CASES IN WHICH IT MAY BE ESTABLISHED THAT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE CAN NOT FURNISH CARDS THAT CAN BE SATISFACTORILY USED. SINCE YOUR DECISION, LEASES COVERING TABULATING MACHINES OFFERED BY THE TABULATING-MACHINE COMPANIES HAVE CONTAINED A CLAUSE TO THE EFFECT THAT THE RENTAL PRICE SHALL BE INCREASED BY 15 PERCENT IN ALL CASES WHERE THE CARDS ARE PURCHASED FROM OTHERS THAN THE LESSOR.

I AM OF THE OPINION THAT IT WAS NOT THE INTENT OF CONGRESS TO PROHIBIT THE PURCHASE OF CARDS FROM THE LESSOR IF SUCH PURCHASES COULD BE MADE MORE ECONOMICALLY OF THE LESSOR, CONSIDERING THE INCREASED RENTAL. IT IS, THEREFORE, REQUESTED THAT YOU INFORM THE DEPARTMENT, FIRST, WHETHER YOUR DECISION APPLIED ONLY TO MACHINES RENTED FOR USE IN WASHINGTON; AND, SECOND, WHETHER, IN VIEW OF THE INCREASED RENTAL WHICH WILL BE EXACTED IF THE CARDS ARE PURCHASED FROM OTHERS THAN THE LESSOR, THE CARDS MAY BE PURCHASED OF THE LESSOR WHEN IT IS MORE ECONOMICAL TO DO SO, CONSIDERING THE COST OF THE CARDS, THE INCREASED RENTAL OF THE MACHINES, AND THE TRANSPORTATION OF CARDS FROM WASHINGTON TO THE FIELD STATIONS WHERE REQUIRED.

THE DECISION REFERRED TO STATES THAT DURING THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR THE CARDS MAY BE PURCHASED FROM THE LESSOR BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT ESTIMATED FOR IN CONNECTION WITH APPROPRIATIONS FOR PRINTING AND BINDING. IT IS, THEREFORE, ASSUMED THAT SINCE THIS DEPARTMENT MADE NO ESTIMATE FOR THE PURCHASE OF CARDS UNDER ITS APPROPRIATION FOR PRINTING AND BINDING FOR THE CURRENT YEAR, IT MAY IN ANY EVENT CONTINUE TO PURCHASE FROM THE LESSOR DURING THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR ON A CONTRACT WHICH WAS MADE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR. YOUR OPINION ON THIS POINT ALSO WILL BE APPRECIATED.

THE ACT OF MARCH 1, 1919, 40 STAT. 1270, REQUIRES THAT ON AND AFTER JULY 1, 1919, ALL PRINTING, BINDING, AND BLANK-BOOK WORK FOR CONGRESS, THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE, THE JUDICIARY AND EVERY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, INDEPENDENT OFFICE, AND ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT SHALL BE DONE AT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, EXCEPT SUCH CLASSES OF WORK AS SHALL BE DEEMED BY THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING TO BE URGENT OR NECESSARY TO HAVE DONE ELSEWHERE THAN IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF ANY FIELD SERVICE OUTSIDE OF SAID DISTRICT. AT THE TIME THE DECISION OF MAY 28, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 772, WAS RENDERED, THERE WAS NOT IN FORCE ANY ORDER OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING AUTHORIZING THE PROCUREMENT OF TABULATING CARDS FOR FIELD FORCES ELSEWHERE THAN AT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE. THEREFORE,SAID DECISION, WHEN RENDERED, WAS EQUALLY APPLICABLE TO BOTH FIELD AND DEPARTMENTAL SERVICES. THERE HAS SINCE BEEN ISSUED, HOWEVER, AN ORDER OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING, DATED JUNE 17, 1927, AS FOLLOWS:

CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,

JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING,

WASHINGTON, JUNE 17, 1927.

DEAR SIR: THE ATTENTION OF THE COMMITTEE HAS BEEN INVITED TO THE CIRCULAR LETTER OF THE PUBLIC PRINTER DATED APRIL 1, 1927, RELATIVE TO TABULATING CARDS AND STENOGRAPHERS' NOTEBOOKS.

INASMUCH AS SECTION 11 OF THE LEGISLATIVE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR 1920 (40 STAT. 1270), APPROVED MARCH 1, 1919, REQUIRES THAT "ALL PRINTING AND BINDING SHALL BE DONE AT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE EXCEPT SUCH CLASSES OF WORK AS SHALL BE DEEMED BY THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING TO BE URGENT OR NECESSARY TO HAVE DONE ELSEWHERE THAN IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA," PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE RESOLUTION OF THE COMMITTEE, ADOPTED JUNE 15, 1920, IS HEREBY RESCINDED, AND THAT, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, INDEPENDENT OFFICE, OR ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT REQUIRING TABULATING CARDS FOR THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF ANY FIELD SERVICE OPERATING TABULATING MACHINES OUTSIDE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS AUTHORIZED TO PURCHASE SUCH CARDS ELSEWHERE THAN AT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE CARDS CAN THUS BE MORE ECONOMICALLY PURCHASED, CONSIDERING THE RENTAL COST OF THE MACHINE AND THE NET PRICE OF THE CARDS; BUT NOTHING IN THIS REVISED REGULATION SHALL APPLY TO ANY CONTRACT WHICH HAS BEEN AWARDED FOR CARDS TO BE USED IN WASHINGTON, D.C., DURING THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1928.

RESPECTFULLY,

(SIGNED) EDGAR R. KIESS,

VICE CHAIRMAN.

THE PUBLIC PRINTER,

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.

IN VIEW OF THIS ORDER OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING, THE DECISION OF MAY 28, 1927, IS NO LONGER APPLICABLE TO THE PROCUREMENT OF TABULATING CARDS FOR THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF FIELD FORCES AND SUCH CARDS MAY, THEREFORE, BE PROCURED AS AUTHORIZED BY THE ORDER OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING.

THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 1, 1919, SUPRA, AS TO PRINTING FOR USE WITHIN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE, HOWEVER, ABSOLUTE AND PERMIT OF NO EXCEPTION BASED UPON QUESTIONS OF ECONOMY ONLY. IF, THEREFORE, THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE CAN SUPPLY SATISFACTORY TABULATING CARDS UPON REQUISITION OF THE RESPECTIVE DEPARTMENTS OR ESTABLISHMENTS, THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE UNDER EXISTING LAW BUT TO PROCURE THEM FROM THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT SAID PROCUREMENT MAY RESULT IN A HIGHER RENTAL FOR THE TABULATING MACHINES. AS POINTED OUT IN MY DECISION OF MAY 28, 1927, IF IT CAN BE ESTABLISHED AS A FACT THAT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE CAN NOT FURNISH CARDS THAT CAN BE SATISFACTORILY USED IN THE PARTICULAR KIND OF MACHINE FOR WHICH THE CARDS ARE REQUIRED, THE NECESSARY CARDS FOR THE SATISFACTORY OPERATION OF SUCH MACHINES MAY BE OBTAINED OTHERWISE.

WITH RESPECT TO THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF YOUR SUBMISSION, STATING THAT THE APPROPRIATION FOR PRINTING AND BINDING FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1928 DID NOT INCLUDE ANY ESTIMATE FOR TABULATING CARDS, YOU ARE INFORMED THAT THE DECISION IN 6 COMP. GEN. 772 DID NOT, AS YOU APPARENTLY ASSUME, AUTHORIZE THE USE OF THE 1928 APPROPRIATION OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT FOR THE PURCHASE OF SUPPLIES TO PAY FOR TABULATING CARDS PURCHASED FROM THE LESSORS OF THE TABULATING MACHINES IN ALL CASES. WHILE THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF THAT DECISION AUTHORIZED THE USE OF THE SUPPLY APPROPRIATION INSTEAD OF THE PRINTING AND BINDING APPROPRIATION FOR PROCURING TABULATING CARDS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1928,IT DID NOT MODIFY THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE DECISION AS TO THE SOURCE FROM WHICH THE CARDS MIGHT BE OBTAINED.

ANSWERING YOUR LAST QUESTION SPECIFICALLY, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT WHILE YOU MAY, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, CONTINUE TO CHARGE THE COST OF TABULATING CARDS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1928 TO AN APPROPRIATION THE ESTIMATES FOR WHICH INCLUDED AN ESTIMATE FOR TABULATING CARDS, INSTEAD OF CHARGING THE COST OF SUCH CARDS TO THE PRINTING AND BINDING APPROPRIATION, SUCH CARDS MUST BE PROCURED FROM THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE IF THEY ARE FOR USE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNLESS THE PARTICULAR CONTRACTS WERE ENTERED INTO PRIOR TO MAY 28, 1927, OR UNLESS THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE CAN NOT FURNISH SATISFACTORY CARDS AS INDICATED ABOVE.