B-82366, JANUARY 5, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 402

B-82366: Jan 5, 1949

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

THE QUESTION IS WHETHER SUCH ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION. ATTACHED TO YOUR LETTER IS A STATEMENT DISCUSSING THE QUESTION IN DETAIL WITH CITATIONS AND QUOTATIONS FROM APPLICABLE LAWS AND FROM DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE. IT WOULD APPEAR FROM YOUR LETTER AND FROM SAID STATEMENT THAT IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE 1912 STATUTE. SPECIFICALLY IS APPLICABLE TO EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY IN THE CANAL ZONE. IS APPLICABLE ONLY TO EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL AND NOT TO ALL EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT STATIONED IN THE CANAL ZONE. TO WHICH REFERENCE IS MADE IN THE STATEMENT ATTACHED TO YOUR LETTER. IT IS STATED ON PAGE 208: PAYMENT OF A DIFFERENTIAL TO EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL NOT TO EXCEED 25 PERCENT OF THE SALARIES PAID FOR THE SAME OR SIMILAR SERVICES TO PERSONNEL EMPLOYED BY THE GOVERNMENT IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES IS EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24.

B-82366, JANUARY 5, 1949, 28 COMP. GEN. 402

COMPENSATION - DIFFERENTIAL - EMPLOYEES STATIONED IN CANAL ZONE ANY ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES NOW PAYABLE TO EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY STATIONED IN THE CANAL ZONE MAY BE PAID ONLY PURSUANT TO SECTION 207 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, AS AMENDED, AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10000 ISSUED THEREUNDER, SUCH PAYMENTS PREVIOUSLY HAVING BEEN FIXED PURSUANT TO THE PRACTICE RECOGNIZED BY THIS OFFICE OF EXTENDING BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION THE AUTHORITY IN SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 4, 1912, AS AMENDED, FOR MAKING DIFFERENTIAL SALARY PAYMENTS TO EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY, JANUARY 5, 1949:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 16, 1948, PRESENTING THE QUESTION AS TO THE PROPER AUTHORITY OF LAW UNDER WHICH ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES MAY BE FIXED FOR EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY STATIONED IN THE CANAL ZONE. SPECIFICALLY, THE QUESTION IS WHETHER SUCH ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION, NOT TO EXCEED 25 PERCENTUM OF THE BASIC SALARY, MUST BE FIXED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF SECTION 207 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1949, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 104 OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1949, 62 STAT. 1205, AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10000, DATED SEPTEMBER 16, 1948, ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THAT SECTION, OR WHETHER IT MAY BE FIXED PURSUANT TO AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 4, 1912, 37 STAT. 561, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 9, 1937, 50 STAT. 487, 48 U.S.C. 1305.

ATTACHED TO YOUR LETTER IS A STATEMENT DISCUSSING THE QUESTION IN DETAIL WITH CITATIONS AND QUOTATIONS FROM APPLICABLE LAWS AND FROM DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE. IT WOULD APPEAR FROM YOUR LETTER AND FROM SAID STATEMENT THAT IT IS ASSUMED THAT THE 1912 STATUTE, AS AMENDED, SUPRA, SPECIFICALLY IS APPLICABLE TO EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY IN THE CANAL ZONE. HOWEVER, THE 1912 STATUTE, AS AMENDED, IS APPLICABLE ONLY TO EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL AND NOT TO ALL EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT STATIONED IN THE CANAL ZONE. IN 21 COMP. GEN. 205, TO WHICH REFERENCE IS MADE IN THE STATEMENT ATTACHED TO YOUR LETTER, IT IS STATED ON PAGE 208:

PAYMENT OF A DIFFERENTIAL TO EMPLOYEES OF THE PANAMA CANAL NOT TO EXCEED 25 PERCENT OF THE SALARIES PAID FOR THE SAME OR SIMILAR SERVICES TO PERSONNEL EMPLOYED BY THE GOVERNMENT IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES IS EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912, 37 STAT. 561, WHICH STATUTE, IN THAT CONNECTION, REMAINS UNCHANGED. BY LONG PRACTICE IT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED THAT THIS AUTHORITY FOR A DIFFERENTIAL NOT TO EXCEED 25 PERCENT MAY BE EXTENDED BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TO ALL EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE CANAL ZONE, REGARDLESS OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT IN WHICH EMPLOYED, UNLESS THEIR SALARY RATES ARE OTHERWISE SPECIFICALLY FIXED BY LAW.

IT WAS THE PRACTICE TO WHICH REFERENCE IS MADE IN THE ABOVE-QUOTED PARAGRAPH OF THE DECISION WHICH THIS OFFICE HAD RECOGNIZED COULD BE EXTENDED BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TO ALL EMPLOYEES OF THE CANAL ZONE REGARDLESS OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT IN WHICH EMPLOYED UNLESS THEIR SALARY RATES OTHERWISE ARE SPECIFICALLY FIXED BY LAW, AND WHICH THIS OFFICE ALSO RECOGNIZED AS BEING CAPABLE OF EXTENSION TO OTHER POINTS OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES OR IN ALASKA--- THAT CONGRESS INTENDED TO MAKE UNIFORM THROUGH THE ENACTMENT OF SECTION 207 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1949.

SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE COMPENSATION DIFFERENTIAL FOR EMPLOYEES IN THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY IN THE CANAL ZONE HAS NOT BEEN FIXED PURSUANT TO AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE 1912 STATUTE, SUPRA, BUT RATHER HAS BEEN FIXED PURSUANT TO THE PRACTICE RECOGNIZED BY THIS OFFICE OF EXTENDING BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THAT 1912 STATUTE, IT FOLLOWS THAT ANY ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION NOW PAYABLE TO SUCH EMPLOYEES MAY BE PAID ONLY PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 207 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1949, AS AMENDED, AND THE REGULATIONS ISSUED THEREUNDER. IN THAT CONNECTION, IT MAY BE NOTED, AS STATED IN THE STATEMENT ATTACHED TO YOUR LETTER, THAT THE SPECIAL AUTHORITY EXISTING IN SECTION 4 OF THE MILITARY FUNCTIONS APPROPRIATION ACT, 1949, 62 STAT. 667, AND SIMILAR APPROPRIATION ACTS TO PAY A DIFFERENTIAL OF 25 PERCENTUM TO CERTAIN EMPLOYEES IN THE PANAMA CANAL ZONE WAS SUSPENDED FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1949 BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9999, DATED SEPTEMBER 14, 1948.