B-205013 L/M, JAN 27, 1982

B-205013 L/M: Jan 27, 1982

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ALTHOUGH IT IS MORE RESTRICTED. UNITED STATES SENATE: THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 25. IN WHICH YOU ASKED WHETHER YOU HAVE THE AUTHORITY. IF WE DETERMINED THAT YOU HAVE AUTHORITY SIMILAR TO THAT OF THE CLERK OF THE HOUSE TO DISPOSE OF SUCH EQUIPMENT. YOU HAVE AUTHORITY SIMILAR TO THAT OF THE CLERK OF THE HOUSE. ALTHOUGH IT IS MORE RESTRICTED. THE SENATE RECORDING STUDIO WAS ESTABLISHED TO SUCCEED THE JOINT SENATE AND HOUSE RECORDING FACILITY. THE NAME OF THE FACILITY WAS SUBSEQUENTLY CHANGED TO THE SENATE RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS. THESE STUDIOS ARE INTENDED TO ASSIST MEMBERS AND COMMITTEES OF THE SENATE IN MAKING DISK. A REVOLVING FUND WAS ESTABLISHED WITHIN THE CONTINGENT FUND OF THE SENATE FOR ADMINISTERING THE DUTIES OF THE SENATE RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS.

B-205013 L/M, JAN 27, 1982

DIGEST: UNDER 2 U.S.C. SEC. 123B (1976), THE SERGEANT AT ARMS OF THE SENATE HAS AUTHORITY TO DISPOSE OF EXCESS EQUIPMENT OF THE SENATE RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS SIMILAR TO THAT OF THE CLERK OF THE HOUSE'S AUTHORITY TO DISPOSE OF EXCESS EQUIPMENT OF THE HOUSE RECORDING STUDIO, ALTHOUGH IT IS MORE RESTRICTED. UNLIKE THE CLERK OF THE HOUSE, TO USE THIS AUTHORITY THE SERGEANT AT ARMS MUST FIRST SEEK APPROVAL FROM THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON RULES AND ADMINISTRATION. ANY RECEIPTS FROM DISPOSITIONS UNDER THIS AUTHORITY MUST BE DEPOSITED IN THE SENATE RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS'REVOLVING FUND.

HOWARD S. LIEBENGOOD, UNITED STATES SENATE:

THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 25, 1981, IN WHICH YOU ASKED WHETHER YOU HAVE THE AUTHORITY, AS THE SERGEANT AT ARMS OF THE SENATE, TO DISPOSE OF EXCESS EQUIPMENT OF THE SENATE RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS. YOU REFERRED TO OUR LETTER, B-114842, OCTOBER 17, 1979, ADVISING THAT THE CLERK OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HAS SUCH AUTHORITY REGARDING THE DISPOSITION OF EXCESS EQUIPMENT OF THE HOUSE RECORDING STUDIO. YOU ASKED THAT WE NOTIFY YOU IN WRITING, IF WE DETERMINED THAT YOU HAVE AUTHORITY SIMILAR TO THAT OF THE CLERK OF THE HOUSE TO DISPOSE OF SUCH EQUIPMENT.

FOR THE REASONS INDICATED BELOW, WE CONCLUDE THAT AS SERGEANT AT ARMS, UNDER 2 U.S.C. SEC. 123B (1976), YOU HAVE AUTHORITY SIMILAR TO THAT OF THE CLERK OF THE HOUSE, ALTHOUGH IT IS MORE RESTRICTED. UNLIKE THE CLERK OF THE HOUSE, TO USE THIS AUTHORITY THE SERGEANT AT ARMS MUST FIRST SEEK APPROVAL FROM THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON RULES AND ADMINISTRATION TO DISPOSE OF EXCESS EQUIPMENT OF THE SENATE RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS. ANY RECEIPTS FROM DISPOSITIONS UNDER THIS AUTHORITY MUST BE DEPOSITED IN THE SENATE RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS' REVOLVING FUND.

AS WITH THE HOUSE RECORDING STUDIO, THE SENATE RECORDING STUDIO WAS ESTABLISHED TO SUCCEED THE JOINT SENATE AND HOUSE RECORDING FACILITY, BY SECTION 105 OF THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH APPROPRIATION ACT, 1957, 2 U.S.C. SEC. 123B. THE NAME OF THE FACILITY WAS SUBSEQUENTLY CHANGED TO THE SENATE RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS. SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS AND RECISSION ACT, 1980, PUB.L. NO. 96-304, SEC. 108, 94 STAT. 857, 890 (1980). THESE STUDIOS ARE INTENDED TO ASSIST MEMBERS AND COMMITTEES OF THE SENATE IN MAKING DISK, FILM, AND TAPE RECORDINGS, AND IN PERFORMING OTHER NECESSARY FUNCTIONS AND DUTIES IN CONNECTION WITH THE MAKING OF RECORDINGS. 2 U.S.C. SEC. 123BB). A REVOLVING FUND WAS ESTABLISHED WITHIN THE CONTINGENT FUND OF THE SENATE FOR ADMINISTERING THE DUTIES OF THE SENATE RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS. ID. SEC. 123BG). THE ASSETS OF THE FORMER JOINT RECORDING FACILITY WERE DISTRIBUTED IN EQUAL AMOUNTS TO THE HOUSE AND SENATE. ID. SEC. 123BI)(1).

SINCE THE SENATE RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS ARE PART OF THE SENATE, THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED (40 U.S.C. SEC. 471 ET. SEQ.), WHICH PROVIDES FOR THE DISPOSAL OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY, DOES NOT APPLY EXCEPT ON REQUEST, BECAUSE ACTIVITIES OR FUNCTIONS OF THE SENATE ARE AMONG THOSE SPECIFICALLY EXEMPTED BY 40 U.S.C. SEC. 474.

SECTION 123B OF TITLE 2 OF THE U.S.C. PROVIDES THE SERGEANT AT ARMS' AUTHORITY TO DISPOSE OF EXCESS EQUIPMENT OF THE SENATE RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS. IT STATES THAT THE SENATE RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS ARE TO BE " *** OPERATED BY THE SERGEANT AT ARMS OF THE SENATE UNDER THE DIRECTION AND CONTROL OF THE COMMITTEE ON RULES AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE SENATE. ***" 2 U.S.C. SEC. 123BC). SINCE THE DISPOSITION OF EXCESS EQUIPMENT IS AMONG THE OPERATIONS IT WOULD BE REASONABLE TO EXPECT THE SENATE RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS TO PERFORM, SUCH DISPOSITION MUST BE MADE UNDER THE "DIRECTION AND CONTROL" OF THE COMMITTEE.

THE COMMITTEE IS AUTHORIZED TO ISSUE RULES AND REGULATIONS RELATING TO THE OPERATION OF THE SENATE RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS. ID. UNDER THIS AUTHORITY, ON JULY 11, 1956, THE COMMITTEE ADOPTED RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE OPERATION OF THE SENATE RECORDING STUDIO. THESE RULES AND REGULATIONS, HOWEVER, UNLIKE THOSE GOVERNING THE OPERATION OF THE HOUSE RECORDING STUDIO, DO NOT ADDRESS THE DISPOSITION OF EQUIPMENT. THUS, THE SERGEANT AT ARMS CAN DISPOSE OF EXCESS EQUIPMENT UNDER THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 123B, BUT ONLY UNDER THE "DIRECTION AND CONTROL" OF THE COMMITTEE. AT THE LEAST, THIS REQUIRES CONSULTATION AND APPROVAL FOR THESE TRANSACTIONS.

RATHER THAN OPERATE UNDER THIS RESTRICTION, YOU MAY WISH TO REQUEST THAT THE COMMITTEE DELEGATE TO YOU AUTHORITY TO DISPOSE OF EXCESS EQUIPMENT OF THE SENATE RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS ON YOUR OWN INITIATIVE. THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE FOR THE HOUSE RECORDING STUDIO MADE SUCH A DELEGATION TO THE CLERK OF THE HOUSE BY PROVIDING IN ITS REGULATIONS:"IF APPROPRIATE, ON THE LAST DAY OF EACH QUARTER OF A FISCAL YEAR, A LIST OF DISPOSABLE ITEMS WILL BE FURNISHED BY THE CLERK, SHOWING WHEN PURCHASED, DEPRECIATION, AND DEPRECIATED BOOK VALUE. THE CLERK WILL MAKE THE DECISION AS TO THE MANNER OF DISPOSITION." BASED ON THIS PROVISION, WE CONCLUDED THAT THE DETERMINATION AS TO THE DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY LIES ENTIRELY WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE CLERK OF THE HOUSE. B-114842, SUPRA.

ANY FUNDS RECEIVED FROM THE DISPOSITION OF EXCESS EQUIPMENT UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF SECTION 123B MUST BE DEPOSITED IN THE SENATE RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS' REVOLVING FUND. 2 U.S.C. SEC. 123BH). THE MONEYS IN THAT REVOLVING FUND ARE AVAILABLE FOR DISBURSEMENT UPON VOUCHERS SIGNED AND APPROVED BY THE SERGEANT AT ARMS "*** FOR THE CARE, MAINTENANCE, OPERATION, AND OTHER EXPENSES ***" OF THE SENATE RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS. ID.

2 U.S.C. SEC. 59C, AS AMENDED BY PUB.L. 97-51, OCTOBER 1, 1981, PROVIDES SIMILAR AUTHORITY FOR DISPOSAL OF SENATE PROPERTY GENERALLY. THAT SECTION AUTHORIZES THE SERGEANT AT ARMS AND THE DOORKEEPER OF THE SENATE TO DISPOSE OF SENATE PROPERTY EITHER DIRECTLY OR THROUGH GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION PROCEDURES. HOWEVER, IN OUR VIEW, SECTION 123B IS THE PROPER AUTHORITY TO USE FOR DISPOSAL OF RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS EQUIPMENT BECAUSE IT IS THAT SECTION WHICH DEALS SPECIFICALLY WITH THE OPERATION OF THE STUDIOS.

ACCORDINGLY, UPON APPROVAL OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON RULES AND ADMINISTRATION, YOU MAY DISPOSE OF UNNEEDED EQUIPMENT OF THE SENATE RECORDING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIOS.

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