A-56394, JULY 7, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 22

A-56394: Jul 7, 1934

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ARE ENTITLED TO THE BENEFIT OF SECTION 24 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28. WHEN THE RIGHT TO RECEIVE SUCH INCREASES WAS SUSPENDED BY OPERATION OF SECTION 201 OF THE ECONOMY ACT. THE COMMISSIONERS ARE ADVISED THAT THE PRESIDENT ON JUNE 27. WHILE THE COMMISSIONERS HAVE NOT BEFORE THEM A COPY OF THIS ACT. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT IT READS IN THE MANNER FOLLOWING AS TO SECTION 1 THEREOF: "THAT IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF SUBPARAGRAPH (1) OF SECTION 24 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT FOR 1935. SHALL BE CREDITED TO THE EMPLOYEES AND SUCH EMPLOYEES PROMOTED TO THE GRADE TO WHICH THEY WOULD HAVE PROGRESSED HAD SECTION 201 (SUSPENDING AUTOMATIC INCREASES IN COMPENSATION OF PART II OF THE LEGISLATIVE APPROPRIATION ACT.

A-56394, JULY 7, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 22

COMPENSATION - AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS - POLICEMEN, FIREMEN, AND TEACHERS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA POLICEMEN, FIREMEN, AND TEACHERS IN THE SERVICE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ENTITLED BY LAW TO AUTOMATIC INCREASES IN COMPENSATION, ARE ENTITLED TO THE BENEFIT OF SECTION 24 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, 48 STAT. 523, AS AMENDED AND CLARIFIED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 27, 1934, 48 STAT. 1265, RESTORING THE RIGHT TO RECEIVE AUTOMATIC INCREASES IN COMPENSATION DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1935, BASED ON LENGTH OF SERVICE, INCLUDING SERVICE RENDERED DURING THE FISCAL YEARS 1933 AND 1934, WHEN THE RIGHT TO RECEIVE SUCH INCREASES WAS SUSPENDED BY OPERATION OF SECTION 201 OF THE ECONOMY ACT. SECTION 21 (E) OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, 48 STAT. 522, PROVIDES AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1935 OF SO MUCH AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO PAY INCREASES IN COMPENSATION RESULTING FROM AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS MADE EFFECTIVE ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 1934, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 24 OF THE SAME ACT, AS AMENDED AND CLARIFIED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 27, 1934, 48 STAT. 1265.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE PRESIDENT, BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, JULY 7, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 28, 1934, AS FOLLOWS:

THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA RESPECTFULLY REQUEST YOUR CONSIDERATION AND DECISION TO THE MATTER HEREINAFTER PRESENTED.

THE COMMISSIONERS ARE ADVISED THAT THE PRESIDENT ON JUNE 27, 1934, APPROVED H.R. 9867. SEVENTY-THIRD CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION, ENTITLED "AN ACT AMENDING THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935.' WHILE THE COMMISSIONERS HAVE NOT BEFORE THEM A COPY OF THIS ACT, IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT IT READS IN THE MANNER FOLLOWING AS TO SECTION 1 THEREOF:

"THAT IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF SUBPARAGRAPH (1) OF SECTION 24 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT FOR 1935, AMENDING SECTION 201 OF PART II OF THE LEGISLATIVE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1933, ALL SERVICES RENDERED BY POSTAL AND OTHER OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1932, AND SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE 30, 1932, SHALL BE CREDITED TO THE EMPLOYEES AND SUCH EMPLOYEES PROMOTED TO THE GRADE TO WHICH THEY WOULD HAVE PROGRESSED HAD SECTION 201 (SUSPENDING AUTOMATIC INCREASES IN COMPENSATION OF PART II OF THE LEGISLATIVE APPROPRIATION ACT, FISCAL YEAR 1933, NOT BEEN ENACTED.'

SUBPARAGRAPH (1) OF SECTION 24 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, FISCAL YEAR 1935, PROVIDES:

"/1) SECTION 201 (SUSPENDING AUTOMATIC INCREASES IN COMPENSATION) OF PART II OF THE LEGISLATIVE APPROPRIATION ACT, FISCAL YEAR 1933, IS AMENDED BY INSERTING AT THE END THEREOF THE FOLLOWING: "THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY DURING THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1935, EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT THAT IT SUSPENDS THE LONGEVITY INCREASES PROVIDED FOR IN THE TENTH PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 1 OF THE PAY ADJUSTMENT ACT OF 1922. THIS AMENDMENT SHALL NOT AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF BACK COMPENSATION.'"

THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE CONCERNED WITH THIS MATTER AS IN THEIR OPINION IT INVOLVES THE PAYMENT OF AUTOMATIC INCREASES TO OFFICERS AND TEACHERS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND TO PRIVATES IN THE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND THE FIRE DEPARTMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

COMPENSATION OF OFFICERS AND TEACHERS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS GOVERNED BY THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1924 (43 STAT. 367-375). THIS ACT PROVIDES FOR AN ANNUAL INCREASE (AUTOMATIC INCREASE) OF $100 A YEAR FOR OFFICERS AND TEACHERS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF FIRST ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENTS, FOR WHOM THE RATE OF INCREASE IS $200 A YEAR, AND THE SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, FOR WHOM THE ANNUAL INCREASE IS $1,000 A YEAR FOR TWO YEARS, OR UNTIL A MAXIMUM SALARY OF $10,000 A YEAR IS REACHED. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS AND THE TWO FIRST ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENTS ARE NOW DRAWING THE MAXIMUM SALARY ALLOWABLE BY LAW.

THE SALARIES OF POLICEMEN AND FIREMEN ARE GOVERNED BY THE ACT APPROVED JULY 1, 1930 (46 STAT. 839-841). THIS ACT PROVIDES FOR AN ANNUAL INCREASE IN THE PAY OF PRIVATES OF $100 A YEAR UNTIL A MAXIMUM SALARY OF $2,400 A YEAR IS REACHED.

SECTION 201 OF PART II OF THE LEGISLATIVE APPROPRIATION ACT, FISCAL YEAR 1933, PROVIDES---

"ALL PROVISIONS OF LAW WHICH CONFER UPON CIVILIAN OR NONCIVILIAN OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OR THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AUTOMATIC INCREASES IN COMPENSATION BY REASON OF LENGTH OF SERVICE OR PROMOTION ARE SUSPENDED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1933; BUT THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO DEPRIVE ANY PERSON OF ANY INCREMENT OF COMPENSATION RECEIVED THROUGH AN AUTOMATIC INCREASE IN COMPENSATION PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1932.'

THIS PROVISION WAS CONTINUED IN THE FISCAL YEAR 1934.

IN YOUR DECISION OF MAY 24, 1934, YOU SAY:

"UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 24 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, PUBLIC, NO. 141, REMOVING DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1935 THE SUSPENSION MADE BY SECTION 201 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF PROVISIONS OF LAW AUTHORIZING AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS, NO SERVICE RENDERED DURING THE FISCAL YEARS 1933 AND 1934, WHEN THE STATUTES AUTHORIZING AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS WERE INOPERATIVE BY REASON OF SECTION 201 OF THE ECONOMY ACT, MAY BE INCLUDED IN COMPUTING LONGEVITY TO DETERMINE EITHER THE AMOUNT OR EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE AUTOMATIC INCREASE OF COMPENSATION DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1935, BUT ONLY THE PERIODS OF SERVICE PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1932, AND ON AND AFTER JULY 1, 1934.'

THIS DECISION HAD APPLICATION TO EMPLOYEES OF THE POSTAL SERVICE. IN A SECOND DECISION, RENDERED BY YOU UNDER DATE OF MAY 31, 1934, YOU HELD THAT THE SAME GENERAL RULE HAD APPLICATION TO EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE. IN OTHER WORDS, IT IS THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE COMMISSIONERS ACCORDING TO THESE DECISIONS THAT NO SERVICE RENDERED DURING THE FISCAL YEARS 1933 AND 1934 MAY BE USED FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING WHETHER AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO AN AUTOMATIC INCREASE IN COMPENSATION ON JULY 1, 1934, AND THAT THE ONLY SERVICE THAT MAY BE USED FOR SUCH PURPOSE IS THAT RENDERED PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1932, AND SUBSEQUENT TO JULY 1, 1934. IT IS ALSO THE OPINION OF THE COMMISSIONERS THAT THESE DECISIONS HAD APPLICATION TO THE OFFICERS AND TEACHERS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND MEMBERS OF THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS.

UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 27, 1934, AMENDING THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, FISCAL YEAR 1935 (H.R. 9867, 73D CONGRESS, 2D SESSION), IT WOULD APPEAR TO THE COMMISSIONERS THAT THE OFFICERS AND TEACHERS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND MEMBERS OF THE POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE INCLUDED WITHIN AND ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF THE PROVISIONS THEREOF. THE QUESTION ARISES, HOWEVER, AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THIS ACT OF JUNE 27, 1934, PROVIDES AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE PAYMENT OF ANNUAL INCREASES (AUTOMATIC INCREASES) TO THE SEVERAL GROUPS OF EMPLOYEES NAMED FOR THE TWO FISCAL YEARS 1933 AND 1934 WHO WOULD BE ENTITLED TO SUCH INCREASES BY REASON OF SERVICE PERFORMED DURING THOSE TWO FISCAL YEARS.

SUBPARAGRAPH (E), SECTION 21, TITLE II, OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, FISCAL YEAR 1935, PROVIDES---

"THERE IS HEREBY APPROPRIATED SO MUCH AS MAY BE NECESSARY FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUMS DUE, AND PAYABLE OUT OF THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES, BY REASON OF THE DIMINUTION UNDER THIS TITLE IN THE PERCENTAGE OF REDUCTION OF COMPENSATION, AND OTHER AMENDMENTS TO EXISTING LAWS MADE HEREBY; AND LIMITATIONS ON AMOUNTS FOR PERSONAL SERVICES ARE HEREBY RESPECTIVELY INCREASED IN PROPORTION TO THE INCREASE IN APPROPRIATIONS FOR PERSONAL SERVICES MADE IN THIS SUBSECTION. IN THE CASE OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, SUCH SUMS SHALL BE PAID OUT OF THE REVENUES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE MANNER PRESCRIBED BY THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR THE RESPECTIVE FISCAL YEARS.'

THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA RESPECTFULLY REQUEST YOUR DECISION TO THE TWO FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

1. WHETHER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 27, 1934, AMENDING THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, FISCAL YEAR 1935 (H.R. 9867, 73D CONGRESS, 2D SESSION), APPLY TO AND INCLUDE OFFICERS AND TEACHERS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND PRIVATES OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE FORCE AND FIRE DEPARTMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

2. WHETHER AN APPROPRIATION IS PROVIDED FOR THE PAYMENT OF ANNUAL INCREASES (AUTOMATIC INCREASES) FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1933 AND 1934 UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 27, 1934, SUPRA, OR THAT ACT AND SUBPARAGRAPH (E), SECTION 21, TITLE II, OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT FOR 1935, CONSIDERED JOINTLY.

AS FIRST PRESENTED, THE BILL WHICH BECAME THE ACT OF JUNE 27, 1934 (48 STAT. 1265), QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER, REFERRED ONLY TO POSTAL EMPLOYEES, BUT IT WAS ENLARGED BEFORE ENACTMENT TO INCLUDE ,OTHER OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES," EVIDENTLY INTENDING TO EMBRACE ALL CLASSES OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES AFFECTED BY SECTION 201 OF PART II OF THE LEGISLATIVE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR 1935 AND THE SUSPENDING PROVISION OF SECTION 24 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934. ACCORDINGLY, QUESTION 1 IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE. SEE DECISION OF JUNE 29, 1934 (A-55877, 13 COMP. GEN. 480), TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.

REFERRING TO QUESTION 2, SECTION 21 (E), TITLE II, OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, PROVIDES AN APPROPRIATION IN AN AMOUNT NECESSARY FOR THE PAYMENT OF ALL SUMS CAUSED BY REASON OF AMENDMENTS TO EXISTING LAWS MADE BY SAID ACT WHICH WOULD INCLUDE THE AUTOMATIC INCREASES IN COMPENSATION PROVIDED FOR UNDER SUBPARAGRAPH 1, SECTION 24, OF THE SAME ACT (SEE THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF DECISION OF MAY 31, 1934, TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, A-55654, 13 COMP. GEN. 401) AND SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 27, 1934, SUPRA, IS A LEGISLATIVE CLARIFICATION OF THE TERMS OF SUBPARAGRAPH (1) OF SECTION 24 OF THE SAID ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934. HENCE SAID SECTION 21 (E) DOES APPROPRIATE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1935 SO MUCH AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO PAY INCREASES IN COMPENSATION RESULTING FROM AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS MADE EFFECTIVE ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 1934, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SAID SECTION 24 AS CLARIFIED BY THE SAID ACT OF JUNE 27, 1934. IT IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD, OF COURSE, THAT PAYMENT OF BACK COMPENSATION AT THE INCREASED RATE FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1933 AND 1934 IS NOT AUTHORIZED. YOUR SECOND QUESTION IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.