A-36284, MAY 7, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 507

A-36284: May 7, 1931

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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - COMPENSATION OF DEPUTY CORONERS THE TWO POSITIONS OF DEPUTY CORONER OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HAVE BEEN EXCLUDED FROM THE TERMS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT EFFECTIVE JULY 1. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO PAY COMPENSATION TO THE DEPUTY CORONERS ON AN ANNUAL BASIS AS FOR HALF-TIME SERVICE. NEITHER THE RECOMMENDATION IN AN ANNUAL BUDGET ON THE BASIS OF WHICH AN ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IS PROVIDED. EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN MARCH 14. THE REASON FOR THE EXCEPTION WAS STATED AS BEING THE TERMS OF SECTION 196 OF THE CODE OF LAWS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AS AMENDED BY ACT OF DECEMBER 13. - THE COMMISSIONERS OF SAID DISTRICT SHALL HAVE AUTHORITY TO APPOINT TWO DEPUTY CORONERS.

A-36284, MAY 7, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 507

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - COMPENSATION OF DEPUTY CORONERS THE TWO POSITIONS OF DEPUTY CORONER OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HAVE BEEN EXCLUDED FROM THE TERMS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1924, BY REASON OF THE SUBSEQUENT ACT OF DECEMBER 13, 1924, 43 STAT. 713, INCORPORATED AS SECTION 327 OF THE NEW CODE OF LAWS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ENACTED MARCH 4, 1929, FIXING COMPENSATION FOR SUCH POSITIONS AT A RATE NOT EXCEEDING $5 PER DAY, PAYABLE ONLY IN CASE OF THE ABSENCE OR DISABILITY OF THE CORONER, AND THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO PAY COMPENSATION TO THE DEPUTY CORONERS ON AN ANNUAL BASIS AS FOR HALF-TIME SERVICE. NEITHER THE RECOMMENDATION IN AN ANNUAL BUDGET ON THE BASIS OF WHICH AN ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IS PROVIDED, NOR THE TESTIMONY BEFORE A COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS, HAS THE EFFECT OF REPEALING OR RENDERING INOPERATIVE THE TERMS OF A PRIOR STATUTE SPECIFICALLY FIXING THE BASIS OF SALARY PAYMENTS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO J. R. LUSBY, DISBURSING OFFICER, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MAY 7, 931:

IN THE AUDIT OF YOUR ACCOUNTS, EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN MARCH 14, 1931, TO ITEM SHOWN ON VOUCHER NO. 39878, PAY ROLL FOR CORONER'S OFFICE, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, JULY 16 TO 31, 1930, OF $64.32 REPRESENTING COMPENSATION, LESS RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS, PAID TO A. M. MACDONALD AT THE RATE OF $1,600 PER ANNUM, HALF-TIME SERVICE AS IN GRADE P-3, NOTATION ON PAY ROLL APPEARING AS FOLLOWS:

APPT. 7/16 BY C.O. DATED 7/15. NEW POSITION ALLOCATION REC-D 6/27. HALF TIME SERVICE.

IT APPEARS THAT THE SAME RATE OF COMPENSATION AS IN THE SAME GRADE HAS BEEN PAID ON AND AFTER JULY 1, 1930, UNDER THE TERMS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, FOR THE OTHER POSITION OF DEPUTY CORONER, OCCUPIED BY J. D. ROGERS, AND THAT PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1930, THIS DEPUTY CORONER HAD BEEN PAID ON AN ANNUAL BASIS OF $2,000 AS IN GRADE P-1 FOR FULL TIME SERVICE UNDER THE TERMS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT.

THE REASON FOR THE EXCEPTION WAS STATED AS BEING THE TERMS OF SECTION 196 OF THE CODE OF LAWS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AS AMENDED BY ACT OF DECEMBER 13, 1924, 43 STAT. 713, PROVIDING AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 196. DEPUTY CORONERS.--- THE COMMISSIONERS OF SAID DISTRICT SHALL HAVE AUTHORITY TO APPOINT TWO DEPUTY CORONERS, WHO SHALL ASSIST THE CORONER IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTIES AFORESAID, AND SHALL PERFORM THE SAME DUTIES IN CASE OF THE ABSENCE OR DISABILITY OF THE CORONER. THE DEPUTY CORONERS SHALL SERVE AND RECEIVE PAY ONLY IN CASE OF THE ABSENCE OR DISABILITY OF THE CORONER, AND WHEN SERVING THEIR DUTIES SHALL BE THE SAME AS THE AFORESAID DUTIES OF THE CORONER. THE DEPUTY CORONERS SHALL, WHILE ACTING, RECEIVE COMPENSATION AT A RATE NOT EXCEEDING $5 PER DAY, TO BE PAID AS OTHER EXPENSES OF SAID DISTRICT, AND EACH SHALL GIVE BOND IN THE PENALTY OF $2,500, WITH SECURITY TO BE APPROVED BY THE SUPREME COURT, CONDITIONED FOR THE DUE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTIES.

THIS ACT HAS BEEN INCORPORATED AS SECTION 327 OF THE NEW CODE OF LAWS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ENACTED MARCH 4, 1929.

SECTION 196 OF THE CODE OF LAWS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WAS FIRST ENACTED MARCH 3, 1901, 31 STAT. 1221, THE AMENDMENT OF DECEMBER 13, 1924, AUTHORIZING APPOINTMENT OF TWO DEPUTY CORONERS INSTEAD OF ONE, AS ORIGINALLY PROVIDED, BUT OTHERWISE REENACTING THE TERMS OF THE ORIGINAL STATUTE. THUS, THE AMENDATORY ACT OF DECEMBER 13, 1924, PROVIDED THE NUMBER OF DEPUTY CORONERS, PRESCRIBED THEIR DUTIES, AND FIXED THE MAXIMUM RATE OF COMPENSATION ON A PER DIEM BASIS, SUBSEQUENT TO JULY 1, 1924, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT IN WHICH NO PER DIEM RATES WERE AUTHORIZED, AND THEREFORE MUST BE TAKEN AS HAVING EXCLUDED SUCH POSITIONS FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT.

APRIL 2, 1931, YOU REPLIED TO THE EXCEPTION AS FOLLOWS:

IN CONNECTION WITH THIS SUSPENSION, SEE PAGES 136 TO 139, INCLUSIVE, OF THE HEARINGS BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, 1931.

THERE APPEARED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT OF FEBRUARY 25, 1929, 45 STAT. 1263, COVERING THE FISCAL YEAR 1930, UNDER THE HEADING "CORONER'S OFFICE" THE ITEM "FOR PERSONAL SERVICES, $10,040.' IN THE BUDGET FOR 1931, PAGE 1362, THERE WAS RECOMMENDED TO THE CONGRESS TWO NEW HALF-TIME POSITIONS WITH TITLE OF DEPUTY CORONER, TENTATIVELY ALLOCATED IN GRADE P-3, AND THE TOTAL ESTIMATE OF $11,340 FOR PERSONAL SERVICES FOR THE CORONER'S OFFICE, INCLUDING THAT ITEM, WAS APPROVED AND INCLUDED IN THE FOLLOWING ITEM APPEARING IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT OF JULY 3, 1930, 46 STAT. 951:

FOR PERSONAL SERVICES, INCLUDING NOT TO EXCEED $3,500 FOR COMPENSATION OF SURGEONS MAKING AUTOPSIES, $11,340.

SEE, ALSO, THE SAME ITEM APPEARING IN APPROPRIATION ACT FOR 1932, ACT OF FEBRUARY 23, 1931, 46 STAT. 1378.

THE HEARINGS TO WHICH YOU REFER CONTAINED THE TESTIMONY OF THE CORONER AND THE AUDITOR FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DISCUSSING THE BASIS OF AN INCREASE IN THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR PERSONNEL OF THE CORONER'S OFFICE, WHEREIN IT APPEARS THAT IT WAS THE DESIRE OF THE CORONER AND THE AUDITOR TO CREATE THE TWO NEW PART-TIME POSITIONS IN QUESTION.

HOWEVER, NEITHER THE RECOMMENDATION IN THE BUDGET ON THE BASIS OF WHICH THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR PERSONAL SERVICES WAS PROVIDED NOR THE DISCUSSION BEFORE A COMMITTEE OF THE CONGRESS HAD THE EFFECT OF REPEALING OR RENDERING INOPERATIVE THE PLAIN TERMS OF THE PRIOR STATUTE OF DECEMBER 13, 1924, WHICH IS STILL IN FORCE. THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY AT ANY TIME ON AND AFTER DECEMBER 13, 1924, FOR THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD TO HAVE ALLOCATED THE POSITIONS OF DEPUTY CORONER TO A GRADE UNDER THE TERMS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, NOR FOR PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION ON AN ANNUAL BASIS FOR THE SERVICES OF THE DEPUTY CORONERS.

CREDIT WILL BE ALLOWED IN YOUR ACCOUNTS FOR PAYMENTS OF COMPENSATION MADE TO THE DEPUTY CORONERS ON AN ANNUAL BASIS UNDER THE TERMS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT COVERING PERIODS PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1931, IF OTHERWISE REGULAR, BUT FOR PERIODS THEREAFTER CREDIT WILL BE ALLOWED FOR SUCH PAYMENTS ONLY ON A PER DIEM BASIS UNDER THE TERMS OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 13, 1924, SUPRA. IN SUPPORT OF SUCH PAYMENTS OF COMPENSATION TO THE DEPUTY CORONERS ON A PER DIEM BASIS, THERE WILL BE REQUIRED WITH THE ACCOUNTS A STATEMENT BY THE CORONER THAT HE WAS NOT ON DUTY ON ALL DAYS FOR WHICH COMPENSATION IS PAID TO EITHER OF THE DEPUTIES.