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SUBMISSION BY PUBLIC BUILDINGS SERVICE TO THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY OF

LIST OF “OUTSTANDING ARCHITECTS"

In this case the testimony before our committee demonstrates that Mr. Strobel as Commissioner of Public Buildings participated in preparing a list of 14 outstanding architects to be sent to CIA which then would use it to select architects to design the proposed new CIA building. Four of the architects on this list which was submitted to CIA were at the very time regular and active clients of Strobel & Salzman; two others were old clients of Strobel & Salzman; and still two others were architectural concerns with whom Strobel & Salzman had negotiated for business in the past. Mr. Strobel failed to inform officials in his agency as to the relations between these architects and Strobel & Salzman.

The details are essentially as follows: On July 20, 1955, CIA requested the Public Buildings Service to submit to it a list of outstanding architects from whom CIA might select architects to design the new CIA headquarters building in Washington, D. C., which is estimated to cost some $46 million. The architects' fee for this building will come to some $2 million. Mr. Strobel as Commissioner of Public Buildings personally participated in preparing a list of 14 outstanding architects which subsequently was sent to CIA by the Public Buildings Service as suggested firms. Of the 14 architects on this list, 4 architects were on August 3, 1955 (when preparation of the list was completed), active clients of Strobel & Salzman; 2 were firms with whom Strobel & Salzman had previously done business; 2 were firms with whom Strobel & Salzman had negotiated for business in the past. Thus, of the 14 architectural firms included in the list, 8 were architectural firms with which Strobel & Salzman were having or then did have business relations. Mr. Strobel did not inform anyone in GSA of the relationships between these architectural firms and Strobel & Salzman. Questions concerning submission by Public Buildings Service of list of "out.

standing architects' to CIA It will be appreciated if you will furnish answers to each of the following questions concerning the CIA matter :

1. Was it proper or improper for Mr. Strobel as Commissioner of Public Buildings to have participated in preparing a list of 14 outstanding architects for the CIA, which included a number of firms which had business relationships with Strobel & Salzman? Was this a violation of the GSA code of ethics?

2. Was it a violation of the GSA code of ethics for Mr. Strobel as Commissioner of Public Buildings to have participated in preparing a list of 14 outstanding architects for the CIA, a number of whom had business relationships with Strobel & Salzman?

3. Was it proper or improper for Mr. Strobel as Commissioner of Public Buildings to have participated in the preparation of this list without making known the fact that a number of the firms included were at the very time clients of Strobel & Salzman? Was this a violation of the GSA code of ethics?

Was it proper or improper for Mr. Stro as Commissioner of Public Buildings Service not to have disqualified himself under the circumstances in the preparation of this list of outstanding architects? Was this a violation of the GSA code of ethics?

THE ROBERT & CO, CASE

In this case Mr. Strobel, as Commissioner of Public Buildings, participated in the negotiation of a Public Buildings contract to an architectural concern, Robert & Co., with whom Strobel & Salzman had business relationships. Indeed Robert & Co. had some 15 months before tried to assist Strobel & Salzman in getting business from the city of Dearborn, Mich. Mr. Strobel failed to make known to the GSA Administrator this business relationship.

The details are these : On August 23, 1955, Mr. Strobel, acting in his capacity as Commissioner of Public Buildings Service, approved the negotiation by the Public Buildings Service of an architect-engineer contract with Robert & Company Associates, Atlanta, Ga., for “modification and addition to specifications” for the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Communicable Disease Center in Atlanta. This contract was signed by Mr. Strobel on behalf of the Public Buildings Service on September 29, 1955, and called for a fee of $24,240.

Robert & Co., it may be noted, had prepared the original plans and specifications for this building under a contract entered into with PBS on April 14, 1950, which called for a fee of $382,350. The GSA Administrator had received criticism that the Robert firm "had received a number of jobs in the past, and many people felt it should be spread around a bit.” In a telephone conversation on August 4, 1955, Mr. Strobel explained that it would be unethical to bring in another architectural firm on plans that had been completed originally by the Robert firm. On August 12, 1955, Mr. Strobel wrote the Administrator that it would be impracticable to utilize the services of any other firm for two reasons: First, that no reputable architect would take the drawings of another architect at this stage and make the changes required by the Public Health Service; and, second, if a firm could be found willing to undertake the work, the fee would be much larger than the fee that would be paid by Robert & Co. These views coincided with the recommendations of Public Buildings Service staff personnel most familiar with the matter. The GSA Administrator then personally made the decision to award the contract of the Robert firm.

Mr. Strobel, however, did not inform the GSA Administrator at the time of the business relationships between Robert & Co. and Strobel & Salzman. For example, in 1950 Strobel & Salzman solicited business from Robert & Co. In 1952 Strobel & Salzman hired Robert & Co. as a subcontractor to draft alternate plans and specifications for a municipal incinerator plant. In the latter part of March 1954 Robert & Co. sought to help Strobel & Salzman get an engineering contract from the city of Dearborn, Mich. In February 1955 Mr. Strobel, while in Atlanta on GSA business, discussed with Robert & Co. matters pertaining to the incinerator plant. Questions concerning the Robert & Co. case

It will be appreciated if you will furnish answers to each of the following questions:

1. Was it proper or improper for Mr. Strobel as Commissioner of Public Buildings not to hare informed the GSA Administrator of the business relationships between Robert & Co, and Strobel & Salzman? Was this a violation of the GSA code of ethics?

2. Was it proper or improper for Mr. Strobel as Commissioner of Public Buildings not to have disqualified himself from participating in any way in the negotiation of a contract with Robert & Co., in view of its business relationship with Strobel & Salzman? Was this a violation of the GSA code of ethics?

PROSECUTION OF A PRIVATE CLAIM BEFORE THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS

The testimony also shows that Mr. Strobel while Commissioner of Public Buildings prosecuted a claim before the Corps of Engineers on behalf of Strobel & Salzman. The details are these :

On April 7, 19.33, Strobel & Salzman secured a contract from the Corps of Engineers to revise drawings and specifications for warehouses and heating plants. On July 7, 1953, the contract was modified to provide for additional work. Total compensation payable to Strobel & Salzman was $100,879. All work under this contract was completed before Mr. Strobel assumed Government employment.

Late in 1953 or early in 1954 Mr. Strobel informally submitted a statement of extras to Mr. Lyn Hench of the Corps of Engineers. According to this list Strobel & Salzman would have been entitled to about $7,500 for the extra work. In or about May 1955 Mr. Strobel, who had become Commissioner of Public Buildings, saw Mr. Hench on several occasions to prosecute this $7,500 claim for extras on behalf of Strobel & Salzman. On June 21, 1955, this claim was settled by Mr. Schwarz of Strobel & Salzman for $3,097.

This matter is now being investigated by the FBI to determine whether it involves a violation of a criminal statute (18 U. S. C., sec. 283) which prohibits Government employees from acting as an agent in prosecuting any claim against the United States before any Government agency. For that reason questions concerning a possible violation are not being sent addressed to you since they are outside your jurisdiction. However, it will be appreciated if you will advise whether Mr. Strobel's activities in prosecuting a private claim for his firm while a Government official without making that fact known to the agency are not in violation of GSA's Code of Ethics.

STROBEL & SALZMAN HELICOPTER HANGAR CONTRACT WITH THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS

On March 31, 1954, one day before Mr. Strobel was appointed by the GSA Administrator as a full-time consultant in GSA to familiarize himself with the duties of Commissioner of Public Buildings, he negotiated a contract with the Corps of Engineers on behalf of Strobel & Salzman for the design of helicopter

hangars. This contract was executed in May 1954 with Mr. Salzman signing the contract on behalf of Strobel & Salzman. At the time this contract was signed the Corps of Engineers was unaware that Mr. Strobel had become a Government employee. Indeed, if Mr. Strobel had made that fact known it is questionable whether the Corps of Engineers would have entered into the contract with Strobel & Salzman in view of public policy considerations militating against the Corps of Engineers doing business with Government employees. In any event the Corps of Engineers would have given a much closer look to all the circumstances and would have had to check to determine legality.

After the Corps of Engineers learned that Mr. Strobel had become Commissioner of Public Buildings it wrote Strobel & Salzman on August 4, 1954, inquiring as to whether Mr. Strobel would disassociate himself from his firm's profits on this contract. On September 16, 1954, a stop order was issued by the corps pending clarification of this matter. However, in view of the fact that a substantial part of the performance had been completed, the Corps of Engineers subsequently rescinded the stop order and allowed Strobel & Salzman to complete the contract without Mr. Strobel disassociating himself from the firm's profits. The Corps of Engineers also decided to award no future business to Strobel & Salzman during Mr. Strobel's tenure as a Government employee. Questions concerning Strobel & Salzman helicopter hangars contract with the

Corps of Engineers It will be appreciated if you will furnish answers to each of the following questions concerning this matter :

1. Was it proper or improper for Mr. Strobel to fail to have notified the Corps of Engineers prior to its execution of this contract with Strobel & Salzman in May 1954 that he had assumed a full-time Government position on April 1, 1954?

2. Was this a violation of the GSA code of ethics?

In addition to the questions presented above it will be appreciated if you will answer the following questions concerning additional matters that were testified to in the course of the hearings:

1. Was it a violation of the GSA code of ethics for Mr. Sti bel, Commissioner of Public Buildings, not to have notified GSA officials that he was engaged in outside business activity on behalf of Strobel & Salzman?

2. Was it a violation of the GSA code of ethics for Mr. Strobel, Commissioner of Public Buildings, not to have secured approval of GSA officials to engage in outside business activities on behalf of Strobel & Salzman?

3. In light of the testimony presented, was Mr. Strobel being entirely forthright when he informed the GSA Administrator prior to assuming his Government post and again on December 27, 1954, that he had relinquished all active participation in the management of Strobel & Salzman?

4. Was it proper or improper for Mr. Strobel not to have informed the GSA Administrator that he would continue to seek clients for Strobel & Salzman after becoming Commissioner of Public Buildings?

5. Was Mr. Strobel's action proper or improper in declining to sign the GSA standards of conduct statement on December 20, 1954, when requested to do so by the GSA Office of Compliance?

6. Was Mr. Strobel's action proper or improper in declining on December 27, 1954, and again on August 9, 1955, to permit the GSA Office of Compliance to obtain a list of clients of Strobel & Salzman clients ?

7. Whether all GSA employees are required, upon assuming employment, to sign and certify that they will adhere to the GSA code of ethics as a condition of employment?

8. Why Mr. Strobel was not required upon assuming Government employment to sign and certify that he would adhere to the GSA code of ethics as a condition of employment?

9. Why Mr. Strobel was not required to sign and certify to the GSA code of ethics until almost 10 months after his employment?

10. Whether there has been any conflict of interest resulting from Mr. Strobel's private activities on behalf of Strobel & Salzman?

11. Whether Mr. Strobel's continuing relationship with Strobel & Salzman has been compatible or incompatible with his governmental duties as Commissioner of Public Buildings? Sincerely yours,

EMANUEL CELLER, Chairman.

WASHINGTON 5, D. C., November 4, 1955. Hon. EMANUEL CELLER, Chairman, House Committee on the Judiciary,

Old House Office Building, Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. CELLER: In his recent testimony before the Antitrust Subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary, Mr. Peter A. Strobel testified that he "participated” in the preparation of a list of architects which was submitted to the Central Intelligence Agency on August 4, 1955. It now appears, however, that this testimony by Mr. Strobel was in error, and that he did not participate in the preparation of the list.

It appears that the list in question was prepared by the Evaluation Committee of the Design and Construction Division of the Public Building Service, after office hours on August 3; that Mr. Strobel did not participate in this work; and that the list was presented to him on August 4, simultaneously with its submission to the Central Intelligence Agency. The members of the Evaluation Committee were Messrs. Otis R. Poss, Acting Director, Design and Construction Division; L. L. Hunter, supervising architect; and H. B. Dominick, production officer. We enclose an affidavit from these gentlemen setting out in detail the method followed in the preparation of the list.

We respectfully request that the enclosed affidavit be made a part of the record. Very sincerely,

ROGER ROBB.

STATEMENT BY THE EVALUATION COMMITTEE, DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION DIVISION,

ON THE TESTIMONY MADE BY PETER A. STROBEL, COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS SERVICE, RE LIST OF ARCHITECTS SUBMITTED TO CIA

Page 440, line 4, of the official verbatim transcript of the hearings, in answer to a question by the chairman, “Did you participate in the final list?” Mr. Strobel replied, “The answer would be 'yes.'

In July 1955, the Evaluation Committee compiled a list of 81 outstanding firms from information obtained from various sources. The final list referred to resulted from the screening by the Evaluation Committee of qualification questionnaires and data received on or before August 3 from firms on this list.

Mr. Strobel's statement above is at variance with the facts. The facts concerning the preparation of this list are as follows:

In July 1955, the Public Buildings Service requested a number of outstanding architectural firms throughout the country to submit qualification questionnaires and data which were to be used in selecting architects for professional services for several large buildings proposed for the Washington area.

On August 3, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency advised by letter that they desired to proceed immediately with the selection of an architect. A meeting between representatives of CIA and the Commissioner was scheduled for 1:30 p. m., August 4.

In order to be prepared to dis iss the selection of architects with the CIA, the Evaluation Committee met after office hours on August 3 and reviewed the submission made by the architects in response to the above-mentioned PBS letters. From the submissions made by that date, the Committee listed 14 firms, comprising 11 combinations, that it considered well qualified to prepare plans and specifications for projects of this magnitude.

The representatives of the CIA came to Commissioner Strobel's office at the appointed time on August 4, at which time Messrs. Poss and Hunter presented to the Commissioner this list of names.

The Commissioner definitely did not participate in the evaluation of these firms or in the preparation of this final list. He was not present when the final list was being prepared.

The Committee did not have knowledge that any of the firms requested to submit questionnaires or any of the firms selected on the final list were at any time clients of the firm of Strobel & Salzman.

OTIS R. Poss,
Acting Director, Design and Construction Division.

L. L. HUNTER,
Supervising Architect.
H. B. DOMINICK,

Production Officer. Subscribed and sworn to this 3d day of November 1955. [SEAL]

MARY A. BEALL,

Notary Public, District of Columbia. My commission expires August 14, 1957.

NOVEMBER 7, 1955. ROGER ROBB, Esq., Bingham, Collins, Porter & Kistler,

Tower Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. ROBB: This will acknowledge your letter of November 4, 1955, to which you attached an affidavit by members of the Evaluation Committee of the Design and Construction Division of the Public Buildings Service concerning the preparation of a final list of architects which was submitted by PBS to the Central Intelligence Agency on August 4, 1955.

You say that it now appears that Mr. Strobel's testimony that he participated in the preparation of this list was in error.

In this connection I must point out that Mr. Strobel testified on two separate occasions that he personally participated in the preparation of the list of "outstanding" architects that was submitted to the Central Intelligence Agency. The first time was on Friday, October 28, when Mr. Strobel testified (Transcript, p. 362) :

"The CHAIRMAN. You participated in making up that list? "Mr. STROBEL. That is right.”

On Monday, October 31, Mr. Strobel again testified concerning his participation in the preparation of this list (Transcript, pp. 439–440):

"Mr. STROBEL. Yes; I would say that I knew about the preparation of the list.

“The CHAIRMAN. No; not only knew, but did you participate in the preparation?

"Mr. STROBEL. Not the original list; no, sir.
“The CHAIRMAN. Did you participate in the final list?
“Mr. STROBEL. The answer would be ‘Yes.'

You are aware, of course, that Mr. Strobel had abundant opportunity to correct whatever testimony he desired. In fact the committee expressly made time available for Mr. Strobel to present such rebuttal testimony as he desired. It is significant that Mr. Strobel at no time during the course of the hearings corrected the above testimony although he did take the opportunity presented to him to correct and clarify certain other aspects of his testimony.

Moreover, it is rather surprising that Mr. Strobel did not ask the members of the Evaluation Committee of the Public Buildings Service to testify concerning the preparation of this list during the rebuttal time that was made available by the committee. If such testimony had been received, the committee would have had an opportunity to cross-examine the members of this Evaluation Committee of the Public Buildings Service as to all the circumstances sur. rounding the preparation of this list.

I note also that the affidavit submitted by the members of the Evaluation Committee is silent on the question as to whether Mr. Strobel participated in preparing prior or preliminary lists of architects who would be eligible for the CIA project.

Despite these considerations, in order to be completely fair about this matter, I am inserting your letter and the attached affidavit in the record of hearings. I am also inserting in the record a copy of this letter. Sincerely yours,

EMANUEL CELLER, Chairman.

NOVEMBER 8, 1955. Hon. EDMUND F. MANSURE,

Administrator, General Services Administration, Washington 25, D. C. DEAR MR. MANSURE: When I came to Washington it was understood between us that I would retain my financial interest in the firm of Strobel & Salzman, consulting engineers, of New York. This I have done and there has never been any secret about my personal business connections. At no time, however, have I used or sought to use my official position to further my private interests. In no case has any official action of mine been influenced by my private interests. My firm has not received any financial benefit, directly or indirectly, by reason of my official position. In fact, the business of the firm has decreased by more than 50 percent since I accepted public office.

It now appears, however, that no matter how honorable my conduct and no matter how innocent my intentions, the mere existence of my private business connections will be seized upon by some people to create suspicion and embarrass

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