A-89886, NOVEMBER 4, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 379

A-89886: Nov 4, 1937

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CHARGES FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE SUPPLIES PURCHASED THEREUNDER ARE NOT CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION CURRENT AT THE TIME OF PURCHASE WHERE THE BILL OF LADING ORDERING THE SHIPMENT. - WAS NOT ACTUALLY SERVED UPON THE CARRIER. 1937: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 25. THE APPROPRIATION SOUGHT TO BE CHARGED WAS 01-256010. THIS VOUCHER WAS FIRST RETURNED UNDER DATE OF SEPTEMBER 18. WITHOUT CERTIFICATION BY THE MISCELLANEOUS (TRANSPORTATION) UNIT FOR THE FOLLOWING REASON: "SERVICE WAS RENDERED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1938. THEREFORE THE APPROPRIATION INDICATED IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION INVOLVED. THE FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION SUBMITTED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT: "THE ATTACHED VOUCHER IS SUPPORTED BY GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING NO.

A-89886, NOVEMBER 4, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 379

APPROPRIATIONS - AVAILABILITY BEYOND SPECIFIED DATE - PURCHASE AND TRANSPORTATION OF SUPPLIES IN DIFFERENT FISCAL YEARS - EMERGENCY RELIEF FUNDS A REQUISITION ISSUED BY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY TO THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF SUPPLIES UNDER THE PROCEDURE ESTABLISHED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER IN CONNECTION WITH THE EXPENDITURE OF EMERGENCY RELIEF FUNDS, DOES NOT PER SE OBLIGATE THEN CURRENT FUNDS, THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT OCCUPYING MERELY A POSITION AS AGENT AND NOT CONTRACTOR IN SUCH TRANSACTION, AND CHARGES FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE SUPPLIES PURCHASED THEREUNDER ARE NOT CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION CURRENT AT THE TIME OF PURCHASE WHERE THE BILL OF LADING ORDERING THE SHIPMENT--- ALTHOUGH DATED IN THE SAME FISCAL YEAR AS THE PURCHASE CONTRACT--- WAS NOT ACTUALLY SERVED UPON THE CARRIER, AND THE TRANSPORTATION NOT PERFORMED, UNTIL THE SUBSEQUENT FISCAL YEAR. 21 COMP. DEC. 22; 27 ID. 640; 2 COMP. GEN. 130, DISTINGUISHED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, NOVEMBER 4, 1937:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 25, 1937, AS FOLLOWS:

THE FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION SUBMITTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR PREAUDIT, IN ACCORDANCE WITH ESTABLISHED PROCEDURE, BUREAU VOUCHER NO. 4788, SCHEDULE NO. 3880, STATED IN FAVOR OF ST. LOUIS SOUTHWESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY, COVERING TRANSPORTATION CHARGES INCURRED INCIDENT TO THE ISSUANCE OF GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING NO. RA-360418. THE APPROPRIATION SOUGHT TO BE CHARGED WAS 01-256010, EMERGENCY RELIEF, RESETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATION, RURAL REHABILITATION, LOANS AND RELIEF TO FARMERS, ETC., 1936 AND 1937 (TRANSFER TO AGRICULTURE) O.P. 256-63 0014.

THIS VOUCHER WAS FIRST RETURNED UNDER DATE OF SEPTEMBER 18, 1937, WITHOUT CERTIFICATION BY THE MISCELLANEOUS (TRANSPORTATION) UNIT FOR THE FOLLOWING REASON:

"SERVICE WAS RENDERED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1938, AND THEREFORE THE APPROPRIATION INDICATED IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION INVOLVED. SEE 1 C.G., PAGE 655.'

IN REPLY TO THIS PREAUDIT RATE MEMORANDUM, THE FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION SUBMITTED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT:

"THE ATTACHED VOUCHER IS SUPPORTED BY GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING NO. RA- 360418, WHICH WAS ISSUED UNDER DATE OF JUNE 22, 1937, CERTIFICATE OF ISSUING OFFICER EXECUTED JUNE 22, 1937. THE BILL OF LADING COVERS SHIPMENT INCIDENT TO THE PURCHASE AND DELIVERY OF MATERIAL COVERED BY REQUISITION NO. 55, DATED APRIL 1, 1937, WHICH WAS ISSUED TO THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, BY THE FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, THEN THE RESETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATION.

"IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE REQUISITION WAS DATED APRIL 1, 1937, AND COVERED THE COST OF THE MATERIAL PURCHASED AS WELL AS THE NECESSARY EXPENSE OF TRANSPORTATION, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1937 WAS OBLIGATED FOR PAYMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION BILL AT THE TIME THE REQUISITION WAS ISSUED, SUCH PAYMENT BEING AN EXPENSE PROPERLY INCURRED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1937 WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 3690, R.S. CERTIFICATION OF THE VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT AS SCHEDULED IS ACCORDINGLY REQUESTED.'

THE VOUCHER WAS RETURNED AGAIN, ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1937, FOR THE FOLLOWING REASON:

"THE ATTACHED BILL IS RETURNED AGAIN FOR RECONSIDERATION. THE YEAR OF APPROPRIATION IS GOVERNED BY DATE OF SERVICE AND NOT BY DATE OF PURCHASE OR AUTHORIZATION. SEE 16 COMP. GEN. 843.'

IT IS RESPECTFULLY SUGGESTED THAT THE DECISIONS TO WHICH YOU REFER ABOVE MIGHT NOT BE APPLICABLE TO THE QUESTION HERE RAISED. IN 1 COMP. GEN. 655, THERE WAS INVOLVED A QUESTION AS TO THE APPROPRIATION TO BE CHARGED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS ON A BILL OF LADING DATED SUBSEQUENT TO THE FISCAL YEAR FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE WAS SOUGHT TO BE CHARGED. IT WAS HELD THAT THE ISSUING OF A TRAVEL ORDER IN THE PRIOR FISCAL YEAR DID NOT OBLIGATE THE APPROPRIATION THEN AVAILABLE, FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS ON A BILL OF LADING ISSUED THE FOLLOWING FISCAL YEAR. IN THAT CASE THE BILL OF LADING WAS ISSUED IN THE SUBSEQUENT YEAR, WHEREAS IN OUR CASE THE BILL OF LADING WAS ISSUED IN THE PRIOR YEAR.

IN THE DECISION IN 16 COMP. GEN. 843, THE PURCHASE AND THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE COMMODITIES COULD POSSIBLY BE CONTENDED TO BE TWO SEPARATE AND DISTINCT TRANSACTIONS INVOLVING THE SAME AGENCY. HOWEVER, IN THE MATTER NOW INVOLVED, AS INDICATED IN THE FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION'S REPLY TO THE PREAUDIT RATE MEMORANDUM DATED SEPTEMBER 18, 1937, THE REQUISITION WAS ISSUED TO THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT UNDER DATE OF APRIL 1, 1937, COVERING THE PURCHASE OF NECESSARY PROJECT SUPPLIES F.O.B. THE PROJECT SITE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROCEDURE IN EFFECT AT THAT DATE, WHICH PROCEDURE LEFT THE DETAIL METHOD OF FURNISHING THE PROJECT SUPPLIES TO THE DISCRETION OF THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT IN ORDER TO KEEP WITHIN ECONOMICAL COSTS. IN SOME CASES THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION SECURED THE SUPPLIES F.O.B. THE PROJECT AND IN OTHER CASES SUPPLIES WERE OBTAINED AT PRICES F.O.B. OTHER POINTS AND GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING WERE ISSUED TO COVER TRANSPORTATION TO THE PROJECT SITE, INSTRUCTION BEING ISSUED TO THE CARRIERS TO BILL THE FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION DIRECT FOR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION. IN THE INSTANT CASE THE FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION ISSUED ONLY ONE OBLIGATING DOCUMENT, THE ORIGINAL REQUISITION DATED APRIL 1, 1937, AND THERE WERE THEN AND THERE ARE NOW NO OTHER FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE TO LIQUIDATE THE OBLIGATION FOR THIS PARTICULAR ITEM.

IT IS MY VIEW THAT IF THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION HAD NOT BEEN ABLE TO FURNISH THE PROJECT SUPPLIES F.O.B. THE PROJECT SITE, THE FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION WOULD HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED TO USE THE APPROPRIATION EVEN AFTER JUNE 30, 1937, FOR THE PURCHASE AND TRANSPORTATION OF THE GOODS TO THE PROJECT SITE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DECISION OF COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR AUGUST 18, 1922, 2 COMP. GEN. 130.

A REVIEW OF THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING RA-360418 INDICATES THAT IT WAS ISSUED TO THE CARRIER BY LARKAN L. THORNHILL, STATE PROCUREMENT OFFICER, PROCUREMENT DIVISION OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, UNDER DATE OF JUNE 22, 1937, FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE PROJECT SUPPLIES (CAST IRON PIPES AND FITTINGS) FROM BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA, TO THE PROJECT SITE, 5 1/2 MILES FROM ALTHEIMER, ARKANSAS. INASMUCH AS THE BILL OF LADING WAS ISSUED PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE LAPSING OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR ENCUMBRANCE, IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE APPROPRIATION PROPERLY CHARGEABLE WOULD BE THE ONE AVAILABLE AT THE TIME THE CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATION WITH THE RAILROAD COMPANY AROSE, I.E., JUNE 22, 1937. THE CASE IS COMPARABLE TO THAT IN 21 COMP. DEC. 822, CITED WITH APPROVAL IN 27 COMP. DEC. 640, 643, IN WHICH IT WAS HELD THAT "THE APPROPRIATION CURRENT AT THE TIME WHEN DELIVERY IS MADE IS PRIMA FACIE, THE APPROPRIATION TO BE CHARGED WITH THE COST THEREOF, BUT THAT THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE PRIOR FISCAL YEAR IS TO BE CHARGED THEREWITH WHENEVER IT IS DEFINITELY SHOWN THAT (1) THE EXIGENCY EXISTED WITHIN THE PRIOR FISCAL YEAR; (2) THE AGREEMENT OF PURCHASE WAS MADE WITHIN THE PRIOR FISCAL YEAR; AND (3) THE ORDER TO SUPPLY THIS EXIGENCY WAS GIVEN WITHIN THE PRIOR FISCAL YEAR.'

THE NEED AROSE DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1937; THE AGREEMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE MATERIALS FOR THE FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION WAS MADE DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1937; AND THE ORDER TO SUPPLY THE NEED WAS PLACED IN 1937. IN THIS CONNECTION, HOWEVER, ASIDE FROM THE DATE OF THE BILL OF LADING, IT IS MY VIEW THAT THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH BILL WAS NOT NECESSARY FOR THE PURPOSE OF OBLIGATING THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION FOR THE CHARGES, INASMUCH AS THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION HAD BEEN DIRECTED BY REQUISITION DATED APRIL 1, 1937, TO FURNISH SUCH PROJECT SUPPLIES F.O.B. THE PROJECT SITE, AND THE FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION WAS OBLIGATED TO PAY THE COST OF SUCH SUPPLIES F.O.B. THE PROJECT THROUGH THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION OR TO SUCH OTHER PERSONS OR AGENCIES AS THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION MIGHT DIRECT. IN THIS CASE THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION ELECTED TO DIRECT THE CARRIER TO BILL THE FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION FOR PART OF THE COST IN CONNECTION WITH SUPPLYING THE MATERIAL F.O.B. THE PROJECT SITE.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION HAS A LARGE NUMBER OF TRANSPORTATION BILLS FOR SETTLEMENT AT THIS TIME AND WHICH CANNOT BE PAID BECAUSE OF THE ACTION OF THE MISCELLANEOUS (TRANSPORTATION) UNIT OF THE TRANSPORTATION SECTION OF YOUR OFFICE IN NOT CERTIFYING THE BILLS FOR PAYMENT, IT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED THAT YOU INSTRUCT THE UNIT THAT THE CHARGES IN QUESTION ARE PROPERLY PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATION SOUGHT TO BE CHARGED. THE VOUCHER IS SUBMITTED HEREWITH FOR YOUR RECONSIDERATION.

