B-29324, OCTOBER 24, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 390

B-29324: Oct 24, 1942

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TELETYPE NEWS SERVICE IS TO BE CONSIDERED AS SUBJECT TO STATUTORY LIMITATIONS ON THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS ONLY WHEN THE PURPOSE TO BE SERVED BY SUCH TELETYPE SERVICE IS SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME AS THAT SERVED BY NEWSPAPERS. 14 COMP. WHERE THE USE OF TELETYPE NEWS SERVICE INSTEAD OF NEWSPAPERS IS ESSENTIAL TO THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE FOREIGN BROADCAST ANALYSIS AND RADIO MONITORING WORK OF THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION FOR WHICH AN APPROPRIATION WAS MADE BY THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT. A CONTRACT FOR SUCH TELETYPE SERVICE IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS AND PAYMENTS THEREFOR ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE $50 LIMITATION IMPOSED BY SECTION 6 OF THE SAID APPROPRIATION ACT ON THE AMOUNT OF THE COMMISSION'S FUNDS WHICH MAY BE USED FOR THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS.

B-29324, OCTOBER 24, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 390

CONTRACT FOR TELETYPE NEWS SERVICE AS CONSTITUTING PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS GENERALLY SPEAKING, TELETYPE NEWS SERVICE IS TO BE CONSIDERED AS SUBJECT TO STATUTORY LIMITATIONS ON THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS ONLY WHEN THE PURPOSE TO BE SERVED BY SUCH TELETYPE SERVICE IS SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME AS THAT SERVED BY NEWSPAPERS. 14 COMP. GEN. 109, AMPLIFIED. WHERE THE USE OF TELETYPE NEWS SERVICE INSTEAD OF NEWSPAPERS IS ESSENTIAL TO THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE FOREIGN BROADCAST ANALYSIS AND RADIO MONITORING WORK OF THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION FOR WHICH AN APPROPRIATION WAS MADE BY THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1943, A CONTRACT FOR SUCH TELETYPE SERVICE IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS AND PAYMENTS THEREFOR ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE $50 LIMITATION IMPOSED BY SECTION 6 OF THE SAID APPROPRIATION ACT ON THE AMOUNT OF THE COMMISSION'S FUNDS WHICH MAY BE USED FOR THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, OCTOBER 24, 1942:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 1, 1942, AS FOLLOWS:

DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1942 THE COMMISSION OBTAINED TELETYPEWRITER NEWS SERVICE FROM THE WASHINGTON CITY NEWS ASSOCIATION, UNDER CONTRACT NO. RC- 1985, AT A RATE OF $75.00 PER MONTH. IT IS PROPOSED TO MAKE A SIMILAR CONTRACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1943. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF DECISIONS OF YOUR OFFICE TO THE EFFECT THAT IN CERTAIN INSTANCES A TELETYPEWRITER NEWS SERVICE IS A SUBSTITUTE FOR NEWSPAPERS AND, AS THE COMMISSION'S APPROPRIATION, PUBLIC 630, 77TH CONGRESS, SEC. 6, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR BEING LIMITED TO $50.00 COVERING PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS, YOUR OPINION IS DESIRED AS TO WHETHER SUCH A CONTRACT AND PAYMENT THEREUNDER IS VALID IN THE LIGHT OF THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES:

THE FOREIGN BROADCAST INTELLIGENCE SERVICE EDITING ACTIVITIES IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE COMMISSION IN THAT IT PRODUCES HOURLY NEWS INTELLIGENCE TO THE ARMY, NAVY AND OTHER FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WAR AGENCIES. THIS SERVICE IS ENGAGED IN THE RAPID EDITING OF FOREIGN BROADCAST NEWS AND INTELLIGENCE MATERIAL BEING RECEIVED BY LISTENING STATIONS. THE OPERATION THEREOF REQUIRES A CONSTANT RAPID CHECK OF NAMES, PLACES AND OTHER DETAILS OF NEWS, ESPECIALLY NECESSARY DUE TO THE FREQUENT LAPSES AND DIFFICULTIES, BECAUSE OF TECHNICAL REASONS, INVOLVED IN LISTENING TO FOREIGN VOICE BROADCASTS.

FURTHERMORE, THIS TELETYPE NEWS SERVICE IS A NECESSARY REQUIREMENT IN CHECKING THE CONTENT OF THE MINUTE-TO-MINUTE NEWS AS GIVEN OUT ON COMMERCIAL WIRES. IT ENABLES THE COMMISSION FROM WORKING IN A VACUUM, AWAY FROM ANY IMMEDIATE CHECKS.

IT IS NOT TOO MUCH TO STATE THAT THE ELIMINATION OF THE SERVICE, COMPRISED OF NEWS FROM THE DIFFERENT PRESS ORGANIZATIONS, WOULD BE CUTTING OFF ONE OF THE LEGS OF THE ESSENTIAL OPERATING STRUCTURE.

THE PAYMENT FOR THIS SERVICE, IF APPROVED, IS CHARGEABLE TO THE COMMISSION'S APPROPRIATION, SYMBOL 2730103.001, SALARIES AND EXPENSES, NATIONAL DEFENSE, F.C.C. 1943.

OBVIOUSLY, AN EARLY REPLY WILL BE APPRECIATED.

SECTION 6 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1943, APPROVED JUNE 27, 1942, 56 STAT. 422, PUBLIC LAW 630, PROVIDES:

WHERE APPROPRIATIONS IN THIS ACT ARE EXPENDABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS AND NO SPECIFIC LIMITATION HAS BEEN PLACED THEREON, THE EXPENDITURES THEREFOR UNDER EACH SUCH APPROPRIATION MAY NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT OF $50, BUT THIS LIMITATION SHALL NOT APPLY TO THE OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT REPORTS AND THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM: PROVIDED, THAT THIS LIMITATION SHALL NOT APPLY TO THE PURCHASE OF SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL, TRADE, OR TRAFFIC PERIODICALS NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF THE AUTHORIZED FUNCTIONS OF THE AGENCIES FOR WHICH FUNDS ARE HEREIN PROVIDED.

IN 14 COMP. GEN. 109, IT WAS HELD (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS) THAT:

A TELETYPE MACHINE FOR THE PURPOSE OF FURNISHING NEWS TICKER SERVICE, BEING FOR ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES, A SUBSTITUTE FOR NEWSPAPERS, IS SUBJECT TO THE GENERAL LIMITATION IN SECTION 192, REVISED STATUTES, LIMITING THE AMOUNT WHICH MAY BE EXPENDED IN ANY ONE YEAR BY ANY DEPARTMENT EXCEPT THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE FOR NEWSPAPERS TO $100.

HOWEVER, SAID DECISION DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A RULING THAT TELETYPE SERVICE IS AT ALL TIMES AND UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES TO BE CONSIDERED A SUBSTITUTE FOR NEWSPAPERS AND AS SUCH COMPREHENDED BY THE VARIOUS STATUTORY LIMITATIONS ON AMOUNTS EXPENDABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS. GENERALLY SPEAKING, IT IS ONLY WHEN THE PURPOSE TO BE SERVED BY TELETYPE NEWS SERVICE IS SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME AS THAT SERVED BY NEWSPAPERS THAT THEY ARE TO BE CONSIDERED IN THE SAME LIGHT.

THE APPROPRIATION " SALARIES AND EXPENSES, NATIONAL DEFENSE, FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION," PROPOSED TO BE CHARGED WITH THE EXPENSE OF SAID TELETYPE NEWS SERVICE, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

FOR ALL EXPENSES * * * NECESSARY TO ENABLE THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION * * * TO PERFORM ITS FUNCTIONS RELATED TO NATIONAL DEFENSE, INCLUDING RADIO MONITORING AND FOREIGN BROADCAST ANALYSIS, INCLUDING ALL OF THE ITEMS OF EXPENDITURE FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION ,SALARIES AND EXPENSES, FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION" IS AVAILABLE * * *. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

IT APPEARS FROM YOUR LETTER THAT IT IS ESSENTIAL IN CONNECTION WITH THE WORK OF YOUR COMMISSION IN FOREIGN BROADCAST ANALYSIS THAT THERE BE MAINTAINED "A CONSTANT RAPID CHECK OF NAMES, PLACES AND OTHER DETAILS OF NEWS" AND IN THE WORK OF RADIO MONITORING A CHECK ON "MINUTE-TO- MINUTE NEWS AS GIVEN OUT ON COMMERCIAL WIRES.' OBVIOUSLY, SUCH RESULTS ARE POSSIBLE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT BY THE PROPOSED TELETYPE NEWS SERVICE ONLY BY REASON OF THE CELERITY WITH WHICH NEWS IS THEREBY TRANSMITTED AND RECEIVED. AND IT WOULD APPEAR EQUALLY AS OBVIOUS THAT THE SAME RESULTS COULD NOT BE ACCOMPLISHED BY THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS.

UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, IT MAY BE CONCLUDED THAT A CONTRACT FOR TELETYPE NEWS SERVICE IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS INSOFAR AS SUCH SERVICE IS REQUIRED FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE APPROPRIATION INVOLVED, AND THAT, THEREFORE, THE LIMITATION CONTAINED IN SAID SECTION 6 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1943, IS INAPPLICABLE TO PAYMENTS UNDER SUCH CONTRACT.