A-5864, NOVEMBER 19, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 463

A-5864: Nov 19, 1924

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IS NOT AN APPOINTMENT OR A PROMOTION WITHIN THE INTENT OF THE DECISION OF MAY 12. REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE DETERMINATION AS TO THE AMOUNT OF THE GROSS RECEIPTS FOR THE PRECEDING CALENDAR YEAR IS MADE BEFORE OR AFTER JULY 1. 1924: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 22. WAS AUTOMATICALLY EFFECTIVE JULY 1. IS A SECOND-CLASS POST OFFICE AND THAT THE GROSS RECEIPTS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 1922 WERE $13. 776.37 AND FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 1923 WERE $15. PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS: THE POSTMASTER GENERAL IS AUTHORIZED TO FIX THE SALARIES OF ASSISTANT POSTMASTERS AT OFFICES OF THE SECOND CLASS. UPON WHICH SALARY ADJUSTMENTS ARE PREDICATED. WHICH IS PREDICATED ON ESTIMATES OF ANTICIPATED INCREASES IN POST-OFFICE REVENUES.

A-5864, NOVEMBER 19, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 463

POSTAL SERVICE - ADJUSTMENTS IN SALARY OF ASSISTANT POSTMASTERS BASED ON INCREASE OF POSTAL RECEIPTS THE ADJUSTMENT IN THE SALARY OF AN ASSISTANT POSTMASTER AT A SECOND CLASS POST OFFICE, BASED ON THE GROSS POSTAL RECEIPTS DURING A CALENDAR YEAR, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1920, 41 STAT. 1047, IS NOT AN APPOINTMENT OR A PROMOTION WITHIN THE INTENT OF THE DECISION OF MAY 12, 1924, 3 COMP. GEN. 844, REQUIRING THE APPROVAL OF THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL TO BECOME EFFECTIVE, BUT MAY BE MADE EFFECTIVE ON JULY 1, THE BEGINNING OF THE FISCAL YEAR SUBSEQUENT TO THE END OF THE CALENDAR YEAR USED AS THE BASIS FOR THE ADJUSTMENT IN THE SALARY, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE DETERMINATION AS TO THE AMOUNT OF THE GROSS RECEIPTS FOR THE PRECEDING CALENDAR YEAR IS MADE BEFORE OR AFTER JULY 1.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, NOVEMBER 19, 1924:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 22, 1924, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE INCREASE IN THE SALARY OF FANNY H. SCOTT, ASSISTANT POSTMASTER AT BERLIN, MD., FROM $1,900 TO $1,950 PER ANNUM, PREDICATED ON THE GROSS RECEIPTS OF THE BERLIN POST OFFICE FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 1923, WAS AUTOMATICALLY EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1924, THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR, OR NOT UNTIL THE INCREASE HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL.

IT APPEARS THAT BERLIN, MD., IS A SECOND-CLASS POST OFFICE AND THAT THE GROSS RECEIPTS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 1922 WERE $13,776.37 AND FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 1923 WERE $15,765.59.

THE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1920, 41 STAT. 1047, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THE POSTMASTER GENERAL IS AUTHORIZED TO FIX THE SALARIES OF ASSISTANT POSTMASTERS AT OFFICES OF THE SECOND CLASS, BASED ON GROSS POSTAL RECEIPTS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE ADJUSTMENT AT THE FOLLOWING RATES, NAMELY:

* * *; $12,000, BUT LESS THAN $15,000, $1,900; $15,000, BUT LESS THAN $18,000, $1,950; * * *.

AFTER CITING VARIOUS STATUTES RELATIVE TO THE BASIS FOR FIXING THE SALARIES OF POSTMASTERS AND ASSISTANT POSTMASTERS IN THE PAST YOU STATE AS FOLLOWS:

* * * WHILE THE ACT APPROVED JUNE 5, 1920, DOES NOT DEFINITELY INDICATE IN ANY OF ITS PROVISIONS THE DATE EFFECTIVE OF THE READJUSTED COMPENSATION OF POSTMASTERS, ASSISTANT POSTMASTERS, AND SUPERVISORY OFFICIALS, IT APPEARS TO BE OBVIOUS FROM THE VARIOUS LAWS PERTAINING TO THE MATTER THAT CONGRESS INTENDED THE READJUSTMENT OF THE SALARIES OF ASSISTANT POSTMASTERS AND SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES TO COINCIDE WITH THE DATE OF THE ADJUSTMENT OF THE POST-MASTERS' SALARIES. IN THIS BELIEF, AND DUE TO THE FACT THAT SOME TIME MUST ELAPSE AFTER THE CLOSE OF THE CALENDAR YEAR BEFORE AN ASCERTAINMENT MAY CORRECTLY BE MADE OF THE GROSS RECEIPTS OF POST OFFICES, UPON WHICH SALARY ADJUSTMENTS ARE PREDICATED, THE DEPARTMENT HAS CONTINUED THE POLICY LONG SINCE ADOPTED TO ADJUST THE SALARIES OF POSTMASTERS, ASSISTANT POSTMASTERS, AND SUPERVISORY OFFICIALS AS OF JULY 1 NEXT FOLLOWING THE ASCERTAINMENT. AS THE NEW APPROPRIATION, WHICH IS PREDICATED ON ESTIMATES OF ANTICIPATED INCREASES IN POST-OFFICE REVENUES, BECOMES AVAILABLE ON JULY 1, AND AS A DEFINITE DATE SHOULD BE FIXED, THAT DATE IS THE EARLIEST, MOST CONVENIENT, AND LOGICAL DATE ON WHICH SUCH READJUSTMENTS CAN BE MADE.

THIS DEPARTMENT HAS CONSIDERED A READJUSTMENT OF SALARIES OF ASSISTANT POSTMASTERS AND SUPERVISORY OFFICIALS OF POST OFFICES AS PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1920, AS MANDATORY, AND AS EFFECTIVE JULY 1 NEXT FOLLOWING THE ASCERTAINMENT OF THE GROSS POSTAL RECEIPTS OF POST OFFICES, AND THAT IF THE REVENUES OF A POST OFFICE SHOW A SUFFICIENT INCREASE TO ENTITLE THE ASSISTANT POST-MASTER OR SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES TO AN INCREASE IN SALARY, THEY BECOME ENTITLED TO SUCH INCREASE ON JULY 1, AND LIKEWISE IF A DECREASE IS SHOWN BRINGING THE SALARIES OF THE ASSISTANT POSTMASTER AND SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES TO THE NEXT LOWER SALARY LEVEL, SUCH EMPLOYEES MUST SUFFER A REDUCTION IN SALARY AS OF JULY 1.

THE INCREASE OR DECREASE IN THE SALARY OF ASSISTANT POSTMASTERS UNDER THE QUOTED PROVISION IN THE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1920, IS NOT DEPENDENT UPON ANY SELECTION OR RECOMMENDATION OF A SUBORDINATE OFFICER TO THE APPOINTING POWER BASED ON COMPARATIVE EFFICIENCY, AS WAS THE CASE OF THE OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES CONSIDERED IN THE DECISION OF MAY 12, 1924, 3 COMP. GEN. 844, BUT UPON A CHANGED CONDITION ARISING IN THE WORK OF THE POST OFFICE NOT SUBJECT TO THE CONTROL OF THE OFFICERS OF THE POSTAL SERVICE. SEE 3 COMP. GEN. 924-6.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD TO HAVE BEEN THE UNIFORM PRACTICE, IN THE ADJUSTMENT OF SALARIES OF POSTMASTERS, ASSISTANT POSTMASTERS, AND OTHER OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES WHOSE RATE OF COMPENSATION IS FIXED BY LAW ON THE BASIS OF THE GROSS RECEIPTS OF THE POST OFFICE, TO MAKE SUCH ADJUSTMENTS EFFECTIVE JULY 1 FOLLOWING THE END OF THE CALENDAR YEAR THE RECEIPTS OF WHICH FORM THE BASIS OF THE ADJUSTMENT. THE FIXING OF SUCH EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE SALARY ADJUSTMENTS WOULD APPEAR TO BE JUST AND LOGICAL AND IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY STATUTORY PROVISION TO THE CONTRARY AND IN VIEW OF THE SPECIFIC PROVISION IN THE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1920, SUPRA, THAT "THE POSTMASTER GENERAL IS AUTHORIZED TO FIX THE SALARIES" AT RATES SPECIFICALLY STATED THEREIN, BASED ON GROSS RECEIPTS, I FEEL JUSTIFIED IN HOLDING THAT EFFECT MAY BE GIVEN TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION IN DESIGNATING JULY 1 AS THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SUCH SALARY ADJUSTMENTS REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE DETERMINATION AS TO THE AMOUNT OF THE GROSS RECEIPTS FOR THE PRECEDING CALENDAR YEAR IS MADE BEFORE OR AFTER JULY 1.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE INCREASE IN THE SALARY OF FANNY H. SCOTT FROM $1,900 TO $1,950 PER ANNUM MAY BE CONSIDERED AS EFFECTIVE FROM JULY 1, 1924, WITHOUT FURTHER APPROVAL OF HER INDIVIDUAL INCREASE BY THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL, IT APPEARING THAT THIS INCREASE IS NOT AN APPOINTMENT OR PROMOTION WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE DECISION OF MAY 12, 1924, REQUIRING THE APPROVAL OF THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL TO BECOME EFFECTIVE, WHICH DECISION HAD REFERENCE TO THOSE APPOINTMENTS AND PROMOTIONS TO THE POSITIONS OF ASSISTANT POSTMASTER, SUPERVISORY OFFICIAL, AND CLERK AT FIRST AND SECOND CLASS POST OFFICES, NOT IN THE AUTOMATIC GRADES, SELECTION OR RECOMMENDATION FOR WHICH WAS MADE BY A SUBORDINATE OFFICER AND APPROVED BY THE FIRST ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL.