A-25588, FEBRUARY 13, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 441

A-25588: Feb 13, 1929

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THE SALARY RATE OF THE EMPLOYEE IS FOR DETERMINATION IN THE GRADE IN WHICH THE POSITION HAS BEEN FINALLY ALLOCATED. 7 COMP. WHERE THERE IS A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION AS TO THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF A POSITION BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE ON THE ONE HAND. DISALLOWING HIS CLAIM FOR $225 ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN LOST IN SALARY AS THE RESULT OF AN UNLAWFUL REALLOCATION DOWNWARD OF HIS POSITION AS ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT (BUDGET) IN THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU FROM GRADE CAF-8 TO GRADE CAF-6. CLAIMANT IS CONTENDING THAT THE REALLOCATION DOWNWARD EFFECTIVE AS OF OCTOBER 1. WAS MADE BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD ON ITS OWN MOTION WITHOUT ANY REQUEST BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OR THE EMPLOYEE.

A-25588, FEBRUARY 13, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 441

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - REALLOCATION OF POSITIONS IF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE FINALLY APPROVES OR ACQUIESCES IN THE ACTION OF THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD IN REALLOCATING A POSITION, THE SALARY RATE OF THE EMPLOYEE IS FOR DETERMINATION IN THE GRADE IN WHICH THE POSITION HAS BEEN FINALLY ALLOCATED. 7 COMP. GEN. 820, 825, DISTINGUISHED. WHERE THERE IS A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION AS TO THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF A POSITION BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE ON THE ONE HAND, AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TOGETHER WITH THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD ON THE OTHER, THE FINAL DETERMINATION BY THE LATTER MUST CONTROL IN FIXING THE SALARY GRADE OF THE POSITION.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, FEBRUARY 13, 1929:

FLOYD W. WOOLLEY HAS REQUESTED REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT 0232184 DATED OCTOBER 6, 1928, DISALLOWING HIS CLAIM FOR $225 ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN LOST IN SALARY AS THE RESULT OF AN UNLAWFUL REALLOCATION DOWNWARD OF HIS POSITION AS ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT (BUDGET) IN THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU FROM GRADE CAF-8 TO GRADE CAF-6, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 1926.

CLAIMANT IS CONTENDING THAT THE REALLOCATION DOWNWARD EFFECTIVE AS OF OCTOBER 1, 1926, WAS MADE BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD ON ITS OWN MOTION WITHOUT ANY REQUEST BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OR THE EMPLOYEE, CITING AS A BASIS FOR HIS CLAIM 7 COMP. GEN. 820, 825. SEE ALSO 8 COMP. GEN. 296; ID. 301.

UNDER DATE OF AUGUST 10, 1928, THE DIRECTOR OF THE VETERANS' BUREAU REPORTED AS FOLLOWS:

1. AUGUST 10, 1925, THE POSITION OF ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT (BUDGET) WAS ALLOCATED BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD TO GRADE CAF-8, MR. LEWIS M. CHURBUCK BEING THE INCUMBENT.

2. THE POSITION BECAME VACANT FEBRUARY 16, 1926, BY TRANSFER OF MR. CHURBUCK TO ANOTHER POSITION, ON WHICH DATE MR. WOOLLEY, THE CLAIMANT, WAS ASSIGNED THERETO.

3. CLASSIFICATION SHEET SHOWING MR. WOOLLEY'S ASSIGNMENT VICE MR. CHURBUCK WAS FORWARDED TO THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD APRIL 3, 1926.

4. THE BOARD DID NOT TAKE FINAL ACTION UNTIL OCTOBER 11, 1926, AT WHICH TIME IT REDUCED THE GRADE OF THE POSITION FROM GRADE CAF-8 TO CAF-6, THE BUREAU HAVING REQUESTED GRADE 8 WHEN THE SHEET WAS FORWARDED. ON MAY 7, 1926, THE BOARD WAS ADVISED BY LETTER, COPY OF WHICH IS ATTACHED AS PART OF MR. WOOLLEY'S CLAIM, STATING THAT IN ITS OPINION THE GRADE OF THIS POSITION SHOULD NOT BE REDUCED.

5. OCTOBER 26, 1926, MR. WOOLLEY SUBMITTED AN APPEAL FOR REALLOCATION OF THE POSITION TO GRADE CAF-8. THE BUREAU, HAVING RECONSIDERED THE WHOLE MATTER AND IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT IT HAD BEEN DEFINITELY DETERMINED THAT THE TRAVEL ORIGINALLY CONTEMPLATED AS A PART OF THE DUTIES OF THE POSITION WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED, ADVISED THE BOARD THAT IN ITS OPINION THE POSITION HAD BEEN PROPERLY ALLOCATED TO GRADE CAF-6, AND THEREFORE RECOMMENDED DISAPPROVAL OF THE APPEAL.

6. THE APPEAL WAS DISAPPROVED BY THE BOARD FEBRUARY 24, 1927.

THERE IS ALSO A REPORT, DATED SEPTEMBER 6, 1928, FROM THE CHAIRMAN (ALTERNATE) OF THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD WHEREIN IT IS STATED AS FOLLOWS:

THE STATEMENT OF FACTS CONTAINED IN THE LETTER OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE VETERANS' BUREAU DATED AUGUST 10, 1928, IS CORRECT. THE POSITION IN QUESTION, UPON A THEORETICAL DUTIES DESCRIPTION, WAS ALLOCATED TO CAF-8. EMPHASIS WAS LAID UPON THE INDEPENDENT RESPONSIBILITY INVOLVED IN THE PROPER CONDUCT OF THE WORK DUE TO THE PLAN TO REQUIRE THE INCUMBENT TO SPEND ABOUT ONE-HALF OF HIS TIME VISITING FIELD OFFICES WHERE HE WOULD GIVE PERSONAL ATTENTION TO METHODS OF BUDGET CONTROL, ACCOUNTING, FAMILIARIZE HIMSELF WITH LOCAL NEEDS, ASSIST IN THE PREPARATION OF FIELD ESTIMATES OF APPROPRIATIONS NEEDED, AND GENERALLY TO ACT AS LIAISON OFFICER BETWEEN CERTAIN FIELD OFFICES AND THE DIRECTOR'S OFFICE.

THE JOB DID NOT DEVELOP IN THIS MANNER AT ALL, SO THAT IN FACT NEITHER MR. WOODLEY NOR MR. CHURBUCK, HIS PREDECESSOR, EVER PERFORMED ALL OF THE DUTIES ON WHICH THE POSITION WAS ALLOCATED TO GRADE CAF-8.

WHEN IT BECAME APPARENT THAT THE POSITION DID NOT INVOLVE THE INDEPENDENT ACTION CONTEMPLATED ORIGINALLY, BUT WAS A TABULATING AND CORRESPONDENCE JOB, AN ALLOCATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FACTS WAS MADE. THIS ALLOCATION, AS STATED BY THE DIRECTOR IN HIS LETTER OF AUGUST 10, 1928, WAS TO GRADE CAF-6 AND IN THE OPINION OF THIS BOARD IS CORRECT.

THE REPORTS DO NOT SHOW WHETHER THE CLASSIFICATION SHEET FORWARDED TO THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD APRIL 3, 1926 (PAR. 3 OF THE DIRECTOR'S REPORT), CONTAINED A CHANGED DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES OR THE SAME DESCRIPTION APPEARING IN THE SHEET DESCRIBING THE DUTIES OF THE PRIOR INCUMBENT, LEWIS M. CHURBUCK. IF THE FORMER, THERE WAS IN EFFECT THE CREATION OF A NEW POSITION THE ALLOCATION OF WHICH WAS FOR ACTION BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD, BUT IF THE LATTER, THERE WAS NO ACTION AUTHORIZED OR REQUIRED BY THE BOARD. THAT IS TO SAY, IN THE LATTER EVENT, THE PROMOTION OF AN EMPLOYEE TO AN EXISTING VACANT POSITION IN A HIGHER GRADE DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY ACTION BY THE BOARD. BUT, HOWEVER THAT MAY HAVE BEEN IN THIS CASE, IT APPEARS THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE DID FINALLY APPROVE, OR ACQUIESCE IN, THE ACTION OF THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD IN REDUCING THE POSITION FROM GRADE CAF-8 TO GRADE CAF-6, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 1926 (PAR. 5 OF THE DIRECTOR'S REPORT). SEE 8 COMP. GEN. 275, 276. WHERE THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE APPROVES OR ACQUIESCES IN THE ACTION OF THE BOARD IN ALLOCATING OR REALLOCATING A POSITION, AS IN THIS CASE, THE BOARD'S ACTION IS NOT THEN OPEN TO THE OBJECTION NOTED IN THE DECISION OF JUNE 26, 1928, CITED BY THE CLAIMANT.

THE EMPLOYEE CONTENDS THAT THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITION TO WHICH HE WAS PROMOTED WERE THE SAME AS PERFORMED BY THE FORMER INCUMBENT; BUT, BE THAT AS IT MAY, ALL QUESTIONS OF FACT INVOLVING A PROPER DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF POSITIONS SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT ARE FOR CONSIDERATION AND DETERMINATION AMONG THE EMPLOYEE CONCERNED, THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, AND THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD, AND NOT BY THIS OFFICE. WHERE THERE IS A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION AS TO THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF A POSITION BETWEEN THE EMPLOYEE ON THE ONE HAND, AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TOGETHER WITH THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD ON THE OTHER, THE FINAL DETERMINATION BY THE LATTER MUST CONTROL IN FIXING THE SALARY GRADE OF THE POSITION.