A-3960, JULY 29, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 126

A-3960: Jul 29, 1924

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TRANSFERS AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE POSITION IS ALLOCATED TO ONE GRADE UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF MARCH 4. WILL BE ENTITLED ONLY TO CONTINUE IN RECEIPT OF THE COMPENSATION OF THE LOWER GRADE. WILL EXCEED THE AVERAGE RATE OF THE GRADE. MEANS A VACANT PLACE IN A GRADE THE SALARY OF WHICH IS NOT NECESSARILY THAT OF THE LAST INCUMBENT BUT MAY BE AT ANY AUTHORIZED RATE WITHIN THE GRADE WHICH DOES NOT CAUSE THE PROPER AVERAGE FOR THE GRADE TO EXCEED. NEED NOT NECESSARILY BE AT THE MINIMUM RATE IN THE GRADE BUT IS SUBJECT TO THE SAME RULES APPLICABLE TO OTHER TRANSFERS RELATIVE TO MAINTAINING THE PROPER AVERAGE. 1924: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 11. AS FOLLOWS: YOUR DECISION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED UPON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ARISING IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT APPROVED MARCH 4.

A-3960, JULY 29, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 126

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - DETAILS, PROMOTIONS, AND TRANSFERS AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE POSITION IS ALLOCATED TO ONE GRADE UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923, 42 STAT. 1488, WHEN TEMPORARILY DETAILED TO DUTIES OF A POSITION IN A HIGHER GRADE, WILL BE ENTITLED ONLY TO CONTINUE IN RECEIPT OF THE COMPENSATION OF THE LOWER GRADE. PERMANENT ASSIGNMENT TO A POSITION IN THE HIGHER GRADE CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED ONLY BY REGULAR PROMOTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AND THE CIVIL SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS. AN EMPLOYEE RECEIVING $1,440 PER ANNUM IN GRADE 2, CLERICAL, ADMINISTRATIVE AND FISCAL SERVICE, MAY BE PROMOTED TO GRADE 3 OF THE SAME SERVICE, IN WHICH THE AVERAGE SALARY OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONS IN THE GRADE, INCLUDING HIM, WILL EXCEED THE AVERAGE RATE OF THE GRADE, AT THE MINIMUM RATE OF PAY OF GRADE 3, VIZ. $1,500. THE TERM "VACANT POSITION," AS USED IN SECTION 10 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT RELATIVE TO TRANSFERS, MEANS A VACANT PLACE IN A GRADE THE SALARY OF WHICH IS NOT NECESSARILY THAT OF THE LAST INCUMBENT BUT MAY BE AT ANY AUTHORIZED RATE WITHIN THE GRADE WHICH DOES NOT CAUSE THE PROPER AVERAGE FOR THE GRADE TO EXCEED. A TRANSFER UNDER SECTION 10 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, SUCH AS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A "NEW APPOINTMENT" TO A NEWLY CREATED POSITION, NEED NOT NECESSARILY BE AT THE MINIMUM RATE IN THE GRADE BUT IS SUBJECT TO THE SAME RULES APPLICABLE TO OTHER TRANSFERS RELATIVE TO MAINTAINING THE PROPER AVERAGE. ANY NEW ADJUSTMENT OF COMPENSATION IN A GRADE SUBSEQUENT TO JULY 1, 1924, MUST TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION ALL PERSONS IN THE GRADE, INCLUDING THOSE EXCEPTED UPON ALLOCATION OF INITIAL SALARIES, IN DETERMINING THE PROPER AVERAGE. WHEN THE PROPER AVERAGE HAS ALREADY BEEN LAWFULLY EXCEEDED BY REASON OF EXPRESS EXCEPTIONS MADE IN THE LAW, NEW ADJUSTMENTS IN COMPENSATION IN A GRADE MUST TEND TO REDUCE THE AVERAGE, AND THIS CAN MOST EXPEDITIOUSLY BE DONE BY MAKING APPOINTMENTS, TRANSFERS, AND REINSTATEMENTS AT THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE GRADE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, JULY 29, 1924:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 11, 1924, AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR DECISION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED UPON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ARISING IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT APPROVED MARCH 4, 1923:

