A-43780, AUGUST 9, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 213

A-43780: Aug 9, 1932

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IT WILL BE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DESIGNATION WHICH OF THE APPROPRIATIONS ARE TO BE CHARGED WITH THE IMPOUNDED FUNDS AND THE PRO RATA TO BE CHARGED TO THE RESPECTIVE APPROPRIATIONS. THE FOLLOWING IS QUOTED FROM A LETTER RECEIVED FROM THE COMMANDING OFFICER. WAS RETIRED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 204 OF THE ECONOMY ACT. HARDIE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED IF HE HAD NOT BEEN RETIRED SHOULD BE IMPOUNDED AND RETURNED TO THE TREASURY. HARDIE WAS WORKING FOREMAN. PART OF HIS TIME WAS CHARGED TO SHOP OVERHEAD AND PART TO VARIOUS EXPENDITURE ORDERS UPON WHICH HE WORKED. IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE A DEFINITE DETERMINATION AS TO WHAT WORK ORDERS HE WOULD HAVE WORKED ON HAD HE REMAINED HERE AND WHAT PROPORTION OF HIS TIME WOULD HAVE BEEN CHARGED TO SHOP OVERHEAD.

A-43780, AUGUST 9, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 213

ECONOMY ACT - VACANT POSITIONS - APPROPRIATION TO BE CHARGED WITH IMPOUNDED SALARY WHERE THE COMPENSATION OF A POSITION RENDERED VACANT BY RETIREMENT OF THE EMPLOYEE HAS IN THE PAST BEEN PAID PARTIALLY FROM VARIOUS APPROPRIATIONS, IT WILL BE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DESIGNATION WHICH OF THE APPROPRIATIONS ARE TO BE CHARGED WITH THE IMPOUNDED FUNDS AND THE PRO RATA TO BE CHARGED TO THE RESPECTIVE APPROPRIATIONS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, AUGUST 9, 1932:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY YOUR INDORSEMENT OF JULY 30, 1932, REQUESTING DECISION OF A QUESTION PRESENTED IN A LETTER OF JULY 27, 1932, FROM THE CHIEF OF ORDNANCE, AS FOLLOWS:

1. THE FOLLOWING IS QUOTED FROM A LETTER RECEIVED FROM THE COMMANDING OFFICER, FRANKFORD ARSENAL:

"ON JUNE 30, MR. CHARLES F. HARDIE, FOREMAN BLACKSMITH, WAS RETIRED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 204 OF THE ECONOMY ACT. THIS RETIREMENT LEFT A VACANCY WHICH HAS NOT YET BEEN FILLED.

"UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 203 OF THE ECONOMY ACT IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE SALARY WHICH MR. HARDIE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED IF HE HAD NOT BEEN RETIRED SHOULD BE IMPOUNDED AND RETURNED TO THE TREASURY.

"MR. HARDIE WAS WORKING FOREMAN; I.E., PART OF HIS TIME WAS CHARGED TO SHOP OVERHEAD AND PART TO VARIOUS EXPENDITURE ORDERS UPON WHICH HE WORKED. IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE A DEFINITE DETERMINATION AS TO WHAT WORK ORDERS HE WOULD HAVE WORKED ON HAD HE REMAINED HERE AND WHAT PROPORTION OF HIS TIME WOULD HAVE BEEN CHARGED TO SHOP OVERHEAD. IT IS CONTENDED THAT THIS SECTION WAS PROBABLY INTENDED TO COVER CASES WHERE APPROPRIATIONS ARE MADE FOR THE PURPOSE OF PAYING A CERTAIN NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN A PARTICULAR OFFICE. THE ALLOTMENTS MADE FRANKFORD ARSENAL ARE FOR PERFORMING CERTAIN SPECIFIC WORKS OF MANUFACTURE OR REPAIR AND IN THE GENERAL CASE THEY ARE NOT SUFFICIENTLY LARGE TO INCLUDE FUNDS TO BE IMPOUNDED WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN EARNED BY SOME EMPLOYEE WHO HAS LEFT THE SERVICE ANY TIME AFTER JUNE 30, 1932. THE WORK WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN PERFORMED BY SUCH A PREVIOUS EMPLOYEE MUST NECESSARILY BE PERFORMED AND PAID FOR BY SOME OTHER EMPLOYEE.'

