A-12718, JANUARY 30, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 560

A-12718: Jan 30, 1926

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AUTHORIZING PAYMENT ONLY AT THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE GRADE TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS APPOINTED. IS A MATTER BETWEEN THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED AND THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WILL NOT QUESTION THE QUALIFICATIONS OF THE APPOINTEE. WHERE THE DUTIES TO BE PERFORMED BY A PERSON OCCUPYING A POSITION IN ONE GRADE AND SERVICE ARE REDESCRIBED AND SUBMITTED TO THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE. THE CHANGE IN STATUS OF THE EMPLOYEE IS EQUIVALENT TO A NEW APPOINTMENT AUTHORIZING PAYMENT INITIALLY AT THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE NEW GRADE. EFFECTIVE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PAY PERIOD CURRENT WHEN NOTICE OF THE ALLOCATION IS RECEIVED IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE.

A-12718, JANUARY 30, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 560

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - CHANGE IN STATUS FROM SERVICE TO SERVICE A CHANGE IN THE "SERVICE" AS FIXED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, WITH THE DIFFERENCE IN EDUCATION, QUALIFICATIONS, EXPERIENCE, ETC., INCIDENT THERETO, MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED OTHER THAN AS A NEW APPOINTMENT, AUTHORIZING PAYMENT ONLY AT THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE GRADE TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS APPOINTED. THE APPOINTMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE HOLDING A POSITION IN ONE "SERVICE" UNDER A DEPARTMENT TO A VACANT EXISTING POSITION IN ANOTHER "SERVICE" UNDER THE SAME DEPARTMENT, IS A MATTER BETWEEN THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED AND THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, AND WHEN THE COMMISSION APPROVES THE APPOINTMENT, THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WILL NOT QUESTION THE QUALIFICATIONS OF THE APPOINTEE. WHERE THE DUTIES TO BE PERFORMED BY A PERSON OCCUPYING A POSITION IN ONE GRADE AND SERVICE ARE REDESCRIBED AND SUBMITTED TO THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, RESULTING IN THE CREATION AND ALLOCATION OF A NEW POSITION IN ANOTHER GRADE AND SERVICE HAVING A LOWER RANGE OF SALARY RATES, THE CHANGE IN STATUS OF THE EMPLOYEE IS EQUIVALENT TO A NEW APPOINTMENT AUTHORIZING PAYMENT INITIALLY AT THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE NEW GRADE, EFFECTIVE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PAY PERIOD CURRENT WHEN NOTICE OF THE ALLOCATION IS RECEIVED IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE. AUTHORITY TO MAKE PROMOTION TO A SALARY RATE ABOVE THE MINIMUM SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CHANGE IN SALARY UNDER THE ALLOCATION WOULD DEPEND UPON THE CONDITION OF THE AVERAGE IN THE GRADE AT THE TIME AND THE COMPARATIVE EFFICIENCY OF THE EMPLOYEE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, JANUARY 30, 1926:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 14, 1926, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE DISALLOWANCE IN THE ACCOUNTS OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OF THE AMOUNT OF COMPENSATION PAID TO JAMES W. BALDWIN, CHIEF CLERK AND ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE RATE OF $3,000 AND $5,200 PER ANNUM FOR THE PERIOD MAY 1, 1925, TO JULY 31, 1925, AND ALSO REQUESTING DECISION AS TO THE PROPER RATE OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE TO MR. BALDWIN FOR THE PERIOD SUBSEQUENT TO JULY 31, 1925.

IT APPEARS THAT PRIOR TO MAY 1, 1925, JAMES W. BALDWIN HELD A POSITION UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WHICH HAD BEEN ALLOCATED TO CAF-9, AND WAS RECEIVING $3,000 PER ANNUM, THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE PRESCRIBED FOR THAT GRADE. EFFECTIVE MAY 1, 1925, HE WAS APPOINTED TO AN EXISTING POSITION IN GRADE P AND S-5, VACATED BY THE RESIGNATION OF GEORGE W. STRONG EFFECTIVE APRIL 30, 1925, AND WAS PAID AT THE RATE OF $5,200 PER ANNUM, THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THAT GRADE. THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE HAS REPORTED THIS CHANGE AS A PROMOTION, BUT A CHANGE IN THE POSITION HELD BY MR. BALDWIN WAS NOT A PROMOTION FROM A LOWER TO A HIGHER GRADE IN THE SENSE IN WHICH THAT TERM IS UNDERSTOOD AND APPLIED IN THE PROPER ADMINISTRATION OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, BUT AN ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE HOLDING A POSITION IN ONE "SERVICE" TO A VACANT POSITION IN ANOTHER ,SERVICE.' THAT IS TO SAY, A CHANGE IN THE "SERVICE" AS FIXED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, WITH THE DIFFERENCE IN EDUCATION, QUALIFICATIONS, EXPERIENCE, ETC., INCIDENT THERETO, MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED OTHER THAN AS A NEW APPOINTMENT. 4 COMP. GEN. 493, 499. THE APPOINTMENT OF MR. BALDWIN BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TO THIS VACANT POSITION IN GRADE P AND S-5 WAS APPROVED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, AND THERE APPEARS NO REASON FOR THIS OFFICE NOW TO QUESTION THE QUALIFICATIONS OF THE APPOINTEE. 4 COMP. GEN. 957, 958. I SEE NO REASON, THEREFORE, TO QUESTION THE PAYMENT OF THE RATE OF $5,200 PER ANNUM, THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE IN GRADE P AND S-5, TO MR. BALDWIN AS LONG AS HE HELD AND PERFORMED THE DUTIES OF A POSITION IN THAT GRADE.

IT IS REPORTED THAT---

* * * ON OR ABOUT AUGUST 7, 1925, NEW CLASSIFICATION SHEETS WERE SUBMITTED TO THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD COVERING THE POSITION WHICH IT WAS DESIGNED MR. BALDWIN SHOULD OCCUPY UPON ITS ALLOCATION BY THE BOARD. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ASKED THAT THIS POSITION BE ALLOCATED TO GRADE 12 OF THE CLERICAL, ADMINISTRATIVE, AND FISCAL SERVICE. THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD ON OCTOBER 31, TRANSMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT ITS FINAL ACTION ON THE DEPARTMENT'S REQUEST FOR APPROVAL OF ITS ALLOCATION OF THIS POSITION, ALLOCATING THE POSITION TO GRADE 11 OF THE CLERICAL, ADMINISTRATIVE AND FISCAL SERVICE, INSTEAD OF TO GRADE 12 AS REQUESTED BY THE DEPARTMENT. * * *

WHILE THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IS NOW CONTENDING THAT THE DUTIES OF THIS NEW POSITION WERE ,MUCH THE SAME AS HAD PREVIOUSLY ATTACHED TO THAT OFFICE," A COMPARISON OF THE CLASSIFICATION SHEETS SUBMITTED AS TO THE POSITION PREVIOUSLY HELD BY MR. STRONG, TO WHICH MR. BALDWIN WAS APPOINTED AS OF MAY 1, 1925, AND THE CLASSIFICATION SHEET SUBMITTED AS BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT THAT THE POSITIONS WERE NOT THE SAME, AND THEY WERE NOT CONSIDERED BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD AS THE SAME. ON THE BASIS OF THE NEW CLASSIFICATION SHEET THE NEW POSITION WAS AUTHORIZED AND ALLOCATED IN GRADE CAF-11.

HERE AGAIN THERE APPEARS A CHANGE IN THE "SERVICE," AND THE CHANGE IN THE STATUS OF MR. BALDWIN RESULTING FROM THE ALLOCATION OF HIS NEW POSITION MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS A DEMOTION FROM A HIGHER TO A LOWER GRADE, OR A TRANSFER FROM ONE GRADE TO ANOTHER GRADE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AND THE EXCEPTIONS TO THE AVERAGE PROVISION, BUT AS CONSTITUTING IN EFFECT A NEW APPOINTMENT, AUTHORIZING PAYMENT ONLY AT THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE GRADE, VIZ, $3,800 PER ANNUM. 4 COMP. GEN. 493, 499. THE AUTHORITY TO PROMOTE MR. BALDWIN SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH HIS APPOINTMENT TO THE POSITION IN GRADE CAF-11 TO ANY SALARY RATE THEREIN ABOVE THE MINIMUM DEPENDED UPON THE CONDITION OF THE AVERAGE AT THE TIME HE ENTERED THE GRADE AND THE COMPARISON OF HIS EFFICIENCY RATING WITH THOSE EMPLOYEES ALREADY IN THE GRADE. 4 COMP. GEN. 77; ID. 401.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THERE WAS NO FORMAL APPOINTMENT TO THE NEWLY CREATED POSITION, BUT THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT MR. BALDWIN BEGAN PERFORMING THE DUTIES THEREOF PRIOR TO OCTOBER 15, 1925, AND THAT HE DID NOT THEREAFTER PERFORM THE DUTIES DESCRIBED ON THE CLASSIFICATION SHEET FOR THE FORMER POSITION WHICH HAD BEEN ALLOCATED IN GRADE P AND S-5. THEREFORE, APPLYING THE RULE LAID DOWN IN 4 COMP. GEN. 280, AND 5 COMP. GEN. 202, IT MUST BE HELD THAT MR. BALDWIN IS ENTITLED ONLY TO THE COMPENSATION OF GRADE CAF-11 FROM OCTOBER 16, 1925, THE BEGINNING OF THE PAY PERIOD CURRENT WHEN NOTICE OF THE ORIGINAL ALLOCATION WAS RECEIVED (OCTOBER 31, 1925), IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, VIZ, THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, IT APPEARING THERE IS NO "BUREAU" IN THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 26, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 721, DEFINING THE TERM ,ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE" IN THIS CONNECTION AS THE "PARTICULAR BUREAU IN A DEPARTMENT ON WHICH IS IMPOSED THE DUTY OF MAKING UP THE PAY ROLLS.' SEE 4 COMP. GEN. 851.

YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT NO OBJECTION WILL BE RAISED TO THE PAYMENT OF THE SALARY RATE OF $5,200 PER ANNUM TO MR. BALDWIN FOR THE PERIOD MAY 1, 1925, TO OCTOBER 15, 1925, INCLUSIVE, AND THAT THE SUSPENSION IN THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS FOR THE PERIOD MAY 1 TO JULY 31, 1925, WILL BE REMOVED.

THE RATE OF COMPENSATION PAYABLE TO MR. BALDWIN IN GRADE CAF-11 ON AND AFTER OCTOBER 16, 1925, ABOVE THE MINIMUM MAY NOT EXCEED A RATE WHICH, TOGETHER WITH THE SALARY RATES OF THOSE EMPLOYEES ALREADY IN THE GRADE, WOULD NOT CAUSE THE AVERAGE SALARY RATE OF $4,400 TO BE EXCEEDED. THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT ON OCTOBER 16, 1925, THERE WERE 10 EMPLOYEES IN GRADE CAF-11 RECEIVING AN AGGREGATE OF COMPENSATION OF $42,600, OR AN AVERAGE OF $4,260. ADDING TO THIS ONE POSITION AT $5,000 PER ANNUM, THE AGGREGATE OF COMPENSATION FOR THE 11 POSITIONS WOULD BE $47,600, OR AN AVERAGE OF $4,327.27, WHICH IS BELOW THE AVERAGE FOR THE GRADE. ASSUMING THAT MR. BALDWIN ATTAINED AND MAINTAINED THE PROPER EFFICIENCY RATING IN COMPARISON WITH THE OTHER 10 EMPLOYEES IN THE GRADE, PAYMENT TO HIM OF THE RATE OF COMPENSATION OF $5,000 PER ANNUM ON AND AFTER OCTOBER 16, 1925, WAS AUTHORIZED. ANY ADJUSTMENTS IN THE GRADE ON AND AFTER THAT DATE THAT MAY HAVE CAUSED THE PROPER AVERAGE OF THE GRADE TO BE EXCEEDED ARE FOR READJUSTMENT SO THAT AT NO TIME SINCE OCTOBER 15, 1925, WILL THE AVERAGE OF THE TOTAL RATES OF COMPENSATION OF ALL EMPLOYEES IN THE GRADE, INCLUDING MR. BALDWIN, EXCEED $4,400 PER ANNUM.