B-108719, AUGUST 27, 1952, 32 COMP. GEN. 109

B-108719: Aug 27, 1952

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

APPROPRIATIONS - OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES STATIONED IN PHILIPPINE ISLANDS DURING JAPANESE OCCUPATION - PAYMENTS UNDER MISSING PERSONS ACT APPROPRIATIONS OF PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE ARE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE WITH PAYMENTS OF BENEFITS UNDER MISSING PERSONS ACT TO HEIRS OF DECEASED EMPLOYEE WHO WAS IN UNITED STATES QUARANTINE SERVICE IN PHILIPPINE ISLANDS WHEN CAPTURED BY JAPANESE ARMY. EVEN THOUGH HIS COMPENSATION WAS PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT OF PHILIPPINE ISLANDS UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER DATED JANUARY 3. INDIVIDUAL WHO WAS REGULARLY APPOINTED IN UNITED STATES QUARANTINE SERVICE WITH POST OF DUTY AT MANILA. WHOSE COMPENSATION WAS PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT OF SAID ISLANDS PRIOR TO JAPANESE OCCUPATION THEREOF.

B-108719, AUGUST 27, 1952, 32 COMP. GEN. 109

APPROPRIATIONS - OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES STATIONED IN PHILIPPINE ISLANDS DURING JAPANESE OCCUPATION - PAYMENTS UNDER MISSING PERSONS ACT APPROPRIATIONS OF PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE ARE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE WITH PAYMENTS OF BENEFITS UNDER MISSING PERSONS ACT TO HEIRS OF DECEASED EMPLOYEE WHO WAS IN UNITED STATES QUARANTINE SERVICE IN PHILIPPINE ISLANDS WHEN CAPTURED BY JAPANESE ARMY, EVEN THOUGH HIS COMPENSATION WAS PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT OF PHILIPPINE ISLANDS UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER DATED JANUARY 3, 1900, PRIOR TO HIS CAPTURE. INDIVIDUAL WHO WAS REGULARLY APPOINTED IN UNITED STATES QUARANTINE SERVICE WITH POST OF DUTY AT MANILA, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, WHOSE COMPENSATION WAS PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT OF SAID ISLANDS PRIOR TO JAPANESE OCCUPATION THEREOF, AND WHO WAS SUBJECT TO SUPERVISION AND CONTROL OF PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE OFFICERS, IS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES AND ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION AND OTHER BENEFITS OF HIS OFFICE REGARDLESS OF THE SOURCE OF THE FUNDS FOR PAYMENT OF SAID COMPENSATION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, FEDERAL SECURITY AGENCY, AUGUST 27, 1952:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF MARCH 20,1952, FROM THE ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO (1) THE AVAILABILITY OF APPROPRIATIONS TO THE FEDERAL SECURITY AGENCY AND (2) THE LIABILITY OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, FOR MAKING PAYMENT TO THE HEIRS OF THADDEUS J. B. STEVENS, A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF QUARANTINE SERVICE, PURSUANT TO THE MISSING PERSONS ACT OF MARCH 7, 1942, 56 STAT. 143, AS AMENDED.

THE LETTER OF MARCH 20 STATES THAT MR. STEVENS WAS APPOINTED ON OCTOBER 1, 1935 TO AN EXCEPTED POSITION IN THE BUREAU OF QUARANTINE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES WITH OFFICIAL STATION AT MANILA, P.I., SERVED UNTIL HIS CAPTURE BY THE JAPANESE ARMY ON AN UNDETERMINABLE DATE DURING THE INVASION AND OCCUPANCY OF MANILA AND DIED AS A PRISONER OF WAR IN AN ENEMY PRISON CAMP ON DECEMBER 10, 1944. ALSO, IT IS STATED THAT HIS ENTIRE SALARY WAS PAID BY THE FORMER GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS UNDER A PROVISION IN UNNUMBERED EXECUTIVE ORDER EXECUTIVE ORDER DATED JANUARY 3, 1900, HAT:

THE EXPENSES OF THE QUARANTINE SERVICE WILL BE CHARGED AGAINST THE REVENUES OF THE ISLANDS, AND A SUM NOT TO EXCEED THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND ($300,000) IN EACH FISCAL YEAR IS HEREBY SET ASIDE FROM THE REVENUES COLLECTED IN SAID ISLANDS FOR THIS PURPOSE. THE EXPENSES SHALL BE PAID THEREFROM UPON THE CERTIFICATE OF A DETAILED QUARANTINE OFFICER, AND UPON THE APPROVAL OF THE CHIEF QUARANTINE OFFICER FOR THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS.

THE DOUBT IN THE MATTER APPARENTLY STEMS FROM THE POSSIBLE IMPLICATIONS THAT SINCE THIS PROVISION SPECIFIES THE REVENUES OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS AS THE SOURCE OF FUNDS FOR PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF THE QUARANTINE SERVICE IN THE ISLANDS, THE REGULAR APPROPRIATIONS OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF BENEFITS ACCRUING TO MR. STEVENS UNDER THE MISSING PERSONS ACT, AND THAT BY VIRTUE OF THE ASSUMPTION OF THE DEBTS AND LIABILITIES OF THE FORMER GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS BY THE NOW INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 2 AND 10 OF THE ACT OF JANUARY 17, 1933, AS AMENDED, 48 U.S.C. 1232 (3) AND ARTICLES IV AND VI OF THE CONFIRMED TREATY OF INDEPENDENCE DATED JULY 4, 1946, 61 STAT. 1174, THE LATTER GOVERNMENT RATHER THAN THE UNITED STATES IS REQUIRED TO PAY THE PENDING CLAIM.

FOR THE PURPOSE OF CLARITY, THE QUESTIONS PRESENTED WILL BE ANSWERED IN CONVERSE ORDER.

2. SINCE MR. STEVENS WAS DULY APPOINTED TO AN EXCEPTED POSITION IN THE BUREAU OF QUARANTINE SERVICE WITH POST OF DUTY AT MANILA, P.I., AND WAS SUBJECT AT ALL TIMES DURING HIS TERM OF OFFICE TO SUPERVISION AND CONTROL BY PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE OFFICERS HIS STATUS WAS THAT OF AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES ENTITLED TO THE COMPENSATION OR OTHER BENEFITS OF HIS OFFICE IRRESPECTIVE OF THE SOURCE OF FUNDS PROVIDED FOR THE PAYMENT THEREOF. 5 COMP. GEN. 206. CONSEQUENTLY, HE AUTOMATICALLY BECAME ENTITLED TO OTHERWISE PROPERLY DETERMINED PAYMENTS PURSUANT TO THE MISSING PERSONS ACT FROM THE DATE OF HIS CAPTURE AND IMPRISONMENT BY THE JAPANESE ARMY UNTIL HIS DEATH.

THE INVASION AND OCCUPANCY OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS BY THE JAPANESE ARMY SUSPENDED UNITED STATES QUARANTINE ACTIVITIES IN THAT AREA FOR THE DURATION THEREOF, AND IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT SUCH ACTIVITIES WERE NOT RESUMED OR ANY PAYMENTS MADE FROM THE REVENUES OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS PRIOR TO THE GRANTING OF THEIR INDEPENDENCE. HENCE, NO LIABILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS EXISTED WITH RESPECT THERETO AT THAT TIME WHICH IT WAS REQUIRED TO ASSUME UNDER SECTIONS 2 AND 10 OF THE 1933 ACT, SUPRA.

1. THE MISSING PERSONS ACT OF 1942 AUTHORIZED THE PAYMENT OF BENEFITS THEREUNDER FROM THE SAME APPROPRIATION OR FUND AS WOULD HAVE BEEN CHARGEABLE WITH THE EARNED SALARY OR ALLOWANCES OF THE EMPLOYEE ENTITLED, WHILE THE AMENDATORY ACT OF JULY 1, 1944, 58 STAT. 679, PERMITS THE CHARGING OF SUCH PAYMENTS TO CURRENTLY AVAILABLE APPROPRIATIONS.

AS HEREINBEFORE STATED, THE MERE FACT THAT THE EMPLOYEE HERE INVOLVED WAS PAID FROM REVENUES OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS DID NOT AFFECT HIS STATUS AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES. UPON HIS APPOINTMENT AND ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF QUARANTINE SERVICE HE WOULD ORDINARILY HAVE BEEN PAID FROM APPROPRIATIONS MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE BUREAU. IT WAS ONLY BY VIRTUE OF THE TERMS OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER OF JANUARY 3, 1900, SUPRA, THAT OTHERWISE AVAILABLE APPROPRIATIONS WERE RELIEVED OF THE BURDEN OF BEING CHARGED WITH THE PAYMENT OF HIS COMPENSATION. WITH THAT SOURCE OF PAYMENT CUT OFF BY THE JAPANESE INVASION, IT WOULD APPEAR REASONABLE TO HOLD THAT MR. STEVENS' STATUS THEREUPON AUTOMATICALLY BECAME THE SAME AS THAT OF ANY EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES WHOSE DUTIES IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS WERE INTERRUPTED BY WORLD WAR II, AND ANY PAYMENTS DETERMINED TO BE DUE HIM UNDER THE MISSING PERSONS ACT PROPERLY ARE CHARGEABLE TO THE REGULAR APPROPRIATIONS OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE OTHERWISE AVAILABLE FOR SALARIES OF ITS QUARANTINE SERVICE EMPLOYEE EITHER DURING THE PERIOD OF HIS ENTITLEMENT OR CURRENTLY AS THE FEDERAL SECURITY AGENCY MAY ELECT.