A-86217, JUNE 18, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 1086

A-86217: Jun 18, 1937

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THE BASIS FOR PAYMENT IS THE STANDARD NEWSPAPER MEASURE IN DETERMINING THE NUMBER OF LINES TO THE INCH. IS AS FOLLOWS: WE ENCLOSE HEREWITH DUPLICATES OF OUR ORIGINAL BILLINGS FOR THE ABOVE REFERRED TO ADVERTISING PLACED BY THE OFFICE OF U.S. AT THE SAME TIME ARE RETURNING CHECK FOR $10.50 OFFERED BY YOUR OFFICE IN SETTLEMENT FOR SCHEDULE NO. DEDUCTIONS ARE MADE FROM THE AMOUNTS BILLED. THOUGH BOTH OF THESE ADS WERE CHARGED BY US AT IDENTICALLY THE SAME RATE. THE PURPOSE OF THIS CORRESPONDENCE AND THE ATTACHED EXHIBITS IS TO REQUEST YOUR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION TO AND CORRECTION IN SETTLEMENT FOR THIS ADVERTISING. YOUR ACCOUNTANTS HAVE APPARENTLY FOLLOWED SOME ARBITRARY BASIS OF THEIR OWN IN RECKONING THE AMOUNT DUE US.

A-86217, JUNE 18, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 1086

ADVERTISING - NEWSPAPERS - SPACE MEASUREMENT BASIS FOR PAYMENT PURPOSES WHERE NEWSPAPER ADVERTISING ORDERS SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED THAT THE NOTICES BE SET SOLID, THE BASIS FOR PAYMENT IS THE STANDARD NEWSPAPER MEASURE IN DETERMINING THE NUMBER OF LINES TO THE INCH--- 9 LINES OF 8 POINT TYPE--- AND NOTICES SO LEADED AS TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF LINES MAY BE PAID FOR ONLY ON THE BASIS OF THE SPACE REQUIRED HAD THE NOTICE BEEN SET ON THE STANDARD NEWSPAPER MEASUREMENT BASIS.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO N. G. GOODING, JUNE 18, 1937:

YOUR LETTER OF MAY 11, 1937, IS AS FOLLOWS:

WE ENCLOSE HEREWITH DUPLICATES OF OUR ORIGINAL BILLINGS FOR THE ABOVE REFERRED TO ADVERTISING PLACED BY THE OFFICE OF U.S. ATTORNEY J. O. CARR, OF WILMINGTON, AND AT THE SAME TIME ARE RETURNING CHECK FOR $10.50 OFFERED BY YOUR OFFICE IN SETTLEMENT FOR SCHEDULE NO. PA-603.

IN THE CASE OF BOTH ADVERTISEMENTS, DEDUCTIONS ARE MADE FROM THE AMOUNTS BILLED--- IN THE CASE OF NO. PA-591, THE AMOUNT OF $4.23; ON NO. PA-603, $10.00, THOUGH BOTH OF THESE ADS WERE CHARGED BY US AT IDENTICALLY THE SAME RATE--- OUR REGULAR LOCAL LEGAL RATE--- 25 CENTS AN INCH.

THE PURPOSE OF THIS CORRESPONDENCE AND THE ATTACHED EXHIBITS IS TO REQUEST YOUR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION TO AND CORRECTION IN SETTLEMENT FOR THIS ADVERTISING.

YOUR ACCOUNTANTS HAVE APPARENTLY FOLLOWED SOME ARBITRARY BASIS OF THEIR OWN IN RECKONING THE AMOUNT DUE US--- IN ONE INSTANCE DEDUCTING SOME 16 PERCENT FROM THE BILL; AND ABOUT 50 PERCENT IN THE OTHER. THE FACT THAT THE SAME BASIS OF DEDUCTION WAS NOT FOLLOWED INDICATES THE ERRONEOUS METHOD OF CALCULATION. IN THE CASE OF PA-591, A RATE OF 20.4 CENTS AN INCH (ACTUAL MEASUREMENT) WAS ALLOWED; WHILE IN PA-603 THE RATE ALLOWED WAS 12.8 CENTS AN INCH.

WE HAVE NO DISPOSITION TO OVERCHARGE THE GOVERNMENT AND HAVE BILLED THIS ADVERTISING AT OUR REGULAR LOCAL LEGAL RATE--- THE SAME RATE WE HAVE RECEIVED ON PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT ADVERTISING; AND WE FIND NO REASON FOR ACCEPTING A LOWER RATE IN THIS INSTANCE.

