B-9223, APRIL 23, 1940, 19 COMP. GEN. 890

B-9223: Apr 23, 1940

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LORTON REFORMATORY LAUNDRY SERVICES - EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION AVAILABILITY THERE IS NO INHIBITION IN THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1939. LAUNDRY SERVICES WHICH REPRESENT AN ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE OF THE NATIONAL YOUTH ADMINISTRATION ARE FOR PROCUREMENT FROM THE LORTON REFORMATORY LAUNDRY WITH REIMBURSEMENT FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE ADMINISTRATION BY SAID ACT. 15 COMP. AS FOLLOWS: IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE SERVICES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS BEING MADE ARE LAUNDRY SERVICES APPARENTLY RENDERED BY CONVICT LABOR IN THE LORTON PENITENTIARY. IT WILL BE FURTHER NOTED IN THE CERTIFIED TRUE COPY OF LETTER DATED AUGUST 21. THAT REQUEST WAS MADE OF THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION BY THE NATIONAL YOUTH ADMINISTRATION THAT A CONTRACT BE ACCOMPLISHED TO COVER WEEKLY LAUNDRY SERVICES FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR.

B-9223, APRIL 23, 1940, 19 COMP. GEN. 890

LORTON REFORMATORY LAUNDRY SERVICES - EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION AVAILABILITY THERE IS NO INHIBITION IN THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1939, 53 STAT. 927, AGAINST THE PROCUREMENT FOR ADMINISTRATIVE NEEDS, OF SUPPLIES OR SERVICES INVOLVING CONVICT LABOR, AND LAUNDRY SERVICES WHICH REPRESENT AN ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE OF THE NATIONAL YOUTH ADMINISTRATION ARE FOR PROCUREMENT FROM THE LORTON REFORMATORY LAUNDRY WITH REIMBURSEMENT FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE ADMINISTRATION BY SAID ACT. 15 COMP. GEN. 542 AND 16 ID. 380, DISTINGUISHED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE FEDERAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATOR, APRIL 23, 1940:

THERE HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO THIS OFFICE, FOR AUDIT IN ADVANCE OF PAYMENT, VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF THE COLLECTOR OF TAXES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR $1.91 AS PAYMENT FOR LAUNDRY SERVICES RENDERED THE NATIONAL YOUTH ADMINISTRATION DURING JANUARY 1940, BY THE LAUNDRY AT LORTON REFORMATORY, TOGETHER WITH EXPLANATORY LETTER OF MARCH 16, 1940, FROM THE OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF ACCOUNTS AND DEPOSITS, IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE SERVICES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS BEING MADE ARE LAUNDRY SERVICES APPARENTLY RENDERED BY CONVICT LABOR IN THE LORTON PENITENTIARY, LORTON, VIRGINIA. THE NATIONAL YOUTH ADMINISTRATION CONTEMPLATES REIMBURSEMENT FOR THESE SERVICES FROM EMERGENCY RELIEF FUNDS, EXPENDITURE SYMBOL 280009, EMERGENCY RELIEF, NATIONAL YOUTH ADMINISTRATION, ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES, 1940.

IT WILL BE FURTHER NOTED IN THE CERTIFIED TRUE COPY OF LETTER DATED AUGUST 21, 1939, THAT REQUEST WAS MADE OF THE PROCUREMENT DIVISION BY THE NATIONAL YOUTH ADMINISTRATION THAT A CONTRACT BE ACCOMPLISHED TO COVER WEEKLY LAUNDRY SERVICES FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR, BUT IN REPLY DATED SEPTEMBER 14, 1939, CERTIFIED TRUE COPY OF WHICH IS ATTACHED, SIGNED BY J. W. PEED, CHIEF, PURCHASE DIVISION, PROCUREMENT DIVISION, THE NATIONAL YOUTH ADMINISTRATION WAS ADVISED TO THE EFFECT THAT IT WOULD BE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT TO HAVE THE LAUNDRY WORK PERFORMED BY THE D.C. REFORMATORY AT LORTON, VIRGINIA, AND IT WAS SUGGESTED THAT ARRANGEMENTS BE MADE WITH THAT INSTITUTION TO COLLECT AND DELIVER THE LAUNDRY OF THE NATIONAL YOUTH ADMINISTRATION.

HOWEVER, YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL RENDERED IN 15 C.G. 542 AND 16 C.G. 380, WHEREIN MONIES MADE AVAILABLE BY THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935, WERE HELD NOT TO BE AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES MADE BY CONVICT LABOR IN FEDERAL PRISONS. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE SERVICES IN THE INSTANT CASE INVOLVE THE USE OF CONVICT LABOR, IT APPEARS THAT THERE IS REASONABLE DOUBT THAT THE PROPOSED PAYMENT IS WITHIN THE PURPOSE AND SPIRIT OF THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1939.

INASMUCH AS THE NATIONAL YOUTH ADMINISTRATION WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE FEDERAL SECURITY AGENCY BY VIRTUE OF THE REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1939, YOUR ATTENTION IS ALSO INVITED TO TITLE 1, PART I, SECTION 4 (D) (3) OF THAT ACT WHEREIN IT IS STATED IN PART "* * * SUCH UNEXPENDED BALANCES SO TRANSFERRED SHALL BE USED ONLY FOR THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH SUCH APPROPRIATION IS ORIGINALLY MADE.' ACCORDINGLY, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT ANY LIMITATIONS, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED IN THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1939, INSOFAR AS THEY AFFECT FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE NATIONAL YOUTH ADMINISTRATION BY THAT ACT, ARE CARRIED OVER AND ARE APPLICABLE TO THE NATIONAL YOUTH ADMINISTRATION AS SET UP WITHIN THE FEDERAL SECURITY AGENCY BY THE REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1939.

BY THE ACT OF MARCH 26, 1930, 46 STAT. 97-98, PROVISION WAS MADE FOR THE ERECTION AND EQUIPMENT OF A SUITABLE LAUNDRY BUILDING AT THE LORTON REFORMATORY. THE APPARENT PURPOSE OF THIS ENACTMENT WAS TO PROVIDE A LAUNDRY TO DO ALL LAUNDRY WORK FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT (SEE PAGES 758- 768 OF THE HEARINGS BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS CONSIDERING THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION BILL FOR 1931), AND, ACCORDINGLY, IN DECISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED JANUARY 28, 1932, A-40321, IT WAS STATED THAT "IT WOULD APPEAR DOUBTFUL ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE" TO HAVE LAUNDRY WORK OF FEDERAL DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS IN WASHINGTON DONE ELSEWHERE THAN AT LORTON. OF COURSE IF THE CONGRESS SHOULD SEE FIT TO PROVIDE, EITHER SPECIFICALLY OR BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION, THAT THE LAUNDRY WORK OF ANY GIVEN AGENCY SHOULD BE PERFORMED BY COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS OR OTHERWISE THAN AT LORTON, THEN SUCH PURPOSE WOULD BE GIVEN FULL EFFECT AND THE ABOVE RULE WOULD BE MODIFIED IN ITS APPLICATION ACCORDINGLY.

UNDER THE FACTS OF THE PRESENT CASE THERE IS FOR DETERMINATION WHETHER THE TERMS AND PURPOSES OF THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1939, JOINT RESOLUTION OF JUNE 30, 1939, 53 STAT. 927, ARE SUCH AS TO INDICATE AN INTENTION ON THE PART OF THE CONGRESS THAT LAUNDRY WORK SUCH AS THAT HERE INVOLVED, WHEN PAID FOR FROM THESE EMERGENCY FUNDS, SHALL BE PROCURED FROM PRIVATE ENTERPRISE.

THE PURPOSE OF SECTION 1 OF THE SAID EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT, AS EXPRESSED THEREIN, IS "TO CONTINUE TO PROVIDE WORK FOR NEEDY PERSONS ON USEFUL PUBLIC PROJECTS IN THE UNITED STATES AND ITS TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS.' ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.) INCIDENTAL TO THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THIS MAIN PURPOSE, HOWEVER, CERTAIN EXPENSES OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE AND NONPROJECT NATURE MUST NECESSARILY BE INCURRED. THIS IS RECOGNIZED BY THE PROVISION OF SECTION 1 (B) OF THE ACT THAT " THE FUNDS PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR (1) ADMINISTRATION; (2) THE PROSECUTION OF PROJECTS * * *.' IN SECTION 2 (A) OF SAID JOINT RESOLUTION AN APPROPRIATION IS MADE TO THE NATIONAL YOUTH ADMINISTRATION " IN ORDER TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO NEEDY YOUNG PERSONS," (C) PROVIDES THAT NOT TO EXCEED 5 PERCENTUM OF THE AMOUNT SO APPROPRIATED "MAY BE USED FOR ADMINISTRATION.'

UNDER " GENERAL AND SPECIAL PROVISIONS" SECTION 10 OF THE SAID JOINT RESOLUTION PROVIDES:

(A) FUNDS APPROPRIATED IN THIS JOINT RESOLUTION TO THE VARIOUS FEDERAL AGENCIES SHALL BE SO APPORTIONED AND DISTRIBUTED OVER THE PERIOD ENDING JUNE 30, 1940, AND SHALL BE SO ADMINISTERED DURING SUCH PERIOD AS TO CONSTITUTE THE TOTAL AMOUNT THAT WILL BE FURNISHED TO SUCH AGENCIES DURING SUCH PERIOD FOR THE PURPOSES HEREIN SET FORTH.

(B) THE FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE BY THIS JOINT RESOLUTION SHALL BE USED ONLY FOR WORK RELIEF OR RELIEF FOR PERSONS IN NEED EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED HEREIN.

THERE IS NO PROVISION IN THE JOINT RESOLUTION WHICH EITHER EXPRESSLY OR IMPLIEDLY CONVEYS THE INTENTION THAT DIFFERENT LEGAL REQUIREMENTS SHALL PREVAIL WHEN SERVICES OR SUPPLIES ARE PROCURED WITH FUNDS THEREIN MADE AVAILABLE TO MEET ADMINISTRATIVE NEEDS THAN WHEN SIMILAR SERVICES OR SUPPLIES ARE PROCURED WITH OTHER FEDERAL FUNDS TO MEET SUCH NEEDS. NEITHER DOES THE SAID RESOLUTION CONTAIN ANY INHIBITION AGAINST THE PROCUREMENT, FOR ADMINISTRATIVE NEEDS, OF SUPPLIES OR SERVICES INTO WHICH CONVICT LABOR HAD ENTERED. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE LAUNDRY SERVICES HERE IN QUESTION, REPRESENTING AN ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE OF THE NATIONAL YOUTH ADMINISTRATION, WERE PROPERLY FOR PROCUREMENT FROM THE LORTON REFORMATORY LAUNDRY.

THE DECISIONS OF DECEMBER 19, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 542, AND OCTOBER 15, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 380, REFERRED TO IN THE ABOVE-QUOTED LETTER, WERE RENDERED WITH REFERENCE TO THE PARTICULAR TERMS OF THE EMERGENCY RELIEF ACT OF APRIL 8, 1935, AND THE FIRST DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, FISCAL YEAR 1936, AND ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO THE PROCUREMENT HERE INVOLVED.

THE VOUCHER IN QUESTION WILL BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT AND RETURNED THROUGH THE USUAL CHANNELS.