A-4263, AUGUST 8, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 167

A-4263: Aug 8, 1924

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1924: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 21. OR (2) TO REQUIRE THE REDUCTION IN SALARY OF ANY PERSON WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED. OR (3) TO PREVENT THE PAYMENT OF A SALARY UNDER ANY GRADE AT A RATE HIGHER THAN THE MAXIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE WHEN SUCH HIGHER RATE IS PERMITTED BY "THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923. " AND IS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY OTHER LAW. IN ANSWER TO QUESTION ONE THE FOLLOWING WAS STATED: * * * IF A BUREAU OR OFFICE IS OPERATING UNDER ONE APPROPRIATION THE UNIT IS THE BUREAU OR OFFICE. WHEREAS IF THE BUREAU OR OFFICE IS OPERATING UNDER TWO OR MORE APPROPRIATIONS THE UNIT IS THE APPROPRIATION. THIS QUOTED STATEMENT WAS AND IS INTENDED MERELY AS A GENERAL RULE SUBJECT TO AMPLIFICATION UPON SUBMISSION OF SPECIFIC CASES.

A-4263, AUGUST 8, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 167

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES' UNIT OF APPROPRIATION ALL PERSONS EMPLOYED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BY THE BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AND PAID FROM ANY OF THE APPROPRIATION ITEMS PROVIDED UNDER THE MAJOR HEADING "BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY," ACT OF JUNE 5, 1924, 43 STAT. 440, MAY BE CONSIDERED AS BEING IN ONE "BUREAU, OFFICE, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNIT" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE "AVERAGE" PROVISION CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1924, RESTRICTING THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923, 42 STAT. 1488.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, AUGUST 8, 1924:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 21, 1924, REQUESTING DECISION AS TO THE MEANING OF THE TERM "BUREAU, OFFICE, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNIT" APPEARING IN THE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1924, 43 STAT. 432, PROVIDING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1925, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THAT IN EXPENDING APPROPRIATIONS OR PORTIONS OF APPROPRIATIONS, CONTAINED IN THIS ACT, FOR THE PAYMENT FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN ACCORDANCE WITH "THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923," THE AVERAGE OF THE SALARIES OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONS UNDER ANY GRADE OR CLASS THEREOF IN ANY BUREAU, OFFICE, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNIT, SHALL NOT AT ANY TIME EXCEED THE AVERAGE OF THE COMPENSATION RATES SPECIFIED FOR THE GRADE BY SUCH ACT: PROVIDED, THAT THIS RESTRICTION SHALL NOT APPLY (1) TO GRADES, 1, 2, 3, AND 4 OF THE CLERICAL-MECHANICAL SERVICE, OR (2) TO REQUIRE THE REDUCTION IN SALARY OF ANY PERSON WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED, AS OF JULY 1, 1924, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RULES OF SECTION 6 OF SUCH ACT, OR (3) TO PREVENT THE PAYMENT OF A SALARY UNDER ANY GRADE AT A RATE HIGHER THAN THE MAXIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE WHEN SUCH HIGHER RATE IS PERMITTED BY "THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923," AND IS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY OTHER LAW.

IN DECISION OF JUNE 26, 1924, 3 COMP. GEN. 1001, IN ANSWER TO QUESTION ONE THE FOLLOWING WAS STATED:

* * * IF A BUREAU OR OFFICE IS OPERATING UNDER ONE APPROPRIATION THE UNIT IS THE BUREAU OR OFFICE, WHEREAS IF THE BUREAU OR OFFICE IS OPERATING UNDER TWO OR MORE APPROPRIATIONS THE UNIT IS THE APPROPRIATION. IF THERE BE AN INSTANCE OF TWO OR MORE BUREAUS OR OFFICES OPERATING UNDER ONE APPROPRIATION, THE UNIT WOULD BE THE BUREAU OR OFFICE.

THIS QUOTED STATEMENT WAS AND IS INTENDED MERELY AS A GENERAL RULE SUBJECT TO AMPLIFICATION UPON SUBMISSION OF SPECIFIC CASES. IT MAY BE SAID THAT THE STATEMENT "IF THE BUREAU OR OFFICE IS OPERATING UNDER TWO OR MORE APPROPRIATIONS THE UNIT IS THE APPROPRIATION" WAS INTENDED TO RELATE MORE PARTICULARLY TO A BUREAU OR OFFICE IN WHICH THERE ARE DISSIMILAR OR UNRELATED ACTIVITIES PROVIDED FOR UNDER SEPARATE APPROPRIATIONS.

YOU SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING FOR CONSIDERATION:

TAKING AS A TYPICAL BUREAU APPROPRIATION GROUP THOSE FOR THE BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY, AGRICULTURAL ACT FOR 1925,"SALARIES, BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY," AND "GENERAL EXPENSES, BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY; " DO THESE TWO APPROPRIATIONS COMBINED CONSTITUTE THE BUREAU UNIT OR IS EACH A SEPARATE UNIT?

CONSIDERING THE TYPE OF APPROPRIATION "GENERAL EXPENSES, BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY," IS EACH OF THE SO-CALLED SUBHEADS OF APPROPRIATIONS, FOR INSTANCE,"FOR INVESTIGATION OF PLANT DISEASES AND PATHOLOGICAL COLLECTIONS, INCLUDING MAINTENANCE OF A PLANT-DISEASE SURVEY, $81,000," TO BE CONSIDERED A SEPARATE UNIT?

THE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1924, 43 STAT. 440, PROVIDES UNDER THE MAJOR OR GENERAL HEADING,"BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY," THE TWO MINOR OR SUBHEADINGS "SALARIES" AND "GENERAL EXPENSES, BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY," AND UNDER THE LATTER APPEAR SEVERAL ITEMS IN SEPARATE PARAGRAPHS, THE FIRST OF WHICH IS FOR $81,000 WHICH YOU HAVE MENTIONED. THE ENTIRE AMOUNT PROVIDED UNDER THE MAJOR HEADING OF ,BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY" IS FOR RELATED ACTIVITIES AND THE SAME CLASSES OF PERSONNEL EMPLOYED THEREUNDER ARE UNDERSTOOD TO BE DOING SIMILAR WORK. ACCORDINGLY, ALL PERSONS EMPLOYED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND PAID FROM ANY OF THE ITEMS THEREUNDER MAY BE CONSIDERED AS BEING IN ONE ,BUREAU, OFFICE, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNIT" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE "AVERAGE" PROVISION OF THE APPROPRIATION ACT.