A-7865, MARCH 7, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 741

A-7865: Mar 7, 1925

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CONTEMPLATES PRIMARILY A SEPARATE APPROPRIATION HEADING OR ITEM SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT AND IS NOT APPLICABLE TO ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS CREATED OR ESTABLISHED EITHER UNDER OTHER EXPRESS STATUTES OR AS A MATTER OF ADMINISTRATIVE CONVENIENCE. THEREFORE THE AVERAGE PROVISION IS NOT AFFECTED BY TRANSFER OF EMPLOYEES BETWEEN THE ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS ESTABLISHED THEREUNDER. 1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 2. SPECIFICALLY INVOLVED ARE (1) THE TRANSFER OF CERTAIN CONTROL ACCOUNTS OVER BUREAU PRINTING THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF BLANK PAPER. THE DUTIES AND ESSENTIAL PROCEDURE WILL NOT BE CHANGED IN THE TRANSFERS. FOR THE WORK IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONTROL ACCOUNTS TWO CLERKS ARE NOW EMPLOYED IN THE DIVISION OF PAPER CUSTODY.

A-7865, MARCH 7, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 741

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - APPROPRIATION UNIT - TREASURY DEPARTMENT THE PHRASE "BUREAU, OFFICE, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNIT," IN THE AVERAGE PROVISION, RESTRICTING PAYMENT FOR PERSONAL SERVICE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, CONTEMPLATES PRIMARILY A SEPARATE APPROPRIATION HEADING OR ITEM SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT AND IS NOT APPLICABLE TO ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS CREATED OR ESTABLISHED EITHER UNDER OTHER EXPRESS STATUTES OR AS A MATTER OF ADMINISTRATIVE CONVENIENCE. THE APPROPRIATION "PUBLIC DEBT SERVICE, 1925," AS MADE IN THE ACT OF APRIL 4, 1924, 43 STAT. 68, APPROPRIATING FOR THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, CONSTITUTES ONE "BUREAU, OFFICE, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNIT" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE AVERAGE PROVISION, NECESSITATING THE ADJUSTMENT OF SALARIES OF ALL EMPLOYEES PAID THEREUNDER AS BEING IN ONE APPROPRIATION UNIT, AND THEREFORE THE AVERAGE PROVISION IS NOT AFFECTED BY TRANSFER OF EMPLOYEES BETWEEN THE ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS ESTABLISHED THEREUNDER, VIZ: DIVISION OF PAPER CUSTODY, DIVISION OF PUBLIC DEBT ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT, AND DIVISION OF LOANS AND CURRENCY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, MARCH 7, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 2, AS FOLLOWS:

UNDER DATE OF JANUARY 8, 1925, THE SECRETARY APPROVED THE REALIGNMENT OF CERTAIN WORK WITHIN THE PUBLIC DEBT SERVICE. SPECIFICALLY INVOLVED ARE (1) THE TRANSFER OF CERTAIN CONTROL ACCOUNTS OVER BUREAU PRINTING THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF BLANK PAPER, FROM THE DIVISION OF PAPER CUSTODY TO THE DIVISION OF PUBLIC DEBT ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT, AND (2) THE TRANSFER OF THE RECEIPT, EXAMINATION, CERTIFICATION AND DELIVERY FOR DESTRUCTION, OF THE MUTILATED PRODUCT OF THE BUREAU, FROM THE DIVISION OF PAPER CUSTODY TO THE DIVISION OF LOANS AND CURRENCY. THE DUTIES AND ESSENTIAL PROCEDURE WILL NOT BE CHANGED IN THE TRANSFERS.

FOR THE WORK IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONTROL ACCOUNTS TWO CLERKS ARE NOW EMPLOYED IN THE DIVISION OF PAPER CUSTODY, ONE IN GRADE 4 AT $2,040, AND ONE IN GRADE 2 AT $1,680. EACH SUCH SALARY IS THE MAXIMUM OF THE GRADE AND WAS FIXED FOR THE EMPLOYEES CONCERNED ON JULY 1, 1924.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE MUTILATED WORK, SIX CLERKS ARE EMPLOYED, ONE IN GRADE 4 AT $1,860, THE AVERAGE SALARY FOR THE GRADE, AND FIVE IN GRADE 1 AT $1,440, WHICH RATE IS $120 IN EXCESS OF THE AVERAGE FIXED FOR THE GRADE; THE RATES FOR THE EMPLOYEES CONCERNED WERE FIXED ON JULY 1, 1924.

AT THE TIME THE WORK AND ESSENTIAL RECORDS ARE TRANSFERRED IT IS DESIRED TO TRANSFER THE CLERKS NOW ENGAGED ON THE WORK, AND, UNDER NEW JURISDICTION, FOR THEM TO CONTINUE TO PERFORM THE SAME DUTIES. THE DIVISIONS CONCERNED ARE DIFFERENT APPROPRIATION UNITS ALTHOUGH THE EXPENSES OF SUCH UNITS ARE ALL PAID FROM THE SAME APPROPRIATION. IN THE DIVISION OF PUBLIC DEBT ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT, AND IN THE DIVISION OF LOANS AND CURRENCY, TO WHICH IT IS PROPOSED TO TRANSFER THE EMPLOYEES CONCERNED, THE AVERAGE OF THE SALARIES OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONS IN EACH OF THE GRADES AFFECTED IS NOW EXCEEDED.

YOUR OPINION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE EMPLOYEES IN QUESTION MAY BE TRANSFERRED WITH THE WORK AS INDICATED ABOVE WITHOUT SUCH EMPLOYEES SUFFERING A REDUCTION IN SALARY.

YOUR LETTER MENTIONED THE FOLLOWING ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS:

1. DIVISION OF PAPER CUSTODY.

2. DIVISION OF PUBLIC DEBT ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT.

3. DIVISION OF LOANS AND CURRENCY.

TRANSFER OF WORK WITH THE CLERKS ASSIGNED THEREON IS PROPOSED FROM 1 TO 2 AND 3. YOUR QUESTION IS WHETHER THE CLERKS THUS TRANSFERRED MUST BE PAID THE MINIMUM SALARY IN ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS 2 AND 3, WHERE IN THE SALARY AVERAGE IS EXCESSIVE AS A RESULT OF THE EXCEPTIONS TO THE AVERAGE PROVISION APPEARING IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT OF APRIL 4, 1924, 43 STAT. 64, FOR THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT COVERING FISCAL YEAR 1925. SEE ALSO APPROPRIATION ACT OF JANUARY 22, 1925, 43 STAT. 764, FOR THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT, COVERING THE FISCAL YEAR 1926.

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION HEREIN THE PHRASE "BUREAU, OFFICE, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNIT.' THE WORD "OTHER" SHOWS THAT THERE MUST BE PRIMARILY AN "APPROPRIATION UNIT; " THAT IS, A HEADING OR ITEM SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT, AND THAT THE WORDS "BUREAU" AND "OFFICE" ARE DESCRIPTIVE OF APPROPRIATION UNITS OR HEADINGS OR ITEMS. ACCORDINGLY, IN THE ABSENCE OF SEPARATE APPROPRIATION UNITS OR HEADINGS OR ITEMS IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT ITSELF THE AVERAGE PROVISION HAS NO RELATION WHATEVER TO ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS OR UNITS THAT MAY BE CREATED OR ESTABLISHED BY ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS EITHER UNDER OTHER EXPRESS STATUTE OR AS A MATTER OF ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE OR CONVENIENCE.

I DO NOT FIND IN THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1925 OR 1926 ANY SPECIFIC OR SEPARATE APPROPRIATION UNITS OR HEADINGS OR ITEMS FOR THE DIVISIONS YOU HAVE MENTIONED IN THE SUBMISSION. IT HAS BEEN ASCERTAINED THAT THESE DIVISIONS, TOGETHER WITH THE OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC DEBT AND OFFICE OF REGISTER OF THE TREASURY, HAVE BEEN CREATED IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION OF EMPLOYEES APPROPRIATED FOR UNDER THE MAJOR HEADING "PUBLIC DEBT SERVICE," 43 STAT. 68. UNDER THIS GENERAL HEADING FOR THE PRESENT FISCAL YEAR APPEAR TWO ITEMS FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ONE FOR $3,416,000 AND THE OTHER FOR $9,100. A THIRD ITEM IS PROVIDED FOR THE FIELD SERVICE. THE TWO ITEMS FOR PERSONAL SERVICE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CONSTITUTE ONE APPROPRIATION UNIT WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE AVERAGE PROVISION. 4 COMP. GEN. 167, 168, 342, 497. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE EMPLOYEES IN THE FIVE DIVISIONS ESTABLISHED ADMINISTRATIVELY UNDER THE PUBLIC DEBT SERVICE ARE PAID FROM THE FIRST-MENTIONED ITEM AND THAT THE SALARY AVERAGE HAS HERETOFORE BEEN COMPUTED AND MAINTAINED ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT EACH OF THE FIVE ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS OR UNITS CONSTITUTED AN ,APPROPRIATION UNIT.' THIS WAS CLEARLY ERRONEOUS. THE APPROPRIATION "PUBLIC DEBT SERVICE, 25," CONSTITUTES ONE "BUREAU, OFFICE, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNIT" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE AVERAGE PROVISION, AND IMMEDIATE STEPS SHOULD BE TAKEN TO ADJUST THE SALARIES ACCORDINGLY.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT THE TRANSFER OR REASSIGNMENT OF EMPLOYEES BETWEEN THE ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS OR UNITS WITHIN THE APPROPRIATION UNIT "PUBLIC DEBT SERVICE," IF NOT INVOLVING PROMOTION OR DEMOTION IN A GRADE OR CHANGE IN GRADE, IS NOT AFFECTED BY THE AVERAGE PROVISION.