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IT WAS STATED THAT. IT IS NECESSARY TO SHOW THAT A VALID AND SUBSISTING ENFORCEABLE CONTRACT FOR THE SALE OF THE PROPERTY CAME INTO BEING ON OR PRIOR TO THE HOUR AND DATE SPECIFIED IN THE ACT. IN ELABORATING ON THE ABOVE STATEMENT IT WAS STATED THAT IF SUCH A CONTRACT HAS BEEN EXECUTED IN ANY PARTICULAR CASE THE FACT THAT COMPLETION OF THE TRANSACTION. IS NOT REQUIRED TO BE MADE UNTIL AFTER THE CUT-OFF DATE WOULD NOT APPEAR TO BE CONTRARY TO THE REQUIREMENT OF THE STATUTE. IT WAS STATED THAT IF ANY SUCH CONTRACT CONTAINS IN ITSELF EXPRESS CONDITIONS. IT WAS STATED THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF LEGISLATION. IN THE TWO CASES REFERRED TO IN THE SECRETARY'S LETTER IT IS STATED THAT EACH CONTRACT PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS: "THIS AGREEMENT SHALL BECOME FINAL AND BINDING AS OF THE DATE HEREOF UPON THE EXPIRATION OF 60 DAYS AFTER SUCH DATE UNLESS TERMINATED PRIOR TO SUCH TIME BY THE GOVERNMENT.'.

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B-126445, JAN. 10, 1956

TO HONORABLE EDMUND F. MANSURE, ADMINISTRATOR, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION:

THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR HAS REQUESTED A DECISION BY LETTER OF DECEMBER 27, 1955, COPY ATTACHED, AS TO WHETHER WE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO CONSUMMATION OF TWO CONTRACTS, BOTH DATED JUNE 29, 1955, AND TO THE DELIVERY OF DEEDS PROPOSING THE DISPOSAL OF CERTAIN SURPLUS PROPERTY UNDER SECTION 203 (E) OF THE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED BY PUBLIC LAW 492, 83RD CONGRESS, APPROVED JULY 14, 1954, 40 U.S.C. 484 (E).

IN OUR LETTER OF JULY 21, 1955, B-116344, TO THE CHAIRMAN, SPECIAL GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS, IT WAS STATED THAT, IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH THE EXPRESS PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE STATUTE, IT IS NECESSARY TO SHOW THAT A VALID AND SUBSISTING ENFORCEABLE CONTRACT FOR THE SALE OF THE PROPERTY CAME INTO BEING ON OR PRIOR TO THE HOUR AND DATE SPECIFIED IN THE ACT, NAMELY 12 O- CLOCK NOON, EASTERN STANDARD TIME, JUNE 30, 1955. IN ELABORATING ON THE ABOVE STATEMENT IT WAS STATED THAT IF SUCH A CONTRACT HAS BEEN EXECUTED IN ANY PARTICULAR CASE THE FACT THAT COMPLETION OF THE TRANSACTION, SUCH AS PAYMENT OF THE PURCHASE PRICE OR THE EXECUTION OF A DEED OR OTHER TITLE INSTRUMENT, IS NOT REQUIRED TO BE MADE UNTIL AFTER THE CUT-OFF DATE WOULD NOT APPEAR TO BE CONTRARY TO THE REQUIREMENT OF THE STATUTE. ON THE OTHER HAND, IT WAS STATED THAT IF ANY SUCH CONTRACT CONTAINS IN ITSELF EXPRESS CONDITIONS, WHICH WOULD PREVENT ITS TAKING EFFECT AS A BINDING OBLIGATION UNTIL AFTER THE CUT-OFF DATE, SUCH PROPOSED DISPOSITION PROPERLY COULD NOT BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN MADE WITHIN THE TIME FIXED BY THE STATUTE. SUCH EVENT, IT WAS STATED THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF LEGISLATION, EITHER EXTENDING THE TIME FOR NEGOTIATED SALES BEYOND JUNE 30, 1955, OR AUTHORIZING NEGOTIATED SALES GENERALLY, SUCH DISPOSALS COULD ONLY BE MADE AFTER ADVERTISING.

IN THE TWO CASES REFERRED TO IN THE SECRETARY'S LETTER IT IS STATED THAT EACH CONTRACT PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

"THIS AGREEMENT SHALL BECOME FINAL AND BINDING AS OF THE DATE HEREOF UPON THE EXPIRATION OF 60 DAYS AFTER SUCH DATE UNLESS TERMINATED PRIOR TO SUCH TIME BY THE GOVERNMENT.'

ALSO, IT IS STATED THAT THE SUBMITTAL OF A 30-DAY ADVANCE EXPLANATORY STATEMENT TO THE APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES WAS A CONDITION OF THE DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY FROM YOU AUTHORIZING THE TWO DISPOSALS. PRESUMABLY SUCH CONDITION WAS IMPOSED BY YOU, OR AN OFFICIAL AUTHORIZED BY YOU, PURSUANT TO SECTION 203 (C) OF THE ACT PROVIDING AS FOLLOWS:

"ANY EXECUTIVE AGENCY DESIGNATED OR AUTHORIZED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR TO DISPOSE OF SURPLUS PROPERTY MAY DO SO BY SALE, EXCHANGE, LEASE, PERMIT, OR TRANSFER, FOR CASH, CREDIT, OR OTHER PROPERTY, WITH OR WITHOUT WARRANTY, UPON SUCH OTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS AS THE ADMINISTRATOR DEEMS PROPER, AND IT MAY EXECUTE SUCH DOCUMENTS FOR THE TRANSFER OF TITLE OR OTHER INTEREST IN PROPERTY AND TAKE SUCH OTHER ACTION AS IT DEEMS NECESSARY OR PROPER TO DISPOSE OF SUCH PROPERTY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS TITLE.'

THE SECRETARY'S LETTER STATES THAT, IN ONE OF THE CASES, INTERNAL CONSIDERATION WITHIN THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION RESULTED IN DELAY IN SUBMITTING THE EXPLANATORY STATEMENT UNTIL A PERIOD OF LESS THAN 30 DAYS PRIOR TO JUNE 30, 1955, REMAINED. IN THE OTHER CASE THE LETTER STATES THAT REQUESTS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION BY ONE OF THE COMMITTEES COULD NOT BE COMPLIED WITH UNTIL LESS THAN THAT PERIOD REMAINED. IN CONCLUSION IT IS STATED THAT IN EACH CASE THE DEPARTMENT WAS SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED, SHORTLY BEFORE JUNE 30, 1955, BY THE STAFF OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS TO DELAY FINAL ACTION IN ORDER TO ENABLE FURTHER COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION.

FOR USE IN MAKING AN APPROPRIATE REPLY TO THE SECRETARY'S REQUEST IT IS REQUESTED THAT YOU FURNISH A COPY OF YOUR DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO DISPOSE OF THE PROPERTY INVOLVED, TOGETHER WITH YOUR COMMENTS CONCERNING THE SECRETARY'S CONTENTIONS AS TO THE VALIDITY AND BINDING EFFECT OF THE INVOLVED AGREEMENTS.

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