B-142971, JULY 6, 1960, 40 COMP. GEN. 5

B-142971: Jul 6, 1960

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AFTER THE CONTRACTING OFFICERS HAVE MANUALLY SIGNED. THE MASTER ORIGINAL WILL BE SANCTIONED. A COPY MARKED "DUPLICATE ORIGINAL" WITH THE REPRODUCED SIGNATURE WILL BE ACCEPTABLE TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. NOTWITHSTANDING THAT SUCH SIGNATURE IS A FACSIMILE. 1960: REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER OF MAY 19. IS USED FOR PURCHASES OF $2. IT IS NECESSARY TO PREPARE THE DD FORM 1155 MASTER AND THEN REPRODUCE THE REQUIRED NUMBER OF COPIES. THE COPIES ARE RETURNED TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FOR EXECUTION OF PEN AND INK SIGNATURE ON AT LEAST FOUR OF THE REPRODUCED COPIES. SERVES AS THE ORIGINAL COPY AND IS FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY STATES THAT USE OF FACSIMILE SIGNATURES IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY AIR FORCE DIRECTIVES APPLICABLE TO CONTRACT SIGNATURES.

B-142971, JULY 6, 1960, 40 COMP. GEN. 5

CONTRACTS - SIGNATURES - CONTRACTING OFFICERS - REPRODUCED FROM MASTER ORIGINAL THE USE OF REPRODUCED SIGNATURES OF CONTRACTING OFFICERS ON REPRODUCED COPIES OF ORDERS FOR SUPPLIES AND SERVICES FOR PURCHASES OF $2,500 OR LESS, AFTER THE CONTRACTING OFFICERS HAVE MANUALLY SIGNED, WITH PEN AND INK, THE MASTER ORIGINAL WILL BE SANCTIONED, IN VIEW OF THE VALIDITY AND EVIDENTIAL VALUE OF DUPLICATE ORIGINALS, AND A COPY MARKED "DUPLICATE ORIGINAL" WITH THE REPRODUCED SIGNATURE WILL BE ACCEPTABLE TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT SUCH SIGNATURE IS A FACSIMILE.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, JULY 6, 1960:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO A LETTER OF MAY 19, 1960, FROM THE HONORABLE LYLE S. GARLOCK, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, REQUESTING OUR APPROVAL FOR THE USE OF SIGNATURES REPRODUCED FROM SIGNED REPRODUCIBLE MASTERS WHEN DD FORM 1155, ORDER FOR SUPPLIES AND SERVICES, IS USED FOR PURCHASES OF $2,500 OR LESS.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY STATES THAT, UNDER CURRENT PROCEDURES, IT IS NECESSARY TO PREPARE THE DD FORM 1155 MASTER AND THEN REPRODUCE THE REQUIRED NUMBER OF COPIES. THE COPIES ARE RETURNED TO THE CONTRACTING OFFICER FOR EXECUTION OF PEN AND INK SIGNATURE ON AT LEAST FOUR OF THE REPRODUCED COPIES. ONE OF THESE COPIES, BEARING A PEN AND INK SIGNATURE, SERVES AS THE ORIGINAL COPY AND IS FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE.

A PROPOSAL HAS BEEN MADE WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE TO PERMIT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO SIGN REPRODUCIBLE MASTERS OF DD FORM 1155 FOR PURCHASES AMOUNTING TO $2,500 OR LESS. THESE FORMS MAY THEN BE REPRODUCED, ONE COPY STAMPED AS "ORIGINAL," AND DISTRIBUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ESTABLISHED REQUIREMENTS.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY STATES THAT USE OF FACSIMILE SIGNATURES IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY AIR FORCE DIRECTIVES APPLICABLE TO CONTRACT SIGNATURES, BUT SUGGESTS THAT A REPRODUCTION OF THE SIGNATURE FROM THE SIGNED MASTER MIGHT NOT BE A FACSIMILE SIGNATURE WITHIN THE DEFINITION IN THESE DIRECTIVES.

AS DEFINED BY AIR FORCE DIRECTIVES, A FACSIMILE SIGNATURE IS AN IMPRESSION OF A SIGNATURE MADE BY RUBBER STAMP, METAL PLATE, OR OTHER MECHANICAL CONTRIVANCE. WHEN CONSIDERED BY ITSELF, THERE IS LITTLE ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT A SIGNATURE REPRODUCED FROM A SIGNED MASTER IS A FACSIMILE. HOWEVER, THE AIR FORCE PROPOSES TO REPRODUCE THE ENTIRE FORM 1155, NOT MERELY THE SIGNATURE.

WHEN SEVERAL COPIES OF A WRITING ARE MADE AT THE SAME TIME BY THE SAME MECHANICAL MEANS, EACH IS REGARDED AS AN ORIGINAL. BRENNER V. LESHER, 332, PA. 522, 2 A.2D 731; DATILLO FRUIT CO. V. LOUISVILLE AND NASHVILLE R. CO., 238 KY. 322, 37 S.W.2D 856. ANY DUPLICATE ORIGINAL MAY BE INTRODUCED INTO EVIDENCE WITHOUT ACCOUNTING FOR THE NONPRODUCTION OF ANY OTHER. PITTSBURGH, ETC. R. CO. V. BROWN, 178 IND. 11, 97 N.E. 145. A DUPLICATE DIFFERS FROM A COPY IN HAVING ALL THE VALIDITY OF AN ORIGINAL. WRIGHT V. MICHIGAN CENTRAL R. CO., 130 F. 843.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT WE WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE REVISING ITS DIRECTIVES TO AUTHORIZE THE CONTRACTING OFFICER TO SIGN A REPRODUCIBLE MASTER OF DD FORM 1155 FOR PURCHASES OF $2,500 OR LESS. SINCE EACH COPY REPRODUCED FROM THE MASTER MAY BE REGARDED AS A DUPLICATE ORIGINAL HAVING THE SAME FORCE AND EFFECT AS ANY OTHER, EACH COPY INTENDED TO SERVE AS AN ORIGINAL SHOULD BE MARKED "DUPLICATE ORIGINAL.' A COPY SO MARKED WILL BE ACCEPTABLE TO THIS OFFICE AS AN ORIGINAL, WITHOUT QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THE SIGNATURE BY ITSELF MIGHT BE A FACSIMILE. THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT APPEAR TO BE ADEQUATELY PROTECTED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S MANUAL SIGNATURE ON THE REPRODUCIBLE MASTER, AND WE SUGGEST THAT THE DEPARTMENT, IN CHANGING ITS DIRECTIVES, SHOULD, EMPHASIZE THAT THE CONTRACTING OFFICER'S SIGNATURE, WHEN REPRODUCED ON THE REQUIRED NUMBER OF COPIES, CARRIES THE SAME FORCE AND EFFECT AS THE PEN AND INK SIGNATURES HERETOFORE USED.