A-65935, JANUARY 16, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 650

A-65935: Jan 16, 1937

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PERMANENT FUND" ARE SUBJECT. CIVILIAN POSITIONS OF THE UNITED STATES SOLDIERS' HOME ARE SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923. IS AS FOLLOWS: IN CONNECTION WITH THE AUDIT OF THE ACCOUNTS RELATING TO EXPENDITURES FROM THE PERMANENT TRUST FUND SET UP FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF SOLDIERS' HOME. IT BECOMES HIGHLY DESIRABLE THAT YOUR VIEWS BE SECURED AS TO THE SCOPE AND NATURE OF THE AUDIT WHICH IT IS CONTEMPLATED BY YOUR OFFICE SHALL BE GIVEN TO THESE ACCOUNTS IN ORDER THAT THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE HOME MAY INTELLIGENTLY PLAN ITS MANAGEMENT OF THAT INSTITUTION AND PROPERLY FRAME ITS FINANCIAL BUDGETS AND POLICIES FOR THE FUTURE. IT IS PARTICULARLY DESIRED THAT THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MAY BE INFORMED BY YOUR DECISION DEFINITELY AS TO ITS AUTHORITY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF EXISTING LAWS GOVERNING THE SOLDIERS' HOME AS RELATED TO THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS NOW APPROPRIATED ANNUALLY BY THE CONGRESS.

A-65935, JANUARY 16, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 650

UNITED STATES SOLDIERS' HOME - AUDIT REQUIREMENTS, CLASSIFICATION OF POSITIONS, AND FIXING OF VALUES FOR ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND FUNDS APPROPRIATED AS REQUIRED AND AUTHORIZED BY THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT OF 1934, APPROVED JUNE 26, 1934, 48 STAT. 1233, OUT OF THE TRUST FUND "SOLDIERS' HOME, PERMANENT FUND" ARE SUBJECT, IN THE AUDIT OF ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENDITURES BY THE UNITED STATES SOLDIERS' HOME, TO THE PROVISIONS OF GENERAL STATUTORY LAW UNLESS EXPRESSLY EXCEPTED THEREFROM. CIVILIAN POSITIONS OF THE UNITED STATES SOLDIERS' HOME ARE SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, 42 STAT. 1488, AS AMENDED, AND THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, 45 STAT. 193, REQUIRING THE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND TO BE DETERMINED AND CONSIDERED AS A PART OF COMPENSATION.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE PRESIDENT, BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, UNITED STATES SOLDIERS' HOME, JANUARY 16, 1937:

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 24, 1936, IS AS FOLLOWS:

IN CONNECTION WITH THE AUDIT OF THE ACCOUNTS RELATING TO EXPENDITURES FROM THE PERMANENT TRUST FUND SET UP FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF SOLDIERS' HOME, CALLED FOR BY YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 5, 1935, A-63459, IT BECOMES HIGHLY DESIRABLE THAT YOUR VIEWS BE SECURED AS TO THE SCOPE AND NATURE OF THE AUDIT WHICH IT IS CONTEMPLATED BY YOUR OFFICE SHALL BE GIVEN TO THESE ACCOUNTS IN ORDER THAT THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE HOME MAY INTELLIGENTLY PLAN ITS MANAGEMENT OF THAT INSTITUTION AND PROPERLY FRAME ITS FINANCIAL BUDGETS AND POLICIES FOR THE FUTURE. IT IS PARTICULARLY DESIRED THAT THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MAY BE INFORMED BY YOUR DECISION DEFINITELY AS TO ITS AUTHORITY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF EXISTING LAWS GOVERNING THE SOLDIERS' HOME AS RELATED TO THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS NOW APPROPRIATED ANNUALLY BY THE CONGRESS.

THE NECESSITY FOR DECISION AT THIS TIME ON THESE POINTS, AND ON SEVERAL SUBSIDIARY QUESTIONS RELATING THERETO AS DISCUSSED HEREIN, HAS BEEN BROUGHT ABOUT BY YOUR LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR OF THE HOME UNDER DATE OF JUNE 19, 1936, A-65935, WITH REFERENCE TO COMPLIANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, 45 STAT. 193, AND MORE ESPECIALLY BY THE REQUIREMENT MENTIONED IN YOUR LETTER IN QUESTION THAT CERTAIN CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE HOME MUST BE CLASSIFIED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED.

INASMUCH AS THE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE HOME IN QUESTION ARE BENEFICIARIES UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF LAW RELATING GENERALLY TO RETIREMENT OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT, IT IS BELIEVED THAT NO VALID OBJECTION ARISES AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF INCLUDING IN THE COMPUTATION OF THEIR COMPENSATION THE VALUE OF QUARTERS AND OTHER ALLOWANCES FURNISHED THEM IN ORDER THAT THE RETIREMENT FUND MAY RECEIVE ITS PROPER SHARE OF CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THESE EMPLOYEES. IT IS BELIEVED A READING OF THE ACT OF 1928, SUPRA, AND THE ACT OF MAY 29, 1930, 46 STAT. 468, WHICH SPECIFICALLY INCLUDED EMPLOYEES OF THE HOME WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE RETIREMENT ACT, SUCH ACTION BEING DEEMED NECESSARY TO BRING THESE EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE GENERAL LAW, INDICATES AN INTENTION BY THE CONGRESS THAT EMPLOYEES OF THE HOME SHALL BEAR THE SAME DEGREE OF CONTRIBUTION TO THE RETIREMENT FUND AS EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES GENERALLY. ACCORDINGLY, THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS HAS PUT A VALUATION ON SUCH QUARTERS AND ALLOWANCES, AND A COPY OF SUCH DETERMINATION IS ATTACHED FOR YOUR INFORMATION. PAY ROLLS COVERING FUTURE SERVICES OF THE CIVILIAN PERSONNEL AT THE HOME WILL BE PREPARED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS DETERMINATION AND THE REQUIREMENT OF THE ABOVE CITED ACT OF 1928.

HOWEVER, WITH REFERENCE TO THE CLASSIFICATION OF EMPLOYEES OF THE HOME A QUESTION DOES ARISE IN THE OPINION OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS AS TO THE NECESSITY THEREFOR IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT SUCH ACTION WOULD GREATLY INCREASE THE COST OF OPERATION OF THE HOME AS HEREINAFTER DISCUSSED MORE FULLY, AND IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF LONG STANDING LAW RELATING TO THE HOME, ITS ESTABLISHMENT, AND THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS THEREOF. THIS QUESTION OF CLASSIFICATION BEING BOUND UP, AS IT IS, WITH THE LARGER QUESTION OF THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF THE AUDIT TOBE MADE BY YOUR OFFICE OF THE ACCOUNTS OF THE HOME, A DETAILED DISCUSSION OF IT WILL BE DEFERRED UNTIL LATER HEREIN.

AS YOU KNOW, THE PROVISIONS OF R.S. 4815, TAKEN FROM THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1851, 9 STAT. 595, AND THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1859, 11 STAT. 434, PROVIDED FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE HOME AND PLACED THE CONTROL OF ITS AFFAIRS UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF A BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS. THIS BASIC AUTHORITY WAS AMENDED ON MARCH 3, 1883, 22 STAT. 565, AND BY THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1909, 35 STAT. 1004, CHANGING THE PERSONNEL OF THE BOARD. THESE AMENDATORY ACTS DID NOT, HOWEVER, AFFECT THE METHOD OF CONTROL OF THE AFFAIRS OF THE HOME, NOR CHANGE THE WIDE DUTY AND AUTHORITY OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS AS SET FORTH IN THE EARLIER STATUTE TO "DO ANY OTHER ACTS NECESSARY FOR THE GOVERNMENT AND INTERESTS OF THE SAME.'

HAVING IN MIND THAT FUNDS FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE SOLDIERS' HOME WERE ORIGINALLY AND UP TO 1908 IN LARGE PART OBTAINED BY ASSESSMENT AGAINST THE PAY OF ENLISTED MEN OF THE REGULAR ARMY, AND UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 13, 1936, 49 STAT. 1137, ARE NOW IN LARGE MEASURE SO SECURED, IT WOULD SEEM THAT CONGRESS PURPOSELY AND PROPERLY RECOGNIZED THE TRUST CHARACTER OF THESE FUNDS AND CONSEQUENTLY INTENDED TO, AND DID IN FACT, CREATE A METHOD OF ADMINISTRATION OF SUCH TRUST THROUGH A BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS TO ADMINISTER THE TRUST. THE TRUST CHARACTER OF THESE FUNDS HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED BY THE CONGRESS THROUGHOUT THE YEARS OF EXISTENCE OF THE HOME AND ITS MANNER OF OPERATION, SO FAR AS RELATED TO ITS EXPENDITURES HAS ALWAYS BEEN LEFT TO THE SOUND LEGAL DISCRETION OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, WITH CERTAIN SAFEGUARDS AND CONDITIONS WHICH THE CONGRESS FROM TIME TO TIME HAS THOUGHT WISE TO ADOPT. WITH SUCH MINOR EXCEPTIONS, THE CONGRESS HAS SEEN FIT, THEREFORE, TO SUBJECT THE DISCRETION OF THE BOARD TO NO OTHER CONTROL, AND THIS VIEWPOINT OF THE NATURE, DUTIES, AND POWERS OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, AND OF THE CHARACTER OF FUNDS WHICH IT EXPENDED FOR THE INTERESTS OF THE HOME, HAS APPARENTLY ALSO BEEN RECOGNIZED BY YOUR OFFICE AND OTHERS CONCERNED SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS ACTIVITY. IN THIS CONNECTION AND AS THROWING LIGHT UPON THE CHARACTER OF FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE SOLDIERS' HOME, ATTENTION IS INVITED TO A DECISION RENDERED BY THE SECOND AUDITOR UNDER DATE OF DECEMBER 23, 1881, IN WHICH, DISCUSSING THE APPROPRIATIONS OF FINES, FORFEITURES, AND STOPPAGES, ETC., MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE USE OF THE SOLDIERS' HOME, THIS PERTINENT LANGUAGE WAS USED:

"THE QUESTION WHETHER THE AMOUNT OF THESE STOPPAGES, ETC., ARE PUBLIC MONEYS OR NOT, SCARCELY ADMITS OF DISCUSSION. THEY ARE PUBLIC MONEYS SO LONG AS THEY REMAIN IN THE TREASURY BUT THEY LOSE THAT CHARACTER THE MOMENT THEY COME INTO THE POSSESSION OF THE TREASURER OF THE HOME. THEN THEY ARE NO MORE "PUBLIC MONEYS" THAN IS THE ACCRUED SALARY OF A PUBLIC OFFICER AFTER IT HAS BEEN PAID TO HIM. IF IT HAD BEEN THE INTENTION OF CONGRESS THAT THESE STOPPAGES ETC., WHICH IT DIRECTED SHOULD BE "SET APART" FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE HOME, SHOULD BE ACCOUNTED FOR TO THE UNITED STATES, SUCH INTENTION WOULD HAVE BEEN EXPRESSED IN THE ACT OF 1851, JUST AS IT IS EXPRESSED IN THE ACT OF 1875 WITH REGARD TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE NATIONAL HOME FOR DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS (18 STAT. 360).'

STATED SUCCINCTLY, IT APPEARS THAT THE EXERCISE OF A SOUND DISCRETION IN THE BOARD WITHIN THE WIDE PURPOSES OF THE BASIC LAW, ACTING IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THIS TRUST, AND AS TO THE PURPOSE AND METHOD OF EXPENDITURE OF THESE TRUST FUNDS, HAS NOT, WITH MINOR EXCEPTIONS, BEEN SUBJECTED BY THE CONGRESS TO THE SUPERVISION OF ANY OTHER PERSON OR AGENCY, SEEMINGLY IN RECOGNITION OF THE WISDOM OF THE RULE APPLICABLE TO TRUSTS AND TRUSTEES GENERALLY, WHICH IS TERSELY STATED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE CASE OF NICHOLS V. EATON, 91 U.S. 716, 725, AS FOLLOWS:

"WHEN TRUSTEES ARE IN EXISTENCE AND CAPABLE OF ACTING, A COURT OF EQUITY WILL NOT INTERFERE TO CONTROL THEM IN THE EXERCISE OF A DISCRETION VESTED IN THEM BY THE INSTRUMENT UNDER WHICH THEY .'

THAT THE FUNDS FOR THE OPERATION OF THE SOLDIERS' HOME ARE TRUST FUNDS TO BE ADMINISTERED IN HARMONY WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF LAW ABOVE REFERRED TO, SEEMS ALSO TO BE CONFIRMED BY THE RECENT ACT OF CONGRESS, THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT OF 1934, APPROVED JUNE 26, 1934, 48 STAT. 1224, WHEREIN, IN SECTION 20, COVERING THE SOLDIERS' HOME PERMANENT FUND, IT IS PROVIDED THAT---

"ALL MONEYS ACCRUING TO THOSE FUNDS ARE HEREBY APPROPRIATED, AND SHALL BE DISBURSED IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE TRUST.'

IN THIS SAME SECTION 20 IT IS ALSO PROVIDED WITH REFERENCE TO THOSE FUNDS

"THAT, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1935, EXPENDITURES FROM THE TRUST FUND "SOLDIERS' HOME, PERMANENT UND" (ST184) SHALL BE MADE ONLY IN PURSUANCE OF APPROPRIATIONS ANNUALLY MADE BY CONGRESS, AND SUCH APPROPRIATIONS ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED.'

IT IS APPARENT, THEREFORE, THAT IT WAS INTENDED BY THE CONGRESS THAT SUCH FUNDS WOULD BE APPROPRIATED AND EXPENDED IN FULL RECOGNITION OF THE TRUST CHARACTER THEREOF, AND IT IS THE VIEW OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS THAT THE AUDIT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF THE SOLDIERS' HOME SUBMITTED TO YOUR OFFICE IN COMPLIANCE WITH YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 5, 1935, SUPRA, SHOULD RECEIVE SUCH SPECIAL OR MODIFIED AUDIT AS WILL FULLY RECOGNIZE THE MANDATE OF CONGRESS THAT SUCH FUNDS "SHALL BE DISBURSED IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE TRUST.' IN OTHER WORDS, THE RECENT LEGISLATION CANNOT, IT IS BELIEVED, BE MADE THE BASIS OF APPLYING TO DISBURSEMENTS FOR THE SOLDIERS' HOME THE PROVISIONS OF LAW, PROHIBITORY OR DIRECTORY, WHICH ARE APPLICABLE IN THE AUDIT OF FEDERAL NONTRUST MONEY APPROPRIATED OUT OF THE GENERAL FUND OF THE TREASURY FOR THE REGULAR DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT.

IT MAY BE THE INTENTION OF YOUR OFFICE TO APPLY SUCH SPECIAL AUDIT TO THESE ACCOUNTS. HOWEVER, INFORMAL CONTACT WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF YOUR OFFICE GIVES RISE TO THE THOUGHT THAT THE AUDITING BRANCH OF YOUR OFFICE MAY FEEL THAT WITHOUT YOUR DECISION IN THE PREMISES IT HAS NO AUTHORITY TO AUDIT THE ACCOUNTS OF THE SOLDIERS' HOME ON ANY OTHER BASIS THAN THAT WHICH IS GENERALLY APPLIED TO APPROPRIATED NONTRUST MONEY, AND FOR THIS REASON LIBERTY IS TAKEN OF LAYING BEFORE YOU FURTHER CONSIDERATIONS ON THE POINT IN THE HOPE THAT YOU MAY FIND IT LEGALLY POSSIBLE TO AUTHORIZE A CHANGED AUDIT PROCEDURE WITH REFERENCE TO SUCH FUNDS.

IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE CONGRESS BY THE PROVISION OF LAW WITH RESPECT TO THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION OF FUNDS FOR THE HOME ABOVE QUOTED, AS WELL AS THE APPROPRIATIONS SUBSEQUENTLY MADE FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1936 AND 1937, INTENDED ONLY TO CHANGE THE EXISTING METHOD OF SECURING FUNDS FOR THE HOME BY ASSUMING A CONTROL OVER THEM TO THE EXTENT THAT, INSTEAD OF BEING APPROPRIATED ON AN INDEFINITE BASIS, THEY WOULD BE PROVIDED FOR BY THE ANNUAL ACTION OF CONGRESS IN ORDER TO OBVIATE THE POSSIBLE OBJECTION THAT MORE MONEYS WERE BEING MADE AVAILABLE THAN WERE NECESSARY FOR THE OPERATION OF THE TRUST. THIS PURPOSE--- AND SO FAR AS CAN BE SEEN IT WAS THE MAIN, IF NOT THE SOLE, PURPOSE OF CONGRESS IN THIS CONNECTION--- IS WELL SET FORTH IN THE REPORT OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE WHICH REPORTED UPON THIS MEASURE IN THE 73RD CONGRESS (SENATE REPORT NO. 1195, 73RD CONGRESS,2D SESSION, ON H.R. 9410), WHEREIN IT WAS STATED:

"IT IS THE BELIEF OF THIS COMMITTEE THAT ALL POSSIBLE LIGHT AND PUBLICITY SHOULD BE THROWN ON ALL THESE APPROPRIATIONS. POSSIBLY THE LAWS AUTHORIZING SOME OF THESE APPROPRIATIONS SHOULD BE REPEALED. ONLY A FEW YEARS MAKE GREAT CHANGES IN ALL THINGS AND PROBABLY AN APPROPRIATION MADE 10 YEARS AGO COULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED AT THE PRESENT TIME. OF AN APPROPRIATION OF, SAY, $50,000, FOR EXAMPLE, MADE 20 YEARS AGO ONLY $25,000 WOULD NOW BE NEEDED AND JUSTIFIED. FINANCIAL CONDITIONS AND PURPOSES ARE CHANGING VERY FAST AND THE COMMITTEE BELIEVES IT WISE TO ANNUALLY REITERATE THESE APPROPRIATIONS, THROWING IN ALL THE LIGHT POSSIBLE.'

THE ABOVE STATED OBJECT, IT WOULD SEEM, WAS COMPLETELY ATTAINED BY WRITING INTO LAW THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE SOLDIERS' HOME PROCEED THROUGH REGULAR CHANNELS EACH YEAR TO SECURE THE NECESSARY AUTHORITY TO USE FUNDS ACCUMULATED IN THE PERMANENT TRUST FUND, AND AS STATED, IN PURSUANCE OF THIS AUTHORITY CONGRESS APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR THE USE OF THE SOLDIERS' HOME DURING THE FISCAL YEARS 1936 AND 1937. HOWEVER, THE ABSENCE OF ANY LANGUAGE IN THE PERTINENT PROVISIONS OF THE LAW ABOVE CITED, OR IN THE APPROPRIATION ACTS WHICH FOLLOWED, CHANGING THE METHOD OF EXPENDING SUCH FUNDS OR IN ACCOUNTING THEREFOR, WOULD SEEM SIGNIFICANT, EXPLAINABLE ONLY, IN THE VIEW OF THIS BOARD, BY THE FACT THAT THE FUNDS WERE STILL REGARDED AS TRUST FUNDS AND THE MANAGEMENT OF THE AFFAIRS OF THE HOME STILL REGARDED AS UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS WHOSE WIDE ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION, EXERCISED SINCE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE HOME, WAS TO BE IN NO DEGREE OTHERWISE AFFECTED. IN OTHER WORDS, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT FULL EFFECT IS GIVEN TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE LAW CONTAINED IN THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT WITH REFERENCE TO ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS BY CONSTRUING IT TO MERELY REQUIRE THAT THE HOME MUST SECURE ITS APPROPRIATION ANNUALLY AT THE HANDS OF CONGRESS, AND THAT ANY CONSTRUCTION WHICH CARRIES THE MANDATE OF THIS LAW FURTHER AND WHICH SUBJECTS THE EXPENDITURES OF THE FUNDS OF THE HOME TO SCRUTINY ON A BASIS OTHER THAN THE TERMS OF THE TRUST AS FIXED BY CONGRESS, WOULD SANCTION A REPEAL BY IMPLICATION, WHICH IS NOT FAVORED IN THE LAW, OF THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN THE MANAGERS OF THE HOME AS PROVIDED BY LONG ESTABLISHED STATUTORY LAW WHICH HAS NEVER BEEN SPECIFICALLY REPEALED. IN OTHER WORDS, IN THE OPINION OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT MORE DIRECT LANGUAGE EVIDENCING AN INTENTION OF REPEALING THE ADMINISTRATIVE SET-UP AND THE DISCRETIONARY MANAGEMENT OF THE HOME AS ESTABLISHED BY LONG EXISTING LAW WOULD BE NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH THE PURPOSE OF CASTING ON THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AUTHORITY OR DUTY TO AUDIT THESE FUNDS WITH REFERENCE TO THE GENERAL PROHIBITIONS OR POSITIVE DIRECTIONS OF STATUTORY LAW NOW APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL EXPENDITURES OF NONTRUST APPROPRIATIONS GENERALLY. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THE CONGRESS HAS WRITTEN INTO LAW CERTAIN RESTRICTIONS AND RESERVATIONS WITH SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS FOR THE OPERATION OF THE HOME, SUCH, FOR EXAMPLE, AS THAT CONTAINED IN SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1883, WITH REFERENCE TO EXPENDITURES OF MORE THAN $5,000.00 AND DIRECTING THAT PURCHASES SHALL BE SO MADE AFTER DUE NOTICE BY ADVERTISEMENT OF THE LOWEST RESPONSIBLE BIDDER, AND THAT SUCH BIDDER SHALL GIVE BOND, AND THE PROVISION PROHIBITING OFFICERS FROM BORROWING MONEY ON THE CREDIT OF THE HOME, THUS INDICATING AN INTENTION BY THE CONGRESS TO PRESCRIBE THE NECESSARY LIMITATIONS ON THE AUTHORITY OF THE BOARD AND ITS OFFICERS IN A SEPARATE CODE OF LAWS RELATING TO THE HOME, AND WITHOUT REGARD TO THE OTHER PROHIBITORY OR DIRECTORY STATUTES RELATING TO EXPENDITURES OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS GENERALLY. IT IS THE VIEW OF THE BOARD, THEREFORE, THAT THE GENERAL STATUTES RESTRICTING THE EXPENDITURE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS GENERALLY, SUCH, FOR EXAMPLE, AS THE PROHIBITION AGAINST THE PAYMENT OF OTHER THAN THE LOWEST FIRST CLASS RATE FOR COMMON CARRIER TRANSPORTATION, OR THE PURCHASE OF LAW BOOKS, BOOKS OF REFERENCE, OR PERIODICALS, WITHOUT SPECIFIC AUTHORITY OF LAW, AND OTHER SIMILAR STATUTES, ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO EXPENDITURES MADE BY THE SOLDIERS' HOME, BUT SUCH EXPENDITURES FOR SUCH PURPOSES ARE CONTROLLED ONLY BY THE SOUND LEGAL DISCRETION OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS SUBJECT, OF COURSE, TO THE LIMITS OF THE TRUST AND TO THE SPECIFIC PROVISIONS OF LAW, IF ANY, RELATING TO THE SOLDIERS' HOME.

