A-52541, JANUARY 4, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 183

A-52541: Jan 4, 1934

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THE AMOUNTS AS SPECIFIED IN THE PRIVATE ACTS ARE SUBJECT TO THE PERCENTAGE REDUCTION REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 20. AS FOLLOWS: THERE IS SUBMITTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION AND ADVICE THE QUESTION WHETHER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 15 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT. ARE APPLICABLE TO PAYMENTS BEING MADE BY THE COMMISSION UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF PRIVATE ACT NO. 467. HE IS HEREBY. WHERE THE RELIEF GRANTED IS IN THE NATURE OF A LEGISLATIVE GRANT HAVING NO REFERENCE TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 7. THE ACTS FALLING INTO THE FIRST GROUP HAVE BEEN HELD BY THE COMMISSION TO BE SUBJECT TO THE REDUCTION IN COMPENSATION PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 14 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT.

A-52541, JANUARY 4, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 183

EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION - AWARDS - PERCENTAGE REDUCTION AWARDS MADE BY PRIVATE ACTS OF DISABILITY COMPENSATION FOR INJURIES INCURRED IN LINE OF DUTY IN CIVILIAN EMPLOYMENT CONSTITUTE "PENSION" WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 15 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1933, 48 STAT. 307, AND THE AMOUNTS AS SPECIFIED IN THE PRIVATE ACTS ARE SUBJECT TO THE PERCENTAGE REDUCTION REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933, 48 STAT. 13, AND EXECUTIVE ORDERS ISSUED PURSUANT THERETO.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE UNITED STATES EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION, JANUARY 4, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 8, 1933, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS SUBMITTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION AND ADVICE THE QUESTION WHETHER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 15 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1934, ARE APPLICABLE TO PAYMENTS BEING MADE BY THE COMMISSION UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF PRIVATE ACT NO. 467, 70TH CONGRESS, TO ARTHUR E. RUMP.

PRIVATE ACT NO. 467, FOR THE RELIEF OF ARTHUR E. RUMP, APPROVED MARCH 2, 1929, PROVIDES:

"BE IT ENACTED BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY BE, AND HE IS HEREBY, AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO PAY, OUT OF ANY MONEY IN THE TREASURY NOT OTHERWISE APPROPRIATED, TO ARTHUR E. RUMP DURING HIS NATURAL LIFE THE SUM OF $117 PER MONTH, TO DATE FROM THE PASSAGE OF THIS ACT, AS COMPENSATION FOR INJURIES SUSTAINED WHILE IN THE LINE OF HIS DUTIES AS REGISTRY CLERK AT THE SAINT LOUIS (MISSOURI) POST OFFICE, SAID MONTHLY PAYMENTS TO BE PAID THROUGH THE UNITED STATES EMPLOYEE'S COMPENSATION COMMISSION.'

SECTION 15 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1934, PROVIDES:

"FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1934, EVERY PENSION PAYABLE UNDER ANY PRIVATE RELIEF ACT, NOT SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 1 AND 17 OF TITLE I OF THE ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT TO MAINTAIN THE CREDIT OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT," APPROVED MARCH 20, 1933, SHALL, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 18 OF TITLE I OF SUCH ACT, BE REDUCED BY THE SAME PERCENTAGE AS THAT PRESCRIBED FOR THE REDUCTION OF COMPENSATION OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES UNDER SECTION 3 OF TITLE II OF SAID ACT.'

PRIVATE RELIEF ACTS WHICH AUTHORIZE THE COMMISSION TO ADMINISTER THE RELIEF PROVIDED FALL INTO TWO GENERAL GROUPS:

1. WHERE THE RELIEF GRANTED RESULTS IN THE APPLICATION OF THE BENEFITS PROVIDED UNDER THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 7, 1916, AND

2. WHERE THE RELIEF GRANTED IS IN THE NATURE OF A LEGISLATIVE GRANT HAVING NO REFERENCE TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 7, 1916.

THE ACTS FALLING INTO THE FIRST GROUP HAVE BEEN HELD BY THE COMMISSION TO BE SUBJECT TO THE REDUCTION IN COMPENSATION PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 14 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT. THOSE FALLING INTO THE SECOND GROUP, IN WHICH THE CASE OF MR. RUMP IS INCLUDED, HAVE BEEN HELD BY THE COMMISSION TO COME WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 15 OF THAT ACT. IN KEEPING WITH THIS VIEW PAYMENTS MADE BY THE COMMISSION PURSUANT TO AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN PRIVATE RELIEF ACTS HAVE BEEN REDUCED BY THE SAME PERCENTAGE AS THAT PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 3, TITLE 2 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933.

