A-61074, OCTOBER 18, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 305

A-61074: Oct 18, 1935

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EMPLOYMENT OF ARCHITECTS - DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ALLEY DWELLING AUTHORITY FUNDS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ALLEY DWELLING AUTHORITY MAY BE EXPENDED FOR EMPLOYMENT OF ARCHITECTS FOR TEMPORARY DUTY ONLY IF THERE ARE NOT AVAILABLE IN SAID ESTABLISHMENT PERSONAL SERVICES OF THE CHARACTER DESIRED AND SUCH PERSONAL SERVICES CANNOT BE OBTAINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CIVIL SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS. IS LEGALLY AUTHORIZED TO EXPEND FUNDS TO EMPLOY THE SERVICES OF AN ARCHITECT OR ARCHITECTS WITHOUT REGARD TO THE CIVIL-SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS AND THE CLASSIFIED SERVICE ACT. IT IS INFERRED THAT THE AUTHORITY MIGHT EMPLOY AN ARCHITECT OR ARCHITECTS ON A COMMISSION BASIS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SPECIFIC PROJECT IN CASES WHERE EXPERIENCE.

A-61074, OCTOBER 18, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 305

EMPLOYMENT OF ARCHITECTS - DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ALLEY DWELLING AUTHORITY FUNDS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ALLEY DWELLING AUTHORITY MAY BE EXPENDED FOR EMPLOYMENT OF ARCHITECTS FOR TEMPORARY DUTY ONLY IF THERE ARE NOT AVAILABLE IN SAID ESTABLISHMENT PERSONAL SERVICES OF THE CHARACTER DESIRED AND SUCH PERSONAL SERVICES CANNOT BE OBTAINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CIVIL SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS, AND THEN ONLY BY DIRECT HIRE WITH THE CONSENT OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION AND AT RATES NOT IN EXCESS OF THOSE SPECIFIED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE ALLEY DWELLING AUTHORITY FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, OCTOBER 18, 1935:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 9, 1935, AS FOLLOWS:

ON MARCH 28, 1935, THIS OFFICE ADDRESSED YOU CONCERNING THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE ALLEY DWELLING AUTHORITY, UNDER THE TERMS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ALLEY DWELLING ACT, APPROVED JUNE 12, 1934, IS LEGALLY AUTHORIZED TO EXPEND FUNDS TO EMPLOY THE SERVICES OF AN ARCHITECT OR ARCHITECTS WITHOUT REGARD TO THE CIVIL-SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS AND THE CLASSIFIED SERVICE ACT.

FROM YOUR RESPONSE TO THIS QUESTION (A-61074, DATED MAY 23, 1935), IT IS INFERRED THAT THE AUTHORITY MIGHT EMPLOY AN ARCHITECT OR ARCHITECTS ON A COMMISSION BASIS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SPECIFIC PROJECT IN CASES WHERE EXPERIENCE, ABILITY, AND TALENT ARE NEEDED PECULIAR TO THE PROJECT UNDER CONSIDERATION. SUCH AN INSTANCE HAS NOW ARISEN.

THE ALLEY DWELLING AUTHORITY IS CONSIDERING THE CONSTRUCTION OF AN APARTMENT BUILDING ON A LONG, NARROW PLOT OF LAND. THIS APARTMENT IS TO BE CONSTRUCTED ESPECIALLY FOR OCCUPANCY BY NEGRO TENANTS. THE AUTHORITY WISHES TO PUT ON THIS LOT A BUILDING THAT WILL BE GOOD IN ALL THE ESSENTIALS, THAT WILL BE PLEASING IN DESIGN, AND WILL BE ECONOMICAL TO CONSTRUCT AND MAINTAIN. ITS OWN ARCHITECT HAS DRAFTED TENTATIVE PLANS FOR THIS BUILDING, BUT THE CHARACTER OF THE SITE AND BUILDING MAKES IT A DIFFICULT ONE.

TO CARRY OUT THE PLAN ABOVE MENTIONED, THE AUTHORITY DEEMS IT NECESSARY TO AVAIL ITSELF OF THE TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE OF AN ARCHITECT OR ARCHITECTS WHO ARE FAMILIAR WITH AND EXPERIENCED IN THE CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE FIELD OF APARTMENT CONSTRUCTION. THE AUTHORITY HAS DETERMINED, AFTER CAREFUL INVESTIGATION, TO EMPLOY AS CONSULTANTS, THE HOUSING COMMITTEE OF THE ALLIED ARCHITECTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UPON A FEE BASIS FOR THEIR SERVICES. THE CONTRACT AND THE AMOUNT TO BE PAID, OF COURSE, WILL BE SUBJECT TO YOUR APPROVAL.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES OUTLINED ABOVE, MAY FUNDS OF THE ALLEY DWELLING AUTHORITY BE LEGALLY EXPENDED IN THIS SPECIFIC INSTANCE FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF AN ARCHITECT OR ARCHITECTS WITHOUT REGARD TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT?

IT IS NOT UNDERSTOOD HOW SUCH AN INFERENCE AS SUGGESTED BY YOU COULD BE DRAWN FROM THE DECISION TO YOU OF MAY 23, 1935, IN WHICH IT WAS STATED---

* * * THIS STATUTE CONTEMPLATES THE DIRECT EMPLOYMENT OF SUCH PERSONNEL AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE ALLEY DWELLING AUTHORITY AND THERE IS NOT CONTAINED THEREIN ANY AUTHORITY SPECIFICALLY TO CONTRACT FOR SUCH PERSONAL SERVICES OR TO EMPLOY PERSONAL SERVICES OTHERWISE THAN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CIVIL SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS AND THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. * * *

IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF STATUTE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDING OTHERWISE, CONSULTANTS OR OTHER EXPERT PERSONAL SERVICES MAY BE ENGAGED BY DIRECT EMPLOYMENT, ONLY, AND NOT BY CONTRACT WITH A FIRM, CORPORATION, OR ASSOCIATION TO FURNISH THE SERVICES OF SUCH PERSONS AS IT MAY SELECT. SEE DECISION IN 9 COMP. GEN. 169 RENDERED TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WITH RESPECT TO CONTRACTING WITH THE ALLIED ARCHITECTS, INC., FOR ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES.

HOWEVER, YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 11, 1935, MAKES THE FOLLOWING EXPLANATION:

AS A MATTER OF EXPLANATION, AND IN ORDER TO CLARIFY THE * * * COMMUNICATION TO YOU OF OCTOBER 9, THE AUTHORITY WISHES TO MAKE THIS STATEMENT: THE AUTHORITY HAD IN MIND THE EMPLOYMENT OF AN INDIVIDUAL ARCHITECT AS ASSOCIATE AND CONSULTANT AND DID NOT HAVE IN MIND THE EMPLOYMENT OF THE CORPORATION KNOWN AS THE "HOUSING COMMITTEE OF ALLIED ARCHITECTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.'

HOWEVER, THE AUTHORITY AT THIS TIME IS NOT BOUND BY ANY CONTRACT OR OBLIGATION WHATEVER TO EMPLOY ANY CERTAIN PERSON, FIRM, OR CORPORATION. ONLY AFTER HAVING FIRST INVESTIGATED THE ABILITY AND EXPERIENCE OF VARIOUS ARCHITECTS, THE AUTHORITY HAD DETERMINED TO EMPLOY AN INDIVIDUAL ARCHITECT AS ASSOCIATE AND CONSULTANT, NOT BECAUSE OF HIS BUSINESS AFFILIATION BUT BECAUSE OF HIS OWN ABILITY.

IN VIEW OF THIS STATEMENT, IS THE ALLEY DWELLING AUTHORITY LEGALLY AUTHORIZED TO EXPEND FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO IT IN THIS SPECIFIC INSTANCE FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF AN ARCHITECT, WITHOUT REGARD TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT?

IF THERE ARE NOT AVAILABLE IN YOUR ESTABLISHMENT PERSONAL SERVICES OF THE CHARACTER DESIRED AND THEY CANNOT BE EMPLOYED IN ACCORDANCE WITH CIVIL SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS, SUCH SERVICES OF PARTICULAR INDIVIDUALS MAY BE ENGAGED BY DIRECT HIRE FOR TEMPORARY DUTY, WITH THE CONSENT OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, AT RATES NOT IN EXCESS OF THOSE SPECIFIED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT.