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Mr. Balwan. Is there an intermediate approval where General Marshall approves it?
Mr. KASTER. We make the recommendation.
General MARSHALL. I am responsible to the Fifth Army commander for this operation as well as for the post engineer.
Mr. COTTER. Do the papers go to Fifth Army to get the approval up there, or to General Marshall's office?
Mr. KASTER. To the Fifth Army. We have the endorsements where it went to the Fifth Army and we recommended that so-and-so be withdrawn and they approved it.
Mr. BalwAN. What is there that they do with it besides stamping it to go ahead!
Mr. KASTER. They review it to see that all the regulations are followed, and then they check it to see that we awarded it to the highest bidder. We make a form 1036 certifying that we have awarded to the highest bidder, and then on the exchange sales they have to approve all those sales. We cannot approve any award on an exchange sale.
Mr. BALWAN. That is a replacement account?
Mr. KASTER. That is right, that they forward to the office of the Quartermaster General.
Mr. COTTER. Do they have an overall surveillance that you people would not have at this depot ?
Mr. KASTER. I wouldn't think so, sir. They do have a contract section set up in their office.
Mr. COTTER. What is the time lag for a sale, once it is set up, to be approved ?
Mr. KASTER. Roughly 7 working days.
Mr. COTTER. And the property must remain here during that period ?
Mr. KASTER. Yes.
Mr. MORRIS. What is the difference of time required for screening of reportable property, and by way of comparison, getting clearance for a declaration of property as being salvage? It would seem to me there might be some tendency to get a salvage classification on borderline material which is repairable but possibly not economically repairable. Is there any such tendency like that?
Major HIGGINS. Not that I can see.
Mr. MORRIS. It seemed this morning that there was an implication that during the time that the surplus property was not available for sale you filled in the sale with salvage.
Major HIGGINS. No; I hope that conclusion was not reached. In an accumulation of our sales—in other words, when the salvage yard starts getting full, we have got to move it because it will just hold so many tons. Mr. Kaster knows how many tons it will hold, and then he will hold a sale. At the same time he is working on lotting up and publishing his other sales. We can open and close salvage sales for the scrap pile a lot quicker than we can on other items.
Mr. MORRIS. You can get authority quicker
Major Higgins. No. In the scrap we do business locally, but in the surplus we do business widely.
Mr. MORRIS. I am thinking in terms of material, borderline material, which might be deemed repairable by one officer and not repairable by another.
Mr. KASTER. We can determine that by the number of voucher 447's that are coming in daily as to the amount of property. The same way that we can judge by the amount of surplus property that we will receive in, we try to keep them both moving so that we will not clear one out and the other will back us up on it.
In preparing the sales, maybe 2 sales of salvage property will be prepared and at the same time 2 or 3 sales of surplus property will be prepared.
The one they bring in first is the one that is published next. Some may be easier to lot up than others.
Mr. Morris. I am thinking way back to the point where you are making up the classification, classifying property excess which will become surplus or as salvage which will be sold almost as soon as you get the disposal authority from the Fifth Army. It would seem to me that there would be a temptation to classify it as salvage.
General MARSIIALL. I think the answer to this question is that we are all working for the best interest of the Government.
Mr. KASTER. It still has to be screened by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, anything other than scrap. All of the identifiable items on the nonreportable property is screened the same as the surplus property,
Mr. BALWAN. Does that hold that up very long?
Mr. KASTER. They have 10 days in which to get back to us a list of the items that they want, with an informal freeze. Then, according to regulations, they have 40 days in which to prepare the official 136 which is filed by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and the schools which are involved to get the list in to us. It doesn't take that long. I would say roughly in 15 to 20 days they are moving the property. They have a screener in here almost weekly.
Mr. ČOTTER. Do you have any contracts let out by tonnage for a period of 3 months in which the bidders bid on what they will buy and what they will pay per ton for a particular type of scrap, whether it is aluminum or copper wire or stove grates or whatever it might be?
Mr. KASTER. One. That is a yearly paper contract.
Mr. COTTER. You haven't tried it for shorter terms for other types of scrap?
Mr. KASTER. We tried it on kindling blocks generated in the carpenter shop.
Mr. MORRIS. And garbage?
Mr. COTTER. Scrap is scrap, and it should bring a certain amount per ton or per 100 pounds, depending on the market at that time. It doesn't seem quite practical that you should be
Mr. KASTER. We do allow a 25 percent overage on our scrap. We are authorized to allow a 25 percent overage on our scrap metals.
Mr. COTTER. But you haven't tried to get any 3-month or 60-day contract ?
Mr. KASTER. No.
Mr. COTTER. Wouldn't that obviate the necessity of getting out innumerable small-lot items and listing them and sending them around?
Mr. KASTER. Maybe by open competition one man may offer you a better price than some of the local people here for it.
Mr. COTTER. Wouldn't that be good ?
Mr. KASTER. Yes; but you can only reach them by going out on an open invitation.
Mr. COTTER. If that man offered you the best price and it is favorable, compares favorably to the market as of the time you sell it, you know that whether the market goes down or not you will selí your scrap for that much per ton over that period.
Mr. KASTER. On a sliding scale basis, like you do your garbage.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. Do you have any suggestions that you would like to make to the committee whereby you could do a better job, any recommendations that would help expedite this problem that you are confronted with ?
Mr. KASTER. At this moment I cannot think of any. I do honestly believe that the reason that we have a backlog is due to the overall backlog that we were being hit with, having 200 or 300 documents at one time, and I think it will level off and we will be able to keep up with our receipts by increasing our sales.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. I wonder if the general had any new ideas. He is new down here. Do you have any ideas at all that you would like to offer?
General MARSHALL. I have got several ideas in the back of my head that I want to try, but at this stage of the game, not knowing any more than I do, to offer them as ideas, I would hesitate. I would like to do a little trying first.
I do think we need some merchandising on this surplus property. I am not a merchandiser, so I am going to have to grope around in the dark and find a merchandiser and then try out a lot of experiinents, and if I can get any help from other agencies, that is what I am after.
Mr. RIEHLMAN. And the people you have with you, have they had some experience in this activity or quite a bit of it?
Mr. KASTER. Most of them, not all of them. They change.
In reply refer to: CLL 312-47
January 15, 1954. Mr. Robert MORRIS, Staff Member, Military Operations Subcommittee, Committee on Government Operations,
House of Representatives. DEAR MR. MORRIS : Reference is made to Colonel Bertsch's letter of January 2, 1954, in which he acknowledged receipt by this office of your request, forwarded through the Director of Legislative Liaison, Department of the Air Force, for certain information relative to the Surplus Property Disposal Divisions at Sharpe General Depot, Jeffersonville Quartermaster Depot and Camp Drum.
The field agencies concerned have submitted complete data on the information which you desire and is forwarded herewith as Tab A (Sharpe General Depot), Tab B (Jeffersonville Quartermaster Depot), and Tab C (Camp Drum). Should you desire additional information in connection with the subject of surplus property disposal, this office will be pleased to be of assistance to you. Sincerely yours,
PAUL L. DOERR,
Colonel, Infantry. Inclosures :
Tabs A, B, and C.
JEFFERSONVILLE QUARTERMASTER DEPOT, UNITED STATES ARMY,
Jefferson ville, Ind., 5 January 1954. Col, Paul L. DOERR, Department of the Army,
Office of the Chief of Legislative Liaison, Washington 25, D. C. DEAR COLONEL DOERR: Reference is made to your letter dated 29 December, 1953, requesting information relative to Organizational Structure and personnel assignments of the Salvage (Property Disposal) Branch, this Depot.
In compliance with the above referenced letter, the following information is submitted :
1. Organization of Property Disposal activity, this Depot, see inclosure 1 and 2.
2. Listing of assigned personnel indicating job titles, grades, classification, and salary or wage schedules, see inclosure 3.
3. Personal history of military officer and chief civilian employee, see inclosure 4 and 5.
I trust that this information will provide the necessary detail of the Property Disposal Activity at this Lepot for your purposes. If further information is desired, your request will be expeditiously handled. Sincerely yours,
A. L. MARSHALL,
Brigadier General, USA, Commanding. 5 Incls: