A-67480, APRIL 9, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 882

A-67480: Apr 9, 1936

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

THE EXPENSES OF WHICH ARE CHARGED TO AND THE SERVICE PERFORMED BY PERSONNEL OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED. ARE UNAUTHORIZED UNLESS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR BY STATUTE. IS IN VIOLATION OF SECTION 403. REQUIRING SUCH POST OFFICES TO BE OPERATED "BY PERSONS NOT IN THE CLASSIFIED SERVICE WHO ARE REQUIRED TO FURNISH QUARTERS * * * HEAT. IS CARRIED ON THE ROLLS OF THE NAVY YARD AS "STENOG. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 10. THE DUTIES OF THESE TWO EMPLOYEES ARE PRACTICALLY LIMITED TO THE HANDLING OF MAIL UNDER POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT REGULATIONS. THE PRACTICE OF ALLOWING NAVY DEPARTMENT PAY TO EMPLOYEES OF THE YARD POST OFFICE WAS ADOPTED IN CONSIDERATION OF THE EXTRA ACCOMMODATION TO THE NAVY YARD AND SHIPS AT THE YARD BY THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THIS BRANCH.

A-67480, APRIL 9, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 882

POST OFFICES - BRANCHES ESTABLISHED IN GOVERNMENT AGENCIES - COMPENSATION IN ADDITION TO REGULAR PAY OF GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL THE ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF BRANCH POST OFFICES IN GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS, THE EXPENSES OF WHICH ARE CHARGED TO AND THE SERVICE PERFORMED BY PERSONNEL OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED, ARE UNAUTHORIZED UNLESS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR BY STATUTE, AND PERSONNEL EXPENSE PAYMENTS IN CONNECTION THEREWITH SHOULD BE DISCONTINUED. PAYMENT UNDER CONTRACT OF COMPENSATION BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT TO A NAVY-YARD EMPLOYEE FOR THE OPERATION OF A BRANCH POST OFFICE IN PUBLIC QUARTERS AT THE NAVY YARD, WITH HEAT, LIGHT, AND A SAFE FURNISHED BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT, IS IN VIOLATION OF SECTION 403, POSTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS, 1932, REQUIRING SUCH POST OFFICES TO BE OPERATED "BY PERSONS NOT IN THE CLASSIFIED SERVICE WHO ARE REQUIRED TO FURNISH QUARTERS * * * HEAT, LIGHT," ETC., AND ALSO THE DUAL COMPENSATION STATUTES.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, APRIL 9, 1936:

WITH REFERENCE TO MY LETTER TO YOU OF JANUARY 10, 1935, REQUESTING CERTAIN INFORMATION RELATING TO THE OPERATION OF THE BRANCH POST OFFICE AT THE NAVY YARD, CHARLESTOWN, MASS., BY ONE LOIS H. ANTHONY WITH COMPENSATION AT $1,000 PER ANNUM, WHO, ALSO, IS CARRIED ON THE ROLLS OF THE NAVY YARD AS "STENOG.--- TYPE C.A.F. 2" WITH SALARY OF $1,800 PER ANNUM (THE SALARY HAVING BEEN $1,680 PRIOR TO SEPT. 1, 1935), THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR REPLY OF MARCH 10, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 10, 1936, A-67480, REQUESTING INFORMATION CONCERNING THE CONDUCT OF THE NAVY YARD BRANCH POST OFFICE, BOSTON, MASS.

MISS LOIS H. ANTHONY HAS BEEN CLERK-IN-CHARGE OF THE NAVY YARD BRANCH POST OFFICE SINCE DECEMBER 6, 1926. MR. FRANCIS X. GALE HAS BEEN EMPLOYED THERE AS HER ASSISTANT SINCE SEPTEMBER 1, 1935.

THE DUTIES OF THESE TWO EMPLOYEES ARE PRACTICALLY LIMITED TO THE HANDLING OF MAIL UNDER POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT REGULATIONS. THE PRACTICE OF ALLOWING NAVY DEPARTMENT PAY TO EMPLOYEES OF THE YARD POST OFFICE WAS ADOPTED IN CONSIDERATION OF THE EXTRA ACCOMMODATION TO THE NAVY YARD AND SHIPS AT THE YARD BY THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THIS BRANCH--- THE SERVICE PRIOR TO THIS TIME HAVING BEEN RENDERED FROM THE BRANCH POST OFFICE AT CITY SQUARE, CHARLESTOWN.

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NAVY YARD BRANCH POST OFFICE, BOSTON, MASS., WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE DEPARTMENT IN LETTER DATED DECEMBER 8, 1921, IN REPLY TO A LETTER OF THE COMMANDANT OF THE BOSTON NAVY YARD OF NOVEMBER 17, 1921, WHICH OUTLINED THE CONDITIONS, INCLUDING THE FURNISHING OF QUARTERS BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT, ETC. COPIES OF THESE LETTERS ARE ENCLOSED. A LETTER PROPOSING AN ARRANGEMENT, AS APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT, WAS SENT BY THE COMMANDANT OF THE BOSTON NAVY YARD TO THE BOSTON POSTMASTER, WHO REFERRED THE MATTER TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. WITHIN THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, THE PROPOSAL THEN TOOK THE FORM OF A TRANSACTION BETWEEN THAT DEPARTMENT AND ARTHUR F. MACEY, THE YARD EMPLOYEE WHO WAS SELECTED BY THE COMMANDANT TO HAVE CHARGE. THE RESULT WAS A CONTRACT BETWEEN THESE TWO PARTIES, THE CONSIDERATION BEING $1.00 PER YEAR PAYABLE TO MACEY. THIS TRANSACTION TOOK PLACE WITHOUT OFFICIAL REFERENCE TO THE (THEN) COMMANDANT, WHO AFTERWARD MADE INQUIRY AND WAS FURNISHED A COPY OF THE CONTRACT.

THIS FORM OF CONTRACT WAS RENEWED PERIODICALLY; THE COMPENSATION WAS INCREASED TO $500 PER ANNUM, TO $575, AND FINALLY TO $1,000 PER ANNUM. SEEMS THAT EACH CONTRACT WAS TREATED BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT AS A TRANSACTION BETWEEN THAT DEPARTMENT AND THE CLERK-IN CHARGE AND WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE COMMANDANT.

ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE ENCLOSED STATEMENT FROM MISS ANTHONY WITH REFERENCE TO THE DISPOSITION OF SUMS RECEIVED UNDER THE CONTRACT BY HER AS CLERK-IN-CHARGE. SPECIAL ASSISTANTS, EITHER CIVILIANS OR ENLISTED MEN, HAVE BEEN DETAILED TEMPORARILY BY THE COMMANDANT, IN EMERGENCIES, FROM TIME TO TIME, BECAUSE OF TEMPORARY ABSENCE OF ONE OF THE REGULAR EMPLOYEES OF THE OFFICE, OR TO TAKE UP AN EXTRA LOAD AS IN THE CASE OF THE CHRISTMAS SEASON.

THE STATEMENT FROM MISS ANTHONY REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER IS DATED FEBRUARY 28, 1936, AND READS AS FOLLOWS:

1. WITH REFERENCE TO THE COMPENSATION OF $1,000 PER ANNUM PAYABLE TO ME UNDER MY CONTRACT WITH THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT: CHECKS FOR AMOUNTS DUE HAVE BEEN FORWARDED MONTHLY TO ME AS CLERK-IN-CHARGE. FROM THESE CHECKS I HAVE MADE PAYMENTS TO THE REGULAR ASSISTANT, MR. GALE, AND TO TEMPORARY ASSISTANTS, AND TO MYSELF. AT NO TIME SINCE I HAVE BEEN CLERK-IN-CHARGE HAVE I PAID TO MYSELF PERSONALLY SUMS WHICH, WHEN ADDED TO MY NAVY DEPARTMENT PAY, MADE A TOTAL IN EXCESS OF THE STATUTORY LIMIT, NOR HAVE I PROFITTED, EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, BY ANY AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF $2,000 PER ANNUM.

2. WITH SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO THE STATEMENTS OF THE COMPTROLLER QUOTED IN PARAGRAPH 1 OF DEPARTMENT'S LETTER, I HAVE TO REPLY THAT ALTHOUGH THE SUM IN QUESTION, $244 PER YEAR, IS MADE PAYABLE TO ME AS CLERK-IN-CHARGE, IT IS NOT PAID TO ME PERSONALLY, BUT SERVES AS A SURPLUS TO PROVIDE COMPENSATION FOR EXTRA HELP NEEDED FROM TIME TO TIME AND DETAILED BY THE COMMANDANT OF THE YARD AS NECESSARY. IN THE PAST YEAR SUCH SPECIAL ASSISTANCE HAS BEEN REQUIRED DURING THE ABSENCE ON LEAVE OF ONE OR OTHER OF THE TWO REGULAR EMPLOYEES, LIKEWISE DURING THE SEVERAL MONTHS PENDING APPOINTMENT OF THE REGULAR ASSISTANT IN THE YARD POST OFFICE, AND DURING THE CHRISTMAS RUSH. I HOLD RECEIPTS FOR THE PAYMENTS SO MADE.

3. THE ROUTINE OF HANDLING PAYMENTS AND EXACTING RECEIPTS THEREFOR HAS BEEN FOLLOWED BY ME UPON ORAL ADVICE FROM THE BOSTON POSTMASTER'S OFFICE.

THE CONTRACT ENTERED INTO BETWEEN THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT AND MISS ANTHONY FOR THE 2 YEARS ENDING JUNE 30, 1936, PROVIDES IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

I, LOIS H. ANTHONY, ENGAGED IN BUSINESS AS A CLERK AT CHARLESTOWN NAVY YARD, CHARLESTOWN STA. P.O., BOSTON, STATE, MASS., HEREBY AGREE, IN CONSIDERATION OF THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION AT THE RATE OF $1,000.00 A YEAR, IN EQUAL MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS, TO FURNISH DURING THE TWO YEARS ENDING JUNE 30, 1936, OR THE UNEXPIRED PORTION THEREOF, SUFFICIENT SPACE IN THE MAIN ROOM OF MY STORE IN A LOCATION CONVENIENT FOR THE PUBLIC FOR THE TRANSACTION OF THE POSTAL BUSINESS OF A CONTRACT STATION THE FACILITIES OF THE UNIT TO CONSIST OF MONEY ORDER, REGISTRY, PARCEL POST(ORDINARY, INSURED, AND C.O.D.) THE SALE OF ALL NECESSARY POSTAL SUPPLIES, LOCK BOX, GENERAL DELIVERY AND RECEIPT AND DISPATCH OF MAILS, AND TO PROVIDE ALL EQUIPMENT INCLUDING A SIGN, SUCH AS THE POSTMASTER MAY DESIGNATE, SAFE, HEAT, LIGHT, AND ALL CLERICAL SERVICE NECESSARY FOR THE PROPER CONDUCT OF SUCH BUSINESS.

WHILE THE CONTRACT STATES AS PART OF THE CONSIDERATION THAT MISS ANTHONY WAS TO FURNISH SPACE IN HER HOME, ALSO SAFE, HEAT, AND LIGHT, IT APPEARS FROM THE RECORD THAT THE QUARTERS, ETC., ARE BEING FURNISHED BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT.

SECTION 15 OF THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1916, 39 STAT. 163 PROVIDES:

* * * THE POSTMASTER GENERAL MAY ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR THE CONDUCT OF CONTRACT STATIONS FOR A TERM NOT EXCEEDING TWO YEARS.

SECTION 403, POSTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS, 1932, STATES:

3. STATIONS AND BRANCH POST OFFICES SHALL BE DIVIDED INTO THE FOLLOWING CLASSES:

(B) "CONTRACT," THOSE USUALLY LOCATED IN DRUG STORES OR OTHER PLACES OF BUSINESS AND OPERATED UNDER CONTRACT BY PERSONS NOT IN THE CLASSIFIED SERVICE WHO ARE REQUIRED TO FURNISH QUARTERS AND EQUIPMENT, HEAT, LIGHT, AND THE NECESSARY CLERICAL ASSISTANCE.

SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF MAY 10, 1916, 39 STAT. 120, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 29, 1916, 39 STAT. 582, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THAT UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIALLY AUTHORIZED BY LAW, NO MONEY APPROPRIATED BY THIS OR ANY OTHER ACT SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT TO ANY PERSON RECEIVING MORE THAN ONE SALARY WHEN THE COMBINED AMOUNT OF SAID SALARIES EXCEEDS THE SUM OF $2,000 PER ANNUM, * * *.

FURTHERMORE, SECTION 1765, REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES:

NO OFFICER IN ANY BRANCH OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE, OR ANY OTHER PERSON WHOSE SALARY, PAY, OR EMOLUMENTS ARE FIXED BY LAW OR REGULATION, SHALL RECEIVE ANY ADDITIONAL PAY, EXTRA ALLOWANCE, OR COMPENSATION, IN ANY FORM WHATEVER, FOR THE DISBURSEMENT OF PUBLIC MONEY, OR FOR ANY OTHER SERVICE OR DUTY WHATEVER, UNLESS THE SAME IS AUTHORIZED BY LAW, AND THE APPROPRIATION THEREFOR EXPLICITLY STATES THAT IT IS FOR SUCH ADDITIONAL PAY, EXTRA ALLOWANCE, OR COMPENSATION.

ON THE BASIS OF THE REPORTED FACTS AND THE CONTROLLING STATUTES, SUPRA, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE SO-CALLED AGREEMENT OR CONTRACT ENTERED INTO WITH MISS ANTHONY, A NAVY-YARD EMPLOYEE, FOR CONDUCTING THE POST OFFICE AT THE NAVY YARD IS ILLEGAL.

IT FURTHER APPEARS FROM THE RECORD THAT ANOTHER EMPLOYEE OF THE NAVAL ESTABLISHMENT, WHOSE COMPENSATION IS PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED UNDER THE HEADING "BUREAU OF YARDS AND DOCKS" (SEE ACT OF JUNE 24, 1935, 49 STAT. 412), IS ENGAGED EXCLUSIVELY IN ASSISTING MISS ANTHONY ON THE WORK OF OPERATING THE BRANCH POST OFFICE IN QUESTION HERE. FURTHERMORE, UNDER THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT MISS ANTHONY AGREED AS PART OF THE CONSIDERATION TO FURNISH "ALL CLERICAL SERVICE NECESSARY" FOR THE CONDUCT OF THE POST- OFFICE STATION.

IN THE ABSENCE OF AN EXPRESS STATUTE TO THE CONTRARY SUCH AS, FOR INSTANCE, SECTIONS 134 AND 135, TITLE 39, U.S.C. AUTHORIZING APPOINTMENT OF NAVY MAIL CLERKS, THE OPERATION OF A BRANCH POST OFFICE WOULD APPEAR TO BE THE EXCLUSIVE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT AND THERE WOULD THUS BE NO AUTHORITY FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF BRANCH POST OFFICES IN THE GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS TO BE SERVICED AND/OR SUPERVISED BY PERSONNEL OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT IN WHICH ESTABLISHED, AND THE EXPENSES OF WHICH ARE CHARGED TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR SAID DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT. NO EXPRESS STATUTORY AUTHORITY APPEARS TO EXIST SO FAR AS THE INSTANT CASE IS CONCERNED. YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE NAVAL ESTABLISHMENT MAY NO LONGER BE CHARGED WITH THE PERSONNEL EXPENSES OF OPERATING THE BRANCH POST OFFICE IN QUESTION. IF IT BE DESIRED TO CONTINUE THE OFFICE FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE DEPARTMENT AND THE PERSONNEL, THE POSTMASTER GENERAL SHOULD BE REQUESTED TO ASSUME FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ITS FUTURE OPERATION PURSUANT TO EXISTING STATUTES.

THE $1,000 PER ANNUM PAID MISS ANTHONY BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT CONSTITUTES AN ADDITIONAL ,SALARY" RECEIVED BY HER, WHICH, TOGETHER WITH THE SALARY OF $1,680 OR $1,800 PER ANNUM, EXCEEDED THE COMBINED RATE OF $2,000 PER ANNUM IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE DUAL COMPENSATION ACT OF 1916, SUPRA. IT CONSTITUTES, ALSO,"COMPENSATION" WITHIN THE INHIBITORY PROVISIONS OF SECTION 1765, REVISED STATUTES. FURTHERMORE, AS PREVIOUSLY STATED HEREIN, MISS ANTHONY DID NOT PROVIDE THE SPACE AND EQUIPMENT SPECIFIED BY THE CONTRACT AS A PART OF THE SERVICE TO BE PERFORMED FOR WHICH THE CONSIDERATION OF $1,000 PER ANNUM WAS FIXED. ACCORDINGLY, ON THE BASIS OF THE PRESENT RECORD, A CHARGE WILL BE RAISED AGAINST HER ON THE BOOKS OF THIS OFFICE FOR SUCH AMOUNT AS SHE RECEIVED FROM THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT FOR THE OPERATION OF THE POST OFFICE STATION IN QUESTION. THIS OFFICE IS NOT CONCERNED WITH THE DISPOSITION SHE MAY HAVE MADE OF ANY PORTION THEREOF IN PAYMENTS TO ASSISTANTS OR OTHERWISE, AS INDICATED IN HER STATEMENT, SUPRA. ..END :