A-37287, JULY 24, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 25

A-37287: Jul 24, 1931

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CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - FIELD SERVICE - TWO SALARY RATES FOR SAME POSITION THERE IS NO AUTHORITY UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. THERE IS PRESENTED THE QUESTION AS TO LEGALITY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION IN ESTABLISHING TWO SALARY RATES FOR THE SAME FIELD POSITION. THE QUESTION IS PRESENTED BY THE DISBURSING CLERK. APPROVAL IS RECOMMENDED OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE RATES OF COMPENSATION OF THE FOLLOWING-NAMED EMPLOYEES OF THE ENGINEER DEPARTMENT AT LARGE. IT IS DESIRED THAT THEIR RATES OF COMPENSATION FOR DUTY AT HOME STATION REMAIN AT THE PRESENT RATES WHICH ARE STATED IN COLUMN 3. IT IS EXPECTED THAT THESE EMPLOYEES WILL BE ASSIGNED TO DUTY IN THE FIELD AT AN EARLY DATE AND DURING THIS ASSIGNMENT IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO FURNISH THEM WITH ALLOWANCES AND TO MAKE DEDUCTIONS THEREFOR FROM THEIR RATES OF COMPENSATION.

A-37287, JULY 24, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 25

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - FIELD SERVICE - TWO SALARY RATES FOR SAME POSITION THERE IS NO AUTHORITY UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AS EXTENDED TO THE FIELD SERVICE BY SECTION 2 OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT, OR UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, 45 STAT. 193, REQUIRING THE REASONABLE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND TO BE DETERMINED AND CONSIDERED A PART OF COMPENSATION, TO ESTABLISH TWO SALARY RATES FOR THE SAME POSITION, ONE RATE FOR PAYMENT AT THE HOME STATION AND A HIGHER RATE FOR PAYMENT WHILE ON FIELD DUTY, THE DIFFERENCE REPRESENTING THE REASONABLE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND WHILE ON FIELD DUTY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, JULY 24, 1931:

IN THE AUDIT OF ACCOUNTS OF COL. W. C. WEEKS, CORPS OF ENGINEERS, CHICAGO, ILL., THERE IS PRESENTED THE QUESTION AS TO LEGALITY OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION IN ESTABLISHING TWO SALARY RATES FOR THE SAME FIELD POSITION, SUBJECT TO THE PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION AS EXTENDED TO THE FIELD SERVICE BY THE TERMS OF THE WELCH AND BROOKHART SALARY ACTS, ONE RATE FOR PAYMENT AT THE HOME STATION OF THE EMPLOYEE, AND A HIGHER RATE FOR PAYMENT WHILE ON FIELD DUTY, THE DIFFERENCE REPRESENTING THE REASONABLE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND WHILE ON FIELD DUTY.

THE QUESTION IS PRESENTED BY THE DISBURSING CLERK, THROUGH THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, IN CONNECTION WITH ADJUSTMENTS MADE UNDER THE TERMS OF THE WELCH AND BROOKHART SALARY ACTS ON THE BASIS OF THE TWO RATES, AND THERE MAY BE TAKEN AS AN EXAMPLE THE CASE OF ARTHUR D. LLEWELLYN, ASSISTANT CIVIL ENGINEER, CHICAGO, ILL.

ON MAY 11, 1927, THE SECRETARY OF WAR ISSUED THE FOLLOWING ORDER:

1. APPROVAL IS RECOMMENDED OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE RATES OF COMPENSATION OF THE FOLLOWING-NAMED EMPLOYEES OF THE ENGINEER DEPARTMENT AT LARGE, AT THE RATES INDICATED IN COLUMN 4, FOR SUCH TIME AS THEY MAY BE ON DUTY IN THE FIELD, THESE RATES TO INCLUDE THE VALUATION OF ALLOWANCES AT THE RATE STATED IN COLUMN 5. IT IS DESIRED THAT THEIR RATES OF COMPENSATION FOR DUTY AT HOME STATION REMAIN AT THE PRESENT RATES WHICH ARE STATED IN COLUMN 3.

DISTRICT:CHICAGO, ILL.

NAME: ARTHUR D. LLEWELLYN.

DESIGNATION: ASSISTANT CIVIL ENGINEER.

RATE OF PAY FOR HOME STATION: $2,400 PER ANNUM.

PROPOSED RATE FOR FIELD DUTY: $2,900 PER ANNUM.

REASONABLE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES: $500 PER ANNUM.

2. IT IS EXPECTED THAT THESE EMPLOYEES WILL BE ASSIGNED TO DUTY IN THE FIELD AT AN EARLY DATE AND DURING THIS ASSIGNMENT IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO FURNISH THEM WITH ALLOWANCES AND TO MAKE DEDUCTIONS THEREFOR FROM THEIR RATES OF COMPENSATION. THE FOREGOING RECOMMENDATION IS PRESENTED IN ORDER THAT THEY MAY SUFFER NO REDUCTION IN CASH RATE OF COMPENSATION DURING THE PERIOD OF ASSIGNMENT IN THE FIELD.

