A-18878, JUNE 23, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 841

A-18878: Jun 23, 1927

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1927: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 15. AS FOLLOWS: BEFORE THE MAINTENANCE OF THE BUILDINGS OF THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PUBLIC PARKS IT HAD BEEN THE CUSTOM OF THIS DEPARTMENT TO HAVE THE WINDOWS OF THAT BUREAU CLEANED ANNUALLY BY CONTRACT. FOR WHICH BIDS WERE INVITED. THE DEPARTMENT IS INFORMED THAT THIS CUSTOM WAS FOLLOWED BY THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PUBLIC PARKS WHILE THESE BUILDINGS WERE UNDER HIS CONTROL THE MAINTENANCE OF THESE BUILDINGS IS NOW AGAIN UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE DEPARTMENT. IN VIEW OF SECTION 4 OF 22 STAT. 255 YOUR DECISION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE DEPARTMENT MAY CONTINUE TO HAVE THIS WORK DONE BY CONTRACT OR WHETHER THE CLEANING OF WINDOWS WOULD BE TERMED PERSONAL SERVICES.

A-18878, JUNE 23, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 841

PERSONAL SERVICES - WINDOW CLEANING - BUREAU OF STANDARDS WHERE WINDOW-CLEANING SERVICE MAY BE ADEQUATELY COVERED BY SPECIFICATIONS ON WHICH BIDS MAY BE SOLICITED AND CONTRACTS AWARDED, THERE APPEARS NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO HAVING THE WORK PERFORMED BY CONTRACT RATHER THAN BY THE EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONAL SERVICES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, JUNE 23, 1927:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 15, 1927, AS FOLLOWS:

BEFORE THE MAINTENANCE OF THE BUILDINGS OF THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PUBLIC PARKS IT HAD BEEN THE CUSTOM OF THIS DEPARTMENT TO HAVE THE WINDOWS OF THAT BUREAU CLEANED ANNUALLY BY CONTRACT, FOR WHICH BIDS WERE INVITED, AND THE DEPARTMENT IS INFORMED THAT THIS CUSTOM WAS FOLLOWED BY THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PUBLIC PARKS WHILE THESE BUILDINGS WERE UNDER HIS CONTROL THE MAINTENANCE OF THESE BUILDINGS IS NOW AGAIN UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE DEPARTMENT, AND IN VIEW OF SECTION 4 OF 22 STAT. 255 YOUR DECISION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE DEPARTMENT MAY CONTINUE TO HAVE THIS WORK DONE BY CONTRACT OR WHETHER THE CLEANING OF WINDOWS WOULD BE TERMED PERSONAL SERVICES.

IF IT IS POSSIBLE, THE BUREAU DESIRES THIS WORK TO BE PERFORMED BY CONTRACT, FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:

1. THE APPROPRIATION "GENERAL EXPENSES," UNDER WHICH THIS WORK HAS ALWAYS BEEN PERFORMED, DOES NOT PROVIDE FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONAL SERVICES.

2. TEMPORARY LABORERS QUALIFIED FOR THIS KIND OF WORK CAN NOT BE OBTAINED FROM THE CIVIL SERVICE REGISTER.

3. IT IS MUCH CHEAPER TO DO THE WORK BY CONTRACT, AS THE DEPARTMENT DOES NOT HAVE THE EQUIPMENT TO DO THE WORK, AS MANY OF THE WINDOWS CAN ONLY BE REACHED BY SCAFFOLDING OR CHAIRS SWUNG FROM ROPES FROM THE ROOF, AND IF IT WERE POSSIBLE TO OBTAIN EXPERIENCED MEN IT WOULD STILL REQUIRE THE EMPLOYMENT OF A NONWORKING FOREMAN AT A TOTAL COST MUCH GREATER THAN THE CONTRACT PRICE.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE DEPARTMENT INTENDS TO USE A CURRENT APPROPRIATION, IT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED THAT YOU FAVOR US WITH YOUR DECISION AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE DATE.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT YOU PROPOSE TO PAY FOR THIS SERVICE FROM THE APPROPRIATION MADE IN THE ACT OF APRIL 29, 1926, 44 STAT. 356, WHICH PROVIDES:

GENERAL EXPENSES: (BUREAU OF STANDARDS) FOR FUEL FOR HEAT, LIGHT, AND POWER; OFFICE EXPENSES, * * * AND CONTINGENCIES OF ALL KINDS, $68,355.

IF THE WINDOW-CLEANING SERVICE HERE INVOLVED CAN BE ADEQUATELY COVERED BY SPECIFICATIONS ON WHICH BIDS CAN BE SOLICITED AND CONTRACTS AWARDED THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO HAVING THE WORK PERFORMED BY CONTRACT RATHER THAN BY THE EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONAL SERVICES. SEE 6 COMP. GEN. 225; ALSO DECISION OF MAY 16, 1927, A 18201.