B-114486, APRIL 30, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 481

B-114486: Apr 30, 1953

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ADDITIONAL SALARY WHETHER OR NOT HIS SALARY AS POSTMASTER IS LESS THAN THE SALARY WHICH COULD BE PAID FOR SERVICE AS A SUBSTITUTE OR TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIER. CLEARLY PROVIDES THAT "ANY EMPLOYEE" IN THE POSTAL SERVICE WHO IS ASSIGNED TO SERVE ANY RURAL ROUTE AND WHO SHALL FURNISH A VEHICLE IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH SERVICE IS ENTITLED TO THE EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE PROVIDED FOR THE ROUTE SERVED. A POSTMASTER SERVING AS A SUBSTITUTE OR TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIER WHO FURNISHES HIS PRIVATELY OWNED CAR FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF SERVICE IS ENTITLED TO THE EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED BY LAW. 1953: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 30. RENDERS SUBSTITUTE OR TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIER SERVICES MAY BE PAID ADDITIONAL SALARY IF HIS SALARY AS POSTMASTER IS LESS THAN THE SALARY WHICH COULD BE PAID FOR SERVICE AS SUBSTITUTE OR TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIER AND.

B-114486, APRIL 30, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 481

POSTMASTERS ALSO SERVING AS RURAL CARRIERS - COMPENSATION - EQUIPMENT - MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE A POSTMASTER WHO IN AN EMERGENCY RENDERS SUBSTITUTE OR RURAL CARRIER SERVICE MAY NOT BE PAID, UNDER SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 1, 1929, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF DECEMBER 23, 1944, ADDITIONAL SALARY WHETHER OR NOT HIS SALARY AS POSTMASTER IS LESS THAN THE SALARY WHICH COULD BE PAID FOR SERVICE AS A SUBSTITUTE OR TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIER. THE PROVISO CONTAINED IN SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 19, 1948, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 10, 1952, CLEARLY PROVIDES THAT "ANY EMPLOYEE" IN THE POSTAL SERVICE WHO IS ASSIGNED TO SERVE ANY RURAL ROUTE AND WHO SHALL FURNISH A VEHICLE IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH SERVICE IS ENTITLED TO THE EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE PROVIDED FOR THE ROUTE SERVED, AND THEREFORE, A POSTMASTER SERVING AS A SUBSTITUTE OR TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIER WHO FURNISHES HIS PRIVATELY OWNED CAR FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF SERVICE IS ENTITLED TO THE EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED BY LAW.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, APRIL 30, 1953:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 30, 1953, YOUR REFERENCE 14, PRESENTING FOR DECISION THE QUESTION WHETHER A POSTMASTER WHO, IN AN EMERGENCY, RENDERS SUBSTITUTE OR TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIER SERVICES MAY BE PAID ADDITIONAL SALARY IF HIS SALARY AS POSTMASTER IS LESS THAN THE SALARY WHICH COULD BE PAID FOR SERVICE AS SUBSTITUTE OR TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIER AND, ALSO, WHETHER EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE OF A RURAL CARRIER IN ADDITION TO HIS SALARY AS POSTMASTER MAY BE ALLOWED WHEN SERVING AS SUBSTITUTE OR TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIER.

YOU REFER TO THE DECISION OF MAY 2, 1929, A-27033, 8 COMP. GEN. 578, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT A POSTMASTER LAWFULLY CANNOT BE PAID EXTRA COMPENSATION FOR ADDITIONAL SERVICES RENDERED AS A SUBSTITUTE OR TEMPORARY RURAL CARRIER; ALSO, YOU REFER TO THE DECISION OF MAY 29, 1941, B-16819, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT NEITHER COULD A POSTMASTER RECEIVE THE EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE IN ADDITION TO HIS SALARY AS POSTMASTER WHILE PERFORMING TEMPORARILY RURAL CARRIER SERVICE.

SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 1, 1929, 45 STAT. 1441, UPON THE BASIS OF WHICH THE DECISION OF MAY 2, 1929, WAS PREDICATED, WAS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF DECEMBER 23, 1944, PUBLIC LAW 555, 58 STAT. 922, TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

WHEN IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE POSTMASTER GENERAL THE NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF THE POSTAL SERVICE SO REQUIRE HE MAY EMPLOY MAIL MESSENGERS AND POSTAL EMPLOYEES IN DUAL CAPACITY, OR ASSIGN EXTRA DUTIES TO SUCH MAIL MESSENGERS AND POSTAL EMPLOYEES; AND, NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 1763, 1764, AND 1765 OF THE REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED ( U.S.C., TITLE 5, SECS. 58, 69, AND 70), COMPENSATION SHALL BE PAID TO SUCH MAIL MESSENGERS AND POSTAL EMPLOYEES FOR SUCH SERVICES AT THE RATE PROVIDED BY LAW FOR SUCH SERVICES.

WHILE THE AMENDED LANGUAGE APPEARS BROADER IN SCOPE THAN THAT CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF MARCH 1, 1929, YET AFTER EXAMINATION OF THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE AMENDING STATUTE, I AM CONVINCED THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE AMENDMENT MERELY WAS TO AUTHORIZE THE ASSIGNMENT OF MAIL HANDLERS, FORMERLY DESIGNATED AS LABORERS, TO SERVE IN EMERGENCIES AS SUBSTITUTE RAILWAY MAIL CLERKS. SINCE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES ARE NOT UNDER THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL OF THE RESPECTIVE POSTMASTERS, IT WAS NECESSARY IN ORDER TO ACCOMPLISH THE INTENDED PURPOSE WITHOUT DISTURBING THE ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION OF THE POSTAL SERVICE TO MODIFY THE LANGUAGE IN SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 1, 1929, TO PROVIDE THAT THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, RATHER THAN THE RESPECTIVE POSTMASTERS,"MAY EMPLOY MAIL MESSENGERS AND POSTAL EMPLOYEES IN A DUAL CAPACITY * * *.' HOWEVER I FIND NO EVIDENCE OF ANY LEGISLATIVE INTENT TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT TO POSTMASTERS OF EXTRA COMPENSATION WHEN THEY SERVE TEMPORARILY IN OTHER CAPACITIES. ACCORDINGLY, THE CONCLUSION STATED IN DECISION OF MAY 2, 1929, IS FOUND TO BE CORRECT.

WITH RESPECT TO THE ENTITLEMENT OF THE POSTMASTER TO AN EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE FOR THE USE OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE IN CONNECTION WITH RENDITION OF THE RURAL CARRIER SERVICE, AN OPPOSITE CONCLUSION APPEARS WARRANTED. SECTION 5 OF THE ACT APPROVED JUNE 19, 1948, PUBLIC LAW 674, 62 STAT. 485, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 10, 1952, PUBLIC LAW 499, 66 STAT. 576, IS AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 5. THE RATE OF COMPENSATION OF ANY EMPLOYEE IN THE POSTAL SERVICE, EXCEPT REGULAR, TEMPORARY, OR SUBSTITUTE RURAL CARRIERS, WHOSE SERVICES DUE TO ANY EMERGENCY ARE UTILIZED IN A DUAL CAPACITY, NOT IN EXCESS OF THIRTY DAYS, SHALL NOT BE REDUCED AS A RESULT OF EMPLOYMENT IN SUCH CAPACITY: PROVIDED, THAT ANY EMPLOYEE IN THE POSTAL SERVICE WHO IS ASSIGNED TO SERVE ANY RURAL ROUTE, AND WHO SHALL FURNISH THE VEHICLE USED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF SUCH SERVICE, SHALL RECEIVE THE EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE PROVIDED FOR THE ROUTE SO SERVED, IN ADDITION TO THE COMPENSATION PAID SUCH EMPLOYEE.

THE PROVISO CONTAINED IN THE ABOVE-QUOTED SECTION CLEARLY PROVIDES THAT ANY EMPLOYEE IN THE POSTAL SERVICE WHO IS ASSIGNED TO SERVE ANY RURAL ROUTE AND WHO SHALL FURNISH A VEHICLE IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH SERVICE IS ENTITLED TO THE MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE PROVIDED FOR THE ROUTE SO SERVED. SINCE UNDER SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 19, 1948, THE TERM,"EMPLOYEE," IS DEFINED TO INCLUDE POSTMASTERS, THE CONCLUSION IS WARRANTED THAT A POSTMASTER WHO FURNISHES HIS PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE IN CONNECTION WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF SERVICE ON A RURAL ROUTE IS ENTITLED TO THE EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED BY LAW FOR THE ROUTE SO SERVED IN THE SAME MANNER AND TO THE SAME EXTENT THAT SUCH ALLOWANCE WOULD BE PAYABLE TO ANY OTHER EMPLOYEE FURNISHING HIS VEHICLE INCIDENT TO HIS SERVICING OF SUCH A ROUTE.