A-45761, DECEMBER 6, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 462

A-45761: Dec 6, 1932

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ECONOMY ACT - FILLING OF VACANCIES - CLERKS IN CHARGE OF RURAL POSTAL STATIONS THERE ARE INVOLVED IN THE EMPLOYMENT OF CLERKS IN CHARGE OF RURAL POSTAL STATIONS ALL OF THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF APPOINTMENT OF EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT. WERE CERTIFIED TO THIS OFFICE ON JOURNAL OF THE POSTMASTER GENERAL DATED AUGUST 11. 1932: CLERK IN CHARGE OF RURAL STATIONS THE FOLLOWING CHANGES AND APPOINTMENTS AFFECTING CLERKS IN CHARGE OF RURAL STATIONS OF THE RURAL DELIVERY SERVICE ARE ORDERED: CHART STATE OFFICE RURAL STATION CLERK IN CHARGE SALARY PER ANNUM WASH. YOU ARE ADVISED THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE OF EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY TO FILL THE VACANCY AT THAT STATION. NO CREDIT WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF THE POSTMASTER AT SEATTLE FOR PAYMENTS MADE TO MR.

A-45761, DECEMBER 6, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 462

ECONOMY ACT - FILLING OF VACANCIES - CLERKS IN CHARGE OF RURAL POSTAL STATIONS THERE ARE INVOLVED IN THE EMPLOYMENT OF CLERKS IN CHARGE OF RURAL POSTAL STATIONS ALL OF THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF APPOINTMENT OF EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND THEIR DUTIES CONSTITUTE A ,CIVIL POSITION UNDER THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT" WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 203 OF THE ECONOMY ACT REQUIRING THE AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL OF THE PRESIDENT TO THE FILLING OF VACANCIES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, DECEMBER 6, 1932:

THE FOLLOWING ORDERS, PREPARED IN THE OFFICE OF THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL, WERE CERTIFIED TO THIS OFFICE ON JOURNAL OF THE POSTMASTER GENERAL DATED AUGUST 11, 1932:

CLERK IN CHARGE OF RURAL STATIONS

THE FOLLOWING CHANGES AND APPOINTMENTS AFFECTING CLERKS IN CHARGE OF RURAL STATIONS OF THE RURAL DELIVERY SERVICE ARE ORDERED:

CHART STATE OFFICE RURAL STATION CLERK IN CHARGE SALARY PER ANNUM WASH-- YAKIMA GROWMORE------- LESLIE O. BIRD----- $300.00 DISC. AUG.

15, 1932.

DO--- --DO-- -------DO------ ALBERT C. BANKO---- $300.00 APPT. AUG.

16, 1932.

(APPROVED AUG. 8, 1932.)

BECAUSE OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 203 OF THE ECONOMY ACT, THIS OFFICE, UNDER DATE OF OCTOBER 21, 1932, ADVISED THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL AS FOLLOWS:

WITH REFERENCE TO ORDER NO. 187, WHICH CERTIFIED THE APPOINTMENT OF ALBERT C. BANKO, AS CLERK IN CHARGE OF RURAL STATION, GROWMORE, AT YAKIMA, WASH., EFFECTIVE AUGUST 16, 1932, AT SALARY OF $300.00 PER ANNUM, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE OF EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY TO FILL THE VACANCY AT THAT STATION, NO CREDIT WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF THE POSTMASTER AT SEATTLE FOR PAYMENTS MADE TO MR. BANKO.

IN REPLY THE ACTING FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL ADVISED, IN LETTER DATED OCTOBER 27, 1932, AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR OFFICE HAS CONCLUDED THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THE FEDERAL ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, DO NOT APPLY TO CONTRACT POST OFFICE STATIONS. IN VIEW OF THE CLOSE SIMILARITY IN NATURE OF RURAL STATIONS TO CONTRACT POST OFFICE STATIONS, THE DEPARTMENT HAS NOT DEEMED IT NECESSARY TO SECURE EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF CLERKS IN CHARGE. * * *

SECTION 3871, REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES:

THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, WHEN THE PUBLIC CONVENIENCE REQUIRES IT, MAY ESTABLISH WITHIN ANY POST-OFFICE DELIVERY ONE OR MORE BRANCH OFFICES FOR THE RECEIPT AND DELIVERY OF MAIL MATTER AND THE SALE OF STAMPS AND ENVELOPES; AND HE SHALL PRESCRIBE THE RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR THE GOVERNMENT THEREOF. * * *

THE ACT OF JUNE 9, 1896, 29 STAT. 313, PROVIDES:

* * * THAT HEREAFTER NO STATION, SUBSTATION, OR BRANCH POST OFFICE SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BEYOND THE CORPORATE LIMITS OR BOUNDARIES OF ANY CITY OR TOWN IN WHICH THE PRINCIPAL OFFICE TO WHICH SUCH STATION, SUBSTATION, OR BRANCH OFFICE IS ATTACHED IS LOCATED, * * *

THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1916, 39 STAT. 163, PROVIDES:

THAT HEREAFTER THE POSTMASTER GENERAL MAY ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR THE CONDUCT OF CONTRACT STATIONS FOR A TERM NOT EXCEEDING TWO YEARS.

THE POSTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS, 1932, PROVIDE:

SEC. 403. * * *

3. STATIONS AND BRANCH POST OFFICES SHALL BE DIVIDED INTO THE FOLLOWING CLASSES:

(A) "CLASSIFIED," THOSE IN CHARGE OF CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEES AND OCCUPYING QUARTERS PROVIDED BY THE GOVERNMENT.

(B) "CONTRACT," THOSE USUALLY LOCATED IN DRUG STORES OR OTHER PLACES OF BUSINESS AND OPERATED UNDER CONTRACT BY PERSONS NOT IN THE CLASSIFIED SERVICE WHO ARE REQUIRED TO FURNISH QUARTERS AND EQUIPMENT, HEAT, LIGHT, AND THE NECESSARY CLERICAL ASSISTANCE.

SEC. 1048. RURAL STATIONS SHALL BE ESTABLISHED AND MAINTAINED IN CONNECTION WITH RURAL DELIVERY SERVICE WHEN CONSIDERED NECESSARY TO FACILITATE THE TRANSACTION OF POSTAL BUSINESS IN COMMUNITIES WHERE A CONSIDERABLE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WOULD BE SERIOUSLY INCONVENIENCED IF COMPELLED TO TRANSACT BUSINESS WITH THE RURAL CARRIER ONLY, OR AT SUCH POINTS WHERE RURAL CARRIERS ARE REQUIRED TO EXCHANGE MAILS AND IT IS DEEMED INADVISABLE TO ESTABLISH POST OFFICES.

2. A RURAL STATION SHALL BE TRIBUTARY TO A POST OFFICE AND SHALL BE IN CHARGE OF A CLERK SUBORDINATE TO AND UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE POSTMASTER OF SUCH OFFICE, WHO SHALL FREQUENTLY VISIT AND INSPECT THE STATION WITH A VIEW TO CORRECTING IRREGULARITIES AND SEEING THAT IT IS CONDUCTED PROPERLY.

3. CLERKS IN CHARGE OF RURAL STATIONS SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE POSTMASTER GENERAL AT AN ANNUAL COMPENSATION FIXED BY HIM, AND SHALL FURNISH BONDS IN A DESIGNATED SUM. THE PERSON APPOINTED SHALL PROVIDE QUARTERS SUITABLE FOR THE TRANSACTION OF THE BUSINESS OF THE STATION.

SEC. 1049. CLERKS IN CHARGE OF RURAL STATIONS SHALL EXERCISE SUPERVISION OVER RURAL CARRIERS ON ROUTES EMANATING FROM THEIR STATIONS, SHALL RECEIVE AND CERTIFY TO THE CORRECTNESS OF THE REQUIRED REPORTS, AND TRANSMIT THEM TO THE POSTMASTERS AT THE OFFICES TO WHICH THEY ARE ATTACHED.

REFERENCE IS MADE, ALSO, TO SECTIONS 1050 TO 1057, INCLUSIVE, FOR FURTHER REGULATIONS RELATIVE TO RURAL STATIONS.

THE COMPENSATION OF CLERKS IN CHARGE OF RURAL STATIONS IS FIXED BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, AND IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE MAXIMUM IS $1,500 PER ANNUM.

THE ACT OF JULY 5, 1932, 47 STAT. 600, MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1933, PROVIDES:

FOR PAY OF RURAL CARRIERS, AUXILIARY CARRIERS, SUBSTITUTES FOR RURAL CARRIERS ON ANNUAL AND SICK LEAVE, CLERKS IN CHARGE OF RURAL STATIONS, AND TOLLS AND FERRIAGE, RURAL DELIVERY SERVICE, AND FOR THE INCIDENTAL EXPENSES THEREOF, $106,000,000.

A SIMILAR PROVISION RELATIVE TO CLERKS IN CHARGE OF RURAL STATIONS HAS APPEARED IN EACH APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT SINCE THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1903, 32 STAT. 1171, MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1904.

THE ECONOMY ACT APPROVED JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 399, 403, PROVIDES:

SEC. 203. NO APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE TO ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT * * * 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 * * * 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, * * *

IT IS TRUE, AS STATED BY THE ACTING FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL, THIS OFFICE HAS CONCLUDED THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THE ECONOMY ACT DO NOT APPLY TO CONTRACT POST OFFICE STATIONS. HOWEVER, RURAL STATIONS ARE NOT CONTRACT STATIONS AND IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE ACT OF JUNE 9, 1896, 29 STAT. 313, MIGHT PROHIBIT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF RURAL CONTRACT STATIONS. IN ANY EVENT, THERE ARE NOT CONTRACTS, EITHER FORMAL OR INFORMAL, WITH CLERKS IN CHARGE OF RURAL STATIONS ON FILE IN THIS OFFICE. IN THE INSTANT CASE IF LESLIE O. BIRD HAD BEEN UNDER CONTRACT HE COULD NOT HAVE TERMINATED THE SAME AS HE DID, BY THE SALE OF HIS PREMISES, UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF THE TERM FIXED IN THE CONTRACT WITHOUT LIABILITY TO THE UNITED STATES. THERE IS INVOLVED IN THE EMPLOYMENT OF CLERKS IN CHARGE OF RURAL STATIONS ALL OF THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF APPOINTMENT OF EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THEIR DUTIES UNQUESTIONABLY CONSTITUTE A "CIVIL POSITION UNDER THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT" WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 203 OF THE ECONOMY ACT, SUPRA. THESE EMPLOYEES ARE GIVEN EMPLOYMENT ON A PERSONAL SERVICE BASIS, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM A CONTRACT OR NONPERSONAL SERVICE BASIS, AT AN ANNUAL SALARY FIXED BY THE POSTMASTER GENERAL AND NO LIMIT TO THE PERIOD OF EMPLOYMENT IS FIXED. THEY ARE PLACED UNDER THE CONTROL OF A POSTMASTER AND ARE REQUIRED TO EXERCISE SUPERVISION OVER OTHER EMPLOYEES. ACCORDINGLY, THERE CAN BE NO DOUBT BUT THAT THE RESTRICTIONS OF SECTION 203 OF THE ECONOMY ACT ARE APPLICABLE TO THEM.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT THE ACTION OF OCTOBER 21, 1932, MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED. NO CREDIT WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE POSTAL ACCOUNTS FOR PAYMENTS OF SALARY TO ANY APPOINTEES TO THE POSITION OF CLERK IN CHARGE OF RURAL STATIONS IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE OF PRESIDENTIAL APPROVAL OF THE FILLING OF THE VACANCY.