A-22405, APRIL 21, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 680

A-22405: Apr 21, 1928

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

TO PERMIT PRINTING WORK TO BE DONE ELSEWHERE THAN AT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE IS CONFINED BY THE STATUTE TO WORK DEEMED BY IT "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.'. UP TO THE PRESENT TIME THOSE FOR THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE HAVE BEEN SO PROCURED. IN WHICH IT WAS HELD THAT TABULATING CARDS MUST BE PROCURED FROM THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE AFTER JUNE 30. "IT IS ALSO SUGGESTED THAT INQUIRY BE MADE AS TO WHETHER STATISTICAL CARDS MAY BE PURCHASED THROUGH COMMERCIAL SOURCES. WHENEVER IT CAN BE SHOWN THAT CARDS PROCURED FROM THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE ARE MORE EXPENSIVE.

A-22405, APRIL 21, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 680

PRINTING AND BINDING - JURISDICTION OF JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING THE AUTHORITY CONFERRED UPON THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING BY THE ACT OF MARCH 1, 1919, 40 STAT. 1270, TO PERMIT PRINTING WORK TO BE DONE ELSEWHERE THAN AT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE IS CONFINED BY THE STATUTE TO WORK DEEMED BY IT "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.' TABULATING CARDS FOR USE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MUST BE PROCURED FROM THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, APRIL 21, 1928:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 3, 1928, REFERRING TO SECTION 11 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 1, 1919, 40 STAT. 1270, AND REQUESTING DECISION OF A QUESTION PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS:

THE PUBLIC PRINTER NOT HAVING THE NECESSARY EQUIPMENT TO PRINT TABULATING CARDS, AS REQUIRED BY THE ABOVE ACT, IN QUANTITIES DESIRED BY THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING, UNDER AUTHORITY CONFERRED UPON IT BY THE ACT OF MARCH 1, 1919 (U.S.C., TITLE 44, SEC. 4), GRANTED A WAIVER WHICH PERMITTED THE PURCHASING OF TABULATING CARDS FROM COMMERCIAL SOURCES, AND UP TO THE PRESENT TIME THOSE FOR THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE HAVE BEEN SO PROCURED.

ON FEBRUARY 7, 1928, THE PUBLIC PRINTER CALLED ATTENTION TO THE DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL, DATED MAY 28, 1927 (A-18404), IN WHICH IT WAS HELD THAT TABULATING CARDS MUST BE PROCURED FROM THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE AFTER JUNE 30, 1928, AND REQUESTED AN ESTIMATE OF THE NUMBER OF CARDS REQUIRED BY THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT FOR USE IN WASHINGTON, D.C., BEGINNING WITH THE FISCAL YEAR 1929. THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, BEING DESIROUS OF CONTINUING THE PURCHASE OF THESE CARDS FROM COMMERCIAL SOURCES, IN A LETTER TO THE SECRETARY DATED MARCH 1, 1928 (COPY INCLOSED), SHOWED THAT BY CONTINUANCE OF THIS METHOD OF PROCURING THE CARDS A SAVING OF APPROXIMATELY $3,000 PER ANNUM WOULD BE MADE OVER THEIR PROCUREMENT FROM THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE. THEREUPON THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, UNDER DATE OF MARCH 7, 1928, WROTE TO THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING AND REQUESTED A WAIVER FOR THE PURCHASE FROM COMMERCIAL SOURCES, AS HERETOFORE, OF TABULATING CARDS FOR THE USE OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, WASHINGTON, D.C.

IN ITS RESPONSE, MARCH 24, 1928, THE JOINT COMMITTEE STATED THAT:

"IN ORDER THAT NO LEGAL CONTROVERSY OR OBJECTION MAY BE RAISED IN THE AUDITING OF THE VOUCHERS FOR THE PURCHASE OF STATISTICAL CARDS, THE COMMITTEE SUGGESTS THAT THE DEPARTMENT OBTAIN THE OPINION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL AS TO WHETHER SUCH PURCHASE (FROM COMMERCIAL SOURCES) MAY BE MADE, UPON THE APPROVAL OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING, AND PAID FOR FROM AVAILABLE APPROPRIATIONS FOR PUBLIC PRINTING AND BINDING.

"IT IS ALSO SUGGESTED THAT INQUIRY BE MADE AS TO WHETHER STATISTICAL CARDS MAY BE PURCHASED THROUGH COMMERCIAL SOURCES, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THIS COMMITTEE, WHENEVER IT CAN BE SHOWN THAT CARDS PROCURED FROM THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE ARE MORE EXPENSIVE, THUS CAUSING A WASTE OF GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATIONS.'

IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE WISHES OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING, I HAVE THE HONOR TO REQUEST YOUR DECISION ON THE QUESTIONS THUS PRESENTED.

SECTION 11 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 1, 1919, 40 STAT. 1270, PROVIDES:

THAT THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING SHALL HAVE POWER TO ADOPT AND EMPLOY SUCH MEASURES AS, IN ITS DISCRETION, MAY BE DEEMED NECESSARY TO REMEDY ANY NEGLECT, DELAY, DUPLICATION, OR WASTE IN THE PUBLIC PRINTING AND BINDING AND THE DISTRIBUTION OF GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS: * * *: PROVIDED FURTHER, 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.

BY LETTER OF JUNE 28, 1922, THE SECRETARY OF WAR REQUESTED A DECISION CONCERNING THE PURCHASE OF TABULATING CARDS AND CALLED ATTENTION TO THE RESOLUTION OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING, DATED JUNE 15, 1920, AUTHORIZING THE PROCUREMENT OF SUCH TABULATING CARDS ELSEWHERE THAN AT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE DUE TO THE FACT THAT THAT OFFICE DID NOT AT THAT TIME HAVE THE EQUIPMENT NECESSARY TO DO SUCH WORK. UPON SUCH REPRESENTATIONS IT WAS STATED IN THE DECISION OF THIS OFFICE OF JULY 11, 1922, THAT NO OBJECTION WOULD BE MADE AT THAT TIME TO HAVING THE CARDS FURNISHED IN CONNECTION WITH THE LEASE OF THE MACHINE. HOWEVER, ON APRIL 1, 1927, THE PUBLIC PRINTER NOTIFIED THE RESPECTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS THAT THERE HAD BEEN RECENTLY INSTALLED THE VERY LATEST PRESSES FOR ECONOMICALLY PRODUCING TABULATING CARDS ACCURATELY CUT AND PUNCHED IN LARGE QUANTITIES AND THAT PRICES WOULD BE FURNISHED ON REQUEST. IT WAS ACCORDINGLY HELD BY THIS OFFICE IN DECISION OF MAY 28, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 772 (QUOTING FROM SYLLABUS):

WHEN PRINTED ON ORDER TO MEET THE NEEDS OF A PARTICULAR OFFICE IN WHICH USED, TABULATING CARDS FOR STATISTICAL TABULATING MACHINES ARE PRINTING WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE ACT OF MARCH 1, 1919, 40 STAT. 1270, AND MUST BE PROCURED FROM THE PUBLIC PRINTER, UNLESS HE IS UNABLE TO FURNISH CARDS OF SUCH STOCK, SIZE, AND THICKNESS AS ARE REQUIRED FOR THE SATISFACTORY OPERATION OF THE MACHINES UPON WHICH THEY ARE TO BE USED. DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF JULY 11, 1922, A.D. 6878, NO LONGER APPLICABLE.

SINCE THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING IS GIVEN AUTHORITY BY THE ACT OF MARCH 1, 1919, TO PERMIT PRINTING FOR FIELD SERVICES TO BE DONE ELSEWHERE THAN AT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, THE COMMITTEE MUST OF NECESSITY DECIDE WHAT CLASSES OF PRINTING ARE INCLUDED IN THE TERM "PRINTING FOR FIELD SERVICE.' WHEN IT HAS SO DECIDED AND ISSUED ITS CERTIFICATE THAT THE PARTICULAR PRINTING "IS DEEMED * * * 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," ITS CONCLUSION IS FINAL. COMP. DEC. 229; SEE ALSO DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY, FEBRUARY 13, 1920, TO SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE.

ON JUNE 17, 1927, THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING ISSUED THE FOLLOWING ORDER:

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.

FOLLOWING THIS ORDER, BY DECISION OF FEBRUARY 6, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 464, IT WAS HELD BY THIS OFFICE (QUOTING FROM SYLLABUS):

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.

AS THE ONLY EXCEPTION WHICH THE CONGRESS HAS MADE TO THE REQUIREMENT IN THE ACT OF MARCH 1, 1919, SUPRA, THAT ALL PRINTING, BINDING, AND BLANK- BOOK WORK BE DONE AT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, IS IN THE CASE OF PRINTING FOR THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF A FIELD SERVICE OUTSIDE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, IT FOLLOWS THAT WHEN PRINTING IS FOR USE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA THE QUESTION OF A POSSIBLE SAVING TO THE PARTICULAR ADMINISTRATIVE APPROPRIATION WHICH MIGHT BE EFFECTED BY PROCURING TABULATING CARDS FROM A COMMERCIAL SOURCE IS NOT FOR CONSIDERATION OTHER THAN BY THE CONGRESS ITSELF. ACCORDINGLY, THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING HAS NO AUTHORITY OR JURISDICTION TO PERMIT THE PROCURING OF TABULATING OR STATISTICAL CARDS INVOLVING PRINTING, FROM ANY SOURCE OTHER THAN THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, UNLESS SUCH CARDS ARE REQUIRED FOR THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF A FIELD SERVICE OUTSIDE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.