B-128993, SEP. 10, 1956

B-128993: Sep 10, 1956

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TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED AUGUST 15. THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 55A ARE A CODIFICATION OF SECTION 15 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2. UNLESS OTHER RATES ARE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THE APPROPRIATION OR OTHER LAW) AND. IS CONTINGENT UPON THE PASSAGE OF AN APPROPRIATION OR OTHER ACT GRANTING SPECIFIC AUTHORITY TO THE HEAD OF THE PARTICULAR DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY CONCERNED. THE UTILIZATION OF THE AUTHORITY SO GRANTED IS INTENDED FOR AND. IS LIMITED TO THE FURTHERANCE OF AUTHORIZED AGENCY FUNCTIONS. THE OFFICE OF AREA DEVELOPMENT WAS DESIGNATED A PRIMARY ORGANIZATION UNIT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE TO PERFORM CERTAIN FUNCTIONS VESTED IN THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14.

B-128993, SEP. 10, 1956

TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER DATED AUGUST 15, 1956, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE FOR ADMINISTRATION, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER A CONTRACT MAY BE NEGOTIATED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 55A, WITH A FIRM OF CONSULTING ECONOMISTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING A SURVEY AS PROPOSED BY THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF AREA DEVELOPMENT IN HIS ACCOMPANYING MEMORANDUM DATED AUGUST 8, 1956.

THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 55A ARE A CODIFICATION OF SECTION 15 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 810, AS FOLLOWS:

"THE HEAD OF ANY DEPARTMENT, WHEN AUTHORIZED IN AN APPROPRIATION OR OTHER ACT, MAY PROCURE THE TEMPORARY (NOT IN EXCESS OF ONE YEAR) OR INTERMITTENT SERVICES OF EXPERTS OR CONSULTANTS OR ORGANIZATIONS THEREOF, INCLUDING STENOGRAPHIC REPORTING SERVICES, BY CONTRACT, AND IN SUCH CASES SUCH SERVICE SHALL BE WITHOUT REGARD TO THE CIVIL SERVICE AND CLASSIFICATIONS LAWS (BUT AS TO AGENCIES SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949 AT RATES NOT IN EXCESS OF THE PER DIEM EQUIVALENT OF THE HIGHEST RATE PAYABLE UNDER SAID SECTIONS, UNLESS OTHER RATES ARE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THE APPROPRIATION OR OTHER LAW) AND, EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF STENOGRAPHIC REPORTING SERVICES BY ORGANIZATIONS, WITHOUT REGARD TO SECTION 5 OF TITLE 41.'

THIS STATUTE CONSTITUTES THE BASIC GENERAL AUTHORITY TO PROCURE BY CONTRACT, WITHOUT ADVERTISING, THE SERVICES OF INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS OF EXPERTS AND EXPERTS AND CONSULTANTS. ITS OPERATIVE EFFECT, BY ITS TERMS, IS CONTINGENT UPON THE PASSAGE OF AN APPROPRIATION OR OTHER ACT GRANTING SPECIFIC AUTHORITY TO THE HEAD OF THE PARTICULAR DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY CONCERNED. THE UTILIZATION OF THE AUTHORITY SO GRANTED IS INTENDED FOR AND, OF COURSE, IS LIMITED TO THE FURTHERANCE OF AUTHORIZED AGENCY FUNCTIONS. FURTHERMORE, WHERE THE SERVICES REQUIRED WOULD ORDINARILY FALL WITHIN THE SCOPE OF WORK GENERALLY PERFORMED BY OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE AGENCY OR OF OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, THE DETERMINATION TO INVOKE SUCH CONTRACTING AUTHORITY SHOULD BE BASED UPON COGENT CONSIDERATIONS OF THE NECESSITY, EFFICIENCY, AND ECONOMY OF THE CONTRACT PROCUREMENT. CF: 26 COMP. GEN. 188; ID. 442; 31 ID. 372; 32 ID. 427; 33 ID. 143; AND ID. 170. SEE ALSO HOUSE REPORT NO. 2894, 84TH CONGRESS, EMPLOYMENT AND UTILIZATION OF EXPERTS AND CONSULTANTS.

IN THE EVENT A PROPOSED CONTRACT OR AGREEMENT FOR THE SERVICES OF EXPERTS OR CONSULTANTS INVOLVES THE "COLLECTION OF INFORMATION ON IDENTICAL ITEMS BY OR FOR THE CONTRACTOR FROM TEN OR MORE RESPONDENTS," THE APPLICABLE "CLEARANCE" AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A- 40, ISSUED OCTOBER 24, 1951, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE FEDERAL REPORTS ACT OF 1942, 56 STAT. 1078, 5 U.S.C. 139-139F, SHOULD BE COMPLIED WITH. IN THIS CONNECTION SEE HOUSE REPORT NO. 2913, 84TH CONGRESS, PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY TO INFLUENCE POSTAL RATE LEGISLATION.

IT APPEARS THAT PURSUANT TO DEPARTMENT ORDER NO. 164, PROMULGATED BY THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE AUGUST 10, 1956, THE OFFICE OF AREA DEVELOPMENT WAS DESIGNATED A PRIMARY ORGANIZATION UNIT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE TO PERFORM CERTAIN FUNCTIONS VESTED IN THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1903, 32 STAT. 826, WITH REFERENCE TO PROMOTING THE GROWTH OF THE DOMESTIC COMMERCE OF THE UNITED STATES BY ASSISTING IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE INDUSTRIAL POTENTIAL OF AREAS AND COMMUNITIES OF THE UNITED STATES. THE STATED OBJECTIVE OF THE OFFICE IS THE IMPROVEMENT OF ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS CONDITIONS BY FURNISHING TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE DIRECTED TO (1) EXPANDING AND STRENGTHENING EXISTING INDUSTRY, (2) DEVELOPING NEW INDUSTRIES BASED ON LOCAL RESOURCES, AND (3) IMPROVING COMMUNITY ASSETS FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH. SECTION 5.03 OF THE ORDER PROVIDES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT THE RESOURCES ANALYSIS DIVISION OF THE OFFICE OF AREA DEVELOPMENT, BESIDES CONDUCTING RESEARCH ON SUBJECTS OF USE TO ALL AREAS,"WILL DO RESEARCH ON SPECIFIC AREAS AT THE REQUEST OF, AND IN COOPERATION WITH, THE STATE AND COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE DIVISION.'

IN HIS MEMORANDUM OF AUGUST 8, 1956, THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF AREA DEVELOPMENT PROPOSES THAT A CONTRACT BE NEGOTIATED WITH CHECCHI AND COMPANY, CONSULTING ECONOMISTS OF WASHINGTON, D.C., TO UNDERTAKE A SURVEY OF HOW COMMUNITIES BENEFIT BY THE FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THEIR TOURIST INDUSTRY BASED ON A STUDY OF THE FOLLOWING TOPICS:

"/A) AN EXPLANATION OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THE TOURIST BUSINESS TODAY IN SPECIFIC MEANINGFUL TERMS, ITS RECENT GROWTH, PRESENT STATUS, AND WHY IT HAS BECOME AN IMPORTANT FACTOR IN COMMUNITY AND AREA DEVELOPMENT.

"/B) A DESCRIPTION OF WHAT THE TOURIST BUSINESS IS, WHAT IT CONSISTS OF, WHAT ITS COMPONENTS ARE AND HOW THEY OPERATE, WHAT THE MAIN TRADE ASSOCIATIONS ARE AND WHAT THEY DO, AND HOW ALL THESE ELEMENTS ARE INTERRELATED.

"/C) SUGGESTIONS AS TO HOW COMMUNITIES AND AREAS CAN WORK WITH AND THROUGH THESE ELEMENTS OF THE TOURIST BUSINESS AND HOW TO GO ABOUT IT.

"/D) A SERIES OF ILLUSTRATION TECHNIQUES USED BY COMMUNITIES AND AREAS TO ATTRACT TOURISTS AND TO LENGTHEN THE TOURIST SEASON, INCLUDING SPECIAL EVENTS, EXPLOITATION OF HISTORICAL BACKGROUNDS AND PHYSICAL SURROUNDINGS, ETC., TOGETHER WITH SUGGESTIONS AS TO HOW COMMUNITIES CAN PROCEED TO DEVELOP SUCH TECHNIQUES AND USE THEM EFFECTIVELY.

"/E) AN EXPLANATION OF HOW THE TOURIST BUSINESS CAN AND HAS ASSISTED INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT, TOGETHER WITH EXAMPLES.'

THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR STATES THAT THE INCREASING NUMBER OF REQUESTS THE OFFICE OF AREA DEVELOPMENT IS RECEIVING FROM COMMUNITIES FOR GUIDANCE IN AREA TOURIST DEVELOPMENT WORK GIVES URGENCY TO HAVING THIS STUDY ACCOMPLISHED AT AN EARLY DATE; THAT THE DEPARTMENT DOES NOT HAVE THE REQUIRED PROFESSIONAL SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE TO UNDERTAKE THIS STUDY, AND HE RECOMMENDS THAT CHECCHI AND COMPANY BE AWARDED A NEGOTIATED CONTRACT BECAUSE THIS FIRM IS ESPECIALLY WELL QUALIFIED TO UNDERTAKE THE PROJECT. TWO FACTORS POINTED OUT AS CONTRIBUTING SIGNIFICANTLY TO CHECCHI AND COMPANY'S QUALIFICATIONS TO UNDERTAKE THE STUDY ARE THE REQUIREMENTS, STATED TO BE SET FORTH IN THE CONTRACT, "THAT THE FIRM DOING THE STUDY; (1) CONSULT AT REGULAR INTERVALS WITH THE OFFICE OF AREA DEVELOPMENT ON CONTENT AND OUTLINE OF THE STUDY, AND (2) CONFER WITH WELL-KNOWN INDIVIDUALS AND FIRMS SPECIALIZING IN VARIOUS ASPECTS OF THE TOURIST BUSINESS IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THEIR OPINIONS AND REACTIONS ABOUT THE STUDY IN ITS DRAFT FORM.' THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR SUGGESTS THAT CHECCHI AND COMPANY, HAVING ITS OFFICES IN WASHINGTON, D.C., WILL BE ABLE TO CONFER FREQUENTLY AND CONVENIENTLY WITH OFFICIALS OF THE OFFICE OF AREA DEVELOPMENT WITHOUT ADDED EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT. ALTHOUGH A COPY OF THE CONTRACT WAS NOT SUBMITTED, IT APPEARS THAT THE END RESULT OF THE PROPOSED STUDY WILL BE A REPORT ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF TOURIST ATTRACTIONS AND FACILITIES WITH SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON AN ANALYSIS OF THE DOMESTIC TOURIST INDUSTRY, IN REFERENCE TO THE OVERALL ECONOMIC GROWTH OF LOCAL AREAS OF THE COUNTRY.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE PROPOSED CONTRACT COSTS, ESTIMATED AT APPROXIMATELY $3,500, WOULD BE DEFRAYED FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES NECESSARY FOR THE GENERAL ADMINISTRATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE UNDER TITLE I, PUBLIC LAW 604, 84TH CONGRESS, 70 STAT. 314. SECTION 103 OF THIS ACT EXPRESSLY PROVIDES, THAT: "APPROPRIATIONS IN THIS TITLE AVAILABLE FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES OF * * * SERVICES AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 15 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946 (5 U.S.C. 55A) * * *"

THUS, THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE HAS BEEN GRANTED AUTHORITY TO NEGOTIATE CONTRACTS FOR THE SERVICES OF EXPERTS AND CONSULTANTS, AND IT APPEARS THAT THE SERVICES WHICH WOULD BE PROCURED UNDER THE PROPOSED CONTRACT RELATE TO THE AUTHORIZED FUNCTIONS OF YOUR DEPARTMENT. ACCORDINGLY, IF IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED, FOLLOWING THE GENERAL PRINCIPLES REFERRED TO HEREIN, THAT THE EXPERT AND CONSULTANT SERVICES INVOLVED ARE NECESSARY FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THOSE FUNCTIONS, WE PERCEIVE NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE NEGOTIATION OF THE PROPOSED CONTRACT.