1. THE POSITION OF AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE SALARY IS $1,440 PER ANNUM HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED IN GRADE 2, C.A.F. SERVICE, THE SALARY RANGE OF WHICH IS $1,320 TO $1,680 PER ANNUM. IN THE EVENT THE EMPLOYEE SUBSEQUENTLY TO JULY 1, 1924, IS ASSIGNED TO OTHER DUTIES CLASSIFIED IN GRADE 3 WITH A SALARY RANGE OF $1,500 TO $1,860 PER ANNUM, SHOULD HE BE PAID A SALARY AT ONE OF THE RATES IN GRADE 3, NOTWITHSTANDING THE AVERAGE SALARY OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONS IN THAT GRADE, INCLUDING HIM, MAY EXCEED THE AVERAGE RATE OF THE GRADE?

2. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 10 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE TRANSFERRED FROM A POSITION IN ONE GRADE TO A VACANT POSITION WITHIN THE SAME GRADE, ETC. DOES "VACANT POSITION" MEAN THE RATE RECEIVED BY THE LAST INCUMBENT OR CAN IT BE ANY RATE WITHIN THE GRADE FIXED ADMINISTRATIVELY? FOR INSTANCE, CAN AN EMPLOYEE IN GRADE 3, C.A.F. SERVICE, RECEIVING A SALARY OF $1,680 IN ONE DEPARTMENT, BE TRANSFERRED AT THE SAME SALARY WITHIN THAT DEPARTMENT OR TO ANOTHER DEPARTMENT TO A POSITION IN THE SAME GRADE REGARDLESS OF THE SALARY RECEIVED BY THE FORMER EMPLOYEE THEREIN? IF TRANSFER IS TO A NEWLY CREATED POSITION, CAN IT BE AT ANY OTHER THAN THE MINIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE?

3. IF THE AVERAGE OF THE SALARIES OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONS IN A GRADE EXCEEDS THE AVERAGE OF THE GRADE, APPARENTLY UNDER YOUR DECISION OF JUNE 26, 1924, NO APPOINTMENT, TRANSFER, OR PROMOTION TO THIS GRADE CAN BE MADE UNLESS IT WOULD BRING THE AVERAGE OF THE SALARIES TO OR BELOW THE AVERAGE OF THE GRADE. WHERE ONE APPOINTMENT WOULD NOT RESULT IN BRINGING THE AVERAGE OF THE SALARIES DOWN TO THE AVERAGE OF THE GRADE, COULD SEVERAL APPOINTMENTS TO THAT GRADE BE MADE, PROVIDED THERE IS NECESSITY THEREFOR, IF THE RESULTING AVERAGE OF THE SALARIES WOULD NOT BE ABOVE THE AVERAGE OF THE GRADE?

4. IN YOUR DECISION OF JUNE 26, 1924, YOU STATE, RELATIVE TO THE COMPUTATION OF AVERAGE SALARY, THAT "THE INITIAL SALARIES ON JULY 1, 1924, OF THOSE PERSONS COMING WITHIN THE EXCEPTIONS PROVIDED IN THE AVERAGE PROVISION, MAY BE ELIMINATED IN DETERMINING THE AVERAGE.' DOES THIS MEAN THAT ALL PERSONS WHOSE POSITIONS ON JULY 1, 1924, CAME WITHIN EITHER OF THE THREE EXCEPTIONS CONTAINED IN THE AVERAGE PROVISION MAY BE ELIMINATED FROM CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING THE AVERAGE, THE EXCEPTIONS REFERRED TO BEING NUMBERED (1), (2), AND (3) IN THE FOLLOWING PROVISO:

"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.'

1. IT IS NOT CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD WHAT IS MEANT BY "ASSIGNED TO OTHER DUTIES.' IF TEMPORARY DETAIL IS INTENDED, THE EMPLOYEE WOULD CONTINUE TO RECEIVE HIS RATE OF COMPENSATION IN GRADE 2. IF PERMANENT ASSIGNMENT IS INTENDED, THAT COULD BE ACCOMPLISHED ONLY BY REGULAR PROMOTION TO GRADE 3 IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AND THE CIVIL SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS REGARDING PROMOTIONS. ASSUMING THAT THE PROPER AVERAGE NOW EXISTS IN GRADE 3, ANY PROMOTION TO THAT GRADE FROM GRADE 2 MUST BE AT AN AUTHORIZED RATE THAT WOULD MAINTAIN THAT PROPER AVERAGE. IF THE AVERAGE OF THE SALARIES OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONS IN THE GRADE TO WHICH PROMOTED EXCEEDS THE AVERAGE OF THE COMPENSATION RATES FOR SAID GRADE, PROMOTION COULD BE MADE ONLY TO THE MINIMUM SALARY FOR SAID GRADE.

2. THE TERM "VACANT POSITION" AS USED IN SECTION 10 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT MEANS A VACANT PLACE IN A GRADE. A CERTAIN NUMBER OF PLACES IN EACH GRADE HAVE BEEN APPROPRIATED FOR AND AUTHORIZED BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD, AND WHEN THERE IS ONE LESS EMPLOYEE IN A GRADE THAN HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED THERE IS A VACANT POSITION TO WHICH A PROMOTION OR TRANSFER MAY BE MADE. THE SALARY OF THE VACANT POSITION IS NOT NECESSARILY THAT OF THE LAST INCUMBENT, BUT MAY BE AT ANY AUTHORIZED RATE WITHIN THE GRADE WHICH DOES NOT CAUSE THE PROPER AVERAGE FOR THE GRADE TO BE EXCEEDED. AN EMPLOYEE IN GRADE 3 RECEIVING A SALARY OF $1,680 PER ANNUM IN ONE DEPARTMENT COULD BE TRANSFERRED AT THE SAME SALARY, WITHIN THAT DEPARTMENT OR TO ANOTHER DEPARTMENT, TO A VACANT POSITION IN THE SAME GRADE REGARDLESS OF THE SALARY RECEIVED BY THE FORMER EMPLOYEE THEREIN, PROVIDED THE PROPER AVERAGE IS NOT EXCEEDED. A TRANSFER SUCH AS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A "NEW APPOINTMENT" TO A NEWLY CREATED POSITION NEED NOT NECESSARILY BE AT THE MINIMUM RATE IN THE GRADE BUT IS SUBJECT TO THE SAME RULES APPLICABLE TO OTHER TRANSFERS.

3. IF THE EXCESS OVER THE PROPER AVERAGE IN A GRADE HAS RESULTED BY REASON OF THE EXCEPTIONS EXPRESSLY MADE IN THE AVERAGE PROVISION APPEARING IN THE APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1925, NEW ADJUSTMENTS THEREIN SUBSEQUENT TO JULY 1, 1924, MUST TEND TO REDUCE THE AVERAGE, AND THIS CAN MOST EXPEDITIOUSLY BE DONE BY MAKING APPOINTMENTS, TRANSFERS, AND REINSTATEMENTS AT THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE GRADE. DECISION OF JULY 19, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 79. INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF POSITIONS ESTIMATED FOR MUST BE WITHIN THE LIMIT OF THE TOTAL AVAILABLE APPROPRIATION AND WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD. DECISION OF JUNE 26, 1924, QUESTION 5, 3 COMP. GEN. 1005.

4. THE AVERAGE PROVISION HAS NO APPLICATION WHATEVER TO GRADES 1, 2, 3, AND 4 OF THE CLERICAL-MECHANICAL SERVICE. THE EMPLOYEES COMING WITHIN (2) OR (3) OF THE PROVISO QUOTED IN THE SUBMISSION ARE TO BE ELIMINATED IN DETERMINING THE ALLOCATION OF INITIAL SALARIES AS OF JULY 1, 1924. BUT ANY NEW ADJUSTMENT OF COMPENSATION IN A GRADE SUBSEQUENT TO JULY 1, 1924, MUST TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION ALL PERSONS IN THE GRADE, INCLUDING THOSE EXCEPTED UPON ALLOCATION OF INITIAL SALARIES, IN DETERMINING THE PROPER AVERAGE. WHERE THE PROPER AVERAGE HAS ALREADY LAWFULLY BEEN EXCEEDED BY REASON OF EXPRESS EXCEPTIONS MADE IN THE LAW, NEW ADJUSTMENTS IN COMPENSATION IN A GRADE MUST TEND TO REDUCE THE AVERAGE AND THIS CAN MOST EXPEDITIOUSLY BE DONE BY MAKING APPOINTMENTS, TRANSFERS, AND REINSTATEMENTS AT THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE GRADE. DECISION OF JULY 19, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 79.