A-4899, SEPTEMBER 11, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 293

A-4899: Sep 11, 1924

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1924: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 27. THE DUTIES OF THE PERSONS EMPLOYED UNDER THESE THREE DISTINCT APPROPRIATIONS ARE DISSIMILAR. WHICH OFFICE IS CHARGED WITH THE DISTRIBUTION AND SALE OF GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS. THE QUESTION ARISES AS TO THE CORRECTNESS OF OUR INTERPRETATION THAT EACH OF THESE THREE APPROPRIATIONS IS AN APPROPRIATION UNIT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923. YOUR DECISION THEREON IS REQUESTED. THERE ARE FOR CONSIDERATION THEREFORE ONLY THE TWO APPROPRIATIONS DESIGNATED AS NOS. 1 AND 3. OR (2) TO REQUIRE THE REDUCTION IN SALARY OF ANY PERSON WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED. OR (3) TO PREVENT THE PAYMENT OF A SALARY UNDER ANY GRADE AT A RATE HIGHER THAN THE MAXIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE WHEN SUCH HIGHER RATE IS PERMITTED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 AND IS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY OTHER LAW.

A-4899, SEPTEMBER 11, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 293

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES--- AVERAGE PROVISION--- GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE THE TOTAL OF FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR PERSONAL SERVICES UNDER THE SUBHEADINGS "OFFICE OF PUBLIC PRINTER" AND "OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS" IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE CONSTITUTES ONE APPROPRIATION UNIT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE AVERAGE PROVISION APPEARING IN SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 593, MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1925.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE PUBLIC PRINTER, SEPTEMBER 11, 1924:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 27, 1924, AS FOLLOWS:

PUBLIC ACT 225, 68TH CONGRESS, APPROVED JUNE 7, 1924, PROVIDES UNDER THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE THREE SEPARATE APPROPRIATIONS, AS FOLLOWS:

1. OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC PRINTER, FOR PERSONAL SERVICES, $157,880;

2. PUBLIC PRINTING AND BINDING, FOR PERSONAL SERVICES AND OTHER EXPENSES, $2,000,000 (WORKING CAPITAL ONLY, AND SUBJECT TO INCREASE TO ABOUT $10,000,000 BY REPAYMENTS FOR WORK DONE FOR OTHER GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENTS); AND

3. OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS, $339,960 FOR PERSONAL SERVICES AND $165,000 FOR OTHER EXPENSES; IN ALL, $504,960.

THE DUTIES OF THE PERSONS EMPLOYED UNDER THESE THREE DISTINCT APPROPRIATIONS ARE DISSIMILAR, AND ESPECIALLY SO AS REGARDS EMPLOYEES UNDER THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE OFFICE OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS, WHICH OFFICE IS CHARGED WITH THE DISTRIBUTION AND SALE OF GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS.

THIS OFFICE HAS HERETOFORE CONSIDERED EACH OF THE ABOVE APPROPRIATIONS AS A SEPARATE APPROPRIATION UNIT, FOR CLASSIFICATION PURPOSES.

UNDER DECISIONS OF COMPTROLLER GENERAL DATED JUNE 26, 1924, AND AUGUST 8, 1924, THE QUESTION ARISES AS TO THE CORRECTNESS OF OUR INTERPRETATION THAT EACH OF THESE THREE APPROPRIATIONS IS AN APPROPRIATION UNIT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AND YOUR DECISION THEREON IS REQUESTED.

DECISION OF AUGUST 25, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 202, HELD THAT THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 658, AUTHORIZING THE PUBLIC PRINTER TO FIX THE RATES OF PAY IN THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, SUPERSEDES THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 TO THE EXTENT OF PERSONAL SERVICES UNDER THE APPROPRIATION DESIGNATED AS NO. 2, VIZ: "PUBLIC PRINTING AND BINDING.' THERE ARE FOR CONSIDERATION THEREFORE ONLY THE TWO APPROPRIATIONS DESIGNATED AS NOS. 1 AND 3, VIZ "OFFICE OF PUBLIC PRINTER" AND "OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS," PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 590.

SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 593, MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1925, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

IN EXPENDING APPROPRIATIONS OR PORTIONS OF APPROPRIATIONS, CONTAINED IN THIS ACT, FOR THE PAYMENT FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, THE AVERAGE OF THE SALARIES OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONS UNDER ANY GRADE OR CLASS THEREOF IN THE BOTANIC GARDEN, THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, OR THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, SHALL NOT AT ANY TIME EXCEED THE AVERAGE OF THE COMPENSATION RATES SPECIFIED FOR THE GRADE BY SUCH ACT: PROVIDED, THAT THIS RESTRICTION SHALL NOT APPLY (1) TO GRADES 1, 2, 3, AND 4 OF THE CLERICAL-MECHANICAL SERVICE, OR (2) TO REQUIRE THE REDUCTION IN SALARY OF ANY PERSON WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED, AS OF JULY 1, 1924, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RULES OF SECTION 6 OF SUCH ACT, OR (3) TO PREVENT THE PAYMENT OF A SALARY UNDER ANY GRADE AT A RATE HIGHER THAN THE MAXIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE WHEN SUCH HIGHER RATE IS PERMITTED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 AND IS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY OTHER LAW.

THE DECISION OF JUNE 26, 1924, 3 COMP. GEN. 1001, 1002, AND DECISION OF AUGUST 8, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 167, CITED BY YOU, IN WHICH WAS CONSIDERED WHAT CONSTITUTED AN APPROPRIATION UNIT, WERE BASED ON "AVERAGE" PROVISIONS APPEARING IN APPROPRIATION ACTS WHICH SPECIFIED "BUREAU, OFFICE, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNIT"; WHEREAS IN THE INSTANT APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE THIS PHRASE DOES NOT APPEAR, BUT THE APPROPRIATION EXPRESSLY PROVIDES THAT THE "GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE" SHALL CONSTITUTE THE UNIT FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE SECTION AND THUS NOT EACH SEPARATE APPROPRIATION THEREFOR.

YOU ARE ADVISED THEREFORE THAT THE APPROPRIATED FUNDS PROVIDED FOR PERSONAL SERVICES UNDER THE SUBHEADINGS "OFFICE OF PUBLIC PRINTER" AND "OFFICE OF SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS" CONSTITUTE ONE APPROPRIATION UNIT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE AVERAGE PROVISION.