A-59372, JANUARY 8, 1935, 14 COMP. GEN. 526

A-59372: Jan 8, 1935

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EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS - SERVICES BETWEEN THE ROUTINE TESTING OF CLINICAL THERMOMETERS BY THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS FOR THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION IS NOT REGARDED AS A SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION BUT AS THE PERFORMANCE OF WORK FOR ONE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT BY ANOTHER WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 601 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30. READING AS FOLLOWS: "AN EXAMINATION OF THE RECORDS COVERING THE TESTING OF CLINICAL THERMOMETERS FOR VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOWS THAT THE DEMANDS FOR SUCH TESTS HAVE INCREASED. WHILE THE FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR THIS PURPOSE HAVE BEEN DRASTICALLY CURTAILED DURING THE PAST YEAR AND A HALF. WITH THE RESULT THAT THE TESTING IS FALLING BEHIND SCHEDULE AND CAN BE KEPT CURRENT ONLY BY AN INCREASE IN STAFF.

A-59372, JANUARY 8, 1935, 14 COMP. GEN. 526

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS - SERVICES BETWEEN THE ROUTINE TESTING OF CLINICAL THERMOMETERS BY THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS FOR THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION IS NOT REGARDED AS A SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION BUT AS THE PERFORMANCE OF WORK FOR ONE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT BY ANOTHER WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF SECTION 601 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 417.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS, JANUARY 8, 1935:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 19, 1934, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ADMINISTRATION HAS RECEIVED FROM THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 13, 1934, READING AS FOLLOWS:

"AN EXAMINATION OF THE RECORDS COVERING THE TESTING OF CLINICAL THERMOMETERS FOR VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOWS THAT THE DEMANDS FOR SUCH TESTS HAVE INCREASED, WHILE THE FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR THIS PURPOSE HAVE BEEN DRASTICALLY CURTAILED DURING THE PAST YEAR AND A HALF, WITH THE RESULT THAT THE TESTING IS FALLING BEHIND SCHEDULE AND CAN BE KEPT CURRENT ONLY BY AN INCREASE IN STAFF. MOST OF THE GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS MAKING LARGE DEMANDS FOR ROUTINE TESTING BY THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS HAVE FOR SOME TIME TRANSFERRED FUNDS TO COVER THE COST OF THIS TESTING.

"IF IT IS PRACTICABLE FOR THE VETERANS' BUREAU TO FOLLOW THIS SAME PROCEDURE, IT WOULD BE OF VERY MATERIAL ASSISTANCE IN MEETING THE EXISTING SITUATION AND ENABLE US TO GET BOTH THE CLINICALS AND THE REPORTS THROUGH PROMPTLY TO YOUR BUREAU. IT IS SUGGESTED, THEREFORE, THAT A TRANSFER OF FUNDS COULD POSSIBLY BE ARRANGED UNDER "TITLE VI--- INTERDEPARTMENTAL WORK, SECTIONS 601 AND 602, ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, PERMANENT LEGISLATION," CONTAINED IN CODIFIED ANNOTATED DRAFT OF ECONOMY ACTS, OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, PAGE 23, WHICH SECTIONS PERMIT ADVANCE PAYMENTS TO BE MADE TO ONE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR SERVICES RENDERED TO ANOTHER BRANCH.

"ACCORDING TO OUR RECORDS, THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE VETERANS' BUREAU HAVE VARIED BETWEEN 4,600 AND 7,000 THERMOMETERS PER MONTH FOR THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS AND FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR HAVE AVERAGED 6,000 PER MONTH. IT MAY BE ASSUMED THAT THE AVERAGE FOR THE YEAR WILL BE 5,000 PER MONTH, THIS AMOUNTS TO 60,000 THERMOMETERS TO BE PASSED, WITH 10 PERCENT REJECTIONS (NORMAL) OR A MINIMUM OF 66,000 THERMOMETERS TO BE TESTED. A MATTER OF FACT, THE REJECTIONS FOR SOME OF THE FIRST LOTS OF CLINICALS SUBMITTED RUN BETWEEN 40 AND 50 PERCENT, WHICH MAY MAKE IT NECESSARY TO TEST AS HIGH AS 70,000 OR MORE CLINICALS. HOWEVER, ACCEPTING THE LOWER FIGURE OF 66,000 TO BE TESTED, THE FEE VALUE OF THESE TESTS IS $0.15 EACH OR A TOTAL OF $9,900 ROUGHLY $10,000.

"REDUCING THIS TO A BASIS OF PERSONNEL, EXCLUSIVE OF THE SUPERVISORY STAFF, AUXILIARY LABORATORY, OFFICE, AND SERVICE FACILITIES, THIS AMOUNT OF TESTING CALLS FOR THREE ADDITIONAL TESTERS AT ENTRANCE SALARIES IN EITHER THE $1,260 OR $1,440 GROUP, DEPENDING ON THE QUALIFICATIONS AND AVAILABILITY OF THE CANDIDATES. IT WOULD SEEM, THEREFORE, THAT A TRANSFER OF $5,000 WOULD MEET THE PRESENT SITUATION.'

IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF YOU WILL ADVISE WHETHER OR NOT, UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE FORTIFICATIONS ACT OF MAY 21, 1920, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 601 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, FUNDS MAY LEGALLY BE TRANSFERRED FROM THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES AND EXPENSES, VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION" TO THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS AS SUGGESTED BY THE DIRECTOR OF THAT BUREAU.

THE PROPOSED TRANSFER OF FUNDS TO THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS WOULD APPEAR TO BE AUTHORIZED UNDER AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 601 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 417.

THERE HAVE NOT BEEN OVERLOOKED THE DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE, 7 COMP. GEN. 447 AND 524, WHICH ARE APPLICABLE WHEN SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS ARE INVOLVED. THE ROUTINE TESTING OF CLINICAL THERMOMETERS IS NOT REGARDED AS INVOLVING A SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION WITHIN THE PROVISION OF THE STATUTE INVOLVED IN THOSE DECISIONS.