A-13386, MARCH 31, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 783

A-13386: Mar 31, 1926

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EXCEED $500 QUARTERLY AND THE FACT THAT THE EARNED FEES IN THE PRECEDING QUARTER PLUS THE SALARY FOR THE QUARTER MAY HAVE BEEN LESS THAN THE PRESCRIBED MAXIMUM DOES NOT AUTHORIZE ANY ALLOWANCE IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM FOR A SUCCEEDING QUARTER. 1 COMP. IN WHICH WERE DISALLOWED $15.20 AND $116.40. THIS COMMISSIONER WAS ALSO A DEPUTY CLERK OF COURT WITH COMPENSATION AT THE RATE OF $1. WHO ARE OR MAY BE APPOINTED UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS. 000 PER ANNUM. * * * IT IS URGED IN SUPPORT OF THE REQUEST FOR REVIEW THAT THE ACTION TAKEN WAS CONTRARY TO THE DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 22. - PAYMENT OF ANY FEES WHICH MAY HAVE BEEN EARNED DURING THE QUARTER IN EXCESS OF THIS MAXIMUM ($500) SHOULD BE SUSPENDED UNTIL THE SETTLEMENT OF THE NEXT QUARTERLY ACCOUNT AND ADJUSTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SETTLEMENT OF THAT ACCOUNT.

A-13386, MARCH 31, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 783

FEES OF UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER HOLDING OFFICE AS CLERK OF COURT THE COMBINED SALARY AND FEES OF A UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER HOLDING OFFICE AS A DEPUTY CLERK OF COURT MAY NOT, UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1921, 42 STAT. 41, EXCEED $500 QUARTERLY AND THE FACT THAT THE EARNED FEES IN THE PRECEDING QUARTER PLUS THE SALARY FOR THE QUARTER MAY HAVE BEEN LESS THAN THE PRESCRIBED MAXIMUM DOES NOT AUTHORIZE ANY ALLOWANCE IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM FOR A SUCCEEDING QUARTER. 1 COMP. GEN. 155, DISTINGUISHED.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, MARCH 31, 1926:

REVIEW HAS BEEN REQUESTED OF SETTLEMENTS NOS. 083204-J AND 093408-J, DATED JUNE 11 AND SEPTEMBER 15, 1925, MARCH AND JUNE QUARTERLY ACCOUNTS OF A. J. HEARN, UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER, IN WHICH WERE DISALLOWED $15.20 AND $116.40, RESPECTIVELY, AS EXCESS FEES, NOTWITHSTANDING DEFICIENCIES IN THE FEES EARNED THE TWO PRECEDING QUARTERS.

THIS COMMISSIONER WAS ALSO A DEPUTY CLERK OF COURT WITH COMPENSATION AT THE RATE OF $1,620 PER ANNUM. WITH RESPECT TO PERSONS HOLDING BOTH POSITIONS THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1921, 42 STAT. 41, PROVIDES:

* * * THAT CLERKS OF UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS, THEIR DEPUTIES AND ASSISTANTS, WHO ARE OR MAY BE APPOINTED UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS, MAY RECEIVE COMPENSATION FOR BOTH OFFICES IN AN AGGREGATE AMOUNT NOT EXCEEDING THE RATE OF $2,000 PER ANNUM. * * *

IT IS URGED IN SUPPORT OF THE REQUEST FOR REVIEW THAT THE ACTION TAKEN WAS CONTRARY TO THE DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 22, 1921, 1 COMP. GEN. 155, AND THAT ANY EXCESS IN A SUBSEQUENT QUARTER IN THE SAME YEAR SHOULD BE APPLIED AGAINST ANY DEFICIENCY IN A PRECEDING QUARTER. THE DECISION IN 1 COMP. GEN. 155 DID NOT, HOWEVER, MAKE ANY RULING ON THE QUESTION OF DEFICIENCIES IN PRIOR QUARTERS BUT HELD THAT---

PAYMENT OF ANY FEES WHICH MAY HAVE BEEN EARNED DURING THE QUARTER IN EXCESS OF THIS MAXIMUM ($500) SHOULD BE SUSPENDED UNTIL THE SETTLEMENT OF THE NEXT QUARTERLY ACCOUNT AND ADJUSTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SETTLEMENT OF THAT ACCOUNT, AND OF SUBSEQUENT QUARTERLY ACCOUNTS SO AS TO KEEP THE AGGREGATE COMPENSATION AS DEPUTY CLERK AND COMMISSIONER FOR THE FISCAL YEAR, OR ANY QUARTER OR QUARTERS THEREOF, WITHIN THE MAXIMUM RATE FIXED BY THE STATUTE. * * *

THIS DECISION WAS CITED WITH APPROVAL IN DECISION OF MARCH 3, 1925, A- 6844, WHICH WAS NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THE EARLIER DECISION; THE FORMER WAS TO THE EFFECT THAT WHERE EXCESS FEES ARE EARNED IN ONE QUARTER THEY MAY BE PAID IN A SUBSEQUENT QUARTER OF THE SAME YEAR IN WHICH THE FEES EARNED PLUS SUCH EXCESS WILL NOT EXCEED THE RATE AUTHORIZED, WHEREAS THE LATTER DENIED THE RIGHT TO APPLY EXCESS FEES EARNED IN A LATER QUARTER TO A DEFICIENCY IN A PRIOR QUARTER, THE REASON THEREFOR BEING STATED AS FOLLOWS:

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE ACT DOES NOT SPECIFY THAT THE AGGREGATE COMPENSATION SHALL NOT EXCEED THE SUM OF $2,000 BUT THAT IT SHALL NOT EXCEED THE RATE OF $2,000 PER ANNUM. THIS PROHIBITS THE ALLOWANCE IN THE QUARTERLY ACCOUNTS AS RENDERED OF ANY AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF ONE FOURTH OF THE $2,000 ANNUAL RATE, THAT IS, THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF BOTH SALARY AND FEES WHICH CAN BE LAWFULLY ALLOWED IN ANY ONE FULL QUARTER IS $500, AND A PROPORTIONATELY LESS AMOUNT WHEN A FRACTIONAL QUARTER IS INVOLVED. * * *

THE ACCOUNTS OF UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER ARE RENDERED QUARTERLY AND THE ALLOWANCE IN ANY QUARTERLY ACCOUNT OF ANY AMOUNT AS FEES WHICH, TOGETHER WITH THE SALARY OF THE OTHER POSITION FOR THE QUARTERS, WILL EXCEED ONE- FOURTH OF THE MAXIMUM ANNUAL RATE--- I.E., ONE-FOURTH OF $2,000--- IS PROHIBITED BY THAT ACT, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THERE MAY HAVE BEEN A PRECEDING QUARTER IN WHICH THE TOTAL FEES EARNED PLUS THE SALARY FOR THE QUARTER DID NOT EQUAL THE MAXIMUM. HAVING BEEN PAID FOR SUCH PRECEDING QUARTER THE FULL AMOUNT EARNED THEREIN THE ACCOUNT WITH RESPECT THERETO IS CLOSED; AND THE STATUTE PROHIBITS PAYING FEES EARNED IN THE SUCCEEDING QUARTER IN EXCESS OF THE AUTHORIZED MAXIMUM.

THE SALARY RECEIVED BY A. J. HEARN AS DEPUTY CLERK IS REPORTED TO BE $1,620 PER ANNUM, OR $405 QUARTERLY. HIS FEES AS UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER COULD NOT, THEREFORE, EXCEED $95 QUARTERLY. THE DISALLOWANCE IN THE THIRD AND FOURTH QUARTERS, FISCAL YEAR 1925, OF THE FEES AS UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER IN EXCESS OF $95 WAS ACCORDINGLY CORRECT.