A-72978, APRIL 24, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 941

A-72978: Apr 24, 1936

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IS NOT FOR APPLICATION TO SMALL OPEN-MARKET PURCHASES WHERE NO CONTRACT IS MADE OR REQUIRED BY LAW. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE A PAYMENT ON A VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF THE VIRGINIA ELECTRIC AND POWER CO. EXAMINATION OF THE VOUCHER IN QUESTION DISCLOSES THAT THE AMOUNT THEREOF IS INDICATED AS CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION ACCOUNT "025016: EMERGENCY RELIEF. WHEN THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT INVOLVED IS LESS THAN $300. IT IS NOT GENERALLY CUSTOMARY IN THE CONDUCT OF THE PUBLIC BUSINESS TO ENTER INTO FORMAL CONTRACTS WHERE THE AMOUNT INVOLVED IS SO SMALL AS TO EXEMPT THE TRANSACTION FROM THE REQUIREMENT OF SECTION 3709. DOES NOT APPLY TO SMALL OPEN-MARKET PURCHASES WHERE NO CONTRACT IS MADE.

A-72978, APRIL 24, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 941

OPEN-MARKET PURCHASES - BITUMINOUS COAL CONSERVATION ACT REQUIREMENTS SECTION 14 (B) OF THE BITUMINOUS COAL CONSERVATION ACT OF 1935, 49 STAT. 1007, REQUIRING THE INCLUSION OF THE BITUMINOUS COAL PURCHASE PROHIBITION CLAUSE THEREIN INDICATED IN GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS FOR ANY PUBLIC WORK OR SERVICE, IS NOT FOR APPLICATION TO SMALL OPEN-MARKET PURCHASES WHERE NO CONTRACT IS MADE OR REQUIRED BY LAW.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO MAJ. E. M. FOSTER, UNITED STATES ARMY, APRIL 24, 1936:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY REFERENCE DATED MARCH 24, 1936, FROM THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF FINANCE, YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 13, 1936, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE A PAYMENT ON A VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF THE VIRGINIA ELECTRIC AND POWER CO. FOR $2.93 FOR ELECTRIC ENERGY FURNISHED CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS CAMP SCS-VA-11 DURING THE PERIOD FROM NOVEMBER 27, 1935, TO FEBRUARY 12, 1936. THE DOUBT IN THE MATTER APPEARS CAUSED BY THE CLAIMANT'S REFUSAL TO SIGN A CONTRACT CONTAINING A CLAUSE AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 14 (B) OF THE BITUMINOUS COAL CONSERVATION ACT OF 1935, 49 STAT. 1007, THOUGH THE COMPANY DID FURNISH THE ELECTRIC ENERGY IN THE ABSENCE OF A CONTRACT THEREFOR.

EXAMINATION OF THE VOUCHER IN QUESTION DISCLOSES THAT THE AMOUNT THEREOF IS INDICATED AS CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION ACCOUNT "025016: EMERGENCY RELIEF, EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK, WAR, CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS, 1935--- MARCH 31, 1937.' THIS ACCOUNT CONSISTS OF FUNDS ALLOCATED BY THE PRESIDENT FROM THE APPROPRIATION PROVIDED BY THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935, APPROVED APRIL 8, 1935, 49 STAT. 115, TO THE DIRECTOR OF EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK FOR EMERGENCY CONSERVATION PROJECTS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 31, 1933, AS EXTENDED, FOR IMMEDIATE TRANSFER TO THE WAR DEPARTMENT FOR AUTHORIZED OPERATIONS OF THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS.

SECTION 2 OF THE SAID ACT OF APRIL 8, 1935, INCLUDES A PROVISION EXEMPTING ANY PURCHASE MADE OR SERVICE PROCURED IN CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT FROM THE REQUIREMENT OF SECTION 3709, REVISED STATUTES, AS TO ADVERTISING, WHEN THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT INVOLVED IS LESS THAN $300. AT THE RATE OF $2.93 FOR ELECTRIC ENERGY FURNISHED FROM NOVEMBER 27, 1935, TO FEBRUARY 12, 1936, IT WOULD SEEM CLEAR THAT THE TOTAL AMOUNT INVOLVED IN THIS CASE--- EVEN ON AN ANNUAL BASIS--- WOULD BE LESS THAN $300.

IT IS NOT GENERALLY CUSTOMARY IN THE CONDUCT OF THE PUBLIC BUSINESS TO ENTER INTO FORMAL CONTRACTS WHERE THE AMOUNT INVOLVED IS SO SMALL AS TO EXEMPT THE TRANSACTION FROM THE REQUIREMENT OF SECTION 3709, REVISED STATUTES. THE REQUIREMENT OF SECTION 14 (B) OF THE BITUMINOUS COAL CONSERVATION ACT OF 1935, FOR INSERTION OF THE PROVISION THEREIN INDICATED IN GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS FOR ANY PUBLIC WORK OR SERVICE, DOES NOT APPLY TO SMALL OPEN-MARKET PURCHASES WHERE NO CONTRACT IS MADE.

IN VIEW OF THE TERMS OF THE LAW AND THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, PAYMENT OF $2.93 MAY BE MADE TO THE VIRGINIA ELECTRIC AND POWER CO. UPON THE VOUCHER, IF AND WHEN THE VOUCHER SHALL HAVE BEEN PROPERLY APPROVED AND CERTIFIED.