IT IS CLAIMED IN BEHALF OF MR. RUMP THAT THE ACTION OF THE COMMISSION IN REDUCING HIS COMPENSATION IS IN ERROR, SINCE THE ACT FOR HIS RELIEF SPECIFICALLY DIRECTS THE PAYMENT TO HIM DURING HIS NATURAL LIFE OF THE SUM OF $117 PER MONTH, DATING FROM THE PASSAGE OF THE ACT, AND THE COMMISSION HAS BEEN REQUESTED TO SUBMIT THE MATTER TO YOU FOR DECISION. THE ONLY QUESTION ABOUT WHICH IT SEEMS THERE MAY BE DOUBT APPARENTLY IS WHETHER THE ALLOWANCE OF MONEY GRANTED TO MR. RUMP AND A SMALL NUMBER OF OTHER BENEFICIARIES RECEIVING SIMILAR RELIEF MAY BE CONSIDERED "PENSIONS PAYABLE UNDER ANY PRIVATE RELIEF ACT WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 15" QUOTED ABOVE.

YOUR DECISION IN RESPECT TO THE APPLICATION OF SECTION 15 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1934, TO THIS AND SIMILAR CASES IS ACCORDINGLY REQUESTED.

THE COMMISSION IS INFORMED BY THE HONORABLE JOHN J. COCHRAN, MEMBER OF CONGRESS, THAT MR. RUMP IS NEAR DEATH FROM CANCER AND THAT HE IS IN DESPERATE NEED OF THE SMALL AMOUNT OF MONEY BEING WITHHELD FROM HIM EACH MONTH BY THE ACTION OF THE COMMISSION, TO HELP DEFRAY THE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO HIS SERIOUS ILLNESS. IN ORDER THAT EVERY CONSIDERATION MAY BE SHOWN TO HIM AND THAT HE MAY ENJOY THE BENEFITS THAT WOULD ACCRUE TO HIM IN THE EVENT YOU DECIDE THAT THE ACTION OF THE COMMISSION IS IN ERROR, IT IS URGENTLY REQUESTED THAT YOUR DECISION BE EXPEDITED AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

SECTION 14 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT OF JUNE 16, 1933, WHICH IMMEDIATELY PRECEDES SECTION 15 QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THE COMPENSATION AUTHORIZED BY SECTIONS 3, 4, AND 10 OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 7, 1916, AS AMENDED, ACCRUING DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1934, SHALL BE REDUCED BELOW THE AMOUNTS PRESCRIBED BY THE SAID ACT BY THE SAME PERCENTAGE AS THAT PRESCRIBED FOR THE REDUCTION OF COMPENSATION OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES UNDER SECTION 3 OF TITLE II OF THE ACT ENTITLED, "AN ACT TO MAINTAIN THE CREDIT OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT," APPROVED MARCH 20, 1933: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE MONTHLY PAY AS DEFINED IN SECTION 40 OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 7, 1916, SHALL BE DETERMINED WITHOUT REGARD TO THE TEMPORARY REDUCTIONS IN PAY REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT FOR THE RELIEF OF UNEMPLOYMENT THROUGH THE PERFORMANCE OF USEFUL PUBLIC WORK, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," APPROVED MARCH 31, 1933, SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION FOR INJURIES AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 3 OF SAID ACT, BUT SUCH PAYMENT SHALL BE MADE THROUGH THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION.

IN VIEW OF THE JUXTAPOSITION IN SAID STATUTE OF SECTIONS 14 AND 15, AND AS THE ECONOMY PROGRAM AS SET FORTH IN THE VARIOUS STATUTES HAS REQUIRED A GENERAL REDUCTION IN MILITARY AND CIVIL PENSIONS AND GRATUITIES, THIS OFFICE IS IN AGREEMENT WITH THE VIEW OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION THAT AWARDS MADE BY PRIVATE ACTS OF DISABILITY COMPENSATION FOR INJURIES INCURRED IN LINE OF DUTY IN CIVILIAN EMPLOYMENT, CONSTITUTE "PENSION" WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 15 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 16, 1933, SUPRA, AND THAT THE AMOUNTS AS SPECIFIED IN THE PRIVATE ACTS ARE SUBJECT TO THE PERCENTAGE REDUCTION REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933, 48 STAT. 13, AND EXECUTIVE ORDERS ISSUED PURSUANT THERETO.

ACCORDINGLY, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THE ACTION OF THE COMMISSION IN REDUCING THE DISABILITY COMPENSATION AWARDED TO ARTHUR E. RUMP BY THE PRIVATE ACT QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER WAS CORRECT.