A-37862, AUGUST 7, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 57

A-37862: Aug 7, 1931

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000 IN AMOUNT TO WHICH THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS A PARTY. IS LIMITED TO THE EMPLOYMENT OF LABORERS OR MECHANICS IN THE CONSTRUCTION. AND/OR REPAIR OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AS PROVIDED IN THE ACT AND IS NOT APPLICABLE TO THE PAINTING OF AN EXISTING PUBLIC BUILDING AND/OR THE CONSTRUCTION OF ROADS. 1931: THERE ARE BEFORE THIS OFFICE CONTRACT VBC-853. WAS THE RESULT OF THE ACCEPTANCE OF A PROPOSAL OF SAID COMPANY SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO AN ADVERTISEMENT DATED APRIL 10. WAS THE RESULT OF THE ACCEPTANCE OF A PROPOSAL SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO AN ADVERTISEMENT DATED MAY 2. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT SAID ACT PROVIDED THAT EVERY CONTRACT IN EXCESS OF $5. 000 IN AMOUNT TO WHICH THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS A PARTY WHICH REQUIRED OR INVOLVED THE EMPLOYMENT OF LABORERS OR MECHANICS "IN THE CONSTRUCTION.

A-37862, AUGUST 7, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 57

CONTRACTS - PREVAILING WAGE STIPULATION THE REQUIREMENT IN THE ACT MARCH 3, 1931, 46 STAT. 1494, THAT EVERY CONTRACT IN EXCESS OF $5,000 IN AMOUNT TO WHICH THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS A PARTY, SHALL CONTAIN A STIPULATION THAT THE CONTRACTOR WOULD BE REQUIRED TO PAY THE PREVAILING RATE OF WAGES, IS LIMITED TO THE EMPLOYMENT OF LABORERS OR MECHANICS IN THE CONSTRUCTION, ALTERATION, AND/OR REPAIR OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AS PROVIDED IN THE ACT AND IS NOT APPLICABLE TO THE PAINTING OF AN EXISTING PUBLIC BUILDING AND/OR THE CONSTRUCTION OF ROADS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS, AUGUST 7, 1931:

THERE ARE BEFORE THIS OFFICE CONTRACT VBC-853, DATED MAY 27, 1931, WITH THE SKRAINKA CONSTRUCTION CO. FOR SCARIFYING AND RESHAPING EXISTING ROAD AND CONSTRUCTING AND FINISHING NEW CONCRETE PAVEMENT ON SERVICE ROAD, INCLUDING CAST-IRON PIPE CULVERT AND GRADING AT THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' HOSPITAL, JEFFERSON BARRACKS, MO., FOR THE SUM OF $5,202.20, AND CONTRACT VBC-858, DATED MAY 29, 1931, WITH THE PITTSBURGH SHEETING AND PAINTING CO. (INC.) FOR EXTERIOR PAINTING AT THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' HOSPITAL, BEDFORD, MASS., FOR THE SUM OF $5,000.

THE CONTRACT OF MAY 27, 1931, WITH THE SKRAINKA CONSTRUCTION CO. WAS THE RESULT OF THE ACCEPTANCE OF A PROPOSAL OF SAID COMPANY SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO AN ADVERTISEMENT DATED APRIL 10, 1931, FOR CONSTRUCTING THE ROAD, AND THE CONTRACT OF MAY 29, 1931, WITH THE PITTSBURGH SHEETING AND PAINTING CO. (INC.) WAS THE RESULT OF THE ACCEPTANCE OF A PROPOSAL SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO AN ADVERTISEMENT DATED MAY 2, 1931, FOR THE PAINTING WORK, AND BOTH ADVERTISEMENTS NOTIFIED PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS THAT THE CONTRACTOR WOULD BE REQUIRED TO PAY THE PREVAILING RATE OF WAGES AS SET FORTH IN THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931 (46 STAT. 1494).

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT SAID ACT PROVIDED THAT EVERY CONTRACT IN EXCESS OF $5,000 IN AMOUNT TO WHICH THE UNITED STATES OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS A PARTY WHICH REQUIRED OR INVOLVED THE EMPLOYMENT OF LABORERS OR MECHANICS "IN THE CONSTRUCTION, ALTERATION, AND/OR REPAIR OF ANY PUBLIC BUILDING" SHOULD CONTAIN A STIPULATION THAT THE CONTRACTOR WOULD BE REQUIRED TO PAY THE PREVAILING RATE OF WAGES.

THIS OFFICE HELD IN DECISION OF NOVEMBER 3, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 294, THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY THEREFOR, A GOVERNMENT CONTRACT FOR USUAL WORK MAY NOT CONTAIN A STIPULATION FOR THE PAYMENT OF A MINIMUM RATE OF WAGES OR PREVAILING RATE OF WAGES. THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1931, CONTAINS SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE INCLUSION OF SUCH A PROVISION IN CONTRACTS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION, ALTERATION, AND REPAIR OF ANY PUBLIC BUILDING, AND IT WOULD SEEM TO BE TOO CLEAR FOR ARGUMENT THAT THE PAINTING OF AN EXISTING PUBLIC BUILDING AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF A ROAD IS NOT THE "CONSTRUCTION, ALTERATION, AND/OR REPAIR OF ANY PUBLIC ILDING.' SEE 10 COMP. GEN. 499.

THE SPECIFICATIONS IN THE CONTRACT OF MAY 27, 1931, WERE ISSUED APRIL 10, 1931, OR PRIOR TO THE DECISION IN 10 COMP. GEN. 499, AND IT MAY BE POSSIBLE THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS OF MAY 2, 1931, WHICH BECAME THE BASIS OF THE CONTRACT OF MAY 29, 1931, FOR THE PAINTING WORK, WERE ISSUED WITHOUT NOTICE OF SAID DECISION. THIS OFFICE WILL NOT FURTHER QUESTION THESE TWO CONTRACTS BUT, HEREAFTER, CARE SHOULD BE EXERCISED TO SEE THAT THE PREVAILING WAGE STIPULATION IS NOT CONTAINED IN ANY CONTRACTS EXCEPT THOSE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION, ALTERATION, OR REPAIR OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AS AUTHORIZED BY LAW.