A-56239, JULY 2, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 7

A-56239: Jul 2, 1934

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PAY - NAVY MAIL CLERK PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION TO AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE NAVY DESIGNATED AS NAVY MAIL CLERK FOR DUTY IN ASSEMBLING POSTAL EQUIPMENT ON BOARD A VESSEL PRIOR TO THE DATE THE VESSEL IS COMMISSIONED IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY LAW. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION TO A NAVY MAIL CLERK IS AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE OF THE ACTUAL COMMISSIONING OF THE SHIP FOR WHICH HE IS DESIGNATED. THE CHARACTER OF SERVICE CONTEMPLATED IS INDICATED IN THE BASIC LETTER. IT IS DESIRABLE THAT THE POSTAL EQUIPMENT BE ON BOARD BY THE ACTUAL DATE OF COMMISSIONING. IT IS PROPOSED. THE AUTHORITY FOR THE DESIGNATION OF ENLISTED MEN IN THE NAVY AS NAVY MAIL CLERKS AND COMPENSATION THEREFOR IS PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF MAY 27.

A-56239, JULY 2, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 7

PAY - NAVY MAIL CLERK PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION TO AN ENLISTED MAN OF THE NAVY DESIGNATED AS NAVY MAIL CLERK FOR DUTY IN ASSEMBLING POSTAL EQUIPMENT ON BOARD A VESSEL PRIOR TO THE DATE THE VESSEL IS COMMISSIONED IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY LAW.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, JULY 2, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR FIRST ENDORSEMENT, JUNE 19, 1934, OF BASIC LETTER FROM THE CHIEF, BUREAU OF NAVIGATION, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION TO A NAVY MAIL CLERK IS AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE OF THE ACTUAL COMMISSIONING OF THE SHIP FOR WHICH HE IS DESIGNATED. THE CHARACTER OF SERVICE CONTEMPLATED IS INDICATED IN THE BASIC LETTER, AS FOLLOWS:

IN THE CASE OF A VESSEL FITTING OUT, IT IS DESIRABLE THAT THE POSTAL EQUIPMENT BE ON BOARD BY THE ACTUAL DATE OF COMMISSIONING. IT IS PROPOSED, THEREFORE, TO DESIGNATE THE NAVY MAIL CLERK AS OF A DATE TWO WEEKS IN ADVANCE OF COMMISSIONING.

THE AUTHORITY FOR THE DESIGNATION OF ENLISTED MEN IN THE NAVY AS NAVY MAIL CLERKS AND COMPENSATION THEREFOR IS PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF MAY 27, 1908, 35 STAT. 417, AS FOLLOWS:

THAT ENLISTED MEN OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY MAY, UPON SELECTION BY THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, BE DESIGNATED BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT AS "NAVY MAIL CLERKS" AND "ASSISTANT NAVY MAIL ERKS," WHO SHALL BE AUTHORIZED TO RECEIVE AND OPEN ALL POUCHES AND SACKS OF MAIL ADDRESSED TO NAVAL VESSELS, TO MAKE PROPER DELIVERY OF SUCH MAIL, TO RECEIVE MATTER FOR TRANSMISSION IN THE MAILS, TO RECEIPT FOR REGISTERED MATTER (KEEPING AN ACCURATE RECORD THEREOF), TO KEEP AND HAVE FOR SALE AN ADEQUATE SUPPLY OF POSTAGE STAMPS, TO MAKE UP AND DISPATCH MAILS, AND OTHER POSTAL DUTIES AS MAY BE AUTHORIZED BY THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, ALL IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE VESSEL OR OF THE SQUADRON TO WHICH THE VESSEL IS ATTACHED. * * * THEY SHALL RECEIVE AS COMPENSATION FOR SUCH SERVICES FROM THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IN ADDITION TO THAT PAID THEM OF THE GRADE TO WHICH THEY ARE ASSIGNED, SUCH SUM IN THE CASE OF MAIL CLERKS NOT TO EXCEED FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER ANNUM, AND IN THAT OF ASSISTANT MAIL CLERKS NOT TO EXCEED THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER ANNUM, AS MAY BE DETERMINED AND ALLOWED BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT.

PURSUANT TO THAT ACT, THE REGULATIONS PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

D-5305 (5), BUREAU OF NAVIGATION MANUAL:

DESIGNATION EFFECTIVE.--- A NAVY MAIL CLERK SHALL NOT BE DEEMED TO HAVE FULLY QUALIFIED UNTIL HIS BOND HAS BEEN EXECUTED, APPROVED, AND FINALLY ACCEPTED BY THE POSTMASTER GENERAL. EXTRA COMPENSATION ACCRUES FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE INDICATED IN THE LETTER OF DESIGNATION, PROVIDED THE APPOINTEE ACTUALLY BEGAN HIS DUTIES ON THAT DATE. EXTRA COMPENSATION IS NOT PAYABLE, HOWEVER, UNTIL THE LETTER OF DESIGNATION FROM THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN RECEIVED AND OATH OF OFFICE AND BOND HAVE BEEN PROPERLY EXECUTED AND THE PREMIUM ON THE BOND PAID TO THE SURETY COMPANY. THE EXECUTION OF THE OATH IS PREREQUISITE TO PROPER QUALIFICATION, BUT MAY IN CASES OF NECESSITY TAKE PLACE SUBSEQUENT TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF HIS DUTIES.

D-5307 (1), BUREAU OF NAVIGATION MANUAL:

NAVY MAIL CLERKS.--- VESSELS, DETACHMENTS, AND SHORE STATIONS WITH APPROVED ALLOWANCES OF 50 OR MORE OFFICERS AND MEN ARE ALLOWED 1 NAVY MAIL CLERK EACH. MAIL CLERKS SO DESIGNATED WILL RECEIVE, IN ADDITION TO THE PAY OF THEIR RATING, A MONTHLY COMPENSATION DEPENDING UPON THE APPROVED ALLOWANCES THEY SERVE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ATTACHED TABLE. TO THEIR APPROVED ALLOWANCES, RECEIVING SHIPS, MARINE BARRACKS, NAVAL HOSPITALS, HOSPITAL SHIPS, AND VESSELS OF THE TRANSPORTATION SERVICE MAY ADD THE AVERAGE PER DIEM NUMBER OF TRANSIENTS TO DETERMINE THE ALLOWANCE FOR USE IN THE TABLE.

TABLE

ALLOWANCE:

CLASS I, UNDER 250 -------------------------------- $15

CLASS II, 250 TO 649, INCLUSIVE ------------------- 20

CLASS III, 650 OR OVER ---------------------------- 25

AN ADDITIONAL MONTHLY COMPENSATION OF $5 WILL BE ALLOWED NAVY MAIL CLERKS HANDLING MONEY-ORDER SERVICE. * * *

COMPENSATION FOR THE SERVICE OF NAVY MAIL CLERK IS DEPENDENT UPON THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY PRESCRIBED BY LAW AND REGULATIONS--- THAT IS, DUTY WITH RESPECT TO THE RECEIPT, DISTRIBUTION, AND DISPATCH OF THE MAIL AND THE CUSTODY AND DISTRIBUTION OF POSTAL SUPPLIES. YOUR QUESTION SEEMS TO PRESENT A SITUATION WHERE, BEFORE THE SHIP IS COMMISSIONED AND BEFORE ANY PERSONNEL OF THE SERVICE IS ATTACHED THERETO, DUTY IS PERFORMED BY THE MAN DESIGNATED AS NAVY MAIL CLERK THEREON IN REQUISITIONING AND ASSEMBLING POSTAL SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT IN PREPARATION FOR THE HANDLING OF MAIL AND RECEIPT AND DISPOSITION OF POSTAL SUPPLIES WHEN THE SHIP IS COMMISSIONED. SUCH SERVICE SEEMS TO BE SIMPLY PREPARATION FOR THE SERVICE CONTEMPLATED BY LAW FOR WHICH EXTRA COMPENSATION IS AUTHORIZED. THE REGULATION FIXES A SCHEDULE OF PAY FOR NAVY MAIL CLERKS BASED ON THE PERSONNEL ALLOWANCE OF THE VESSEL. A VESSEL HAS NO ACTUAL PERSONNEL ALLOWANCE PRIOR TO BEING PLACED IN COMMISSION. ALTHOUGH THE DUTY IN QUESTION MAY BE DESIRABLE AND NECESSARY TO FACILITATE THE PROPER HANDLING OF THE MAIL WHEN THE VESSEL IS ACTUALLY COMMISSIONED, IT IS NOT DUTY FOR WHICH THE LAW AUTHORIZES ADDITIONAL PAY AND FOR WHICH THE REGULATIONS FIX A MEASURE OF COMPENSATION. IT WOULD SEEM CLEAR UNDER THE STATUTE THERE COULD BE NO ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR A NAVY MAIL CLERK OF A VESSEL NOT IN COMMISSION AS THE DUTIES ENTITLING TO PAY THEREFOR ARE REQUIRED TO BE PERFORMED "IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE VESSEL OR OF THE SQUADRON TO WHICH THE VESSEL IS ATTACHED.' ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION TO A DESIGNATED NAVY MAIL CLERK FOR DUTY IN ASSEMBLING POSTAL EQUIPMENT ON BOARD A VESSEL PRIOR TO DATE THE VESSEL IS COMMISSIONED IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY LAW.