B-138069, JANUARY 5, 1959, 38 COMP. GEN. 461

B-138069: Jan 5, 1959

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PRINTING AND BINDING - REPORTS BY SEMIPUBLIC ORGANIZATIONS - ACCEPTANCE OF FUND REIMBURSEMENT NEITHER THE PRINTING BY THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE OF A REPORT BY A SEMIPUBLIC INDUSTRY GROUP AT THE REQUEST OF A GOVERNMENT AGENCY NOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF THE PRINTING COSTS BY THE INDUSTRY GROUP IS AUTHORIZED IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF PRINTING SERVICES FOR SUCH ORGANIZATION. YOU STATE THAT TASO IS A SEMIPUBLIC GROUP WHICH WAS ORGANIZED IN 1957 AT THE REQUEST OF THE COMMISSION. HAVE BEEN STUDYING THE PROBLEMS OF THE TELEVISION INDUSTRY. YOU ADVISE THAT THE COMMISSION BELIEVES IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY TO EFFECT AS WIDE A DISTRIBUTION OF THE TASO REPORT AS POSSIBLE AND THAT THE CHEAPER THE COST OF THE REPORT THE WIDER ITS DISTRIBUTION WILL BE.

B-138069, JANUARY 5, 1959, 38 COMP. GEN. 461

PRINTING AND BINDING - REPORTS BY SEMIPUBLIC ORGANIZATIONS - ACCEPTANCE OF FUND REIMBURSEMENT NEITHER THE PRINTING BY THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE OF A REPORT BY A SEMIPUBLIC INDUSTRY GROUP AT THE REQUEST OF A GOVERNMENT AGENCY NOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF THE PRINTING COSTS BY THE INDUSTRY GROUP IS AUTHORIZED IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF PRINTING SERVICES FOR SUCH ORGANIZATION; AND EVEN IF THE REPORT COULD BE CONSIDERED A REPORT OF A GOVERNMENT AGENCY FOR ELIGIBILITY FOR PRINTING AT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE IN THE ABSENCE OF AUTHORITY FOR THE ACCEPTANCE OF FUNDS FROM PRIVATE SOURCES, REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE PRINTING COSTS COULD NOT BE ACCEPTED BY EITHER THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE OR BY THE REQUISITIONING AGENCY.

TO THE CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, JANUARY 5, 1959:

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 1, 1958, REFERENCE 3200, PRESENTS FOR OUR CONSIDERATION CERTAIN QUESTIONS ARISING IN CONNECTION WITH THE PRINTING OF THE REPORT OF THE TELEVISION ALLOCATIONS STUDY ORGANIZATION (HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO AS TASO). YOU STATE THAT TASO IS A SEMIPUBLIC GROUP WHICH WAS ORGANIZED IN 1957 AT THE REQUEST OF THE COMMISSION. THE GROUP CONSISTS OF MEMBERS FROM ALL SEGMENTS OF THE TELEVISION INDUSTRY WHO, IN COOPERATION WITH FEDERAL OFFICIALS, HAVE BEEN STUDYING THE PROBLEMS OF THE TELEVISION INDUSTRY. THE FORTHCOMING REPORT EMBODIES THE RESULTS OF THEIR STUDY.

YOU ADVISE THAT THE COMMISSION BELIEVES IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY TO EFFECT AS WIDE A DISTRIBUTION OF THE TASO REPORT AS POSSIBLE AND THAT THE CHEAPER THE COST OF THE REPORT THE WIDER ITS DISTRIBUTION WILL BE. HENCE, IT IS CONSIDERED DESIRABLE TO UTILIZE THE PRINTING AND DISTRIBUTION FACILITIES OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, IF POSSIBLE, RATHER THAN HAVING THE REPORT PRINTED BY PRIVATE PRINTING FACILITIES. THE LETTER INDICATES THAT TASO IS WILLING TO REIMBURSE THE GOVERNMENT FOR ITS PORTION OF THE COMPOSITION COSTS (ROUGHLY 80 PERCENT).

THUS, A RULING IS REQUESTED ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

1. WOULD THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE HAVE AUTHORITY TO PRINT THE REPORT OF A SEMIPUBLIC STUDY GROUP ( TASO), IF TASO WERE TO REIMBURSE THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE FOR ITS PROPORTIONATE SHARE (AN ESTIMATED 80 PERCENT) OF THE COMPOSITION COSTS OF SUCH REPORT?

2. IF THE ANSWER TO QUESTION 1 IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, TO WHOM WOULD TASO MAKE PAYMENT, AND IN WHICH MANNER WOULD THE COMMISSION'S APPROPRIATION FOR PRINTING AND BINDING RECEIVE CREDIT, SO THAT THE COMMISSION WOULD BE CHARGED ONLY ITS SHARE (AN ESTIMATED 20 PERCENT) OF THE COMPOSITION COSTS?

THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE PERFORMS PRINTING AND BINDING SERVICES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF TITLE 44 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE. SECTION 116 OF THAT TITLE PROVIDES THAT " NO PRINTING OR BINDING SHALL BE DONE AT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE UNLESS AUTHORIZED BY LAW. * * *" WITH A FEW EXCEPTIONS NOT HERE PERTINENT (SEE GENERALLY CHAPTER 8 OF TITLE 44), THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE IS AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO PERFORM PRINTING AND BINDING SERVICES ONLY FOR THE CONGRESS AND THE FEDERAL DEPARTMENTS, ESTABLISHMENTS, AND AGENCIES. SINCE TASO DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE A FEDERAL AGENCY, AND THERE IS NO LAW SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZING THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICER TO PERFORM PRINTING OR BINDING SERVICES FOR THAT ORGANIZATION, IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE CAN NEITHER PERFORM SUCH SERVICES FOR NOR RECEIVE PAYMENT THEREFOR FROM THE ORGANIZATION.

EVEN IF THE REPORT COULD BE CONSIDERED AS A REPORT OF YOUR COMMISSION AND THUS ELIGIBLE FOR PRINTING BY THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE UNDER YOUR APPROPRIATIONS (THE PROPRIETY OF WHICH IS NOT HERE DECIDED, SINCE SUCH DETERMINATION IS NOT NECESSARY TO RESOLVE THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED), THE PRIMARY QUESTION OF REIMBURSEMENT OF PART OF THE COMPOSITION COSTS BY TASO WOULD NOT BE SOLVED. IF SO PRINTED, THE COMPOSITION AND OTHER COSTS THEREOF WOULD BE CHARGEABLE TO YOUR APPROPRIATION FOR PRINTING AND BINDING, AND SINCE NEITHER YOUR COMMISSION NOR THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE HAS AUTHORITY TO RECEIVE FUNDS FROM PRIVATE SOURCES FOR SUCH SERVICES, THERE WOULD BE NO WAY IN WHICH REIMBURSEMENT COULD BE EFFECTED BY TASO. 16 COMP. GEN. 911. LIKEWISE, THE SUBSEQUENT PRINTING OF ADDITIONAL COPIES OF THE REPORT FOR SALE TO THE PUBLIC UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF 44 U.S.C. 72 AND 72A WOULD NOT SOLVE THE REIMBURSEMENT PROBLEM. WHILE TASO AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES COULD PURCHASE SUCH COPIES, THE PROCEEDS THEREFROM WOULD BE REQUIRED BY LAW TO BE DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE CREDIT OF MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS.

IN VIEW THEREOF, THE FIRST QUESTION MUST BE ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE, RENDERING A REPLY TO THE SECOND QUESTION UNNECESSARY.