A-36426, APRIL 30, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 499

A-36426: Apr 30, 1931

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CONTRACTS - PREVAILING WAGE STIPULATION A CONTRACT FOR THE LAYING OF A STEAM-DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM BETWEEN A POWER PLANT AND CERTAIN PUBLIC BUILDINGS IS NOT A CONTRACT FOR THE CONSTRUCTION. IS ENTITLED "AN ACT RELATING TO THE RATE OF WAGES FOR LABORERS AND MECHANICS EMPLOYED ON PUBLIC BUILDINGS OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BY CONTRACTORS AND SUBCONTRACTORS. 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. A FURTHER PROVISION THAT IN CASE ANY DISPUTE ARISES AS TO WHAT ARE THE PREVAILING RATES OF WAGES FOR WORK OF A SIMILAR NATURE APPLICABLE TO THE CONTRACT WHICH CAN NOT BE ADJUSTED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER.

A-36426, APRIL 30, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 499

CONTRACTS - PREVAILING WAGE STIPULATION A CONTRACT FOR THE LAYING OF A STEAM-DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM BETWEEN A POWER PLANT AND CERTAIN PUBLIC BUILDINGS IS NOT A CONTRACT FOR THE CONSTRUCTION, ALTERATION, OR REPAIR OF A PUBLIC BUILDING REQUIRING A STIPULATION, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931, 46 STAT. 1494, FOR THE PAYMENT OF A PREVAILING WAGE SCALE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL, APRIL 30, 1931:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 27, 1931, TRANSMITTING A COPY OF THE ADVERTISED SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE INSTALLATION OF A STEAM- DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM BETWEEN THE CAPITOL POWER PLANT AND CERTAIN BUILDINGS ON THE UNITED STATES CAPITOL GROUNDS, AND REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE SPECIFICATIONS SHOULD BE AMENDED TO REQUIRE THE CONTRACTOR TO PAY THE PREVAILING RATE OF WAGES FOR ALL LABORERS AND MECHANICS EMPLOYED ON THE WORK AS PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931, 46 STAT. 1494.

THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931, IS ENTITLED "AN ACT RELATING TO THE RATE OF WAGES FOR LABORERS AND MECHANICS EMPLOYED ON PUBLIC BUILDINGS OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BY CONTRACTORS AND SUBCONTRACTORS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," AND PROVIDES, IN PERTINENT PART:

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, AND A FURTHER PROVISION THAT IN CASE ANY DISPUTE ARISES AS TO WHAT ARE THE PREVAILING RATES OF WAGES FOR WORK OF A SIMILAR NATURE APPLICABLE TO THE CONTRACT WHICH CAN NOT BE ADJUSTED BY THE CONTRACTING OFFICER, THE MATTER SHALL BE REFERRED TO THE SECRETARY OF LABOR FOR DETERMINATION AND HIS DECISION THEREON SHALL BE CONCLUSIVE ON ALL PARTIES TO THE CONTRACT: PROVIDED, THAT IN CASE OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY THE PRESIDENT IS AUTHORIZED TO SUSPEND THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.

THE SPECIFICATIONS ADVERTISED MARCH 10, 1931, ARE FOR A STEAM DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM TO BE INSTALLED FROM THE CAPITOL POWER PLANT TO VARIOUS CONGRESSIONAL BUILDINGS ON THE UNITED STATES CAPITOL GROUNDS AND PROVIDE THAT THE WORK SHALL START AT THE UNITED STATES CAPITOL POWER PLANT AND EXTEND THROUGH CERTAIN STREETS, RESERVATIONS, AND THE CAPITOL GROUNDS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS AND ACCOMPANYING PLANS. THE WORK IS TO CONSIST OF EXCAVATION, GRADING, BACK FILLING AND REPAIRS TO STREETS, HIGHWAYS, ALLEYWAYS, SIDEWALKS, ETC., MADE NECESSARY BY THE LAYING OF THE PIPES, ETC., CONCRETE WORK IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, AND THE FURNISHING OF THE PIPE LINES AND MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT NECESSARY FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF THE STEAM. THE GENERAL ARRANGEMENT OF THE WORK IS DESCRIBED IN PART V, PAGES 22 TO 24, INCLUSIVE, IT BEING GENERALLY SUCH WORK AS IS CUSTOMARY IN THE EXCAVATION AND LAYING OF OUTSIDE STEAM PIPE LINES TO CONNECT THE CAPITOL POWER PLANT WITH THE CONGRESSIONAL BUILDINGS IN QUESTION.

IT WOULD SEEM TO BE TOO CLEAR FOR ARGUMENT THAT THE NECESSARY EXCAVATING, CONSTRUCTION OF MANHOLES, ETC., AND THE LAYING OF STEAM PIPE LINES BETWEEN THE CAPITOL POWER PLANT AND THE VARIOUS BUILDINGS ON THE CAPITOL GROUNDS ARE NOT WORK "WHICH REQUIRES OR INVOLVES THE EMPLOYMENT OF LABORERS OR MECHANICS IN THE CONSTRUCTION, ALTERATION, AND/OR REPAIR OF ANY PUBLIC BUILDINGS.' AS THE SUBMISSION IS UNDERSTOOD, THERE IS NOT INVOLVED IN THIS WORK THE CONSTRUCTION, ALTERATION, OR REPAIR OF A PUBLIC BUILDING BUT RATHER OUTSIDE WORK IN THE LAYING OF A STEAM-DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM BETWEEN THE CAPITOL POWER PLANT AND CERTAIN PUBLIC BUILDINGS.

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTION SPECIFICALLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE PREVAILING WAGE STIPULATION AS PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931, CITED, MAY NOT BE INCLUDED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE LAYING OF THE STEAM-DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM IN QUESTION AND, CONSEQUENTLY, NO PROVISION IS NECESSARY TO BE INCORPORATED IN THE CONTRACT IN THAT RESPECT.