B-76617, JUNE 7, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 746

B-76617: Jun 7, 1948

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- WHICH HAVE BEEN DETERMINED BY THE AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION TO BE ESSENTIAL TO THE PROCUREMENT OF AUTHORITATIVE HISTORICAL DATE CONCERNING MILITARY OPERATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE DUTIES IMPOSED BY SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26. FOR THE PREPARATION OF PLANS AND ESTIMATES FOR THE ERECTION OF MEMORIALS WHERE THE AMERICAN ARMED FORCES HAVE SERVED MAY BE PURCHASED FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE COMMISSION'S NECESSARY EXPENSES BY THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT. 1948: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 19. WHICH PROVIDES THAT THE AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION "SHALL PREPARE PLANS AND ESTIMATES FOR THE ERECTION OF SUITABLE MEMORIALS TO MARK AND COMMEMORATE THE SERVICES OF THE AMERICAN ARMED FORCES AND SHALL ERECT AND MAINTAIN MEMORIALS IN THE UNITED STATES AND AT SUCH PLACES OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES WHERE THE AMERICAN ARMED FORCES HAVE SERVED OR SHALL HEREAFTER SERVE AS THE COMMISSION SHALL DETERMINE.'.

B-76617, JUNE 7, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 746

BOOKS OR REPORTS ON MILITARY OPERATIONS - PURCHASES BY AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION BOOKS OR PUBLISHED REPORTS OF MILITARY LEADERS--- OTHER THAN NEWSPAPERS OR PERIODICALS--- WHICH HAVE BEEN DETERMINED BY THE AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION TO BE ESSENTIAL TO THE PROCUREMENT OF AUTHORITATIVE HISTORICAL DATE CONCERNING MILITARY OPERATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE DUTIES IMPOSED BY SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1946, FOR THE PREPARATION OF PLANS AND ESTIMATES FOR THE ERECTION OF MEMORIALS WHERE THE AMERICAN ARMED FORCES HAVE SERVED MAY BE PURCHASED FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE COMMISSION'S NECESSARY EXPENSES BY THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1948, EVEN THOUGH NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED THEREIN.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY, AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION, JUNE 7, 1948:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 19, 1948, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION LEGALLY MAY PURCHASE FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS PUBLISHED REPORTS OR WAR STORIES OF MILITARY LEADERS, SUCH AS THE BOOKS " NORMANDY TO THE BALTIC" BY FIELD MARSHAL MONTGOMERY AND " REPORT OF ALLIED AIR OPERATIONS IN EUROPE" BY GENERAL LEIGH-MALLORY.

YOUR LETTER QUOTES A PORTION OF SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1946, 60 STAT. 317, WHICH PROVIDES THAT THE AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION "SHALL PREPARE PLANS AND ESTIMATES FOR THE ERECTION OF SUITABLE MEMORIALS TO MARK AND COMMEMORATE THE SERVICES OF THE AMERICAN ARMED FORCES AND SHALL ERECT AND MAINTAIN MEMORIALS IN THE UNITED STATES AND AT SUCH PLACES OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES WHERE THE AMERICAN ARMED FORCES HAVE SERVED OR SHALL HEREAFTER SERVE AS THE COMMISSION SHALL DETERMINE.' THE LETTER STATES THAT, IN ORDER TO PERFORM THE DUTIES IMPOSED UPON IT BY SUCH LANGUAGE, THE COMMISSION MUST HAVE AUTHORITATIVE HISTORICAL DATA NOT ONLY OF THE OPERATIONS OF THE AMERICAN FORCES BUT, ALSO, OF THOSE OF ITS ALLIES AND THE OPPOSING FORCES. IN VIEW THEREOF AND AS ESSENTIAL THERETO IT DESIRES TO PURCHASE THE BOOKS NAMED AND SIMILAR WORKS. IT IS STATED FURTHER THAT, WHILE NEITHER THE ACT OF JUNE 26, 1946, SUPRA, NOR THE ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE COMMISSION CONTAINS SPECIFIC AUTHORITY FOR THE PURCHASE OF SUCH DOCUMENTS, YOU ARE UNAWARE OF ANY EXISTING PROVISION OF LAW PROHIBITING SUCH PURCHASE UNLESS SO SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED.

FUNDS FOR THE AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1948 WERE APPROPRIATED BY THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1948, 61 STAT. 588, WHICH MADE AVAILABLE $312,000 UNDER TITLE " SALARIES AND EXPENSES" FOR NECESSARY EXPENSES, INCLUDING VARIOUS SPECIFIED OBJECTS BUT NOT INCLUDING THE PURCHASE OF BOOKS OF THE NATURE HERE IN QUESTION.

SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 15, 1898, 30 STAT. 316--- CONSIDERED IN 11 COMP. GEN. 411; 15 ID. 754; 16 ID. 1081; 18 ID. 824; 21 ID. 339, AND NUMEROUS OTHER DECISIONS OF THE ACCOUNT OFFICERS--- PROVIDED THAT LAW BOOKS, BOOKS OF REFERENCE AND PERIODICALS FOR USE IN ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR OTHER GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENT AT THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT BE PURCHASED OR PAID FOR FROM ANY APPROPRIATION MADE FOR CONTINGENT EXPENSES OR FOR ANY SPECIFIC OR GENERAL PURPOSE UNLESS SUCH PURCHASE WAS AUTHORIZED AND PAYMENT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR IN THE LAW GRANTING THE APPROPRIATION. HOWEVER, THAT SECTION OF LAW WAS REPEALED BY SECTION 17 (A) OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 806, 811. FURTHERMORE, THE NAMED BOOKS ARE NOT NEWSPAPERS OR PERIODICALS WITH REGARD TO WHICH THE ACT APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR THE AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1948, THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1948, PROVIDES IN SECTION 106 (61 STAT. 607) AS FOLLOWS:

WHERE APPROPRIATIONS IN THIS ACT ARE EXPENDABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS AND NO SPECIFIC LIMITATION HAS BEEN PREPARED THEREON, THE EXPENDITURES THEREFOR UNDER EACH SUCH APPROPRIATION MAY NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT OF $50; PROVIDED, THAT THIS LIMITATION SHALL NOT APPLY TO THE PURCHASE OF SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL, TRADE OR TRAFFIC PERIODICALS NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF THE AUTHORIZED FUNCTIONS OF THE AGENCIES FOR WHICH FUNDS ARE HEREIN PROVIDED.

THEREFORE, WHILE THE APPROPRIATION HERE INVOLVED DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZE THE PURCHASE OF BOOKS, SINCE IT IS AVAILABLE FOR THE COMMISSION'S NECESSARY EXPENSES AND SINCE IT APPEARS FROM YOUR LETTER THAT THE EXPENSES INVOLVED REASONABLY WOULD FALL INTO THAT CATEGORY, AND SINCE THERE APPEARS TO BE NO EXISTING STATUTE WHICH WOULD PREVENT OR PROHIBIT THEIR PURCHASE, NO LEGAL OBJECTION IS PERCEIVED TO THE PROPOSED PURCHASE BY THE AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION FROM THE APPROPRIATION INVOLVED.