B-129964, DEC. 17, 1956

B-129964: Dec 17, 1956

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WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR AN ADJUSTMENT OF SALARY ALLEGED TO BE DUE YOU FOR A WITHIN-GRADE STEP INCREASE RECEIVED IN GS-9 WHICH WAS SUBSEQUENTLY CANCELED WHEN THE POSITION HELD BY YOU WAS REALLOCATED TO GS-11 EFFECTIVE PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE WITHIN-GRADE INCREASE. YOU WERE INFORMED OF A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY INCREASE IN GS-9 TO BE EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 19. YOU SAY THAT YOU RECEIVED PAYMENT AT THE INCREASED RATE BEFORE THAT PERSONNEL ACTION WAS CANCELED BY NOTICE DATED MARCH 20. NOTICE OF WHICH WAS RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ON FEBRUARY 14. THE REALLOCATION WAS MADE EFFECTIVE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE THEN CURRENT PAY PERIOD. GAVE YOU A VESTED RIGHT TO THE HIGHER STEP AND THAT THAT RATE SHOULD HAVE BEEN USED AS A BASIS FOR FIXING THE SALARY RATES IN GS 11.

B-129964, DEC. 17, 1956

TO MISS MARY JUNE WILAND:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 28, 1956, REQUESTS OUR REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 19, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR AN ADJUSTMENT OF SALARY ALLEGED TO BE DUE YOU FOR A WITHIN-GRADE STEP INCREASE RECEIVED IN GS-9 WHICH WAS SUBSEQUENTLY CANCELED WHEN THE POSITION HELD BY YOU WAS REALLOCATED TO GS-11 EFFECTIVE PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE WITHIN-GRADE INCREASE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY PERSONNEL ACTION DATED FEBRUARY 8, 1950, YOU WERE INFORMED OF A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY INCREASE IN GS-9 TO BE EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 19, 1950, FROM $5,225 PER ANNUM TO $5,350 PER ANNUM, AND YOU SAY THAT YOU RECEIVED PAYMENT AT THE INCREASED RATE BEFORE THAT PERSONNEL ACTION WAS CANCELED BY NOTICE DATED MARCH 20, 1950, INFORMING YOU OF YOUR PROMOTION EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 5, 1950, TO GS-11. THAT PROMOTION RESULTED FROM REALLOCATION OF YOUR POSITION BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, NOTICE OF WHICH WAS RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ON FEBRUARY 14, 1950. FOLLOWING THE PRINCIPLE LAID DOWN IN 4 COMP. GEN. 280, THE REALLOCATION WAS MADE EFFECTIVE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE THEN CURRENT PAY PERIOD, NAMELY, FEBRUARY 5, 1950. YOU URGE THAT THE WITHIN-GRADE SALARY INCREASE COVERED IN PERSONNEL ACTION OF FEBRUARY 8, 1950, EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 19, GAVE YOU A VESTED RIGHT TO THE HIGHER STEP AND THAT THAT RATE SHOULD HAVE BEEN USED AS A BASIS FOR FIXING THE SALARY RATES IN GS 11.

IN 4 COMP. GEN. 280, WE HELD, QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS:

"THE ORIGINAL ALLOCATION OR A REVISED ALLOCATION OF A POSITION HEREAFTER MADE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923, 42 STAT. 1488, IS EFFECTIVE ONLY FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE PAY PERIOD CURRENT AT THE DATE OF RECEIPT BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE. PAYMENTS HERETOFORE MADE EFFECTIVE FROM JULY 1, 1924, UNDER THE DECISION OF JULY 24, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 106, WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED.'

AT THAT TIME THE SOLE AUTHORITY FOR THE CLASSIFICATION OF POSITIONS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA WAS VESTED IN THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. HOWEVER, THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, ALSO GAVE THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AUTHORITY TO MAKE INITIAL CLASSIFICATIONS BUT DID NOT DEPRIVE THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION OF AUTHORITY TO TAKE INITIAL ACTION, TO REVIEW, OR REVISE ADMINISTRATIVE CLASSIFICATIONS. IN OUR DECISION, 30 COMP. GEN. 156, CITED BY YOU, WE HELD THAT OUR FORMER DECISION IN 4 COMP. GEN. 280 WAS NOT APPLICABLE TO CLASSIFICATIONS BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION AND THAT SUCH ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION COULD BE MADE EFFECTIVE ONLY ON THE DATE OF THE ACTION OR AT SOME LATER DATE. THAT DECISION DID NOT AFFECT THE RULE LAID DOWN IN 4 COMP. GEN. 280 SO FAR AS AN INITIAL CLASSIFICATION ACTION BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION IS CONCERNED. IT IS REGRETTED THAT THE PUBLISHED SYNOPSIS OF 30 COMP. GEN. 156 INADVERTENTLY STATED: "4 COMP. GEN. 280 OVERRULED"--- IT BEING FOR NOTING THAT THE DECISION MERELY HELD THAT THE FORMER RULE WOULD NOT BE FOR GENERAL APPLICATION TO RECLASSIFICATION ACTIONS TAKEN INITIALLY BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES.

THE CLASSIFICATION ACTION BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION IN YOUR CASE WAS DATED FEBRUARY 14, 1950, AND WAS RECEIVED IN OUR OFFICE ON THE SAME DAY. THAT ACTION CONSISTED OF A BLANKET REALLOCATION OF AN ENTIRE GROUP OF POSITIONS IN THE SAME LINE OF WORK, AND WHILE IT WAS BASED UPON ADMINISTRATIVE RECOMMENDATION, IT WAS NOT AN ADMINISTRATIVE (GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE) RECLASSIFICATION OF THE POSITIONS IN GS 11. ACCORDINGLY, THE ACTION IN MAKING THE REALLOCATION EFFECTIVE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PAY PERIOD IN WHICH THE NOTICE WAS RECEIVED FROM THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION FOLLOWED THE ESTABLISHED RULE IN SUCH CASES. THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE REALLOCATION WAS PRIOR TO THE DATE ON WHICH YOU WERE GIVEN A WITHIN-GRADE INCREASE IN GS-9, THE CANCELLATION OF THAT INCREASE AND THE FIXING OF YOUR INITIAL SALARY IN GS-11 ON THE BASIS OF THE PRECEDING STEP OF $5,225 IN GS-9 WERE PROPER.