A-4487, AUGUST 29, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 239

A-4487: Aug 29, 1924

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IS SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF MARCH 4. 1924: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 30. AS FOLLOWS: MAY I HAVE YOUR OPINION AS TO WHAT. IS REQUIRED OF THE AUTHORITIES OF THE LIBRARY. SO FAR AS THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS CONCERNED. AFTER SPECIFYING A CERTAIN NUMBER OF POSITIONS IN CERTAIN GRADES A GENERAL SUM WAS REQUESTED FOR HOUR WORKERS. WAS GRANTED. A GENERAL SUM WAS REQUESTED FOR SPECIAL. THE WHOLE AMOUNT ESTIMATED WAS GRANTED. MISCELLANEOUS SERVICE WAS REQUESTED AND GRANTED. MISCELLANEOUS SERVICE IS BY THE MONTH. THE GREATEST NUMBER OF PERSONS SO EMPLOYED ARE ENGAGED IN THE CARD DIVISION WHERE THEY WITHDRAW CATALOGUE CARDS. QUERY: ARE WE REQUIRED TO HAVE THIS WORK ALLOCATED TO THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD?

A-4487, AUGUST 29, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 239

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - LIBRARY OF CONGRESS THE EMPLOYMENT OF SPECIAL AND MISCELLANEOUS PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT, THE NEED FOR WHICH ARISES IN THE ORDINARY AND USUAL WORK OF THE LIBRARY ORGANIZATION, IS SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923, 42 STAT. 1488.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE LIBRARIAN, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, AUGUST 29, 1924:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 30, 1924, AS FOLLOWS:

MAY I HAVE YOUR OPINION AS TO WHAT, UNDER THE LAW, IS REQUIRED OF THE AUTHORITIES OF THE LIBRARY, SO FAR AS THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IS CONCERNED, AS TO SPECIAL, TEMPORARY, AND MISCELLANEOUS SERVICE?

IN OUR ESTIMATES FOR LIBRARY SALARIES, IN CONNECTION WITH THE DISTRIBUTION OF CATALOGUE CARDS, AFTER SPECIFYING A CERTAIN NUMBER OF POSITIONS IN CERTAIN GRADES A GENERAL SUM WAS REQUESTED FOR HOUR WORKERS. THE FULL AMOUNT ESTIMATED, INCLUDING THIS GENERAL SUM, WAS GRANTED.

IN THE ESTIMATES FOR LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE SERVICE, AFTER SPECIFYING A CERTAIN NUMBER OF POSITIONS IN CERTAIN GRADES, A GENERAL SUM WAS REQUESTED FOR SPECIAL, TEMPORARY, AND MISCELLANEOUS SERVICE. THE WHOLE AMOUNT ESTIMATED WAS GRANTED.

FOR THE LIBRARY PROPER A SEPARATE APPROPRIATION FOR SPECIAL, TEMPORARY, AND MISCELLANEOUS SERVICE WAS REQUESTED AND GRANTED, AS IT HAS BEEN ANNUALLY SINCE AND INCLUDING 1900.

THE EMPLOYMENT UNDER THESE FUNDS FOR SPECIAL, TEMPORARY, AND MISCELLANEOUS SERVICE IS BY THE MONTH, WEEK, DAY, OR HOUR.

THE GREATEST NUMBER OF PERSONS SO EMPLOYED ARE ENGAGED IN THE CARD DIVISION WHERE THEY WITHDRAW CATALOGUE CARDS, FROM OUR STOCK OF MANY MILLIONS, AS CALLED FOR IN ORDERS FROM SUBSCRIBING LIBRARIES. SOME OF THESE ASSISTANTS WORK A FEW HOURS ON OCCASIONAL DAYS; OTHERS WORK REGULARLY EVERY DAY AND FOR MANY HOURS, AND, ON OCCASIONS, WORK SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS AS WELL. COMPENSATION IN THE HALF MONTH HAS VARIED IN TOTAL FROM $3 OR $6 TO AS HIGH AS $95.

QUERY: ARE WE REQUIRED TO HAVE THIS WORK ALLOCATED TO THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD?

WITH THE LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE SERVICE CERTAIN ADDITIONAL ASSISTANTS ARE TAKEN ON WHILE CONGRESS IS SITTING, TO MEET THE EXTRA DEMANDS; OTHERS ARE ENGAGED FOR DISTINCT UNDERTAKINGS, WE AGREEING TO PAY A CERTAIN SUM OF MONEY FOR THE UNDERTAKING WHEN COMPLETED.

WITH THE LIBRARY PROPER THE SPECIAL, TEMPORARY, AND MISCELLANEOUS SERVICE MAY BE DIVIDED ROUGHLY INTO THREE CLASSES:

(1) FOR SPECIAL UNDERTAKINGS; FOR EXAMPLE, WE AVAIL OURSELVES OF THE OPPORTUNITY TO SECURE THE SERVICES OF CHINESE SCHOLARS DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS TO ADVANCE THE CATALOGUING OF THE CHINESE COLLECTION. THIS HAS BEEN DONE FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS. THEY SERVE FROM ONE TO THREE MONTHS.

(2) WITH THE MANY SMALL DIVISIONS OF THE LIBRARY THE ABSENCE OF A SINGLE ASSISTANT SOMETIMES NECESSITATES THE EMPLOYMENT OF A SUBSTITUTE. THIS SERVICE MAY BE FOR ONLY ONE OR TWO WEEKS; BUT ALSO MAY BE FOR TWO, PERHAPS THREE, MONTHS.

(3) ON OCCASIONS IT BECOMES NECESSARY TO ENGAGE EXTRA SERVICE TO AID, FOR EXAMPLE, IN MOVING MANY THOUSANDS OF BOOKS, RESHELVING THEM AND INSTALLING OTHERS; OR TO PREPARE FOR SHIPMENT SOME THOUSANDS OF DUPLICATE BOOKS, PAPERS, AND MAGAZINES ON EXCHANGE ACCOUNT. PERSONS ARE TAKEN ON FOR THIS SERVICE SOMETIMES FOR ONLY A SINGLE DAY, SOMETIMES FOR TWO DAYS, SOMETIMES THREE DAYS, SOMETIMES AS MUCH AS A WEEK OR MORE.

IN ALL THESE CASES NOTED ABOVE ARE WE REQUIRED TO FILE CLASSIFICATION SHEETS AND SECURE THE APPROVAL OF THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD IN IN ADVANCE?

IN NOT A FEW INSTANCES THE SERVICE WOULD BE WHOLLY LOST TO US THROUGH THE DELAY AND IN OTHER INSTANCES THE SERVICE WOULD BE GREATLY EMBARRASSED THROUGH THE DELAY.

SECTION 2 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, EXPRESSLY INCLUDES THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT.

THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 589, MADE THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS FOR THE PERSONAL SERVICES UNDER THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1925:

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

SALARIES

FOR THE LIBRARIAN, CHIEF ASSISTANT LIBRARIAN, AND OTHER PERSONAL SERVICES IN ACCORDANCE WITH ,THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923," $457,020.

COPYRIGHT OFFICE

FOR THE REGISTER OF COPYRIGHTS, ASSISTANT REGISTER, AND OTHER PERSONAL SERVICES IN ACCORDANCE WITH "THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923," $147,320.

LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE SERVICE

TO ENABLE THE LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS TO EMPLOY COMPETENT PERSONS TO GATHER, CLASSIFY, AND MAKE AVAILABLE, IN TRANSLATION, INDEXES, DIGESTS, COMPILATIONS, AND BULLETINS, AND OTHERWISE, DATA FOR OR BEARING UPON LEGISLATION, AND TO RENDER SUCH DATA SERVICEABLE TO CONGRESS AND COMMITTEES AND MEMBERS THEREOF, $56,000.

DISTRIBUTION OF CARD INDEXES

FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF CARD INDEXES AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS OF THE LIBRARY, INCLUDING PERSONAL SERVICES, FREIGHT CHARGES (NOT EXCEEDING $500), EXPRESSAGE, POSTAGE, TRAVELING EXPENSES CONNECTED WITH SUCH DISTRIBUTION, AND EXPENSES OF ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS WHEN INCURRED ON THE WRITTEN AUTHORITY AND DIRECTION OF THE LIBRARIAN; IN ALL, $85,634.

