A-98966, NOVEMBER 26, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 479

A-98966: Nov 26, 1938

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THE STATUTES AND REGULATIONS GENERALLY APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL PURCHASES AND CONTRACTS ARE FOR APPLICATION TO THE PURCHASES AND CONTRACTS OF THE CORPORATION. (3) ABOVE STATES AS FOLLOWS: "VOUCHER RETURNED WITHOUT CERTIFICATION FOR A SHOWING WHY THE ENVELOPES WERE NOT PROCURED THROUGH THE POSTMASTER GENERAL. 7 COMP. THE DIFFERENCE STATEMENT APPLICABLE TO THE REMAINING VOUCHERS STATES AS FOLLOWS: "VOUCHERS RETURNED WITHOUT CERTIFICATION FOR A SHOWING AS TO WHY THE PAPER WAS NOT PURCHASED FROM THE PUBLIC PRINTER IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 7. THE TWO STATUTES UPON WHICH THESE PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENTS ARE APPARENTLY BASED ARE AS FOLLOWS: "39 U.S.C. 355. - THE PUBLIC PRINTER IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO PROCURE.

A-98966, NOVEMBER 26, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 479

PUBLIC EXPENDITURES - HOME OWNERS' LOAN CORPORATION - DISCRETIONARY AUTHORITY EXERCISED BY CORPORATION OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES INDIVIDUALLY INSTEAD OF THE CORPORATION THE PROVISIONS OF THE HOME OWNERS' LOAN ACT OF 1933, 48 STAT. 131, VESTING IN THE CORPORATION AUTHORITY TO DETERMINE ITS EXPENDITURES AND THE MANNER IN WHICH THEY SHALL BE INCURRED, ALLOWED, AND PAID, WITHOUT REGARD TO THE PROVISIONS OF ANY OTHER LAW GOVERNING THE EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS, DOES NOT VEST SUCH DISCRETION IN ITS INDIVIDUAL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES BUT REQUIRES A DETERMINATION BY THE CORPORATION, AND, IN THE ABSENCE OF A CORPORATION DETERMINATION TO THE CONTRARY, THE STATUTES AND REGULATIONS GENERALLY APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL PURCHASES AND CONTRACTS ARE FOR APPLICATION TO THE PURCHASES AND CONTRACTS OF THE CORPORATION. COMP. GEN. 698, CITED, AND A-49652, JUNE 28, 1933, AMPLIFIED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK BOARD, NOVEMBER 26, 1938:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING LETTER, DATED OCTOBER 24, 1938, FROM MR. FRED W. CATLETT, A MEMBER OF YOUR BOARD:

THERE HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE BOARD THE FOLLOWING PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENTS:

CHART

HOME OWNERS' BUREAU

LOAN CORP. VOUCHER

DATE COMPANY SCHEDULE NO. NO. (1) SEPT. 28, 1938 -- ATLANTA ENVELOPE CO. - 2507 16,646 (2) SEPT. 28, 1938 -- ------ DO ------------ 2507 16,647 (3) OCT. 18, 1938 - ------ DO ------------ 3113 21,157 (4) OCT. 7, 1938 -- WILLIAM NORWITZ CO. -- 2887 19,471 (5) OCT. 7, 1938 -- MATHERS-LAMM PAPER CO. 2887 19,472 (6) OCT. 7, 1938 -- STANDARD PAPER CO.,

INC., 2887 19,473 (7) OCT. 18, 1938 -- CROWN OFFICE SUPPLY CO. 3319 22,693

DIFFERENCE STATEMENT APPLICABLE TO VOUCHERS (1), (2), AND (3) ABOVE STATES AS FOLLOWS:

"VOUCHER RETURNED WITHOUT CERTIFICATION FOR A SHOWING WHY THE ENVELOPES WERE NOT PROCURED THROUGH THE POSTMASTER GENERAL. 7 COMP. GEN. 600, 14 ID. 854.'

THE DIFFERENCE STATEMENT APPLICABLE TO THE REMAINING VOUCHERS STATES AS FOLLOWS:

"VOUCHERS RETURNED WITHOUT CERTIFICATION FOR A SHOWING AS TO WHY THE PAPER WAS NOT PURCHASED FROM THE PUBLIC PRINTER IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 592. SEE 7 COMP. GEN. 600.'

THE TWO STATUTES UPON WHICH THESE PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENTS ARE APPARENTLY BASED ARE AS FOLLOWS:

"39 U.S.C. 355.---

"CONTRACTS FOR ENVELOPES BY POSTMASTER GENERAL.--- THE POSTMASTER GENERAL SHALL CONTRACT, FOR A PERIOD NOT EXCEEDING FOUR YEARS, FOR ALL ENVELOPES, STAMPED OR OTHERWISE, DESIGNED FOR SALE TO THE PUBLIC, OR FOR USE BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, THE POSTAL SERVICE, AND OTHER EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS, AND ALL GOVERNMENT BUREAUS AND ESTABLISHMENTS, AND THE BRANCHES OF THE SERVICE COMING UNDER THEIR JURISDICTION, AND MAY CONTRACT FOR THEM TO BE PLAIN OR WITH SUCH PRINTED MATTER AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE DEPARTMENT MAKING REQUISITION THEREFOR. (JUNE 26, 1906, C. 3546, 34 STAT. 476.)

"44 U.S.C. 255.---

"PAPER AND ENVELOPES FOR DEPARTMENTS, ESTABLISHMENTS, OR SERVICES OF GOVERNMENT.--- THE PUBLIC PRINTER IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO PROCURE, UNDER DIRECTION OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING, AS PROVIDED IN SECTIONS 5 TO 12, INCLUSIVE, OF THIS TITLE, AND FURNISH ON REQUISITION PAPER AND ENVELOPES (NOT INCLUDING ENVELOPES PRINTED IN THE COURSE OF MANUFACTURE) IN COMMON USE BY TWO OR MORE DEPARTMENTS, ESTABLISHMENTS, OR SERVICES OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR SHALL BE MADE TO THE PUBLIC PRINTER FROM APPROPRIATIONS OR FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR SUCH PURPOSE; PAPER AND ENVELOPES SO FURNISHED BY THE PUBLIC PRINTER SHALL NOT BE PROCURED IN ANY OTHER MANNER THEREAFTER. (JUNE 7, 1924, C. 303, SEC. 1, 43 STAT. 592.)

YOU WILL RECALL THAT IN OPINION A-49652, JUNE 28, 1933, AND OPINION NO. A -60495, OCTOBER 4, 1938, THE OFFICE OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL HELD THAT THE HOME OWNERS' LOAN CORPORATION WAS NOT SUBJECT TO THE PRINTING ACT OF 1919, 44 U.S.C. 11, IN VIEW OF THE BROAD GRANT OF POWER AS TO THE DETERMINATION OF EXPENDITURES CONTAINED IN SUBSECTION (J) OF SECTION 4 OF THE HOME OWNERS' LOAN ACT OF 1933, AS AMENDED, WHICH PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * THE CORPORATION * * * SHALL DETERMINE ITS NECESSARY EXPENDITURES UNDER THIS ACT AND THE MANNER IN WHICH THEY SHALL BE INCURRED, ALLOWED, AND PAID, WITHOUT REGARD TO THE PROVISIONS OF ANY OTHER LAW GOVERNING THE EXPENDITURES OF PUBLIC FUNDS. * * *"

IT IS OUR BELIEF THAT THE QUOTED PORTION OF SUBSECTION (J) OF SECTION 4 OF THE HOME OWNERS LOAN ACT SIMILARLY EXEMPTS THE CORPORATION FROM THE OPERATION OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED STATUTES, WITH REGARD TO PAPER AND ENVELOPES, UPON WHICH THE PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENTS IN QUESTION ARE BASED.

I AM HAVING THE VOUCHERS AND DIFFERENCE STATEMENTS ABOVE RETURNED TO YOUR OFFICE WITH MY LETTER. I TRUST THAT WE MAY RECEIVE YOUR ADVICE ON THIS MATTER AT AN EARLY DATE, AND, IF IT IS THE PRACTICE OF YOUR OFFICE TO DO SO IN MATTERS OF THIS NATURE, MAY WE REQUEST THAT THIS COMMUNICATION BE FORWARDED TO MR. ELLIOTT, THE ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL.

SECTION 4 (J) OF THE HOME OWNERS' LOAN ACT OF 1933, 48 STAT. 131, 132, VESTS IN THE HOME OWNERS' LOAN CORPORATION AUTHORITY TO DETERMINE ITS EXPENDITURES AND THE MANNER IN WHICH THEY SHALL BE INCURRED, ALLOWED, AND PAID, WITHOUT REGARD TO THE PROVISIONS OF ANY OTHER LAW GOVERNING THE EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS, BUT DOES NOT VEST SUCH DISCRETION IN THE INDIVIDUAL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE CORPORATION. THE DECISION A- 49652 OF JUNE 28, 1933, PROPERLY HELD THAT BY REASON OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4 (J), EXPENDITURES BY THE HOME OWNERS' LOAN CORPORATION WERE NOT REQUIRED TO BE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH CERTAIN STATUTES THEREIN NAMED, BUT IT DOES NOT NECESSARILY FOLLOW THAT SUCH STATUTES ARE NOT FOR APPLICATION IN THE ABSENCE OF A DETERMINATION BY THE CORPORATION, PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY CONFERRED UPON IT BY SAID SECTION 4 (J), THAT SUCH EXPENDITURES SHALL BE MADE OTHERWISE THAN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUCH STATUTES. THAT IS TO SAY, IN THE ABSENCE OF A DETERMINATION BY THE CORPORATION TO THE CONTRARY, THE STATUTES AND REGULATIONS GENERALLY APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL PURCHASES AND CONTRACTS ARE APPLICABLE TO PURCHASES AND CONTRACTS OF THE HOME OWNERS' LOAN CORPORATION.

THE VOUCHERS REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, AND WHICH WERE SUBMITTED FOR AUDIT BEFORE PAYMENT, COVERED THE PURCHASE OF PAPER AND ENVELOPES OTHERWISE THAN FROM THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE AND THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, BUT CONTAINED NO EVIDENCE THAT THE PURCHASE OF SUCH SUPPLIES IN THAT MANNER WAS DUE TO ANY DETERMINATION BY THE CORPORATION. SEE 14 COMP. GEN. 698.

IN VIEW OF THE MISUNDERSTANDING AS TO THE ACTION REQUIRED BY THE CORPORATION WHEN IT IS DESIRED TO MAKE A PARTICULAR EXPENDITURE OR CLASS OF EXPENDITURES WITHOUT REGARD TO THE PROVISIONS OF ANY FEDERAL STATUTE OTHERWISE APPLICABLE, THE PRESENT VOUCHERS WILL BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, AND RETURNED THROUGH THE USUAL CHANNELS.

WITH RESPECT TO EXPENDITURES HEREAFTER MADE, HOWEVER, PAYMENT OR CREDIT WILL NOT BE AUTHORIZED UNLESS THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW AS HEREIN CONSTRUED ARE COMPLIED WITH.