A-48896, MAY 17, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 649

A-48896: May 17, 1933

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NOTWITHSTANDING POSTAL RECEIPTS MAY HAVE REQUIRED ADVANCEMENT OF THE POST OFFICE FROM ONE CLASS TO ANOTHER. AS FOLLOWS: THE DEPARTMENT IS IN RECEIPT OF A LETTER DATED APRIL 20. WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS: "I WAS APPOINTED ACTING POSTMASTER AT OVERTON. "RECORDS OF THIS OFFICE SHOW IT WAS ADVANCED TO SECOND CLASS ON JULY 1. STILL THE RECORDS OF THE OFFICE SHOW THE FORMER POSTMASTER WAS ONLY PAID $1. "PLEASE LET ME KNOW AT ONCE WHICH SALARY WILL APPLY IN MY CASE SO AS TO TAKE CREDIT FOR CORRECT SALARY NEXT PAY PERIOD.'. FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 1931 WERE $17. IT WAS RULED THAT "INCREASES IN COMPENSATION OF POSTMASTERS * * * BASED ON THE INCREASE IN GROSS RECEIPTS OF POST OFFICES FOR THE PRECEDING CALENDAR YEAR * * * CONSTITUTE AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 201 OF THE ECONOMY ACT AND ARE PROHIBITED FROM BECOMING EFFECTIVE DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1933.'.

A-48896, MAY 17, 1933, 12 COMP. GEN. 649

ECONOMY ACT, AMENDED - COMPENSATION OF POSTMASTERS NO POSTMASTER MAY RECEIVE COMPENSATION ON AND AFTER APRIL 1, 1933, DURING THE FISCAL YEARS 1933 AND 1934 IN EXCESS OF THE RATE RECEIVED BY HIM IN THE SAME OFFICE ON JUNE 30, 1932, LESS 15 PERCENT OR OTHER PERCENTAGE REDUCTION REQUIRED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER ISSUED PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 2 AND 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933, 48 STAT. 12, 13, NOTWITHSTANDING POSTAL RECEIPTS MAY HAVE REQUIRED ADVANCEMENT OF THE POST OFFICE FROM ONE CLASS TO ANOTHER. THE COMPENSATION OF A POSTMASTER OF THE FIRST, SECOND, OR THIRD CLASS, APPOINTED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1933 SHOULD BE BASED ON THE TOTAL RECEIPTS OF THE OFFICE FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 1931, AND THE COMPENSATION OF A POSTMASTER OF THE FIRST, SECOND, OR THIRD CLASS, APPOINTED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1934, SHOULD BE BASED ON THE POSTAL RECEIPTS OF THE OFFICE FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 1932, WITHOUT REGARD TO THE RATE OF COMPENSATION RECEIVED BY HIS PREDECESSOR. HOWEVER, A POSTMASTER APPOINTED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1933 WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO AN INCREASE IN COMPENSATION EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1933, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1934, BASED ON AN INCREASE IN THE POSTAL RECEIPTS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 1932, BUT WOULD BE SUBJECT TO ANY REDUCTION IN COMPENSATION EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1933, REQUIRED BY REDUCTION IN THE POSTAL RECEIPTS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 1932.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, MAY 17, 1933:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 8, 1933, AS FOLLOWS:

THE DEPARTMENT IS IN RECEIPT OF A LETTER DATED APRIL 20, 1933, FROM THE ACTING POSTMASTER OF OVERTON, TEXAS, WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

"I WAS APPOINTED ACTING POSTMASTER AT OVERTON, TEXAS, APRIL 15TH, AND AM IN SOME DOUBT AS TO THE SALARY.

"RECORDS OF THIS OFFICE SHOW IT WAS ADVANCED TO SECOND CLASS ON JULY 1, 1932, AND SALARY OF POSTMASTER FIXED AT $2,600 PER YEAR. STILL THE RECORDS OF THE OFFICE SHOW THE FORMER POSTMASTER WAS ONLY PAID $1,600 LESS 8 1/3 PERCENT, WHICH LEFT SALARY LESS THAN CLERKS IN OFFICE.

"PLEASE LET ME KNOW AT ONCE WHICH SALARY WILL APPLY IN MY CASE SO AS TO TAKE CREDIT FOR CORRECT SALARY NEXT PAY PERIOD.'

THE GROSS RECEIPTS OF THE POST OFFICE AT OVERTON, TEXAS, FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 1931 WERE $17,110.43. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, THE SALARY OF THE POSTMASTER BASED ON THE ABOVE RECEIPTS WOULD BE AT THE RATE OF $2,600 DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1933.

IN A DECISION DATED JULY 30, 1932, IT WAS RULED THAT "INCREASES IN COMPENSATION OF POSTMASTERS * * * BASED ON THE INCREASE IN GROSS RECEIPTS OF POST OFFICES FOR THE PRECEDING CALENDAR YEAR * * * CONSTITUTE AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 201 OF THE ECONOMY ACT AND ARE PROHIBITED FROM BECOMING EFFECTIVE DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1933.'

THE SALARY OF THE POSTMASTER AT OVERTON, TEXAS, ON JUNE 30, 1932, WAS AT THE RATE OF $1,600, AND THIS SALARY WAS CONTINUED IN EFFECT DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1933, BASED ON THE ABOVE CITED DECISION.

A DECISION IS DESIRED AS TO WHETHER A POSTMASTER APPOINTED TO OFFICE SINCE JULY 1, 1932, WOULD RECEIVE THE SAME RATE OF COMPENSATION AS THE OUTGOING POSTMASTER, OR WOULD HE BE ENTITLED TO THE SALARY BASED ON GROSS RECEIPTS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR.

IN THE EVENT YOUR DECISION PROVIDES THAT THE INCOMING POSTMASTER SHALL RECEIVE COMPENSATION BASED ON GROSS RECEIPTS, IT IS REQUESTED THAT YOU STATE WHETHER IT MAY BE CONSTRUED AS BEING RETROACTIVE TO COVER SALARIES OF POSTMASTERS APPOINTED SINCE JULY 1, 1932.

SECTION 201 OF THE ECONOMY ACT PROHIBITING AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS APPLIED IN THE DECISION OF JULY 30, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 146, QUOTED BY YOU, IS EFFECTIVE DURING THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR 1933, AND HAS BEEN CONTINUED THROUGH THE FISCAL YEAR 1934 BY SECTION 4 (A) OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1513, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 4 (A), TITLE II, OF THE ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933, 48 STAT. 13.

THEREFORE, NO POSTMASTER MAY RECEIVE COMPENSATION ON AND AFTER APRIL 1, 1933, DURING THE FISCAL YEARS 1933 AND 1934 IN EXCESS OF THE RATE RECEIVED BY HIM IN THE SAME OFFICE ON JUNE 30, 1932, LESS 15 PERCENT OR OTHER PERCENTAGE REDUCTION REQUIRED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER ISSUED PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 2 AND 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933, PUBLIC NO. 2, NOTWITHSTANDING POSTAL RECEIPTS MAY HAVE REQUIRED ADVANCEMENT OF THE POST OFFICE FROM ONE CLASS TO ANOTHER.

SECTION 201 OF THE ECONOMY ACT IS A PROHIBITION AGAINST AUTOMATIC PROMOTION; THAT IS, INCREASE OF COMPENSATION BY OPERATION OF LAW, AND DOES NOT CONTROL THE FIXING OF INITIAL COMPENSATION RATES OF POSTMASTERS UPON ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT, WHICH SHOULD BE DETERMINED ON THE BASIS OF THE POSTAL RECEIPTS AS REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1053.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT THE COMPENSATION OF A POSTMASTER OF THE FIRST, SECOND, OR THIRD CLASS, APPOINTED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1933, SHOULD BE BASED ON THE POSTAL RECEIPTS OF THE OFFICE FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 1931, AND THE COMPENSATION OF A POSTMASTER OF THE FIRST, SECOND, OR THIRD CLASS, APPOINTED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1934, SHOULD BE BASED ON THE POSTAL RECEIPTS OF THE OFFICE FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 1932, WITHOUT REGARD TO THE RATE OF COMPENSATION RECEIVED BY HIS PREDECESSOR. HOWEVER, A POSTMASTER APPOINTED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1933 WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO AN INCREASE IN COMPENSATION EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1933, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1934, BASED ON AN INCREASE IN THE POSTAL RECEIPTS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 1932, BUT WOULD BE SUBJECT TO ANY REDUCTION IN COMPENSATION EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1933, REQUIRED BY A REDUCTION IN THE POSTAL RECEIPTS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 1932. THE COMPENSATION OF ALL POSTMASTERS, WHETHER HERETOFORE OR HEREAFTER APPOINTED, SHOULD BE ADJUSTED ACCORDINGLY. THE POSTMASTER AT OVERTON, X., IS ENTITLED FROM AND AFTER APRIL 15, 1933, AND AT LEAST DURING THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR, TO COMPENSATION AT THE RATE OF $2,600 PER ANNUM, LESS 15 PERCENT.