Justice and Law Enforcement:
[Comments on Legality of Proposed Revision to 5 C.F.R. 531.404]
B-211674, May 25, 1983
GAO was asked for its views on the legality of the proposed revision to 5 C.F.R. 531.404 which provides that employees in steps 1 through 6 of a grade in the General Schedule must perform at the "fully successful" level to be eligible for a within-grade step increase, but employees in steps 7 through 9 must perform at the"exceeds fully successful" level to be eligible for a step increase. Specifically, GAO was asked whether the Office of Personnel Management may legally require different performance ratings at different step levels or whether the law requires that the same rating apply to each of the 10 steps. GAO concluded that the proposed revision to 5 C.F.R. 531.404 is contrary to law and may not be legally implemented. The governing statute requires that the same performance standard or rating apply to all of the the steps of the grades in the General Schedule.