38 USC 7801 - Purpose of Veterans Canteen Service

The Veterans Canteen Service (hereinafter in this chapter referred to as the Service) in the Department is an instrumentality of the United States, created for the primary purpose of making available to veterans of the Armed Forces who are hospitalized or domiciled in hospitals and homes of the Department, at reasonable prices, articles of merchandise and services essential to their comfort and well-being.

38 USC 7802 - Duties of Secretary with respect to Service

(a) Locations for Canteens.— 
The Secretary shall establish, maintain, and operate canteens where deemed necessary and practicable at hospitals and homes of the Department and at other Department establishments where similar essential facilities are not reasonably available from outside commercial sources.
(b) Warehouses and Storage Depots.— 
The Secretary shall establish, maintain, and operate such warehouses and storage depots as may be necessary in operating the canteens.
(c) Space, Buildings, and Structures.— 
The Secretary shall furnish the Service for its use in connection with the establishment, maintenance, and operation thereof, such space, buildings, and structures under control of the Department as the Secretary may consider necessary, including normal maintenance and repair service thereon. Reasonable charges, to be determined by the Secretary, shall be paid annually by the Service for the space, buildings, and structures so furnished, except that the Secretary may reduce or waive such charges whenever payment of such charges would impair the working capital required by the Service.
(d) Equipment, Services, and Utilities.— 
The Secretary shall transfer to the Service without charge, rental, or reimbursement such necessary equipment as may not be needed for other purposes, and furnish the Service such services and utilities, including light, water, and heat, as may be available and necessary for its use. Reasonable charges, to be determined by the Secretary, shall be paid annually by the Service for the utilities so furnished.
(e) Personnel.— 
The Secretary shall employ such persons as are necessary for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of the Service, and pay the salaries, wages, and expenses of all such employees from the funds of the Service. Personnel necessary for the transaction of the business of the Service at canteens, warehouses, and storage depots shall be appointed, compensated from funds of the Service, and removed by the Secretary without regard to the provisions of title 5 governing appointments in the competitive service and chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5. Those employees are subject to the provisions of title 5 relating to a preference eligible described in section 2108 (3) of title 5, subchapter I of chapter 81 of title 5, and subchapter III of chapter 83 of title 5. An employee appointed under this section may be considered for appointment to a Department position in the competitive service in the same manner that a Department employee in the competitive service is considered for transfer to such position. An employee of the Service who is appointed to a Department position in the competitive service under the authority of the preceding sentence may count toward the time-in-service requirement for a career appointment in such position any previous period of employment in the Service.
(f) Contracts and Agreements.— 
The Secretary shall make all necessary contracts or agreements to purchase or sell merchandise, fixtures, equipment, supplies, and services, without regard to section 3709 of the Revised Statutes (41 U.S.C. 5) and to do all things necessary to carry out such contracts or agreements, including the making of necessary adjustments and compromising of claims in connection therewith.
(g) Prices.— 
The Secretary shall fix the prices of merchandise and services in canteens so as to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
(h) Gifts and Donations.— 
The Secretary may accept gifts and donations of merchandise, fixtures, equipment, and supplies for the use and benefit of the Service.
(i) Rules and Regulations.— 
The Secretary shall make such rules and regulations, not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter, as the Secretary considers necessary or appropriate to effectuate its purposes.
(j) Delegation.— 
The Secretary may delegate such duties and powers to employees as the Secretary considers necessary or appropriate, whose official acts performed within the scope of the delegated authority shall have the same force and effect as though performed by the Secretary.
(k) Authority To Cash Checks, Etc.— 
The Secretary may authorize the use of funds of the Service when available, subject to such regulations as the Secretary may deem appropriate, for the purpose of cashing checks, money orders, and similar instruments in nominal amounts for the payment of money presented by veterans hospitalized or domiciled at hospitals and homes of the Department, and by other persons authorized by section 7803 of this title to make purchases at canteens. Such checks, money orders, and other similar instruments may be cashed outright or may be accepted, subject to strict administrative controls, in payment for merchandise or services, and the difference between the amount of the purchase and the amount of the tendered instrument refunded in cash.

38 USC 7803 - Operation of Service

(a) Primary Beneficiaries.— 
Canteens operated by the Service shall be primarily for the use and benefit of
(1) veterans hospitalized or domiciled at the facilities at which canteen services are provided; and
(2) other veterans who are enrolled under section 1705 of this title.
(b) Other Authorized Users.— 
Service at such canteens may also be furnished to
(1) personnel of the Department and recognized veterans organizations who are employed at a facility at which canteen services are provided and to other persons so employed;
(2) the families of persons referred to in paragraph (1) who reside at the facility; and
(3) relatives and other persons while visiting a person specified in this section.

