B-126370, JAN. 11, 1956

B-126370: Jan 11, 1956

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THE OPERATIONS OF WHICH ARE VITAL TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT ACT OF 1937. THE BUREAU IS DIVIDED INTO FOUR MAIN DIVISIONS. THE DIRECTION AND COORDINATION OF WHICH ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE DIRECTOR. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT OF EVEN GREATER SIGNIFICANCE IS THE RECOGNITION BY THE BOARD OF THE NECESSITY FOR CHANGING ITS STATISTICAL OPERATIONS FORM THE PRESENT I.B.M. THE NEED FOR THE MANAGEMENT COURSE IS EXPLAINED AS FOLLOWS: "* * * INASMUCH AS MR. HABERMEYER IS THE KEY MAN IN THIS ENTIRE PROGRAM. THAT HE BE GIVEN FULL OPPORTUNITY TO CONFER WITH EXECUTIVES IN OTHER AGENCIES AND CORPORATIONS WHO ARE ENGAGED IN SIMILAR PROJECTS. SPECIAL COURSES OF THIS TYPE ARE NOT GENERALLY OFFERED.

B-126370, JAN. 11, 1956

TO HONORABLE RAYMOND J. KELLY, CHAIRMAN, RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD:

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 12, 1955, REQUESTS A DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD MAY PAY THE SALARY, PER DIEM, AND TRAVEL EXPENSES OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE BOARD'S BUREAU OF WAGE AND SERVICE RECORDS FOR A PERIOD OF FOUR WEEKS DURING WHICH TIME HE WOULD PARTICIPATE IN A MANAGEMENT COURSE CONDUCTED BY THE AMERICAN MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION. INASMUCH AS THE EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN SELECTED TO RECEIVE A SCHOLARSHIP FOR THE COURSE, THE PAYMENT OF TUITION WOULD NOT BE INVOLVED.

YOU POINT OUT THAT THE BUREAU OF WAGE AND SERVICE RECORDS CONSTITUTES THE BASIC RECORD-COMPILING AND TABULATING ORGANIZATION WITHIN THE BOARD, THE OPERATIONS OF WHICH ARE VITAL TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT ACT OF 1937, 50 STAT. 307, AND THE RAILROAD UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ACT, 52 STAT. 1094. THE BUREAU IS DIVIDED INTO FOUR MAIN DIVISIONS, THE DIRECTION AND COORDINATION OF WHICH ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE DIRECTOR. YOU STATE THAT THE RECENT AMENDMENTS TO THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT AND RAILROAD UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ACTS, 69 STAT. 715, REQUIRE THE CONSTANT RETABULATION AND REEVALUATION OF THE WAGE AND SERVICE RECORDS MAINTAINED BY THE BUREAU AND THE COORDINATION OF SUCH RECORDS WITH THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION AND THAT THIS NECESSITATES CHANGING PROCEDURES, ASSIGNMENTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN ORDER TO HANDLE THE INCREASING WORK LOADS BY MORE EFFICIENT UTILIZATION OF THE PRESENT STAFF. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT OF EVEN GREATER SIGNIFICANCE IS THE RECOGNITION BY THE BOARD OF THE NECESSITY FOR CHANGING ITS STATISTICAL OPERATIONS FORM THE PRESENT I.B.M. PUNCH-CARD SYSTEM TO THE NEW ELECTRONIC COMPUTERS AND TABULATORS AND THAT THE PROJECT OF INVESTIGATING THE NEW EQUIPMENT AND OF PREPARING THE BUREAU FOR THE CHANGE-OVER TO THE NEW INSTALLATION FALLS UNDER THE DIRECTOR'S JURISDICTION.

THE NEED FOR THE MANAGEMENT COURSE IS EXPLAINED AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * INASMUCH AS MR. HABERMEYER IS THE KEY MAN IN THIS ENTIRE PROGRAM, THE BOARD DEEMS IT ESSENTIAL THAT HE BE GIVEN SPECIAL TRAINING IN THE FIELDS OF MANAGEMENT, ORGANIZATION BUILDING, PLANNING, AND APPRAISING EXECUTIVE PERFORMANCE, AND THAT HE BE GIVEN FULL OPPORTUNITY TO CONFER WITH EXECUTIVES IN OTHER AGENCIES AND CORPORATIONS WHO ARE ENGAGED IN SIMILAR PROJECTS. SPECIAL COURSES OF THIS TYPE ARE NOT GENERALLY OFFERED, HOWEVER; NOR DOES AN EXECUTIVE IN MR. HABERMEYER'S POSITION EASILY FIND TIME TO MEET WITH OTHER EXECUTIVES FROM OTHER CITIES AND AREAS.'

IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY, THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT MAY AUTHORIZE OR ASSIGN EMPLOYEES TO ATTEND COURSES OF INSTRUCTION OR TRAINING BY NON-FEDERAL ORGANIZATIONS AND PAY THEIR SALARIES AND EXPENSES INCIDENT TO SUCH ATTENDANCE ONLY WHEN IT CAN BE SHOWN THAT THE PARTICULAR TRAINING INVOLVED (1) IS SPECIAL IN NATURE AND IS FOR A PERIOD OF LIMITED DURATION, (2) IS ESSENTIAL TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION WAS MADE, AND (3) IS NOT OF TYPE WHICH THE EMPLOYEE NORMALLY WOULD BE EXPECTED TO ATTEND AT HIS OWN EXPENSE. SEE 34 COMP. GEN. 632. THE APPROPRIATION PROPOSED TO BE CHARGED WITH THE EXPENSE HERE INVOLVED,"SALARIES AND EXPENSES, RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD," TITLE V OF THE DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, AND HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1956, 69 STAT. 411, CONTAINS NO LANGUAGE SUGGESTING THAT IT IS AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES AND SALARIES OF EMPLOYEES DESIGNATED TO ATTEND COURSES OF INSTRUCTION OR TRAINING CONDUCTED BY NON-FEDERAL INSTITUTIONS.

WHILE THE ATTENDANCE OF THE EMPLOYEE AT THE MANAGEMENT COURSE MIGHT WELL RESULT IN THE IMPROVEMENT OF YOUR INTERNAL MANAGEMENT, WE ARE OF THE VIEW THAT THE IMMEDIATE ATTENDANCE AT SUCH A COURSE IS NOT SO ESSENTIAL TO THE PROPER PERFORMANCE OF THE DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS IMPOSED UPON THE BOARD BY LAW AS TO OBVIATE THE NECESSITY FOR THE BOARD'S PROCURING SPECIAL AUTHORITY FROM THE CONGRESS FOR THE EXPENSE OF TRAINING PERSONNEL AT PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS AS HAS BEEN DONE BY CERTAIN OTHER AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT. SEE 34 COMP. GEN. 719 AND B 125742, DECEMBER 30, 1955, BOTH OF WHICH INVOLVE THE SAME MANAGEMENT COURSE AS IS CONSIDERED HERE, AND B- 125970, DECEMBER 30, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 375. COPIES OF THE LATTER DECISIONS ARE ENCLOSED.