Executive Order 527
The Executive order of April 1, 1905, is hereby changed as follows:
The Commission will hold quarterly sessions the first week in February, May, August, and November, of each year, on the Isthmus of Panama, and will continue each session as long as public business may require. Further notice of such meetings shall not be necessary to their regularity. The Commission may hold special sessions at the call of the Chairman. Four members shall constitute a quorum and the action of such majority shall be the action of the Commission.
The Commission, under the supervision of the Secretary of War and subject to the approval of the President, is charged with the general duty of the adoption of plans for the construction and maintenance of the canal and with the execution of the work of the same; for the purchase and delivery of supplies, machinery, and necessary plant; the employment of the necessary officers, employees, and laborers, and with the fixing of their salaries and wages; with the operations of the Panama Railroad Company and steamship lines as common carriers; with the utilization of the Panama Railroad as means of constructing the canal; with the government and sanitation of the Canal Zone and with all matters of sanitation in the cities of Panama and Colon and the harbors thereof; with the making of all contracts for the construction of the canal or any of its needful accessories; and with all other matters incident and necessary to the building of a waterway across the Isthmus of Panama, as provided by the act of Congress, June 28, 1902.
The Executive Committee, as provided for in my Executive order of April 1, 1905, is hereby abolished.
In order to promote the greatest harmony between the heads of departments and to secure results by the most direct methods the following organization shall be created:
The organization shall consist of the Chairman and the following heads of departments: Chief Engineer, General Counsel, Chief Sanitary Officer, General Purchasing Officer, General Auditor, Disbursing Officer, and Manager of Labor and Quarters. The duties of each shall be as follows:
- The Chairman shall have charge of all departments incident and necessary to the construction of the canal or any of its accessories.
- He shall appoint the heads of the various departments, subject to the approval of the Commission.
- The head of each department shall report to and receive his instructions from the Chairman.
- He shall have charge of the operations of the Panama Railroad and Steamship Lines.
- He shall perform such other duties as may be assigned to him from time to time by the Secretary of War.
A minute of every transaction of the Chairman shall be made, and one copy of the minutes shall be forwarded to the Secretary of War and another copy transmitted for the consideration of the Commission at its next meeting.
The Chief Engineer shall have charge of:
- All engineering work relating to the canal and its accessories.
- All construction work on the Isthmus of Panama.
- The operation of the Panama Railroad so far as same relates to canal construction work.
- The custody of all the supplies and plant of the Commission upon the Isthmus.
- In the absence of the Chairman from the Isthmus the Chief Engineer shall act for him in all matters requiring prompt attention, such action to be reported to the Chairman for his action, but the action of the Chief Engineer shall be in full force and effect until disapproved by the Chairman.
The General Counsel shall have charge of:
- All legal matters pertaining to the Commission, whether in the United States or on the Isthmus of Panama.
- The administration of civil government within the Canal Zone, and shall exercise, through a local administrator, the authority heretofore vested in the Governor of the Canal Zone.
The Chief Sanitary Officer shall have charge of:
- All matters of sanitation within the Canal Zone, and also in the cities of Panama and Colon, and the harbors, etc., so far as authorized by the treaty, executive orders, and decrees of December 3, 1904 between the United States and Panama, relating thereto.
- The custody of all medical supplies needed for sanitary purposes.
The General Purchasing Officer shall have charge of the purchase and delivery of all supplies, machinery, and necessary plant.
The General Auditor shall have charge of the general bookkeeping, of property accounts, of statistics, of administrative audit of the Commission, and of the accounting, bookkeeping, and audit of the Government of the Canal Zone.
The Disbursing Officer shall have charge of time keeping, of preparation of pay rolls and vouchers, and of payment of same.
The Manager of Labor and Quarters shall have charge of the employment of all necessary labor secured from the West India Islands or Central and South American countries; of the general personal records of all employees: of all quarters, and shall assign same to all employees of the Commission or of its contractors; and of the operation of all Commission hotels and mess houses.
All officers and employees shall be appointed, and their salaries shall be fixed, by the head of the department in which they are engaged. Their appointment and salaries shall be subject to the approval either of the Commission or, if the Commission is not in session, of the Chairman.
The employment of laborers where the contract of employment is made in the United States shall be negotiated and concluded by the Chairman of the Commission. Where the employment of laborers is effected upon the Isthmus or outside of the United States it shall be conducted under the supervision of the Chief Engineer, subject to the approval of the Chairman.
Contracts for the purchase of supplies involving an estimated expenditure exceeding $10,000 shall only be made after due public advertisement in newspapers of general circulation, and shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, except in the case of emergency, when, with the approval of the Secretary of War, advertising may be dispensed with. In the making of contracts for supplies or construction involving an estimated expenditure of more than $1,000 and less than $10,000 competitive bids should be secured by invitation or advertisement whenever practicable.
The head of each department shall make a report upon the work and operation of his department to the Isthmian Canal Commission from time to time and us often as may be required by the Chairman of the Commission.
The Chairman of the Commission will make a report to the Secretary of War, setting forth the results accomplished by each department of the work at least annually and as often as he may deem advisable or the Secretary may require.
The Secretary of War will make to the President a report at least annually, and as often as he may deem advisable or the President may require.
All Executive orders relating to the subject of the Panama Canal, excepting so far as they may be inconsistent with the present order, remain in force.
Effective this date, November 17, 1906.