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The act of June 5, 1920, 41 Stat., 1050, contains the following provision relative to the pay and promotion of substitute railway postal clerks:
Substitute railway postal clerks shall be paid the salary of grade one for service actually performed during the first calendar year of service, which shall constitute his probationary period, when, if his services are satisfactory, unless sooner appointed a regular clerk, he shall be promoted to grade two and paid the salary of that grade for service actually performed until appointed a regalar clerk.
In view of the practice heretofore obtaining with respect to these surplus clerks a railway postal clerk who at the time of being relieved from a regular assignment is in receipt of a salary above that prescribed for grade 2 may continue to receive pay at that rate for service actually performed as a substitute while carried as a surplus clerk. If he should thereafter receive a regular assignment, the service rendered by him prior to the date of relief from his former regular assignment would be for consideration in determining his right to promotion under the reassignment, but there is no authority for promoting such clerk above grade 2 while he is being carried as a surplus clerk and performing service as a substitute.
The two specific questions submitted are answered in the negative.
Section 12 of the act of July 31, 1894, 28 Stat., 209, requires an account to be
mailed or otherwise sent to the proper officer at Washington within the time limit prescribed, and to be forwarded by the administrative office to the General Accounting Office within the time limit prescribed, and when not so transmitted it becomes delinquent and remains delinquent until the delinquency has been removed by a waiver of the Secretary of the Treasury or by an order of the President in the particular instance
as the case may be. Comptroller General McCarl to the Attorney General, March 22, 1923:
I have your letter of July 14, 1922, requesting an interpretation as to what properly constitutes delinquency in the rendition or transmission of accounts as laid down in section 12 of the so-called Dock- • ery Act, approved July 31, 1894, 28 Stat., 209.
The law is as follows:
SEC. 12. All monthly accounts shall be mailed or otherwise sent to the proper officer at Washington within ten days after the end of the month to which they relate, and quarterly and other accounts within twenty days after the period to which they relate, and shall be transmitted to and received by the Auditors within twenty days of their actual receipt at the proper office in Washington in the case of monthly, and sixty days in the case of quarterly and other accounts. Should there be any delinquency in this regard at the time of the receipt by the Auditor of a requisition for an advance of money, he shall disapprove the requisition, which he may also do for other reasons arising out of the condition of the officer's accounts for whom the advance is requested; but the Secretary of the Treasury may overrule the Auditor's decision as to the sufficiency of these latter reasons: Provided, That the Secre tary of the Treasury shall prescribe suitable rules and regulations, and may make orders in particular cases, relaxing the requirement of mailing or other wise sending accounts, as aforesaid, within ten or twenty days, or waiving delinquency, in such cases only in which there is, or is likely to be, a manifest
physical difficulty in complying with the same, it being the purpose of this provision to require the prompt rendition of accounts without regard to the mere convenience of the officers, and to forbid the Advance to those delinquent in rendering them: Provided further, That should there be a delay by the administrative Departments beyond the aforesaid twenty or sixty days in transmitting accounts, an order of the President in the particular case shall be necessary to authorize the advance of money requested:
Section 11 of the same law, which must be considered in conjunction with section 12, also provides as follows:
SEC. 11. Every requisition for an advance of money, before being acted on by the Secretary of the Treasury, shall be sent to the proper Auditor for action thereon as required by section twelve of this Act.
Your letter expresses the opinion that the proper interpretation as to a delinquent account means that when an account is not rendered by the officer or transmitted by the administrative department within the time prescribed by law it becomes delinquent; that the delinquency automatically ceases to exist when the officer, or administrative official releases the account and forwards it to the proper office, provided that no requisition for an advance of funds from the Treasury to the credit of the disbursing officer is submitted before the delinquent account is rendered or transmitted; and that if such an advance of funds is requested then, and then only, is it necessary to procure a waiver from the Secretary of the Treasury or an order from the President to clear the account of its delinquency.
In looking back at the situation existing in regard to accounts at the time of and antecedent to the adoption of this particular law, and on investigating its legislative history and its purpose, it is found that much trouble was being experienced by the auditing officers and others concerned through delay in the rendering of accounts because section 3622, Revised Statutes, the law then current, while it required that accounts be rendered within a certain time, was not being complied with as it carried no penalty by which the prompt rendition of accounts could be enforced.
To remedy the situation the Congress enacted the law here in question and provided that every requisition for an advance of funds before being acted on by the Secretary of the Treasury shall be sent to the auditing office which shall withhold its approval if the accounts have not been rendered to the department at Washington within the time specified by law or have not been forwarded by the administrative department to the auditing office within another time specified by law and provided that no waiver or order has been issued removing the delinquency. It is expressly declared in the law that its purpose is to secure the prompt rendition of accounts without regard to the mere convenience of officers, and it is intended that a waiver of delinquency can only be secured upon the showing of a manifest physical difficulty in complying with the law, a phase of the matter that had not previously been considered.
Under well-recognized principles for the interpretation of laws the law to be interpreted here having remedied a defect of preexisting law it is entitled to be considered a remedial statute and as such must be construed so as to suppress the mischief and advance the remedy, if it can be done by reasonable construction in furtherance of the object to be attained; and where necessary to accomplish the remedial purpose of a statute words or phrases therein must be given as broad a meaning as their use in the statute will justify.
The adoption of the views contained in your letter that no waivers or orders are necessary to excuse tardy accounts unless more funds are needed by the disbursing officers would most obviously permit accounts to be rendered at the pleasure and convenience of those officers not in immediate need of funds. It must be admitted that such pernicious consequences would constitute in part à return to the previous vexatious conditions that the Congress by this law sought to ameliorate and would defeat the remedial purpose for which the law was enacted.
As remedial statutes must be construed with a view to effectuate the purposes of the legislature, I feel compelled to hold that the law requires an account to be mailed or otherwise sent to the proper officer at Washington within the time limit prescribed, and to be forwarded by the administrative office to the General Accounting Office within the time limit prescribed, otherwise it becomes delinquent and remains delinquent until the delinquency has been removed by a waiver of the Secretary of the Treasury or by an order of the President in the particular instance, as the case may be.
OFFICERS OF THE NAVAL RESERVE FORCE-LONGEVITY PAY. Officers of the Naval Reserve Force on active duty for training on and after
July 1, 1922, can not count for longevity purposes service in the Coast and Geodetic Survey prior to July 1, 1922, which was other than commissioned
service. Decision by Comptroller General McCarl, March 22, 1923:
Clifford G. Quillian, lieutenant commander, United States Naval Reserve Force, applied February 26, 1923, for review of settlement No. N-156326, dated February 1, 1923, this office, disallowing his claim for difference in longevity pay between that of an officer after 3 years' commissioned service and after 18 years' service while on active duty for training from August 1 to 15, 1922.
It appears that claimant was appointed aid in the Coast and Geodetic Survey August 28, 1902; was commissioned hydrographic and geodetic engineer June 30, 1917, under the provisions of the act of May 22, 1917, 40 Stat., 88; transferred to the Navy and enrolled in the Naval Reserve Force September 24, 1917, as lieutenant, class 3; promoted to lieutenant commander, October 11, 1918; relieved from active duty in the Navy March 10, 1919, and returned to duty in the
Coast and Geodetic Survey; confirmed as lieutenant, United States Naval Reserve Force, class 3, from October 1, 1919; resigned from Coast and Geodetic Survey December 31, 1919; enrollment in Naval Reserve Force expired September 23, 1921; and he reenrolled as lieutenant commander, United States Naval Reserve Force, class 6, April 7, 1922. It thus appears that up to August 1, 1922, claimant had had nearly 15 years' service in the Coast and Geodetic Survey prior to his commission therein on June 30, 1917, had performed active duty as a commissioned officer about two years and six months, and was on inactive duty as a commissioned officer in the Naval Reserve Force about two years.
The question presented is whether his service in the Coast and Geodetic Survey prior to his commission therein June 30, 1917, may be counted in computing his longevity pay as a Naval Reserve officer while on active duty for training August 1 to 15, 1922.
The active-duty pay of officers of the Naval Reserve Force is provided by section 3 of the act of June 10, 1922, 42 Stat., 627, as follows:
That when officers of the National Guard or of the reserve forces of any of the services mentioned in the title of this Act are authorized by law to receive Federal pay, those serving in grades corresponding to those of colonel, lieutenant colonel, major, captain, first lieutenant, and second lieutenant of the Army shall receive the pay of the sixth, ifth, fourth, third, second, and first periods, respectively. In computing the increase of pay for each period of three years' service, such officers shall be credited with full time for all periods during which they have held commissions as officers of any of the services mentioned in the title of this Act, or in the Organized Militia prior to July 1, 1916, or in the National Guard, or in the Naval Militia, or in the National Naval Volunteers, or in the Naval Reserve Force or Marine Corps Reserve Force, when confirmed in grade and qualified for all geperal service, with full time for all periods during which they have performed active duty under reserve commissions, and with one-half time for all other periods during which they have held reserve commissions.
Under this provision Naval Reserve officers are entitled to be credited in computing their active-duty pay with “ full time for all periods during which they have held commissions as officers of any of the services mentioned in the title of this act,” which includes the Coast and Geodedic Survey, but no provision is made for crediting time served in any of the said services not under a commission.
He contends, however, that he is entitled to count his service in the Coast and Geodetic Survey prior to the date of commission therein on June 30, 1917, in view of the provision in section 11, act May 18, 1920, 41 Stat., 604, that thereafter longevity pay for officers in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Public Health Service, and Coast and Geodedic Survey shall be based on the total of all service in any or all of said services, under the following provision in section 1 of the act of June 10, 1922, 42 Stat., 626:
For officers in the service on June 30, 1922, there shall be included in the computation all service which is now counted in computing longevity pay,
and the saving clause of section 16, 42 Stat., 632.
The officers thus referred to are the officers in the services mentioned in the title of the act, and has no reference to officers of the Naval Reserve Force in regard to whom specific provision is made in section 3 of the act as stated above.
The provision in the act of July 1, 1918, 40 Stat., 712, relative to counting service in the branches therein enumerated for the purpose of computing longevity increase of active duty pay of officers of the Naval Reserve Force was superseded by section 3 of the act of June 10, 1922, and the saving clause in section 16 of that act has no application to officers of the Naval Reserve Force. 2 Comp. Gen., 87, 88.
Claimant having been paid for the period in question, the base pay of the fourth period with longevity increase as after three years' commissioned service in accordance with section 3 of the act of June 10, 1922, is entitled to nothing further.
Upon review the settlement is sustained.
APPROPRIATIONS-ERRORS IN TOTALING.
The correct amount appropriated by the act of January 24, 1923, 42 Stat., 1213,
under the heading “ Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona,” is the amount obtained by correctly adding up the various items specifically appropriated for under that heading, $125,400, the statement immediately following such items “ in all, $126,000," not being an express provision otherwise for the purposes of the application to such computation of the act of May 28, 1896,
29 Stat., 148. Comptroller General McCarl to the Secretary of the Interior, March 22, 1923:
I have your letter of February 15, 1923, requesting decision as to the amount appropriated by the act of January 24, 1923, 42 Statu, 1213, the following item:
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona: For administration, protection, and maintenance, including not exceeding $2,000 for the purchase, maintenance, operation, and repair of motor-driven passenger-carrying vehicles for the use of the superintendent and employees in connection with general park work, $60,000; for construction of physical improvements, $65,400, including not ex. ceeding $40,000 for completing, widening and paving of the Hermit Rest Road, not exceeding $6,000 for a building to be used as a community center, and not exceeding $3,000 for the construction of a duplex cottage for employees; in all, $126,000.
The act of May 28, 1896, 29 Stat., 148, provides:
That hereafter the total amount appropriated in the various paragraphs of an appropriation act shall be determined by the correct footing up of the specific sums or rates appropriated in each paragraph contained therein unless otherwise expressly provided.
A correct footing up of the specific sums appropriated produces a total of $125,400 and that is the amount appropriated, regardless of the“ in all, $126,000,” which under the terms of the provision cited must be disregarded.