FOLLOWING THE SAME REASONING, IT IS THE VIEW OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS THAT THE PROVISION OF LAW REQUIRING THE CLASSIFICATION OF EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE GENERALLY IS INAPPLICABLE TO THE EMPLOYEES OF THE SOLDIERS' HOME, HAVING REGARD FOR ITS PECULIAR ORGANIZATION AND THE TRUST PURPOSES FOR WHICH IT IS MAINTAINED, AND THAT THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION THEREFORE HAS NOT THE DUTY CAST UPON IT, AS IS THE CASE WITH OTHER AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT, TO CLASSIFY THE EMPLOYEES OF THE HOME. IT IS THEREFORE REQUESTED THAT YOUR DECISION OF JUNE 19, 1936, SUPRA, BE RECONSIDERED AND MODIFIED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE VIEWS PRESENTED HEREIN, AND THAT THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION BE ADVISED ACCORDINGLY.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION IT MAY BE SAID IN PASSING THAT THE EMPLOYEES OF THE HOME ARE IN FACT CLASSIFIED BY THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS IN THE SENSE THAT PERSONS PERFORMING THE SAME TYPE OF SERVICE AND LABOR ARE PAID THE SAME COMPENSATION SO FAR AS PRACTICABLE, AND THAT OTHERWISE THEIR COMPENSATION IS EQUALIZED SO AS TO AVOID DISCRIMINATION, BUT IT IS NOT BELIEVED THAT SUCH CLASSIFICATION IS REQUIRED BY REASON OF ANYTHING IN THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923. IT MIGHT BE SAID FURTHER IN CONNECTION WITH THIS CLASSIFICATION ANGLE THAT TO CLASSIFY THESE EMPLOYEES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 WOULD RESULT IN A VERY LARGE INCREASE IN EXPENDITURES OF THE SOLDIERS' HOME BASED ON A RECENT AND INFORMAL SURVEY BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION OF THE POSITIONS OF EMPLOYEES AT THE HOME, AND IT IS NOT EXPECTED THAT EVEN WITH THE MAXIMUM EXEMPTIONS WHICH THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION FEELS THAT IT IS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE THIS INCREASED EXPENSE WOULD BE REDUCED SUFFICIENTLY TO PREVENT IT FROM BECOMING A DRAIN ON THE ENLISTED MAN ON THE ACTIVE LIST OF THE REGULAR ARMY WHO NOW CONTRIBUTES TO THE MAINTENANCE OF THE HOME AND PROVIDES A LARGE PROPORTION OF THE REVENUE OUT OF WHICH IT OPERATES. MANY OF THE EMPLOYEES OF THE HOME RECEIVING QUARTERS, SUBSISTENCE, AND MODERATE COMPENSATION, AND WHO ARE PERFECTLY SATISFIED AND ANXIOUS TO RETAIN THEIR POSITIONS AT PRESENT COMPENSATION, WOULD, IF CLASSIFIED UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, RECEIVE LARGE INCREASES IN COMPENSATION, AND IT WOULD APPEAR THAT SUCH INCREASES WHICH ARE NOT JUSTIFIABLE FOR THE PROPER SERVICING OF THE HOME WOULD PLACE AN UNFAIR BURDEN ON THE TRUST FUND OUT OF WHICH THE EXPENSES OF THE HOME ARE PAID, AND ON THE ENLISTED MAN IN QUESTION OUT OF HIS CURRENT PAY, AND ESPECIALLY IS THIS RESULT TO BE AVOIDED WHEN IN THE VIEW OF THE BOARD THERE EXISTS NO CLEAR MANDATE OF LAW DIRECTING SUCH A COURSE TO BE TAKEN.

IT MIGHT BE SAID IN THIS CONNECTION THAT WHILE THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS HAS NO OBJECTION TO THE FORWARDING OF THE ACCOUNTS OF THE SOLDIERS' HOME TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR AUDIT, IT IS BELIEVED THAT SUCH AUDIT SHOULD BE MADE ON THE BASIS OF THE TRUST PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE HOME WAS ESTABLISHED AND IS BEING MAINTAINED, AND ALONG THE LINES AND PRINCIPLES OF OPERATION HEREIN DISCUSSED, AND IT IS EARNESTLY REQUESTED THAT YOU GIVE CONSIDERATION TO THE MATTERS SET FORTH HEREIN WITH A VIEW TO ADVISING THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, IF POSSIBLE, THAT AN AUDIT ON THE SPECIAL BASIS HEREIN SUGGESTED MAY BE FOUND TO BE LEGALLY AUTHORIZED UNDER THE EXISTING STATE OF THE LAW.

IT IS REQUESTED THAT YOUR DECISION IN THE PREMISES BE EXPEDITED.

THIS OFFICE IS IN AGREEMENT WITH YOUR VIEW THAT THE FUND "SOLDIERS' HOME, PERMANENT FUND" IS A TRUST FUND AND THAT THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT OF 1934, APPROVED JUNE 26, 1934, 48 STAT. 1233, AUTHORIZES AND REQUIRES APPROPRIATIONS TO BE MADE IN SPECIFIC AMOUNTS OUT OF SAID TRUST FUND TO "BE DISBURSED IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE TRUST.' THE FIRST ANNUAL APPROPRIATION WAS MADE BY THE ACT OF APRIL 9, 1935, 49 STAT. 147, IN THE FOLLOWING TERMS:

FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF THE UNITED STATES SOLDIERS' HOME, TO BE PAID FROM THE SOLDIERS' HOME, PERMANENT FUND, $799,349: PROVIDED, THAT EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1935, INTEREST EARNEST PURSUANT TO LAW ON FUNDS OF THE HOME DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL BE CREDITED TO THE TRUST FUND "SOLDIERS' HOME, PERMANENT FUND," AND SHALL NOT BE EXPENDABLE EXCEPT IN CONSEQUENCE OF AN APPROPRIATION MADE BY CONGRESS.

HOWEVER, THIS OFFICE CANNOT AGREE THAT THE TRUST VESTS IN THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE UNITED STATES SOLDIERS' HOME ABSOLUTE DISCRETION TO EXPEND THE APPROPRIATED TRUST FUNDS SUBJECT ONLY TO THE TERMS OF THE STATUTES SPECIFICALLY APPLICABLE TO THE HOME AND WITHOUT REGARD TO REGULATORY STATUTES GENERALLY APPLICABLE TO THE EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS, SUCH AS THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AS AMENDED, AND SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, 45 STAT. 193, REQUIRING THE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES TO BE DETERMINED AND CONSIDERED A PART OF COMPENSATION.

WHERE THE CONGRESS AUTHORIZES FEDERAL OFFICERS TO ACCEPT PRIVATE GIFTSOR BEQUESTS FOR A SPECIFIC PURPOSE, OFTEN SUBJECT TO CERTAIN PRESCRIBED CONDITIONS AS TO ADMINISTRATION, AUTHORITY MUST OF NECESSITY BE REPOSED IN THE CUSTODIANS OF THE TRUST FUND TO MAKE EXPENDITURES FOR ADMINISTRATION IN SUCH A MANNER AS TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES OF THE TRUST AND TO COMPLY WITH THE PRESCRIBED CONDITIONS THEREOF WITHOUT REFERENCE TO GENERAL REGULATORY AND PROHIBITORY STATUTES APPLICABLE TO PUBLIC FUNDS. EXAMPLE IS THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1925, 43 STAT. 1107, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF APRIL 13, 1936, 49 STAT. 1205, CREATING A LIBRARY OF CONGRESS TRUST FUND BOARD AND AUTHORIZING IT TO ACCEPT AND ADMINISTER PRIVATE GIFTS AND BEQUESTS. BUT WHERE A TRUST FUND IS CREATED BY STATUTE OUT OF CONTRIBUTIONS FROM FEDERAL PAY OR SALARY FOR THE BENEFIT OF FEDERAL PERSONNEL THERE IS INVOLVED EXCLUSIVELY A FEDERAL FUNCTION, THE PERSONNEL ADMINISTERING THE FUNDS ARE FEDERAL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES, THE BENEFICIARIES OF THE TRUST ARE BENEFICIARIES OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENDITURES MADE OUT OF THE TRUST FUND ARE SUBJECT TO GENERAL STATUTORY REGULATIONS UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED BY LAW. THE SOLDIERS' HOME PERMANENT FUND IS AN EXAMPLE OF THIS KIND OF TRUST, WHICH THE FORMER COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES HELD "CONSTITUTE PUBLIC FUNDS OR FUNDS OF THE GOVERNMENT.' DECISION OF JUNE 27, 1934, A-51967.

THE PERMANENT APPROPRIATION REPEAL ACT OF 1934, SUPRA, WAS ENACTED UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THIS OFFICE FOR THE PURPOSE OF REQUIRING ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS TO BE MADE BY THE CONGRESS OF TRUST FUNDS AND TO ENABLE THE SAME AUDIT CONTROL BY THIS OFFICE AS EXISTS OVER PUBLIC FUNDS. THERE IS NO PROVISION IN SAID STATUTE, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, OR IN ANY OTHER STATUTE, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, OR IN ANY OTHER STATUTE, JUSTIFYING THE VIEW THAT GENERAL STATUTORY REGULATIONS, LIMITATIONS, AND RESTRICTIONS ARE NOT FOR APPLICATION TO THE USES OF TRUST FUNDS AUTHORIZED TO BE APPROPRIATED IN LIEU OF, OR OUT OF, PERMANENT TRUST FUNDS.

A TRUST UNDER WHICH THERE MAY BE DISCRETIONARY ACTION USUALLY RELATES TO DIRECT INDIVIDUAL OBJECTS. IN THE PRESENT MATTER THE INDIVIDUAL RELATION AT BEST IS INDIRECT, SO FAR AS TRUST IS CONCERNED. THE DUTIES TO BE PERFORMED ARE THE GENERAL ONES OF MAKING LAWFUL EXPENDITURES FOR SUPPORT OF THE HOME, WHICH IS NO MORE, SO FAR AS A TRUST IS CONCERNED, THAN THE RESPONSIBILITY UPON ALL ADMINISTRATIVE HEADS IN THE USES OF APPROPRIATED PUBLIC MONEYS.

STATUTORY PROVISIONS THAT THE FUNDS FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE HOME, INCLUDING EXPENSES OF ADMINISTRATION, SHALL BE DERIVED FROM THE PAY OF THE SOLDIERS THROUGH FINES AND FORFEITURES AND A MONTHLY DEDUCTION OF NOT TO EXCEED 25 CENTS, MERELY DESIGNATE THE SOURCE OF REVENUE FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE HOME, A GOVERNMENT INSTITUTION. PRESUMABLY IT WOULD NOT BE CONTENDED THAT THE FINES AND FORFEITURES ARE NOT PUBLIC MONEY. DEDUCTIONS FROM PAY ARE IN THE NATURE OF CONTRIBUTIONS. SAID STATUTES DO NOT CHANGE THE OWNERSHIP OF, OR CONTROL OVER, THE MONEYS THUS DERIVED, FROM THE UNITED STATES TO THE SOLDIERS EITHER INDIVIDUALLY OR COLLECTIVELY. THE MONEYS ARE NOT CREDITED TO THE INDIVIDUAL OR COLLECTIVE ACCOUNTS OF THE SOLDIERS AND THEY HAVE NO CLAIM AGAINST SUCH FUNDS ALTHOUGH SOME MAY NEVER ENTER THE HOME OR OTHERWISE RECEIVE DIRECT BENEFIT FROM THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS. THE PRIVILEGE THEY MAY ENJOY OF ENTERING THE HOME UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS HAS NO EFFECT TO CHANGE THE PUBLIC CHARACTER OF THE FUNDS WHICH THE CONGRESS HAS NOW REQUIRED BY LAW BE APPROPRIATED ANNUALLY FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE HOME. AND THAT THE CONGRESS VIEWED ITS REQUIREMENT FOR APPROPRIATION OF THE FUNDS WOULD BE SUBJECT TO AUDIT AS OTHER APPROPRIATIONS, APPEARS DISCLOSED FROM THE TERMS OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1937, 49 STAT. 1307, AS FOLLOWS:

FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF THE UNITED STATES SOLDIERS' HOME, INCLUDING MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, AND OPERATION OF HORSE-DRAWN AND MOTOR PROPELLED FREIGHT AND PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES, TO BE PAID FROM THE SOLDIERS' HOME PERMANENT FUND, $799,105.

THE PROVISION FOR "MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, AND OPERATION OF * * * MOTOR- PROPELLED * * * PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES" IS APPARENTLY BECAUSE OF THE INHIBITIONS OF THE ACT OF JULY 16, 1914, 38 STAT. 508--

SEC. 5. NO APPROPRIATION MADE IN THIS OR ANY OTHER ACT SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF ANY MOTOR-PROPELLED OR HORSE-DRAWN PASSENGER -CARRYING VEHICLE FOR THE SERVICE OF ANY OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS OR OTHER GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENTS, OR ANY BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE, UNLESS SPECIFIC AUTHORITY IS GIVEN THEREFOR, AND AFTER THE CLOSE OF THE FISCAL YEAR NINETEEN HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN THERE SHALL NOT BE EXPENDED OUT OF ANY APPROPRIATION MADE BY CONGRESS ANY SUM FOR PURCHASE, MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, OR OPERATION OF MOTOR-PROPELLED OR HORSE-DRAWN PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES FOR ANY BRANCH OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES UNLESS THE SAME IS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY LAW, AND IN THE ESTIMATES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR NINETEEN HUNDRED AND SIXTEEN AND SUBSEQUENT FISCAL YEARS THERE SHALL BE SUBMITTED IN DETAIL ESTIMATES FOR SUCH NECESSARY APPROPRIATIONS AS ARE INTENDED TO BE USED FOR PURCHASE, MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, OR OPERATION OF ALL MOTOR-PROPELLED OR HORSE-DRAWN PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES, SPECIFYING THE SUMS REQUIRED, THE PUBLIC PURPOSES FOR WHICH SAID VEHICLES ARE INTENDED, AND THE OFFICIALS OR EMPLOYEES BY WHOM THE SAME ARE TO BE USED.

