A-44036, AUGUST 19, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 259

A-44036: Aug 19, 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 - FILLING OF EMERGENCY POSITIONS BEFORE A POSITION MAY BE FILLED WITHOUT THE WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL BY THE PRESIDENT IT MUST APPEAR NOT ONLY THAT IT IS "ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL" BUT ALSO THAT THE VACANCY OR THE NEED FOR THE APPOINTMENT COULD NOT HAVE BEEN ANTICIPATED. ARE APPLICABLE TO THE CLASSES OF POSITIONS WHICH YOU HAVE LISTED IN THE INDIAN FIELD SERVICE: THE TERM "EMERGENCY * * * POSITIONS" AS USED IN CLAUSE (B) OF SECTION 203 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30. MAY BE DEFINED TO MEAN THE POSITIONS THE IMMEDIATE FILLING OF WHICH IS RENDERED NECESSARY BECAUSE OF A SUDDEN OR UNEXPECTED EXIGENCY OF THE SERVICE. AS WHERE THERE IS AN ANTICIPATED VACANCY OR AN ANTICIPATED NEED FOR ADDITIONAL SERVICES.

A-44036, AUGUST 19, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 259

ECONOMY ACT - FILLING OF EMERGENCY POSITIONS BEFORE A POSITION MAY BE FILLED WITHOUT THE WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL BY THE PRESIDENT IT MUST APPEAR NOT ONLY THAT IT IS "ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL" BUT ALSO THAT THE VACANCY OR THE NEED FOR THE APPOINTMENT COULD NOT HAVE BEEN ANTICIPATED, AND THAT TO DELAY FILLING THE POSITION TO OBTAIN THE PRESIDENT'S AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL MIGHT INVOLVE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES, SUCH AS LOSS OF LIFE, IMPAIRMENT TO HEALTH, OR LOSS OR DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, AUGUST 19, 1932:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 11, 1932, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE FOLLOWING PRINCIPLES STATED IN DECISION OF THIS OFFICE, DATED JULY 13, 1932, TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS, A-43191, 12 COMP. GEN. 23, ARE APPLICABLE TO THE CLASSES OF POSITIONS WHICH YOU HAVE LISTED IN THE INDIAN FIELD SERVICE:

THE TERM "EMERGENCY * * * POSITIONS" AS USED IN CLAUSE (B) OF SECTION 203 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, PUBLIC, NO. 212, MAY BE DEFINED TO MEAN THE POSITIONS THE IMMEDIATE FILLING OF WHICH IS RENDERED NECESSARY BECAUSE OF A SUDDEN OR UNEXPECTED EXIGENCY OF THE SERVICE.

WHERE THE NEED FOR AN APPOINTMENT CAN BE KNOWN IN ADVANCE, AS WHERE THERE IS AN ANTICIPATED VACANCY OR AN ANTICIPATED NEED FOR ADDITIONAL SERVICES, OR WHERE DELAY IN MAKING APPOINTMENT WOULD RESULT IN NO MORE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCE THAN IMPOSING OF NOT UNREASONABLE ADDITIONAL OR OVERTIME WORK ON OTHER OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OR THE ACCUMULATION OF WORK THAT MAY BE DONE LATER WITHOUT UNDUE IMPAIRMENT OF THE SERVICE, THE PROCEDURE MUST BE UNDER EXCEPTION (A) AND NOT UNDER EXCEPTION (B).

WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN ESSENTIAL POSITIONS AT A HOSPITAL, SUCH AS NURSES, ATTENDANTS, ETC., AND BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF THE WORK INVOLVED THE EXIGENCY MIGHT ARISE BY AN UNEXPECTED VACANCY IN THE REGULAR FORCE OR BY AN UNEXPECTED INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF PATIENTS, WHERE SUCH SITUATIONS ARISE, THE APPOINTMENTS MAY BE MADE FORTHWITH WITHOUT THE WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL OF THE PRESIDENT, BUT THERE SHOULD BE SUBMITTED FOR FILING WITH THE PAY ROLL OR VOUCHER COVERING THE FIRST SALARY PAYMENT A SIGNED STATEMENT OF THE FACTS OF THE EMERGENCY MAKING THE IMMEDIATE ACTION ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. WHERE THE ACTION IS DUE TO AN UNEXPECTED INCREASE IN PATIENTS THE EMPLOYMENT PRESUMABLY WILL BE NO LONGER THAN THE DURATION OF THE EMERGENCY CONDITION.

WHERE A NEW HOSPITAL OR FACILITY, OR AN ADDITION TO AN EXISTING HOSPITAL OR FACILITY, IS TO BE OPENED THE PERSONNEL ESSENTIAL TO THE OPERATION THEREOF MAY NOT BE ENGAGED UNDER EXCEPTION (B) OF SECTION 203, BUT MAY BE ENGAGED ONLY IF AND WHEN AUTHORIZED IN WRITING BY THE PRESIDENT AS PROVIDED UNDER EXCEPTION (A) THEREOF.

WHILE THE PRINCIPLES OF THAT DECISION MAY BE APPLIED TO SERVICES OTHER THAN THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION, IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT SAID DECISION DID NOT HOLD GENERALLY THAT ANY CLASS OF POSITIONS--- SUCH AS NURSES OR ATTENDANTS OR ANY OTHER POSITIONS IN A HOSPITAL--- MAY BE PRESUMED TO BE EMERGENCY POSITIONS, VACANCIES IN WHICH ARE REQUIRED TO BE FILLED IMMEDIATELY. ON THE CONTRARY, THE DECISION HELD THAT THE EMERGENCY AND THE NECESSITY FOR IMMEDIATE FILLING MUST BE SHOWN IN EACH INSTANCE.

THE MERE FACT THAT A POSITION IS "ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL" DOES NOT AUTHORIZE ITS BEING CONSIDERED AS AN "EMERGENCY" POSITION FOR FILLING WITHOUT THE WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL OF THE PRESIDENT. IT IS TO BE NOTED IN THIS CONNECTION THAT THE ONLY POSITIONS WHICH THE STATUTE PROVIDES MAY BE FILLED WITH THE WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL OF THE PRESIDENT ARE THOSE WHICH ARE "ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL.' HENCE, BEFORE A POSITION MAY BE FILLED WITHOUT THE WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL OF THE PRESIDENT IT MUST APPEAR NOT ONLY THAT IT IS "ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL" BUT, ALSO, THAT THE VACANCY OR THE NEED FOR THE APPOINTMENT COULD NOT HAVE BEEN ANTICIPATED AND THAT TO DELAY FILLING THE POSITION TO OBTAIN THE PRESIDENT'S AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL MIGHT INVOLVE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES, SUCH AS LOSS OF LIFE, IMPAIRMENT OF HEALTH, LOSS OR DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY, ETC.

AS HEREIN EXPLAINED OR AMPLIFIED THE PRINCIPLES OF THE DECISION OF JULY 13, 1932, SUPRA, MAY BE APPLIED TO THE SERVICES MENTIONED IN YOUR SUBMISSION.