B-23984, MARCH 18, 1942, 21 COMP. GEN. 871

B-23984: Mar 18, 1942

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

OR WHO WERE SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE. SHOULD BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS EMPLOYED PRIOR TO HIS TRANSFER OR SEPARATION. 1942: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR UNDATED LETTER. WAS NOT APPROVED UNTIL DECEMBER 17. CERTAIN QUESTIONS HAVE ARISEN WHICH ARE RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED FOR YOUR DECISION. DO PERSONNEL OFFICERS HAVE THE AUTHORITY. IS IT THEIR DUTY. IF A DISTINCTION IS TO BE MADE BETWEEN THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY. IS IT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PERSONNEL OFFICERS TO TRACE AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAS TRANSFERRED TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER HE IS STILL IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE? 3. IF THE FIRST QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

B-23984, MARCH 18, 1942, 21 COMP. GEN. 871

COMPENSATION - PAYMENT PROCEDURE - TRANSFERS AND SEPARATIONS FROM SERVICE SUBSEQUENT TO WITHIN-GRADE PROMOTIONS AMOUNTS REPRESENTING WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENTS UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1941, DUE EMPLOYEES WHO TRANSFERRED TO OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, OR WHO WERE SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE, BEFORE ACTUAL PAYMENT OF THE INCREASES TO WHICH THEY BECAME ELIGIBLE ON OCTOBER 1, 1941, SHOULD BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS EMPLOYED PRIOR TO HIS TRANSFER OR SEPARATION, AND SUCH AMOUNTS MAY BE PAID BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER EXCEPT IN CASES WHERE PAYMENT CANNOT BE ACCOMPLISHED WITHIN 3 MONTHS AFTER THE CLOSE OF THE FISCAL YEAR, IN WHICH EVENT THE MATTER SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE FOR SETTLEMENT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, MARCH 18, 1942:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR UNDATED LETTER, RECEIVED HERE FEBRUARY 20, 1942, AS FOLLOWS:

BECAUSE THE " THIRD SUPPLEMENTAL NATIONAL DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1942," CARRYING FUNDS NEEDED FOR PAYMENT OF THE SALARY INCREASES PROVIDED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1941, PUBLIC LAW 200, 77TH CONGRESS, WAS NOT APPROVED UNTIL DECEMBER 17, 1941, A NUMBER OF CHANGES IN STATUS OF EMPLOYEES ELIGIBLE FOR PROMOTION ON OCTOBER 1, 1941, OCCURRED BEFORE PAYMENT OF THE INCREASES COULD BE MADE, TRANSFERS TO AND FROM OTHER DEPARTMENTS OR AGENCIES, RESIGNATIONS, RETIREMENTS AND DEATHS. ACCORDINGLY, CERTAIN QUESTIONS HAVE ARISEN WHICH ARE RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED FOR YOUR DECISION, AS FOLLOWS:

1. DO PERSONNEL OFFICERS HAVE THE AUTHORITY, AND IS IT THEIR DUTY, TO CERTIFY PAY ROLLS CARRYING THESE INCREASES IN SALARY FOR PERSONS NO LONGER CONNECTED WITH THEIR RESPECTIVE DEPARTMENTS OR AGENCIES?

2. IF A DISTINCTION IS TO BE MADE BETWEEN THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY, AND ONE SEPARATED FROM THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE, IS IT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PERSONNEL OFFICERS TO TRACE AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAS TRANSFERRED TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER HE IS STILL IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE?

3. IF THE FIRST QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRED TO THIS DEPARTMENT AFTER OCTOBER 1, 1941, BUT BEFORE RECEIVING THE INCREASE IN SALARY TO WHICH HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN ENTITLED UNDER THE ACT REFERRED TO, WILL PRESUMABLY BE TAKEN CARE OF IN DUE COURSE BY AMENDED CERTIFICATION FROM THE TRANSFERRING DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY, AS TO SALARY RATE PAID. HOWEVER, IF THE ANSWER SHOULD BE IN THE NEGATIVE, WHAT IS THE DUTY OF THIS DEPARTMENT WITH RESPECT TO ASCERTAINING THE EMPLOYEE'S RIGHT TO AN INCREASED RATE OF PAY FROM THE DATE OF HIS TRANSFER, AND AS TO THE DATE OF HIS ELIGIBILITY FOR SUBSEQUENT WITHIN-GRADE PROMOTION?

4. IF THE QUESTION NUMBERED (1) IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE WITHOUT DISTINCTION AS TO TRANSFERS OR SEPARATIONS, IS IT THE DUTY OF DISBURSING OFFICERS TO MAKE EVERY REASONABLE EFFORT TO EFFECT PAYMENT, OR SHOULD THEY AWAIT RECEIPT FROM THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE OF APPROVED CLAIMS? THE ANSWER TO THE FIRST QUESTION IS ONLY PARTIALLY IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, IT IS PRESUMED THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WILL BE QUALIFIED ACCORDINGLY.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD FROM YOUR ANSWER, IN LETTER TO THE HONORABLE, THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, DATED OCTOBER 27, 1941 (B-20925), TO HIS SEVENTH QUESTION, THAT PROMOTIONS IN THE CASES REFERRED TO SHOULD BE MADE A MATTER OF RECORD, AND THE FOREGOING QUESTIONS RELATE ONLY TO CERTIFICATION AND PAYMENT OF AMOUNTS DUE. LIKEWISE, IN THE CASE OF DECEASED EMPLOYEES, THE PROCEDURE FOR PAYMENT OF BALANCES OF SALARY DUE IS UNDERSTOOD, AND THE QUESTIONS HEREIN PRESENTED RELATE ONLY TO THE INCLUSION IN THE AMOUNT DUE OF ANY INCREASE TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE MIGHT HAVE BEEN ENTITLED UNDER THE SO-CALLED RAMSPECK ACT, BUT HAD NOT RECEIVED.

THE SALARY RATE, INCLUDING THE PERIODIC WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT PROPERLY PAYABLE BEGINNING OCTOBER 1, 1941, WAS THE ONLY REGULAR SALARY RATE PAYABLE TO EMPLOYEES FOR PERIODS ON AND AFTER OCTOBER 1, 1941--- 21 COMP. GEN. 335--- AND THERE IS THUS REQUIRED A RETROACTIVE ADJUSTMENT IN THE SALARY RATES OF SUCH EMPLOYEES WHO CONTINUED IN THE SERVICE OF THE GOVERNMENT AFTER OCTOBER 1, 1941, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY HAVE SINCE LEFT THE SERVICE, OR HAVE SINCE BEEN TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER AGENCY. SEE ANSWER TO THE FIFTH QUESTION, DECISION OF OCTOBER 27, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 369, 376, AND QUESTION AND ANSWER NUMBERED 5, DECISION OF FEBRUARY 21, 1942, B-23577, 21 COMP. GEN. 791. ACCORDINGLY, QUESTION 1 IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, MAKING IT UNNECESSARY TO ANSWER QUESTION 2.

REFERRING TO QUESTION 3, THE PRESUMPTION STATED IN THE FIRST PART THEREOF IS CORRECT. THAT IS TO SAY, EACH DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD ADJUST THE SALARY RATE OF EMPLOYEES UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1941, PUBLIC LAW 200, 55 STAT. 613, AND THE PRESIDENT'S REGULATIONS THEREUNDER, FOR THE PERIOD PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF TRANSFER. THE ABOVE MAKES UNNECESSARY ANY ANSWER TO THE LAST PORTION OF THIS QUESTION.

IN CONNECTION WITH QUESTION 4, ATTENTION IS INVITED TO DECISION OF JULY 16, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 56, IN WHICH IT WAS HELD AS FOLLOWS:

AS A GENERAL RULE PAYMENTS BY A DISBURSING OFFICER CHARGEABLE AGAINST ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS SHOULD NOT BE MADE AFTER THREE MONTHS FROM THE CLOSE OF THE FISCAL YEAR IN WHICH THE OBLIGATION WAS INCURRED, UNEXPENDED DISBURSING BALANCES OF ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS BEING REQUIRED TO BE DEPOSITED WITHIN THAT TIME.

PAYMENTS AGAINST APPROPRIATIONS, OTHER THAN ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS, SHOULD BE MADE BY A DISBURSING OFFICER ONLY WHEN FOR CURRENT OBLIGATIONS FOR FIXED SALARIES, BILLS FOR SUPPLIES PURCHASED AND APPROVED, AND OTHER SIMILAR DEMANDS WHICH DO NOT REQUIRE THE WEIGHING OF EVIDENCE OR THE DETERMINATION OF QUESTIONS OF LAW OR FACT FOR THE ASCERTAINMENT OF THEIR VALIDITY. ANY DOUBT ON THE PART OF A DISBURSING OFFICER AS TO HIS AUTHORITY TO PAY A VOUCHER SHOULD BE RESOLVED IN FAVOR OF SUBMITTING IT FOR DIRECT SETTLEMENT.

SEE, ALSO, 7 COMP. GEN. 751; PARAGRAPH 1, GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 50, 5 ID. 1058. SUBJECT TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED DECISION, THE PAYMENTS IN QUESTION MAY BE EFFECTED, IF POSSIBLE, THROUGH THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AND THE DISBURSING OFFICER. THE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION DUE ANY EMPLOYEE WHOSE WHEREABOUTS CAN NOT BE ASCERTAINED WITHIN THREE MONTHS AFTER THE CLOSE OF THE FISCAL YEAR SHOULD NOT BE PAID BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER, BUT THE MATTER SHOULD BE FORWARDED HERE FOR SETTLEMENT.