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C. Dear Canney: Reference is made to your letter of March 23. Requesting a decision as to whether you are authorized to certify for payment a voucher in favor of International News Photos. There was approved certification for payment of a voucher for photographs of Forest Service officials. There was disapproved certification for payment of a voucher for photograph of an official of the National Security Resources Board. It is to be observed that the said decision of March 5. Was based on "the absence of a definite indication as to the necessity for the expenditures in the accomplishment of some purpose for which the appropriation was made. It was regarded as established that the photographs were necessary for official use relative to the work of the Forest Service.

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B-114344 May 19, 1953

Mr. John O. Canney, Authorized Certifying Officer Small Defense Plants Administration Washington 25, D. C.

Dear Canney:

Reference is made to your letter of March 23, 1953, requesting a decision as to whether you are authorized to certify for payment a voucher in favor of International News Photos, 235 East 45th Street, New York City, in the amount of $9.60 for six prints of a picture of Tolford Taylor, the Administrator of the Small Defense Plants Administration.

You express doubt as to the propriety of the payment of the voucher in view of the fact that in Office decision of February 15, 1945, B-47547, there was approved certification for payment of a voucher for photographs of Forest Service officials, whereas in decision of March 5, 1952, B- 108060 (31 Comp. Gen. 452), there was disapproved certification for payment of a voucher for photograph of an official of the National Security Resources Board. It is to be observed that the said decision of March 5, 1952, was based on "the absence of a definite indication as to the necessity for the expenditures in the accomplishment of some purpose for which the appropriation was made," while in the earlier decision of February 15, 1945, it was regarded as established that the photographs were necessary for official use relative to the work of the Forest Service.

In the act of July 31, 1951, 65 Stat. 139, 141, creating the Small Defense Plants Administration, the Administration is empowered "to provide technical and managerial aids to small-business concerns, by maintaining a clearinghouse for technical information, by cooperating with other Government agencies, by disseminating information, and by such other activities as are deemed appropriate by the Administration."

In the memorandum of January 13, 1953, from A. J. Lubin, Director, Office of Information, submitted in support of the voucher, it is stated, after referring to several types of meetings held with small businessmen throughout the country, as follows:

"However, these smaller groups are generally unfamiliar with government programs, agencies and personnel, and particularly in the early stages of SDPA knew nothing of Mr. Taylor, then administrator, and were skeptical of the ability of any government agency to assist them. Consequently, since SDPA's sole responsibility is to assist small businessmen throughout the country, and among other things is charged with disseminating information concerning the programs and objectives of SDPA, these meetings were arranged. Information concerning the agency, and the Administrator, generally was forwarded to each group prior to the meeting so that the spokesman or chairman of the group could give his members an idea of the SDPA's programs, and data concerning the official with whom they were meeting.

"The value of these informal meetings was soon demonstrated, and therefore, on the few occasions when the spokesman or chairman of the groups wished to have a picture of the Head of the Agency for display on his bulletin board, or for use on his program, it was considered desirable to have the more informal photograph, rather than the official one, to forward."

In view of the quoted statutory provision and the explanation submitted with the voucher, the cost of the prints in question appears to be properly chargeable to funds appropriated to the Small Defense Plants Administration. The voucher, together with the accompanying papers, is returned herewith, and you are advised that certification thereof for payment is authorized.

Sincerely yours,

Lindsay C. Warren Comptroller General of the United States

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