A-17694, MARCH 23, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 616

A-17694: Mar 23, 1927

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TO SUPPLEMENT DEFICIENT APPROPRIATIONS FUNDS ACCRUING AS RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS MAY NOT BE USED TO SUPPLEMENT APPROPRIATIONS WHICH WILL BE INSUFFICIENT TO MEET THE EXPENSES CONTEMPLATED THEREUNDER. 1927: I HAVE YOUR SUBMISSION OF MARCH 7. AS FOLLOWS: WHAT IS KNOWN AS THE SECOND DEFICIENCY BILL FAILED TO RECEIVE THE APPROVAL OF CONGRESS. THE FAILURE OF THIS BILL TO PASS MEANS THAT THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WILL NOT BE ABLE TO REIMBURSE THE HOSPITAL IN FULL FOR THE CARE OF THEIR INDIGENT PATIENTS. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DISCRIMINATE OR SEPARATE THEM FROM OTHER PATIENTS. IS USED FIRST. THE MONEY RECEIVED FOR REIMBURSABLE PATIENTS IS THEN USED TO PAY OTHER OBLIGATIONS INCURRED. THE HOSPITAL IS GOING TO BE AT A LOSS HOW TO PAY THE CLAIMS PRESENTED TO IT.

A-17694, MARCH 23, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 616

RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS - USE OF, TO SUPPLEMENT DEFICIENT APPROPRIATIONS FUNDS ACCRUING AS RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS MAY NOT BE USED TO SUPPLEMENT APPROPRIATIONS WHICH WILL BE INSUFFICIENT TO MEET THE EXPENSES CONTEMPLATED THEREUNDER, DUE TO THE FAILURE OF A DEFICIENCY BILL TO BECOME LAW. SUCH FUNDS SHOULD BE ACCOUNTED FOR AND DEPOSITED CURRENTLY EACH MONTH INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE CREDIT OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT AND DISABILITY FUND AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 10 OF THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1926, 44 STAT. 910, AND GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 54 OF JULY 6, 1926.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, MARCH 23, 1927:

I HAVE YOUR SUBMISSION OF MARCH 7, 1927, REQUESTING DECISION UPON A QUESTION PRESENTED BY LETTER OF THE ASSISTANT TO THE SUPERINTENDENT, ST. ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL, DATED MARCH 4, 1927, AS FOLLOWS:

WHAT IS KNOWN AS THE SECOND DEFICIENCY BILL FAILED TO RECEIVE THE APPROVAL OF CONGRESS. THIS BILL CONTAINS AN ITEM UNDER THE HEAD OF, "DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. FOR SUPPORT OF INDIGENT INSANE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN SAINT ELIZABETHS HOSPITAL, AS PROVIDED BY LAW, FISCAL YEAR 1927, $250,000.'

THE FAILURE OF THIS BILL TO PASS MEANS THAT THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WILL NOT BE ABLE TO REIMBURSE THE HOSPITAL IN FULL FOR THE CARE OF THEIR INDIGENT PATIENTS. IN GIVING THE PROPER CARE AND TREATMENT TO AND FEEDING THESE PATIENTS, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DISCRIMINATE OR SEPARATE THEM FROM OTHER PATIENTS. THE FULL APPROPRIATION FOR THE HOSPITAL AMOUNTING TO ABOUT $804,000, IS USED FIRST, AND THE MONEY RECEIVED FOR REIMBURSABLE PATIENTS IS THEN USED TO PAY OTHER OBLIGATIONS INCURRED. UNDER THE CONDITIONS, CITED, THE HOSPITAL IS GOING TO BE AT A LOSS HOW TO PAY THE CLAIMS PRESENTED TO IT. IT IS NOW CONSIDERING THE CLAIMS ON WHICH PAYMENT MIGHT BE DEFERRED FOR A LIMITED PERIOD UNTIL PROPER ACTION IS TAKEN TO REIMBURSE THE HOSPITAL. AMONG OTHER CLAIMS WHICH PRESENT THEMSELVES, IS THAT OF THE DEDUCTIONS FROM EMPLOYEES' PAY TO BE TRANSFERRED TO THE RETIREMENT FUND. FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY, 1927,THIS WOULD AMOUNT TO $4,380.31, AND FOR FIVE MONTHS SOMETHING OVER $20,000.

IN VIEW OF THE CONDITIONS PRESENTED, I HAVE THE HONOR TO ASK THAT THIS MATTER BE PRESENTED TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES, AND HE REQUESTED TO GIVE HIS OPINION AS TO WHETHER THE HOSPITAL COULD DEFER PAYING THIS AMOUNT INTO THE RETIREMENT FUND UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MAKES FULL PAYMENT TO THE HOSPITAL.

