A-9417, JUNE 12, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 1031

A-9417: Jun 12, 1925

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THE RECLAMATION SERVICE IS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO ENGAGE BY CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT PERSONS "WITH HORSE. OBJECTION TO SUCH PROCEDURE WILL NOT BE INTERPOSED PRIOR TO JUNE 30. 1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 30. PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS: THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM ANY AND ALL ACTS AND TO MAKE SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS MAY BE NECESSARY AND PROPER FOR THE PURPOSE OF CARRYING THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT INTO FULL FORCE AND EFFECT. UNDER THIS AUTHORITY OF LAW REGULATIONS HERETOFORE ISSUED HAVE PROVIDED FOR THE EMPLOYMENT UNDER CONTRACT OF PERSONS WITH HORSE. THE EMPLOYMENTS YOU MENTION UNDER THE REGULATIONS OF THE RECLAMATION SERVICE ARE ORIGINAL CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENT FOR THE PERSON AND HIS NECESSARY EQUIPMENT TO PERFORM THE WORK FOR WHICH ENGAGED.

A-9417, JUNE 12, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 1031

RECLAMATION SERVICE - CONTRACTS FOR PERSONAL SERVICES AND EQUIPMENT IN THE ABSENCE OF EXPRESS STATUTORY PROVISION THEREFOR, THE RECLAMATION SERVICE IS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO ENGAGE BY CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT PERSONS "WITH HORSE," "WITH TEAM," OR "WITH AUTOMOBILE" AND PAY THEM COMPENSATION HIGHER THAN THAT PAID TO PERSONS EMPLOYED WITHOUT A HORSE, TEAM, OR AUTOMOBILE; BUT IN VIEW OF THE LONG-EXISTING PRACTICE OF DOING SO, OBJECTION TO SUCH PROCEDURE WILL NOT BE INTERPOSED PRIOR TO JUNE 30, 1926; HOWEVER, AFTER THAT DATE COMPENSATION MAY BE PAID ONLY ON THE BASIS OF THE PERSONAL SERVICES RENDERED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, JUNE 12, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 30, 1925, REFERRING TO DECISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED FEBRUARY 6, 1925, A-7303, HOLDING THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC AUTHORITY OF LAW RANGERS IN THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE MAY NOT BE PAID ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR HIRE OF THEIR PERSONALLY OWNED AND USED SADDLE HORSES, AS BEING IN VIOLATION OF SECTION 1765, REVISED STATUTES, AND REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER, ON ACCOUNT OF THAT DECISION, THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION MAY CONTINUE A LONG EXISTING PRACTICE OF ENGAGING BY CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT PERSONS "WITH TEAM" OR "WITH AUTOMOBILE," THE WAGES PAID SUCH EMPLOYEES BEING HIGHER THAN TO THOSE EMPLOYED WITHOUT TEAM OR AUTOMOBILE.

YOU STATE THAT CURRENT ORGANIZATION SHEETS COVER THE EMPLOYMENT OF THIS CLASS OF EMPLOYEES UNDER THE FOLLOWING-NAMED DESIGNATION:

CHART

AUTHO. NO. DESIGNATION

34A ------------- DITCH RIDER, WITH 1 HORSE.

34B ------------- DITCH RIDER, WITH 2 HORSES.

34C ------------- DITCH RIDER, WITH AUTO.

104A ------------ PATROLMAN, WITH 1 OR 2 HORSES.

128 ------------- TEAMSTER, WITH 1 HORSE.

129 ------------- TEAMSTER, WITH 2 HORSES.

130 ------------- TEAMSTER, WITH 3 HORSES.

131 ------------- TEAMSTER, WITH 4 HORSES.

132 ------------- TEAMSTER, WITH 6 HORSES.

133 ------------- TEAMSTER, WITH 8 HORSES.

142A ------------ WATERMASTER, WITH HORSES.

142B ------------ WATERMASTER, WITH AUTO.

143A ------------ WATERMASTER, ASSISTANT, WITH HORSES.

143B ------------ WATERMASTER, ASSISTANT, WITH AUTO.

SECTION 10 OF THE RECLAMATION ACT OF JUNE 17, 1902, 32 STAT. 390, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM ANY AND ALL ACTS AND TO MAKE SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS MAY BE NECESSARY AND PROPER FOR THE PURPOSE OF CARRYING THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT INTO FULL FORCE AND EFFECT.

THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR THE RECLAMATION SERVICE PROVIDE FUNDS "FOR ALL EXPENDITURES AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 17, 1902 (THIRTY- SECOND STATUTES, PAGE 388), AND ACTS AMENDATORY THEREOF OR SUPPLEMENTARY THERETO, KNOWN AS THE RECLAMATION LAW.' SEE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1924, 43 STAT. 415. UNDER THIS AUTHORITY OF LAW REGULATIONS HERETOFORE ISSUED HAVE PROVIDED FOR THE EMPLOYMENT UNDER CONTRACT OF PERSONS WITH HORSE, TEAM, OR AUTOMOBILE AT AN INCREASED RATE OF COMPENSATION TO REIMBURSE THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE USE OF HIS HORSE, TEAM, OR AUTOMOBILE. NO OBJECTION HAS EVER BEEN RAISED AGAINST THIS PRACTICE BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT, BUT ON THE CONTRARY SAME HAS BEEN GIVEN RECOGNITION. 22 COMP. DEC. 383, 384. SEE ALSO 3 COMP. GEN. 321, INVOLVING THE EMPLOYMENT UNDER CONTRACT OF A GAME WARDEN WITH EQUIPMENT.

THE EMPLOYMENTS YOU MENTION UNDER THE REGULATIONS OF THE RECLAMATION SERVICE ARE ORIGINAL CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENT FOR THE PERSON AND HIS NECESSARY EQUIPMENT TO PERFORM THE WORK FOR WHICH ENGAGED. SUCH WAS NOT THE SITUATION INVOLVED IN THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 6, 1925. THE RANGERS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE THERE CONSIDERED HAD BEEN APPOINTED ORIGINALLY AT A SPECIFIC RATE OF COMPENSATION TO PERFORM WORK, THE NATURE OF WHICH WOULD REQUIRE SADDLE HORSES. THAT IS TO SAY, THEIR ORIGINAL EMPLOYMENT CONTEMPLATED THAT THE RANGERS WOULD PROPERLY EQUIP THEMSELVES FOR THE POSITION TO WHICH APPOINTED, OR WOULD BE FURNISHED HORSES OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT AND TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF ANY ADDITIONAL AMOUNT FOR HORSE HIRE UNDER RENTAL AGREEMENT ENTERED INTO SUBSEQUENT TO THE ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT OR EMPLOYMENT, WOULD BE IN CONTRAVENTION OF SECTION 1765, REVISED STATUTES. THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 6, 1925, WAS NOT INTENDED TO AND DOES NOT DISTURB THE PRACTICE OF ENTERING INTO ORIGINAL CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENT INCLUDING PERSONAL SERVICES AND EQUIPMENT UNDER THE REGULATIONS OF THE RECLAMATION SERVICE. THE PRACTICE OF ENTERING INTO CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENT ON THE BASIS OF EQUIPMENT FURNISHED BY THE EMPLOYEES IS QUESTIONABLE, PARTICULARLY IN VIEW OF THE CONTEMPLATED CLASSIFICATION OF POSITIONS IN THE FIELD SERVICES AND THE FIXING OF UNIFORM RATES OF COMPENSATION FOR LIKE GRADES OF PERSONAL SERVICES, AND SUCH PRACTICE SHOULD OBTAIN ONLY IN THOSE CASES IN WHICH THE SERVICES OF A MAN AND THE SPECIFIED EQUIPMENT PROPERLY MAY BE PROCURED BY WRITTEN CONTRACT AFTER ADVERTISING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 3744 AND 3709, REVISED STATUTES. IN THIS CONNECTION SEE 20 COMP. DEC. 137; 26 ID. 157.

THE EXISTING PRACTICE IN THE MATTER OF ENGAGING PERSONAL SERVICES INCLUDING SPECIFIED EQUIPMENT MAY BE PERMITTED TO CONTINUE UNTIL JUNE 30, 1926. BUT IN THE ABSENCE OF EXPRESS STATUTORY AUTHORITY THEREFOR, THE PRACTICE MUST BE DISCONTINUED JUNE 30, 1926, AND THEREAFTER COMPENSATION PAID SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF THE PERSONAL SERVICES RENDERED.