WE WILL THANK YOU TO GIVE THIS MATTER IMMEDIATE ATTENTION AND HAVE CHECK FOR THE AMOUNT DUE ON THESE SCHEDULES FORWARDED TO US. OTHER SCHEDULES ARE PENDING, BUT WE WILL HOLD CLAIMS IN ABEYANCE UNTIL DISPOSITION OF 591 AND 603 IS MADE. WE ARE NOT IN POSITION TO RUN ADVERTISING AT LESS THAN COST OF PRODUCTION, AND DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY WE ARE EXPECTED TO ACCEPT SUCH ARBITRARY SETTLEMENT AS OFFERED BY YOUR OFFICE.

THE ACT OF JUNE 20, 1878, 20 STAT. 216 (44 U.S.C. 322), PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

* * * HEREAFTER ALL ADVERTISEMENTS, NOTICES, PROPOSALS FOR CONTRACTS, AND ALL FORMS OF ADVERTISING REQUIRED BY LAW FOR THE SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT MAY BE PAID FOR AT A PRICE NOT TO EXCEED THE COMMERCIAL RATES CHARGED TO PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS, WITH THE USUAL DISCOUNTS; SUCH RATES TO BE ASCERTAINED FROM SWORN STATEMENTS TO BE FURNISHED BY THE PROPRIETORS OR PUBLISHERS OF THE NEWSPAPERS PROPOSING SO TO ADVERTISE:PROVIDED, THAT ALL ADVERTISING IN NEWSPAPERS SINCE THE TENTH DAY OF APRIL, EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND SEVENTY SEVEN, SHALL BE AUDITED AND PAID AT LIKE RATES; BUT THE HEADS OF THE SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS MAY SECURE LOWER TERMS AT SPECIAL RATES WHENEVER THE PUBLIC INTEREST REQUIRES IT.

IN GENERAL REGULATIONS OF THIS OFFICE, NO. 66, DATED JANUARY 30, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 861, 865, IT IS PROVIDED, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

1. THE FOLLOWING STANDARD FORMS FOR GOVERNMENT ADVERTISING UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3828, REVISED STATUTES, AND THE ACT OF JUNE 20, 1878, 20 STAT. 216, ARE HEREBY PRESCRIBED AND PUBLISHED FOR GENERAL USE THROUGHOUT THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE IN LIEU OF ALL OTHERS WHICH HAVE HERETOFORE BEEN APPROVED BY THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY OR THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES:

FORM 1052--- STATEMENT OF ADVERTISING RATES.

FORM 1053--- ADVERTISING ORDER.

FORM 1054--- PUBLIC VOUCHER FOR ADVERTISING (ORIGINAL).

FORM 1054A--- PUBLIC VOUCHER FOR ADVERTISING (MEMORANDUM).

2. SWORN STATEMENTS OF COMMERCIAL ADVERTISING RATES MUST BE FURNISHED BY THE PROPRIETORS, PUBLISHERS, OR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVES OF NEWSPAPERS OR OTHER PUBLICATIONS IN WHICH GOVERNMENT ADVERTISEMENTS ARE PLACED TO EACH DEPARTMENT AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT, OR BUREAU OR OFFICE THEREOF, AS REQUIRED, AND THE RATES SO FURNISHED SHALL, WHEN ACCEPTED BY PLACING ORDERS FOR ADVERTISING THEREUNDER ADDRESSED TO THE PUBLISHERS, GOVERN THE AMOUNT TO BE PAID IN THE SETTLEMENT OF ACCOUNTS STATED ON THE STANDARD VOUCHER FORMS. STATEMENTS SO FURNISHED NEED NOT BE RENEWED UNTIL RATES ARE CHANGED, OR AS MAY BE SPECIALLY REQUIRED. * * *

WHEN ADVERTISEMENTS MUST BE SET SOLID

IN AUDITING BILLS NO ALLOWANCE WILL BE MADE FOR DISPLAYED OR LEADED ADVERTISEMENTS OR PROMINENT HEADINGS UNLESS OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZED. UNLESS SO AUTHORIZED THE MATTER MUST BE SET UP SOLID, WITHOUT PARAGRAPHING, AND SHOULD BE IN THE TYPE SPECIFIED IN THE SWORN STATEMENT OF RATES ON FILE IN THE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS. IF OTHER TYPE BE USED, NO ALLOWANCE SHALL BE MADE FOR ADDITIONAL SPACE ON THAT ACCOUNT. ALL ABBREVIATIONS IN COPY MUST BE STRICTLY FOLLOWED.

THE LAST-QUOTED PARAGRAPH APPEARS ON THE REVERSE SIDE OF THE ADVERTISING ORDER, FORM 1053, ISSUED TO YOU IN THE TWO CASES REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER. THE ADVERTISING ORDERS SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED THAT THE NEWSPAPER NOTICES BE SET SOLID.

IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A UNIFORM BASIS FOR AUDIT OF, AND PAYMENT FOR NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENTS REQUIRED TO BE SET SOLID, IT HAS LONG BEEN THE ESTABLISHED PRACTICE OF THIS OFFICE TO USE THE STANDARD NEWSPAPER MEASURE IN DETERMINING THE NUMBER OF LINES TO AN INCH. STANDARD NEWSPAPER TYPE IS MEASURED BY THE NUMBER OF "POINTS" IN THE HEIGHT OF THE FACE OF THE PARTICULAR SIZE OF TYPE USED; FOR EXAMPLE, 8 POINT TYPE WOULD BE 8 POINTS HIGH. A POINT IS APPROXIMATELY ONE SEVENTY-SECOND OF AN INCH (ACTUALLY 0.013837 INCH), THUS 1 INCH WOULD BE 72 POINTS IN HEIGHT AND ON THE BASIS OF USING 8-POINT TYPE, SHOULD RUN 9 LINES TO THE INCH. THIS IS UNDERSTOOD TO BE THE CUSTOMARY METHOD OF COMPUTATION USED BY NEWSPAPERS GENERALLY THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES. ALSO, 8-POINT TYPE SET SOLID BY THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE RUNS 9 LINES TO THE INCH.

NUMEROUS CLAIMS HAVE BEEN AUDITED AND PAID ON THIS BASIS OVER A LONG PERIOD OF YEARS, WHICH HAS BEEN ACCEPTED BY PUBLISHERS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. ADOPTION BY THIS OFFICE OF THE STANDARD NEWSPAPER MEASURE IN DETERMINING THE NUMBER OF LINES TO AN INCH WHERE THE RATES ARE FIXED ON THAT BASIS APPEARS JUSTIFIED BY THE TERMS OF THE CONTROLLING STATUTE.

IN YOUR AFFIDAVITS ATTACHED TO THE TWO VOUCHERS IN QUESTION YOUR RATES ARE STATED TO BE "RATE PER INCH OF 8-POINT TYPE FOR FIRST INSERTION, $0.25. EACH SUBSEQUENT INSERTION, $0.25.' THE VOUCHERS ARE STATED ON THAT BASIS.

BOTH OF THE NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENTS, THE AUDIT OF THE CLAIMS FOR WHICH YOU HAVE REQUESTED REVIEW, ARE SO LEADED THAT THE TYPE RUNS ONLY 7 LINES (PLUS) TO THE INCH INSTEAD OF 9, WHICH MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED BY THIS OFFICE AS THE PROPER BASIS FOR AUDIT AND PAYMENT.

THE NOTICE COVERED IN YOUR ORIGINAL VOUCHER DATED MARCH 12, 1937, INVOLVING THE CASE OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF, V. 667.90 ACRES OF LAND IN CRAVEN COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SCHEDULE NO. PA-603, CONTAINS 154 LINES BY ACTUAL COUNT AND, ON THE BASIS OF 9 LINES OF 8-POINT TYPE TO THE INCH, THE NOTICE SHOULD HAVE BEEN 17.11 INCHES IN LENGTH, IF THE TYPE HAD BEEN SET SOLID AS REQUIRED, FOR WHICH YOU ARE ENTITLED TO A TOTAL OF $17.11 FOR 4 INSERTIONS AT 25 CENTS PER INCH. THE CHECK FOR $10.50, TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER, ORIGINALLY ISSUED IN PAYMENT OF THIS BILL IS RETURNED HEREWITH, AND A SETTLEMENT WILL ISSUE BY THIS OFFICE IN YOUR FAVOR ALLOWING AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT OF $6.61 TO COVER THE BALANCE DUE.

THE NOTICE IN THE CASE OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF, V. 1,015.7 ACRES OF LAND IN JONES COUNTRY, NORTH CAROLINA, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SCHEDULE NO. PA-591, CONTAINS 169 LINES BY ACTUAL COUNT, AND ON THE BASIS OF 9 LINES OF 8-POINT TYPE TO THE INCH THE CHARGE FOR THE NOTICE SHOULD HAVE BEEN FOR 18.77 INCHES IN LENGTH IF THE TYPE HAD BEEN SET SOLID AS REQUIRED, AMOUNTING TO $18.77 FOR 4 INSERTIONS AT 25 CENTS PER INCH, THE AMOUNT WHICH WAS PAID TO YOU AS CERTIFIED DUE YOU BY THIS OFFICE IN THE AUDIT. ACCORDINGLY, THE AUDIT ACTION ON THIS VOUCHER MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.