B-106427, FEBRUARY 15, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 393

B-106427: Feb 15, 1952

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AUTHORIZING THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COMMISSIONERS TO GRANT ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION TO EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED AND ADJUSTED FROM TIME TO TIME BY A WAGE BOARD. OR WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949. OR WHOSE COMPENSATION IS LIMITED OR FIXED SPECIFICALLY BY THE PROVISIONS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT. ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO THE POSITION OF THE ADMINISTRATOR OF RENT CONTROL FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHOSE SALARY IS SPECIFICALLY FIXED BY STATUTE. 1952: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 14. WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT THE SALARY OF ROBERT F. WHICH WAS FIXED SPECIFICALLY BY STATUTE.

B-106427, FEBRUARY 15, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 393

COMPENSATION - RATES - ACT OF OCTOBER 25, 1951 - ADMINISTRATOR OF RENT CONTROL FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 25, 1951, AUTHORIZING THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COMMISSIONERS TO GRANT ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION TO EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED AND ADJUSTED FROM TIME TO TIME BY A WAGE BOARD, OR WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, OR WHOSE COMPENSATION IS LIMITED OR FIXED SPECIFICALLY BY THE PROVISIONS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT, 1952, ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO THE POSITION OF THE ADMINISTRATOR OF RENT CONTROL FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHOSE SALARY IS SPECIFICALLY FIXED BY STATUTE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO A. R. PILKERTON, GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, FEBRUARY 15, 1952:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 14, 1951, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OFFICE DECISION DATED NOVEMBER 23, 1951, TO YOU, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT THE SALARY OF ROBERT F. COGSWELL, ADMINISTRATOR OF RENT CONTROL, WHICH WAS FIXED SPECIFICALLY BY STATUTE, MAY NOT BE INCREASED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 207, APPROVED OCTOBER 25, 1951.

THE AUTHORITY RELIED UPON IN SUPPORT OF THE PROPOSED INCREASE IN MR. COGSWELL'S CASE IN SECTION 2 OF THE SAID PUBLIC LAW 207, 65 STAT. 637, WHICH PROVIDES, IN EFFECT THAT THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COMMISSIONERS AND OTHER WAGE FIXING AUTHORITIES FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE AUTHORIZED TO GRANT "ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION AT RATES NOT TO EXCEED THOSE PREVAILING * * * IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR SIMILAR OR COMPARABLE EMPLOYMENT TO EACH EMPLOYEE IN OR UNDER THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS AND THE EXECUTIVE MANSION GROUNDS, WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED AND ADJUSTED FROM TIME TO TIME BY A WAGE BOARD, OR WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, OR WHOSE COMPENSATION IS LIMITED OR FIXED SPECIFICALLY BY THE PROVISIONS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT 52.'

IN THE DECISION OF NOVEMBER 23, 1951, B-106427, TO YOU, IT WAS POINTED OUT THAT THE SALARY OF THE ADMINISTRATOR OF RENT CONTROL WAS SPECIFICALLY FIXED AT $11,200 PER ANNUM BY SECTION 6 OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA EMERGENCY RENT ACT OF 1951, PUBLIC LAW 63, 65 STAT. 103, AND, THEREFORE, THAT SUCH SALARY CLEARLY WAS NOT ESTABLISHED BY A WAGE BOARD, BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, OR BY THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT, 1952, 65 STAT. 25, AS CONTEMPLATED BY THE SAID SECTION 2 OF PUBLIC LAW 207.

WITH RESPECT TO MR. COGSWELL'S CONTENTION IN HIS LETTER OF DECEMBER 12, 1951, TO YOU, THAT HE RECEIVED A RETROACTIVE INCREASE IN 1949 UNDER A SIMILAR PROVISION OF LAW ( PUBLIC LAW 151, APPROVED JUNE 30, 1949, 63 STAT. 376), IT MAY BE POINTED OUT THAT SUCH INCREASE RESULTED FROM APPLICATION OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS OF LAW NOT APPLICABLE HERE, AS HEREINAFTER SET FORTH.

AT THE OUTSET, IT MUST BE BORNE IN MIND THAT A SALARY OF $7,500 PER ANNUM WAS ESTABLISHED FOR THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA RENT CONTROL BY THE ACT OF DECEMBER 2, 1941, PUBLIC LAW 327, 55 STAT. 788. SECTION 602 (B) OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, PUBLIC LAW 106, 59 STAT. 302, IT WAS PROVIDED THAT:

BASIC RATES OF COMPENSATION SPECIFICALLY PRESCRIBED BY STATUTE OF CONGRESS FOR POSITIONS IN * * * THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT WHICH ARE NOT INCREASED BY ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS ACT ARE HEREBY INCREASED IN THE SAME AMOUNT THAT CORRESPONDING RATES WOULD BE INCREASED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 405 OF THIS ACT; AND EACH SUCH AUGMENTED RATE SHALL BE CONSIDERED TO BE THE REGULAR BASIC RATE OF COMPENSATION. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.) APPLYING THE FORMULA PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 405 OF THE SAME STATUTE, 59 STAT. 300, THE STATUTORY SALARY OF THE ADMINISTRATOR WAS INCREASED TO $8,225 PER ANNUM. IN A LATER STATUTE, NAMELY, SECTION 4 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1946, PUBLIC LAW 390, 60 STAT. 216, IT WAS PROVIDED THAT:

RATES OF BASIC COMPENSATION SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED BY STATUTE (INCLUDING ANY INCREASE THEREIN COMPUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 602 (B) OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945), FOR POSITIONS IN * * * THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT WHICH ARE NOT INCLUDED IN SECTION 102, AS AMENDED, OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, OR IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TEACHERS' SALARY ACT OF 1945, AND ARE NOT INCREASED BY ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS ACT, ARE HEREBY INCREASED BY 14 PERCENTUM OR $250 PER ANNUM WHICHEVER IS THE GREATER, EXCEPT THAT NO SUCH RATE SHALL BE INCREASED BY MORE THAN 25 PERCENTUM. SUCH AUGMENTED RATES SHALL BE CONSIDERED TO BE THE REGULAR RATES OF BASIC COMPENSATION. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.) HENCE, BY THE ABOVE-QUOTED SECTION OF THE STATUTE, THE STATUTORY SALARY OF THE ADMINISTRATOR WAS INCREASED BY 14 PERCENTUM PER ANNUM FROM $8,225 TO $9,376.50. THE INCREASE OF COMPENSATION WHICH THE ADMINISTRATOR RECEIVED IN 1949 RESULTED FROM THE APPLICATION OF SECTION 301 OF THE POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948, PUBLIC LAW 900, 62 STAT. 1267, WHICH PROVIDED THAT:

* * * EACH OFFICER AND EMPLOYEE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT, WHOSE RATE OF COMPENSATION IS INCREASED BY SECTION 2, 3, 4, 5, OR 6 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1946 SHALL RECEIVE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION AT THE RATE OF $330 PER ANNUM: PROVIDED, THAT ANY EMPLOYEE PAID ON AN HOURLY OR PART-TIME BASIS SHALL RECEIVE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION AT THE RATE OF 20 CENTS PER HOUR ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

CLEARLY, SINCE THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA RENT CONTROL RECEIVED AN INCREASE IN COMPENSATION UNDER SECTION 4 OF THE ACT MENTIONED IN THE STATUTE LAST QUOTED, HIS SALARY WAS INCREASED FROM $9,376.50 TO $9,706.50 PER ANNUM, EFFECTIVE RETROACTIVELY AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 2 (A) OF THE ACT OF JULY 6, 1949, PUBLIC LAW 160, 63 STAT. 408, READING:

THE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION PROVIDED BY THE POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948 TO WHICH EMPLOYEES IN OR UNDER THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE ENTITLED, AS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA REVENUE ACT OF 1949, SHALL COMMENCE AS OF THE FIRST DAY OF THE FIRST PAY PERIOD WHICH BEGAN AFTER JUNE 30, 1948.

HENCE, IT IS CLEAR THAT THE RETROACTIVE SALARY INCREASE OF $330 PER ANNUM TO THE ADMINISTRATOR IN 1949 WAS GRANTED NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 151 AS CONTENDED, BUT RATHER, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE- QUOTED STATUTES.

SUBSEQUENTLY, THE ADMINISTRATOR'S SALARY WAS CLASSIFIED IN GRADE GS 15 ($10,000) IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 954, BUT BY SECTION 6 OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA EMERGENCY RENT ACT OF 1951, APPROVED JUNE 30, 1951, PUBLIC LAW 63, THE ADMINISTRATOR'S SALARY WAS AGAIN SPECIFICALLY FIXED, I.E., AGAIN MADE A STATUTORY SALARY.

THE ONLY OTHER AUTHORITY OF LAW UNDER WHICH RETROACTIVE INCREASES IN COMPENSATION MAY BE GRANTED, GENERALLY, TO EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, IS THAT CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF OCTOBER 24, 1951, PUBLIC LAW 201, WITH RESPECT TO CLASSIFICATION ACT POSITIONS. HOWEVER, IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY INDICATION IN THE EMERGENCY RENT ACT OF 1951 OR IN ITS LEGISLATIVE HISTORY, THAT THE CONGRESS INTENDED TO MAKE THE COMPENSATION OF THE POSITION INVOLVED SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT PUBLIC LAW 201 LIKEWISE HAS NO APPLICATION IN THIS CASE. IN OTHER WORDS, UNLESS IT OTHERWISE IS PROVIDED BY LAW, A SALARY RATE SPECIFICALLY PRESCRIBED BY STATUTE IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT MERELY BECAUSE THE PRESCRIBED RATE COINCIDES WITH A RATE ESTABLISHED FOR A CLASSIFICATION ACT GRADE.

ACCORDINGLY, AND FOR THE REASONS HEREINABOVE STATED, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE RESUBMITTED VOUCHER LEGALLY MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

THE VOUCHER AND THE SUPPORTING PAPERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH AS REQUESTED.