TEMPORARY SERVICES.--- FOR SPECIAL AND TEMPORARY SERVICE, INCLUDING EXTRA SPECIAL SERVICES OF REGULAR EMPLOYEES, AT THE DISCRETION OF THE LIBRARIAN, $3,000.

SUNDAY OPENING

TO ENABLE THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS TO BE KEPT OPEN FOR REFERENCE USE ON SUNDAYS AND ON HOLIDAYS WITHIN THE DISCRETION OF THE LIBRARIAN, INCLUDING THE EXTRA SERVICES OF EMPLOYEES AND THE SERVICES OF ADDITIONAL EMPLOYEES UNDER THE LIBRARIAN, $13,125.

SECTION 2 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT DEFINES "POSITION" AS "A SPECIFIC CIVILIAN OFFICE OR EMPLOYMENT, WHETHER OCCUPIED OR VACANT" AND DEFINES "EMPLOYEE" AS "ANY PERSON TEMPORARILY OR PERMANENTLY IN A POSITION.'

THE FUNDAMENTAL PURPOSE AND INTENT OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT IS THAT THE EMPLOYMENT OF ALL PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT UNLESS EXPRESSLY EXCLUDED, OR UNLESS THE DUTIES TO BE PERFORMED ARE OF SUCH AN UNUSUAL NATURE, FOREIGN TO THE ORDINARY AND USUAL WORK OF THE PARTICULAR OFFICE CONCERNED,THE NEED FOR WHICH INFREQUENTLY ARISES, AS TO CLASSIFY THE WORK OTHERWISE THAN AS A "POSITION.' THE DURATION OF THE WORK TO BE PERFORMED, THAT IS, WHETHER PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY, IS NOT CONTROLLING, BUT WHETHER THE WORK IS THAT WHICH THE PARTICULAR OFFICE IS ORDINARILY AND USUALLY REQUIRED TO PERFORM.

I ASSUME THAT IN MOST OF THESE EMPLOYMENTS THE NATURE OF THE WORK, THAT IS TO SAY, THE DUTIES OF THE POSITIONS, ARE DEFINITELY FIXED AND REMAIN THE SAME FROM YEAR TO YEAR, THE UNCERTAINTY BEING ONLY AS TO THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES REQUIRED AND THE DURATION OF THE EMPLOYMENT. IF SUCH ARE THE FACTS, I SEE NO REASON WHY THE POSITIONS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOCATED, THEREBY FIXING THE RATE OF COMPENSATION AND LEAVING FOR THE DETERMINATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE ONLY THE QUESTIONS AS TO WHEN, HOW MANY, AND FOR HOW LONG A PERIOD EMPLOYEES SHOULD BE ENGAGED IN SAID POSITIONS.

THE SUBMISSION WOULD SEEM TO INDICATE YOU ARE UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT IT IS THE EMPLOYEE WHO IS CLASSIFIED RATHER THAN THE POSITION. BEARING IN MIND ALWAYS THAT THE "POSITION" IS WHAT THE LAW REQUIRES TO BE CLASSIFIED RATHER THAN THE INCUMBENT, THERE SHOULD BE NO DIFFICULTY IN OBTAINING ALLOCATION OF TEMPORARY POSITIONS SUFFICIENTLY IN ADVANCE OF THE NEED OF FILLING SUCH POSITIONS. THE DUTIES TO BE PERFORMED BY ALL OF THE VARIOUS CLASSES OF EMPLOYEES MENTIONED IN THE SUBMISSION CONSTITUTE A PART OF THE REGULAR WORK OF THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, THAT IS, WORK THE NEED FOR WHICH MAY ARISE IN THE ORDINARY AND USUAL ROUTINE OF THE ORGANIZATION, AND NOTHING HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO JUSTIFY AN EXCEPTION OF THE POSITIONS CONCERNED FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT.