B-95950, JUNE 21, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 514

B-95950: Jun 21, 1950

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" IS APPLICABLE ONLY TO THE DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATIONS THEREIN MADE FOR " FIGHTING FOREST FIRES. PROVIDED SUCH PERSONNEL ACTIONS DO NOT CREATE ANY ADDITIONAL DEFICIENCY BEYOND THAT FOR WHICH FUNDS ARE MADE AVAILABLE. 1950: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 8. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE FOLLOWING PROPOSED PERSONNEL ACTIONS ARE PROHIBITED BY PUBLIC LAW 529. IT IS PROPOSED TO APPOINT TEMPORARILY. TO BE PAID FROM AN APPROPRIATION FOR WHICH FUNDS ARE PROVIDED IN H.R. 8567. THE APPLICANT IS PRESENTLY EMPLOYED IN THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION. IT IS PROPOSED TO TRANSFER AND PROMOTE AN EMPLOYEE FROM A GRADE GS-7 POSITION IN ONE BUREAU OF THE DEPARTMENT TO A GRADE GS-9 VACANCY IN ANOTHER BUREAU OF THE DEPARTMENT.

B-95950, JUNE 21, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 514

COMPENSATION - PROMOTIONS, TRANSFERS, ETC. - EFFECT OF LIMITATION IN ACT OF MAY 26, 1950 THE PROVISION IN THE ACT OF MAY 26, 1950, THAT "NO FUNDS MAY BE USED TO PAY COMPENSATION OF ANY EMPLOYEE IN A GRADE HIGHER THAN THE GRADE OF SUCH EMPLOYEE ON MAY 22, 1950," IS APPLICABLE ONLY TO THE DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATIONS THEREIN MADE FOR " FIGHTING FOREST FIRES," DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AND " OFFICE OF THE HOUSING EXPEDITER," SO THAT FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE TO OTHER DEPARTMENTS, AGENCIES, AND CORPORATIONS BY THE ACT MAY BE USED IN MAKING APPOINTMENTS, TRANSFERS, AND PROMOTIONS OF PERSONNEL, PROVIDED SUCH PERSONNEL ACTIONS DO NOT CREATE ANY ADDITIONAL DEFICIENCY BEYOND THAT FOR WHICH FUNDS ARE MADE AVAILABLE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, JUNE 21, 1950:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 8, 1950, YOUR REFERENCE 1, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE FOLLOWING PROPOSED PERSONNEL ACTIONS ARE PROHIBITED BY PUBLIC LAW 529, 81ST CONGRESS, APPROVED MAY 26, 1950.

CASE NO. 1. IT IS PROPOSED TO APPOINT TEMPORARILY, FOR A PERIOD NOT TO EXCEED JUNE 30, 1950, AN APPLICANT TO THE POSITION OF STATISTICAL CLERK, GRADE GS-3, $2,650 PER ANNUM, TO BE PAID FROM AN APPROPRIATION FOR WHICH FUNDS ARE PROVIDED IN H.R. 8567, EIGHTY-FIRST CONGRESS, THE DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION BILL, 1950. THE APPLICANT IS PRESENTLY EMPLOYED IN THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, WASHINGTON, D.C., AS KEY PUNCH OPERATOR, GRADE GS -2, $2,530 PER ANNUM. THE APPLICANT HAS BEEN CERTIFIED TO THIS DEPARTMENT BY THE UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION FOR THE POSITION OF STATISTICAL CLERK, GS-3, FOR NOT TO EXCEED JUNE 30, 1950.

CASE NO. 2. IT IS PROPOSED TO TRANSFER AND PROMOTE AN EMPLOYEE FROM A GRADE GS-7 POSITION IN ONE BUREAU OF THE DEPARTMENT TO A GRADE GS-9 VACANCY IN ANOTHER BUREAU OF THE DEPARTMENT. DEFICIENCY FUNDS FOR THE APPROPRIATIONS OF BOTH BUREAUS INVOLVED ARE PROVIDED IN H.R. 8567.

CASE NO. 3. IT IS PROPOSED TO PROMOTE AN EMPLOYEE FROM A GRADE GS 10 POSITION TO A GRADE GS-12 VACANCY WITHIN ONE BUREAU. DEFICIENCY FUNDS FOR THE APPROPRIATION OF THE BUREAU ARE PROVIDED IN H.R. 8567; HOWEVER, DUE TO SAVINGS OCCURRING BETWEEN THE TIME OF SUBMISSION OF THE DEFICIENCY ESTIMATE AND THE PRESENT, THE BUREAU WILL NOT REQUIRE ANY DEFICIENCY FUNDS TO MEET ITS ESTIMATED OBLIGATIONS FOR THE BALANCE OF THE 1950 FISCAL YEAR.

PUBLIC LAW 529, 64 STAT. 193, SO FAR AS HERE MATERIAL PROVIDES:

RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, THAT THERE ARE HEREBY APPROPRIATED, OUT OF ANY MONEY IN THE TREASURY NOT OTHERWISE APPROPRIATED, SUCH AMOUNTS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO ENABLE THE DEPARTMENTS, AGENCIES, AND CORPORATIONS FOR WHICH FUNDS OR AUTHORIZATIONS ARE PROVIDED IN H.R. 8567, EIGHTY-FIRST CONGRESS, THE DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION BILL, 1950, TO PAY THE COMPENSATION OF CIVILIAN PERSONNEL, AND THE PAY AND ALLOWANCES OF MILITARY PERSONNEL, OF SUCH DEPARTMENTS, AGENCIES, AND CORPORATIONS, AND TO PAY, OR CONTRIBUTE TOWARD THE PAYMENT OF, SUMS PROVIDED IN SAID BILL FOR THE MAKING OF PAYMENTS TO INDIVIDUALS EITHER IN SPECIFIC AMOUNTS FIXED BY LAW OR IN ACCORDANCE WITH FORMULAE PRESCRIBED BY LAW:PROVIDED, THAT AMOUNTS HEREIN MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH COMPENSATION, PAY, AND ALLOWANCES SHALL NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNTS NECESSARY TO SUPPLY DEFICIENCIES IN FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR SUCH PURPOSES RESULTING FROM (1) THE ENACTMENT, DURING THE EIGHTY-FIRST CONGRESS, OF ACTS INCREASING THE RATES OF SUCH COMPENSATION, PAY, AND ALLOWANCES; (2) ANY COMPARABLE PAY INCREASES GRANTED BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION PURSUANT TO LAW; AND (3) ANY PAY INCREASES GRANTED BY WAGE BOARDS; EXCEPT THAT THIS PROVISO SHALL NOT APPLY TO APPROPRIATIONS INCLUDED IN SUCH BILL ( H.R. 8567) FOR " FIGHTING FOREST FIRES," DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AND " OFFICE OF THE HOUSING EXPEDITER" BUT NO FUNDS MAY BE USED TO PAY COMPENSATION OF ANY EMPLOYEE IN A GRADE HIGHER THAN THE GRADE OF SUCH EMPLOYEE ON MAY 22, 1950, AND NO FUNDS HEREIN SHALL BE USED TO PAY THE OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF THE OFFICE OF HOUSING EXPEDITER FOR PERIODS AFTER JUNE 30, 1950. * * * (ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

WHEN FIRST INTRODUCED IN THE CONGRESS, HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 476 DID NOT CONTAIN ANY OF THE LANGUAGE IN THE PROVISO. THE LANGUAGE IN THE PROVISO PRECEDING THE ITALICIZED PORTION THEREOF, AS QUOTED ABOVE, WAS INSERTED AS AN AMENDMENT IN THE SENATE. THE ITALICIZED WORDS WERE INSERTED LATER AS AN AMENDMENT BY THE COMMITTEE OF CONFERENCE OF THE TWO HOUSES.

THE LANGUAGE OF THE SENATE AMENDMENT LIMITS THE AMOUNTS MADE AVAILABLE BY THE JOINT RESOLUTION FOR COMPENSATION AND PAY AND ALLOWANCES TO AMOUNTS NECESSARY TO SUPPLY DEFICIENCIES IN FUNDS THERETOFORE APPROPRIATED FOR SUCH PURPOSES, WHICH DEFICIENCIES RESULT FROM THE THREE CAUSES THEREIN SPECIFIED. THAT IS TO SAY, SO FAR AS CONCERNS COMPENSATION AND PAY AND ALLOWANCES, THE JOINT RESOLUTION MAKES AVAILABLE ONLY SO MUCH OF THE AMOUNTS AUTHORIZED FOR SUCH PURPOSES IN H.R. 8567, 81ST CONGRESS, AS IS NECESSARY TO MAKE UP DEFICIENCIES CAUSED SOLELY BY THE ENUMERATED ITEMS AND NOT BY ANY OTHER MATTERS. AS THUS STATED, THE JOINT RESOLUTION WOULD HAVE FAILED TO PROVIDE FUNDS FOR COMPENSATION UNDER THE APPROPRIATIONS," FIGHTING FOREST FIRES," DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, D," OFFICE OF THE HOUSING EXPEDITER," TO PERMIT THE CONTINUED AVAILABILITY OF THOSE APPROPRIATIONS THROUGH THE END OF THE FISCAL YEAR--- IT BEING UNDERSTOOD THAT THE AMOUNTS ORIGINALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE CONGRESS UNDER THOSE APPROPRIATIONS WERE NOT INTENDED AS COVERING THE ENTIRE FISCAL YEAR 1950. THUS, THE REASON FOR THE CONFERENCE AMENDMENT EXCEPTING SUCH APPROPRIATIONS FROM THE AMOUNT LIMITATION CONTAINED IN THE SENATE AMENDMENT BECOMES APPARENT.

