A-16202, NOVEMBER 20, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 355

A-16202: Nov 20, 1926

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

DOES NOT JUSTIFY AN ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IN DELAYING PAYMENT OF INCREASES IN COMPENSATION PURSUANT TO REALLOCATION OF POSITIONS BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE INCREASES WILL NOT CAUSE A DEFICIENCY. THE REQUIREMENT IS MANDATORY THAT SUCH INCREASES BE MADE EFFECTIVE FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE PAY PERIOD CURRENT WHEN NOTICE OF THE REALLOCATION IS RECEIVED IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE. IF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE DETERMINES THAT APPROPRIATED FUNDS ARE INSUFFICIENT TO COVER INCREASES IN COMPENSATION WITHIN THE SALARY RANGES OF THE GRADES. THAT SEVERAL EMPLOYEES UNDER THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION ARE RECEIVING COMPENSATION AT A RATE LESS THAN THE MINIMUM SALARY RATES FOR THE GRADES IN WHICH THE POSITIONS HAVE BEEN REALLOCATED.

A-16202, NOVEMBER 20, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 355

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - REALLOCATION - PROMOTION THE INSUFFICIENCY OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS OR THE PROSPECT OF A DEFICIENCY THEREIN, DOES NOT JUSTIFY AN ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IN DELAYING PAYMENT OF INCREASES IN COMPENSATION PURSUANT TO REALLOCATION OF POSITIONS BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE INCREASES WILL NOT CAUSE A DEFICIENCY, BUT THE REQUIREMENT IS MANDATORY THAT SUCH INCREASES BE MADE EFFECTIVE FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE PAY PERIOD CURRENT WHEN NOTICE OF THE REALLOCATION IS RECEIVED IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, THE DEFICIENCY TO BE PROVIDED AGAINST BY REDUCTION IN THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES, OR OTHERWISE. IF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE DETERMINES THAT APPROPRIATED FUNDS ARE INSUFFICIENT TO COVER INCREASES IN COMPENSATION WITHIN THE SALARY RANGES OF THE GRADES, NO PROMOTION WITHIN THE GRADES WOULD BE JUSTIFIED OR AUTHORIZED UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, 42 STAT. 1490.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, NOVEMBER 20, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 27, 1926, WITH REFERENCE TO THE STATEMENT CONTAINED IN LETTER OF THE CHAIRMAN, PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD, DATED OCTOBER 2, 1926, THAT SEVERAL EMPLOYEES UNDER THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION ARE RECEIVING COMPENSATION AT A RATE LESS THAN THE MINIMUM SALARY RATES FOR THE GRADES IN WHICH THE POSITIONS HAVE BEEN REALLOCATED.

THE POSITION HELD BY ONE OF THE EMPLOYEES MENTIONED, MR. H. W. DORSEY, DISBURSING CLERK, HAS BEEN ALLOCATED IN GRADE CAF-9. SALARY RANGE FROM $3,000 TO $3,900 PER ANNUM. YOU HAVE EXPLAINED THAT HE IS PAID $2,000 FROM THE APPROPRIATION "PRESERVATION OF COLLECTIONS, NATIONAL MUSEUM," AND $1,000 FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR "INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGES.' IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT HE DISBURSES BOTH APPROPRIATIONS. THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO OBJECTION TO THIS PROCEDURE, THE PARTICULAR APPROPRIATION ITEM CHARGED WITH THE COMPENSATION OF THE EMPLOYEE AND THE TIME ENGAGED UNDER EACH APPROPRIATION SO CHARGED TO BE INDICATED ON THE PAY ROLLS. 4 COMP. GEN. 703.

WITH REFERENCE TO THE OTHER CASES MENTIONED YOU STATE:

THE TWO ADDITIONAL CASES CITED ARE AS FOLLOWS:

GEORGE C. MCCLAIN: ALLOCATION CHANGED FROM CU-4 AT $1,440 TO CU-6 AT $1,500 ON MARCH 27, 1926.

