B-132488, AUGUST 12, 1957, 37 COMP. GEN. 101

B-132488: Aug 12, 1957

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FEDERAL EMPLOYEES - COMPENSATION FROM APPROPRIATED AND OTHER FUNDS - LIFE INSURANCE - GOVERNMENT'S CONTRIBUTION FEDERAL EMPLOYEES WHO ARE COMPENSATED FROM A POOLING OF FEDERAL FUNDS AND OTHER FUNDS UNDER COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS FOR PREDATORY ANIMAL AND RODENT CONTROL ACTIVITIES SHOULD NOT BE PRECLUDED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE LIFE INSURANCE PROGRAM PROVIDED BY THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE ACT OF 1954. THE CITED ACT PROVIDES: FOR EACH PERIOD IN WHICH AN EMPLOYEE IS INSURED UNDER A POLICY OF INSURANCE PURCHASED BY THE COMMISSION AS AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 7 OF THIS ACT. THERE SHALL BE CONTRIBUTED FROM THE RESPECTIVE APPROPRIATION OR FUND WHICH IS USED FOR PAYMENT OF HIS SALARY.

B-132488, AUGUST 12, 1957, 37 COMP. GEN. 101

FEDERAL EMPLOYEES - COMPENSATION FROM APPROPRIATED AND OTHER FUNDS - LIFE INSURANCE - GOVERNMENT'S CONTRIBUTION FEDERAL EMPLOYEES WHO ARE COMPENSATED FROM A POOLING OF FEDERAL FUNDS AND OTHER FUNDS UNDER COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS FOR PREDATORY ANIMAL AND RODENT CONTROL ACTIVITIES SHOULD NOT BE PRECLUDED FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE LIFE INSURANCE PROGRAM PROVIDED BY THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE ACT OF 1954, AND, THEREFORE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR APPROPRIATIONS AVAILABLE FOR SUCH CONTROL ACTIVITIES MAY BE USED TO PAY THE GOVERNMENT'S CONTRIBUTION TOWARD THE LIFE INSURANCE PREMIUM PAYMENTS.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, AUGUST 12, 1957:

ON JULY 9, 1957, THE ACTING SECRETARY REQUESTED OUR DECISION CONCERNING THE AVAILABILITY OF YOUR DEPARTMENT'S PREDATORY ANIMAL AND RODENT CONTROL ACTIVITIES APPROPRIATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING THE GOVERNMENT'S CONTRIBUTION TOWARD PREMIUM PAYMENTS OF CERTAIN MAMMAL CONTROL AGENTS UNDER THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES GROUP LIFE INSURANCE ACT OF 1954, 68 STAT. 738, 5 U.S.C. 2094 (B).

THE CITED ACT PROVIDES:

FOR EACH PERIOD IN WHICH AN EMPLOYEE IS INSURED UNDER A POLICY OF INSURANCE PURCHASED BY THE COMMISSION AS AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 7 OF THIS ACT, THERE SHALL BE CONTRIBUTED FROM THE RESPECTIVE APPROPRIATION OR FUND WHICH IS USED FOR PAYMENT OF HIS SALARY, WAGE, OR OTHER COMPENSATION (OR IN THE CASE OF AN ELECTED OFFICIAL, FROM SUCH APPROPRIATION OR FUND AS MAY BE AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OR OTHER SALARIES OF THE SAME OFFICE OR ESTABLISHMENT) A SUM COMPUTED AT A RATE DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSION, BUT NOT TO EXCEED ONE-HALF THE AMOUNT WITHHELD FROM THE EMPLOYEE UNDER THIS SECTION. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

MAMMAL CONTROL AGENTS ARE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES EMPLOYED IN A COOPERATIVE PROGRAM UNDER 7 U.S.C. 426, AND 16 U.S.C. 661-666.

THE COOPERATIVE PROGRAM FOR CONTROL OF PREDATORY ANIMALS AND INJURIOUS RODENTS IS SUPERVISED BY THE UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE AND FINANCED IN PART BY THE SERVICE FROM FEDERAL APPROPRIATION AND IN PART BY FUNDS OF THE COOPERATORS, WHICH MAY BE STATES, COUNTIES, OR LIVESTOCK ASSOCIATIONS. FEDERAL FUNDS ARE PROVIDED BY THE ANNUAL INTERIOR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACTS. COOPERATORS' FUNDS IN SOME CASES ARE CONTRIBUTED TO AND DISBURSED BY THE SERVICE BUT IN OTHER CASES ARE DISBURSED DIRECTLY BY THE COOPERATORS. IN SOME CASES THE SALARY OF THE EMPLOYEE IS PAID FOR CERTAIN PERIODS BY THE SERVICE AND FOR OTHER PERIODS BY THE COOPERATING UNIT DIRECTLY TO THE EMPLOYEE.

THE PROBLEM SUBMITTED IS OCCASIONED BY THE REFUSAL OF CERTAIN OF THE COOPERATORS TO ALLOW CONTRIBUTIONS FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES GROUP LIFE INSURANCE FROM THEIR FUNDS. THE ACTING SECRETARY POINTS OUT THAT INASMUCH AS THE AGREEMENTS UNDER WHICH THESE EMPLOYEES SERVE RESULT IN THE POOLING OF ALL FUNDS, THE NET EFFECT IS THE SAME WHETHER THE INSURANCE CONTRIBUTION IS PAID FROM THE DEPARTMENT'S APPROPRIATION OR BY THE COOPERATOR. WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT THE SERVICE AND THE COOPERATORS AGREE UPON A CERTAIN PROGRAM OF EXPENDITURES FOR SALARIES, EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES, ETC., THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF WHICH WILL BE FINANCED BY A SPECIFIC AMOUNT FROM EITHER PARTY. TO THE EXTENT THAT THE EXPENDITURES FOR ANY ONE ITEM ARE MADE FROM FUNDS OF ONE PARTY, THE FUNDS OF THE OTHER PARTY ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE EXPENDITURE FOR OTHER ITEMS SO THAT IF THE EMPLOYER'S CONTRIBUTIONS FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES GROUP LIFE INSURANCE WERE PAID BY THE COOPERATOR INSTEAD OF THE SERVICE AN EQUAL AMOUNT OF FEDERAL FUNDS WOULD BE AVAILABLE FOR OTHER EXPENSES OF THE COOPERATIVE WORK. BECAUSE THE TOTAL COST TO EACH PARTY IS LIMITED BY THE AMOUNT IT HAS AGREED TO CONTRIBUTE, THE CHARGING OF THE ENTIRE COST OF SPECIFIC ITEMS TO EITHER FUND INSTEAD OF A PROPER PROPORTION OF ALL ITEMS TO EACH FUND WILL NOT INCREASE THE OVERALL COST TO EITHER PARTY.

A SEARCH OF THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE ACT OF 1954, FAILS TO DISCLOSE A CLEAR EXPRESSION ON THE PART OF CONGRESS SO FAR AS CONCERNS CONTRIBUTIONS IN A SITUATION OF THIS KIND. HOWEVER, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IN HIS MESSAGE TO THE CONGRESS HAS MADE CLEAR THE NEED FOR AN INSURANCE PROGRAM OF THIS TYPE FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES. IN HIS MESSAGE OF MAY 19, 1954, FOUND IN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DOCUMENT NO. 398 OF THE 2D SESSION OF THE 83D CONGRESS, HE STATED,"BY MEANS OF THIS PLAN, GOVERNMENT WORKERS COULD SUPPLEMENT THEIR OWN INSURANCE PROGRAMS AT MINIMUM EXPENSE. THE COST OF THE PLAN WOULD BE SHARED BY THE GOVERNMENT AND PARTICIPATING EMPLOYEES, EACH AGENCY PAYING FROM EXISTING APPROPRIATION ABOUT HALF OF ITS EMPLOYEES COSTS.' OBVIOUSLY, THE CONGRESS FOLLOWED HIS RECOMMENDATION SO FAR AS THE GOVERNMENT'S CONTRIBUTION IS CONCERNED IN ITS ENACTMENT OF PUBLIC LAW 598, 68 STAT. 738.

CONSEQUENTLY, IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S CONTRIBUTION TOWARD THE INSURANCE PROGRAM WILL IN NO WAY INCREASE THE GOVERNMENT'S OBLIGATION UNDER THE COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT AND WILL CALL FOR NO FURTHER OBLIGATION OF THE DEPARTMENT'S APPROPRIATION IN CARRYING OUT THE PURPOSE OF THE RODENT CONTROL ACTIVITIES AND BECAUSE OF THE LIBERAL INTENT OF THE PRESIDENT IN RECOMMENDING AND THE CONGRESS IN ENACTING THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE ACT OF 1954, WE FEEL THAT THE FACT THAT THESE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES ARE COMPENSATED FROM WHAT IS IN EFFECT A POOLING OF THE FUNDS SHOULD NOT PRECLUDE THEIR PARTICIPATION IN THIS INSURANCE PROGRAM.

THEREFORE, WE WOULD NOT OBJECT TO THE PAYMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT'S SHARE OF THE INSURANCE PREMIUM FOR MAMMAL CONTROL AGENTS FROM YOUR DEPARTMENT'S ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR SUCH PROGRAM.