A-55899, JUNE 8, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 418

A-55899: Jun 8, 1934

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COMPENSATION - PERCENTAGE REDUCTION - REFUND THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE MAY PREPARE PAY ROLLS FOR PAYMENT DIRECTLY TO EMPLOYEES WHO MAY HAVE BEEN IN A NONPAY STATUS ON MARCH 31. A DEDUCTION OF 15 PERCENT WAS MADE. THEY ARE EMPLOYED UNDER LETTERS OF AUTHORIZATION DRAWN TO COVER DEFINITE PERIODS (IN THE INSTANT CASE 8 MONTHS FROM NOVEMBER 1. 1934) ISSUED TO THE STATE DIRECTORS OF EXTENSION WORK AT FIXED PER DIEM RATES AND ARE PAID FOR DAYS ACTUALLY EMPLOYED ON THE BASIS OF CERTIFICATES OF SERVICE (COPY ATTACHED) PREPARED MONTHLY AND CHECKED AND APPROVED BY THE STATE DIRECTORS. CHECKS DRAWN IN PAYMENT FOR SERVICE ARE MAILED IN GROUPS TO THE STATE DIRECTORS FOR RECORD AND DISTRIBUTION. IT IS KNOWN TO BE NOT LESS THAN 30.

A-55899, JUNE 8, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 418

COMPENSATION - PERCENTAGE REDUCTION - REFUND THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE MAY PREPARE PAY ROLLS FOR PAYMENT DIRECTLY TO EMPLOYEES WHO MAY HAVE BEEN IN A NONPAY STATUS ON MARCH 31, 1934, BUT WHO REMAINED AVAILABLE FOR DUTY THEREAFTER, OF ONE-THIRD OF THE PERCENTAGE DEDUCTIONS MADE FROM THEIR COMPENSATION FOR PERIODS OF SERVICE DURING FEBRUARY AND MARCH 1934 WHICH SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR PREAUDIT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY AGRICULTURE, JUNE 8, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MAY 29, 1934, AS FOLLOWS:

IN THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 1 OF YOUR CIRCULAR LETTER (A-42691, A- 43276) DATED APRIL 5, 1934, REGARDING "CLAIMS FOR PORTION OF STATUTORY COMPENSATION DEDUCTIONS FOR FEBRUARY AND MARCH 1934," YOU STATED THAT "ANY QUESTIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE RIGHTS OF A PARTICULAR GROUP OF FORMER EMPLOYEES SHOULD BE SUBMITTED FOR DECISION PROMPTLY TO AVOID UNNECESSARY WORK IN GIVING ATTENTION TO CLAIMS THAT MAY NOT BE ALLOWED.' ACCORDINGLY, I AM HEREBY SUBMITTING FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION SUCH A QUESTION, WHICH HAS ARISEN IN REGARD TO A VERY LARGE GROUP OF EMERGENCY PERSONNEL TEMPORARILY EMPLOYED BY THIS DEPARTMENT DURING A PERIOD WHICH INCLUDES THE MONTHS OF FEBRUARY AND MARCH 1934 FROM WHOSE BASE COMPENSATION FOR SERVICES RENDERED DURING FEBRUARY, AND IN SOME INSTANCES DURING THE PERIOD MARCH 1 TO 15, INCLUSIVE, A DEDUCTION OF 15 PERCENT WAS MADE.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE VARIOUS CROP REDUCTION AND CONTROL CAMPAIGNS CONDUCTED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACT OF MAY 12, 1933, BY THE EXTENSION SERVICE IN COOPERATION WITH THE STATE AGRICULTURAL COLLEGES (THE REQUIRED FUNDS HAVING BEEN TRANSFERRED BY THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ADMINISTRATION FOR THE PURPOSE), IT HAS BEEN NECESSARY TO EMPLOY TEMPORARILY COMMITTEEMEN, STENOGRAPHERS, TYPISTS, CLERKS, COMPTOMETER OPERATORS, AND OTHERS IN THE OFFICES OF THE STATE EXTENSION DIRECTORS AND COUNTY AGRICULTURAL AGENTS, NOT ONLY DURING THE CAMPAIGNS BUT FOR EXTENDED SUBSEQUENT PERIODS IN CHECKING ACREAGES, RECORDING AND COMPUTING RESULTS, AND COLLATERAL WORK. THESE TEMPORARY EMERGENCY EMPLOYEES DO NOT RECEIVE FORMAL APPOINTMENTS. THEY ARE EMPLOYED UNDER LETTERS OF AUTHORIZATION DRAWN TO COVER DEFINITE PERIODS (IN THE INSTANT CASE 8 MONTHS FROM NOVEMBER 1, 1933, TO JUNE 30, 1934) ISSUED TO THE STATE DIRECTORS OF EXTENSION WORK AT FIXED PER DIEM RATES AND ARE PAID FOR DAYS ACTUALLY EMPLOYED ON THE BASIS OF CERTIFICATES OF SERVICE (COPY ATTACHED) PREPARED MONTHLY AND CHECKED AND APPROVED BY THE STATE DIRECTORS. CHECKS DRAWN IN PAYMENT FOR SERVICE ARE MAILED IN GROUPS TO THE STATE DIRECTORS FOR RECORD AND DISTRIBUTION, EITHER DIRECT TO PAYEES OR THROUGH THE COUNTY AGENTS INITIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EMPLOYMENTS.

NO ACCURATE COUNT OF THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES INVOLVED IN THIS GROUP DURING FEBRUARY AND MARCH 1934 HAS AS YET BEEN ATTEMPTED, BUT IT IS KNOWN TO BE NOT LESS THAN 30,000 AND PROBABLY NOT MORE THAN 40,000. IT IS POSSIBLE THAT NOT ALL WHO WERE ON THE ROLLS DURING THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 1- 28 WERE ALSO ON THE ROLLS DURING THE PERIOD MARCH 1-31, AND VICE VERSA, BUT THE PERSONNEL VARIES LITTLE FROM MONTH TO MONTH DURING THE CAMPAIGNS, WHICH UNDER EXISTING ALLOTMENTS OF FUNDS, EXTEND TO JUNE 30, 1934.

THIS IS IN NO SENSE ITINERANT LABOR, THE SERVICES BEING RENDERED BY PERMANENT RESIDENTS OF THE TOWN OR COUNTRY WHERE EMPLOYED, THE COMMITTEEMEN, FOR EXAMPLE, BEING REPRESENTATIVE FARMERS, SHARECROPPERS, AND LAND OWNERS IN THE IMMEDIATE LOCALITIES COVERED BY A SPECIFIC CAMPAIGN. IT NATURALLY FOLLOWS THAT THERE IS ONLY THE REMOTEST CHANCE OF NONDELIVERY OF CHECKS DRAWN IN PAYMENT OF THIS CLASS OF SERVICES.

SERVICE CERTIFICATES HAVE BEEN AND ARE BEING RECEIVED CURRENTLY COVERING THE WORK PERFORMED BY THESE EMPLOYEES DURING THE MONTHS OF FEBRUARY AND MARCH AND FROM THESE CERTIFICATES PAY ROLLS HAVE BEEN AND ARE BEING PREPARED, IN THE BUREAU ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN WASHINGTON, AT THE ESTABLISHED BASE PER DIEM RATES SHOWN ON THE CERTIFICATES LESS THE 10 PERCENT STATUTORY COMPENSATION DEDUCTION FIXED BY SECTION 21 (A), TITLE II, OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, PUBLIC 141, 73D CONGRESS. THESE MARCH PAY ROLLS HAVE BEEN AND ARE BEING PAID BY THE DISBURSING CLERK OF THE DEPARTMENT FOR THE NET AMOUNTS DUE THE EMPLOYEES ON THIS BASIS.

YOUR CIRCULAR LETTER DATED MARCH 30, 1934 (A-42691, A-43276), INSTRUCTS THAT SUPPLEMENTAL PAY ROLLS BE "PREPARED PROMPTLY FOR ALL EMPLOYEES IN THE SERVICE ON MARCH 31, 1934, WHO ARE ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF A PORTION OF THE STATUTORY COMPENSATION DEDUCTION FOR ANY PERIOD DURING FEBRUARY AND MARCH 1934.' THIS IS MODIFIED IN SUPPLEMENT DATED APRIL 5, 1934, BY THE STATEMENT THAT THE PROCEDURE PRESCRIBED IS FOR APPLICATION "ONLY IN THE CASE OF EMPLOYEES WHO WERE ON THE ROLLS MARCH 31, 1934, AND FROM WHOSE COMPENSATION THE DEDUCTION OF 15 PERCENT WAS SHOWN ON THE PAY ROLLS OR VOUCHERS FOR THOSE MONTHS.'

FROM THE FOREGOING IT WILL BE UNDERSTOOD THAT THE GROUPS OF EMPLOYEES REFERRED TO ARE IN EMPLOYMENT STATUS CLOSELY SIMILAR TO THOSE TO WHOM THE DEPARTMENT ISSUES FORMAL APPOINTMENTS ON A ,W.A.E.' BASIS, THE MAIN DIFFERENCE BEING THAT BECAUSE OF THE IMPRACTICABILITY OF ISSUING SUCH A LARGE VOLUME OF APPOINTMENTS THE DEPARTMENT ELECTED TO MAKE THE EMPLOYMENTS UNDER LETTERS OF AUTHORIZATION WHICH WILL REMAIN ACTIVE UNTIL JUNE 30, 1934.

THE QUESTION SUBMITTED IS WHETHER OR NOT UNDER THE INSTRUCTIONS REFERRED TO, THE BUREAU ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN WASHINGTON IS AUTHORIZED AT THIS TIME, AND AS THE CONDITIONS OF CURRENT WORK OF THE OFFICE PERMIT, TO PREPARE FOR THOSE EMPLOYEES OF THE GROUP HEREIN DESCRIBED, WHO APPEAR ON THE PAY ROLLS FOR FEBRUARY AND/OR FOR MARCH 1934 (REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY ACTUALLY WORKED ON THE CALENDAR DAY MARCH 31, 1934), SUPPLEMENTAL PAY ROLLS COVERING 5 PERCENT OF THEIR GROSS COMPENSATION FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY 1934, AND IN SOME INSTANCES THE PERIOD MARCH 1 TO 15, INCLUSIVE, USING AS A BASIS THE ORIGINAL SIGNED CERTIFICATES OF SERVICE AND INCIDENTAL PAY ROLLS COVERING THE MONTHS OF FEBRUARY AND MARCH, 1934. WHILE THE PREPARATION OF SUCH SUPPLEMENTAL PAY ROLLS FOR SO GREAT A NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IS A HUGE TASK THAT WILL REQUIRE A MONTH OR SIX WEEKS FOR ITS ACCOMPLISHMENT, IT IS SMALL WHEN COMPARED TO THE WORK INVOLVED IN HANDLING BETWEEN 30,000 AND 40,000 INDIVIDUAL CLAIMS. BEARING IN MIND THAT THE INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEES HAD NOTHING WHATEVER TO DO WITH KEEPING, PREPARING OR RENDERING TIME REPORTS, SERVICE CERTIFICATES OR PAY ROLLS FOR THE SERVICES PERFORMED BY THEM IN FEBRUARY OR MARCH, IT APPEARS CERTAIN THAT IF THEY ARE REQUIRED TO SUBMIT INDIVIDUAL CLAIMS, THE RESTORATION DUE THEM UNDER THE LAW WILL DRAG ALONG FOR MONTHS, OR POSSIBLY YEARS, LEAVING SALARY PAYMENT AND ALLOTMENT RECORDS FOR STATES, COUNTIES AND COMMODITIES INCOMPLETE AND THE AVAILABILITY OF UNEXPENDED FUNDS FOR OTHER PURPOSES QUESTIONABLE BECAUSE OF THE GREAT NUMBER OF POTENTIAL CLAIMS OUTSTANDING.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT WHILE THE EMPLOYEES IN QUESTION MAY HAVE BEEN IN A NONPAY STATUS ON MARCH 31, 1934, THEY WERE THEN AVAILABLE FOR SERVICE AND ACTUALLY MAY HAVE RENDERED SERVICE SUBSEQUENT THERETO. HENCE, THE SERVICE OF THE EMPLOYEES MAY BE REGARDED AS NOT HAVING BEEN FINALLY TERMINATED PRIOR TO MARCH 31, 1934, WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE CIRCULAR LETTERS OF THIS OFFICE CITED IN YOUR LETTER, BUT AS IN A STATE OF SUSPENSION ON THAT DATE AND THE EMPLOYEES MAY BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN IN A NONPAY STATUS ONLY ON MARCH 31, 1934. SEE QUESTION AND ANSWER (1), DECISION OF APRIL 13, 1934, A-54798.

ON THIS BASIS THEREFORE THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE MAY PREPARE PAY ROLLS FOR PAYMENT DIRECTLY TO THESE EMPLOYEES OF ONE-THIRD OF THE PERCENTAGE DEDUCTIONS MADE FROM THEIR COMPENSATION FOR THE PERIODS OF SERVICE DURING FEBRUARY AND MARCH 1934 WHICH SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE FOR PREAUDIT.