A-44631, SEPTEMBER 21, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 372

A-44631: Sep 21, 1932

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THE COMPENSATION OF WHICH ORDINARILY IS PAID TO A GREATER OR LESS EXTENT FROM APPROPRIATIONS AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR WORK PERFORMED. NO CHARGE BEING AUTHORIZED AGAINST OTHER APPROPRIATIONS WHEN NO SERVICES ARE RENDERED. THE POSITION IS THAT OF CHAUFFEUR IN THE CONSOLIDATED MOTOR-TRUCK POOL. THE APPROPRIATION IS $125. THE ESTIMATED REIMBURSEMENTS ARE $154. THE ESTIMATED PERMANENT FORCE OF SHOPS EMPLOYEES IS 145. CURTAILMENT OF BUREAU FUNDS FOR 1933 WILL LESSEN THE NEED FOR GENERAL TRUCKING SERVICE. HENCE THE VACANCY IS NOT TO BE FILLED THIS YEAR. THE ENTIRE SALARY OF THE POSITION IS TO BE IMPOUNDED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE $125. IT WILL BE READILY SEEN THAT A FEW VACANCIES AND IMPOUNDMENTS UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES WOULD BREAK DOWN THE CENTRAL SERVICE AND REIMBURSEMENT SYSTEM ALTOGETHER.

A-44631, SEPTEMBER 21, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 372

ECONOMY ACT - VACANT POSITIONS - IMPOUNDING WHEN A VACANCY OCCURS IN A POSITION IN THE MECHANICAL SHOP, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, THE COMPENSATION OF WHICH ORDINARILY IS PAID TO A GREATER OR LESS EXTENT FROM APPROPRIATIONS AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR WORK PERFORMED, THE COMPENSATION OF THE VACANT POSITION MUST BE IMPOUNDED FROM THE APPROPRIATION PRIMARILY LIABLE THEREFOR, NO CHARGE BEING AUTHORIZED AGAINST OTHER APPROPRIATIONS WHEN NO SERVICES ARE RENDERED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, SEPTEMBER 21, 1932:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 13, 1932, AS FOLLOWS:

QUESTION HAS ARISEN AS TO THE AMOUNT TO BE IMPOUNDED, SECTION 203 OF THE ECONOMY ACT, UNDER THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:

A VACANCY HAS ARISEN IN A POSITION, $1,260 PER ANNUM, PAID FROM THE APPROPRIATION OF $125,000 ,FOR SALARIES AND COMPENSATION OF NECESSARY EMPLOYEES IN THE MECHANICAL SHOPS AND POWER PLANT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE," AGRICULTURAL APPROPRIATION ACT OF JULY 7, 1932. THE POSITION IS THAT OF CHAUFFEUR IN THE CONSOLIDATED MOTOR-TRUCK POOL, A UNIT OF THE DEPARTMENT MOTOR-TRANSPORT SERVICE. PARTLY THE POOL DOES GENERAL DEPARTMENTAL WORK, SUCH AS THE HANDLING OF MAIL; MORE LARGELY, IT SERVES THE BUREAUS OF THE DEPARTMENT IN WASHINGTON ON THE REIMBURSEMENT BASIS, ACT OF MAY 11, 1922, 42 STAT. 508. FOR BOTH THE MOTOR SERVICE AND THE SHOPS AS A WHOLE THE REIMBURSEMENT REGULARLY AMOUNTS TO CONSIDERABLY MORE THAN THE PRIMARY APPROPRIATION. FOR 1933, AS ABOVE STATED, THE APPROPRIATION IS $125,000; THE ESTIMATED REIMBURSEMENTS ARE $154,960; THE ESTIMATED PERMANENT FORCE OF SHOPS EMPLOYEES IS 145, AT AN AGGREGATE SALARY OF $245,760.

CURTAILMENT OF BUREAU FUNDS FOR 1933 WILL LESSEN THE NEED FOR GENERAL TRUCKING SERVICE, HENCE THE VACANCY IS NOT TO BE FILLED THIS YEAR. IF, HOWEVER, THE ENTIRE SALARY OF THE POSITION IS TO BE IMPOUNDED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE $125,000 APPROPRIATED FOR COMPENSATION OF THE SHOPS, THE SCALE OF CHARGES FOR REIMBURSABLE SERVICES TO THE BUREAUS MUST BE HEIGHTENED. IT WILL BE READILY SEEN THAT A FEW VACANCIES AND IMPOUNDMENTS UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES WOULD BREAK DOWN THE CENTRAL SERVICE AND REIMBURSEMENT SYSTEM ALTOGETHER.

SECTION 203 OF THE ECONOMY ACT REQUIRES THE IMPOUNDING OF "THE APPROPRIATIONS OR PARTS OF APPROPRIATIONS UNEXPENDED BY THE OPERATION OF THIS SECTION.' AS THE DEPARTMENT SEES IT, IN SO FAR AS THE PRIMARY APPROPRIATION FOR THE MECHANICAL SHOPS IS CONCERNED THE AMOUNT UNEXPENDED THROUGH THE VACANCY WILL BE, NOT THE ENTIRE ANNUAL COMPENSATION OF THE POSITION, BUT THE PROPORTION THEREOF REPRESENTING THE TIME NORMALLY GIVEN TO GENERAL DEPARTMENTAL WORK, HENCE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE PRIMARY APPROPRIATION. THE BALANCE, THAT IS, THE PART REPRESENTING THE TIME NORMALLY GIVEN TO REIMBURSABLE WORK FOR THE BUREAUS, WILL NEITHER BE A SAVING TO THE PRIMARY FUND FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SHOPS NOR--- THIS AT LEAST IS THE DEPARTMENT'S VIEW--- A SAVING IN THE SENSE OF SECTION 203 TO ANY ONE OF THE BUREAU FUNDS WHICH WOULD HAVE CONTRIBUTED BY REIMBURSEMENT TO THE SHOP APPROPRIATION HAD THE POSITION AND SERVICES CONTINUED.

THE PROPORTION OF TIME FOR THIS POSITION BETWEEN GENERAL DEPARTMENTAL AND REIMBURSABLE BUREAU SERVICES IS READILY DETERMINABLE THROUGH A COST- ACCOUNTING SYSTEM RECENTLY DEVELOPED AND INSTALLED IN THE SHOPS BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. OUR PROPOSAL IS TO ENTER ON THE STANDARD FORM 1077 AN IMPOUNDMENT OF THE PROPER PROPORTION OF THE SALARY OF THE VACANT POSITION ON THE ABOVE BASIS, WITH, OF COURSE, A FULL EXPLANATORY NOTE.

WE SHALL BE GLAD AT YOUR EARLY CONVENIENCE TO HAVE A DECISION ON THE QUESTION PRESENTED.

THE REIMBURSEMENT OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE MECHANICAL SHOPS FOR WORK PERFORMED FOR OTHER BUREAUS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IS PROVIDED FOR BY THE ACT OF MAY 11, 1922, 42 STAT. 508, IN THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE:

* * * THAT HEREAFTER THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE MAY, BY TRANSFER SETTLEMENT THOUGH THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, REIMBURSE ANY APPROPRIATION MADE FOR THE SALARIES AND COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES OF THE MECHANICAL SHOPS OF THE DEPARTMENT FROM THE APPROPRIATION MADE FOR THE BUREAU, OFFICE, OR DIVISION FOR WHICH ANY WORK IN SAID SHOPS IS PERFORMED, AND SUCH REIMBURSEMENT SHALL BE THE ACTUAL COST OF LABOR FOR SUCH WORK.

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

SEC. 203. 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, 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.

A VACANCY IN A POSITION IN THE MECHANICAL SHOPS WILL RESULT IN THE NONEXPENDITURE FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF SUCH EMPLOYEE'S SALARY FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE FISCAL YEAR. WHILE IT MAY BE TRUE THAT HAD THE EMPLOYEE REMAINED IN THE SERVICE, A PORTION OF HIS COMPENSATION WOULD HAVE BEEN PAID UNDER AN APPROPRIATION OTHER THAN THAT FOR THE MECHANICAL SHOPS, SUCH FACT, HOWEVER, DOES NOT AUTHORIZE THE DISREGARDING OF THE MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 203 THAT THE AMOUNT OF THE COMPENSATION OF SUCH VACANT POSITION MUST BE IMPOUNDED. AS IT WOULD NOT BE PERMISSIBLE TO CHARGE ANY PORTION OF THE COMPENSATION OF THE VACANT POSITION AGAINST OTHER BUREAU APPROPRIATIONS, IT FOLLOWS THAT THE WHOLE OF THE COMPENSATION OF THE VACANT POSITION MUST BE IMPOUNDED UNDER THE APPROPRIATION PRIMARILY LIABLE THEREFOR.