B-128388, JULY 13, 1956, 36 COMP. GEN. 31

B-128388: Jul 13, 1956

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PROVIDED THE SITE IS NOT SUBJECT TO A LIEN OR OTHER INTEREST OF THE CONTRACTOR OR HIS LENDER. INFORMATION FURNISHED INFORMALLY IS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE PROJECT HAS RECEIVED BUDGET AND CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 202 (G) OF THE ACT. THE COST OF SUCH RELOCATION TOGETHER WITH THE CONSTRUCTION COST OF A RETAINING WALL REQUIRED BY THE CITY ALONG THE SOUTHEAST SIDE OF THE RELOCATED STREET IS ESTIMATED AT $600. IT IS EXPLAINED THAT UNDER THIS METHOD WHILE THE WORK WOULD BE DONE BY THE CONTRACTOR NEITHER THE EXISTING POSTAL BUILDING NOR THE SITE ON WHICH IT IS LOCATED WOULD BE MADE SUBJECT TO THE LIEN OF THE CONTRACTOR OR HIS LENDER. THE ALTERED BUILDING AND THE LAND ON WHICH IT IS LOCATED WOULD NOT BE TRANSFERRED TO THE LEASE-PURCHASE CONTRACTOR.

B-128388, JULY 13, 1956, 36 COMP. GEN. 31

LEASE-PURCHASE CONTRACTS - POST OFFICES - ALTERATIONS TO EXISTING BUILDING IN VIEW OF SECTION 202 (D) OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT PROPERTY ACT OF 1954, WHICH EXCLUDES EXISTING POSTAL FACILITIES FROM THE LEASE PURCHASE PROGRAM, ALTERATIONS TO A POSTAL BUILDING FOR INTEGRATION WITH A PROPOSED NEW ADJOINING BUILDING MAY NOT BE INCLUDED IN THE LEASE PURCHASE CONTRACT AS A REIMBURSABLE PART OF THE CONSTRUCTION COSTS OF THE NEW BUILDING; HOWEVER SUCH ALTERATIONS MAY BE ACCOMPLISHED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION AT THE EXPENSE OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 203 OF THE TREASURY-POST OFFICE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1957. THE USE OF A SMALL PART OF AN EXISTING POSTAL BUILDING SITE TO CONNECT AN EXISTING BUILDING WITH A NEW BUILDING TO BE CONSTRUCTED UNDER A LEASE- PURCHASE CONTRACT WOULD NOT CONTRAVENE SECTION 202 (D) OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT PROPERTY ACT OF 1954, WHICH EXCLUDES SITES ACQUIRED PRIOR TO THE ACT FROM THE LEASE-PURCHASE PROGRAM, PROVIDED THE SITE IS NOT SUBJECT TO A LIEN OR OTHER INTEREST OF THE CONTRACTOR OR HIS LENDER. UNDER THE SURPLUS PROPERTY DISPOSAL AUTHORITY DELEGATED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF GENERAL SERVICES, THE POSTMASTER MAY CONVEY LAND TO A MUNICIPALITY FOR THE RELOCATION OF CERTAIN STREETS IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF A POSTAL BUILDING UNDER THE LEASE-PURCHASE PROGRAM, AND SUCH CONVEYANCE MAY BE MADE WITHOUT COMPLIANCE WITH THE ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 2709, REVISED STATUTES, AND THE SCREENING REQUIREMENTS IN THE PROPERTY DISPOSAL REGULATIONS.

TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, JULY 13, 1956:

YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 25, 1956, REQUESTS A DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF SEVERAL PROPOSALS AND ALTERNATIVES INCIDENT TO THE EXECUTION OF A PROPOSED LEASE-PURCHASE AGREEMENT FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A TERMINAL ANNEX POST OFFICE AT HOUSTON, TEXAS, UNDER THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT PROPERTY ACT OF 1954, 68 STAT. 521, 39 U.S.C. 902. INFORMATION FURNISHED INFORMALLY IS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE PROJECT HAS RECEIVED BUDGET AND CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 202 (G) OF THE ACT.

THE PROJECT AS OUTLINED IN YOUR LETTER WOULD UTILIZE THE EXISTING TWO- STORY GOVERNMENT-OWNED PARCEL POST BUILDING AND WOULD REQUIRE THE INTEGRATION OF SAME WITH THE PROPOSED NEW BUILDING TO BE CONSTRUCTED ON AN ADJOINING SITE CONSISTING OF SEVERAL PARCELS OF LAND ACQUIRED OR IN THE PROCESS OF ACQUISITION UNDER THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS ACT OF MAY 25, 1926, 44 STAT. 630, AS AMENDED 40 U.S.C. 341, AND THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 176, AS AMENDED, 40 U.S.C. 352. ALSO, IT WOULD REQUIRE ALTERATIONS TO THE PARCEL POST BUILDING FOR THE PURPOSE OF INTEGRATING SAME WITH THE NEW BUILDING AND THE USE OF A SMALL PART OF THE PARCEL POST SITE FOR SUCH INTEGRATION. SUCH ALTERATIONS WOULD INCLUDE INSTALLATION OF NEW ELEVATORS, THE REMOVAL OF A BOILER ROOM AND MECHANICAL SPACE AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF A RAMP, ALL IN, OR PERTAINING TO THE EAST SIDE OF THE PARCEL POST BUILDING. FURTHER, THE PROPOSED PROJECT WOULD INVOLVE AN EXCHANGE WITH THE CITY OF PART OF THE NEW SITE FOR A LOT WITHIN THE NEW SITE OWNED BY THE CITY, THE CLOSING OF THREE STREETS BY THE CITY AND THE INCORPORATION OF SAME IN THE BUILDING SITE. ONE OF THE STREETS ( WASHINGTON AVENUE) WOULD BE RELOCATED ALONG THE EAST SIDE OF NEW SITE THUS REQUIRING A CONVEYANCE TO THE CITY OF LAND NECESSARY FOR SUCH RELOCATION. THE COST OF SUCH RELOCATION TOGETHER WITH THE CONSTRUCTION COST OF A RETAINING WALL REQUIRED BY THE CITY ALONG THE SOUTHEAST SIDE OF THE RELOCATED STREET IS ESTIMATED AT $600,000 WHICH COST WOULD BE ASSUMED BY THE LEASE-PURCHASE CONTRACTOR AND INCLUDED AS PART OF THE GOVERNMENT'S OBLIGATION UNDER THE LEASE PURCHASE CONTRACT. FINALLY, THE PROJECT WOULD INVOLVE THE GRANTING OF AN EASEMENT FOR AIR RIGHTS TO THE CITY FOR AN ELEVATED ROADWAY OVER PART OF THE NEWLY ACQUIRED SITE.

YOU PRESENT FOR DECISION THE PROPRIETY OF ACCOMPLISHING THE PROPOSED ALTERATIONS TO THE PARCEL POST BUILDING IN EITHER ONE OF THE TWO WAYS DESCRIBED UNDER 1 (A) AND 1 (B) OF YOUR LETTER. UNDER 1 (A) THE ALTERATIONS WOULD BE PERFORMED BY THE SUCCESSFUL LEASE-PURCHASE CONTRACTOR INCIDENT TO AND AS A NECESSARY PART OF THE NEW BUILDING TO BE CONSTRUCTED UNDER AUTHORITY OF SECTION 202 (C) AND (E) (3) OF THE ACT. IT IS EXPLAINED THAT UNDER THIS METHOD WHILE THE WORK WOULD BE DONE BY THE CONTRACTOR NEITHER THE EXISTING POSTAL BUILDING NOR THE SITE ON WHICH IT IS LOCATED WOULD BE MADE SUBJECT TO THE LIEN OF THE CONTRACTOR OR HIS LENDER, IF ANY. IN OTHER WORDS, THE ALTERATION COSTS WOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE CONSTRUCTION COSTS OF THE LEASE-PURCHASE CONTRACTOR, BUT THE ALTERED BUILDING AND THE LAND ON WHICH IT IS LOCATED WOULD NOT BE TRANSFERRED TO THE LEASE-PURCHASE CONTRACTOR. IT IS FURTHER EXPLAINED THAT THE LAND UPON WHICH THE PRESENT BUILDING IS LOCATED IS SMALL COMPARED TO THE SITE OF THE PROPOSED NEW BUILDING. ACCORDINGLY, YOU CONCLUDE THAT THE PROPOSED ALTERATIONS OF THE PRESENT BUILDING ENTAILING WORK WHICH WOULD BE BUT A SMALL PART OF THE COST OF THE LEASE-PURCHASE CONTRACT DO NOT COME WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE RESTRICTION CONTAINED IN SECTION 202 (D) OF THE ACT.

UNDER THE METHOD OUTLINED IN 1 (B), GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, WOULD EFFECT THE ALTERATIONS AT THE REQUEST AND EXPENSE OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 203 OF THE TREASURY-POST OFFICE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1957, APPROVED APRIL 2, 1956, 70 STAT. 97, APPROPRIATING FUNDS TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1957, INCLUDING FUNDS FOR PAYMENT TO THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION AS MAY BE NECESSARY FOR THE REPAIR, ALTERATION, PRESERVATION, RENOVATION, IMPROVEMENT, AND EQUIPMENT OF FEDERALLY-OWNED PROPERTY USED FOR POSTAL PURPOSES.

SUBSECTIONS (B), (C) AND (D) OF SECTION 202 OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT PROPERTY ACT OF 1956, PROVIDE THAT:

(B) EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION (D) OF THIS SECTION, THE POSTMASTER GENERAL IS AUTHORIZED TO EXERCISE THE POWERS GRANTED IN THIS SECTION WITH RESPECT TO EXISTING PROPERTIES, INCLUDING THOSE FOR WHICH CONVERSIONS, ADDITIONS, EXTENSIONS, OR REMODELING MAY BE REQUIRED, AND PROPERTIES UPON WHICH CONSTRUCTION IS TO BE SUBSEQUENTLY EFFECTED IN PURSUANCE OF THE TERMS OF APPLICABLE LEASE-PURCHASE AGREEMENTS.

(C) EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION (D) OF THIS SECTION, THE POSTMASTER GENERAL IS AUTHORIZED TO ENTER INTO AGREEMENTS WITH ANY PERSON, COPARTNERSHIP, CORPORATION, OR OTHER PUBLIC OR PRIVATE ENTITY, TO EFFECTUATE ANY OF THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION; AND IS FURTHER AUTHORIZED TO BRING ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPROVEMENT OF ANY LAND PURCHASED BY THE UNITED STATES FOR POSTAL PURPOSES, INCLUDING THE DEMOLITION OF OBSOLETE AND OUTMODED STRUCTURES SITUATE THEREON, BY PROVIDING FOR THE CONSTRUCTION THEREON BY OTHERS OF SUCH STRUCTURES AND FACILITIES AS SHALL BE THE SUBJECT OF THE APPLICABLE LEASE-PURCHASE AGREEMENT.

(D) THE AUTHORITY CONFERRED ON THE POSTMASTER GENERAL BY SUBSECTIONS (B) AND (C) OF THIS SECTION TO ENTER INTO LEASE-PURCHASE AGREEMENTS WITH RESPECT TO PROPERTY OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENT ON THE DATE OF THE ENACTMENT OF THIS ACT, IS HEREBY RESTRICTED TO EXCLUDE FROM SUCH AUTHORITY ANY SITE WHICH HAS BEEN ACQUIRED PURSUANT TO LAW, PRIOR TO THE ENACTMENT OF THIS ACT, ON WHICH THERE HAS BEEN CONSTRUCTED A BUILDING TO BE USED FOR POSTAL PURPOSES AND WHICH IS PRESENTLY BEING USED FOR SUCH PURPOSES.

UNDER SECTION 202 (E) (3) YOU ARE GRANTED EXPRESS AUTHORITY TO INCLUDE IN SUCH AGREEMENTS THE AMOUNT NECESSARY, AS DETERMINED BY YOU, TO REIMBURSE THE CONTRACTOR FOR THE COST OF ANY OTHER OBLIGATIONS ASSUMED BY HIM UNDER THE CONTRACT "INCLUDING (BUT NOT LIMITED TO) * * * COSTS OF REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE IF SO ASSUMED BY THE CONTRACTOR.'

UNDER THE EXPRESS PROVISIONS OF SECTION 202 (D) BUILDINGS IN USE FOR POSTAL PURPOSES PRIOR TO THE ENACTMENT OF THE STATUTE ARE SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED FROM THE AUTHORITY CONFERRED ON YOU BY SUBSECTIONS (B) AND (C). FURTHERMORE, THERE IS NOTHING IN THE ACT OR THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY INDICATING THAT THE CONGRESS EVER INTENDED TO AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENTS TO THE CONTRACTOR FOR ALTERATIONS TO GOVERNMENT-OWNED BUILDINGS PRESENTLY USED FOR POSTAL PURPOSES. THE PURPOSE AND INTENT OF THE ACT AS EXPLAINED IN SECTION 201 IS TO AUTHORIZE YOU TO ENTER INTO TWO TYPES OF AGREEMENTS (LEASE-PURCHASE AND TERM-LEASE AGREEMENTS) NOT AUTHORIZED PRIOR TO SUCH ENACTMENT. AS INDICATED IN ALTERNATIVE 1 (B) OF YOUR LETTER PRESENT AUTHORITY IS CONTAINED IN THE CURRENT TREASURY POST OFFICE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1957, FOR EFFECTING THE NECESSARY ALTERATIONS THROUGH THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND IN THE LIGHT OF THE EXPRESS INHIBITION IN SECTION 202 (D), IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT THE ALTERATIONS FOR FITTING THE EXISTING POSTAL BUILDING FOR INTEGRATION WITH THE PROPOSED NEW TERMINAL ANNEX PROPERTY MAY NOT BE INCLUDED IN THE LEASE- PURCHASE CONTRACT AS PART OF THE CONSTRUCTION COSTS OF THE NEW BUILDING FOR REIMBURSEMENT TO THE CONTRACTOR. HOWEVER, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO HAVING THE WORK PERFORMED BY GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION AT THE EXPENSE OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 203 OF THE DEPARTMENT'S CURRENT APPROPRIATION AS PROPOSED UNDER ALTERNATIVE 1 (B) OF YOUR LETTER.

YOUR SECOND QUESTION CONCERNS THE PROPRIETY OF USING A SMALL PART OF THAT SITE ON WHICH THE EXISTING STRUCTURE IS LOCATED. IT IS EXPLAINED THAT INTEGRATION OF THE NEW STRUCTURE WITH THE EXISTING STRUCTURE WILL REQUIRE A SMALL PART OF THE NEW STRUCTURE TO BE ERECTED ON THE PARCEL POST SITE. YOU POINT OUT THAT THE ACT CLEARLY AUTHORIZES CONSTRUCTION OF THE PROPOSED NEW BUILDING ON THE LAND ADJOINING THE SITE ON WHICH THE EXISTING FACILITY IS LOCATED. YOU STATE, HOWEVER, THAT PROCEEDING IN SUCH MANNER WOULD BE MORE EXPENSIVE AND CONDUCIVE OF LESS EFFICIENCY FROM AN OPERATION STANDPOINT. AND, YOU STATE THAT THE DEPARTMENT RECOGNIZES THAT SECTION 202 (D) WOULD PREVENT THE DEMOLITION OF THE EXISTING BUILDING. FOR THE PURPOSE OF SHOWING THE INTENT OF SECTION 202 (D), THERE IS QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER AN EXCERPT FROM THE CONFERENCE REPORT, STATEMENT OF THE MANAGERS ON THE PART OF THE HOUSE ON H.R. 6342 ( U.S.C. CONGRESS. AND ADMINISTRATION. NEWS, VOL. 2, PAGE 2651). SUCH STATEMENT IS TO THE EFFECTT EFFECT THAT THE COMMITTEE WHICH CONSIDERED THE BILL WISHED TO PREVENT A SITUATION WHEREBY THE POSTMASTER GENERAL COULD "ENTER INTO LEASE-PURCHASE AGREEMENTS UNDER WHICH ANY AND ALL OF THE 3,100 GOVERNMENT-OWNED POST OFFICE BUILDINGS NOW IN USE COULD BE DEMOLISHED OR REPLACED WITH NEW BUILDINGS.' YOU STATE THAT THE DEPARTMENT DOES NOT WISH TO DEMOLISH OR REPLACE THE EXISTING STRUCTURE BUT, ON THE CONTRARY, IT MERELY DESIRES TO ALTER SAME FOR THE PURPOSE OF INTEGRATING IT WITH THE PROPOSED NEW FACILITY TO BE CONSTRUCTED ON THE ADJOINING LAND.

IN EFFECT, QUESTION NO. 2, CONCERNS THE PROPRIETY OF CONSTRUCTING A SMALL PART OF THE PROPOSED NEW FACILITY ON THE SITE OCCUPIED BY THE EXISTING PARCEL POST BUILDING FOR THE PURPOSE OF INTEGRATING THE TWO STRUCTURES. ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS AS REPORTED IN YOUR LETTER, PARTICULARLY, SINCE THE EXISTING FACILITY IS NOT TO BE DEMOLISHED AND REPLACED WITH A NEW BUILDING, WE AGREE WITH YOUR CONCLUSION THAT USE OF A SMALL PART OF THE EXISTING PARCEL POST SITE FOR INTEGRATION PURPOSES WOULD NOT CONTRAVENE THE RESTRICTION IN 202 (D) IF SUCH SITE IS NOT SUBJECTED TO THE CONTRACTOR'S LIEN OR HIS LENDER.

UNDER PROPOSAL NO. 3 OF YOUR LETTER YOU STATE THAT THE DEPARTMENT HAS REQUESTED GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION FOR TRANSFER TO ITS CUSTODY AND CONTROL THE ENTIRE SITE ACQUIRED FOR THE TERMINAL ANNEX AND THAT IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE DEPARTMENT CAN CONSUMMATE AN AGREEMENT WITH THE CITY WHEREBY THE CITY WILL CONVEY PARCEL 5 INCLUDED IN THE PROJECT SITE AND VACATE NORTH SMITH STREET, WASHINGTON AVENUE AND LOUISIANA STREET. THEREUPON, TITLE TO LOT 5 AND THE THE THREE STREETS WOULD BECOME VESTED IN THE GOVERNMENT. IN RETURN THE GOVERNMENT WOULD CAUSE WASHINGTON AVENUE TO BE REROUTED NECESSITATING THE USE OF PARTS OF PARCELS 5, 6, AND 3, AND THE CONVEYANCE OF SUCH PARTS TO THE CITY FOR STREET PURPOSES. IT WOULD FURTHER REQUIRE CONVEYANCE TO THE CITY OF AN EASEMENT FOR AIR RIGHTS OVER MOST OF PARCELS 16 AND 11 AND PARTS OF PARCELS 1, 5, AND 10 FOR THE ELEVATED HIGHWAY. YOU EXPRESS THE VIEW THAT THESE PROPOSED TRANSACTIONS MAY BE ACCOMPLISHED UNDER SECTION 202 (C) OF THE ACT UNDER WHICH YOU ARE "AUTHORIZED TO ENTER INTO AGREEMENTS WITH ANY PERSON, COPARTNERSHIP, CORPORATION, OR OTHER PUBLIC OR PRIVATE ENTITY, TO EFFECTUATE ANY OF THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION.' WHEN THE ABOVE QUOTED PROVISION FROM SECTION 202 (C) IS READ IN CONNECTION WITH THE TWO FOLLOWING SECTIONS, 202 (D) AND (E), IT IS OBVIOUS THAT IT HAS REFERENCE TO "LEASE-PURCHASE AGREEMENTS.' HOWEVER, THE ACT DOES NOT CONFINE THE POSTMASTER GENERAL TO LEASE-PURCHASE AGREEMENTS ALONE AS EVIDENCED BY THE LANGUAGE USED IN SECTION 201, WHEREIN IT IS STATED, AS FOLLOWS:

IT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS TITLE TO SUPPLEMENT EXISTING PROVISIONS OF LAW FOR THE LEASING OF SPACE FOR POSTAL PURPOSES BY PROVIDING AUTHORIZATION FOR THE ACQUISITION BY THE POSTMASTER GENERAL OF SUCH SPACE THROUGH THE EXECUTION OF LEASE-PURCHASE AND OTHER AGREEMENTS * * * ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

THUS, IT APPEARS THAT THERE IS LEGISLATIVE SANCTION FOR THE AGREEMENT WITH THE CITY FOR RELOCATION OF WASHINGTON AVENUE IN EXCHANGE FOR THE CLOSING OF THE OTHER TWO STREETS AS OUTLINED IN YOUR LETTER.

REGARDING THE PROPOSED DISPOSAL OF PORTIONS OF PARCELS 5, 6, AND 3 TO THE CITY FOR RELOCATION OF WASHINGTON AVENUE AND THE AIR RIGHTS OVER SEVERAL OF THE LOTS FOR THE PROPOSED ELEVATED HIGHWAY YOU POINT OUT THAT EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 203 (2) (B) OF THE ACT THE DEPARTMENT HAS NO AUTHORITY TO CONVEY REAL PROPERTY. SINCE SUCH DISPOSAL AUTHORITY IS EXPRESSLY LIMITED TO CARRYING OUT THE PURPOSES OF SUBPARAGRAPH (A) (1) OF SECTION 203, NAMELY, THE NEGOTIATION AND EXECUTION OF LEASES, IT MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS AUTHORIZING THE DISPOSAL OF REAL PROPERTY FOR THE PURPOSES OF LEASE-PURCHASE AGREEMENTS.

AS ALTERNATIVES YOU STATE THAT IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE ABOVE DISPOSALS TO THE CITY COULD BE EFFECTED EITHER BY ONE OF TWO WAYS DESIGNATED AS (B) (1) AND (B) (2). UNDER THE FIRST ALTERNATIVE DISPOSITION WOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED PURSUANT TO THE DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR OF GENERAL SERVICES TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, DATED NOVEMBER 13, 1953 (18 F.R. 7259-60). IT IS STATED THAT IN SUCH EVENT SCREENING AND PUBLIC ADVERTISEMENT WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED SINCE SUCH PROCEDURE WOULD SERVE NO USEFUL PURPOSE BY REASON OF THE VERY NATURE OF THE TRANSACTION. UNDER THE SECOND ALTERNATIVE DISPOSITION WOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED BY ARRANGEMENT WITH THE ADMINISTRATOR OF GENERAL SERVICES PURSUANT TO 40 U.S.C. 345 (B) AS PART OF A COMPREHENSIVE MUNICIPAL STREET WIDENING PROGRAM. THE BASIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS PROPERTY IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 203 OF THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, 40 U.S.C. 484. PARAGRAPH (B) OF THAT SECTION PROVIDES THAT THE CARE AND HANDLING OF SURPLUS PROPERTY, PENDING ITS DISPOSITION, AND THE DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS PROPERTY, MAY BE PERFORMED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION OR, WHEN SO DETERMINED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION OR, WHEN SO DETERMINED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR, BY THE EXECUTIVE AGENCY IN POSSESSION OF THE PROPERTY OR BY ANY OTHER EXECUTIVE AGENCY WILLING TO TAKE SUCH ACTION. PARAGRAPH (C) PROVIDES THAT ANY EXECUTIVE AGENCY DESIGNATED OR AUTHORIZED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR TO DISPOSE OF SURPLUS PROPERTY MAY DO SO BY SALE, EXCHANGE, LEASE, PERMIT, OR TRANSFER, FOR CASH, CREDIT, OR OTHER PROPERTY, WITH OR WITHOUT WARRANTY, AND UPON SUCH OTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS AS THE ADMINISTRATOR DEEMS PROPER, AND THAT IT MAY EXECUTE SUCH DOCUMENTS FOR THE TRANSFER OF TITLE OR INTEREST IN PROPERTY AND TAKE SUCH OTHER ACTION AS IT DEEMS NECESSARY OR PROPER TO DISPOSE OF THE PROPERTY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT.

