A-17072, JANUARY 24, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 490

A-17072: Jan 24, 1927

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

IS TO AUTHORIZE ALLOWANCE TO HIM AT THE END OF EACH QUARTER OF THE COMPENSATION THERETOFORE EARNED BY HIM DURING THE FISCAL YEAR. WITHIN THE MAXIMUM AUTHORIZED BY THE STATUTE FOR THE OFFICE FOR THE QUARTER OR QUARTERS THAT HAVE ELAPSED SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE FISCAL YEAR. 1927: THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION THE BASIS FOR COMPUTING THE QUARTERLY COMPENSATION OF FOURTH-CLASS POSTMASTERS UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 4. THAT WHENEVER DURING THE FISCAL YEAR THERE OCCURS OR IS CREATED A CHANGE IN THE POSTMASTERSHIP OF AN OFFICE OF THE FOURTH CLASS. IN NO CASE SHALL SUCH COMPENSATION AMOUNT TO MORE THAN SUCH A SUM AS IS DETERMINED BY TAKING SUCH A FRACTIONAL PART OF $1. 100 AS THE TIME HE HAS SERVED IN THAT FISCAL YEAR IS TO THE WHOLE FISCAL YEAR: * * *.

A-17072, JANUARY 24, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 490

COMPENSATION OF FOURTH-CLASS POSTMASTERS THE BASIS FOR COMPUTING THE QUARTERLY COMPENSATION OF AN INCOMING FOURTH- CLASS POSTMASTER, UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1926, 44 STAT. 695-6, WHEN MORE THAN ONE POSTMASTER SERVES IN THE SAME OFFICE DURING THE FISCAL YEAR, IS TO AUTHORIZE ALLOWANCE TO HIM AT THE END OF EACH QUARTER OF THE COMPENSATION THERETOFORE EARNED BY HIM DURING THE FISCAL YEAR, LESS THE AMOUNT PREVIOUSLY PAID TO HIM OR HIS PREDECESSORS IN OFFICE, WITHIN THE MAXIMUM AUTHORIZED BY THE STATUTE FOR THE OFFICE FOR THE QUARTER OR QUARTERS THAT HAVE ELAPSED SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE FISCAL YEAR.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, JANUARY 24, 1927:

THERE IS BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION THE BASIS FOR COMPUTING THE QUARTERLY COMPENSATION OF FOURTH-CLASS POSTMASTERS UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1926, 44 STAT. 695-6, WHEN MORE THAN ONE POSTMASTER SERVES IN THE SAME OFFICE DURING THE FISCAL YEAR.

THAT PORTION OF THE STATUTE IN QUESTION FOR CONSIDERATION PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THE COMPENSATION OF POSTMASTERS OF THE FOURTH CLASS SHALL BE FIXED UPON THE BASIS OF THE WHOLE OF THE BOX RENTS COLLECTED AT THEIR OFFICES AND COMMISSIONS UPON THE AMOUNT OF CANCELED POSTAGE-DUE STAMPS AND ON POSTAGE STAMPS, * * *

* * * THE SAME TO BE ASCERTAINED AND ALLOWED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF SUCH POSTMASTERS UPON THEIR SWORN QUARTERLY RETURNS: PROVIDED, THAT IN ADJUSTING THE QUARTERLY COMPENSATION OF POSTMASTERS OF THE FOURTH CLASS THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SHALL ALLOW SUCH COMPENSATION AS MAY BE SHOWN BY THE QUARTERLY RETURNS TO BE DUE, NOT EXCEEDING $275 FOR THE QUARTER ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, NOT EXCEEDING $550 FOR THE TWO QUARTERS ENDING DECEMBER 31, NOT EXCEEDING $825 FOR THE THREE QUARTERS ENDING MARCH 31, AND NOT EXCEEDING $1,100 FOR THE WHOLE FISCAL YEAR, EXCLUSIVE OF 3 CENTS COMMISSION ON EACH MONEY-ORDER ISSUED: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT WHENEVER DURING THE FISCAL YEAR THERE OCCURS OR IS CREATED A CHANGE IN THE POSTMASTERSHIP OF AN OFFICE OF THE FOURTH CLASS, BY DEATH OR OTHERWISE, THE OUTGOING POSTMASTER SHALL RECEIVE IN THE FINAL SETTLEMENT OF HIS ACCOUNT ALL HIS EARNED COMPENSATION FOR THAT PART OF THE FISCAL YEAR WHICH HE HAS SERVED, BUT IN NO CASE SHALL SUCH COMPENSATION AMOUNT TO MORE THAN SUCH A SUM AS IS DETERMINED BY TAKING SUCH A FRACTIONAL PART OF $1,100 AS THE TIME HE HAS SERVED IN THAT FISCAL YEAR IS TO THE WHOLE FISCAL YEAR: * * *.

PRIOR STATUTES PROVIDING THE BASIS FOR COMPUTING OF COMPENSATION OF FOURTH-CLASS POSTMASTERS WERE THE ACTS OF MARCH 3, 1883, 22 STAT. 602; JUNE 5, 1920, 41 STAT. 1046; AND FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1054.

THE POINT FOR CONSIDERATION MAY BE ILLUSTRATED BY ASSUMING A SITUATION AS FOLLOWS:

A AND B SERVED AS POSTMASTER AT X, A FOURTH-CLASS POST OFFICE, DURING THE SIX MONTHS ENDED DEC. 31, 1926; A FROM JULY 1 TO NOV. 23, 1926, AND B FROM NOV. 24 TO DEC. 31, 1926.

A'S COMPENSATION FOR THE QUARTER ENDED SEPT. 30, 1926, WAS LESS THAN $275.00, SAY $100.00. FROM OCT. 1, TO NOV. 23, 1926, HIS COMPENSATION AS SHOWN BY HIS QUARTERLY RETURN FOR THE FRACTIONAL PART OF THE QUARTER WAS, SAY $100.00, WHICH IS LESS THAN THE PRO RATA OF $275.00.

DURING THE 38 DAYS OF B'S SERVICE THE CANCELLATIONS WERE UNUSUALLY HEAVY AND AS A RESULT B'S QUARTERLY RETURN FOR THE FRACTIONAL PART OF THE QUARTER SHOWS THAT HIS EARNED COMPENSATION WAS $450.00, WHICH IS IN EXCESS OF THE PRO RATA OF $275.00. IF ONE MAN HAD SERVED FROM OCT. 1 TO DEC. 31, 1926, THE QUARTERLY RETURN FOR THE ENTIRE QUARTER WOULD SHOW $550.00 AS THE COMPENSATION FOR THAT QUARTER.

IN THE APPLICATION OF THE ACTS OF 1883, 1920, AND 1925 TO CASES WHERE TWO OR MORE POSTMASTERS SERVED CONSECUTIVELY AT THE SAME POST OFFICE DURING THE SAME QUARTER, THE FORMER AUDITOR FOR THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT AND THIS OFFICE FOLLOWED THE DECISION DATED MAY 1, 1884, OF FIRST COMPTROLLER LAWRENCE, VOLUME 5, PAGE 100, THAT THE COMPENSATION ATTACHED TO THE OFFICE, NOT THE OFFICER, AND THAT EACH POSTMASTER WAS ENTITLED TO HIS PRO RATA COMPENSATION ONLY. IT WAS THE PRACTICE IN THE LAST QUARTER OF THE FISCAL YEAR TO CREDIT THE OUTGOING AND INCOMING POSTMASTERS WITH THE EXCESS COMPENSATION EARNED BY THEM, RESPECTIVELY, NOT EXCEEDING OF COURSE THE LIMITS PRESCRIBED BY LAW. THE PRINCIPLES ON WHICH THE CALCULATIONS WERE MADE ARE SET FORTH IN SECTION 311, POSTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS, AS AMENDED JULY 16, 1924, AND MAY 16, 1925.

THE PROVISION OF THE STATUTE AS HEREINBEFORE QUOTED SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES WHAT AMOUNT OF EARNED COMPENSATION THE OUTGOING POSTMASTER SHALL RECEIVE, WHERE A CHANGE IN POSTMASTERS OCCURS DURING A FISCAL YEAR, BUT DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY COVER THE BASIS FOR COMPUTING THE MAXIMUM COMPENSATION OF INCOMING POSTMASTERS FOR THE BALANCE OF THE FISCAL YEAR. IN NO CASE MAY THE MAXIMUM OF $1,100 FOR THE OFFICE BE EXCEEDED, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE NUMBER OF POSTMASTERS WHO MAY FILL THE OFFICE DURING THE YEAR. THE EVIDENT PURPOSE AND INTENT OF THE STATUTE AS NOW AMENDED IS TO AUTHORIZE SETTLEMENT WITH AN INCOMING POSTMASTER AT THE END OF EACH QUARTER AFTER HIS APPOINTMENT AS THOUGH HE HAD BEEN IN THE SERVICE FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE FISCAL YEAR, AND ON THE BASIS THAT HE WILL REMAIN IN THE SERVICE FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE FISCAL YEAR, AUTHORIZING ALLOWANCE TO HIM AT THE END OF EACH QUARTER OF THE COMPENSATION THERETOFORE EARNED BY HIM DURING THE FISCAL YEAR, LESS THE AMOUNT PREVIOUSLY PAID TO HIM OR HIS PREDECESSORS IN OFFICE, WITHIN THE MAXIMUM AUTHORIZED BY THE STATUTE FOR THE OFFICE FOR THE QUARTER OR QUARTERS THAT HAVE ELAPSED SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE FISCAL YEAR.

THUS, IN THE ILLUSTRATION GIVEN, A WOULD RECEIVE $200, THE TOTAL AMOUNT EARNED BY HIM, SAID AMOUNT BEING LESS THAN 146/365 OF $1,100, AND B WOULD RECEIVE $350 OF THE $450 EARNED BY HIM, MAKING A TOTAL OF $550, THE MAXIMUM AUTHORIZED BY THE STATUTE FOR THE TWO QUARTERS ENDED DECEMBER 31, 1926, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER B'S SERVICE MAY OR MAY NOT TERMINATE PRIOR TO THE END OF THE FISCAL YEAR.

ASSUMING THAT B'S SERVICE SHOULD TERMINATE FEBRUARY 28, 1927, AND C BE APPOINTED EFFECTIVE MARCH 1, 1927, B'S LIMITATION ON EARNED COMPENSATION FOR JANUARY AND FEBRUARY WOULD BE 59/365 OF $1,100 AND C'S LIMITATION 31/365 OF $1,100 FOR MARCH, 1927. IF B AND C SHOULD EARN AND RECEIVE THE MAXIMUM COMPENSATION AUTHORIZED FOR THE QUARTER ENDING MARCH 31, 1927, C COULD RECEIVE FOR THE QUARTER ENDING JUNE 30, 1927, ONLY THE COMPENSATION EARNED BY HIM DURING SAID QUARTER NOT EXCEEDING $275.