B-78654, SEPTEMBER 16, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 175

B-78654: Sep 16, 1948

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AGAINST THE PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION TO AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE SALARY IS FIXED BY LAW. WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923. REQUESTING ADVANCE DECISION IN YOUR CAPACITY AS DISBURSING OFFICER AS TO WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON A VOUCHER COVERING THE CLAIM OF ALTON B. THE CLAIM IS MADE UPON THE BASIS OF REGULATIONS IN CHAPTER III. IS THE ABSENCE OF STATUTORY ENACTMENT. IS THAT THE EXPENSE OF MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT IS PERSONAL TO THE EMPLOYEE AND MAY NOT BE PAID FROM PUBLIC FUNDS. 22 COMP. WHEREIN APPROVAL WAS GIVEN TO PAYMENT OF THE EXPENSES OF SURGICAL TREATMENT AND HOSPITALIZATION OF A FIELD EMPLOYEE ENGAGED UPON FLOOD CONTROL WORK UNDER THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER COMMISSION PURSUANT TO ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION.

B-78654, SEPTEMBER 16, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 175

MEDICAL TREATMENT - PRIVATE - FIELD EMPLOYEES OF CORPS OF ENGINEERS IN VIEW OF THE PROHIBITION IN SECTION 1765, REVISED STATUTES, AGAINST THE PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION TO AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE SALARY IS FIXED BY LAW, A CIVILIAN FIELD EMPLOYEE OF THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED UNDER ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS FOR THE EXPENSE OF MEDICAL TREATMENT AND HOSPITALIZATION INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH AN EMERGENCY SURGICAL OPERATION. 3 COMP. GEN. 57, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO LT. COL. FRANK A. FERGUSON, U.S. ARMY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1948:

BY NINTH ENDORSEMENT DATED JULY 16, 1948 (REFERENCE ENGFA 201 CIV. HULL, ALTON B; JR.), THE OFFICE, CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, FORWARDED HERE FOR CONSIDERATION YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 9, 1948, FILE REFERENCE LMKFB 701, REQUESTING ADVANCE DECISION IN YOUR CAPACITY AS DISBURSING OFFICER AS TO WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON A VOUCHER COVERING THE CLAIM OF ALTON B. HULL, JR., FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF AMOUNTS WHICH HE PAID TO DR. J. B. HIRSCH AND THE KING'S DAUGHTERS HOSPITAL, GREENVILLE, MISS., IN CONNECTION WITH AN EMERGENCY APPENDECTOMY ON OCTOBER 21, 1947. APPARENTLY, THE CLAIM IS MADE UPON THE BASIS OF REGULATIONS IN CHAPTER III, PART II, SECTION 43, ORDERS AND REGULATIONS, CORPS OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY, WITH RESPECT TO MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL CARE FOR FIELD EMPLOYEES ON CIVIL WORKS.

THE GENERAL RULE, IS THE ABSENCE OF STATUTORY ENACTMENT, IS THAT THE EXPENSE OF MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT IS PERSONAL TO THE EMPLOYEE AND MAY NOT BE PAID FROM PUBLIC FUNDS. 22 COMP. GEN. 32, AND DECISIONS THEREIN CITED. AN EXCEPTION TO THE RULE HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED WHERE VALID REGULATIONS FORMING A PART OF THE EMPLOYEE'S CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT PROVIDE FOR SUCH TREATMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AS PART OF COMPENSATION. SEE, FOR EXAMPLE, DECISION OF JULY 27, 1923, 3 COMP. GEN. 57, WHEREIN APPROVAL WAS GIVEN TO PAYMENT OF THE EXPENSES OF SURGICAL TREATMENT AND HOSPITALIZATION OF A FIELD EMPLOYEE ENGAGED UPON FLOOD CONTROL WORK UNDER THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER COMMISSION PURSUANT TO ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION, SINCE, OTHERWISE, PAYMENT OF THE EXPENSE BY THE GOVERNMENT WOULD CONSTITUTE PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION, WHICH IS PROHIBITED BY SECTION 1765, REVISED STATUTES. WHERE THE COMPENSATION OF A FIELD EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMPENSATION SCHEDULES PRESCRIBED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, 42 STAT. 1488, AS AMENDED (SEE THE ACT OF DECEMBER 6, 1924, 43 STAT. 704; SEC. 3 OF THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1928, 45 STAT. 785; AND SEC. 2 OF THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1930, 46 STAT. 1005), THE EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE ACCORDED MEDICAL TREATMENT AND HOSPITALIZATION BENEFITS UNDER THE ABOVE-MENTIONED EXCEPTION. CF. 13 COMP. GEN. 390, 392.

WITH RESPECT TO THE PARTICULAR CASE UNDER CONSIDERATION, IT IS NOTED FROM THE COPY OF THE TRAVEL ORDER AND THE VOUCHER ACCOMPANYING YOUR LETTER THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S POSITION IS DESIGNATED AS ENGINEERING AIDE, SP-2, PRESUMABLY A POSITION THE COMPENSATION FOR WHICH IS FIXED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, SUPRA. ACCORDINGLY, THE EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS ENTITLED UNDER THE REGULATIONS TO PAYMENT FOR THE EXPENSES OF MEDICAL TREATMENT AND HOSPITALIZATION HERE CLAIMED, AND, THEREFORE, IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY INDICATION THAT PAYMENT OTHERWISE IS AUTHORIZED BY LAW, YOU MAY NOT MAKE PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER, WHICH, WITH THE ACCOMPANYING PAPERS, WILL BE RETAINED IN THIS OFFICE.