B-139678, AUG. 31, 1959

B-139678: Aug 31, 1959

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WE HAVE BEEN INFORMALLY ADVISED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION. THAT THESE GUARD SERVICES WERE REQUESTED BY THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION AND CONSTITUTE SPECIAL PATROLS TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE AGENCY OVER AND ABOVE THE GUARD SERVICE NORMALLY FURNISHED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION. WE WERE ADVISED THAT GUARDS WOULD NORMALLY BE FURNISHED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION FOR THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION BUILDING ONLY FROM 4 P.M. WHEREIN WE HELD THAT APPROPRIATIONS OF THE FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY WERE NOT AVAILABLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF SERVICES RENDERED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION WHICH WERE INCIDENT TO PROVIDING IT WITH SUITABLE OFFICE ACCOMMODATIONS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

B-139678, AUG. 31, 1959

TO MR. HAROLD R. FATZINGER, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION:

BY LETTER OF MAY 15, 1959, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION CONCERNING WHETHER YOU MAY PROPERLY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION INVOICE NO. 862413, DATED FEBRUARY 18, 1959, IN THE AMOUNT OF $4,133.24, COVERING ITEMS FURNISHED BY THAT AGENCY TO THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION ON A REIMBURSABLE BASIS.

THE ITEMS COVERED BY INVOICE NO. 862413 INCLUDE SUCH SERVICES AS THE FURNISHING OF GUARDS, LABOR FOR MAKING DRAPES AND CURTAINS, BUILDING PARTITIONS, INSTALLING ELECTRICAL OUTLETS, AND OTHER MISCELLANEOUS SERVICES. WITH RESPECT TO GUARD SERVICES, YOU POINT OUT THAT THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION, 1959, 72 STAT. 1063, PROVIDES "FOR EXPENSES NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES OF THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION ACT OF 1950, AS AMENDED (42 U.S.C. 1861-1875), INCLUDING * * * REIMBURSEMENT OF THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION FOR SECURITY GUARD SERVICES * * *" BUT THAT THE SERVICES, INVOLVING CONTROL OF PARKING EMPLOYEES' CARS IN THE PARKING LOT TO THE REAR OF THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION BUILDING, DO NOT APPEAR TO BE MORE THAN THE USUAL GUARD SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION TO ANY GOVERNMENT BUILDING. WE HAVE BEEN INFORMALLY ADVISED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, HOWEVER, THAT THESE GUARD SERVICES WERE REQUESTED BY THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION AND CONSTITUTE SPECIAL PATROLS TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE AGENCY OVER AND ABOVE THE GUARD SERVICE NORMALLY FURNISHED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION. WE WERE ADVISED THAT GUARDS WOULD NORMALLY BE FURNISHED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION FOR THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION BUILDING ONLY FROM 4 P.M. TO 8 A.M. DURING WEEKDAYS AND FOR SATURDAYS, SUNDAYS, AND HOLIDAYS.

YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES BY VIRTUE OF OUR DECISION OF MARCH 4, 1959, B-138598, 38 COMP. GEN. 588, WHEREIN WE HELD THAT APPROPRIATIONS OF THE FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY WERE NOT AVAILABLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF SERVICES RENDERED BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION WHICH WERE INCIDENT TO PROVIDING IT WITH SUITABLE OFFICE ACCOMMODATIONS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THAT DECISION WAS RECONSIDERED AND AFFIRMED IN B- 138598, DATED MAY 13, 1959, 38 COMP. GEN. 758. IN OUR LATER DECISION WE CONCLUDED, HOWEVER, THAT BECAUSE OF THE LONG PREVAILING PRACTICE OF PERFORMING SPECIAL SERVICE WORK FOR AGENCIES ON A REIMBURSABLE BASIS WITHOUT REGARD TO AVAILABILITY OF THEIR APPROPRIATIONS FOR SUCH WORK, AND THE STATEMENT BY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION THAT IT IS IN NO POSITION APPROPRIATION-WISE TO ABSORB SUCH WORK AS HAD BEEN THERETOFORE CONSIDERED BY IT AND THE AGENCIES FOR WHICH THE WORK IS DONE TO BE REIMBURSABLE UNDER GSA REGULATION NO. 2-II-304.04, WE WOULD NOT OBJECT TO CONTINUANCE OF THE PRACTICE PROVIDED THE MATTER WERE PROMPTLY AND FULLY DISCLOSED TO THE CONGRESS.

WITHOUT DECIDING THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE ITEMS, EXCLUSIVE OF GUARD SERVICES, COVERED BY INVOICE NO. 862413 ARE PROPER FOR PAYMENT UNDER THE TERMS OF OUR DECISIONS, IN VIEW OF OUR LATER DECISION AND THE FACT THAT WHEN THE SERVICES WERE RENDERED IT WAS APPARENTLY UNDERSTOOD BY THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION THAT THEY WERE BEING FURNISHED ON A REIMBURSABLE BASIS, THE INVOICE MAY BE PAID WITH RESPECT TO THESE ITEMS IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.

CONCERNING GUARD SERVICES, WE HAVE HELD THAT SINCE SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION IS MADE TO THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION FOR CARRYING OUT THE FUNCTION OF PROTECTING PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PROPERTY, APPROPRIATIONS OF OTHER AGENCIES, NOT SPECIFICALLY MADE AVAILABLE THEREFOR, MAY NOT BE USED TO REIMBURSE THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION FOR SPECIAL GUARD SERVICES FURNISHED. 34 COMP. GEN. 42. FUNDS FOR GUARD SERVICES ARE INCLUDED IN APPROPRIATIONS TO THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION BUT ARE LIMITED TO SUCH SERVICES FOR SECURITY PURPOSES. THEREFORE, IF THE GUARD SERVICES IN QUESTION ARE NOT RELATED TO SECURITY REQUIREMENTS OF THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION, REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR MAY NOT BE MADE TO THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION. HOWEVER, IF IT BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED, ON A REASONABLE BASIS, THAT THESE GUARD SERVICES DO CONSTITUTE ,SECURITY GUARD SERVICES" AS THAT TERM IS USED IN YOUR 1959 APPROPRIATION, WE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR.

THE INVOICE AND ACCOMPANYING RECEIVING AND INSPECTION REPORTS ARE RETURNED.