B-107153, FEBRUARY 11, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 372

B-107153: Feb 11, 1952

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GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL - CREDIT REPORTS ON GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES WHILE THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT PURELY PERSONAL SERVICES MAY NOT BE OBTAINED ON A CONTRACTUAL BASIS BUT ARE REQUIRED TO BE PERFORMED BY REGULAR EMPLOYEES WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE TO THE GOVERNMENT AND SUBJECT TO ITS SUPERVISION. INFORMATION CONCERNING THE PERSONAL CREDIT HISTORIES OF EMPLOYEES WHICH IS ESSENTIAL FOR SECURITY CONTROL PURPOSES MAY BE PROCURED FROM COMMERCIAL CREDIT BUREAUS IF ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE INFORMATION CANNOT BE DEVELOPED BY AVAILABLE EMPLOYEES AT A RELATIVELY REASONABLE COST. 1952: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF DECEMBER 19. IT IS REPORTED THAT THE SECURITY CONTROL OFFICER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE OCCASIONALLY FINDS IT NECESSARY TO MAKE INQUIRIES CONCERNING THE PERSONAL CREDIT HISTORIES OF EMPLOYEES HAVING ACCESS TO CLASSIFIED MATERIALS OR RESTRICTED AREAS BEFORE ISSUING CLEARANCES TO THEM.

B-107153, FEBRUARY 11, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 372

PERSONAL SERVICES - PRIVATE CONTRACT V. GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL - CREDIT REPORTS ON GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES WHILE THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT PURELY PERSONAL SERVICES MAY NOT BE OBTAINED ON A CONTRACTUAL BASIS BUT ARE REQUIRED TO BE PERFORMED BY REGULAR EMPLOYEES WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE TO THE GOVERNMENT AND SUBJECT TO ITS SUPERVISION, INFORMATION CONCERNING THE PERSONAL CREDIT HISTORIES OF EMPLOYEES WHICH IS ESSENTIAL FOR SECURITY CONTROL PURPOSES MAY BE PROCURED FROM COMMERCIAL CREDIT BUREAUS IF ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE INFORMATION CANNOT BE DEVELOPED BY AVAILABLE EMPLOYEES AT A RELATIVELY REASONABLE COST.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, FEBRUARY 11, 1952:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF DECEMBER 19, 1951, FROM THE ACTING SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF PROCURING CREDIT INFORMATION FOR SECURITY CONTROL PURPOSES FROM LOCAL COMMERCIAL CREDIT BUREAUS.

IT IS REPORTED THAT THE SECURITY CONTROL OFFICER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE OCCASIONALLY FINDS IT NECESSARY TO MAKE INQUIRIES CONCERNING THE PERSONAL CREDIT HISTORIES OF EMPLOYEES HAVING ACCESS TO CLASSIFIED MATERIALS OR RESTRICTED AREAS BEFORE ISSUING CLEARANCES TO THEM. SINCE COMMERCIAL BUREAUS ARE ABLE TO SUPPLY SUCH INFORMATION AT FEES RANGING FROM TWENTY-FIVE CENTS TO ONE DOLLAR PER INDIVIDUAL, IT IS FELT THAT THE INFORMATION SHOULD BE PURCHASED FROM THEM IN ORDER TO AVOID UNECONOMICAL EXPENDITURES OF TIME AND MONEY ATTENDANT UPON USING SPECIALLY TRAINED PERSONNEL OF HIS OFFICE FOR THE NECESSARY CREDIT INVESTIGATIONS.

THE GENERAL RULE ESTABLISHED BY DECISIONS OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS IS THAT PURELY PERSONAL SERVICES MAY NOT BE OBTAINED ON A CONTRACTUAL BASIS BUT ARE REQUIRED TO BE PERFORMED BY REGULAR EMPLOYEES WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE TO THE GOVERNMENT AND SUBJECT TO ITS SUPERVISION. 18 COMP. GEN. 539; 19 ID. 594. EXCEPTIONS TO SUCH RULE HAVE BEEN RECOGNIZED IN A FEW CASES WHERE EMPLOYEES WERE NOT AVAILABLE OR QUALIFIED TO PERFORM THE WORK INVOLVED AND WHERE UNUSUAL CONDITIONS ENCOUNTERED IN THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF AN OBJECT FOR WHICH A PARTICULAR APPROPRIATION WAS MADE SO NECESSITATED. IN THIS CONNECTION, IT MAY BE OBSERVED THAT THE REQUIREMENT IS ONE OF POLICY RATHER THAN POSITIVE LAW AND, WHERE IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT IT WOULD BE SUBSTANTIALLY MORE ECONOMICAL, FEASIBLE, OR NECESSARY BY REASON OF UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES, TO HAVE THE WORK INVOLVING PERSONAL SERVICES PERFORMED BY NON GOVERNMENT PARTIES, AND THAT IS CLEARLY DEMONSTRABLE, THIS OFFICE WILL NOT OBJECT TO PROCUREMENT OF SUCH WORK THROUGH PROPER CONTRACT ARRANGEMENT.

ACCORDINGLY, IF IT BE DETERMINED ADMINISTRATIVELY THAT CREDIT INFORMATION ESSENTIAL TO AUTHORIZED SECURITY CONTROL IN YOUR DEPARTMENT CANNOT BE DEVELOPED BY AVAILABLE EMPLOYEES AT A RELATIVELY REASONABLE COST, THERE IS PERCEIVED NO OBJECTION TO PROCUREMENT THEREOF FROM COMMERCIAL CREDIT BUREAUS ON A NOMINAL FEE BASIS.