A-43701, AUGUST 3, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 175

A-43701: Aug 3, 1932

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ECONOMY ACT - FURLOUGH DEDUCTIONS FROM COMPENSATION IT IS IMPERATIVE FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THE GOVERNMENT THAT THE DEDUCTIONS FROM COMPENSATION BE MADE EITHER IN ADVANCE OR CURRENTLY WITH THE TAKING OF THE LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH REQUIRED BY SECTION 101 (B) OF THE ECONOMY ACT. THE QUESTION ARISES AS TO WHETHER THERE IS ANY ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION COVERING DEDUCTIONS FOR THE PORTIONS OF SUCH FURLOUGH AS MAY BE TAKEN BEFORE EARNED. NATIONAL MUSEUM ARE NORMALLY ENCOURAGED TO TAKE THEIR LEAVE DURING THE SLACK SEASON. NO LEAVE CAN BE GRANTED OWING TO THE FACT THAT FULL TIME IS REQUIRED OF OUR LIMITED NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES. ANY FURLOUGH TAKEN IN ADVANCE MUST BE DEDUCTED FOR IN THE MONTH IN WHICH IT IS TAKEN.

A-43701, AUGUST 3, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 175

ECONOMY ACT - FURLOUGH DEDUCTIONS FROM COMPENSATION IT IS IMPERATIVE FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THE GOVERNMENT THAT THE DEDUCTIONS FROM COMPENSATION BE MADE EITHER IN ADVANCE OR CURRENTLY WITH THE TAKING OF THE LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH REQUIRED BY SECTION 101 (B) OF THE ECONOMY ACT, AND THE AMOUNT THUS DEDUCTED IMPOUNDED WITHOUT PLACING AN ADDITIONAL BURDEN ON THE GOVERNMENT BY SEEKING TO MAKE COLLECTION LATER EITHER FROM THE CIVIL RETIREMENT FUND OR OTHER SOURCE, WHICH WOULD INVARIABLY INVOLVE BOTH ADDITIONAL EXPENSE AND TIME, CURTAILING MATERIALLY THE SAVINGS SOUGHT TO BE ACCOMPLISHED BY THE ECONOMY ACT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, AUGUST 3, 1932:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 26, 1932, AS FOLLOWS:

IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR RULING A-43276, OF JULY 8, 1932, RELATING TO DEDUCTIONS FOR LEAVE UNDER LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH, THE QUESTION ARISES AS TO WHETHER THERE IS ANY ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION COVERING DEDUCTIONS FOR THE PORTIONS OF SUCH FURLOUGH AS MAY BE TAKEN BEFORE EARNED.

THE EMPLOYEES CONNECTED WITH THE HEATING PLANT OF THE U.S. NATIONAL MUSEUM ARE NORMALLY ENCOURAGED TO TAKE THEIR LEAVE DURING THE SLACK SEASON, JULY, AUGUST, AND SEPTEMBER, AND DURING THE HEATING SEASON, OCTOBER 1ST TO JUNE, NO LEAVE CAN BE GRANTED OWING TO THE FACT THAT FULL TIME IS REQUIRED OF OUR LIMITED NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES. UNDER THE RULING QUOTED ABOVE, ANY FURLOUGH TAKEN IN ADVANCE MUST BE DEDUCTED FOR IN THE MONTH IN WHICH IT IS TAKEN, AND THIS IS SUBSEQUENTLY MADE UP BY PLACING EMPLOYEES ON FULL TIME LATER IN THE YEAR. UNFORTUNATELY, MOST OF THE EMPLOYEES CONNECTED WITH THIS GROUP ARE UNABLE TO LOSE, EVEN TEMPORARILY, ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION BEYOND THE 8 1/3 PERCENT PER MONTH WHICH IS NOW DEDUCTED ON ACCOUNT OF THE LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH. UNLESS SOME PLAN CAN BE DEVELOPED FOR PERMITTING THE TAKING OF ADVANCED LEAVE WITHOUT ITS DEDUCTION AS TAKEN, IT WILL MEAN THAT THE EMPLOYEES IN THIS GROUP WILL BE LARGELY DENIED THE OPPORTUNITY OF TAKING LEAVE UNDER THE LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH WHEN THEY CAN BE SPARED, RESULTING NOT ONLY IN HARDSHIP ON THE EMPLOYEES THEMSELVES BUT ALSO AFFECTING THE EFFICIENCY AND ECONOMY OF OPERATION OF THE HEATING PLANT, SINCE IT WILL BE NECESSARY DURING THE BUSY SEASON TO EMPLOY TEMPORARY HELP TO TAKE THE PLACE OF MEN ON LEAVE.

ALL OF THE EMPLOYEES CONCERNED ARE IN A RETIREMENT STATUS AND SHOULD THEY BE PERMITTED TO TAKE LEAVE WHEN THEY CAN BE SPARED UNDER THE REGULAR DEDUCTION OF 8 1/3 PERCENT THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, THERE IS AVAILABLE A SUFFICIENT SUM TO SAFEGUARD THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT.

THE QUESTION IS ASKED, THEREFORE, WHETHER IN THE INTEREST OF THE WORK OF ANY GOVERNMENT OFFICE, IT IS POSSIBLE TO USE ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION IN PERMITTING THE TAKING OF LEAVE UNDER THE LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH IN ADVANCE AND WITHOUT ADDITIONAL DEDUCTION WHERE ANY REPAYMENT WHICH MAY BE REQUIRED IS SAFEGUARDED BY THE RETIREMENT FUNDS OF THE INDIVIDUALS CONCERNED.

THE SAME CONTENTIONS YOU ARE MAKING FOR PERMITTING EMPLOYEES TO TAKE FURLOUGH TIME FOR WHICH NO DEDUCTIONS FROM COMPENSATION WILL BE MADE UNTIL LATER IN THE FISCAL YEAR IN REGULAR EVEN DEDUCTIONS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, AND THE SUGGESTION THAT THE CIVIL RETIREMENT FUND BE CONSIDERED AVAILABLE FOR RECOUPMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR ANY LOSS SUSTAINED AS A RESULT OF SUCH PRACTICE, HAVE BEEN ADVANCED BY OTHERS, AND WERE CAREFULLY CONSIDERED BY THIS OFFICE PRIOR TO THE PROMULGATION OF THE DECISION OF JULY 8, 1932, A-43276, 12 COMP. GEN. 16. SUCH A PLAN WOULD IN EFFECT GRANT THE EMPLOYEE "ANNUAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITH PAY," THE RIGHT TO RECEIVE WHICH HAS BEEN SUSPENDED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1933 BY THE TERMS OF SECTION 103 OF THE ECONOMY ACT. FURTHERMORE, IT IS IMPERATIVE, FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THE GOVERNMENT, THAT THE DEDUCTIONS FROM COMPENSATION BE MADE EITHER IN ADVANCE OR CURRENTLY WITH THE TAKING OF THE FURLOUGH AND THE AMOUNT THUS DEDUCTED IMPOUNDED WITHOUT PLACING AN ADDITIONAL BURDEN ON THE GOVERNMENT BY SEEKING TO MAKE COLLECTIONS LATER, WHICH WOULD INVARIABLY INVOLVE BOTH ADDITIONAL EXPENSE AND TIME, CURTAILING MATERIALLY THE SAVINGS SOUGHT TO BE ACCOMPLISHED BY THE ECONOMY ACT.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT THERE IS NO ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION IN THE MATTER OF MAKING DEDUCTIONS FROM COMPENSATION FOR LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH TIME IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROCEDURE PRESCRIBED IN THE GENERAL DECISION OF JULY 8, 1932, SUPRA.

IF THE EMPLOYEES WILL NOT CONSENT TO TAKING THEIR FURLOUGH TIME WITH CORRESPONDING LOSS OF PAY DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS, IT WOULD APPEAR, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES MENTIONED IN YOUR LETTER, IT IS FOR ADMINISTRATIVE CONSIDERATION WHETHER TO FURLOUGH THEM AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 101 (B) FIVE DAYS EACH MONTH WHEN THEIR SERVICES BEST CAN BE SPARED.