B-125970, DECEMBER 30, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 375

B-125970: Dec 30, 1955

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NOR DOES SUCH TRAINING DEAL WITH THE SUBJECT OF AERONAUTICAL SCIENCE WHICH IS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 307 OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ACT OF 1938. 1955: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF NOVEMBER 1. WILL FILL TOP EXECUTIVE POSITIONS IN INDUSTRY AND THAT IT IS PLANNED TO EMPHASIZE THE APPLICATION OF SCIENTIFIC METHODOLOGY TO THE ANALYSIS AND SOLUTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE PROBLEMS. THE MANAGEMENT COURSE IS CONDUCTED OVER A PERIOD OF FOUR SEMESTERS OR TWO YEARS. IT IS PROPOSED TO DETAIL SEVERAL ENGINEERS FROM THE LOS ANGELES REGIONAL OFFICE OF CAA. IT IS PROPOSED TO PAY THE NECESSARY PROGRAM FEES ($300 PER SEMESTER) AND THE SALARY OF A TRAINEE FOR FOUR HOURS PER WEEK OF NORMAL ON-DUTY TIME WHICH WOULD BE DEVOTED TO THE COURSE.

B-125970, DECEMBER 30, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 375

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - TRAINING AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE - MANAGEMENT COURSES THE TRAINING OF SELECTED EMPLOYEE ENGINEERS OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION IN A TWO-YEAR UNIVERSITY MANAGEMENT COURSE REQUIRING FOUR HOURS ATTENDANCE PER WEEK DOES NOT MEET THE CRITERIA OF LIMITED DURATION, OR OF ESSENTIALITY TO THE OBJECTIVES IMPOSED BY LAW ON THE ADMINISTRATION ESTABLISHED FOR TRAINING EMPLOYEES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, NOR DOES SUCH TRAINING DEAL WITH THE SUBJECT OF AERONAUTICAL SCIENCE WHICH IS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 307 OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ACT OF 1938.

TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, DECEMBER 30, 1955:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF NOVEMBER 1, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURE, FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COMMERCE FOR ADMINISTRATION, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE AVAILABILITY OF THE APPROPRIATION " OPERATION AND REGULATION, CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION" CONTAINED IN THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1956, PUBLIC LAW 121, APPROVED JUNE 30, 1955, 69 STAT. 226, FOR THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE ATTENDANCE OF SELECTED CAA ENGINEERS UPON A MANAGEMENT TRAINING COURSE OFFERED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF ENGINEERING AT LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA.

THE LITERATURE OF THE UNIVERSITY ENTITLED " THE ENGINEERING EXECUTIVE PROGRAM" TRANSMITTED WITH THE LETTER STATES THAT THE PROGRAM HAS BEEN DESIGNED TO MEET THE NEEDS OF ENGINEERS WHO, WITHIN THE NEXT DECADE, WILL FILL TOP EXECUTIVE POSITIONS IN INDUSTRY AND THAT IT IS PLANNED TO EMPHASIZE THE APPLICATION OF SCIENTIFIC METHODOLOGY TO THE ANALYSIS AND SOLUTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE PROBLEMS. THE MANAGEMENT COURSE IS CONDUCTED OVER A PERIOD OF FOUR SEMESTERS OR TWO YEARS.

IT IS PROPOSED TO DETAIL SEVERAL ENGINEERS FROM THE LOS ANGELES REGIONAL OFFICE OF CAA--- SELECTED AS PROMISING CANDIDATES FOR EXECUTIVE POSITIONS OR WHO PRESENTLY HOLD SUCH POSITIONS--- TO ATTEND THIS COURSE OF STUDY. ALSO, IT IS PROPOSED TO PAY THE NECESSARY PROGRAM FEES ($300 PER SEMESTER) AND THE SALARY OF A TRAINEE FOR FOUR HOURS PER WEEK OF NORMAL ON-DUTY TIME WHICH WOULD BE DEVOTED TO THE COURSE. EACH TRAINEE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO EXECUTE A TRAINING AGREEMENT A COPY OF WHICH ACCOMPANIED THE LETTER.

THE NEED FOR THE MANAGEMENT COURSE IS EXPLAINED, AS FOLLOWS:

BECAUSE OF THE HIGHLY SPECIALIZED AND TECHNICAL NATURE OF THE WORK, PERSONS APPOINTED TO MOST EXECUTIVE POSITIONS IN THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION MUST NECESSARILY POSSESS ENGINEERING BACKGROUNDS. FURTHERMORE, SINCE EXPERIENCE IN THE CAA PROGRAM IS IMPORTANT AS A BACKGROUND FOR SUCH EXECUTIVE POSITIONS AND SINCE SUCH EXECUTIVES ARE VIRTUALLY UNOBTAINABLE FROM OUTSIDE SOURCES, THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION MUST PROMOTE ENGINEERS AND TECHNICAL SPECIALISTS UP THROUGH THE RANKS TO ITS EXECUTIVE POSITIONS. THESE TECHNICIANS, WHEN INITIALLY APPOINTED, HAVE COMPLETED UNDERGRADUATE COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY TRAINING IN ENGINEERING, OR HAVE ACQUIRED EQUIVALENT SPECIALIZED TECHNICAL EXPERIENCE, WHICH DOES NOT INCLUDE TRAINING IN MANAGEMENT.

THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION IS FACED WITH VERY COMPLEX ADMINISTRATIVE PROBLEMS WHICH ARE RELATED, IN PART, TO THE FOLLOWING FACTORS:

1. A TOTAL EMPLOYMENT OF 15,582 AS OF JULY 31, 1955, OF WHICH 1,595 ARE OVERSEAS EMPLOYEES.

2. ACTIVITIES AND INSTALLATIONS WHICH ARE WIDELY DISPERSED THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES, ITS TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS AND IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES.

3.THE HIGHLY SPECIALIZED AND TECHNICAL NATURE OF THE ACTIVITIES.

BECAUSE OF THESE PROBLEMS IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT EXECUTIVES OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION RECEIVE ADEQUATE TRAINING IN MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES, PRACTICES, AND TECHNIQUES PRIOR TO THEIR PROMOTION TO SUCH POSITIONS. THE WISE APPLICATION OF THESE PRINCIPLES AND TECHNIQUES WILL UNDOUBTEDLY TEND TO RESULT IN SUBSTANTIAL SAVINGS AND IMPROVED SERVICE. CONVERSELY, LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF OR INABILITY TO APPLY THESE PRINCIPLES AND TECHNIQUES MAY GIVE RISE TO COSTLY ERRORS IN JUDGMENT AND WEAKNESSES IN ADMINISTRATION, OUT OF ALL PROPORTION TO THE COST OF TRAINING WHICH WOULD MINIMIZE SUCH ERRORS.

THE APPROPRIATION " OPERATION AND REGULATION, CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION" IS MADE AVAILABLE FOR NECESSARY EXPENSES OF CAA IN CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS ACT OF 1938, AS AMENDED, 49 U.S.C. 401, AND OTHER ACTS. AS STATED IN THE LETTER, OUR DECISIONS REPORTED AT 34 COMP. GEN. 631; ID. 587; 32 ID. 340, HAVE HELD TO THE EFFECT THAT AN APPROPRIATION MADE IN GENERAL TERMS FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES MAY BE USED FOR THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED BY AN EMPLOYEE IN ATTENDING A SPECIALIZED COURSE OF INSTRUCTION OR TRAINING PROVIDED THAT THE TRAINING INVOLVED (1) IS SPECIAL IN NATURE AND IS FOR A PERIOD OF LIMITED DURATION, (2) IS ESSENTIAL TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION WAS MADE, AND (3) IS NOT OF A TYPE WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WOULD NORMALLY BE EXPECTED TO FURNISH OR ATTEND AT HIS OWN EXPENSE. ALSO, SEE 34 COMP. GEN. 168; 31 ID. 623; 23 ID. 651.

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY EXPRESSES THE VIEW THAT THE PROPOSED TRAINING MEETS ALL THE NECESSARY CRITERIA SET FORTH IN THE REFERRED-TO DECISIONS FOR EMPLOYEE TRAINING EXCEPT THAT IT EXTENDS OVER A PERIOD OF FOUR SEMESTERS WHEREAS THE PREVIOUS DECISIONS ON THIS MATTER HAVE COVERED ONLY PERIODS OF TRAINING UP TO 16 WEEKS. HE SUGGESTS, HOWEVER, THAT THE DURATION OF THE MANAGEMENT COURSE IS NOT UNREASONABLE IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE ON-DUTY TIME SPENT BY THE EMPLOYEE THEREON WOULD AMOUNT TO ONLY FOUR HOURS PER WEEK.

IT IS DEEMED APPROPRIATE TO OBSERVE AT THE OUTSET THAT WHILE THE CITED DECISION 34 COMP. GEN. 587, RENDERED TO YOU, AUTHORIZED THE TRAINING OF BUREAU OF THE CENSUS EMPLOYEES, AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, FOR A PERIOD OF 16 WEEKS IN THE OPERATION OF THE UNIVAC ELECTRONIC COMPUTER, THAT DECISION DID NOT IN FACT AND WAS NOT INTENDED TO ESTABLISH SUCH A PERIOD OF TRAINING AS A MATTER OF POLICY OR GUIDELINE FOR EMPLOYEE TRAINING GENERALLY. THE DECISION PLAINLY STATED THAT A 16 WEEK TRAINING COURSE HARDLY MAY BE REGARDED TO BE OF "BRIEF DURATION" AND FURTHER STATED THAT EXPENDITURES INCIDENT TO SUCH A PERIOD OF TRAINING WERE APPROVED MAINLY ON THE BASIS THAT THE CONGRESS HAD AUTHORIZED THE BUREAU OF THE CENSUS TO ACQUIRE SUCH EQUIPMENT AT A COST OF APPROXIMATELY $2 MILLION, AND THAT IT WAS IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE CERTAIN EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU WITH THE KNOW-HOW NEEDED FOR THE MOST EFFECTIVE UTILIZATION OF THE COSTLY EQUIPMENT IN CENSUS OPERATIONS.

IT ALSO IS OBSERVED THAT THE TYPE OF TRAINING COURSES CONSIDERED IN THE CITED DECISIONS, OTHER THAN 34 COMP. GEN. 587, AND IN NUMEROUS OTHER DECISIONS COVERED A PERIOD OF ONLY ONE OR TWO WEEKS; THAT THE TRAINING HAD TO DO WITH SELECTED PROFESSIONAL PERSONNEL WHOSE DUTIES REQUIRE THEM TO MAINTAIN THEIR EXPERTNESS AND KEEP ABREAST OF THE NEWEST DEVELOPMENTS IN THEIR FIELDS OF SCIENCE IN ORDER TO FULLY DISCHARGE THE RESPONSIBILITIES FOR WHICH APPROPRIATIONS WERE PROVIDED; AND THAT THE TRAINING CONCERNED A SPECIFIC AND EXISTING NEED--- AS DISTINGUISHED FROM GENERAL TRAINING OF EXPECTED FUTURE BENEFIT TO THE AGENCY.

IN THE PRESENT CASE, IT SEEMS REASONABLY CLEAR THAT A 2-YEAR COURSE OF STUDY WHICH, AS STATED IN THE LETTER, LEADS TO A MASTERS DEGREE IN ENGINEERING HARDLY MAY BE REGARDED TO BE EITHER "SPECIAL IN NATURE" OR FOR A PERIOD OF "LIMITED DURATION" AS SUCH TERMS ARE USED AND APPLIED IN THE REFERRED-TO DECISIONS. AND, THIS IS SO EVEN THOUGH THE ACTUAL SALARY EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR AN EMPLOYEE IN ATTENDANCE IS ESTIMATED TO COVER BUT FOUR HOURS PER WEEK.

WE ARE FULLY AWARE OF THE DIFFICULTIES OF RECRUITING INDIVIDUALS FROM SOURCES OUTSIDE THE GOVERNMENT FOR EXECUTIVE POSITIONS WHO POSSESS, IN ADDITION TO THE REQUISITE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS OF PARTICULAR SPECIALITIES, EXPERIENCE IN THE OPERATIONS AND PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS OF A PARTICULAR AGENCY. BUT THIS PROBLEM IS NEITHER NEW OR CONFINED TO CAA; IT CONFRONTS MOST OF THE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND SHOULD NOT OBSCURE THE FACT THAT GENERALLY A CANDIDATE FOR AN EXECUTIVE POSITION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS OWN BASIC EDUCATION AND TRAINING.

TOO, WE RECOGNIZE THAT PROVIDING MANAGEMENT TRAINING TO CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS ALREADY EMPLOYED AND EXPERIENCED IN CAA OPERATIONS MIGHT RESULT IN SUBSTANTIAL GAINS IN EFFICIENCY AND SAVINGS IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF CAA ACTIVITIES. SUCH TRAINING, HOWEVER, HAS FOR ITS OBJECTIVE THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE INTERNAL MANAGEMENT OF CAA AND WHILE IT UNQUESTIONABLY MAY BE HIGHLY DESIRABLE FROM THE STANDPOINT OF GOOD MANAGEMENT AND ECONOMY OF OPERATIONS, IT MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS ESSENTIAL TO THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE RESPONSIBILITIES IMPOSED UPON CAA BY LAW AND FOR WHICH APPROPRIATIONS ARE PROVIDED. SEE 34 COMP. GEN. 719. TO VIEW THE MATTER OTHERWISE, WOULD BE TANTAMOUNT TO GRANTING PERMISSION TO DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES GENERALLY TO EMBARK UPON A PROGRAM OF SENDING ITS SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES TO PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS FOR TRAINING IN MANAGEMENT, A RESULT NOT EVIDENCED OR CONTEMPLATED BY ANY STATUTE BROUGHT TO OUR ATTENTION.

IN THIS CONNECTION, THERE HAS NOT BEEN OVERLOOKED THE ACT OF AUGUST 8, 1950, 64 STAT. 417, 49 U.S.C. 457, WHICH AMENDED SECTION 307 OF THE CITED CIVIL AERONAUTICS ACT OF 1938, AS AMENDED, BY ADDING THERETO SUBSECTION 307 (B). THAT LEGISLATION AUTHORIZED THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE TO DETAIL ANNUALLY CAA EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN TECHNICAL OR PROFESSIONAL DUTIES FOR ADVANCED TRAINING AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, EITHER AT CIVILIAN OR OTHER INSTITUTIONS NOT OPERATED BY THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, IN COURSES OF INSTRUCTION OR SUBJECTS DEALING WITH AERONAUTICAL SCIENCE.

FOR THE REASONS STATED HEREIN, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE PROPOSED MANAGEMENT COURSE MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED TO MEET THE CRITERIA ESTABLISHED FOR AUTHORIZING EMPLOYEE TRAINING AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OR INCLUDED WITHIN THE TYPE OF TRAINING PROVIDED FOR BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 8, 1950, AND, THEREFORE, THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE EXPENSE OF ATTENDANCE AT SUCH COURSE IN THE ABSENCE OF EXPRESS STATUTORY AUTHORITY.