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MEMORANDUM TO WATER REGISTRAR
THE ESTIMATED WATER CONSUMPTION OF SWIMMING POOLS OPERATED BY GOVERNMENT
SERVICES, INC., IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Basis of estimate as made by Mr. Robb of the United States Engineer's Office is as follows: All pools are equipped with circulating pumps, which replace the original pool water capacity every 10 days. Toilets and showers estimated at 40,000 gallons per operating day, per pool.
WILLIAM H. BROWN,
Chief, Public Relations Division. Approved March 21, 1947.
R. B. WARD, Water Registrar. Senator Cain. I wonder now if Mr. Robert F. Cogswell, Administrator of the District Rent Control Office is available. If you are, Mr. Cogswell, please sit with us, and give the reporter your proper title, sir.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT F. COGSWELL, ADMINISTRATOR OF RENT
CONTROL FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. COGSWELL. My name is Robert F. Cogswell, Administrator of Rent Control for the District of Columbia.
Senator Cain. We should like to proceed as you see fit, Mr. Cogswell, explaining to us in as much detail as you care, the problems with which you are confronted, with particular emphasis on your financial structure, your needs.
Mr. COGSWELL. Well, Senator, our office staff is 26 in number, the same today as it was when we were first organized January 1, 1942, with the exception that in 1943, and in the appropriation there, we requested one investigator and two clerk-stenographers. From that time up until very recently, when I appeared before the deficiency committee, there has been no increase in the number of employees in the office, and there has been no increase in salaries other than those provided for by law.
Senator Cain. You expect, therefore, in a few minutes to give us the number of personnel and the salary totals and maintenance and operation that you have been accustomed to in recent years.
Mr. Cogswell. The entire number of persons employed, Mr. Chair. man, is 26. Our appropriation for 1947, the total estimate, was $103.500; and for 1948 the total estimate is $55,700, and that comes about by reason of the fact that under the terms of the District of Columbia Emergency Rent Act, it expires on December 31, 1947, and
while, at one time the Appropriations Committee did appropriate funds for the entire year, the budget committee said it could only cover the 6 months' period, so from that time
Senator Cain. You are asking only for moneys sufficient to continue through December 31 of this year.
Mr. CogswELL. Through December 31 of this year, yes, sir. Senator Cain. Having obviously made no decision as yet as to the need for continuing your local rent affairs beyond that time.
Mr. COGSWELL. Weil, Senator, that is a matter for Congress to determine after it has received recommendations from the Commissioners.
Senator Cain. That is right. But your Commission has not yet made any recommendations.
Vír. COGSWELL. No, sir; we have not. I might add, however, in that connection, that as far as appropriations are concerned, that, of course, our office, being the one which was very closely associated with the war effort, the employees in that office have had little or no leave; at no time did I ever grant anyone more than 2 weeks leave. So, there is quite a sizable sum. Senator CAIN. Accumulated leave. Mr. COGSWELL. Due the employees up there. I just had a memorandum made this morning. For instance the appropriation requested for the fiscal year 1948, the half year is $55,700. The annual leave due employees amounts to $16,400 as of July 1, 1947.
Senator Cain. But that is not reflected in your proposed budget allocation of $55,700. Mr. COGSWELL. No, sir; not at the present time.
Senator Cain. Well, let us assume that you actually go out of business at the end of this year. By what means do you intend to take care of this $16,000 item?
Jr. COGSWELL. I presume, Senator, that we will have to ask for a deficiency appropriation. May I ask Mr. Fowler, would that be the procedure, Mr. Fowler?
Mr. FOWLER. That would be the only one that we could pursue. Senator Cain. It is not possible during the remainder of this year to take up some of those vacation requirements?
Mr. COGSWELL. To a certain extent, Senator, I guess some of the employees will have to. For instance, I have been told thatSenator Cain. Stagger your staff, and so forth. Mr. COGSWELL. Well, I presume in a way that we will have to do that. For instance, I have been told by the young lady who keeps the accounts up there, I have 26 days of leave coming to me, which, if I do not take, I will lose in addition to the other leave that I may have. But one of our greatest difficulties is that our force is very small, and when one person is absent, it is felt right straight down the line; but I am faced with that dilemma, I guess, that they are entitled to the leave, and if they want it, they will either have to take it or if they do not they will lose it.
Senator CAIN. Proceed, sir. Mr. COGSWELL. I have a statement here, if you wish to have it, that is a detail of our appropriations since 1942, and that is a break-down there of the entire set-up. I thought maybe you would rather have that to insert in the record than have me read it.
Senator CAIN. I think I would like to have it in the record because it nearly covers your operating expense, your operating figures for 1943 through some time in 1948, through your estimated 1948.
(The document referred to is as follows:)
Estimates and appropriations, 1942–48
1948 Personal services. Other obligations.
Total estimate -
INCREASES REQUESTED FOR 1948 $50, 650 Personal services : 5, 050
1 accountant, CAF-9 (6
1,400 Within-grade promotion in
Public Law 390, 79th
1947 Personal servicesOther obligations--
93, 400 Deficiency requested to cover cost of 10, 100 salary increases provided by Public
Law 390, 79th ("ong. : Public Law 106, 103, 500 79th Cong. ; and within-grade promo
1946 Personal services. Other obligations
69, 700 Deficiency requested to cover cost of 11, 000 salary increases provided by Public
Law 106. 79th Cong., and within-grade 80, 700 promotions.
1946 appropriation. Deficiency appropriation.
80, 700 +0,510
1945 Personal services. Other obligations..
76, 473 Decrease under 1944 appropriation of 11, 260 approximately $650 due to decrease in
requests under "Other obligations for 87, 733 supplies and materials, and equip87, 733 ment."
1944 Personal services. Other obligations
Increase over 1943 appropriation and
deficiency due to increase of $1,50) for “Other obligations," and approxiinately $11,500 for 3 additional positions (investigator, CAF-7, and ? clerk-stenographers, CAF-3), and payment of overtime and bonus under Public Law 49, 78th Cong.
79, 593 +7,500
1944 appropriation. Deficiency appropriation.-
*The $5,850 listed for 1948 salary increase should properly be included in the 1947 deficiency.
Estimates and appropriations, 1942–48-Continued
INCREASES REQUESTED FOR 1948
64, 717 Other obligations---
Increase over 1942 appropriation due
to fact that this office operated durTotal estimate
ing only 6 months of 1942 fiscal year
and considerable delay was experi1943 appropriation--
enced in filling new positions.
72, 487 Deficiency appropriation----- +1, 570
This office began operations January 2, 1942 in the middle of a fiscal year. The annual appropriation was estimated to be $51,440. However, due to the fact that the office was in operation only part of the period and that considerable delay was experienced in filling new positions the office operated on a budget of $27,970 for the period January 2, 1942, to June 30, 1912.
Mr. COGSWELL. If you care to have it, I might give you a brief summary of the operations of the office.
Senator Cain. I wish you would, sir.
Mr. COGSWELL. As I said, the staff—maybe, Senator, I might give you the history of the act.
The District of Columbia Emergency Rent Act was approved December 2, 1941. Under its terms it was to have terminated on the 31st of December, 1945. It has since been extended twice so that it now terminates as of December 31, 1947. It provides for the rental control of all housing accommodations in the District of Columbia rented during the year 1940 or in January 1941, and that became effective as of January 1, 1942.
There is an administrator, a deputy administrator, a general counsel, four examiners, one of whom devotes considerable of his time as assistant general counsel due to the great amount of legal work required of the legal general counsel, not only in the office but in court as well.
The examiners are experienced trial lawyers, all members of the bar of the District of Columbia. In cases falling within section 4 of the act, and that is the one which relates to the adjustment of rent and minimum service standards either up or down, as the case may be, the act requires that the examiners make written findings together with their recommendation, their recommended order as to rental and service standards of the housing accommodations in question.
Under this section either party, dissatisfied with the ruling of the examiner, may file a petition with the administrator to review the action of the examiner. From the decision of the Administrator either party may appeal under section 9, to the Municipal Court of the District of Columbia which, under the act, is given exclusive jurisdiction of all cases arising under section 1.
Since the organization of this oflice, to and including March 14, 1937, 32,981 cases have been filed under section 4 of the act.
Between July 1, 1946, and December 31, 1946, 2.942 cases were filed. However, between January 2, 1947, and March 14, 1947, 2,234 cases were files from which it will be seen that the work of the office, instead of decreasing, is materially increasing. The great majority of these petitions are seeking increases in rentals. On a per annum basis, the above totals are distributed as follows:
1942—that was our first year, 12,276 cases; 1943, 4,635 cases; 1944, 3,602 cases; 1945, 5,200 cases; 1946, 4,493 cases; the first 3 months of this year, 2,234.
In addition to these cases, there is an average of 8 or 10 cases per day filed with the office seeking the determination of what is described as the first rental. That is a rental for housing accommodations which were not rented during the year 1940 or in January 1911, but subsequent thereto for the first time.
On March 25, 1946, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, reversing a decision of the Municipal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, held that where housing accommodations had been rented during the year 1910 or on January 1, 1941, and there had been subsequent material changes in structure, facilities or services, they were not to be treated as frozen at the 1941 ceiling but were to be considered as new housing accommodations not theretofore rented.
Following this decision, the necessary procedural changes were made in this office, and cases coming under this category are now filed separately. Generally speaking, they cover cases coming in where material repairs and alterations have been made and where housing accommodations are changed from unfurnished to furnished. Between March 25, 1946, and March 14, 1947, 814 cases have been filed with this office. All told, therefore, 32,981 formal petitions have been filed with this office since January 1, 1942. Of this total, 31,731 cases have been disposed of. There are now 1,250 cases on the calendar. There are none uncalendared. Since January 1, 1947, 1,885 cases have been disposed of by the examiners.
From a total of 30,917 cases disposed of since January 1, 1942, and susceptible to court review, 82 petitions for such review have been filed in the Municipal Court of the District of Columbia.
Between July 1, 1916, and March 14, 1947, 10 cases were filed; no pending cases were decided by the court; 2 pending cases were dismissed by the parties, and 3 pending cases, after notice by the administrator, were recalled from the municipal court and remanded by the administrator to the examining division for further proceedings leaving now pending before the court 11 petitions on appeal.
The general counsel participates in all cases, filing briefs and presenting oral arguments. In addition, he, or the assistant general counsel are frequently called to court in connection with landlord and tenant cases, not originating in this oflice, but in which the allegation is made that the Rent Act is applicable.
Also under the jurisdiction of this office are approximately 9,000 rooming and boarding houses. This type of housing accommodation is frequently the subject of dispute in this office as the “business," as distinguished from the premises, is not infrequently sold and the new owners do not always report the transaction to this office, and in addition undertake to adjust room rentals without first receiving the authority of this office so to do.