B-139592, MAY 28, 1959

B-139592: May 28, 1959

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UNITED STATES RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 8. REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER APPROPRIATED FUNDS OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD ARE AVAILABLE TO PRODUCE A MOTION PICTURE FILM WHICH WOULD DEAL WITH VARIOUS ASPECTS OF THE PROGRAMS ADMINISTERED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT ACTS AND. IN THE EVENT OUR DECISION IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE. YOU POINT OUT THAT THE MAJORITY OF THESE REQUESTS CAN AND HAVE BEEN HANDLED MOST EFFECTIVELY BY DIRECT CORRESPONDENCE. YOU EXPLAIN FURTHER THAT WHERE SUCH A PRESENTATION IS PROPERLY MADE TO THE EXTENT THAT LARGE NUMBERS OF RAILROAD UNION MEMBERS OR CARRIER REPRESENTATIVES ARE ABLE TO ACQUIRE AT ONE MEETING A CLEAR CONCEPT OF THE ACTS' OPERATION.

B-139592, MAY 28, 1959

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

HOWARD W. HABERMEYER, UNITED STATES RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 8, 1959, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER APPROPRIATED FUNDS OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD ARE AVAILABLE TO PRODUCE A MOTION PICTURE FILM WHICH WOULD DEAL WITH VARIOUS ASPECTS OF THE PROGRAMS ADMINISTERED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT ACTS AND, IN THE EVENT OUR DECISION IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, WHETHER A CONTRACT FOR THE PRODUCTION OF SUCH A MOTION PICTURE MAY BE NEGOTIATED WITH A SELECTED COMPANY.

YOUR LETTER EXPLAINS THAT IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT ACTS, THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD HAS FOUND IT NECESSARY TO RESPOND TO NUMEROUS REQUESTS FROM INSURED RAILROAD EMPLOYEES, CARRIER REPRESENTATIVES, RAILROAD LABOR UNION OFFICIALS AND MEMBERS FOR INFORMATION EXPLAINING THE OPERATION OF THE ACTS, THE NECESSARY PROCEDURES FOR THE FILING AND HANDLING OF CLAIMS, AND THE FINANCIAL AND ACTUARIAL BASIS FOR THE ENTIRE RETIREMENT SYSTEM. YOU POINT OUT THAT THE MAJORITY OF THESE REQUESTS CAN AND HAVE BEEN HANDLED MOST EFFECTIVELY BY DIRECT CORRESPONDENCE, BUT THAT A SUBSTANTIAL NUMBER, FROM RAILROAD UNION OR CARRIER ORGANIZATIONS, CALLING FOR EXTENSIVE BACKGROUND INFORMATION REGARDING THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM, REQUIRE A DETAILED AND PRECISE EXPLANATION OF THE SYSTEM'S ACTUARIAL FOUNDATION BY BOARD EXPERTS AT MEETINGS OF SUCH ORGANIZATIONS. YOU EXPLAIN FURTHER THAT WHERE SUCH A PRESENTATION IS PROPERLY MADE TO THE EXTENT THAT LARGE NUMBERS OF RAILROAD UNION MEMBERS OR CARRIER REPRESENTATIVES ARE ABLE TO ACQUIRE AT ONE MEETING A CLEAR CONCEPT OF THE ACTS' OPERATION, AND OF BOARD PROCEDURE AND PRACTICE, DEFINITE ADVANTAGES IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE ACTS ARE ACHIEVED. IN VIEW OF CERTAIN STATED PRACTICAL DIFFICULTIES ATTENDANT TO SO PRESENTING THE MORE COMPLICATED EXPLANATIONS AND IN ORDER TO ASSURE A UNIFORMLY EFFECTIVE PRESENTATION, THE BOARD NOW CONSIDERS IT DESIRABLE TO HAVE A MOTION PICTURE FILM PREPARED THROUGH WHICH THE REQUIRED EXPLANATIONS CAN BE COMMUNICATED IN THE CLEAREST POSSIBLE MANNER. IT IS STATED THAT PRESENTATION OF SUCH A FILM MAY BE MADE BY BOARD PERSONNEL WHO WILL BE PREPARED TO CONDUCT QUESTION AND ANSWER PERIODS AND SUPPLY SUCH OTHER INFORMATION AS MAY BE REQUESTED BY THE GROUP BEFORE WHOM THE FILM IS SHOWN AND THAT THE BOARD BELIEVES SUCH A PRESENTATION WILL RESULT IN SUBSTANTIAL ECONOMICS BY ENABLING IT TO MEET NUMEROUS REQUESTS FOR PUBLIC ADDRESSES AND EXPLANATIONS WITH FAR LESS STRAIN UPON HEADQUARTERS PERSONNEL AND WITH LESS INTENSIVE TRAINING OF FIELD PERSONNEL.

SECTION 10(B)1 OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT ACT OF 1937, 50 STAT. 314, 45 U.S.C. 228JB)1, PROVIDES, IN PART, THAT:

"THE BOARD SHALL HAVE AND EXERCISE ALL THE DUTIES AND POWERS NECESSARY TO ADMINISTER THIS ACT ***."

SECTION 10(B)4 OF THE ACT DIRECTS THE BOARD, AMONG OTHER THINGS, TO "KEEP, COMPILE, AND PUBLISH IN CONVENIENT FORM SUCH RECORDS AND DATA AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO ASSURE PROPER ADMINISTRATION OF SUCH ACTS."

TITLE V, RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD, OF THE DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, AND HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1959, 72 STAT. 474, PROVIDES, IN PART:

"FOR EXPENSES NECESSARY FOR THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD *** TO BE DERIVED FROM THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT ACCOUNT."

IT IS THE BOARD'S VIEW, AS STATED IN YOUR LETTER, THAT PRODUCTION AND USE OF A MOTION PICTURE FILM IN THE MANNER PROPOSED CONSTITUTES A PUBLICATION OF RECORDS AND DATA NECESSARY TO ASSURE PROPER ADMINISTRATION OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT ACTS, WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 10(B)4. A REVIEW OF THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE ACTS DISCLOSES, HOWEVER, THAT SECTION 10(B)4 DOES NOT APPEAR TO CONTEMPLATE SUCH LECTURES AND EXPLANATIONS AS ARE INVOLVED HERE BUT DEALS RATHER WITH THE COMPILATION AND PUBLICATION OF ACTUARIAL AND SUCH OTHER DATA AND INFORMATION AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO ENABLE THE BOARD TO DETERMINE THE RESPECTIVE RIGHTS, DUTIES, AND OBLIGATIONS OF THOSE COVERED BY THE ACTS. THEREFORE, SECTION 10(B)4 MAY NOT BE RELIED UPON AS AUTHORITY TO PRODUCE AND UTILIZE THE PROPOSED FILM AS OUTLINED IN YOUR LETTER.

HOWEVER, SECTION 10(B)1 OF THE ACT GIVES THE BOARD BROAD POWERS FOR CARRYING OUT THE PURPOSES OF THE ACT. ACCORDINGLY, SINCE IT HAS BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT RESPONSE TO REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION REQUIRING DETAILED EXPLANATIONS IN THE FORM OF LECTURES IS NECESSARY TO THE PROPER ADMINISTRATION OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT ACTS; AND SINCE IT HAS BEEN FURTHER DETERMINED THAT SUCH LECTURES COULD BE MORE EFFECTIVELY PRESENTED THROUGH A FILM DEPICTING THE OPERATION OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT SYSTEM, THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE PROPOSED PRODUCTION AND USE OF SUCH A FILM.

AS TO WHETHER A CONTRACT FOR PRODUCTION OF THE FILM MAY BE NEGOTIATED WITH A SELECTED COMPANY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT WE KNOW OF NO EXEMPTION FROM THE ADVERTISING FOR PROPOSALS REQUIREMENT OF SECTION 5, TITLE 41, U.S.C. FOR CONTRACTS NECESSARY OR INCIDENTAL TO ADMINISTRATION OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT ACTS.

SECTION 5 PROVIDES, IN PART:

"UNLESS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN THE APPROPRIATION CONCERNED OR OTHER LAW, PURCHASES AND CONTRACTS FOR SUPPLIES OR SERVICES FOR THE GOVERNMENT MAY BE MADE OR ENTERED INTO ONLY AFTER ADVERTISING A SUFFICIENT TIME PREVIOUSLY FOR PROPOSALS, EXCEPT (1) WHEN THE AMOUNT INVOLVED IN ANY ONE CASE DOES NOT EXCEED $500, (2) WHEN THE PUBLIC EXIGENCIES REQUIRE THE IMMEDIATE DELIVERY OF THE ARTICLES OR PERFORMANCE OF THE SERVICE, (3) WHEN ONLY ONE SOURCE OF SUPPLY IS AVAILABLE AND THE GOVERNMENT PURCHASING OR CONTRACTING OFFICER SHALL SO CERTIFY, OR (4) WHEN THE SERVICES ARE REQUIRED TO BE PERFORMED BY THE CONTRACTOR IN PERSON AND ARE (A) OF A TECHNICAL AND PROFESSIONAL NATURE OR (B) UNDER GOVERNMENT SUPERVISION AND PAID FOR ON A TIME BASIS. ***"

WHILE AN EXEMPTION TO THE ADVERTISING REQUIREMENTS IS GRANTED WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN BOARD EXPENSES RELATING TO ADMINISTRATION OF THE RAILROAD UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ACT, 52 STAT. 1106, SUCH EXEMPTION APPLIES ONLY TO MONEYS CREDITED TO THE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ADMINISTRATION FUND ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 11 OF THE ACT, 52 STAT. 1105, AND MAY NOT BE CONSTRUED TO APPLY TO EXPENSES OF THE BOARD RELATING TO ADMINISTRATION OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT ACTS.