[Claim for Retroactive Step Adjustment and Backpay]

B-212085: Dec 6, 1983

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An Army employee requested further consideration of her claim for backpay and retroactive step adjustment under the highest previous rate rule for job appointments. The employee, who was serving in a temporary position after a reduction in force, was released by the Army when her temporary appointment expired. Following a service break, the employee was reemployed by the Army at a grade that she had previously held, but at a lower step. The employee made an entitlement claim with the Claims Group, which disallowed the claim based upon the discretionary nature of the highest previous rate rule. The Claims Group further noted that the rule is only applicable in cases where the employee has no break in service. The basis for the employee's appeal was that the break in service was improper, causing her to lose the benefit of the highest previous rate rule upon reemployment. GAO held that: (1) the break in the employee's service precluded the use of the highest previous rate rule; and (2) allegations of impropriety concerning denied appointments or violations of reemployment rights are not within the jurisdiction of GAO. Accordingly, the Claims Group's decision was sustained.