Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1949 No. 188 -
Attorney General Smith Troy


(1) Appropriation may be paid in kind as well as in cash.

(2) Public printer may only perform work on requisition by state officials — he may not do work on requisition presented by Port of Seattle.

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                                                               December 28, 1949

Mr. C. Ellington
Public Printer
State Printing Plant
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 49-51 No. 188

Dear Sir:

            You have requested the opinion of this office as to whether the public printer may prepare port laws under the 1949 appropriation of $100,000 to the Port of Seattle and you have further asked for information regarding the procedure to be followed in obtaining this work.

            Our conclusions may be summarized as follows:

            The Port of Seattle may take printing in lieu of cash under its appropriation but the public printer is authorized to honor only requisitions for work presented bystate officers or agencies.


            The Port of Seattle was granted an appropriation of $100,000 by § 2, chapter 242, Laws of 1949, which stated that the money was for "* * * assistance in advertising and promoting the Foreign Trade Zone established at Seattle under Public Law 397 of the 73rd Congress."  The port district desires that certain work be done by the state printing plant.  Since the public printer would perform such work on a cost basis, a substantial economy would be effected by having the work done thereby.

            We know of no law which prevents the disbursement of an appropriation in kind as well as in cash.  Consequently, it is proper for the Port of Seattle to be paid part of its appropriation in the form of work performed by the state printer at the rates specified by statute.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            However, § 1, chapter 129, Laws of 1917 [Rem. Rev. Stat. 10325] requires that work performed by the state printer be done upon a requisition submitted by a state officer, providing as follows:

            "The public printer shall print and bind * * * such forms, blanks, record books and printing and binding of every description as may be ordered by all state officers, boards, commissions and institutions, * * * as the same may be ordered on requisition, from time to time, by the proper authorities * * *."

            Section 4, chapter 168, Laws of 1905 [Rem. Rev. Stat. 10326] provides:

            "All printing and binding shall be done under the general superintendence of the authorities ordering the same, and when completed shall be delivered to such authorities, who shall sign receipts in duplicate therefor:  Provided, however, that before the public printer shall execute any printing or binding for any office, board, commission or institution, the proper officer thereof shall apply for, and, if such printing and binding is found to be necessary and proper, they shall be furnished with requisitions in duplicate for such printing and binding approved by the governor, who shall also approve all bills for printing or binding before the same are paid."

            Since the Port of Seattle is a municipal corporation (Paine v. Port of Seattle, 70 Wash. 294, 299, 126 Pac. 628) as distinguished from a state agency, the public printer is not authorized to honor a requisition presented thereby, under the statutes cited above.  However, it would be proper for the State Auditor, after request by the authorized port officials, to order such work done by the state printing plant.  On the basis of the port's request, its appropriation could be charged, and the work could be performed under the supervision of the port authorities.  Upon completion, the work could be turned over to the Port of Seattle as part of the payment of funds appropriated for its use.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General