A-23379, JUNE 25, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 808

A-23379: Jun 25, 1928

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ARE TO BE BASED ON THE GRADE AND SALARY RATE HELD ON JUNE 30. BEFORE ANY CHANGE OF GRADE IS MADE RESULTING FROM A REALLOCATION EFFECTIVE AFTER JULY 1. DO NOT AUTOMATICALLY INCREASE THE RATES OF COMPENSATION OF ANY FIELD EMPLOYEES WHETHER THEIR SALARY RATES HAVE OR HAVE NOT BEEN SPECIFICALLY FIXED OR LIMITED BY OTHER LAW. IS FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE. AS FOLLOWS: IN CONSIDERING THE ADJUSTMENT OF SALARIES UNDER THE WELCH ACT THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS HAVE ARISEN: IN CHANGES OF GRADE THAT COME FROM THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD DURING JULY. WHICH UNDER THE GENERAL RULE DATE BACK TO THE FIRST OF THE MONTH IF THE EMPLOYEES WERE ACTUALLY PERFORMING THE DUTIES. SOME CASES IT WILL MEAN A DIFFERENCE IN SALARY.

A-23379, JUNE 25, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 808

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - APPLICATION OF ACT OF MAY 28, 1928 - EFFECT OF REALLOCATION AFTER JULY 1, 1928 - FIELD SERVICE THE ADJUSTMENTS IN SALARY RATES EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1928, NECESSARY TO RETAIN THE SAME RELATIVE POSITION OF POSITIONS UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1928, 45 STAT. 776, ARE TO BE BASED ON THE GRADE AND SALARY RATE HELD ON JUNE 30, 1928, BEFORE ANY CHANGE OF GRADE IS MADE RESULTING FROM A REALLOCATION EFFECTIVE AFTER JULY 1, 1928. THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1928, DO NOT AUTOMATICALLY INCREASE THE RATES OF COMPENSATION OF ANY FIELD EMPLOYEES WHETHER THEIR SALARY RATES HAVE OR HAVE NOT BEEN SPECIFICALLY FIXED OR LIMITED BY OTHER LAW, BUT THE ADJUSTMENT OF RATES OF COMPENSATION FOR FIELD EMPLOYEES "TO CORRESPOND, SO FAR AS MAY BE PRACTICABLE" TO THE RATES ESTABLISHED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1928, FOR SIMILAR POSITIONS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, IS FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, WITHOUT REGARD TO SALARY LIMITATIONS AND RESTRICTIONS FIXED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACTS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, JUNE 25, 1928:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 18, 1928, AS FOLLOWS:

IN CONSIDERING THE ADJUSTMENT OF SALARIES UNDER THE WELCH ACT THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS HAVE ARISEN:

IN CHANGES OF GRADE THAT COME FROM THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD DURING JULY, WHICH UNDER THE GENERAL RULE DATE BACK TO THE FIRST OF THE MONTH IF THE EMPLOYEES WERE ACTUALLY PERFORMING THE DUTIES, SHOULD THE ADJUSTMENT UNDER THE WELCH ACT BE MADE IN THE OLD GRADE BEFORE TRANSFER TO THE HIGHER GRADE ON JULY 1, OR SHOULD THE TRANSFER TO THE HIGHER GRADE BE EFFECTIVE FIRST AND THEN THE ADJUSTMENT UNDER THE WELCH ACT BE MADE? SOME CASES IT WILL MEAN A DIFFERENCE IN SALARY.

TAKE A CONCRETE CASE FOR ILLUSTRATION: AN EMPLOYEE IN GRADE CAF-5 AT $2,300 IS REALLOCATED TO GRADE CAF-6 DURING JULY, WHICH CHANGE OF GRADE IS EFFECTIVE FROM JULY 1. UNDER THE WELCH ACT IN GRADE CAF-5 AN EMPLOYEE AT $2,300 WOULD GO TO $2,400; IN GRADE CAF-6 AN EMPLOYEE AT $2,300 WOULD GO TO $2,500. IF THE ADJUSTMENT UNDER THE ACT IS MADE FIRST THE EMPLOYEE WOULD BE TRANSFERRED INTO THE NEW GRADE AT $2,400; IF THE CHANGE OF GRADE IS EFFECTIVE FIRST THE EMPLOYEE WOULD BE TRANSFERRED INTO THE NEW GRADE AT $2,300 AND SALARY WOULD BE ADJUSTED TO $2,500.

A QUESTION INVOLVING THE SAME PRINCIPLE ARISES IN CONNECTION WITH POSITIONS IN THE FIELD SPECIFICALLY APPROPRIATED FOR AT A HIGHER SALARY EFFECTIVE JULY 1. IS THE SALARY APPROPRIATED FOR EFFECTIVE FIRST AND THE EMPLOYEE ENTITLED TO A FURTHER ADJUSTMENT UNDER THE WELCH ACT, OR DOES THE WELCH ACT ADJUST THE EMPLOYEE'S SALARY RECEIVED JUNE 30, ANY FURTHER ADJUSTMENT BEING AN ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER?

FOR ILLUSTRATION:UNDER THE GOVERNOR OF ALASKA, THE PRESENT SALARIES OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR AND THE CARETAKER ARE $2,800 AND $840, RESPECTIVELY. IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR 1929 AN AMOUNT IS INCLUDED TO INCREASE THEIR SALARIES TO $3,520 AND $1,020. ARE THEY ENTITLED TO A FURTHER ADJUSTMENT UNDER THE WELCH ACT, USING THE NEW SALARIES AS A BASIS, IN WHICH CASE THEY WOULD GO TO $3,600 AND $1,260, RESPECTIVELY, OR SHOULD THE WELCH ACT ADJUSTMENT BE MADE ON THE BASIS OF THEIR OLD SALARIES, ANY FURTHER INCREASE BEING AN ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER?

IT IS ASSUMED THAT YOUR FIRST QUESTION RELATES ONLY TO POSITIONS OTHER THAN P-4, 5, OR 6 OR CAF-11, 12, OR 13 UNDER THE OLD SCHEDULE AND THE ANSWER HEREIN MADE WILL BE PREDICATED UPON THAT ASSUMPTION.

THE ADJUSTMENT IN SALARY RATES UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1928, 45 STAT. 776, AMENDING THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, KNOWN AS THE WELCH ACT, IS TO BE BASED ON THE GRADE AND SALARY RATE HELD JUNE 30, 1928. ANY ALLOCATION, REALLOCATION, OR CHANGE IN SALARY RATE IN A GRADE, EFFECTIVE AFTER JULY 1, 1928, IS NOT FOR CONSIDERATION IN MAKING THE ADJUSTMENTS REQUIRED TO BE MADE UNDER THE WELCH ACT AS OF JULY 1, 1928. THEREFORE, ADJUSTMENTS UNDER THE WELCH ACT SHOULD BE MADE ON THE BASIS OF THE EXISTING GRADE, ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ACT, WHICH IS JULY 1, 1928, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 5, BEFORE ANY CHANGE OF GRADE IS MADE RESULTING FROM A REALLOCATION EFFECTIVE THEREAFTER.

IN THE ILLUSTRATION GIVEN, THE EMPLOYEE IN GRADE CAF-5,RECEIVING $2,300 PER ANNUM, JUNE 30, 1928, WOULD RECEIVE $2,400 IN GRADE CAF-5, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1928, UNDER THE WELCH ACT. AS $2,400 PER ANNUM IS ALSO A SALARY RATE IN GRADE CAF-6, UNDER THE WELCH ACT, THE EMPLOYEE WOULD RETAIN THAT SALARY RATE UPON REALLOCATION FROM GRADE CAF-5 TO GRADE CAF-6, EFFECTIVE THEREAFTER. ANY PROMOTION TO A HIGHER SALARY RATE IN GRADE CAF-6, WITHIN THE AVERAGE OF THE GRADE, WOULD BE FOR CONSIDERATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, BASED UPON AVAILABILITY OF APPROPRIATIONS AND OF COMPARATIVE EFFICIENCY OF THE EMPLOYEE WITH ALL OTHER EMPLOYEES IN GRADE CAF-6.

THE SECOND QUESTION YOU SUBMIT IS NOT SIMILAR TO THE FIRST, AS SUGGESTED. THE AUTOMATIC PROVISIONS OF THE WELCH ACT ARE APPLICABLE ONLY TO POSITIONS AND EMPLOYEES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, WITHIN THE TERMS OF THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923.

WITH RESPECT TO THE FIELD SERVICE, SECTION 3 OF THE WELCH ACT PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THE HEADS OF THE SEVERAL EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS ARE AUTHORIZED TO ADJUST THE COMPENSATION OF CERTAIN CIVILIAN POSITIONS IN THE FIELD SERVICES, THE COMPENSATION OF WHICH WAS ADJUSTED BY THE ACT OF DECEMBER 6, 1924, TO CORRESPOND, SO FAR AS MAY BE PRACTICABLE, TO THE RATES ESTABLISHED BY THIS ACT FOR POSITIONS IN THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

THE ACT OF DECEMBER 6, 1924, 43 STAT. 704, 709, 712, SPECIFICALLY APPLICABLE TO THE APPROPRIATION "GOVERNMENT IN THE TERRITORIES" UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, PROVIDED AS FOLLOWS:

THE APPROPRIATIONS HEREIN MADE MAY BE UTILIZED BY THE HEADS OF THE SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS TO ACCOMPLISH THE PURPOSES OF THIS ACT NOTWITHSTANDING THE SPECIFIC RATES OF COMPENSATION AND THE SALARY RESTRICTIONS CONTAINED IN THE REGULAR ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1925 OR THE SALARY RESTRICTIONS IN OTHER ACTS WHICH LIMIT SALARIES TO RATES IN CONFLICT WITH THE RATES FIXED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 FOR THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE.

THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT HAVE BEEN EXTENDED THROUGH SUCCESSIVE FISCAL YEARS. FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1929, SEE SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, 45 STAT. 193. THE ABOVE QUOTED PROVISION FROM THE ACT OF DECEMBER 6, 1924, HAS BEEN CONSTRUED AS APPLICABLE TO POSITIONS, THE SALARY RATE OF WHICH HAD BEEN SPECIFICALLY FIXED OR LIMITED BY OTHER LAW. 4 COMP. GEN. 582; ID. 625.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE SALARIES OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR OF ALASKA AND THE CARETAKER MENTIONED IN YOUR SUBMISSION HAVE NOT BEEN SPECIFICALLY FIXED BY LAW BUT SIMPLY THAT ADDITIONAL FUNDS HAVE BEEN PROVIDED TO INCREASE THEIR SALARIES FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1929. THE ACT OF MARCH 7, 1928, 45 STAT. 240, LIMITS THE PAYMENT OF SALARIES UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "GOVERNMENT IN THE TERRITORIES, TERRITORY OF ALASKA," TO $3,520 PER ANNUM.

THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1928, DO NOT AUTOMATICALLY INCREASE THE RATES OF COMPENSATION OF ANY FIELD EMPLOYEES WHETHER THEIR SALARY RATES HAVE OR HAVE NOT BEEN SPECIFICALLY FIXED OR LIMITED BY OTHER LAW BUT THE ADJUSTMENT OF RATES OF COMPENSATION FOR FIELD EMPLOYEES "TO CORRESPOND, SO FAR AS MAY BE PRACTICABLE," TO THE RATES ESTABLISHED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1928, FOR SIMILAR POSITIONS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, IS FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, WITHOUT REGARD TO SALARY LIMITATIONS AND RESTRICTIONS FIXED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACTS. YOUR SECOND QUESTION IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.