SECTION 10 OF THE RETIREMENT ACT OF JULY 3, 1926, 44 STAT. 910, PROVIDES:

BEGINNING AS OF JULY 1, 1926, THERE SHALL BE DEDUCTED AND WITHHELD FROM THE BASIC SALARY, PAY, OR COMPENSATION OF EACH EMPLOYEE TO WHOM THIS ACT APPLIES A SUM EQUAL TO 3 1/2 PERCENTUM OF SUCH EMPLOYEE'S BASIC SALARY, PAY, OR COMPENSATION. THE AMOUNTS SO DEDUCTED AND WITHHELD FROM THE BASIC SALARY, PAY, OR COMPENSATION OF EACH EMPLOYEE SHALL, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUCH PROCEDURE AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES, BE DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE CREDIT OF THE "CIVIL-SERVICE RETIREMENT AND DISABILITY FUND" CREATED BY THE ACT OF MAY 22, 1920, AND SAID FUND IS HEREBY APPROPRIATED FOR THE PAYMENT OF ANNUITIES, REFUNDS, AND ALLOWANCES AS PROVIDED IN THIS ACT.

PURSUANT TO THIS PROVISION OF LAW THERE WAS ISSUED BY THIS OFFICE, GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 54 OF JULY 6, 1926, PARAGRAPHS 4 AND 5 OF WHICH PROVIDE:

4. AT THE END OF EACH MONTH EACH DISBURSING OFFICER MAKING DEDUCTIONS ON ACCOUNT OF THE RETIREMENT FUND WILL TRANSMIT HIS CHECK FOR THE AMOUNT DEDUCTED TO THE DISBURSING CLERK, BUREAU OF PENSIONS, AND WILL TRANSMIT WITH HIS ACCOUNT TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE A LIST OF THE PAY ROLLS AND VOUCHERS ON WHICH RETIREMENT FUND DEDUCTIONS HAVE BEEN MADE, SHOWING THEREIN THE AMOUNT, NUMBER, AND DATE OF THE CHECK DRAWN IN FAVOR OF THE DISBURSING CLERK, BUREAU OF PENSIONS.

5. THE DISBURSING CLERK, BUREAU OF PENSIONS, PROMPTLY UPON RECEIPT WILL DEPOSIT IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE CREDIT OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT AND DISABILITY FUND ALL SUCH CHECKS RECEIVED BY HIM. AT THE END OF EACH MONTH HE WILL SUBMIT WITH HIS ACCOUNT A SCHEDULE OF ALL CHECKS RECEIVED BY HIM, SHOWING THE NUMBER AND AMOUNT OF THE CHECKS, NAMES OF THE OFFICERS DRAWING SAME, AND DEPARTMENT, BUREAU, OR ESTABLISHMENT ON ACCOUNT OF WHICH THE CHECKS WERE DRAWN. THE AMOUNTS SO RECEIVED BY HIM AND DEPOSITED TO THE CREDIT OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT AND DISABILITY FUND SHALL BE TAKEN UP ON HIS ACCOUNT CURRENT IN A SEPARATE COLUMN.

THE PROVISIONS OF LAW QUOTED ABOVE SPECIFICALLY REQUIRE THAT THE AMOUNTS DEDUCTED AND WITHHELD FROM THE PAY AND COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES BE DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE CREDIT OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT AND DISABILITY FUND CREATED BY THE ACT OF MAY 22, 1920. THE CLAUSE THEREIN RELATING TO THE "PROCEDURE AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES" DOES NOT AUTHORIZE THIS OFFICE TO PRESCRIBE A DISPOSITION OR USE OF THE FUNDS ACCRUING AS RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS FOR PURPOSES OTHER THAN FOR DEPOSIT TO THE CREDIT OF SUCH RETIREMENT FUND; AND THE FAILURE OF THE CONGRESS TO MAKE NEEDED APPROPRIATIONS CAN NOT OPERATE TO WAIVE THE REQUIREMENTS OF EXISTING LAW, OR TO VEST IN THIS OFFICE THE POWER OR AUTHORITY TO LEGISLATE.

I HAVE ACCORDINGLY TO ADVISE THAT AMOUNTS ACCRUING AS RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1926, SUPRA, SHOULD BE ACCOUNTED FOR AND DEPOSITED CURRENTLY INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE CREDIT OF THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT AND DISABILITY FUND AS PRESCRIBED BY THE TWO PARAGRAPHS OF THE REGULATIONS QUOTED ABOVE. YOU ARE FURTHER ADVISED THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY UNDER THE LAW TO DISPOSE OF OR USE THE FUNDS THUS ACCRUING AS RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS IN ANY OTHER MANNER OR FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE THAN THAT PRESCRIBED BY SAID ACT OF JULY 3, 1926.