A-23222, JUNE 12, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 793

A-23222: Jun 12, 1928

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POSTMASTERS OF THE FOURTH CLASS ARE ENTITLED TO ALLOWANCES FOR RENT. REQUEST DECISION OF THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT AS THE LAW PROVIDES THAT THE COMPENSATION OF POSTMASTERS OF THE FOURTH CLASS SHALL NOT EXCEED $1. IS THIS CORRECT? THEN FOLLOWS IN THE STATUTE PROVISIONS TO BE APPLIED WHERE THERE IS A CHANGE IN THE POSTMASTERS DURING THE YEAR AND FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE POST OFFICE TO ANOTHER CLASS. IS EARNED EVEN THOUGH IT EXCEEDS THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE AS LIMITED BY THE ABOVE QUOTED PROVISO TO THE ACT. IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE PHRASE "COMPENSATION EARNED IN EACH QUARTER" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF MAY 24. THAT "SUCH ALLOWANCES (ARE) TO BE PAID AT THE END OF EACH QUARTER AT THE SAME TIME AND IN THE SAME MANNER AS THEIR REGULAR COMPENSATION.'.

A-23222, JUNE 12, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 793

POSTAL SERVICE - ALLOWANCES OF FOURTH-CLASS POSTMASTERS UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 24, 1928, 45 STAT. 724, POSTMASTERS OF THE FOURTH CLASS ARE ENTITLED TO ALLOWANCES FOR RENT, FUEL, LIGHT, AND EQUIPMENT IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO 15 PERCENTUM OF THE COMPENSATION ACTUALLY ALLOWABLE AND PAYABLE FOR EACH QUARTER OR FOR QUARTERS UNDER ALL OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1926, 44 STAT. 695.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, JUNE 12, 1928:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 1, 1928, WHEREIN YOU REFER TO THE ACT OF MAY 24, 1928, GRANTING ALLOWANCES FOR RENT, FUEL, LIGHT, AND EQUIPMENT TO POSTMASTERS OF THE FOURTH CLASS, AND REQUEST DECISION OF THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT AS THE LAW PROVIDES THAT THE COMPENSATION OF POSTMASTERS OF THE FOURTH CLASS SHALL NOT EXCEED $1,100 FOR THE WHOLE FISCAL YEAR AND PRESCRIBES HOW THE COMPENSATION EARNED SHALL BE ADJUSTED IN THE SETTLEMENT OF THE QUARTERLY ACCOUNTS OF POSTMASTERS OF THE FOURTH CLASS, THAT THE 15 PERCENTUM OF THE COMPENSATION EARNED IN EACH QUARTER SHALL BE BASED UPON THE ACTUAL COMPENSATION WHICH MAY BE PAID THE POSTMASTER AS PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1926. IS THIS CORRECT?

THE ACT OF MAY 24, 1928, 45 STAT. 724, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THAT AFTER JULY 1, 1928, POSTMASTERS OF THE FOURTH CLASS SHALL BE PAID AS ALLOWANCES FOR RENT, FUEL, LIGHT, AND EQUIPMENT AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO 15 PERCENTUM OF THE COMPENSATION EARNED IN EACH QUARTER, SUCH ALLOWANCES TO BE PAID AT THE END OF EACH QUARTER AT THE SAME TIME AND IN THE SAME MANNER AS THEIR REGULAR COMPENSATION.

THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1926, 44 STAT. 695, PROVIDES THE METHOD FOR COMPUTING THE COMPENSATION OF FOURTH-CLASS POSTMASTERS AND CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING LIMITATIONS:

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: * * *.

THEN FOLLOWS IN THE STATUTE PROVISIONS TO BE APPLIED WHERE THERE IS A CHANGE IN THE POSTMASTERS DURING THE YEAR AND FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE POST OFFICE TO ANOTHER CLASS.

WHILE IT MIGHT POSSIBLY BE SAID THAT THE ENTIRE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION COMPUTED BY THE METHOD PRESCRIBED IN THE FIRST PART OF THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1926, SUPRA, IS EARNED EVEN THOUGH IT EXCEEDS THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE AS LIMITED BY THE ABOVE QUOTED PROVISO TO THE ACT, IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE PHRASE "COMPENSATION EARNED IN EACH QUARTER" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF MAY 24, 1928, SUPRA, REFERS TO THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY ALLOWABLE AND PAYABLE TO A FOURTH-CLASS POSTMASTER FOR EACH QUARTER OR QUARTERS UNDER ALL OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1926, SUPRA. THIS WOULD APPEAR TO BE INDICATED BY THE CONDITION CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF MAY 24, 1928, THAT "SUCH ALLOWANCES (ARE) TO BE PAID AT THE END OF EACH QUARTER AT THE SAME TIME AND IN THE SAME MANNER AS THEIR REGULAR COMPENSATION.'

ACCORDINGLY, THE ABOVE-QUOTED STATEMENT FROM YOUR SUBMISSION APPEARS TO BE CORRECT.

YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE PROVISION THAT THE ACT OF MAY 24, 1928, IS EFFECTIVE "AFTER JULY 1, 1928.' ACCORDINGLY, COMPENSATION EARNED BY FOURTH-CLASS POSTMASTERS ON JULY 1, 1928, SHOULD BE EXCLUDED FROM COMPUTING THE TOTAL COMPENSATION FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF THE FISCAL YEAR 1929, ON THE BASIS OF WHICH THE PERCENTAGE INCREASE FOR ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT IS TO BE COMPUTED.