CHARLES WHITEBREAD:ALLOCATION CHANGED FROM P-2 AT $2,400 TO P-3 AT $3,000 ON APRIL 9, 1926.

THESE TWO EMPLOYEES ARE CARRIED ON THE SALARY ROLL OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR PRESERVATION OF COLLECTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES NATIONAL MUSEUM. UNDER THE APPROPRIATION FOR PRESERVATION OF COLLECTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES NATIONAL MUSEUM FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1926, THE TOTAL SALARY ROLL AMOUNTED TO $428,598, WHILE IN THE WORDING OF THE ACT THERE IS INDICATED AN APPROPRIATION OF $441,082, OF WHICH IT IS DISTINCTLY SPECIFIED THAT AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $428,598 MIGHT BE EXPENDED FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THE SALARY ROLL AND THE SALARY LIMITATION WERE THUS IDENTICAL. SINCE THERE WERE NO POSITIONS ON OUR SALARY ROLL TO BE ABOLISHED, IT WAS NOT DEEMED LEGAL OR PROPER IN THESE TWO CASES TO COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS FOR INCREASE IN SALARIES MADE BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD, UNTIL THERE HAD BEEN DEFINITE CONGRESSIONAL ACTION PERMITTING THE ALLOTTED INCREASE. TO HAVE GIVEN THIS INCREASE WOULD HAVE RAISED THE INDICATED LIMITATION OF

SALARIES ABOVE THE AMOUNT SPECIFIED FOR PERSONAL SERVICES.

IT MAY BE INDICATED ALSO THAT ON THIS APPROPRIATION THERE WAS AVAILABLE ONLY $12,484 ABOVE THE SALARY ROLL FOR THE ROUTINE EXPENSES OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM. THIS APPROPRIATION IS THE MAJOR ONE FOR PURCHASE OF SPECIMENS, SUPPLIES, AND SIMILAR MATERIALS, AND OFFERS AN EXCEEDINGLY LOW MARGIN FOR ADMINISTRATION.

THE LETTER FROM THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD MENTIONS ALSO THE FOLLOWING CASES:

CHART

AUTHORIZED MINIMUM SALARY

NAME CLASSIFICATION FORMER RATE OF RECEIVED AS

GRADE GRADE NEW GRADE OF MAY 15,

1926 ASHTON, M. D. ------ SP-6

SP-5 $1,860 $1,680 BEAN, B. A. --------P-3 P-2 3,000

2,400 CAREY, CHARLES ----- P-2 SP-7 2,400 2,100 GALLAHER, K. A. ---- SP-3 SP-2 1,320 1,260 WENGER, M. R. ------ SP-5 SP-3

1,680 1,440

REPORT ON THE CASES OF M. D. ASHTON, K. A. GALLAHER, AND M. R. WENGER, WAS RECEIVED IN THIS INSTITUTION DATED AUGUST 27, 1926; THAT OF MR. B. A. BEAN ON AUGUST 28, AND THAT OF MR. CHARLES CAREY ON AUGUST 31. THESE CAME TO OUR ATTENTION BETWEEN AUGUST 28 AND SEPTEMBER 1. THESE EMPLOYEES, TOGETHER WITH MR. G. C. MCCLAIN AND MR. C. WHITEBREAD, ABOVE MENTIONED, WERE GIVEN THE INCREASED RATES OF SALARY AS OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1926. ACTION WAS TAKEN PROMPTLY IN THIS MATTER FOLLOWING AN ADJUSTMENT WITH THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET ON INTERPRETATION OF THE SO-CALLED 2 PERCENT PERSONNEL SAVINGS CLUB, WHICH PERMITTED THE ADDITIONAL FUND REQUIRED.

IT MAY BE NOTED THAT ALL THESE EMPLOYEES ARE CARRIED UNDER THE ROLL OF PRESERVATION OF COLLECTIONS. IN THE APPROPRIATION BILL FOR 1927, IT IS INDICATED THAT THE TOTAL SALARY ROLL OF $432,738, WHILE THE LIMITATION FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IS $435,000. THERE IS SHOWN HERE AN INCREASE IN THE LIMITATION OF SALARIES $2,262 ABOVE THE ACTUAL SALARY ROLL IT MAY BE EXPLAINED, HOWEVER, THAT THIS INCREASE IN LIMITATION OF $2,262 WAS MADE BY THE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE WITH THE DISTINCT UNDERSTANDING THAT THE ADDITIONAL SUM SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR INCREASING PERMANENT SALARIES, BUT TO PERMIT THE EMPLOYMENT FROM TIME TO TIME OF TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES WHEN NEEDED FOR ASSISTANCE IN VARIOUS PHASES OF OUR WORK.

IN CLOSING I MAY STATE THAT ALL THESE REALLOCATIONS HAVE BEEN PUT INTO EFFECT AS PROMPTLY AS FUNDS AVAILABLE TO OUR CREDIT WOULD SEEM TO PERMIT.

WITH REGARD TO THE STATEMENT OF THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD INDICATING THAT ONLY A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE EMPLOYEES UNDER THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION ARE RECEIVING A SALARY RATE ABOVE THE MINIMUM OF THEIR CLASSIFICATION GRADES, I REGRET TO STATE THAT THIS IS TRUE. ESTIMATES FOR ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATIONS TO COVER INCREASES IN SALARIES OF EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE ATTAINED SATISFACTORY EFFICIENCY RATINGS HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED EACH YEAR SINCE THE OPERATION OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF JULY 1, 1924, BUT SO FAR WITH RESULT THAT IT HAS BEEN POSSIBLE ONLY TO GRANT INCREASES IN A VERY SMALL NUMBER OF CASES. IT IS OUR FEELING THAT THE MATTER IS ONE OF SIMPLE JUSTICE TO DESERVING EMPLOYEES AND SHOULD BE GIVEN ATTENTION, BUT OUR SITUATION IS SUCH OWING TO OUR SMALL APPROPRIATIONS, THAT INCREASES CAN NOT BE GRANTED WITHOUT ADEQUATE CONGRESSIONAL ACTION.

IN DECISION OF JULY 24, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 106, 107, AFFIRMING DECISION OF JULY 14, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 56, IT WAS STATED:

AS PREVIOUSLY STATED, SECTION 4 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, 42 STAT. 1489, PROVIDES: ,SUCH ALLOCATIONS SHALL BE REVIEWED AND MAY BE REVISED BY THE (PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION) BOARD AND SHALL BECOME FINAL UPON THEIR APPROVAL BY SAID BOARD.' THE LAST SECTION OF THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD IN ALLOCATION OF POSITIONS IS THE PROPER BASIS FOR FIXING THE RATE OF COMPENSATION, * * *. THE FACT THAT THE AMOUNT OF THE APPROPRIATION NOW AVAILABLE WILL NOT SUFFICE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE RATE OF COMPENSATION BASED ON THE REVISED ALLOCATION DURING THE ENTIRE FISCAL YEAR DOES NOT AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF ANY OTHER THAN THE RATE OF COMPENSATION BASED ON THE REVISED ALLOCATION. ANY RESULTING DEFICIT IN THE APPROPRIATION MUST OTHERWISE BE AVOIDED.

IT HAS BEEN HELD BY THIS OFFICE THAT THE INCREASE IN COMPENSATION UNDER A REALLOCATION OF A POSITION MADE BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD, IS EFFECTIVE FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE PAY PERIOD CURRENT WHEN NOTICE OF THE REALLOCATION IS RECEIVED IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE. 4 COMP. GEN. 280; ID. 395; ID. 721; DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 23, 1926, A 15648, 6 COMP. GEN. 202.

