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BRINGS OUT MATTERS TO WHICH IT IS DEEMED ADVISABLE TO INVITE OUR ATTENTION. WHICH ARE REPORTED AS FOLLOWS: THE OPERATION OF THE FORT MCPHERSON COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM. IS UNDER IMMEDIATE DIRECTION OF CAPT. IS HANDLED ENTIRELY BY PERSONNEL PAID BY THE UNITED STATES. CONTRACTS CURRENTLY IN EFFECT WITH THE SOUTHERN BELL TELEPHONE COMPANY ARE AS FOLLOWS: CONTRACT NO. UNDER EXISTING ARMY REGULATIONS THERE ARE TWO MAJOR CLASSIFICATIONS COVERING TELEPHONE SUBSCRIBERS. CLASS "A" TELEPHONES ARE THOSE INSTALLED IN OFFICES FOR OFFICIAL US ONLY. ALL CHARGES FOR WHICH ARE PAID FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS. CLASS "B" SUBSCRIBERS ARE THOSE WHERE THE TELEPHONE IS LOCATED IN A RESIDENCE OR ELSEWHERE ON THE POST FOR THE USE OF THE SUBSCRIBER.

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B-45101, APR 29, 1946

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

THE HONORABLE, THE SECRETARY OF WAR:

EXAMINATION BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THIS OFFICE OF THE ACCOUNTS AND RECORDS OF COL. FRANK RICHARDS, F. D., UNITED STATES ARMY, ATLANTA, GA., AS KEPT BY CAPT. EUGENE N. DAVIS, CLASS B AGENT OFFICER, AND CAPT.WILLIAM FICKLEN, ACTING CLASS B AGENT OFFICER, FORT MCPHERSON, GA., BRINGS OUT MATTERS TO WHICH IT IS DEEMED ADVISABLE TO INVITE OUR ATTENTION, AND WHICH ARE REPORTED AS FOLLOWS:

THE OPERATION OF THE FORT MCPHERSON COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM, BOTH TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE, IS UNDER IMMEDIATE DIRECTION OF CAPT. DON E. WOODS, SIGNAL OFFICER, AND IS HANDLED ENTIRELY BY PERSONNEL PAID BY THE UNITED STATES, EXCEPT FOR SERVICES RENDERED BY THE EMPLOYEES OF THE SOUTHERN BELL TELEPHONE COMPANY, ATLANTA, GA., THE SAID COMPANY HOLDING CONTRACTS WITH AND RECEIVING PAYMENT FROM THE GOVERNMENT FOR SUCH SERVICES.

CONTRACTS CURRENTLY IN EFFECT WITH THE SOUTHERN BELL TELEPHONE COMPANY ARE AS FOLLOWS:

CONTRACT NO. W-09-017 S(SC IV)-204

GENERAL CONTRACT FOR MAINTENANCE IN CONNECTION WITH ARMY-OWNED TELETYPEWRITER EQUIPMENT, DATED SEPTEMBER 14, 1944.

CONTRACT NO. W-160-SC-210

GENERAL CONTRACT FOR OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE IN CONNECTION WITH ARMY TELEPHONE SYSTEMS, DATED APRIL 1, 1942, AMENDED JANUARY 18, 1943.

CONTRACT NO. W-160-SC-68

GENERAL CONTRACT FOR TRUNK LINE AND OTHER COMMUNICATION FACILITIES AND SERVICES, DATED JULY 1, 1938, AMENDED JANUARY 15, 1941.

UNDER EXISTING ARMY REGULATIONS THERE ARE TWO MAJOR CLASSIFICATIONS COVERING TELEPHONE SUBSCRIBERS. CLASS "A" TELEPHONES ARE THOSE INSTALLED IN OFFICES FOR OFFICIAL US ONLY, ALL CHARGES FOR WHICH ARE PAID FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS. CLASS "B" SUBSCRIBERS ARE THOSE WHERE THE TELEPHONE IS LOCATED IN A RESIDENCE OR ELSEWHERE ON THE POST FOR THE USE OF THE SUBSCRIBER, AND OVER WHICH PERSONAL CALLS, BOTH LOCAL AND TOLL CALLS, MAY BE MADE, THE CHARGE FOR WHICH IS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE SUBSCRIBER. ALL OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED TELEPHONES ARE GOVERNMENT OWNED, AS WELL AS THE SWITCHBOARD TO WHICH THEY ARE CONNECTED ON THE POST.

COLLECTIONS FROM CLASS "B" SUBSCRIBERS BY THE SIGNAL OFFICER IS IN AN AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT BILLED BY THE TELEPHONE COMPANY INASMUCH AS THE SIGNAL OFFICER COLLECTS FROM THE SUBSCRIBER A MONTHLY RENTAL WHICH IS NOT BILLED BY THE TELEPHONE COMPANY SINCE THE TELEPHONE IS GOVERNMENT- OWNED, AND A SERVICE CHARGE MAY ALSO BE COLLECTED FROM THE SUBSCRIBER, WHICH IS BILLED TO THE GOVERNMENT BY THE TELEPHONE COMPANY, IF SUCH SERVICE IS PERFORMED BY THEM, UNDER CONTRACT COVERING SUCH SERVICE, AND PAID FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS.

ACTING IN ACCORDANCE WITH WAR DEPARTMENT TECHNICAL MANUAL 24-205, ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES FOR COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES, THE SIGNAL OFFICER HAS SINCE APRIL 1945, DEPOSITED ALL RECEIPTS FROM CLASS "B" TELEPHONES IN A "POST COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES ACCOUNT" IN THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF ATLANTA, AND EACH MONTH DRAWS A CHECK PAYABLE TO THE FINANCE OFFICER IN AN AMOUNT SUFFICIENT TO COVER THE BILL RENDERED FOR SUCH TELEPHONE SERVICE BY THE TELEPHONE COMPANY. THE BALANCE, AFTER CERTAIN PAYMENTS TO EMPLOYEES, IS TURNED OVER TO THE "POST CENTRAL FUND", A RECREATION AND WELFARE FUND WHICH IN NO MANNER HAS CONTRIBUTED BY LABOR OR OTHERWISE TO THE SECURING OF THIS MONEY. THE SIGNAL OFFICER STATED THAT PRIOR TO ISSUANCE OF THE CURRENT REGULATIONS THE MONEY WAS HANDLED IN A SIMILAR MANNER, THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BEING THAT MONTHLY PAYMENT WAS MADE TO THE FINANCE OFFICER FROM A "POST SIGNAL FUND" IN A LOCAL BANK, AND THE BALANCE TURNED OVER TO THE WELFARE FUND.

COLLECTIONS RECEIVED FROM PERSONS SENDING UNOFFICIAL TELEGRAPH MESSAGES ARE DEPOSITED BY THE SIGNAL OFFICER WITH THE FINANCE OFFICER, WHO THEREUPON TAKES SAID COLLECTIONS UP IN HIS ACCOUNTS AS SPECIAL DEPOSITS. DEPOSITS ARE MADE AT IRREGULAR INTERVALS BY CHECK FROM THE POST COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES ACCOUNT. THE FULL AMOUNT OF THESE COLLECTIONS IS PAYABLE TO THE WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH COMPANY AND THE COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE. (TAX ON MESSAGES).

AT THE PRESENT TIME, COMMISSIONS AND FEES ARE PAID INTO THE SIGNAL OFFICE BY THE WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH COMPANY, ATLANTA, GA., BY TWO CHECKS MONTHLY REPRESENTING AN AMOUNT APPROXIMATELY EQUAL TO 15 PERCENT OF THE AMOUNT OF TELEGRAMS, LESS TAX, ON ALL PREPAID MESSAGES SENT AND COLLECT MESSAGES RECEIVED, AND FEES AMOUNTING TO 5 CENTS FOR EACH MESSAGE DELIVERED ON THE POST. ONE OF THE CHECKS IS PAYABLE TO THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES AND REPRESENTS AN AMOUNT DETERMINED TO BE THE PRO RATA SHARE COVERING THE PERCENTAGE OF TIME EMPLOYED BY CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES IN DEALING WITH PERSONAL MESSAGES. THE CHECK PAYABLE TO THE TREASURER OF THE UNITED STATES IS TAKEN UP BY THE FINANCE OFFICER IN HIS ACCOUNTS AND THE APPROPRIATION SIGNAL SERVICE, ARMY, IS CREDITED. THE BALANCE OF THE COMMISSIONS AND FEES IS PAID BY WESTERN UNION BY CHECK CURRENTLY TO THE POST COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE ACCOUNT (PAYMENTS HAVE PREVIOUSLY BEEN MADE TO THE POST SIGNAL OFFICER, FORT MCPHERSON TELEGRAPH FUND, CENTRAL POST FUND, AND OTHER), AND IS DEPOSITED IN SAID FUND BY THE SIGNAL OFFICER.

IT IS PROVIDED IN WAR DEPARTMENT TECHNICAL MANUAL 24-205, THAT CERTAIN ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION MAY BE PAID TO ENLISTED PERSONNEL HAVING DUTY IN THE SIGNAL OFFICE, AND THIS ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION OR GRATUITY IS PAID OUT OF THE SPECIAL CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM THE TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH COMPANIES RESPECTIVELY. THE MANUAL PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"PERMISSABLE EXPENDITURES - ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION WITHIN LIMITS SPECIFIED BELOW FOR ENLISTED TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH OPERATORS AND OTHER ENLISTED PERSONNEL HANDLING PERSONAL TELEPHONE ACCOUNTS, UNOFFICIAL TELEGRAMS, TELEGRAPHIC MONEY ORDERS, CABLEGRAMS AND RADIOGRAMS. WITH APPROVAL OF THE POST COMMANDER PAYMENTS MAY BE AUTHORIZED TO ENLISTED PERSONNEL IRRESPECTIVE OF GRADE FROM THE SURPLUS ACCOUNT OF THE POST COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES ACCOUNT AS FOLLOWS:

(1) FOR EACH ENLISTED TELEPHONE OPERATOR, NOT TO EXCEED $10 PER MONTH.

(2) FOR EACH ENLISTED ASSISTANT CHIEF OPERATOR, NOT TO EXCEED $15 PER MONTH.

(3) FOR EACH ENLISTED CHIEF OPERATOR, NOT TO EXCEED $20 PER MONTH.

(4) FOR EACH ENLISTED PERSON HANDLING PERSONAL TELEPHONE ACCOUNTS, NOT TO EXCEED $20 PER MONTH

(5) FOR EACH ENLISTED PERSON HANDLING UNOFFICIAL TELEGRAMS, TELEGRAPHIC MONEY ORDERS, CABLEGRAMS AND RADIOGRAMS AT THE POST TELEGRAPH OFFICE, NOT TO EXCEED $20 PER MONTH."

IN VIEW OF THE STATEMENT THAT TELEPHONE FACILITIES ARE GOVERNMENT OWNED AND ARE OPERATED BY GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL OR BY EMPLOYEES OF THE SOUTHERN BELL TELEPHONE COMPANY UNDER A GOVERNMENT CONTRACT, IT IS SUGGESTED THAT RENTALS, TOLLS, ETC., COLLECTED FROM CLASS B SUBSCRIBERS SHOULD BE DEPOSITED INTO A DISBURSING OFFICER'S SPECIAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT WHERE THEY WOULD BE AVAILABLE FOR (1) PAYMENT TO THE TELEPHONE COMPANY FOR ITS SERVICES; (2) REFUND TO SUBSCRIBERS FOR OVERPAYMENTS; AND (3) TRANSFER TO REGULAR COLLECTION ACCOUNT OF ANY AMOUNT DUE THE UNITED STATES ON ACCOUNT OF RENTALS.

IN THE ABSENCE OF A SPECIFIC PROVISION OF LAW AUTHORIZING THE SAME, THE PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION TO ENLISTED TELEPHONE OPERATORS OUT OF SUCH RECEIPTS FROM THE TELEPHONE COMPANY, WOULD APPEAR CONTRARY TO THE PROVISION OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1917, 39 STAT. 1106 (5 U.S.C. 66), WHICH PROVIDES:

"NO GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL OR EMPLOYEE SHALL RECEIVE ANY SALARY IN CONNECTION WITH HIS SERVICES AS SUCH AN OFFICIAL OR EMPLOYEE FROM ANY SOURCE OTHER THAN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES, EXCEPT AS MAY BE CONTRIBUTED OUT OF THE TREASURY OF ANY STATE, COUNTRY, OR MUNICIPALITY, AND NO PERSON, ASSOCIATION, OR CORPORATION SHALL MAKE ANY CONTRIBUTION TO, OR IN ANY WAY SUPPLEMENT THE SALARY OF, ANY GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL OR EMPLOYEE FOR THE SERVICES PERFORMED BY HIM FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES. ***"

ALL COLLECTIONS ON ACCOUNT OF UNOFFICIAL MESSAGES TRANSMITTED FROM OR RECEIVED BY A GOVERNMENT-OWNED OR OPERATED TELEGRAPH OFFICE INCLUDING GOVERNMENT TAX THEREON SHOULD BE INITIALLY TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT AS SPECIAL DEPOSITS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF MARCH 31, 1883, 22 STAT. 616 (31 U.S.C. 485), WHICH PROVIDES:

"ALL MONEYS RECEIVED FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF PRIVATE DISPATCHES OVER ANY AND ALL TELEGRAPH LINES OWNED OR OPERATED BY THE UNITED STATES, SHALL BE PAID INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES, AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 484 OF THIS TITLE."

ADVICE AS TO THE ACTION TAKEN IS REQUESTED.

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