B-81337, JAN 7, 1949

B-81337: Jan 7, 1949

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THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 1. PAYMENT FOR THE USE OF THE CHANNEL IS MADE ON A WORD-COUNT BASIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXISTING TARIFFS. IT IS BEING USED AT THE PRESENT TIME TO HANDLE NORMAL MESSAGE TRAFFIC. PERSONNEL AND EQUIPMENT OF THE AIR FORCE ARE USED AT BOTH ENDS OF THE CHANNEL. STATES THAT CERTIFICATION OF VOUCHERS SUPPORTED BY THE REPORT OF TRANSMISSION UPON WHICH THE VOUCHERS ARE BASED WILL BE ACCEPTED BY YOUR OFFICE AS SUFFICIENT FOR AUDIT PURPOSES FOR CLASSIFIED MESSAGES DURING THE PRESENT EMERGENCY. THAT DECISION IS ADEQUATE AUTHORITY FOR SUPPORTING VOUCHERS COVERING CLASSIFIED MESSAGE TRAFFIC BUT DOES NOT COVER TELECOMMUNICATION CONFERENCES.

B-81337, JAN 7, 1949

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

THE HONORABLE, THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 1, 1948, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, REQUESTING THAT THE SCOPE OF DECISION B-34936, DATED JUNE 15, 1943, ADDRESSED TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, BE SO ENLARGED AS TO PERMIT REPORTS OF TRANSMISSION IN THE FORM THEREIN DESCRIBED TO BE USED IN SUPPORT OF VOUCHERS COVERING CHARGES FOR TRANSMISSION OF CLASSIFIED MESSAGES AND TELECOMMUNICATION CONFERENCES, UNDER STATED CIRCUMSTANCES, AND TO PERMIT THE ACCEPTANCE OF SUCH REPORTS BEYOND THE PERIOD OF THE PRESENT EMERGENCY.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S LETTER READS, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"A SIGNAL CORPS AGENCY, ARMY COMMAND AND ADMINISTRATIVE COMMUNICATIONS AGENCY, HAS ENTERED INTO AN ARRANGEMENT WITH WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH COMPANY FOR THE USE OF A VARIOPLEX CABLE CHANNEL FROM HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE IN THE PENTAGON TO THE HEADQUARTERS OF AN AIR FORCE DETACHMENT PRESENTLY ASSIGNED IN ENGLAND. PAYMENT FOR THE USE OF THE CHANNEL IS MADE ON A WORD-COUNT BASIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXISTING TARIFFS. IT IS BEING USED AT THE PRESENT TIME TO HANDLE NORMAL MESSAGE TRAFFIC. PERSONNEL AND EQUIPMENT OF THE AIR FORCE ARE USED AT BOTH ENDS OF THE CHANNEL, WESTERN UNION MAINTAINING THE CABLE. A QUESTION HAS ARISEN AS TO BILLING PRACTICE TO BE USED FOR CLASSIFIED TRAFFIC TRANSMITTED OVER THE CABLE CHANNEL BY USE OF AUTOMATIC EQUIPMENT. DECISION B-34936, DATED 15 JUNE 1943, ADDRESSED TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, STATES THAT CERTIFICATION OF VOUCHERS SUPPORTED BY THE REPORT OF TRANSMISSION UPON WHICH THE VOUCHERS ARE BASED WILL BE ACCEPTED BY YOUR OFFICE AS SUFFICIENT FOR AUDIT PURPOSES FOR CLASSIFIED MESSAGES DURING THE PRESENT EMERGENCY. THAT DECISION IS ADEQUATE AUTHORITY FOR SUPPORTING VOUCHERS COVERING CLASSIFIED MESSAGE TRAFFIC BUT DOES NOT COVER TELECOMMUNICATION CONFERENCES. THE TRANSMISSION OF CLASSIFIED MATTER THROUGH THE USE OF CLASSIFIED EQUIPMENT, WHICH ENCRYPTS AND DECRYPTS MATERIAL AUTOMATICALLY AS IT TRANSMITS AND RECEIVES, IS USED GENERALLY IN COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS OF THE ARMED FORCES ON A PERMANENT BASIS AND IS TO BE USED IN THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE FOR ON-THE-LINE TRANSMISSION OVER FACILITIES OF COMMERCIAL COMPANIES AS WELL. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE DECISION OF 15 JUNE 1943 IS NOT AS BROAD AS THE PRESENT NEED AND ALSO THAT IT IS MERELY INTERIM AUTHORITY DURING THE PRESENT EMERGENCY, WHICH MAY END WITH AS LITTLE WARNING AS WERE HOSTILITIES, THEREBY LEAVING WESTERN UNION AND THE SERVICES WITHOUT A BASIS FOR BILLING FOR FURTHER OPERATIONS, A MORE PERMANENT DECISION APPLYING TO USE OF COMMERCIAL FACILITIES IS SOUGHT AT THIS TIME."

