B-131827, DEC. 2, 1957

B-131827: Dec 2, 1957

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WHICH IS SELF-EXPLANATORY. IS ENCLOSED FOR YOUR INFORMATION. SUNSHINE'S CLAIM WOULD HAVE A MATERIAL EFFECT ON THE ELIGIBILITY OF MANY CUSTOMS SERVICE EMPLOYEES FOR LONGEVITY STEP INCREASES. HE SAYS THAT THE CONTROLLING QUESTION IS WHAT IS TO BE CONSIDERED AS MR. THE POSITION TO WHICH HE WAS OFFICIALLY ASSIGNED AND FOR WHICH HE WAS PAID. THE POSITION SUBSEQUENTLY WAS REALLOCATED TO GRADE CAF-6. APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN IN VIOLATION OF THE FOREGOING CODE PROVISION. SUNSHINE IS TO BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN ASSIGNED TO THE STOREKEEPER POSITION AS OF JANUARY 22.

B-131827, DEC. 2, 1957

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY:

ON JUNE 24, 1957, OUR CLAIMS DIVISION REQUESTED THE BUREAU OF CUSTOMS TO FURNISH CERTAIN INFORMATION CONCERNING THE CLAIM OF MR. WILLIAM B. SUNSHINE, AN EMPLOYEE OF THAT SERVICE, FOR A LONGEVITY STEP INCREASE DETERMINED TO BE DUE IN OCTOBER 1954. A COPY OF THAT LETTER, WHICH IS SELF-EXPLANATORY, IS ENCLOSED FOR YOUR INFORMATION.

ON SEPTEMBER 5, 1957, F. J. VELING, HEAD, PERSONNEL SECTION, BUREAU OF CUSTOMS, ADVISED THAT OUR APPROVAL OF MR. SUNSHINE'S CLAIM WOULD HAVE A MATERIAL EFFECT ON THE ELIGIBILITY OF MANY CUSTOMS SERVICE EMPLOYEES FOR LONGEVITY STEP INCREASES. HE SAYS THAT THE CONTROLLING QUESTION IS WHAT IS TO BE CONSIDERED AS MR. SUNSHINE'S OFFICIAL POSITION, I.E., THE POSITION TO WHICH HE WAS OFFICIALLY ASSIGNED AND FOR WHICH HE WAS PAID, OR THE POSITION REPRESENTED BY THE DUTIES HE PERFORMED.

THE EVIDENCE OF RECORD HERE SHOWS THAT MR. SUNSHINE HELD THE POSITION, AND PERFORMED THE DUTIES, OF CLERK, CAF-5, MAIL DIVISION, FROM FEBRUARY 16, 1939, TO JANUARY 21, 1942. FROM JANUARY 22, 1942, TO JULY 15, 1946, HE PERFORMED THE DUTIES OF CUSTOMS STOREKEEPER, WAREHOUSE DIVISION. PERFORMED THE DUTIES OF CLERK, MAIL DIVISION, FROM JULY 16, 1946, TO SEPTEMBER 11, 1946. ON SEPTEMBER 12, 1946, IT APPEARS HE RETURNED TO THE STOREKEEPER DUTIES AND THE OFFICIAL RECORDS SHOW A REASSIGNMENT TO THE POSITION OF STOREKEEPER (CLERK), CAF-5, AT THAT TIME. THE POSITION SUBSEQUENTLY WAS REALLOCATED TO GRADE CAF-6, WITHOUT CHANGE IN DUTIES OR RESPONSIBILITIES, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 2, 1949. NOTHING IN THE EMPLOYMENT RECORD SHOWS A FORMAL DETAIL OF MR. SUNSHINE TO THE STOREKEEPER POSITION. CONCERNING DETAILS OF OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, OR CLERKS, WITHIN A DEPARTMENT, 5 U.S.C. 38, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"EACH HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT MAY, FROM TIME TO TIME, ALTER THE DISTRIBUTION AMONG THE VARIOUS BUREAUS AND OFFICES OF HIS DEPARTMENT, OF THE CLERKS AND OTHER EMPLOYEES ALLOWED BY LAW, EXCEPT SUCH CLERKS OR EMPLOYEES AS MAY BE REQUIRED BY LAW TO BE EXCLUSIVELY ENGAGED UPON SOME SPECIFIC WORK, AS HE MAY FIND IT NECESSARY AND PROPER TO DO, BUT ALL DETAILS HEREUNDER SHALL BE MADE BY WRITTEN ORDER OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT, AND IN NO CASE BE FOR A PERIOD OF TIME EXCEEDING ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY DAYS. DETAILS SO MADE MAY, ON EXPIRATION, BE RENEWED FROM TIME TO TIME BY WRITTEN ORDER OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT, IN EACH PARTICULAR CASE, FOR PERIODS OF NOT EXCEEDING ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY DAYS.'

THE DETAIL ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED AS EXISTING IN THIS CASE, BUT NOT SHOWN ON THE OFFICIAL EMPLOYMENT RECORD, APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN IN VIOLATION OF THE FOREGOING CODE PROVISION. THEREFORE, FOR LONGEVITY STEP INCREASE PURPOSES, MR. SUNSHINE IS TO BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN ASSIGNED TO THE STOREKEEPER POSITION AS OF JANUARY 22, 1942. IT FOLLOWS THAT MR. SUNSHINE BECAME ENTITLED TO HIS LONGEVITY STEP INCREASE AS OF OCTOBER 10, 1954, UNDER THE APPLICABLE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY REGULATIONS, SECTIONS 25.51 THROUGH 25.54, FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL, PAGES Z 1-315 TO 317.

THE BUREAU OF CUSTOMS SHOULD FURNISH OUR CLAIMS DIVISION WITH THE INFORMATION REQUESTED IN THE LETTER OF JUNE 24, 1957, SO THAT PROMPT SETTLEMENT MAY BE MADE IN THE MATTER.