B-46807, JANUARY 24, 1945, 24 COMP. GEN. 550

B-46807: Jan 24, 1945

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ARE APPLICABLE TO EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL SUBJECT TO SAID ACT FOR WHOM A NIGHT DIFFERENTIAL HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED. THE BASIC HOURLY RATE UPON WHICH OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR WORK IN EXCESS OF 40 HOURS PER WEEK IS TO BE COMPUTED MAY BE DETERMINED BY DIVIDING THE TOTAL BASIC COMPENSATION EARNED DURING THE REGULAR 40-HOUR WORK-WEEK (THE SUM OF THE AMOUNTS EARNED AT THE DAY AND NIGHT RATES) BY 40. REGARDLESS OF WHEN THE OVERTIME SERVICE IS PERFORMED. WHILE THERE IS NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUSTMENT OF OTHERWISE PROPER CLAIMS OF PANAMA CANAL EMPLOYEES STILL IN THE SERVICE FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION UNDER THE RULES STATED IN DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE (23 COMP. SINCE SUCH CLAIMS ARE "COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9.

B-46807, JANUARY 24, 1945, 24 COMP. GEN. 550

OVERTIME COMPENSATION - FORTY-HOUR WEEK EMPLOYEES - NIGHT WORK THE RULES STATED IN DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE (23 COMP. GEN. 962; 24 ID. 39; ID 155; ID. 189) WITH RESPECT TO THE INCLUSION OF A NIGHT DIFFERENTIAL IN COMPUTING OVERTIME COMPENSATION OF FORTY-HOUR WEEK EMPLOYEES UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, THE NECESSITY FOR MAKING RETROACTIVE PAYMENTS TO SUCH EMPLOYEES, ETC., ARE APPLICABLE TO EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL SUBJECT TO SAID ACT FOR WHOM A NIGHT DIFFERENTIAL HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED. WHERE THE WORKDAY OF PANAMA CANAL EMPLOYEES SUBJECT TO THE FORTY HOUR WEEK STATUTE OF MARCH 28, 1934, INCLUDES PORTIONS OF THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE DAY PAY RATE AND THAT COVERED BY THE NIGHT RATE (INCLUDING A NIGHT DIFFERENTIAL), THE BASIC HOURLY RATE UPON WHICH OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR WORK IN EXCESS OF 40 HOURS PER WEEK IS TO BE COMPUTED MAY BE DETERMINED BY DIVIDING THE TOTAL BASIC COMPENSATION EARNED DURING THE REGULAR 40-HOUR WORK-WEEK (THE SUM OF THE AMOUNTS EARNED AT THE DAY AND NIGHT RATES) BY 40, REGARDLESS OF WHEN THE OVERTIME SERVICE IS PERFORMED. WHILE THERE IS NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUSTMENT OF OTHERWISE PROPER CLAIMS OF PANAMA CANAL EMPLOYEES STILL IN THE SERVICE FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION UNDER THE RULES STATED IN DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE (23 COMP. GEN. 962; 24 ID. 39; ID 155; ID. 189) WITH RESPECT TO THE INCLUSION OF A NIGHT DIFFERENTIAL IN COMPUTING OVERTIME COMPENSATION UNDER THE FORTY-HOUR WEEK STATUTE OF MARCH 28, 1934, SINCE SUCH CLAIMS ARE "COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, AND SO ARE SUBJECT TO THE 10 YEAR LIMITATION SPECIFIED THEREIN FOR FILING CLAIMS, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR MAKING ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUSTMENTS WHICH COULD NOT BE MADE BY THIS OFFICE WITHIN THE 10-YEAR LIMITATION. ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUSTMENTS OF CLAIMS OF PANAMA CANAL EMPLOYEES STILL IN THE SERVICE FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION UNDER THE RULES STATED IN DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE RESPECTING THE INCLUSION OF A NIGHT DIFFERENTIAL IN COMPUTING THE OVERTIME COMPENSATION OF FORTY-HOUR WEEK EMPLOYEES UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, SHOULD BE LIMITED TO THOSE INVOLVING THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR, OR, AT LEAST, WHERE THERE IS AN AVAILABLE APPROPRIATION, TO THOSE INVOLVING PERIODS EXTENDING BACK NOT MORE THAN 10 YEARS FROM THE DATE ACTUAL PAYMENT CAN BE EFFECTED; AND IN NO EVENT SHOULD ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUSTMENT OF CLAIMS OF EMPLOYEES WHO ENTERED THE SERVICE PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 1936, BE UNDERTAKEN.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE GOVERNOR, THE PANAMA CANAL, JANUARY 24, 1945:

THERE WAS RECEIVED JANUARY 9, YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 21, 1944, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR DECISION OF AUGUST 24, 1944, B-43724, ADDRESSED TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY (24 COMP. GEN. 155), AND TO YOUR PREVIOUS DECISIONS ADDRESSED TO STUART KELLEY, JUNE 17, 1944 (23 COMP. GEN. 962), AND TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, JULY 20, 1944 (24 COMP. GEN. 39), RELATIVE TO THE COMPUTATION OF OVERTIME PAY IN THE CASE OF EMPLOYEES SUBJECT TO THE 40 -HOUR LAW WHO ARE PAID A NIGHT DIFFERENTIAL FOR WORK ON NIGHT SHIFTS.

CERTAIN CLASSES OF HOURLY EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL WHO ARE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE 40-HOUR LAW, ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, ARE PAID A NIGHT DIFFERENTIAL, WHEN REGULARLY ASSIGNED TO A NIGHT TOUR OF DUTY, UNDER REGULATIONS PROVIDING THAT EMPLOYEES:

"* * * WHOSE WHOLE TIME OF WORK OR ANY PART THEREOF IS BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 6:00 P.M. AND 7:00 A.M. SHALL BE ALLOWED 6 CENTS PER HOUR IN ADDITION TO THEIR SCHEDULED RATE OF PAY FOR WORK PERFORMED BETWEEN THE HOURS MENTIONED, EXCEPT THAT NO EMPLOYEE SHALL RECEIVE EXTRA PAY FOR NIGHT WORK FOR WHICH HE IS PAID SUNDAY, HOLIDAY, OR OVERTIME RATES OF PAY.'

THE REGULATIONS, WHICH BECOME EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 1924, WERE BASED UPON A PROVISION IN THE SCHEDULE OF WAGES FOR CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT.

YOUR DECISIONS REFERRED TO ABOVE WOULD APPEAR TO BE APPLICABLE TO HOURLY EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL SUBJECT TO THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934.

THE MECHANICAL DIVISION OF THE PANAMA CANAL IS AT PRESENT WORKING ON A REGULAR THREE-SHIFT BASIS, THE HOURS OF WHICH ARE:

7:00 A.M. TO 11:00 A.M.-------------------------

12:00 NOON TO 4:00 P.M.------------------------ DAY SHIFT.

4:00 P.M. TO MIDNIGHT--------------------------- NIGHT SHIFT.

11:30 P.M. TO 7:30 A.M.------------------------- NIGHT SHIFT.

UNDER THE PRESENT REGULATIONS, EMPLOYEES WORKING THE 4:00 P.M. TO MIDNIGHT SHIFT, AND 11:30 P.M. TO 7:30 A.M. SHIFT, ARE ALLOWED 6 CENTS PER HOUR IN ADDITION TO THEIR SCHEDULED RATE OF PAY, FOR WORK BETWEEN 6:00 P.M. AND 7:00 A.M. ONLY, AND ONLY TO THE EXTENT OF FORTY HOURS IN ANY ONE WEEK. THUS, AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS ASSIGNED TO THE REGULAR SHIFT FROM 4:00 P.M. TO MIDNIGHT AND WHO WORKS ON THAT SHIFT EIGHT HOURS EACH DAY FROM MONDAY TO FRIDAY IS PAID FOR TWO HOURS EACH DAY AT THE DAY RATE AND SIX HOURS EACH DAY AT THE NIGHT RATE, MAKING A TOTAL OF TEN HOURS AT THE DAY RATE AND THIRTY HOURS AT THE NIGHT RATE FOR THE 40 HOUR TOUR; AND, SIMILARLY, AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS ASSIGNED TO THE REGULAR SHIFT FROM 11:30 P.M. TO 7:30 A.M. AND WHO WORKS ON THAT SHIFT EIGHT HOURS A DAY FROM MONDAY TO FRIDAY IS PAID FOR ONE-HALF HOUR EACH DAY AT THE DAY RATE AND SEVEN AND ONE-HALF HOURS EACH DAY AT THE NIGHT RATE, MAKING A TOTAL OF TWO AND ONE-HALF HOURS AT THE DAY RATE AND THIRTY-SEVEN AND ONE-HALF HOURS AT THE NIGHT RATE FOR THE 40-HOUR TOUR.

