B-108806, APRIL 15, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 521

B-108806: Apr 15, 1952

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IS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION FOR REPLACEMENTS OF ANY POSTMASTERS WHO ARE ABSENT ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE POSTAL SERVICE. PROVIDED THE COMPENSATION FOR SUCH REPLACEMENTS IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE AN EXPENSE NECESSARY FOR POSTAL OPERATIONS. 1952: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 26. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER COMPENSATION FOR REPLACEMENT OF A POSTMASTER AT A FOURTH CLASS OFFICE CAN BE ALLOWED WHEN NECESSITATED BY THE ABSENCE OF THE REGULAR POSTMASTER FOR ANY PURPOSE NECESSARY FOR POSTAL OPERATIONS WHEN HE IS NOT CHARGED WITH SICK OR ANNUAL LEAVE OR LEAVE WITHOUT PAY. IT WAS HELD THAT THE APPROPRIATION FOR COMPENSATION FOR POSTMASTERS COULD NOT BE CHARGED WITH THE EXPENSE OF EMPLOYING A PERSON TO ACT IN LIEU OF THE POSTMASTER WHILE ABSENT ON LEAVE PURSUANT TO THE LEAVE PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO POSTMASTERS.

B-108806, APRIL 15, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 521

APPROPRIATIONS - POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT - AVAILABILITY FOR EMPLOYMENT OF SUBSTITUTE POSTMASTERS THE GENERAL APPROPRIATION FOR EXPENSES NECESSARY FOR POSTAL OPERATIONS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR IN THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT, 1952, IS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION FOR REPLACEMENTS OF ANY POSTMASTERS WHO ARE ABSENT ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE POSTAL SERVICE, COURT OR JURY DUTY, OR FOR REQUIRED TRAINING DUTY AS A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL GUARD OR RESERVE COMPONENTS, PROVIDED THE COMPENSATION FOR SUCH REPLACEMENTS IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE AN EXPENSE NECESSARY FOR POSTAL OPERATIONS.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL FISHER TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, APRIL 15, 1952:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 26, 1952, YOUR REFERENCE 16, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER COMPENSATION FOR REPLACEMENT OF A POSTMASTER AT A FOURTH CLASS OFFICE CAN BE ALLOWED WHEN NECESSITATED BY THE ABSENCE OF THE REGULAR POSTMASTER FOR ANY PURPOSE NECESSARY FOR POSTAL OPERATIONS WHEN HE IS NOT CHARGED WITH SICK OR ANNUAL LEAVE OR LEAVE WITHOUT PAY--- PARTICULARLY, ABSENCES IN CONNECTION WITH THE INSPECTION OF A RURAL ROUTE, ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS OF POSTMASTERS, ABSENCES IN CONNECTION WITH COURT OR JURY DUTY, OR THE 15 DAY TRAINING PERIODS REQUIRED OF MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL GUARD OR RESERVE COMPONENTS.

IN 25 COMP. GEN. 568, AND IN 27 ID. 407, IT WAS HELD THAT THE APPROPRIATION FOR COMPENSATION FOR POSTMASTERS COULD NOT BE CHARGED WITH THE EXPENSE OF EMPLOYING A PERSON TO ACT IN LIEU OF THE POSTMASTER WHILE ABSENT ON LEAVE PURSUANT TO THE LEAVE PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO POSTMASTERS, OR ON LEAVE WITHOUT PAY. IN B-103807, AUGUST 14, 1951, REFERRED TO BY YOU, PUBLISHED IN 31 COMP. GEN. 33, IT WAS POINTED OUT THAT THOSE DECISIONS RESULTED IN THE PASSAGE OF THE ACT OF JULY 22, 1947, 61 STAT. 400, WHICH PROVIDES:

* * * THAT THERE IS AUTHORIZED TO BE EXPENDED, FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR COMPENSATION TO POSTMASTERS IN THE ANNUAL POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT'S APPROPRIATION ACTS, COMPENSATION, AT THE RATE PROVIDED BY LAW FOR POSTMASTERS' COMPENSATION, TO PERSONS WHO PERFORM THE DUTIES OF THE POSTMASTER AT POST OFFICES OF THE FOURTH CLASS DURING THE ABSENCE OF THE POSTMASTER ON SICK OR ANNUAL LEAVE WITHOUT PAY. FURTHER, THAT DECISION HELD, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS:

ANNUAL AND SICK LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITH PAY FOR POSTMASTERS OF POST OFFICES OF THE FOURTH CLASS HAVING BEEN AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF JULY 6, 1945, THE EXPENSE OF EMPLOYING PERSONS TO ACT IN LIEU OF SUCH POSTMASTERS WHILE ABSENT ON A SATURDAY, WHICH IS ALSO A HOLIDAY, OCCURRING WITHIN OR AT THE BEGINNING OR END OF A PERIOD OF ANNUAL OR SICK LEAVE MAY BE MADE FROM THE APPROPRIATION " POSTAL OPERATIONS" CONTAINED IN THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT, 1951, PROVIDED COMPENSATION FOR REPLACEMENTS FOR SUCH POSTMASTERS IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE AN EXPENSE NECESSARY FOR POSTAL OPERATIONS.

AS INDICATED IN THE ABOVE-QUOTED SYLLABUS, 31 COMP. GEN. 33, THE COMPENSATION OF POSTMASTERS AT THE TIME OF THE DECISIONS IN 25 COMP. GEN. 568, AND 27 ID. 407, WAS SPECIFICALLY APPROPRIATED FOR UNDER THE HEADING," FOR COMPENSATION OF POSTMASTERS," BUT THE COMPENSATION OF POSTMASTERS NOW IS PAYABLE UNDER THE GENERAL APPROPRIATION," FOR EXPENSES NECESSARY FOR POSTAL OPERATIONS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR * * *.' SEE ACT OF AUGUST 11, 1951, 65 STAT. 182, PUBLIC LAW 111. ACCORDINGLY, THIS OFFICE WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION TO REPLACEMENTS FOR ANY POSTMASTER IF IT BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED TO BE AN EXPENSE NECESSARY FOR POSTAL OPERATIONS, IN ANY CASE IN WHICH THE POSTMASTER IS ABSENT ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THE POSTAL SERVICE, OR FOR COURT OR JURY DUTY, OR FOR REQUIRED TRAINING DUTY AS A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL GUARD OR RESERVE COMPONENTS. YOUR SUBMISSION IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.