IT IS FURTHER STATED THAT THE ONLY INTELLIGIBLE COPIES OF THE MESSAGES AND CONFERENCES ARE IN THE CLEAR TEXT AS TRANSMITTED OR RECEIVED BY THE ON -THE-LINE METHOD AND CANNOT BE MADE AVAILABLE TO WESTERN UNION IN SUPPORT OF ITS BILLS IN VIEW OF THE HIGHLY CLASSIFIED NATURE OF THE MATERIAL INCLUDED.

THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE PRESENT CASE ARE SIMILAR IN CERTAIN RESPECTS TO THOSE IN THE CASE CONSIDERED IN THE REFERRED-TO DECISION OF JUNE 15, 1943. IN BOTH CASES, COMMERCIAL CHANNELS ARE USED, GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL PERFORM THE ACTUAL TRANSMISSION OF THE MESSAGES, PAYMENT IS MADE ON A WORD OR GROUP COUNT BASIS, AND, FOR SECURITY REASONS, NO COPY OF ANY MESSAGE SHOULD BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE COMMERCIAL COMMUNICATION COMPANY.

IN THE DECISION OF JUNE 15, 1943, B-34936, IT WAS HELD THAT: "THE LONG ESTABLISHED ACCOUNTING RULE IS THAT CLAIMS FOR TELEGRAPH SERVICES MUST BE SUPPORTED BY THE ORIGINALS OF THE OUTGOING MESSAGES. 21 COMP.GEN. 94. HOWEVER, AN EXCEPTION HAS BEEN MADE WHERE THE MESSAGE IS CONFIDENTIAL AND SECRECY IS A PUBLIC NECESSITY, ON THE BASIS THAT IS SUCH CASES THE GENERAL REQUIREMENTS OF ACCOUNTING MUST YIELD. 2 COMP. DEC. 26.

"IT IS UNDERSTOOD FROM THE QUOTED LETTER THAT THE PROPOSED ARRANGEMENT TO TRANSMIT MESSAGES BY NAVAL PERSONNEL WITHOUT DELIVERY OF THE ORIGINAL TO THE COMMERCIAL COMMUNICATION COMPANIES IS NECESSITATED BY THE EXIGENCIES OF THE PRESENT WAR. UPON THE BASIS OF THAT UNDERSTANDING, A DEPARTURE FROM THE ESTABLISHED PROCEDURE APPEARS JUSTIFIED. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT CERTIFICATION OF VOUCHERS, SUPPORTED BY THE REPORT OF TRANSMISSION UPON WHICH THE VOUCHERS ARE BASED, AS PROPOSED, WILL BE ACCEPTED BY THIS OFFICE AS SUFFICIENT FOR AUDIT PURPOSES DURING THE PRESENT EMERGENCY."

THE REPORT OF TRANSMISSION, AS APPROVED IN THAT DECISION, IS AS FOLLOWS:

1. DATE OF TRANSMISSION.

2.PLACE FROM WHICH TRANSMITTED.

3. PLACE TO WHICH TRANSMITTED.

4. NUMBER OF WORDS OR GROUPS.

5. APPLICABLE RATE PER WORD OR GROUP.

6. WHETHER GOVT OR GOVT CDE.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE TRAFFIC WHICH IS TO BE HANDLED OVER THE VARIOPLEX CABLE CHANNEL HERE CONCERNED WILL BE OF HIGHLY CLASSIFIED NATURE AND THAT NO INTELLIGIBLE COPIES OF THE MESSAGES WILL BE AVAILABLE TO THE TELEGRAPH COMPANY, THERE IS PERCEIVED NO OBJECTION TO EXTENDING THE SCOPE OF THE AFORESAID DECISION OF JUNE 15, 1943, TO PERMIT THE FURNISHING OF SUCH SKELETONIZED REPORTS OF TRANSMISSION IN SUPPORT OF VOUCHERS COVERING CHARGES FOR TRANSMITTING BOTH CLASSIFIED MESSAGES AND CLASSIFIED TELECOMMUNICATION CONFERENCES OVER THE CHANNEL BY MEANS OF CLASSIFIED EQUIPMENT.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THIS OFFICE WILL ACCEPT, AS LONG AS THE DESCRIBED CONDITIONS OF TRANSMISSION PREVAIL, REPORTS OF TRANSMISSION IN LIEU OF TEXTS OF THE MESSAGES IN SUPPORT OF CHARGES FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF CLASSIFIED MATERIAL.