B-160797, FEB. 15, 1967

B-160797: Feb 15, 1967

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G. BARTLETT COMPANY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 25. WHICH WAS APPROVED SEPTEMBER 23. THAT SUCH INCREASES WILL RESULT IN A LOSS OF SEVERAL THOUSAND DOLLARS PER MONTH TO YOUR COMPANY. THIS OFFICE IS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO EITHER AUTHORIZE OR DIRECT AN INCREASE IN CONTRACT PRICE ON THE BASIS OF AN AMENDMENT TO THE MINIMUM WAGE LAW. THE AMENDMENT TO THE LAW WAS A SOVEREIGN ACT. THE GOVERNMENT AS A CONTRACTOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OR EFFECT THEREOF. FURTHER WE ARE AWARE OF NO AUTHORITY IN LAW FOR SUCH ACTION TO BE TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE. OR MODIFICATION OF CONTRACTS WHENEVER IT IS DEEMED THAT SUCH ACTION WOULD FACILITATE THE NATIONAL DEFENSE.

B-160797, FEB. 15, 1967

TO A. G. BARTLETT COMPANY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 25, 1967, REQUESTING OUR ADVICE ON A MATTER ARISING IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR PERFORMANCE OF AIR FORCE DEPARTMENT CONTRACT NO. AF02 (600) 2590 AT THE WILLIAMS AIR FORCE BASE WHICH BECAME EFFECTIVE MAY 1, 1966, AND TERMINATES APRIL 30, 1967.

YOU SAY THAT YOU MUST COMPLY WITH THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS AMENDMENTS OF 1966, WHICH WAS APPROVED SEPTEMBER 23, 1966, AND BECAME EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 1, 1967, AND PAY INCREASED WAGES UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF YOUR CONTRACT, AND THAT SUCH INCREASES WILL RESULT IN A LOSS OF SEVERAL THOUSAND DOLLARS PER MONTH TO YOUR COMPANY. YOU ASK TO BE INFORMED OF THE PROCEDURE TO ESTABLISH YOUR CLAIM TO RECOVER THE INCREASED WAGES WHICH YOU MUST PAY.

IN THE ABSENCE OF A CONTRACT PROVISION FOR PRICE ADJUSTMENT TO COMPENSATE FOR CHANGES IN LABOR RATES, THIS OFFICE IS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO EITHER AUTHORIZE OR DIRECT AN INCREASE IN CONTRACT PRICE ON THE BASIS OF AN AMENDMENT TO THE MINIMUM WAGE LAW, SINCE THE STATUTE DID NOT AUTHORIZE SUCH ADJUSTMENT. THE AMENDMENT TO THE LAW WAS A SOVEREIGN ACT, AND THE GOVERNMENT AS A CONTRACTOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OR EFFECT THEREOF. FURTHER WE ARE AWARE OF NO AUTHORITY IN LAW FOR SUCH ACTION TO BE TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, OTHER THAN THAT PROVIDED BY PUBLIC LAW 85-804 APPROVED AUGUST 28, 1958, 72 STAT. 972, 50 U.S.C. 1431-1435, AS IMPLEMENTED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10789, DATED NOVEMBER 14, 1958, WHICH AUTHORIZES CERTAIN AGENCIES, INCLUDING THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS OR INTO AMENDMENTS OR MODIFICATIONS OF CONTRACTS HERETOFORE OR HEREAFTER MADE WITHOUT REGARD TO OTHER PROVISIONS OF LAW RELATING TO THE MAKING, PERFORMANCE, AMENDMENT, OR MODIFICATION OF CONTRACTS WHENEVER IT IS DEEMED THAT SUCH ACTION WOULD FACILITATE THE NATIONAL DEFENSE. HOWEVER, IT WOULD BE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CONTRACTING AGENCY TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE SITUATION YOU DESCRIBE FALLS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF PUBLIC LAW 85-804.