A-13264, MARCH 6, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 700

A-13264: Mar 6, 1926

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PERSONAL SERVICES - TELEPHONE OPERATORS SERVICES RENDERED BY TEMPORARY RELIEF TELEPHONE OPERATORS ARE PERSONAL SERVICES REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY ARE ENGAGED UNDER A FORMAL APPOINTMENT. OR BY ENTERING INTO A CONTRACT WITH THE PERSON WHO IS TO PERFORM THE SERVICES OR WITH A COMMERCIAL CONCERN WHICH AGREES TO FURNISH THE SERVICE. PAYMENT FROM PUBLIC FUNDS FOR SUCH SERVICES IS PROHIBITED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 5. 1926: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 19. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE APPROPRIATION MADE FOR CONTINGENT EXPENSES FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1926 IS AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF SALARIES OF TEMPORARY RELIEF TELEPHONE OPERATORS. INCLUDING THOSE FOR WHICH APPROPRIATIONS FOR CONTINGENT AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ARE SPECIFICALLY MADE.

A-13264, MARCH 6, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 700

PERSONAL SERVICES - TELEPHONE OPERATORS SERVICES RENDERED BY TEMPORARY RELIEF TELEPHONE OPERATORS ARE PERSONAL SERVICES REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY ARE ENGAGED UNDER A FORMAL APPOINTMENT, OR BY ENTERING INTO A CONTRACT WITH THE PERSON WHO IS TO PERFORM THE SERVICES OR WITH A COMMERCIAL CONCERN WHICH AGREES TO FURNISH THE SERVICE, AND PAYMENT FROM PUBLIC FUNDS FOR SUCH SERVICES IS PROHIBITED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 5, 1882, 22 STAT. 255, UNLESS SPECIFICALLY APPROPRIATED FOR IN SOME ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACT. WHERE THE CONGRESS HAS MADE A SPECIFIC PROVISION FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONAL SERVICES FOR A CERTAIN PURPOSE A GENERAL LUMP SUM OR CONTINGENT APPROPRIATION MAY NOT BE USED TO INCREASE OR SUPPLEMENT THE FORCE THUS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, MARCH 6, 1926:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 19, 1926, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE APPROPRIATION MADE FOR CONTINGENT EXPENSES FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1926 IS AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF SALARIES OF TEMPORARY RELIEF TELEPHONE OPERATORS.

THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 27, 1925, 43 STAT. 1014, 1033, MAKING APPROPRIATION FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1926, PROVIDES:

SALARIES: SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, * * * AND OTHER PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN ACCORDANCE WITH "THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923," * * * IN ALL, $230,380.

FOR CONTINGENT AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES OF THE OFFICES AND BUREAUS OF THE DEPARTMENT, INCLUDING THOSE FOR WHICH APPROPRIATIONS FOR CONTINGENT AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ARE SPECIFICALLY MADE, INCLUDING * * * TELEPHONE SERVICE; * * * AND ALL OTHER MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS AND NECESSARY EXPENSES NOT INCLUDED IN THE FOREGOING, $200,000, * * *.

SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 5, 1882, 22 STAT. 255, PROHIBITS EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONAL SERVICES IN ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR SUBORDINATE BUREAU OR OFFICE THEREOF AT THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT, EXCEPT ONLY AT SUCH RATES AND IN SUCH NUMBERS, RESPECTIVELY, AS MAY BE SPECIFICALLY APPROPRIATED FOR IN ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS, AND ALSO PROHIBITS PAYMENT FOR SUCH PERSONAL SERVICES FROM ANY CONTINGENT APPROPRIATION, OR APPROPRIATION FOR ANY SPECIFIC OR GENERAL PURPOSE:

UNLESS SUCH EMPLOYMENT IS AUTHORIZED AND PAYMENT THEREFOR SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THE LAW GRANTING THE APPROPRIATION, * * *.

THE SERVICES OF A TELEPHONE OPERATOR ARE CLEARLY PERSONAL SERVICES, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY ARE ENGAGED UNDER A FORMAL APPOINTMENT, OR BY ENTERING INTO A CONTRACT WITH THE PERSON WHO IS TO PERFORM THE SERVICES OR WITH A COMMERCIAL CONCERN WHICH AGREES TO FURNISH THE SERVICE. IN EITHER CASE THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF 1882, SUPRA, ARE APPLICABLE AND PAYMENT FOR THE SERVICES IS PROHIBITED UNLESS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR.

WHERE THE CONGRESS HAS MADE A SPECIFIC PROVISION FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONAL SERVICES FOR A CERTAIN PURPOSE, A GENERAL LUMP SUM OR CONTINGENT APPROPRIATION MAY NOT BE USED TO INCREASE OR SUPPLEMENT THE FORCE THUS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR.

IN THE PRESENT MATTER IT APPEARS THAT THE SALARIES OF THE REGULARLY EMPLOYED TELEPHONE OPERATORS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1926 WERE ESTIMATED FOR AND PAYMENTS ON ACCOUNT THEREOF HAVE BEEN MADE FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR SALARIES, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE.

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTION SPECIFICALLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE PAYMENT OF THE SALARIES OF TEMPORARY RELIEF TELEPHONE OPERATORS FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR CONTINGENT EXPENSES, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, IS NOT AUTHORIZED.