A-77901, JULY 31, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 97

A-77901: Jul 31, 1936

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THE UNITED STATES PROPERLY MAY PROVIDE IN ITS SPECIFICATIONS THAT NO BIDS WILL BE CONSIDERED WHICH DO NOT COMPLY WITH SUCH RATES AS MAY BE PROMULGATED BY THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSIONER FOR OREGON FOR THE DRAYAGE OF SUPPLIES. SAID INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT WAS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 9. YOU ARE INFORMED THAT SPECIFICATIONS ADVERTISED PURSUANT TO SECTION 3709. IT IS NOT THE DUTY OR RESPONSIBILITY OF CONTRACTING OFFICERS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

A-77901, JULY 31, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 97

CONTRACTS - SPECIFICATIONS - DRAYAGE OF FEDERAL SUPPLIES - STATE MOTOR TRANSPORTATION ACTS ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE DRAYAGE OF FEDERAL SUPPLIES MAY NOT RESTRICT COMPETITION THEREUNDER TO BIDDERS QUOTING RATES PRESCRIBED IN ACCORDANCE WITH STATE MOTOR TRANSPORTATION ACTS.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, JULY 31, 1936:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 2, 1936, WITH ENCLOSURES, CONCERNING A REQUEST OF THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSIONER OF OREGON THAT ADVERTISEMENTS OF THE INDIAN SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, FOR BIDS FOR THE DRAYAGE OF SUPPLIES TO WARM SPRINGS, OREG., BE SO FRAMED "AS TO INSURE COMPLIANCE BY CARRIERS WITH OREGON MOTOR TRANSPORTATION ACT AND PARTICULARLY LAWFUL RATES PRESCRIBED BY" THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSIONER OF THE STATE OF OREGON--- THE QUESTION FOR DECISION BEING, IN EFFECT, WHETHER, IN VIEW OF THE TERMS OF SECTION 3709, REVISED STATUTES, THE UNITED STATES PROPERLY MAY PROVIDE IN ITS SPECIFICATIONS THAT NO BIDS WILL BE CONSIDERED WHICH DO NOT COMPLY WITH SUCH RATES AS MAY BE PROMULGATED BY THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSIONER FOR OREGON FOR THE DRAYAGE OF SUPPLIES, ETC.

SECTION 22 OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT PROVIDES THAT NOTHING CONTAINED THEREIN SHOULD PREVENT THE CARRIAGE, STORAGE, OR HANDLING OF PROPERTY FREE OR AT REDUCED RATES FOR THE UNITED STATES, STATE, OR MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENTS, AND SAID INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT WAS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 9, 1935, 49 STAT. 543, 557, SO AS TO MAKE THE LAWS TO REGULATE MOTOR CARRIERS A PART OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT AND SUBJECT TO ALL THE RULES AND REGULATIONS THEREOF WHICH, OF COURSE, INCLUDE THE ABOVE- REFERRED-TO SECTION 22 PERMITTING LOWER RATES, ETC., FOR SERVICES RENDERED TO THE UNITED STATES. A STATE MAY NOT, GENERALLY, INTERFERE WITH THE RIGHT OF THE UNITED STATES TO OPERATE OVER PUBLIC ROADS EITHER BY MEANS OF A GOVERNMENT TRUCK OR A CONTRACTOR ENGAGED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE EXCLUSIVE PURPOSE OF TRANSPORTING FEDERAL SUPPLIES, AND AN INVITATION FOR BIDS MAY NOT CONTAIN RESTRICTIONS WHICH WOULD DEFEAT THE PURPOSE OF OR CONTRAVENE THE FEDERAL LAWS RELATING TO THE OBTAINING OF SUPPLIES OR SERVICES AFTER ADVERTISING. SEE 15 COMP. GEN. 425; ALSO, A-68842, DATED APRIL 15, 1936.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE INFORMED THAT SPECIFICATIONS ADVERTISED PURSUANT TO SECTION 3709, REVISED STATUTES FOR THE DRAYAGE OF FEDERAL SUPPLIES MAY NOT RESTRICT THE COMPETITION TO BIDDERS QUOTING RATES PRESCRIBED BY THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSIONER OF OREGON. FURTHERMORE, IT IS NOT THE DUTY OR RESPONSIBILITY OF CONTRACTING OFFICERS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, BY MEANS OF RESTRICTIVE SPECIFICATIONS, TO ENFORCE CARRIERS TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF MOTOR TRANSPORTATION ACTS OF A STATE.