A-11742, NOVEMBER 6, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 335

A-11742: Nov 6, 1925

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

NO INCREASES IN SALARY WITHIN A GRADE THEREAFTER MAY BE MADE IN THE UNIT UNTIL THE PROPER AVERAGE IS EFFECTED. YOUR UNDATED LETTER AS FOLLOWS: A REORGANIZATION AND DECENTRALIZATION OF THE PROHIBITION ACTIVITIES OF THE PROHIBITION UNIT OF THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE OF THIS DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN UNDER WAY FOR SOME TIME AND IS NOW NEARING COMPLETION. WITHIN THE PROHIBITION UNIT IS THE NARCOTIC DIVISION. THIS WORK IS PAID FOR FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE . IN MAKING THE NECESSARY REDUCTION IN THE PERSONNEL OF THE WASHINGTON OFFICE OF THE PROHIBITION UNIT IT IS BELIEVED IT WOULD BE IN THE INTEREST OF GOOD ADMINISTRATION AND EFFICIENCY TO CONSIDER THE NARCOTIC DIVISION AS A SEPARATE ENTITY AND NOT DISTURB THE PERSONNEL OF THAT DIVISION.

A-11742, NOVEMBER 6, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 335

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - APPROPRIATION UNIT - ADMINISTRATIVE REORGANIZATIONS THE APPROPRIATION "ENFORCEMENT OF NARCOTIC AND NATIONAL PROHIBITION ACTS, INTERNAL REVENUE, 6," ACT OF JANUARY 22, 1925, 43 STAT. 771, CONSTITUTES ONE "BUREAU, OFFICE, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNIT" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE AVERAGE PROVISION APPEARING IN THE SAME STATUTE, RESTRICTING THE PAYMENT FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923. THE ADMINISTRATIVE REORGANIZATION OF THE PERSONNEL UNDER AN APPROPRIATION UNIT, RESULTING IN A REDUCTION OF THE NUMBER OF POSITIONS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNDER THAT UNIT, DOES NOT NECESSARILY REQUIRE THE DISMISSAL, OR REDUCTION IN THE INDIVIDUAL SALARY, OF ANY PERSON WITHIN THE UNIT IN ORDER TO BRING THE AVERAGE OF THE SALARIES OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONS REMAINING UNDER ANY GRADE IN THE UNIT DOWN TO THE AVERAGE OF THE COMPENSATION RATES SPECIFIED FOR THE GRADE, BUT IF THE AUTHORIZED AVERAGE HAS BEEN EXCEEDED BY REASON OF THE REORGANIZATION, NO INCREASES IN SALARY WITHIN A GRADE THEREAFTER MAY BE MADE IN THE UNIT UNTIL THE PROPER AVERAGE IS EFFECTED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, NOVEMBER 6, 1925:

I RECEIVED OCTOBER 30, 1925, YOUR UNDATED LETTER AS FOLLOWS:

A REORGANIZATION AND DECENTRALIZATION OF THE PROHIBITION ACTIVITIES OF THE PROHIBITION UNIT OF THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE OF THIS DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN UNDER WAY FOR SOME TIME AND IS NOW NEARING COMPLETION. THIS REORGANIZATION AND DECENTRALIZATION MAKES NECESSARY A CONSIDERABLE REDUCTION IN THE PERSONNEL OF THE WASHINGTON OFFICE OF THAT UNIT. WITHIN THE PROHIBITION UNIT IS THE NARCOTIC DIVISION, WHICH CARRIES OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE HARRISON NARCOTIC ACT AND OTHER LAWS RELATING TO NARCOTIC DRUGS. THIS WORK IS PAID FOR FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE ,ENFORCEMENT OF THE NARCOTIC AND NATIONAL PROHIBITION ACTS," THE APPROPRIATION ITEM FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR CARRYING THE PROVISION THAT NOT TO EXCEED $1,329,440 OF THE TOTAL APPROPRIATION FOR ENFORCEMENT OF THE NARCOTIC AND NATIONAL PROHIBITION ACTS SHALL BE EXPENDED IN NARCOTIC WORK.

IN MAKING THE NECESSARY REDUCTION IN THE PERSONNEL OF THE WASHINGTON OFFICE OF THE PROHIBITION UNIT IT IS BELIEVED IT WOULD BE IN THE INTEREST OF GOOD ADMINISTRATION AND EFFICIENCY TO CONSIDER THE NARCOTIC DIVISION AS A SEPARATE ENTITY AND NOT DISTURB THE PERSONNEL OF THAT DIVISION. BEFORE PROCEEDING FURTHER IN THE DECENTRALIZATION AND REDUCTION IT IS NECESSARY FOR THIS DEPARTMENT TO HAVE YOUR ADVICE AS TO WHETHER OR NOT WE MAY CONSIDER THE NARCOTIC DIVISION AS A SEPARATE APPROPRIATION UNIT, INASMUCH AS THE NARCOTIC WORK IS CONDUCTED SEPARATELY AND DISTINCTLY FROM PROHIBITION ENFORCEMENT WORK AND INASMUCH AS CONGRESS SPECIFIES THAT A CERTAIN AMOUNT SHALL BE USED IN NARCOTIC WORK.

IN EFFECTING THE ORGANIZATION OF THE PROHIBITION UNIT WE DESIRE TO LEAVE THE PERSONNEL OF THE NARCOTIC DIVISION INTACT.

THE APPROPRIATION "ENFORCEMENT OF NARCOTIC AND NATIONAL PROHIBITION ACTS, INTERNAL REVENUE, 1926," ACT OF JANUARY 22, 1925, 43 STAT. 771, PROVIDES ONE LUMP SUM OF $11,000,000--- OF WHICH AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $1,300,000 MAY BE EXPENDED FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: PROVIDED, THAT NOT TO EXCEED $1,329,440 OF THE FOREGOING SUM SHALL BE EXPENDED FOR ENFORCEMENT OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE SAID ACTS OF DECEMBER 17, 1914, AND MAY 26, 1922: * * *.

IN DECISION OF MARCH 7, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 741, 742, IT WAS HELD AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION HEREIN THE PHRASE "BUREAU, OFFICE, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNIT.' THE WORD "OTHER" SHOWS THAT THERE MUST BE PRIMARILY AN "APPROPRIATION UNIT; " THAT IS, A HEADING OR ITEM SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT, AND THAT THE WORDS "BUREAU" AND "OFFICE" ARE DESCRIPTIVE OF APPROPRIATION UNITS OR HEADINGS OR ITEMS. ACCORDINGLY, IN THE ABSENCE OF SEPARATE APPROPRIATION UNITS OR HEADINGS OR ITEMS IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT ITSELF THE AVERAGE PROVISION HAS NO RELATION WHATEVER TO ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS OR UNITS THAT MAY BE CREATED OR ESTABLISHED BY ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS EITHER UNDER EXPRESS STATUTE OR AS A MATTER OF ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE OR CONVENIENCE.

THE APPROPRIATION ACT IN THIS CASE DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDE FOR SEPARATE UNITS OR HEADINGS OR ITEMS FOR ENFORCEMENT OF NATIONAL PROHIBITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE NARCOTIC ACTS, RESPECTIVELY. THE SUM OF $1,300,000 FIXED AS THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT AVAILABLE FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, TO WHICH THE AVERAGE PROVISION IS APPLICABLE, IS A COMMON SUM FOR EXPENDITURE IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION ACT AND THE NARCOTIC ENFORCEMENT ACTS. THE ITEM OF $1,329,440, MENTIONED BY YOU, IS THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT MADE AVAILABLE FOR ENFORCEMENT OF THE NARCOTIC ACTS, WHETHER IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OR ELSEWHERE. IT IS A RESTRICTION ON THE USE OF THE TOTAL APPROPRIATION ITEM OF $11,000,000, BUT MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS CREATING A SEPARATE ITEM OF APPROPRIATION AS CONSTRUED IN THE QUOTED DECISION.

EVEN IF THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION COULD BE CONSIDERED AS PROVIDING A SEPARATE ITEM FOR ENFORCEMENT OF THOSE ACTS AND THE NATIONAL PROHIBITION ACT AS TO IMPEL THE HOLDING THAT THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT APPROPRIATED FOR ENFORCEMENT OF ALL SAID ACTS CONSTITUTES BUT ONE "BUREAU, OFFICE, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNIT.' IN THIS CONNECTION SEE DECISION OF APRIL 14, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 852, WHEREIN WAS CONSIDERED THE APPROPRIATIONS UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, HOLDING AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS UNQUESTIONABLY A COMMON PURPOSE IN ALL THE WORK PROVIDED FOR UNDER EACH OF THE ITEMS THAT HAVE TO DO WITH THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES. THE DIFFERENCE IN THE LAWS TO BE ENFORCEDOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF TO BE PROSECUTED DOES NOT JUSTIFY OR AUTHORIZE A DIVISION OF THE PERSONNEL INTO SEPARATE UNITS. THE RESTRICTION OF THE AVERAGE PROVISION MAY BE APPLIED PROPERLY ONLY BY GROUPING ALL THE PERSONNEL ENGAGED IN THE ENFORCEMENT AND PROSECUTION OF VIOLATIONS OF ALL THE LAWS PROVIDED IN THE SEVERAL APPROPRIATION ITEMS INTO ONE UNIT, WHEREIN COMPARISON OF EFFICIENCY MAY PROPERLY DETERMINE PROMOTIONS, DEMOTIONS, AND DISMISSALS.

YOU ARE ADVISED THEREFORE THAT THE APPROPRIATION "ENFORCEMENT OF NARCOTIC AND NATIONAL PROHIBITION ACTS, INTERNAL REVENUE, 1926," CONSTITUTES ONE "BUREAU, OFFICE, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNIT" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE AVERAGE PROVISION APPEARING IN THE SAME STATUTE RESTRICTING PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923.

THERE IS NOTED YOUR STATEMENT AS TO THE DESIRE OF THE DEPARTMENT TO LEAVE THE PERSONNEL OF THE NARCOTIC DIVISION INTACT IN EFFECTING THE REORGANIZATION OF THE PROHIBITION UNIT. THIS WOULD INDICATE AN ASSUMPTION THAT A DECENTRALIZATION OF A PART OF THE WORK UNDER THE APPROPRIATION UNIT WOULD NECESSITATE A READJUSTMENT OF THE SALARIES OF THE EMPLOYEES REMAINING IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TO THE BASIS OF THE NEW AVERAGE ESTABLISHED BY THE REDUCTION OF THE NUMBER OF POSITIONS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNDER THE APPROPRIATION UNIT. IN THIS CONNECTION, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT ADMINISTRATIVE REORGANIZATIONS OF THE PERSONNEL UNDER AN APPROPRIATION UNIT, SUCH AS YOU DESCRIBE, DO NOT NECESSARILY REQUIRE THE DISMISSAL, OR REDUCTION IN THE INDIVIDUAL SALARY, OF ANY PERSON WITHIN THE UNIT IN ORDER TO BRING THE AVERAGE OF THE SALARIES OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONS REMAINING UNDER ANY GRADE IN THE UNIT DOWN TO THE AVERAGE OF THE COMPENSATION RATES SPECIFIED FOR THE GRADE. HOWEVER, IF THE AUTHORIZED AVERAGE IS EXCEEDED BY REASON OF THE REORGANIZATION, NO INCREASES IN SALARY WITHIN A GRADE THEREAFTER MAY BE MADE IN THE UNIT UNTIL THE PROPER AVERAGE IS EFFECTED.