B-43728, AUGUST 21, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 146

B-43728: Aug 21, 1944

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" WHERE THE OFFICE WAS NOT IN OPERATION FOR THE ENTIRE PRECEDING CALENDAR YEAR. THE CONSTRUCTED RECEIPTS MAY NOT BE BASED UPON THE RECEIPTS FOR ONE QUARTER ALONE WHERE THE OFFICE WAS IN OPERATION A LONGER PERIOD. 1944: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 5. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 271 PLACING POSTMASTERS AT FOURTH-CLASS POST OFFICES ON AN ANNUAL SALARY BASIS AND FIXING THEIR RATES OF PAY. POST OFFICE WAS ESTABLISHED AND OPENED FOR BUSINESS IN JULY 1943. THE POSTMASTER'S SALARY WAS FIXED AT $572. IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 271 YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED WHETHER THE DEPARTMENT MAY REOPEN THIS MATTER AND FIX THE POSTMASTER'S SALARY. THE ANNUAL SALARY RATE OF A POSTMASTER OF THE FOURTH CLASS IS REQUIRED TO BE BASED UPON THE GROSS POSTAL RECEIPTS "FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE ADJUSTMENT.'.

B-43728, AUGUST 21, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 146

COMPENSATION - FOURTH-CLASS POSTMASTERS IN FIXING THE ANNUAL SALARY OF A POSTMASTER OF THE FOURTH CLASS UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 29, 1944, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1944, ON THE BASIS OF THE GROSS POSTAL RECEIPTS "FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE ADJUSTMENT," WHERE THE OFFICE WAS NOT IN OPERATION FOR THE ENTIRE PRECEDING CALENDAR YEAR, THERE MAY BE USED A CONSTRUCTED GROSS RECEIPTS FOR THAT YEAR BASED UPON ACTUAL RECEIPTS OVER A SUFFICIENTLY LONG PERIOD TO REFLECT WHAT THE TRUE GROSS RECEIPTS FOR THE YEAR WOULD BE; HOWEVER, THE CONSTRUCTED RECEIPTS MAY NOT BE BASED UPON THE RECEIPTS FOR ONE QUARTER ALONE WHERE THE OFFICE WAS IN OPERATION A LONGER PERIOD.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, AUGUST 21, 1944:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 5, 1944, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 271 PLACING POSTMASTERS AT FOURTH-CLASS POST OFFICES ON AN ANNUAL SALARY BASIS AND FIXING THEIR RATES OF PAY.

THE SARALAND, ALABAMA, POST OFFICE WAS ESTABLISHED AND OPENED FOR BUSINESS IN JULY 1943. BASED ON THE GROSS RECEIPTS FROM THE DATE THE OFFICE OPENED TO DECEMBER 31, 1943, THE POSTMASTER'S SALARY WAS FIXED AT $572, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1944. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 271 YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED WHETHER THE DEPARTMENT MAY REOPEN THIS MATTER AND FIX THE POSTMASTER'S SALARY, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1944, ON THE BASIS OF THE RECEIPTS FOR THE QUARTER ENDED DECEMBER 31, 1943, MULTIPLIED BY FOUR.

UNDER SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 29, 1944, 58 STAT. 130, PUBLIC LAW 271, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1944, THE ANNUAL SALARY RATE OF A POSTMASTER OF THE FOURTH CLASS IS REQUIRED TO BE BASED UPON THE GROSS POSTAL RECEIPTS "FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE ADJUSTMENT.' NO PROVISION IS MADE IN THE STATUTE FOR SELECTING ONE QUARTER OUT OF THE CALENDAR YEAR IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE ADJUSTMENT AND TO BE USED AS A BASIS FOR MAKING THE ADJUSTMENT.

IN THE INSTANT CASE THE CALENDAR YEAR IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE ADJUSTMENT OF SALARY REQUIRED TO BE MADE EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1944, IS THE CALENDAR YEAR 1943, BUT FROM THE FACTS PRESENTED THE POST OFFICE AT SARALAND, ALABAMA, WAS NOT IN OPERATION THE ENTIRE CALENDAR YEAR 1943, BUT ONLY FOR HALF OF THAT YEAR--- THUS PRESENTING A SITUATION NOT EXPRESSLY PROVIDED FOR IN THE REFERRED-TO STATUTE. SINCE THE STATUTE SEEMS TO REQUIRE AN ADJUSTMENT OF SALARY AS OF JULY 1, 1944, IN THE CASE PRESENTED, THERE MAY BE REQUIRED, AS A BASIS FOR SUCH ADJUSTMENT, A CONSTRUCTED GROSS POSTAL RECEIPTS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE ADJUSTMENT, BUT SUCH CONSTRUCTED RECEIPTS REASONABLY MAY NOT BE BASED UPON THE RECEIPTS OF ONE QUARTER PERIOD ALONE, WHEN THE OFFICE WAS IN OPERATION A LONGER PERIOD DURING THE CALENDAR YEAR. ANY SUCH CONSTRUCTED GROSS POSTAL RECEIPTS FOR A YEAR MUST BE UPON A BASIS WHICH REASONABLY WOULD REFLECT THE TRUE GROSS POSTAL RECEIPTS FOR THAT YEAR--- IN THE PRESENT CASE BY MULTIPLYING THE AMOUNT OF THE ACTUAL RECEIPTS FOR THE PERIOD FROM JULY 1 TO DECEMBER 31, 1943, BY TWO. IN THE LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING, THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE. COMPARE 23 COMP. GEN. 821, AND DECISION OF AUGUST 1, 1944, B 43298, 24 COMP. GEN. 63.