A-92040, FEBRUARY 14, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 640

A-92040: Feb 14, 1938

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IS NOT AUTHORIZED WHEN THE COST THEREOF. THERE WAS DISALLOWED AN ITEM OF $7.32. THE HEATER IN QUESTION WAS PURCHASED DECEMBER 26. THE REASON FOR THE DISALLOWANCE WAS THAT THE ITEM $7.82 PLUS THE ORIGINAL COST OF THE AUTOMOBILE WOULD EXCEED BY $7.32 THE MAXIMUM LIMITATION OF $750 FIXED BY SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MAY 14. MADE AN EXPLANATION AS FOLLOWS: PROCUREMENT OF THE HEATER FOR THIS CAR WAS NOT UNDERSTOOD AS BEING IN CONFLICT WITH THE LAW RESTRICTING TO $750.00 THE PURCHASE PRICE OF A PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLE COMPLETELY EQUIPPED FOR OPERATION. A CAR COMMONLY IS CONSIDERED COMPLETELY EQUIPPED FOR OPERATION WITHOUT A HEATER. ITS ATTACHMENT TO THE CAR IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF UTILIZING WITHOUT COST THE HEAT PRODUCED BY THE MOTOR.

A-92040, FEBRUARY 14, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 640

VEHICLES - MOTOR - PASSENGER-CARRYING - PURCHASE PRICE LIMITATIONS - ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT THE PURCHASE OF HEATERS OR OTHER EQUIPMENT TO BE INSTALLED ON MOTOR PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES NOT PREVIOUSLY EQUIPPED WITH SUCH, IS NOT AUTHORIZED WHEN THE COST THEREOF, TOGETHER WITH ORIGINAL COST OF THE CAR AND EQUIPMENT PREVIOUSLY INSTALLED THEREON, EXCEEDS THE STATUTORY PURCHASE PRICE LIMITATION FOR PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES "COMPLETELY EQUIPPED FOR OPERATION," THE STATUTE CLEARLY INCLUDING IN THE PRICE LIMITATION, THE COST OF THE CAR AS WELL AS ALL EQUIPMENT OR ACCESSORIES, STANDARD OR OTHERWISE, INTENDED FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH ITS OPERATION AND REGARDLESS OF WHETHER FOR COMFORT, SAFETY, OR OTHER PURPOSES.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, FEBRUARY 14, 1938:

IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THE CLAIM OF THE NATIONAL ELECTRICAL SUPPLY CO., WASHINGTON, D.C., SETTLEMENT NO. 0460240, DATED SEPTEMBER 7, 1937, THERE WAS DISALLOWED AN ITEM OF $7.32, REPRESENTING A PART OF THE PURCHASE OF A CERTAIN AUTOMOBILE HEATER FURNISHED THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.

THE HEATER IN QUESTION WAS PURCHASED DECEMBER 26, 1935, UNDER A GENERAL SUPPLY CONTRACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1936, ORDER 178736-36, DATED JANUARY 10, 1936, AT A PRICE OF $7.82, FOR USE IN A GRAHAM-PAIGE AUTOMOBILE ORIGINALLY COSTING $749.50 (PURCHASE ORDER W-106-F, DATED SEPTEMBER 4, 1935). THE REASON FOR THE DISALLOWANCE WAS THAT THE ITEM $7.82 PLUS THE ORIGINAL COST OF THE AUTOMOBILE WOULD EXCEED BY $7.32 THE MAXIMUM LIMITATION OF $750 FIXED BY SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MAY 14, 1935, 49 STAT. 243, FOR A PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLE "COMPLETELY EQUIPPED FOR OPERATION.'

IN SUBMITTING TO THIS OFFICE A RECLAIM VOUCHER FOR THE AMOUNT OF THE DISALLOWANCE, M. R. KENNEDY, ACTING CHIEF, DIVISION OF OPERATION, MADE AN EXPLANATION AS FOLLOWS:

PROCUREMENT OF THE HEATER FOR THIS CAR WAS NOT UNDERSTOOD AS BEING IN CONFLICT WITH THE LAW RESTRICTING TO $750.00 THE PURCHASE PRICE OF A PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLE COMPLETELY EQUIPPED FOR OPERATION. A CAR COMMONLY IS CONSIDERED COMPLETELY EQUIPPED FOR OPERATION WITHOUT A HEATER, A HEATER WHEN INSTALLED, BEING FOR THE PURPOSE OF LESSENING THE HARDSHIP OF TRAVELING IN SEVERE WEATHER RATHER THAN TO COMPLETE EQUIPMENT OF THE CAR FOR OPERATION. ITS ATTACHMENT TO THE CAR IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF UTILIZING WITHOUT COST THE HEAT PRODUCED BY THE MOTOR, WHICH HEAT COULD BE SUPPLIED BY A DETACHED HEATING DEVICE USING FUEL SUCH AS THE CARRIAGE HEATER FORMERLY USED IN COLD CLIMATES; SUCH A DETACHED HEATER OBVIOUSLY WOULD NOT BE PART OF A CAR. IN VIEW OF THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE HEATING APPARATUS WAS NOT CHARGEABLE AGAINST THE LIMITATION OF $750.00 FOR THE CAR "COMPLETELY EQUIPPED FOR OPERATION," IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THE VOUCHER BE PASSED.

THE WORDS IN THE STATUTE "COMPLETELY EQUIPPED FOR OPERATION" CLEARLY INCLUDE, WITHIN THE COST LIMITATION OF $750, THE ORIGINAL COST OF THE CAR AS WELL AS OF ALL EQUIPMENT OR ACCESSORIES, STANDARD OR OTHERWISE, INTENDED FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH THE OPERATION OF THE CAR AND REGARDLESS OF WHETHER FOR COMFORT, SAFETY, OR OTHER PURPOSE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE PURCHASE OF HEATERS OR OTHER EQUIPMENT TO BE INSTALLED ON PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES NOT PREVIOUSLY EQUIPPED WITH SUCH IS NOT AUTHORIZED WHEN THE COST THEREOF, TOGETHER WITH THE ORIGINAL COST OF THE CAR AND EQUIPMENT PREVIOUSLY INSTALLED THEREON, EXCEEDS $750.

SINCE THE HEATER IN THIS PARTICULAR INSTANCE WAS ORDERED UNDER A GENERAL SUPPLY CONTRACT AND THE CONTRACTOR DID NOT KNOW AND HAD NO MEANS OF KNOWING THAT THE HEATER WAS TO BE INSTALLED AS EQUIPMENT ON A CAR THAT COST OVER $742.18, THE BALANCE OF THE PURCHASE PRICE OF THE HEATER, $7.32, WILL NOW BE ALLOWED BY THIS OFFICE, BUT THERE SHOULD BE ADOPTED SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE SAFEGUARDS AS WILL PREVENT FURTHER PURCHASES OF AUTOMOBILE EQUIPMENT IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE STATUTORY LIMITATION IN QUESTION.