B-157703, OCT. 11, 1965

B-157703: Oct 11, 1965

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

ESCHBACHER WAS APPOINTED TO THE METROPOLITAN POLICE FORCE ON AUGUST 6. ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIS RESIGNATION HE WAS IN CLASS 6. HE WAS REAPPOINTED TO THE METROPOLITAN POLICE FORCE ON NOVEMBER 10. INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER WAS RESTORED TO HIS FORMER RANK OF PRIVATE. WE ARE UNABLE TO FIND THAT THE CONTEXT OF THE SECTION OR ITS LEGISLATIVE HISTORY FURNISHES A BASIS FOR CONCURRING WITH MR. THE BASIC REQUIREMENT FOR THE LONGEVITY INCREASES AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 102 (A) IS FIVE YEARS OF CONTINUOUS SERVICE IN THE GRADE. THAT SUCH WAS THE PURPOSE OF THE CONGRESS FINDS SUPPORT IN SECTION 2 OF PUB.L. 728. SHALL RECEIVE CREDIT FOR SUCH PART OF CONTINUOUS SERVICE IN BOTH GRADES FOR LONGEVITY PURPOSES AS IS NECESSARY TO ESTABLISH HIS BASIC SALARY.

B-157703, OCT. 11, 1965

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY:

ON SEPTEMBER 20, 1965, THE CHIEF, UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, ASKED OUR OPINION CONCERNING THE CASE OF JAMES W. ESCHBACHER, A MEMBER OF THE WHITE HOUSE POLICE, WHO QUESTIONS THE CORRECTNESS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION NOT TO ALLOW CERTAIN SERVICE CREDITS TOWARD HIS LONGEVITY INCREASES UNDER SECTIONS 102 (A) AND 402 OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA POLICE AND FIREMEN'S SALARY ACT OF 1953, PUB.L. 74, 83D CONGRESS, APPROVED JUNE 20, 1953, 67 STAT. 72.

THE INFORMATION TRANSMITTED HERE SHOWS THAT MR. ESCHBACHER WAS APPOINTED TO THE METROPOLITAN POLICE FORCE ON AUGUST 6, 1941, AND SERVED CONTINUOUSLY WITH THAT ACTIVITY UNTIL SEPTEMBER 15, 1948, WHEN HE RESIGNED TO ENTER PRIVATE BUSINESS. ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIS RESIGNATION HE WAS IN CLASS 6, $3,400 PER ANNUM. HE WAS REAPPOINTED TO THE METROPOLITAN POLICE FORCE ON NOVEMBER 10, 1948, AS A NEW APPOINTEE, CLASS 1, $2,720.95 PER ANNUM, AFTER A BREAK IN SERVICE OF 55 DAYS. MR. ESCHBACHER TRANSFERRED TO THE WHITE HOUSE POLICE ON FEBRUARY 1, 1950, AND INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER WAS RESTORED TO HIS FORMER RANK OF PRIVATE, CLASS 6, WITH THE CORRESPONDING SALARY RATE.

AMONG OTHER THINGS, PUB.L. 74, CITED ABOVE, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1953, REDUCED THE NUMBER OF CLASSES OF PRIVATES FROM 6 TO 4, MR. ESCHBACHER BEING PLACED IN CLASS 4. SECTION 102 (A) OF THAT ACT READ IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"THE ANNUAL BASIC SALARY OF EACH OFFICER AND MEMBER OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE FORCE IN A GRADE ABOVE THAT OF PRIVATE, CLASS 3, EXCEPT THE CHIEF OF POLICE, SHALL BE INCREASED BY $120 AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD FOLLOWING EACH FIVE-YEAR PERIOD OF CONTINUOUS SERVICE COMPLETED IN SUCH GRADE, INCLUDING SERVICE IN SUCH GRADE RENDERED PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ACT: PROVIDED, THAT IN COMPUTING SERVICE RENDERED PRIOR TO SUCH DATE BY ANY INDIVIDUAL IN THE GRADE OF PRIVATE, ONLY SERVICE IN SUCH GRADE IN EXCESS OF THREE YEARS SHALL BE CREDITABLE IN DETERMINING SUCH INCREASE OR INCREASES FOR ANY INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNED TO THE GRADE OF PRIVATE, CLASS 4, IN THE FOREGOING SALARY TABLE. * * *"

IN CONSTRUING THE LANGUAGE OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED SECTION MR. ESCHBACHER SEEKS TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE CREDITABLE LONGEVITY SERVICE BEGINNING WITH THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ACT AND THAT IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE, URGING THAT THE LATTER NEED NOT BE CONTINUOUS.

WE ARE UNABLE TO FIND THAT THE CONTEXT OF THE SECTION OR ITS LEGISLATIVE HISTORY FURNISHES A BASIS FOR CONCURRING WITH MR. ESCHBACHER'S VIEWS. THE BASIC REQUIREMENT FOR THE LONGEVITY INCREASES AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 102 (A) IS FIVE YEARS OF CONTINUOUS SERVICE IN THE GRADE, WHICH MAY INCLUDE SERVICE IMMEDIATELY BEFORE, ON OR AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ACT, EXCEPT THAT IN COMPUTING CONTINUOUS SERVICE RENDERED PRIOR TO THE ACT ONLY CONTINUOUS SERVICE IN SUCH GRADE IN EXCESS OF THREE YEARS SHALL BE CREDITABLE IN DETERMINING SUCH INCREASE FOR AN INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNED TO THE GRADE OF PRIVATE, CLASS 4.

THAT SUCH WAS THE PURPOSE OF THE CONGRESS FINDS SUPPORT IN SECTION 2 OF PUB.L. 728, APPROVED AUGUST 31, 1954. THAT ACT, AMONG OTHER THINGS, AMENDED SECTION 102 (A) OF PUB.L. 74, BY ADDING SUBSECTION (F) WHICH RELATES EXCLUSIVELY TO CREDITABLE SERVICE RENDERED PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF PUB.L. 74. THE SUBSECTION READS AS FOLLOWS:

"/F) IN INITIALLY ADJUSTING SALARIES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION, ANY OFFICER OF MEMBER PROMOTED FROM A LOWER GRADE TO A HIGHER GRADE PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1953, SHALL RECEIVE CREDIT FOR SUCH PART OF CONTINUOUS SERVICE IN BOTH GRADES FOR LONGEVITY PURPOSES AS IS NECESSARY TO ESTABLISH HIS BASIC SALARY, INCLUDING LONGEVITY PAY, AT LEAST EQUAL TO THE BASIC SALARY HE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION IN THE LOWER GRADE HAD SUCH PROMOTION NOT BEEN MADE. SERVICE FOR FUTURE LONGEVITY INCREASES OF ANY OFFICER OR MEMBER WHOSE SALARY IS ADJUSTED UNDER AUTHORITY OF THIS SUBSECTION SHALL BEGIN AS OF THE DATE SUCH ADJUSTMENT BECAME EFFECTIVE.'

SECTION 406 OF PUB.L. 74, VESTED REGULATORY AUTHORITY IN THE COMMISSIONS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA REGARDING THE ADMINISTRATION OF THAT ACT. ARE INFORMALLY ADVISED, HOWEVER, THAT THE COMMISSIONERS HAVE NOT PROVIDED BY REGULATION THAT A SEPARATION FROM SERVICE, EVEN FOR A LIMITED PERIOD, OCCURRING PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF PUB.L. 74 DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A BREAK IN CONTINUITY OF SERVICE WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 102 OF THAT ACT. FURTHER, WE ARE INFORMALLY ADVISED THAT IN THE APPLICATION OF THE LAW TO THE METROPOLITAN POLICE FORCE A BREAK IN SERVICE PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF PUB.L. 74 CUTOFF ALL PRIOR SERVICE AND A NEW LONGEVITY WAITING PERIOD STARTED WITH A REAPPOINTMENT.

WE MUST, THEREFORE, CONCLUDE THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION DISALLOWING ANY CREDIT FOR SERVICE RENDERED BY MR. ESCHBACHER PRIOR TO NOVEMBER 10, 1948, ESTABLISHING HIS RATE OF COMPENSATION UNDER PUB.L. 74, APPROVED JUNE 20, 1953, WAS CORRECT.