A-12931, APRIL 16, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 828

A-12931: Apr 16, 1926

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NATIONAL BANK EXAMINERS - HIRE OF PART-TIME MAIL-FORWARDING CLERKS REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE AUTHORIZED OF THE EXPENSE INCURRED AND PAID BY A NATIONAL BANK EXAMINER FOR THE HIRE OF A PART-TIME MAIL-FORWARDING CLERK WHEN THE NECESSITY AND AUTHORITY FOR THE HIRING OF SUCH CLERKS ON A MONTHLY RATE BASIS ARE SHOWN. IN WHICH WAS DISALLOWED CREDIT IN THE ACCOUNT OF J. THE NECESSITY FOR SUCH EXPENSES IS EXPLAINED IN A COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMPTROLLER OF THE CURRENCY AS FOLLOWS: THIS OFFICE INSTRUCTED MR. AT THE TIME THE ARRANGEMENTS WERE MADE THERE WERE NO RESERVATIONS THAT IN THE EVENT MR. MCBRYDE WAS AWAY FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME DURING THE MONTH THE NOMINAL SUM (WHICH IN THIS INSTANCE AMOUNTS TO $7.50 A MONTH) WOULD NOT BE PAID MR.

A-12931, APRIL 16, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 828

NATIONAL BANK EXAMINERS - HIRE OF PART-TIME MAIL-FORWARDING CLERKS REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE AUTHORIZED OF THE EXPENSE INCURRED AND PAID BY A NATIONAL BANK EXAMINER FOR THE HIRE OF A PART-TIME MAIL-FORWARDING CLERK WHEN THE NECESSITY AND AUTHORITY FOR THE HIRING OF SUCH CLERKS ON A MONTHLY RATE BASIS ARE SHOWN.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, APRIL 16, 1926:

REVIEW HAS BEEN REQUESTED OF SETTLEMENT NO. C-15500 OF SEPTEMBER 14, 1925, IN WHICH WAS DISALLOWED CREDIT IN THE ACCOUNT OF J. L. SUMMERS, DISBURSING CLERK, FOR $7.50 PAID TO W. W. MCBRYDE, NATIONAL BANK EXAMINER, AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSE OF HIRING A PART-TIME CLERK, HULIT THOMAS, TO FORWARD MAIL AND TELEGRAMS DURING THE ABSENCE OF THE EXAMINER FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS. THE NECESSITY FOR SUCH EXPENSES IS EXPLAINED IN A COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMPTROLLER OF THE CURRENCY AS FOLLOWS:

THIS OFFICE INSTRUCTED MR. MCBRYDE, AS A NECESSITY, TO ARRANGE WITH SOME ONE (ON A MONTHLY PAYMENT BASIS) TO FORWARD HIS MAIL, TELEGRAMS, ETC., WHILE AWAY FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS. THE EXAMINER, ACCEPTING THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THIS OFFICE IN GOOD FAITH, ARRANGED WITH MR. THOMAS TO DO THIS WORK. AT THE TIME THE ARRANGEMENTS WERE MADE THERE WERE NO RESERVATIONS THAT IN THE EVENT MR. MCBRYDE WAS AWAY FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME DURING THE MONTH THE NOMINAL SUM (WHICH IN THIS INSTANCE AMOUNTS TO $7.50 A MONTH) WOULD NOT BE PAID MR. THOMAS. THERE WAS AS MUCH NEED FOR MR. THOMAS'S SERVICES DURING THE PERIOD MR. MCBRYDE WAS ABSENT FROM HEADQUARTERS DURING THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY AS THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN HAD HE BEEN AWAY THE ENTIRE MONTH.

THE WORK OF A NATIONAL BANK EXAMINER IS SUCH THAT IT OFTEN BECOMES IMPERATIVE THAT THIS OFFICE GET IN IMMEDIATE TOUCH WITH HIM, AND IT WORKS A HARDSHIP BOTH ON THE EXAMINER AND THIS OFFICE TO BE UNABLE TO REACH HIM IMMEDIATELY. THIS HAS NECESSITATED THE PRACTICE OF HIRING SOME ONE, FOR A SMALL SUM, TO ALWAYS BE AWARE OF THE EXAMINER'S WHEREABOUTS. WHILE IT IS TRUE EXAMINER MCBRYDE WAS AWAY FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS ONLY TWO OR THREE DAYS AT A TIME DURING THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY, YET THIS SHORT PERIOD OF ABSENCE DID NOT BREAK THE CONTRACT THAT MR. MCBRYDE, AS A GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVE, HAD WITH MR. THOMAS. MR. THOMAS HAD EVERY RIGHT TO EXPECT --- MORALLY AND LEGALLY SO--- THAT HE WOULD RECEIVE THE COMPENSATION PROMISED.

FURTHERMORE, ATTENTION IS CALLED TO THE FACT THAT WHETHER OR NOT A LARGE AMOUNT OR A SMALL AMOUNT OF WORK WAS DONE BY MR. THOMAS EACH MONTH, HE HELD HIMSELF IN READINESS TO PERFORM THE DUTIES ASSIGNED TO HIM AT ALL TIMES. * * *

IT APPEARS FROM SUCH EXPLANATION THAT THE MAIL-FORWARDING CLERKS ARE AUTHORIZED TO BE HIRED AT A MONTHLY RATE, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE AMOUNT OF SERVICE ACTUALLY RENDERED, AS THEY ARE REQUIRED TO BE AVAILABLE WHENEVER THE EXAMINER MAY BE CALLED AWAY FROM HIS OFFICE OR HEADQUARTERS. RESPONSE TO A COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMPTROLLER OF THE CURRENCY HE WAS ADVISED BY THIS OFFICE JUNE 22, 1925, A-10033, THAT---

* * * IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT THE VOUCHERS CONTAIN INFORMATION TO THE EFFECT THAT THERE WAS NO REGULAR OFFICE FORCE MAINTAINED AT THE EXAMINER'S HEADQUARTERS, WHEREBY THE SERVICE MIGHT BE PERFORMED WITHOUT ADDITIONAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT; ALSO, THAT THE PERSON EMPLOYED WAS NOT ON THE REGULAR PAY ROLLS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THAT THE SERVICES PERFORMED WERE NECESSARY ON ACCOUNT OF ABSENCE OF THE EXAMINER FROM HIS STATION.

IT IS REPORTED IN THIS CASE THAT THE EXAMINER, MCBRYDE, DID NOT MAINTAIN AN OFFICE FORCE AND THAT THE MAIL-FORWARDING CLERK WAS NOT OTHERWISE AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES. MCBRYDE'S VOUCHER FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY, 1924, SHOWS HIM TO HAVE BEEN ABSENT FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS FOR APPROXIMATELY SIX DAYS OUT OF THE MONTH. EVIDENCE AS TO THE NECESSITY, FROM THE GOVERNMENT'S STANDPOINT, FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF THE PART-TIME MAIL -FORWARDING CLERK NOW HAVING BEEN FURNISHED, AND IT APPEARING THAT THE EXPENSE INVOLVED WAS ACTUALLY INCURRED AND PAID BY THE EXAMINER IN ACCORDANCE WITH PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION THEREFOR, CREDIT FOR THE ITEM WILL NOW BE ALLOWED IN THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS.