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Mr. BROOKS. You also were former acting director of the buildings management division; were you not?
Mr. PATTERSON. Acting chief of the buildings management division formerly; yes, sir.
Mr. BROOKS. We don't have many questions for you, but I did want the record to show the action within the regional office on this partition work.
When Mr. Collins called you, apparently between September 1 and September 8, and told you of the work being done, and the fact that it would exceed his authority, who did you discuss it with?
Mr. PATTERSON. I discussed it with no one.
Mr. BROOKS. Do you recall the date on which he called you? Do you have a possible telephone pad memo?
Mr. PATTERSON. No, sir; I don't. I assume it was prior to the date of the letter that was addressed to me.
Mr. BROOKS. It was probably prior to that date?
Mr. BROOKS. Did Mr. Collins tell you that he had already talked with Mr. Lund?
Mr. PATTERSON. No, sir; he did not, that I recall. I don't recall him having said that.
Mr. BROOKS. After you received the letter of September 8 from Heaton, of the Commodity Stabilization, and the letter from Mr. Collins, what did you do then?
Mr. PATTERSON. I took the letter—I don't have the authority to originate job orders—I took the letter and dictated a route slip to my secretary, and she sent it on in to Mr. Kerlin.
Mr. BROOKS. Mr. Collins advises thatthis work had been completed. However, Commodity Stabilization would like a job order on this to satisfy some of their fiscal requirements.
Mr. PATTERSON. What was discussed was of course the matter of reimbursement. I have very limited knowledge as to what had transpired before.
Mr. BROOKS. Did you discuss with Mr. Kerlin the fact that the work was already accomplished, all finished, and that it did exceed Mr. Collins' limit?
Mr. PATTERSON. No, sir; I just sent the letter in to Mr. Kerlin with the route slip attached.
Mr. Brooks. Just with the route slip saying you had some problems about paying these people, in essence?
Mr. PATTERSON. Yes.
Mr. BROOKS. No comment as to why the problem arose, that the work was already completed ?
Mr. PATTERSON. No, sir.
Mr. BROOKS. They just brought that dog in your office and presented it to you?
Mr. PATTERSON. As I said, I don't have the authority to originate job orders, nor are they prepared under my direction.
Mr. BROOKS. Was the information on the job transmitted to the budget analysis office in the buildings management division prior to issuance of the job order as is customary?
Mr. PATTERSON. I don't know. After I sent it to Mr. Kerlin I heard nothing more of it.
Mr. BROOKS. Does it normally go to the Budget Analysis Office prior to going to Mr. Kerlin on most job orders?
Mr. PATTERSON. No; I don't think so.
Mr. BROOKS. Most of them go right to Mr. Kerlin before they are analyzed!
Mr. PATTERSON. Yes.
Mr. BROOKS. Could you find out if this was analyzed ? Later, not now. Just see if it was routed through that channel to get an evaluation of it.
Mr. PATTERSON. Yes.
Mr. BROOKS. We didn't find anything in the files. We sort of wondered if it had gone through channels in that fashion.
Mr. PATTERSON. It is possible it could have.
Mr. BROOKS. I wish you would look into that and give us an idea of what was done to justify a job order prior to its being issued. I think there is a policy and procedure that you generally set to justify. If you would do that after we have done you can mail it to me. You might have it by tomorrow, if we are here tomorrow morning.
Mr. PATTERSON. All right, sir.
EXCERPT OF LETTER FROM DEE A. PATTERSON, CHIEF, OPERATIONS BRANCH, PUBLIO
BUILDINGS SERVICE, GOVERNMENT SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, REGION 6, KANSAS CITY, Mo., TO HON. JACK BROOKS, MARCH 30, 1960
Since there are many letters and documents passing through the buildings management division, those who might have pașticipated cannot state positively whether there was any deviation from the normal routine. I am, therefore, unable to reply to your question either in the negative or the affirmative.
Mr. BROOKS. After the job order was approved by Mr. Kerlin on September 11, 1959, which is apparently pretty prompt approval, wouldn't you think? Maybe they are always that efficient.
Mr. PATTERSON. I don't know. It could have been. It could have been longer, yes.
Mr. BROOKS. Let's say usual efficiency and stay with that. You have to live with Mr. Kerlin. And transmitted it to Mr. Collins. Did Mr. Collins say he was transmitting approval to it even though it went over his limit?
Mr. PATTERSON. I don't recall. I don't remember his contacting me about this matter after I transmitted this in to Mr. Kerlin.
Mr. BROOKS. Did you tell Mr. Collins to send it in anyway?
Mr. PATTERSON. Yes. As I recall_wait a minute. I told him to have them send the letter in to us.
Mr. BROOKS. He did call you?
Mr. PATTERSON. Yes, he did call me, prior to the—wait a minute. Prior to the submission of the letter from Commodity Stabilization he called me. The one time.
Mr. BROOKS. And after the job order was approved, did he call you to tell you that he had signed it?
Mr. PATTERSON. No, sir. Not that I recall. Mr. BROOKS. He did not call you then? Mr. PATTERSON. No. Mr. BROOKS. Did you discuss it at any time with anyone? Mr. PATTERSON. No, sir. I heard nothing more of the matter until I heard that they were advertising for bids.
Mr. BROOKS. What happened to the job order after Mr. Collins sent it to the regional office?
Mr. PATTERSON. I don't know. It is normally sent to the Comptroller's shop. Mr. BROOKS. Did
any source that either Mr. Lund or Mr. Jay had given permission to handle the matter on the area manager's authority
Mr. PATTERSON. No, sir.
Mr. BROOKS. As Chief of the Operations Branch, didn't you feel a responsibility to specifically question this procedure which was in violation of the law?
Mr. PATTERSON. I didn't know exactly what had transpired before. Mr. BROOKS. Did you inquire?
Mr. PATTERSON. No, I didn't, because it was out of my jurisdiction. In other words, it should have been handled by Mr. Kerlin. So, therefore, I just transmitted to him.
Mr. BROOKS. Why did this original letter of September 8 go to you if you weren't going to handle any part of it? That I don't understand.
Mr. PATTERSON. The only thing I can think of is that I was— this date Mr. Kerlin had only been in a short while, and they had been used to dealing with me, or Mr. Collins has, as acting chief of the buildings management division, and therefore, whether he knew where the responsibilities were, or how they were divided, I don't know. But
Mr. BROOKS. Didn't this look a little unusual to you? Wouldn't you think that you might have noticed it was unusual and checked on it, since you had a new man in that slot?
Mr. PATTERSON. I probably should have gone in and checked with Mr. Kerlin about it. However, he was busy at the time; he was trying to get acclimated to his job.
Mr. BROOKS. He hadn't been in there long?
I would like to call Mr. Kerlin, please; but first we will take a 5-minute recess.
Mr. BROOKS. Mr. Kerlin? Would you raise your right hand and be sworn ? Do
you swear the testimony you are about to give before this subcommittee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
Mr. KERLIN. I do.
TESTIMONY OF WALTER C. KERLIN, CHIEF, BUILDINGS MANAGE
MENT DIVISION, PUBLIC BUILDINGS SERVICE, GENERAL SERV-
Mr. KERLIN. My name is Walter C. Kerlin, and I am chief, buildings management division, in region 6. I took that position about the middle of August 1959.
I have been in the Government service for approximately 25 years.
Mr. BROOKS. Mr. Kerlin, did you know, sir, when you approved the job order on September 11, 1959, that partition work was already completed and that the cost exceeded Mr. Collins' authority?
Mr. KERLIN. No, sir; I wasn't aware of that.
Mr. BROOKS. Would you explain why you knowingly approved this irregular procedure, then?
Mr. KERLIN. I assumed that the supporting data was disconnected from the order when I saw it, and so I saw only the order at that time.
Subsequent to that, in fact, the first I knew that the thing had gone through on something that had been completed, was when a memorandum from the Comptroller came back to Mr. Lund concerning the work order.
Mr. BROOKS. What would you have done if you had known that the work was all done, zipped up, knitted up, and completed?
Mr. KERLIN. I wouldn't have signed it as a routine order. I would have tried to find out what the trouble was and see if there was anything that could be done right about it. Certainly I wouldn't have signed the order.
Mr. BROOKS. Mr. Patterson routed the information on the job to you on September 9, and he sent the letter from the CSS which clearly stated that the work had been completed at a cost of roughly $5,793.60, and that Mr. Collins had indicated he would handle the details of the transaction.
This was on September 9. You are telling me that on September 11, when you signed it, you didn't see the letter prior to signing the job order
Mr. KERLIN. I was out of town along about that time, and I assume that was the period. I had found the procedure in this office was that when letters requesting job orders came in, they went to the young lady who prepares the job order before they come to the chief, buildings management division.
In fact, the orders generally have the supporting data attached to them and the order is on top when it gets to be for signature.
Mr. BROOKS. You sign the routing slip after it is all done! Mr. KERLIN. Subsequently. I signed that when I found out after what had happened and read the supporting data. That was several weeks after the job order was written.
Mr. BROOKS. It wasn't on the 9th when it came over? Mr. KERLIN. No, sir. Mr. BROOKS. It was some time later that you initiated it, when they said clearly that this Mr. Collins advises that this work has already been completed ?
Mr. KERLIN. Yes.