« PreviousContinue »
Mr. POWERS. Are you aware of agency procedures in order to determine whether any other type of contract is suitable?
Ms. DALGLEISH. Would you repeat that?
Mr. POWERS. Are you aware of whether or not the ICC has any procedures under which a determination can be made whether another type of contract is suitable rather than a letter contract?
Ms. DALGLEISH. No, sir.
Mr. DINGELL. Well, Ms. Dalgleish, we thank you. We will excuse you. You can go back and sit down.
We will proceed.
The Chair notes it is pushing 12 o'clock. Gentlemen, I think we are not going to be able to pursue our business clear to the end this morning. Probably we will have to come back this afternoon.
Will it be convenient for you to come back this afternoon?
Mr. DINGELL. Do you want to start a little before 2 or—what do you gentlemen feel?
Mr. BREWER. At your convenience.
Mr. DINGELL. Let's do it for our mutual convenience. Let's proceed for a little bit.
Mr. CONTE. While you proceed, let me show this gentleman the report on NASA. He can be thumbing through it.
Mr. DINGELL. Let me go into fundamental questions that trouble me here.
I am much troubled, Mr. Chairman, getting down to a philosophical question here—you said in your statement-Mr. Hungate queried you about it—the ICC represents the general public interest. The ICC is supposed to represent the general public
Mr. STAFFORD. That is true. We have been representing the public interest.
Mr. DINGELL. You are specifically charged with that responsibility; are you not?
Mr. STAFFORD. True.
Mr. DINGELL. Then you go on to state more specifically he is supposed to formulate issues, obtain, compile, and analyze available information and data, present the results of this analysis in the proceedings. Isn't that again the responsibility of the ICC?
Mr. KAHN. May I interrupt, Mr. Chairman, to perhaps note the distinction between reaching conclusions in the public interest and representing the public interest.
Mr. DINGELL. Dear friend, isn't the ICC supposed to carry forward the mission, though, of the chairman? Isn't that part of your statutory obligation?
Mr. KAHN. Certainly the Commission is obligated to reach conclusions in the public interest; but we do not have at present on the staff of the ICỔ counsel of a kind to represent the public interest.
Mr. DINGELL. That is one of the deficiencies of this thing. Shouldn't you on a continuing basis have somebody like that in the ICC?
Mr. KAHN. That is a matter I referred to earlier and the Commission has indeed sought the authorization and funding to establish such an office.
Mr. DINGELL. You have sought authorization and funding for that office?
Mr. Kaun. On prior occasions, without success; yes, sir.
Mr. Kahn. We would be happy to furnish that information for the record.
Mr. DINGELL. That would be appreciated.
Mr. Kahn. I do not recall whether it was the Bureau of the Budget or the Congress.
Mr. DINGELL. Supply it for the record; because that is one of the problems I have with this particular contract.
[The information referred is contained in appendix A, page 181.] Mr. DINGELL. Then you say: Upon analysis of the entire record, he shall take a position on all issues with a full statement of his views and reasoning, and recommend changes in the rate structure, the applicable law, or rate-making policy which he believes the record establish are in the best interests of the nation as a whole.
Is not that again the ICC's position, function?
Mr. STAFFORD. And he will make this as a formal presentation before the Commissioners and the Commission will make the judgment.
Mr. DinGELL. It is ICC's responsibility. I don't see why you need outsiders. I don't see why you don't do this with insiders.
Mr. BREWER. We do this as judges. The matter has to be considered on the record. The record has to be established in an adversary proceeding and we will be free to vote up or down.
Mr. DINGELL. You want to do it the comfortable way rather than with your own internal mechanisms.
Mr. BREWER. We didn't have the money.
Mr. DINGELL. That happens to again be an inadequacy of your agency to carry out the terms of the statute, so you have to go out and get special counsel.
What is the period of the contract?
Mr. BREWER. The period of the contract—the definitive contract has not been drawn, but it will provide for either 2 years or the completion of the work of the project or the exhaustion of funds.
Mr. DINGELL. Well, now, Senator Allott says 3 years.
Mr. BREWER. That isn't in the contract. He says he thinks it will take 3 years, but that isn't in the contract.
Mr. ÞINGELL. Is it going to take longer than 2 years?
Mr. DINGELL. Congress has lots of contracts to do certain things and then all of a sudden the work isn't done and we find ourselves committed to a lot more money.
Mr. BREWER. This is a more complex issue.
Mr. DINGELL. I am keenly aware of that; but I think you had better understand the full question here. As I understand your comments to the Appropriations Committee it was going to be 2, not 3 years.
Mr. BREWER. If my memory serves me correctly, we think it should be done in 2 years.
Mr. DINGELL. Which is it, the wish or reality?
Mr. BREWER. We don't know; and here again the chairman says he hopes this will do it but we may have to ask for more money, The environmental issues, for example, have arisen since we started this.
Mr. DINGELL. I am aware of the environmental issues. Remember, I have been bringing those forcefully to the attention of your agency for quite some time; and, as a matter of fact, in your recent rate case you rejected the special rates for scrap and recycling materials, something which I thought was very wrong—but
Mr. STAFFORD. And we did so on the basis of the record then before us and one of the things we hope to develop in Er parte 270 is a more comprehensive record that will permit a more meaningful determination.
Mr. DINGELL. I am pleased to hear that.
Mr. POWERS. Mr. Wilson, what contacts have you had with the ICC? Were you assigned on other matters to consult with them on contracts?
Mr. Wilson. No, sir. The only contacts I have with the ICC have been in connection with these two contracts for the economic studies and special counsel.
Mr. POWERS. When was the first time you were delegated to work with the ICC?
Mr. Wilson. I believe I was assigned over there in April of 1972. I can't remember the exact time; but it was in that time period.
Mr. POWERS. You say you were assigned there. Did you go over there 1 day a week, have an office over there, or
Mr. WILSON. I had an office at NASA. Mr. POWERS. Can you estimate how much time you put in on ICC assistance since your original assignment?
Mr. Wilson. On the RMC contract for economic studies, since this contract was one where we were attempting to obtain full competition primarily from the point of attracting the best possible personnel to conduct the economic studies, it was a technical competition, if you will.
Mr. ÞINGELL. How long was it taking you in connection with that contract, from the time between the request for proposal and the time that the contract was actually let?
Mr. Wilson. I would say that it took approximately 9 weeks; approximately.
Mr. DINGELL. Is that standard time?
Mr. Wilson. No, sir. That required intensive efforts on my part. It required intensive efforts on everybody's part to go through a full competition and to do a complete source evaluation and to conduct oral discussions with the bidders in the competitive range. This had to be done at a very accelerated base, no question about that.
Mr. DINGELL. Now, what is the ordinary period of time for that kind of thing to transpire? What would be the ordinary time at NASA?
Mr. Wilson. I would say if I had to estimate it it would depend on the particular procurement involved: what was the situation, but I would say 5 to 6 months would be
Mr. DINGELL. Take less than 8 months--that would be approximately an $800,000 series of contracts?
Mr. Wilson. I would say that somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 to 6, 7 months would not be unusual.
Mr. DINGELL. What would be the ordinary time at NASA in connection with this RMC contract with regard to the amount of time it would take from the point where the requests for proposal were issued until the time that the individual would have to submit the proposal? What would be the time period on that?
Mr. Wilson. Oh, I would say about 30 days.
Mr. DINGELL. Would there be any advance notice that there was going to be a request for proposal outside of NASA in connection with matters of that sort?
Mr. Wilson. No. The only notice would be the notice in the Department of Commerce Business Daily. We also put a notice in the Commerce Daily in this particular requirement.
Normally, I would say that only publicizing through the Department of Business Commerce. I don't think it would be proper to let contractors know that you have potential procurements coming on the street at some particular time. I think it is fair that the contractors be given equal opportunity:
Mr. DINGELL. Let me shift to another matter.
Mr. Brewer, there have been a number of questions raised-some of them by the present occupant of the Chair or other Members of Congress here.
Now, how long-rather, who was it who suggested Mr. Allott's name to the Commission?
Mr. BREWER. Well, after we had—I have to go back a little, with your patience, sir.
After we had reached a final turndown by the Congressman, which occurred the latter part of December 1972, we were under again the same kind of pressure and to some degree that we were when Mr. Wilson was talking about, we had to get this money that we had impounted, the $740,000, we had to get it committed by June 30. We were then in a position where we were searching diligently for this person.
I was spending practically all of the time, quite unexpectedly, I think to most people, at least to me. Senator Allott was defeated and as I was thinking about who we could get and still had in mind the Congressman; and the judical type, the thought occurred to me that I might possibly approach Senator Allott.
So I called our Chairman, Mr. Stafford, and I said the thought just occurred to me that Senator Allott might be interested in talking about this and I don't know whether he would or not; but with your permission, I would like to approach him; and the chairman gave his consent.
Mr. STAFFORD. Might I just speak in there.
I worked 17 years in the Senate before I went to the ICC and I knew Senator Allott well; and favorably. So this wasn't a case of just approaching somebody that he suggested. He was talking about a man
I know well as far as a person, & man of considerable dignity and understanding.
Mr. BREWER. Thank you; and I agree with that totally.
I then called the gentleman who was serving as administrative assistant to the Senator and asked him if he thought the Senator would be willing to talk to me about this matter and he said, well, he is at home with the flu at the present time; but I will see if I can get in touch with him.
In the meantime, just by accident, I was at a social party right after the first of the year and Senator Allott attended and, of course, I just--at the proper time, I said, Senator, I would like to have lunch with you. I have something I would like to talk with you about.
He said fine, give me a call. So the following week I gave him a call and we set up a luncheon which was on January 10. At that luncheon I went into the details of 270, told him how important I thought it was and how important the Commission thought it was; that we were going to enter into a sole-source kind of contract; and would he have any interest in discussing the matter.
He was extremely reluctant at that time to discuss it. He said I have a number of other propositions and other things I am thinking about and he said 1 think I would have to tell you I have very little interest in the matter at this time.
I know how important it is. But he said I just will have to think about it, and I waited a week and called him and he said would it be possible-he was very reluctant. I said would it be possible for you to meet with some members of our staff to talk a little further because I am not a lawyer and you are a lawyer.
I don't pretend to know all the ramifications of this investigation but I know it is a very important one, a very much needed one. The Commission is striving to move ahead and do things in a very positive way and we are devoting a lot of time to a lot of different things.
Šo I would like for you to talk to us about it.
He said I will come down and talk to you. So I sent a car to get him. At the meeting which followed we had our General Counsel, Mr. Kahn, there and we had Mr. Robert Rhodes, who is our staff man, who was there: Mr. Leonard Goodman, I believe, was there; Mr. Joe Fittipaldi, who heads up our Rate Bureau was there, and maybe others whom I do not recall.
And at that time they discussed the investigation only in general terms; and I asked Mr. Kahn, our general counsel, if he would explain to Senator Allott the delicacies of this kind of investigation, where he would be a party, and where he would protect—would have to protect Commissioners and the Commissioners would have to protect themselves against any kind of ex parte communication.
Mr. Kahn then went into great detail and explained that. The Senator understood. Mr. Kahn said in the event that we enter into a contract, I myself as General Counsel have to deal with you at arm's length because I will be called upon by the Chairman to make my own recommendations upon any finding that may be made.
That discussion went on for several hours. I sent him home in a car. Subsequently we had another meeting—I don't remember all of the dates, but I think I am in chronological sequence—we had another meeting at which I said, Senator, I would like for you to now talk to the