B-78701, JULY 30, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 73

B-78701: Jul 30, 1948

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

WHICH IS SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM. EVEN THOUGH A PART OF ITS FUNDS ARE PROVIDED BY AN APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OR THAT SAID FUNDS ARE DERIVED FROM THE GENERAL FUND OF THE DISTRICT. 1948: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 23. WHOSE SALARIES ARE PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 1949 APPROPRIATION ACT. (62 STAT. 556). " IT IS OUR VIEW THAT THE EMPLOYEES OF NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1949 ARE NOT "IN OR UNDER THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT. " BECAUSE NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS IS A FIELD SERVICE OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE OF THIS DEPARTMENT. IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ADMINISTRATION. 303 ACRES ARE LOCATED IN MARYLAND.

B-78701, JULY 30, 1948, 28 COMP. GEN. 73

COMPENSATION - RATES - INCREASES UNDER POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948 - NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS 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 INCREASES TO EMPLOYEES OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS, A FIELD UNIT OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, WHICH IS SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM, AND DIVORCED FROM ANY CONTROL BY, THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, EVEN THOUGH A PART OF ITS FUNDS ARE PROVIDED BY AN APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OR THAT SAID FUNDS ARE DERIVED FROM THE GENERAL FUND OF THE DISTRICT.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, JULY 30, 1948:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 23, 1948, AS FOLLOWS:

THIS DEPARTMENT WISHES TO PRESENT A QUESTION ARISING OUT OF SECTION 304 OF TITLE III OF PUBLIC LAW 900, 80TH CONGRESS, 2ND SESSION, APPROVED JULY 3, 1948, (62 STAT. 1268) GRANTING INCREASES IN SALARIES TO FULL TIME CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES BEGINNING JULY 11, 1948, IN ITS APPLICATION TO THE EMPLOYEES OF NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, THIS DEPARTMENT, WHOSE SALARIES ARE PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 1949 APPROPRIATION ACT. (62 STAT. 556).

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 NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1949 ARE NOT "IN OR UNDER THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT," BECAUSE NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS IS A FIELD SERVICE OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE OF THIS DEPARTMENT.

NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS, A FIELD UNIT OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ADMINISTRATION, MAINTENANCE, OPERATION, IMPROVEMENT, AND PROTECTION OF THE PARK SYSTEM OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND ITS ENVIRONS, CONSISTING OF 753 RESERVATIONS COMPRISING APPROXIMATELY 30,659 ACRES, OF WHICH 6,303 ACRES ARE LOCATED IN MARYLAND, 17,622 IN VIRGINIA, AND 6,734 IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

INCLUDED AMONG THESE RESERVATIONS ARE THE PARK, PARKWAY, AND PLAYGROUND SYSTEM OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, THE GEORGE WASHINGTON MEMORIAL PARKWAY, THE PRINCE WILLIAM FOREST PARK IN VIRGINIA, AND THE CHESAPEAKE AND OHIO CANAL IN MARYLAND. THE CATOCTIN RECREATIONAL DEMONSTRATION AREA OF 9,918 ACRES IN MARYLAND HAS BEEN PLACED BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE UNDER THE ADMINISTRATIVE SUPERVISION OF NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS.

NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS ALSO HAS ADMINISTRATIVE JURISDICTION OVER THE LEE MANSION NATIONAL MEMORIAL IN VIRGINIA, TOGETHER WITH THE BATTLEGROUND NATIONAL CEMETERY, THE HOUSE WHERE LINCOLN DIED, THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL, THE LINCOLN MUSEUM, THE THOMAS JEFFERSON MEMORIAL, THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT, AND NUMEROUS OTHER MONUMENTS AND MEMORIALS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR OF THE EXECUTIVE MANSION AND GROUNDS. IN ADDITION, THAT PARK ORGANIZATION REGULARLY PERFORMS WORK ON A REIMBURSABLE BASIS FOR THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS ADMINISTRATION, THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK AND PLANNING COMMISSION, THE COMMISSION OF FINE ARTS, THE UNITED STATES ARMY ENGINEER OFFICE, THE PUBLIC ROADS ADMINISTRATION, AND OCCASIONAL WORK FOR THE ARMY AND NAVY DEPARTMENTS, THE STATE DEPARTMENT, AND NUMEROUS OTHER AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND ACTS AS THE MAINTAINING AND DEVELOPING AGENCY FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA RECREATIONAL BOARD.

THE ACT OF CONGRESS OF JULY 1, 1898 (30 STAT. 570), PLACES THE "PARK SYSTEM OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA" UNDER THE EXCLUSIVE CHARGE AND CONTROL OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY. THE ACT OF CONGRESS APPROVED FEBRUARY 26, 1925 (43 STAT. 983), ABOLISHED THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS UNDER THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS AND PROVIDED THAT ALL DUTIES AND POWERS CONFERRED AND IMPOSED BY LAW UPON THE OFFICER IN CHARGE OF PUBLIC BUILDING AND GROUNDS SHALL BE HELD, EXERCISED AND PERFORMED BY THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PUBLIC PARKS OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL. THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PUBLIC PARKS PERFORMED THESE FUNCTIONS UNTIL THE PROMULGATION OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER OF JUNE 10, 1933, NO. 6166, ABOLISHING THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PUBLIC PARKS OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL, AND THE DUTIES, POWERS, AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THAT OFFICE WERE TRANSFERRED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND CONSOLIDATED WITH THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE.

SINCE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER OF JUNE 10, 1933, NO. 6166, THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM HAS REMAINED UNDER THE EXCLUSIVE CHARGE AND CONTROL OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR AND IS ADMINISTERED BY THE OFFICE OF NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS. YOU WILL NOTE THAT THE ACT OF JULY 1, 1898, SUPRA, DIVORCES THE PARK SYSTEM FROM THE CONTROL OF THE CIVIC AUTHORITIES, TO-WIT, THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THE ACT OF JUNE 6, 1924 (43 STAT. 463), AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF APRIL 30, 1926 (44 STAT. 374), CREATED THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK AND PLANNING COMMISSION. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE LAST MENTIONED ACT, (44 STAT. 375) THE PARK AND PLANNING COMMISSION IS AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO ACQUIRE LAND IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SUITABLE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK, PARKWAY, AND PLAYGROUND SYSTEM. SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 6, 1924, SUPRA, PROVIDES THE LAND SO ACQUIRED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SHALL BE A PART OF THE PARK SYSTEM OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND BE UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE.

THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL IN A DECISION DATED JULY 14, 1948 ( NO. B 77918), STATED: "* * * IT IS EQUALLY CLEAR THAT THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS, A UNIT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, IS A FEDERAL AGENCY SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM, AND DIVORCED FROM ANY CONTROL BY, THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND ITS STATUS AS SUCH IS NOT AFFECTED BY THE CIRCUMSTANCE THAT A PART OF ITS FUNDS ARE PROVIDED BY AN APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OR THAT SAID FUNDS ARE DERIVED FROM THE GENERAL FUND OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OR THAT SAID FUNDS ARE DERIVED FROM THE GENERAL FUND OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.' IN THIS CONNECTION, YOUR ATTENTION IS ALSO CALLED TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S DECISION DATED JANUARY 9, 1940 (19 COMP. GEN. 631), IN WHICH IT WAS HELD THAT NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS IS "A FIELD SERVICE" OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND CHARGED WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF THE PUBLIC PARKS OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL UNDER THE DIRECTION OF A SUPERINTENDENT.

IT IS, THEREFORE, APPARENT FROM THE HISTORY OF NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS SET FORTH IN THIS LETTER AND THE DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL REFERRED TO HEREIN THAT EMPLOYEES OF NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS 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.

HOWEVER, IN ORDER TO AVOID ANY POSSIBILITY OF THE AUDITOR FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA REFUSING TO ALLOW SUCH INCREASE IN PAY, THE MATTER IS NOW SUBMITTED TO YOU FOR YOUR OFFICIAL DECISION. SINCE THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS IS NOW MAKING UP ITS BI-WEEKLY PAYROLL INCLUDING THE INCREASE IN PAY GRANTED BY THE SAID ACT, AN IMMEDIATE REPLY IS URGENTLY REQUESTED.

EACH OF THE ACTS AND THE EXECUTIVE ORDER CITED IN YOUR LETTER, SUPRA, CAREFULLY HAVE BEEN EXAMINED AND AS STATED IN THE DECISION OF JULY 14, 1948, B-77918, TO YOU, IT IS CLEAR THAT THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS, A UNIT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, IS A FEDERAL AGENCY SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM AND DIVORCED FROM ANY CONTROL BY, THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND ITS STATUS AS SUCH IS NOT AFFECTED BY THE CIRCUMSTANCE THAT A PART OF ITS FUNDS ARE PROVIDED BY AN APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OR THAT SAID FUNDS ARE DERIVED FROM THE GENERAL FUND OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

IT IS NECESSARILY FOLLOWS THAT EMPLOYEES OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PARKS ARE NOT EMPLOYEES "IN OR UNDER THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA" AND THEREFORE ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 304 OF THE POSTAL RATE REVISION AND FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SALARY ACT OF 1948, PUBLIC LAW 900, 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 PROVIDED BY THAT ACT 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.