A-14828, JULY 17, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 51

A-14828: Jul 17, 1926

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ARE NOT AUTHORIZED. 1926: YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO MY LETTER OF JUNE 24. THE APPROPRIATIONS CHARGEABLE THEREUNDER ARE STATED TO BE AS FOLLOWS: ENGINEERING. - 5 PERCENT THE ONLY ONE OF THESE THREE APPROPRIATIONS PROVIDING FOR PERSONAL SERVICES OF A SCIENTIFIC CHARACTER AS THAT CONTEMPLATED BY THE CONTRACT IS ENGINEERING. IT APPEARS THAT THE WORD "SERVICES" WAS INSERTED IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1926. THIS WOULD INDICATE THAT THE WORD WAS INSERTED PRIMARILY TO SECURE THE SERVICES OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES RATHER THAN ENTERING INTO CONTRACTS WITH PRIVATE FIRMS AND INDIVIDUALS. THE CONTRACTING WITH AN INDIVIDUAL OR FIRM TO PERFORM A DUTY OR EXERCISE AN AUTHORITY IMPOSED OR CONFERRED BY LAW UPON A GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

A-14828, JULY 17, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 51

PERSONAL SERVICES - SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATORS THE CONTRACTING BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT WITH PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF PERSONAL SERVICES IN CONNECTION WITH SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS AND RESEARCH WORK AND THE PAYMENT THEREFOR FROM APPROPRIATIONS NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDING FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH SERVICES, ARE NOT AUTHORIZED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, JULY 17, 1926:

YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO MY LETTER OF JUNE 24, 1926, A-14387, TO YOUR RELATING TO THE UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF BUREAUS OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IN ENTERING INTO CONTRACTS WITH PRIVATE PARTIES FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF PERSONAL SERVICES IN CONNECTION WITH SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS AND RESEARCH WORK.

THERE HAS NOW BEEN BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION ANOTHER CONTRACT ENTERED INTO BETWEEN DR. WILLIAM CAMPBELL OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY AND THE NAVY PURCHASING OFFICER AT NEW YORK, DATED JUNE 13, 1925, PROVIDING FOR THE PAYMENT OF $200 PER MONTH DURING THE ENTIRE FISCAL YEAR 1926 FOR "THE NECESSARY SERVICES OF DR. WILLIAM CAMPBELL OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, NEW YORK CITY, N.Y., AS ADVISORY METALLURGIST, DURING THE FISCAL YEAR BEGINNING JULY 1, 1925, AND ENDING JUNE 30, 1926.'

THE APPROPRIATIONS CHARGEABLE THEREUNDER ARE STATED TO BE AS FOLLOWS: ENGINEERING, BUREAU OF ENGINEERING, 1926 -------------------- 55 PERCENT CONSTRUCTION AND REPAIR, BUREAU OF CONSTRUCTION AND REPAIR,

1926 -------------------------------------------------------- 40 PERCENT ORDNANCE AND ORDNANCE STORES, BUREAU OF ORDNANCE, 1926 ------- 5 PERCENT

THE ONLY ONE OF THESE THREE APPROPRIATIONS PROVIDING FOR PERSONAL SERVICES OF A SCIENTIFIC CHARACTER AS THAT CONTEMPLATED BY THE CONTRACT IS ENGINEERING, BUREAU OF ENGINEERING, AS MADE BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 11, 1925, 43 STAT. 869, WHICH PROVIDES AMONG OTHER THINGS FOR "SERVICES, INSTRUMENTS AND APPARATUS, SUPPLIES AND TECHNICAL BOOKS AND PERIODICALS NECESSARY TO CARRY ON EXPERIMENTAL AND RESEARCH WORK.'

IT APPEARS THAT THE WORD "SERVICES" WAS INSERTED IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1926, AS SHOWN IN THE HEARINGS BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENABLING THE BUREAU OF ENGINEERING TO SECURE AN INCREASED ECONOMY OF ADMINISTRATION BY MAKING IT LEGALLY POSSIBLE TO UTILIZE THE RESOURCES OF SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS OF ANOTHER GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT. THIS WOULD INDICATE THAT THE WORD WAS INSERTED PRIMARILY TO SECURE THE SERVICES OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES RATHER THAN ENTERING INTO CONTRACTS WITH PRIVATE FIRMS AND INDIVIDUALS.

IN ADDITION TO THE OBJECTIONS RAISED IN MY LETTER OF JUNE 24, 1926, HEREIN REFERRED TO, THE CONTRACTING WITH AN INDIVIDUAL OR FIRM TO PERFORM A DUTY OR EXERCISE AN AUTHORITY IMPOSED OR CONFERRED BY LAW UPON A GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED. SEE IN THIS CONNECTION UNDERWOOD V. UNITED STATES, DECIDED BY THE COURT OF CLAIMS JUNE 14, 1926.

THE PRACTICE OF ENTERING INTO CONTRACTS SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED AND PAYMENT OF FUNDS THEREUNDER SHOULD BE DISCONTINUED EFFECTIVE AS OF JULY 1, 1926.