2. MR. HARDIE'S COMPENSATION, HAD HE REMAINED IN EMPLOYMENT AT FRANKFORD ARSENAL, WOULD HAVE BEEN PAID FROM ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING APPROPRIATIONS: ORDNANCE SERVICE AND SUPPLIES, ARMY: REPAIRS OF ARSENALS; REPLACING ORDNANCE AND ORDNANCE STORES. AS INDICATED ABOVE, THE AMOUNT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN PAID FROM EACH OF THESE APPROPRIATIONS CANNOT BE KNOWN, AND, THEREFORE, THE AMOUNT OF EACH APPROPRIATION INVOLVED WHICH WOULD BE IMPOUNDED, SHOULD IT BE NECESSARY TO IMPOUND HIS SALARY, CANNOT BE DETERMINED. FURTHERMORE, IT IS NOT KNOWN WHETHER MR. HARDIE'S SERVICES WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED THROUGHOUT THE PRESENT FISCAL YEAR, AS THE NEED FOR BLACKSMITH SERVICES DEPENDS UPON THE AMOUNT OF BLACKSMITH WORK INVOLVED AT VARIOUS STATES IN THE PROGRESS OF ORDERS FOR MANUFACTURE PLACED WITH FRANKFORD ARSENAL FROM TIME TO TIME. THE BLACKSMITH FORCE IS INCREASED OR REDUCED AS THE WORK REQUIRES. HAD MR. HARDIE NOT BEEN RETIRED, AND HAD THERE BEEN NO WORK FOR HIM DURING THE YEAR OR PART OF THE YEAR, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO APPROPRIATION FROM WHICH HE COULD BE PROPERLY PAID AND, THEREFORE, NO APPROPRIATION WHICH COULD BE IMPOUNDED BECAUSE OF HIS ABSENCE.

THEREFORE, IT IS THE OPINION OF THIS OFFICE THAT THERE IS NO APPROPRIATION NOW WHICH MAY PROPERLY BE IMPOUNDED BECAUSE OF THE RETIREMENT AND ABSENCE OF MR. HARDIE FROM FRANKFORD ARSENAL. DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT HIS OPINION IS CORRECT.

SECTION 203 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 403, PROVIDES:

NO APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE TO ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT OR TO THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DURING THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1933, SHALL BE USED TO PAY THE COMPENSATION OF AN INCUMBENT APPOINTED TO ANY CIVIL POSITION UNDER THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OR THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHICH IS VACANT ON JULY 1, 1932, OR TO ANY SUCH POSITION WHICH MAY BECOME VACANT AFTER SUCH DATE: PROVIDED, THAT THIS INHIBITION SHALL NOT APPLY (A) TO ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL POSITIONS THE FILLING OF WHICH MAY BE AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED IN WRITING BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, (B) TO TEMPORARY, EMERGENCY, SEASONAL, OR COOPERATIVE POSITIONS, OR (C) TO COMMISSIONED WARRANT, WARRANT, AND ENLISTED PERSONNEL, AND CADETS, OF THE COAST GUARD. THE APPROPRIATIONS OR PORTIONS OF APPROPRIATIONS UNEXPENDED BY THE OPERATION OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE USED FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSES BUT SHALL BE IMPOUNDED AND RETURNED TO THE TREASURY, AND A REPORT OF ALL SUCH VACANCIES, THE NUMBER THEREOF FILLED, AND THE AMOUNTS UNEXPENDED, FOR THE PERIOD BETWEEN JULY 1, 1932, AND OCTOBER 31, 1932, SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO CONGRESS ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEXT REGULAR SESSION: PROVIDED, THAT SUCH IMPOUNDING OF FUNDS MAY BE WAIVED IN WRITING BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IN CONNECTION WITH ANY APPROPRIATION OR PORTION OF APPROPRIATION, WHEN, IN HIS JUDGMENT, SUCH ACTION IS NECESSARY AND IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST.

SAID SECTION 203 REQUIRES THE IMPOUNDING OF THE COMPENSATION OF THE VACANT POSITION FORMERLY OCCUPIED BY THE RETIRED EMPLOYEE SO LONG AS IT SHALL REMAIN VACANT, AND THE FACT THAT IT MAY PRESENT SOME ADMINISTRATIVE DIFFICULTY TO DETERMINE THE APPROPRIATIONS TO BE CHARGED CONSTITUTES NO REASON FOR NOT COMPLYING WITH THE LAW. WHERE AN EMPLOYEE'S COMPENSATION HAS BEEN PAID IN THE PAST FROM VARIOUS APPROPRIATIONS, IT WILL BE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DESIGNATION WHICH OF THE APPROPRIATIONS ARE TO BE CHARGED WITH THE IMPOUNDED FUNDS AND THE PRO RATA AMOUNT TO BE CHARGED TO THE RESPECTIVE APPROPRIATIONS. TO THIS END IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THERE MIGHT BE USED, AS A BASIS FOR SUCH CHARGES, THE PRO RATA DISTRIBUTION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S SALARY FOR THE PAST FISCAL YEAR OR AN ESTIMATE AS TO WHAT THE DISTRIBUTION WOULD HAVE BEEN IF HE HAD REMAINED IN THE SERVICE.