A-24901, NOVEMBER 8, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 248

A-24901: Nov 8, 1928

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WHICH WAS PLACED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IN ITS PROPER GRADE AS AUTHORIZED AND REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF MAY 28. IS WITHOUT EFFECT TO CHANGE THE SALARY RATE OF THE NEW APPOINTEE FIXED ON THE BASIS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION UNDER THE SAID ACT. WAS ALLOCATED UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 TO GRADE P-5. WHICH WAS VACANT AT THE TIME. WAS FORWARDED TO THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD ON JUNE 19. HE WAS NOT AVAILABLE FOR APPOINTMENT UNTIL AUGUST 1. STIRLING WAS APPOINTED AND INSTALLED AS CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY. A JOB CLASSIFICATION SHEET COVERING HIS APPOINTMENT WAS DULY FILED WITH THE COMMISSION. ON WHICH THE DESCRIPTION OF HIS DUTIES WAS IDENTICAL IN EVERY PARTICULAR WITH THOSE DESCRIBED ON THE JOB CLASSIFICATION SHEET SENT TO THE COMMISSION ON JUNE 19 FOR THE THEN VACANT POSITION OF CHIEF OF THIS BUREAU.

A-24901, NOVEMBER 8, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 248

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - APPLICATION OF ACT OF MAY 28, 1928 - APPOINTMENTS TO EXISTING POSITIONS SUBSEQUENT TO JULY 1, 1928 ACTION BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD PURPORTING TO REALLOCATE A POSITION SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF A NEW JOB CLASSIFICATION SHEET REDESCRIBING IDENTICAL DUTIES ON THE BASIS OF WHICH THE POSITION HAD BEEN ORIGINALLY ALLOCATED PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1928, SUBMITTED TO THE BOARD SUBSEQUENT THERETO ONLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF NOTIFYING THE BOARD OF THE APPOINTMENT TO A VACANT POSITION IN EXISTENCE PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1928, AND WHICH WAS PLACED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IN ITS PROPER GRADE AS AUTHORIZED AND REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1928, 45 STAT. 776, IS WITHOUT EFFECT TO CHANGE THE SALARY RATE OF THE NEW APPOINTEE FIXED ON THE BASIS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION UNDER THE SAID ACT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO C. G. ABBOT, SECRETARY OF THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, NOVEMBER 8, 1928:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 22, 1928, AS FOLLOWS:

THE POSITION OF CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY, UNDER THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, WAS ALLOCATED UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 TO GRADE P-5. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1928 (THE WELCH ACT) AND THE DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF JUNE 2, 1928, THE SECRETARY OF THE INSTITUTION, AFTER DUE CONSIDERATION, ALLOCATED THIS POSITION TO GRADE P-7, EFFECTIVE, AS REQUIRED BY THE LAW, JULY 1, 1928, AND A JOB CLASSIFICATION SHEET OF GRADE P-7 FOR THIS POSITION, WHICH WAS VACANT AT THE TIME, WAS FORWARDED TO THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD ON JUNE 19, 1928. NO RESPONSE HAS BEEN RECEIVED FROM THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD TO THIS COMMUNICATION.

ALTHOUGH AN INCUMBENT HAD BEEN SELECTED FOR THE POSITION, HE WAS NOT AVAILABLE FOR APPOINTMENT UNTIL AUGUST 1, 1928, ON WHICH DATE, ACTING ON THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF JUNE 2, 1928, MR. MATTHEW W. STIRLING WAS APPOINTED AND INSTALLED AS CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY, WITH THE SALARY AND GRADE OF P-7, AND A JOB CLASSIFICATION SHEET COVERING HIS APPOINTMENT WAS DULY FILED WITH THE COMMISSION, ON WHICH THE DESCRIPTION OF HIS DUTIES WAS IDENTICAL IN EVERY PARTICULAR WITH THOSE DESCRIBED ON THE JOB CLASSIFICATION SHEET SENT TO THE COMMISSION ON JUNE 19 FOR THE THEN VACANT POSITION OF CHIEF OF THIS BUREAU, AND ON WHICH THIS POSITION HAD BEEN ALLOCATED TO P-7 BY THE INSTITUTION, UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE WELCH ACT, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S DECISION OF JUNE 2, 1928. THIS JOB CLASSIFICATION SHEET COVERING MR. STIRLING'S APPOINTMENT WAS CHANGED FROM GRADE P-7 TO GRADE P-6 BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD, AND WAS RETURNED TO THE INSTITUTION ON AUGUST 30.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE FACTS, I BEG TO INQUIRE WHETHER THE DISBURSING OFFICER OF THE INSTITUTION IS AUTHORIZED TO CONTINUE TO PAY MR. STIRLING AT THE INITIAL SALARY OF GRADE P-7, TO WHICH GRADE THIS POSITION WAS ALLOCATED BY THE INSTITUTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW AND THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S DECISION, AND TO WHICH HE WAS APPOINTED ON AUGUST 1, 1928.

THE DECISION OF JUNE 26, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 820, 825, HELD AS FOLLOWS:

2. * * * THE CHANGES EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1928, MADE UNDER THE WELCH ACT, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH MY DECISION OF JUNE 2, 1928, ON THE BASIS OF ALLOCATIONS THERETOFORE MADE AND APPROVED UNDER THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION ACT, ARE FINAL TO THE SAME EXTENT THAT ALLOCATIONS APPROVED BY THE BOARD UNDER THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 ARE FINAL, AND ACCORDINGLY MAY BE REVIEWED BY THE BOARD AFTER JULY 1, 1928, ONLY UPON THE REQUEST OR RECOMMENDATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OR UPON AN APPEAL BY AN EMPLOYEE. AFTER JULY 1, 1928, THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES WILL HAVE NO POWER, WITHOUT APPROVAL OF THE BOARD, TO CHANGE THE GRADE OF ANY POSITION AT WILL, THE REALLOCATION OF POSITIONS UPWARD OR DOWNWARD THEREAFTER BEING A MATTER FOR CONSIDERATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROCEDURE PRESCRIBED IN THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, THE SAME AS BEFORE THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1928, WAS ENACTED.

3. IT IS THE DUTY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES, AFTER JULY 1, 1928, TO REPORT THE FACTS AS TO DUTIES AND GRADE CHANGES TO THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD IN THE SAME MANNER AS REQUIRED BY THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION ACT PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1928.

SAID DECISION IS EQUALLY AS APPLICABLE TO EXISTING POSITIONS WHICH WERE VACANT ON JULY 1, 1928, AS TO POSITIONS WHICH WERE OCCUPIED ON THAT DATE, THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE HAVING PLACED THE VACANT POSITION IN THE GRADE AS PRESCRIBED BY THE WELCH ACT CORRESPONDING TO THE GRADE IN WHICH THE VACANT POSITION HAD BEEN ALLOCATED PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1928. SEE DECISION OF JULY 28, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 40, 43, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD:

THE GRADE AND SALARY RATE AS OF JULY 1, 1928, OF EXISTING POSITIONS WHICH HAD BEEN ALLOCATED PRIOR TO JUNE 30, 1928, AND WERE VACANT ON THAT DATE, BUT WHICH HAD BEEN INCLUDED IN THE ESTIMATES ON WHICH THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1929 WERE BASED, SHOULD BE DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1928, AS APPLIED BY THE DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE. * * *

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE DETERMINED THE CORRESPONDING GRADE FOR THE VACANT POSITION IN QUESTION UNDER THE AUTOMATIC PROVISIONS OF THE WELCH ACT TO BE GRADE P-7. IF SO, THERE WAS NO LEGAL REQUIREMENT FOR SUBMITTING TO THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD A NEW JOB CLASSIFICATION SHEET WHEN THIS VACANT POSITION WAS FILLED SUBSEQUENT TO JULY 1, 1928.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE BOARD HAS REQUESTED THAT NOTICES OF FILLING OF VACANCIES OR APPOINTMENTS TO VACANT POSITIONS BE FURNISHED IT. WHILE THE LAW DOES NOT PRECLUDE COMPLIANCE WITH SUCH A REQUEST, IT DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, IN FURNISHING SUCH NOTICES, EXECUTE NEW CLASSIFICATION SHEETS WHERE THE VACANT POSITION TO WHICH THE APPOINTMENT IS MADE HAS PREVIOUSLY BEEN ALLOCATED.

IF THE ACTION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE IN THIS CASE WAS INTENDED AS NOTHING MORE THAN A NOTICE TO THE BOARD OF THE FILLING OF THE POSITION, THE ACTION OF THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD IN REALLOCATING THE POSITION ON THE BASIS THEREOF TO GRADE P-6 WAS WITHOUT EFFECT TO CHANGE THE SALARY RATE OF THE EMPLOYEE, WHICH MAY CONTINUE TO BE PAID IN GRADE P- 7. IN THAT EVENT IT WOULD SEEM PROPER TO ADVISE THE BOARD THAT THERE WAS NO INTENTION OF REQUESTING A REALLOCATION OF THE POSITION SUBSEQUENT TO JULY 1, 1928.