A-18256, MAY 21, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 756

A-18256: May 21, 1927

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IF NONE ARE QUALIFIED AND AVAILABLE. THE CLAIM IS ITEMIZED AS FOLLOWS: TABLE TO REPORTING MEETING * * * ONE DAY . 526.00 AS NO CONTRACT OR AGREEMENT WAS ENTERED INTO. - THAT IS. IN SUPPORT OF THE REQUEST FOR REVIEW IT IS STATED BY THE COMMISSIONER. AS FOLLOWS: THIS MEETING WAS HELD FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEVELOPING INFORMATION FOR NECESSARY SCIENTIFIC WORK OF THE BUREAU OF FISHERIES ON THE SALMON FISHERIES OF THE PACIFIC COAST AND ALASKA. IT IS FOUND. MARTIN IS THE SAME AS THAT CHARGED BY OTHER FIRMS IN SEATTLE FOR SIMILAR WORK. IN THIS CONNECTION YOU ARE ADVISED THAT AN EMERGENCY EXISTS MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE TO SECURE THE SERVICES OF A GOVERNMENT STENOGRAPHER. WHEN IT WAS DECIDED THAT AN EXPERT STENOGRAPHER.

A-18256, MAY 21, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 756

PERSONAL SERVICES - STENOGRAPHIC REPORTING THE STENOGRAPHIC REPORTING OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE INVOLVES A PERSONAL SERVICE FOR PERFORMANCE EITHER BY A REGULAR EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED UNDER PROPER SUPERVISION OR, IF NONE ARE QUALIFIED AND AVAILABLE, BY THE HIRE OF A STENOGRAPHER FOR TEMPORARY DUTY AT RATES AUTHORIZED BY LAW.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, MAY 21, 1927:

REVIEW HAS BEEN REQUESTED OF SETTLEMENT 0171717, MARCH 10, 1927, DISALLOWING THE CLAIM OF HARRY MARTIN FOR $526 FOR REPORTING AND FURNISHING ONE ORIGINAL TRANSCRIPT AND 19 COPIES OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF A ONE-DAY MEETING OF THE INTERNATIONAL PACIFIC SALMON INVESTIGATION FEDERATION EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. THE CLAIM IS ITEMIZED AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE TO REPORTING MEETING * * * ONE DAY -------------------------- -- $15.00 TO TRANSCRIPT OF SAME AS FOLLOWS:

155 PAGES (ORIGINAL AND 1 COPY), 60 CENTS PER PAGE ----------- 93.00

155 PAGES (18 COPIES AT 15 CENTS EA.) ------------------------ 418.00

TOTAL ------------------------------------------------------ 526.00

AS NO CONTRACT OR AGREEMENT WAS ENTERED INTO, THE PAYMENT, EVEN IF OTHERWISE PROPER, COULD BE ALLOWED ONLY UPON A QUANTUM MERUIT BASIS, AND THE AMOUNT CHARGED, PARTICULARLY THE RATE CHARGED FOR COPIES--- THAT IS, 15 CENTS PER PAGE FOR CARBON COPIES--- APPEARS TO BE A RATE FAR IN EXCESS OF THE REASONABLE VALUE FOR SUCH SERVICES.

IN SUPPORT OF THE REQUEST FOR REVIEW IT IS STATED BY THE COMMISSIONER, BUREAU OF FISHERIES, AS FOLLOWS:

THIS MEETING WAS HELD FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEVELOPING INFORMATION FOR NECESSARY SCIENTIFIC WORK OF THE BUREAU OF FISHERIES ON THE SALMON FISHERIES OF THE PACIFIC COAST AND ALASKA, SO THAT THE WORK BEING DONE BY THE STATES AND THE GOVERNMENTS OF CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES SHOULD NOT BE IN CONFLICT AND THAT DUPLICATION WOULD BE AVOIDED.

IT IS FOUND, UPON INVESTIGATION, THAT THE RATE CHARGED BY MR. MARTIN IS THE SAME AS THAT CHARGED BY OTHER FIRMS IN SEATTLE FOR SIMILAR WORK.

IN THIS CONNECTION YOU ARE ADVISED THAT AN EMERGENCY EXISTS MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE TO SECURE THE SERVICES OF A GOVERNMENT STENOGRAPHER. WHEN IT WAS DECIDED THAT AN EXPERT STENOGRAPHER, WITH THE ABILITY OF A COURT STENOGRAPHER, WAS REQUIRED AN INVESTIGATION SHOWED THAT THE IMMEDIATE SERVICES OF A QUALIFIED GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE COULD NOT BE OBTAINED. STENOGRAPHER IN THE BUREAU'S EMPLOY WAS COMPETENT TO TAKE NOTES ON A MEETING OF THIS CHARACTER AS IT REQUIRED ABILITY WHICH THE ORDINARY STENOGRAPHER DOES NOT POSSESS. NO OTHER COURSE WAS OPEN TO THE BUREAU AND, IN VIEW OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THE WORK AND THE EMERGENCY WHICH EXISTED, I RESPECTFULLY REQUEST THAT THE SUSPENSION BE RECONSIDERED AND PAYMENT MADE ON THE BASIS OF THIS STATEMENT. I WILL APPRECIATE YOUR SPECIAL ATTENTION AND CONSIDERATION OF THIS MATTER.

AS A MEETING OR CONFERENCE OF THE NATURE INDICATED MUST NECESSARILY HAVE BEEN ARRANGED FOR IN ADVANCE, IT IS NOT APPARENT HOW AN EMERGENCY COULD HAVE ARISEN DUE TO THE LACK OF REGULAR EMPLOYEES TO FURNISH STENOGRAPHIC SERVICES, ANY NEED FOR WHICH MUST NECESSARILY HAVE BEEN KNOWN IN ADVANCE.

THE VOUCHER IS PREPARED FOR PAYMENT UNDER APPROPRIATIONS DESIGNATED AS "ALASKA DIVISION," $250, AND "PROPAGATIONS: FISH AND EGGS," $276. THE ACT OF APRIL 29, 1926, 44 STAT. 363 TO 365, DOES NOT DISCLOSE ANY APPROPRIATIONS WHICH CAN BE IDENTIFIED BY THE TITLES GIVEN ON THE VOUCHERS AND NO SUCH APPROPRIATION HEADINGS ARE GIVEN IN THE BUDGET OR THE DIGEST OF APPROPRIATIONS FOR 1927. NEITHER IS THERE FOUND IN ANY APPROPRIATION FOR THE BUREAU OF FISHERIES ANY AUTHORITY FOR HOLDING AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OR FOR PROCURING STENOGRAPHIC REPORTING SERVICE OTHERWISE THAN UNDER CIVIL SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS.

THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE IS GIVEN AUTHORITY BY THE ACT OF JUNE 6, 1924, 43 STAT. 464, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 18, 1926, 44 STAT. 752, TO REGULATE WITHIN THE LIMITS THEREIN SET FORTH THE TAKING OF SALMON IN ALASKA AND ADJACENT WATERS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES, BUT NOTHING APPEARS THEREIN CONCERNING ANY INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OR FEDERATION OR AUTHORITY TO CONTROL OR REGULATE THE TAKING OF SALMON IN WATERS OVER WHICH THE UNITED STATES HAS NO JURISDICTION. THE TAKING OF HALIBUT IN NORTHERN PACIFIC WATERS IS CONTROLLED BY THE INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES COMMISSION PURSUANT TO TREATY OF MARCH 2, 1923, 43 STAT. 1841, THE EXPENSES OF WHICH, AND OF A NUMBER OF OTHER INTERNATIONAL COMMISSIONS, ARE PROVIDED FOR UNDER STATE DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATIONS WHICH WOULD INDICATE LEGISLATIVE INTENT THAT INTERNATIONAL MATTERS SHOULD BE HANDLED THROUGH THAT DEPARTMENT.

THE REPORTING OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING OR CONFERENCE, WHEN AUTHORIZED BY LAW, DOES NOT ORDINARILY PRESENT ANY NECESSITY FOR THE HIRE OF AN EXPERT COURT REPORTER BUT INVOLVES A PERSONAL SERVICE TO BE PERFORMED, WHEN NECESSARY, BY GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES UNDER PROPER SUPERVISION. 4 COMP. GEN. 908, 6 ID. 199, ID. 439.

IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE SITUATION HERE INVOLVED COULD HAVE BEEN MET BY PROPER ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENTS MADE IN ADVANCE FOR THE DETAIL OF A QUALIFIED EMPLOYEE OR BY THE HIRE OF A STENOGRAPHER FOR TEMPORARY DUTY AT A RATE AUTHORIZED BY LAW IF, IN FACT, THERE WAS AUTHORITY AND NECESSITY FOR INCURRING ANY EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH THE MEETING AND NO REGULAR EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT WAS AVAILABLE AND QUALIFIED TO DO THE NECESSARY STENOGRAPHIC WORK.