18 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2011 Edition
Title 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I - CRIMES
CHAPTER 23 - CONTRACTS
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

CHAPTER 23—CONTRACTS

Sec.
431.
Contracts by Member of Congress.
432.
Officer or employee contracting with Member of Congress.
433.
Exemptions with respect to certain contracts.
[434.
Repealed.]
435.
Contracts in excess of specific appropriation.
436.
Convict labor contracts.
[437.
Repealed.]
438.
Indian contracts for services generally.1

        

439.
Indian enrollment contracts.1
440.
Mail contracts.
441.
Postal supply contracts.
442.
Printing contracts.
443.
War contracts.

        

Amendments

1996—Pub. L. 104–178, §1(b), Aug. 6, 1996, 110 Stat. 1565, struck out item 437 “Federal employees contracting or trading with Indians”.

1994—Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330010(13), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2144, struck out extraneous period after “Indians” in item 437.

1990—Pub. L. 101–647, title XXXV, §3512, Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4922, struck out item 434 “Interested persons acting as Government agents” and substituted “Federal employees contracting or trading with Indians.” for “Indian contracts for goods and supplies” in item 437.

1951—Act Oct. 31, 1951, ch. 655, §18, 65 Stat. 717, struck out “; exceptions” from item 431.

1 Section repealed by Pub. L. 106–568 without corresponding amendment of chapter analysis.

§431. Contracts by Member of Congress

Whoever, being a Member of or Delegate to Congress, or a Resident Commissioner, either before or after he has qualified, directly or indirectly, himself, or by any other person in trust for him, or for his use or benefit, or on his account, undertakes, executes, holds, or enjoys, in whole or in part, any contract or agreement, made or entered into in behalf of the United States or any agency thereof, by any officer or person authorized to make contracts on its behalf, shall be fined under this title.

All contracts or agreements made in violation of this section shall be void; and whenever any sum of money is advanced by the United States or any agency thereof, in consideration of any such contract or agreement, it shall forthwith be repaid; and in case of failure or refusal to repay the same when demanded by the proper officer of the department or agency under whose authority such contract or agreement shall have been made or entered into, suit shall at once be brought against the person so failing or refusing and his sureties for the recovery of the money so advanced.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 702; Oct. 31, 1951, ch. 655, §19, 65 Stat. 717; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(J), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §204 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §114, 35 Stat. 1109).

Word “agency” was inserted in three places to eliminate any ambiguity as to scope of section. (See definition of department or agency under section 6 of this title.)

Minor changes were made in phraseology.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $3,000” in first par.

1951—Act Oct. 31, 1951, struck out “; exceptions”, after “Congress” in section catchline.

§432. Officer or employee contracting with Member of Congress

Whoever, being an officer or employee of the United States, on behalf of the United States or any agency thereof, directly or indirectly makes or enters into any contract, bargain, or agreement, with any Member of or Delegate to Congress, or any Resident Commissioner, either before or after he has qualified, shall be fined under this title.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 702; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(J), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §205 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §115, 35 Stat. 1109).

Words “agency” and “employee” were inserted to eliminate any ambiguity as to scope of section. (See definition of agency under section 6 of this title.)

Changes were made in phraseology.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $3,000”.

§433. Exemptions with respect to certain contracts

Sections 431 and 432 of this title shall not extend to any contract or agreement made or entered into, or accepted by any incorporated company for the general benefit of such corporation; nor to the purchase or sale of bills of exchange or other property where the same are ready for delivery and payment therefor is made at the time of making or entering into the contract or agreement. Nor shall the provisions of such sections apply to advances, loans, discounts, purchase or repurchase agreements, extensions, or renewals thereof, or acceptances, releases or substitutions of security therefor or other contracts or agreements made or entered into under the Reconstruction Finance Corporation Act, the Agricultural Adjustment Act, the Federal Farm Loan Act, the Emergency Farm Mortgage Act of 1933, the Farm Credit Act of 1933, or the Home Owners Loan Act of 1933, the Farmers’ Home Administration Act of 1946, the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act, or to crop insurance agreements or contracts or agreements of a kind which the Secretary of Agriculture may enter into with farmers.

