B-81996, JANUARY 14, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 415

B-81996: Jan 14, 1949

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AGENCIES IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE REQUIRED TO SURRENDER SURPLUS TYPEWRITERS TO THE BUREAU OF FEDERAL SUPPLY WITHOUT REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE FAIR VALUE THEREOF. WHEN SUCH TYPEWRITERS WERE ORIGINALLY PURCHASED BY THE SURRENDERING AGENCIES FROM REVOLVING FUNDS. UNLESS REIMBURSEMENT IS MADE. FROM WHICH THEY HAVE PURCHASED THE TYPEWRITERS WHICH ARE NOW SURPLUS. WHOLLY OWNED GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS) IS AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED (1) TO REPORT WITHIN THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE ENACTMENT OF THIS ACT. WHICHEVER IS THE LATER. THE BUREAU OF FEDERAL SUPPLY IS AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO RECEIVE AND HOLD ALL TYPEWRITING MACHINES SURRENDERED TO IT HEREUNDER AND TO DISTRIBUTE SAME TO ANY OF SUCH AGENCIES AS THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF FEDERAL SUPPLY MAY DETERMINE. * * * THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF FEDERAL SUPPLY IS AUTHORIZED TO CHARGE EACH AGENCY TO WHICH TYPEWRITING MACHINES ARE SUPPLIED HEREUNDER AMOUNTS EQUAL TO THE FAIR VALUE THEREOF.

B-81996, JANUARY 14, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 415

TYPEWRITERS - TRANSFER OF SURPLUS - REIMBURSEMENT NECESSITY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE TREASURY AND POST OFFICE DEPARTMENTS APPROPRIATION ACT, 1949, AGENCIES IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE REQUIRED TO SURRENDER SURPLUS TYPEWRITERS TO THE BUREAU OF FEDERAL SUPPLY WITHOUT REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE FAIR VALUE THEREOF, IRRESPECTIVE OF TYPE OF FUNDS, CONTRIBUTIONS, ETC., FROM WHICH ORIGINALLY PURCHASED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, JANUARY 14, 1949:

IN YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 30, 1948, YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE BUREAU OF FEDERAL SUPPLY MAY REIMBURSE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES FOR THE FAIR VALUE OF SURPLUS TYPEWRITERS SURRENDERED TO IT PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE TREASURY AND POST OFFICE DEPARTMENTS APPROPRIATION ACT, 1949, PUBLIC LAW 640, APPROVED JUNE 14, 1948, WHEN SUCH TYPEWRITERS WERE ORIGINALLY PURCHASED BY THE SURRENDERING AGENCIES FROM REVOLVING FUNDS, TRUST FUNDS, SPECIALLY CONTRIBUTED FUNDS, CORPORATION CAPITAL, ETC., WHICH THEY ADMINISTER. YOU ATTACH LETTERS FROM THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD, THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, AND THE RECONSTRUCTION FINANCE CORPORATION, PROTESTING THAT, UNLESS REIMBURSEMENT IS MADE, CERTAIN OF SUCH TYPES OF FUNDS, FROM WHICH THEY HAVE PURCHASED THE TYPEWRITERS WHICH ARE NOW SURPLUS, WOULD BE IMPROPERLY DEPLETED.

THE PROVISION OF LAW IN QUESTION, 62 STAT. 415, 416, WHICH RELATES TO SURPLUS TYPEWRITERS PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

EACH AGENCY IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT (WHICH SHALL INCLUDE ALL DEPARTMENTS, INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS, AND WHOLLY OWNED GOVERNMENT CORPORATIONS) IS AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED (1) TO REPORT WITHIN THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE ENACTMENT OF THIS ACT, OR BY JULY 1, 1948, WHICHEVER IS THE LATER, TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF FEDERAL SUPPLY THE TOTAL NUMBER OF TYPEWRITING MACHINES IN THE POSSESSION OR CUSTODY OF SUCH AGENCY AND THE NUMBER THEREOF SURPLUS TO ITS REQUIREMENTS, AND (2) TO SURRENDER AND SHIP SUCH SURPLUS TYPEWRITING MACHINES AS THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF FEDERAL SUPPLY MAY DIRECT. COSTS OF PACKING AND SHIPPING HEREUNDER SHALL BE CHARGED TO THE GENERAL SUPPLY FUND. EACH AGENCY SHALL FURNISH THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF FEDERAL SUPPLY SUCH INFORMATION REGARDING TYPEWRITING MACHINES AS HE MAY FROM TIME TO TIME REQUEST. THE BUREAU OF FEDERAL SUPPLY IS AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO RECEIVE AND HOLD ALL TYPEWRITING MACHINES SURRENDERED TO IT HEREUNDER AND TO DISTRIBUTE SAME TO ANY OF SUCH AGENCIES AS THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF FEDERAL SUPPLY MAY DETERMINE. * * *

THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF FEDERAL SUPPLY IS AUTHORIZED TO CHARGE EACH AGENCY TO WHICH TYPEWRITING MACHINES ARE SUPPLIED HEREUNDER AMOUNTS EQUAL TO THE FAIR VALUE THEREOF, AS DETERMINED BY HIM, AND SUCH AMOUNTS SHALL BE CREDITED TO THE GENERAL SUPPLY FUND.

THE LANGUAGE USED BY THE CONGRESS TO EXPRESS ITS PURPOSE IS CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS, AND PERMITS OF NO EXCEPTIONS. ALL AGENCIES INCLUDED IN THE ACT ARE REQUIRED TO SURRENDER SURPLUS TYPEWRITERS IN THEIR POSSESSION OR CUSTODY TO THE BUREAU OF FEDERAL SUPPLY. THE BUREAU IS GIVEN AUTHORITY TO PAY NOTHING OTHER THAN THE COSTS OF PACKING AND SHIPPING. THE CONGRESSIONAL USE OF THE WORD ,SURRENDER" SEEMS TO OBVIATE ANY POSSIBILITY OF A CONGRESSIONAL INTENT THAT SURPLUS TYPEWRITERS ARE TO BE SOLD TO THE BUREAU. A CLEAR AND EMPHATIC DIRECTIVE, SUCH AS THIS STATUTE CONTAINS, IS NOT SUBJECT TO AN INTERPRETATION BY THIS OFFICE WHICH WOULD ALTER ITS EXPRESS TERMS SOLELY BECAUSE OTHERWISE THERE MIGHT RESULT A COMPARATIVELY MINOR DEPLETION OF FUNDS WHICH, ALTHOUGH ORDINARILY NOT TO BE UNNECESSARILY DEPLETED, ARE NEVERTHELESS SUBJECT TO CHARGES FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT AGENCIES IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR SURPLUS TYPEWRITERS SURRENDERED TO THE BUREAU OF FEDERAL SUPPLY AS REQUIRED BY THE TREASURY AND POST OFFICE DEPARTMENTS APPROPRIATION ACT, 1949, EVEN THOUGH THE TYPEWRITERS MAY ORIGINALLY HAVE BEEN PURCHASED FROM TRUST FUNDS, SPECIAL CONTRIBUTIONS, ETC., OF THE TYPE YOU MENTION.