A-22626, MAY 15, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 721

A-22626: May 15, 1928

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THE APPROPRIATION ACT HAVE BEEN MET. WHEREBY WAS DISALLOWED HER CLAIM FOR DIFFERENCE IN SALARY AS A CLERK IN THE OFFICE OF THE ADJUTANT GENERAL OF THE ARMY BETWEEN THE SALARY RATE IN GRADE CAF-5 OF $1. CLAIMANT WAS RECEIVING THE SECOND SALARY RATE OF GRADE CAF-5. SHE WAS PROMOTED TO THE THIRD SALARY RATE IN GRADE CAF-5. SHE WAS PROMOTED TO THE FOURTH SALARY RATE OF GRADE CAF-5. IS BASED ON THE ATTAINMENT. ARE DESIGNATED BY A LETTER. A RANGE OF 5 PERCENT IN EFFICIENCY RATINGS BEGINNING WITH 65 PERCENT AND ENDING WITH 100 PERCENT IS ALLOTTED TO EACH OF SAID SALARY RATES. THIS SCHEDULE IS PREFACED IN THE REGULATIONS OF THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD WITH THE FOLLOWING: THE ELIGIBILITY OF EMPLOYEES TO RECEIVE SPECIFIC SALARIES WITHIN THE GRADE RANGES.

A-22626, MAY 15, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 721

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - EFFECT OF EFFICIENCY RATINGS ON PROMOTION AN AWARD OF A PARTICULAR EFFICIENCY RATING EFFECTIVE AS OF THE BEGINNING OF A FISCAL YEAR DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY OPERATE TO PROMOTE THE EMPLOYEE TO THE SALARY RATE WITHIN A GRADE WHICH CORRESPONDS TO THE EFFICIENCY RATING ATTAINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SCHEDULE PROMULGATED BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD, BUT MERELY INDICATES THE GROUNDS OR ELIGIBILITY FOR PROMOTION, ONLY IF AND WHEN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE MAKES THE PROMOTION EFFECTIVE AFTER DETERMINING THAT ALL OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, THE AVERAGE PROVISION, AND THE APPROPRIATION ACT HAVE BEEN MET.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, MAY 15, 1928:

KATE GIBSON HAS REQUESTED REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT NO. 0214993, DATED MARCH 9, 1928, WHEREBY WAS DISALLOWED HER CLAIM FOR DIFFERENCE IN SALARY AS A CLERK IN THE OFFICE OF THE ADJUTANT GENERAL OF THE ARMY BETWEEN THE SALARY RATE IN GRADE CAF-5 OF $1,920, PER ANNUM AND $2,000 PER ANNUM FROM JULY 1, 1927, TO AUGUST 3, 1927, AND BETWEEN $2,000 PER ANNUM AND $2,100 PER ANNUM FROM AUGUST 4 TO SEPTEMBER 20, 1927. THE CLAIM HAD BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY DISAPPROVED.

ON AND BEFORE JULY 1, 1927, CLAIMANT WAS RECEIVING THE SECOND SALARY RATE OF GRADE CAF-5, OR $1,920 PER ANNUM. ON AUGUST 4, 1927, SHE WAS PROMOTED TO THE THIRD SALARY RATE IN GRADE CAF-5, OF $2,000 PER ANNUM, AND ON SEPTEMBER 20, 1927, SHE WAS PROMOTED TO THE FOURTH SALARY RATE OF GRADE CAF-5, OR $2,100 PER ANNUM.

THE INSTANT CLAIM FOR THE SALARY RATE OF $2,100 PER ANNUM FROM JULY 1, 1927, IS BASED ON THE ATTAINMENT, EFFECTIVE AS OF THAT DATE, OF AN EFFICIENCY RATING WHICH MADE HER ELIGIBLE FOR PROMOTION TO THE SALARY RATE OF $2,100 PER ANNUM IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SCHEDULE AND RULES PROMULGATED BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD UNDER DATE OF NOVEMBER 7, 1924.

