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18 U.S. Code § 443 - War contracts

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Whoever willfully secretes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys—
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
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.)

[1]  See References in Text note below.
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.

Editorial Notes
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.


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”.