A-96662, SEPTEMBER 21, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 242

A-96662: Sep 21, 1938

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PERSONS APPOINTED OR EMPLOYED BY THE FOREST SERVICE WILL BE CONSIDERED EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREST SERVICE. NOTWITHSTANDING THEIR COMPENSATION IS PAID FROM CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS FUNDS. THE AMOUNT PAID FOR RENT OF EQUIPMENT OBTAINED FROM PERMANENT EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREST SERVICE ASSIGNED TO DUTY WITH AND PAID FROM APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS IS SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATION IN PARAGRAPH (A) OF THE ACT OF JANUARY 31. PERSONS WHO WERE PREVIOUSLY EMPLOYED BY THE FOREST SERVICE INITIALLY FOR EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK WHOSE EMPLOYMENT IS CONTINUED UNDER CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS FUNDS AFTER JULY 1. ARE FOR CLASSIFICATION AS PERMANENT EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT LIMITATION IF EMPLOYED FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD.

A-96662, SEPTEMBER 21, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 242

DAMAGES TO PRIVATE PROPERTY AND HIRE OF FOREST SERVICE EMPLOYEES' VEHICLES, ETC. - CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS WORK PERFORMED UNDER FOREST SERVICE SUPERVISION CLAIMS FOR DAMAGE OR DESTRUCTION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY CAUSED BY ENROLLEES OF THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS WHILE ENGAGED IN WORK UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE FOREST SERVICE, AND BY EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ASSIGNED TO AND PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS WORK, AND CLAIMS FOR LOSS, DAMAGE OR DESTRUCTION OF HORSES, VEHICLES AND OTHER EQUIPMENT OBTAINED FOR USE OF THE FOREST SERVICE IN THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS WORK PERFORMED UNDER ITS SUPERVISION, WHERE CAUSED BY NEGLIGENCE OF ENROLLEES OR EMPLOYEES OF THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS, MAY BE CONSIDERED AND PAID, IF OTHERWISE PROPER, UNDER THE PROVISIONS, AND WITHIN THE LIMITATIONS, OF SECTION 16 OF THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS ACT OF JUNE 28, 1937, 50 STAT. 321, TO THE EXCLUSION OF THE STATUTES APPLICABLE TO THE FOREST SERVICE, BUT WHERE NOT DUE TO NEGLIGENCE OF ENROLLEES OR EMPLOYEES OF THE CORPS, THEY MAY BE CONSIDERED, AND PAID, UNDER THE ACTS OF MAY 27, 1930, 46 STAT. 387, AND JANUARY 31, 1931, 46 STAT. 1052, APPLICABLE TO THE FOREST SERVICE, FROM CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS FUNDS ALLOCATED TO THE DEPARTMENT IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER CAUSED BY ENROLLEES OR BY EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREST SERVICE ASSIGNED TO CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS, AND PERSONS APPOINTED OR EMPLOYED BY THE FOREST SERVICE WILL BE CONSIDERED EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREST SERVICE, AND NOT OF THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS, WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE RESPECTIVE ACTS PROVIDING FOR DAMAGES, NOTWITHSTANDING THEIR COMPENSATION IS PAID FROM CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS FUNDS. THE AMOUNT PAID FOR RENT OF EQUIPMENT OBTAINED FROM PERMANENT EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREST SERVICE ASSIGNED TO DUTY WITH AND PAID FROM APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS IS SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATION IN PARAGRAPH (A) OF THE ACT OF JANUARY 31, 1931, 46 STAT. 1052, AND PERSONS EMPLOYED ON AND AFTER JULY 1, 1937, IN THE FOREST SERVICE INITIALLY FOR ASSIGNMENT TO THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS WORK, AND PERSONS WHO WERE PREVIOUSLY EMPLOYED BY THE FOREST SERVICE INITIALLY FOR EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK WHOSE EMPLOYMENT IS CONTINUED UNDER CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS FUNDS AFTER JULY 1, 1937, ARE FOR CLASSIFICATION AS PERMANENT EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT LIMITATION IF EMPLOYED FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, SEPTEMBER 21, 1938:

YOUR LETTER OF JULY 20, 1938, IS AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO (A) YOUR MANUSCRIPT DECISIONS A-62063, DATED JUNE 20, OCTOBER 28 AND DECEMBER 19, 1935 AND (B) DECISION 16 COMP. GEN. 123 HOLDING RESPECTIVELY THAT SECTION 2, ACT OF MAY 27, 1930 (46 STAT. 387) AND PARAGRAPH (C) ACT OF JANUARY 31, 1931 (46 STAT. 1058) WERE NOT TO BE APPLIED IN CONNECTION WITH WORK OF THE FOREST SERVICE PERFORMED UNDER FUNDS ALLOTTED UNDER THE EMERGENCY CONSERVATION ACT OF MARCH 31, 1933 (48 STAT. 22) AS EXTENDED BY THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935 (49 STAT. 115).

IN DRAFTING THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1937 (50 STAT. 319) THERE WAS INCLUDED IN SECTION 11 THE FOLLOWING PROVISO:

"PROVIDED, THAT FUNDS ALLOCATED TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES FOR OBLIGATION UNDER THIS ACT MAY BE EXPENDED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS, RULES, AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE USUAL WORK OF SUCH AGENCIES, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE STIPULATED IN THIS ACT.'

THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROVISO IS UNDERSTOOD TO BE TO PERMIT APPLICATION TO THE WORK PERFORMED BY ANY AGENCY, UNDER FUNDS ALLOTTED FROM THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS APPROPRIATION, OF ALL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO THE USUAL WORK OF THE AGENCY EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED IN THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS ACT, REMOVING IN LARGE MEASURE THE DIFFICULTIES ARISING WHEN CCC FUNDS AND THE REGULAR FUNDS OF AN AGENCY ARE OBLIGATED BY THE SAME PERSONNEL UNDER THE SAME OR SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES. THE DEPARTMENT UNDERSTANDS THAT THE PROVISION PERMITS (A) SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS AGAINST THE FOREST SERVICE UNDER THE ABOVE MENTIONED SECTIONS OF THE 1930 AND 1931 ACTS TO THE SAME EXTENT AS CLAIMS UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES ARISING IN WORK FINANCED FROM APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FOREST SERVICE AND (B) THE APPLICATION TO CCC FUNDS OF OTHER STATUTES RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OR BUREAUS THEREOF TO WHICH SUCH FUNDS ARE ALLOTTED, EXCEPT AS THESE MIGHT CONFLICT WITH SPECIFIC PROVISION IN THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS ACT.

AS THE DEPARTMENT IS RECEIVING CLAIMS UNDER SECTION 2 OF THE MAY 27, 1930 ACT AND PARAGRAPH (C) OF THE JANUARY 31, 1931 ACT IT IS DESIRABLE THAT THERE BE A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING AS TO THE EXTENT OF THE APPLICABILITY OF THE PROVISO IN SECTION 11, ACT OF JUNE 28, 1937, ABOVE QUOTED. YOUR DECISION IS DESIRED ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

1. MAY CLAIMS BE ALLOWED UNDER SECTION 2, ACT OF MAY 27, 1930 (46 STAT. 387) FOR DAMAGE OR DESTRUCTION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY CAUSED BY ENROLLEES OF THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS WHILE ENGAGED IN WORK UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE FOREST SERVICE?

2. MAY CLAIMS AS IN NO. 1 BE ALLOWED FOR DAMAGE OR DESTRUCTION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY CAUSED BY EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT ASSIGNED TO, AND PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR, CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS WORK?

3. MAY CLAIMS BE ALLOWED UNDER PARAGRAPH (C) ACT OF JANUARY 31, 1931 (46 STAT. 1052), FOR LOSS, DAMAGE OR DESTRUCTION OF HORSES, VEHICLES, AND OTHER EQUIPMENT OBTAINED FOR USE OF THE FOREST SERVICE IN THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS WORK PERFORMED UNDER ITS SUPERVISION, PAYMENT TO BE MADE FROM CCC FUNDS ALLOCATED FOR USE BY THE FOREST SERVICE?

4. WILL THE AMOUNT PAID FOR RENT OF EQUIPMENT OBTAINED FROM PERMANENT EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREST SERVICE ASSIGNED TO DUTY WITH AND PAID FROM APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS BE SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATION IN PARAGRAPH (A) OF THE ACT OF JANUARY 31, 1931?

5. IF THE ANSWER TO NO. 4 IS AFFIRMATIVE WILL PERSONS EMPLOYED ON AND AFTER JULY 1, 1937, IN THE FOREST SERVICE INITIALLY FOR ASSIGNMENT TO THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS WORK AND/OR PERSONS WHO PREVIOUS TO JULY 1, 1937 HAD BEEN EMPLOYED BY THE FOREST SERVICE INITIALLY FOR EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK, THEIR EMPLOYMENT BEING CONTINUED UNDER CCC FUNDS FROM JULY 1, 1937, BE CLASSED AS PERMANENT EMPLOYEES WITH RESPECT TO THE LIMITATION IN SECTION (A) OF THE ACT OF JANUARY 31, 1931, ASSUMING IN BOTH INSTANCES THAT THE EMPLOYMENTS ARE NOT TEMPORARY?

WHILE IT IS NOT SO STATED WITH RESPECT TO QUESTIONS 1, 2, 4 AND 5, THE ANSWERS TO ALL THE QUESTIONS SUBMITTED WILL BE UPON THE PRESUMPTION THAT THEY ARE CONFINED TO CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS FUNDS ALLOTTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR FOREST SERVICE WORK.

SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MAY 27, 1930, 46 STAT. 387, PROVIDES:

THAT THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE IS AUTHORIZED TO REIMBURSE OWNERS OF PRIVATE PROPERTY FOR DAMAGE OR DESTRUCTION THEREOF CAUSED BY EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROTECTION, ADMINISTRATION, OR IMPROVEMENT OF THE NATIONAL FORESTS, PAYMENT TO BE MADE FROM ANY FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE PROTECTION, ADMINISTRATION, AND IMPROVEMENT OF THE NATIONAL FORESTS: PROVIDED, THAT NO PAYMENT IN EXCESS OF $500 SHALL BE MADE ON ANY SUCH CLAIMS.

THE ACT OF JANUARY 31, 1931, 46 STAT. 1052, PROVIDES:

* * * "THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE IS AUTHORIZED, UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS HE MAY PRESCRIBE:

"/A) TO HIRE OR RENT PROPERTY FROM EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREST SERVICE FOR THE USE OF OFFICERS OF THAT SERVICE OTHER THAN USE BY THE EMPLOYEES FROM WHOM HIRED OR RENTED, WHENEVER THE PUBLIC INTEREST WILL BE PROMOTED THEREBY: PROVIDED, THAT THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT TO BE PAID PERMANENT EMPLOYEES UNDER AUTHORIZATION OF THIS SUBSECTION, EXCLUSIVE OF OBLIGATIONS OCCASIONED BY FIRE EMERGENCIES, SHALL NOT EXCEED $3,000 IN ANY ONE YEAR.

"/B) TO PROVIDE FORAGE, CARE, AND HOUSING FOR ANIMALS, AND STORAGE FOR VEHICLES AND OTHER EQUIPMENT OBTAINED BY THE FOREST SERVICE FOR THE USE OF THAT SERVICE FROM EMPLOYEES.

"/C) TO REIMBURSE OWNERS FOR LOSS, DAMAGE, OR DESTRUCTION OF HORSES, VEHICLES, AND OTHER EQUIPMENT OBTAINED BY THE FOREST SERVICE FOR THE USE OF THAT SERVICE FROM EMPLOYEES OR OTHER PRIVATE OWNERS; PROVIDED, THAT PAYMENTS OR REIMBURSEMENTS HEREIN AUTHORIZED MAY BE MADE FROM THE APPLICABLE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FOREST SERVICE: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT EXCEPT FOR FIRE-FIGHTING EMERGENCIES NO REIMBURSEMENT HEREIN AUTHORIZED SHALL BE MADE IN AN AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF $50 IN ANY CASE UNLESS SUPPORTED BY A WRITTEN CONTRACT OF HIRE OR LEASE.'

IN ADDITION TO THE FOREGOING, SECTION 16 OF THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS ACT OF JUNE 28, 1937, 50 STAT. 321, PROVIDES:

THE DIRECTOR AND, UNDER HIS SUPERVISION, THE HEADS OF COOPERATING DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES ARE AUTHORIZED TO CONSIDER, ASCERTAIN, ADJUST, DETERMINE, AND PAY FROM THE FUNDS APPROPRIATED BY CONGRESS TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT ANY CLAIM ARISING OUT OF OPERATIONS AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT ACCRUING AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE THEREOF ON ACCOUNT OF DAMAGE TO OR LOSS OF PROPERTY OR ON ACCOUNT OF PERSONAL INJURY TO PERSONS NOT PROVIDED FOR BY SECTION 10 OF THIS ACT, CAUSED BY THE NEGLIGENCE OF ANY ENROLLEE OR EMPLOYEE OF THE CORPS WHILE ACTING WITHIN THE SCOPE OF HIS EMPLOYMENT: PROVIDED, THAT THIS AMOUNT ALLOWED ON ACCOUNT OF PERSONAL INJURY SHALL BE LIMITED TO NECESSARY MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL EXPENSES: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY CLAIM ON ACCOUNT OF PERSONAL INJURY FOR WHICH A REMEDY IS PROVIDED BY SECTION 10 OF THIS ACT: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT NO CLAIM SHALL BE CONSIDERED HEREUNDER WHICH IS IN EXCESS OF $500, OR WHICH IS NOT PRESENTED IN WRITING WITHIN ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE OF ACCRUAL THEREOF: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT ACCEPTANCE BY ANY CLAIMANT OF THE AMOUNT ALLOWED ON ACCOUNT OF HIS CLAIM SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE IN FULL SETTLEMENT THEREOF, AND THE ACTION OF THE DIRECTOR OR OF THE HEAD OF A COOPERATING DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY UPON SUCH CLAIM SO ACCEPTED BY THE CLAIMANT SHALL BE CONCLUSIVE.

INSOFAR AS THE DAMAGES REFERRED TO IN QUESTIONS 1, 2, AND 3 ARE CAUSED BY NEGLIGENCE OF ENROLLEES OR EMPLOYEES OF THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS, SECTION 16 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 28, 1937, SUPRA, IS FOR APPLICATION TO THE EXCLUSION OF THE STATUTES APPLICABLE TO THE FOREST SERVICE. IF NOT DUE TO NEGLIGENCE OF ENROLLEES OR EMPLOYEES OF THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS, SUCH DAMAGES MAY BE CONSIDERED AND PAID, IF OTHERWISE PROPER, UNDER THE ACTS OF 1930 AND 1931, SUPRA, FROM CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS FUNDS ALLOCATED TO YOUR DEPARTMENT IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER CAUSED BY ENROLLEES OR BY EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREST SERVICE ASSIGNED TO CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS WORK. PERSONS APPOINTED OR EMPLOYED BY THE UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE WILL BE CONSIDERED EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREST SERVICE AND NOT OF THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE RESPECTIVE ACTS PROVIDING FOR DAMAGES, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THEIR COMPENSATION MAY BE PAID FROM CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS FUNDS. QUESTIONS 1, 2, AND 3 ARE ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.

IF THE EMPLOYEES REFERRED TO IN QUESTIONS 4 AND 5 ARE APPOINTED OR EMPLOYED BY THE FOREST SERVICE FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD, THEY WILL BE CONSIDERED PERMANENT EMPLOYEES OF THAT SERVICE NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THEY MAY HAVE BEEN APPOINTED PRIMARILY FOR ASSIGNMENT TO EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK OR CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS WORK CONDUCTED UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE FOREST SERVICE. QUESTIONS 4 AND 5 ARE ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.