A-21241, JANUARY 18, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 420

A-21241: Jan 18, 1928

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IS AUTHORIZED. NOR ARE SUCH TEMPORARY FIELD POSITIONS REQUIRED TO BE ALLOCATED BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD. THE DIESEL ENGINES AND ELECTRIC GENERATORS FOR THIS DREDGE HAVE BEEN ASSEMBLED AT THE PLANT OF THE FULTON IRON WORKS COMPANY AT ST. WILL BE READY FOR PRELIMINARY INSPECTION AND TEST WITHIN A FEW DAYS. IT IS NECESSARY. THE SPECIFICATIONS ARE ELABORATE AS TO PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS AND CONTAIN GUARANTEES AS TO FREEDOM FROM MECHANICAL FAULTS. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT PRELIMINARY INSPECTION AND TEST BE THOROUGH AND EXACT IN EVERY DETAIL TO INSURE SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE OF THE ENGINES AND GENERATORS UNDER SERVICE CONDITIONS. IT IS NECESSARY TO ASSEMBLE AT ST. THE TESTS WILL BE MADE UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE INSPECTING ENGINEER OF THE PANAMA CANAL.

A-21241, JANUARY 18, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 420

PERSONAL SERVICES - TEMPORARY - PANAMA CANAL THE EMPLOYMENT OF INSPECTORS FOR TEMPORARY SERVICE TO ASSIST THE REGULAR INSPECTORS OF THE PANAMA CANAL IN CONDUCTING A 48-HOUR CONTINUOUS OPERATION TEST AT PLANT OF THE MANUFACTURER OF A DIESEL ELECTRIC HYDRAULIC SUCTION DREDGE CONTRACTED FOR BY THE PANAMA CANAL, THERE BEING NO OTHER GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AVAILABLE FOR THAT SERVICE, IS AUTHORIZED. SUCH EMPLOYMENT BEING OUTSIDE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WOULD NOT CONTRAVENE THE ACT OF AUGUST 5, 1882, 22 STAT. 255, NOR ARE SUCH TEMPORARY FIELD POSITIONS REQUIRED TO BE ALLOCATED BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD, BUT THE EMPLOYMENT MAY BE ACCOMPLISHED ONLY BY DIRECT HIRE OF THE INDIVIDUALS AND NOT BY CONTRACT WITH A THIRD PARTY OR AGENCY TO FURNISH SUCH SERVICES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE CHIEF OF OFFICE, PANAMA CANAL, JANUARY 18, 1928:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 14, 1928, REQUESTING DECISION OF A QUESTION THEREIN PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS:

THE PANAMA CANAL HAS CONTRACTED WITH THE ELLICOTT MACHINE CORPORATION TO FURNISH AND DELIVER A DIESEL ELECTRIC HYDRAULIC SUCTION DREDGE TO BE SUPPLIED WITH FOUR ENGINES AND ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT. (SEE CONTRACT NO. PC1W-4906 AND CONTRACTS SUPPLEMENTAL THERETO.)

THE CONTRACT RESERVES TO THE PANAMA CANAL THE RIGHT TO MAKE PRELIMINARY INSPECTION AND TEST AT THE POINT OF MANUFACTURE OR PURCHASE. THE DIESEL ENGINES AND ELECTRIC GENERATORS FOR THIS DREDGE HAVE BEEN ASSEMBLED AT THE PLANT OF THE FULTON IRON WORKS COMPANY AT ST. LOUIS, MO., THE SUBCONTRACTOR FOR THE DIESEL ENGINES TO BE FURNISHED UNDER THE CONTRACT, AND WILL BE READY FOR PRELIMINARY INSPECTION AND TEST WITHIN A FEW DAYS. IT IS NECESSARY, THEREFORE, THAT ARRANGEMENT FOR THIS INSPECTION AND TEST BE MADE AS PROMPTLY AS POSSIBLE.

THE TOTAL CONTRACT PRICE OF THE DREDGE IF $1,112,194.25. THE SPECIFICATIONS ARE ELABORATE AS TO PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS AND CONTAIN GUARANTEES AS TO FREEDOM FROM MECHANICAL FAULTS, AND IT IS IMPORTANT THAT PRELIMINARY INSPECTION AND TEST BE THOROUGH AND EXACT IN EVERY DETAIL TO INSURE SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE OF THE ENGINES AND GENERATORS UNDER SERVICE CONDITIONS.

