There is established a working capital of $20,000,000 to remain available until expended, for the “Vessel Operations Revolving Fund”, which is created for the purpose of carrying out vessel operating functions of the Secretary of Transportation, including charter, operation, maintenance, repair, reconditioning, and betterment of merchant vessels under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Transportation.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, rates for shipping services rendered under said Fund shall be prescribed by the Secretary of Transportation and the Fund shall be credited with all receipts from vessel operating activities conducted thereunder: Provided, That the provisions of sections
1294 of Appendix to title
shall be applicable in connection with such operations and to seamen employed through general agents as employees of the United States, who may be employed in accordance with customary commercial practices in the maritime industry, notwithstanding the provisions of any law applicable in terms to the employment of persons by the United States: Provided further, That such sums as may be determined to be necessary by the Secretary of Transportation, with the approval of the Office of Management and Budget, but not exceeding 2 per centum of vessel operating expenses, may be advanced from this Fund to the appropriation “Salaries and expenses” for the purposes of that appropriation in connection with vessel operating functions, but without regard to the limitations on amounts as stated therein: Provided further, That notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the unexpended balances of any working funds or of allocation accounts established, subsequent to January 1, 1951, for the activities provided for under this appropriation, together with receipts heretofore and hereafter received from such activities, may be transferred to and consolidated with this Fund, which shall be available for the purposes of such working funds or allocation accounts.
No money made available to the Department of Transportation, for Maritime Activities, by this section or any other Act shall be used in payment for a vessel the title to which is acquired by the Government either by requisition or purchase, or the use of which is taken either by requisition or agreement, or which is insured by the Government and lost while so insured, unless the price or hire to be paid therefor, (except in cases where section
of this Appendix is applicable) is computed in accordance with subsection (a) of section
of this Appendix, as that subsection is interpreted by the Government Accountability Office.