A-24573, NOVEMBER 16, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 258

A-24573: Nov 16, 1928

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CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - AVERAGE PROVISION - APPROPRIATION UNIT WHERE AN APPROPRIATION FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS AVAILABLE. WHEREIN WAS QUESTIONED. AS BOTH OF THE EMPLOYEES WERE SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN PAID UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "AIRCRAFT IN COMMERCE. IT APPEARED TO THIS OFFICE THAT THE TWO EMPLOYEES WERE IN THE SAME APPROPRIATION UNIT AND. THERE WAS CITED IN SUPPORT OF THE OFFICE VIEW. WHEREIN WAS STATED AND ANSWERED A QUESTION SUBMITTED BY THE UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. AS FOLLOWS: EMPLOYEES WORKING IN ONE BUREAU OR OFFICE AND CARRIED ON THE ROLLS OF ANOTHER BUREAU OR OFFICE ARE RATED IN EFFICIENCY COMPETITIVELY WITH EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OR OFFICE ON WHICH ROLLS THEY ARE CARRIED.

A-24573, NOVEMBER 16, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 258

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - AVERAGE PROVISION - APPROPRIATION UNIT WHERE AN APPROPRIATION FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS AVAILABLE, IN ORDER TO CARRY OUT ITS PURPOSES, FOR APPORTIONMENT TO MORE THAN ONE BUREAU, OFFICE, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNIT UNDER A DEPARTMENT, THE EMPLOYEES PAID UNDER SAID GENERAL APPROPRIATION MAY BE CONSIDERED AS IN THE BUREAU, OFFICE, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNIT TO WHICH THE ALLOTMENT OF FUNDS FROM THE GENERAL APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN MADE, FOR THE PURPOSE OF APPLYING THE AVERAGE PROVISION APPEARING IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS CONTROLLING PAYMENT OF PERSONAL SERVICES UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. 3 COMP. GEN. 1001, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, NOVEMBER 16, 1928:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 6, 1928, IN RESPONSE TO OFFICE LETTER OF OCTOBER 25, 1928, WHEREIN WAS QUESTIONED, IN CONNECTION WITH THE AUDIT OF PAY-ROLL ACCOUNTS OF THE DISBURSING CLERK, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, THE PROMOTION GIVEN IN JANUARY, 1928, TO JESSE W. LANKFORD, FROM $2,100 TO $2,200 PER ANNUM IN GRADE SP-6, "AERONAUTICS BRANCH," AND WESLEY T. HUNTRESS TO $2,100 PER ANNUM IN THE SAME GRADE, BUREAU OF LIGHTHOUSES. AS BOTH OF THE EMPLOYEES WERE SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN PAID UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "AIRCRAFT IN COMMERCE," ACT OF FEBRUARY 24, 1927, 44 STAT. 1200, IT APPEARED TO THIS OFFICE THAT THE TWO EMPLOYEES WERE IN THE SAME APPROPRIATION UNIT AND, IF SO, THAT THE TWO PROMOTIONS HAD CAUSED THE PROPER AVERAGE OF THE GRADE TO BE EXCEEDED. THERE WAS CITED IN SUPPORT OF THE OFFICE VIEW, 3 COMP. GEN. 1001, 1004, WHEREIN WAS STATED AND ANSWERED A QUESTION SUBMITTED BY THE UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, AS FOLLOWS:

EMPLOYEES WORKING IN ONE BUREAU OR OFFICE AND CARRIED ON THE ROLLS OF ANOTHER BUREAU OR OFFICE ARE RATED IN EFFICIENCY COMPETITIVELY WITH EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OR OFFICE ON WHICH ROLLS THEY ARE CARRIED. (BUREAU OF EFFICIENCY CIRCULAR NO. 7). IS THE PROMOTION STATUS OF SUCH EMPLOYEES GOVERNED BY THE AVERAGE OF THE PAY OF EMPLOYEES IN THEIR RESPECTIVE CLASSIFICATION GRADES IN THE BUREAUS FROM WHICH DETAILED, OR IS IT GOVERNED BY THE AVERAGE OF THE GRADES OF THE BUREAUS TO WHICH DETAILED?

IF THERE BE AUTHORITY FOR THE EMPLOYEES OF A BUREAU OR OFFICE TO BE ON THE ROLLS OF ANOTHER BUREAU OR OFFICE, AS STATED, THE APPROPRIATION UNIT FROM WHICH THE EMPLOYEES ARE PAID MUST GOVERN; OTHERWISE THERE WOULD NOT BE A COMPLIANCE WITH THE AVERAGE PROVISION OF THE STATUTES.

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 6, 1928, SUPRA, MAKES THE FOLLOWING EXPLANATION AND SUGGESTS THE FOLLOWING DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE QUOTED DECISION AND THE INSTANT MATTER:

IT APPEARS THAT YOUR OFFICE HAS NOT PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD THE ORGANIZATION OF THE ACTIVITIES WHICH WERE AUTHORIZED BY THE AIR COMMERCE ACT. AS HAS BEEN STATED, THE ACT DID NOT CREATE AN ADDITIONAL ORGANIZATION UNIT IN THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE. IT WAS THE INTENTION OF CONGRESS THAT THE DUTIES IMPOSED UPON THE DEPARTMENT BY THE ACT SHOULD BE PERFORMED, SO FAR AS PRACTICAL, BY EXISTING BUREAUS, AND THAT NEW AGENCIES SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED TO PERFORM ONLY SUCH FUNCTIONS AS MIGHT NOT APPROPRIATELY BE ABSORBED BY EXISTING BUREAUS. IN LINE WITH THIS POLICY, CERTAIN FUNCTIONS IMPOSED UPON THE DEPARTMENT BY THE ACT WERE ASSIGNED BY THE SECRETARY TO EXISTING BUREAUS, AS FOLLOWS: SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH TO THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS; AIRWAY MAPPING TO THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY; AND THE ESTABLISHMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF AIR-NAVIGATION FACILITIES TO THE BUREAU OF LIGHTHOUSES.

THE REGULATORY FUNCTIONS AND THE INFORMATION FEATURES OF THE ACT WERE ASSIGNED TO A NEW UNIT ESTABLISHED BY THE SECRETARY AND PLACED DIRECTLY UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE DIRECTOR OF AERONAUTICS.

TO SUPPORT THE ACTIVITIES ASSIGNED BY THE SECRETARY TO THE BUREAU OF STANDARDS, THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY, AND THE BUREAU OF LIGHTHOUSES, RESPECTIVELY, FUNDS HAVE BEEN ALLOTTED FROM TIME TO TIME TO THESE BUREAUS FROM THE APPROPRIATIONS "AIRCRAFT IN COMMERCE" OR "AIR NAVIGATION FACILITIES," AS MIGHT BE APPLICABLE. IN ALLOTTING THESE FUNDS THE SECRETARY INSTRUCTED THE BUREAU OFFICERS AS FOLLOWS:

"BUREAUS WILL BE EXPECTED TO TREAT THE ALLOTMENTS MADE TO THEM FROM THE APPROPRIATIONS ,AIRCRAFT IN COMMERCE" OR "AIR NAVIGATION FACILITIES" IN THE SAME MANNER AS REGULAR BUREAU APPROPRIATIONS.

"PERSONNEL EMPLOYED THEREUNDER WILL BE REGARDED FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE "AVERAGE RULE" AS BUREAU EMPLOYEES AND THEIR EFFICIENCY RATINGS WILL BE COMBINED WITH THOSE OF OTHER BUREAU EMPLOYEES.'

THE OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR AERONAUTICS AND THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF AERONAUTICS, CONSISTING OF THE DIVISION OF AIR REGULATIONS, THE DIVISION OF AIR INFORMATION, AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE SECTION, HAVE TOGETHER BEEN REGARDED AS COMPOSING AN APPROPRIATION UNIT FOR THE PURPOSE OF APPLYING THE PROVISIONS OF THE "AVERAGE RULE.'

ON THE OTHER HAND, PERSONS PAID BY THE THREE BUREAUS MENTIONED OUT OF THE APPROPRIATIONS ,AIRCRAFT IN COMMERCE" OR "AIR NAVIGATION FACILITIES" ARE TREATED AS BELONGING TO THOSE BUREAUS IN APPLYING THE RULE.

MR. WESLEY T. HUNTRESS, FOR THE PERIOD MENTIONED IN YOUR LETTER, WAS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF LIGHTHOUSES, HIS SALARY BEING PAID FROM THE ALLOTMENT MADE TO THAT BUREAU OUT OF THE APPROPRIATION "AIR NAVIGATION FACILITIES.' MR. LANKFORD WAS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF AERONAUTICS, A DIFFERENT APPROPRIATION UNIT.

YOUR DECISION OF JUNE 26, 1924, REFERRED TO, APPEARS TO RELATE TO INSTANCES WHERE EMPLOYEES ARE DETAILED FROM ONE APPROPRIATION UNIT TO ANOTHER. THE INSTANT CASE IS OTHERWISE. THE EMPLOYEES OF THE LIGHTHOUSE BUREAU PAID OUT OF THE ALLOTMENTS MADE FROM THE APPROPRIATION "AIR NAVIGATION FACILITIES" ARE CARRIED AS PERMANENT EMPLOYEES OF THAT BUREAU.

WHILE IN ALL CASES "ORGANIZATION UNIT" AS USED IN YOUR LETTER, IS NOT SYNONYMOUS WITH "BUREAU, OFFICE, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNIT" AS USED IN THE AVERAGE PROVISION, 4 COMP. GEN. 741, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE A DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE DETAIL OF REGULAR EMPLOYEES BETWEEN ESTABLISHED BUREAUS, OFFICES, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNITS, AND THE INSTANT CASE WHERE A GENERAL APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN PROVIDED FOR PERSONAL SERVICES AND IS AVAILABLE, IN ORDER TO CARRY OUT ITS PURPOSE, TO BE APPORTIONED FOR EXPENDITURE TO MORE THAN ONE BUREAU, OFFICE, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNIT.

ON THE BASIS OF YOUR FURTHER EXPLANATION IT MAY BE CONCLUDED THAT IN THIS CASE THERE IS NO DETAIL BETWEEN APPROPRIATION UNITS INVOLVED, BUT RATHER AN INCREASE IN THE APPROPRIATIONS PROVIDED FOR THE WORK OF THE VARIOUS BUREAUS UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE CHARGED WITH THE DUTIES FOR THE PURPOSES OF WHICH THE APPROPRIATION "AIRCRAFT IN COMMERCE" HAS BEEN PROVIDED. YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT NO FURTHER OBJECTION WILL BE MADE IN THE AUDIT TO THE PROMOTION OF THE TWO EMPLOYEES IN QUESTION.