B-14967, MAY 7, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 739

B-14967: May 7, 1941

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TRANSPORTATION - AUTOMOBILE - EXCLUSIVE AVAILABILITY OF PURCHASE APPROPRIATION THE FACT THAT AN APPROPRIATION FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE IS INCLUDED IN A GENERAL APPROPRIATION DOES NOT DEPRIVE IT OF ITS CHARACTER AS AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE PARTICULAR PURPOSE DESIGNATED. WHERE SUCH SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION IS AVAILABLE FOR THE EXPENSES NECESSARILY INCIDENT TO ITS PRINCIPAL PURPOSE. SUCH INCIDENTAL EXPENSES ARE NOT TO BE CHARGED TO THE MORE GENERAL APPROPRIATION. ARE NOT TO BE EXCLUDED FROM THE AMOUNT TO BE CHARGED TO THE LUMP-SUM LIMITATION. DECISIONS INVOLVING EXCLUSION OF TRANSPORTATION COSTS IN DETERMINING WHETHER THE PURCHASE PRICE OF AN AUTOMOBILE IS WITHIN THE STATUTORY LIMITS. THIS VEHICLE WAS BOUGHT UNDER CONTRACT I-S-3905 AND PAYMENT WAS MADE ON MR.

B-14967, MAY 7, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 739

TRANSPORTATION - AUTOMOBILE - EXCLUSIVE AVAILABILITY OF PURCHASE APPROPRIATION THE FACT THAT AN APPROPRIATION FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE IS INCLUDED IN A GENERAL APPROPRIATION DOES NOT DEPRIVE IT OF ITS CHARACTER AS AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE PARTICULAR PURPOSE DESIGNATED, AND WHERE SUCH SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION IS AVAILABLE FOR THE EXPENSES NECESSARILY INCIDENT TO ITS PRINCIPAL PURPOSE, SUCH INCIDENTAL EXPENSES ARE NOT TO BE CHARGED TO THE MORE GENERAL APPROPRIATION. WHERE AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR GENERAL EXPENSES OF A GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONTAINS AN EXPRESS LUMP-SUM LIMITATION UPON THE AMOUNT EXPENDABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF AUTOMOBILES, AND MAKES NO OTHER SPECIFIC PROVISION FOR EXPENSES INCIDENTAL TO SUCH PURCHASES. THE COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION OF SUCH AUTOMOBILES, WHETHER PAID TO CONTRACTORS AS PART OF THE PURCHASE PRICE OR DIRECTLY TO CARRIERS, ARE NOT TO BE EXCLUDED FROM THE AMOUNT TO BE CHARGED TO THE LUMP-SUM LIMITATION. DECISIONS INVOLVING EXCLUSION OF TRANSPORTATION COSTS IN DETERMINING WHETHER THE PURCHASE PRICE OF AN AUTOMOBILE IS WITHIN THE STATUTORY LIMITS, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, MAY 7, 1941:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 11, 1941, AS FOLLOWS:

ON AUGUST 7, 1940, THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY SUBMITTED TO THE ACCOUNTING AND BOOKKEEPING DIVISION OF YOUR OFFICE A REQUEST FOR CORRECTIONS, NO. 154, CHARGING THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY'S LIMITATION ON THE PURCHASE AND EXCHANGE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES WITH THE COST OF A SUBURBAN CARRYALL, BUT EXCLUDING AN AMOUNT OF $37.00 WHICH REPRESENTED THE COST OF TRANSPORTING THE VEHICLE FROM BIDDER'S SHIPPING POINT TO DESTINATION. THIS VEHICLE WAS BOUGHT UNDER CONTRACT I-S-3905 AND PAYMENT WAS MADE ON MR. G. F. ALLEN'S VOUCHER NO. 1635781, PAID APRIL 10, 1940, SYMBOL 106-100. THE ACCOUNTING AND BOOKKEEPING DIVISION INCREASED THE CHARGE AGAINST THE LIMITATION TO INCLUDE THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES OF $37.00 AND, BY LETTER OF NOVEMBER 6, 1940 (COPY OF WHICH IS ATTACHED), THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY PROTESTED THIS INCREASE. IN REPLY DATED DECEMBER 26, 1940, AB 3.5 JHT (CASES NOS. 40842 AND 83405), THE ACCOUNTING AND BOOKKEEPING DIVISION STATED, IN PART:

" IN CHARGING EXPENDITURES AGAINST A LUMP SUM LIMITATION ON PURCHASES OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES THERE SHOULD BE APPLIED THE SAME RULES IN THE MATTER OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AS IN THE CASE OF PURCHASES OF OTHER ARTICLES OR COMMODITIES, SO THAT IF THE CONTRACT PRICE INCLUDES TRANSPORTATION COSTS PAYABLE TO THE VENDOR, SUCH COSTS ARE A PART OF THE PURCHASE PRICE, AND AS SUCH, ARE TO BE CHARGED AGAINST THE AMOUNT OF THE LUMP SUM LIMITATION. 18 COMP. GEN. 197.'

THE DECISION REFERRED TO APPEARS INAPPLICABLE TO THE PRINCIPLE UNDER CONSIDERATION. THERE IS NO QUESTION AS TO THE AVAILABILITY OF THE APPROPRIATION CONCERNED FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION CHARGES; THE QUESTION IS WHETHER TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ON A PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLE FROM BIDDER'S SHIPPING POINT TO DESTINATION MUST BE CONSIDERED A PART OF THE COST OF THE VEHICLE IN MAKING CHARGES AGAINST THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY'S LIMITATION ON THE PURCHASE AND EXCHANGE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES.

ATTENTION IS INVITED TO 14 COMP. GEN. 82 WHICH STATED, IN PART:

"TRANSPORTATION COSTS OCCASIONED BY A GOVERNMENT PURCHASE OF A MOTOR- PROPELLED PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLE--- THAT IS, TRANSPORTATION COSTS INVOLVED IN DELIVERY THEREOF--- ARE NOT A PART OF THE "COSTS" REFERRED TO IN SECTION 3 (A) OF THE ACT OF MARCH 15, 1934 (48 STAT. 450), QUOTED IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF YOUR SUBMISSION.'

AND TO 17 COMP. GEN. 854, WHICH STATED:

"THE RULE STATED IN THE DECISION OF JULY 28, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 82, CITED IN YOUR SUBMISSION--- THAT TRANSPORTATION COSTS INVOLVED IN DELIVERY OF PASSENGER-CARRYING AUTOMOBILES FROM BIDDER'S SHIPPING POINT TO DESTINATION ARE NOT A PART OF THE COST OF VEHICLES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE PRICE-LIMITING STATUTES--- MAY BE CONSIDERED AS SETTLED.'

THE DECISIONS QUOTED ABOVE ESTABLISH THAT TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ARE NOT A PART OF THE COST OF VEHICLES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE PURCHASE LIMITATION OF $750.00 FOR INDIVIDUAL VEHICLES, CONTAINED IN THE TREASURY- POST OFFICE APPROPRIATION ACTS. HAVING IN MIND THE DESIRABILITY OF ESTABLISHING A UNIFORM PROCEDURE, IT WOULD SEEM APPROPRIATE TO APPLY THAT RULE IN MAKING CHARGES AGAINST OTHER LIMITATIONS ON THE PURCHASE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES. ACCORDINGLY, A DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION FROM BIDDER'S SHIPPING POINT TO DESTINATION MAY BE EXCLUDED IN MAKING CHARGES AGAINST THE LIMITATION ($45,000 FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1941) ON THE PURCHASE AND EXCHANGE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES FOR THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY.

LETTER OF NOVEMBER 6, 1940, FROM THE CHIEF CLERK OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY TO THE CHIEF, ACCOUNTING AND BOOKKEEPING DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE, IS IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

THE REQUEST WAS SUBMITTED BY THIS OFFICE TO STATE A CHARGE OF $787.98 AGAINST THE LIMITATION ON PURCHASE AND EXCHANGE OF PASSENGER CARRYING VEHICLES ON ACCOUNT OF G. F. ALLEN'S VOUCHER NO. 1635791, PAID APRIL 10, 1940, UNDER SYMBOL 106-100.

BY ACTION TAKEN IN YOUR OFFICE THIS AMOUNT WAS RAISED TO $824.98 WHICH INCLUDES TRANSPORTATION CHARGES OF $37.00 ON THE PASSENGER CARRYING VEHICLE COVERED BY THIS VOUCHER. TO SUSTAIN THIS INCREASE TO INCLUDE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES THERE IS CITED 18 COMP. GEN. 197. IN THIS DECISION IT IS STATED "WHERE THE TRANSPORTATION COSTS ARE PAYABLE TO THE VENDOR AS PART OF THE PURCHASE PRICE WHEN DELIVERED F.O.B. DESTINATION, THEY MAY BE CHARGED TO THE SAME APPROPRIATION AS IS AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF THE SUPPLIES" (EMPHASIS SUPPLIED), AND IT IS ASSUMED THAT THIS STATEMENT IS THE BASIS FOR THE ACTION TAKEN BY YOUR OFFICE ON REQUEST FOR CORRECTIONS NO. 154.

IN THIS CONNECTION ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE FACT THAT THE ENTIRE AMOUNT OF THE VOUCHER IN QUESTION--- BOTH VEHICLE AND TRANSPORTATION CHARGES--- WAS CHARGED AGAINST THE SINGLE APPROPRIATION INVOLVED, WHICH WAS AVAILABLE FOR BOTH THE PURCHASE AND THE TRANSPORTATION COSTS, WITH A LIMITATION ON THE AMOUNT THAT MIGHT BE EXPENDED FOR PURCHASE, BUT NONE ON THE AMOUNT THAT MIGHT BE EXPENDED FOR TRANSPORTATION CHARGES.

THUS IT APPEARS THAT THE CONTENTION OF THE CHIEF CLERK, GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, IS THAT SINCE THE LUMP-SUM LIMITATION OF $45,000 ON THE PURCHASE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING AUTOMOBILES IS INCLUDED IN THE GENERAL APPROPRIATION FOR THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1941, TRANSPORTATION COSTS ON PASSENGER-CARRYING AUTOMOBILES MAY BE CHARGED TO THE GENERAL APPROPRIATION WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE LUMP-SUM LIMITATION FOR THE PURCHASE THEREOF. THE ARGUMENT WOULD APPEAR TO BE NOT WELL TAKEN. THE FACT THAT AN APPROPRIATION FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE IS INCLUDED IN AN APPROPRIATION OF A MORE GENERAL CHARACTER DOES NOT DEPRIVE IT OF ITS CHARACTER AS AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE PARTICULAR PURPOSE DESIGNATED AND WHERE SUCH SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION IS AVAILABLE FOR THE DISCHARGE OF EXPENSES NECESSARILY INCIDENT TO ITS PRINCIPAL PURPOSE, SUCH INCIDENTAL EXPENSES ARE NOT PROPERLY TO BE CHARGED TO THE MORE GENERAL APPROPRIATION.

THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT, 1941, 54 STAT. 406, 46 SEQ., APPROVED JUNE 18, 1940, MADE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY---

INCLUDING NOT TO EXCEED $45,000 FOR THE PURCHASE AND EXCHANGE, AND NOT TO EXCEED $70,000 FOR THE HIRE, MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, AND OPERATION OF MOTOR- PROPELLED AND HORSE-DRAWN PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES * * * ETC.

SO FAR AS APPEARS, THE APPROPRIATION ACT INCLUDES NO OTHER PROVISION RELATIVE TO THE ACQUISITION OF PASSENGER-CARRYING AUTOMOBILES BY OR FOR THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY SAVE AN AUTHORIZATION TO ,EXCHANGE UNSERVICEABLE AND WORN-OUT PASSENGER-CARRYING AND FREIGHT-CARRYING VEHICLES AS PART PAYMENT FOR NEW FREIGHT-CARRYING VEHICLES" APPEARING IN THE SAME PARAGRAPH OF THE ACT.

THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT THE SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION OF $45,000 FOR THE PURCHASE AND EXCHANGE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING AUTOMOBILES IS AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION NECESSARILY INCIDENT TO THE DELIVERY OF VEHICLES PURCHASED THEREUNDER IN A PROPER CASE. 18 COMP. GEN. 197; 2 ID. 263. BUT YOUR SUBMISSION PRESENTS THE QUESTION WHETHER IN THE PURCHASE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING AUTOMOBILES THE AMOUNT PAID BY THE CONTRACTOR OR THE GOVERNMENT AS TRANSPORTATION COSTS FROM POINT OF ORIGIN OF BIDDER'S SELECTION TO DESTINATION OR POINT OF DELIVERY TO THE GOVERNMENT PROPERLY MAY BE CHARGED AGAINST AN APPROPRIATION OTHER THAN THAT TO WHICH THE VEHICLE PRICE MUST BE CHARGED, OR ,WHETHER TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ON A PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLE FROM BIDDER'S SHIPPING POINT TO DESTINATION MUST BE CONSIDERED A PART OF THE COST OF THE VEHICLE IN MAKING CHARGES AGAINST THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY'S LIMITATION ON THE PURCHASE AND EXCHANGE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES.' YOU SUGGEST THAT " HAVING IN MIND THE DESIRABILITY OF ESTABLISHING A UNIFORM PROCEDURE, IT WOULD SEEM APPROPRIATE TO APPLY" THE RULE DECLARED IN 14 COMP. GEN. 82--- THAT TRANSPORTATION COSTS INVOLVED IN THE DELIVERY OF A PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLE DO NOT CONSTITUTE A PART OF THE "COST" OF THE VEHICLE WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE PRICE LIMITING STATUTES--- "IN MAKING CHARGES AGAINST OTHER LIMITATIONS ON THE PURCHASE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES.'

THE RULE LAID DOWN IN 14 COMP. GEN. 82, AND ADHERED TO IN LATER DECISIONS, BORE SOLELY UPON THE PRINCIPAL QUESTIONS PRESENTED IN THE SUBMISSION WHICH GAVE OCCASION FOR THAT DECISION WHICH WERE IN SUBSTANCE WHETHER THE "COST" LIMIT OF $750 UPON THE PURCHASE OF A PASSENGER-CARRYING MOTOR-PROPELLED VEHICLE IMPOSED BY THE THEN CURRENT PRICE LIMIT STATUTE--- MARCH 15, 1934, 48 STAT. 450, FOLLOWED IN SUBSTANTIALLY, IF NOT IDENTICALLY, THE SAME PHRASEOLOGY IN SUCCESSIVE SUBSEQUENT SIMILAR STATUTES SINCE--- WAS INCLUSIVE OR EXCLUSIVE OF COSTS NECESSARILY INCURRED OR TO BE INCURRED IN TRANSPORTATION OF SUCH VEHICLES FROM BIDDER'S POINT OF ORIGIN, FACTORY OR OTHERWISE TO DESTINATION. IN OTHER WORDS, THE GIST OF YOUR SUBMISSION AT THAT TIME WAS IF, IN DETERMINING WHETHER A SUBMITTED BID WAS WITHIN THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE PRICE LIMIT STATUTE, IT WAS NECESSARY TO ADD THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION WHEN A BID PRICE FOR F.O.B. POINT OF ORIGIN DELIVERY WAS WITHIN THE $750 LIMIT OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, WHETHER A BID FOR DESTINATION DELIVERY IN EXCESS OF $750 PER VEHICLE PROPERLY MIGHT BE CONSIDERED UPON THE BASIS OF DEDUCTION, FOR EVALUATION PURPOSES, OF THE ACTUAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION PAID OR TO BE PAID BY THE CONTRACTOR. THE DECISION WAS RESPONSIVE TO THE QUERIES THEN PRESENTED AND, OF COURSE, INVOLVED NO DETERMINATION, EITHER EXPRESSLY OR BY IMPLICATION, OF THE PROCEDURE PROPERLY TO BE FOLLOWED IN MAKING CHARGES AS BETWEEN APPROPRIATIONS.

THE SUBTRACTION OF A FIGURE EQUAL TO THE AMOUNT OF THE NECESSARY TRANSPORTATION COST FROM POINT OF ORIGIN FROM A BID OFFERING A VEHICLE FOR DESTINATION DELIVERY, ONLY, AT A PRICE IN EXCESS OF $750 IS AUTHORIZED AND PERMISSIBLE SOLELY FOR DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER SUCH BID, EXCLUSIVE OF ACTUAL AND NECESSARY TRANSPORTATION COST BY THE MEANS AND METHOD MOST ADVANTAGEOUS, IS WITHIN THE STATUTORY PRICE LIMITATION AND SO LEGALLY FOR CONSIDERATION ON ANY BASIS. THERE IS NO ACTUAL DEDUCTION OF SUCH AMOUNT FROM THE PURCHASE PRICE QUOTED BY THE BIDDER, BUT THE FULL PURCHASE PRICE IS PAID TO THE CONTRACTOR AS THE CONTRACT PRICE, UPON THE BASIS THAT A PORTION OF THE CONTRACT PRICE HAS BEEN OR WILL BE EXPENDED BY THE CONTRACTOR FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE VEHICLE FROM POINT OF ORIGIN--- FACTORY OR OTHERWISE--- TO POINT OF DELIVERY AS A NECESSARY ITEM OF EXPENSE AND AS SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM THE BASE PRICE OF THE VEHICLE. THE RULES FOR DETERMINING THE PURCHASE OR CONTRACT PRICE OF AUTOMOBILES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE PRICE LIMITATION STATUTORY PROVISION, UNDER WHICH TRANSPORTATION COST MAY BE EXCLUDED, HAVE NO DIRECT BEARING ON THE QUESTION OF THE AMOUNT TO BE CHARGED AGAINST THE LUMP-SUM LIMITATION ON THE TOTAL AMOUNT AVAILABLE UNDER A PARTICULAR APPROPRIATION FOR THE PURCHASE OF AUTOMOBILES. IN CHARGING EXPENDITURES AGAINST SUCH A LIMITATION ON AUTOMOBILE PURCHASES THERE ARE FOR APPLICATION THE SAME RULES AS IN THE CASE OF PURCHASES OF OTHER COMMODITIES, AND IF THE CONTRACT PRICE INCLUDES TRANSPORTATION COSTS SUCH COSTS ARE A PART OF THE PURCHASE PRICE AND AS SUCH ARE TO BE CHARGED AGAINST THE AMOUNT OF THE LUMP-SUM LIMITATION, AND, TO THAT EXTENT, THE RULE STATED IN THE DECISION 18 COMP. GEN. 197 APPLIES.

WHERE A GENERAL APPROPRIATION ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS OF DIVERSE SUMS FOR SUNDRY PURPOSES OR ACTIVITIES OF A DEPARTMENT, ESTABLISHMENT, OR AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT PLACES AN EXPRESS LUMP-SUM LIMITATION UPON THE AMOUNT EXPENDABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF AUTOMOBILES, AND MAKES NO OTHER SPECIFIC PROVISION FOR PAYMENT OF EXPENSES NECESSARILY OR ORDINARILY INCIDENTAL TO SUCH PURCHASE--- SUCH AS COST OF TRANSPORTATION HERE UNDER CONSIDERATION--- SUCH LIMITATION WOULD APPEAR TO OPERATE AS EFFECTIVELY TO REQUIRE AND LIMIT CHARGING SUCH INCIDENTAL COSTS AGAINST THE LUMP-SUM LIMITATION, AS IF THE AMOUNT INCLUDED IN SUCH LIMITATION STOOD ALONE AS A SPECIAL APPROPRIATION FOR THE PURCHASE AND EXCHANGE OF AUTOMOBILES, ENTIRELY SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM THE GENERAL APPROPRIATION MAKES NO EXPRESS ALLOCATION FOR PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION COSTS ON AUTOMOBILES OR OTHERWISE. SEE IN THIS CONNECTION DECISION B-9240, MAY 2, 1940, TO YOU, IN WHICH THERE WAS RESTATED THE ESTABLISHED RULE THAT A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION FOR A PARTICULAR OBJECT OR CLASS OF SUPPLIES PRECLUDES THE USE OF A MORE GENERAL APPROPRIATION THEREFOR, EVEN THOUGH THE GENERAL APPROPRIATION MIGHT HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE FOR SUCH USE IN THE ABSENCE OF THE SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION, CITING 19 COMP. GEN. 167; ID. 633; 18 ID. 197; ID. 1013; 7 ID. 400.

ACCORDINGLY, REPLYING TO THE REQUEST FOR DECISION IN THE FINAL SENTENCE OF YOUR LETTER, YOU ARE INFORMED THAT THE COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION FROM BIDDER'S SHIPPING POINT TO DESTINATION MAY NOT BE EXCLUDED IN MAKING CHARGES AGAINST THE CURRENT LUMP-SUM LIMITATION ON THE PURCHASE AND EXCHANGE OF PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES FOR THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY. AND, IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC AUTHORITY OTHERWISE IN A GENERAL APPROPRIATION ACT, THIS IS EQUALLY TRUE WHETHER SUCH TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ARE PAID TO THE CONTRACTOR AS PART OF THE CONTRACT PRICE, OR PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT TO A CARRIER AS TRANSPORTATION COSTS NECESSARILY INCIDENTAL TO THE PURCHASE AND DELIVERY OF THE VEHICLE OR VEHICLES.