B-92362, MARCH 21, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 381

B-92362: Mar 21, 1950

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1950: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JANUARY 25. THE PERCENTAGE INCREASES AUTHORIZED BY THE SAID PAY ACTS WERE APPLIED AND PAID UPON A FISCAL YEAR BASIS AS DISTINGUISHED FROM A CALENDAR YEAR BASIS. IT IS STATED IN THE SAID LETTER OF JANUARY 25 THAT ON AND AFTER SEPTEMBER 1. PERCENTAGE INCREASES PURSUANT TO THE AFORE- MENTIONED ACTS HAVE BEEN APPLIED "AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH FISCAL YEAR.'. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT. YOUR OFFICE CONSIDERS JULY 1 OF EACH YEAR TO BE THE BEGINNING OF A NEW YEAR FOR THE PURPOSE OF APPLYING THE PERCENTAGE INCREASES REGARDLESS OF THE FACT THAT CERTAIN INDIVIDUAL COMMISSIONERS MAY NOT HAVE BEEN IN OFFICE FOR A FULL 12 -MONTH PERIOD PRECEDING SUCH DATE. THE INCREASES AUTHORIZED THEREIN ARE TO BE APPLIED TO FEES EARNED BY UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS AT THE RATE OF 20 PERCENT UPON THE FIRST $1.

B-92362, MARCH 21, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 381

UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS' FEES THE PERCENTAGE INCREASES AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 521 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, AS AMENDED, IN THE BASIC FEES EARNED BY UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS, SHOULD BE COMPUTED UPON THE BASIS OF A FULL SERVICE YEAR IN EACH CASE RATHER THAN UPON EITHER A FISCAL YEAR OR A CALENDAR YEAR BASIS, EVEN THOUGH THE LAW AUTHORIZING SUCH INCREASES BECAME EFFECTIVE AT THE BEGINNING OF A FISCAL YEAR.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE DIRECTOR, ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS, MARCH 21, 1950:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF JANUARY 25, 1950, FROM THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS, RELATIVE TO CERTAIN GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE EXCEPTIONS TO VOUCHERS PAID BY A DISBURSING OFFICER FOR YOUR OFFICE, WHICH VOUCHERS COVER BASIC FEES EARNED BY UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1946, 60 STAT. 752, AS INCREASED BY SECTION 521 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, 59 STAT. 301, AND SECTION 6 (A) OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 217. THE PERCENTAGE INCREASES AUTHORIZED BY THE SAID PAY ACTS WERE APPLIED AND PAID UPON A FISCAL YEAR BASIS AS DISTINGUISHED FROM A CALENDAR YEAR BASIS, AND THE AMOUNTS SUSPENDED IN THE SAID DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS REPRESENT THE DIFFERENCE RESULTING FROM THE TWO METHODS OF COMPUTATION. IN VIEW THEREOF YOU REQUEST A DECISION AS TO THE PROPER METHOD TO BE USED IN APPLYING THE SAID INCREASES.

IT IS STATED IN THE SAID LETTER OF JANUARY 25 THAT ON AND AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 1946, THE DATE ON WHICH YOUR OFFICE BEGAN APPROVING PAYMENTS OF FEES TO UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS, PERCENTAGE INCREASES PURSUANT TO THE AFORE- MENTIONED ACTS HAVE BEEN APPLIED "AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH FISCAL YEAR.' IN THAT CONNECTION, IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT, IN ALL CASES, YOUR OFFICE CONSIDERS JULY 1 OF EACH YEAR TO BE THE BEGINNING OF A NEW YEAR FOR THE PURPOSE OF APPLYING THE PERCENTAGE INCREASES REGARDLESS OF THE FACT THAT CERTAIN INDIVIDUAL COMMISSIONERS MAY NOT HAVE BEEN IN OFFICE FOR A FULL 12 -MONTH PERIOD PRECEDING SUCH DATE.

UNDER SECTION 521 OF THE 1945 PAY ACT, SUPRA, THE INCREASES AUTHORIZED THEREIN ARE TO BE APPLIED TO FEES EARNED BY UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS AT THE RATE OF 20 PERCENT UPON THE FIRST $1,200 EARNED DURING THE YEAR BEGINNING JULY 1, 1945--- THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE SAID ACT--- 10 PERCENT UPON THE NEXT $3,400 ($4,600 LESS $1,200) EARNED DURING THE SAID YEAR, AND 5 PERCENT UPON THE AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF $4,600 EARNED DURING THE SAME YEAR, PLUS THE ADDITIONAL INCREASE AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 6 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1946. CF. DECISION OF AUGUST 7, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 158. THUS, THE PROPER BASIS FOR APPLYING THE SAID INCREASES IS UPON A FULL YEAR'S SERVICE FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL COMMISSIONER AND THE FACT THAT THE LAWS AUTHORIZING SUCH INCREASES BECAME EFFECTIVE AT THE BEGINNING OF A FISCAL YEAR IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS AUTHORIZING A NEW COMPUTATION BEGINNING ON JULY 1 OF EACH YEAR EXCEPT IN THOSE CASES WHERE THE SERVICE YEAR AND FISCAL YEAR COINCIDE.

THE NOTICES OF EXCEPTION REFERRED TO IN THE SAID LETTER OF JANUARY 25 (EXCEPTIONS TAKEN TO VOUCHER 5724, FEBRUARY 1948 ACCOUNT OF A. W. CROSS) CITE OFFICE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 12, 1947, 26 COMP. GEN. 592, AS AUTHORITY FOR REQUIRING APPLICATION OF THE PERCENTAGE INCREASES TO FEES OF UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS UPON A CALENDAR YEAR BASIS. HOWEVER, THAT DECISION RELATES TO THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1946, 60 STAT. 752, WHICH PROVIDES A NEW SCHEDULE OF BASIC FEES FOR UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS AND LIMITS THE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE TO A COMMISSIONER TO $7,500 "FOR ANY ONE CALENDAR YEAR.' THEREFORE, THE SAID DECISION HAS NO APPLICATION TO THE PERCENTAGE INCREASES AUTHORIZED BY THE SAID PAY STATUTES OF 1945 AND 1946 HERE INVOLVED, WHICH DO NOT CONTAIN SIMILAR LANGUAGE.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE PERCENTAGE INCREASES AS APPLIED TO UNITED STATES COMMISSIONERS UNDER THE FORMULA PRESCRIBED IN SAID DECISION OF AUGUST 7, 1945, ARE NOT TO BE COMPUTED EITHER UPON A FISCAL YEAR OR A CALENDAR YEAR BASIS BUT RATHER THEY ARE TO BE APPLIED UPON THE BASIS OF A FULL SERVICE YEAR IN EACH CASE. ALTHOUGH NO QUESTION WILL BE RAISED BY THIS OFFICE WITH RESPECT TO PRIOR PAYMENTS WHICH INCLUDE INCREASES COMPUTED UPON OTHER THAN A SERVICE YEAR BASIS, ALL FUTURE PAYMENTS ARE TO BE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RULE SET FORTH HEREIN. ALSO, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE EXCEPTIONS TAKEN TO VOUCHER 5724 WILL BE REMOVED AND CONSIDERATION AS TO REMOVAL OF SIMILAR EXCEPTIONS WILL BE GIVEN UPON RECEIPT OF REPLIES THERETO, REFERRING TO THIS DECISION.