B-128082, JUL.15, 1969

B-128082: Jul 15, 1969

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HOLDING THAT PROPOSAL BY NAVY FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INCENTIVE AWARDS PROGRAM FOR KEYPUNCH OPERATORS ON BASIS OF QUARTERLY MONETARY AWARDS WHEN PRODUCTION SUBSTANTIALLY EXCEEDS STANDARDS FOR EACH JOB IS LEGALLY PROPER. A COPY OF SUCH PROPOSAL WAS TRANSMITTED HERE WITH YOUR LETTER. THIS IS DONE BY LINE SUPERVISION SO THAT REGARDLESS OF WHO PERFORMS THE JOB. THE EMPLOYEE'S TIME ON THE JOB IS RECORDED BY THE SUPERVISOR AND HIS PRODUCTION IS COUNTED BY MACHINE. EACH IS THEN FED INTO THE REPORTING SYSTEM. "3. A STANDARD WHICH WILL QUALIFY APPROXIMATELY 25 PERCENT OF THE OPERATORS FOR AWARDS. MUST HAVE WORKED A MINIMUM OF 350 HOURS OF MEASURED PRODUCTION DURING THE QUARTER FOR WHICH THE AWARD IS RECOMMENDED.' 5 U.S.C. 4503 IS IN PART AS FOLLOWS: "THE HEAD OF AN AGENCY MAY PAY A CASH AWARD TO.

B-128082, JUL.15, 1969

CIVIL PAY - INCENTIVE AWARDS PROGRAM DECISION TO CHAIRMAN, CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, HOLDING THAT PROPOSAL BY NAVY FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INCENTIVE AWARDS PROGRAM FOR KEYPUNCH OPERATORS ON BASIS OF QUARTERLY MONETARY AWARDS WHEN PRODUCTION SUBSTANTIALLY EXCEEDS STANDARDS FOR EACH JOB IS LEGALLY PROPER.

TO MR. HAMPTON:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 6, 1969, REQUESTING A DECISION CONCERNING THE LEGALITY OF A PROPOSAL MADE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INCENTIVE AWARDS PROGRAM FOR KEYPUNCH OPERATORS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY. A COPY OF SUCH PROPOSAL WAS TRANSMITTED HERE WITH YOUR LETTER.

BRIEFLY THE PLAN WOULD PROVIDE FOR QUARTERLY MONETARY AWARDS FOR KEYPUNCH OPERATORS WHOSE PRODUCTION SUBSTANTIALLY EXCEEDS PRODUCTION STANDARDS ESTABLISHED FOR EACH SUCH JOB BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY. THE DEPARTMENT EXPLAINS THE PLAN AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * BRIEFLY, THIS PLAN CALLS FOR EACH JOB TO BE EVALUATED ON ITS OWN MERITS AS TO LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY, NUMBER OF COLUMNS PUNCHED OR VERIFIED, AND THE NORMAL PRODUCTION EXPECTATIONS. THIS IS DONE BY LINE SUPERVISION SO THAT REGARDLESS OF WHO PERFORMS THE JOB, THE SAME STANDARD APPLIES. THE EMPLOYEE'S TIME ON THE JOB IS RECORDED BY THE SUPERVISOR AND HIS PRODUCTION IS COUNTED BY MACHINE. EACH IS THEN FED INTO THE REPORTING SYSTEM.

"3. SPCC FEELS THAT IT NOW HAS A BASIS FOR INCENTIVE AWARDS FOR PRODUCTIVITY WHICH WOULD PROVIDE:

"A. MONETARY AWARDS BASED ON THE FOLLOWING TABLE:

QUARTERLY QUARTERLY

PRODUCTION RATE MONETARY AWARD

115-124 PERCENT $15

125-134 PERCENT $20

135-144 PERCENT $25

145-154 PERCENT $30

155-164 PERCENT $35

165-174 PERCENT $40

175-184 PERCENT $45

185-UP $50

"B. A STANDARD WHICH WILL QUALIFY APPROXIMATELY 25 PERCENT OF THE OPERATORS FOR AWARDS, WITH A SYSTEM TO REVIEW THE PLAN SHOULD THE PERCENTAGE QUALIFYING DEVIATE SIGNIFICANTLY FROM THIS GOAL.

"C. THAT IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR AN AWARD AN OPERATOR MUST BE SATISFACTORY IN ALL PHASES OF PERFORMANCE AND CONDUCT, AND MUST HAVE WORKED A MINIMUM OF 350 HOURS OF MEASURED PRODUCTION DURING THE QUARTER FOR WHICH THE AWARD IS RECOMMENDED.' 5 U.S.C. 4503 IS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"THE HEAD OF AN AGENCY MAY PAY A CASH AWARD TO, AND INCUR NECESSARY EXPENSE FOR THE HONORARY RECOGNITION OF, AN EMPLOYEE WHO

"/1) BY HIS SUGGESTION, INVENTION, SUPERIOR ACCOMPLISHMENT, OR OTHER PERSONAL EFFORT CONTRIBUTES TO THE EFFICIENCY, ECONOMY, OR OTHER IMPROVEMENT OF GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS * * *"

THE REGULATIONS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION (SEE SECTION 451.101) ARE IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' INCENTIVE AWARDS PROGRAM IS ESTABLISHED TO IMPROVE GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS AND TO RECOGNIZE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES BY INCENTIVE AWARDS. AWARDS UNDER THIS PROGRAM ARE DESIGNED TO:

"/A) ENCOURAGE EMPLOYEES TO PARTICIPATE IN IMPROVING THE EFFICIENCY AND ECONOMY OF GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS;

"/B) RECOGNIZE AND REWARD EMPLOYEES, INDIVIDUALLY OR IN GROUPS, FOR THEIR SUGGESTIONS, INVENTIONS, SUPERIOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS, OR OTHER PERSONAL EFFORTS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO EFFICIENCY, ECONOMY, OR OTHER IMPROVEMENTS IN GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS * * *"

AS POINTED OUT IN YOUR LETTER, IN OUR DECISION OF AUGUST 14, 1956, B 128082, WE FOUND NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO A SIMILAR INCENTIVE AWARDS PLAN TO BE USED IN A PILOT STUDY TO BE CONDUCTED BY THE BUREAU OF THE CENSUS. LINE WITH THAT DECISION WE SEE NO LEGAL BASIS FOR QUESTIONING THE PLAN PROPOSED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY SO LONG AS THERE IS REASONABLE ADHERENCE TO PARAGRAPH 3B OF THE DEPARTMENT'S LETTER OF FEBRUARY 14, 1969.