B-141177, DECEMBER 15, 1959, 39 COMP. GEN. 445

B-141177: Dec 15, 1959

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THE CLARIFICATION OF THEIR STATUS LENDS WEIGHT TO THE VIEW THAT PRIOR TO SUCH DATE THEY MAY HAVE BEEN REGARDED AS GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES. WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED. WHO WAS EMPLOYED BY A FEDERAL LAND BANK. WAS APPOINTED OCTOBER 8. AT THE TIME OF SUCH APPOINTMENT HE WAS BEING COMPENSATED AT THE RATE OF $7. ADMINISTRATIVELY HE WAS GIVEN THE TOP STEP. THE RECORD FURTHER SHOWS THAT HE WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY PROMOTED OCTOBER 18. TO GRADE GS-11 AND THAT THE HIGHEST PREVIOUS RATE RULE WAS AGAIN INVOKED AND HIS SALARY FIXED AT THE RATE OF $7. WE NOTE THAT THE POSITIONS INVOLVED ARE ALLOCABLE AT TWO GRADE INTERVALS. WHILE SOME OF OUR EARLIER DECISIONS HAVE BEEN TO THE SAME EFFECT.

B-141177, DECEMBER 15, 1959, 39 COMP. GEN. 445

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - FARM CREDIT BANK EMPLOYEES - STATUS - HIGHEST PREVIOUS SALARY ALTHOUGH UNDER TITLE II OF THE FARM CREDIT ACT OF 1959, 12 U.S.C. 640L, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 1960, EMPLOYEES OF FARM CREDIT BANKS, FEDERAL LAND BANKS, AND BANKS FOR COOPERATIVES MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, THE CLARIFICATION OF THEIR STATUS LENDS WEIGHT TO THE VIEW THAT PRIOR TO SUCH DATE THEY MAY HAVE BEEN REGARDED AS GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES, THEREFORE, THE APPLICATION OF THE HIGHEST PREVIOUS SALARY RATE RULE IN ESTABLISHING THE SALARY OF AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION UPON A PROMOTION MADE IN OCTOBER 1959, BASED ON A FORMER POSITION WITH A FEDERAL LAND BANK, WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED.

TO M. C. RAAKE, FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION, DECEMBER 15, 1959:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 3, 1959, SUBMITTING A PAYROLL VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF CURTIS A. STONE FOR $35.07, REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENCE IN SALARY FOR THE PERIOD OCTOBER 18 TO 31, 1959, BETWEEN GRADES GS-570-9, $6,885 AND GRADE GS-570-11, $7,750 PER ANNUM, ASKS WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY THE VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. STONE, WHO WAS EMPLOYED BY A FEDERAL LAND BANK, WAS APPOINTED OCTOBER 8, 1958, TO A GRADE GS-9 POSITION WITH THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION. AT THE TIME OF SUCH APPOINTMENT HE WAS BEING COMPENSATED AT THE RATE OF $7,455 PER ANNUM BY THE FEDERAL LAND BANK. ADMINISTRATIVELY HE WAS GIVEN THE TOP STEP--- $6,885 PER ANNUM-- OF GRADE GS-9 BY THE APPLICATION OF THE HIGHEST PREVIOUS RATE RULE. THE RECORD FURTHER SHOWS THAT HE WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY PROMOTED OCTOBER 18, 1959, AFTER MEETING ALL REQUIREMENTS, TO GRADE GS-11 AND THAT THE HIGHEST PREVIOUS RATE RULE WAS AGAIN INVOKED AND HIS SALARY FIXED AT THE RATE OF $7,750 PER ANNUM, TWO STEPS ABOVE THE RATE OF $7,455 PER ANNUM EARNED WITH THE FEDERAL LAND BANK. WE NOTE THAT THE POSITIONS INVOLVED ARE ALLOCABLE AT TWO GRADE INTERVALS. PAGE X-1-32.08, FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL.

WE DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO OUR DECISIONS B-124592, DECEMBER 1, 1955, AND MAY 8, 1958, TO THE HONORABLE R. B. TOOTELL, GOVERNOR, FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION, POINTING OUT THE EXISTING CONFUSION CONCERNING THE STATUS OF EMPLOYEES OF FARM CREDIT BANKS. EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 1960, SECTION 201 OF THE FARM CREDIT ACT OF 1959, PUBLIC LAW 86-168, TITLE II, 73 STAT. 387, 12 U.S.C. 640L, CLARIFIES THEIR STATUS, DEFINITELY ESTABLISHING THAT SUCH EMPLOYEES NO LONGER MAY BE REGARDED AS GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES. WHILE SOME OF OUR EARLIER DECISIONS HAVE BEEN TO THE SAME EFFECT, WE CONSIDER THE STATUTE LENDS WEIGHT TO THE VIEW THAT PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE THEY MAY BE REGARDED AS GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES UNDER THE STATUTE IN THE INSTANT CASE.

THEREFORE, WE WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO THE APPLICATION OF THE HIGHEST PREVIOUS RATE RULE, IN DETERMINING MR. STONE'S SALARY RATE. HOWEVER, UNDER THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS, SECTION 25.102 (J), PAGE Z1- 318, FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL, CONCERNING THE HIGHEST PREVIOUS RATE, MR. STONE WOULD BE ENTITLED TO BE PAID AT THE RATE OF $7,510 PER ANNUM, THE NEXT RATE ABOVE THE RATE OF $7,455 PREVIOUSLY EARNED, RATHER THAN AT THE RATE OF $7,750 PER ANNUM, WHICH IS THE RATE UPON WHICH THE VOUCHER IS COMPUTED.

THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER, RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED AS DRAWN, BUT ONLY IN CONSONANCE WITH THE FOREGOING HOLDING.