B-175136, MAR 9, 1972

B-175136: Mar 9, 1972

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THE PRICE IS CONSIDERED REASONABLE. STEPS WERE TAKEN TO SELECT AN ARTIST TO PAINT HIS PORTRAIT TO HANG WITH THOSE OF HIS PREDECESSORS. AS IS TRADITIONAL IN THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. SEVERAL ARTISTS WERE SOLICITED BY THE DEPARTMENT. THE DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY WAS ADVISED OF THIS FACT IN MARCH 1971 AND. HICKEL WAS ADVISED OF THE RESPONSES THAT HAD BEEN RECEIVED BY THE DEPARTMENT FROM OTHER ARTISTS. THE DEPARTMENT WAS FORMALLY ADVISED OF THIS IN A LETTER DATED AUGUST 25. THE COMPLETED PORTRAIT WAS DELIVERED ON AUGUST 30. THE SERVICES WERE PERFORMED UNDER AN AGREEMENT WITH FORMER SECRETARY HICKEL ACTING ON BEHALF OF AND PURSUANT TO THE ADVICE AND INSTRUCTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT. THE PRICE IS CONSIDERED REASONABLE IN VIEW OF THE PRICE QUOTED BY ONE OF THE OTHER ARTISTS SOLICITED AND IS NOT INCONSISTENT WITH PRICES PAID BY OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES FOR SERVICES OF THIS NATURE.

B-175136, MAR 9, 1972

CONTRACTS - PAYMENT FOR SERVICES RENDERED CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT TO ERLING ROBERTS, AN ARTIST WHO PAINTED A PORTRAIT OF FORMER SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR WALTER J. HICKEL. SINCE THE GOVERNMENT HAS RECEIVED A BENEFIT, THE PRICE IS CONSIDERED REASONABLE, AND THE DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY EXPRESSLY RATIFIED THE TRANSACTION, THE COMP. GEN. HAS NO OBJECTION TO THE PROPOSED PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE PROPER.

TO MR. SECRETARY:

BY LETTER, WITH ENCLOSURES, OF FEBRUARY 3, 1972, THE DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY - MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, REQUESTED OUR DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF A PROPOSED PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $5,000 TO MR. ERLING ROBERTS, AN ARTIST WHO PAINTED A PORTRAIT OF FORMER SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR WALTER J. HICKEL.

THE DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY ADVISES THAT UPON THE CONCLUSION OF SECRETARY HICKEL'S TENURE IN NOVEMBER 1970, STEPS WERE TAKEN TO SELECT AN ARTIST TO PAINT HIS PORTRAIT TO HANG WITH THOSE OF HIS PREDECESSORS, AS IS TRADITIONAL IN THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. SEVERAL ARTISTS WERE SOLICITED BY THE DEPARTMENT; HOWEVER, IN THE MEANTIME, MR. HICKEL ENTERTAINED A SOLICITATION FROM MR. ROBERTS. THE DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY WAS ADVISED OF THIS FACT IN MARCH 1971 AND, IN REPLY, MR. HICKEL WAS ADVISED OF THE RESPONSES THAT HAD BEEN RECEIVED BY THE DEPARTMENT FROM OTHER ARTISTS. THEREAFTER, MR. HICKEL SELECTED MR. ROBERTS ON THE BASIS THAT HIS WORK MOST CLOSELY REFLECTED MR. HICKEL'S VIEWS AS TO THE MANNER OF ARTISTIC PRESENTATION. THE DEPARTMENT WAS FORMALLY ADVISED OF THIS IN A LETTER DATED AUGUST 25, 1971, AND THE COMPLETED PORTRAIT WAS DELIVERED ON AUGUST 30, 1971. DURING THE EARLY PART OF SEPTEMBER, MR. ROBERTS VISITED THE DEPARTMENT AND PRESENTED A HANDWRITTEN INVOICE IN THE AMOUNT OF $5,000 FOR THE PORTRAIT.

THE DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY ADVISES THAT WHILE NO FORMAL WRITTEN AGREEMENT HAS BEEN EXECUTED BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT AND MR. ROBERTS, THE SERVICES WERE PERFORMED UNDER AN AGREEMENT WITH FORMER SECRETARY HICKEL ACTING ON BEHALF OF AND PURSUANT TO THE ADVICE AND INSTRUCTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT. THE PRICE IS CONSIDERED REASONABLE IN VIEW OF THE PRICE QUOTED BY ONE OF THE OTHER ARTISTS SOLICITED AND IS NOT INCONSISTENT WITH PRICES PAID BY OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES FOR SERVICES OF THIS NATURE.

SINCE THE GOVERNMENT HAS RECEIVED A BENEFIT, THE PRICE IS CONSIDERED REASONABLE AND THE DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY EXPRESSLY RATIFIED THE TRANSACTION IN HIS LETTER, WE WILL INTERPOSE NO OBJECTION TO PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE PROPER. SEE B-164087, JULY 1, 1968.

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