A-9114, MAY 13, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 947

A-9114: May 13, 1925

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PROVIDED NONE OF THE REGULAR EMPLOYEES IS FOUND QUALIFIED TO PERFORM SUCH SERVICE AND THE DUTIES ARE NOT SUCH AS HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED TO SPECIFIED POSITIONS UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. 1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 11. IT IS AT TIMES NECESSARY TO SECURE THE SERVICES OF LOCAL REAL-ESTATE APPRAISERS FOR THE PURPOSE OF VALUING REAL ESTATE USED BY STOCKYARD COMPANIES IN RENDERING STOCKYARD SERVICES. THE FREQUENCY WITH WHICH SUCH SERVICES ARE NEEDED ARE NOT SUCH THAT WOULD JUSTIFY THE REGULAR APPOINTMENT OF COMPETENT MEN FOR THESE PURPOSES. IT IS THEREFORE PROPOSED TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT FOR THE PARTICULAR JOB ONLY WHEN SUCH SERVICES ARE NEEDED. THE AGENCIES SUBJECT TO THE PACKERS AND STOCKYARDS ACT HAVE UNLIMITED MEANS TO EMPLOY THE SERVICES OF SUCH EXPERTS AND THE DEPARTMENT IS CONFRONTED WITH THE NECESSITY OF SECURING WITNESSES OF COMPARABLE STANDING.

A-9114, MAY 13, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 947

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT OF EXPERTS NO LIMITATION ON THE COMPENSATION FOR PERSONAL SERVICES HAVING BEEN PLACED IN THE ACTS MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE PACKERS AND STOCKYARDS ACT, 42 STAT. 159, FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1925 AND 1926, THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE HAS AUTHORITY TO EMPLOY TEMPORARILY, BY MEANS OF CONTRACTS FOR SUCH COMPENSATION AS MAY BE AGREED UPON, LOCAL REAL -ESTATE APPRAISERS, HORSE DEALERS, AND OTHERS FOR EXPERT APPRAISAL WORK, WITHOUT REGARD TO THE MAXIMUM SALARY LIMITATIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923, 42 STAT. 1488, PROVIDED NONE OF THE REGULAR EMPLOYEES IS FOUND QUALIFIED TO PERFORM SUCH SERVICE AND THE DUTIES ARE NOT SUCH AS HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED TO SPECIFIED POSITIONS UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, MAY 13, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 11, 1925, REQUESTING DECISION OF A QUESTION PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS:

IN THE APPRAISAL OF STOCKYARD PROPERTIES IN CONNECTION WITH THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE PACKERS AND STOCKYARDS ACT OF AUGUST 15, 1921 (42 STAT. 159), IT IS AT TIMES NECESSARY TO SECURE THE SERVICES OF LOCAL REAL-ESTATE APPRAISERS FOR THE PURPOSE OF VALUING REAL ESTATE USED BY STOCKYARD COMPANIES IN RENDERING STOCKYARD SERVICES, THE SERVICES OF LOCAL HORSE DEALERS IN APPRAISING HORSES OWNED BY STOCKYARD COMPANIES, OR OTHER SPECIAL SERVICES AND EXPERT TESTIMONY. THE FREQUENCY WITH WHICH SUCH SERVICES ARE NEEDED ARE NOT SUCH THAT WOULD JUSTIFY THE REGULAR APPOINTMENT OF COMPETENT MEN FOR THESE PURPOSES. IT IS THEREFORE PROPOSED TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT FOR THE PARTICULAR JOB ONLY WHEN SUCH SERVICES ARE NEEDED. THE AGENCIES SUBJECT TO THE PACKERS AND STOCKYARDS ACT HAVE UNLIMITED MEANS TO EMPLOY THE SERVICES OF SUCH EXPERTS AND THE DEPARTMENT IS CONFRONTED WITH THE NECESSITY OF SECURING WITNESSES OF COMPARABLE STANDING.

IN VIEW OF YOUR DECISION OF FEBRUARY 10, 1925 (A6104), IN THE MATTER OF PAYMENTS MADE TO WALTER L. FISHER UNDER A CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT, DOUBT HAS ARISEN AS TO WHETHER THE DEPARTMENT MAY ENTER INTO SUCH CONTRACTS WHERE THE PAYMENT INVOLVED, IF PRORATED, WOULD BE IN EXCESS OF THE ANNUAL RATES OF COMPENSATION FOR PERSONAL SERVICES UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923.

YOUR DECISION IS THEREFORE REQUESTED WHETHER OR NOT THE DEPARTMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH SPECIAL SERVICES UNDER THE CONDITIONS ABOVE STATED.

SECTION 407 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 15, 1921, 42 STAT. 169, DESIGNATED AS THE "PACKERS AND STOCKYARDS ACT, 1921," PROVIDES THAT:

THE SECRETARY MAY MAKE SUCH RULES, REGULATIONS AND ORDERS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT * * * AND SHALL HAVE THE POWER TO APPOINT, REMOVE, AND FIX THE COMPENSATION OF SUCH OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES, NOT IN CONFLICT WITH EXISTING LAW, AND MAKE SUCH EXPENDITURES FOR RENT * * * AND OTHER SUPPLIES AND EXPENSES AS SHALL BE NECESSARY TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF THIS ACT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND ELSEWHERE, AND AS MAY BE APPROPRIATED FOR BY CONGRESS * * *.

THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS LAW AS MADE BY THE DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1921, 42 STAT. 194, AND THE REGULAR DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE APPROPRIATION ACTS OF MAY 11, 1922, AND FEBRUARY 26, 1923, 42 STAT. 539, 1320, FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1922, 1923, AND 1924, RESPECTIVELY, CONTAIN PROVISOS TO THE EFFECT THAT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1922 NO PERSON SHOULD BE PAID COMPENSATION AT A RATE EXCEEDING $5,000 PER ANNUM WITH AN EXCEPTION THERETO, FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1923 AND 1924, AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION AT A RATE NOT TO EXCEED $6,500 PER ANNUM TO THREE PERSONS SO EMPLOYED. THESE PROVISOS ARE NOT CARRIED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACTS OF JUNE 5, 1924, 43 STAT. 460, AND FEBRUARY 10, 1925, 43 STAT. 851, MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1925 AND 1926, RESPECTIVELY.

THE 1921 LAW AND APPROPRIATION MADE FOR CARRYING OUT THE PURPOSE SPECIFIED THEREIN CONTEMPLATE THAT ITS ENFORCEMENT IS TO BE ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH THE REGULARLY EMPLOYED PERSONNEL OF THE DEPARTMENT, EXCEPT POSSIBLY IN THOSE RARE CASES WHERE IT BECOMES NECESSARY TO ENLIST THE AID TEMPORARILY OF PERSONS HAVING AN EXPERT OR TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE PECULIAR TO SOME PARTICULAR MATTER NOT POSSESSED BY THE PERSONNEL OF THE DEPARTMENT.

NO LIMITATION HAVING BEEN PLACED IN THE ACTS MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE PACKERS AND STOCK YARDS ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEARS 1925 AND 1926, AND AUTHORITY HAVING BEEN CONFERRED ON THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE BY THAT LAW TO MAKE SUCH EXPENDITURES AS SHALL BE NECESSARY TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF SAID LAW AS MAY BE APPROPRIATED BY CONGRESS, THE TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT, BY MEANS OF CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENT FOR SUCH COMPENSATION AS MAY BE AGREED UPON OF LOCAL REAL ESTATE APPRAISERS, LOCAL HORSE DEALERS, AND OTHERS OF THE CHARACTER ABOVE INDICATED, WOULD BE AUTHORIZED PROVIDED NONE OF THE REGULAR PERSONNEL IS FOUND QUALIFIED TO PERFORM THE REQUIRED SERVICES AND THE SERVICES TO BE PERFORMED BY SUCH TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES ARE NOT SUCH AS HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED TO SPECIFIED POSITIONS UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, NOR ARE SUCH FIELD SERVICE EMPLOYEES WHOSE COMPENSATION HAS BEEN DIRECTED TO BE ADJUSTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, IN WHCH EVENT THE COMPENSATION TO BE PAID FOR SUCH TEMPORARY SERVICES WOULD BE LIMITED BY THE COMPENSATION FIXED FOR THE PARTICULAR POSITION TO BE FILLED.

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THIS OFFICE IN DECISION OF FEBRUARY 10, 1925 (A- 6104), REFERRED TO BY YOU DO NOT APPLY IN THE INSTANT MATTER, AS THE EMPLOYMENT THERE CONSIDERED WAS OF SUCH A NATURE AS TO CREATE A PERMANENT EMPLOYMENT AND PAYMENTS FOR THE SERVICES THERE UNDER CONSIDERATION HAD BEEN MADE FROM APPROPRIATIONS THAT CONTAINED LIMITATIONS PROHIBITING PAYMENT THEREFROM FOR PERSONAL SERVICES OF AMOUNTS EXCEEDING THE RATE OF $6,500 PER ANNUM.