A-56683, AUGUST 31, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 183

A-56683: Aug 31, 1934

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WILL NO LONGER BE FOLLOWED. THE NOTICE OF EXCEPTION STATED: WHERE POSITIONS IN THE FIELD SERVICE HAVE BEEN CLASSIFIED. WERE STATED IN PART AS FOLLOWS: 5. AS THE GENERAL TERMS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT HAVE NOT BEEN EXTENDED TO THE FIELD SERVICE. THIS QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE. * * * HOWEVER. IT WAS HELD THAT RULE 6 OF SECTION 6 IN THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION ACT WAS APPLICABLE TO FIELD POSITIONS. THE BASIS OR REQUIREMENT FOR THE CHANGE IN THE RULE APPLICABLE TO FIELD EMPLOYEES IS SECTION 2 OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT. SAID SECTION IS AS FOLLOWS: SEC. 2. THE HEADS OF THE SEVERAL EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS ARE AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO ADJUST THE COMPENSATION OF CERTAIN CIVILIAN POSITIONS IN THE FIELD SERVICES.

A-56683, AUGUST 31, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 183

CLASSIFICATION - FIELD SERVICE - NEW APPOINTMENTS IN VIEW OF THE MANDATORY PROVISIONS OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT EXTENDING THE PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION TO THE FIELD SERVICE, ALL NEW APPOINTMENTS TO FIELD POSITIONS SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS AMENDED, MUST BE MADE AT THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE GRADE AS REQUIRED BY RULE 6 OF SECTION 6 OF THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923. THE CONTRARY RULE STATED IN DECISION OF OCTOBER 30, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 302, 305, WILL NO LONGER BE FOLLOWED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR AERONAUTICS, AUGUST 31, 1934:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED A LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE COMMITTEE DATED JULY 17, 1934, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN IN NOTICE OF EXCEPTION DATED JULY 13, 1934, DISALLOWING CREDIT FOR $1.27 REPRESENTING THE EXCESS OF COMPENSATION PAID ON VOUCHER 1171, JANUARY 1934, ACCOUNT OF RUTH SCOTT, TO BRUCE W. WOLLARD, MINOR LABORATORY APPRENTICE, SP-1, LANGLEY FIELD, A., AT $1,080 PER ANNUM (OVER $1,020 THE MINIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE) FOR THE PERIOD JANUARY 22 TO 31, 1934.

THE NOTICE OF EXCEPTION STATED:

WHERE POSITIONS IN THE FIELD SERVICE HAVE BEEN CLASSIFIED, NEW APPOINTMENTS MUST BE MADE AT THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE GRADE.

RULE 6 OF SECTION 6 OF THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, 42 STAT. 1490, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

6. ALL NEW APPOINTMENTS SHALL BE MADE AT THE MINIMUM RATE OF THE APPROPRIATE GRADE OR CLASS THEREOF.

IN DECISION OF OCTOBER 30, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 302, 305, QUESTION AND ANSWER 5, WERE STATED IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

5. IF CLASSIFICATION DOES EXTEND TO THE FIELD, MUST ALL EMPLOYEES BE APPOINTED AT THE MINIMUM SALARY. * * *

5. AS THE GENERAL TERMS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT HAVE NOT BEEN EXTENDED TO THE FIELD SERVICE, THIS QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE. * * *

HOWEVER, IN DECISION OF MAY 10, 1934, A-55251, IT WAS HELD THAT RULE 6 OF SECTION 6 IN THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION ACT WAS APPLICABLE TO FIELD POSITIONS. THE DECISION STATED AS FOLLOWS:

WITH RESPECT TO THE REINSTATEMENT OR APPOINTMENT OF FORMER IMMIGRANT INSPECTORS AS GUARDS, HOWEVER, THE RULE PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 6 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, MUST BE FOLLOWED, AND THE NEW APPOINTMENTS AS GUARDS MUST BE MADE AT THE MINIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE. 4 COMP. GEN. 493; 14 ID. 22.

THE BASIS OR REQUIREMENT FOR THE CHANGE IN THE RULE APPLICABLE TO FIELD EMPLOYEES IS SECTION 2 OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT, APPROVED JULY 3, 1930, 46 STAT. 1005, ENACTED SUBSEQUENT TO THE SAID DECISION OF OCTOBER 30, 1925, AND PRIOR TO THE DECISION LAST ABOVE QUOTED. SAID SECTION IS AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 2. THE HEADS OF THE SEVERAL EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS ARE AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED TO ADJUST THE COMPENSATION OF CERTAIN CIVILIAN POSITIONS IN THE FIELD SERVICES, THE COMPENSATION OF WHICH WAS ADJUSTED BY THE ACT OF DECEMBER 6, 1924 (43 STAT. 604), TO CORRESPOND, SO FAR AS MAY BE PRACTICABLE, TO THE RATES ESTABLISHED BY THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1928 (U.S.C., SUPP. 3, TITLE 5, SEC. 673), AND BY THIS ACT FOR POSITIONS IN THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; PROVIDED, THAT THE TERMS OF THIS ACT SHALL APPLY TO EMPLOYEES CARRIED UNDER GROUP 4-B, INCLUDING DRAFTING GROUPS, IN THE SCHEDULE OF WAGES FOR CIVIL EMPLOYEES UNDER THE NAVAL ESTABLISHMENT, NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT THE COMPENSATION OF SUCH EMPLOYEES WAS NOT ADJUSTED BY THE ACT OF DECEMBER 6, 1924 (43 STAT. 604), OR THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1928 .S.C., SUPP. 3, TITLE 5, SEC. 673).

BASED ON THE WORDS "AUTHORIZED AND DIRECTED" THIS REQUIREMENT TO ADJUST SALARY RATES IN THE FIELD SERVICE TO CORRESPOND WITH SALARY RATES FIXED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, SO FAR AS MAY BE PRACTICABLE, WAS HELD TO BE MANDATORY. 10 COMP. GEN. 20. THERE EXISTS NO REASONABLE BASIS NOW ON WHICH IT MAY BE HELD GENERALLY, OR IN INDIVIDUAL CASES, TO BE IMPRACTICABLE TO FIX THE INITIAL SALARY RATES OF NEW APPOINTEES IN THE FIELD SERVICE AT THE MINIMUM SALARY RATE OF THE APPROPRIATE GRADE AS REQUIRED BY RULE 6 OF SECTION 6 OF THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION ACT. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OR JUSTIFICATION FOR ANY DIFFERENCE IN THE RULE IN THIS RESPECT BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE AND THE FIELD SERVICE, AND THEREFORE, THE RULE QUOTED ABOVE FROM QUESTION AND ANSWER 5, DECISION OCTOBER 30, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 302, 305, IS NO LONGER FOR APPLICATION.

IN THE INSTANT CASE, AS THE APPOINTMENT OF THE EMPLOYEE WAS MADE AT $1,080 PER ANNUM, THE SECOND SALARY RATE OF THE GRADE SP-1, JANUARY 22, 1934, PRIOR TO THE DECISION OF MAY 10, 1934, A-55251, CREDIT WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE ACCOUNTS FOR OTHERWISE PROPER PAYMENTS OF COMPENSATION AT THE RATE THUS FIXED ADMINISTRATIVELY.