B-42897, JULY 6, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 14

B-42897: Jul 6, 1944

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STANDARD FORMS AND BLANK BOOKS - STOCKING IN PROCUREMENT DIVISION WAREHOUSES FOR RESALE TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES STANDARD FORMS AND BLANK BOOK WORK ARE PRINTING AND BINDING ITEMS. IS UNAUTHORIZED. 1944: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 21. IS FURTHER STATED IN THE LETTER THAT BASED ON A MANUSCRIPT DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL (A-89775. THE PURPOSE OF OBTAINING THIS CLASS OF PRINTING AND BINDING IS TO FURNISH STOCK IN THE WAREHOUSES OF THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION. THE AGENCIES LOCATED WITHIN THE AREAS OF THE WAREHOUSES WILL PURCHASE THIS TYPE OF PRINTING AND BINDING FROM THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION WAREHOUSES INSTEAD OF FROM THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE. STANDARD FORMS AND BLANK BOOK WORK ARE CONSIDERED AS PRINTING AND BINDING ITEMS AND NOT AS SUPPLIES.

B-42897, JULY 6, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 14

STANDARD FORMS AND BLANK BOOKS - STOCKING IN PROCUREMENT DIVISION WAREHOUSES FOR RESALE TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES STANDARD FORMS AND BLANK BOOK WORK ARE PRINTING AND BINDING ITEMS, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM SUPPLIES. THE STOCKING OF STANDARD FORMS AND BLANK BOOKS IN THE WAREHOUSES OF THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, FOR RESALE TO THE SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS, ESTABLISHMENTS, AND AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT WOULD BE CONTRARY TO THE REQUIREMENTS PRESCRIBED IN TITLE 44, U.S. CODE, WITH RESPECT TO THE PROCUREMENT OF PRINTING AND BINDING FROM THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE AND, THEREFORE, IS UNAUTHORIZED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE PUBLIC PRINTER, JULY 6, 1944:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 21, 1944, AS FOLLOWS:

THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET, BY LETTER DATED JUNE 16, 1944, COPY ATTACHED, STATES IN PART THAT THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION OF THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT DESIRES TO SECURE STANDARD FORMS AND BLANK BOOK WORK BY PLACING REQUISITIONS WITH THE PUBLIC PRINTER AND HAVING ITS GENERAL SUPPLY FUND CHARGED FOR THE COST OF THE PRINTING AND BINDING INVOLVED. IS FURTHER STATED IN THE LETTER THAT BASED ON A MANUSCRIPT DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL (A-89775, JULY 28, 1943) AND THE HANDLING OF THESE PRINTED MATERIALS AS A STOCK SUPPLY, ITS GENERAL SUPPLY FUND CAN BE USED. THE PURPOSE OF OBTAINING THIS CLASS OF PRINTING AND BINDING IS TO FURNISH STOCK IN THE WAREHOUSES OF THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, LOCATED THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES. IN TURN, THE AGENCIES LOCATED WITHIN THE AREAS OF THE WAREHOUSES WILL PURCHASE THIS TYPE OF PRINTING AND BINDING FROM THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION WAREHOUSES INSTEAD OF FROM THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, AS APPEARS TO BE REQUIRED BY LAW.

STANDARD FORMS AND BLANK BOOK WORK ARE CONSIDERED AS PRINTING AND BINDING ITEMS AND NOT AS SUPPLIES. THIS CLASSIFICATION HAS BEEN SO STATED IN REGULATIONS OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING AND IN DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL, AMONG WHICH ARE 7 C.G. 411, 8 C.G. 317, 9 C.G. 493, AND 18 C.G. 565. IT FURTHER APPEARS TO THIS OFFICE THAT THE CONTEMPLATED PROCEDURE IS CONTRARY TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF LAW APPLICABLE TO THE DEPARTMENTS, THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING AND THE PUBLIC PRINTER ( U.S.C. TITLE 31, SECTION 588 AND TITLE 44, SECTIONS 4, 33, 35, 117, AND 213).

THIS MATTER HAS BEEN REFERRED TO THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION AND THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET AT VARIOUS TIMES OVER THE PAST EIGHT MONTHS, AND THERE IS ALSO ATTACHED A COPY OF OUR LETTER DATED DECEMBER 13, 1943, TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT TO THE SECRETARY, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, CONCERNING THIS SUBJECT. THIS LETTER, ALTHOUGH REFERRING SPECIFICALLY TO PURCHASE ORDERS AS DISTINGUISHED FROM REQUISITIONS, WILL FURNISH FURTHER INFORMATION AS TO THE POSITION OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE REGARDING THE CONTEMPLATED ARRANGEMENT OF FURNISHING THIS TYPE OF PRINTING AND BINDING.

DISCUSSIONS WITH THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION AND THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET WITH RESPECT TO THIS SUBJECT SHOW THAT IT IS DESIRED TO STOCK STANDARD FORMS IN THE REGIONAL WAREHOUSES IN ORDER TO SIMPLIFY THE PROCEDURES FOR ORDERING SUPPLIES AND THIS CLASS OF PRINTED MATTER, FOLLOWED BY THE FIELD OFFICES OF THE VARIOUS FEDERAL BUREAUS, AND TO REDUCE THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR HANDLING AND DISTRIBUTING SUCH MATERIALS. FURTHER, IT IS THEIR BELIEF THAT THE CONSOLIDATION OF INVENTORIES WITHIN THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION REGIONAL WAREHOUSES WILL REDUCE BOTH THE STORAGE SPACE REQUIRED FOR SUCH FORMS IN THE INDIVIDUAL AGENCIES AND THE VOLUME OF PRINTED MATTER MAINTAINED INACTIVE IN STORAGE.

THIS OFFICE WOULD BE IN AGREEMENT WITH A PLAN WHICH PERMITTED THE FIELD AGENCIES TO SECURE THEIR FORMS EXPEDITIOUSLY AND AT A REDUCTION IN THE OVER-ALL HANDLING AND DISTRIBUTION COST, PROVIDED SUCH PRACTICE IS NOT CONTRARY TO EXISTING LAW AND REGULATION.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, PLEASE ADVISE THIS OFFICE WHETHER OR NOT IT IS PROPER TO ACCEPT REQUISITIONS FOR PRINTING AND BINDING FROM THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, WHEN SUCH REQUISITIONS SHOW THAT CHARGE IS TO BE PAID FROM THE WORKING CAPITAL FUND OF THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION, AND WHETHER THE HANDLING OF THE TRANSACTIONS AS PROPOSED ARE IN CONFLICT WITH EXISTING LAW AND DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL.

AN EARLY REPLY WILL BE APPRECIATED AS THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET STATES THAT THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION DESIRES TO PLACE THE PLAN IN EFFECT BEGINNING JULY 1, 1944.

APPARENTLY THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, RELIES UPON A LETTER OF THIS OFFICE DATED JULY 28, 1943, A-22891, A-89775, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, FOR SUPPORT OF ITS PROPOSAL TO STOCK STANDARD FORMS AND BLANK BOOK WORK IN ITS VARIOUS WAREHOUSES THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES FOR RESALE TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES LOCATED WITHIN THE AREAS OF SUCH WAREHOUSES. THAT LETTER DEALT PRIMARILY WITH QUESTIONS INVOLVING THE TRANSFER BY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET, UNDER AUTHORITY OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9235, APPROVED BY THE PRESIDENT AUGUST 31, 1942, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 16, 1942, OF CERTAIN WAREHOUSING FACILITIES, INCLUDING PERSONNEL, RECORDS, EQUIPMENT, AND WAREHOUSE STOCK OF VARIOUS AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT, TO THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION. NO SPECIFIC CONSIDERATION WAS GIVEN THEREIN TO THE PRINTING AND BINDING STATUTES APPLICABLE TO GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES BUT, UNFORTUNATELY, THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT WAS MADE IN THE PENULTIMATE PARAGRAPH THEREOF:

IN THE MATTER OF STOCKING STANDARD FORMS, IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT IT IS CONTEMPLATED THAT ONLY THE REQUIREMENTS NECESSARY TO MEET THE NEEDS OF AGENCIES IN THE FIELD WHOSE FACILITIES HAVE BEEN TAKEN OVER WILL BE UNDERTAKEN BY THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION, AND THERE APPEARS TO BE NO LEGAL RESTRICTION ON THE CARRYING OF SUCH FORMS IN STOCK FOR THOSE AGENCIES PROVIDED THE PROPER APPROPRIATIONS ARE CHARGED WHEN SUCH STOCKS ARE ISSUED.

AS STATED IN YOUR LETTER, STANDARD FORMS AND BLANK BOOK WORK LONG HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED AS PRINTING AND BINDING ITEMS, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM SUPPLIES, IN THE REGULATIONS OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING AND BINDING AND IN THE DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE. HENCE, IN RESPECT OF THE TREASURY PROPOSAL HERE ADVANCED, CONSIDERATION IS REQUIRED OF THE PROVISIONS OF LAW APPLICABLE TO THE PROCUREMENT OF PRINTING AND BINDING BY THE SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS, ESTABLISHMENTS, AND AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT.

SECTIONS 33, 34, 35, 111, 117, 213, TITLE 44, U.S.C. PROVIDE:

SEC. 33. * * * IT SHALL BE THE DUTY OF THE PUBLIC PRINTER TO PURCHASE ALL MATERIALS AND MACHINERY WHICH MAY BE NECESSARY FOR THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE; TO TAKE CHARGE OF ALL MATTER WHICH IS TO BE PRINTED, ENGRAVED, LITHOGRAPHED, OR BOUND; TO KEEP AN ACCOUNT THEREOF IN THE ORDER IN WHICH IT IS RECEIVED, AND TO CAUSE THE WORK TO BE PROMPTLY EXECUTED; TO SUPERINTEND ALL PRINTING AND BINDING DONE AT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, AND TO SEE THAT THE SHEETS OR VOLUMES ARE PROMPTLY DELIVERED TO THE OFFICER WHO IS AUTHORIZED TO RECEIVE THEM. THE RECEIPT OF SUCH OFFICER SHALL BE A SUFFICIENT VOUCHER FOR THEIR DELIVERY.

SEC. 34. * * * THE PUBLIC PRINTER SHALL MAKE ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS, AND IN IT SPECIFY THE NUMBER OF COPIES OF EACH DEPARTMENT REPORT AND DOCUMENT PRINTED UPON REQUISITION BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT FOR WHICH THE PRINTING WAS DONE, AND HE SHALL ALSO SPECIFY IN SAID REPORT THE EXACT NUMBER OF COPIES OF BOOKS, GIVING THE TITLES OF THE BOOKS, BOUND UPON REQUISITION FOR SENATORS, REPRESENTATIVES, DELEGATES, AND OTHER OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE COST THEREOF.

SEC. 35. * * * THE PUBLIC PRINTER SHALL, ON THE FIRST DAY OF EACH REGULAR SESSION, REPORT TO CONGRESS THE EXACT CONDITION AND THE QUANTITY AND COST OF ALL PRINTING, BINDING, LITHOGRAPHING, AND ENGRAVING, THE QUANTITY AND COST OF ALL PAPER PURCHASED FOR THE SAME; A DETAILED STATEMENT OF ALL PROPOSALS AND CONTRACTS ENTERED INTO FOR THE PURCHASE OF PAPER AND OTHER MATERIALS, AND FOR LITHOGRAPHING AND ENGRAVING; OF ALL PAYMENTS MADE, DURING THE PRECEDING YEAR, UNDER HIS DIRECTION; OF THE QUANTITY OF WORK ORDERED AND DONE, WITH A GENERAL CLASSIFICATION THEREOF, FOR EACH DEPARTMENT, AND A DETAILED STATEMENT OF EACH ACCOUNT WITH THE DEPARTMENTS OR PUBLIC OFFICERS; A CLASSIFIED DETAILED STATEMENT OF THE NUMBER OF HANDS EMPLOYED AND THE SUMS PAID TO EACH, AND SUCH OTHER INFORMATION TOUCHING ALL MATTERS CONNECTED WITH THE PRINTING OFFICE AS MAY BE IN HIS POSSESSION.

SEC. 111. * * * ALL PRINTING, BINDING, AND BLANK-BOOK WORK FOR CONGRESS, THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE, THE JUDICIARY, AND EVERY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, INDEPENDENT OFFICE, AND ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT SHALL BE DONE AT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, EXCEPT SUCH CLASSES OF WORK AS SHALL BE DEEMED BY THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON PRINTING TO BE URGENT OR NECESSARY TO HAVE DONE ELSEWHERE THAN IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF ANY FIELD SERVICE OUTSIDE OF SAID DISTRICT.

SEC. 117. * * * WHEN ANY DEPARTMENT, THE SUPREME COURT, THE COURT OF CLAIMS, OR THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS SHALL REQUIRE PRINTING OR BINDING TO BE DONE, IT SHALL BE ON CERTIFICATE THAT SUCH WORK BE NECESSARY FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE; WHEREUPON THE PUBLIC PRINTER SHALL FURNISH AN ESTIMATE OF THE COST BY THE PRINCIPAL ITEMS FOR SUCH PRINTING OR BINDING SO CALLED FOR, AFTER WHICH REQUISITIONS SHALL BE MADE UPON HIM THEREFOR BY THE HEAD OF SUCH DEPARTMENT, THE CLERK OF THE SUPREME COURT, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE COURT OF CLAIMS, OR THE LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS; AND THE PUBLIC PRINTER SHALL PLACE THE COST THEREOF TO THE DEBIT OF SUCH DEPARTMENT IN ITS ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR PRINTING AND BINDING.

SEC. 213. * * * NO PRINTING SHALL BE DONE FOR THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS IN ANY FISCAL YEAR IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT OF THE APPROPRIATION, AND NONE SHALL BE DONE WITHOUT A SPECIAL REQUISITION, SIGNED BY THE CHIEF OF THE DEPARTMENT AND FILED WITH THE PUBLIC PRINTER.

OF THE ANNUAL REPORT OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT WITHOUT APPENDICES THERE MAY BE PRINTED IN ANY ONE FISCAL YEAR NOT TO EXCEED FIVE THOUSAND COPIES, BOUND IN PAMPHLET FORM; AND OF THE REPORTS OF CHIEFS OF BUREAUS WITHOUT APPENDICES THERE MAY BE PRINTED IN ANY ONE FISCAL YEAR NOT TO EXCEED TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED COPIES, BOUND IN PAMPHLET FORM. THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE MAY PRINT SUCH NUMBER OF COPIES OF THE MONTHLY CROP REPORT, AND OF OTHER REPORTS AND BULLETINS CONTAINING NOT TO EXCEED ONE HUNDRED OCTAVO PAGES, AS HE SHALL DEEM REQUISITE; AND THIS PROVISION SHALL APPLY TO THE MAPS, CHARTS, BULLETINS, AND MINOR REPORTS OF THE WEATHER BUREAU, WHICH SHALL BE PRINTED IN SUCH NUMBERS AS THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY MAY DEEM FOR THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT. THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY MAY AUTHORIZE THE PRINTING OF THE ANNUAL REPORT OF THE COMMANDANT OF THE COAST GUARD, THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE MAY AUTHORIZE THE PRINTING OF THE NOTICES TO MARINERS, TIDE TABLES, COAST PILOTS, BULLETINS, AND OTHER SPECIAL PUBLICATIONS OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY AND OF THE COAST GUARD AND THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY MAY AUTHORIZE THE PRINTING OF THE CHARTS, MAPS, NOTICES TO MARINERS, TIDE TABLES, LIGHT LISTS, SAILING DIRECTIONS, BULLETINS, AND OTHER SPECIAL PUBLICATIONS OF THE HYDROGRAPHIC OFFICE IN SUCH EDITIONS AS THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND OF THE PUBLIC MAY REQUIRE.

HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS SHALL DIRECT WHETHER REPORTS MADE TO THEM BY BUREAU CHIEFS AND CHIEFS OF DIVISIONS SHALL BE PRINTED OR NOT.

UNDER THE FOREGOING PROVISIONS OF LAW ALL PRINTING, BINDING, AND BLANK BOOK WORK REQUIRED BY AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT MUST BE DONE, WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS NOT PERTINENT HERE, AT THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE UPON CERTIFICATE THAT SUCH WORK IS NECESSARY FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE. UPON THE FURNISHING BY THE PUBLIC PRINTER OF AN ESTIMATE OF THE COST OF SUCH PRINTING AND BINDING, REQUISITIONS MUST BE SIGNED BY THE CHIEF OF THE DEPARTMENT AND FILED WITH THE PUBLIC PRINTER. AND IT IS THE DUTY OF THE PUBLIC PRINTER TO SEE THAT "THE SHEETS OR VOLUMES ARE PROMPTLY DELIVERED TO THE OFFICER WHO IS AUTHORIZED TO RECEIVE THEM.' FURTHERMORE, THE PUBLIC PRINTER IS REQUIRED TO REPORT TO THE CONGRESS ON THE FIRST DAY OF EACH REGULAR SESSION "THE QUANTITY OF WORK ORDERED AND DONE, WITH A GENERAL CLASSIFICATION THEREOF, FOR EACH DEPARTMENT, AND A DETAILED STATEMENT OF EACH ACCOUNT WITH THE DEPARTMENTS OR PUBLIC OFFICERS.'

UNDER THE PLAN PROPOSED BY THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION, THE PRINTING AND BINDING ITEMS INVOLVED WOULD BE FURNISHED THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION UPON REQUISITIONS FILED BY THE DIVISION, WITH THE PUBLIC PRINTER, INSTEAD OF UPON REQUISITIONS FILED WITH THE PUBLIC PRINTER BY THE HEADS OF THE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES NEEDING SUCH ITEMS AS REQUIRED BY SECTIONS 117 AND 213, TITLE 44, U.S.C. APPARENTLY, THE PRINTING AND BINDING WORK WOULD BE DONE WITHOUT THE CERTIFICATE OF NECESSITY OF THE AGENCY WHOSE NEEDS ARE TO BE SUPPLIED AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 117. ALSO, INSTEAD OF DELIVERING THE PRINTING AND BINDING WORK TO THE PROPER OFFICER OF THE AGENCY REQUIRING SAID ITEMS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 33, TITLE 44, U.S.C., THE ITEMS WOULD BE DELIVERED TO THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION FOR FURTHER DELIVERY TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AS AND WHEN SUCH AGENCIES SIGNIFIED THE NEED THEREFOR TO THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION. IT IS NOT APPARENT HOW THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTIONS 34 AND 35, TITLE 44, U.S.C., IN RESPECT OF ANNUAL REPORTS TO THE CONGRESS BY THE PUBLIC PRINTER COULD BE MET UNDER THE PROPOSED PLAN.

WHILE IT WELL MAY BE THAT CERTAIN ADVANTAGES COULD BE GAINED AND ECONOMIES EFFECTED BY STOCKING STANDARD FORMS AND BLANK BOOKS IN THE REGIONAL WAREHOUSES OF THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION FOR RESALE TO THE VARIOUS AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE FIELD, THE CONGRESS HAS PRESCRIBED A WELL DEFINED PROCEDURE IN THE MATTER OF PROCUREMENT OF PRINTING AND BINDING FOR SUCH AGENCIES, AND ANY DEPARTURE FROM SUCH PROCEDURE--- SUCH AS SUGGESTED BY THE TREASURY--- WOULD APPEAR TO BE A MATTER FOR CONSIDERATION AND ACTION BY THE CONGRESS. ACCORDINGLY, UPON CONSIDERATION OF THE MATTER IN THE LIGHT OF THE PERTINENT PROVISIONS OF THE U.S.C. NOW SPECIFICALLY BROUGHT TO ATTENTION, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT, UNDER EXISTING LAW, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE STOCKING OF STANDARD FORMS AND BLANK BOOKS IN THE WAREHOUSES OF THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION FOR RESALE TO THE SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS, ESTABLISHMENTS, AND AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT.

TO THE EXTENT THAT THE STATEMENT MADE IN THE PENULTIMATE PARAGRAPH OF THE LETTER OF JULY 28, 1943, SUPRA, IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE CONCLUSION REACHED HEREIN, SAID STATEMENT IS TO BE DISREGARDED.

A COPY OF THIS DECISION IS BEING FURNISHED TODAY TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.