A-36055, APRIL 10, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 461

A-36055: Apr 10, 1931

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OR OTHER CIVIL SUBDIVISION OF THE STATE OR DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN WHICH THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS ARE LOCATED. IS APPLICABLE TO SUCH PUBLIC BUILDINGS EVEN THOUGH OF A TEMPORARY CHARACTER FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF A PROJECT OR WORK OTHER THAN A PUBLIC BUILDING. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE ACT OF MARCH 3. SEC. 1 OF WHICH IS QUOTED IN PART BELOW. TO WHICH THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS A PARTY. OR OTHER CIVIL DIVISION OF THE STATE IN WHICH THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS ARE LOCATED. OR IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IF THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS ARE LOCATED THERE. * * *" IN THE DEBATES IN THE HOUSE WHEN THIS ACT WAS UNDER CONSIDERATION. IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE QUOTED EXPRESSION "PUBLIC BUILDINGS" WOULD NOT INCLUDE THE CONSTRUCTION OF DAMS.

A-36055, APRIL 10, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 461

CONTRACTS - PUBLIC BUILDINGS - PREVAILING WAGE STIPULATION THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931, 46 STAT. 1494, REQUIRING EVERY CONTRACT FOR THE CONSTRUCTION, ALTERATION AND/OR REPAIR OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS IN EXCESS OF $5,000 IN AMOUNT TO CONTAIN A STIPULATION THAT THE CONTRACTOR OR ANY SUBCONTRACTOR ON THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS SHALL PAY THEIR LABORERS AND MECHANICS NOT LESS THAN THE PREVAILING RATE OF WAGES FOR WORK OF A SIMILAR NATURE IN THE CITY, TOWN, VILLAGE, OR OTHER CIVIL SUBDIVISION OF THE STATE OR DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN WHICH THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS ARE LOCATED, IS APPLICABLE TO SUCH PUBLIC BUILDINGS EVEN THOUGH OF A TEMPORARY CHARACTER FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF A PROJECT OR WORK OTHER THAN A PUBLIC BUILDING.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, APRIL 10, 1931:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR SUBMISSION OF MARCH 28, 1931, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931, PUBLIC 798, 71ST CONGRESS, SEC. 1 OF WHICH IS QUOTED IN PART BELOW, WITH UNDERLINING SUPPLIED:

"THAT EVERY CONTRACT IN EXCESS OF $5,000 IN AMOUNT, TO WHICH THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS A PARTY, WHICH REQUIRES OR INVOLVES THE EMPLOYMENT OF LABORERS OR MECHANICS IN THE CONSTRUCTION, ALTERATION, AND/OR REPAIR OF ANY PUBLIC BUILDINGS OF THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WITHIN THE GEOGRAPHICAL LIMITS OF THE STATES OF THE UNION OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, SHALL CONTAIN A PROVISION TO THE EFFECT THAT THE RATE OF WAGE FOR ALL LABORERS AND MECHANICS EMPLOYED BY THE CONTRACTOR OR ANY SUBCONTRACTOR ON THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS COVERED BY THE CONTRACT SHALL BE NOT LESS THAN THE PREVAILING RATE OF WAGES FOR WORK OF A SIMILAR NATURE IN THE CITY, TOWN, VILLAGE, OR OTHER CIVIL DIVISION OF THE STATE IN WHICH THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS ARE LOCATED, OR IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IF THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS ARE LOCATED THERE. * * *"

IN THE DEBATES IN THE HOUSE WHEN THIS ACT WAS UNDER CONSIDERATION, ITS AUTHOR IN THE HOUSE, MR. BACON, STATED THAT IT DOES NOT APPLY TO RIVER AND HARBOR WORK OR ROAD CONSTRUCTION, AND IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE QUOTED EXPRESSION "PUBLIC BUILDINGS" WOULD NOT INCLUDE THE CONSTRUCTION OF DAMS, RESERVOIRS, CANALS, LATERALS AND DRAINAGE DITCHES, AS AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 17, 1902, 32 STAT. 388, AND AMENDMENTS. HOWEVER, IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF HOOVER DAM AND APPURTENANT WORKS, AS AUTHORIZED BY THE BOULDER CANYON PROJECT ACT OF DECEMBER 21, 1928, 45 STAT. 1057, SEC. 14 OF WHICH MAKES APPLICABLE THE RECLAMATION LAWS, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE THEREIN PROVIDED, IT WILL BE NECESSARY BECAUSE OF THE ISOLATED TERRITORY INVOLVED AND THE COMPLETE ABSENCE OF HOUSING FACILITIES, TO ERECT VARIOUS BUILDINGS FOR ADMINISTRATION AND OTHER PURPOSES FOR USE DURING THE CONSTRUCTION PERIOD AND THE QUESTION HAS ARISEN AS TO WHETHER THE ACT NAMED WOULD BE APPLICABLE TO BUILDINGS OF THIS CHARACTER.

SUCH BUILDINGS WOULD NOT BE OF THE PERMANENT TYPE USUAL IN THE CASE OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS OF THE UNITED STATES DESIGNED FOR PERMANENT OCCUPANCY AND FOR THE TRANSACTION OF PERMANENT GOVERNMENT BUSINESS, BUT WOULD BE OF THE TEMPORARY TYPE ERECTED FOR OCCUPANCY DURING THE CONSTRUCTION PERIOD OF THE DAM. THE BUILDINGS PROPOSED WILL PROBABLY INCLUDE AN ADMINISTRATION BUILDING, TWO STORIES, 10,000 SQUARE FEET FLOOR AREA; DORMITORY, ONE STORY, 20 ROOMS AND LOBBY, WITH 7,000 SQUARE FEET FLOOR AREA; GARAGE WITH SPACE FOR ABOUT 30 AUTOMOBILES AND TRUCKS; AND APPROXIMATELY SIXTY 3, 4, 5, 6, AND 7 ROOM HOUSES FOR GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.

YOUR OPINION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931, SUPRA, IS APPLICABLE TO BUILDINGS OF THE CHARACTER DESCRIBED.

WHETHER A PUBLIC BUILDING BE OF A PERMANENT OR A TEMPORARY CHARACTER, IT IS NONE THE LESS A PUBLIC BUILDING, 6 COMP. GEN. 619, AND IF THE CONTRACT FOR THE BUILDINGS REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER IS TO BE IN EXCESS OF $5,000 IN AMOUNT, YOUR QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.