38 USC 7804 - Financing of Service

To finance the establishment, maintenance, and operation of the Service there is hereby authorized to be appropriated, from time to time, such amounts as are necessary to provide for
(1)  the acquisition of necessary furniture, furnishings, fixtures, and equipment for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of canteens, warehouses, and storage depots;
(2)  stocks of merchandise and supplies for canteens and reserve stocks of same in warehouses and storage depots;
(3)  salaries, wages, and expenses of all employees;
(4)  administrative and operation expenses; and
(5)  adequate working capital for each canteen and for the Service as a whole. Amounts appropriated under the authority contained in this chapter and all income from canteen operations become and will be administered as a revolving fund to effectuate the provisions of this chapter.

38 USC 7805 - Revolving fund

The revolving fund shall be deposited in a checking account with the Treasury of the United States. Such amounts thereof as the Secretary may determine to be necessary to establish and maintain operating accounts for the various canteens may be deposited in checking accounts or other interest-bearing accounts in other depositaries selected by the Secretary.

38 USC 7806 - Budget of Service

The Service shall prepare annually and submit a budget program as provided for wholly owned Government corporations by chapter 91 of title 31, which shall contain an estimate of the needs of the Service for the ensuing fiscal year including an estimate of the amount required to restore any impairment of the revolving fund resulting from operations of the current fiscal year.

38 USC 7807 - Audit of accounts

The Service shall maintain a set of accounts which shall be audited by the Comptroller General in accordance with the provisions of chapter 35 of title 31.

38 USC 7808 - Service to be independent unit

It is the purpose of this chapter that, under control and supervision of the Secretary, the Service shall function as an independent unit in the Department and shall have exclusive control over all its activities including sales, procurement and supply, finance, including disbursements, and personnel management, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

38 USC 7809 - Child-care centers

(1) The Secretary, through the Service, shall provide for the operation of child-care centers at Department facilities in accordance with this section. The operation of such centers shall be carried out to the extent that the Secretary determines, based on the demand for the care involved, that such operation is in the best interest of the Department and that is practicable to do so. The centers shall be available for the children of Department employees and, to the extent space is available, the children of other employees of the Federal Government and the children of employees of affiliated schools and corporations created under section 7361 of this title.
(2) There shall be in the Service an official who is responsible for all matters relating to the provision of child-care services under the authority of this section.
(b) The Service shall establish reasonable charges for child-care services provided at each child-care center operated under this section. The charges shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary. In the case of a center operated directly by the Service, the charges with respect to the center shall be sufficient to provide for the operating expenses of the center, including the expenses of personnel assigned to the center. In the case of a center operated by a contractor which is a for-profit entity, the charges shall be established by taking into consideration the value of the space and services furnished with respect to the center under subsection (c)(1) of this section.
(c) In connection with the establishment and operation of any child-care center under this section, the Secretary
(1) shall furnish, at no cost to the center, space in existing Department facilities and utilities, custodial services, and other services and amenities necessary (as determined by the Secretary) for the health and safety of the children provided care at the center;
(2) may, on a reimbursable basis, convert space furnished under clause (1) of this subsection for use as the child-care center and provide other items necessary for the operation of the center, including furniture, office machines and equipment, and telephone service, except that the Secretary may furnish basic telephone service and surplus furniture and equipment without reimbursement;
(3) shall provide for the participation (directly or through a parent advisory committee) of parents of children receiving care in the center in the establishment of policies to govern the operation of the center and in the oversight of the implementation of such policies;
(4) shall require the development and use of a process for determining the fitness and suitability of prospective employees of or volunteers at the center; and
(5) shall require in connection with the operation of the center compliance with all State and local laws, ordinances, and regulations relating to health and safety and the operation of child-care centers.
(d) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations to carry out this section.
(e) For the purpose of this section, the term parent advisory committee means a committee comprised of, and selected by, the parents of children receiving care in a child-care center operated under this section.

38 USC 7810 - Exemption from personnel ceilings

Persons who are employed by the Service and compensated from the revolving fund established by section 7804 of this title may not be considered to be employees of the Department for the purposes of any personnel ceiling which may otherwise be applied to employees of the Department by the President or an official of the executive branch.