B-96573, JANUARY 21, 1963, 42 COMP. GEN. 388

B-96573: Jan 21, 1963

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AS THE LIMITATION ON THE GROSS SALARY OF ANY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS POSITION THAT IS AUGMENTED BY PAYMENT FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS OF AN HONORARIUM. WHICH ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION UNDER 2 U.S.C. 162 IS NOT CONSTRUED AS DOUBLE SALARY. THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION REDUCING HONORARIUM OF AN EMPLOYEE IN ORDER THAT THE COMBINATION OF HIS CLASSIFICATION ACT GRADE SALARY AND THE HONORARIUM PAYABLE TO HIM WOULD NOT EXCEED THE HIGHEST RATE OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT WAS CORRECT. THAT HEREAFTER THE GROSS SALARY OF ANY POSITION IN THE LIBRARY WHICH IS AUGMENTED BY PAYMENT OF AN HONORARIUM FROM OTHER THAN APPROPRIATED FUNDS UNDER TERMS OF 2 U.S.C. 162 SHALL NOT EXCEED AN AMOUNT. WILL EXCEED THE MAXIMUM SALARY PROVIDED IN THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 AS HERETOFORE OR HEREAFTER AMENDED.

B-96573, JANUARY 21, 1963, 42 COMP. GEN. 388

COMPENSATION - ADDITIONAL - FROM THE UNITED STATES - HONORARIUMS THE MAXIMUM SALARY PROVIDED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, AND PRESCRIBED IN THE ACT OF JUNE 22, 1949, 63 STAT. 226, AS THE LIMITATION ON THE GROSS SALARY OF ANY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS POSITION THAT IS AUGMENTED BY PAYMENT FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS OF AN HONORARIUM, WHICH ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION UNDER 2 U.S.C. 162 IS NOT CONSTRUED AS DOUBLE SALARY, MEANS THE HIGHEST SALARY PAYABLE UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AND NOT THE ACTUAL AMOUNTS RECEIVED AS SALARY DURING A CALENDAR YEAR, THE LIMITATION BEING INTENDED TO PRECLUDE AN EMPLOYEE OF THE LIBRARY FROM RECEIVING A GREATER TOTAL COMPENSATION ON ANY PAYDAY THAN THAT RECEIVED BY AN EMPLOYEE ENTITLED TO THE MAXIMUM SALARY RATE UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT ON A PAYDAY; THEREFORE, THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION REDUCING HONORARIUM OF AN EMPLOYEE IN ORDER THAT THE COMBINATION OF HIS CLASSIFICATION ACT GRADE SALARY AND THE HONORARIUM PAYABLE TO HIM WOULD NOT EXCEED THE HIGHEST RATE OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT WAS CORRECT.

TO THE LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS, JANUARY 21, 1963:

ON DECEMBER 18, 1962, YOU REQUESTED CLARIFICATION OF OUR DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1950, B-96573, CONSTRUING THE PROVISO TO THE APPROPRIATION FOR "SALARIES, LIBRARY PROPER," APPEARING IN THE ACT OF JUNE 22, 1949, 63 STAT. 226, 2 U.S.C. 162A, READING AS FOLLOWS:

* * * PROVIDED, THAT HEREAFTER THE GROSS SALARY OF ANY POSITION IN THE LIBRARY WHICH IS AUGMENTED BY PAYMENT OF AN HONORARIUM FROM OTHER THAN APPROPRIATED FUNDS UNDER TERMS OF 2 U.S.C. 162 SHALL NOT EXCEED AN AMOUNT, WHICH WHEN COMBINED WITH SUCH HONORARIUM, WILL EXCEED THE MAXIMUM SALARY PROVIDED IN THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 AS HERETOFORE OR HEREAFTER AMENDED.

UNDER SECTION 1106 (A) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 972, 2 U.S.C. 162A NOTE, THE REFERENCE IN THE QUOTED PROVISO TO THE "CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923" IS CONSIDERED TO MEAN CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949.

IN THE DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1950, WE HELD THAT AN EMPLOYEE'S CLASSIFICATION ACT SALARY RATE COULD BE AUGMENTED BY AN HONORARIUM PAID UNDER AUTHORITY OF 2 U.S.C. 162 TO THE EXTENT THAT THE COMBINED AMOUNT OF THE SALARY AND THE HONORARIUM DOES NOT EXCEED THE HIGHEST RATE OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED.

YOU SAY A QUESTION NOW HAS ARISEN AS TO WHETHER THE MAXIMUM SALARY LIMITATION PAYABLE TO SUCH EMPLOYEES (CLASSIFICATION ACT GRADE SALARY AND HONORARIUM) IS TO BE BASED ON THE HIGHEST SALARY RATE UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT (NOW $20,000) OR ON THE ACTUAL AMOUNTS RECEIVED AS SALARY DURING A CALENDAR YEAR. THE CASE PROMPTING YOUR SUBMISSION IS DESCRIBED IN YOUR LETTER AS OLLOWS:

AN OFFICER OF THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, GRADE GS-17, WHO PRIOR TO THE FEDERAL SALARY REFORM ACT OF 1962, WAS PAID AT THE CLASSIFICATION RATE OF $17,310 PLUS AN HONORARIUM OF $1000. ON OCTOBER 15, 1962, THE OFFICER'S CLASSIFICATION ACT SALARY WAS INCREASED TO $19,500 AND HIS HONORARIUM REDUCED TO $500 IN ORDER NOT TO EXCEED THE HIGHEST RATE PROVIDED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED, GS-18, $20,000. THE OFFICER CONTENDS THAT THE HONORARIUM SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN REDUCED SINCE HIS GROSS SALARY FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR WILL NOT EXCEED $20,000.

THE CONTENTION OF THE OFFICER IN THE ABOVE-QUOTED SITUATION APPARENTLY IS BASED UPON THE DECISIONS OF THE COURT OF CLAIMS IN THE CASES OF GARRET L. SCHUYLER V. UNITED STATES, 148 CT.CL. 479, 180 F.SUPP. 417, AND OLIN E. DELLINGER V. UNITED STATES, 157 CT.CL. 471, 302 F.2D 515 WHICH WHEN CONSIDERED TOGETHER ARE TO THE EFFECT THAT THE $10,000 DOUBLE COMPENSATION LIMITATION APPEARING IN SECTION 212 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 59A, IS OPERATIVE ONLY WHEN THE AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF RETIRED PAY AND CIVILIAN COMPENSATION EXCEEDS THE SUM OF $10,000 IN ANY CALENDAR YEAR.

WE DO NOT VIEW THE HOLDING OF THE COURT OF CLAIMS IN THE SCHUYLER AND DELLINGER CASES AS CONTROLLING IN THE CASE YOU NOW PRESENT. OUR OPINION IS THAT IT IS MORE REASONABLE TO CONSIDER THE LIMITATION HERE INVOLVED AS BEING INTENDED TO PRECLUDE AN EMPLOYEE OF THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS FROM RECEIVING GREATER TOTAL COMPENSATION ON ANY PAYDAY THAT THAT TO WHICH AN EMPLOYEE ENTITLED TO THE MAXIMUM SALARY RATE UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT WOULD RECEIVE ON SUCH PAYDAY. THEREFORE, THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION IN THIS CASE REDUCING THE HONORARIUM AS STATED WAS CORRECT.