A-12357, FEBRUARY 13, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 626

A-12357: Feb 13, 1926

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

IS EFFECTIVE FROM THE FIRST OF THE MONTH IN WHICH SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE THAT THE RECORD AS TO THE LENGTH OF THE ROUTE WAS NOT CORRECT IS RECEIVED IN THE BUREAU OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT CHARGED WITH THE DUTY OF MAKING THE CORRECTION. IS CONTENDING THAT THE CORRECT LENGTH OF THE ROUTE HAS BEEN 29.75 MILES SINCE JULY 1. ON THE BASIS OF WHICH HE WAS PAID UNTIL MARCH 1. YOU WERE ACCORDINGLY PAID ON THAT BASIS. DEFINITE INFORMATION WAS RECEIVED IN THIS BUREAU IN THE MONTH OF MARCH TO THE EFFECT THAT THE ACTUAL DISTANCE TRAVELED BY YOU WAS 29.75 MILES. YOUR SALARY WAS PROMPTLY READJUSTED FROM THE FIRST OF THAT MONTH. WHICH RECORDS SHALL BE PROMPTLY CORRECTED WHENEVER THE POSTMASTER GENERAL DETERMINES THAT SUCH RECORDS ARE NOT CORRECT.

A-12357, FEBRUARY 13, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 626

POSTAL SERVICE - EFFECTIVE DATE OF CHANGE IN RATE OF PAY OF RURAL CARRIERS A CHANGE IN THE RATE OF COMPENSATION OF RURAL LETTER CARRIERS, BASED ON A CORRECTION OF THE RECORD IN THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT AS TO LENGTH OF THE ROUTE, IS EFFECTIVE FROM THE FIRST OF THE MONTH IN WHICH SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE THAT THE RECORD AS TO THE LENGTH OF THE ROUTE WAS NOT CORRECT IS RECEIVED IN THE BUREAU OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT CHARGED WITH THE DUTY OF MAKING THE CORRECTION.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, FEBRUARY 13, 1926:

ELMER J. GAY, RURAL LETTER CARRIER, HAS FILED CLAIM IN THIS OFFICE FOR $206.58 STATED AS REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COMPENSATION FOR A ROUTE 28.75 MILES AND 29.75 MILES IN LENGTH FROM JULY 1, 1917, TO MARCH 1, 1925.

CLAIMANT SERVES RURAL ROUTE NO. 1 FROM VALPARAISO, IND., AND IS CONTENDING THAT THE CORRECT LENGTH OF THE ROUTE HAS BEEN 29.75 MILES SINCE JULY 1, 1917, INSTEAD OF 28.75 MILES AS SHOWN BY THE RECORDS OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, ON THE BASIS OF WHICH HE WAS PAID UNTIL MARCH 1, 1925. IN LETTER DATED JUNE 15, 1925, THE FOURTH ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL ADVISED CLAIMANT AS FOLLOWS:

AS THE RECORDS OF THE DEPARTMENT SHOWED THE LENGTH OF RURAL ROUTE NO. 1 FROM YOUR OFFICE AS 28.75 MILES PRIOR TO MARCH 1 OF THIS YEAR, YOU WERE ACCORDINGLY PAID ON THAT BASIS. DEFINITE INFORMATION WAS RECEIVED IN THIS BUREAU IN THE MONTH OF MARCH TO THE EFFECT THAT THE ACTUAL DISTANCE TRAVELED BY YOU WAS 29.75 MILES, AND YOUR SALARY WAS PROMPTLY READJUSTED FROM THE FIRST OF THAT MONTH.

UNDER THE PRACTICE NOW FOLLOWED IT WOULD NOT BE FEASIBLE TO ALLOW YOU ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR EXTRA DISTANCE COVERED PRIOR TO MARCH 1, 1925,

THE ACT OF APRIL 24, 1920, 41 STAT. 582, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

* * * PROVIDED, THAT HEREAFTER THE PAY OF RURAL CARRIERS AND SUBSTITUTE RURAL CARRIERS, WHICH DEPENDS UPON THE LENGTH OF THE ROUTE, SHALL BE DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RECORDS OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, WHICH RECORDS SHALL BE PROMPTLY CORRECTED WHENEVER THE POSTMASTER GENERAL DETERMINES THAT SUCH RECORDS ARE NOT CORRECT.

THE RECLASSIFICATION ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1063, HAS NOT MODIFIED THIS PROVISION OF LAW. DECISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED JUNE 5, 1924, 3 COMP. GEN. 924, 925, HELD AS FOLLOWS:

THE INCREASE OF PAY OF THE RURAL LETTER CARRIERS UNDER THE ACT OF APRIL 24, 1920, 41 STAT. 582, IS DEPENDENT ON THE LENGTHENING OF THE ROUTE; THAT IS, THE LENGTH OF THE ROUTE IS CONTROLLING, THE RECORD IN THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT HAVING BEEN ESTABLISHED BY THE STATUTE AS THE EVIDENCE OF THE LENGTH. IF THE RECORD BE INCORRECT, IT IS THE DUTY OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT TO MAKE PROPER CORRECTION, WHICH MAY BE MADE AS OF THE DATE RETROACTIVELY SHOWN TO BE THE APPROXIMATE DATE OF THE LENGTHENING TO THE DISTANCE ESTABLISHED BY STATUTE AS ENTITLING THE CARRIER TO THE NEXT HIGHER RATE OF PAY BASED THEREON. INCREASED PAY SHOULD BE EFFECTIVE FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CORRECTED RECORD AND MAY BE THAT ADOPTED BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT AS THE FIRST OF THE MONTH IN WHICH SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE IS RECEIVED THAT THE RECORD WAS NOT CORRECT * * *.

AS THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT HAS REPORTED THAT THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CORRECTED RECORD IN THIS CASE WAS MARCH 1, 1925, THE INCREASE IN COMPENSATION IN FAVOR OF ELMER J. GAY, BASED ON SUCH CORRECTION, WAS EFFECTIVE FROM THAT DATE AND HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO ANY INCREASE FOR THE PERIOD FROM JULY 1, 1917, TO MARCH 1, 1925, AND THE CLAIM IS THEREFORE DISALLOWED.

THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT APPEARS TO HAVE ADOPTED A RULE THAT THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CORRECTED RECORD OF THE LENGTH OF A RURAL ROUTE SHALL BE THE FIRST OF THE MONTH IN WHICH SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE THAT THE RECORD WAS NOT CORRECT IS RECEIVED IN THE BUREAU CHARGED WITH THE DUTY OF CORRECTING THE RECORD. WHERE A STATUTE, SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED, AUTHORIZES CHANGES IN RATES OF COMPENSATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, BOTH INCREASES AND DECREASES, UPON THE CORRECTION OF SOME PAST ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION OR RECORD UPON WHICH PAST ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WAS BASED, IT IS NECESSARY TO ADOPT SOME PRACTICAL ACCOUNTING PROCEDURE FOR UNIFORM APPLICATION IN ORDER TO PREVENT CONFUSION, POSSIBILITY OF DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATIONS, AND UNDUE HARDSHIP IN THE CASE OF EMPLOYEES WHOSE RATES OF COMPENSATION MIGHT BECOME SUBJECT TO REDUCTION RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE. NOT ONLY IS SUCH A RULE EQUITABLE AND JUST, BUT IN THIS INSTANCE THE ACT OF APRIL 24, 1920, SUPRA, SPECIFICALLY MAKES THE LENGTH OF ROUTE AS SHOWN BY THE RECORDS OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, RATHER THAN THE ACTUAL LENGTH OF ROUTE, THE BASIS FOR DETERMINING THE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION DUE AND PAYABLE FOR THE ROUTE.

PAYMENT OF INCREASED COMPENSATION BASED ON A CORRECTION OF THE RECORDS OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT AS TO THE LENGTH OF A RURAL LETTER CARRIER'S ROUTE IS NOT AUTHORIZED FOR ANY PERIOD PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CORRECTION AS FIXED UNDER THE RULE ADOPTED BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.