B-35967, AUGUST 4, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 82

B-35967: Aug 4, 1943

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PRIOR TO END OF FISCAL YEAR WHERE IT IS SHOWN THAT THE PRINTING AND BINDING OF A PUBLICATION WAS TO FULFILL A NEED WHICH AROSE DURING A PARTICULAR FISCAL YEAR. THAT THE ORDER FOR THE JOB WAS ACTUALLY ISSUED DURING THAT FISCAL YEAR. EVEN THOUGH ACTUAL DELIVERY OF THE COMPLETED WAS NOT ACCOMPLISHED UNTIL THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR. 1943: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 27. A REQUISITION WAS PLACED FOR THE PRINTING BY THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE OF A STANDARD LEGAL VOLUME BOOK OF DECISIONS AND ORDERS OF THE BITUMINOUS COAL DIVISION OF THIS DEPARTMENT. THE REQUISITION WAS ACCOMPANIED BY COMPLETE MANUSCRIPT MATERIAL IN FINAL FORM AND RECITED THAT THE SERVICE WAS TO BE CHARGED TO THE DIVISION'S APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1942.

B-35967, AUGUST 4, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 82

APPROPRIATIONS - FISCAL YEARS - AVAILABILITY BEYOND - PRINTING AND BINDING ORDERED, BUT NOT DELIVERED, PRIOR TO END OF FISCAL YEAR WHERE IT IS SHOWN THAT THE PRINTING AND BINDING OF A PUBLICATION WAS TO FULFILL A NEED WHICH AROSE DURING A PARTICULAR FISCAL YEAR, AND THAT THE ORDER FOR THE JOB WAS ACTUALLY ISSUED DURING THAT FISCAL YEAR, THE COST THEREOF MAY BE CHARGED TO THE PRINTING AND BINDING APPROPRIATION FOR SUCH FISCAL YEAR, EVEN THOUGH ACTUAL DELIVERY OF THE COMPLETED WAS NOT ACCOMPLISHED UNTIL THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, AUGUST 4, 1943:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 27, 1943, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE COST OF PRINTING AND BINDING A BOOK OF DECISIONS AND ORDERS OF THE THE BITUMINOUS COAL DIVISION MAY BE CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR THAT DIVISION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1942, THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES WITH RESPECT TO THE MATTER BEING STATED IN YOUR SUBMISSION AS FOLLOWS:

ON MAY 9, 1942, A REQUISITION WAS PLACED FOR THE PRINTING BY THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE OF A STANDARD LEGAL VOLUME BOOK OF DECISIONS AND ORDERS OF THE BITUMINOUS COAL DIVISION OF THIS DEPARTMENT. THE REQUISITION WAS ACCOMPANIED BY COMPLETE MANUSCRIPT MATERIAL IN FINAL FORM AND RECITED THAT THE SERVICE WAS TO BE CHARGED TO THE DIVISION'S APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1942, AND THE BOOKS OF THE DIVISION WERE ENCUMBERED ACCORDINGLY. THE REQUISITION ALSO SPECIFIED THAT DELIVERY WAS "TO BE MADE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.'

PREPARATIONS FOR THE PRINTING AND BINDING OF THE VOLUME REFERRED TO HAD BEEN UNDERWAY FOR A PERIOD OF SEVERAL MONTHS AND ON MAY 9, 1942, THE COMPILATIONS HAD BEEN COMPLETED IN FINAL FORM FOR TRANSMITTAL TO THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE. BECAUSE OF THE AMOUNT OF WORK INVOLVED, AND CONSIDERING WARTIME CONDITIONS ESPECIALLY, IT MAY NOT HAVE BEEN REASONABLE TO ANTICIPATE THAT THE JOB WOULD BE FINISHED BEFORE THE END OF THE 1942 FISCAL YEAR BUT THIS ANTICIPATION WAS IN FACT ENTERTAINED AND EFFORT MADE TOWARD ITS REALIZATION. THE FIRST GALLEY PROOFS WERE SUBMITTED UNDER DATE OF JUNE 16, 1942. THEREAFTER, THERE WERE DELAYS AND DELIVERY WAS NOT IN FACT EFFECTED UNTIL 1943.

IT SHOULD ALSO BE EMPHASIZED THAT RATHER THAN SERVE THE NEED OF ANY ONE FISCAL YEAR, IT WAS CONTEMPLATED THAT THE VOLUME REFERRED TO WOULD SERVE A CONTINUING NEED OF THE BITUMINOUS COAL DIVISION. ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS STATED, IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE COST INVOLVED, NAMELY $12,690.35, IS PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE DIVISION'S APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1942.

THIS MATTER IS OF MORE THAN ORDINARY IMPORTANCE BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT THE BITUMINOUS COAL ACT OF 1937, AS AMENDED, WILL EXPIRE BY ITS OWN LIMITATION ON AUGUST 23, 1943, AND APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR ITS ACTIVITIES ARE AVAILABLE ONLY THROUGH THAT DATE AND NO PROVISION HAS BEEN MADE FOR FUNDS TO WIND UP ITS AFFAIRS. * * *

THE APPROPRIATION FOR SALARIED AND EXPENSES OF THE BITUMINOUS COAL DIVISION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1942 AS MADE BY THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1941. STAT. 305, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

SALARIES AND EXPENSES: FOR ALL NECESSARY EXPENDITURES OF THE BITUMINOUS COAL DIVISION IN CARRYING OUT THE PURPOSES OF THE BITUMINOUS COAL ACT OF 1937, APPROVED APRIL 26, 1937 (50 STAT. 72), AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF APRIL 11, 1941 ( PUBLIC, NUMBERED 34), INCLUDING * * * PRINTING AND BINDING; * * *

SINCE SAID APPROPRIATION PROVIDES IN SPECIFIC TERMS FOR ITS AVAILABILITY FOR PRINTING AND BINDING THE ONLY QUESTION FOR CONSIDERATION IS WHETHER FUNDS THEREUNDER WERE OBLIGATED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1942 FOR THE COST OF THE PRINTING AND BINDING REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE GENERAL QUESTION OF INCURRING OBLIGATIONS FOR PRINTING AND BINDING, YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO CIRCULAR LETTER OF THIS OFFICE DATED SEPTEMBER 3, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 1159. AS STATED THEREIN, THE GENERAL RULE FOR LAWFULLY OBLIGATING A FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATION IS THAT THE SUPPLIES OR SERVICES ARE INTENDED TO SERVE A BONA FIDE NEED OF THE FISCAL YEAR IN WHICH THE NEED ARISES OR TO REPLACE STOCK USED DURING SUCH FISCAL YEAR. HOWEVER, IT HAS BEEN HELD BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS THAT THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE PRIOR FISCAL YEAR MAY BE CHARGED WITH SUCH COSTS WHENEVER IT IS DEFINITELY SHOWN THAT THE NEED EXISTED IN THE PRIOR FISCAL YEAR AND THAT THE AGREEMENT OR ORDER TO SUPPLY THIS NEED WAS MADE WITHIN SUCH PRIOR FISCAL YEAR. 21 COMP. DEC. 822; 27 ID. 640; 20 COMP. GEN. 436.

IN THE PRESENT CASE, AS IT DEFINITELY APPEARS FROM YOUR SUBMISSION THAT THE PRINTING AND BINDING INVOLVED WAS TO FULFILL A NEED WHICH AROSE DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1942 AND THAT THE ORDER FOR THE JOB WAS ACTUALLY ISSUED IN THAT FISCAL YEAR, THE COST THEREOF PROPERLY MAY BE CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1942.