3. INFORMATION CONCERNING THESE CASES IN THE FORM PRESCRIBED BY WAR DEPARTMENT MEMORANDUM OF FEBRUARY 18, 1926, IS SHOWN ON THE INCLOSED PAPERS.

4. IN VIEW OF THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES WHICH WILL DEVOLVE UPON THESE EMPLOYEES DURING THEIR FIELD ASSIGNMENTS, THE PROPOSED RATES OF PAY FOR SUCH DUTY ARE WARRANTED AND ARE NECESSARY IN ORDER TO MEET, AT LEAST PARTIALLY, THE PREVAILING LOCAL RATES FOR THE SAME OR SIMILAR SERVICES.

THERE HAS BEEN NO DECISION BY THIS OFFICE RECOGNIZING OR AUTHORIZING SUCH A MANIPULATION IN SALARY RATES AS A COMPLIANCE WITH THE TERMS OF SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 5, 1928, 45 STAT. 193, PROVIDING AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 3. THE HEAD OF AN EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OR INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENT, WHERE, IN HIS JUDGMENT, CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT REQUIRE IT, MAY CONTINUE TO FURNISH CIVILIANS EMPLOYED IN THE FIELD SERVICE WITH QUARTERS, HEAT, LIGHT, HOUSEHOLD EQUIPMENT, SUBSISTENCE, AND LAUNDRY SERVICE; AND APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1929 AND THEREAFTER OF THE CHARACTER HERETOFORE USED FOR SUCH PURPOSES ARE HEREBY MADE AVAILABLE THEREFOR: PROVIDED, THAT THE REASONABLE VALUE OF SUCH ALLOWANCES SHALL BE DETERMINED AND CONSIDERED AS PART OF THE COMPENSATION IN FIXING THE SALARY RATE OF SUCH CIVILIANS.

IN DECISION TO YOU OF APRIL 28, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 493, WHEREIN WAS CONSIDERED THE QUESTION OF ALLOWANCES DURING LEAVE OF ABSENCE, THERE WAS STATED THE PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED IN APPLYING THIS STATUTE, WITH A CITATION OF THE PRIOR DECISIONS RELATIVE THERETO. THE GRADE AND SALARY RATE OF A FIELD POSITION, SUBJECT TO PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION, SHOULD BE DETERMINED PRIMARILY ON THE BASIS OF THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITION. WHILE IT MAY NOT BE IMPROPER TO CONSIDER, AS A FACTOR IN FIXING THE GRADE AND SALARY OF A FIELD POSITION, THE LOCALITY WHERE THE DUTIES ARE TO BE PERFORMED AND THE PREVAILING WAGE SCALE IN PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT IN THAT LOCALITY, POSSIBLY RESULTING UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS IN ESTABLISHING DIFFERENT GRADES FOR POSITIONS WITH THE SAME DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN DIFFERENT LOCALITIES OF THE COUNTRY, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS EXTENDED TO THE FIELD, OR UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED STATUTE, FOR ESTABLISHING TWO SEPARATE AND DISTINCT SALARY RATES FOR THE SAME POSITION, TO BE PAID AT THE HOME STATION AND WHILE ON FIELD DUTY, THE DIFFERENCE REPRESENTING THE VALUE OF ALLOWANCES FURNISHED IN KIND WHILE ON FIELD DUTY. THERE SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED ONE GRADE AND SALARY RATE FOR THE POSITION OCCUPIED BY THE EMPLOYEE REGARDLESS OF WHERE THE DUTIES OF THE POSITION ARE TO BE PERFORMED. DURING ANY PERIOD ALLOWANCES IN KIND ARE FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT THERE MUST BE DETERMINED AND DEDUCTED FROM THE TOTAL SALARY RATE THUS FIXED THE REASONABLE VALUE OF THE ALLOWANCES SO FURNISHED, AND DURING ANY PERIOD THE ALLOWANCES ARE NOT FURNISHED IN KIND THE TOTAL SALARY RATE IS PAYABLE TO THE EMPLOYEE IN CASH, SO THAT (QUOTING FROM THE DECISION OF APRIL 28, 1931, SUPRA) ,FOR ALL PERIODS AN EMPLOYEE IS IN A PAY STATUS THE TOTAL SALARY RATE FIXED FOR THE POSITION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION WILL BE PAID EITHER IN CASH ALONE OR IN CASH AND ALLOWANCES IN KIND.'

THE REGULATIONS OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT AND ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICE SHOULD BE MODIFIED ACCORDINGLY. IN THE AUDIT OF ACCOUNTS BY THIS OFFICE FOR PERIODS PRIOR TO AUGUST 1, 1931, CREDIT FOR SALARIES WILL BE ALLOWED ON THE BASIS OF THE ACTION TAKEN UNDER THE EXISTING ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS AND PRACTICE THEREUNDER.