A-45170, OCTOBER 24, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 419

A-45170: Oct 24, 1932

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WHO WERE NOT ENTITLED TO SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAYS PRIOR TO JULY 1. ARE SUBJECT TO AN 8 1/3 PERCENT REDUCTION IN COMPENSATION FOR IMPOUNDING UNDER THE ECONOMY ACT. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO EVADE THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ECONOMY ACT BY CONSIDERING THE EMPLOYEES ON A 5 DAY WEEK AND PAYING THEM THE RATE IN FORCE PRIOR TO JULY 1. 1932: WITH REFERENCE TO THE APPLICATION OF THE IMPOUNDING PROVISIONS OF THE ECONOMY ACT THERE HAVE ARISEN CERTAIN QUESTIONS IN THE AUDIT OF ACCOUNTS OF R. IN THE CONSIDERATION OF AN ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED VOUCHER PROPOSING TO ADJUST THE COMPENSATION OF CERTAIN UNCLASSIFIED PER DIEM EMPLOYEES PREVIOUSLY PAID BY SPRINKEL BY REDUCING THE AMOUNT DEDUCTED FOR IMPOUNDING FROM THEIR TOTAL COMPENSATION FOR JULY AT THE RATE OF 8 1/3 PERCENT TO AN AMOUNT WHICH REPRESENTS 8 1/3 PERCENT OF THEIR COMPENSATION FOR ONLY THE PERIOD THEY WERE NOT CONSIDERED ADMINISTRATIVELY AS ON A 5-DAY WEEK DURING JULY (NO IMPOUNDING BEING SHOWN FOR ANY PORTION OF THE 5-DAY WEEK).

A-45170, OCTOBER 24, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 419

ECONOMY ACT - PERCENTAGE REDUCTION - EMPLOYEES OF NATIONAL PARK SERVICE WORKING INTERMITTENTLY UNCLASSIFIED PER DIEM EMPLOYEES OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE WORKING INTERMITTENTLY AT RATES OF COMPENSATION IN EXCESS OF $1,000 PER ANNUM, WHO WERE NOT ENTITLED TO SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAYS PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1932, ARE SUBJECT TO AN 8 1/3 PERCENT REDUCTION IN COMPENSATION FOR IMPOUNDING UNDER THE ECONOMY ACT, AND THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO EVADE THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ECONOMY ACT BY CONSIDERING THE EMPLOYEES ON A 5 DAY WEEK AND PAYING THEM THE RATE IN FORCE PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1932, FOR ANY 5 DAYS OF CONSECUTIVE WORK, THE PARTICULAR DAYS COMPRISING THE 5 DAY WEEK VARYING DURING THE DIFFERENT WEEKS OF A MONTH.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, OCTOBER 24, 1932:

WITH REFERENCE TO THE APPLICATION OF THE IMPOUNDING PROVISIONS OF THE ECONOMY ACT THERE HAVE ARISEN CERTAIN QUESTIONS IN THE AUDIT OF ACCOUNTS OF R. SPRINKEL, SPECIAL DISBURSING AGENT, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, COVERING COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE FOR JULY, 1932, AND IN THE CONSIDERATION OF AN ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED VOUCHER PROPOSING TO ADJUST THE COMPENSATION OF CERTAIN UNCLASSIFIED PER DIEM EMPLOYEES PREVIOUSLY PAID BY SPRINKEL BY REDUCING THE AMOUNT DEDUCTED FOR IMPOUNDING FROM THEIR TOTAL COMPENSATION FOR JULY AT THE RATE OF 8 1/3 PERCENT TO AN AMOUNT WHICH REPRESENTS 8 1/3 PERCENT OF THEIR COMPENSATION FOR ONLY THE PERIOD THEY WERE NOT CONSIDERED ADMINISTRATIVELY AS ON A 5-DAY WEEK DURING JULY (NO IMPOUNDING BEING SHOWN FOR ANY PORTION OF THE 5-DAY WEEK), THE DIFFERENCE IN EACH INSTANCE PROPOSED TO BE PAID TO THE EMPLOYEES.

THESE EMPLOYEES WERE NOT ENTITLED TO THE SATURDAY HALF HOLIDAY WITH PAY PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1932, BUT WERE REQUIRED TO WORK 6 TO 7 DAYS EACH WEEK. IT IS NOT CLEAR FROM THE RECORD AS PRESENTED HERE WHETHER, PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1932, SUCH EMPLOYEES WERE REQUIRED TO WORK 6 DAYS OR 7 DAYS EACH WEEK.

IN DECISION OF AUGUST 2, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 162, CONCERNING EMPLOYEES UNDER THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, YOU WERE ADVISED AS FOLLOWS (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

THE DAILY RATE OF PER DIEM EMPLOYEES WHO, PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1932, REGULARLY WORKED 6 OR 7 DAYS PER WEEK WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF THE SATURDAY HALF-HOLIDAY LAW, WOULD REMAIN THE SAME IF PLACED ON A 5-DAY WEEK, AND COMPENSATION FOR 5 DAYS PER WEEK WOULD BE THE SAME AS FOR 5 DAYS PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1932, COMPENSATION FOR THE ADDITIONAL 1 OR 2 DAYS TO BE IMPOUNDED.

THE DAILY RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR PER DIEM EMPLOYEES WHO REGULARLY WORK INTERMITTENTLY A FEW DAYS AT A TIME SHOULD BE THE USUAL DAILY RATE AS OF JUNE 30, 1932, REDUCED BY 8 1/3 PERCENT.

THE PAID PAY ROLLS FOR JULY, FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE FOR AUDIT, WOULD INDICATE THAT AT FIRST IT WAS CONSIDERED IMPRACTICABLE TO APPLY THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 101 (A) OF THE ECONOMY ACT PROVIDING FOR THE 5-DAY WEEK, OR SECTION 101 (B) PROVIDING FOR LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH TO ALL BUT A FEW OF THESE EMPLOYEES, AND EVEN AS TO THESE FEW EMPLOYEES THEY DID NOT REGULARLY WORK 5 DAYS PER WEEK. IT IS SHOWN THAT THESE EMPLOYEES WORKED A VARYING NUMBER OF DAYS CONSECUTIVELY DURING JULY, SOME 6 OR 7 DAYS, OTHERS EXACTLY 5 DAYS, AND OTHERS LESS THAN 5 DAYS CONSECUTIVELY. THERE WAS DEDUCTED AND IMPOUNDED IN EACH CASE 8 1/3 PERCENT OF THEIR GROSS SALARY RATE, EXCEPTING AS TO THE FEW SPECIFICALLY CONSIDERED AS ON A 5-DAY WEEK. THE FEW EMPLOYEES SPECIFICALLY CONSIDERED AS ON A 5-DAY WEEK WERE PAID THEIR FORMER RATE OF PAY FOR THE DAYS THEY WORKED BUT WITH NO IMPOUNDING, EITHER FROM THE APPROPRIATION OR FROM THE EMPLOYEE, OF THE 1 OR 2 DAYS' PAY PER WEEK THEY DID NOT WORK AS REQUIRED BY THE QUOTED DECISION. THE ORIGINAL PAY ROLL CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING NOTATION:

NOTE: THOSE WHO DID NOT RECEIVE A DEDUCTION ON ACCOUNT OF LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH WERE ON A 5-DAY WEEK IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 101-A OF THE ECONOMY ACT.

HOWEVER, IT IS UNDERSTOOD THE EMPLOYEES WERE NOT PLACED UNDER THE LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH PLAN, AND IT IS EVIDENT THAT THE DISBURSING CLERK CONSIDERED THAT THE PERCENTAGE REDUCTION OF 8 1/3 PERCENT WAS REQUIRED BY REASON OF THAT PLAN.

THE SUPPLEMENTAL PAY ROLL PRESENTED FOR PREAUDIT IS INDORSED AS FOLLOWS:

PURSUANT TO SECTION 101 (A) OF THE ECONOMY ACT, THE FOLLOWING EMPLOYEES WERE PLACED ON A FIVE-DAY WEEK AND THEY WORKED FIVE DAYS PER WEEK WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ONE, AND IN SOME CASES, TWO WEEKS DURING THE MONTH OF JULY. THE FIVE-DAY WEEK WAS DISTURBED BY EXIGENCIES OF THE SERVICE WHICH REQUIRED THE EMPLOYEES TO WORK SIX OR SEVEN DAYS DURING ONE OR TWO WEEKS OF THE MONTH. THE LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH OF 8 1/3 PERCENT WAS CALCULATED ON THE GROSS AMOUNT EARNED DURING THE MONTH OF JULY. WE ILLEGALLY MADE A DUAL APPLICATION OF SUBSECTIONS (A) AND (B) OF SECTION 101 OF THE ECONOMY ACT AND THE FOLLOWING REFUNDS TO THE EMPLOYEES ELIMINATE THE APPLICATION OF SUBSECTION (B), OR THE 8 1/3 PERCENT DEDUCTION FOR THOSE PERIODS WHEN THE EMPLOYEES WERE COMPELLED TO WORK STRICTLY ON A FIVE-DAY WEEK. PRIOR TO JULY 1 THESE EMPLOYEES WERE ON A 6-DAY WEEK WITHOUT PRIVILEGE OF SATURDAY HALF-HOLIDAY.

THE ALLEGED 5-DAY WEEKS WERE CONSIDERED AS ANY 5 CONSECUTIVE DAYS SINCE THE FIRST DAY OF JULY, NOT NECESSARILY THE SAME 5 DAYS REGULARLY EACH WEEK.

THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO SO AVOID THE IMPOUNDING REQUIREMENTS OF THE ECONOMY ACT. AS HAS BEEN STATED IN SEVERAL DECISIONS, SAID STATUTE PROVIDES THREE METHODS FOR DEDUCTING AND IMPOUNDING COMPENSATION, TO WIT; (1) THE 5-DAY WEEK UNDER SECTION 101 (A); (2) LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH UNDER SECTION 101 (B); AND (3) 8 1/3 PERCENT REDUCTION IN COMPENSATION UNDER SECTION 105 (D) (6). THE 5-DAY WEEK PLAN MAY NOT BE APPLIED IN SUCH A MANNER AS HERE ATTEMPTED TO COVER ANY 5 CONSECUTIVE DAYS OF WORK VARYING DURING DIFFERENT WEEKS TO SAVE THESE EMPLOYEES FROM LOSS OF SALARY, OR TO CIRCUMVENT THE IMPOUNDING REQUIREMENTS OF THE ECONOMY ACT. WHERE IT IS IMPRACTICABLE TO APPLY EITHER THE 5-DAY WEEK REGULARLY OR THE LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH, THE STATUTE REQUIRES 8 1/3 PERCENT REDUCTION TO BE MADE IN THE TOTAL SALARY RATE OF THE EMPLOYEES FOR IMPOUNDING.

THE PAY ROLLS FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE INDICATE THAT THESE EMPLOYEES UNDER THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE WORK INTERMITTENTLY AND APPARENTLY ARE PAID ONLY ON THE DAYS THEY ACTUALLY WORK. IT IS NOT SHOWN WHETHER THEY WERE OR WERE NOT ENTITLED TO LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITH PAY PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1932 (SEE 12 COMP. GEN. 221, 222).

IN ANY EVENT, THE PERIODS OF EMPLOYMENT DISCLOSED ON THE PAY ROLLS BOTH FOR JUNE AND JULY, 1932, SEEM TO CONSTITUTE THESE EMPLOYEES A CLASS TO WHOM IT IS IMPRACTICABLE TO APPLY THE 5-DAY WEEK OR LEGISLATIVE FURLOUGH AND, ACCORDINGLY, THEIR TOTAL SALARY RATE IS SUBJECT TO THE 8 1/3 PERCENT REDUCTION AND IMPOUNDING UNDER SECTION 105 (D) (6) OF THE ECONOMY ACT AS STATED IN DECISION OF AUGUST 2, 1932, SUPRA.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT UPON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS PRESENTED IN THE ACCOUNTS, THIS OFFICE MUST REFUSE TO CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED VOUCHER PROPOSING ADDITIONAL PAYMENT IN SALARIES TO THESE EMPLOYEES FOR JULY, AND MUST REQUIRE AN ADJUSTMENT TO SHOW DEDUCTION AND IMPOUNDING OF 8 1/3 PERCENT FROM THE TOTAL SALARY RATE OF ALL EMPLOYEES SHOWN ON THE SAID PAY ROLLS.