A-15180, AUGUST 20, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 138

A-15180: Aug 20, 1926

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IS PROHIBITED BY THE ACT OF JULY 16. THAT PROBATION OFFICERS WHO ARE TO RECEIVE SALARIES SHALL BE APPOINTED AFTER COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION HELD IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES. INFORMATION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER. THE ACTUAL EXPENSES NECESSARILY INCURRED BY A PROBATION OFFICER IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTIES WILL INCLUDE SUCH ITEMS AS MAINTENANCE OF PERSONAL AUTOMOBILE USED FOR PUBLIC BUSINESS CONNECTED WITH PROBATION WORK. THE LAW CONTEMPLATES THAT SAID PROBATION OFFICERS ARE TO SERVE WITHOUT COMPENSATION. THE DUTIES OF SAID PROBATION OFFICER ARE TO INVESTIGATE ANY CASE REFERRED TO HIM FOR INVESTIGATION BY THE COURT IN WHICH HE IS SERVING AND TO REPORT THEREON TO THE COURT.

A-15180, AUGUST 20, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 138

COURTS, UNITED STATES - EXPENSES OF PROBATION OFFICERS THE ACT OF APRIL 29, 1926, 44 STAT. 349, MAKING APPROPRIATION FOR THE PROBATION SYSTEM, UNITED STATES COURTS, RELATES TO EXPENSES OF PROBATION OFFICERS PERSONALLY AND NECESSARILY INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES AND DOES NOT CONTEMPLATE THE ESTABLISHMENT OR MAINTENANCE OF OFFICE ROOMS OR THE PROCUREMENT OF SUPPLIES, ETC., SEPARATELY OR OTHER THAN AS A PART OF THE COURT ORGANIZATION. SUCH SUPPLIES AS MAY BE NECESSARY WOULD BE FOR FURNISHING FROM THE COURT SUPPLIES RATHER THAN FROM SEPARATE EXPENDITURES. THE PROCUREMENT OR MAINTENANCE OF A VEHICLE FOR USE BY A PROBATION OFFICER IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTIES, OR THE REIMBURSEMENT TO HIM FOR THE USE OF HIS PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE OR OTHER PASSENGER CARRYING VEHICLE, IN EXCESS OF THE ACTUAL COST OF GASOLINE AND OIL CONSUMED ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, IS PROHIBITED BY THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1914, 38 STAT. 508.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, AUGUST 20, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 16, 1926, AS FOLLOWS:

UNDER DATE OF MARCH 4, 1925, CONGRESS PASSED AN ACT "TO PROVIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PROBATION SYSTEM IN THE UNITED STATES COURTS, EXCEPT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA," SECTION 3 OF WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

"THAT THE JUDGE OF ANY UNITED STATES COURT HAVING ORIGINAL JURISDICTION OF CRIMINAL ACTIONS, EXCEPT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MAY APPOINT ONE OR MORE SUITABLE PERSONS TO SERVE AS PROBATION OFFICERS WITHIN THE JURISDICTION AND UNDER THE DISCRETION OF THE JUDGE MAKING SUCH APPOINTMENT OR OF HIS SUCCESSOR. ALL SUCH PROBATION OFFICERS SHALL SERVE WITHOUT COMPENSATION EXCEPT THAT IN CASE IT SHALL APPEAR TO ANY SUCH JUDGE THAT THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE REQUIRE THAT THERE SHOULD BE A SALARIED PROBATION OFFICER, SUCH JUDGE MAY APPOINT ONE SUCH OFFICER AND SHALL FIX THE SALARY OF SUCH OFFICER SUBJECT TO THE APPROVAL OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IN EACH CASE: PROVIDED, THAT PROBATION OFFICERS WHO ARE TO RECEIVE SALARIES SHALL BE APPOINTED AFTER COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION HELD IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES. SUCH JUDGE MAY IN HIS DISCRETION REMOVE ANY PROBATION OFFICER SERVING IN HIS COURT. THE APPOINTMENT OF PROBATION OFFICERS SHALL BE IN WRITING AND SHALL BE ENTERED ON THE RECORDS OF THE COURT OF THE JUDGE MAKING SUCH APPOINTMENT, AND A COPY OF THE ORDER OF APPOINTMENT SHALL BE DELIVERED TO THE OFFICER SO APPOINTED. SUCH COURT MAY ALLOW ANY PROBATION OFFICER HIS ACTUAL EXPENSES NECESSARILY INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTIES. SUCH SALARY AND EXPENSES WHEN DULY APPROVED SHALL BE PAID FROM THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE COURTS IN WHICH SUCH OFFICER SERVES.'

INFORMATION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER, UNDER SUCH AUTHORITY, THE ACTUAL EXPENSES NECESSARILY INCURRED BY A PROBATION OFFICER IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTIES WILL INCLUDE SUCH ITEMS AS MAINTENANCE OF PERSONAL AUTOMOBILE USED FOR PUBLIC BUSINESS CONNECTED WITH PROBATION WORK, STATIONERY SUPPLIES AND OFFICE EQUIPMENT, STENOGRAPHIC HELP, TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES, INCLUDING THE USUAL ALLOWANCES FOR TIPS, ETC., GIVEN AN EMPLOYEE IN TRAVEL STATUS, AND RENT OF OFFICIAL QUARTERS.

THE ACT APPROVED APRIL 29, 1926, 44 STAT. 349, MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE JUDICIARY FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1927, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

PROBATION SYSTEM, UNITED STATES COURTS: FOR SALARIES AND ACTUAL EXPENSES OF PROBATION OFFICERS, AS PROVIDED BY SECTION 3 OF THE ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PROBATION SYSTEM IN THE UNITED STATES COURTS, EXCEPT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA," APPROVED MARCH 4, 1925, $50,000.

UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1925, ESTABLISHING A PROBATION SYSTEM IN THE UNITED STATES COURTS, THE LAW CONTEMPLATES THAT SAID PROBATION OFFICERS ARE TO SERVE WITHOUT COMPENSATION, EXCEPT THAT IF IT SHALL APPEAR TO ANY SUCH JUDGE THAT THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE REQUIRE THERE SHOULD BE APPOINTED A SALARIED PROBATION OFFICER, SUCH JUDGE MAY APPOINT, ACCORDING TO THE CIVIL SERVICE RULES, ONE SUCH OFFICER, AND FIX HIS SALARY SUBJECT TO APPROVAL BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. THE DUTIES OF SAID PROBATION OFFICER ARE TO INVESTIGATE ANY CASE REFERRED TO HIM FOR INVESTIGATION BY THE COURT IN WHICH HE IS SERVING AND TO REPORT THEREON TO THE COURT, AND TO PERFORM SUCH OTHER DUTIES AS THE COURT MAY DIRECT. IS, IN FACT, AN OFFICER OF THE COURT, SUBJECT TO INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE COURT IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTIES. IT IS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT SUCH COURT MAY ALLOW ANY PROBATION OFFICER HIS ACTUAL EXPENSES NECESSARILY INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTIES.

IT WOULD APPEAR THAT AS AN ATTACHE OF THE COURT IF OFFICE ROOM IS NECESSARY IT WOULD BE FOR ARRANGING IN A FEDERAL BUILDING RATHER THAN RENTING, AND THAT SUCH SUPPLIES OR STATIONERY AS MAY BE NECESSARY WOULD BE FOR FURNISHING FROM THE COURT SUPPLIES RATHER THAN SEPARATE EXPENDITURES. IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE EXPENSES FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION WAS MADE RELATE TO EXPENSES OF THE PROBATION OFFICER PERSONALLY AND NECESSARILY INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTIES AND DO NOT CONTEMPLATE THE ESTABLISHMENT OR MAINTENANCE OF OFFICE ROOMS OR PROCUREMENT OF SUPPLIES, ETC., SEPARATELY OR OTHER THAN AS A PART OF THE COURT ORGANIZATION. RELATIVE TO THE MAINTENANCE OF PERSONAL AUTOMOBILE, OTHER THAN THE ACTUAL COST OF GASOLINE AND OIL, USED ON PUBLIC BUSINESS CONNECTED WITH PROBATION WORK, SEE ACT JULY 16, 1914, 38 STAT. 508. IT IS TO BE ADDED THAT PROCUREMENT OR MAINTENANCE OF A VEHICLE FOR USE BY AN EMPLOYEE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTIES IS IN THE NATURE OF AN ALLOWANCE NOT AUTHORIZED EXCEPT UNDER SPECIFIC PROVISION OF LAW, WHICH DOES NOT APPEAR IN THE PRESENT MATTER, AND INCURRENCE OF SUCH EXPENSES IS NOT AUTHORIZED.