B-114922, JULY 13, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 31

B-114922: Jul 13, 1953

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- ARE PAYABLE FROM THE PROCEEDS IF THEY PERTAIN DIRECTLY TO THE SALES. 1953: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE UNDER SECRETARY'S LETTER DATED APRIL 22. IS AUTHORIZED TO SELL BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS ACQUIRED FOR THE USE OF DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR ESTABLISHMENTS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF ANY OTHER LAW. IS THAT EXPENSES OF SALES. - ARE PAYABLE FROM THE PROCEEDS IF SUCH EXPENSES PERTAIN DIRECTLY TO THE SALES. 3 COMP.

B-114922, JULY 13, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 31

SURPLUS REAL PROPERTY SALES - PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF SALES FROM PROCEEDS UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 8, 1896, AS AMENDED, THE EXPENSES OF SALES--- INCLUDING SUCH EXPENSES AS AUCTIONEERS' FEES AND ADVERTISING COSTS--- ARE PAYABLE FROM THE PROCEEDS IF THEY PERTAIN DIRECTLY TO THE SALES, AND THEREFORE, ADVERTISING EXPENSES AND NECESSARY BROKERAGE FEES OR COMMISSIONS AUTHORIZED UNDER LOCAL LAW OR CUSTOM MAY BE PAID FROM THE PROCEEDS OF SALE OF BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS ACQUIRED FOR THE USE OF DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR ESTABLISHMENTS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND SOLD BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE UNDER AUTHORITY OF SECTION 9 OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE ACT OF 1946, AS AMENDED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL FISHER TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, JULY 13, 1953:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE UNDER SECRETARY'S LETTER DATED APRIL 22, 1953, REQUESTING ADVICE AS TO WHETHER "ADVERTISING EXPENSES AND NECESSARY BROKERAGE FEES OR COMMISSIONS LEGALLY AUTHORIZED UNDER LOCAL LAW OR CUSTOM" MAY BE PAID FROM THE PROCEEDS OF SALE OF BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS ACQUIRED FOR THE USE OF DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR ESTABLISHMENTS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND SOLD BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE UNDER AUTHORITY OF SECTION 9 OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE BUILDINGS ACT OF 1926, AS AMENDED (22 U.S.C. 300).

THE SAID SECTION 9 PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART:

THE SECRETARY OF STATE, WHEN HE FINDS IT TO BE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, WITH THE CONCURRENCE OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE BUILDINGS COMMISSION, IS AUTHORIZED TO SELL BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS ACQUIRED FOR THE USE OF DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR ESTABLISHMENTS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF ANY OTHER LAW, THE PROCEEDS OF SUCH SALES MAY BE APPLIED TOWARD THE PURCHASE AND CONSTRUCTION, FURNISHING, AND PRESERVATION OF OTHER PROPERTIES, OR HELD IN THE FOREIGN SERVICE BUILDING FUND, AS IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE COMMISSION MAY BEST SERVE THE GOVERNMENT'S INTEREST: * * *

AS INDICATED IN THE SAID LETTER OF APRIL 22, 1953, THE GENERAL RULE ESTABLISHED BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 8, 1896, 29 STAT. 268, AS AMENDED (31 U.S.C. 489), IS THAT EXPENSES OF SALES--- INCLUDING SUCH EXPENSES AS AUCTIONEERS' FEES AND ADVERTISING COSTS--- ARE PAYABLE FROM THE PROCEEDS IF SUCH EXPENSES PERTAIN DIRECTLY TO THE SALES. 3 COMP. DEC. 744; 5 COMP. GEN. 680; 6 ID. 348; 7 ID. 531; 15 ID. 743; ID. 886; 16 ID. 876. CF. 26 COMP. GEN. 857. UNDER SUCH RULE ADVERTISING EXPENSES APPEAR TO BE PAYABLE OUT OF THE PROCEEDS OF SALE. ALSO, BROKERAGE FEES APPEAR CLEARLY TO BE SIMILAR TO AUCTIONEERS' FEES UNDER A DIFFERENT METHOD OF SALE. ACCORDINGLY, AND CONSIDERING THAT THE ABOVE-QUOTED SECTION 9 OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE BUILDINGS ACT OF 1926 DOES NOT SPECIFY THE METHOD OF SELLING TO BE USED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE BUT LEAVES THE MEANS OF SALE TO HIS DISCRETION, THE CONCLUSION APPEARS WARRANTED THAT ADVERTISING EXPENSES AND BROKERAGE FEES MAY BE SATISFIED OUT OF THE GROSS PROCEEDS OF SALE OF THE INVOLVED BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS.