B-132537, SEP. 24, 1957

B-132537: Sep 24, 1957

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

SAUER WAS DEMOTED TO THE POSITION OF GROUND TRAINING SUPERVISOR. SINCE THIS AMOUNT WAS BETWEEN TWO STEPS OF THE LOWER GRADE. SAUER'S SALARY IN THE LOWER GRADE WAS FIXED AT THE HIGHER STEP. SAUER WAS GIVEN AN ADVANCEMENT TO STEP 7 OF GRADE 9. THE UNITED STATES PROPERTY AND FISCAL OFFICER FOR KENTUCKY APPEARS TO BE OF THE OPINION THAT THE GRANTING OF THE STEP ADVANCEMENT IS IN CONTRAVENTION OF OUR DECISION B -129871. WILL REVERT TO THE STEP HELD IN THE LOWER GRADE AT THE TIME OF PROMOTION. TIME IN HIGHER GRADE IS CREDITABLE TOWARD A WITHIN GRADE STEP INCREASE. "F. STEP INCREASES ARE EFFECTIVE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD FOLLOWING COMPLETION OF ALL CONDITIONS OF ELIGIBILITY.'.

B-132537, SEP. 24, 1957

TO COLONEL R. W. LUKE, DISBURSING OFFICER, NATIONAL GUARD BUREAU, DEPARTMENTS OF THE ARMY AND THE AIR FORCE:

ON JULY 12, 1957, THE CHIEF, NATIONAL GUARD BUREAU TRANSMITTED TO US YOUR LETTER OF MAY 22, 1957, REQUESTING A DECISION ON THE PROPRIETY OF PAYING A VOUCHER DRAWN IN FAVOR OF CHARLES G. SAUER, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE KENTUCKY NATIONAL GUARD.

IT APPEARS THAT PRIOR TO THE INACTIVATION OF THE HEADQUARTERS, 123RD AIR BASE GROUP, MR. SAUER HAD BEEN EMPLOYED AS A GROUP ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT, GRADE NGC-10, AND HAD BEEN IN STEP 2 FOR ELEVEN MONTHS. CONNECTION WITH THE INACTIVATION MR. SAUER WAS DEMOTED TO THE POSITION OF GROUND TRAINING SUPERVISOR, NGC-9. IN THE GRADE NGC-10 POSITION HIS SALARY HAD BEEN $468.75 PER MONTH. SINCE THIS AMOUNT WAS BETWEEN TWO STEPS OF THE LOWER GRADE, MR. SAUER'S SALARY IN THE LOWER GRADE WAS FIXED AT THE HIGHER STEP, $473.75 PER MONTH, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 19B OF AIR NATIONAL GUARD REGULATION ANGR 40-01, 20 DECEMBER, 1954. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1955, MR. SAUER WAS GIVEN AN ADVANCEMENT TO STEP 7 OF GRADE 9. THERE SEEMS TO BE NO QUESTION AS TO THE VALIDITY OF THE FIXING OF MR. SAUER'S SALARY AT THE SIXTH STEP IN GRADE 9; HOWEVER, THE UNITED STATES PROPERTY AND FISCAL OFFICER FOR KENTUCKY APPEARS TO BE OF THE OPINION THAT THE GRANTING OF THE STEP ADVANCEMENT IS IN CONTRAVENTION OF OUR DECISION B -129871, DATED JANUARY 4, 1957.

SO FAR AS PERTINENT HERE, PARAGRAPH 19, AIR NATIONAL GUARD REGULATION ANGR 40-01, 20 DECEMBER 1954, PROVIDES:

"D. EMPLOYEES PROMOTED FROM A LOWER GRADE TO A HIGHER GRADE AND TRANSFERRED BACK TO THE LOWER GRADE WITHIN ONE YEAR, WILL REVERT TO THE STEP HELD IN THE LOWER GRADE AT THE TIME OF PROMOTION. TIME IN HIGHER GRADE IS CREDITABLE TOWARD A WITHIN GRADE STEP INCREASE.

"F. STEP INCREASES ARE EFFECTIVE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD FOLLOWING COMPLETION OF ALL CONDITIONS OF ELIGIBILITY.'

OTHER THAN IN THE LAST SENTENCE OF SUBPARAGRAPH 19D, THE REGULATION CONTAINS NO PROVISION UNDER WHICH TIME IN A HIGHER GRADE MAY BE COUNTED TOWARD A STEP ADVANCEMENT. APPARENTLY THERE IS DOUBT WHETHER THAT SENTENCE IS TO BE CONSTRUED AS BEING GENERAL IN NATURE OR WHETHER IT IS TO BE LIMITED TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES MENTIONED IN THE FIRST, OR PRECEDING, SENTENCE; THAT IS, TO CASES WHERE THE EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN PROMOTED TO A HIGHER GRADE AND THEN DEMOTED BACK TO THE LOWER GRADE WITHIN ONE YEAR. IS OUR OPINION THAT THE PROVISION MUST BE REGARDED AS BEING GENERAL, AND AS PERMITTING THE TIME IN A HIGHER GRADE AFTER THE EMPLOYEE'S LAST PROMOTION OR STEP ADVANCEMENT TO BE INCLUDED IN COMPUTING HIS ELIGIBILITY FOR A STEP ADVANCEMENT IN A LOWER GRADE TO WHICH HE IS DEMOTED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE TIME SPENT BY MR. SAUER IN STEP 2 OF GRADE 10 MAY BE INCLUDED IN COMPUTING HIS ELIGIBILITY FOR A STEP ADVANCEMENT IN GRADE 9. IF, AS A MATTER OF FACT, MR. SAUER'S TIME IN SUCH GRADE AND STEP TOGETHER WITH HIS TIME IN GRADE 9, STEP 6, CONSTITUTES THE FULL 12-MONTH PERIOD REQUIRED UNDER PARAGRAPH 17 OF THE REGULATIONS, WE PERCEIVE NO LEGAL OBJECTIONS TO THE STEP ADVANCEMENT OF JULY 1, 1955. UPON A VERIFICATION THAT THE TWO INDICATED PERIODS DO, IN FACT, TOTAL A FULL 12 MONTHS, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY PROPERLY BE PROCESSED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.