FROM THE ABOVE IT WILL BE SEEN THAT THE EMPLOYEES ON EACH OF THE TWO NIGHT SHIFTS WHOSE OVERTIME COMPENSATION WOULD BE ADJUSTED PURSUANT TO YOUR DECISIONS ARE PAID FOR THE REGULAR 40-HOUR TOUR AT TWO DIFFERENT RATES OF PAY, ONE DAY RATE FOR THE PORTION OF EACH NIGHT SHIFT NOT BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 6:00 P.M. AND 7:00 A.M. YOUR DECISION STATED THAT THE OVERTIME RATE OF TIME AND ONE-HALF FOR WORK IN ADDITION TO THE REGULAR 40- HOUR TOUR OF DUTY MUST BE COMPUTED ON THE BASIC RATE RECEIVED DURING SAID REGULAR TOUR.

QUESTION 1. IN VIEW OF THE TWO RATES APPLICABLE DURING THE REGULAR 40- HOUR TOUR OF DUTY ON EACH OF THE TWO NIGHT SHIFTS INVOLVED, UNDER REGULATIONS ESTABLISHING A NIGHT DIFFERENTIAL FOR WORK BETWEEN 6:00 P.M. AND 7:00 A.M. ONLY, YOUR ADVICE IS REQUESTED AS TO THE BASIC RATE OR RATES TO BE USED IN COMPUTING OVERTIME PAY IN THE CASE OF EMPLOYEES AFFECTED WHO WORK REGULARLY EIGHT HOURS PER DAY FROM MONDAY TO FRIDAY ON THE 4:00 P.M. TO MIDNIGHT SHIFT OR ON THE 11:30 P.M. TO 7:30 A.M. SHIFT AND (A) WHO WORK EIGHT HOURS' OVERTIME ON SATURDAY FROM 4:00 P.M. TO MIDNIGHT, OR FROM 11:30 P.M. TO 7:30 A.M., AS THE CASE MAY BE, OR (B) WHO OTHERWISE WORK OVERTIME DURING HOURS AFTER 7:00 A.M. FOLLOWING, WITH OR WITHOUT A BREAK, THE COMPLETION OF THE 11:30 P.M. TO :30 A.M. SHIFT.

QUESTION 2. IN MAKING RETROACTIVE ADJUSTMENTS IN CASES OF EMPLOYEES STILL IN SERVICE, IS THE TEN-YEAR LIMITATION PERIOD PRESCRIBED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, 54 STAT. 1061, 31 U.S.C. 71A, APPLICABLE, AND IF IT IS, IN WHAT MANNER IS THE TEN-YEAR PERIOD TO BE COMPUTED IN VIEWOF THE FACT THAT INDIVIDUAL CLAIMS FILED WITH THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE AS CONTEMPLATED BY THE SAID STATUTE ARE APPARENTLY NOT TO BE REQUIRED IN CASES OF EMPLOYEES STILL IN SERVICE? IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE TEN-YEAR LIMITATION WILL APPLY IN CASES OF CLAIMS FILED BY PERSONS NO LONGER IN SERVICE.

YOUR EARLY DECISION ON THE ABOVE QUESTIONS WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.

YOU ARE CORRECT IN YOUR UNDERSTANDING THAT THE RULES STATED IN THE DECISIONS CITED IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER ARE APPLICABLE, ALSO, TO SUCH EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL AS ARE SUBJECT TO THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, 48 STAT. 522, FOR WHOM A NIGHT DIFFERENTIAL HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED. ALSO, SEE 24 COMP. GEN. 189.

SINCE IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT THE ESTABLISHMENT, FOR EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL, OF TWO BASIC RATES FOR DIFFERENT PORTIONS OF THE TWO NIGHT SHIFTS DESCRIBED IN YOUR LETTER--- BOTH OF WHICH INCLUDE A DAY RATE FOR THAT PORTION WORKED WITHIN THE PERIOD FIXED FOR THE DAY SHIFT--- WERE IN ACCORDANCE WITH "A PROVISION IN THE SCHEDULE OF WAGES FOR CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT," DATED JANUARY 1, 1924, IT IS DEEMED PROPER TO CALL TO YOUR ATTENTION THE FACT THAT AT PRESENT, AT LEAST, THE NAVY DEPARTMENT DOES NOT PAY TWO DIFFERENT BASIC RATES FOR DIFFERENT PORTIONS OF THE SAME SHIFT, BUT HAS ESTABLISHED ONE BASIC RATE--- EITHER THE DAYTIME RATE OR THE NIGHTTIME RATE--- FOR ONE ENTIRE SHIFT COVERING A PORTION OF THE DAYTIME AND A PORTION OF THE NIGHTTIME. SEE CIRCULAR LETTER OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 26, 1944) CPL AND D-44-419 F), AND AND CIRCULARS OF THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, NAVY DEPARTMENT, DATED SEPTEMBER 29, 1944 (L16-4 (19) ( AXA), ONE COVERING EMPLOYEES "WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES" AND THE OTHER COVERING EMPLOYEES "OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES.' ALSO, REFERENCE IS MADE TO WAR DEPARTMENT CIVILIAN PERSONNEL CIRCULAR NO. 99, DATED AUGUST 18, 1944, CONTAINING THE FOLLOWING ULE:

E. IN ALL CASES WHERE THE WAR DEPARTMENT WAGE ADMINISTRATION AGENCY APPROVES A NIGHT DIFFERENTIAL, THE RESULTING NIGHT RATE MAY BE AUTHORIZED FOR PAYMENT ON ANY ESTABLISHED SHIFT HALF OR MORE OF WHICH OCCURS AFTER 6 O-CLOCK POST MERIDIAN OR BEFORE 6 O-CLOCK ANTEMERIDIAN.

I HAVE HAD NO OCCASION TO GIVE OFFICIAL CONSIDERATION TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT OR WAR DEPARTMENT CIRCULARS, SUPRA, IN CONNECTION WITH THE SETTLEMENT OF THE NUMEROUS CLAIMS COVERING PAST PERIODS WHICH HAVE ARISEN UNDER THE RULES STATED IN THE CITED DECISIONS. OF COURSE, THIS OFFICE HAS NO AUTHORITY TO REQUIRE YOU TO ADOPT ONE BASIC RATE FOR ONE ENTIRE SHIFT (SEE 24 COMP. GEN. 39, WHEREIN IT WAS STATED AT PAGE 43,"WAGE BOARDS OR OTHER WAGE-FIXING AUTHORITIES MAY HAVE DISCRETION IN FIXING BASIC RATES OF COMPENSATION FOR ANY TRADE OR OCCUPATION COMING WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE LAW FOR ANY PORTION OF THE TWENTY-FOUR HOURS AND MAY OR MAY NOT ESTABLISH A NIGHT DIFFERENTIAL)," BUT SINCE IT APPEARS THAT YOU MAY HAVE BASED THE RATES FOR THE PANAMA CANAL EMPLOYEES UPON THOSE PREVIOUSLY ESTABLISHED BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT, IT MAY BE THAT YOU WILL WISH TO ADJUST THE RATES APPLICABLE IN THE CANAL ZONE TO THE BASIS NOW CURRENTLY APPLICABLE IN THE NAVY DEPARTMENT.

HOWEVER, BASED UPON THE TERMS OF THE EXISTING REGULATIONS OF THE PANAMA CANAL AS REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY OTHER RULE, THE BASIC RATE FOR THE TWO "SPLIT" SHIFTS MENTIONED IN YOUR LETTER, MAY BE DETERMINED BY COMPUTING THE TOTAL BASIC COMPENSATION EARNED DURING THE ENTIRE REGULAR WEEKLY TOUR OF DUTY OF 40 HOURS--- ADDING THE AMOUNT EARNED AT THE DAYTIME RATE TO THE AMOUNT EARNED AT THE NIGHTTIME RATE (INCLUDING DIFFERENTIAL/--- WHICH AMOUNT SHOULD BE DIVIDED BY 40 TO DETERMINE THE HOURLY BASIC RATE FOR THE ENTIRE SHIFT FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING OVERTIME COMPENSATION FOR OVERTIME SERVICES AT THE RATE OF NOT LESS THAN TIME AND A HALF, REGARDLESS OF WHEN THE OVERTIME SERVICE IS PERFORMED. THAT VIEW FINDS SUPPORT IN 152 A.L.R. 1032, 1034, UNDER THE ANNOTATION CAPTIONED,"MATTERS RELATING TO "REGULAR RATE" WITHIN PROVISION," INVOLVING OVERTIME PAY UNDER THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT. QUESTIONS 1 (A) AND (B) ARE ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.

THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, 54 STAT. 1061, PROVIDES:

THAT EVERY CLAIM OR DEMAND (EXCEPT A CLAIM OR DEMAND BY ANY STATE, TERRITORY, POSSESSION OR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA) AGAINST THE UNITED STATES COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE UNDER SECTION 305 OF THE BUDGET AND ACCOUNTING ACT OF JUNE 10, 1921 (42 STAT. 24), AND THE ACT OF APRIL 10, 1928 (45 STAT. 413), SHALL BE FOREVER BARRED UNLESS SUCH CLAIM, BEARING THE SIGNATURE AND ADDRESS OF THE CLAIMANT OR OF AN AUTHORIZED AGENT OR ATTORNEY, SHALL BE RECEIVED IN SAID OFFICE WITHIN TEN FULL YEARS AFTER THE DATE SUCH CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED: PROVIDED, THAT WHEN A CLAIM OF ANY PERSON SERVING IN THE MILITARY OR NAVAL FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES ACCRUES IN TIME OF WAR, OR WHEN WAR INTERVENES WITHIN FIVE YEARS AFTER ITS ACCRUAL, SUCH CLAIM MAY BE PRESENTED WITHIN FIVE YEARS AFTER PEACE IS ESTABLISHED.

SEC. 2. WHENEVER ANY CLAIM BARRED BY SECTION 1 SHALL BE RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, IT SHALL BE RETURNED TO THE CLAIMANT, WITH A COPY OF THIS ACT, AND SUCH ACTION SHALL BE A COMPLETE RESPONSE WITHOUT FURTHER COMMUNICATION. (ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

IN DECISION OF JULY 20, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 39, IT WAS STATED (AT PAGE 43) AS FOLLOWS:

THE RULE STATED IN THE DECISION OF JUNE 17, 1944, AND CONFIRMED IN THE ANSWER TO QUESTION 1, DOES NOT CHANGE OR MODIFY ANY PREVIOUS RULING BY THIS OFFICE ON THE QUESTION, BUT CONSTITUTES AN ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTION OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, AND, ACCORDINGLY, IS TO BE REGARDED AS EFFECTIVE ON AND AFTER THE DATE OF THE STATUTE, AND AS AFFECTING ALL ACCOUNTS NOT SO ADJUSTED SINCE THAT DATE. 12 COMP. DEC. 745; JUNE 17, 1944, ITSELF INVOLVED A PERIOD PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE DECISION. IN VIEW OF THE LACK OF UNIFORMITY IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICE OVER A LONG PERIOD REGARDING THE MATTER INVOLVED--- BOTH IN THE WAR DEPARTMENT ITSELF AND AMONG THE SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT ADMINISTERING THE 1934 STATUTE--- THIS OFFICE FINDS NO PROPER BASIS UPON WHICH TO NEGATIVE THE CLAIMS OF CERTAIN GROUPS OF EMPLOYEES FOR SHORT PAYMENTS OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION OVER PAST PERIODS ON THE BASIS OF THE EXISTING ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICE, AS YOU SUGGEST, OR BECAUSE OF THE WORK THAT MAY BE INVOLVED IN PROCESSING THE CLAIMS, AND AT THE SAME TIME NOT QUESTION SIMILAR PAYMENTS TO OTHER GROUPS OF EMPLOYEES PAID UNDER A DIFFERENT ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICE. CF. 20 COMP. GEN. 53. AS HAVING AN IMPORTANT BEARING UPON THAT POINT, REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE CASE OF UNITED STATES V. MYERS, 320 U.S. 561, WHEREIN THE COURT ALLOWED OVERTIME COMPENSATION CONTRARY TO A LONG EXISTING ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICE AND A DECISION OF THIS OFFICE FOR WORK PERFORMED BE CERTAIN CUSTOMS EMPLOYEES ON SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS OVER A LONG RETROACTIVE PERIOD, AND TO THE ACT OF JUNE 3, 1944, 58 STAT. 269, PUBLIC LAW 328, APPROPRIATING FUNDS WITH WHICH TO PAY SUCH CLAIMS. ACCORDINGLY, QUESTION 2 IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE AS TO EMPLOYEES NOW IN THE SERVICE. WITH REGARD TO EMPLOYEES NOT NOW IN THE SERVICE, NO ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN UNLESS AND UNTIL A CLAIM OVER THE SIGNATURE OF THE FORMER EMPLOYEE SHALL HAVE BEEN FILED. AS TO THE PROCEDURE FOR FOLLOWING IN SUCH CLASS OF CASES SEE DECISION OF JULY 4, 1944, B 42776, 24 COMP. GEN. 9, TO THE WAR FOOD ADMINISTRATOR.

WHILE IT WAS SAID IN THAT DECISION THT THE RULE STATED IN THE DECISION OF JUNE 17, 1944, AFFECTED ALL ACCOUNTS NOT ADJUSTED SINCE MARCH 28, 1934, AND THAT THERE WAS NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE MAKING PAYMENTS OF THE ADJUSTED ACCOUNTS WHEN THE EMPLOYEES AFFECTED BY THE DECISION OF JUNE 17, 1944, WERE STILL IN THE SERVICE, THERE WAS NO INTENTION THEREBY TO SANCTION ANY DISREGARD OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, SUPRA, OR TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT ADMINISTRATIVELY OF CLAIMS FOR WHICH THERE IS NO APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE. AS CLAIMS OF THOSE EMPLOYEES AFFECTED WHO ARE STILL IN THE SERVICE ARE ,COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE" (QUOTING FROM THE 1940 STATUTE) UNDER SECTION 305 OF THE BUDGET AND ACCOUNTING ACT OF JUNE 10, 1921, 42 STAT. 24--- ONE OF THE STATUTES MENTIONED IN THE SAID ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940- - THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR MAKING ANY SUCH PAYMENTS ADMINISTRATIVELY WHICH COULD NOT BE MADE UNDER A SETTLEMENT BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNT OFFICE WITHIN THE LIMITATION PRESCRIBED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940. COMPARE DECISION OF JUNE 28, 1944, B-42638, TO YOU. ACCORDINGLY, IN ANSWER TO QUESTION 2, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUSTMENTS BE LIMITED TO THE PERIOD OF THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR BEGINNING JULY 1, 1944, OR, AT LEAST, TO CASES IN WHICH NO PERIOD COVERED BY THE CLAIM EXTENDS BACK MORE THAN TEN YEARS FROM THE DATE ACTUAL PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM CAN BE EFFECTED WHERE THERE IS AN AVAILABLE APPROPRIATION FOR SUCH PAYMENT. AND, AS AN AID IN THIS CONNECTION, IT MAY BE SUGGESTED THAT THE PANAMA CANAL SHOULD NOT, IN ANY EVENT, UNDERTAKE TO ADJUST THE CLAIM OF ANY SUCH EMPLOYEE WHO ENTERED THE SERVICE PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 1936--- ALL SUCH EMPLOYEES BEING LEFT TO FILE THEIR CLAIMS IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.