B-78005, JULY 14, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 21

B-78005: Jul 14, 1948

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EVEN THOUGH SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED BY THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT. 1948: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 1. APPLY TO THE EMPLOYEES OF THIS COMMISSION WHOSE SALARIES ARE PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED IN THE 1949 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT. " IT IS OUR VIEW THAT THE EMPLOYEES OF THIS COMMISSION PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT FOR 1949. ARE NOT "IN OR UNDER THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT. " BECAUSE THIS COMMISSION IS AN INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT OF THE UNITED STATES DIRECTLY UNDER THE PRESIDENT. YOU WILL RECALL THAT THE ACT APPROVED APRIL 30. CREATING THE COMMISSION PROVIDES FOR ITS MEMBERSHIP AS FOLLOWS: "THERE IS HEREBY CONSTITUTED A COMMISSION TO BE KNOWN AS THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK AND PLANNING COMMISSION.

B-78005, JULY 14, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 21

COMPENSATION - RATES - INCREASES UNDER POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948 - NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK AND PLANNING COMMISSION EMPLOYEES THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 304 OF THE POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948, EXCLUDING EMPLOYEES "IN OR UNDER THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA" FROM THE BENEFITS OF THE SALARY INCREASE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT, DO NOT PRECLUDE PAYMENT OF THE SALARY INCREASE TO EMPLOYEES OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK AND PLANNING COMMISSION, EVEN THOUGH SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED BY THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT, 1949.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK AND PLANNING COMMISSION, JULY 14, 1948:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 1, 1948, AS FOLLOWS.

I RESPECTFULLY REQUEST CONFIRMATION OF THE OPINION OF THIS COMMISSION THAT THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW (ENROLLED ACT ( H.R. 69161) GRANTING INCREASES IN SALARIES TO FULL TIME CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES BEGINNING JULY 1, 1948, APPLY TO THE EMPLOYEES OF THIS COMMISSION WHOSE SALARIES ARE PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED IN THE 1949 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT, AS WELL AS TO THOSE PAID FROM FEDERAL APPROPRIATIONS.

ALTHOUGH SECTION 304 OF THE AFORESAID PAY INCREASE ACT EXCEPTS CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEES "IN OR UNDER THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA," IT IS OUR VIEW THAT THE EMPLOYEES OF THIS COMMISSION PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT FOR 1949, ARE NOT "IN OR UNDER THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT," BECAUSE THIS COMMISSION IS AN INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT OF THE UNITED STATES DIRECTLY UNDER THE PRESIDENT.

YOU WILL RECALL THAT THE ACT APPROVED APRIL 30, 1926, CREATING THE COMMISSION PROVIDES FOR ITS MEMBERSHIP AS FOLLOWS:

"THERE IS HEREBY CONSTITUTED A COMMISSION TO BE KNOWN AS THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK AND PLANNING COMMISSION, COMPOSED OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS OF THE ARMY, THE ENGINEER COMMISSIONER OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, THE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, THE CHIEF OF THE FOREST SERVICE, THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PUBLIC PARKS OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL, THE CHAIRMEN OF THE COMMITTEES ON THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND FOUR EMINENT CITIZENS WELL QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED IN CITY PLANNING, ONE AND FOUR EMINENT CITIZENS WELL QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED IN CITY PLANNING, ONE OF WHOM SHALL BE A BONA FIDE RESIDENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, TO BE APPOINTED FOR THE TERM OF SIX YEARS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.'

AS TO THE EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONNEL THE ACT PROVIDES:

"THE SAID COMMISSION IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO EMPLOY THE NECESSARY PERSONAL SERVICES, INCLUDING THE PERSONAL SERVICES OF A DIRECTOR OF PLANNING AND OTHER EXPERT CITY PLANNERS, SUCH AS ENGINEERS, ARCHITECTS, AND LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS.'

ACTING UNDER THIS AUTHORITY THE COMMISSION HAS EMPLOYED ALL OF ITS PRESENT PERSONNEL AND ALL OF THEM ARE CLASSIFIED UNDER THE U.S. CIVIL SERVICE.

THIS INTERPRETATION IS CONFIRMED BY RULINGS RENDERED BY YOUR OFFICE WHICH HELD THAT THIS COMMISSION IS A DEPARTMENTAL UNIT OR ESTABLISHMENT OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND AS SUCH THE EMPLOYEES OF THE COMMISSION ARE EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. YOUR OFFICE HAS ALSO REPEATEDLY HELD THAT EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ARE NOT EMPLOYEES OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA GOVERNMENT, AND VICE VERSA.

IN ALL BUDGET MATTERS, THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CLASSIFIES THIS COMMISSION AS A FEDERAL INDEPENDENT AGENCY.

THEREFORE, IT IS APPARENT THAT THE EMPLOYEES OF THIS COMMISSION ARE NOT "IN OR UNDER THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA" AND ARE ENTITLED TO THE INCREASE IN PAY GRANTED BY THE ABOVE-MENTIONED ACT AS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ACT. HOWEVER, IN ORDER TO AVOID ANY POSSIBILITY OF ERROR, THE MATTER IS SUBMITTED TO YOU FOR YOUR OFFICIAL OPINION.

AS OUR COMMISSION WILL BE MAKING ITS BI-WEEKLY PAYROLL IN A FEW DAYS, AN EARLY REPLY IS MOST RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED.

SECTION 304 OF THE POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948, PUBLIC LAW 900, APPROVED JULY 3, 1948, 62 STAT. 1268, PROVIDES:

SEC. 304. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT GRANTING AN INCREASE IN COMPENSATION TO EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES AND OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY EMPLOYEE IN OR UNDER THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PRIOR TO THE TIME THAT LEGISLATION PROVIDING ADEQUATE REVENUES TO MEET THE OBLIGATION IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS ENACTED BY THE CONGRESS AND BECOMES EFFECTIVE.

AS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT SECTION SPECIFICALLY IS APPLICABLE ONLY TO EMPLOYEES "IN OR UNDER THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.' THERE HAS BEEN CAREFULLY EXAMINED THE ACT OF APRIL 30, 1926, 44 STAT. 374, PARTIALLY QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER--- WHICH CREATED THE EXISTING NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK AND PLANNING COMMISSION. NOTHING HAS BEEN FOUND IN THAT ACT OR ELSEWHERE WHICH WOULD WARRANT A CONCLUSION THAT EMPLOYEES OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK AND PLANNING COMMISSION ARE EMPLOYEES "IN OR UNDER THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.' THEREFORE IT IS CONCLUDED THAT NOTWITHSTANDING THAT SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED BY THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1949, THEY ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 304 OF THE ACT APPROVED JULY 3, 1948, WHICH SO FAR AS EMPLOYEES IN OR UNDER THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ARE CONCERNED POSTPONES THE DATE OF GRANTING THE INCREASE IN COMPENSATION UNTIL SUCH TIME AS LEGISLATION PROVIDING ADEQUATE REVENUES TO MEET THE OBLIGATION IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS ENACTED BY THE CONGRESS AND BECOMES EFFECTIVE.