INSUFFICIENCY OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS OR PROSPECT OF A DEFICIENCY THEREIN DOES NOT AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION FOR A CIVILIAN POSITION IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AT ANY OTHER RATE THAN ONE IN THE GRADES IN WHICH THE POSITIONS ARE ALLOCATED, AND THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO DELAY PAYING THE INCREASE IN RATE OF COMPENSATION PURSUANT TO A REALLOCATION OF A POSITION UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE MAY DETERMINE THAT THE INCREASE WOULD NOT CAUSE A DEFICIENCY IN THE APPROPRIATION. THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE HAS NO DISCRETION IN THE MATTER. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AND THE DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE WITH REFERENCE THERETO, AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE POSITION HAS BEEN REALLOCATED IS ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION AT A RATE FIXED IN THE CLASSIFICATION ACT FOR THE GRADE TO WHICH THE POSITION HAS BEEN REALLOCATED FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE PAY PERIOD IN WHICH NOTICE OF THE REALLOCATION IS RECEIVED IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, AND PAYMENT AT ANY OTHER RATE IS NOT AUTHORIZED. AND IF ON THE BASIS OF SUCH PAYMENTS, THERE IS PROSPECT OF A DEFICIENCY IN THE APPROPRIATION INVOLVED FOR WHICH THE CONGRESS WILL NOT MAKE PROVISION, IT IS THE PLAIN DUTY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TO PROVIDE AGAINST SUCH DEFICIENCY BY THE REDUCTION OF SALARIES IN THESE CASES IN WHICH PAYMENT IS BEING MADE AT A RATE IN EXCESS OF THE MINIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE IN WHICH THE POSITION IS ALLOCATED, OR BY THE TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT REDUCTION OF THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES.

ACCORDINGLY, ON THE BASIS OF A SUPPLEMENTAL PAY ROLL DULY PREPARED AND CERTIFIED BY THE PROPER ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS, THE DISBURSING CLERK OF THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION IS AUTHORIZED TO PAY TO EACH EMPLOYEE INVOLVED ACCRUED COMPENSATION IN AN AMOUNT REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE RATE HERETOFORE RECEIVED AND THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE GRADES IN WHICH THE POSITIONS OF SUCH EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN REALLOCATED BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD, FOR THE PERIOD FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE PAY PERIOD CURRENT WHEN NOTICES OF SUCH REALLOCATIONS WERE RECEIVED IN THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, AND SEPTEMBER 1, 1926, FROM WHICH DATE THE INCREASES APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN PAID. REFERENCE TO THIS DECISION SHOULD BE MADE ON THE SUPPLEMENTAL PAY ROLL FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE FOR AUDIT.

REFERRING TO THE STATEMENT OF THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD THAT ONLY A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE PERSONNEL UNDER THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION IS RECEIVING A SALARY RATE ABOVE THE MINIMUM OF THEIR GRADES AND THE REPLY THERETO CONTAINED IN THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER ABOVE QUOTED, ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THAT PORTION OF DECISION OF JULY 24, 1924, SUPRA, AS FOLLOWS:

THE PROVISO IN SECTION 7 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, 42 STAT. 1490, "THAT IN NO CASE SHALL THE COMPENSATION OF ANY EMPLOYEE BE INCREASED UNLESS CONGRESS HAS APPROPRIATED MONEY FROM WHICH THE INCREASE MAY LAWFULLY BE PAID" RELATES TO INCREASE OF COMPENSATION WITHIN A GRADE AND NOT TO PAYMENT OF INCREASE OF COMPENSATION BY REASON OF REALLOCATION OF POSITIONS.

HENCE, IF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE DETERMINES THAT APPROPRIATED FUNDS ARE NOT AVAILABLE, OR ARE INSUFFICIENT TO COVER INCREASES IN COMPENSATION WITHIN SALARY RANGES OF THE GRADE, NO PROMOTIONS WITHIN THE GRADES WOULD BE JUSTIFIED OR REQUIRED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT.