A-46895, FEBRUARY 4, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 520

A-46895: Feb 4, 1933

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OR WHILE THE PROVISIONS OF THE ECONOMY ACT NOW EXISTING ARE IN FORCE. IS AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION AND PROHIBITED BY SECTION 202 OF THE ECONOMY ACT. THERE WAS PUT IN EFFECT A NEW RATE OF ALLOWANCES FOR THE EXCEPTED GROUP OF CIVIL EMPLOYEES AT THIS HOSPITAL. WAS MADE BY ORDER OF THE COMMANDING OFFICER. 3. A DECISION IS REQUESTED ON THE LEGALITY OF SUCH PAYMENT. 4. IF THE PAYMENT ABOVE MENTIONED IS FOUND TO BE LEGAL. FURTHER DECISIONS REGARDING CIVILIAN PAY ARE REQUESTED AS FOLLOWS: SHOULD THE ANNUAL RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR EACH EMPLOYEE BE NOW CONSIDERED AS THE RATE OF PAY. IS CONSIDERED TO BE PAY PLUS $40.00 PER MONTH ALLOWANCES FOR FOUR AND ONE- HALF MONTHS. THE IMPOUND DEDUCTIONS IN SOME CASES HAVE BEEN TOO GREAT.

A-46895, FEBRUARY 4, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 520

ECONOMY ACT - ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS - REDUCTION IN VALUE OF ALLOWANCES ANY ADJUSTMENT OR MANIPULATION IN SALARY OR VALUE OF ALLOWANCE RATES DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1933, OR WHILE THE PROVISIONS OF THE ECONOMY ACT NOW EXISTING ARE IN FORCE, RESULTING IN CONTINUED FURNISHING OF THE SAME ALLOWANCES AND IN ADDITION AN INCREASE OF THE AMOUNT OF CASH PAID TO THE EMPLOYEE, IS AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION AND PROHIBITED BY SECTION 202 OF THE ECONOMY ACT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, FEBRUARY 4, 1933:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 19, 1933, REQUESTING DECISION OF THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED IN THE FOLLOWING COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES NAVAL HOSPITAL, SAW DIEGO, CALIF.:

1. ON NOVEMBER 15, 1932, THERE WAS PUT IN EFFECT A NEW RATE OF ALLOWANCES FOR THE EXCEPTED GROUP OF CIVIL EMPLOYEES AT THIS HOSPITAL; THIS NEW RATE OF ALLOWANCES AMOUNTS TO $21.12 PER MONTH. (ENCLOSURE (2).) THE ALLOWANCE FROM JULY 1, 1932, TO NOVEMBER 15, 1932, AMOUNTED TO $40.00 PER MONTH.

2. THIS CHANGE OF ALLOWANCES HAS REDUCED THE IMPOUND DEDUCTIONS VARIOUS AMOUNTS IN EACH CASE, AND THE DISBURSING OFFICER HAS QUESTIONED THE LEGALITY OF THIS CHANGE IN ALLOWANCES AND DEDUCTIONS IN IMPOUND CHECK AGES. (ENCLOSURE (3).) PAYMENT, HOWEVER, WAS MADE BY ORDER OF THE COMMANDING OFFICER.

3. A DECISION IS REQUESTED ON THE LEGALITY OF SUCH PAYMENT.

4. IF THE PAYMENT ABOVE MENTIONED IS FOUND TO BE LEGAL, FURTHER DECISIONS REGARDING CIVILIAN PAY ARE REQUESTED AS FOLLOWS:

SHOULD THE ANNUAL RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR EACH EMPLOYEE BE NOW CONSIDERED AS THE RATE OF PAY, PLUS ALLOWANCES OF $21.12 FOR TWELVE MONTHS, OR, SHOULD IT BE THE RATE OF PAY PLUS $40.00 PER MONTH FOR FOUR AND ONE-HALF MONTHS, AND RATE OF PAY PLUS $21.12 FOR SEVEN AND ONE-HALF MONTHS? IF THE ANNUAL COMPENSATION FOR EMPLOYEES FROM NOVEMBER 16, 1932, IS CONSIDERED TO BE PAY PLUS $40.00 PER MONTH ALLOWANCES FOR FOUR AND ONE- HALF MONTHS, AND PAY PLUS $21.12 PER MONTH ALLOWANCES FOR SEVEN AND ONE- HALF MONTHS, AS HAS BEEN DONE ON THE ENCLOSED PAY ROLL, THE IMPOUND DEDUCTIONS IN SOME CASES HAVE BEEN TOO GREAT. AS AN EXAMPLE THE COMPENSATION OF GEORGE E. TUNISON, PAY ROLL NUMBER 60, HAS BEEN CONSIDERED TO BE $57.00 PER MONTH, PLUS $40.00 PER MONTH ALLOWANCES, A TOTAL OF $97.00 OR $1,164.00 PER ANNUM. IMPOUND DEDUCTIONS HAVE BEEN MADE FOR FOUR AND ONE-HALF MONTHS AT THAT RATE. THE ANNUAL RATE IN THIS CASE IS NOW $1,022.40. IMPOUND DEDUCTIONS HAVE BEEN MADE AMOUNTING TO $36.36 FOR THE FISCAL YEAR, WHEREAS, FIGURING ON THE NEW ALLOWANCES FROM NOVEMBER 16, 1932, THE IMPOUND SHOULD BE $22.40. SHOULD THE DIFFERENCE BE REFUNDED?

THE DISBURSING OFFICER WHO APPARENTLY ADJUSTED UNDER PROTEST THE COMPENSATION OF THE EMPLOYEES IN QUESTION, EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 16, 1932, STATES AS FOLLOWS:

2. PAY ROLLS FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE, 1932, IN THE CASE OF EACH NAME ENUMERATED ABOVE, CONTAINED CREDIT FOR THE VALUE OF QUARTERS FURNISHED,AT THE RATE OF TWENTY DOLLARS PER MONTH, AND THE VALUE OF SUBSISTENCE FURNISHED AT THE RATE OF TWENTY DOLLARS PER MONTH, WHILE SUBJECT PAY ROLL, IN THE CASE OF EACH NAME ENUMERATED, CONTAINS CREDIT FOR THE VALUE OF QUARTERS FURNISHED AT THE RATE OF SIX DOLLARS PER MONTH, AND THE VALUE OF SUBSISTENCE FURNISHED AT THE RATE OF FIFTEEN DOLLARS AND TWELVE CENTS PER MONTH.

3. IN THE OPINION OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER, THE CHANGE IN CREDIT, IN THE VALUE OF QUARTERS FURNISHED, FROM THE RATE OF TWENTY DOLLARS PER MONTH TO THE RATE OF SIX DOLLARS PER MONTH, AND THE VALUE OF SUBSISTENCE FURNISHED FROM THE RATE OF TWENTY DOLLARS PER MONTH TO THE RATE OF FIFTEEN DOLLARS AND TWELVE CENTS PER MONTH, OPERATES AS A REDUCTION IN THE RATE OF COMPENSATION OF THESE EMPLOYEES, AND IS IN CONTRAVENTION TO SECTION 101 (B), OF "AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR LEGISLATIVE BRANCHES OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1933, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," AND COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S DECISION REFERRED TO IN ALNAVSTA 0010, IN THAT IT REDUCES THE SUM TO BE IMPOUNDED AND INCREASES THE SUM TO BE PAID EACH EMPLOYEE, THEREBY, IN PART, DEFEATING THE PURPOSE OF THAT PART OF THE ACT RELATING TO SUMS TO BE IMPOUNDED.

SECTION 101 (B) AND SECTION 202 OF THE ECONOMY ACT PROVIDE IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 101. DURING THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1933---

(B) * * * PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE RATE OF COMPENSATION OF ANY EMPLOYEE FURLOUGHED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT SHALL NOT BE REDUCED BY REASON OF THE ACTION OF ANY WAGE BOARD DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1933.

SEC. 202. NO ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS IN THE CIVIL BRANCH OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SHALL BE MADE DURING THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1933: * * *

IN DECISION OF MARCH 17, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 588, 594, INVOLVING THE FIXING OF SALARY RATES OF EMPLOYEES UNDER THE NAVAL ESTABLISHMENT WHO RECEIVED ALLOWANCES IN KIND AS A PART OF COMPENSATION, IT WAS STATED:

THEN, IF IT IS DESIRED TO STATE IN THE SCHEDULE OF WAGES ONLY THE RATE OF WAGES PAID IN CASH, AN ASTERISK OR OTHER CHARACTER MIGHT BE PLACED OPPOSITE EACH OF THE POSITIONS WHERE QUARTERS OR OTHER ALLOWANCES IN KIND ARE FURNISHED AS A PART OF THE TOTAL RATE OF COMPENSATION, REFERRING TO A FOOTNOTE IN WHICH MIGHT APPEAR A STATEMENT GIVING THE KIND OR CHARACTER OF THE ALLOWANCES FURNISHED, TOGETHER WITH THE DETERMINED VALUE THEREOF AND A REFERENCE TO NOTE 10 OR OTHER APPLICABLE NOTE OF THE SCHEDULE.

UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THIS DECISION, BOTH IN THE SCHEDULE OF WAGES, ISSUED EACH CALENDAR YEAR, AND ON THE PAY ROLLS, THE CASH SALARY RATE AND THE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND HAVE BEEN KEPT SEPARATE AND DISTINCT, BUT THE AGGREGATE OF THE TWO HAS BEEN CONSIDERED AS THE TOTAL SALARY RATE FOR THE POSITIONS ON THE BASIS OF WHICH RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS AND IMPOUNDING UNDER THE ECONOMY ACT PROPERLY HAVE BEEN COMPUTED. THUS THE PRACTICAL RESULT OF APPLYING THE NEW SCHEDULE OF VALUES MADE EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 16, 1932, FOR QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE WILL BE NOT ONLY TO REDUCE THE TOTAL RATE OF COMPENSATION OF THE EMPLOYEES IN CONTRAVENTION OF SECTION 101 (B) OF THE ECONOMY ACT, SUPRA, AS STATED BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER, BUT ALSO TO INCREASE THE REMUNERATION FOR SERVICES RENDERED IN CONTRAVENTION OF SECTION 202 OF THE ECONOMY ACT, AN INCREASE IN COMPENSATION BEING TANTAMOUNT TO AN "ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT SECTION OF THE ECONOMY ACT.

USING THE POSITION OF JAMES L. CARTER, SECOND COOK, AS AN ILLUSTRATION, THE RESULT FOR A SEMIMONTHLY PAY ROLL PERIOD WOULD BE AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

DEDUCTIONS

AMOUNT QUARTERS AND 8 1/3 PERCENT PAID

EARNED SUBSISTENCE IN FORCE PRIOR TO NOVEMBER 16, 1932--- SCHEDULE CASH RATE--$84.00 QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE--------- 40.00 $62.00 $20.00 $5.17

$36.83 ADJUSTMENT MADE NOVEMBER 16, 1932--- SCHEDULE CASH RATE--$84.00 QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE--------- 21.12 52.56 10.56 4.38 37.62

THE DIFFERENCE IN THIS CASE WOULD BE 79 CENTS LESS TO BE IMPOUNDED AND 79 CENTS MORE TO BE PAID IN CASH TO THE EMPLOYEE. IN A YEAR THE DIFFERENCE WOULD AMOUNT TO 0.79 TIMES 24, OR $18.96. THUS THE EMPLOYEE WOULD CONTINUE TO RECEIVE THE SAME QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE AND, ALSO, AN INCREASE IN CASH OUT OF THE SALARY APPROPRIATION, THE GOVERNMENT LOSING THE AMOUNT OF THE INCREASE IN CASH FROM THE IMPOUNDED FUND. IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT ANY ADJUSTMENT OR MANIPULATION IN SALARY AND VALUE OF ALLOWANCE RATES DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1933, OR WHILE THE PROVISIONS OF THE ECONOMY ACT NOW EXISTING ARE IN FORCE RESULTING IN CONTINUED FURNISHING OF THE SAME ALLOWANCES AND IN ADDITION AN INCREASE IN THE AMOUNT OF CASH PAID THE EMPLOYEE, IS AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION AND PROHIBITED BY SECTION 202 OF THE ECONOMY ACT. YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT THE ADJUSTMENT MADE NOVEMBER 16, 1932, WAS INVALID AND ACTION IN THE AUDIT BY THIS OFFICE WILL BE TAKEN ACCORDINGLY.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE IT WOULD APPEAR UNNECESSARY TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 4 OF THE COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE NAVAL HOSPITAL AT SAN DIEGO, CALIF. ..END :