A-87081, JULY 8, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 10

A-87081: Jul 8, 1937

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POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT - SERVICES PERFORMED FOR PRIVATE CORPORATION - DISPOSITION OF REIMBURSEMENT COLLECTIONS AMOUNTS COLLECTED FROM A RAILROAD COMPANY IN PAYMENT FOR SERVICES RENDERED ON ITS BEHALF IN THE SORTING AND HANDLING OF MAIL BY REGULAR POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES FOR WHOSE COMPENSATION AN APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN DULY MADE ARE FOR DEPOSIT INTO THE TREASURY AS "MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS. " AND NOT TO THE APPROPRIATION FROM WHICH THE EMPLOYEES PERFORMING THE SERVICES WERE PAID. IS AS FOLLOWS: IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE ANNEX TO THE GENERAL POST OFFICE AT NEW YORK. WILL PROVIDE AT ITS OWN EXPENSE SUFFICIENT AND SUITABLE ELEVATORS OR OTHER DEVICES TO CONVEY MAIL MATTER BETWEEN MAIL PLATFORMS AND THE BASEMENT OF SUCH BUILDING.'.

A-87081, JULY 8, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 10

POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT - SERVICES PERFORMED FOR PRIVATE CORPORATION - DISPOSITION OF REIMBURSEMENT COLLECTIONS AMOUNTS COLLECTED FROM A RAILROAD COMPANY IN PAYMENT FOR SERVICES RENDERED ON ITS BEHALF IN THE SORTING AND HANDLING OF MAIL BY REGULAR POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES FOR WHOSE COMPENSATION AN APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN DULY MADE ARE FOR DEPOSIT INTO THE TREASURY AS "MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS--- POSTAL REVENUES," AND NOT TO THE APPROPRIATION FROM WHICH THE EMPLOYEES PERFORMING THE SERVICES WERE PAID.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, JULY 8, 1937:

YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 14, 1937, IS AS FOLLOWS:

IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE ANNEX TO THE GENERAL POST OFFICE AT NEW YORK, NEW YORK, CERTAIN OBLIGATION ATTACHED TO THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY TO PROVIDE MAIL HANDLING FACILITIES AS STATED IN THE DEED FROM THE STUYVESANT REAL ESTATE COMPANY TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DATED FEBRUARY 26, 1931, READING AS FOLLOWS:

"THE TUNNEL COMPANY (PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY), SO LONG AS THE BUILDING OR BUILDINGS TO BE ERECTED ON SAID LAND SHALL BE DEVOTED TO UNITED STATES POST OFFICE USES AND PURPOSES, SHALL FURNISH, MAINTAIN,AND OPERATE AT ITS OWN EXPENSE ADEQUATE MAIL HANDLING FACILITIES BELOW THE BASEMENT FLOOR OF SUCH BUILDING REASONABLY SATISFACTORY TO UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND WILL PROVIDE AT ITS OWN EXPENSE SUFFICIENT AND SUITABLE ELEVATORS OR OTHER DEVICES TO CONVEY MAIL MATTER BETWEEN MAIL PLATFORMS AND THE BASEMENT OF SUCH BUILDING.'

AN AGREEMENT WAS ENTERED INTO BETWEEN THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT AND THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY UNDER DATE OF DECEMBER 6, 1934, WHICH PROVIDED FOR CERTAIN SEPARATION OF MAIL ARRIVING AT THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD STATION DESTINED FOR OTHER RAILROAD STATIONS AND POST OFFICES. THE SEPARATION WAS TO BE PERFORMED BY RAILROAD COMPANY EMPLOYEES AND DELIVERED TO THE TAIL-BOARD OF GOVERNMENT OWNED MOTOR VEHICLES WHICH WOULD BE AVAILABLE AT THAT POINT. IN ORDER TO PERFORM THIS SERVICE IT WOULD BE NECESSARY THAT RAILROAD EMPLOYEES BE GIVEN ACCESS TO THE WORKROOM OF THE POST OFFICE LOCATED IN THE BASEMENT.

IN ORDER TO ELIMINATE THE NECESSITY FOR THE ADMISSION OF UNAUTHORIZED PERSONS TO THE WORKROOM OF THE POST OFFICE, THE AGREEMENT PROVIDED THAT POSTAL EMPLOYEES WOULD PERFORM THIS TAIL-BOARD SEPARATION AND THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY WOULD REIMBURSE THE DEPARTMENT FOR ACTUAL COST OF THE CLERICAL WORK INVOLVED. AS THERE WAS NO WAY OF DETERMINING THE ACTUAL COST, THE AGREEMENT PROVIDED FOR THE PAYMENT OF $6,000 PER ANNUM IN MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS OF $500 FOR A PERIOD OF THREE YEARS. DURING THE THREE-YEAR PERIOD THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT AGREED TO MAKE A CAREFUL STUDY AND ANALYSIS OF THE COST OF THIS SERVICE, AND THE PRICE TO BE PAID BY THE RAILROAD COMPANY THEREAFTER WOULD BE DETERMINED, ADJUSTMENTS TO BE MADE EVERY THREE YEARS.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THAT AGREEMENT, THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY ISSUED CHECKS IN THE AMOUNT OF $500 EACH MONTH IN FAVOR OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. THESE CHECKS HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE THIRD ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL, DIVISION OF FINANCE, WITH THE REQUEST THAT THEY BE DEPOSITED TO THE CREDIT OF THE APPROPRIATION "CLERKS, FIRST AND SECOND CLASS POST FICES.' THIS DEPARTMENT WAS INFORMED THAT THE AMOUNT COLLECTED COULD NOT BE DEPOSITED TO THE CREDIT OF THE APPROPRIATION BUT MUST BE SHOWN AS MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS.

THESE CHECKS REPRESENT, AS NEARLY AS CAN BE DETERMINED AT THE PRESENT TIME, THE ACTUAL COST OF CLERICAL LABOR USED IN THE SEPARATION OF THIS MAIL. THE ORIGINAL PAYMENTS ARE MADE FROM THE APPROPRIATION REFERRED TO ABOVE, AND IT IS BELIEVED THAT IT IS PROPER FOR THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION TO BE REIMBURSED BY DEPOSITING THE AMOUNTS RECEIVED TO THE CREDIT OF THAT APPROPRIATION.

THE QUESTION IS REFERRED TO YOU FOR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE AMOUNT PAID TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT BY THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY FOR THE TAIL-BOARD SEPARATION OF MAIL AT THE ANNEX TO THE GENERAL POST OFFICE AT NEW YORK, NEW YORK, MAY BE CONSIDERED AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENDITURES MADE FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR "CLERKS, FIRST AND SECOND CLASS POST OFFICES" AND DEPOSITED TO THE CREDIT OF THAT APPROPRIATION WHEN RECEIVED.

SECTIONS 407 AND 4054 OF THE REVISED STATUTES PROVIDE:

SEC. 407. THE POSTAL REVENUES AND ALL DEBTS DUE THE POST-OFFICE DEPARTMENT SHALL, WHEN COLLECTED, BE PAID INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE POSTMASTER-GENERAL; AND THE TREASURER, ASSISTANT TREASURER, OR DESIGNATED DEPOSITARY RECEIVING SUCH PAYMENT SHALL GIVE THE DEPOSITOR DUPLICATE RECEIPTS THEREFOR.

SEC. 4054. THE MONEY REQUIRED FOR THE POSTAL SERVICE IN EACH YEAR SHALL BE APPROPRIATED BY LAW OUT OF THE REVENUES OF THE SERVICE.

IT APPEARS FROM YOUR SUBMISSION THAT THE WORK IN QUESTION WAS PERFORMED BY REGULAR EMPLOYEES OF THE POSTAL SERVICE FOR WHOSE COMPENSATION AN APPROPRIATION HAD BEEN DULY MADE. THE CONGRESS HAVING APPROPRIATED A SPECIFIC AMOUNT FOR THE SALARIES OF THE EMPLOYEES IN FIRST- AND SECOND- CLASS POST OFFICES, IT IS NOT PERMISSIBLE TO AUGMENT THE APPROPRIATION SO MADE BY COLLECTIONS FROM PRIVATE SOURCES. THE MONEYS COLLECTED FROM THE RAILROAD COMPANY ARE IN PAYMENT OF A DEBT DUE THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, AND UNDER SECTION 407, REVISED STATUTES, SUPRA, ARE FOR DEPOSIT IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES TO THE CREDIT OF POSTAL REVENUES, AND WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE UNTIL APPROPRIATED BY THE CONGRESS. SEE 5 COMP. GEN. 928, AND THE CASES CITED THEREIN.

IN VIEW OF THE PAST PRACTICE AND THE FACT THAT THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1936 AND 1937 ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE FOR THE INCURRING OF OBLIGATIONS, THE DEPOSITS HERETOFORE MADE TO THE CREDIT OF THE RESPECTIVE FISCAL YEAR APPROPRIATIONS FOR SALARIES AND EXPENSES FIRST- AND SECOND- CLASS POST OFFICES WILL NOT NOW BE DISTURBED, BUT BEGINNING WITH THE FISCAL YEAR 1938 ALL SUCH RECEIPTS ARE FOR DEPOSIT INTO THE TREASURY AS "MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS--- POSTAL REVENUES.'