A-4886, SEPTEMBER 12, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 296

A-4886: Sep 12, 1924

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1924: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 26. AS FOLLOWS: YOUR DECISION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER IT IS NECESSARY. TO HAVE THE FOLLOWING POSITIONS ALLOCATED WHEN IT IS ONLY CONTEMPLATED TO APPOINT PERSONS TO FILL THEM TEMPORARILY: 1. IT HAS OCCURRED TO ME THAT IT MIGHT BE UNNECESSARY TO HAVE THE POSITIONS ALLOCATED. INASMUCH AS IT IS URGENT THAT ALL OF THESE POSITIONS BE FILLED PROMPTLY. YOUR EARLY DECISION IN THE MATTER WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. 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.

A-4886, SEPTEMBER 12, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 296

CLASSIFICATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES--- TEMPORARY POSITIONS--- DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE THE TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT BY THE AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT OF PERSONS IN THE POSITIONS OF UNSKILLED LABORER PENDING CERTIFICATION OF A LIST OF ELIGIBLES FROM WHICH TO MAKE PERMANENT APPOINTMENT, OF PHARMACOLOGIST, AND SPECIAL ASSISTANTS, THE DUTIES TO BE PERFORMED ARISING IN THE ORDINARY AND USUAL WORK OF THE DEPARTMENT, DOES NOT JUSTIFY EXCLUDING SUCH POSITIONS FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923, 42 STAT. 1488.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, SEPTEMBER 12, 1924:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 26, 1924, AS FOLLOWS:

YOUR DECISION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER IT IS NECESSARY, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, TO HAVE THE FOLLOWING POSITIONS ALLOCATED WHEN IT IS ONLY CONTEMPLATED TO APPOINT PERSONS TO FILL THEM TEMPORARILY:

1. UNSKILLED LABORER, PENDING CERTIFICATION OF A LIST OF ELIGIBLES FROM WHICH TO MAKE A PERMANENT APPOINTMENT, AT $3.16 PER DIEM WHEN ACTUALLY EMPLOYED (AND OVERTIME WHEN INCURRED IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXISTING RULES). THIS POSITION HAS NOT AS YET BEEN ALLOCATED BY THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD.

2. PHARMACOLOGIST FOR A PERIOD OF SIX WEEKS AT THE RATE OF $300 PER MONTH.

3. THREE SPECIAL ASSISTANTS AT $8 PER DIEM EACH WHEN ACTUALLY EMPLOYED FOR A PERIOD NOT TO EXCEED SIX WORKING DAYS, EACH TO PERFORM SERVICES IN CONNECTION WITH THE MAKING OF MOTION PICTURES.

IN VIEW OF THE TEMPORARY CHARACTER OF THE PROPOSED EMPLOYMENT IN EACH CASE, IT HAS OCCURRED TO ME THAT IT MIGHT BE UNNECESSARY TO HAVE THE POSITIONS ALLOCATED. INASMUCH AS IT IS URGENT THAT ALL OF THESE POSITIONS BE FILLED PROMPTLY, YOUR EARLY DECISION IN THE MATTER WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.

THE DECISION OF AUGUST 29, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 239, HELD AS FOLLOWS:

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.

IN THE THREE CLASSES OF POSITIONS SUBMITTED THERE IS NOTHING TO INDICATE ANY DUTIES INVOLVED THAT MIGHT NOT ARISE IN THE ORDINARY AND USUAL WORK REQUIRED OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. BEARING IN MIND THAT IT IS THE "POSITION" AND NOT THE INCUMBENT THAT IS REQUIRED TO BE CLASSIFIED, THE TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONS IN THE POSITIONS YOU MENTION DOES NOT JUSTIFY EXCLUDING SUCH POSITIONS FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT.

ACCORDINGLY YOU ARE ADVISED THAT ALL THREE CLASSES OF TEMPORARY POSITIONS MENTIONED ARE SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT.