A-3949, JULY 23, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 103

A-3949: Jul 23, 1924

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1924: I HAVE YOUR LETTER DATED JULY 11. YOU EXPRESS A DESIRE TO HAVE MY DECISION ON THE PROPRIETY OF THE PURCHASE OF WADING TROUSERS BY THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY FROM APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR THAT BUREAU. FOR PURPOSE OF DISCLOSING AN OBLIGATION RESTING UPON THE GOVERNMENT TO SUPPLY WHAT ARE ESSENTIALLY PERSONAL FURNISHINGS YOU EXPLAIN THAT WADING TROUSERS ARE USED BY HYDRAULIC ENGINEERS IN MAKING MEASUREMENTS OF THE FLOW OF STREAMS IN WATER VARYING IN DEPTH FROM A FOOT OR SO TO 3 OR 4 FOOT. IN CURRENTS AGAINST WHICH IT IS DIFFICULT FOR THE ENGINEERS TO MAINTAIN THEIR FOOTING. SOMETIMES IN FLOATING ICE OR CHANNELS CUT THROUGH ICE WHICH IS NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO BEAR UP THE WEIGHT OF THE ENGINEER.

A-3949, JULY 23, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 103

PERSONAL FURNISHINGS - WADING TROUSERS WADING TROUSERS REQUIRED ONLY OCCASIONALLY AND USED INDISCRIMINATELY BY THE ENGINEERS OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY AS NECESSARY PROTECTION IN GAUGING THE FLOW OF STREAMS, AND NOT FOR THE REGULAR USE OF EMPLOYEES IN THE ORDINARY AND USUAL OCCUPATION FOR WHICH ENGAGED, OR OF A CHARACTER SUCH AS AN EMPLOYEE MIGHT REASONABLY BE EXPECTED TO FURNISH FOR HIS PERSONAL COMFORT OR PROTECTION, MAY BE PURCHASED FROM PUBLIC FUNDS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, JULY 23, 1924:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER DATED JULY 11, 1924, IN WHICH, REFERRING TO MY DECISION OF JANUARY 19, 1924, 3 COMP. GEN. 433, AND DECISIONS OF A LIKE TENOR, RENDERED SUBSEQUENTLY, YOU EXPRESS A DESIRE TO HAVE MY DECISION ON THE PROPRIETY OF THE PURCHASE OF WADING TROUSERS BY THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY FROM APPROPRIATIONS MADE FOR THAT BUREAU, AND FOR PURPOSE OF DISCLOSING AN OBLIGATION RESTING UPON THE GOVERNMENT TO SUPPLY WHAT ARE ESSENTIALLY PERSONAL FURNISHINGS YOU EXPLAIN THAT WADING TROUSERS ARE USED BY HYDRAULIC ENGINEERS IN MAKING MEASUREMENTS OF THE FLOW OF STREAMS IN WATER VARYING IN DEPTH FROM A FOOT OR SO TO 3 OR 4 FOOT, REACHING SOMETIMES ABOUT TO THE ARM PIT, AND IN CURRENTS AGAINST WHICH IT IS DIFFICULT FOR THE ENGINEERS TO MAINTAIN THEIR FOOTING, AND SOMETIMES IN FLOATING ICE OR CHANNELS CUT THROUGH ICE WHICH IS NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO BEAR UP THE WEIGHT OF THE ENGINEER.

THE FURTHER STATEMENT IS MADE THAT THE NECESSITY FOR USING WADING TROUSERS MAY NOT OCCUR MORE THAN ONCE ON A TRIP, AND SELDOM, IF EVER, MORE THAN TWICE OR THREE TIMES; THAT THE ENGINEERS WORK OUT FROM FIELD HEADQUARTERS USUALLY SINGLY, TRAVELING IN AUTOMOBILES AND DRESSED IN CLOTHING REQUIRED BY THE ORDINARY TRAVELER, PREPARED TO MEET THE PUBLIC AND COOPERATING STATE OFFICIALS IN THE USUAL CIVILIAN GARB; THAT THE REGULAR EQUIPMENT OF EACH DISTRICT OFFICE INCLUDES ONE OR TWO PAIRS OF WADING TROUSERS WHICH ARE ISSUED LIKE OTHER EQUIPMENT TO THE ENGINEERS WHEN THEY START ON THEIR TRIPS, AND THAT THESE WADING TROUSERS ARE NOT PROCURED OR HELD FOR THE PERSONAL USE OF ANY ONE ENGINEER, BUT HAVE ALWAYS BEEN REGARDED AS GENERAL OFFICIAL EQUIPMENT FOR STREAM GAUGING.

THE APPROPRIATION WHICH IT IS UNDERSTOOD IS PROPOSED TO BE CHARGED WITH THE EXPENDITURE FOR THESE ARTICLES IS THAT PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF JANUARY 24, 1923, 42 STAT. 1208, UNDER THE HEAD OF ,GENERAL EXPENSES, GEOLOGICAL SURVEY," "FOR GAUGING STREAMS AND DETERMINING THE WATER SUPPLY OF THE UNITED STATES, THE INVESTIGATION OF UNDERGROUND CURRENTS AND ARTESIAN WELLS, AND THE PREPARATION OF REPORTS UPON THE BEST METHODS OF UTILIZING THE WATER RESOURCES, $170,000. * * *"

FROM THE STATEMENT OF THE USE TO BE MADE OF THESE ARTICLES IT APPEARS THAT THEY ARE NOT FOR THE REGULAR USE OF ANY PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE; THAT THEY ARE NOT TO BE USED REGULARLY IN THE ORDINARY AND USUAL OCCUPATION FOR WHICH THE EMPLOYEES ARE ENGAGED; AND THAT THEY DO NOT CONSTITUTE EQUIPMENT OF A CHARACTER SUCH AS AN EMPLOYEE MIGHT REASONABLY BE REQUIRED TO FURNISH AS A PART OF THE PERSONAL EQUIPMENT NECESSARY TO ENABLE HIM TO PERFORM THE REGULAR DUTIES FOR WHICH HE WAS EMPLOYED.

THEY WERE VIEWED RATHER AS UNUSUAL ARTICLES AND SUCH AS IT IS REASONABLE TO BELIEVE WOULD NOT BE UTILIZED EXCEPT UPON EXTRAORDINARY OCCASIONS IN THE NECESSARY ACCOMPLISHMENT OF A PUBLIC PURPOSE, WHICH IT IS REPRESENTED COULD NOT BE UNDERTAKEN WITHOUT THEM.

UPON THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THEY ARE TO BECOME PUBLIC EQUIPMENT AT HEADQUARTERS CAMPS FOR INDISCRIMINATE USE, PURCHASE OF THE ARTICLES UNDER THE APPROPRIATION CITED HEREINBEFORE IS AUTHORIZED AS NECESSARY FOR A PUBLIC PURPOSE. 3 COMP. GEN. 433.