A-48276, APRIL 22, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 606

A-48276: Apr 22, 1933

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IS PROHIBITED AS AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION DURING THE REMAINDER OF THE FISCAL YEAR 1933. IT WAS HELD AS FOLLOWS: IN DECISION OF MARCH 17. 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. THE CASH SALARY RATE AND THE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND HAVE BEEN KEPT SEPARATE AND DISTINCT. 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 COMPUTE.

A-48276, APRIL 22, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 606

ECONOMY ACT, AMENDED - ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS - DEDUCTION IN VALUE OF ALLOWANCES ANY ACTION BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT TO ADJUST COMPENSATION RATES OF POSITIONS CARRYING MAINTENANCE WITH REGARD TO EMPLOYEES IN THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, OR BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, 45 STAT. 193, WITH REGARD TO THE EMPLOYEES IN THE FIELD SERVICE, WHICH WOULD RESULT IN AN INCREASE IN THE AMOUNT OF CASH PAID TO EMPLOYEES WHO WOULD CONTINUE TO RECEIVE THE SAME ALLOWANCES, IS PROHIBITED AS AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION DURING THE REMAINDER OF THE FISCAL YEAR 1933, UNDER THE TERMS OF SECTION 202 OF THE ECONOMY ACT, AND DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1934, UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1515.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, APRIL 22, 1933:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 1, 1933, REQUESTING DECISION OF THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

1. IN VIEW OF THE ECONOMY LEGISLATION OF JUNE 30, 1932, MARCH 3, 1933, AND MARCH 20, 1933, HAS THE AUTHORITY OF THE COMMISSION TO MAKE NECESSARY ADJUSTMENTS IN COMPENSATION FOR POSITIONS CARRYING MAINTENANCE (SUCH AUTHORITY ARISING OUT OF SECTION 3 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923) BEEN SUSPENDED OR OTHERWISE LIMITED?

2. IN VIEW OF THE ECONOMY LEGISLATION OF MARCH 3, 1933, AND MARCH 20, 1933, AND THE EXECUTIVE ORDER OF MARCH 28, 1933, DOES YOUR DECISION OF FEBRUARY 4, 1933 (A-46895) REMAIN IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT IN THE FIELD SERVICE, WITHOUT MODIFICATION?

IN DECISION OF FEBRUARY 4, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 520, 521, TO WHICH YOU REFER, IT WAS HELD AS FOLLOWS:

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 COMPUTE. THUS THE PRACTICAL RESULT OF APPLYING THE NEW SCHEDULE OF VALUES MADE EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 15, 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.

FROM THE ABOVE THERE WAS STATED IN THE SYLLABUS OF THE DECISION THE

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.

SECTION 4 (D), TITLE II, OF THE ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933, PUBLIC, NO. 2, 48 STAT. 14, REPEALS SECTION 101 (B) OF THE ECONOMY ACT AS OF APRIL 1, 1933, AND SECTION 7, TITLE II, OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, PUBLIC, NO. 428, 47 STAT. 1515, REENACTS, WITH AN AMENDMENT NOT HERE MATERIAL, AND EXTENDS THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 202 OF THE ECONOMY ACT THROUGH THE FISCAL YEAR 1934.

WHILE THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 101 OF THE ECONOMY ACT CONSIDERED IN THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 4, 1933, ARE NO LONGER FOR CONSIDERATION, THE PROHIBITION AGAINST ANY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WHICH WOULD PROMOTE, THAT IS, INCREASE THE COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES, IS STILL OPERATIVE ON AND AFTER APRIL 1, 1933. AS STATED IN THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 4, 1933, SUPRA, A DECREASE IN THE DETERMINED VALUE OF ALLOWANCES IN KINDTO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES RESULTS IN AN INCREASE IN THE ACTUAL CASH PAID UNDER THE PERSONNEL APPROPRIATIONS AND AT THE SAME TIME PERMITS THE EMPLOYEES TO RECEIVE THE SAME ALLOWANCES IN KIND. IN OTHER WORDS, THE RESULT IS AN INCREASE IN COMPENSATION AND AN INCREASE IN THE OBLIGATION OF THE GOVERNMENT UNDER APPROPRIATED FUNDS, AND MUST, THEREFORE, BE CONSIDERED AS PROHIBITED. WHILE ACTION BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION UNDER THE TERMS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT IN ADJUSTING COMPENSATION RATES FOR POSITIONS CARRYING MAINTENANCE IS NOT, STRICTLY SPEAKING, THE ACTION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, IF THE ACTION OF THE COMMISSION AMOUNTS TO A CHANGE IN THE VALUE OF THE ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND AS FIXED ON OR PRIOR TO JUNE 30, 1932, THE RESULT OF WHICH WOULD BE AN INCREASE IN THE AMOUNT OF CASH TO BE PAID TO THE EMPLOYEE, AND, THEREFORE, AN INCREASE IN THE OBLIGATION UNDER PERSONNEL APPROPRIATIONS, IT IS EQUIVALENT TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION AND PROHIBITED BY THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 203 OF THE ECONOMY ACT AND SECTION 7, TITLE II, OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT AS THE APPARENT PURPOSE OF ANY ACTION AT THIS TIME BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT TO ADJUST COMPENSATION RATES OF POSITIONS CARRYING MAINTENANCE WITH REGARD TO EMPLOYEES IN THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, OR BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, 45 STAT. 193, WITH REGARD TO EMPLOYEES IN THE FIELD SERVICE, WOULD APPEAR TO BE TO AVOID OR DEFEAT IN WHOLE OR IN PART THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE 15 PERCENT REDUCTION OF THE COMPENSATION AS OF MARCH 31, 1933, PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 2 AND 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933, AND THE EXECUTIVE ORDER OF MARCH 28, 1933, BOTH OF THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED ARE ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

OF COURSE, IF THE ACTUAL COST TO THE PUBLIC GENERALLY OF SUCH ITEMS AS ARE FURNISHED IN KIND BY THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD MATERIALLY DECREASE AFTER MARCH 31, 1933, THERE WOULD BE AUTHORIZED A CORRESPONDING DECREASE IN THE FIXED VALUE OF THE ITEMS SO FURNISHED IN KIND.