A-59368, JANUARY 8, 1935, 14 COMP. GEN. 523

A-59368: Jan 8, 1935

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THE RATES PRESCRIBED IN THE EXECUTIVE ORDER ARE MAXIMUM ONLY. AS FOLLOWS: THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ADMINISTRATION PROGRAMS FOR CROP CONTROL HAVE NECESSITATED THE TRANSFER OF CONSIDERABLE SUMS OF MONEY TO THE EXTENSION SERVICE OF THIS DEPARTMENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF MEETING EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH THE EDUCATIONAL PHASES OF SUCH PROGRAMS. ONE EXAMPLE OF SUCH TRANSFERS IS AN ITEM OF $3. IT IS NECESSARY TO EMPLOY ADDITIONAL CLERICAL ASSISTANCE AS REQUIRED IN THE VARIOUS STATES AFFECTED BY THE SEVERAL COMMODITY PROGRAMS. "THE SELECTIVE BASIC RATES OF PAY AUTHORIZED FOR THIS CLASS OF SERVICE ARE $4.00. $2.00 PER DAY FROM WHICH 5 PERCENT REQUIRED BY LAW WILL BE DEDUCTED BY THE OFFICE OF ACCOUNTS.

A-59368, JANUARY 8, 1935, 14 COMP. GEN. 523

CLASSIFICATION - FIELD SERVICE - EMERGENCY POSITIONS IF THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE ELECTS TO CLASSIFY THE EMERGENCY FIELD POSITIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PURSUANT TO EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6746, DATED JUNE 21, 1934, RATHER THAN PURSUANT TO THE TERMS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS EXTENDED TO THE FIELD SERVICE, THE RATES PRESCRIBED IN THE EXECUTIVE ORDER ARE MAXIMUM ONLY, AND THERE WOULD BE NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE FIXING OF ANNUAL SALARY RATES LESS THAN THE MAXIMUM PRESCRIBED IN THE EXECUTIVE ORDER SCHEDULE, WHICH MAY BE PAID ON A DAILY BASIS IF DESIRED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, JANUARY 8, 1935:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 18, 1934, AS FOLLOWS:

THE AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT ADMINISTRATION PROGRAMS FOR CROP CONTROL HAVE NECESSITATED THE TRANSFER OF CONSIDERABLE SUMS OF MONEY TO THE EXTENSION SERVICE OF THIS DEPARTMENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF MEETING EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH THE EDUCATIONAL PHASES OF SUCH PROGRAMS. ONE EXAMPLE OF SUCH TRANSFERS IS AN ITEM OF $3,000,000 FOR THE PERIOD JULY 1, 1934, TO DECEMBER 31, 1934. FROM THIS FUND, IT IS NECESSARY TO EMPLOY ADDITIONAL CLERICAL ASSISTANCE AS REQUIRED IN THE VARIOUS STATES AFFECTED BY THE SEVERAL COMMODITY PROGRAMS.

IN ORDER TO FACILITATE THE EMPLOYMENT OF SUCH CLERICAL HELP, THE EXTENSION SERVICE HAS ISSUED TO VARIOUS STATE DIRECTORS OF EXTENSION LETTERS OF AUTHORIZATION CONTAINING THE FOLLOWING ANGUAGE:

"AUTHORITY:

"1. SELECT AND EMPLOY * * * STENOGRAPHERS, TYPISTS AND/OR CLERKS TO RENDER NECESSARY ASSISTANCE IN COOPERATING STATE AND COUNTY OFFICES FOR EMERGENCY PERIODS OF NOT EXCEEDING SIX (6) MONTHS OF CONTINUOUS SERVICE FOR A GIVEN INDIVIDUAL.

"THE SELECTIVE BASIC RATES OF PAY AUTHORIZED FOR THIS CLASS OF SERVICE ARE $4.00, $3.50, $3.00, $2.50, AND $2.00 PER DAY FROM WHICH 5 PERCENT REQUIRED BY LAW WILL BE DEDUCTED BY THE OFFICE OF ACCOUNTS--- SECRETARY-S, IN CONNECTION WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE PAY ROLLS.'

SINCE THE ABOVE AUTHORIZATION WAS ISSUED, EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6746 HAS BEEN MADE EFFECTIVE STIPULATING THAT SALARIES IN THE FIELD SERVICE MUST BE FIXED EITHER IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION GRADES OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OR IN ACCORDANCE WITH CERTAIN SALARY SCHEDULES CARRIED IN THE EXECUTIVE ORDER.

HOWEVER, UNDER THE SCHEDULE OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6746 DATED JUNE 20, 1934, ITEM 6 IN THE NOTED EXCEPTIONS PROVIDES: "ALL OTHER PERSONS ENGAGED IN EMPLOYMENT SIMILAR TO THAT OF THE CLASSES OF EMPLOYEES DESCRIBED IN 3, 4, AND 5, SUPRA, OR EMPLOYED UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES.' ITEM 5 PROVIDES FOR ALL EMPLOYEES OF THE F.C.W.A. AND THE F.E.R.A. EXCEPT THE CLERICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL EMPLOYED IN THE CENTRAL OFFICES OF SAID ADMINISTRATIONS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLOMBIA.

IT IS, THEREFORE, BELIEVED THAT IN VIEW OF THESE EXCEPTIONS, THE DEPARTMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE THESE APPOINTMENTS WITHOUT REGARD TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OR THE SCHEDULE UNDER THE EXECUTIVE ORDER OF THE PRESIDENT, BUT AS SOME DOUBT EXISTS ON THIS MATTER, IT IS SUBMITTED TO YOU FOR DETERMINATION AS TO JUST HOW FAR THE OFFICE MAY GO IN EMPLOYING PERSONNEL IN THIS EXTENSION EDUCATIONAL WORK. IT MIGHT BE WELL TO CALL YOUR ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT THIS MATTER HAS BEEN TAKEN UP BY VARIOUS STATE EXTENSION DIRECTORS WHO WERE IN A CONFERENCE HERE IN WASHINGTON, AND A CONCERTED PROTEST AGAINST APPLICATION OF THE RATES UNDER THE SCHEDULE OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER OR THE CLASSIFICATION RATES WAS MADE TO THE DEPARTMENT EXTENSION SERVICE OFFICIALS. IT WAS THE OPINION OF THESE DIRECTORS THAT NOT ONLY WOULD THE APPLICATION OF THE RATES RESULT IN A CONSIDERABLE INCREASE IN COST TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE EMPLOYMENT OF THIS CLERICAL HELP BUT STILL MORE IMPORTANT IN THEIR MINDS IS THE FACT THAT IT WOULD DISRUPT THE MORALS OF THEIR ENTIRE ORGANIZATION IN THE STATES AND RESULT IN SALARY SCHEDULES WHICH WOULD CONFLICT WITH OTHER PUBLIC AGENCIES SUCH AS THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY RELIEF ADMINISTRATION.

ANOTHER POINT TO BE KEPT IN MIND IS THAT THE EXTENSION SERVICE OPERATES ON A COOPERATIVE BASIS AND THE CLERICAL HELP WHICH IS EMPLOYED BY STATE DIRECTORS OF EXTENSION IS MERGED INTO THE REGULAR ADMINISTRATIVE AND CLERICAL BRANCHES OF THE STATE AND COUNTY EXTENSION SERVICE. THE STATE DIRECTORS STRESS THE POINT THAT MANY OF THEIR FULL TIME PERMANENT CLERKS ON OTHER THAN A.A.A. FUNDS ARE PAID AT RATES LOWER THAN THOSE NOW UNDER CONSIDERATION AND THIS PERMANENT CLERICAL HELP IS CONSIDERED MORE EXPERIENCED AND EFFICIENT THAN THE TEMPORARY CLERICAL HELP THAT THEY ARE AUTHORIZED TO EMPLOY ON THE A.A.A. FUNDS. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE F.E.R.A. APPROACHED THE EXTENSION SERVICE DIRECTOR IN A PARTICULAR COUNTY AND REQUESTED THAT THE RATE OF PAYMENT OF CLERKS BE REDUCED IN ORDER THAT IT MIGHT BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RATES AUTHORIZED BY THE F.E.R.A. IN THE SAME LOCATION.

IT WOULD, THEREFORE, APPEAR THAT THE EXTENSION SERVICE SHOULD BE EXEMPT FROM THE APPLICATION OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6746 BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT IT WILL, WITHOUT QUESTION, CREATE A CONSIDERABLE ADDITIONAL EXPENSE TO THE UNITED STATES AND LIKEWISE WILL DISTURB THE EQUILIBRIUM AND EFFICIENCY OF A DEFINITELY WORKED OUT PLAN FOR ADMINISTRATION BY THE EXTENSION SERVICE OF THE A.A.A. PROGRAMS.

IT IS, THEREFORE, REQUESTED THAT YOU ADVISE THIS DEPARTMENT WHETHER OR NOT WE MAY PROCEED ALONG ONE OF THE TWO FOLLOWING LINES:

1. COMPLETE EXEMPTION OF ALL EMPLOYMENTS IN THE FIELD SERVICE ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT THE WORK PERFORMED BY THE EXTENSION SERVICE IN THE STATES COMES WITHIN EXCEPTION NO. 6 QUOTED ABOVE SINCE THESE EMPLOYMENTS ARE MADE UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES VERY SIMILAR TO THOSE OF THE C.W.A. AND F.E.R.A., AND IN MANY CASES THE EMPLOYEES OF THE F.E.R.A. AND THE EXTENSION SERVICE WORK SIDE BY SIDE.

OR

2. AUTHORIZE THE EXTENSION SERVICE TO INTERPRET THE DECISION OF YOUR OFFICE AS REQUIRING PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM RATE WHICH WILL NOT EXCEED, BUT WHICH NEED NOT NECESSARILY EQUAL ONE THREE-HUNDRED-SIXTIETH OF THE MINIMUM ANNUAL RATES PRESCRIBED IN THE CLASSIFICATION SCHEDULES.

AS AN ALLOTMENT FOR THIS WORK HAS ALREADY BEEN SET UP FOR THE NEXT SIX MONTHS, IT WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED IF YOU WILL EXPEDITE YOUR REPLY.

IN DECISION OF AUGUST 18, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 136, 137, THERE WAS CONSIDERED THE CLASSIFICATION STATUS OF EMPLOYEES APPOINTED TO POSITIONS UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IN CONNECTION WITH THE MIGRATORY FOWL RESTORATION PROGRAM WHO ARE PAID FROM EMERGENCY FUNDS, AND AFTER QUOTING FROM EXECUTIVE ORDER 6746, DATED JUNE 21, 1934, INCLUDING THE EXEMPTIONS REFERRED TO IN YOUR SUBMISSION, IT WAS STATED AS FOLLOWS:

THE POSITIONS IN QUESTION REQUIRE THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF AN EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT AND THE COMPENSATION THEREFOR IS TO BE PAID FROM EMERGENCY FUNDS ALLOCATED TO SUCH DEPARTMENT BY THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY RELIEF ADMINISTRATION. THE FACT THAT THE COMPENSATION IS TO BE PAID FROM THE SO-CALLED "WORKING FUND" ALLOTTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DOES NOT ALTER THE FACT THAT THE OCCUPANTS OF THE POSITIONS ARE EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND ARE NOT EMPLOYEES OF THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY RELIEF ADMINISTRATION. NEITHER DOES IT APPEAR THAT THE EMPLOYMENT ON WHICH THESE EMPLOYEES WERE ENGAGED WAS SIMILAR TO THE EMPLOYMENTS REFERRED TO UNDER 3, 4, OR 5 OF THE EXCEPTIONS LISTED IN THE EXECUTIVE ORDER.

SINCE THE POSITIONS ARE NOT WITHIN ANY OF THE EXCEPTIONS SPECIFIED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6746, THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT WAS REQUIRED TO FIX THE RATES OF COMPENSATION OF SUCH EMPLOYEES EITHER UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OR IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SALARY SCHEDULE PRESCRIBED IN SAID ORDER. THE POSITIONS NOT HAVING BEEN CLASSIFIED UNDER EITHER PROCEDURE, AS REQUIRED BY THE EXECUTIVE ORDER, CERTIFICATION OF THE PAY ROLL IS NOT AUTHORIZED. THE PAY ROLL WILL BE RETAINED IN THIS OFFICE PENDING THE RECEIPT OF EVIDENCE OF CLASSIFICATION OF SUCH EMPLOYEES.

AND IN DECISION OF OCTOBER 12, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 309, 310, WHEREIN WAS CONSIDERED THE CLASSIFICATION OF EMPLOYEES OF THE CROP LOAN SECTION OF THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION, IT WAS STATED AS FOLLOWS:

THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION WAS SPECIFICALLY INCLUDED IN THE EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6440, DATED NOVEMBER 18, 1933, REQUIRING THE CLASSIFICATION OF EMERGENCY POSITIONS. EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6746, DATED JUNE 21, 1934, SUPERSEDING EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6440, REQUIRES THE CLASSIFICATION OF ALL EMERGENCY POSITIONS WHETHER IN THE EMERGENCY ORGANIZATIONS OR IN THE REGULAR DEPARTMENTS OR OFFICES OF THE GOVERNMENT, EXCEPT THOSE SPECIFICALLY EXEMPTED BY THE EXECUTIVE ORDER ITSELF. NO EXEMPTION OF THE EMPLOYEES OF THE EMERGENCY CROP LOAN SECTION OF THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION APPEARS IN THE EXECUTIVE ORDER. ACCORDINGLY, THE POSITION OF THE EMPLOYEE HERE IN QUESTION IS REQUIRED TO BE CLASSIFIED EITHER UNDER THE REGULAR CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, IF PRACTICABLE, AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 23, 1934, SUPRA, OR UNDER THE TERMS OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER OF JUNE 21, 1934, SUPRA, IF IT IS FOUND ADMINISTRATIVELY IMPRACTICABLE TO APPLY THE TERMS OF THE REGULAR CLASSIFICATION ACT.

THESE PRINCIPLES ARE APPLICABLE IN THE INSTANT CASE. IT IS NOT BELIEVED THAT THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE EMPLOYEES IN THE EXTENSION SERVICE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ARE SUFFICIENTLY SIMILAR TO THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITIONS EXEMPTED FROM THE EXECUTIVE ORDER UNDER (3), (4), AND (5) TO JUSTIFY EXEMPTING ALL EMERGENCY POSITIONS IN THE FIELD EXTENSION SERVICE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FROM THE REQUIREMENT FOR CLASSIFICATION OF POSITIONS PURSUANT TO THE EXECUTIVE ORDER.

THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6746, IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE SCHEDULE OF SALARY RATES, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THE POSITIONS OF EMPLOYEES IN EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS WHO ARE PAID FROM EMERGENCY FUNDS SHALL BE CLASSIFIED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED: PROVIDED, THAT THE HEADS OF SUCH DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS MAY ELECT TO FIX SUCH RATES OF COMPENSATION EITHER UNDER THE SAID CLASSIFICATION ACT OR IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SALARY SCHEDULE PRESCRIBED IN THIS ORDER.

IF THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE ELECTS TO CLASSIFY THE EMERGENCY FIELD POSITIONS UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PURSUANT TO THE EXECUTIVE ORDER RATHER THAN PURSUANT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS EXTENDED TO THE FIELD SERVICE, THE RATES PRESCRIBED IN THE EXECUTIVE ORDER ARE MAXIMUM RATES ONLY, THE DIRECTION AND AUTHORITY IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF THE ORDER BEING TO ,CLASSIFY THE POSITIONS OF EMPLOYEES * * * IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING SALARY SCHEDULE AND ADJUST AND FIX THE RATES OF COMPENSATION THEREFOR AT AMOUNTS NOT IN EXCESS OF THOSE PRESCRIBED THEREIN FOR THE CORRESPONDING GRADES.' ON THIS BASIS, THERE WOULD BE NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE CLASSIFICATION OF THE FIELD EMERGENCY POSITIONS IN THEIR APPROPRIATE EXECUTIVE ORDER GRADES BASED UPON THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES AND TO THE FIXING OF ANNUAL SALARY RATES LESS THAN THE MAXIMUM RATES PRESCRIBED BY THE EXECUTIVE ORDER SCHEDULE, WHICH WILL APPROXIMATE THE PER DIEM RATES STATED IN YOUR SUBMISSION AND WHICH MAY BE PAID ON A DAILY BASIS, IF DESIRED.

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