B-124672, OCTOBER 21, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 220

B-124672: Oct 21, 1955

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WHICH WAS ENACTED TO EFFECT ECONOMIES IN THE PROCUREMENT OF SUCH SERVICES. PRESUPPOSES THAT AUTHORITY EXISTS TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT BY REASON OF THE AVAILABILITY OF A FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION FOR THE FIRST YEAR AND THAT THE SERVICES TO BE RENDERED ARE MERELY INCIDENTAL TO THE CONDUCT OF AUTHORIZED GOVERNMENT BUSINESS. HENCE SUCH SECTION DOES NOT AUTHORIZE A CONTRACT FOR A COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM WHICH REPRESENTS A NEW ACTIVITY EMPLOYING COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES WHICH ARE NOT TO BE RENDERED UNTIL SOME FUTURE FISCAL YEAR. THE GENERAL PRESENTATION TO THE CONGRESS OF PLANS FOR A PROPOSED PROJECT AND THE ENACTMENT OF SPECIFIC AUTHORITY FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF CERTAIN OF THE FACILITIES TO BE USED THEREIN IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE SUBSTITUTE FOR OBTAINING SPECIFIC AUTHORITY FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF OTHER NONINCIDENTAL FACILITIES AND SERVICES WHICH CONSTITUTE PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS OF THE PROGRAM.

B-124672, OCTOBER 21, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 220

PUBLIC UTILITIES - CONTRACTS - LONG TERM "SAGE" PROJECT SECTION 201 (A) (3) OF THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ACT, WHICH AUTHORIZES THE MAKING OF CONTRACT OR PUBLIC UTILITY SERVICES FOR PERIODS NOT EXCEEDING 10 YEARS, AND WHICH WAS ENACTED TO EFFECT ECONOMIES IN THE PROCUREMENT OF SUCH SERVICES, PRESUPPOSES THAT AUTHORITY EXISTS TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT BY REASON OF THE AVAILABILITY OF A FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION FOR THE FIRST YEAR AND THAT THE SERVICES TO BE RENDERED ARE MERELY INCIDENTAL TO THE CONDUCT OF AUTHORIZED GOVERNMENT BUSINESS; HENCE SUCH SECTION DOES NOT AUTHORIZE A CONTRACT FOR A COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM WHICH REPRESENTS A NEW ACTIVITY EMPLOYING COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES WHICH ARE NOT TO BE RENDERED UNTIL SOME FUTURE FISCAL YEAR. THE GENERAL PRESENTATION TO THE CONGRESS OF PLANS FOR A PROPOSED PROJECT AND THE ENACTMENT OF SPECIFIC AUTHORITY FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF CERTAIN OF THE FACILITIES TO BE USED THEREIN IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE SUBSTITUTE FOR OBTAINING SPECIFIC AUTHORITY FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF OTHER NONINCIDENTAL FACILITIES AND SERVICES WHICH CONSTITUTE PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS OF THE PROGRAM.

TO THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, OCTOBER 21, 1955:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 29, 1955, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR DECISION TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, DATED AUGUST 15, 1955, IN WHICH IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT THE AIR FORCE DID NOT HAVE ADEQUATE AUTHORITY TO PROCURE COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES FOR THE " SAGE" PROJECT.

A CONCISE PICTURE OF THE OVERALL DEFENSE OPERATION WHICH THE " SAGE" PROJECT IS DESIGNED TO SERVE, OF THE PROJECT ITSELF, AND OF THE COMPONENT COMMUNICATION SERVICES AND THEIR NATURE, IS GIVEN AS FOLLOWS:

THE " SAGE" PROJECT IS ONE PHASE OF THE CONTINENTAL AIRCRAFT CONTROL AND WARNING SYSTEM REQUIRED FOR THE AIR DEFENSE OF THE UNITED STATES. THE ENTIRE SYSTEM EMBRACES THE DISTANT EARLY WARNING LINE ( DEW) WHICH CONSTITUTES THE NORTHERN OUTPOST OF OUR AIR DETECTION AND WARNING YSTEM; THE PINETREE RADAR CHAIN IN CANADA AND THE NORTHEAST; THE TEXAS TOWERS STRATEGICALLY ESTABLISHED IN OFFSHORE POSITIONS; PICKET VESSELS EQUIPPED WITH RADAR; LONG RANGE RADAR AND GAP FILLER RADAR STATIONS, ETC. * * *

PROJECT " SAGE" ITSELF IS THAT PORTION OF THE CONTINENTAL AIR DEFENSE SYSTEM WHICH PROVIDES FOR THE SEMIAUTOMATIC PROCESSING, THROUGH THE USE OF ELECTRONIC COMPUTERS, OF AIR SURVEILLANCE INFORMATION DERIVED FROM RADAR DETECTION STATIONS, GROUND OBSERVER OBSERVATION POSTS AND OTHER ELEMENTS OF THE SYSTEM, AS WELL AS PROVIDING FOR THE CONTROL AND DIRECTION OF OUR FIGHTER INTERCEPTOR AIRCRAFT AND GUIDED MISSILES. IT WAS FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE LINCOLN TRANSITION SYSTEM. * * * THE MAJOR ELEMENTS INVOLVED IN PROJECT " SAGE" * * * WILL INCLUDE:

(1) ACQUISITION OF REAL ESTATE.

(2) CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS TO HOUSE COMPUTERS, RADARS AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT.

(3) PROCUREMENT OF COMPUTERS AND OTHER ELECTRONIC ANCILLARY ITEMS.

(4) WEAPONS SYSTEMS.

(5) AUGMENTATION OF EXISTING COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS AND ACQUISITION OF NEW SYSTEMS TO FEED TO AND FROM THE ELECTRONIC COMPUTER AND OTHER ELEMENTS OF THE AIR DEFENSE SYSTEM.

* * * THE COMMUNICATION REQUIREMENTS OF THE " SAGE" SYSTEM, IN GENERAL, CALL FOR THE SAME TYPE OF CIRCUITS AS THOSE IN OPERATION TODAY WHICH CONNECT OUR DEFENSE FACILITIES. THE MAJORITY ARE MADE UP OF NORMAL TELEPHONE AND TELETYPE-WRITER LINES WHICH THE MILITARY AS WELL AS CIVILIAN AGENCIES AND CUSTOMERS USE IN THEIR DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS. ADDITIONALLY A PORTION OF THE REQUIREMENTS INCLUDE PROVISION OF HIGHER QUALITY CIRCUITS SUCH AS ARE LEASED BY SEGMENTS OF INDUSTRY FOR TELEPHOTO COMMUNICATIONS AND TELEVISION BROADCASTS.

MANY OF THESE CIRCUITS, PARTICULARLY LONG-HAUL CIRCUITS, ARE AVAILABLE IN EXISTING COMMERCIAL TELEPHONE PLANT, WHICH IN EFFECT CONSTITUTES THE BACK BONE OF COMMUNICATIONS FOR U.S. AIR DEFENSE; OTHERS WILL BE DERIVED THROUGH AUGMENTATION OF EXISTING COMMERCIAL TELEPHONE LINES; AND THE BALANCE WILL REQUIRE NEW PLANT CONSTRUCTION AND INSTALLATION. IN THESE RESPECTS THE " SAGE" REQUIREMENTS LIKEWISE PARALLEL THE VARIED COMMUNICATION REQUIREMENTS OF THE MILITARY DEPARTMENTS IN THEIR DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS.

IT HAS BEEN POINTED OUT THAT THE AIR FORCE IS ACQUIRING THE SERVICES UNDER CONTRACTS WITH PRIVATE TELEPHONE COMPANIES. THESE COMPANIES ARE TO ACCOMPLISH AND FINANCE THE NECESSARY ENGINEERING, CONSTRUCTION, AND INSTALLATION OF EQUIPMENT. THEY ARE TO BE COMPENSATED ON THE BASIS OF SERVICES FURNISHED, AT TARIFF RATES, FOR TEN-YEAR PERIODS. APPROXIMATELY A TWO-YEAR TIME LAG OCCURS FROM THE DATE ORDERS ARE PLACED UNTIL THE TIME CIRCUITS ARE FURNISHED. THUS, WHILE THE FIRST FOUR ITEMS OF THE PROJECT HAVE BEEN BUDGETED AND APPROPRIATIONS HAVE BEEN OBTAINED FOR THEM, AT LEAST IN PART, THE AIR FORCE HAS MADE NO SUBSTANTIAL REQUEST FOR APPROPRIATIONS FOR USE DURING 1956 (FISCAL YEAR) FOR THE FIFTH ELEMENT, COMMUNICATION SERVICES, SINCE CONTRACTS FOR SUCH SERVICES WILL NOT INVOLVE THE OBLIGATION OF FUNDS UNTIL THE CIRCUITS ARE IN ACTUAL OPERATION SOMETIME IN 1957. ALSO, IN THIS CONNECTION, IT IS NOTED THAT THE SERVICES ARE NOT TO BE PROCURED ALL AT ONE TIME. RATHER, THEY ARE BEING ORDERED OVER A NUMBER OF YEARS, SO THAT CONTINGENT LIABILITY, IN THE EVENT OF TERMINATION PRIOR TO A TEN YEAR USE, WILL BE LIMITED TO APPROXIMATELY $222,000,000 AT ITS PEAK IN 1961.

THE AIR FORCE CONSIDERS THAT COMMUNICATION SERVICES ARE AUTHORIZED IN A BASIC SENSE BY THE AIR FORCE ORGANIZATION ACT, 5 U.S.C. 626-2 (A), AS INCIDENTAL FEATURES OF THE ACTIVITIES FOR WHICH IT IS RESPONSIBLE, AND THAT IT HAS ADEQUATE LEGAL AUTHORITY TO PROCURE THEM ON A TEN-YEAR BASIS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 201 (A) (3) OF THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 383, 40 U.S.C. 481, THROUGH DELEGATION FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR OF GENERAL SERVICES, DATED OCTOBER 11, 1954.

SECTION 2 OF THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 378, 40 U.S.C. 471, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

IT IS THE INTENT OF THE CONGRESS IN ENACTING THIS LEGISLATION TO PROVIDE FOR THE GOVERNMENT AN ECONOMICAL AND EFFICIENT SYSTEM FOR (A) THE PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY OF PERSONAL PROPERTY AND NONPERSONAL SERVICES, INCLUDING RELATED FUNCTIONS SUCH AS CONTRACTING * * * AND * * * MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC UTILITY SERVICES * * *.

SECTION 201 (40 U.S.C. 481) PROVIDES THAT---

(A) THE ADMINISTRATOR SHALL, IN RESPECT OF EXECUTIVE AGENCIES, AND TO THE EXTENT THAT HE DETERMINES THAT SO DOING IS ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT IN TERMS OF ECONOMY, EFFICIENCY, OR SERVICE, AND WITH DUE REGARD TO THE PROGRAM ACTIVITIES OF THE AGENCIES CONCERNED---

(3) PROCURE AND SUPPLY PERSONAL PROPERTY AND NONPERSONAL SERVICES FOR THE USE OF EXECUTIVE AGENCIES IN THE PROPER DISCHARGE OF THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES * * * PROVIDED, THAT CONTRACTS FOR PUBLIC UTILITY SERVICES MAY BE MADE FOR PERIODS NOT EXCEEDING TEN YEARS * * *.

THE LEGISLATIVE PURPOSE IN SANCTIONING TEN-YEAR PUBLIC UTILITY SERVICE CONTRACTS WAS, IN ADDITION TO EFFECTING ECONOMIES ANTICIPATED THROUGH EMPLOYMENT OF LONG TERM CONTRACTS, MORE SPECIFICALLY, AS STATED IN THE CONFERENCE REPORT (PAGE 34, HOUSE REPORT NO. 935, 81ST CONGRESS),"TO PERMIT THE GOVERNMENT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DISCOUNTS WHICH MAY BE OBTAINED ONLY UNDER CONTRACTS FOR PERIODS OF LONGER THAN 1 YEAR, PARTICULARLY UNDER CONTRACTS FOR THE ELECTRIC-POWER REQUIREMENTS.'

NO INDICATION WHATEVER HAS BEEN FOUND THAT THE STATUTORY LANGUAGE UNDERTAKES TO AUTHORIZE CONTRACTS OR COMMITMENTS FOR ANY PROGRAM OR ACTIVITY NOT FALLING WITHIN THE CATEGORY OF INCIDENTAL UTILITY SERVICES NEEDED IN CONNECTION WITH AUTHORIZED GOVERNMENT BUSINESS. WHILE THE MAGNITUDE OF SERVICES OBTAINED WOULD NOT BE DETERMINATIVE OF THE INCIDENTAL NATURE OF SERVICES IN MOST SITUATIONS, IN THE CASE OF THE " SAGE" PROJECT THE DOLLAR VALUE OF COMMUNICATION SERVICES TO BE CONTRACTED FOR (BETWEEN TWO AND THREE BILLION DOLLARS IN THE AGGREGATE) IS APPROXIMATELY EQUAL TO THE ESTIMATED COST PROJECTED FOR ALL OTHER ITEMS OF THE UNDERTAKING. THIS EVALUATION IS PREDICATED UPON COMPARISON OF A TEN- YEAR COST OF THE SERVICES WITH THE COST OVER A SIMILAR PERIOD OF THE OTHER ITEMS OF THE PROJECT, AND DOES NOT TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION ADDITIONS OR REDUCTIONS THAT ARE POSSIBLE DUE TO IMPROVEMENTS NECESSITATED BY TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENTS OR MORE DESIRABLE FEATURES. ALSO, IT IS RECOGNIZED THAT THE COMMUNICATIONS WILL BE USED TO SERVICE AN OVER-ALL PLANT INVESTMENT AGGREGATING MANY BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WHICH HERETOFORE HAS BEEN, OR HEREAFTER MAY BE, AUTHORIZED. NONETHELESS, IT SEEMS TO BE A FAIR AND INESCAPABLE CONCLUSION THAT THE " SAGE" UNDERTAKING REPRESENTS A NEW ACTIVITY, CONCERNED WITH THE CONVERSION OF AN EXISTING WARNING SYSTEM INTO ONE PROVIDING SEMIAUTOMATIC PROCESSING OF INFORMATION, EMPLOYING COMMUNICATION SERVICES AS A PRINCIPAL ELEMENT. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM OF SO VAST A COVERAGE AND MONETARY VALUE CLEARLY IS NOT INCIDENTAL TO THE UNDERTAKING.

WHILE THE MAGNITUDE OF THE PROGRAM CANNOT BE DISREGARDED, PARTICULARLY FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THE NORMAL BUDGETARY AND APPROPRIATION PROCESSES, WE DO NOT REGARD THIS TYPE OF ACTIVITY AS WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATED SCOPE OF SECTION 201 (A) (3) OF THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ACT OF 1949. AS INDICATED ABOVE, THAT SECTION WAS ENACTED TO EFFECT ECONOMIES IN THE PROCUREMENT OF PUBLIC UTILITY SERVICES THROUGH AUTHORIZATION OF CONTRACTS FOR PERIODS OF LONGER THAN ONE YEAR. THIS PRESUPPOSES--- IN FACT, IT IS A CONDITION PREREQUISITE--- THAT AUTHORITY EXISTS TO ENTER INTO THE CONTRACT FOR THE FIRST YEAR OF THE TEN-YEAR PERIOD. EXCEPT FOR SUCH FEW CIRCUITS AS MAY HAVE BEEN COMPLETED AND PUT INTO OPERATION, WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW IT COULD BE CONTENDED THAT THE COMMUNICATION SERVICES CONTEMPLATED BY THE " SAGE" PROGRAM COULD BE FURNISHED THIS YEAR--- THEY ARE NONEXISTENT. IN FACT, NO SUCH CONTENTION IS MADE. IT IS READILY CONCEDED THAT THESE CONTRACTS ARE FOR COMMUNICATION SERVICES TO BE RENDERED IN SOME FUTURE FISCAL YEAR. IT IS INCONCEIVABLE IT COULD BE ARGUED THAT THE AIR FORCE IS NOW AUTHORIZED TO MAKE A CONTRACT FOR COMMUNICATION SERVICES TO BE FURNISHED FOR A TEN-YEAR PERIOD BEGINNING WITH THE YEAR 2000. WE THINK IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE THAT THE YEAR MAY BE 1957 OR 1961. COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES ARE CHARGEABLE TO FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATIONS, PROPERLY BUDGETED AND APPROPRIATED FOR, AND, UNLESS THEY ARE CONTRACTED FOR DURING THE AVAILABILITY OF AN APPROPRIATION FOR A FISCAL YEAR, SECTION 201 (A) (3) DOES NOT COME INTO OPERATION.

