B-21980, NOVEMBER 27, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 486

B-21980: Nov 27, 1941

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WHERE THE WORK IS TO BE PERFORMED IN GOVERNMENT SPACE AND THERE IS INVOLVED EXCLUSIVELY OR ESSENTIALLY THE RENDITION OF PERSONAL SERVICES. 1941: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 21. AS FOLLOWS: IT IS DESIRED TO PRESENT FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION THE FOLLOWING THREE QUESTIONS ARISING WITHIN THIS DEPARTMENT WHEREIN THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES APPEAR TO BE SIMILAR TO THOSE CONSIDERED IN DECISIONS OF OCTOBER 28. IT IS NECESSARY TO CODE. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT IN CONNECTION WITH THE MANDATORY PROVISIONS OF THE RAMSPECK ACT THAT THE PROPOSED WORK AND SERVICES BE COMPLETED NOT LATER THAN DECEMBER 12. SPACE IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR INSTALLATION OF THE REQUIRED MACHINES OR FOR ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL TO OPERATE THEM AND PERFORM RELATED DUTIES.

B-21980, NOVEMBER 27, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 486

PERSONAL SERVICES - PRIVATE CONTRACT V. GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL - STATISTICAL, TABULATING, ETC., SERVICES WHILE COMMERCIAL FIRMS MAY, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, BE ENGAGED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT TO PERFORM CERTAIN STATISTICAL, TABULATING, ETC., WORK INVOLVING NOT ONLY THE FURNISHING OF SPECIALLY TRAINED PERSONNEL, BUT ALSO SUFFICIENT SPACE, SUPPLIES, AND COMPLICATED AND SPECIAL MACHINERY, WHERE THE WORK IS TO BE PERFORMED IN GOVERNMENT SPACE AND THERE IS INVOLVED EXCLUSIVELY OR ESSENTIALLY THE RENDITION OF PERSONAL SERVICES, SUCH AS TYPING, SORTING, FILING, INDEXING, ETC., NOT REQUIRING SPECIALIZED TRAINING, THE WORK SHOULD BE PERFORMED BY GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, NOVEMBER 27, 1941:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 21, 1941, AS FOLLOWS:

IT IS DESIRED TO PRESENT FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION THE FOLLOWING THREE QUESTIONS ARISING WITHIN THIS DEPARTMENT WHEREIN THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES APPEAR TO BE SIMILAR TO THOSE CONSIDERED IN DECISIONS OF OCTOBER 28, 1941 (B-21347) AND OCTOBER 31, 1941 (B-21497):

(A) IN THE CIVILIAN PERSONNEL DIVISION, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR, IT IS NECESSARY TO CODE, SORT, AND EDIT APPROXIMATELY 25,000 PERSONNEL CODE SHEETS AGAINST 7,500 FANFOLD CHANGE NOTICES, PUNCH AND VERIFY 25,000 PERSONNEL STATISTICAL CARDS, REPRODUCE THEREON EMPLOYEE CODE NUMBERS AND MECHANICALLY INTERPRET THE CARDS. THIS WORK WOULD REQUIRE THE SERVICES OF ABOUT TWENTY-FIVE EXPERIENCED EMPLOYEES FOR TWO MONTHS AND THE RENTAL OF THREE PUNCHING MACHINES, TYPE 1031, AND THREE VERIFYING MACHINES, TYPE 1054. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT IN CONNECTION WITH THE MANDATORY PROVISIONS OF THE RAMSPECK ACT THAT THE PROPOSED WORK AND SERVICES BE COMPLETED NOT LATER THAN DECEMBER 12, 1941. SPACE IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR INSTALLATION OF THE REQUIRED MACHINES OR FOR ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL TO OPERATE THEM AND PERFORM RELATED DUTIES. MOREOVER, IT IS NOT BELIEVED IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE TO SECURE EXPERIENCED PERSONNEL, OR TO TRAIN INEXPERIENCED PERSONNEL, IN TIME TO COMPLETE THE WORK BY DECEMBER 12. IT HAS BEEN LEARNED THAT OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ARE NOT IN POSITION TO PERFORM THE WORK AND SERVICES, BUT THAT IT CAN BE COMPLETED COMMERCIALLY BY THAT DATE. IT IS THEREFORE DESIRED TO INVITE BIDS AND ENTER INTO A CONTRACT FOR THIS WORK AND SERVICES.

(B) IN THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ORDNANCE IT IS NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH THE NATIONAL DEFENSE PROGRAM TO DO CONSIDERABLE POSTING FROM TRANSFER POSTING MASTER TAPES WHICH ARE PREPARED ON INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES, TYPE 405, ALPHABETIC ACCOUNTING MACHINES, TO SPARE PARTS CONTROL CARDS. THE DAY AND NIGHT SHIFTS OF EMPLOYEES NOW OPERATING THE FIVE TRANSFER POSTING MACHINES HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO KEEP THE WORK CURRENT INCIDENT TO THE INSTALLATION OF A LARGE NUMBER OF ADDITIONAL CARDS IN CONNECTION WITH NEW AND ENLARGED ACTIVITIES. EVEN SHOULD SPACE BECOME AVAILABLE FOR THE RENTAL AND INSTALLATION OF ADDITIONAL MACHINES IT WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE TO SECURE EXPERIENCED EMPLOYEES TO OPERATE THEM NOR TO TRAIN INEXPERIENCED EMPLOYEES IN SUFFICIENT TIME TO AVOID SERIOUS DELAY. OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES WHICH HAVE BEEN CONTACTED ARE NOT IN POSITION TO PERFORM THE NECESSARY WORK AND SERVICES. IT IS THEREFORE DESIRED TO INVITE BIDS AND ENTER INTO A CONTRACT FOR THE POSTING OF APPROXIMATELY 350,000 CARDS WHICH WILL REQUIRE THE SERVICES OF FIVE OPERATORS AND THE USE OF FIVE MACHINES WITH NECESSARY MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES FOR APPROXIMATELY ONE MONTH.

(C) IN THE OFFICE OF THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL, OWING TO A TREMENDOUS INCREASE OF CIVILIAN PERSONNEL ENGAGED IN QUARTERMASTER CORPS ACTIVITIES IN THE FIELD THERE HAVE ACCUMULATED A LARGE NUMBER OF FIELD APPROVED APPOINTMENTS WHICH MUST BE POSTED TO APPROPRIATE RECORDS. IT HAS BEEN PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP THIS WORK CURRENT FOR THE REASON THAT WHILE THE EXISTING LOOSE-LEAF SYSTEM COULD BE USED UNDER NORMAL CONDITIONS IT IS NOT ADAPTABLE FOR USE UNDER PRESENT EMERGENCY CONDITIONS. CONSEQUENTLY, POSTING IS NECESSARILY AWKWARD AND SLOW, AND A VISIBLE INDEX SYSTEM MUST BE INSTALLED IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN THE RECORDS WITH THE PRESENT FORCE OF EMPLOYEES. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL FOR THIS WORK OWING TO AN ACUTE SHORTAGE OF SPACE. IT IS ALSO APPARENT THAT THE INSTALLATION OF A VISIBLE INDEX SYSTEM WILL RESULT IN CONSIDERABLE SAVINGS OVER THE PRESENT SYSTEM.

IT IS IMPRACTICABLE TO HAVE THE WORK DONE BY EMPLOYEES OF OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES, AS IT IS NECESSARY TO KEEP THE RECORDS IN THE OFFICE FOR CONSTANT USE AND REFERENCE. SHOULD INEXPERIENCED EMPLOYEES BE ADDED FOR NIGHT DUTY THEY WOULD REQUIRE CONSTANT SUPERVISION, WHICH COULD ONLY BE PROVIDED BY EMPLOYEES WHO ARE NOW ON DAY DUTY AND WHOSE SERVICES COULD NOT BE SPARED FOR SUPERVISORY NIGHT WORK.

IT HAS BEEN ASCERTAINED THAT IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE TO HAVE THE WORK AND SERVICES PERFORMED BY A COMMERCIAL CONCERN WHICH COULD FURNISH SUPERVISORS AND EMPLOYEES EXPERIENCED IN THE INSTALLATION AND OPERATION OF THE SYSTEM (INCLUDING THE COPYING OF ALL NECESSARY DATA ON DIE-CUT CARDS, SUCH AS NAME, TITLE, RATE, SALARY, DATE POSITION WAS AUTHORIZED, NAME OF POST, CORPS AREA, TITLE OF APPROPRIATION, VERIFICATION OF ACCURACY, TRANSCRIPTION, SORTING, FILING IN PROPER PANELS AND INDEXING OF FILES IN PROPER SEQUENCE, IN ORDER THAT THE RECORDS CAN BE TURNED OVER COMPLETE AND READY FOR OPERATION).

IT IS THEREFORE DESIRED TO INVITE BIDS AND ENTER INTO A CONTRACT FOR THIS WORK AND SERVICES, WHICH IT IS ESTIMATED CAN BE COMPLETED WITHIN FORTY WORKING NIGHTS BY A FORCE OF FIFTY EMPLOYEES WORKING SIX HOURS PER NIGHT, FIVE NIGHTS A WEEK.

YOUR VIEWS ARE REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER CONTRACTS MAY PROPERLY BE MADE FOR THE PROPOSED WORK AND SERVICES, PAYABLE FROM EITHER THE APPROPRIATION " CONTINGENT EXPENSES, WAR DEPARTMENT, 1942," OR ALLOTMENTS FROM "ORDNANCE SERVICE AND SUPPLIES, ARMY, 1942," OR "PAY OF THE ARMY, 1942," MADE AVAILABLE FOR CONTINGENT EXPENSES UNDER AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE MILITARY APPROPRIATION ACT, 1942, APPROVED JUNE 30, 1941. INASMUCH AS THESE MATTERS ARE URGENT, AN EARLY REPLY WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.

WITH RESPECT TO QUESTIONS (A) AND (B) THEREOF IT APPEARS THAT THE WORK AND SERVICES FOR WHICH IT IS DESIRED TO CONTRACT WITH COMMERCIAL CONCERNS ARE NOT SUCH AS NECESSARILY MUST BE PERFORMED BY GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL SINCE THERE IS INVOLVED NOT ONLY THE FURNISHING OF PERSONAL SERVICES, WHICH UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVES SPECIALLY TRAINED PERSONNEL, BUT ALSO SUFFICIENT SPACE, SUPPLIES, AND COMPLICATED AND SPECIAL MACHINERY NECESSARY TO THE PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK. ACCORDINGLY, IN VIEW OF THE REPRESENTATIONS IN YOUR LETTER THAT EQUIPMENT, SPACE, AND PERSONNEL ARE NOT AVAILABLE IN YOUR DEPARTMENT AND CANNOT BE MADE AVAILABLE IN TIME TO MEET THE NEED FOR PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK, AND SINCE IT IS STATED THAT NO OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ARE IN A POSITION TO PERFORM THE WORK AND SERVICES, THIS OFFICE WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO YOUR CONTRACTING THEREFOR, AFTER ADVERTISING FOR COMPETITIVE BIDS, AS PROPOSED.

WITH RESPECT TO QUESTION (A) IT APPEARS THE COST OF THE WORK CONTEMPLATED THEREBY PROPERLY MAY BE PAID FROM THE APPROPRIATION "CONTINGENT EXPENSES, WAR DEPARTMENT, 1942" SINCE SAID APPROPRIATION EXPRESSLY IS AVAILABLE FOR "OTHER ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY EXPENSES.' THE WORK CONTEMPLATED BY YOUR QUESTION (B) APPEARS PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION "ORDNANCE SERVICE AND SUPPLIES, ARMY, 1942" SINCE SAID APPROPRIATION EXPRESSLY IS AVAILABLE FOR "SERVICES NECESSARY" TO THE STORAGE, ISSUE, HANDLING, ETC., OF ORDNANCE MATERIAL, AND FOR "SERVICES" IN CONNECTION WITH THE GENERAL WORK OF THE ORDNANCE DEPARTMENT. HOWEVER, THE APPROPRIATION "PAY OF THE ARMY, 1942" DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE AVAILABLE FOR PAYING THE COST OF THE WORK CONTEMPLATED BY QUESTIONS (A) AND (B) NOR DOES IT APPEAR THAT IT MAY BE MADE AVAILABLE THEREFOR BY VIRTUE OF THE PROVISION UNDER THE HEADING " SALARIES, WAR DEPARTMENT" OF THE MILITARY APPROPRIATION ACT, 1942, APPROVED JUNE 30, 1941, 55 STAT. 389, AUTHORIZING THE SECRETARY OF WAR TO USE "ANY APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE FOR THE MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT," ETC. SUCH AUTHORITY RELATES EXPRESSLY AND EXCLUSIVELY TO SALARIES OF "ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL AT THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT AND ELSEWHERE" AND TO "PRINTING AND BINDING, COMMUNICATION SERVICE, AND SUPPLIES.' IT CANNOT PROPERLY BE CONSTRUED TO RELATE TO WORK AND SERVICES OF THE CHARACTER HERE CONSIDERED.

THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR QUESTION (C) DIFFER MATERIALLY FROM THOSE INVOLVED WITH RESPECT TO QUESTIONS (A) AND (B). THE PROPOSITION THERE DISCUSSED APPEARS TO INVOLVE ESSENTIALLY, AND PERHAPS EXCLUSIVELY, THE RENDITION OF PERSONAL SERVICES SUCH AS SHOULD BE PERFORMED BY GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL, I.E., TYPING, SORTING, FILING, INDEXING, ETC., AND IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT ANY CONSIDERABLE SPECIALIZED TRAINING FOR THAT PURPOSE IS REQUIRED. CONSEQUENTLY, NO REASON APPEARS WHY THE WORK SHOULD NOT BE PERFORMED BY PERSONNEL EMPLOYED BY THE GOVERNMENT. WHILE IT IS STATED IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL FOR THE PURPOSE OWING TO AN ACUTE SHORTAGE OF SPACE, IT IS STATED, ALSO, THAT THE WORK CANNOT BE DONE BY OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES BECAUSE IT IS NECESSARY TO KEEP THE RECORDS IN THE WAR DEPARTMENT. WOULD APPEAR, THEREFORE, THAT SPACE IS AVAILABLE AND THAT UNDER THE PROPOSED PLAN IT IS CONTEMPLATED THE PRIVATE CONTRACTOR WHICH WOULD BE EMPLOYED TO DO THE WORK WOULD BE REQUIRED TO SUPPLY PERSONNEL AND DO THE WORK IN AVAILABLE SPACE OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT. APPROPRIATIONS OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT ARE MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE PURPOSE OF EMPLOYING PERSONNEL TO PERFORM SUCH SERVICES AND THIS OFFICE MAY NOT AUTHORIZE THE ENTERING INTO OF A CONTRACT WITH A PRIVATE CONCERN FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF SUCH PERSONAL SERVICES.