A-3958, JULY 19, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 77

A-3958: Jul 19, 1924

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IS PROHIBITED BY THE AVERAGE COMPENSATION PROVISION IN THE ACT OF APRIL 4. IF THE PROPER AVERAGE IS MAINTAINED AND HE HAS ATTAINED THE REQUIRED EFFICIENCY RATING. WHERE THERE IS ONLY ONE EMPLOYEE IN A GRADE NO COMPARATIVE EFFICIENCY RATING CAN BE MADE. IF THE EMPLOYEE IS DETERMINED ADMINISTRATIVELY TO HAVE ATTAINED THE PROPER EFFICIENCY. 1924: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 11. AS FOLLOWS: YOUR OPINION IS DESIRED ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: 1. WHEN SUCH REINSTATEMENT OR TRANSFER WILL CAUSE THE AVERAGE SALARY OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN THE GRADE TO EXCEED THE AVERAGE OF THE COMPENSATION RATES SPECIFIED FOR THE GRADE? 2. WHEN THERE IS BUT ONE EMPLOYEE ALLOCATED TO A GRADE IN AN APPROPRIATION UNIT.

A-3958, JULY 19, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 77

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - INCREASES OF COMPENSATION WITHIN GRADE THE FILLING OF ANY VACANCY, WHETHER PREVIOUSLY FILLED OR NOT, EITHER BY PROMOTION, TRANSFER, REINSTATEMENT, OR NEW APPOINTMENT, IS PROHIBITED BY THE AVERAGE COMPENSATION PROVISION IN THE ACT OF APRIL 4, 1924, 43 STAT. 64, UNLESS IT CAN BE DONE WITHIN THE PROPER AVERAGE; I.E., ANY NEW ADJUSTMENTS OF SALARIES AFTER THE ESTABLISHMENT OF INITIAL SALARIES ON JULY 1, 1924, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, WITHIN THE LIMITATIONS OF AVAILABLE APPROPRIATIONS, MUST NOT VIOLATE THE AVERAGE PROVISION. THE COMPENSATION OF AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE INCREASED FROM THE MINIMUM TO THE MAXIMUM RATE IN THE SAME GRADE, IF THE PROPER AVERAGE IS MAINTAINED AND HE HAS ATTAINED THE REQUIRED EFFICIENCY RATING, BY ONE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION CONSTITUTING IN EFFECT A SERIES OF PROMOTIONS SIMULTANEOUSLY EFFECTIVE. WHERE THERE IS ONLY ONE EMPLOYEE IN A GRADE NO COMPARATIVE EFFICIENCY RATING CAN BE MADE, AND IF THE EMPLOYEE IS DETERMINED ADMINISTRATIVELY TO HAVE ATTAINED THE PROPER EFFICIENCY, HIS COMPENSATION MAY BE FIXED AT ANY RATE OF PAY WITHIN HIS GRADE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL GINN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, JULY 19, 1924:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 11, 1924, REQUESTING DECISION OF TWO QUESTIONS, AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR OPINION IS DESIRED ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

1. DOES THE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE TREASURY AND POST OFFICE DEPARTMENTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1925, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, PROHIBIT THE REINSTATEMENT OR TRANSFER AND APPOINTMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE ABOVE THE MINIMUM SALARY IN A GRADE, WHEN SUCH REINSTATEMENT OR TRANSFER WILL CAUSE THE AVERAGE SALARY OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN THE GRADE TO EXCEED THE AVERAGE OF THE COMPENSATION RATES SPECIFIED FOR THE GRADE?

2. WHEN THERE IS BUT ONE EMPLOYEE ALLOCATED TO A GRADE IN AN APPROPRIATION UNIT, MAY THE SALARY OF SUCH EMPLOYEE BE INCREASED TO ANY RATE UP TO THE MAXIMUM OF THE GRADE BY ONE PROMOTION, OR DOES SECTION 7 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT LIMIT AN INCREASE TO THE NEXT RATE WITHIN THE SALARY RANGE OF THE GRADE?

THE ACT REFERRED TO IN THE SUBMISSION, ACT OF APRIL 4, 1924, 43 STAT. 64, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

* * * PROVIDED, THAT IN EXPENDING APPROPRIATIONS OR PORTIONS OF APPROPRIATIONS, CONTAINED IN THIS ACT, FOR THE PAYMENT FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN ACCORDANCE WITH ,THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923," THE AVERAGE OF THE SALARIES OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONS UNDER ANY GRADE OR CLASS THEREOF IN ANY BUREAU, OFFICE, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNIT, SHALL NOT AT ANY TIME EXCEED THE AVERAGE OF THE COMPENSATION RATES SPECIFIED FOR THE GRADE BY SUCH ACT; PROVIDED, THAT THIS RESTRICTION SHALL NOT APPLY (1) TO GRADES, 1, 2, 3, AND 4 OF THE CLERICAL-MECHANICAL SERVICE, OR (2) TO REQUIRE THE REDUCTION IN SALARY OF ANY PERSON WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED, AS OF JULY 1, 1924, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RULES OF SECTION 6 OF SUCH ACT, OR (3) TO PREVENT THE PAYMENT OF A SALARY UNDER ANY GRADE AT A RATE HIGHER THAN THE MAXIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE WHEN SUCH HIGHER RATE IS PERMITTED BY "THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923," AND IS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY OTHER LAW.

QUESTION 1 IS STATED IN GENERAL TERMS AND APPEARS TO BE ANSWERED IN DECISION OF JUNE 26, 1924, 3 COMP. GEN. 1001, UNDER QUESTION 2, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THE FILLING OF ANY VACANCY, WHETHER PREVIOUSLY FILLED OR NOT, EITHER BY PROMOTION, TRANSFER, REINSTATEMENT, OR NEW APPOINTMENT, WOULD BE PROHIBITED UNLESS IT CAN BE DONE WITHIN THE PROPER AVERAGE. IN OTHER WORDS, ANY NEW ADJUSTMENTS OF SALARIES AFTER THE ESTABLISHMENT OF INITIAL SALARIES ON JULY 1, 1924, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, WITHIN THE LIMITATIONS OF THE AVAILABLE APPROPRIATIONS, MUST NOT VIOLATE THE AVERAGE PROVISION.

THERE APPEARS NO REASON FOR ANY AMENDMENT OF THE FORMER DECISION AS STATED IN SUCH GENERAL TERMS.

SECTION 7 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, 42 STAT. 1490, PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

INCREASES IN COMPENSATION SHALL BE ALLOWED UPON THE ATTAINMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF THE APPROPRIATE EFFICIENCY RATINGS, TO THE NEXT HIGHER RATE WITHIN THE SALARY RANGE OF THE GRADE * * *.

SECTION 9 PROVIDES THAT THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD SHALL ESTABLISH A SYSTEM OF EFFICIENCY RATINGS ON WHICH IS TO BE BASED CHANGES IN RATES OF PAY WITHIN THE GRADE BY PROMOTION OR DEMOTION, AND THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS ARE REQUIRED TO RATE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUCH SYSTEM OF EFFICIENCY EACH EMPLOYEE UNDER HIS CONTROL OR DIRECTION. THIS GENERAL REQUIREMENT FOR RATING RELATES EQUALLY TO ONE PERSON IN A GRADE AS IT DOES TO MORE THAN ONE PERSON IN THE GRADE. IT IS ASSUMED THAT A HIGHER RATING OF EFFICIENCY MUST BE ATTAINED FOR EACH RATE OF PAY WITHIN THE GRADE. CONSIDERING AN EMPLOYEE FOR AN INCREASE IN COMPENSATION WITHIN THE RANGE AUTHORIZED FOR HIS GRADE HIS EFFICIENCY IS FOR COMPARISON WITH EACH EMPLOYEE RECEIVING THE SAME RATE OF COMPENSATION WITHIN THE GRADE, AND THE CLASSIFICATION ACT CONTEMPLATES AN INCREASE IN COMPENSATION TO THE NEXT HIGHER RATE WHEN THE PROPER EFFICIENCY IS ATTAINED. THERE EXISTS NO TIME LIMIT WITHIN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE AGAIN CONSIDERED FOR PROMOTION UPON COMPARISON OF HIS EFFICIENCY RATING WITH THOSE EMPLOYEES RECEIVING THE RATE OF COMPENSATION TO WHICH HE HAS ALREADY BEEN PROMOTED, AND A SERIES OF SUCH PROMOTIONS FROM THE MINIMUM TO THE MAXIMUM OF THE GRADE MAY BE MADE SIMULTANEOUSLY IF THE PROPER AVERAGE IS MAINTAINED AND APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN PROVIDED THEREFOR.

ANY INCREASE OF COMPENSATION AS A RESULT OF SUCH COMPARATIVE EFFICIENCY RATING THROUGH MORE THAN ONE RATE IN A GRADE, WHILE IN EFFECT CONSTITUTING A SERIES OF INCREASES "TO THE NEXT HIGHER RATE WITHIN THE SALARY RANGE OF THE GRADE," MAY BE ACCOMPLISHED BY ONE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION, NO OATH BEING REQUIRED.

WHERE THERE IS ONLY ONE IN A GRADE NO COMPARATIVE EFFICIENCY RATING MAY BE MADE; AND IF THE EMPLOYEE IS DETERMINED ADMINISTRATIVELY TO HAVE ATTAINED THE PROPER EFFICIENCY, HIS COMPENSATION MAY BE FIXED AT ANY RATE OF PAY WITHIN HIS GRADE.