B-139503, JUNE 1, 1959, 38 COMP. GEN. 815

B-139503: Jun 1, 1959

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SO THAT A CORRESPONDING DECREASE IS EFFECTED IN THE FEDERAL APPROPRIATION FOR SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES. IS A BENEFICIAL SUGGESTION WHICH IMPROVES THE EFFICIENCY AND ECONOMY OF GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' INCENTIVE AWARDS ACT. THE APPROPRIATION " GRANTS TO STATES FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION AND EMPLOYMENT SERVICE ADMINISTRATION" IS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF THE AWARD. IS OF SUCH HYPOTHETICAL NATURE THAT DECISION IS NOT PROPER AT THIS TIME. IT IS STATED THAT THE TWO DEPARTMENTS HAVE NEGOTIATED AN AGREEMENT FOR QUARTERLY PAYMENTS OF ALL REGULAR POSTAGE CHARGES FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF FIRST-. IT IS REPORTED THAT OTHER TYPES OF POSTAL CHARGES SUCH AS AIRMAIL STAMPS.

B-139503, JUNE 1, 1959, 38 COMP. GEN. 815

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - AWARDS - SUGGESTIONS - FEDERAL APPROPRIATION BENEFIT A SUGGESTION BY A FEDERAL EMPLOYEE WHICH RESULTS IN MORE ECONOMICAL MANAGEMENT OF STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY OFFICES AND DECREASES THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES OF THE STATE OFFICES, SO THAT A CORRESPONDING DECREASE IS EFFECTED IN THE FEDERAL APPROPRIATION FOR SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES, IS A BENEFICIAL SUGGESTION WHICH IMPROVES THE EFFICIENCY AND ECONOMY OF GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' INCENTIVE AWARDS ACT, 5 U.S.C. 2123, AND, THEREFORE, THE APPROPRIATION " GRANTS TO STATES FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION AND EMPLOYMENT SERVICE ADMINISTRATION" IS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF THE AWARD. QUESTION OF WHETHER "UNEMPLOYMENT TRUST FUND" WOULD BE AVAILABLE TO PAY FOR AN AWARD TO A FEDERAL EMPLOYEE WHOSE SUGGESTION RESULTED IN SAVINGS IN BENEFITS, POSSIBLY THROUGH IMPROVED FRAUD DETECTION METHODS, IS OF SUCH HYPOTHETICAL NATURE THAT DECISION IS NOT PROPER AT THIS TIME.

TO THE SECRETARY OF LABOR, JUNE 1, 1959:

ON APRIL 28, 1959, THE UNDER SECRETARY OF LABOR REQUESTED A DECISION AS TO THE AVAILABILITY OF THE APPROPRIATION " GRANTS TO STATES FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION AND EMPLOYMENT SERVICE ADMINISTRATION" FOR PAYMENT OF AN AWARD TO A FEDERAL EMPLOYEE UNDER THE INCENTIVE AWARDS PROGRAM AUTHORIZED BY TITLE III OF PUBLIC LAW 763, 83D CONGRESS, 5 U.S.C. 2121 NOTE.

THE CITED APPROPRIATION READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

FOR GRANTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 6, 1933, AS AMENDED (29 U.S.C. 49-49N), FOR CARRYING INTO EFFECT SECTION 602 OF THE SERVICEMEN'S READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1944, FOR GRANTS TO THE STATES AS AUTHORIZED IN TITLE III OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, AS AMENDED (42 U.S.C. 501-503) * * *, AND FOR EXPENSES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR, NECESSARY FOR CARRYING OUT TITLE IV OF THE VETERANS' READJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1952 (66 STAT. 684) AND TITLE XV OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, AS AMENDED (68 STAT. 1130), $305,000,000 * * * PROVIDED, THAT * * * THE SECRETARY OF LABOR SHALL FROM TIME TO TIME CERTIFY TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY FOR PAYMENT TO EACH STATE FOUND TO BE IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 6, 1933, AND * * * WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 303 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, AS AMENDED, SUCH AMOUNTS AS HE DETERMINES TO BE NECESSARY FOR THE PROPER AND EFFICIENT ADMINISTRATION OF ITS UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION LAW AND OF ITS PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT OFFICES: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT SUCH AMOUNTS AS MAY BE AGREED UPON BY THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT SHALL BE USED FOR THE PAYMENT, IN SUCH MANNER AS SAID PARTIES MAY JOINTLY DETERMINE, OF POSTAGE OF THE TRANSMISSION OF OFFICIAL MAIL MATTERS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ADMINISTRATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION SYSTEMS AND EMPLOYMENT SERVICES BY STATES RECEIVING GRANTS HERE FROM.

PURSUANT TO THE SECOND PROVISO, ABOVE, IT IS STATED THAT THE TWO DEPARTMENTS HAVE NEGOTIATED AN AGREEMENT FOR QUARTERLY PAYMENTS OF ALL REGULAR POSTAGE CHARGES FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF FIRST-, THIRD-, AND FOURTH -CLASS MATTER THROUGH THE MAILS USING A MUTUALLY AGREED UPON FORMULA BASED ON ESTIMATED WORK LOAD AS IT AFFECTS THE REGULAR MAILINGS OF THE SEVERAL STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY AGENCIES. THIS SYSTEM HAS BEEN IN EFFECT FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS AND HAS WORKED TO THE SATISFACTION OF ALL PARTIES. IT IS REPORTED THAT OTHER TYPES OF POSTAL CHARGES SUCH AS AIRMAIL STAMPS, SPECIAL DELIVERY CHARGES, REGISTRY AND CERTIFIED MAIL FEES, INSURANCE ON FOURTH-CLASS MAIL, AND POSTAGE DUE ON INCOMING MAIL HAVE BEEN PAID ON AN ACTUAL COST BASIS.

THE UNDER SECRETARY SAYS THAT AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR SUBMITTED A SUGGESTION THAT THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE LABOR DEPARTMENT AND THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT BE EXPANDED TO PERMIT PAYMENT FOR THE SPECIAL- TYPE CHARGES ON THE SAME BASIS AS FOR REGULAR CHARGES; THAT OFFICIALS OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT HAVING BEEN CONTRACTED HAVE AGREED THAT THE PROPOSED EXPANSION OF THE AGREEMENT IS BOTH PERMISSIBLE AND ADVANTAGEOUS; THAT IT IS ESTIMATED THAT THE SAVINGS WHICH WILL RESULT IN THE AREAS OF PROCUREMENT, RECORD KEEPING, SAFEKEEPING, ACCOUNTING, AND PROCESSING WILL AMOUNT TO APPROXIMATELY $3,000 TO THE APPROPRIATION " SALARIES AND EXPENSES, BUREAU OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY" AND $66,000 TO THE APPROPRIATION " GRANTS TO STATES FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION AND EMPLOYMENT SERVICE ADMINISTRATION; " AND THAT IT THUS APPEARS THAT THE GREATEST BENEFITS RESULT TO THE LATTER APPROPRIATION.

OUR OPINION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE APPROPRIATION " GRANTS TO STATES FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION AND EMPLOYMENT SERVICE ADMINISTRATION" IS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF A PORTION OR ALL OF ANY AWARD THAT MAY BE MADE.

SECTION 304 OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INCENTIVE AWARDS ACT, 68 STAT. 1113, 5 U.S.C. 2123, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

(A) THE HEAD OF EACH DEPARTMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO PAY CASH AWARDS TO,AND TO INCUR NECESSARY EXPENSES FOR THE HONORARY RECOGNITION OF, CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT WHO BY THEIR SUGGESTIONS, INVENTIONS, SUPERIOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS, OR OTHER PERSONAL EFFORTS CONTRIBUTE TO THE EFFICIENCY, ECONOMY, OR OTHER IMPROVEMENT OF GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS OR WHO PERFORM SPECIAL ACTS OR SERVICES IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST IN CONNECTION WITH OR RELATED TO THEIR OFFICIAL EMPLOYMENT.

(E)AWARDS TO EMPLOYEES AND EXPENSES FOR THE HONORARY RECOGNITION OF EMPLOYEES MAY BE PAID FROM THE FUNDS OR APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE TO THE ACTIVITY PRIMARILY BENEFITING OR MAY BE PAID FROM THE SEVERAL FUNDS OR APPROPRIATIONS OF THE VARIOUS ACTIVITIES BENEFITING AS MAY BE DETERMINED BY THE PRESIDENT FOR AWARDS UNDER SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION, AND BY THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED FOR AWARDS UNDER SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS SECTION.

THE PAYMENT OF CASH AWARDS UNDER THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INCENTIVE AWARDS ACT IS LIMITED TO BENEFICIAL SUGGESTIONS WHICH IMPROVE THE EFFICIENCY AND ECONOMY OF GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS AND WHEN SUCH AWARDS ARE BASED UPON A SUGGESTION RESULTING IN MONETARY SAVINGS, THE SAVINGS MUST BE TO GOVERNMENT FUNDS. 36 COMP. GEN. 822. UNDER 29 U.S.C. 49, IT IS A FUNCTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR TO REVIEW AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING STATE ADMINISTRATIVE OPERATIONS AND MANAGEMENT RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT SECURITY PROGRAMS. THUS, WE CONCLUDE THAT AN EMPLOYEE SUGGESTION WHICH RESULTS IN AN AGREEMENT EXECUTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR WITH THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT WHICH RESULTS IN MORE ECONOMICAL MANAGEMENT OF STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY OFFICES IS A BENEFICIAL SUGGESTION WHICH IMPROVES THE EFFICIENCY AND ECONOMY OF GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS WITHIN THE INTENT OF THE ACT. FURTHERMORE, SINCE UNDER STATUTORY PROVISIONS CITED IN THE APPROPRIATION " GRANTS TO STATES FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION AND EMPLOYMENT SERVICE ADMINISTRATION" MONIES APPROPRIATED THEREBY PAY FOR THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES OF STATE UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION LAWS AND STATE PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT OFFICES, IT IS APPARENT THAT A CHANGE IN PROCEDURE WHICH DECREASES THE STATE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES THUS EFFECTING A SAVINGS IN THE APPROPRIATION THEREFOR IS EFFECTING A SAVING IN GOVERNMENT FUNDS.

ACCORDINGLY, THE APPROPRIATION " GRANTS TO STATES FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION AND EMPLOYMENT SERVICE ADMINISTRATION" IS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF A PORTION OR ALL OF ANY AWARD THAT MAY BE MADE AS DETERMINED UNDER SECTION 304 (E) OF THE ACT, 5 U.S.C. 2123 (E).

OUR DECISION ALSO IS REQUESTED ON THE FOLLOWING HYPOTHETICAL QUESTION " WHAT WHOULD YOUR OPINION BE IF, UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES, THE PRIMARY BENEFIT OF A SUGGESTION ACCRUED TO THE " UNEMPLOYMENT TRUST FUND" THROUGH A SAVINGS IN BENEFITS, POSSIBLY THROUGH IMPROVED FRAUD DETECTION METHODS?

IN VIEW OF THE HYPOTHETICAL NATURE OF THIS QUESTION WE DO NOT BELIEVE IT APPROPRIATE TO UNDERTAKE AN ANSWER THERETO AT THIS TIME. 21 COMP. GEN. 83.

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