A-43882, AUGUST 16, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 248

A-43882: Aug 16, 1932

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

ECONOMY ACT - COOPERATIVE EMPLOYEES AS THE AMOUNTS CONTRIBUTED BY THE STATES TOWARD COOPERATIVE WORK PERFORMED BY THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY ARE NOT SEGREGATED FOR THE COMPENSATION OF ANY PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE. ARE NOT EXCEPTED BY SECTION 104 (A) (7) OF THE ECONOMY ACT FROM THE RESTRICTIONS OF TITLE I THEREOF. EMPLOYEES UNDER THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY WHOSE SALARIES ARE PAID ENTIRELY FROM STATE FUNDS. WHILE THEY REMAIN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN THE ORDINARY SENSE DURING THE PERIOD THEIR ENTIRE SALARIES ARE PAID FROM STATE FUNDS. COME WITHIN EXCEPTION (7) OF THE DEFINITION OF THE TERMS "OFFICER" AND "EMPLOYEE" IN SECTION 104 OF THE ECONOMY ACT AND ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE RESTRICTIONS OF TITLE I THEREOF.

A-43882, AUGUST 16, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 248

ECONOMY ACT - COOPERATIVE EMPLOYEES AS THE AMOUNTS CONTRIBUTED BY THE STATES TOWARD COOPERATIVE WORK PERFORMED BY THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY ARE NOT SEGREGATED FOR THE COMPENSATION OF ANY PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE, SUCH COOPERATIVE EMPLOYEES, PAID PARTLY FROM FEDERAL FUNDS AND PARTLY FROM STATE FUNDS, ARE NOT EXCEPTED BY SECTION 104 (A) (7) OF THE ECONOMY ACT FROM THE RESTRICTIONS OF TITLE I THEREOF. COMP. GEN. 69; ID. 163, DISTINGUISHED. EMPLOYEES UNDER THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY WHOSE SALARIES ARE PAID ENTIRELY FROM STATE FUNDS, WHILE THEY REMAIN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN THE ORDINARY SENSE DURING THE PERIOD THEIR ENTIRE SALARIES ARE PAID FROM STATE FUNDS, COME WITHIN EXCEPTION (7) OF THE DEFINITION OF THE TERMS "OFFICER" AND "EMPLOYEE" IN SECTION 104 OF THE ECONOMY ACT AND ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE RESTRICTIONS OF TITLE I THEREOF. THE COMPENSATION OF PART-TIME EMPLOYEES WHO ARE EMPLOYED INTERMITTENTLY DURING THE YEAR BASED ON AN ANNUAL RATE IN EXCESS OF $1,000 IS SUBJECT TO AN 8 1/3 PERCENT REDUCTION UNDER THE TERMS OF SECTION 105 (D) (6) OF THE ECONOMY ACT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, AUGUST 16, 1932:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 6, 1932, AS FOLLOWS:

THE DIRECTOR OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY HAS PRESENTED CERTAIN QUESTIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE APPLICATION OF PART II OF THE 1933 LEGISLATIVE APPROPRIATION ACT (PUBLIC, NO. 212, 72D CONGRESS) TO THE AUTHORIZED WORK OF THE SURVEY AND REQUESTS YOUR EARLY DECISION THEREON.

THE SURVEY CONDUCTS A CONSIDERABLE PART OF ITS WORK--- MORE PARTICULARLY ITS TOPOGRAPHIC SURVEYS AND ITS STUDIES OF WATER RESOURCES--- IN COOPERATION WITH STATES OR MUNICIPALITIES. THIS WORK IS CARRIED ON UNDER THE FOLLOWING SPECIFIC PROVISIONS OF THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT OF APRIL 22, 1932 (PUBLIC NO. 95, 72D CONGRESS).

"FOR TOPOGRAPHIC SURVEYS IN VARIOUS PORTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES, $366,000, AND IN ADDITION THERETO $150,000 OF THE UNEXPENDED BALANCE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1932 IS CONTINUED AVAILABLE FOR THE SAME PURPOSE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1933, OF WHICH AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $345,000 MAY BE EXPENDED FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:PROVIDED, THAT NO PART OF THIS APPROPRIATION SHALL BE EXPENDED IN COOPERATION WITH STATES OR MUNICIPALITIES EXCEPT UPON THE BASIS OF THE STATE OR MUNICIPALITY BEARING ALL OF THE EXPENSE INCIDENT THERETO IN EXCESS OF SUCH AN AMOUNT AS IS NECESSARY FOR THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY TO PERFORM ITS SHARE OF STANDARD TOPOGRAPHIC SURVEYS, SUCH SHARE OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY IN NO CASE EXCEEDING 50 PERCENTUM OF THE COST OF THE SURVEY: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT $256,000 OF THIS AMOUNT SHALL BE AVAILABLE ONLY FOR SUCH COOPERATION WITH STATES OR MUNICIPALITIES; "FOR GAGING STREAMS AND DETERMINING THE WATER SUPPLY OF THE UNITED STATES, THE INVESTIGATION OF UNDERGROUND CURRENTS AND ARTESIAN WELLS, AND THE PREPARATION OF REPORTS UPON THE BEST METHODS OF UTILIZING THE WATER RESOURCES, $560,000; FOR OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF THE LEES FERRY, ARIZONA, GAGING STATION AND OTHER BASE GAGING STATIONS IN THE COLORADO RIVER DRAINAGE, $40,000; IN ALL $600,000, OF WHICH AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $150,000 MAY BE EXPENDED FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: PROVIDED, THAT NO PART OF THIS APPROPRIATION SHALL BE EXPENDED IN COOPERATION WITH STATES OR MUNICIPALITIES EXCEPT UPON THE BASIS OF THE STATE OR MUNICIPALITY BEARING ALL OF THE EXPENSE INCIDENT THERETO IN EXCESS OF SUCH AN AMOUNT AS IS NECESSARY FOR THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY TO PERFORM ITS SHARE OF GENERAL WATER-RESOURCES INVESTIGATIONS, SUCH SHARE OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY IN NO CASE EXCEEDING 50 PERCENTUM OF THE COST OF THE INVESTIGATION: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT $450,000 OF THIS AMOUNT SHALL BE AVAILABLE ONLY FOR SUCH COOPERATION WITH STATES OR MUNICIPALITIES.'

THE COSTS OF THE VARIOUS COOPERATIVE PROJECTS UNDERTAKEN BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE LANGUAGE QUOTED ARE SHARED WITH THE COOPERATING AGENCY, THE FEDERAL PROPORTION OF THE TOTAL EXPENDITURE FOR THE PROJECT NOT EXCEEDING 50 PERCENTUM AND SOMETIMES FALLING AS LOW AS 25 PERCENT. IN SO FAR AS IS POSSIBLE, EXPENDITURES ARE MADE IN THE FIRST INSTANCE FROM APPROPRIATE FEDERAL FUNDS, WHICH THEREAFTER ARE REIMBURSED BY THE COOPERATING AGENCIES IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR INSTRUCTIONS OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1925 (A-11196). THUS, ALTHOUGH EMPLOYEES ENGAGED ON COOPERATIVE PROJECTS ARE USUALLY PAID INITIALLY FROM FEDERAL FUNDS, SUCH FUNDS ARE SUBSEQUENTLY REIMBURSED TO THE EXTENT OF THE COOPERATING AGENCY'S SHARE IN THE TOTAL COST, THE EFFECT BEING THAT THE EMPLOYEES ULTIMATELY RECEIVE SOME PART OF THEIR SALARIES FROM THE COOPERATING STATES OR MUNICIPALITIES.

IN SOME CASES IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO HANDLE THE WORK ON THE ABOVE BASIS BECAUSE STATE LAWS, REGULATIONS OR ESTABLISHED PROCEDURE DO NOT PERMIT THE ADOPTION OF THIS PLAN, AND IN SUCH CASES THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES ENGAGED ON COOPERATIVE WORK ARE PAID DIRECTLY BY THE COOPERATING STATES OR OTHER AGENCIES FOR THE PORTION OF THEIR TIME PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO SUCH AGENCY. IN VIEW OF ITEM (7) SECTION 104 PARAGRAPH (A) OF TITLE 1 OF PART II OF THE ACT ABOVE REFERRED TO AND TO YOUR DECISION OF JULY 16, 1932 (A- 43357) IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE TITLE APPLIES TO EMPLOYEES ENGAGED ON COOPERATIVE WORK ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY ARE ULTIMATELY PAID FROM FEDERAL APPROPRIATIONS, THAT IS, TO THE EXTENT OF THE ACTUAL PERCENTAGE OF SUCH PAYMENTS ULTIMATELY CHARGED AGAINST FEDERAL APPROPRIATIONS. IF THIS UNDERSTANDING IS CORRECT, IT IS REQUESTED THAT APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTIONS BE GIVEN AS TO THE METHOD TO BE FOLLOWED ON PAY ROLLS AND VOUCHERS IN INDICATING THE AMOUNTS TO BE IMPOUNDED AND RETURNED TO THE TREASURY AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 110.

THERE IS A CLASS OF EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING GEOLOGISTS, DRAFTSMEN AND STENOGRAPHERS) WHO ARE EMPLOYED INTERMITTENTLY DURING THE YEAR, AND WHO HAVE RECEIVED EXCEPTED APPOINTMENTS UNDER SCHEDULE A OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION RULES AND REGULATIONS WITH A LIMIT OF PAYMENT OF $540 DURING THE APPOINTIVE YEAR. SUCH AN APPOINTMENT READS AS FOLLOWS:

"YOU HAVE BEEN APPOINTED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, SUBJECT TO TAKING THE OATH OF OFFICE, A JUNIOR TYPIST, GRADE 5, IN THE FIELD SERVICE OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, AT A SALARY OF $1,260 PER ANNUM, WHEN ACTUALLY EMPLOYED, EFFECTIVE ON DATE OF ENTRANCE ON DUTY.

"EXCEPTED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SCHEDULE A, SUBDIVISION 1, PARAGRAPH 6, OF CIVIL SERVICE RULES. UNDER THIS APPOINTMENT YOU ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE RETIREMENT ACT. LIMITED TO $540 PER ANNUM.'

YOUR OPINION IS DESIRED AS TO WHETHER AN EMPLOYEE UNDER THESE CONDITIONS IS RECEIVING COMPENSATION AT A RATE WHICH IS EQUIVALENT TO MORE THAN $1,000 PER ANNUM UNDER SECTION 101, PUBLIC 212, AND THEREFORE IS SUBJECT TO THE 8 1/3 PERCENT REDUCTION, OR WHETHER SUCH AN EMPLOYEE IS RECEIVING COMPENSATION AT A RATE WHICH IS NOT EQUIVALENT TO MORE THAN $1,000 PER ANNUM, AND THEREFORE IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE REDUCTION OF 8 1/3 PERCENT.

IN THE DECISION OF JULY 16, 1932, A-43357, 12 COMP. GEN. 69, TO WHICH YOU REFER, WHEREIN WAS CONSIDERED THE STATUS OF STOREKEEPERS IN THE CUSTOMS SERVICE WHOSE SALARIES ARE REIMBURSED TO THE GOVERNMENT BY THE PROPRIETORS OF WAREHOUSES, AND CUSTOMS EMPLOYEES IN PUERTO RICO AND THE VIRGIN ISLANDS WHOSE SALARIES ARE PAID DIRECTLY FROM CUSTOMS DUTIES COLLECTED BY THEM, IT WAS HELD:

THE OBJECT OR PURPOSE OF TITLE I OF PART II OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, PUBLIC NO. 212, WAS TO EFFECT SAVINGS IN GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURES COMING OUT OF THE TREASURY DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1933. THERE IS NOTHING UNDER SAID TITLE TO INDICATE ANY INTENT TO REDUCE COMPENSATION OTHER THAN FOR THE PURPOSE OF EFFECTING SUCH SAVINGS. HENCE, THE TERMS "OFFICER" AND "EMPLOYEE" WERE THEREIN DEFINED AS NOT INCLUDING "PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES WHOSE COMPENSATION * * * IS NOT PAID FROM THE FEDERAL TREASURY," THERE BEING NO INTENT OR PURPOSE TO EFFECT, AT THE EXPENSE OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, A SAVING TO PRIVATE INTERESTS. THEREFORE, IN APPLYING THE PROVISIONS OF SAID TITLE, SALARIES ARE NOT TO BE CONSIDERED AS "PAID FROM THE FEDERAL TREASURY" IF FOR AN ACCOUNTING OR BOOKKEEPING PURPOSE THE FUNDS ARE PASSED THROUGH THE TREASURY, AS IN PARAGRAPH NUMBERED (1) OF YOUR LETTER, SO LONG AS THE ULTIMATE CHARGE IS NOT AGAINST THE UNITED STATES TREASURY.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT THE PROVISIONS OF TITLE I, PART II, OF THE ACT, RELATIVE TO THE 5-DAY WEEK, LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH, AND PERCENTAGE REDUCTION IN COMPENSATION, HAVE NO APPLICATION TO THE CLASSES OF EMPLOYEES MENTIONED IN PARAGRAPHS 1, 2, AND 3 OF YOUR LETTER.

SEE, ALSO, DECISION OF AUGUST 8, 1932, TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, A-43760, 12 COMP. GEN. 200.

HOWEVER, THE SITUATION WITH RESPECT TO THESE COOPERATIVE EMPLOYEES UNDER THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY IS SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF THE EMPLOYEES CONSIDERED IN SAID DECISIONS.

IN DECISION OF AUGUST 2, 1932, TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, A 43650, 12 COMP. GEN. 163, IT WAS STATED:

(2) AS THE AMOUNTS CONTRIBUTED BY THE STATES TOWARD THE WORK OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY ARE NOT FOR THE COMPENSATION OF ANY PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE, IT MAY NOT BE SAID THAT THE SALARY OF ANY PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY IS THUS "NOT PAID FROM THE FEDERAL EASURY.' SEE SECTION 104 (A) (7) OF THE ECONOMY ACT. ACCORDINGLY, ALL OF THE EMPLOYEES ENGAGED UPON SUCH WORK RECEIVING COMPENSATION AT A RATE IN EXCESS OF $1,000 PER ANNUM ARE SUBJECT TO THE APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF THE ECONOMY ACT AND THE ENTIRE AMOUNT DEDUCTED FROM THEIR SALARIES IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 101 (A) OR (B) OR SECTION 105 (D) (6) MUST BE IMPOUNDED NOTWITHSTANDING THAT SOME PORTION THEREOF MAY EVENTUALLY BE REIMBURSED BY THE STATE.

SEE, ALSO, DECISION OF AUGUST 9, 1932, TO YOU, A-43819, 12 COMP. GEN. 220.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT AS A GENERAL PROPOSITION THE STATE CONTRIBUTIONS TOWARD THE COOPERATIVE WORK BETWEEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THE STATES AUTHORIZED UNDER THE APPROPRIATIONS QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER, ARE NOT SEGREGATED TO PAY THE WHOLE OR PART OF THE SALARY RATE OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES ENGAGED ON THE WORK AND THAT SUCH STATE CONTRIBUTIONS DO NOT RELATE TO A PARTICULAR SALARY RATE OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, AS IN THE CASE OF THE CUSTOMS EMPLOYEES CONSIDERED IN DECISION OF JULY 16, 1932, BUT SIMPLY AUGMENT THE PORTION APPROPRIATED BY THE CONGRESS FOR THE COOPERATIVE WORK. IF, SO THE PRINCIPLE STATED IN THE DECISION OF AUGUST 2, 1932, RATHER THAN THE PRINCIPLE STATED IN THE DECISION OF JULY 16, 1932, IS FOR APPLICATION TO COOPERATIVE EMPLOYEES UNDER THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY. COURSE, ANY EMPLOYEES UNDER THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY WHOSE SALARIES ARE PAID ENTIRELY FROM STATE FUNDS, WHILE THEY REMAIN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN THE ORDINARY SENSE DURING THE PERIOD THEIR ENTIRE SALARIES ARE PAID FROM STATE FUNDS (11 COMP. GEN. 187), THEY COME WITHIN EXCEPTION (7) OF THE DEFINITION OF THE TERMS "OFFICER" AND "EMPLOYEE" IN SECTION 104 OF THE ECONOMY ACT AND ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE RESTRICTIONS OF TITLE I THEREOF.

THE COMPENSATION OF PART-TIME EMPLOYEES WHO ARE EMPLOYED INTERMITTENTLY DURING THE YEAR BASED ON AN ANNUAL RATE IN EXCESS OF $1,000, AS IN THE ILLUSTRATION GIVEN, IS SUBJECT TO AN 8 1/3 PERCENT REDUCTION UNDER THE TERMS OF SECTION 105 (D) (6) OF THE ECONOMY ACT. SEE PARTICULARLY DECISION OF JULY 23, 1932, TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS, A- 43425, 12 COMP. GEN. 105, AND DECISION OF JULY 30, 1932, TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, A-43525, 12 COMP. GEN. 142. SINCE THE PART-TIME RATE FOR THE PART TIME ACTUALLY EMPLOYED IS FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION ON AN ANNUAL BASIS, THE LIMITATION IN THE LETTER OF APPOINTMENT ON THE AMOUNT WHICH THE EMPLOYEE MAY EARN DURING A YEAR DOES NOT HAVE THE EFFECT OF REDUCING THE PER ANNUM EQUIVALENT RATE FOR PART- TIME SERVICE TO LESS THAN $1,000. THE EFFECT OF SUCH PROVISION IN THE APPOINTMENT IS TO LIMIT THE NUMBER OF DAYS OF ACTUAL SERVICE TO BE RENDERED RATHER THAN TO REDUCE THE RATE OF COMPENSATION, AND UNDER THE PLAIN TERMS OF THE LAW, IT IS THE RATE OF COMPENSATION, AND NOT THE TOTAL AMOUNT WHICH MAY BE RECEIVED DURING THE YEAR, WHICH IS FOR CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING WHETHER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 101 AND 105 ARE FOR APPLICATION.