B-129917, DEC. 31, 1956

B-129917: Dec 31, 1956

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

PC-4359 WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY ALLOCATED AT GS-15. YOU SAY THAT UNDER THE PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT RULES OF THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION A SF-50 SHOULD HAVE BEEN PREPARED NOT LATER THAN JANUARY 3. THROUGH ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR NO ACTION WAS TAKEN AT THAT TIME BECAUSE OF A SURVEY BEING CONDUCTED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION OF THIS AND OTHER AUDIT DIVISION POSITIONS. THAT ACTION WAS APPEALED BY MR. THE APPEALS WERE SUSTAINED BY THE BOARD OF APPEALS AND REVIEW OF THE COMMISSION. PERSONNEL ACTIONS WERE EFFECTED TO RESTORE THE GRADES OF THOSE EMPLOYEES. THE DEPARTMENTS ARE AUTHORIZED TO ALLOCATE AND REALLOCATE POSITIONS IN THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION.

B-129917, DEC. 31, 1956

TO MR. D.C. LYNCH, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 29, 1956, FILE CAC, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER, UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES RELATED BELOW, THE ENCLOSED PAYROLL VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF ROBERT B. BROWN MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

THE PHOTOSTATIC COPY OF SF-75 SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER SHOWS THAT ON DECEMBER 17, 1953, AGENCY POSITION NO. PC-4359 WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY ALLOCATED AT GS-15, WITH ROBERT B. BROWN AS THE INCUMBENT. YOU SAY THAT UNDER THE PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT RULES OF THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION A SF-50 SHOULD HAVE BEEN PREPARED NOT LATER THAN JANUARY 3, 1954, BUT THROUGH ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR NO ACTION WAS TAKEN AT THAT TIME BECAUSE OF A SURVEY BEING CONDUCTED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION OF THIS AND OTHER AUDIT DIVISION POSITIONS. THE COMMISSION LATER RECOMMENDED THE DOWNGRADING OF THIS POSITION AND OTHER AUDIT POSITIONS ONE GRADE. THAT ACTION WAS APPEALED BY MR. BROWN, AND OTHER AFFECTED EMPLOYEES, AND THE APPEALS WERE SUSTAINED BY THE BOARD OF APPEALS AND REVIEW OF THE COMMISSION. YOU SAY THAT SINCE THE FORMS SF 50 HAD BEEN ISSUED IN THE CASES OF THE OTHER EMPLOYEES, PERSONNEL ACTIONS WERE EFFECTED TO RESTORE THE GRADES OF THOSE EMPLOYEES; HOWEVER, SINCE A SF-50 ERRONEOUSLY HAS NOT BEEN ISSUED IN MR. BROWN'S CASE THE QUESTION NOW ARISES WHETHER THE RESULTANT INEQUITY MAY NOW BE CORRECTED BY THE ENCLOSED SF-50 PROPOSING TO MAKE MR. BROWN'S PROMOTION TO THE GS-15 POSITION EFFECTIVE JANUARY 4, 1954.

UNDER SECTION 502/A) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 958, THE DEPARTMENTS ARE AUTHORIZED TO ALLOCATE AND REALLOCATE POSITIONS IN THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. THE SECTION ALSO PROVIDES THAT THE ACTIONS BY THE DEPARTMENTS SHALL BE THE BASIS FOR THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION AND FOR PERSONNEL TRANSACTIONS UNTIL CHANGED BY CERTIFICATE OF THE COMMISSION. THE PERTINENT GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION REGULATION, VOLUME GS 2-3, SECTION 202.04 PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"202.04 EFFECTIVE DATE OF CLASSIFICATION ACTIONS. GSA'S CLASSIFICATION DECISIONS ON FILLED POSITIONS WHERE THE PRESENT INCUMBENTS ARE QUALIFIED FOR THE NEW CLASSIFICATIONS SHALL BE EFFECTED NOT EARLIER THAN THE DATE OF THE ACTION, AS RECORDED ON THE SF-75, AND NOT LATER THAN THE BEGINNING OF THE SECOND PAY PERIOD FOLLOWING THE DATE OF THE ACTION, EXCEPT IN THE CASE OF EMPLOYEES WHOSE POSITIONS ARE BEING REDUCED TO LOWER GRADES. IN THESE CASES THE ACTIONS SHALL BE MADE EFFECTIVE NOT LATER THAN IS REQUIRED TO GIVE SUCH EMPLOYEES THIRTY DAYS' ADVANCE NOTICE. * * * "

IN OUR DECISION 30 COMP. GEN. 156 WE STATED THAT, SINCE ALLOCATION AND REALLOCATION ACTIONS BY THE DEPARTMENTS CONSTITUTE THE BASIS FOR THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION, THE CHANGE BECOMES EFFECTIVE ON THE DATE THE ACTION IS TAKEN BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER VESTED WITH THE PROPER AUTHORITY TO FINALLY ALLOCATE OR REALLOCATE THE POSITION, OR AT SUCH LATER DATE AS MIGHT BE ADMINISTRATIVELY FIXED.

IT APPEARS FROM THE ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATION THAT THE DATE AS RECORDED ON THE SF-75 IS THE DATE ACTION IS TAKEN BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE TO FINALLY ALLOCATE OR REALLOCATE POSITIONS AND THAT UNDER THE REGULATION THE PROCESSING OF THE SF-50, IN CASES WHERE THE PRESENT INCUMBENTS ARE QUALIFIED FOR THE NEW CLASSIFICATIONS, MUST BE EFFECTED NOT LATER THAN THE BEGINNING OF THE SECOND PAY PERIOD FOLLOWING THE DATE AS RECORDED ON THE SF-75.

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THE INCUMBENT IN THE PRESENT CASE WAS QUALIFIED FOR THE NEW CLASSIFICATION AND SINCE IT IS REPORTED THAT THE FAILURE TO PROCESS THE SF-50 WAS BECAUSE OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR, THE ENCLOSED SF- 50 MAKING MR. BROWN'S PROMOTION TO THE GS-15 POSITION EFFECTIVE JANUARY 4, 1954, IS NOT CONSIDERED A RETROACTIVE ACTION CHANGING AN EMPLOYEE'S PAY STATUS IN VIOLATION OF THE RULE AGAINST RETROACTIVE PAY CHANGES BUT RATHER IS CONSIDERED THE CORRECTION OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR. COMPARE 24 COMP. GEN. 341; ALSO, SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 369 AND 5 ID. 819, CONCERNING THE EFFECT OF A RETROACTIVE APPROVAL OF AN APPROVING AUTHORITY UPON AN ACTION OF AN OFFICER HAVING THE AUTHORITY TO APPOINT AND TO MAKE CHANGES IN APPOINTMENTS.

HENCE, THE VOUCHER, WHICH TOGETHER WITH RELATED PAPERS IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.