CLEARLY THE QUOTED APPROPRIATION FOR THE HOME CARRIED THE AUTHORITY TO USE FOR PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES TO MEET THE POSSIBLE AUDIT QUESTIONING OF SUCH USE IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH A PROVISION.

YOU MAY BE ADVISED GENERALLY, THEREFORE, THAT IN THE AUDIT OF ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENDITURES BY THE UNITED STATES SOLDIERS' HOME THIS OFFICE MUST APPLY SUCH GENERAL STATUTES UNLESS THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE HOME ARE NOW OR HEREAFTER EXPRESSLY EXCEPTED THEREFROM.

AS WAS THE CASE WITH RESPECT TO OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES, THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, 42 STAT. 1488, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1924, THE AMENDMENTS THERETO, AND THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, SUPRA, REQUIRING THE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND TO CIVILIAN PERSONNEL TO BE DETERMINED AND CONSIDERED AS A PART OF COMPENSATION, WERE ENACTED SUBSEQUENT TO THE STATUTES CREATING THE UNITED STATES SOLDIERS' HOME AND DEFINING THE REGULATORY POWERS OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, THE CUSTODIANS OF THE TRUST FUND AVAILABLE FOR OPERATION OF THE HOME. FIRST OF THESE STATUTES, THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, CHANGED THE PROCEDURE THROUGHOUT THE FEDERAL SERVICE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OF FIXING RATES OF COMPENSATION WITH A VIEW TO ESTABLISHING THE PRINCIPLE OF EQUAL COMPENSATION FOR EQUAL WORK THROUGHOUT THE SERVICE. AMENDMENTS TO THE ORIGINAL LAW EXTENDED THE PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION TO THE FIELD SERVICE. THERE HAS BEEN NO EXPRESS EXCEPTION MADE OF THE UNITED STATES SOLDIERS' HOME AND THERE EXISTS NO SOUND REASON FOR EXCLUDING THE PERSONNEL THEREOF FROM CLASSIFICATION. THE HOME IS A "DEPARTMENT" IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND ITS ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL OCCUPY "POSITIONS" AS THESE TERMS ARE DEFINED IN THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. THE CIVILIAN POSITIONS AT THE HOME SHOULD HAVE BEEN CLASSIFIED YEARS AGO. POSITIONS UNDER OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES HAVING SIMILAR FUNCTIONS ARE CLASSIFIED, SUCH AS THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION FACILITIES, INCLUDING FORMER HOMES FOR DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS. THE SOURCES OF FUNDS FROM WHICH THE SALARIES OF FEDERAL PERSONNEL ARE PAID HAVE NOT CONTROLLED IN DETERMINING QUESTIONS OF CLASSIFICATION.

REFERRING TO YOUR STATEMENT REGARDING A POSSIBLE ADDITIONAL EXPENSE, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT NEITHER A LOSS NOR A SAVING TO THE GOVERNMENT MAY CONTROL THE PROPER APPLICATION OF FEDERAL STATUTES. HOWEVER, IT HAS NOT YET BEEN SUFFICIENTLY ESTABLISHED THAT AN ADDITIONAL EXPENDITURE WILL BE REQUIRED, OR, IF REQUIRED, THAT THE AMOUNT THEREOF WILL BE SO LARGE AS YOU ANTICIPATE. THE REPORT OF THE UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION HAS NOT YET BEEN RECEIVED. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT IF THE REAL VALUE OF ALL ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND TO THE PERSONNEL OF THE HOME, BE DEDUCTED FROM THE TOTAL SALARY RATE FIXED FOR EACH POSITION PURSUANT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, THERE MAY RESULT A DECREASED RATHER THAN AN INCREASED EXPENDITURE FOR SALARIES.

YOU SEEM TO BELIEVE THAT THE VALUE OF QUARTERS, SUBSISTENCE, ETC., SHOULD BE DETERMINED APPARENTLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF ADDING THE VALUE THEREOF TO PRESENT SALARY RATES IN ORDER THAT THE RETIREMENT FUND MAY BE INCREASED, WHICH INCIDENTALLY WOULD, ALSO, INCREASE THE EMPLOYEES' ANNUITIES. YOUR VIEW WERE CORRECT THAT GENERAL REGULATORY STATUTES HAVE NO APPLICATION TO THE USES OF THE TRUST FUND APPROPRIATION FOR THE HOME, THERE WOULD BE NO MORE NEED FOR DETERMINING THE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED EMPLOYEES UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, OR OTHERWISE, THAN THERE WOULD BE FOR COMPLYING WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. IT IS PURSUANT TO SAID STATUTES THAT THE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND TO CIVILIAN PERSONNEL ARE REQUIRED TO BE DETERMINED AND CONSIDERED A PART OF THE TOTAL COMPENSATION ON THE BASIS OF WHICH RETIREMENT DEDUCTIONS OR ANNUITIES ARE COMPUTED. THE SCHEDULE OF VALUES OF ALLOWANCES TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED BY THIS OFFICE WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION AS REQUIRED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT THE DECISION OF JUNE 19, 1936, A 65935, IS AFFIRMED, EXCEPT THAT, IN VIEW OF THE PRESENT STATUS OF THE MATTER AND TO AFFORD A FURTHER OPPORTUNITY TO COMPLETE THE ADJUSTMENT OF SALARY RATES, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE DECISION WILL BE POSTPONED TO APRIL 1, 1937.