Chartering of Vessels in the Reserve Fleet and the Use of the Vessel Operations Revolving Fund, Maritime Activities

B-124995: Sep 27, 1955

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This decision requests our views on a proposal regarding the chartering of vessels in the reserve fleet and the use of the Vessel Operations Revolving Fund for payment of the expenses incident to putting such vessels in class for charter. Particularly, the request is for our views as to whether the receipts from the payments made by the shipping lines, including the charter fees, may be credited to each fund so as to cover the costs for these vessels which may be incurred within that fund in connection with both their withdrawl from and restoration to the reserve fleet.

The primary question presented in the letter is whether the Vessel Operations Revolving Fund is legally available for expenditures involved in putting national defense reserve fleet vessels in class for bareboat charter to engage in the normal commercial transportation of transpacific cargo. The action heretofore taken by this Office in regard to the availability of the Vessel Operations Revolving Fund has been on the basis that each of the two acts concerned contemplated the accomplishment of a different bareboat charter program, and that each should be given effect independently of the other. Since the Congress has seen fir to limit the use of the fund to vessels being operated in activities conducted under the program for the financing of which the fund was established, we believe that other uses should not be added thereto by construction. Accordingly, we do not feel that this proposal is legally proper.