A-43984, SEPTEMBER 2, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 322

A-43984: Sep 2, 1932

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ECONOMY ACT - PERCENTAGE REDUCTIONS - EXPERT WITNESSES - GUARDS - CONTRACT EMPLOYMENT EXPERT WITNESSES ARE NOT OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ECONOMY ACT AND THEIR FEES ARE NOT SUBJECT TO REDUCTION UNDER THAT STATUTE. THE COMPENSATION OF GUARDS EMPLOYED BY UNITED STATES MARSHALS AT THE RATES OF $4 AND $5 PER DIEM IS SUBJECT TO AN 8 1/3 PERCENT REDUCTION UNDER THE ECONOMY ACT. WHERE THE SERVICE PERFORMED UNDER A CONTRACT IS SUCH THAT IT MAY BE COVERED BY SPECIFICATIONS AND THE CONTRACT THEREFOR AWARDED EITHER TO AN INDIVIDUAL. THERE IS NOT INVOLVED THE RENDERING OF SERVICES OF ANY PERSON IN OR UNDER ANY BRANCH OR SERVICE OF THE GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE DEFINITION OF THE TERMS "OFFICER" AND .

A-43984, SEPTEMBER 2, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 322

ECONOMY ACT - PERCENTAGE REDUCTIONS - EXPERT WITNESSES - GUARDS - CONTRACT EMPLOYMENT EXPERT WITNESSES ARE NOT OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ECONOMY ACT AND THEIR FEES ARE NOT SUBJECT TO REDUCTION UNDER THAT STATUTE. THE COMPENSATION OF GUARDS EMPLOYED BY UNITED STATES MARSHALS AT THE RATES OF $4 AND $5 PER DIEM IS SUBJECT TO AN 8 1/3 PERCENT REDUCTION UNDER THE ECONOMY ACT. WHERE THE SERVICE PERFORMED UNDER A CONTRACT IS SUCH THAT IT MAY BE COVERED BY SPECIFICATIONS AND THE CONTRACT THEREFOR AWARDED EITHER TO AN INDIVIDUAL, A FIRM, OR A CORPORATION, SUCH AS CONTRACTS WITH COURT REPORTERS, THERE IS NOT INVOLVED THE RENDERING OF SERVICES OF ANY PERSON IN OR UNDER ANY BRANCH OR SERVICE OF THE GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE DEFINITION OF THE TERMS "OFFICER" AND ,EMPLOYEE" IN SECTION 104 OF THE ECONOMY ACT, AND THE CONTRACT PAYMENTS TO THE HOLDER OF SUCH A CONTRACT, WHETHER A CORPORATION, A FIRM, OR AN INDIVIDUAL, ARE NOT SUBJECT TO PERCENTAGE OR OTHER REDUCTIONS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF TITLE I OF THE ECONOMY ACT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, SEPTEMBER 2, 1932:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 10, 1932, AS FOLLOWS:

IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRIAL OF CERTAIN CASES IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS IT OCCASIONALLY BECOMES NECESSARY FOR THE DEPARTMENT TO AUTHORIZE THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS TO CONTRACT FOR THE SERVICES OF EXPERT WITNESSES FOR THE GOVERNMENT, AT THE LOWEST POSSIBLE RATE, FOR SUCH PERIODS AS MAY BE NECESSARY. THESE ARE STRICTLY CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENT FOR PERIODS USUALLY RANGING FROM ONE TO THREE DAYS, AND OCCASIONALLY FOR LONGER PERIODS, AT RATES OF COMPENSATION FROM $10.00 TO $50.00 PER DAY. IT IS NECESSARY THAT THE CONTRACT BE AT THE RATE AT WHICH THEIR SERVICES CAN BE SECURED. IN MANY CASES WE MUST OBTAIN THE SERVICES OF HIGHLY SPECIALIZED EXPERTS, AND, TO DO SO, IT MUST BE AT THE RATE OF COMPENSATION AT WHICH THEY ARE WILLING TO SERVE. FRANKLY, IF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ECONOMY ACT, IN RESPECT TO DEDUCTIONS, WERE TO APPLY TO THEM, IT WOULD APPARENTLY BE NECESSARY TO HAVE THE CONTRACT OR AGREEMENT AT SUCH HIGHER RATE AS WOULD ABSORB ANY DEDUCTION UNDER SAID ACT. IN THIS CONNECTION YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE FACT THAT THE APPROPRIATION,"MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES, U.S. COURTS" (PUBLIC, NO. 232--- 72D CONGRESS, PAGE 20) IS SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF EXPERTS "AT SUCH RATES OF COMPENSATION AS MAY BE AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.'

IT ALSO BECOMES NECESSARY TO AUTHORIZE THE UNITED STATES MARSHALS TO EMPLOY STATIONARY GUARDS OVER BREWERIES, ETC., AND KEEPERS OR CUSTODIANS OF VESSELS SEIZED UNDER PROCESS, IN CONNECTION WITH VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW, WITH COMPENSATION AT THE USUAL RATE OF $4.00 PER DAY EACH, ALTHOUGH WE ARE OFTENTIMES REQUIRED TO PAY $5.00 PER DAY IN CERTAIN LOCALITIES TO SECURE THE SERVICES OF COMPETENT AND RESPONSIBLE GUARDS. HOWEVER, THE COMPENSATION OF THE GUARDS AND KEEPERS IS PAID BY THE UNITED STATES MARSHALS, UNDER PETITION AND ORDER OF COURT, AS PROVIDED BY PARAGRAPH 2, SECTION 829 R.S. (PARAGRAPH 649 OF THE BOOK OF INSTRUCTIONS TO COURT OFFICIALS, DATED OCTOBER 1, 1929.) THESE EMPLOYMENTS ARE, OF COURSE, TEMPORARY IN CHARACTER.

REFERENCE IS ALSO MADE TO CERTAIN EXISTING CONTRACTS OF THREE DIFFERENT TYPES FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR COVERING THE SERVICES OF CONTRACT REPORTERS IN THE UNITED STATES COURTS. THE FIRST IS THAT OF C. R. TRIAY, OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNDER CONTRACT J-8615, DATED JUNE 23, 1932, WHO IS PAID COMPENSATION AT THE RATE OF $3,600.00 PER ANNUM, PAYABLE IN MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS OF $300.00 AND A FOLIO RATE OF 15 CENTS FOR TRANSCRIPTS. THE SECOND IS THAT OF G. C. VAUGHAN AND R. D. BISTLINE, OF IDAHO, WHOSE CONTRACT NO. J-8670, DATED JULY 1, 1932, PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT AT THE RATE OF $12.50 PER DAY FOR REPORTING AND 15 CENTS PER FOLIO FOR ORIGINAL TRANSCRIPTS, ETC. THE THIRD IS THAT OF HART, DICE, AND CARLSON, WASHINGTON, D.C., WHOSE CONTRACT NO. 8623, DATED JULY 5, 1932, PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT OF $20.00 PER DAY, WHEN NO TRANSCRIPT IS ORDERED, AND A FOLIO RATE ONLY (NOT INCLUDING PER DIEM) WHEN A TRANSCRIPT IS ORDERED.

YOUR DECISION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED WHETHER THE COMPENSATION OF THE ABOVE-MENTIONED GROUPS IS SUBJECT TO THE DEDUCTION PROVIDED BY THE ECONOMY ACT.

THE EXPERT WITNESSES MENTIONED IN YOUR FIRST PARAGRAPH DO NOT RENDER "SERVICES IN OR UNDER ANY BRANCH OR SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE DEFINITION OF THE TERMS "OFFICER" AND "EMPLOYEE" IN SECTION 104 OF THE ECONOMY ACT. THE SERVICES WHICH THEY PERFORM CONSTITUTE NO PART OF ANY DUTY IMPOSED BY LAW UPON ANY DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT. THEY ARE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT A CERTAIN FEE TO APPEAR AND TESTIFY AS A PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL, NOT AS AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT. YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT SUCH EXPERT WITNESSES ARE NOT OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF TITLE I OF THE ECONOMY ACT AND NO PART OF THEIR FEES IS REQUIRED TO BE DEDUCTED AND IMPOUNDED UNDER THE TERMS OF SAID SECTION.

THE GUARDS MENTIONED IN YOUR SECOND PARAGRAPH ARE "EMPLOYEES" OF THE GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE DEFINITION OF THAT TERM IN SECTION 104 OF THE ECONOMY ACT, FOR WHOM DEFINITE RATES OF COMPENSATION WERE FIXED AS OF JUNE 30, 1932, THE PER ANNUM EQUIVALENT OF WHICH IS IN EXCESS OF $1,000. YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT THE COMPENSATION OF THESE GUARDS IS SUBJECT TO A DEDUCTION OF 8 1/3 PERCENT REQUIRED BY THE ECONOMY ACT. SEE DECISION OF AUGUST 17, 1932, TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, A-43832, 12 COMP. GEN. 254, HOLDING THAT THE COMPENSATION RATES AS OF JUNE 30, 1932, OF TEMPORARY, EMERGENCY, OR SEASONAL POSITIONS, WHETHER FILLED OR VACANT, ON THAT DATE, ARE SUBJECT TO A PERCENTAGE REDUCTION OF 8 1/3 PERCENT DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1933.

THE SERVICES OF THE CONTRACT REPORTERS MENTIONED IN YOUR THIRD PARAGRAPH ARE AUTHORIZED TO BE OBTAINED BY CONTRACT. WHERE THE SERVICE PERFORMED UNDER A CONTRACT IS SUCH THAT IT MAY BE COVERED BY SPECIFICATIONS AND THE CONTRACT THEREFOR AWARDED EITHER TO AN INDIVIDUAL, A FIRM, OR CORPORATION, THERE IS NOT INVOLVED THE RENDERING OF SERVICES OF ANY PERSON IN OR UNDER ANY BRANCH OR SERVICE OF THE GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE DEFINITION OF THE TERMS "OFFICER" AND ,EMPLOYEE" IN SECTION 104 OF THE ECONOMY ACT, AND THE CONTRACT PAYMENTS TO THE HOLDER OF SUCH A CONTRACT, WHETHER A CORPORATION, A FIRM, OR AN INDIVIDUAL, ARE NOT SUBJECT TO PERCENTAGE OR OTHER REDUCTIONS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF TITLE I OF THE ECONOMY ACT. AS THE CONTRACTS FOR COURT-REPORTING SERVICE MAY BE COVERED BY SPECIFICATIONS, SUBMITTED TO COMPETITION, AND AWARDED EITHER TO AN INDIVIDUAL, A FIRM, OR A CORPORATION, THE RULE ABOVE STATED IS APPLICABLE AND, ACCORDINGLY, THE CONTRACT PAYMENTS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO REDUCTIONS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF TITLE I OF THE ECONOMY ACT.