B-146399, AUG. 8, 1961

B-146399: Aug 8, 1961

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE: WE HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 5. YOU ASK US WHETHER YOU MAY NOW CERTIFY THE ENCLOSED AND SIMILAR INVOICES FOR PAYMENT BEFORE EVIDENCE OF RECEIPT IS OBTAINED. IS BEING OR WAS RECEIVED BY THE DESIGNATED ADDRESSEE. IT IS WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY CONCERNED TO REQUIRE. THAT DELIVERY OF THE FIRST COPY BE MADE BEFORE PAYMENT IS ALLOWED. IN THE EVENT IT IS DETERMINED BY YOUR OFFICE TO DISPENSE WITH THE ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENT WHICH YOU STATE HAS BEEN IN EFFECT.

B-146399, AUG. 8, 1961

TO MR. R. H. STRINGFELLOW, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE:

WE HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 5, 1961, YOUR REFERENCE NO. 24-24, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH FOR PAYMENT. THE INVOICES LISTED ON THE VOUCHER COVER SUBSCRIPTIONS TO PERIODICALS AND PUBLICATIONS AND YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER CONCERNS THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFICATION PRIOR TO RECEIPT OF ANY OF THE PERIODICALS OR PUBLICATIONS COVERED BY THE SUBSCRIPTIONS.

YOU STATE THAT YOUR OFFICE HAS BEEN REQUIRING EVIDENCE OF RECEIPT OF AT LEAST THE FIRST COPY BEFORE MAKING PAYMENT ON A SUBSCRIPTION, WHICH HAS, IN MANY INSTANCES, DELAYED PAYMENT FOR AS MUCH AS SIX MONTHS IN THE CASE OF SOME OF YOUR FOREIGN INSTALLATIONS. IN VIEW OF THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1930, 46 STAT. 580, AS AMENDED, 31 U.S.C. 530, WHICH AUTHORIZES ADVANCE PAYMENT FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS, YOU ASK US WHETHER YOU MAY NOW CERTIFY THE ENCLOSED AND SIMILAR INVOICES FOR PAYMENT BEFORE EVIDENCE OF RECEIPT IS OBTAINED. AND FOREGO SUBSEQUENT OVERT ATTEMPTS TO OBTAIN EVIDENCE INDICATING THE PERIODICAL, OR PUBLICATION, IS BEING OR WAS RECEIVED BY THE DESIGNATED ADDRESSEE.

THE ACT OF JUNE 12, 1930, AS AMENDED, PERMITS PAYMENT IN ADVANCE FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS TO NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES, PERIODICALS AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS. HOWEVER, IT DOES NOT MAKE IT MANDATORY THAT PAYMENT BE MADE IN ADVANCE AT ALL TIMES. HENCE, IT IS WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY CONCERNED TO REQUIRE, AS YOU STATE HAS BEEN THE PRACTICE IN YOUR OFFICE, THAT DELIVERY OF THE FIRST COPY BE MADE BEFORE PAYMENT IS ALLOWED. IN THE EVENT IT IS DETERMINED BY YOUR OFFICE TO DISPENSE WITH THE ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENT WHICH YOU STATE HAS BEEN IN EFFECT, THERE WOULD BE NO OBJECTION TO YOUR CERTIFYING THE VOUCHER AND SUPPORTING INVOICES, RETURNED HEREWITH, FOR PAYMENT.