THE CLAUSE,"BUT NO FUNDS MAY BE USED TO PAY COMPENSATION OF AN EMPLOYEE IN A GRADE HIGHER THAN THE GRADE OF SUCH EMPLOYEE ON MAY 22, 1950," APPEARING IN THE ITALICIZED PORTION OF THE JOINT RESOLUTION, QUOTED ABOVE, WAS A PART OF THE CONFERENCE AMENDMENT PRIMARILY DIRECTED TO THE MATTER OF THE EXTENT TO WHICH FUNDS FOR FIGHTING FOREST FIRES AND FOR THE OFFICE OF THE HOUSING EXPEDITER ARE MADE AVAILABLE AND THERE IS NOTHING IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF THAT AMENDMENT FROM WHICH IT REASONABLY MAY BE CONCLUDED THAT SUCH PROHIBITION WAS INTENDED TO APPLY TO OTHER THAN THE FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE FOR THOSE TWO PURPOSES BY THAT AMENDMENT. HENCE, IT APPEARS THAT SUCH LIMITATION REASONABLY MUST BE CONSTRUED AS PROHIBITING THE USE OF FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE FOR THOSE TWO PURPOSES, ONLY, UNDER THE JOINT RESOLUTION FOR THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION TO AN EMPLOYEE IN A GRADE HIGHER THAN THE GRADE OF SUCH EMPLOYEE ON MAY 22, 1950.

HOWEVER, AS INDICATED ABOVE, PUBLIC LAW 529 APPROPRIATES OR MAKES AVAILABLE NO DEFINITE AMOUNT OF FUNDS TO ANY DEPARTMENT, AGENCY, OR CORPORATION INCLUDED IN H.R. 8567, AND THE TERMS OF THE PROVISO LIMIT FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE THEREIN--- OTHER THAN THOSE FOR THE OFFICE OF THE HOUSING EXPEDITER AND FOR FIGHTING FOREST FIRES, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE --- FOR COMPENSATION, PAY, AND ALLOWANCES TO SUCH AMOUNTS AS "SHALL NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT NECESSARY TO SUPPLY DEFICIENCIES IN FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR SUCH PURPOSES" RESULTING FROM THE THREE CAUSES SPECIFIED IN THE SAID PROVISO. ACCORDINGLY, IF THE APPOINTMENT COVERED IN CASE NO. 1 AND THE TRANSFER AND PROMOTION IN CASE NO. 2, AS SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTER AND QUOTED ABOVE, WILL NOT RESULT IN THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS IN EXCESS OF AN AMOUNT NECESSARY TO SUPPLY A DEFICIENCY IN THE APPROPRIATIONS OF THE BUREAUS INVOLVED RESULTING FROM ONE OR MORE OF THE THREE CAUSES SPECIFIED IN PUBLIC LAW 529, THE PERSONNEL ACTIONS WOULD NOT BE PROHIBITED BY THE SAID LAW. ON THE OTHER HAND, IF THE PROPOSED APPOINTMENT OR TRANSFER AND PROMOTION WOULD NECESSITATE THE USE OF FUNDS IN AMOUNTS IN EXCESS OF AMOUNTS NECESSARY TO SUPPLY DEFICIENCIES IN FUNDS OF THE THREE BUREAUS RESULTING FROM THE THREE SPECIFIED CAUSES, THE PROCESSING OF THE PERSONNEL ACTIONS WOULD BE PROHIBITED.

SINCE WITH RESPECT TO QUESTION 3 IT IS STATED THAT NO FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE UNDER PUBLIC LAW 529 ARE TO BE USED IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONTEMPLATED PROMOTION, THE PROCESSING OF THE PROPOSED PERSONNEL ACTION IS NOT PROHIBITED BY SAID LAW.