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it has many or only one supply bureau, to "purchase or -draw supplies from the common schedule” through a single supply office. Respectfully,

GEORGE W. WICKERSHAM. The SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.

PUBLIC PRINTER-PURCHASE OF TILE PRODUCT OF BIND

ERY OPERATIONS

Sections 4 and 5 of the act of June 17, 1910 (36 Stat. 531), relating to

the purchase of stationery and other miscellaneous supplies for the executive departments and other government establishments in Washington do not supersede or repeal section 87 of the act of July 12, 1895 (28 Stat. 622), and other provisions of law under which it is claimed the Public Printer has authority to purchase all articles that are mani

festly products of the printing art and its kindred operations. Blank books, press copy books, stenographers' notebooks, etc., which

have been scheduled by the general supply committee, and are of a staple character usually carried in stock by commercial houses, do not come within the terms of section 87 of the act of January 12, 1895, which requires only that “printing, binding, and blank books,” which it is necessary to have specially executed, manufactured, or made at the Government Printing Office, shall be “done” there, except as other

wise provided by law. The Public Printer is, however, required to purchase from the schedule

of the general supply committee any of the articles above referred to which are properly upon the schedule, where the same are required for the use of the Printing Office, but he is not required to purchase such articles from the schedule for the other departments or establishments of the Government, as they would be ordered through the Secretary of

the Treasury. The Public Printer is not required by law to supply a specifically described

patented binding device on the requisition of an allottee of the appropriation for public printing and binding, the article being of a character required by section 87 of the act of July 12, 1895, to be "done” at the Government Printing Office, where in his opinion an article of different character is more in the interest of economy, uniformity, and better adapted to the needs of the service.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
January 26, 1911.

. Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith the opinion requested by you, under date of the 23d instant, upon certain questions raised by the Public Printer.

The questions presented, the provisions of law involved, and the circumstances giving rise to this request are stated by the Public Printer in his letter to you of January 20, 1911, as follows:

Section 16 of the act of January 12, 1895 (28 Stat. 601), provides that,

“The Public Printer shall prepare a schedule of materials required to be purchased, showing the description, quantity, and quality of each article, and shall invite proposals for furnishing the same, either by advertisement or circular as the Joint Committee on Printing may direct, and shall make contracts for the same with the lowest responsible bidder, making a return of the same to the Joint Committee, showing the number of bidders, the amount of each bid, and the award of the contracts."

Section 18 of the same act provides, in part, that-

“It shall be the duty of the Public Printer to purchase all materials and machinery which may be necessary for the Government Printing Office

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Section 87 of the act of January 12, 1895, provides that-

“All printing, binding, and blank books for the Senate or House of Representatives and for the executive and judicial departments shall be done at the Government Printing Office, except in cases otherwise provided by law.”

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Section 4 of the act of June 17, 1910 (36 Stat. 531), provides in part

“That hereafter all supplies of fuel, ice, stationery, and other niscellaneous supplies for the executive departments and other government establishments in Washington, when the public exigencies do not require the immediate delivery of the article, shall be advertised and contracted for by the Secretary of the Treasury, instead of by the several departments and establishments, upon such days as he may designate. There shall be a general supply committee in lieu of the board provided for in section thirty-seven hundred and nine of the Revised Statutes as amended, composed of officers, one from each such department, designated by the head thereof, the duties of which committee shall be to make, under the direction of the said Secretary, an annual schedule of required miscellaneous supplies, to standardize such supplies, eliminating all unnecessary grades and varieties,

Provided, That the articles intended to be purchased in this manner are those in common use by or suitable to the ordinary needs of two or more such departments or establislıments; but the said Secretary shall have discretion to amend the annual common supply schedule from time to time as to any articles that, in his judgment, can as well be thus purchased;" and section 5 of the said public act provides

“That all laws or parts of laws inconsistent with this act are repealed."

The general supply committee provided for in section 4 of the act quoted supra, acting under authority claimed from the said act, prepared a schedule, which includes, among others, the following items:

"Item No. 7. Books, blank, record, day or ledger ruling, as may be ordered, 100 pages to 1,000 pages each;

“Item No. 8. Books, faint line, or ruled for dollars and cents, as may be ordered;

"Item No. 10. Books, press copy, high grade, paged, half bound, cloth sides, indexed one leaf to each letter, blotter after each leaf or index; "Item No. 11. Books, scrap, manila paper, leather

, backs and corners, paged and indexed, 12 by 10 inches outside measurement, 175 leaves;

"Item No. 13. Books, stenographer's note, flexible covers, well bound, suitable for pen or pencil, 4} by 9 inches, 80 leaves;

"Item No. 14. Books, stenographer's note, stiff covers, well bound, suitable for pen or pencil, 4} by 9 inches, 80 leaves;

"Item No. 39. Devices, binding, loose leaf” (after which follows specific descriptions of the various styles of what are known as “loose-leaf binders”).

All of the articles referred to as appearing in the general supply schedule are clearly comprehended within the terms of section 87 of the act of January 12, 1895, quoted supra, and it appears that unless the procuring of the said articles is provided for by law otherwise than as mentioned in the said section 87, they should all be manufactured at the Government Printing Office, except as the Public Printer, in the exercise of the discretion vested in him by the provisions of section 51 of the act of January 12, 1895, providing that

"The forms and styles in which the printing or binding ordered by any of the departments shall be executed and the material and size of the type to be used shall be determined by the Public Printer, having proper regard to economy, workmanship, and the purposes for which the work is needed”may deem it necessary to purchase the same under the authority vested in him by that part of section 1 of the act approved June 28, 1902 (32 Stat. 481), which provides that

"The Public Printer is authorized hereafter to procure and supply, on the requisition of the head of any executive department or other government establishment, complete manifold blanks, books, and forms required in duplicating processes, also complete patented devices with which to file money order statements or other uniform official

papers, and to charge such supplies to the allotment for printing and binding of the department or government establishment requiring the same.”

The act approved June 17, 1910, a part of section 4 and section 5, all of which are quoted supra, are not regarded as superceding or repealing any of the provisions of the law under which it is claimed the Public Printer has authority to purchase all articles which are manifestly products of the art of binding and its kindred operations.

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Upon consideration of the premises these questions arise:

(1) Is the Public Printer required by law to purchase the product of bindery operations from the schedule of the general supply committee?

(2) Is the Public Printer required by law to supply a specifically described patented binding device on the requisition of an allottee of the appropriation for public printing and binding, when in the Public Printer's discretion an article of different character is more in the interest of economy, uniformity, and better adapted to the needs of the service?

1. The first question—whether the Public Printer is required by law to purchase the product of bindery operations from the schedule of the general supply committee involves a consideration of the authority of the general supply committee to schedule such articles. From the letter of the Public Printer it appears that he is of the opinion that the blank books, etc., which he says have been scheduled by the general supply committee are within the terms of section 87 of the act of January 12, 1895 (28 Stat. 601, 622), and should all be manufactured at the Government Printing Office, except as the Public Printer might deem it necessary to purchase in the exercise of the discretion vested in him by law.

Section 87 of the act of January 12, 1895, provides that "all printing, binding, and blank books for the Senate or House of Representative and for the executive and judicial departments shall be done at the Government Printing Office, except in cases otherwise provided by law.

Undoubtedly, as stated by the Public Printer, this and the other provisions of law referred to by him, and under which he claims authority “to purchase all articles which are manifestly products of the art of binding and its kindred operations,” are not repealed by sections 4 and 5 of the act of June 17, 1910.

I assume, however, that the blank books, press copy books, stenographer's notebooks, etc., which have been scheduled by the committee are those of a staple character usually carried in stock by commercial houses and are not such as are required to be made to order. This being so, it may well be held that such articles do not come within the terms of section 87 of the act of January 12, 1895. It seems a fair reading of that provision to say that it only requires “printing, binding, and blank books,” which it is necessary to have specially executed, manufactured, or made to be “done” at the Government Printing Office, except in cases otherwise provided by law.

I understand that it has always been the practice of this department to purchase supplies of this character upon contracts awarded as the result of competitive bids, the Public Printer being permitted to compete, such articles not being regarded as coming within the provisions

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