THE EXTENT TO WHICH CONGRESS HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE PROGRAM AND HAS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED CONSTRUCTION THROUGH APPROPRIATIONS OF FUNDS IS FURTHER EXPLAINED AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THE ROLE WHICH " SAGE" PLAYS IN THE CONTINENTAL AIR DEFENSE SYSTEM WAS OUTLINED TO THE SENATE ARMED SERVICE SUBCOMMITTEE ON REAL ESTATE AND MILITARY CONSTRUCTION, 84TH CONGRESS, ( HEARINGS BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON REAL ESTATE AND MILITARY CONSTRUCTION OF THE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES, U.S. SENATE, 84TH CONGRESS,FIRST SESSION, ON S1765, ( H.R. 6829) PAGES 50415).

* * * A COMPREHENSIVE STATEMENT ON " SAGE" WAS PRESENTED TO THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE MILITARY CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM FOR 1956 (SEE PAGES 7, 8, 9 AND 10, HEARINGS BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 84TH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION, MILITARY CONSTRUCTION APPROPRIATIONS FOR 1956). IT WAS MADE CLEAR IN THAT PRESENTATION THAT THE ENTIRE PROJECT WOULD COST APPROXIMATELY $1,086,000,000 IN CAPITAL ITEMS ALONE; THAT THE ANNUAL OPERATING COST WILL BE APPROXIMATELY $400,000,000; THAT $44,000,000 HAD BEEN EXPENDED IN 1954 IN INITIATION OF THE PROJECT AND THAT AN ADDITIONAL $144,000,000 HAD BEEN OBLIGATED IN 1955. * * *

IN ORDER TO PROCEED WITHOUT DELAY WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF PROJECT " SAGE" , IT WAS NECESSARY FOR THE AIR FORCE TO OBTAIN FISCAL YEAR 1956 APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FIRST FOUR * * * ELEMENTS, SINCE CONTRACTS COULD NOT BE PLACED FOR THE ACQUISITION OF SITES, CONSTRUCTION OF FACILITIES, AND PROCUREMENT OF EQUIPMENT WITHOUT SUCH FUNDS. THE AIR FORCE MADE NO REQUEST FOR FISCAL YEAR 1956 APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FIFTH ELEMENT, AS CONTRACTS FOR THESE COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES WILL NOT INVOLVE THE OBLIGATION OF FUNDS UNTIL THE CIRCUITS PROVIDING SUCH SERVICES ARE IN ACTUAL OPERATION. THIS IS NOT ANTICIPATED UNTIL SOME TIME IN THE FISCAL YEAR 1957. NEVERTHELESS, TO FULLY INFORM THE CONGRESS UPON THIS MATTER, MR. LYLE S. GARLOCK, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, ON MAY 4, 1955, ADDRESSED IDENTICAL LETTERS TO THE CHAIRMEN OF THE SUBCOMMITTEES ON DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE APPROPRIATION COMMITTEES (COPY ATTACHED), STATING THE AIR FORCE INTENTION TO PROCEED WITH THE PLACEMENT OF CONTRACTS FOR COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES AND DESCRIBING THE COMMITMENTS TO BE MADE.

DURING CONSIDERATION BY THE HOUSE OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION BILL FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1956 ( H.R. 7278), MR. DEANE OF THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE ON JULY 14, 1955 PLACED IN THE RECORD THE OVERALL AIR FORCE CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1956, INCLUDING A COMPREHENSIVE STATEMENT ON PROJECT " SAGE.' THIS STATEMENT SETS FORTH AMONG OTHER THINGS THE FACT THAT BETWEEN 500 AND 900 LEASED COMMUNICATIONS CIRCUITS ARE REQUIRED FOR EACH SUBSECTOR OF PROJECT " SAGE.' THE STATEMENT ALSO INCLUDED THE ESTIMATED AMOUNTS FOR CAPITAL EXPENDITURES AND ANNUAL OPERATING COSTS MENTIONED ABOVE. (SEE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD--- HOUSE, JULY 14, 1955, PAGES 9035, 9036, 9037). THE BASIS OF SUCH INFORMATION, CONGRESS APPROPRIATED IN THE SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT, PUBLIC LAW 219, 84TH CONGRESS, FUNDS FOR MILITARY CONSTRUCTION FOR THE AIR FORCE. INCLUDED THEREIN WAS THE AMOUNT OF $66,251,000 FOR CONSTRUCTION OF FACILITIES RELATED TO THE " SAGE" PROJECT. UNDER THE FISCAL YEAR 1956 PROGRAM FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT AS PRESENTED TO CONGRESS THERE WAS INCLUDED FOR PROJECT " SAGE" THE SUM OF APPROXIMATELY $200,000,000. IN CONNECTION WITH THE APPROPRIATION OF FUNDS FOR THE AIR FORCE UNDER " MAJOR PROCUREMENT OTHER THAN AIRCRAFT" IN THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR 1956, THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE APPROVED THE TOTAL PROGRAM AS PRESENTED. (SEE PAGES 47 AND 48 OF HOUSE REPORT 493, 84TH CONGRESS, ST SESSION.)

WE ARE HERE CONCERNED ONLY WITH THE PROCUREMENT OF COMMUNICATION SERVICES FOR THE PURPOSES INDICATED IN SUBDIVISION (5) ABOVE. WHEN CONGRESS, IN POSSESSION OF ALL THE ABOVE INFORMATION, PROVIDED FUNDS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF SITES, FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF FACILITIES ON SUCH SITES, AND FOR THE PROCUREMENT OF ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT TO PROCESS DATA AND INFORMATION RECEIVED FROM THE COMPONENTS OF THE AIRCRAFT CONTROL AND WARNING NETWORK AND OTHER SOURCES FOR DISSEMINATION TO ACTIVITIES VITAL TO THE CONTINENTAL AIR DEFENSE, IT MUST BE EVIDENT THAT CONGRESS THEREBY APPROVED THE " SAGE" CONCEPT, AND THE ELEMENTS THEREOF. IT IS NOT CONCEIVABLE THAT CONGRESS WOULD APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR SUCH PURPOSES WITHOUT ASSUMING THAT THE AIR FORCE WOULD ALSO PROCURE COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES REQUIRED TO INTEGRATE AND COMPLETE THE SYSTEM.

THAT THE " SAGE" PROJECT HAS BEEN PRESENTED GENERALLY TO THE CONGRESS, THAT CERTAIN OF THE FACILITIES WITH WHICH THE COMMUNICATION SERVICES ARE TO BE USED HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED, AND THAT FUNDS HAVE BEEN APPROPRIATED FOR THEM, SEEMS CLEAR. THERE IS CONSIDERABLE EVIDENCE, ALSO, THAT DETAILED INFORMATION AS TO THE EXTENT OF THE COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES AND THEIR SCHEDULED ACQUISITION WAS MADE AVAILABLE TO THE CONGRESS BY THE AIR FORCE. FAILURE TO PRESENT THE MATTER MORE SPECIFICALLY AND TO REQUEST THE CONGRESS TO PASS UPON IT APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN DUE SOLELY TO A BELIEF THAT SECTION 201 (A) (3) PROVIDED ALL NECESSARY AUTHORITY AND THE FACT THAT ACTUAL BUDGET REQUESTS FOR FUNDS COULD NOT BE PRESENTED UNTIL THE 1957 BUDGET, SINCE NO SUBSTANTIAL SERVICE CHARGES WOULD ACCRUE BEFORE THE PERIOD COVERED THEREBY.

WHILE WE CANNOT AGREE THAT THE AIR FORCE HAS ADEQUATE AUTHORITY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 201 (A) (3) OF THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ACT OF 1949 TO ENTER INTO TEN-YEAR CONTRACTS FOR THE " SAGE" COMMUNICATION SERVICES, WE RECOGNIZE THAT THE PROGRAM REQUIRES A NECESSARY LEAD TIME PRIOR TO THE OBTAINING OF ACTUAL SERVICES AND THE NEED FOR APPROPRIATIONS.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND SINCE THE MATTER HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO INTERESTED COMMITTEES OF THE CONGRESS IN A GENERAL WAY, WE WILL TAKE NO FURTHER ACTION IN THE MATTER PROVIDED IT IS PRESENTED TO THE CONGRESS AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE TIME AND EXPRESS APPROVAL OF THE CONGRESS OBTAINED.