B-35846, AUGUST 7, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 88

B-35846: Aug 7, 1943

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IS APPLICABLE TO ANY FUNDS TO THE CREDIT OF SPECIAL WORKING FUNDS AVAILABLE ON AND AFTER THE DATE OF THE SAID 1943 ACT. REGARDLESS OF WHETHER A CONTRACT HAS BEEN LET OR THE WORK HAD STARTED OR IS YET TO BEGIN. WHEN THE SERVICES TO BE RENDERED ARE WITHIN THE LIMITS OF WHAT WAS REQUISITIONED AND CONTEMPLATED WHEN SUCH FUNDS WERE ESTABLISHED. IN CASES WHERE SPECIAL WORKING FUNDS WERE ESTABLISHED PRIOR TO THE ACT OF JUNE 26. IT IS DESIRABLE THAT THE PROCURING AGENCY OBTAIN CONFIRMATION REQUESTS FROM THE REQUISITIONING AGENCIES BEFORE OBLIGATIONS ARE INCURRED SUBSEQUENT TO THE FISCAL YEAR 1943 AGAINST SUCH FUNDS. IS THE SAME AS IT APPEARED IN SAID SECTION 601. RECONSIDERATION IS NOT REQUIRED BY REASON OF THE NEW LAW OF PRIOR DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE IN RESPECT OF ORDERS AND REQUISITIONS PLACED WITH THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION TREASURY DEPARTMENT.

B-35846, AUGUST 7, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 88

SPECIAL WORKING FUNDS - PERIOD OF AVAILABILITY FOR OBLIGATION; SCOPE OF ACT OF JUNE 26, 1943 THE PROVISION IN THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1943, AMENDING SECTION 7 (C) OF THE ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 601 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, THAT ADVANCE PAYMENTS CREDITED TO SPECIAL WORKING FUNDS SHALL REMAIN AVAILABLE FOR OBLIGATION UNTIL THE APPROPRIATION INVOLVED LAPSES UNDER LAW TO THE SURPLUS FUND OF THE TREASURY, IS APPLICABLE TO ANY FUNDS TO THE CREDIT OF SPECIAL WORKING FUNDS AVAILABLE ON AND AFTER THE DATE OF THE SAID 1943 ACT, IF NOT OTHERWISE OBLIGATED, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER A CONTRACT HAS BEEN LET OR THE WORK HAD STARTED OR IS YET TO BEGIN, WHEN THE SERVICES TO BE RENDERED ARE WITHIN THE LIMITS OF WHAT WAS REQUISITIONED AND CONTEMPLATED WHEN SUCH FUNDS WERE ESTABLISHED. IN CASES WHERE SPECIAL WORKING FUNDS WERE ESTABLISHED PRIOR TO THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1943, AMENDING SECTION 7 (C) OF THE ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 6 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, TO PROVIDE THAT ADVANCE PAYMENTS CREDITED TO SPECIAL WORKING FUNDS SHALL REMAIN AVAILABLE FOR OBLIGATION UNTIL THE APPROPRIATION INVOLVED LAPSES UNDER LAW TO THE SURPLUS FUND OF THE TREASURY, IT IS DESIRABLE THAT THE PROCURING AGENCY OBTAIN CONFIRMATION REQUESTS FROM THE REQUISITIONING AGENCIES BEFORE OBLIGATIONS ARE INCURRED SUBSEQUENT TO THE FISCAL YEAR 1943 AGAINST SUCH FUNDS. WHERE, UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1943, AMENDING SECTION 7 (C) OF THE ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 601 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, THAT ORDERS PLACED WITH ONE GOVERNMENT AGENCY BY ANOTHER SUCH AGENCY SHALL BE CONSIDERED AS OBLIGATIONS UPON APPROPRIATIONS IN THE SAME MANNER AS ORDERS OR CONTRACTS PLACED WITH PRIVATE CONTRACTORS, IS THE SAME AS IT APPEARED IN SAID SECTION 601, AND, THEREFORE, RECONSIDERATION IS NOT REQUIRED BY REASON OF THE NEW LAW OF PRIOR DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE IN RESPECT OF ORDERS AND REQUISITIONS PLACED WITH THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION TREASURY DEPARTMENT, AND THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, AUGUST 7, 1943:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 20, 1943 ( DA), REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER, UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1943, PUBLIC LAW 94, UNOBLIGATED BALANCES OF WORKING FUNDS, THERETOFORE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE, REMAIN AVAILABLE FOR OBLIGATION DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1944, AND, ALSO, REQUESTING "A RECONSIDERATION OF RENDERED DECISIONS AS THEY AFFECT ORDERS PLACED WITH THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT FOR MATERIALS, SUPPLIES, EQUIPMENT AND OTHER NECESSARY ITEMS, AND REQUISITIONS UPON THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE FOR PRINTING AND BINDING.'

THE ACT IN QUESTION AMENDS SECTION 7 (C) OF THE ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, 41 STAT. 613, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 601 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 417, TO PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

(C) ORDERS PLACED AS PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION (A) SHALL BE CONSIDERED AS OBLIGATIONS UPON APPROPRIATIONS IN THE SAME MANNER AS ORDERS OR CONTRACTS PLACED WITH PRIVATE CONTRACTORS. ADVANCE PAYMENTS CREDITED TO SPECIAL WORKING FUNDS SHALL REMAIN AVAILABLE TO THE PROCURING AGENCY FOR ENTERING INTO CONTRACTS AND OTHER USES DURING THE FISCAL YEAR OR YEARS FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION INVOLVED WAS MADE AND THEREAFTER UNTIL SAID APPROPRIATION LAPSES UNDER THE LAW TO THE SURPLUS FUND OF THE TREASURY.

THUS, IT IS TO FUNDS "CREDITED TO SPECIAL WORKING FUNDS" THAT THE ACT IS DIRECTED AND UPON WHICH IT OPERATES AND WITH RESPECT TO WHICH IT PROVIDES THAT THEY SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR OBLIGATION DURING THE FISCAL YEAR OR YEARS FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION INVOLVED WAS MADE AND THEREAFTER UNTIL SAID APPROPRIATION LAPSES UNDER LAW TO THE SURPLUS FUND OF THE TREASURY. ACCORDINGLY, SUCH PROVISION IS APPLICABLE TO ANY FUNDS TO THE CREDIT OF SPECIAL WORKING FUNDS AVAILABLE TO YOUR DEPARTMENT ON AND AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ACT IN QUESTION, IF NOT OTHERWISE OBLIGATED, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER A CONTRACT HAS BEEN LET OR THE WORK HAD STARTED OR IS YET TO BEGIN, WHEN THE SERVICES TO BE RENDERED BY YOUR DEPARTMENT ARE WITHIN THE LIMITS OF WHAT WAS REQUISITIONED AND CONTEMPLATED WHEN SUCH FUNDS WERE ESTABLISHED. HOWEVER, AS TO SUCH WORKING FUNDS AS WERE ESTABLISHED PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE ACT IN QUESTION, IT IS CONCEIVABLE THAT IN SOME INSTANCES THE REQUISITIONING AGENCY DID NOT CONTEMPLATE OBLIGATIONS BY YOUR DEPARTMENT SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE 30, 1943. HENCE, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT, AS TO THOSE CASES, YOUR DEPARTMENT OBTAIN CONFIRMATION REQUESTS FROM THE REQUISITIONING AGENCIES BEFORE OBLIGATIONS ARE INCURRED AGAINST SUCH FUNDS. ALSO, IT IS REQUESTED THAT TO FACILITATE AUDITING BY THIS OFFICE, THE VOUCHERS CHARGING A WORKING FUND OF A PRIOR FISCAL YEAR SPECIFICALLY CITE THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1943, SUPRA, AS AUTHORITY FOR INCURRING THE OBLIGATIONS.

THE REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DECISIONS RELATING TO ORDERS PLACED WITH THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT AND REQUISITIONS COVERING PRINTING AND BINDING APPEARS TO BE PREDICATED UPON THE PROVISIONS OF THE FIRST SENTENCE OF SECTION (C) OF THE ABOVE QUOTED LAW.

SAID SENTENCE IS THE SAME AS IT APPEARED IN SECTION 601 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 418; AND SINCE NO CHANGE APPEARS IN THE LAW IN THIS PARTICULAR FROM THAT OBTAINING WHEN THE DECISIONS WERE RENDERED, IT IS NOT APPARENT WHY ANY RECONSIDERATION OF PRIOR DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE IN RESPECT OF ORDERS AND REQUISITIONS PLACED WITH THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION AND GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, RESPECTIVELY, IS REQUIRED BY REASON OF THE NEW LAW.

FURTHERMORE, THE PLACING OF ORDERS WITH THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION FOR THE PURCHASE OF SUPPLIES, ETC., INVOLVES TRANSACTIONS SEPARATE AND APART FROM THOSE CONTEMPLATED UNDER PUBLIC LAW 94, SUPRA. THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION IN SUCH INSTANCES ACTS AS THE PROCURING AGENCY UNDER THE RELATIONSHIP OF PRINCIPAL AND AGENT AND DOES NOT OCCUPY A POSITION SIMILAR TO THAT OF A CONTRACTOR. ACCORDINGLY, THE PLACING OF SUCH ORDERS IS MERELY A PRELIMINARY STEP TO THE ACTUAL INCURRING OF AN EXPENSE OR THE MAKING OF A CONTRACT FOR SUPPLIES, ETC., AND NO OBLIGATION OF FUNDS IS INCURRED AT THE TIME SUCH INITIAL ACTION IS TAKEN. 17 COMP. GEN. 379; 22 ID. 156. NOR, DOES THE PLACING OF AN ORDER FOR PRINTING AND BINDING WITH THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE--- THE AUTHORITY FOR WHICH DOES NOT STEM FROM SECTION 7 (C) OF THE ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, 41 STAT. 613, AS AMENDED--- AT ALL TIMES AND UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES OBLIGATE A DEPARTMENTAL APPROPRIATION. THIS CONNECTION SEE 21 COMP. GEN. 1159. HENCE, A RECONSIDERATION OF THE DECISIONS TO WHICH YOU REFER--- BUT DO NOT IDENTIFY--- WILL NOT BE UNDERTAKEN AT THIS TIME.