A-25801, MARCH 19, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 496

A-25801: Mar 19, 1929

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CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - REORGANIZATION THE CENTRALIZATION OF THE WORK OF THE SAME OR SIMILAR KIND PERFORMED IN A DEPARTMENT INTO ONE UNIT FOR THE PURPOSE OF BETTER ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL DOES NOT IPSO FACTO CREATE ALL NEW POSITIONS REQUIRING REALLOCATION SO AS TO AFFECT THE SALARY STATUS OF THE EMPLOYEES WHO MAY BE PERFORMING SUCH WORK AND ARE ASSIGNED TO THE NEW ADMINISTRATIVE UNIT. UNLESS THERE IS A MATERIAL CHANGE IN THE DUTIES OF THE POSITIONS. IN ESTABLISHING THIS NEW GROUPING IT WAS NOT INTENDED OR EXPECTED THAT THE OFFICIALS AND OTHER PERSONNEL SHOULD PERFORM DUTIES OF OTHER OR DIFFERENT KINDS IN ANY IMPORTANT RESPECT FROM THOSE ALREADY BEING PERFORMED. IT WAS CONTEMPLATED THAT.

A-25801, MARCH 19, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 496

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - REORGANIZATION THE CENTRALIZATION OF THE WORK OF THE SAME OR SIMILAR KIND PERFORMED IN A DEPARTMENT INTO ONE UNIT FOR THE PURPOSE OF BETTER ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL DOES NOT IPSO FACTO CREATE ALL NEW POSITIONS REQUIRING REALLOCATION SO AS TO AFFECT THE SALARY STATUS OF THE EMPLOYEES WHO MAY BE PERFORMING SUCH WORK AND ARE ASSIGNED TO THE NEW ADMINISTRATIVE UNIT, UNLESS THERE IS A MATERIAL CHANGE IN THE DUTIES OF THE POSITIONS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, MARCH 19, 1929:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 9, 1929, AS FOLLOWS:

BY ORDER DATED APRIL 21, 1928, COPY HEREWITH, THE SECRETARY OF STATE SET APART CERTAIN MEMBERS OF HIS OFFICIAL STAFF AND OF THE DEPARTMENTAL PERSONNEL TO FORM A TREATY DIVISION. IN ESTABLISHING THIS NEW GROUPING IT WAS NOT INTENDED OR EXPECTED THAT THE OFFICIALS AND OTHER PERSONNEL SHOULD PERFORM DUTIES OF OTHER OR DIFFERENT KINDS IN ANY IMPORTANT RESPECT FROM THOSE ALREADY BEING PERFORMED. IT WAS CONTEMPLATED THAT, BY BRINGING TOGETHER INTO A GROUP THOSE PERSONS WHO HAD BEEN ENGAGED IN THE WORK OF TREATY DRAFTING, THE NEGOTIATION OF TREATIES AND OTHER WORK IN CONNECTION WITH TREATIES, THERE WOULD RESULT AN INCREASE IN DEPARTMENTAL EFFICIENCY. ESSENTIALLY SPEAKING, THERE WERE NO NEW POSITIONS CREATED.

AMONG THE OFFICIALS PLACED IN THE TREATY DIVISION GROUP WAS DR. WALLACE MCCLURE, AT THAT TIME IN GRADE P. AND S. 5, WITH A SALARY OF $5,200. DR. MCCLURE WAS RANKING MEMBER OF THE OFFICE OF ECONOMIC ADVISER AND ACTED AS CHIEF IN THE ABSENCE OF THE CHIEF. HE WAS, TO ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES, ASSISTANT ECONOMIC ADVISER AND THEN WAS GIVEN THE PRECISELY CORRESPONDING POSITION IN THE TREATY GROUP, NAMELY, ASSISTANT CHIEF, TREATY DIVISION.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1928 (THE WELCH BILL), AND THE DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF JUNE 2, 1928, THE SECRETARY OF STATE, AFTER DUE CONSIDERATION, ALLOCATED DR. MCCLURE TO GRADE 7 OF THE P. AND S. SERVICE, THE GRADE TO WHICH ASSISTANT CHIEFS OF THE DIVISION OF WESTERN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS AND THE SOLICITOR'S OFFICE, THE WORK OF WHICH IS OF EQUAL IMPORTANCE TO THAT PERFORMED BY DR. MCCLURE OF THE TREATY DIVISION, WERE BEING ALLOCATED. BEGINNING JULY 1, 1928, THESE ASSISTANT CHIEFS OF DIVISION, INCLUDING DR. MCCLURE, WERE PAID SALARIES AT THE RATE OF $6,500. THEY CONTINUE TO BE PAID SALARIES AT THIS RATE.

