B-6251, SEPTEMBER 30, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 409

B-6251: Sep 30, 1939

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IS AUTHORIZED FROM THE FUNDS PROVIDED FOR CONSTRUCTION OF THE AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT BUILDINGS IN WASHINGTON MADE AVAILABLE BY THE ACT OF JUNE 16. 1939: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 23. UPON WHICH YOUR DECISION IS DESIRED IN ADVANCE OF THE AWARD OF ANY CONTRACT. AS IT IS NOT KNOWN AT THE PRESENT WRITING WHETHER THE BIDDER WILL EXTEND THE TIME FOR ACCEPTANCE. AN EARLY DECISION WILL BE OF ASSISTANCE. WILL INCLUDE THE FURNISHING AND INSTALLATION IN THE PROJECTION ROOM AND BOOTH OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SOUTH BUILDING OF MOTION PICTURE PROJECTORS OF VARYING SIZES. THIS EQUIPMENT WILL BE BUILT INTO AND PERMANENTLY ATTACHED TO THE BUILDING. THE APPROPRIATED FUNDS INVOLVED ARE THOSE PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 3.

B-6251, SEPTEMBER 30, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 409

APPROPRIATIONS - AVAILABILITY - MOTION PICTURE PROJECTORS, AMPLIFIERS, ETC. - FILMING OF AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS THE RECORDING ON FILM OF AUTHORIZED DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS AND RESULTS OF ITS SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS, CONSTITUTES AN ESSENTIAL PHASE OF "LABORATORY" WORK WITHIN THE ORDINARY MEANING OF THE WORD, AND THE PURCHASE OF MOTION PICTURE PROJECTORS, AMPLIFIERS, LOUDSPEAKERS, ETC., FOR THE SHOWING OF THE FILMS FOR STUDY BY THE SPECIALISTS ENGAGED IN THEIR PREPARATION AND IN THE UNDERTAKING AND PROSECUTION OF LABORATORY WORK AUTHORIZED UNDER THE DEPARTMENT, IS AUTHORIZED FROM THE FUNDS PROVIDED FOR CONSTRUCTION OF THE AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT BUILDINGS IN WASHINGTON MADE AVAILABLE BY THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1933, 48 STAT. 279, FOR "FIXED LABORATORY EQUIPMENT AND FIXED MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT INCIDENT THERETO.'

COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN TO THE FEDERAL WORKS ADMINISTRATOR, SEPTEMBER 30, 1939:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 23, 1939, AS FOLLOWS:

A QUESTION HAS ARISEN IN THIS AGENCY AS TO THE AVAILABILITY OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF CERTAIN MOTION PICTURE AND SOUND REINFORCEMENT EQUIPMENT IN THE AUDITORIUM OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SOUTH BUILDING, WASHINGTON, D.C., UPON WHICH YOUR DECISION IS DESIRED IN ADVANCE OF THE AWARD OF ANY CONTRACT. SINCE THE TIME FOR ACCEPTANCE OF THE ONLY BID RECEIVED FOR FURNISHING AND INSTALLING THIS EQUIPMENT EXPIRES SEPTEMBER 30, 1939, AND AS IT IS NOT KNOWN AT THE PRESENT WRITING WHETHER THE BIDDER WILL EXTEND THE TIME FOR ACCEPTANCE, AN EARLY DECISION WILL BE OF ASSISTANCE.

BRIEFLY DESCRIBED, THE CONTRACT, IF AWARDED, WILL INCLUDE THE FURNISHING AND INSTALLATION IN THE PROJECTION ROOM AND BOOTH OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SOUTH BUILDING OF MOTION PICTURE PROJECTORS OF VARYING SIZES, AMPLIFIERS, LOUDSPEAKERS, A STEREOPTICON, AND INCIDENTAL ACCESSORIES APPURTENANT TO SUCH EQUIPMENT, TOGETHER WITH A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF CONDUIT AND WIRING, INCIDENTAL CONSTRUCTION CHANGES, AND CABLE CONNECTION TO AN ADJACENT LABORATORY. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF CERTAIN INCIDENTAL AND MINOR ACCESSORIES, THIS EQUIPMENT WILL BE BUILT INTO AND PERMANENTLY ATTACHED TO THE BUILDING.

THE APPROPRIATED FUNDS INVOLVED ARE THOSE PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1926, 44 STAT. 874, AND SUPPLEMENTARY ACTS ( DECEMBER 22, 1927, 45 STAT. 34; DECEMBER 20, 1928, 45 STAT. 1044; MAY 15, 1930, 46 STAT. 354; MARCH 4, 1931, 46 STAT. 1604) FOR CONSTRUCTION OF THE AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT BUILDINGS, WASHINGTON, D.C. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1933, 48 STAT. 279, PROVIDED, IN PART:

" AGRICULTURAL DEPARTMENT BUILDINGS, WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: THE AUTHORIZATION CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1926 (44 STAT., P. 874), FOR THE ACQUISITION OF A SITE AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF AN EXTENSIBLE BUILDING FOR THE USE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AS MODIFIED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1931 (46 STAT., P. 1604), UNDER AN ESTIMATED TOTAL COST OF $12,800,000, IS HEREBY FURTHER MODIFIED SO AS TO MAKE THE APPROPRIATIONS PROVIDED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF SAID ACTS AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF ALL NECESSARY FIXED LABORATORY EQUIPMENT AND FIXED MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT INCIDENT THERETO AND FOR SPECIAL TREATMENT OF FLOORS AND WALLS IN CONNECTION WITH LABORATORIES.'

THE CONTRACT FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THIS BUILDING INCLUDED THE INSTALLATION OF THE PARTITIONS, LIGHTS, HEATING, ETC., FOR A PROJECTION ROOM, PROJECTION BOOTH, PORTS, ETC., AS NECESSARY FOR THE USE OF THIS PARTICULAR EQUIPMENT.

