B-3389, MAY 11, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 839

B-3389: May 11, 1939

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IS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF THE PROPORTIONATE PART OF A JOINT RENTAL OF FURNITURE FOR USE IN SPACE ALLOTTED AT THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR. PROVIDED THE PURPOSE TO BE SERVED IS FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE REGULAR OFFICIAL TRADE PROMOTIONAL. THE SPACE IS FURNISHED GRATUITOUSLY TO THE ABOVE MENTIONED BUT THERE ARE CERTAIN MINOR EXPENSES NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH ITS OCCUPATION. THE WORLD'S FAIR AUTHORITIES INSIST THAT EACH OF THE FIVE OCCUPANTS OF THIS SPACE HAVE AN IDENTICAL TYPE AND KIND OF FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS AND HAVE MADE AN ARRANGEMENT WITH W. THE PROPORTIONATE CHARGE FOR THE SPACE OCCUPIED BY THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE WILL BE $400. AS NO ALLOTMENT HAS BEEN MADE BY THE WORLD'S FAIR COMMISSION IT IS NECESSARY THAT THIS EXPENSE BE BORNE FROM ONE OF OUR REGULAR APPROPRIATIONS.

B-3389, MAY 11, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 839

RENT - FURNITURE - NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR - AVAILABILITY OF PARTICIPATING FEDERAL DEPARTMENT, OR WORLD'S FAIR, APPROPRIATION THE APPROPRIATION "DISTRICT AND COOPERATIVE SERVICE" FOR THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE, IS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF THE PROPORTIONATE PART OF A JOINT RENTAL OF FURNITURE FOR USE IN SPACE ALLOTTED AT THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR, NOTWITHSTANDING THE JOINT RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING FEDERAL PARTICIPATION IN THE FAIR MAKES PROVISION FOR ALLOTMENTS TO PARTICIPATING FEDERAL AGENCIES, PROVIDED THE PURPOSE TO BE SERVED IS FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE REGULAR OFFICIAL TRADE PROMOTIONAL, ETC., DUTIES OF THE BUREAU, AND NOT FOR THE CONDUCTING OF AN EXHIBITION OR DEMONSTRATION AT THE FAIR OF THE BUREAU'S ACTIVITIES OR FUNCTIONS; BUT THE PROPORTIONAL RENTAL MUST BE PAID IN ARREARS IN SUCH INSTALLMENTS AS MAY BE AGREEABLE IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3648, REVISED STATUTES, PROHIBITING ADVANCE PAYMENTS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, MAY 11, 1939:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN THE MATTER SUBMITTED FOR DECISION IN YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 26, 1939, AS FOLLOWS:

A SPACE IN THE WORLD TRADE BUILDING AT THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR HAS BEEN ALLOTTED TO THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE OF THIS DEPARTMENT, THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE, THE INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, THE NATIONAL FOREIGN TRADE COUNCIL, AND THE AMERICAN ARBITRATION ASSOCIATION. THE SPACE IS FURNISHED GRATUITOUSLY TO THE ABOVE MENTIONED BUT THERE ARE CERTAIN MINOR EXPENSES NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH ITS OCCUPATION. THE WORLD'S FAIR AUTHORITIES INSIST THAT EACH OF THE FIVE OCCUPANTS OF THIS SPACE HAVE AN IDENTICAL TYPE AND KIND OF FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS AND HAVE MADE AN ARRANGEMENT WITH W. AND J. SLOANE COMPANY TO FURNISH THE NECESSARY FURNITURE, RUGS, ETC., FOR THE FIVE OCCUPANTS, AT A TOTAL COST OF $2,000.

THE PROPORTIONATE CHARGE FOR THE SPACE OCCUPIED BY THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE WILL BE $400, BUT AS NO ALLOTMENT HAS BEEN MADE BY THE WORLD'S FAIR COMMISSION IT IS NECESSARY THAT THIS EXPENSE BE BORNE FROM ONE OF OUR REGULAR APPROPRIATIONS. PUBLIC RESOLUTION NO. 53, 75TH CONGRESS, IT BEING A JOINT RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING FEDERAL PARTICIPATION IN THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR 1939, AMONG OTHER THINGS MAKES PROVISION NOT ONLY FOR THE ALLOTMENT OF FUNDS TO FEDERAL DEPARTMENTS PARTICIPATING BUT ALSO AUTHORIZES THE PURCHASE OR RENTAL OF FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT, ETC., BUT INASMUCH AS NO ALLOTMENT HAS BEEN MADE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE FOR THIS PURPOSE THIS AUTHORITY IS INEFFECTIVE INSOFAR AS OUR PRESENT PURPOSE IS CONCERNED.

THE APPROPRIATION "DISTRICT AND COOPERATIVE OFFICE SERVICE" FOR THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE PROVIDES:

"FOR ALL EXPENSES NECESSARY TO OPERATE AND MAINTAIN DISTRICT AND COOPERATIVE OFFICES, INCLUDING PERSONAL SERVICES, RENT OUTSIDE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, PURCHASE OF FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT, STATIONERY AND SUPPLIES, TYPEWRITING, ADDING AND COMPUTING MACHINES, ACCESSORIES AND REPAIRS, PURCHASE OF MAPS, BOOKS OF REFERENCE, AND PERIODICALS, REPORTS, DOCUMENTS, PLANS, SPECIFICATIONS, MANUSCRIPTS, NEWSPAPERS, BOTH FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC (NOT EXCEEDING $300), AND ALL OTHER PUBLICATIONS NECESSARY FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE COMMERCIAL INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER NECESSARY INCIDENTAL EXPENSES NOT INCLUDED IN THE FOREGOING.'

THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE WILL IN EFFECT HAVE A DISTRICT OFFICE IN THE WORLD TRADE BUILDING. OUR FOREIGN OFFICERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD HAVE BEEN INFORMED OF THE LOCATION OF THIS OFFICE AND HAVE BEEN REQUESTED TO INFORM THE BUREAU OF ALL IMPORTANT FOREIGN VISITORS AND DELEGATIONS WHO PLAN TO VISIT THE FAIR. UPON THEIR ARRIVAL AT THE FAIR THEY WILL BE APPROPRIATELY PROVIDED FOR WITHIN THE EXTENT OF THE SCOPE AND POSSIBILITIES OF THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE, WHICH WILL INCLUDE PLACING THEM IN CONTACT WITH SUCH BUSINESS INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES AS MAY BE DEEMED APPROPRIATE WITHIN THE SEVERAL SPHERES OF THEIR REQUIREMENTS.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT IT CAN BE TRUTHFULLY SAID THAT WE WILL TEMPORARILY HAVE A DISTRICT OFFICE IN THIS BUILDING IT OCCURS TO THE DEPARTMENT THAT THE RENTAL OF THE FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT REFERRED TO MAY BE APPROPRIATELY CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION "DISTRICT AND COOPERATIVE OFFICE SERVICE," NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT THE RENTAL OF FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT IS NOT PROVIDED. WERE IT A PERMANENT OFFICE WE HAVE AUTHORITY TO PURCHASE THE EQUIPMENT BUT IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT IT IS ONLY A TEMPORARY OFFICE AND WE HAVE ONLY A TEMPORARY NEED FOR IT, WE FEEL THAT THE APPROPRIATION ACT COULD BE CONSTRUED TO COVER RENTAL AS WELL AS ACTUAL PURCHASE.

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE DATE AS TO WHETHER THE SUM OF $400 COULD BE EXPENDED FROM THIS APPROPRIATION FOR THE PURPOSE MENTIONED. THE REASON FOR AN EARLY DECISION IS THE FACT THAT THE FAIR OPENS ON APRIL 30 AND WE SHOULD LIKE TO HAVE OUR OFFICE READY FOR OCCUPANCY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AFTER THE OPENING OF THE FAIR.

WHILE IT HAS BEEN ASCERTAINED INFORMALLY THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE APPARENTLY HAS NO DEFINITE PRESENT PLANS TO PARTICIPATE, AT LEAST FINANCIALLY, IN THE STATED ARRANGEMENTS, THIS IS NOT VIEWED AS MATERIALLY AFFECTING THE QUESTION PRESENTED FOR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE APPROPRIATION FOR "DISTRICT AND COOPERATIVE OFFICE SERVICE" UNDER THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE, IS LEGALLY AVAILABLE FOR THE PROPOSED EXPENDITURE.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT FOR MANY YEARS THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE HAS MAINTAINED DISTRICT AND COOPERATIVE OFFICES IN THE LARGER COMMERCIAL AND TRADE CENTERS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES-- DIRECTLY AND IN COOPERATION WITH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE AND SIMILAR ORGANIZATIONS--- TO DISSEMINATE STATISTICAL AND OTHER INFORMATION COLLECTED BY THE BUREAU, AND TO FURNISH ADVICE ON COMMERCIAL AND TRADE OPPORTUNITIES, IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE STATUTORY DUTIES OF THE BUREAU "TO FOSTER, PROMOTE, AND DEVELOP THE VARIOUS MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES OF THE UNITED STATES, AND MARKETS FOR THE SAME AT HOME AND ABROAD, DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN, BY GATHERING, COMPILING, PUBLISHING, AND SUPPLYING ALL AVAILABLE AND USEFUL INFORMATION CONCERNING SUCH INDUSTRIES AND SUCH MARKETS, AND BY SUCH OTHER METHODS AND MEANS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE OR PROVIDED BY LAW.' 15 U.S.C. 175. IT IS FURTHER UNDERSTOOD THAT IN THE PERFORMANCE OF SUCH REGULAR OFFICIAL DUTIES IT IS NOW PROPOSED, IN EFFECT, BY COOPERATION WITH THE NAMED ORGANIZATIONS, TO FURNISH SUCH DISTRICT OFFICE SERVICE AT THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR, TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPORTUNITY PRESENTED BY THE EXPECTED LARGE ATTENDANCE THERE OF BUYERS AND COMMERCIAL REPRESENTATIVES FROM ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD. THIS APPEARS CLEARLY A MATTER COMING WITHIN THE CITED REGULAR ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR PROVIDING THIS CHARACTER OF SERVICE, RATHER THAN WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF THE SPECIAL APPROPRIATION MADE PURSUANT TO THE JOINT RESOLUTION OF JULY 9, 1937, 50 STAT. 493, FOR THE GOVERNMENT'S PARTICIPATION BY EXHIBITS, ETC., IN THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR. AS THE CITED ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR SUCH DISTRICT AND COOPERATIVE OFFICE SERVICE IS EXPRESSLY AVAILABLE FOR RENTAL OF QUARTERS AND PURCHASE OF FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT FOR PROVIDING SUCH SERVICE, 52 STAT. 273, THERE WOULD APPEAR NO NECESSARY OBJECTION TO OBTAINING SUCH FACILITIES ON THE COOPERATIVE BASIS PROPOSED IF THAT BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE MORE ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT THAN THE ALTERNATIVE OF RENTING SPACE AND PURCHASING FURNITURE. IN VIEW OF SECTION 3648, REVISED STATUTES, HOWEVER, PROHIBITING ADVANCE PAYMENTS, THE BUREAU'S SHARE FOR RENTAL OF THE FURNITURE SHOULD BE PRORATED OVER THE PERIOD IT IS EXPECTED THE ARRANGEMENT WILL CONTINUE AND PAID IN ARREARS IN SUCH INSTALLMENTS AS MAY BE AGREEABLE.

ON THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE PROPOSED EXPENDITURE IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PERFORMING THE REGULAR OFFICIAL DUTIES OF THE BUREAU OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC COMMERCE CONTEMPLATED BY THE APPROPRIATION FOR "DISTRICT AND COOPERATIVE OFFICE SERVICE," AND IS NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONDUCTING AN EXHIBITION OR DEMONSTRATION AT THE FAIR OF THE ACTIVITIES AND FUNCTIONS OF THE BUREAU, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THE SAID APPROPRIATION IS AVAILABLE FOR SUCH PAYMENTS, OTHERWISE CORRECT AND PROPER, UNDER THE CONDITIONS STATED.