A-56219, AUGUST 1, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 89

A-56219: Aug 1, 1934

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ARE REQUIRED TO BE FILED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. THE REQUIREMENTS AS TO THE FILING OF CONTRACTS IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ARE NOT IN ANY WAY AFFECTED OR GOVERNED BY THE REQUIREMENTS AS TO THE FILING OF CONTRACTS IN THE GENERAL LAND OFFICE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. AS FOLLOWS: I HAVE YOUR LETTER A-WJR-CC OF MAY 26 REQUESTING THE ORIGINAL SIGNED COPY OF RECREATIONAL LEASE LAS CRUCES 040662 OF THE COUNTY OF DONA ANA. THE ORIGINAL SIGNED COPY OF THIS LEASE IS A NECESSARY PART OF THE PUBLIC LAND RECORDS. PHOTOSTAT COPIES OF LEASES AND PERMITS INVOLVING THE PUBLIC LANDS HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED BY YOUR OFFICE IN HUNDREDS OF CASES DURING THE LAST TEN YEARS. IT MAY BE STATED ONLY THAT THE FACT PHOTOSTAT COPIES HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED IN CASES INVOLVING PERMITS OR LICENSES.

A-56219, AUGUST 1, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 89

CONTRACTS - FILING IN GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE UNDER SECTION 3743, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 18 OF THE ACT OF JULY 31, 1894, 28 STAT. 210, AND SECTION 304 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1921, 42 STAT. 24, ALL CONTRACTS ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT IN ANY MANNER CONNECTED WITH THE SETTLEMENT OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS, WHETHER FOR THE SALE OF MATERIAL AND COLLECTION OF MONEY THEREFOR OR FOR THE PURCHASE OF MATERIAL AND THE PAYMENT OF MONEY THEREFOR, OR WHETHER BOTH THE COLLECTION AND PAYMENT OF MONEY BE INVOLVED, ARE REQUIRED TO BE FILED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. THE REQUIREMENTS AS TO THE FILING OF CONTRACTS IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ARE NOT IN ANY WAY AFFECTED OR GOVERNED BY THE REQUIREMENTS AS TO THE FILING OF CONTRACTS IN THE GENERAL LAND OFFICE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, AUGUST 1, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED LETTER DATED JUNE 7, 1934, FROM THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, GENERAL LAND OFFICE, AS FOLLOWS:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER A-WJR-CC OF MAY 26 REQUESTING THE ORIGINAL SIGNED COPY OF RECREATIONAL LEASE LAS CRUCES 040662 OF THE COUNTY OF DONA ANA, NEW MEXICO. THE ORIGINAL SIGNED COPY OF THIS LEASE IS A NECESSARY PART OF THE PUBLIC LAND RECORDS, AND AS SUCH MAY NOT LAWFULLY BE REMOVED FROM THE GENERAL LAND OFFICE.

PHOTOSTAT COPIES OF LEASES AND PERMITS INVOLVING THE PUBLIC LANDS HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED BY YOUR OFFICE IN HUNDREDS OF CASES DURING THE LAST TEN YEARS.

WITH REFERENCE TO THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF THE LETTER FROM THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, IT MAY BE STATED ONLY THAT THE FACT PHOTOSTAT COPIES HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED IN CASES INVOLVING PERMITS OR LICENSES, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM LEASES AND CONTRACTS PROPER, THERE IS NO DISCRETION IN THIS OFFICE TO AUTHORIZE LESSENING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW IN CONNECTION WITH THE FILING OF CONTRACTS WITH THIS OFFICE.

THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3743, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 18 OF THE ACT OF JULY 31, 1894, 28 STAT. 210, AND BY SECTION 304 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1921, 42 STAT. 24, REQUIRE THAT ALL CONTRACTS ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT, OR IN ANY MANNER CONNECTED WITH THE SETTLEMENT OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS, BE FILED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. 6 COMP. GEN. 642.

WITH RESPECT TO THE STATEMENT THAT "THE ORIGINAL SIGNED COPY OF THIS LEASE IS A NECESSARY PART OF THE PUBLIC LAND RECORDS, AND AS SUCH MAY NOT LAWFULLY BE REMOVED FROM THE GENERAL LAND OFFICE," IT MAY BE SAID THAT WHATEVER MAY BE THE REQUIREMENT IN THAT CONNECTION, IT IS CLEAR THAT BOTH THE LAW AND GOOD ACCOUNTING PROCEDURE REQUIRE ALL CONTRACTS ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT TO BE FILED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE--- WHETHER THE CONTRACT IS FOR THE SALE OF MATERIAL AND COLLECTION OF MONEY THEREFOR, OR FOR THE PURCHASE OF MATERIAL AND THE PAYMENT THEREFOR, OR WHETHER IT MAY INVOLVE BOTH THE COLLECTION AND PAYMENT UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.

THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW ARE THAT THE ORIGINALS OF CONTRACTS AND LEASES BE FILED OF RECORD IN THIS OFFICE AND UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES THERE IS NO AUTHORITY IN THIS OFFICE TO WAIVE OR RELINQUISH SUCH REQUIREMENTS. IF, AS SUGGESTED IN THE LETTER, SUPRA, IT IS NECESSARY THAT A COPY OF THE CONTRACT OR LEASE BE FILED OF RECORD WITH THE PUBLIC LAND RECORDS IT IS SUGGESTED THAT A PHOTOSTAT OR OTHER COPY BE SO FILED WITH SUCH RECORDS OR THAT WHERE IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY THERE BE MADE EXTRA SIGNED COPIES SO THAT IN EVERY CASE THE ORIGINAL OF THE CONTRACT OR LEASE MAY BE FILED OF RECORD IN THIS OFFICE.

IT IS REQUESTED THAT APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTIONS BE ISSUED TO SUCH OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO INSURE COMPLIANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.