Opinion No. 404
DATE TO WHICH SALARY SHOULD BE PAID IN CASE OF FORFEITURE OF OFFICE, DISMISSAL OR DEATH
ACTS INTERPRETATION ACT 1901, s. 36 : COMMONWEALTH PUBLIC SERVICE ACT 1902-1909, s. 66
28 February 1911
The Secretary to the Public Service Commissioner
The Public Service Commissioner asks for advice on the question raised in the following memorandum by his Secretary:
I am directed to state that at the present time a uniform procedure is not observed by Departments in the payment of officers who have forfeited office under the provisions of section 66 of the Commonwealth Public Service Act, or who have been dismissed, or who have died.
In some Departments the practice is to pay salary inclusive of the date of forfeiture, dismissal or death as the case may be; while in others payment is made only up to and including the day preceding removal.
The latter would appear to be the correct course, and is consonant with the principle embodied in section 36 of Act No. 2 of 1901 (Acts Interpretation Act).
The Commissioner is desirous of issuing a ruling on the point for the information of Departments, and would be glad of an expression of your opinion on the matter.
In my opinion, section 36 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 is not applicable, as it only applies in the construction of the provisions of an Act of Parliament which specify a certain period dating from a certain day.
As a matter of strict right, I think that the right of payment for the day on which the forfeiture, dismissal, or death of the officer takes place depends on whether that event took place before, during, or after office hours on that day. E.g. an officer who dies in the evening would have earned his day's pay; an officer who died early in the morning would not.
If a uniform rule is desired, I think that payment should be made inclusive of the day of forfeiture, dismissal, or death.
[Vol. 8, p. 296]