IT IS THE OPINION OF THIS AGENCY THAT THE EQUIPMENT PROPOSED TO BE PURCHASED AND INSTALLED IS FIXED MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT INCIDENT TO THE USE OF FIXED LABORATORY EQUIPMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1933. IT HAS A DEFINITE RELATIONSHIP TO AND SUPPLEMENTS THE WORK CARRIED ON IN THE LABORATORIES. MOTION AND STILL PICTURES OF EXPERIMENTAL WORK IN THE LABORATORIES, AND PICTURES RECORDING THE PROGRESS AND RESULTS OF MICROSCOPIC INVESTIGATIONS ARE TAKEN. THE PROPOSED EQUIPMENT WILL PERMIT PREVIEW OF THIS WORK AT CONVENIENT TIMES BY A LARGE NUMBER OF PERSONNEL WHO MIGHT OTHERWISE BE UNABLE TO OBTAIN A GRAPHIC DEMONSTRATION OF WORK PERFORMED IN LABORATORIES EXCEPT ON A MUCH MORE CURTAILED BASIS. SUCH PREVIEWS PERMIT OF IMMEDIATE AND COMPREHENSIVE DISCUSSION AND CRITICISM OF WORK BEING PERFORMED AND THUS EXPEDITE DECISION AS TO FUTURE LABORATORY INVESTIGATION.

THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE CONSIDERS THAT THE PRODUCTION OF MOTION PICTURES ITSELF IS LABORATORY WORK. THE OFFICE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE CHARGED WITH SUCH PRODUCTION IS DESCRIBED AS A MOTION PICTURE LABORATORY, THE DUTIES BEING THE PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF EDUCATIONAL FILMS DESIGNED TO PRESENT TO THE PUBLIC THE RESULTS OF THE RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY THE DEPARTMENT'S SEVERAL BUREAUS. IN THE PREPARATION OF SUCH FILMS IT IS NECESSARY THAT THEY BE PROJECTED MANY TIMES FOR PREVIEW AND STUDY BY THE SUBJECT-MATTER SPECIALISTS INVOLVED. FROM THIS VIEWPOINT THE EQUIPMENT WOULD BE FIXED LABORATORY EQUIPMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1933.

IN THE ABSENCE OF THE MANIFESTATION OF A CONTRARY INTENTION BY THE LEGISLATURE, THE WORDS OF A STATUTE ARE TO BE UNDERSTOOD AND APPLIED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THEIR ORDINARY MEANING. UNITED STATES V. LOMBARDO, 241 U.S. 73, 76.

THE WORD "LABORATORY" IS DERIVED FROM THE LATIN WORD LABORATORIUM MEANING A WORKSHOP. THE ACCEPTED DICTIONARY DEFINITION IS "A PLACE DEVOTED TO EXPERIMENTAL STUDY IN ANY BRANCH OF NATURAL SCIENCE, OR IN THE APPLICATION OF SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES IN TESTING AND ANALYSIS OR IN THE PREPARATION OF DRUGS, CHEMICALS, EXPLOSIVES, ETC., * * * BY EXTENSION, A PLACE WHERE SOMETHING IS PREPARED OR SOME OPERATION IS PERFORMED," WEBSTER'S NEW INTERNATIONAL DICTIONARY. THE WORD IS USED "TO DENOTE ANY ROOM OR BUILDING DEVOTED TO EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATIONS IN TECHNICS AND THE ENCES," ENCYCLOPEDIA AMERICANA, VOLUME 16, PAGE 615.

APPLYING THE TERM AS THUS DEFINED TO THE FACTS OF THE PRESENT CASE IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE RECORDING ON FILM OF LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS AND THE RESULTS OF SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS WOULD CONSTITUTE AN ESSENTIAL PHASE OF LABORATORY WORK, AND THAT THIS FILMING PROCESS WOULD INCLUDE SUCH PROJECTIONS OF THE FILMS FOR PREVIEW AND STUDY BY THE SPECIALISTS ENGAGED IN THEIR PREPARATION AND DEVELOPMENT AS IS REASONABLY NECESSARY TO COMPLETION OF THE TASK IN FINAL AND APPROVED FORM. THE PROCUREMENT OF MOTION PICTURE PROJECTORS, AMPLIFIERS, LOUDSPEAKERS, ETC., TO ACCOMPLISH THIS PURPOSE WOULD APPEAR, THEREFORE, TO COME WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE PERMITTING THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF "FIXED LABORATORY EQUIPMENT AND FIXED MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT INCIDENT THERETO.'

IT IS UNDERSTOOD FROM YOUR LETTER THAT THE PREVIEW OF THESE FILMS WILL PERMIT GROUP DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF THE RESULTS OBTAINED BY LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS, AND THAT CRITICISMS MADE AND CONCLUSIONS REACHED IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH PREVIEW AND DISCUSSIONS WILL TEND TO DETERMINE, OR AT LEAST TO INFLUENCE, THE COURSE OF FUTURE LABORATORY INVESTIGATIONS. OTHER WORDS, IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE SHOWING OF THE FILMS AFTER BEING MADE AND BEFORE BEING RELEASED FOR DISTRIBUTION IS A NECESSARY INCIDENT TO AND DIRECTLY CONNECTED WITH THE UNDERTAKING AND PROSECUTION OF LABORATORY WORK AUTHORIZED UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. IF SUCH ARE THE FACTS THERE APPEARS NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO USE OF THE APPROPRIATION REFERRED TO FOR THE ACQUISITION AND INSTALLATION OF THE NECESSARY EQUIPMENT FOR SUCH PURPOSES.