B-70505, DECEMBER 2, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 311

B-70505: Dec 2, 1947

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

IS TO BE REGARDED AS A PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLE WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 16 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2. SO THAT THE PURCHASE THEREOF IS SUBJECT TO THE MAXIMUM PRICE LIMITATION PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 201 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT. 1947: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 21. IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE VEHICLE IS ONE OF NINE-PASSENGER CAPACITY WITH THREE SEATS AND A REAR TRUNK FOR BAGGAGE. IS HEREBY FIXED AT $1. FROM THE FOREGOING IT IS CLEAR THAT. SUCH PURCHASE IS DEFINITELY RESTRICTED TO A MAXIMUM PRICE OF $1. THAT A "SUBURBAN CARRYALL" SUCH AS DESCRIBED IN YOUR LETTER IS A PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE SAID ACT OF JULY 30.

B-70505, DECEMBER 2, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 311

VEHICLES - "SUBURBAN CARRYALL" - STATUS AS PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLE A "SUBURBAN CARRYALL," A VEHICLE WITH A SEATING CAPACITY OF NINE AND HAVING MOVABLE SEATS TO PROVIDE FOR ADDITIONAL BAGGAGE SPACE, IS TO BE REGARDED AS A PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLE WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 16 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2, 1946, PROHIBITING THE PURCHASE OF PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLES (EXCLUSIVE OF BUSSES, AMBULANCES, AND STATION WAGONS) AT A COST IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM PRICE THEREFOR ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO LAW, SO THAT THE PURCHASE THEREOF IS SUBJECT TO THE MAXIMUM PRICE LIMITATION PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 201 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1948, ON THE PURCHASE OF ANY PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLE, OTHER THAN BUSSES, AMBULANCES, AND STATION WAGONS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, DECEMBER 2, 1947:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 21, 1947, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE WEATHER BUREAU OF YOUR DEPARTMENT MAY PURCHASE A "SUBURBAN CARRYALL" AT A COST ESTIMATED AT $2,900, FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH THE REHABILITATION PROJECT CONDUCTED UNDER THE APPROPRIATION ,13- 197/01091 (14).001, SALARIES AND EXPENSES, PHILIPPINE REHABILITATION, DEPARTMENT OF STATE ( TRANSFER TO COMMERCE, WEATHER BUREAU), 1947-1950.' IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE VEHICLE IS ONE OF NINE-PASSENGER CAPACITY WITH THREE SEATS AND A REAR TRUNK FOR BAGGAGE, AND THAT THE CAR HAS A WHEEL BASE OF 140 INCHES AS COMPARED WITH A WHEEL BASE OF 121 INCHES FOR A STANDARD PASSENGER SEDAN MADE BY THE SAME COMPANY.

THE APPROPRIATION TO THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE FOR " PHILIPPINE REHABILITATION" CONTAINED IN THE THIRD DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, 1946, 60 STAT. 621, PROVIDES:

FOR ALL EXPENSES TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF TITLES III AND V OF THE PHILIPPINE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1946 * * * INCLUDING * * * PURCHASE (NOT TO EXCEED SIXTY-NINE PASSENGER AUTOMOBILES), HIRE, MAINTENANCE, OPERATION, AND REPAIR OF MOTOR-PROPELLED AND ANIMAL-DRAWN PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES

SECTION 16 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 810, AMENDED SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1914 (5 U.S.C. 78), TO READ, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 5. (A) UNLESS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE APPROPRIATION CONCERNED OR OTHER LAW, NO APPROPRIATION SHALL BE EXPENDED TO PURCHASE OR HIRE PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLES FOR ANY BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT OTHER THAN THOSE FOR THE USE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, THE SECRETARIES TO THE PRESIDENT, OR THE HEADS OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS ENUMERATED IN 5 U.S.C. 1.

(C) UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED, NO APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR ANY DEPARTMENT SHALL BE EXPENDED---

(1) TO PURCHASE ANY PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLE (EXCLUSIVE OF BUSSES, AMBULANCES, AND STATION WAGONS), AT A COST, COMPLETELY EQUIPPED FOR OPERATION, AND INCLUDING THE VALUE OF ANY VEHICLE EXCHANGED, IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM PRICE THEREFOR, IF ANY, ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO LAWBY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY AND IN NO EVENT MORE THAN SUCH AMOUNT AS MAY BE SPECIFIED IN AN APPROPRIATION OR OTHER ACT, WHICH SHALL BE IN ADDITION TO THE AMOUNT REQUIRED FOR TRANSPORTATION * * *.

SECTION 201 OF THE ACT OF JULY 30, 1947, PUBLIC LAW 269, 80TH CONGRESS, 61 STAT. 608, REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, PROVIDES:

UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED, THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT ALLOWABLE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 16 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946 ( PUBLIC LAW 600), FOR THE PURCHASE OF ANY PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLE (EXCLUSIVE OF BUSSES, AMBULANCES, AND STATION WAGONS), IS HEREBY FIXED AT $1,300.

FROM THE FOREGOING IT IS CLEAR THAT, ALTHOUGH THE PURCHASE OF PASSENGER AUTOMOBILES WOULD BE AUTHORIZED UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED APPROPRIATION FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE, SUCH PURCHASE IS DEFINITELY RESTRICTED TO A MAXIMUM PRICE OF $1,300 FOR ANY PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLE (EXCLUSIVE OF BUSSES, AMBULANCES AND STATION WAGONS). THAT A "SUBURBAN CARRYALL" SUCH AS DESCRIBED IN YOUR LETTER IS A PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE SAID ACT OF JULY 30, 1947, APPEARS TO BE NOT OPEN TO QUESTION. SEE 16 COMP. GEN. 260, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT A SIMILAR VEHICLE WAS A PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLE.

ALSO, WITH REFERENCE TO THE FUNDS PROPOSED FOR USE IN PURCHASING THE VEHICLE, IT APPEARS THAT AMOUNTS OF $397,000 AND $675,000 WERE TRANSFERRED BY TRANSFER APPROPRIATION WARRANTS NOS. 40 AND 53 DATED OCTOBER 4, 1946, AND NOVEMBER 4, 1946, RESPECTIVELY, FROM DEPARTMENT OF STATE FUNDS APPROPRIATED BY THE THIRD DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, 1946, SUPRA, TO THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE FOR USE BY THE WEATHER BUREAU IN CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 308, TITLE III OF THE PHILIPPINE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 138. THE REFERRED-TO APPROPRIATION ACT, AS CORRECTED BY THE FIRST SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1947, APPROVED AUGUST 8, 1946, 60 STAT. 916, PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THAT THE SECRETARY OF STATE, OR SUCH OFFICIAL AS HE MAY DESIGNATE, IS AUTHORIZED TO TRANSFER FROM ANY OF THE FOREGOING AMOUNTS TO ANY DEPARTMENT OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE FOREGOING PROGRAMS, SUMS FOR EXPENDITURE BY SUCH DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT FOR THE PURPOSES HEREOF, AND SUMS SO TRANSFERRED SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS HEREOF AND, TO THE EXTENT DETERMINED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW GOVERNING EXPENDITURES OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT TO WHICH TRANSFERRED: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT TRANSFERS OF FUNDS TO PARTICIPATING AGENCIES FOR THE PROGRAMS SET FORTH IN SECTIONS 302 AND 305 OF THE ACT SHALL BE APPROVED BY THE PRESIDENT PRIOR TO SUCH TRANSFERS. AT THE TIME OF SUCH TRANSFERS THIS OFFICE WAS ADVISED INFORMALLY BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE THAT THE TRANSFERS WERE NOT MADE IN CONTEMPLATION OF THE PURCHASE OF AUTOMOBILES AND NO ADVICE AS TO ANY SUBSEQUENT ARRANGEMENTS TO THE CONTRARY HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY THIS OFFICE. THEREFORE, IT APPEARS THAT THE PROPOSED PURCHASE WITH THE SAID FUNDS WOULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED AT THIS TIME EVEN IF OTHERWISE PROPER.

FOR THE REASONS HEREINABOVE INDICATED, THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.