UNDER THIS SCHEDULE THE SALARY RATES FOR GRADE CAF-5, AS FIXED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, ARE DESIGNATED BY A LETTER, BEGINNING WITH (A) FOR THE LOWEST SALARY RATE AND (G) FOR THE HIGHEST. A RANGE OF 5 PERCENT IN EFFICIENCY RATINGS BEGINNING WITH 65 PERCENT AND ENDING WITH 100 PERCENT IS ALLOTTED TO EACH OF SAID SALARY RATES. THE CLAIMANT APPARENTLY ATTAINED AN EFFICIENCY RATING FROM 80 TO 84 PERCENT, (D), WHICH THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE HAS CALLED CLASS (D), FOR WHICH THE SALARY RATE OF $2,100 IN GRADE CAF-5 HAS BEEN FIXED. THIS SCHEDULE IS PREFACED IN THE REGULATIONS OF THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD WITH THE FOLLOWING:

THE ELIGIBILITY OF EMPLOYEES TO RECEIVE SPECIFIC SALARIES WITHIN THE GRADE RANGES, ON THE BASIS OF THEIR EFFICIENCY RATINGS, WILL BE AS INDICATED IN THE FOLLOWING TABLE:

AND IN THE RULES FOR PROMOTION APPEARING IN PARAGRAPH 14 OF THE REGULATIONS APPEAR THE FOLLOWING:

THE FOLLOWING RULES ARE PRESCRIBED TO ESTABLISH RATINGS WHICH EMPLOYEES MUST ATTAIN TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR PROMOTION:

(C) AN EMPLOYEE ATTAINING AN EFFICIENCY RATING OF 80 WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR PROMOTION TO SALARY RATE (D) OF THE GRADE TO WHICH HIS POSITION IS ALLOCATED.

THE INSTANT CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE FOLLOWING REASON STATED IN THE DISALLOWANCE CERTIFICATE:

AN AWARD OF A PARTICULAR EFFICIENCY RATING DOES NOT OF ITSELF AUTOMATICALLY OPERATE TO CHANGE THE SALARY STATUS OF AN EMPLOYEE BUT TO MERELY INDICATE THE GROUNDS OR ELIGIBILITY THEREFOR. CLAIMANT WAS THEREFORE NOT ENTITLED TO THE PAYMENT OF SALARY AT THE RATE PERMISSIBLE BY HER EFFICIENCY RATING UPON THE MERE AWARD THEREOF.

THE SCHEDULE AND RULES OF THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD ARE PROMULGATED UNDER AUTHORITY OF SECTION 9 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT WHICH PROVIDES, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

THAT THE BOARD SHALL REVIEW AND MAY REVISE UNIFORM SYSTEMS OF EFFICIENCY RATINGS ESTABLISHED OR TO BE ESTABLISHED FOR THE VARIOUS GRADES OR CLASSES THEREOF, WHICH SHALL SET FORTH THE DEGREE OF EFFICIENCY WHICH SHALL CONSTITUTE GROUND FOR (A) INCREASE IN THE RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE NOT ATTAINED THE MAXIMUM RATE OF THE CLASS TO WHICH THEIR POSITIONS ARE ALLOCATED, (B) CONTINUANCE AT THE EXISTING RATE OF COMPENSATION WITHOUT INCREASE OR DECREASE, (C) DECREASE IN THE RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR EMPLOYEES WHO AT THE TIME ARE ABOVE THE MINIMUM RATE OF THE CLASS TO WHICH THEIR POSITIONS ARE ALLOCATED, AND (D) DISMISSAL.

THE HEAD OF EACH DEPARTMENT SHALL RATE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUCH SYSTEMS THE EFFICIENCY OF EACH EMPLOYEE UNDER HIS CONTROL OR DIRECTION. * * *

REDUCTIONS IN COMPENSATION AND DISMISSALS FOR INEFFICIENCY SHALL BE MADE BY HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS IN ALL CASES WHENEVER THE EFFICIENCY RATINGS WARRANT, AS PROVIDED HEREIN, SUBJECT TO THE APPROVAL OF THE BOARD.

CLAIMANT IS CONTENDING THAT UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT SHE WAS ENTITLED TO THE SALARY WHICH CORRESPONDED TO HER EFFICIENCY RATING IN THE SCHEDULE OF THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD, FROM JULY 1, 1927. SAID SECTION READS:

INCREASES IN COMPENSATION SHALL BE ALLOWED UPON THE ATTAINMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF THE APPROPRIATE EFFICIENCY RATINGS TO THE NEXT HIGHER RATE WITHIN THE SALARY RANGE OF THE GRADE: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, 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, NOR SHALL THE RATE FOR ANY EMPLOYEE BE INCREASED BEYOND THE MAXIMUM RATE FOR THE GRADE TO WHICH HIS POSITION IS ALLOCATED. NOTHING HEREIN CONTAINED SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO PREVENT THE PROMOTION OF AN EMPLOYEE FROM ONE CLASS TO A VACANT POSITION IN A HIGHER CLASS AT ANY TIME IN ACCORDANCE WITH CIVIL SERVICE RULES, AND WHEN SO PROMOTED THE EMPLOYEE SHALL RECEIVE COMPENSATION ACCORDING TO THE SCHEDULE ESTABLISHED FOR THE CLASS TO WHICH HE IS PROMOTED.

THE ABOVE-MENTIONED SCHEDULE OF SALARY RATES FIXED FOR VARIOUS EFFICIENCY RATINGS AND THE RULES FOR PROMOTION PROMULGATED BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD, UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, ARE MERELY FOR THE GUIDANCE OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE AND DO NOT AUTOMATICALLY EFFECT CHANGES IN THE SALARIES OF THE EMPLOYEES. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT IT IS ONLY IN CASE OF REDUCTIONS AND DISMISSALS THAT THE APPROVAL OF THE BOARD IS REQUIRED, AND THAT WHILE THE LAW PROVIDES, WITHOUT QUALIFICATION, THAT REDUCTIONS AND DISMISSALS SHALL BE MADE WHENEVER THE EFFICIENCY RATINGS WARRANT, PROMOTION TO THE RATE TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE BECOMES ELIGIBLE UNDER THE EFFICIENCY RATING IS AUTHORIZED ONLY WHEN FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE, WHEN THE AUTHORIZED AVERAGE WOULD NOT THEREBY BE EXCEEDED, ETC. HENCE, IN DETERMINING WHETHER AND WHEN AN EMPLOYEE SHALL BE PROMOTED THERE ARE FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE MATTERS OTHER THAN THE EFFICIENCY RATINGS. THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER ALL THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW NECESSARY TO ENTITLE THIS EMPLOYEE TO PROMOTION TO THE $2,100 RATE HAD BEEN MET PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 20, 1927, AND AS TO WHETHER THE SECRETARY OF WAR SHOULD HAVE PROMOTED HER TO SAID RATE PRIOR TO SAID DATE, ARE NOT FOR CONSIDERATION BY THIS OFFICE. THE FACT IS THAT SHE WAS NOT SO PROMOTED, AND SUCH PROMOTION IS A PREREQUISITE TO HER RIGHT TO PAY AT SAID RATE.

IN THIS CASE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE FIRST PROMOTION OF CLAIMANT WAS FIXED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER AS AUGUST 4, 1927, AND THE SECOND AS SEPTEMBER 20, 1927, FROM WHICH DATES THE PROMOTIONS MUST BE CONSIDERED AS EFFECTIVE, WITHOUT REGARD TO THE EFFICIENCY RATING ATTAINED BY THE EMPLOYEE AS OF JULY 1, 1927.