B-20368, SEPTEMBER 13, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 215

B-20368: Sep 13, 1941

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TRANSPORTATION COST EXCLUSION THE STATUTORY PRICE LIMITATION ON THE PURCHASE OF TYPEWRITERS IS APPLICABLE TO EMERGENCY PURCHASES OF TYPEWRITERS OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES. BONA FIDE TRANSPORTATION COSTS MAY BE EXCLUDED IN DETERMINING WHETHER THE PURCHASE PRICE OF A TYPEWRITER IS WITHIN THE STATUTORY PRICE LIMITATION. 1941: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 8. IS AS FOLLOWS: 1. PROVIDES: "NO PART OF ANY MONEY APPROPRIATED BY THIS OR ANY OTHER ACT SHALL BE USED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1942 FOR THE PURCHASE OF ANY STANDARD TYPEWRITING MACHINES * * * AT A PRICE IN EXCESS OF THE FOLLOWING FOR MODELS WITH CARRIAGES WHICH WILL ACCOMMODATE PAPER OF THE FOLLOWING WIDTHS. THE MAXIMUM PRICES SHALL BE AS FOLLOWS FOR MODELS WITH CARRIAGES WHICH WILL ACCOMMODATE PAPER OF THE FOLLOWING WIDTHS.

B-20368, SEPTEMBER 13, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 215

TYPEWRITERS - PURCHASE PRICE LIMITATIONS - PURCHASES OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES; TRANSPORTATION COST EXCLUSION THE STATUTORY PRICE LIMITATION ON THE PURCHASE OF TYPEWRITERS IS APPLICABLE TO EMERGENCY PURCHASES OF TYPEWRITERS OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES. BONA FIDE TRANSPORTATION COSTS MAY BE EXCLUDED IN DETERMINING WHETHER THE PURCHASE PRICE OF A TYPEWRITER IS WITHIN THE STATUTORY PRICE LIMITATION.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, SEPTEMBER 13, 1941:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1941, FORWARDING A LETTER, WITH ENCLOSURE, FROM THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, NAVY DEPARTMENT, DATED AUGUST 29, 1941, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER EMERGENCY PURCHASES OF TYPEWRITERS MAY BE MADE OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES AT PRICES IN EXCESS OF THE STATUTORY PRICE LIMITATION CONTAINED IN THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT, 1942.

THE LETTER FROM THE CHIEF, BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, IS AS FOLLOWS:

1. THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT, 1942 ( PUBLIC, NO. 88, 77TH CONGRESS) APPROVED MAY 31, 1941, PROVIDES:

"NO PART OF ANY MONEY APPROPRIATED BY THIS OR ANY OTHER ACT SHALL BE USED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1942 FOR THE PURCHASE OF ANY STANDARD TYPEWRITING MACHINES * * * AT A PRICE IN EXCESS OF THE FOLLOWING FOR MODELS WITH CARRIAGES WHICH WILL ACCOMMODATE PAPER OF THE FOLLOWING WIDTHS, TO WIT: TEN INCHES (CORRESPONDENCE MODELS), $70; TWELVE INCHES, $75; FOURTEEN INCHES, $77.50; SIXTEEN INCHES, $82.50; EIGHTEEN INCHES, $87.50; TWENTY INCHES, $94; TWENTY-TWO INCHES, $95; TWENTY-FOUR INCHES, $97.50; TWENTY- SIX INCHES, $103.50; TWENTY-EIGHT INCHES, $104; THIRTY INCHES, $105; THIRTY-TWO INCHES, $107.50; OR, FOR STANDARD TYPEWRITER MACHINES DISTINCTIVELY QUIET IN OPERATION, THE MAXIMUM PRICES SHALL BE AS FOLLOWS FOR MODELS WITH CARRIAGES WHICH WILL ACCOMMODATE PAPER OF THE FOLLOWING WIDTHS, TO WIT: TEN INCHES, $80; TWELVE INCHES, $85; FOURTEEN INCHES, $90; EIGHTEEN INCHES, $95.'

2. IN CERTAIN NAVAL ACTIVITIES LOCATED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES IT HAS BECOME NECESSARY TO REQUEST PERMISSION TO MAKE EMERGENCY PURCHASES OF TYPEWRITERS LOCALLY ABOVE THE GENERAL SCHEDULE PRICE. THE LOWEST MARKET PRICE AT WHICH TYPEWRITERS ARE AVAILABLE IS APPROXIMATELY 18 PERCENT ABOVE THE PRICES SET FORTH IN THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT, QUOTED SUPRA.

3. IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT FURTHER SUCH INSTANCES WILL ARISE DURING THE PRESENT NATIONAL EMERGENCY AND IN ORDER TO EFFICIENTLY PROSECUTE THE WORK IN CONNECTION WITH CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS AND TO ADEQUATELY HANDLE INCREASED ACTIVITIES AT THESE OUTLYING NAVAL STATIONS PURCHASE OF TYPEWRITERS LOCALLY MAY BECOME NECESSARY. THE SUPPLY DEPARTMENT OF CERTAIN NAVAL ACTIVITIES IS PERMITTED TO CARRY A SMALL STOCK OF STANDARD TYPEWRITERS SUFFICIENT TO MEET NORMAL NEEDS. HOWEVER, THE EXIGENCIES OF THE PRESENT SITUATION PRECLUDE THE POSSIBILITY OF ANTICIPATING THE EXTENT OF EXPANSION REQUIREMENTS; ALSO, IT IS KNOWN THAT TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES ARE NOT NOW READILY AVAILABLE. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE EXCESS IN LOCAL PRICE ABOVE THE STATUTORY LIMIT PLACED ON THE PURCHASE OF TYPEWRITERS IS PARTIALLY DUE TO THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION. THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL HAS HELD WITH RESPECT TO THE PURCHASE OF AUTOMOBILES THAT THE STATUTORY PRICE LIMIT IS EXCLUSIVE OF THE COSTS OF TRANSPORTATION (14 COMP. GEN. 821; 17 ID. 854).

4. IT IS RECOMMENDED THEREFORE, THAT THE QUESTION BE PRESENTED TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL FOR DECISION, WHETHER EMERGENCY PURCHASES OF TYPEWRITERS MAY BE MADE OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES IN EXCESS OF THE STATUTORY PRICE LIMITATION CONTAINED IN THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT, 1942. IT IS REQUESTED THAT THIS CASE BE EXPEDITED IN VIEW OF THE APPARENT URGENCY OF THE SITUATION.

THE MATTER GIVING RISE TO THE PRESENT REQUEST FOR DECISION IS A DISPATCH FROM THE NAVY YARD AT CAVITE, DATED AUGUST 27, 1941, AS FOLLOWS:

BUREAU REPLYING NUMEROUS CAVITE DESPATCH REQUESTS AUTHORIZE LOCAL PURCHASE TYPEWRITERS PROVIDED NOT IN EXCESS GOVT. CONTRACT PRICES. CAN OBTAIN TYPEWRITERS LOCAL AGENCIES AT SCHEDULE PRICES PLUS FREIGHT INSURANCE ARRASTRE AND HANDLING CHARGES AMOUNTING ABOUT TEN DOLLARS PER UNIT. DUE INABILITY ANTICIPATE DEMAND OBLIGATIONS VARIOUS ACTIVITIES CONSTANTLY EXCEED TYPEWRITERS ON HAND AND DUE FROM US. REQUNS, ON HAND TOTAL 56 ALL MODELS INCLUDING SIX 9-INCH. THREE 13-INCH. THREE 17-INCH ALL WRITING FINE AND ONE TELEGRAPH TYPE FOR SECTION BASE MARIVELES WHICH ACTIVITY IMMEDIATELY REQUIRES ORIGINAL ALLOWANCE TYPEWRITERS IN ORDER OPERATE. REQUEST AUTHORITY LOCAL PURCHASE CONDITIONS ABOVE-MENTIONED AND BLANKET AUTHORITY LOCAL PURCHASE TYPEWRITERS SAME CONDITIONS WHEN URGENCY JUSTIFIES.

YOUR SUBMISSION FAILS TO STATE WHAT APPROPRIATION UNDER THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IS TO BE CHARGED WITH THE COST OF THE TYPEWRITERS PROPOSED TO BE PURCHASED UNDER THE PLAN SUGGESTED, BUT IT MAY BE PRESUMED THAT THE APPROPRIATION CONTAINS NO PROVISION EXCEPTING IT FROM THE PRICE LIMITATIONS CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF MAY 31, 1941, 55 STAT. 212, 226, QUOTED IN THE LETTER, SUPRA.

IN 6 COMP. GEN. 268, CONSTRUING A SIMILAR LIMITATION, IT WAS SAID:

THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF APRIL 4, 1924, 43 STAT. 67, PROHIBITING THE PURCHASE OF STANDARD TYPEWRITING MACHINES AT PRICES IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM THEREIN SPECIFIED AND ALSO REQUIRING THE EXCHANGE OF AN OLD MACHINE IN PART PAYMENT THEREFOR, ARE APPLICABLE TO THE PURCHASE OF TYPEWRITING MACHINES IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES AS WELL AS IN THE UNITED STATES.

IN COMP. GEN. 677, IT WAS HELD (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS) AS FOLLOWS:

IN DETERMINING WHETHER THE PURCHASE PRICE OF A PASSENGER-CARRYING MOTOR VEHICLE, EXCLUSIVE OF TRANSPORTATION COST, IS WITHIN THE STATUTORY LIMIT, THE TRANSPORTATION COST WHICH MAY BE DEDUCTED FROM THE DESTINATION BID PRICE IS THE ACTUAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION, AT THE LOWEST AVAILABLE RATE, OF THE FINISHED VEHICLE FROM THE DESIGNATED ASSEMBLY PLANT OR OTHER DESIGNATED POINT OF ORIGIN FROM WHICH IT IS ACTUALLY SHIPPED AS A FINISHED VEHICLE TO THE POINT AT WHICH IT IS DELIVERED TO THE GOVERNMENT, AND NOT THE TRANSPORTATION COST FROM SOME FACTORY WHERE THE INDIVIDUAL PARTS ARE MANUFACTURED. 17 COMP. GEN. 854, AMPLIFIED.

THE RULE STATED IN 20 COMP. GEN. 677 WOULD BE APPLICABLE ALSO TO THE PRICES OF TYPEWRITERS; THAT IS, THERE WOULD BE NO OBJECTION TO THE PAYMENT OF BONA FIDE TRANSPORTATION COSTS IN ADDITION TO THE MAXIMUM PRICES FIXED BY THE STATUTE. HOWEVER, IT IS APPARENT FROM THE LETTER OF THE CHIEF, BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, AND THE ACCOMPANYING DISPATCH THAT, WHILE THE EXCESS PRICE INCLUDES SOME TRANSPORTATION COSTS, SUCH EXCESS IS NOT EXCLUSIVELY TRANSPORTATION, BUT INCLUDES OTHER CHARGES, SUCH AS ARRASTRE AND HANDLING CHARGES, WHICH COULD NOT READILY BE SEGREGATED FROM TRANSPORTATION ITEMS. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES THERE WOULD BE NO LEGAL AUTHORITY IN THIS OFFICE TO APPROVE OR SANCTION THE PURCHASE OF TYPEWRITERS AT PRICES IN EXCESS OF THE PRICE LIMITATIONS FIXED BY THE CONGRESS MERELY BECAUSE THEY ARE TO BE USED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES. IN OTHER WORDS, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY IN THIS OFFICE TO READ INTO THE PLAIN STATUTORY INHIBITION AN EXCEPTION WHICH THE CONGRESS DID NOT SEE FIT TO PROVIDE FOR.