A-56582, JULY 26, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 75

A-56582: Jul 26, 1934

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SHOWING THAT WITH TWO EXCEPTIONS THE PERSONNEL ON THE ROLLS OF THE FEDERAL ALCOHOL CONTROL ADMINISTRATION WERE ORIGINALLY ASSIGNED GRADES AND SALARY RATES PRESCRIBED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6440. WHICH ARE ALSO THE GRADES AND SALARY RATES PRESCRIBED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6746. THE ONLY JUSTIFICATION FOR A RECLASSIFICATION OF THE POSITIONS UNDER THE LATER EXECUTIVE ORDER WOULD BE THAT THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION PURSUANT TO THE FIRST EXECUTIVE ORDER WAS MERELY ARBITRARY WITHOUT REGARD TO THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITIONS. UNLESS THERE ARE AVAILABLE SUFFICIENT SAVINGS ON THE ANNUAL BASIS. NO EXCEPTION WILL BE TAKEN IN THE ACCOUNTS TO SALARY RATES OF EMPLOYEES OF AN EMERGENCY AGENCY NOT CORRESPONDING WITH THE SALARY RATES FIXED IN THE EXECUTIVE ORDERS NO. 6440.

A-56582, JULY 26, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 75

CLASSIFICATION - EXECUTIVE ORDER - FEDERAL ALCOHOL CONTROL ADMINISTRATION THE PAY ROLLS ON FILE IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR DECEMBER 1933 AND JANUARY 1934, SHOWING THAT WITH TWO EXCEPTIONS THE PERSONNEL ON THE ROLLS OF THE FEDERAL ALCOHOL CONTROL ADMINISTRATION WERE ORIGINALLY ASSIGNED GRADES AND SALARY RATES PRESCRIBED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6440, DATED NOVEMBER 18, 1933, WHICH ARE ALSO THE GRADES AND SALARY RATES PRESCRIBED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6746, DATED JUNE 21, 1934, THE ONLY JUSTIFICATION FOR A RECLASSIFICATION OF THE POSITIONS UNDER THE LATER EXECUTIVE ORDER WOULD BE THAT THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION PURSUANT TO THE FIRST EXECUTIVE ORDER WAS MERELY ARBITRARY WITHOUT REGARD TO THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITIONS. IN CONNECTION WITH ANY RECLASSIFICATION PURSUANT TO THE LATER EXECUTIVE ORDER, NO INCREASE IN COMPENSATION MAY BE MADE WHICH AMOUNTS TO AN "ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL, UNLESS THERE ARE AVAILABLE SUFFICIENT SAVINGS ON THE ANNUAL BASIS. NO EXCEPTION WILL BE TAKEN IN THE ACCOUNTS TO SALARY RATES OF EMPLOYEES OF AN EMERGENCY AGENCY NOT CORRESPONDING WITH THE SALARY RATES FIXED IN THE EXECUTIVE ORDERS NO. 6440, DATED NOVEMBER 18, 1933, AND NO. 6746, DATED JUNE 21, 1933, FOR ANY PERIOD PRIOR TO THE TIME THE REQUIREMENT FOR CLASSIFICATION OF POSITIONS WAS EXTENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER TO SUCH AGENCY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE DIRECTOR, FEDERAL ALCOHOL CONTROL ADMINISTRATION, JULY 26, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 2, 1934, AS FOLLOWS:

WE ARE ENCLOSING HEREWITH A SERIES OF NOTICES OF EXCEPTIONS TAKEN BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO PAYMENTS MADE BY THE FEDERAL ALCOHOL CONTROL ADMINISTRATION BETWEEN THE SALARY PAY PERIODS OF DECEMBER 4TH AND 15TH, AND DECEMBER 16TH AND 31ST, 1933. THESE NOTICES WERE RECEIVED ON JUNE 26, 1934, AND THE REQUEST OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE FOR AN EXPLANATION FROM THE FEDERAL ALCOHOL CONTROL ADMINISTRATION HAS FOR THE FIRST TIME BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE ADMINISTRATION THE EXISTENCE OF ANY IRREGULARITIES IN ITS PREPARATION OF PAST PAY ROLLS. EXPLANATIONS OF THESE EXCEPTIONS HAVE BEEN PREPARED AND ARE ATTACHED HERETO FOR YOUR ACCEPTANCE AND APPROVAL.

NONE OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDERS, NAMELY, NOS. 6440, 6554 AND 6746, HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE ADMINISTRATION UNTIL JUNE 26, 1934, WHEN WE RECEIVED FROM THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE THE SERIES OF SUSPENDED VOUCHERS WHICH WE ARE RETURNING HEREWITH. UNTIL THE DATE OF RECEIPT OF THESE EXECUTIVE ORDERS, THIS OFFICE HAS BEEN OPERATING UNDER THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN IT BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6474, CREATING THE FEDERAL ALCOHOL CONTROL ADMINISTRATION. SECTION 7 OF THIS EXECUTIVE ORDER READS AS FOLLOWS:

"THE ADMINISTRATION SHALL FIX THE COMPENSATION AND DEFINE THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE DIRECTOR. THE DIRECTOR SHALL APPOINT AND FIX THE COMPENSATION OF SUCH OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE ADMINISTRATION WITHOUT REGARD TO THE CIVIL-SERVICE RULES AND THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, AND SHALL MAKE SUCH EXPENDITURES AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE ADMINISTRATION.'

IT IS NOW EVIDENT THAT THE STATUS OF THE FEDERAL ALCOHOL CONTROL ADMINISTRATION IS THAT OF AN EMERGENCY AGENCY, AND THE AMENDMENT MADE IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6554, TO EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6440, HAS BROUGHT THE ADMINISTRATION WITHIN THE APPLICATION OF THE LATTER ORDER. INVOLVED IN THE COMPLICATIONS OF ORGANIZATION, THE ADMINISTRATION CONTINUED TO MAKE SALARY PAYMENTS AS PRIOR TO JANUARY 10, 1934, UNAWARE OF THE NECESSITY FOR CLASSIFICATION REQUIRED BY EXECUTIVE ORDERS NO. 6440 AND 6554, HAVING LEARNED OF THIS NECESSITY FOR THE FIRST TIME ON JUNE 26, 1934. THEREFORE, THE FEDERAL ALCOHOL CONTROL ADMINISTRATION IS IMMEDIATELY TAKING STEPS TO COMPLY WITH THE TERMS OF THE ABOVE EXECUTIVE ORDERS WITH THE TERMS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT WILL BE MADE AS SOON HEREAFTER AS FOUND PRACTICABLE.

DIRECTING THE ATTENTION OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL TO THE UNUSUAL DIFFICULTIES WITH WHICH THE ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN FACED DURING ITS PERIOD OF DEVELOPMENT, IT IS RESPECTFULLY URGED THAT THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL WILL EXCEPT THE ADMINISTRATION FROM THE APPLICATION OF THE EARLIER EXECUTIVE ORDERS UNTIL A SUITABLE CLASSIFICATION OF ITS POSITIONS CAN BE DEVELOPED AS REQUIRED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6746, OF JUNE 21, 1934.

THE ADMINISTRATION IS KEENLY DESIROUS OF ADOPTING THE CORRECT PROCEDURE, AND YOUR KIND INDULGENCE AND ASSISTANCE WILL BE APPRECIATED.

NOTWITHSTANDING THE STATEMENTS IN THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF THE QUOTED LETTER, THE PAY ROLLS IN THIS OFFICE FOR DECEMBER 1933 AND JANUARY 1934 SHOWS, WITH TWO EXCEPTIONS, THAT THE POSITIONS OF ALL THE PERSONNEL THEN ON THE ROLLS OF THE FEDERAL ALCOHOL CONTROL ADMINISTRATION WERE ORIGINALLY ASSIGNED GRADES AND SALARY RATES PRESCRIBED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6746, DATED JUNE 21, 1934. PAYMENTS WERE MADE AT SUCH RATES LESS THE PERCENTAGE REDUCTION. IT IS NOT UNDERSTOOD, THEREFORE, ON WHAT BASIS A RECLASSIFICATION OF THE POSITIONS IS REQUIRED UNLESS THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION, PURSUANT TO THE EXECUTIVE ORDER, WAS MERELY ARBITRARY WITHOUT REGARD TO THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITIONS. CONNECTION WITH ANY RECLASSIFICATION UNDERTAKEN PURSUANT TO THE MOST RECENT EXECUTIVE ORDER, YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE DECISION OF THIS OFFICE, DATED JULY 5, 1934, A-55907, 14 COMP. GEN. 14.

THE FIRST EXCEPTION NOTED TO THE EXECUTIVE-ORDER CLASSIFICATION WAS THE POSITION OF ATTORNEY OCCUPIED BY WALLACE A. RUSSELL, WHOSE ORIGINAL SALARY RATE AS OF DECEMBER 12, 1933, DATE OF APPOINTMENT, WAS FIXED AT $2,400 PER ANNUM, WHICH IS NOT A SALARY RATE FIXED BY THE EXECUTIVE ORDERS. HIS POSITION WAS SHOWN ON THE ROLLS AS IN EO GRADE 8. EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 16, 1933, HIS SALARY RATE WAS INCREASED FROM $2,400 TO $2,600 PER ANNUM, THE SALARY RATE FOR GRADE 9 AS PRESCRIBED BY THE EXECUTIVE ORDERS. EXPLANATION OF THIS CHANGE THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT, DATED JULY 2, 1934, WAS MADE BY THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR:

AS REQUESTED IN YOUR "NOTICE OF EXCEPTION" TAKEN IN THE CASE OF WALLACE A. RUSSELL, ATTORNEY, THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS FURNISHED FOR YOUR KIND CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL.

MR. RUSSELL WAS APPOINTED TO THE LEGAL STAFF OF THIS ADMINISTRATION AS AN ATTORNEY ON DEC. 12, 1933, AT A SALARY OF $2,400 PER ANNUM. THIS SALARY REPRESENTED A REDUCTION OF $200 FROM THE RATE SET BY THE ADMINISTRATION FOR THIS PARTICULAR CLASS OF LEGAL WORK, BUT OWING TO MR. RUSSELL'S WILLINGNESS TO ACCEPT THE LOWER RATE, THE ADMINISTRATION APPOINTED HIM AT $2,400 PER ANNUM. HOWEVER, HIS SALARY WAS INCREASED TO $2,600 ON DEC. 16, 1933, AND HIS ORIGINAL TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT CANCELED ON DEC. 15, 1933.

CREDIT WAS WITHHELD IN THE ACCOUNTS FOR 95 CENTS, THE DIFFERENCE FOR THE PERIOD DECEMBER 12 TO 15, 1933, BETWEEN $2,300 PER ANNUM, THE RATE FIXED IN THE EXECUTIVE ORDER OF NOVEMBER 18, 1933, FOR GRADE 8, AND $2,400 PER ANNUM, THE RATE PAID. ON THE PAY ROLL FOR DECEMBER 15 TO 31, 1933, CREDIT WAS ALSO WITHHELD FOR $10.63, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN $2,300 AND $2,600 PER ANNUM. AS THE EXECUTIVE ORDER OF NOVEMBER 18, 1933, WAS NOT EXTENDED TO THE FEDERAL ALCOHOL CONTROL ADMINISTRATION UNTIL JANUARY 10, 1934, BY EXECUTIVE ORDER OF THAT DATE, NO. 6554, THE AUDIT ACTION IN THIS CASE WILL BE REVERSED TO THE EXTENT CREDIT WAS WITHHELD FOR PAYMENTS OF COMPENSATION REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE RATES OF $2,300 AND $2,400 PER ANNUM.

HOWEVER, EITHER WITH OR WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE EXECUTIVE ORDERS, THE INCREASE IN THIS EMPLOYEE'S RATE OF COMPENSATION FROM $2,400 TO $2,600 PER ANNUM, MORE THAN THE AMOUNT OF ONE STEP IN THE CORRESPONDING CLASSIFICATION-ACT GRADE, EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 16, 1933, WITH NO APPARENT CHANGE IN DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES, CONSTITUTED AN "ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION" IN CONTRAVENTION OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1515. YOUR ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT CREDIT MUST BE WITHHELD IN THE ACCOUNTS FOR THE DIFFERENCE IN COMPENSATION PAID TO THIS EMPLOYEE BETWEEN THE RATES OF $2,400 AND $2,600 PER ANNUM FOR THE PERIOD DECEMBER 16, 1933, TO AND INCLUDING JUNE 30, 1934, IF THE EMPLOYEE REMAINED IN THE SERVICE FOR THAT PERIOD. (13 COMP. GEN. 243.) WHETHER THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION DURING THE FISCAL YEAR 1935 MAY BE JUSTIFIED WILL DEPEND ON THE AMOUNT OF SAVINGS IN THE PERSONNEL APPROPRIATION OR APPORTIONMENT AVAILABLE ON AN ANNUAL BASIS. SEE DECISION OF JUNE 9, 1934, A-54807, 13 COMP. GEN. 419.

THE SECOND EXCEPTION WAS WITH REFERENCE TO THE POSITION OF STENOGRAPHER OCCUPIED BY SALLIE A. MURRAY, WHO IS SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED FROM THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ADMINISTRATION, DECEMBER 16, 1933, AND PAID A SALARY RATE OF $1,860 PER ANNUM, WHICH IS NOT ONE OF THE RATES PRESCRIBED BY THE EXECUTIVE ORDERS. HER POSITION IS SHOWN ON THE PAY ROLLS AS IN EO GRADE 6, THE SALARY RATE OF WHICH IS $1,800 PER ANNUM. AS THE EXECUTIVE ORDER OF NOVEMBER 18, 1933, WAS NOT EXTENDED TO THE FEDERAL ALCOHOL CONTROL ADMINISTRATION UNTIL JANUARY 10, 1934, AND IN VIEW OF THE REPRESENTATIONS MADE IN YOUR LETTER, THE SALARY RATE OF $1,860, THE ORIGINAL RATE FIXED FOR THE POSITION UNDER THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN THE DIRECTOR OF THE ADMINISTRATION BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6474, WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED IN THIS CASE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1934. IT WOULD APPEAR, HOWEVER, THAT IF THE FOUR POSITIONS OF THE OTHER STENOGRAPHERS SHOWN ON THE SAME PAY ROLL WERE PROPERLY CLASSIFIED IN EO GRADE 6, THE SALARY RATE OF SALLIE A. MURRAY SHOULD BE REDUCED, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1934, FROM $1,860 TO $1,800 PER ANNUM. THERE SHOULD ALSO BE FURNISHED IN THIS CASE, AND IN THE CASE OF EVELYN M. STATES, TRANSFERRED THE SAME DATE FROM THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ADMINISTRATION, THE DATE OF OATH AND DATE OF ENTRANCE ON DUTY. THIS INFORMATION HAVING BEEN FURNISHED IN ALL OTHER CASES SHOWN ON THE ROLLS IN QUESTION, THE EXCEPTIONS TAKEN BECAUSE OF THE ABSENCE OF SUCH INFORMATION WILL BE REMOVED.