B-15838, APRIL 7, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 605

B-15838: Apr 7, 1941

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DISTRIBUTION OF WORK AND PERSONNEL WITHIN A FEDERAL AGENCY THE DISTRIBUTION OF WORK AND PERSONNEL WITHIN A FEDERAL AGENCY IS ORDINARILY AN ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER. THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WILL NOT QUESTION PAYMENTS OF SALARY TO REGULAR COMMISSIONED OFFICERS OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE SOLELY BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OR PLACE OF THE DUTIES TO WHICH THEY MAY BE ASSIGNED. " IS AVAILABLE FOR PAY OR COMPENSATION OF COMMISSIONED RESERVE AND CIVILIAN MEDICAL OFFICERS WHOSE EMPLOYMENT IS NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE EMERGENCY ACTIVITIES AUTHORIZED BY SAID APPROPRIATION. EVEN THOUGH FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REASONS SUCH OFFICERS MAY NOT BE ACTUALLY ENGAGED ON THAT PARTICULAR WORK BUT ARE SUBSTITUTING FOR REGULAR COMMISSIONED OFFICERS WHO ARE SO ENGAGED.

B-15838, APRIL 7, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 605

DISTRIBUTION OF WORK AND PERSONNEL WITHIN A FEDERAL AGENCY THE DISTRIBUTION OF WORK AND PERSONNEL WITHIN A FEDERAL AGENCY IS ORDINARILY AN ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER, AND THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WILL NOT QUESTION PAYMENTS OF SALARY TO REGULAR COMMISSIONED OFFICERS OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE SOLELY BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OR PLACE OF THE DUTIES TO WHICH THEY MAY BE ASSIGNED. THE APPROPRIATION " EMERGENCY HEALTH AND SANITATION ACTIVITIES, PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, 1941," IS AVAILABLE FOR PAY OR COMPENSATION OF COMMISSIONED RESERVE AND CIVILIAN MEDICAL OFFICERS WHOSE EMPLOYMENT IS NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE EMERGENCY ACTIVITIES AUTHORIZED BY SAID APPROPRIATION, EVEN THOUGH FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REASONS SUCH OFFICERS MAY NOT BE ACTUALLY ENGAGED ON THAT PARTICULAR WORK BUT ARE SUBSTITUTING FOR REGULAR COMMISSIONED OFFICERS WHO ARE SO ENGAGED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, FEDERAL SECURITY AGENCY, APRIL 7, 1941:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 26, 1941, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE APPROPRIATION OF $525,000 CONTAINED IN THE URGENT DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT--- 1941, APPROVED MARCH 1, 1941, AND CARRIED ON THE BOOKS OF THE TREASURY UNDER THE TITLE "7510333--- EMERGENCY HEALTH AND SANITATION ACTIVITIES, PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, 1941.'

IN CARRYING OUT THE PURPOSES OF THIS APPROPRIATION THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE IS FACED WITH THE VIRTUAL NECESSITY OF DETAILING TO THIS WORK EXPERIENCED OFFICERS FROM THE REGULAR COMMISSIONED CORPS WHOSE SALARIES ARE PAID FROM THE APPROPRIATION "7510304--- PAY, ETC., COMMISSIONED OFFICERS, PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, 1941.' THESE OFFICERS ARE ENGAGED IN THE VARIOUS ACTIVITIES OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE SUCH AS MARINE HOSPITALS, QUARANTINE STATIONS, AND SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS. WHEN TAKEN FROM THESE ACTIVITIES IT IS NECESSARY THAT REPLACEMENTS BE SUPPLIED.

THE NUMBER OF REGULAR COMMISSIONED OFFICERS IS LIMITED BY LAW AND, THEREFORE, THEIR REPLACEMENTS WILL HAVE TO BE CIVILIAN MEDICAL OFFICERS OR RESERVE COMMISSIONED OFFICERS. THUS, THERE IS PRESENTED THE QUESTION OF THE APPROPRIATION CHARGEABLE WITH THE SALARIES OF THE REPLACEMENT MEDICAL PERSONNEL WHICH IS EMPLOYED TO ASSUME THE DUTIES NOW PERFORMED BY THE REGULAR COMMISSIONED OFFICERS DETAILED TO THE WORK TO BE PERFORMED UNDER THE APPROPRIATION FOR EMERGENCY HEALTH AND SANITATION ACTIVITIES.

THE SITUATION CAN BE EXPLAINED BY USING AS AN ILLUSTRATION THE WITHDRAWAL OF REGULAR COMMISSIONED OFFICERS FROM MARINE HOSPITALS AND THE CALLING OF RESERVE OFFICERS TO ACTIVE DUTY AS REPLACEMENTS. THE APPROPRIATION "7510309--- PAY OF PERSONNEL AND MAINTENANCE OF HOSPITALS, PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, 1941" IS AVAILABLE FOR THE PAY AND ALLOWANCES OF RESERVE COMMISSIONED OFFICERS ON ACTIVE DUTY IN MARINE HOSPITALS, BUT IS NOT ADEQUATE TO ASSUME THE SALARIES OF PERSONNEL ENGAGED AS REPLACEMENTS FOR REGULAR COMMISSIONED OFFICERS, NOR WERE THE ESTIMATES ON WHICH THE APPROPRIATION IS BASED PREPARED IN CONTEMPLATION OF SUCH A CONTINGENCY.

IT IS PROPOSED, THEREFORE, THAT WHEN REGULAR COMMISSIONED OFFICERS ARE WITHDRAWN FROM THEIR PRESENT ASSIGNMENTS AND DETAILED TO DUTY UNDER THE EMERGENCY HEALTH AND SANITATION PROGRAM, RESERVE COMMISSIONED OFFICERS OR CIVILIAN MEDICAL OFFICERS WILL BE EMPLOYED TO REPLACE THEM AND THEIR SALARIES PAID FROM THE APPROPRIATION "7510333--- EMERGENCY HEALTH AND SANITATION ACTIVITIES, PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, 1941.'

SINCE THE APPROPRIATION PROVIDES FOR "ALL NECESSARY EXPENSES" TO ENABLE THE SURGEON GENERAL OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES STATED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT, IT IS BELIEVED THE PROPOSED PLAN IS CORRECT IN PRINCIPLE; OTHERWISE, THE EMERGENCY APPROPRIATION WILL BE IN FACT SUPPLEMENTED BY THE AMOUNTS PAID AS SALARIES AND ALLOWANCES TO THE REGULAR COMMISSIONED OFFICERS.

INQUIRY IS MADE AS TO WHETHER YOUR OFFICE WILL FIND IT NECESSARY TO OBJECT TO THIS PROCEDURE. OWING TO THE EMERGENT NATURE OF THE WORK WHICH IS TO BE PERFORMED IT WILL BE APPRECIATED IF YOU WILL FIND IT CONVENIENT TO MAKE AN EARLY REPLY TO THIS COMMUNICATION.

THE APPROPRIATION IN THE URGENT DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT, 1941, APPROVED MARCH 1, 1941, PUBLIC, NO. 9, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, EMERGENCY HEALTH AND SANITATION ACTIVITIES, 1941: FOR ALL EXPENSES NECESSARY TO ENABLE THE SURGEON GENERAL OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE TO ASSIST STATE AND LOCAL HEALTH AUTHORITIES IN HEALTH AND SANITATION ACTIVITIES (1) IN AREAS ADJOINING MILITARY AND NAVAL FORCES, (3) IN AREAS ADJOINING GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE INDUSTRIAL PLANTS ENGAGED IN DEFENSE WORK, AND (4) IN PRIVATE INDUSTRIAL PLANTS ENGAGED IN DEFENSE WORK; AND TO PROVIDE EMERGENCY HEALTH AND SANITATION SERVICES IN GOVERNMENT INDUSTRIAL PLANTS ENGAGED IN DEFENSE WORK AND IN AREAS ADJOINING UNITED STATES MILITARY AND NAVAL RESERVATIONS OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES; SUCH EXPENSES TO INCLUDE PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND ELSEWHERE; PURCHASE, EXCHANGE, MAINTENANCE, AND OPERATION OF PASSENGER-CARRYING AUTOMOBILES; STATIONERY; TRAVEL; PRINTING AND BINDING; AND ITEMS OTHERWISE PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR MISCELLANEOUS AND CONTINGENT EXPENSES OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, FISCAL YEAR 1941, $525,000.

THE APPROPRIATION FOR COMMISSIONED OFFICERS, PAY, ETC., 1941, ACT OF JUNE 26, 1940, 54 STAT. 584, PROVIDES:

COMMISSIONED OFFICERS, PAY, AND SO FORTH: FOR PAY, ALLOWANCE, AND COMMUTATION OF QUARTERS FOR NOT TO EXCEED 457 REGULAR ACTIVE COMMISSIONED OFFICERS (INCLUDING THE SURGEON GENERAL, ASSISTANT TO THE SURGEON GENERAL AND ASSISTANT SURGEONS GENERAL) AND FOR PAY OF REGULAR COMMISSIONED OFFICERS ON WAITING ORDERS, $2,035,300: PROVIDED, THAT THE ABOVE LIMITATION ON THE NUMBER OF REGULAR ACTIVE COMMISSIONED OFFICERS MAY BE EXCEEDED BY THE NUMBER (NOT IN EXCESS OF THIRTY) OF REGULAR ACTIVE COMMISSIONED OFFICERS ASSIGNED TO FEDERAL PENAL AND CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS.

THE DISTRIBUTION OF WORK AND PERSONAL WITHIN A FEDERAL AGENCY IS ORDINARILY AN ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER. HENCE, THIS OFFICE IS NOT REQUIRED TO QUESTION PAYMENTS OF SALARY TO REGULAR COMMISSIONED OFFICERS OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE SOLELY BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OR PLACE OF THE DUTIES TO WHICH THEY MAY BE ASSIGNED. LIKEWISE, IF THE EMPLOYMENT OF COMMISSIONED RESERVE AND CIVILIAN MEDICAL OFFICERS IS NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE ACTIVITIES AUTHORIZED BY THE ABOVE URGENT DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION, THAT APPROPRIATION MAY BE CONSIDERED AVAILABLE FOR THEIR COMPENSATION NOTWITHSTANDING THAT FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REASONS THEY MAY NOT BE ACTUALLY ENGAGED ON THAT PARTICULAR WORK BUT ARE SUBSTITUTING FOR REGULAR COMMISSIONED OFFICERS WHO ARE SO ENGAGED. CF. 19 COMP. GEN. 24.