PURSUANT TO THE DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER (18 F.R. 7259-60), THE ADMINISTRATOR DELEGATED TO YOU THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN HIM WITH RESPECT TO THE MAINTENANCE, OPERATION, PROTECTION, MANAGEMENT AND DISPOSAL OF POST OFFICE SITES ACQUIRED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE PUBLIC BUILDING ACTS OF 1926 AND 1949, THERETOFORE OR THEREAFTER TRANSFERRED AND ASSIGNED TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. UNDER PARAGRAPH 2 OF SUCH DELEGATION YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO DETERMINE WHETHER SUCH SITES ARE REQUIRED FOR THE NEEDS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF FEDERAL AGENCIES AND IN THE EVENT THE PROPERTY SHOULD BE DETERMINED TO BE SURPLUS TO THE NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT YOU ARE AUTHORIZED "TO DISPOSE OF SUCH SITES BY SALE, EXCHANGE, LEASE, PERMIT OR TRANSFER, FOR CASH, CREDIT OR OTHER PROPERTY, AS THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT MAY REQUIRE.' PARAGRAPH 3 REQUIRES THAT PRIOR TO DISPOSAL OF ANY SUCH SITE YOU SHALL COMPLY WITH THE USUAL SCREENING REQUIREMENTS TO DETERMINE WHETHER ANY FEDERAL AGENCY HAS NEED FOR SAME. IF SO, TRANSFER TO SUCH AN AGENCY IS REQUIRED WITH REIMBURSEMENT TO BE MADE AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 202 (A) OF THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICE ACT OF 1949, 40 U.S.C. 484. SINCE THE ADMINISTRATOR'S AUTHORITY TO EFFECT NEGOTIATED DISPOSALS (40 U.S.C. 484 (E) ( LAPSED AS OF JUNE 30, 1955, PARAGRAPH 4 OF THE DELEGATION IS NO LONGER APPLICABLE. THUS, PRESENTLY, DISPOSALS GENERALLY MAY BE MADE ONLY AFTER COMPLIANCE WITH THE ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 3709 REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED 41 U.S.C. 5. WHILE SECTION 3709 DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY EXCEPTION IN INSTANCES WHERE ADVERTISING FOR DISPOSALS WOULD SERVE NO USEFUL PURPOSE, WE HAVE HELD IN CONNECTION WITH PROCUREMENTS THAT ADVERTISEMENT IS NOT REQUIRED WHERE IT WILL ACCOMPLISH NO USEFUL PURPOSE. 28 COMP. GEN. 470, 33 ID. 90. ACCORDINGLY, IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES AS SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTER NO REASON IS APPARENT WHY ADVERTISEMENT AS WELL AS THE USUAL SCREENING REQUIREMENT MAY NOT BE DISREGARDED IN THIS INSTANCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF DISPOSITION OF THE PROPERTY.

AS TO ALTERNATIVE (B) (2), 40 U.S.C. 345 (B), CITED IN YOUR LETTER AS AUTHORITY FOR SUCH DISPOSITION PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT IN THE EVENT PORTIONS OF ANY FEDERAL BUILDING SITES UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE ADMINISTRATOR OF GENERAL SERVICES ARE DESIRED BY MUNICIPALITIES BY REASON OF ANY DULY AUTHORIZED, COMPREHENSIVE STREET-WIDENING PROGRAM, THE ADMINISTRATOR * * * MAY DEED TO SUCH MUNICIPALITIES, WITHOUT COST, SUCH AREAS NEEDED FOR STREET USES AS MAY BE DEDICATED WITHOUT JEOPARDY TO THE FEDERAL INTEREST.

THERE IS INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION IN YOUR LETTER TO INDICATE WHETHER THE DISPOSITION AS PROPOSED UNDER (B) (2) COULD BE EFFECTED UNDER THE ABOVE- QUOTED STATUTE AND IN THE ABSENCE OF A DETERMINATION BY THE ADMINISTRATOR APPROVING DISPOSITION OF PARTS OF THE INVOLVED LOTS UNDER SUCH STATUTE WE MUST CONCLUDE THAT DISPOSITION AS PROPOSED IN (B) (2) WOULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD.