A-8425, MARCH 26, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 815

A-8425: Mar 26, 1925

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ARE ENTITLED TO CREDIT FOR ALL SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN EITHER GRADE BOTH BEFORE AND AFTER JANUARY 1. IS A MATTER OF ADMINISTRATION. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE STATUTE COMPELLING THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TO MAKE PROMOTIONS ON THE BASIS OF PRIOR CERTIFICATES OF EFFICIENCY AS TO THE SERVICE OF INDIVIDUAL INSPECTORS OR PROHIBITING A REVIEW OF EFFICIENCY RATINGS MADE PRIOR TO JANUARY 1. 1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 9. INSPECTORS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADES 1 AND 2 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 1. INSPECTORS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 3 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 2. INSPECTORS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 4 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 3. INSPECTORS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 5 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 4.

A-8425, MARCH 26, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 815

POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES - PROMOTION OF POST-OFFICE INSPECTORS UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925 POST-OFFICE INSPECTORS PREVIOUSLY IN GRADE 5, $3,200 PER ANNUM, AS FIXED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1920, 41 STAT. 1045, AUTOMATICALLY PLACED IN GRADE 4, $3,500 PER ANNUM, AS FIXED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1055, ARE ENTITLED TO CREDIT FOR ALL SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN EITHER GRADE BOTH BEFORE AND AFTER JANUARY 1, 1925, FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING THE RIGHT TO PROMOTION TO GRADE 5, $3,800 PER ANNUM, AS FIXED BY THE LATER ACT, AND THE PROMOTION MAY BE MADE RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE FROM JANUARY 1, 1925, IF THE INSPECTOR HAS HAD THE REQUIRED YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE PRIOR TO THAT TIME. WHETHER A POST-OFFICE INSPECTOR HAS HAD SATISFACTORY SERVICE ENTITLING TO PROMOTION FROM GRADE 4 TO GRADE 5 OF THE AUTOMATIC GRADES ESTABLISHED UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1055, IS A MATTER OF ADMINISTRATION. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE STATUTE COMPELLING THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TO MAKE PROMOTIONS ON THE BASIS OF PRIOR CERTIFICATES OF EFFICIENCY AS TO THE SERVICE OF INDIVIDUAL INSPECTORS OR PROHIBITING A REVIEW OF EFFICIENCY RATINGS MADE PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 1925, AS TO SERVICE RENDERED PRIOR TO THAT TIME.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, MARCH 26, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 9, 1925, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER POST- OFFICE INSPECTORS PREVIOUSLY IN GRADE 5 AT $3,200 PER ANNUM, AS FIXED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1920, MAY, IN ADDITION TO BEING AUTOMATICALLY PLACED IN GRADE 4 AT $3,500 PER ANNUM AS OF JANUARY 1, 1925, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, BE GIVEN CREDIT FOR SATISFACTORY AND EFFICIENT SERVICE IN FORMER GRADE 5 PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 1925, FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROMOTION TO THE NEW AUTOMATIC GRADE 5 AT $3,800 PER ANNUM UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE LATER ACT.

SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1055, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THAT POST-OFFICE INSPECTORS SHALL BE DIVIDED INTO SIX GRADES, AS FOLLOWS: GRADE 1--- SALARY, $2,800; GRADE 2--- SALARY, $3,000; GRADE 3--- SALARY, $3,200; GRADE 4--- SALARY, $3,500; GRADE 5--- SALARY, $3,800; GRADE 6--- SALARY, $4,000, AND THERE SHALL BE FIFTEEN INSPECTORS IN CHARGE AT $4,500: PROVIDED, THAT IN THE READJUSTMENT OF GRADES FOR INSPECTORS TO CONFORM TO THE GRADES HEREIN PROVIDED, INSPECTORS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADES 1 AND 2 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 1; INSPECTORS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 3 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 2; INSPECTORS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 4 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 3; INSPECTORS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 5 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 4; INSPECTORS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 6 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 5; AND INSPECTORS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 7 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 6: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT INSPECTORS SHALL BE PROMOTED SUCCESSIVELY TO GRADE 5 AT THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER FOLLOWING A YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN THE NEXT LOWER GRADE, AND NOT TO EXCEED 35 PERCENTUM OF THE FORCE TO GRADE 6 FOR MERITORIOUS SERVICE AFTER NOT LESS THAN ONE YEAR'S SERVICE IN GRADE 5; AND THE TIME SERVED BY INSPECTORS IN THEIR PRESENT GRADE SHALL BE INCLUDED IN THE YEAR'S SERVICE REQUIRED FOR PROMOTION IN THE GRADES PROVIDED HEREIN, EXCEPT AS TO INSPECTORS IN PRESENT GRADE 1.

INSPECTORS IN OLD GRADE 5, $3,200 PER ANNUM, WERE AUTOMATICALLY PLACED IN NEW GRADE 4, $3,500 PER ANNUM EFFECTIVE ON JANUARY 1, 1925. IN OTHER WORDS, GRADE 5 (OLD) AND GRADE 4 (NEW) ARE CONSIDERED AS IDENTICAL ON AND AFTER JANUARY 1, 1925. THE STATUTE EXPRESSLY PROVIDES THAT "THE TIME SERVED BY INSPECTORS IN THEIR PRESENT GRADE SHALL BE INCLUDED IN THE YEAR'S SERVICE REQUIRED FOR PROMOTION IN THE GRADES PROVIDED HEREIN, EXCEPT AS TO INSPECTORS IN PRESENT GRADE 1.' UNDER THIS PROVISION THE INSPECTORS IN GRADE 5 (OLD) 4 (NEW) ARE ENTITLED TO CREDIT FOR ALL SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN THAT GRADE OR GRADES, WHICH EVER WAY IT MAY BE CONSIDERED, BOTH BEFORE AND AFTER JANUARY 1, 1925, FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING THE RIGHT TO PROMOTION TO NEW GRADE 5, $3,800 PER ANNUM, AND THE PROMOTION MAY BE MADE RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE FROM JANUARY 1, 1925, IF THE INSPECTOR HAD HAD THE REQUIRED YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE PRIOR TO THAT DATE.

THE SERVICE ENTITLING INSPECTORS TO AUTOMATIC PROMOTION UNDER THE PRIOR ACT OF JUNE 5, 1920, 41 STAT. 1045, WAS DESIGNATED AS "SATISFACTORY AND EFFICIENT" AND THE SERVICE ENTITLING THE INSPECTORS TO AUTOMATIC PROMOTION UNDER THE NEW ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, IS DESIGNATED AS ,SATISFACTORY.'

YOU ASK THE FOLLOWING QUESTION RELATIVE THERETO:

* * * IN THE PROMOTION OF THESE EMPLOYEES TO THE NEW GRADE 5, AT $3,800 PER ANNUM, MUST THE RECORD OF SATISFACTORY SERVICE ALREADY IN EXISTENCE BE TAKEN AS FINAL IN DETERMINING THEIR RIGHT TO PROMOTION OR,IN VIEW OF THE PASSAGE OF THE NEW LEGISLATION CHANGING THE BASIS ON WHICH PROMOTIONS ARE TO BE MADE, MAY IT BE DETERMINED ANEW WHETHER OR NOT THE SERVICES OF THESE EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN "SATISFACTORY" IN THE SENSE OF ENTITLING THEM TO PROMOTION TO THE NEW GRADE 5, AT $3,800 PER ANNUM, UNDER THE TERMS OF THE PRESENT LAW.

IT MUST BE ASSUMED THAT THE "SATISFACTORY" SERVICE REQUIRED UNDER THE NEW ACT WAS INTENDED TO BE OF NO HIGHER STANDARD THAN THE "SATISFACTORY AND EFFICIENT" SERVICE REQUIRED UNDER THE PRIOR STATUTE. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT NO STANDARDS HAVE BEEN FIXED BY REGULATION OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT IN THIS REGARD, BUT THAT THE MATTER HAS BEEN DETERMINED IN INDIVIDUAL CASES UPON COMPLETION OF THE YEAR'S SERVICE. THIS DETERMINATION OF WHETHER SERVICE IS SATISFACTORY OR NOT IS A MATTER OF ADMINISTRATION, AND THERE APPEARS NOTHING IN THE STATUTE OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, COMPELLING THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TO MAKE PROMOTIONS ON THE BASIS OF PRIOR CERTIFICATES OF EFFICIENCY AS TO THE SERVICE OF INDIVIDUAL INSPECTORS OR PROHIBITING A REVIEW OF EFFICIENCY RATINGS HERETOFORE MADE. THE MATTER FOR DETERMINATION IN EACH CASE IS WHETHER THE SERVICE HAS OR HAS NOT BEEN SATISFACTORY FOR THE REQUIRED PERIOD.