B-20973, OCTOBER 16, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 339

B-20973: Oct 16, 1941

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- TO THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN MADE IS A LEGAL AND PROPER CHARGE AGAINST THE APPROPRIATION. 1941: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 2. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO OUR TELEPHONE CONVERSATION THIS AFTERNOON RELATIVE TO CERTAIN TRADE PUBLICATIONS THAT ARE NECESSARY IN MAKING OUR RESEARCH OF TRANSPORTATION CONDITIONS. JOURNAL OF LAND AND PUBLIC UTILITY ECONOMICS HAVE CURRENT INFORMATION THAT IS NECESSARY IN OUR INVESTIGATION AND RESEARCH FOR TRANSPORTATION. THESE ARE TECHNICAL PUBLICATIONS FROM OUR POINT OF VIEW. THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION SUBSCRIBES TO A NUMBER OF THESE PUBLICATIONS AND WE WERE OF THE OPINION THAT WE COULD DO LIKEWISE AS THEY ARE NECESSARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON TRAFFIC MATTERS.

B-20973, OCTOBER 16, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 339

PERIODICALS - PURCHASE AUTHORITY IMPLIED FROM APPROPRIATION PURPOSE NOTWITHSTANDING THE RESTRICTION IN SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 15, 1898, AGAINST THE PURCHASE OF PERIODICALS, BOOKS OF REFERENCE, ETC., UNLESS THE APPROPRIATION SHALL SPECIFICALLY PROVIDE THEREFOR, THE COST OF SUBSCRIPTIONS TO SUCH PERIODICALS AS MAY BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE INDISPENSABLE--- AS DISTINGUISHED FROM MERELY DESIRABLE OR HELPFUL--- TO THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN MADE IS A LEGAL AND PROPER CHARGE AGAINST THE APPROPRIATION, EVEN THOUGH THE APPROPRIATION MAKES NO SPECIFIC MENTION OF PERIODICALS, ETC.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF INVESTIGATION AND RESEARCH, OCTOBER 16, 1941:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 2, 1941, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO OUR TELEPHONE CONVERSATION THIS AFTERNOON RELATIVE TO CERTAIN TRADE PUBLICATIONS THAT ARE NECESSARY IN MAKING OUR RESEARCH OF TRANSPORTATION CONDITIONS.

TRAFFIC WORLD, RAILWAY AGE, OFFICIAL RAILWAY GUIDE, RAILWAY EQUIPMENT REGISTER, WATERWAYS JOURNAL, MARINE JOURNAL, WALL STREET JOURNAL, PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY, AND JOURNAL OF LAND AND PUBLIC UTILITY ECONOMICS HAVE CURRENT INFORMATION THAT IS NECESSARY IN OUR INVESTIGATION AND RESEARCH FOR TRANSPORTATION. THESE ARE TECHNICAL PUBLICATIONS FROM OUR POINT OF VIEW. THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION SUBSCRIBES TO A NUMBER OF THESE PUBLICATIONS AND WE WERE OF THE OPINION THAT WE COULD DO LIKEWISE AS THEY ARE NECESSARY SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON TRAFFIC MATTERS. HOWEVER, WE UNDERSTAND THAT A SPECIAL PROVISION IS MADE IN THE APPROPRIATION BILL FOR THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION THAT IS NOT EMBRACED IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR THIS DEPARTMENT FOR PUBLICATIONS OF THIS NATURE AND FOR THAT REASON THERE IS SOME QUESTION AS TO WHETHER WE CAN SUBSCRIBE TO THESE PUBLICATIONS.

AS STATED ABOVE THE PUBLICATIONS ARE NECESSARY TO ENABLE THE BOARD TO PERFORM THE DUTIES AUTHORIZED UNDER PART I, TITLE III, OF THE TRANSPORTATION ACT AND WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT SAME WOULD BE NECESSARY EXPENSES UNDER THE APPROPRIATION ACT. THE NUMBERS OF SUBSCRIPTIONS AND PRICES OF SAME DESIRED BY THIS DEPARTMENT ARE AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

YEARLY

RATE 5 ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS, TRAFFIC WORLD ------------- EACH ---- $ 7.50 5 ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS, RAILWAY AGE --------------- EACH ---- 6.00 1 ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION, OFFICIAL RAILWAY GUIDE -------------- 18.00 1 ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION, RAILWAY EQUIPMENT REGISTER ---------- 10.00 1 ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION, WATERWAYS JOURNAL -------------------- 3.50 1 ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION, MARINE JOURNAL -----------------------

2.00 1 ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION, WALL STREET JOURNAL ----------------- 17.65 1 ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION, PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY -------- 15.00 1 ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION, JOURNAL OF LAND AND PUBLIC

UTILITY ECONOMICS --------------------------------------- 5.00

WE WOULD THANK YOU TO ADVISE WHETHER WE CAN SUBSCRIBE TO THE ABOVE PUBLICATIONS AS NECESSARY INFORMATION FOR OUR DEPARTMENT.