Any exemption permitted by this section shall be made a matter of public record.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 703; Pub. L. 87–353, §3(o), Oct. 4, 1961, 75 Stat. 774.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on section 1514(f) of title 7, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Agriculture; sections 264w, 598, 1138d(e), 1441(e), 1467(d) of title 12, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Banks and Banking; section 616(e) of title 15, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Commerce and Trade; title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §206 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §116, 35 Stat. 1109; Dec. 23, 1913, ch. 6, §22(j), as added June 19, 1934, ch. 653, §3, 48 Stat. 1107; Jan. 22, 1932, ch. 8, §16(e), 47 Stat. 12; July 22, 1932, ch. 522, §21, 47 Stat. 738; June 13, 1933, ch. 64, §8, 48 Stat. 135; June 16, 1933, ch. 98, §64, 48 Stat. 268, 269; Jan. 25, 1934, ch. 5, 48 Stat. 337; Jan. 31, 1934, ch. 7, §13, 48 Stat. 347; June 27, 1934, ch. 847, title V, §510, 58 Stat. 1264; May 28, 1935, ch. 150, §§20, 21, 49 Stat. 298; Aug. 23, 1935, ch. 614, §101, 49 Stat. 703; Aug. 26, 1937, ch. 821, 50 Stat. 838; Feb. 16, 1938, ch. 30, title V, §514, 52 Stat. 77).

These sections were consolidated with such changes of phraseology as were necessary to effect consolidation. Said section 206 of title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., was the principal source of this section, but the enumeration of the kinds of commitments exempted was drawn from the various sections of said title 12 set forth above. The reference to crop insurance agreements is drawn from section 1514(f) of Title 7, Agriculture.

The applicability provisions of the sections here consolidated were unclear and of doubtful value. As revised the section preserves everything of value without change of substance.

References to the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act and the Farmers’ Home Administrative Act of 1946 were included in this revised section notwithstanding the omission (and consequent repeal) of former subsection (d) of section 52 of the said Bankhead-Jones Act (1937) (Title 7, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §1026) in the amendment of said section 52 of such Act by section 3 of the said Farmers’ Home Administration Act of 1946 (August 14, 1946, ch. 964, 60 Stat. 1062). The essential nature of the transactions under the several acts would render inconsistent any attempt to include some and exclude others.

References in Text

The Reconstruction Finance Corporation Act, referred to in text, is act Jan. 22, 1932, ch. 8, 47 Stat. 5, as amended, which was classified to chapter 14 (§601 et seq.) of Title 15, Commerce and Trade, and has been eliminated from the Code. For complete classification of this Act prior to its elimination from the Code, see Tables.

The Agricultural Adjustment Act, referred to in text, is title I of act May 12, 1933, ch. 25, 48 Stat. 31, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 26 (§601 et seq.) of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 601 of Title 7 and Tables.

The Federal Farm Loan Act, referred to in text, is act July 17, 1916, ch. 245, 39 Stat. 360, as amended, which was classified principally to sections 641 et seq. of Title 12, Banks and Banking. The Federal Farm Loan Act, as amended, was repealed by section 5.26(a) of the Farm Credit Act of 1971, Pub. L. 92–181, Dec. 10, 1971, 85 Stat. 624. Section 5.26(a) of the Farm Credit Act of 1971 also provided that all references in other legislation to the Acts repealed thereby “shall be deemed to refer to comparable provisions of this Act”. For further details, see notes under section 2001 of Title 12. For complete classification of the Federal Farm Loan Act to the Code prior to such repeal, see Tables.

The Emergency Farm Mortgage Act of 1933, referred to in text, is title II of act May 12, 1933, ch. 25, 48 Stat. 31, as amended. Such title II was substantially repealed by act June 30, 1947, ch. 166, title II, §206(c), 61 Stat. 208; act Aug. 6, 1953, ch. 335, §19, 67 Stat. 400; act Oct. 4, 1961, Pub. L. 87–353, §3(a), (b), (w), 75 Stat. 773, 774; act Dec. 10, 1971, Pub. L. 92–181, title V, §5.26(a), 85 Stat. 624. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.

The Farm Credit Act of 1933, referred to in text, is act June 16, 1933, ch. 98, 48 Stat. 2, as amended, which was classified principally to subchapter IV (§1131 et seq.) of chapter 7 of Title 12, Banks and Banking. The Farm Credit Act of 1933, as amended, was repealed by section 5.26(a) of the Farm Credit Act of 1971, Pub. L. 92–181, Dec. 10, 1971, 85 Stat. 624. Section 5.26(a) of the Farm Credit Act of 1971 also provided that all references in other legislation to the Acts repealed thereby “shall be deemed to refer to comparable provisions of this Act”. For further details, see notes under section 2001 of Title 12. For complete classification of the Farm Credit Act of 1933 to the Code prior to such repeal, see Tables.

The Home Owners Loan Act of 1933, referred to in text, is act June 13, 1933, ch. 64, 48 Stat. 128, as amended, now known as the Home Owners’ Loan Act, which is classified generally to chapter 12 (§1461 et seq.) of Title 12. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 1461 of Title 12 and Tables.

The Farmers’ Home Administration Act of 1946, referred to in text, is act Aug. 14, 1946, ch. 964, 60 Stat. 1062, as amended. Such Act was substantially repealed by act June 25, 1948, ch. 645, §21, 62 Stat. 862, and act Aug. 8, 1961, Pub. L. 87–128, title III, §341(a), 75 Stat. 318. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.

The Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act, referred to in text, is act July 22, 1937, ch. 517, 50 Stat. 522, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 33 (§1000 et seq.) of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 1000 of Title 7 and Tables.

Amendments

1961—Pub. L. 87–353 struck out “the Federal Farm Mortgage Corporation Act,” after “the Emergency Farm Mortgage Act of 1933,”.

Abolition of Reconstruction Finance Corporation

The Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which was created by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation Act, referred to in this section, was abolished by section 6(a) of Reorg. Plan No. 1 of 1957, eff. June 30, 1957, 22 F.R. 4633, 71 Stat. 647, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Abolition of Home Owners’ Loan Corporation

The Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, which was created by the Home Owners’ Loan Act of 1933, referred to in this section, was dissolved and abolished by act June 30, 1953, ch. 170, §21, 67 Stat. 126, set out in note under section 1463 of Title 12, Banks and Banking.

[§434. Repealed. Pub. L. 87–849, §2, Oct. 23, 1962, 76 Stat. 1126]

Section, act June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 703, related to interested persons acting as Government agents. Section was supplanted by section 208 of this title.

Effective Date of Repeal

Repeal effective 90 days after Oct. 23, 1962, see section 4 of Pub. L. 87–849, set out as an Effective Date note under section 201 of this title.

§435. Contracts in excess of specific appropriation

Whoever, being an officer or employee of the United States, knowingly contracts for the erection, repair, or furnishing of any public building, or for any public improvement, to pay a larger amount than the specific sum appropriated for such purpose, shall be fined under this title 1 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 703; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(K), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §184 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §98, 35 Stat. 1106).

Words “or employee” were inserted to remove any ambiguity as to scope of section.

The offense described in this section involves no moral turpitude, and therefore the punishment provisions were reduced from $2,000 to $1,000 and from 2 years to 1 year, so that the stigma of a felony would not attach to an offender. (See classification of felony and misdemeanor in section 1 of this title and note thereunder.)

Mandatory punishment provisions were rephrased in the alternative.

Changes were also made in phraseology.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322, which directed the amendment of this section by substituting “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $5,000”, was executed by making the substitution for “fined not more than $1,000”, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

1 See 1994 Amendment note below.

§436. Convict labor contracts

Whoever, being an officer, employee, or agent of the United States or any department or agency thereof, contracts with any person or corporation, or permits any warden, agent, or official of any penal or correctional institution, to hire out the labor of any prisoners confined for violation of any laws of the United States, shall be fined under this title 1 or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 703; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(K), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§708, 709 (Feb. 23, 1887, ch. 213, §§1, 2, 24 Stat. 411).

This section consolidates sections 708 and 709 of title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., as the offense and penalty provisions, respectively.

Words “department or agency thereof” were inserted to clarify scope of section. See definition of department and agency in section 6 of this title.

To retain uniformity words “shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and,” were omitted. The reference to misdemeanor is now covered by the definition in section 1 of this title.

Words “on conviction thereof” were omitted as unnecessary since punishment can follow only upon conviction.

The minimum punishment provisions “less than one year nor” and “less than $500 nor” were deleted to conform to the policy followed by codifiers of 1909 Criminal Code. (See reviser's note under section 203 of this title.)

Changes were also made in phraseology.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322, which directed the amendment of this section by substituting “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $5,000”, was executed by making the substitution for “fined not more than $1,000”, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

1 See 1994 Amendment note below.

[§437. Repealed. Pub. L. 104–178, §1(a), Aug. 6, 1996, 110 Stat. 1565]

Section, acts June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 703; June 17, 1980, Pub. L. 96–277, §1, 94 Stat. 544; Sept. 13, 1994, Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(L), 108 Stat. 2147, related to Federal employees contracting or trading with Indians.

Effective Date of Repeal

Section 1(c) of Pub. L. 104–178 provided that: “The repeal made by subsection (a) [repealing this section] shall—

“(1) take effect on the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 6, 1996]; and

“(2) apply with respect to any contract obtained, and any purchase or sale occurring, on or after the date of enactment of this Act.”

[§§438, 439. Repealed. Pub. L. 106–568, title VIII, §812(c)(2), Dec. 27, 2000, 114 Stat. 2917]

Section 438, acts June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 703; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(K), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147, related to Indian contracts for services generally.

Section 439, acts June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 704; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(H), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147, related to Indian enrollment contracts.

§440. Mail contracts

Whoever, being a person employed in the Postal Service, becomes interested in any contract for carrying the mail, or acts as agent, with or without compensation, for any contractor or person offering to become a contractor in any business before the Postal Service, shall be fined under this title 1 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 704; Pub. L. 91–375, §6(j)(3), Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 777; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §356 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §226, 35 Stat. 1134).

Provision for dismissal from office was omitted since this might be handled better administratively.

Changes were made in phraseology.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322, which directed the amendment of this section by substituting “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $10,000”, was executed by making the substitution for “fined not more than $5,000”, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

1970—Pub. L. 91–375 substituted “Postal Service” for “Post Office Department” before “, shall be fined”.

Effective Date of 1970 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 91–375 effective within 1 year after Aug. 12, 1970, on date established therefor by the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service and published by it in the Federal Register, see section 15(a) of Pub. L. 91–375, set out as an Effective Date note preceding section 101 of Title 39, Postal Service.

1 See 1994 Amendment note below.

§441. Postal supply contracts

No contract for furnishing supplies to the Postal Service shall be made with any person who has entered, or proposed to enter, into any combination to prevent the making of any bid for furnishing such supplies, or to fix a price or prices therefor, or who has made any agreement, or given or performed, or promised to give or perform, any consideration whatever to induce any other person not to bid for any such contract, or to bid at a specified price or prices thereon.

Whoever violates this section shall be fined under this title 1 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if the offender is a contractor for furnishing such supplies his contract may be annulled.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 704; Pub. L. 91–375, §6(j)(4), Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 777; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on section 808 of title 39, U.S.C., 1940 ed., The Postal Service (Aug. 24, 1912, ch. 389, §2, 37 Stat. 553).

Minimum punishment provisions “less than $100 nor” and “less than three months nor” were omitted to conform to policy followed by codifiers of 1909 Criminal Code.

Changes in phraseology were also made.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322, which directed the amendment of this section by substituting “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $10,000”, was executed by making the substitution for “fined not more than $5,000” in second par., to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

1970—Pub. L. 91–375 struck out “Post Office Department or the” before “Postal Service”.

Effective Date of 1970 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 91–375 effective within 1 year after Aug. 12, 1970, on date established therefor by the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service and published by it in the Federal Register, see section 15(a) of Pub. L. 91–375, set out as an Effective Date note preceding section 101 of Title 39, Postal Service.

1 See 1994 Amendment note below.

§442. Printing contracts

Neither the Public Printer, superintendent of printing, superintendent of binding, nor any of their assistants shall, during their continuance in office, have any interest, direct or indirect, in the publication of any newspaper or periodical, or in any printing, binding, engraving, or lithographing of any kind, or in any contract for furnishing paper or other material connected with the public printing, binding, lithographing, or engraving.

Whoever violates this section shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 704; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(H), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on section 53 of title 44, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Public Printing and Documents (Jan. 12, 1895, ch. 23, §34, 28 Stat. 605).

Words “on conviction before any court of competent jurisdiction” were omitted as unnecessary, since punishment cannot be imposed until there has been a conviction before a competent tribunal.

Words “in the penitentiary” were omitted as surplusage as section 4082 of this title commits all prisoners to the custody of the Attorney General. (See reviser's note under section 1 of this title.)

The minimum punishment provision “for a term of not less than one nor” was omitted in keeping with policy of codifiers of 1909 Criminal Code.

Mandatory punishment provision was rephrased in the alternative.

The offense described in this section involves no moral turpitude, and therefore the punishment provisions were reduced from 5 years to 1 year, so that the stigma of a felony would not attach to an offender. The fine was increased from $500 to $1,000 as more proportionate to the 1-year term of imprisonment. (See classification of felony and misdemeanor in section 1 of this title and note thereunder.)

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $1,000” in second par.

§443. War contracts

Whoever willfully secretes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys—

(a) any records of a war contractor relating to the negotiation, award, performance, payment, interim financing, cancellation or other termination, or settlement of a war contract of $25,000 or more; or

(b) any records of a war contractor or purchaser relating to any disposition of termination inventory in which the consideration received by any war contractor or any government agency is $5,000 or more,


before the lapse of (1) five years after such disposition of termination inventory by such war contractor or government agency, or (2) five years after the final settlement of such war contract, whichever applicable period is longer, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

The Administrator of General Services, by regulation, may authorize the destruction of such records upon such terms and conditions as he deems appropriate, including the requirement for the making and retaining of photographs or microphotographs, which shall have the same force and effect as the originals thereof.

The definitions of terms in section 103 1 of Title 41 shall apply to similar terms used in this section.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 704; Oct. 31, 1951, ch. 655, §20(a), 65 Stat. 717; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §§330004(17), 330016(2)(F), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2142, 2148.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on section 119, first and second paragraphs, of title 41 U.S.C., 1940 ed., Public Contracts (July 1, 1944, ch. 358, §19(a), 58 Stat. 667).

Section was rewritten with changes of phraseology to conform to the style adopted in the revision.

The definition of “records” was omitted as surplusage in order to avoid any inference that “records” as used in other sections was intended to have a different or more limited connotation than the broad and commonly understood meaning popularly assigned to the term.

The last paragraph was added to obviate any possibility of doubt as to meaning of terms defined in section 103 of Title 41, Public Contracts.

Reference to persons causing or procuring was omitted as unnecessary in view of definition of “principal” in section 2 of this title.

References in Text

Section 103 of Title 41, referred to in text, probably means section 3 of act July 1, 1944, ch. 358, 58 Stat. 650, which was classified to section 103 of former Title 41, Public Contracts, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 111–350, §7(b), Jan. 4, 2011, 124 Stat. 3855. For disposition of sections of former Title 41, see Disposition Table preceding section 101 of Title 41.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322, in concluding provisions of first par., struck out “or (3) five years after 12 o'clock noon of December 31, 1946,” after “of such war contract,” and substituted “shall be fined under this title” for “shall, if a corporation, be fined not more than $50,000, and, if a natural person, be fined not more than $10,000”.

1951—Act Oct. 31, 1951, substituted “12 o'clock noon of December 31, 1946” for “the termination of hostilities in the present war as proclaimed by the President or by a concurrent resolution of the two Houses of Congress”, and, in penultimate paragraph, substituted “Administrator of General Services” for “Director of Contract Settlement”.

1 See References in Text note below.