THERE IS NOTED THE STATEMENT THAT THIS CASE IS DEEMED NOT GOVERNED BY THE DECISION OF THIS OFFICE REPORTED IN 16 COMP. GEN. 843 FOR THE REASON THAT THE REQUISITION FOR THE MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES WAS ISSUED BY THE FORMER RESETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATION ON APRIL 1, 1937,"IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROCEDURE IN EFFECT AT THAT DATE, WHICH PROCEDURE LEFT THE DETAIL METHOD OF FURNISHING THE PROJECT SUPPLIES TO THE DISCRETION OF THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT IN ORDER TO KEEP WITHIN ECONOMICAL COSTS.'

THERE IS INVOLVED HERE THE USE OF EMERGENCY RELIEF FUNDS. WITH REGARD TO THE USE OF SUCH FUNDS, SECTION II (A) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 7034, DATED MAY 6, 1935, DIRECTS:

THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY * * * (2) THROUGH THE DIRECTOR OF PROCUREMENT, TO PURCHASE, OR PROVIDE A SYSTEM FOR THE PURCHASE OF ALL MATERIALS, SUPPLIES, AND EQUIPMENT TO BE PROCURED WITH THE SAID FUNDS.

IT IS PRESUMED, THEREFORE, THAT THE REFERRED-TO REQUISITION OF APRIL 1, 1937, UPON THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT FOR THE SUPPLIES MOVED UNDER THE BILL OF LADING IN QUESTION WAS PURSUANT TO THE PROCEDURE AUTHORIZED BY THE EXECUTIVE ORDER, SUPRA.

THE BILL OF LADING UNDER CONSIDERATION IS SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN ISSUED IN CONNECTION WITH SUPPLIES AND MATERIALS FURNISHED UNDER CONTRACT ER TPS-63- 7106, DATED JUNE 21, 1937, MADE WITH MCWANE CAST IRON PIPE CO. THIS CONTRACT WAS AWARDED BY THE STATE PROCUREMENT OFFICE UPON THE BASIS OF AN INVITATION FOR BIDS ISSUED UNDER DATE OF APRIL 26, 1937. IT IS ASSUMED THAT SAID INVITATION FOR BIDS AND AWARD OF CONTRACT RESULTED FROM THE RESETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATION REQUISITION OF APRIL 1, 1937. THE CONTRACT PRICE WAS "F.O.B. POINT OF ORIGIN," BIRMINGHAM, ALA., AND THE PLACE OF DELIVERY STATED IN THE CONTRACT WAS "RESETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATION, PROJECT SITE, CARE OF REX OGGS, 5 1/2 MILES FROM ALTHEIMER, ARK.'--- DELIVERY BEING REQUESTED "WITHIN 20 DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF ORDER.'

THE DECISION--- 16 COMP. GEN. 843--- UPON WHICH THE AUDIT ACTION WAS BASED HOLDS AS FOLLOWS:

IT IS THE ESTABLISHED RULE IN REGARD TO THE USE OF FISCAL-YEAR APPROPRIATIONS FOR TRANSPORTATION CHARGES THAT WHERE SUPPLIES ARE PURCHASED F.O.B. PLACE OF MANUFACTURE, AND TRANSPORTATION IS NOT ORDERED OR ACCOMPLISHED UNTIL THE FOLLOWING FISCAL YEAR, THE TRANSPORTATION COSTS ARE NOT CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR IN WHICH THE SUPPLIES WERE PURCHASED, BUT TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR IN WHICH THE TRANSPORTATION WAS PERFORMED--- THE CONTRACT OF TRANSPORTATION BEING SEPARATE FROM THE CONTRACT OF PURCHASE. 22 COMP. DEC. 349; 1 COMP. GEN. 655; ALSO, A 44780, OCTOBER 3, 1932. * * *

