A-25236, DECEMBER 11, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 294

A-25236: Dec 11, 1928

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

IS NOT SUCH A BOARD. OR COUNCIL AS IS PROHIBITED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 4. THE VOUCHER IS FOR PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR FIVE AND ONE-THIRD DAYS AT $6 PER DIEM. WHILE CLAIMANT WAS ABSENT FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS AT SAN DIEGO ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT LOS ANGELES. THE REFUSAL TO CERTIFY THE VOUCHER WAS BASED UPON THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4. UNLESS THE CREATION OF THE SAME SHALL BE OR SHALL HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED BY LAW. YOUR LETTER URGES THAT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BOARD IN THIS INSTANCE IS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE ACT OF JULY 16. AS NEARLY AS IS CONSISTENT WITH THE PUBLIC INTEREST. THE ORGANIZATION AND ACTIVITIES OF THE SO-CALLED BOARD ON WAGES ARE PRESCRIBED BY NAVAL REGULATION 371.

A-25236, DECEMBER 11, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 294

BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, AND COUNCILS - NAVY WAGE BOARD THE NAVY WAGE BOARD, CONSISTING OF NAVAL OFFICERS AND ONE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE DETAILED IN ACCORDANCE WITH NAVAL REGULATIONS TO MAKE INQUIRY CONCERNING WAGES PAID BY PRIVATE EMPLOYERS FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECOMMENDING TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY THE PROPER ADJUSTMENT OF WAGES OF EMPLOYEES IN NAVY YARDS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1862, 12 STAT. 587, IS NOT SUCH A BOARD, COMMISSION, OR COUNCIL AS IS PROHIBITED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1909, 35 STAT. 1027.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, DECEMBER 11, 1928:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 21, 1928, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN BY THE AUDIT DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE IN REFUSING TO CERTIFY UPON PREAUDIT A VOUCHER SUBMITTED BY R. B. STUART, ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT (INSIDE) OF THE RADIO MATERIAL OFFICE OF THE ELEVENTH NAVAL DISTRICT AT SAN DIEGO, CALIF. THE VOUCHER IS FOR PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR FIVE AND ONE-THIRD DAYS AT $6 PER DIEM, WHILE CLAIMANT WAS ABSENT FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS AT SAN DIEGO ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT LOS ANGELES, SEPTEMBER 26 TO OCTOBER 1, 1928, AS A MEMBER OF THE "BOARD ON WAGES.' THE REFUSAL TO CERTIFY THE VOUCHER WAS BASED UPON THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1909, 35 STAT. 1027, AS FOLLOWS:

THAT HEREAFTER NO PART OF THE PUBLIC MONEYS, OR OF ANY APPROPRIATION HERETOFORE OR HEREAFTER MADE BY CONGRESS, SHALL BE USED FOR THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION OR EXPENSES OF ANY COMMISSION, COUNCIL, BOARD, OR OTHER SIMILAR BODY, OR ANY MEMBERS THEREOF, OR FOR EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH ANY WORK OR THE RESULTS OF ANY WORK OR ACTION OF ANY COMMISSION, COUNCIL, BOARD, OR OTHER SIMILAR BODY, UNLESS THE CREATION OF THE SAME SHALL BE OR SHALL HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED BY LAW; NOR SHALL THERE BE EMPLOYED BY DETAIL, HEREAFTER OR HERETOFORE MADE, OR OTHERWISE PERSONAL SERVICES FROM ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR OTHER GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENT IN CONNECTION WITH ANY SUCH COMMISSION, COUNCIL, BOARD, OR OTHER SIMILAR BODY.

YOUR LETTER URGES THAT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE BOARD IN THIS INSTANCE IS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1862, 12 STAT. 587, WHICH PROVIDES:

* * * THE RATE OF WAGES OF THE EMPLOYEES IN THE NAVY YARDS SHALL CONFORM, AS NEARLY AS IS CONSISTENT WITH THE PUBLIC INTEREST, WITH THOSE OF PRIVATE ESTABLISHMENTS IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF THE RESPECTIVE YARDS, TO BE DETERMINED BY THE COMMANDANTS OF THE NAVY YARDS, SUBJECT TO THE APPROVAL AND REVISION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.

THE ORGANIZATION AND ACTIVITIES OF THE SO-CALLED BOARD ON WAGES ARE PRESCRIBED BY NAVAL REGULATION 371, WHICH REQUIRES THE COMMANDANT OF EACH NAVY YARD TO APPOINT ANNUALLY A BOARD OF OFFICERS TO MAKE DILIGENT INQUIRY OF THE PRIVATE ESTABLISHMENTS IN THE VICINITY AS TO THE WAGES PAID TO WORKMEN IN THE DIFFERENT CLASSES IN EACH TRADE OR OCCUPATION SIMILAR TO THOSE IN THE NAVY YARD AND TO REPORT TO THE COMMANDANT THE RESULT OF SUCH INQUIRIES WITH RECOMMENDATIONS AS TO THE RATES OF PAY FOR THE WORKMEN IN THE NAVY YARD. THE PROPOSED SCHEDULE OF WAGES AS APPROVED BY THE COMMANDANT IS THEN FORWARDED TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY FOR HIS APPROVAL.

THE PROHIBITION IN THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1909, SUPRA, IS AGAINST THE CREATION OF BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, OR COUNCILS TO ACT INDEPENDENTLY AND WITHOUT ANY AUTHORITY OF LAW. THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1862, AUTHORIZES YOU TO ADJUST THE WAGES OF NAVY YARD EMPLOYEES UNDER THE CONDITIONS THEREIN SET FORTH, AND IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE OFFICERS AND THE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE DESIGNATED TO MAKE INQUIRY CONCERNING THE SCHEDULES OF WAGES PAID IN PRIVATE ESTABLISHMENTS AND TO MAKE A JOINT REPORT THEREON TO AID YOU IN ADJUSTING THE WAGES AS REQUIRED BY LAW, DO NOT CONSTITUTE SUCH AN INDEPENDENT BOARD, COMMISSION, OR COUNCIL AS IS PROHIBITED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1909, BUT THAT THE PROCEDURE IS MORE IN THE NATURE OF JOINT ACTION BY SEVERAL INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEES. (SEE A 23238, JUNE 20, 1928.) THE PAYMENT OF THEIR NECESSARY TRAVEL EXPENSES OR PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE DOES NOT, THEREFORE, CONTRAVENE THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1909, SUPRA. THE VOUCHER WILL BE CERTIFIED AND RETURNED FOR PAYMENT THROUGH THE USUAL CHANNELS.