A-36127, APRIL 28, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 493

A-36127: Apr 28, 1931

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COMPENSATION - ALLOWANCES IN KIND - LEAVES OF ABSENCE IF THE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND TO FIELD EMPLOYEES WHOSE POSITIONS ARE SUBJECT TO THE PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION AS EXTENDED TO FIELD SERVICE BY SECTION 2 OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT OF JULY 3. IS DETERMINED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 5. IF THE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND TO SUCH EMPLOYEES IS DETERMINED ON AN ACTUAL DUTY BASIS. SO THAT FOR ALL PERIODS AN EMPLOYEE IS IN A PAY STATUS. THE TOTAL SALARY RATE FIXED FOR THE POSITION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION WILL BE PAID EITHER IN CASH ALONE OR IN CASH AND ALLOWANCES IN KIND. THERE IS PRESENTED THE QUESTION AS TO THE LEGALITY OF THE METHOD USED ADMINISTRATIVELY IN FIXING SALARY RATES FOR FIELD SERVICE POSITIONS SUBJECT TO THE PRINCIPLES OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS EXTENDED TO THE FIELD SERVICE BY SECTION 2 OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT.

A-36127, APRIL 28, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 493

COMPENSATION - ALLOWANCES IN KIND - LEAVES OF ABSENCE IF THE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND TO FIELD EMPLOYEES WHOSE POSITIONS ARE SUBJECT TO THE PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION AS EXTENDED TO FIELD SERVICE BY SECTION 2 OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT OF JULY 3, 1930, 46 STAT. 1005, IS DETERMINED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, 45 STAT. 193, ON A FULL-TIME BASIS, NO ADJUSTMENT WOULD BE AUTHORIZED IN THE RATE OF CASH PAID DURING PERIODS OF AUTHORIZED ABSENCE FROM DUTY, BUT IF THE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND TO SUCH EMPLOYEES IS DETERMINED ON AN ACTUAL DUTY BASIS, THEN THERE WOULD BE FOR ADJUSTMENT THE RATE OF CASH PAID DURING AUTHORIZED ABSENCE FROM DUTY, SO THAT FOR ALL PERIODS AN EMPLOYEE IS IN A PAY STATUS, THE TOTAL SALARY RATE FIXED FOR THE POSITION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION WILL BE PAID EITHER IN CASH ALONE OR IN CASH AND ALLOWANCES IN KIND.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, APRIL 28, 1931:

IN THE AUDIT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF T. E. CAMPBELL, CAPTAIN, FINANCE OFFICER, FORT HUACHUCA, ARIZ., COVERING THE PAY ROLLS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS OF THE ARMY AT THAT PLACE FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER, 1930, THERE IS PRESENTED THE QUESTION AS TO THE LEGALITY OF THE METHOD USED ADMINISTRATIVELY IN FIXING SALARY RATES FOR FIELD SERVICE POSITIONS SUBJECT TO THE PRINCIPLES OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS EXTENDED TO THE FIELD SERVICE BY SECTION 2 OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT, PAID PARTLY IN CASH AND PARTLY IN THE FURNISHING OF ALLOWANCES IN KIND, DURING PERIODS OF AUTHORIZED LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITH PAY.

THE QUESTION ARISES IN THE CASE OF GEORGE ROGERS, PACKER, WHO WAS PAID $105.19 NET FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER, 1930, AFTER DEDUCTIONS OF $4.81 FOR RETIREMENT PURPOSES AND $27.50 FOR ALLOWANCES IN KIND, THE FOLLOWING NOTATION APPEARING ON THE PAY ROLL:

DUE PAY 10/1/30 TO 10/5/30 AT $1,740 P.A. INCLUDING SUBS. AT $300 P.A., AND FROM 10/6/30 TO 10/31/30 AT $1,632 P.A. INCLUDING SUBS. AT $192 P.A. AUTH. ATTACHED.

THE "AUTH. ATTACHED" WAS THE FOLLOWING QUOTATION FROM "LETTER OF INFORMATION NO. 6" DATED SEPTEMBER 2, 1930:

REDUCTION IN VALUE OF SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE.--- UNDER DATE OF AUGUST 14, 1930, THE ACTING SECRETARY OF WAR APPROVED THE FOLLOWING RECOMMENDATION OF THIS OFFICE:

"IT IS REQUESTED THAT GENERAL AUTHORITY BE GRANTED THIS OFFICE TO ALLOW OFFICERS IN THE FIELD TO MAKE CHANGES IN THE PAY OF CERTAIN CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES AS OUTLINED BELOW.

"TO DECREASE THE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES TO EMPLOYEES BEING FURNISHED SUBSISTENCE EVALUATED AT $300 PER ANNUM TO THE EVALUATED COST OF THE RATION ($192), FOR SUCH TIME AS THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE AWAY FROM STATION WITH PAY, AND TO INCREASE IT AGAIN TO $300 PER ANNUM WHEN THE EMPLOYEE RETURNS TO DUTY--- IN OTHER WORDS, FOR PAY-ROLL PURPOSES TO REDUCE THE ALLOWANCE FROM $300 TO $192 PER ANNUM FOR LEAVE PERIODS, WHEN NO ALLOWANCE IS FURNISHED.'

ALL OFFICERS CONCERNED WILL BE GOVERNED ACCORDINGLY, AND ARE REQUESTED TO EXERCISE GREAT CARE TO KEEP A CORRECT RECORD OF THIS DIFFERENCE OF $108 PER ANNUM IN THE COMPENSATION OF THE EMPLOYEES THUS AFFECTED, AS THIS WILL MAKE A CORRESPONDING DECREASE IN THE AMOUNT OF RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS COVERING PERIODS THEY ARE ABSENT FROM STATION ON ANNUAL LEAVE OR OFFICIALLY ABSENT ON TEMPORARY DUTY.

UNDER THIS REGULATION THE TOTAL SALARY RATE FIXED FOR THE POSITION OF SAID EMPLOYEE, WHICH IS SUBJECT TO SECTION 2 OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT OF JULY 3, 1930, 46 STAT. 1005, EXTENDING THE PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION TO THE FIELD SERVICE, WAS TEMPORARILY REDUCED FROM $1,740 PER ANNUM, RATE PRESCRIBED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, TO $1,632 PER ANNUM, AN ODD SALARY RATE NOT PRESCRIBED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, DURING A PERIOD THE EMPLOYEE WAS ABSENT FROM DUTY ON AUTHORIZED LEAVE WITH PAY.

THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION AS WILL VARY THE TOTAL SALARY RATES OF FIELD SERVICE POSITIONS SUBJECT TO SECTION 2 OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT, SUPRA, DURING PERIODS ON DUTY AND PERIODS OF AUTHORIZED ABSENCE FROM DUTY, IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH THE TERMS OF SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, 45 STAT. 193, REQUIRING THE DETERMINED VALUE OF ALLOWANCES IN KIND TO BE CONSIDERED A PART OF COMPENSATION. THE PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION, WHICH HAVE NOW BEEN EXTENDED TO THE FIELD SERVICE, REQUIRE THAT THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES SHALL DETERMINE THE GRADE AND SALARY RATE OF A FIELD SERVICE POSITION IN THE SAME MANNER AS IN THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND NO DIFFERENT PRINCIPLES ARE FOR APPLICATION WHERE A PORTION OF THE COMPENSATION IS TO BE PAID THE EMPLOYEES IN CASH AND A PORTION IN THE FORM OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND. IN DECISION OF JUNE 3, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 957, 958, THERE WAS FIRST STATED THE PROCEDURE FOR APPLYING THE EARLIER ANNUAL STATUTES REQUIRING THE DETERMINED VALUE OF ALLOWANCES TO BE CONSIDERED AS A PART OF COMPENSATION OF POSITIONS SUBJECT TO FIELD CLASSIFICATION, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THE PROCEDURE SHOULD BE TO FIRST FIX THE PROPER GRADE AND SALARY RATE FOR THE FIELD POSITION ON THE BASIS OF THE DUTIES INVOLVED. SEE SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 2, 1926, 44 STAT. 161. THEN THERE SHOULD BE DETERMINED THE REASONABLE VALUE OF ANY ITEM OR ITEMS OF ALLOWANCE FURNISHED IN KIND. THIS AMOUNT MUST BE DEDUCTED FROM THE TOTAL SALARY RATE FOR THE POSITION AND ONLY THE REMAINDER PAID IN CASH. IN THIS CONNECTION IT IS PROPER TO NOTE THAT THE TOTAL SALARY RATE, INCLUDING BOTH THE CASH AND THE DETERMINED VALUE OF THE ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND, IS TO BE REGARDED AS THE COMPENSATION FOR THE POSITION FOR ALL PURPOSES, INCLUDING THE BASIS ON WHICH RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS ARE TO BE MADE. COMP. GEN. 1051. * * *.

SEE, ALSO, 6 ID. 162, AND 8 ID. 628.

IN DECISION OF JUNE 30, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 528, 530, IT WAS HELD AS FOLLOWS:

IT IS WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TO DETERMINE THE VALUE OF QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE AND OTHER ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND EITHER FOR THE PERIOD OF ACTUAL DUTY ONLY, EXCLUSIVE OF PERIODS OF AUTHORIZED OR UNAUTHORIZED ABSENCE, OR FOR FULL TIME, INCLUDING PERIODS OF AUTHORIZED OR UNAUTHORIZED ABSENCE. * * *.

HOWEVER, THE DISCRETION VESTED IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TO DETERMINE THE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES IN KIND ON AN ACTUAL DUTY OR FULL TIME BASIS, DOES NOT AUTHORIZE ANY VARIATION IN THE TOTAL SALARY RATE FIXED FOR THE POSITION OF THE EMPLOYEE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION, AND FROM WHICH RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS ARE MADE, ETC. IT SIMPLY MEANS THAT IF THE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND IS DETERMINED ON A FULL-TIME BASIS, AS IN THE VETERANS' BUREAU CASE FROM WHICH THE ABOVE QUOTATION WAS TAKEN, NO ADJUSTMENT WOULD BE AUTHORIZED IN THE RATE OF CASH PAID DURING PERIODS OF AUTHORIZED ABSENCE FROM DUTY, BUT IF THE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND IS DETERMINED ON AN ACTUAL DUTY BASIS, THEN THERE WOULD BE FOR ADJUSTMENT THE RATE OF CASH PAID DURING AUTHORIZED ABSENCE FROM DUTY, SO THAT FOR ALL PERIODS AN EMPLOYEE IS IN A PAY STATUS, THE TOTAL SALARY RATE FIXED FOR THE POSITION WILL BE PAID EITHER IN CASH ALONE OR IN CASH AND ALLOWANCES.

THE REGULATIONS OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICE SHOULD BE MODIFIED ACCORDINGLY. IN THE AUDIT OF ACCOUNTS BY THIS OFFICE FOR PERIODS PRIOR TO MAY 1, 1931, CREDIT FOR SALARY PAYMENTS WILL BE ALLOWED ON THE BASIS OF THE ACTION TAKEN UNDER THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS.