A-86521, JUNE 9, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 1066

A-86521: Jun 9, 1937

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WHOSE POSITIONS HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED IN THE SAME GRADE. IS SIMILAR AND RELATED. - THERE IS NO OBJECTION TO THE CONSIDERATION OF THE ENTIRE OFFICE AS THE UNIT INSTEAD OF THE SEPARATE APPROPRIATION ITEMS. THE UNIT SO ESTABLISHED AS TO ONE GRADE MUST CONTROL ALSO IN ALL OTHER GRADES PROVIDED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT IN WHICH POSITIONS OF SAID OFFICE HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED. IS AS FOLLOWS: THERE HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO ME BY THE OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS A RECOMMENDATION FOR THE PROMOTION OF HARRY W. THERE ARE EMPLOYED AT THE PRESENT TIME IN THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS IN GRADE CAF-11 SIX EMPLOYEES. WHOSE SALARIES ARE AS FOLLOWS: TABLE E. 800 THE FIRST FOUR NAMED PERSONS ARE PAID FROM THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES.

A-86521, JUNE 9, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 1066

COMPENSATION - PROMOTIONS - AVERAGE PROVISION - DETERMINATION OF APPROPRIATION UNIT IT APPEARING THAT THE WORK OF EMPLOYEES IN THE OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, PAID UNDER DIFFERENT APPROPRIATION ITEMS, WHOSE POSITIONS HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED IN THE SAME GRADE, IS SIMILAR AND RELATED--- BOTH AS TO CHARACTER AND PURPOSE--- THERE IS NO OBJECTION TO THE CONSIDERATION OF THE ENTIRE OFFICE AS THE UNIT INSTEAD OF THE SEPARATE APPROPRIATION ITEMS, IN THE APPLICATION OF THE AVERAGE PROVISION IN THE FIXING OF SALARIES OF PERSONNEL UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, BUT THE UNIT SO ESTABLISHED AS TO ONE GRADE MUST CONTROL ALSO IN ALL OTHER GRADES PROVIDED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT IN WHICH POSITIONS OF SAID OFFICE HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, JUNE 9, 1937:

YOUR LETTER OF MAY 25, 1937, IS AS FOLLOWS:

THERE HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO ME BY THE OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS A RECOMMENDATION FOR THE PROMOTION OF HARRY W. SHIPE FROM $3,800 TO $4,000 PER ANNUM IN GRADE CAF-11, AND THE QUESTION HAS ARISEN AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE AVERAGE OF THE GRADE WOULD BE EXCEEDED IN GRANTING PROMOTION TO MR. SHIPE.

THERE ARE EMPLOYED AT THE PRESENT TIME IN THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS IN GRADE CAF-11 SIX EMPLOYEES, WHOSE SALARIES ARE AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

E. J. ARMSTRONG --------- $4,600 H. W. SHIPE ---------- $3,800

F. H. DAIKER ------------ 4,600 T. W. WHEAT ---------- 4,000

W. B. GREENWOOD --------- 3,800 LOUIS BALSAM --------- 3,800

THE FIRST FOUR NAMED PERSONS ARE PAID FROM THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES, OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS; " MR. WHEAT IS PAID FROM THE APPROPRIATION "ACQUISITION OF LANDS FOR INDIAN TRIBES; " AND MR. BALSAM IS PAID FROM THE APPROPRIATION "EXPENSES OF ORGANIZING INDIAN CORPORATIONS.'

THE GENERAL PRACTICE THIS DEPARTMENT HAS FOLLOWED HAS BEEN TO CONSIDER THE APPROPRIATION AS THE UNIT UPON WHICH TO CALCULATE GRADE AVERAGES. FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE OFFICE OF EDUCATION THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR SALARIES FOR THE COMMISSIONER AND OTHER PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND FOR VOCATIONAL EDUCATION HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED AS SEPARATE UNITS, AND IN THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR SALARIES, "OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY, OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR, DIVISION OF TERRITORIES AND ISLAND POSSESSIONS, DIVISION OF INVESTIGATIONS, AND DIVISION OF GRAZING CONTROL" HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED AS SEPARATE APPROPRIATION UNITS. IN THE ABOVE OFFICES THE DUTIES OF THE VARIOUS BRANCHES HAVE BEEN SEGREGATED SUFFICIENTLY TO WARRANT CONSIDERING THE INDIVIDUAL APPROPRIATION ITEMS AS THE UNIT. HOWEVER, THE DUTIES OF EMPLOYEES PAID FROM THE SEVERAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE INDIAN OFFICE ABOVE REFERRED TO ARE MORE CLOSELY RELATED AND IT WOULD BE EXCEEDINGLY DIFFICULT TO DRAW A CLEAR LINE OF DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE WORK CARRIED ON BY THE OFFICE PERSONNEL. PERSONS EMPLOYED IN THE SAME DIVISION ARE NOW PAID FROM SEVERAL DIFFERENT APPROPRIATIONS, YET THEIR WORK IS SIMILAR AND RELATED.

YOUR SEVERAL DECISIONS ON THE "AVERAGE" SUBJECT HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AND IT IS THE BELIEF THAT IT WOULD BE PROPER IN THE INDIAN OFFICE TO CONSIDER ALL EMPLOYEES PAID FROM THE REGULARLY APPROPRIATED FUNDS AS FORMING ONE UNIT, THEREBY MAKING AVAILABLE $600 FOR PROMOTION IN GRADE CAF-11 BEFORE THE AVERAGE OF THE EMPLOYEES OF THAT GRADE WAS REACHED. BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH THE PROMOTION OF MR. SHIPE, YOUR OPINION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER, IN THE ABOVE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE UNIT IS THE OFFICE OR THE INDIVIDUAL APPROPRIATIONS.

THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR DATED JUNE 22, 1936, 49 STAT. 1757, 1763, UNDER THE MAJOR HEADING "BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS" HAS A NUMBER OF SUBHEADINGS INCLUDING "SALARIES," "GENERAL EXPENSES," "INDIAN LANDS," ETC. ALL OF THE APPROPRIATION FOR "SALARIES" IS AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. UNDER EACH OF THE OTHER SUBHEADINGS APPEAR A NUMBER OF PARAGRAPHS OR APPROPRIATION ITEMS FOR THE VARIOUS FIELD ACTIVITIES OF THE BUREAU, AT LEAST SIX OF WHICH PROVIDE LIMITED AMOUNTS FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, INCLUDING THE TWO APPROPRIATION ITEMS MENTIONED IN YOUR LETTER FROM WHICH THE SALARIES OF TWO OF THE EMPLOYEES IN GRADE CAF-11 ARE PAID. IT IS UNDERSTOOD FROM YOUR SUBMISSION THERE ARE NO OTHER EMPLOYEES IN GRADE CAF-11 WHOSE SALARIES ARE PAID FROM ANY OF THE OTHER FIELD APPROPRIATION ITEMS WHICH PROVIDE FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

THE PART OF THE SO-CALLED "AVERAGE PROVISION" THAT IS FOR CONSIDERATION HERE IS AS FOLLOWS:

* * * THAT IN EXPENDING APPROPRIATIONS OR PORTIONS OF APPROPRIATIONS, CONTAINED IN THIS ACT, FOR THE PAYMENT FOR PERSONAL SERVICES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE FIRST ASSISTANT SECRETARY AND THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY THE AVERAGE OF THE SALARIES OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONS UNDER ANY GRADE IN ANY BUREAU, OFFICE, OR OTHER APPROPRIATION UNIT SHALL NOT AT ANY TIME EXCEED THE AVERAGE OF THE COMPENSATION RATES SPECIFIED FOR THE GRADE BY SUCH ACT, AS AMENDED, * * *.

THE FOLLOWING IS QUOTED FROM THE DECISION OF AUGUST 8, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 167, 168:

IN DECISION OF JUNE 26, 1924, 3 COMP. GEN. 1001, IN ANSWER TO QUESTION ONE THE FOLLOWING WAS STATED:

"* * * IF A BUREAU OR OFFICE IS OPERATING UNDER ONE APPROPRIATION THE UNIT IS THE BUREAU OR OFFICE, WHEREAS IF THE BUREAU OR OFFICE IS OPERATING UNDER TWO OR MORE APPROPRIATIONS THE UNIT IS THE APPROPRIATION. IF THERE BE AN INSTANCE OF TWO OR MORE BUREAUS OR OFFICES OPERATING UNDER ONE APPROPRIATION, THE UNIT WOULD BE THE BUREAU OR OFFICE.'

THIS QUOTED STATEMENT WAS AND IS INTENDED MERELY AS A GENERAL RULE SUBJECT TO AMPLIFICATION UPON SUBMISSION OF SPECIFIC CASES. IT MAY BE SAID THAT THE STATEMENT "IF THE BUREAU OR OFFICE IS OPERATING UNDER TWO OR MORE APPROPRIATIONS THE UNIT IS THE APPROPRIATION" WAS INTENDED TO RELATE MORE PARTICULARLY TO A BUREAU OR OFFICE IN WHICH THERE ARE DISSIMILAR OR UNRELATED ACTIVITIES PROVIDED FOR UNDER SEPARATE APPROPRIATIONS.

AND, IN DECISION OF JUNE 30, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 1075, 1076, IT WAS STATED:

THE DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE HAVE HELD, IN EFFECT, THAT ORDINARILY THE RESPECTIVE BUREAUS IN A DEPARTMENT ARE THE UNITS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE AVERAGE PROVISION IN THE ABSENCE OF A SPECIFIC SHOWING THAT THE BUREAU IS OPERATING UNDER TWO OR MORE APPROPRIATIONS PROVIDING FOR DISSIMILAR OR UNRELATED ACTIVITIES. * * *

THESE GENERAL RULES HAVE BEEN RESTATED OR APPLIED TO SPECIFIC CASES IN A NUMBER OF OTHER DECISIONS. SEE 4 COMP. GEN. 342; ID. 456; ID. 678; ID. 817; ID. 851; 5 ID. 2; ID. 68; ID. 346. SEE ALSO, 4 COMP. GEN. 493; 14 ID. 392, 393.

IN VIEW OF YOUR REPRESENTATION THAT THE WORK OF EMPLOYEES IN THE OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WHOSE POSITIONS HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED IN THE SAME GRADE ARE SIMILAR AND RELATED--- BOTH AS TO CHARACTER AND PURPOSE--- THIS OFFICE IS NOT REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE PROPOSED CHANGE IN THE PROCEDURE WITH RESPECT TO THE UNIT TO BE CONSIDERED FOR APPLYING THE AVERAGE PROVISION TO EMPLOYEES IN THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. OF COURSE, IF SUCH PROCEDURE BE ADOPTED, THE BUREAU APPROPRIATION UNIT MUST CONTROL NOT ONLY IN GRADE CAF-11 THE CASE PRESENTED IN YOUR LETTER, BUT IN ALL OTHER GRADES PROVIDED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT IN WHICH POSITIONS UNDER THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED.