War Department Contracts for the Repair of Shoes and For Laundry Service

A-90922: Feb 23, 1938

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The Department of War requests the decision of the Comptroller General on whether or not funds could be used for shoes repair and laundry service contracts. The Comptroller initially stated that "contracts for the repair of shoes and for laundry services are not contracts for the construction, alteration, or repair of any public building or public work of the United States," therefore appropriated funds cannot be used. The Department requests the Comptroller to reconsider with the views expressed recently by the Attorney General.

The contractors in this case were simply required to perform a service for the Government--launder clothes under three of the contracts and repair shoes under the fourth, as opposed to the kinds of repair contracts cited in 38 Op. Atty. Gen. 418. It would not seriously be contended that a shoe is a "public work" or that the making of a pair of shoes under Government specifications would be the construction of a public work. Hence, it is not apparent how it could be held that the repair of Government-owned shoes constituted the "repair of any public work." And clearly the doing of laundry is not the "construction, alteration, or repair of" anything.

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