B-136254, B-154884, JUL. 10, 1968

B-136254,B-154884: Jul 10, 1968

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WERE ADMINISTRATIVELY REQUESTED TO FOREGO THE TAKING OF THEIR CURRENT ACCRUED ANNUAL LEAVE IN ORDER TO PERFORM SERVICES DURING A SEVERE STORM AND FLOOD EMERGENCY EXISTING DURING THE PERIOD DECEMBER 1955 THROUGH MARCH 1956. EACH OF THE EMPLOYEES INVOLVED WAS NOTIFIED THAT. AN ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER WAS ISSUED BY THE ACTING SUPERINTENDENT OF THE PARK PURPORTING TO EXTEND THE PERIOD SO THAT THE EMPLOYEES WOULD HAVE TIME TO USE SUCH LEAVE AND AVOID FORFEITURE THEREOF. THE QUESTION OF THE LEGALITY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN IN THIS MATTER WAS PRESENTED TO US AND IN OUR DECISION B-136254. YOU WILL NOTE THAT WE WERE REQUIRED TO HOLD. THAT SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER WAS INVALID. WE POINTED OUT THEREIN THAT IT WAS OUR VIEW THAT VALIDATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN MUST BE PROVIDED BY STATUTE.

B-136254, B-154884, JUL. 10, 1968

TO MR. HAROLD P. DANZ:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 24, 1968, REFERENCE F62 (WR) AF X P6015, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER, WITH SUPPORTING PAPERS, IN FAVOR OF MR. OSCAR A. SEDERGREN, A FORMER EMPLOYEE, IN PAYMENT OF 39 HOURS OF ANNUAL LEAVE ADMINISTRATIVELY GRANTED PRIOR TO MARCH 15, 1956, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT NEAR THE CLOSE OF THE 1955 LEAVE YEAR CERTAIN EMPLOYEES OF THE YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, WERE ADMINISTRATIVELY REQUESTED TO FOREGO THE TAKING OF THEIR CURRENT ACCRUED ANNUAL LEAVE IN ORDER TO PERFORM SERVICES DURING A SEVERE STORM AND FLOOD EMERGENCY EXISTING DURING THE PERIOD DECEMBER 1955 THROUGH MARCH 1956. EACH OF THE EMPLOYEES INVOLVED WAS NOTIFIED THAT, IN VIEW OF THE EMERGENCY REQUIRING HIS SERVICES, THE TIME FOR USING THE ANNUAL LEAVE WHICH HE HAD ACCRUED DURING THE 1955 LEAVE YEAR WOULD BE EXTENDED TO MARCH 15, 1956. AN ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER WAS ISSUED BY THE ACTING SUPERINTENDENT OF THE PARK PURPORTING TO EXTEND THE PERIOD SO THAT THE EMPLOYEES WOULD HAVE TIME TO USE SUCH LEAVE AND AVOID FORFEITURE THEREOF.

THE QUESTION OF THE LEGALITY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN IN THIS MATTER WAS PRESENTED TO US AND IN OUR DECISION B-136254, JULY 7, 1958, TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, COPY ENCLOSED, YOU WILL NOTE THAT WE WERE REQUIRED TO HOLD, BASED UPON THE APPLICABLE PROVISION OF THE ANNUAL AND SICK LEAVE ACT, THAT SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER WAS INVALID. WE POINTED OUT THEREIN THAT IT WAS OUR VIEW THAT VALIDATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN MUST BE PROVIDED BY STATUTE.

IN 1964 WHEN A PAYROLL AUDIT WAS MADE AT THE PARK WE WERE REQUIRED, BASED UPON THE FOREGOING DECISION, TO TAKE EXCEPTIONS TO THE PAYMENTS OF COMPENSATION MADE FOR THE ANNUAL LEAVE GRANTED AS A RESULT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER OF THE ACTING SUPERINTENDENT. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. SEDERGREN WAS GRANTED AND PAID FOR 39 HOURS, THE NUMBER OF HOURS SHOWN ON THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER. YOU INDICATE THAT DUE TO OUR AUDIT ACTION THE 39 HOURS WAS DEDUCTED FROM LEAVE WHICH THE EMPLOYEE OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE FORFEITED IN 1964.

ON APRIL 14, 1966, PUBLIC LAW 89-396 WAS ENACTED VALIDATING THE ACTION OF THE ACTING SUPERINTENDENT, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, IN EXTENDING THE 1955 LEAVE YEAR FOR SUCH EMPLOYEES TO MARCH 15, 1956. THIS LEGISLATIVE ACTION HAD THE SINGULAR EFFECT OF MAKING IT UNNECESSARY TO COLLECT BACK SUCH AMOUNTS PAID FOR THE LEAVE GRANTED, INCLUDING THE AMOUNT OF$165.36 PAID TO MR. SEDERGREN AT THE RATE OF $4.24 PER HOUR FOR THE 39 HOURS. BECAUSE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S LEAVE CEILING WE ASSUME THAT A RECONSTRUCTION OF HIS ANNUAL LEAVE ACCOUNT BACK TO MARCH 15, 1956, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUCH VALIDATING LEGISLATION WOULD NOT HAVE PERMITTED ANY RECREDIT OF THE 39 HOURS SINCE AS PREVIOUSLY INDICATED HE HAD FORFEITED IN 1964 A CONSIDERABLE NUMBER OF HOURS OF ANNUAL LEAVE IN EXCESS OF THE 39 HOURS IN QUESTION.

ACCORDINGLY, WE FIND NO BASIS FOR HOLDING THAT MR. SEDERGREN WAS ENTITLED TO THE MONEY EQUIVALENT OF THE 39 HOURS UNDER PUBLIC LAW 89 396 AND THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.