B-15146, MARCH 4, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 497

B-15146: Mar 4, 1941

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WHICH IS SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE FOR TEXT AND REFERENCE BOOKS. FOR PAYMENT OF A FEE FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION WHERE THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE MEMBERSHIP IS THE ACQUISITION OF PUBLICATIONS WITH REFERENCE TO EDUCATIONAL SUBJECTS. 1941: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 20. AS FOLLOWS: THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IS IN RECEIPT OF A LETTER FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT. THE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION IS AN ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES. IT IS EXTREMELY DESIRABLE THAT THE NAVAL ACADEMY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY SOURCE OF HELP AND BENEFIT WHICH EXISTS IN THE EDUCATIONAL WORLD. MEMBERSHIP IN THE COUNCIL IS $50.00 PER YEAR. IN RETURN ALL LITERATURE PUBLISHED BY THE COUNCIL IS MADE AVAILABLE.

B-15146, MARCH 4, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 497

MEMBERSHIP FEES - AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION - NAVAL ACADEMY APPROPRIATION AVAILABILITY THE INHIBITION IN SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1912, AGAINST THE PAYMENT OF MEMBERSHIP FEES FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS DOES NOT PROHIBIT THE USE OF THE NAVAL ACADEMY'S CURRENT AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE APPROPRIATION, WHICH IS SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE FOR TEXT AND REFERENCE BOOKS, FOR PAYMENT OF A FEE FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION WHERE THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE MEMBERSHIP IS THE ACQUISITION OF PUBLICATIONS WITH REFERENCE TO EDUCATIONAL SUBJECTS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, MARCH 4, 1941:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 20, 1941, AS FOLLOWS:

THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IS IN RECEIPT OF A LETTER FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT, UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY, ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND, REQUESTING INFORMATION AS TO WHETHER APPROPRIATED FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE AT THE NAVAL ACADEMY MAY BE USED FOR THE PAYMENT OF MEMBERSHIP IN THE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION, 744 JACKSON PLACE, WASHINGTON, D.C.

THE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION IS AN ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES, UNIVERSITIES, AND INDIVIDUALS CONNECTED WITH THE GENERAL FIELD OF EDUCATION. THE COUNCIL PREPARES AND PUBLISHES EXTREMELY VALUABLE LITERATURE ON VIRTUALLY EVERY PHASE OF HIGHER EDUCATION. IN VIEW OF THE ACCELERATED PROGRAM OF EDUCATION AT THE NAVAL ACADEMY, RAPIDLY CHANGING CONDITIONS DUE TO CHANGES IN PERSONNEL, ETC., IT IS EXTREMELY DESIRABLE THAT THE NAVAL ACADEMY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY SOURCE OF HELP AND BENEFIT WHICH EXISTS IN THE EDUCATIONAL WORLD.

MEMBERSHIP IN THE COUNCIL IS $50.00 PER YEAR. IN RETURN ALL LITERATURE PUBLISHED BY THE COUNCIL IS MADE AVAILABLE. THE WORTH OF THE MATERIAL IS EVIDENCED BY THE FACT THAT VIRTUALLY EVERY WELL-KNOWN AND NOTABLE UNIVERSITY AND COLLEGE IS A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL.

THE CURRENT NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACT UNDER THE APPROPRIATION " CURRENT AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, NAVAL ACADEMY" CONTAINS PROVISION "FOR TEXT AND REFERENCE BOOKS FOR USE OF INSTRUCTORS; STATIONERY, BLANK BOOKS AND FORMS, MODELS, MAPS, NEWSPAPERS, AND PERIODICALS; * * *.' A DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THIS APPROPRIATION IS AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE COST OF MEMBERSHIP BY THE NAVAL ACADEMY IN THE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE FOREGOING, THE QUESTION PRESENTED APPEARS TO BE IDENTICAL WITH THE CASE DECIDED IN 19 COMP. GEN. 937, RELATIVE TO MEMBERSHIP IN THE LAW LIBRARY ASSN. OF THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION. THE PRESENT CASE IS NOT ONE WHERE THE BENEFIT TO THE GOVERNMENT FROM MEMBERSHIP IN THE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION IS ONLY INCIDENTAL OR INDIRECT, THE PROPER CONDUCT OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE NAVAL ACADEMY RENDER SUCH MEMBERSHIP NECESSARY AND IMPORTANT. WHILE THE CHARGES INVOLVED TAKE THE FORM OF A MEMBERSHIP FEE, THEY ACTUALLY REPRESENT PAYMENT FOR PUBLICATIONS OF THE COUNCIL. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES IT IS BELIEVED THAT SUCH MEMBERSHIP MAY BE CONSIDERED AS CONSTITUTING PURCHASES OF TEXT AND REFERENCE BOOKS OR PERIODICALS. IN VIEW OF THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH MEMBERSHIP IN THE COUNCIL IS DESIRED, THE PROHIBITION CONTAINED IN SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1912 (5 U.S.C. 83), WOULD APPEAR NOT TO APPLY. HOWEVER, YOUR DECISION IN THE PREMISES IS REQUESTED.

IN THE DECISION 19 COMP. GEN. 937 (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS) IT WAS HELD

THE INHIBITION IN SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1912, 37 STAT. 184, AGAINST PAYMENT OF MEMBERSHIP FEES FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS, DOES NOT PROHIBIT THE USE OF THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION'S EXPENSE APPROPRIATION FOR PAYMENT TO A LAW LIBRARY ASSOCIATION OF SUCH CHARGES AS ARE NECESSARY TO SECURE ACCESS TO ITS LIBRARY FACILITIES FOR THE OFFICIAL USE OF THE COMMISSION'S ATTORNEYS EVEN THOUGH SUCH CHARGES TAKE THE FORM OF STOCK PURCHASES AND MEMBERSHIP ASSESSMENTS.

THE APPROPRIATION FOR CURRENT AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, NAVAL ACADEMY, ACT OF JUNE 11, 1940, 54 STAT. 271, IS SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE FOR "TEXT AND REFERENCE BOOKS," AND AS THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE DESIRED MEMBERSHIP IS THE ACQUISITION OF THE PUBLICATIONS WITH REFERENCE TO EDUCATIONAL SUBJECTS, THE PRINCIPLE OF THE ABOVE DECISION APPEARS TO BE FOR APPLICATION.

ACCORDINGLY, IN SPECIFIC ANSWER TO THE QUESTION YOU SUBMIT, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT SINCE THE COST OF THE MEMBERSHIP IN THIS MATTER MAY BE CONSIDERED ON THE BASIS OF A SUBSCRIPTION TO THE LITERATURE AND PUBLICATIONS OF THE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE USE OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR CURRENT AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, NAVAL ACADEMY, FOR THE PURPOSE.