A-44156, AUGUST 26, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 288

A-44156: Aug 26, 1932

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ANY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION RESULTING IN INCREASED COMPENSATION WOULD CONSTITUTE AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION SUCH AS IS BARRED BY SECTION 202 OF THE ECONOMY ACT. IT IS OCCASIONALLY NECESSARY TO SHIFT THE PERSONNEL IN ORDER THAT THE MEN MAY BE ASSIGNED TO THE DUTIES WHICH THEY CAN MOST EFFICIENTLY PERFORM. LIKEWISE IT IS TO THE ADVANTAGE OF THE FIELD WORK THAT A MAN SHOULD BE SENT FROM ONE PARTY TO ANOTHER WHERE HE WOULD BE GIVEN MORE IMPORTANT DUTIES. THE HIGHEST POSITIONS ARE THOSE OF FOREMAN AND RECORDER WHICH. THE AVERAGE LENGTH OF EMPLOYMENT OF THE PERSONNEL OF THESE SURVEYING PARTIES IS FROM FOUR TO FIVE MONTHS AND THE COMPENSATION OF THE VARIOUS POSITIONS RANGES FROM $100 TO $150 A MONTH.

A-44156, AUGUST 26, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 288

ECONOMY ACT - ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS IN SO FAR AS THE SHIFTING OF EMPLOYEES BETWEEN VARIOUS EMPLOYMENT UNITS RESULTS IN AN ADMINISTRATIVE DEMOTION IN THE FIELD SERVICE, IT WOULD NOT BE OBJECTIONABLE UNDER THE ECONOMY ACT, BUT ANY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION RESULTING IN INCREASED COMPENSATION WOULD CONSTITUTE AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION SUCH AS IS BARRED BY SECTION 202 OF THE ECONOMY ACT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, AUGUST 26, 1932:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 17, 1932, AS FOLLOWS:

IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE NUMEROUS SURVEYING PARTIES WHICH THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY HAS IN THE FIELD ONLY DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS EACH YEAR, IT IS OCCASIONALLY NECESSARY TO SHIFT THE PERSONNEL IN ORDER THAT THE MEN MAY BE ASSIGNED TO THE DUTIES WHICH THEY CAN MOST EFFICIENTLY PERFORM; LIKEWISE IT IS TO THE ADVANTAGE OF THE FIELD WORK THAT A MAN SHOULD BE SENT FROM ONE PARTY TO ANOTHER WHERE HE WOULD BE GIVEN MORE IMPORTANT DUTIES. THE HIGHEST POSITIONS ARE THOSE OF FOREMAN AND RECORDER WHICH, NECESSARILY, CALL FOR HIGHER WAGES THAN THOSE PAID TO RODMEN, LABORERS SETTING BENCH MARKS, ETC.

THE AVERAGE LENGTH OF EMPLOYMENT OF THE PERSONNEL OF THESE SURVEYING PARTIES IS FROM FOUR TO FIVE MONTHS AND THE COMPENSATION OF THE VARIOUS POSITIONS RANGES FROM $100 TO $150 A MONTH, DEPENDING UPON THE DUTIES PERFORMED. THE CHANGES IN COMPENSATION RESULTING FROM THE SHIFTING OF PERSONNEL WITHIN A PARTY OR BETWEEN PARTIES WOULD INVOLVE BOTH INCREASES AND DECREASES IN COMPENSATION. HOWEVER, THE TOTAL PAYROLL OF AN INDIVIDUAL PARTY WOULD NOT BE INCREASED.

IN CONNECTION WITH THIS PROCEDURE, PLEASE ADVISE THE DEPARTMENT WHETHER THE ADJUSTMENTS IN COMPENSATION ARE TO BE REGARDED AS ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS WHICH ARE PROHIBITED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ECONOMY ACT.

IN SO FAR AS THE ACTION AS TO ANY PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE CONSTITUTES AN ADMINISTRATION DEMOTION IN THE FIELD SERVICE, IT WOULD NOT BE OBJECTIONABLE UNDER THE ECONOMY ACT. A-43578, JULY 29, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 141. HOWEVER, ANY ADDITION TO OR CHANGE IN THE DUTIES OF A FIELD EMPLOYEE BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WITH A VIEW TO INCREASED COMPENSATION WOULD CONSTITUTE AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION WHICH IS PROHIBITED BY SECTION 202 OF THE ECONOMY ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932. SEE A-43462, JULY 28, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 128. IT MUST BE HELD, THEREFORE, THAT ANY INCREASE IN COMPENSATION RESULTING FROM THE SHIFTING OF PERSONNEL WITHIN OR BETWEEN FIELD PARTIES WOULD CONSTITUTE AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION AND WOULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED. HOWEVER, SHOULD AN EMPLOYEE BE DEMOTED, THEREBY CREATING A VACANCY IN THE HIGHER POSITION, AND THE PRESIDENT IN WRITING SHOULD AUTHORIZE OR APPROVE THE FILLING OF THE VACANCY, IT COULD BE FILLED BY PROMOTION WITHOUT CONTRAVENING THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 202 OF THE ACT.