SECTION 302 OF THE TRANSPORTATION ACT, APPROVED SEPTEMBER 18, 1940, 54 STAT. 953, PRESCRIBES THE DUTIES OF THE BOARD AS FOLLOWS:

(A) IT SHALL BE THE DUTY OF THE BOARD TO INVESTIGATE---

(1)THE RELATIVE ECONOMY AND FITNESS OF CARRIERS BY RAILROAD, MOTOR CARRIERS, AND WATER CARRIERS FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICE, OR ANY PARTICULAR CLASSES OR DESCRIPTIONS THEREOF, WITH THE VIEW OF DETERMINING THE SERVICE FOR WHICH EACH TYPE OF CARRIER IS ESPECIALLY FITTED OR UNFITTED; THE METHODS BY WHICH EACH TYPE CAN AND SHOULD BE DEVELOPED SO THAT THERE MAY BE PROVIDED A NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM ADEQUATE TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE COMMERCE OF THE UNITED STATES, OF THE POSTAL SERVICE, AND OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE;

(2) THE EXTENT TO WHICH RIGHT-OF-WAY OR OTHER TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES AND SPECIAL SERVICES HAVE BEEN OR ARE PROVIDED FROM PUBLIC FUNDS FOR THE USE, WITHIN THE TERRITORIAL LIMITS OF THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, OF EACH OF THE THREE TYPES OF CARRIERS WITHOUT ADEQUATE COMPENSATION, DIRECT OR INDIRECT, THEREFOR, AND THE EXTENT TO WHICH SUCH CARRIERS HAVE BEEN OR ARE AIDED BY DONATIONS OF PUBLIC PROPERTY, PAYMENTS FROM PUBLIC FUNDS IN EXCESS OF ADEQUATE COMPENSATION FOR SERVICES RENDERED IN RETURN THEREFOR, OR EXTENSIONS OF GOVERNMENT CREDIT; AND

(3) THE EXTENT TO WHICH TAXES ARE IMPOSED UPON SUCH CARRIERS BY THE UNITED STATES, AND THE SEVERAL STATES, AND BY OTHER AGENCIES OF GOVERNMENT, INCLUDING COUNTY, MUNICIPAL, DISTRICT, AND LOCAL AGENCIES.

(B) THE BOARD IS FURTHER AUTHORIZED, IN ITS DISCRETION, TO INVESTIGATE OR CONSIDER ANY OTHER MATTER RELATING TO RAIL CARRIERS, MOTOR CARRIERS, OR WATER CARRIERS, WHICH IT MAY DEEM IMPORTANT TO INVESTIGATE FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF TRANSPORTATION CONDITIONS AND TO EFFECTUATE THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION POLICY DECLARED IN THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT, AS AMENDED.

THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE EXPENSES OF YOUR BOARD FOUND IN THE FIRST SUPPLEMENTAL DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT, APPROVED AUGUST 25, 1941, PUBLIC, 247, 55 STAT. 682, IS AS FOLLOWS:

BOARD OF INVESTIGATION AND RESEARCH: FOR ALL NECESSARY EXPENSES TO ENABLE THE BOARD OF INVESTIGATION AND RESEARCH TO PERFORM THE DUTIES AUTHORIZED UNDER PART 1 OF TITLE III OF THE TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 1940, INCLUDING PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND ELSEWHERE, TRAVELING EXPENSES, PRINTING AND BINDING, FISCAL YEAR 1942, $100,000.

SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 15, 1898, 30 STAT. 316, PROVIDES:

THAT HEREAFTER LAW BOOKS, BOOKS OF REFERENCE, AND PERIODICALS FOR USE OF ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, OR OTHER GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENT NOT UNDER AN EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, AT THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT SHALL NOT BE PURCHASED OR PAID FOR FROM ANY APPROPRIATION MADE FOR CONTINGENT EXPENSES OR FOR ANY SPECIFIC OR GENERAL PURPOSE UNLESS SUCH PURCHASE IS AUTHORIZED AND PAYMENT THEREFOR SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THE LAW GRANTING THE APPROPRIATION.

I FIND THAT THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES FOR PURCHASE AND EXCHANGE OF NECESSARY BOOKS, REPORTS, AND PERIODICALS, THUS SATISFYING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ABOVE ACT OF 1898. THE APPROPRIATION FOR YOUR BOARD DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY MENTION PERIODICALS, BOOKS OF REFERENCE, OR MAGAZINES. HOWEVER, IN 22 COMP. DEC. 317, THE FORMER COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY HELD THAT---

REFERENCE BOOKS OR PERIODICALS THE PURCHASE OF WHICH IS NOT MERELY DESIRABLE BUT INDISPENSABLE TO THE ACCOMPLISHMENT, BY AN EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, OF A SPECIFIC PURPOSE FOR WHICH A SPECIAL APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN MADE MAY BE PURCHASED FROM SUCH APPROPRIATION, ALTHOUGH NOT IN TERMS PROVIDED FOR THEREIN, NOTWITHSTANDING THE ACT OF MARCH 15, 1898.

SEE, ALSO, 2 COMP. GEN. 133; DECISION A-17495, SEPTEMBER 7, 1927; AND DECISION A-22059, APRIL 2, 1928. CONSEQUENTLY, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THE COST OF SUBSCRIPTIONS TO SUCH OF THE ABOVE-LISTED PUBLICATIONS, IF ANY, AS THE BOARD MAY DETERMINE TO BE INDISPENSABLE--- AS DISTINGUISHED FROM MERELY DESIRABLE OR HELPFUL--- TO THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE PURPOSES INDICATED IN SECTION 302 OF PART I OF TITLE III OF THE TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 1940 MAY BE REGARDED AS A LEGAL AND PROPER CHARGE UNDER THE APPROPRIATION HERE INVOLVED. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE PLAIN TERMS OF SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 15, 1898, SUPRA, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY LANGUAGE IN THE APPROPRIATION SPECIFICALLY SO PROVIDING, THE USE OF SAID APPROPRIATION TO PAY FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS TO PUBLICATIONS WHICH ARE MERELY DESIRABLE OR HELPFUL TO THE BOARD IN THE PERFORMANCE OF ITS DUTIES IS NOT AUTHORIZED.