UNDER THE PROCEDURE ESTABLISHED IN PURSUANCE OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER, SUPRA, THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, WAS CONSTITUTED THE PURCHASING AGENT OF REQUISITIONING DEPARTMENTS OR AGENCIES. OBVIOUSLY, THE REQUISITION OF APRIL 1, 1937, REFERRED TO IN YOU LETTER, DID NOT CONSTITUTE AN ACT WHICH PER SE OBLIGATED THE THEN CURRENT FUNDS. THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT WAS NOT TO FURNISH THE SUPPLIES REQUISITIONED BY THE RESETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATION. THUS THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT DID NOT OCCUPY THE POSITION SIMILAR TO THAT OF A CONTRACTOR. SAID DEPARTMENT WAS, AS ABOVE STATED, MERELY THE PURCHASING AGENT OF THE RESETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATION. THE OBLIGATING ACT HERE--- FROM THE APPROPRIATION ACCOUNTING STANDPOINT--- COULD, NOT, THEREFORE, HAVE TAKEN PLACE UNTIL AFTER THE CONTRACT CAME INTO BEING, NAMELY, ON JUNE 21, 1937. BUT SINCE SAID CONTRACT WAS AWARDED UPON A PRICE "F.O.B. POINT OF ORIGIN," THE MATTER OF TRANSPORTING THE SUPPLIES CONTRACTED FOR TO THE POINT WHERE NEEDED BY THE GOVERNMENT CONSTITUTED A SEPARATE UNDERTAKING.

MUCH STRESS IS PLACED UPON THE FACT THAT THE BILL OF LADING HERE INVOLVED WAS ISSUED JUNE 22, 1937--- SUGGESTING THAT IN VIEW OF SUCH FACT THE THEN CURRENT APPROPRIATION WAS PROPERLY OBLIGATED WITH THE COST OF TRANSPORTING THE SUPPLIES. WHILE SAID BILL OF LADING MAY HAVE BEEN ISSUED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE ON JUNE 22, 1937, IT APPEARS THAT SAID BILL WAS NOT ACTUALLY SERVED UPON THE CARRIER UNTIL JULY 9,1937, AND DELIVERY OF THE SHIPMENT WAS NOT EFFECTED UNTIL JULY 16, 1937. CERTAINLY, THE MERE ISSUANCE OF A BILL OF LADING BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE OBLIGATING ACT. THERE CAN BE NO BASIS FOR A TRANSPORTATION CONTRACT IN A CASE SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED UNTIL THE BILL OF LADING IS ACTUALLY SERVED UPON THE CARRIER. IN A RECENT DECISION, A-85466, DATED MAY 24, 1937, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, THERE WAS CONSIDERED A SIMILAR CASE REGARDING THE DATE OF ISSUANCE OF A BILL OF LADING AND IT WAS THERE STATED THAT:

WHILE IN THE PRESENT CASE THE BILL OF LADING MAY HAVE BEEN ISSUED AND DATED JUNE 26, 1936, THE TRANSPORTATION WAS NOT "ORDERED" UNTIL SAID BILL OF LADING WAS ACTUALLY TURNED OVER TO THE CARRIER, AND WAS NOT "ACCOMPLISHED" UNTIL DELIVERY OF THE SHIPMENT TO SAID CARRIER UNDER THE BILL OF LADING. SINCE THE TRANSPORTATION WAS IN FACT ORDERED AND ACCOMPLISHED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1937 THE APPROPRIATION FOR THAT FISCAL YEAR, RATHER THAN THAT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1936, BECAME OBLIGATED FOR THE FREIGHT CHARGES UPON THE SHIPMENT AND SETTLEMENT BY THIS OFFICE WILL BE ACCORDINGLY, CHARGING THE APPROPRIATION "TEMPORARY GOVERNMENT FOR VIRGIN ISLANDS, 1937.' THE DECISIONS, CITED IN YOUR LETTER--- 21 COMP. DEC. 822; 27 ID. 640; 2 COMP. GEN. 130--- IN SUPPORT OF THE VIEW THAT THE COST OF TRANSPORTING THE SUPPLIES HERE IN QUESTION IS PROPERLY FOR CHARGING TO THE APPROPRIATION CURRENT AT THE TIME THE SUPPLIES WERE REQUISITIONED DO NOT INVOLVE SEPARATE UNDERTAKINGS AS HERE INVOLVED--- A PURCHASE CONTRACT AND A TRANSPORTATION CONTRACT--- AND ARE NOT, THEREFORE APPOSITE TO THE ISSUE HERE RAISED.

ACCORDINGLY, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THE DECISIONS, 16 COMP. GEN. 843 AND A -85466, DATED MAY 24, 1937, ARE FOR APPLICATION IN THE INSTANT CASE, AND THAT THE AUDIT ACTION IN REFUSING TO CERTIFY THE VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT UNDER THE FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION SOUGHT TO BE CHARGED WAS CORRECT. THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED.