B-63173, FEBRUARY 14, 1947, 26 COMP. GEN. 595

B-63173: Feb 14, 1947

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WHICH MAY BE REGARDED AS THOUGH IT WERE CONTINUED BY SAID SECTION 14 WITH THE MODIFICATIONS CONTAINED IN SUCH SECTION. "WHICH WILL CLEARLY EFFECT A MATERIAL ECONOMY OR INCREASE EFFICIENCY IN THE ADMINISTRATION OR OPERATION OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT OR THE POSTAL SERVICE AND WHICH HAVE BEEN ADOPTED FOR USE.'. THIS LAW WAS REPEALED BY SECTION 14 OF PUBLIC LAW 600. VARIOUS SUGGESTIONS HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED BY POSTAL EMPLOYEES AND ADOPTED BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. CASH AWARDS HAVE NOT BEEN PAID TO SUCH EMPLOYEES. ALTHOUGH REGULATIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE PAYMENT THEREOF WERE PROMULGATED BY THE POSTMASTER GENERAL UNDER ORDER NO. 32480 OF AUGUST 19. THE POSTMASTER GENERAL'S ORDER IS PUBLISHED ON PAGE TWO OF THE POSTAL BULLETIN OF AUGUST 22.

B-63173, FEBRUARY 14, 1947, 26 COMP. GEN. 595

AWARDS - SUGGESTIONS - POSTAL EMPLOYEES CASH REWARDS MAY NOT BE PAID FOR SUGGESTIONS OF POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES ADOPTED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1946 PRIOR TO THE ACT OF DECEMBER 3, 1945, AUTHORIZING THE POSTMASTER GENERAL TO PAY REWARDS FOR SUGGESTIONS, THERE BEING NOTHING IN THE ACT, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, WHICH WOULD WARRANT ITS RETROACTIVE APPLICATION. THE ACT OF DECEMBER 3, 1945, RELATING TO CASH REWARDS FOR SUGGESTIONS OF POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT AND POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES--- ALTHOUGH REPEALED BY SECTION 14 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2, 1946, WHICH MAY BE REGARDED AS THOUGH IT WERE CONTINUED BY SAID SECTION 14 WITH THE MODIFICATIONS CONTAINED IN SUCH SECTION, AND, THEREFORE, PAYMENT PRESENTLY MAY BE MADE OF AWARDS MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS OF THE POSTMASTER GENERAL UNDER THE 1945 ACT ON ACCOUNT OF SUGGESTIONS ADOPTED ON OR AFTER DECEMBER 3, 1945, AND PRIOR TO AUGUST 2, 1946.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, FEBRUARY 14, 1947:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 20, 1947, REFERENCE 4, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ACT OF DECEMBER 3, 1945 ( PUBLIC LAW 240; SEVENTY-NINTH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION) AUTHORIZED THE POSTMASTER GENERAL "UNDER SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS HE MAY PRESCRIBE" TO PAY CASH REWARDS FOR INVENTIONS, SUGGESTIONS, OR SERIES OF SUGGESTIONS SUBMITTED BY POSTAL EMPLOYEES,"WHICH WILL CLEARLY EFFECT A MATERIAL ECONOMY OR INCREASE EFFICIENCY IN THE ADMINISTRATION OR OPERATION OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT OR THE POSTAL SERVICE AND WHICH HAVE BEEN ADOPTED FOR USE.' THIS LAW WAS REPEALED BY SECTION 14 OF PUBLIC LAW 600, APPROVED AUGUST 2, 1946.

VARIOUS SUGGESTIONS HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED BY POSTAL EMPLOYEES AND ADOPTED BY THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. HOWEVER, CASH AWARDS HAVE NOT BEEN PAID TO SUCH EMPLOYEES, ALTHOUGH REGULATIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE PAYMENT THEREOF WERE PROMULGATED BY THE POSTMASTER GENERAL UNDER ORDER NO. 32480 OF AUGUST 19, 1946, AMENDING SECTION 60 1/2 OF THE POSTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS OF 1940. THE POSTMASTER GENERAL'S ORDER IS PUBLISHED ON PAGE TWO OF THE POSTAL BULLETIN OF AUGUST 22, 1946, COPY HEREWITH.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE DEPARTMENT DID NOT COMPLETE PAYMENTS OF ANY AWARDS UNDER THE PROVISION OF PUBLIC LAW 240, SUPRA, DURING THE PERIOD IT WAS EFFECTIVE, AND IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 14 OF PUBLIC LAW 600, SUPRA, AN EARLY DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT MAY:

1. PAY AWARDS FOR SUGGESTIONS ADOPTED DURING THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1946, IF ADOPTED BEFORE DECEMBER 3, 1945, OR IF ADOPTED AFTER DECEMBER 3, 1945.

2. PAY AWARDS FOR SUGGESTIONS ADOPTED DURING FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1947, IF ADOPTED BEFORE AUGUST 2, 1946.

PUBLIC LAW 240, APPROVED DECEMBER 3, 1945, 59 STAT. 591, PROVIDES:

THAT THE POSTMASTER GENERAL IS AUTHORIZED, UNDER SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS HE MAY PRESCRIBE, TO PAY A CASH REWARD FOR ANY INVENTION, SUGGESTION, OR SERIES OF SUGGESTIONS SUBMITTED BY ONE OR MORE EMPLOYEES OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT OR THE POSTAL SERVICE, WHICH WILL CLEARLY EFFECT A MATERIAL ECONOMY OR INCREASE EFFICIENCY IN THE ADMINISTRATION OR OPERATION OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT OR THE POSTAL SERVICE, AND WHICH HAS BEEN ADOPTED FOR USE.

THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF REWARDS MADE UNDER THIS ACT IN ANY ONE FISCAL YEAR SHALL NOT EXCEED $25,000 AND THE AMOUNT SO PAID FOR ANY ONE INVENTION, SUGGESTION, OR SERIES OF SUGGESTIONS SHALL NOT EXCEED $1,000.

REWARDS MADE UNDER THIS ACT SHALL BE PAID OUT OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE POSTAL ACTIVITY PRIMARILY BENEFITING, OR MAY BE DISTRIBUTED AMONG APPROPRIATIONS FOR POSTAL ACTIVITIES BENEFITING, AS THE POSTMASTER GENERAL MAY DETERMINE. PAYMENTS SHALL BE IN ADDITION TO THE REGULAR COMPENSATION OF THE EMPLOYEE RECEIVING THE REWARD. NO EMPLOYEE SHALL BE PAID A REWARD UNDER THIS ACT UNTIL HE HAS PROPERLY EXECUTED AN AGREEMENT TO THE EFFECT THAT THE USE BY THE UNITED STATES OF THE INVENTION, SUGGESTION, OR SERIES OF SUGGESTIONS MADE BY HIM SHALL NOT FORM THE BASIS OF A FURTHER CLAIM OF ANY NATURE UPON THE UNITED STATES BY HIM, HIS HEIRS, OR ASSIGNS.

SECTION 14 OF PUBLIC LAW 600"APPROVED AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 809, PROVIDES:

"SEC. 14. THE HEAD OF EACH DEPARTMENT IS AUTHORIZED, UNDER SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE, TO PAY CASH AWARDS TO CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES (OR TO THEIR ESTATES) WHO MAKE MERITORIOUS SUGGESTIONS WHICH WILL RESULT IN IMPROVEMENT OR ECONOMY IN THE OPERATIONS OF HIS DEPARTMENT AND WHICH HAVE BEEN ADOPTED FOR USE AND TO INCUR NECESSARY EXPENSES FOR THE HONORARY RECOGNITION OF EXCEPTIONAL OR MERITORIOUS SERVICE: PROVIDED, THAT NO AWARD SHALL BE PAID TO ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE FOR ANY SUGGESTION WHICH REPRESENTS A PART OF THE NORMAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE DUTIES OF HIS POSITION. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE WAR AND NAVY DEPARTMENTS, THE AMOUNT OF ANY ONE AWARD SHALL NOT EXCEED $1,000 AND THE TOTAL OF CASH AWARDS PAID DURING ANY FISCAL YEAR IN ANY DEPARTMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED $25,000. PAYMENTS MAY BE MADE FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE ACTIVITY PRIMARILY BENEFITING OR MAY BE DISTRIBUTED AMONG APPROPRIATIONS FOR ACTIVITIES BENEFITING AS THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT DETERMINES. A CASH AWARD SHALL BE IN ADDITION TO THE REGULAR COMPENSATION OF THE RECIPIENT AND THE ACCEPTANCE OF SUCH CASH AWARD SHALL CONSTITUTE AN AGREEMENT THAT THE USE BY THE UNITED STATES OF THE SUGGESTION FOR WHICH THE AWARD IS MADE SHALL NOT FORM THE BASIS OF A FURTHER CLAIM OF ANY NATURE UPON THE UNITED STATES BY HIM, HIS HEIRS, OR ASSIGNS.

ALL OTHER ACTS OR PARTS OF ACTS IN CONFLICT WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION ARE HEREBY REPEALED.

AS A GENERAL RULE STATUTES APPLY ONLY TO FUTURE CASES UNLESS OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY STATED OR ITS APPEARS BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION THAT A RETROACTIVE EFFECT WAS INTENDED. 25 COMP. GEN. 774, 777; 22 ID. 704, 705; 21 ID. 870; 16 ID. 1051, 1054, AND CASES THEREIN CITED. ALSO, IN GENERAL, WHERE A STATUTE IS REPEALED, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED, AND AS TO RIGHTS AND INTERESTS THAT HAVE ACCRUED UNDER IT AND HAVE BECOME VESTED AND TRANSACTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN COMPLETED, IT CEASES TO EXIST AND NO PROCEEDING WHICH IS DEPENDENT UPON ITS PROVISION CAN BE TAKEN. HOWEVER, WHERE A STATUTE IS REPEALED AND WHERE, IN THE SAME ACT REPEALING THE PRIOR ACT, THE PROVISIONS OF SAID PRIOR ACT ARE SUBSTANTIALLY REENACTED, IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT THIS LATTER RULE DOES NOT APPLY. SEE, FOR EXAMPLE, THE CASE OF BINGAMAN V. GOLDEN EAGLE WESTERN LINES, 297 U.S. 626, 628, IN WHICH THE COURT STATED IN EFFECT THAT WHERE THE TERMS OF AN EARLIER ACT ARE CARRIED INTO THE LATER ACT WITHOUT MATERIAL CHANGE, THE NEW ACT IS TO BE REGARDED AS A MERE CONTINUATION OF THE EARLIER ONE. ALSO, SEE POSADAS V. NATIONAL CITY BANK, 296 U.S. 497, 505, IN WHICH THE COURT STATED THAT EVEN IN THE FACE OF A REPEALING CLAUSE CIRCUMSTANCES MAY JUSTIFY THE CONCLUSION THAT A LATER ACT REPEATING PROVISIONS OF AN EARLIER ONE IS A CONTINUATION RATHER THAN AN ABROGATION AND REENACTMENT OF THE EARLIER ACT.

IN HOUSE REPORT 2186, 79TH CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION, ACCOMPANYING H.R. 6533, WHICH BECAME PUBLIC LAW 600, THE COMMITTEE ON EXPENDITURES IN THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS STATED WITH RESPECT TO SECTION 14 THEREOF:

SECTION 14. AWARDS FOR SUGGESTIONS.--- SECTION 14 IS INTENDED TO PROVIDE A UNIFORM GOVERNMENT-WIDE SYSTEM TO ENCOURAGE THE SUBMISSION BY EMPLOYEES OF SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENTS OR ECONOMIES IN THE OPERATIONS OF THEIR DEPARTMENTS AND TO SANCTION THE PAYMENT OF CASH AWARDS THEREFOR. SUCH PLANS NOW ARE AUTHORIZED FOR THE WAR DEPARTMENT, NAVY DEPARTMENT, MARITIME COMMISSION, WAR SHIPPING ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, AND POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. IN SOME OTHER AGENCIES IT IS THE PRACTICE TO GRANT TO AN EMPLOYEE SUBMITTING A MERITORIOUS SUGGESTION AN EXTRA, ONE- STEP, WITHIN-GRADE PROMOTION UNDER THE RAMSPECK-MEAD ACT OF 1941. SECTION 14 WOULD NOT INTEND TO DISPLACE THAT AUTHORITY, BUT IT WOULD SUPERSEDE THE SEVERAL PROVISIONS FOR CASH AWARDS ABOVE REFERRED TO SUBSTANTIALLY IN LINE WITH THE PRESENT LAWS, NO MONETARY LIMIT IS PROVIDED IN THE CASE OF THE WAR AND NAVY DEPARTMENTS, WHILE IN THE REMAINING DEPARTMENTS NO ONE AWARD MAY EXCEED $1,000 AND THE TOTAL EXCEED $25,000. IT IS SPECIFIED THAT THE SUGGESTIONS MUST BE MERITORIOUS, RESULT IN IMPROVEMENT OR ECONOMY AND BE ADOPTED FOR USE. NO PAYMENT IS TO BE ALLOWED WHERE THE MAKING OF THE SUGGESTION REPRESENTS A PART OF THE DUTIES OF THE EMPLOYEE'S POSITION; ALSO THE ACCEPTANCE OF AN AWARD WILL CONSTITUTE AN AGREEMENT WAIVING ANY FURTHER CLAIM UPON THE UNITED STATES FOR THE SUGGESTION. PAYMENTS ARE TO BE MADE FROM THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE ACTIVITIES BENEFITED.

SENATE REPORT NO. 1636, 79TH CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION, IS TO THE SAME EFFECT.

A COMPARISON OF PUBLIC LAW 240 AND SECTION 14 OF PUBLIC LAW 600 DISCLOSES THAT BOTH LEGISLATE UPON THE SAME GENERAL SUBJECT, EXCEPT THAT PUBLIC LAW 240 IS CONFINED TO EMPLOYEES OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT OR POSTAL SERVICE, WHEREAS SECTION 14 IS APPLICABLE TO CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES GENERALLY. IN SOME RESPECTS THEIR PROVISIONS ARE ALMOST IDENTICAL. FURTHER, IT IS APPARENT FROM THE COMMITTEE REPORT, SUPRA, THAT SECTION 14 WAS INTENDED TO SUPERSEDE OR TAKE THE PLACE OF PRIOR SIMILAR LAWS APPLICABLE TO SPECIFIC GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, INCLUDING THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, SECTION 14 OF PUBLIC LAW 600 MAY BE CONSIDERED AS THOUGH IT WERE A CONTINUATION OF PUBLIC LAW 240 WITH THE MODIFICATIONS CONTAINED IN SAID SECTION. CF. BEAR LAKE IRRIGATION COMPANY V. GARLAND, 164 U.S. 1, 11; STEAMSHIP COMPANY V. JOLIFFE, 2 WALL. 450, 459. HOWEVER, THERE IS NOTHING WHICH WOULD WARRANT A CONCLUSION, EITHER BY EXPRESS LANGUAGE OR BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION, THAT PUBLIC LAW 240 WAS INTENDED TO HAVE A RETROACTIVE EFFECT. THEREFORE, IT CAN HAVE NO APPLICATION TO SUGGESTIONS ADOPTED PRIOR TO DECEMBER 3, 1945, DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1946.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, THIS OFFICE WILL NOT OBJECT TO OTHERWISE PROPER PAYMENTS OF AWARDS MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR REGULATIONS ON ACCOUNT OF SUGGESTIONS ADOPTED ON OR AFTER DECEMBER 3, 1945, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF PUBLIC LAW 240, AND PRIOR TO AUGUST 2, 1946, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SECTION 14 OF PUBLIC LAW 600. AS TO SUGGESTIONS ADOPTED ON OR AFTER AUGUST 2, 1946, SEE " REGULATIONS GOVERNING AWARDS TO FEDERAL EMPLOYEES FOR MERITORIOUS SUGGESTIONS AND FOR EXCEPTIONAL OR MERITORIOUS SERVICE" PRESCRIBED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9817 OF DECEMBER 31, 1946, 12 F.R. 57. YOUR QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.