A-97603, SEPTEMBER 12, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 226

A-97603: Sep 12, 1938

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TRUCKS MAY BE RENTED OR PURCHASED FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS WITHOUT BEING SPECIFIED IN THE APPROPRIATION IF REASONABLY NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE OBJECT FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE. ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE SAID PURPOSES. IS AS FOLLOWS: IN YOUR DECISIONS TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY (A-95797) AND TO THE ADMINISTRATOR. FEDERAL EMERGENCY ADMINISTRATION OF PUBLIC WORKS YOU INDICATED THAT THE ALLOCATIONS MADE FROM THE FUNDS APPROPRIATED UNDER TITLE II OF THE WORK RELIEF ACT OF 1938 WERE SUBJECT TO THE EMPLOYMENT RESTRICTIONS OF THE FEDERAL AGENCIES TO WHICH THE FUNDS WERE ALLOTTED. THE GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY ADMINISTRATION OF PUBLIC WORKS HAS RENDERED AN OPINION THAT THE FUNDS ALLOTTED UNDER TITLE II ARE IN EFFECT MERELY TRANSFERS AND ARE SUBJECT TO ALL OF THE AUTHORITIES AND RESTRICTIONS OF THE REGULARLY APPROPRIATED FUNDS OF THE FEDERAL AGENCIES CONCERNED.

A-97603, SEPTEMBER 12, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 226

VEHICLES - TRUCKS - PURCHASE AND HIRE - APPROPRIATION AVAILABILITY GENERALLY AND 1938 RELIEF ACT SPECIFICALLY THERE BEING NO GENERAL STATUTORY RESTRICTION APPLICABLE ESPECIALLY TO THE PURCHASE OF MOTOR TRUCKS, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM PASSENGER CARRYING VEHICLES, TRUCKS MAY BE RENTED OR PURCHASED FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS WITHOUT BEING SPECIFIED IN THE APPROPRIATION IF REASONABLY NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE OBJECT FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE, AND FUNDS ALLOCATED TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES UNDER TITLE II OF THE WORK RELIEF ACT OF 1938, 52 STAT. 816, ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE SAID PURPOSES.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, SEPTEMBER 12, 1938:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 29, 1938, IS AS FOLLOWS:

IN YOUR DECISIONS TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY (A-95797) AND TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, FEDERAL EMERGENCY ADMINISTRATION OF PUBLIC WORKS YOU INDICATED THAT THE ALLOCATIONS MADE FROM THE FUNDS APPROPRIATED UNDER TITLE II OF THE WORK RELIEF ACT OF 1938 WERE SUBJECT TO THE EMPLOYMENT RESTRICTIONS OF THE FEDERAL AGENCIES TO WHICH THE FUNDS WERE ALLOTTED. THE GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY ADMINISTRATION OF PUBLIC WORKS HAS RENDERED AN OPINION THAT THE FUNDS ALLOTTED UNDER TITLE II ARE IN EFFECT MERELY TRANSFERS AND ARE SUBJECT TO ALL OF THE AUTHORITIES AND RESTRICTIONS OF THE REGULARLY APPROPRIATED FUNDS OF THE FEDERAL AGENCIES CONCERNED. TO FURTHER CLARIFY THIS SITUATION YOUR DECISION IN THE FOLLOWING PARTICULAR INSTANCE AND IN THE GENERAL PROBLEM INVOLVED IN THE EXPENDITURE OF THESE FUNDS IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITIES TO BE CONDUCTED UNDER SEVERAL PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO UTILIZE A CONSIDERABLE NUMBER OF MOTOR TRUCKS. IN CONFORMITY WITH THE PRACTICES DEVELOPED UNDER THE PREVIOUS PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM ATTEMPTS HAVE BEEN MADE TO CONTRACT FOR THE RENTAL OF THE NECESSARY VEHICLES, BUT THE OFFERS RECEIVED HAVE BEEN PROHIBITIVE AS TO PRICE. FOR THE SMALLEST VEHICLES THE PRICES QUOTED ARE IN EXCESS OF $2.00 PER HOUR. THIS COMPARES WITH AN OPERATING COST OF LESS THAN $1.00 PER HOUR WHICH HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT OVER A PERIOD OF YEARS. ON THE BASIS OF ONLY SIX MONTHS USE THE AMOUNT EXPENDED FOR RENTALS WILL FAR EXCEED THE COST OF OUTRIGHT PURCHASE AND DEPARTMENT OPERATION OVER A SIMILAR PERIOD.

THE QUESTION AT ISSUE IS WHETHER OR NOT THE OFFICIALS OF THE DEPARTMENT MAY EXERCISE ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION IN THE PROCUREMENT OF MOTOR TRUCKS OR OTHER EQUIPMENT NEEDED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE AUTHORIZED WORK. IS, OF COURSE, UNDERSTOOD THAT PROCUREMENTS EITHER BY RENTAL OR PURCHASE WOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO REGULAR DEPARTMENT OPERATIONS. BECAUSE OF THE URGENT NEED FOR THIS EQUIPMENT A PROMPT REPLY WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.

YOUR SUBMISSION DOES NOT INDICATE WHAT RESTRICTIONS OR REGULATIONS COVERING THE PURCHASE OF MOTOR TRUCKS MAY BE INVOLVED. THERE IS NO GENERAL STATUTORY RESTRICTION APPLICABLE ESPECIALLY TO THE PURCHASE OF MOTOR TRUCKS, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES, IT BEING THE GENERAL RULE THAT SUCH TRUCKS MAY BE RENTED OR PURCHASED WITHOUT BEING SPECIFIED IN THE APPROPRIATION IF REASONABLY NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE OBJECT FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE. ACCORDINGLY, SO FAR AS SHOWN BY YOUR SUBMISSION, NO REASON APPEARS WHY THE ALLOCATED FUNDS IN QUESTION MAY NOT BE USED FOR RENTING OR PURCHASING MOTOR TRUCKS SUBJECT TO COMPLIANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAWS AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING IN SUCH CASES.