THE SPECIFICATIONS CALL FOR TESTS UNDER A CONTINUOUS RUN OF FORTY EIGHT HOURS, AND IT IS NECESSARY TO ASSEMBLE AT ST. LOUIS AN INSPECTION FORCE ADEQUATE TO MAKE THESE TESTS. THE TESTS WILL BE MADE UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE INSPECTING ENGINEER OF THE PANAMA CANAL, AND TENTATIVE PLANS HAVE BEEN MADE FOR ASSIGNING FIVE PANAMA CANAL INSPECTORS TO THIS WORK AS THE MAXIMUM NUMBER THAT CAN BE SO ASSIGNED WITHOUT SERIOUS EMBARRASSMENT TO OTHER NECESSARY INSPECTION WORK. THE CONTINUOUS RUN OF FORTY-EIGHT HOURS WILL NECESSITATE WORKING THE INSPECTION FORCE IN SHIFTS, AND THE AVAILABLE FORCE OF PANAMA CANAL INSPECTORS CAN NOT SATISFACTORILY PERFORM THE INSPECTION SERVICE UNDER THESE CONDITIONS.

A TENTATIVE ARRANGEMENT HAS BEEN MADE UNDER WHICH THE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY AT ST. LOUIS WILL CONTRACT TO FURNISH THE SERVICES OF EIGHT FOURTH-YEAR STUDENTS TO ASSIST THE PANAMA CANAL'S INSPECTION FORCE IN MAKING THESE TESTS AT THE RATE OF SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS TO ONE DOLLAR PER HOUR FOR EACH STUDENT. THESE STUDENTS WILL WORK UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE REGULAR INSPECTION FORCE IN WATCHING VARIOUS PARTS OF THE ENGINES AND GENERATORS, READING METERS AND GAUGES, AND IN TAKING NOTES OF THEIR OBSERVATIONS AND MAKING THE NECESSARY CALCULATIONS BASED THEREON.

THE PROPOSED PLAN OF HANDLING THIS MATTER BY CONTRACT WITH THE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SEEMS TO BE THE MOST SATISFACTORY AND ECONOMICAL WAY OF MEETING THE SITUATION. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF YOUR DECISIONS DISAPPROVING THE EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONAL SERVICES BY CONTRACT, THERE IS DOUBT WHETHER THE PROPOSED CONTRACT MAY LEGALLY BE MADE. YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED WHETHER THE PANAMA CANAL MAY LEGALLY ENTER INTO THIS PROPOSED CONTRACT.

AS THE SERVICES IN QUESTION ARE NOT TO BE PERFORMED AT THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT THE ACT OF AUGUST 5, 1882, 22 STAT. 255, IS NOT APPLICABLE THERETO. PERSONAL SERVICES OF THE CHARACTER DESIRED ARE GENERALLY FOR PERFORMANCE BY REGULAR EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT, BUT IT APPEARS FROM YOUR SUBMISSION THAT THERE ARE NO REGULAR EMPLOYEES QUALIFIED AND AVAILABLE FOR THE SERVICES. WHILE THE ACT OF DECEMBER 6, 1924, 43 STAT. 712, CONTAINS APPROPRIATIONS TO ENABLE THE PANAMA CANAL TO ADJUST THE COMPENSATION OF ITS FIELD EMPLOYEES TO THE RATES FIXED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, IT DID NOT EXTEND TO FIELD POSITIONS THE REQUIREMENT THAT ALL POSITIONS BE ALLOCATED BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD BEFORE COMPENSATION THEREFOR COULD BE PAID. THE COMPENSATION TO BE PAID SHOULD NOT, HOWEVER, EXCEED THAT FIXED FOR SIMILAR FIELD POSITIONS, IF ANY, WHICH HAVE BEEN ADJUSTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF DECEMBER 6, 1924, SUPRA.

AS THE SERVICES DESIRED ARE STRICTLY PERSONAL, THEY MAY NOT BE OBTAINED BY CONTRACT WITH THE UNIVERSITY OR ANY OTHER AGENCY. ANY CONTRACT OR AGREEMENT FOR THE HIRE OF PERSONAL SERVICE MUST BE MADE WITH THE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE TO RENDER THE SERVICE, AND PAYMENT THEREFOR MUST, LIKEWISE, BE MADE TO SUCH INDIVIDUALS UPON PROPER VOUCHERS OR PAY ROLLS AND NOT TO AN AGENCY SUCH AS THE UNIVERSITY.

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTION SPECIFICALLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES STATED BY YOU THERE WOULD BE NO OBJECTION TO THE DIRECT EMPLOYMENT OF INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY FOR TEMPORARY DUTY UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE REGULAR INSPECTORS FROM THE PANAMA CANAL WHILE CONDUCTING A 48-HOUR CONTINUOUS RUN TEST OF THE DREDGE MANUFACTURED FOR THE CANAL SERVICE.