A-15317, AUGUST 19, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 134

A-15317: Aug 19, 1926

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THE CONTRACTING FOR ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES FOR A SPECIFIC JOB IS NOT AUTHORIZED. WHERE THERE IS NO ARCHITECT AVAILABLE IN THE PARTICULAR DEPARTMENT OR OFFICE IN QUESTION COMPETENT TO DO THE NECESSARY WORK. THE MATTER IS ONE IN WHICH SUCH SERVICES AS MAY BE NECESSARY SHOULD BE OBTAINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH CIVIL SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS AND AT A RATE OF COMPENSATION AUTHORIZED UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF MARCH 4. 1926: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 6. AS FOLLOWS: A TRACK-SCALE AND TEST-CAR DEPOT FOR THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS OF THIS DEPARTMENT WAS AUTHORIZED AND APPROPRIATED FOR BY ACTS OF CONGRESS APPROVED JUNE 10 AND JULY 3. THE ARCHITECT'S REPLY AND QUOTATION ARE INCLOSED HEREWITH.

A-15317, AUGUST 19, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 134

PERSONAL SERVICES - ARCHITECTS IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY THEREFOR, THE CONTRACTING FOR ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES FOR A SPECIFIC JOB IS NOT AUTHORIZED. WHERE THERE IS NO ARCHITECT AVAILABLE IN THE PARTICULAR DEPARTMENT OR OFFICE IN QUESTION COMPETENT TO DO THE NECESSARY WORK, AND THE SERVICES OF SUCH AN ARCHITECT CAN NOT BE OBTAINED FROM THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERVISING ARCHITECT AS PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1910, 36 STAT. 699, OR FROM ANY OTHER EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, 41 STAT. 613, THE MATTER IS ONE IN WHICH SUCH SERVICES AS MAY BE NECESSARY SHOULD BE OBTAINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH CIVIL SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS AND AT A RATE OF COMPENSATION AUTHORIZED UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923, 42 STAT. 1488.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, AUGUST 19, 1926:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 6, 1926, AS FOLLOWS:

A TRACK-SCALE AND TEST-CAR DEPOT FOR THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS OF THIS DEPARTMENT WAS AUTHORIZED AND APPROPRIATED FOR BY ACTS OF CONGRESS APPROVED JUNE 10 AND JULY 3, 1926 (COPIES INCLOSED). THE BUREAU DESIRES TO CONTRACT WITH THE ARCHITECTURAL FIRM WHICH HAS PREVIOUSLY FURNISHED DESIGNS FOR SEVERAL OF ITS LABORATORIES AND HAS HAD EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE IN THE DESIGN OF TECHNICAL LABORATORIES THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. COPIES OF BUREAU OF STANDARDS LETTER DATED AUGUST 5, AND THE ARCHITECT'S REPLY AND QUOTATION ARE INCLOSED HEREWITH.

THIS CHOICE OF ARCHITECT IS DESIGNED TO SECURE TO THE GOVERNMENT THE VALUE OF THIS SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE BUREAU'S NEEDS TO INSURE AN EFFECTIVE STRUCTURE FOR ADJUSTING AND STANDARDIZING TEST-CAR AND LARGE STANDARD WEIGHTS. THE CONTRACT, IT IS ANTICIPATED, WILL FIX THE COST AT THE STANDARD MINIMUM FEE AND EXPENSES AS ADOPTED BY THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS AS PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE AMONG ARCHITECTS. THE SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE WOULD BE OBTAINED WITHOUT INVOLVING A QUESTION OF FINANCIAL ADVANTAGE OR DISADVANTAGE TO THE GOVERNMENT.

THE ACTING SUPERVISING ARCHITECT INFORMS US THAT SINCE SERVICE BY HIS OFFICE IS OPTIONAL ON THIS STRUCTURE HE PREFERS THAT IT BE CONTRACTED FOR AS SUGGESTED. HIS OFFICE, MOREOVER, IS CHARGED BY LAW WITH THE NEW PUBLIC BUILDINGS PROGRAM FOR WHICH THE ARCHITECTURE WILL BE OF A MONUMENTAL CHARACTER. THE APPROVAL OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, WILL, IF REQUIRED, ALSO BE OBTAINED BEFORE THE CONTRACT IS ENTERED INTO.

A DECISION IS REQUESTED WHETHER A CONTRACT MAY BE ENTERED INTO AS OUTLINED IN THE INCLOSED LETTERS, AND IN VIEW OF THE FACTS STATED ABOVE AND THE FURTHER FACT THAT THIS IS THE USUAL PRACTICE OF ENGAGING ARCHITECTURAL SERVICE.

WITH YOUR LETTER ARE TWO INCLOSURES AS FOLLOWS:

AUGUST 5, 1926. MR. WILLIAM I. DEMING, ARCHITECT,

808 17TH STREET, WASHINGTON, D.C. SUBJECT: DESIGNS FOR MASTER TRACK-SCALE AND TEST-CAR DEPOT.

DEAR MR. DEMING: IN VIEW OF YOUR EXPERIENCE IN DESIGNING SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL LABORATORIES IN WASHINGTON AND ELSEWHERE AND OF YOUR INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE OF THE PARTICULAR NEEDS OF OUR STANDARDIZING LABORATORIES ACQUIRED IN YOUR DESIGN OF SEVERAL OF THE BUREAU'S LABORATORIES, IT IS DESIRED TO KNOW UPON WHAT TERMS YOU WOULD CONTRACT TO FURNISH DESIGNS FOR THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS MASTER TRACK-SCALE AND TEST-CAR DEPOT (THE CONSTRUCTION COST OF WHICH WILL NOT EXCEED $37,000) FOR WHICH CONGRESS HAS APPROPRIATED THE FUNDS BY ACT APPROVED JUNE 10, 1926, AND TO FURNISH ARCHITECTURAL SERVICE OF YOUR ORGANIZATION INCIDENT THERETO. SPECIFICALLY YOU SHOULD COVER VISITING THE SITE AND OBTAINING THE NECESSARY DATA; ATTENDING CONFERENCES IN WASHINGTON; FURNISHING PRELIMINARY DRAWINGS, WORKING DRAWINGS, AND SPECIFICATIONS; MAKING NECESSARY MINOR ALTERATIONS IN DRAWINGS; MAKING THE NECESSARY LARGE SCALE AND FULL-SIZED DETAIL DRAWINGS; AND GIVING THE USUAL ARCHITECTURAL SUPERVISION TO THE CONSTRUCTION AND INSPECTION OF THE BUILDING.

THE PURPOSE OF THE BUILDING--- THE STANDARDIZATION OF TEST-CARS AND LARGE TEST-WEIGHTS--- WILL INVOLVE CORRELATING STRUCTURAL AND MECHANICAL DETAILS WITH THE TECHNICAL USES REQUIRED OF THE BUILDING. THE LOCATION WILL BE IN OR NEAR CHICAGO, SO THAT YOUR REPLY SHOULD COVER ANY EXTRA COST ARISING FROM THE DISTANT LOCATION, WITH SUCH STATED LIMITATION AS CAN REASONABLY BE SET UPON THE AGGREGATE TOTAL OF SUCH COST.

RESPECTFULLY, GEORGE K. BURGESS, DIRECTOR.

AUGUST 6, 1926. DR. GEORGE K. BURGESS, DIRECTOR,

BUREAU OF STANDARDS, WASHINGTON, D.C.

DEAR SIR: IN COMPLIANCE WITH YOUR REQUEST OF AUGUST 5 FOR TERMS UPON WHICH I WOULD FURNISH DESIGNS FOR THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS MASTER TRACK- SCALE AND TEST-CAR DEPOT, IN OR NEAR CHICAGO, AT A COST NOT TO EXCEED $37,000.00 FOR CONSTRUCTION, I WOULD UNDERTAKE THE PROJECT FOR THE USUAL STANDARD MINIMUM FEE FOR LOCAL WORK AS PRESCRIBED BY AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS; NAMELY, SIX PERCENT OF THE COST OF CONSTRUCTING THE BUILDING, PLUS ACTUAL EXPENSES (NOT TO COST EXCEEDING $1,000.00) FOR NECESSARY TRIPS TO THE LOCATION, IN CONNECTION WITH THE SUPERINTENDENCE AND INSPECTION.

SPECIFICALLY THESE TERMS WILL COVER VISITING THE SITE AND OBTAINING THE NECESSARY DATA; ATTENDING ANY DESIRED CONFERENCES IN WASHINGTON CONCERNING THE PROJECT; FURNISHING PRELIMINARY DRAWINGS, WORKING DRAWINGS, AND SPECIFICATIONS; MAKING NECESSARY MINOR ALTERATIONS IN DRAWINGS; MAKING THE NECESSARY LARGE SCALE AND FULL SIZED DETAIL DRAWINGS; AND GIVING THE USUAL ARCHITECTURAL SUPERVISION TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE BUILDING.

RESPECTFULLY,

(SIGNED) WILLIAM I. DEMING.

THE DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT OF JULY 3, 1926, 44 STAT. 853, PROVIDES:

MASTER TRACK-SCALE AND TEST-CAR DEPOT: FOR THE ACQUIREMENT OF A SUITABLE SITE BY GIFT, THE CONSTRUCTION THEREON OF A BUILDING, AND THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF NECESSARY EQUIPMENT, AS AUTHORIZED IN THE ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASE BY THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE OF A SITE AND THE CONSTRUCTION AND EQUIPMENT OF A BUILDING THEREON FOR USE AS A MASTER TRACK-SCALE AND TEST-CAR DEPOT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," APPROVED JUNE 10, 1926, FISCAL YEAR 1927, $50,000.

THERE ARE MANY OBJECTIONABLE FEATURES TO THE PROPOSED AGREEMENT, AMONG WHICH MAY BE MENTIONED THE FOLLOWING: (1) IT IS NEITHER A REGULAR AUTHORIZED EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONAL SERVICE, NOR A PROPER CONTRACT FOR A SPECIFIED JOB. (2) IT PRESCRIBES NO DATE FOR COMMENCEMENT OR FOR COMPLETION--- EVERYTHING APPARENTLY TO BE CARRIED OUT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE WISHES OF THE ARCHITECT RATHER THAN AS THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT MAY REQUIRE. (3) IF IT COULD BE CONSIDERED AS A PROPER CASE FOR CONTRACTING AS FOR A SPECIFIC JOB, ITS PROVISIONS ARE SO INDEFINITE THAT IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE CONTRACTOR HAD DEFAULTED AS TO TIME OF COMPLETION OR AS TO QUANTITY OR QUALITY OF WORK, AND NO REDRESS IS PROVIDED IN CASE OF DEFAULT. MOREOVER, SUCH CONTRACTS SHOULD BE MADE ONLY AFTER ADVERTISING AS REQUIRED BY LAW.

APPARENTLY WHAT IS DESIRED IS THE PERSONAL SERVICES OF A PARTICULAR ARCHITECT. THEREFORE, IF THERE IS NO ARCHITECT AVAILABLE IN YOUR OFFICE COMPETENT TO DO THE NECESSARY WORK, AND THE SERVICES OF SUCH AN ARCHITECT CAN NOT BE OBTAINED FROM THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERVISING ARCHITECT, AS PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1910, 36 STAT. 699, OR FROM ANY OTHER EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, 41 STAT. 613, THE MATTER WOULD APPEAR TO BE ONE IN WHICH SUCH SERVICES AS MAY BE NECESSARY SHOULD BE OBTAINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH CIVIL SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS AND AT A RATE OF COMPENSATION AUTHORIZED UNDER THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923, 42 STAT. 1488. SEE DECISION OF JUNE 28, 1924, A-3372, AND JANUARY 19, 1926, A-11664.