B-147079, SEP. 28, 1961

B-147079: Sep 28, 1961

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ALLEGEDLY WHILE YOU WERE ON ADMINISTRATIVE "REASSIGNMENT" AND "DETAIL" FROM THE AUSTIN OFFICE. WHICH PRIMARILY WAS FOR THE BENEFIT OF GS-5 EMPLOYEES PERFORMING GS-7 TRAINEE SERVICE. ALSO ADOPTED WAS AN INTERIM PROCEDURE. AS FOLLOWS: "BECAUSE MANY TRAINEES ALREADY EMPLOYED BY THE BUREAU WERE AT THE GS 6 LEVEL AT THE TIME THE AGREEMENT BECAME EFFECTIVE. THIS PROCEDURE WAS RELEASED AUGUST 5. AMONG OTHER THINGS THIS PROCEDURE PROVIDED THAT: "THOSE TRAINEES RECRUITED UNDER THE PREVIOUS AGREEMENT AT GRADE GS-6 AND WHO ARE NOW IN GRADE GS-6 MAY BE PROMOTED TO GRADE GS-7 (TRAINEE) AFTER SATISFACTORY COMPLETION OF SIX MONTHS IN THE GS-6 POSITION.'. GALDONIK HAD BEEN IN THE GS-6 POSITION SEVEN MONTHS AND A FEW DAYS WHEN THE INTERIM PROCEDURE REFERRED TO ABOVE WAS PUBLISHED.

B-147079, SEP. 28, 1961

TO RAYMOND E. GALDONIK:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 12, 1961, APPEALS THE ACTION OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION WHICH, ON AUGUST 7, 1961, AND FOR THE REASONS STATED THEREIN, DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIMS SUMMARIZED BELOW.

BY LETTERS DATED MARCH 7 AND MAY 11, 1961, YOU SUBMITTED TO US CLAIMS (1) FOR ADJUSTMENT OF COMPENSATION--- SPECIFICALLY THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SALARY RATES OF GS-6 AND GS-7--- FOR THE PERIOD JUNE 1957, TO AUGUST 19, 1957, WHILE EMPLOYED AT THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION DISTRICT OFFICE IN AUSTIN; (2) FOR "TRAVEL ALLOWANCE" INCIDENT TO YOUR TRANSFER, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 19, 1957, FROM THE AUSTIN DISTRICT OFFICE TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION AREA OFFICE AT PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA; AND (3) FOR "PER DIEM ALLOWANCE" FROM AUGUST 17 TO OCTOBER 19, 1957; ALLEGEDLY WHILE YOU WERE ON ADMINISTRATIVE "REASSIGNMENT" AND "DETAIL" FROM THE AUSTIN OFFICE.

REGARDING YOUR CLAIM (1), THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION SETTLEMENT LETTER OF AUGUST 7 EXPLAINED TO YOU THE SPECIFICATIONS OF THE AGENCY'S ADMINISTRATIVE TRAINING AGREEMENT WITH THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, WHICH PRIMARILY WAS FOR THE BENEFIT OF GS-5 EMPLOYEES PERFORMING GS-7 TRAINEE SERVICE. ALSO ADOPTED WAS AN INTERIM PROCEDURE, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 5, 1957, UNDER WHICH EMPLOYEES IN GRADE GS-6 COULD BE CONSIDERED FOR TRAINING AND PROMOTION TO GS-7, ON WHICH THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION REPORTED TO US, AS FOLLOWS:

"BECAUSE MANY TRAINEES ALREADY EMPLOYED BY THE BUREAU WERE AT THE GS 6 LEVEL AT THE TIME THE AGREEMENT BECAME EFFECTIVE, AN INTERIM PROCEDURE, CONFORMING TO THE TRAINING AGREEMENT, HAD TO BE DEVELOPED TO PROVIDE FOR THESE GS-6 EMPLOYEES. THIS PROCEDURE WAS RELEASED AUGUST 5, 1957. AMONG OTHER THINGS THIS PROCEDURE PROVIDED THAT: "THOSE TRAINEES RECRUITED UNDER THE PREVIOUS AGREEMENT AT GRADE GS-6 AND WHO ARE NOW IN GRADE GS-6 MAY BE PROMOTED TO GRADE GS-7 (TRAINEE) AFTER SATISFACTORY COMPLETION OF SIX MONTHS IN THE GS-6 POSITION.'

"ALTHOUGH MR. GALDONIK HAD BEEN IN THE GS-6 POSITION SEVEN MONTHS AND A FEW DAYS WHEN THE INTERIM PROCEDURE REFERRED TO ABOVE WAS PUBLISHED, HIS WORK HAD NOT BEEN FULLY SATISFACTORY. OUR RECORDS SHOW THAT HIS INADEQUATE PERFORMANCE HAD BEEN DISCUSSED WITH HIM ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS. THOUGHT WAS BEING GIVEN TO PROPOSING HIS SEPARATION; HOWEVER, BECAUSE HIS WORK IN THE PHILADELPHIA PAYMENT CENTER HAD BEEN SATISFACTORY, HE WAS GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO REQUEST REASSIGNMENT. HE SUBMITTED A WRITTEN REQUEST WHICH WAS FORWARDED TO THE PAYMENT CENTER. THIS REQUEST WAS HONORED; AND ON AUGUST 19, 1957, HIS TRANSFER TO THAT OFFICE WAS EFFECTED ALTHOUGH HE DID NOT REPORT FOR WORK UNTIL AUGUST 20, 1957.'

THE EFFECT OF TRAINING DUTIES IS IN THE NATURE OF A DETAIL OF THE ASSIGNED LOWER GRADE EMPLOYEES UNDER SPECIAL SUPERVISION AND INSTRUCTION FOR PURPOSES OF TESTING THEIR ABILITIES TO ABSORB THE INSTRUCTION IN AND TO PERFORM THE DUTIES OF THE HIGHER GRADE TO WHICH THE TRAINING RELATES. THE PROVISION OF THE TRAINING "PROCEDURE" QUOTED ABOVE (LAST SENTENCE OF FIRST PARAGRAPH) MERELY PERMITS TRAINEE EMPLOYEES, IN THE DISCRETION OF THE AGENCY, TO BE PROMOTED TO THE AVAILABLE GS-7 JOBS AFTER SUCH EMPLOYEES COMPLETED SIX MONTHS' SATISFACTORY TRAINING SERVICE.

IN ANY EVENT, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU PREVIOUSLY HAD OR THEN HAD "SATISFACTORY" PERFORMANCE RATING IN YOUR REGULAR GS-6 JOB, YOU WERE NOT OFFICIALLY PROMOTED TO THE GS-7 JOB EITHER BY VIRTUE OF YOUR PRIOR GS-6 SERVICE OR THE GS-7 DUTIES YOU SAY YOU PERFORMED AFTER JULY 15, OR DURING THE TRAINING PROGRAM AFTER AUGUST 5, 1957. THE RULE IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT DURING THE PERIOD OF A DETAIL, AN EMPLOYEE PERFORMING THE DUTIES OF A NEW POSITION, OR A POSITION OTHER THAN THE REGULAR POSITION TO WHICH HE WAS APPOINTED, REMAINS IN HIS REGULAR POSITION AND THE ONLY COMPENSATION TO WHICH HE IS ENTITLED DURING THE PERIOD OF DETAIL--- TRAINING IN THIS CASE--- CONTINUES TO BE THE COMPENSATION OF HIS REGULAR POSITION. SEE 33 COMP. GEN. 96, 97, AND DECISIONS THERE CITED.

REGARDING YOUR CLAIMS (2) AND (3), WHILE THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 73B-1 AND THE REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT THERETO AUTHORIZE AGENCIES TO ISSUE ORDERS, IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND TO INCUR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER OF AN EMPLOYEE FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER, THAT LAW EXPRESSLY PROVIDES "NO PART OF SUCH EXPENSES * * * SHALL BE ALLOWED OR PAID FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS WHERE THE TRANSFER IS MADE PRIMARILY FOR THE CONVENIENCE OR BENEFIT OF THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OR AT HIS REQUEST.' ON THAT POINT THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION REPORTED TO US, AS FOLLOWS:

"HE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO THE TRAVEL ALLOWANCE BECAUSE HIS CHANGE OF STATION WAS MADE AT HIS REQUEST. AS EXPLAINED IN OUR LETTER TO YOU ON APRIL 10, 1961, HIS WORK AS CLAIMS EXAMINER IN THE DISTRICT OFFICE HAD BEEN UNSATISFACTORY. THIS HAD BEEN DISCUSSED WITH HIM MANY TIMES. FINALLY, HE WAS TOLD THAT ACTION TO REMOVE HIM FROM HIS POSITION WOULD HAVE TO BE TAKEN; HOWEVER, BECAUSE HE HAD SUCCESSFULLY PERFORMED THE DUTIES OF ADJUSTMENT EXAMINER, BOTH AT THE GS-5 AND GS-6 LEVEL, IN THE SOCIAL SECURITY PAYMENT CENTER IN PHILADELPHIA FROM SEPTEMBER 1950 TO DECEMBER 1956, HE WAS TOLD THAT IF HE WISHED TO REQUEST A REASSIGNMENT TO HIS OLD POSITION, THE TRANSFER WOULD BE EFFECTED. ORIGINALLY, HE REFUSED TO CONSIDER SUCH A MOVE. WHEN THE SUBJECT WAS DISCUSSED WITH HIM AGAIN A MONTH LATER, HE SAID HE WOULD THINK ABOUT IT. SOME DAYS LATER, HE REQUESTED AND PERSONALLY COMPLETED THE FORM USED WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE TO REQUEST REASSIGNMENTS. THE REQUESTED TRANSFER WAS EFFECTED ON AUGUST 19, 1957. HOWEVER, HE DID NOT REPORT FOR DUTY UNTIL THE FOLLOWING DAY.

"HIS CLAIM FOR PER DIEM ALLOWANCE IS AN INVALID ONE BECAUSE PHILADELPHIA WAS HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION FROM AUGUST 19, 1957, UNTIL APRIL 23, 1958, WHEN HE WAS SEPARATED FOR ABANDONMENT OF POSITION. A COPY OF THE STANDARD FORM 52 EFFECTING MR. GALDONIK'S TRANSFER FROM AUSTIN TO PHILADELPHIA IS ENCLOSED.'

FURTHER, WE POINT OUT THAT PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IS PAYABLE TO AN EMPLOYEE ONLY WHILE TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND PERFORMING DUTIES UNDER OFFICIAL TRAVEL ORDERS AWAY FROM HIS REGULAR OR PERMANENT DUTY STATION. NO SUCH ORDERS WERE ISSUED TO YOU, NOR HAVE YOU FURNISHED OTHER EVIDENCE OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL OF YOUR CLAIMS (2) AND (3). THE RECORD IS CLEAR THAT PHILADELPHIA WAS YOUR PERMANENT STATION ON AND AFTER AUGUST 19, 1957.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND BASED UPON THE RECORD BEFORE US, THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 7, 1961, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIMS IS SUSTAINED.