B-150156, JAN. 21, 1963

B-150156: Jan 21, 1963

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YOU WERE ADVISED THAT UPON A CAREFUL REVIEW OF THE ASSIGNED DUTIES AND SUPPLEMENTAL ORAL INFORMATION FURNISHED BY YOU TO THE CLASSIFICATION AND WAGE BRANCH. IT HAD BEEN DETERMINED THAT YOUR POSITION WAS PROPERLY CLASSIFIED IN GRADE GS-12. YOUR POSITION WAS ONE OF SEVERAL LIKE POSITIONS OCCUPIED BY EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY. WITH WHOM YOU WERE ASSOCIATED IN YOUR WORK. YOU WERE INFORMED BY THE CHIEF. THAT YOUR POSITION SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED TO GRADE GS-13 BUT THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE. YOU WERE ADVISED BY THAT OFFICIAL THAT THE RECLASSIFICATION REQUEST HAD BEEN FORWARDED TO THE NAVY CLASSIFIER FOR CONCURRENCE PURSUANT TO REGULATIONS CONTAINED IN JOINT CHIEF OF STAFF PAPER 2056/47.

B-150156, JAN. 21, 1963

TO MR. ROGER E. WHEELER:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 11, 1962, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 14, 1962, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR THE PERIOD FROM JULY 16, 1961, TO DECEMBER 30, 1961, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ON APRIL 17, 1961, YOU FILED A CLASSIFICATION APPEAL OF YOUR POSITION ON THE BASIS OF YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOUR POSITION SHOULD BE CLASSIFIED IN GRADE GS-13 RATHER THAN AT THE GS-12 LEVEL, THEN HELD BY YOU. ON JUNE 7, 1961, YOU WERE ADVISED THAT UPON A CAREFUL REVIEW OF THE ASSIGNED DUTIES AND SUPPLEMENTAL ORAL INFORMATION FURNISHED BY YOU TO THE CLASSIFICATION AND WAGE BRANCH, IT HAD BEEN DETERMINED THAT YOUR POSITION WAS PROPERLY CLASSIFIED IN GRADE GS-12. ON JUNE 12, 1961, YOU REQUESTED RECONSIDERATION OF THIS DETERMINATION. YOUR POSITION WAS ONE OF SEVERAL LIKE POSITIONS OCCUPIED BY EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, WITH WHOM YOU WERE ASSOCIATED IN YOUR WORK.

YOU SAY THAT ON OR ABOUT JULY 12, 1961, YOU WERE INFORMED BY THE CHIEF, CLASSIFICATION AND WAGE ADMINISTRATION BRANCH, THAT YOUR POSITION SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED TO GRADE GS-13 BUT THAT AN ERROR HAD BEEN MADE. YOU FURTHER STATE THAT HE ADVISED YOU THAT YOUR PROMOTION WOULD BE EFFECTED WITHIN A FEW DAYS. SHORTLY THEREAFTER, YOU WERE ADVISED BY THAT OFFICIAL THAT THE RECLASSIFICATION REQUEST HAD BEEN FORWARDED TO THE NAVY CLASSIFIER FOR CONCURRENCE PURSUANT TO REGULATIONS CONTAINED IN JOINT CHIEF OF STAFF PAPER 2056/47, AS IMPLEMENTED, AUGUST 4, 1954, WHICH REQUIRES THE CONCURRENCE OF THE ARMY AND NAVY WHEN THEIR PERSONNEL ARE CONCERNED. YOU LATER WERE ADVISED THAT THE NAVY CLASSIFIER DID NOT CONCUR IN RECLASSIFYING YOUR POSITION TO GRADE 13. A LETTER DATED OCTOBER 13, 1961, TRANSMITTED THE CASE TO HEADQUARTERS COMMAND USAF (PCP) IN CONFORMANCE WITH JCS 2056/47. HEADQUARTERS COMMAND FORWARDED THE APPEAL TO HEADQUARTERS USAF WHICH RENDERED A FINAL DECISION ON DECEMBER 13, 1961, APPROVING THE RECLASSIFICATION OF YOUR POSITION TO GRADE GS-13, AND YOUR PROMOTION WAS MADE EFFECTIVE AS OF DECEMBER 31, 1961.

IN YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 28, 1962, TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, PARAGRAPH 11C, YOU SAY

"C. IN MY CASE I BELIEVE THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER TOOK THIS ACTION ON THE DATE THAT IT WAS DETERMINED THAT MY POSITION SHOULD BE PROPERLY CLASSIFIED GS-13, BY HEADQUARTERS COMMAND, US AIR FORCE. AT THE SAME TIME HE WAS PREVENTED FROM ACTUALLY PUTTING THE PROMOTION INTO EFFECT AS REQUIRED BY AIR FORCE REGULATIONS, BY THE FACT THAT A JOINT STAFF PAPER REQUIRES COORDINATION OF ALL SERVICES. THIS THEN IS A TECHNICAL ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR. THE AIR FORCE COULD NOT DO WHAT IS REQUIRED BY THEIR OWN REGULATIONS.'

DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, HEADQUARTERS USAF, COMMUNICATION OF AUGUST 4, 1954, TO THE DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCE, IMPLEMENTING JCS 2056/47, PROVIDES IN PARAGRAPH 9G:

"/3) WHEN REQUIRED, APPROPRIATE CIVILIAN PERSONNEL OFFICIALS SHALL CLASSIFY OR RECLASSIFY INDIVIDUAL POSITIONS. WHEN POSITION IS BEING CLASSIFIED, THE ANALYST WILL TAKE NECESSARY ACTION TO OBTAIN CONCURRENCE ON THE GRADE ALLOCATION FROM THE ANALYST OF THE OTHER TWO SERVICES.

"/4) ALL POSITIONS AUDITED, BY THE PARTICIPATING SERVICES, WILL BE COORDINATED UPON AND BEAR THE CONCURRENCE OF, EACH SERVICE CLASSIFIER. THE METHODS BY WHICH SUCH GRADE CONCURRENCES ARE ACHIEVED IS LEFT TO THE SERVICES THEMSELVES. IN THE CASE OF NON-CONCURRENCE BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENTS, THE POSITION DESCRIPTION INVOLVED WILL BE REFERRED BY THE EMPLOYING CIVILIAN PERSONNEL OFFICE TO APPROPRIATE STAFF PERSONNEL OFFICE BY THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED FOR A DECISION.

"/5) IN THOSE AREAS OF AFOIN WHERE ARMY AND NAVY COLLABORATION DOES NOT EXIST, THE PROVISIONS PRESCRIBED HEREIN, PERTINENT TO JOB CLASSIFICATION, PROMOTION, ETC, ARE NOT APPLICABLE. * * *"

THE AUTHORITY TO CLASSIFY POSITIONS VESTED BY LAW IN THE HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY MAY BE DELEGATED TO SUBORDINATE OFFICIALS. BY VIRTUE OF THIS DELEGATION THEY ARE AUTHORIZED TO FINALLY DETERMINE THE APPROPRIATE GRADES OF POSITIONS. SEE 40 AFM P-25.

THE THIRD SENTENCE OF SUBPARAGRAPH (4) QUOTED ABOVE, LIMITS THAT DELEGATED AUTHORITY IN CASES OF NONCONCURRENCE ARISING UNDER JCS 2056/47 TO THE STAFF PERSONNEL OFFICE OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED FOR DECISION. THEREFORE, TO THE EXTENT THAT PROCEDURE PRESCRIBED BY THE IMPLEMENTING MEMORANDUM OF JCS 2056/47, REGARDING THE LIMITED AREA COVERED THEREBY, MAY BE IN SEEMING CONFLICT WITH REGULATIONS PERTAINING TO THE CLASSIFICATION OF PURELY INTRADEPARTMENTAL POSITIONS, THE FORMER MAY BE REGARDED AS CONTROLLING. CONSEQUENTLY, THE FINAL CLASSIFICATION DECISION CONCERNING YOUR POSITION, WHICH INCIDENTALLY MIGHT HAVE BEEN UNFAVORABLE TO YOU, WAS NOT REACHED BY THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITY, HEADQUARTERS, USAF, UNTIL DECEMBER 13, 1961.

YOUR PROMOTION TO GRADE GS-13, WAS MADE EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 31, 1961, WITHIN FOUR WEEKS AFTER THE CLASSIFICATION DECISION AS PROVIDED BY AIR FORCE REGULATIONS, AND WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME AS CONTEMPLATED BY OUR DECISION, 37 COMP. GEN. 492.

ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR SUCH AS WOULD WARRANT RETROACTIVE CORRECTIVE ACTION IS VIEWED BY US AS A FAILURE BY SUBORDINATES TO IMPLEMENT A VALID DECISION BY THE HEAD OF A DEPARTMENT OR HIS DELEGEE. SEE 32 COMP. GEN. 211. YOUR CASE DOES NOT INVOLVE SUCH A SITUATION.

THEREFORE, THE CONCLUSION REACHED IN OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 14, 1962, IS CORRECT AND UPON REVIEW IT MUST BE SUSTAINED.