A CLASSIFICATION SHEET SETTING FORTH THE ALLOCATION OF DR. MCCLURE TO GRADE 7 OF THE P. AND S. SERVICE WAS ON JUNE 28, 1928, FILED WITH THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD.

ON OCTOBER 31, 1928, THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD RENDERED AN OPINION ALLOCATING DR. MCCLURE TO GRADE P. AND S. 6, WITH A SALARY OF $5,600 PER ANNUM.

THIS DEPARTMENT IS, ACCORDINGLY, UNCERTAIN WHETHER IT CAN CONTINUE TO PAY DR. MCCLURE IN GRADE 7 OF THE P. AND S. SERVICE, THE GRADE TO WHICH ALLOCATED UNDER THE WELCH BILL, OR IN GRADE 6 OF THE P. AND S. SERVICE, THE GRADE APPROVED BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD. IT IS OF THE OPINION THAT WITH OTHER ASSISTANT DIVISION CHIEFS RECEIVING THE SALARY OF $6,500, THERE WOULD RESULT A DEFINITE INJUSTICE WERE AN EXCEPTION MADE IN THIS CASE.

THE QUESTION IS INVOLVED WHETHER THE POSITION, A JOB CLASSIFICATION SHEET FOR WHICH WAS FORWARDED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TO THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD ON JUNE 28, 1928, WAS A NEW POSITION REQUIRING THE ACTION OF THE BOARD, OR SIMPLY NOTICE OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION UNDER THE WELCH ACT, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1928, IN PLACING THE EXISTING POSITION OCCUPIED BY DOCTOR MCCLURE IN GRADE P 7.

TO CREATE A NEW POSITION THERE MUST BE A MATERIAL CHANGE, EITHER TOTALLY OR PARTIALLY, IN THE DUTIES OF THE EMPLOYEE. (4 COMP. GEN. 474, 75.) YOUR LETTER LEAVES THE IMPRESSION THAT THERE WAS NO INTENT ON THE PART OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER EITHER TO CREATE A NEW POSITION BY MATERIALLY CHANGING THE DUTIES OF THE EXISTING POSITION OR TO REQUEST ACTION BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD ON THE EXISTING ALLOCATION OF THE POSITION.

THE CENTRALIZATION OF WORK OF THE SAME OR SIMILAR KIND PERFORMED IN A DEPARTMENT INTO ONE UNIT FOR THE PURPOSE OF BETTER ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL DOES NOT IPSO FACTO CREATE ALL NEW POSITIONS FOR THE EMPLOYEES WHO MAY BE PERFORMING SUCH WORK AND ARE ASSIGNED TO THE NEW ADMINISTRATIVE UNIT. THE TRANSFER OF AN EMPLOYEE FROM AN EXISTING ADMINISTRATIVE UNIT TO ANOTHER ADMINISTRATIVE UNIT, WHETHER NEWLY CREATED OR THEN EXISTING, DOES NOT NECESSARILY CREATE A NEW POSITION FOR THE EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRED, UNLESS THERE IS A MATERIAL CHANGE IN THE DUTIES OF THE POSITION. (4 COMP. GEN. 703; ID. 474.)

IF, AS INDICATED IN YOUR LETTER, THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE DID NOT CREATE A NEW POSITION WITH MATERIALLY CHANGED DUTIES, AND THE ACTION IN FORWARDING A CLASSIFICATION SHEET TO THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD ON JUNE 28, 1928, WAS NOTHING MORE THAN A NOTICE TO THE BOARD OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION TAKEN UNDER THE WELCH ACT, THE ACTION OF THE BOARD IN REALLOCATING THE EXISTING POSITION ON THE BASIS OF SUCH NOTICE DOES NOT REQUIRE A CHANGE IN THE SALARY RATE OF THE EMPLOYEE, AND IT MAY CONTINUE TO BE PAID IN GRADE P-7.