A-60424, APRIL 15, 1935, 14 COMP. GEN. 763

A-60424: Apr 15, 1935

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PAY ROLLS OF FIELD POSITIONS UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE MUST SHOW THE CLASSIFICATION ACT GRADE IN WHICH THE POSITIONS HAVE BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY PLACED OR ALLOCATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 2 OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT OF JULY 3. SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT IS FOUND TO BE COMPARABLE TO A FIELD POSITION. THE FIELD POSITION IS REQUIRED TO BE PLACED OR ALLOCATED ADMINISTRATIVELY IN ONE OF THE SALARY GRADES PRESCRIBED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS NEARLY COMPARABLE TO A DEPARTMENTAL POSITION AS IS PRACTICABLE. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO MR. THE SALARY RATES OF WHICH ARE CONTROLLED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923. IT WAS HELD IN PART AS FOLLOWS: "YOU ARE ADVISED.

A-60424, APRIL 15, 1935, 14 COMP. GEN. 763

CLASSIFICATION - FIELD POSITIONS, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PAY ROLLS OF FIELD POSITIONS UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE MUST SHOW THE CLASSIFICATION ACT GRADE IN WHICH THE POSITIONS HAVE BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY PLACED OR ALLOCATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 2 OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT OF JULY 3, 1930, 46 STAT. 1005. IN APPLYING THAT STATUTE, IF NO POSITION IN THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT IS FOUND TO BE COMPARABLE TO A FIELD POSITION, NEVERTHELESS, THE FIELD POSITION IS REQUIRED TO BE PLACED OR ALLOCATED ADMINISTRATIVELY IN ONE OF THE SALARY GRADES PRESCRIBED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS NEARLY COMPARABLE TO A DEPARTMENTAL POSITION AS IS PRACTICABLE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, APRIL 15, 1935:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 7, 1935, FROM THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF FINANCE, OFFICE OF BUDGET AND FINANCE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO MR. GRIGGS' LETTER OF FEBRUARY 2, 1935, ADDRESSED TO THE CHIEF, BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY, A-IM-221, WHICH STATES IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"HEREAFTER, ALL PAY-ROLL VOUCHERS SHOULD BE PREPARED TO SHOW THE APPLICABLE CLASSIFICATION GRADE OF ALL REGULAR AND EMERGENCY POSITIONS, THE SALARY RATES OF WHICH ARE CONTROLLED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 6746 OF JUNE 21, 1934.'

IN A DECISION RENDERED BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL, A-39245, A-39328, DATED JANUARY 15, 1935, TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, IT WAS HELD IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, THAT THE CLASSIFICATION ACT GRADE NEED NOT BE SHOWN FOR THE REGULAR FIELD POSITIONS UNDER THE WAR DEPARTMENT WHICH HAVE NOT HERETOFORE BEEN CLASSIFIED AND THE SALARIES OF WHICH ARE PAID UNDER REGULAR APPROPRIATIONS.'

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE-CITED DECISIONS, IT IS NECESSARY FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TO SHOW ON ALL PAY ROLLS THE APPLICABLE CLASSIFICATION GRADES OF ALL REGULAR FIELD POSITIONS AS REQUESTED BY MR. GRIGGS?

OFFICE LETTER OF FEBRUARY 2, 1935, AS TO REGULAR FIELD EMPLOYEES, WAS PROMPTED BY VOUCHER NO. 205034, PAY ROLL FOR THE PERIOD MARCH 16 TO 31, 1934, UNDER THE APPROPRIATION ITEM "COTTON PRODUCTION AND DISEASE, 1934," WHICH SHOWS SOME POSITIONS CLASSIFIED AND SIMILAR POSITIONS WITH NO SHOWING OF CLASSIFICATION. FOR EXAMPLE, LINE 8 SHOWS AN ASSOCIATE AGRONOMIST, $3,200 PER ANNUM IN GRADE P-3, WHEREAS LINE 6 SHOWS AN ASSOCIATE AGRONOMIST, $3,200 PER ANNUM, WITH NO CLASSIFICATION GRADE. HOWEVER, LINE 13 SHOWS AN ASSISTANT AGRICULTURAL ECONOMIST AT $2,600 PER ANNUM WITHOUT A CLASSIFICATION GRADE, BUT THERE IS NO SIMILAR POSITION SHOWN ON THE PAY ROLL FOR COMPARISON. ALSO, VOUCHER NO. 187704, PAY ROLL FOR THE PERIOD MARCH 1 TO 15, 1934, UNDER THE APPROPRIATION ITEM "ARLINGTON FARM, 1934," SHOWS, AMONG OTHER POSITIONS, A HORTICULTURIST AT $5,000 PER ANNUM, PRINCIPAL CLERK AT $2,800 PER ANNUM, ASSISTANT CLERK- STENOGRAPHER AT $1,980 PER ANNUM, AND ASSISTANT SCIENTIFIC AIDE AT $1,800 PER ANNUM, WITH NO SHOWING OF CLASSIFICATION GRADES, WHEREAS VOUCHER NO. 191440, PAY ROLL FOR THE PERIOD MARCH 1 TO 15, 1934, UNDER THE APPROPRIATION ITEM "FRUIT AND VEGETABLE CROPS AND DISEASES, 1934," SHOWS THE POSITIONS OF HORTICULTURIST AT $4,000 PER ANNUM, GRADE P-4, ASSISTANT CLERK-STENOGRAPHER AT $1,800 PER ANNUM, GRADE CAF-3, AND VOUCHER NO. 205034, SUPRA, SHOWS ASSISTANT SCIENTIFIC AIDE AT $1,620 PER ANNUM, GRADE SP-4. THESE PAY ROLLS RELATE ONLY TO THE FIELD SERVICE POSITIONS PAID UNDER REGULAR APPROPRIATIONS.

SECTION 2 OF THE BROOKHART SALARY ACT OF JULY 3, 1930, 46 STAT. 1005, PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

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.

THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS PROVISION OF LAW ARE MANDATORY, 10 COMP. GEN. 20, AND THERE IS NO PROVISION APPEARING IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS PROVIDING FOR THE SALARIES OF FIELD POSITIONS UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (FISCAL YEAR 1934, ACT OF MAR. 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1443, AND FISCAL YEAR 1935, ACT OF MARCH 26, 1934, 48 STAT. 476), TO EXEMPT FIELD POSITIONS FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF SAID STATUTE.

THE DECISION OF JANUARY 15, 1935, TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, A 39245/A- 39328, 14 COMP. GEN. 539, TO WHICH YOU CALL ATTENTION, CONSIDERED AN EXCEPTIONAL CONDITION IN THE FIELD SERVICE OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT WHERE PRACTICALLY THE ENTIRE CLERICAL FORCE HAD NEVER BEEN CLASSIFIED PRIOR TO JUNE 30, 1932, THE DATE OF THE ECONOMY ACT, ALTHOUGH OFFICE DECISION OF JANUARY 11, 1932, HAD REQUIRED SUCH CLASSIFICATION. MOST OF THE EMPLOYEES IN THAT SERVICE WERE RECEIVING COMPENSATION RATES LOWER THAN THOSE FIXED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT FOR SIMILAR POSITIONS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY A LARGE ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATION TO PUT INTO EFFECT THE INCREASED RATES. AS THIS WAS IMPOSSIBLE UNDER THE TERMS OF THE ECONOMY ACT PROHIBITING INCREASES IN COMPENSATION, THE DECISION OF JULY 15, 1932, 12 COMP. GEN. 48, AUTHORIZED SUSPENDING THE CLASSIFICATION OF SAID FIELD FORCE UNDER THE WAR DEPARTMENT. AS THE WAR DEPARTMENT REPORTED TO THIS OFFICE NO SAVINGS UNDER PERSONNEL APPROPRIATIONS DURING THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR FROM WHICH INCREASES IN COMPENSATION NECESSARY TO PUT INTO EFFECT THE CLASSIFICATION OF SAID FIELD FORCE MIGHT BE MADE, THE DECISION OF JANUARY 15, 1935, FURTHER SUSPENDED CLASSIFICATION.

THE CONDITION CONSIDERED IN THAT DECISION IS NOT UNDERSTOOD TO EXIST IN THE FIELD SERVICE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AS TO SALARIES PAID UNDER THE REGULAR APPROPRIATIONS, BUT RATHER THAT THERE MAY BE INVOLVED DECREASES IN COMPENSATION. IF ANY INCREASES IN COMPENSATION WOULD BE NECESSARY IN PROPERLY CLASSIFYING A PARTICULAR FIELD POSITION UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AND THERE ARE NO SAVINGS ON AN ANNUAL BASIS FROM WHICH SUCH INCREASES COULD BE PAID, AND IT IS SO REPORTED TO THIS OFFICE, NO FURTHER OBJECTION WILL BE MADE, AT LEAST DURING THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR, TO THE OMISSION FROM THE PAY ROLLS OF THE CLASSIFICATION GRADE DESIGNATION AS TO SUCH POSITION. HOWEVER, AS TO ALL OTHER FIELD POSITIONS, THE AUDIT ACTION REQUIRING THAT PAY ROLLS OF FIELD POSITIONS UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SHALL SHOW THE CLASSIFICATION ACT GRADE MUST BE AND IS AFFIRMED.

THERE HAS BEEN NOTED, ALSO, IN A LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 5, 1935, FROM THE ACTING CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF CHEMISTRY AND SOILS, A STATEMENT AS FOLLOWS:

* * * WHERE CLASSIFICATION GRADES ARE NOT SHOWN IN THE FUTURE, IT SHOULD BE UNDERSTOOD THAT THE TITLE OF THE POSITION INDICATES AN EXCEPTED POSITION AND ACCORDINGLY THERE IS NO APPLICABLE GRADE.

THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE BUREAU OF CHEMISTRY AND SOILS (FISCAL YEAR 1934, ACT OF MAR. 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1451, AND FISCAL YEAR 1935, ACT OF MAR. 26, 1934, 48 STAT. 478) PROVIDE FOR NO POSITIONS IN THE FIELD SERVICE EXCEPTED FROM THE TERMS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS EXTENDED TO THE FIELD SERVICE BY SECTION 2 OF THE BROOKHART ACT, SUPRA. IN APPLYING THAT STATUTE, IF NO POSITION IN THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT IS FOUND TO BE COMPARABLE TO A FIELD POSITION, NEVERTHELESS, THE FIELD POSITION IS REQUIRED TO BE PLACED OR ALLOCATED ADMINISTRATIVELY IN ONE OF THE SALARY GRADES PRESCRIBED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS NEARLY COMPARABLE TO A DEPARTMENTAL POSITION AS IS PRACTICABLE.