A-92955, MARCH 11, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 732

A-92955: Mar 11, 1938

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UNLESS THE PARTICULAR CONTRIBUTIONS SOUGHT TO BE USED WERE MADE FOR THAT PURPOSE AND THERE IS NOT INVOLVED A VIOLATION OF THE PROVISION OF SAID ACT REGARDING THE NONENGAGING OF THE BOARD IN ANY BUSINESS. IS AS FOLLOWS: DURING MORE THAN TWO YEARS. ALLOTMENTS TO THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE FOR PRINTING AND BINDING HAVE BEEN ONLY SLIGHTLY INCREASED SINCE A LARGE NUMBER OF AREAS WERE TRANSFERRED TO IT BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6166. THE INCREASED USE OF PRINTED FORMS AND LETTERHEADS AND THE NECESSITY FOR DESCRIPTIVE MATERIAL CONCERNING THE GREAT SCENIC AREAS HAVE RESULTED IN A LACK OF PRINTING FUNDS FOR THE HISTORICAL AREAS. THERE WAS CONSIDERABLE EMBARRASSMENT DUE TO THE FACT THAT LITTLE OR NO DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE WAS AVAILABLE FOR THEM AT ANY PRICE.

A-92955, MARCH 11, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 732

PRINTING - DESCRIPTIVE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE LITERATURE - USE OF NATIONAL PARK TRUST FUND TRUST FUNDS COMPOSED OF GIFTS OR BEQUESTS ACCEPTED BY THE NATIONAL PARK TRUST FUND BOARD IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 2, ACT, JULY 10, 1935, 49 STAT. 477, MAY NOT BE USED FOR THE PRINTING, FOR SALE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC, OF PAMPHLETS DESCRIPTIVE OF THE HISTORICAL AREAS ADMINISTERED BY THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, UNLESS THE PARTICULAR CONTRIBUTIONS SOUGHT TO BE USED WERE MADE FOR THAT PURPOSE AND THERE IS NOT INVOLVED A VIOLATION OF THE PROVISION OF SAID ACT REGARDING THE NONENGAGING OF THE BOARD IN ANY BUSINESS.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, MARCH 11, 1938:

YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 23, 1938, IS AS FOLLOWS:

DURING MORE THAN TWO YEARS, IT HAS BEEN IMPOSSIBLE TO PROVIDE DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE FOR THE PUBLIC VISITING THE HISTORICAL AREAS ADMINISTERED BY THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE. ALLOTMENTS TO THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE FOR PRINTING AND BINDING HAVE BEEN ONLY SLIGHTLY INCREASED SINCE A LARGE NUMBER OF AREAS WERE TRANSFERRED TO IT BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6166, JUNE 10, 1933, AS INTERPRETED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6228, JULY 28, 1933. THE INCREASED USE OF PRINTED FORMS AND LETTERHEADS AND THE NECESSITY FOR DESCRIPTIVE MATERIAL CONCERNING THE GREAT SCENIC AREAS HAVE RESULTED IN A LACK OF PRINTING FUNDS FOR THE HISTORICAL AREAS. APPROXIMATELY SIX MILLION PEOPLE VISITED THOSE AREAS DURING THE TRAVEL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, AND THERE WAS CONSIDERABLE EMBARRASSMENT DUE TO THE FACT THAT LITTLE OR NO DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE WAS AVAILABLE FOR THEM AT ANY PRICE.

IT IS BELIEVED THAT IF SUCH DESCRIPTIVE LITERATURE CAN BE PUBLISHED, IT CAN BE SOLD TO VISITORS IN SUFFICIENT QUANTITIES TO COVER THE COST OF PRINTING. SUCH A PROGRAM APPEARS TO BE IN ACCORD WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2 (J) OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 21, 1935 (49 STAT. 666), KNOWN AS THE ,HISTORIC SITES ACT," WHICH AUTHORIZES THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, THROUGH THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, TO DEVELOP AN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM AND SERVICE FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC FACTS AND INFORMATION PERTAINING TO AMERICAN HISTORIC AND ARCHAEOLOGIC SITES, BUILDINGS, AND PROPERTIES OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE, AND TO MAKE REASONABLE CHARGES FOR THE DISSEMINATION OF ANY SUCH FACTS OR INFORMATION.

IT HAS BEEN SUGGESTED THAT A PORTION OF THE NATIONAL PARK TRUST FUND BE ADVANCED TO PROVIDE A PRINTING FUND FOR THE PURPOSE, AND THAT RECEIPTS FROM THE SALE OF DOCUMENTS BE USED TO REPLENISH THE PRINTING FUND. ONE OF THE PURPOSES OF THE ACT OF JULY 10, 1935 (49 STAT. 477), CREATING THE NATIONAL PARK TRUST FUND BOARD, WAS TO FACILITATE OPERATIONS UNDER THE HISTORIC SITES ACT. THE TWO BILLS WERE INTRODUCED AT ABOUT THE SAME TIME IN THE 74TH CONGRESS, AND WERE CONSIDERED AS COMPANION BILLS. THEY WERE CONSIDERED TOGETHER IN THE HEARINGS BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON THE PUBLIC LANDS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND WERE THE SUBJECT OF A COMBINED REPORT BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, WHICH WAS SUBMITTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE COMMITTEE. THE SENATE BILLS (S. 2073 AND S. 2074, 74TH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION), WHICH WERE FINALLY ENACTED, WERE ALSO CONSIDERED TOGETHER.

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE PROPOSED PROGRAM:

1. WITH THE CONCURRENCE OF THE NATIONAL PARK TRUST FUND BOARD, MAY SUCH PART OF THE NATIONAL PARK TRUST FUND AS IS NOT HELD FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE BE USED FOR THE PRINTING OF DOCUMENTS DESCRIPTIVE OF THE HISTORICAL AREAS ADMINISTERED BY THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE?

2. IF SUCH DOCUMENTS MAY BE PRINTED BY THE USE OF TRUST FUNDS, MAY THE RECEIPTS FROM THEIR SALE BE DEPOSITED TO THE CREDIT OF THE PRINTING FUND, WITH OR WITHOUT A STIPULATION TO THAT EFFECT BY THE NATIONAL PARK TRUST FUND BOARD?

3. IF SUCH FUNDS ARE MADE AVAILABLE, MAY THE PRINTING BE DONE UNDER CONTRACTS WITH PRIVATE PRINTERS?

4. IF THE PRINTING IS DONE BY THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, MAY THE DOCUMENTS BE SOLD OTHERWISE THAN UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS?

SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JULY 10, 1935, 49 STAT. 477, ESTABLISHING THE NATIONAL PARK TRUST FUND BOARD PROVIDES:

THE BOARD IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO ACCEPT, RECEIVE, HOLD, AND ADMINISTER SUCH GIFTS OR BEQUESTS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY FOR THE BENEFIT OF, OR IN CONNECTION WITH, THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, ITS ACTIVITIES, OR ITS SERVICE, AS MAY BE APPROVED BY THE BOARD, BUT NO SUCH GIFT OR BEQUEST WHICH ENTAILS ANY EXPENDITURE NOT TO BE MET OUT OF THE GIFT, BEQUEST OR THE INCOME THEREOF SHALL BE ACCEPTED WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF CONGRESS.

THE MONEYS OR SECURITIES COMPOSING THE TRUST FUNDS GIVEN OR BEQUEATHED TO THE BOARD SHALL BE RECEIPTED FOR BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, WHO SHALL INVEST, REINVEST, OR RETAIN INVESTMENTS AS THE BOARD MAY FROM TIME TO TIME DETERMINE. THE INCOME, AS AND WHEN COLLECTED, SHALL BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES IN A TRUST FUND ACCOUNT TO BE KNOWN AS THE ,NATIONAL PARK TRUST FUND" SUBJECT TO DISBURSEMENT BY THE DIVISION OF DISBURSEMENT, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, FOR THE PURPOSES IN EACH CASE SPECIFIED: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE BOARD IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO ENGAGE IN ANY BUSINESS, NOR SHALL THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY MAKE ANY INVESTMENT FOR ACCOUNT OF THE BOARD THAT MAY NOT LAWFULLY BE MADE BY A TRUST COMPANY IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, EXCEPT THAT THE SECRETARY MAY MAKE ANY INVESTMENTS DIRECTLY AUTHORIZED BY THE INSTRUMENT OF GIFT, AND MAY RETAIN ANY INVESTMENTS ACCEPTED BY THE BOARD.

WHETHER OR NOT ANY PARTICULAR CONTRIBUTION TO THE TRUST FUND COULD BE USED FOR PRINTING IS DEPENDENT UPON THE PURPOSES "IN EACH CASE SPECIFIED; " THAT IS, UNLESS THE FUNDS WERE CONTRIBUTED FOR PRINTING OF THE KIND NOW DESIRED EITHER SPECIFICALLY OR BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION, THEY COULD NOT BE SO USED. FURTHERMORE, THE PRINTING AND SALE OF PAMPHLETS WOULD APPEAR TO CONSTITUTE ENGAGING IN A BUSINESS SUCH AS SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED BY SECTION 2 OF THE ACT.

I FIND NOTHING IN THE HISTORIC SITES ACT OF AUGUST 21, 1935, 49 STAT. 666, NOR IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR CARRYING IT INTO EFFECT WHICH WOULD WARRANT THE USE OF THE NATIONAL PARK TRUST FUND FOR PRINTING IF NOT INCLUDED IN THE OBJECTS FOR WHICH CONTRIBUTED. ACCORDINGLY, UPON THE PRESENT SUBMISSION IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE NATIONAL PARK TRUST FUND MAY NOT BE USED FOR PRINTING PAMPHLETS FOR SALE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC. SINCE ANSWER TO YOUR FIRST QUESTION MUST BE IN THE NEGATIVE IT APPEARS UNNECESSARY TO ANSWER THE OTHER QUESTIONS. SEE, HOWEVER, SECTION 307 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 409.