B-6040, SEPTEMBER 29, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 407

B-6040: Sep 29, 1939

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- EVEN THOUGH HIS BASIC SALARY IS REDUCED AFTER THAT DATE BECAUSE OF A REDUCTION IN THE LENGTH OF HIS ROUTE. THE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION MAY BE CONTINUED AT THE SAME RATE IN CASE OR IN A CASE WHERE THE BASIC SALARY IS INCREASED AFTER JANUARY 1. IF IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE CONDITIONS EXISTING PRIOR TO JANUARY 1. ON WHICH IT WAS THEN ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE CARRIER WAS SERVING A HEAVILY PATRONIZED ROUTE. 1939: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 15. THE POSTMASTER GENERAL WAS GIVEN DISCRETIONARY POWER TO ALLOW AND PAY SUCH ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION AS HE MIGHT DETERMINE TO BE FAIR AND REASONABLE TO RURAL CARRIERS SERVING HEAVILY PATRONIZED ROUTES NOT EXCEEDING THIRTY- EIGHT MILES IN LENGTH.

B-6040, SEPTEMBER 29, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 407

POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT - RURAL MAIL CARRIERS - ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR "HEAVILY PATRONIZED" ROUTES - EFFECT OF BASIC COMPENSATION CHANGES THE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION GRANTED UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1938, 52 STAT. 1205, TO A RURAL MAIL CARRIER FOR SERVING A HEAVILY PATRONIZED ROUTE MAY NOT BE INCREASED AFTER JANUARY 1, 1940--- IN VIEW OF THE PROHIBITION IN THE ACT AGAINST SUCH INCREASE--- EVEN THOUGH HIS BASIC SALARY IS REDUCED AFTER THAT DATE BECAUSE OF A REDUCTION IN THE LENGTH OF HIS ROUTE, BUT THE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION MAY BE CONTINUED AT THE SAME RATE IN CASE OR IN A CASE WHERE THE BASIC SALARY IS INCREASED AFTER JANUARY 1, 1940, BECAUSE OF AN INCREASE IN THE LENGTH OF THE CARRIER'S ROUTE, IF IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE CONDITIONS EXISTING PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 1940, ON WHICH IT WAS THEN ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE CARRIER WAS SERVING A HEAVILY PATRONIZED ROUTE, STILL EXIST AFTER THAT DATE ON THE SAME ROUTE REDUCED OR INCREASED IN LENGTH.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, SEPTEMBER 29, 1939:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1939, AS FOLLOWS:

BY THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1938 ( PUBLIC 749), THE POSTMASTER GENERAL WAS GIVEN DISCRETIONARY POWER TO ALLOW AND PAY SUCH ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION AS HE MIGHT DETERMINE TO BE FAIR AND REASONABLE TO RURAL CARRIERS SERVING HEAVILY PATRONIZED ROUTES NOT EXCEEDING THIRTY- EIGHT MILES IN LENGTH, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT IN NO CASE THE TOTAL COMPENSATION FOR A HEAVILY PATRONIZED ROUTE OF THIRTY-EIGHT MILES OR LESS SHOULD EXCEED $2,100 PER ANNUM EXCLUSIVE OF MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE, AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT NO ADDITIONAL INCREASES SHOULD BE ALLOWED AFTER JANUARY 1, 1940.

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

A CARRIER SERVING A ROUTE THIRTY-FOUR MILES IN LENGTH RECEIVING A SALARY OF $1,880 PER ANNUM IS GRANTED AN ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCE OF $220 PER ANNUM, BRINGING HIS COMPENSATION UP TO THE MAXIMUM OF $2,100 PROVIDED IN THE ABOVE ACT. SHOULD THE LENGTH OF HIS ROUTE BE REDUCED TO THIRTY-THREE MILES AFTER JANUARY 1, 1940, RESULTING IN A REDUCTION OF HIS BASIC SALARY TO $1,860 PER ANNUM, WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE FOR THE DEPARTMENT TO INCREASE THE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION ALLOWANCE FROM $220 TO $240 PER ANNUM, THEREBY MAINTAINING HIS SALARY AT $2,100 PER ANNUM? IF THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION IS IN THE NEGATIVE, WOULD IT BE PROPER TO CONTINUE THE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION ALLOWANCE AT $220 PER ANNUM DESPITE THE REDUCTION IN THE CARRIER'S BASIC SALARY?

A CARRIER SERVING A ROUTE TWENTY-EIGHT MILES IN LENGTH AND RECEIVING A BASIC SALARY OF $1,740 PER ANNUM IS ALLOWED $200 EXTRA COMPENSATION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE ACT. IN THE EVENT THE LENGTH OF HIS ROUTE SHOULD BE INCREASED TO THIRTY MILES AFTER JANUARY 1, 1940, WHEREBY HIS BASIC SALARY IS INCREASED TO $1,800 PER ANNUM, WOULD IT BE PROPER TO CONTINUE THE ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCE OF $200 PER ANNUM, THEREBY INCREASING TOTAL COMPENSATION TO $2,000 PER ANNUM?

THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 8 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1934, 48 STAT. 1212, AND THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1938, 52 STAT. 1205, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THE SALARY OF CARRIERS IN THE RURAL MAIL DELIVERY SERVICE FOR SERVING A RURAL ROUTE OF THIRTY MILES SIX DAYS A WEEK SHALL BE $1,800; ON ROUTES LESS THAN THIRTY MILES, $60 PER MILE PER ANNUM FOR EACH MILE OR MAJOR FRACTION THEREOF. THE POSTMASTER GENERAL MAY, IN HIS DISCRETION, ALLOW AND PAY SUCH ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION AS HE MAY DETERMINE TO BE FAIR AND REASONABLE IN EACH INDIVIDUAL CASE TO RURAL LETTER CARRIERS SERVING HEAVILY PATRONIZED ROUTES NOT EXCEEDING THIRTY EIGHT MILES IN LENGTH: PROVIDED, THAT IN NO CASE SHALL THE TOTAL COMPENSATION OF A RURAL LETTER CARRIER SERVING A HEAVILY PATRONIZED ROUTE OF THIRTY-EIGHT MILES OR LESS IN LENGTH EXCEED $2,100 PER ANNUM, EXCLUSIVE OF MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE POSTMASTER GENERAL SHALL REPORT TO THE COMMITTEES ON POST OFFICES AND POST ROADS OF THE TWO HOUSES THE NUMBER AND NAMES OF THE ROUTES, ON WHICH THESE INCREASES SHALL BE MADE, BY JANUARY 1, 1940, AFTER WHICH DATE NO FURTHER INCREASES SHALL BE MADE. EACH RURAL CARRIER ASSIGNED TO A ROUTE SERVED SIX DAYS IN A WEEK SHALL RECEIVE $20 PER MILE PER ANNUM FOR EACH MILE OR MAJOR FRACTION THEREOF SAID ROUTE IS IN EXCESS OF THIRTY MILES, BASED ON ACTUAL MILEAGE, AND EACH RURAL CARRIER ASSIGNED TO A ROUTE SERVED THREE DAYS IN THE WEEK SHALL RECEIVE $10 PER MILE PER ANNUM FOR EACH MILE OR MAJOR FRACTION THEREOF SAID ROUTE IS IN EXCESS OF THIRTY MILES, BASED ON ACTUAL MILEAGE.

IN DECISION OF FEBRUARY 1, 1939, B-739, IT WAS STATED:

PRIOR TO THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1938, SUPRA, THE BASIC COMPENSATION OF RURAL CARRIERS WAS AUTHORIZED TO BE FIXED ON THE LENGTH OF THE ROUTE AND THE NUMBER OF TIMES PER WEEK THE ROUTE WAS CARRIED. THE AMENDMENT OF JUNE 25, 1938, DID NOT GRANT AN ALLOWANCE OR BONUS IN ADDITION TO BASIC COMPENSATION, BUT SIMPLY ADDED ANOTHER FACTOR FOR CONSIDERATION IN FIXING THE BASIC COMPENSATION OF RURAL CARRIERS SERVING A ROUTE NOT EXCEEDING 38 MILES IN LENGTH. SEE SENATE REPORT NO. 1877 ON H.R. 3610, 75TH CONGRESS, WHICH STATES THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE BILL (NOW THE ACT OF JUNE 25, 1938) IS TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR RURAL LETTER CARRIERS SERVING SHORT, HEAVILY PATRONIZED ROUTES. THE STATUTE SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATES THE PAYMENT TO BE MADE IN ACCORDANCE THEREWITH AS "ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION" AND FIXES JANUARY 1, 1940, AS THE DATE OF FINAL ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUSTMENTS IN THE RATES OF COMPENSATION OF RURAL CARRIERS UNDER THE ACT. * * *

ANY INCREASE IN THE COMPENSATION OF A RURAL CARRIER UNDER THE AMENDMENT OF JUNE 25, 1938, BASED ON THE FACT THAT HE IS SERVING A HEAVILY PATRONIZED ROUTE MUST BE MADE PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 1940. THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN PRIOR TO THAT DATE FIXING THE AMOUNT OF THE LUMP-SUM INCREASE OR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION UNDER SAID STATUTE IS FINAL AND THE AMOUNT THEREOF MAY NOT BE INCREASED AFTER JANUARY 1, 1940, BUT THERE IS NO INHIBITION AGAINST DECREASING THE AMOUNT OF THE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION AFTER JANUARY 1, 1940, ON ANY ROUTE.

WHILE APPLICATION OF THE STATUTE TO A ROUTE WHICH REDUCED OR INCREASED IN LENGTH AFTER JANUARY 1, 1940, IS NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR, IT REASONABLY MAY BE CONCLUDED IN SUCH CASES THAT THE SAME AMOUNT OF ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR SERVING A HEAVILY PATRONIZED ROUTE MAY CONTINUE TO BE PAID AFTER JANUARY 1, 1940, IF IT BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE CONDITIONS EXISTING PRIOR TO THAT DATE ON WHICH IT WAS THEN ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE CARRIER WAS SERVING A HEAVILY PATRONIZED ROUTE STILL EXIST AFTER THAT DATE ON THE SAME ROUTE REDUCED OR INCREASED IN LENGTH.

IN THE CASE FIRST PRESENTED, SUPRA, THE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR SERVING A HEAVILY PATRONIZED ROUTE MAY NOT BE INCREASED FROM $220 TO $240 PER ANNUM AFTER JANUARY 1, 1940, BUT IT MAY BE CONTINUED AT THE RATE OF $220 PER ANNUM NOTWITHSTANDING THE REDUCTION IN THE REGULAR COMPENSATION OF THE ROUTE FROM $1,880 TO $1,860 PER ANNUM.

IN THE SECOND CASE PRESENTED, THE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR SERVING A HEAVILY PATRONIZED ROUTE AT THE RATE OF $200 PER ANNUM MAY BE CONTINUED AFTER JANUARY 1, 1940, NOTWITHSTANDING THE INCREASE IN THE REGULAR COMPENSATION FROM $1,740 TO $1,800 PER ANNUM.