A-22180, APRIL 27, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 685

A-22180: Apr 27, 1928

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WHEREIN INFORMATION WAS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER CASH BIDS WERE INVITED ON THE OLD TRUCK TO BE TURNED IN AS PART PAYMENT ON THE PURCHASE PRICE OF A NEW TRUCK FOR USE AT THE PINE RIDGE INDIAN AGENCY. - CASH BIDS ON THE OLD TRUCK WERE NOT SOLICITED. THE USED TRUCK WAS OFFERED TO BE TURNED IN AS PART PAYMENT OF THE PURCHASE PRICE ON THE NEW TRUCK. WAS MADE CONTINGENT ON THE RECEIPT OF THE AWARD ON THE NEW TRUCK. WAS THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED AFTER THE AMOUNT ALLOWED FOR THE OLD TRUCK HAD BEEN DEDUCTED FROM THE PRICE OF THE NEW TRUCK. PLEASE ADVISE IF IT IS YOUR INTENTION TO REQUIRE THAT CASH BIDS BE INVITED ON OLD VEHICLES AS WELL AS THE EXCHANGE PRICE IN CONNECTION WITH THE PURCHASE OF NEW CARS OR TRUCKS.

A-22180, APRIL 27, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 685

PURCHASES - TRUCKS - DISPOSITION OF USED AND UNSERVICEABLE EQUIPMENT WHILE, AS A GENERAL RULE, THE TRADE-IN ALLOWANCE ON AN OLD AND UNSERVICEABLE TRUCK WOULD NO DOUBT EXCEED A CASH OFFER THEREFOR, THERE MIGHT BE INSTANCES WHERE THE CONTRARY WOULD BE TRUE. IN ANY EVENT, THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES REQUIRE THAT IN THE DISPOSITION OF USED AND UNSERVICEABLE EQUIPMENT THE BEST PRICE POSSIBLE BE OBTAINED, WHETHER SUCH DISPOSITION BE BY ADVERTISEMENT, AT PUBLIC AUCTION, OR OTHERWISE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, APRIL 27, 1928:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 7, 1928, IN REPLY TO LETTER OF THIS OFFICE DATED FEBRUARY 20, 1928, WHEREIN INFORMATION WAS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER CASH BIDS WERE INVITED ON THE OLD TRUCK TO BE TURNED IN AS PART PAYMENT ON THE PURCHASE PRICE OF A NEW TRUCK FOR USE AT THE PINE RIDGE INDIAN AGENCY, RUSHVILLE, NEBR.

IN THE REPLY OF MARCH 7, 1928, YOU STATE THAT---

CASH BIDS ON THE OLD TRUCK WERE NOT SOLICITED. THE USED TRUCK WAS OFFERED TO BE TURNED IN AS PART PAYMENT OF THE PURCHASE PRICE ON THE NEW TRUCK, IN THE ADVERTISEMENT. THE VARIOUS DEALERS OFFERED AMOUNTS RANGING FROM $430 DOWN TO $50 FOR THE OLD TRUCK; EACH OFFER, HOWEVER,WAS MADE CONTINGENT ON THE RECEIPT OF THE AWARD ON THE NEW TRUCK. THE BID OF THE STERRETT OPERATING SERVICE, INC., WAS THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED AFTER THE AMOUNT ALLOWED FOR THE OLD TRUCK HAD BEEN DEDUCTED FROM THE PRICE OF THE NEW TRUCK.

THE ABOVE METHOD OF ADVERTISING FOR NEW AUTOMOBILES AND TRUCKS HAS BEEN FOLLOWED IN THE INDIAN SERVICE FOR SEVERAL YEARS PAST. PLEASE ADVISE IF IT IS YOUR INTENTION TO REQUIRE THAT CASH BIDS BE INVITED ON OLD VEHICLES AS WELL AS THE EXCHANGE PRICE IN CONNECTION WITH THE PURCHASE OF NEW CARS OR TRUCKS.

WHETHER THE ACQUISITION OF NEW EQUIPMENT IS NECESSARY AND WHETHER DISPOSITION OF OLD EQUIPMENT IS IN THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES ARE ADMINISTRATIVE QUESTIONS PRIMARILY FOR DETERMINATION BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED. WHILE AS A GENERAL RULE A TRADE-IN ALLOWANCE ON AN OLD AND UNSERVICEABLE CAR WOULD, NO DOUBT, EXCEED THE CASH OFFER, THERE MAY BE INSTANCES WHERE THE CASH OFFER WOULD EXCEED THE TRADE- IN OFFER. IN ANY EVENT IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES REQUIRE THAT IN THE DISPOSITION OF USED AND UNSERVICEABLE EQUIPMENT, THE BEST PRICE POSSIBLE SHOULD BE OBTAINED THEREFOR WHETHER DISPOSED OF BY ADVERTISEMENT AT PUBLIC AUCTION, OR OTHERWISE. IN THIS CONNECTION YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 23, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 230, WHEREIN IT WAS SAID:

THE SAME PROCEDURE SHOULD BE FOLLOWED IN DISPOSING OF OLD AND ACQUIRING NEW ADDING MACHINES OR OTHER EQUIPMENT THE EXCHANGE OF WHICH IS AUTHORIZED BY LAW. THAT IS TO SAY, WHERE THE LAW SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZES AN EXCHANGE, THE AMOUNT ALLOWED FOR THE OLD EQUIPMENT WILL NOT BE CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION AND CARRIED TO MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS, 3 COMP. GEN. 606, BUT THE PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED IN DETERMINING WHETHER IN SUCH CASES THERE SHOULD BE AN EXCHANGE OR A PURCHASE AND SALE IS REQUIRED, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3709, REVISED STATUTES, AND IN THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES, SHOULD BE AS INDICATED IN 3 COMP. GEN. 304, AND 5 COMP. GEN. 798, AND IF THE CASH BIDS RECEIVED ON THE OLD EQUIPMENT EXCEED THE EXCHANGE ALLOWANCE OFFERED, SUCH CASH BIDS MUST BE ACCEPTED AND THE PROCEEDS THEREOF DEPOSITED AND COVERED INTO THE TREASURY AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3618, REVISED STATUTES. IT IS ONLY IN THOSE CASES IN WHICH THE EXCHANGE ALLOWANCE EQUALS OR EXCEEDS THE AMOUNT THAT CAN BE OBTAINED IN CASH FOR THE OLD EQUIPMENT THAT AN EXCHANGE IS AUTHORIZED AND THE APPROPRIATION IS CHARGEABLE WITH ONLY THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF THE NEW EQUIPMENT AND THE ALLOWANCE ON THE OLD.

NO FURTHER QUESTION WILL BE RAISED WITH REFERENCE TO THE PARTICULAR TRANSACTION HERE INVOLVED BUT THE PROCEDURE AS TO SUCH PURCHASES HEREAFTER SHOULD BE AS HEREIN INDICATED.