B-151771, AUG. 5, 1963, 43 COMP. GEN. 123

B-151771: Aug 5, 1963

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ETC. - AUTHORITY - INVENTIONS OUTSIDE POSITION A NUCLEAR PHYSICS INVENTION WHICH WAS DEVELOPED OUTSIDE THE NORMAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE DUTIES OF THE POSITION BY AN EMPLOYEE WHO RECEIVED AN AWARD UNDER TITLE X OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949. IF THE AWARD UNDER TITLE X IS SET ASIDE. THE UNDER SECRETARY OF THE NAVY ASKED WHETHER THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WAS PRECLUDED FROM MAKING A BENEFICIAL SUGGESTION AWARD UNDER THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' INCENTIVE AWARDS ACT OF 1954. WHICH TITLE NOW IS SUPERSEDED. IN THAT REGARD THE UNDER SECRETARY URGES THAT NOTHING IN TITLE X WOULD HAVE PRECLUDED AN AWARD UNDER SECTION 14 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2. THOUGH THE ACCEPTANCE OF A CASH AWARD UNDER SECTION 14 WOULD HAVE CONSTITUTED AN AGREEMENT THAT THE USE BY THE UNITED STATES OF THE SUGGESTION FOR WHICH THE AWARD WAS MADE SHOULD NOT FORM THE BASIS OF A FURTHER CLAIM AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT.

B-151771, AUG. 5, 1963, 43 COMP. GEN. 123

AWARDS - SUGGESTIONS, ETC. - AUTHORITY - INVENTIONS OUTSIDE POSITION A NUCLEAR PHYSICS INVENTION WHICH WAS DEVELOPED OUTSIDE THE NORMAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE DUTIES OF THE POSITION BY AN EMPLOYEE WHO RECEIVED AN AWARD UNDER TITLE X OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, WHICH AUTHORIZES AWARDS FOR INCREASED EFFICIENCY AND ECONOMY IN ADMINISTRATION, MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS A CONTRIBUTION IN THE AREA OF "ADMINISTRATION" WHICH PERTAINS TO ORGANIZATION, METHODS, PROCEDURES AND UTILIZATION OF PERSONNEL RESULTING IN SAVINGS SO AS TO BE PROPERLY FOR AWARD UNDER TITLE X; THEREFORE, IF THE AWARD UNDER TITLE X IS SET ASIDE, THE EMPLOYEE MAY RECEIVE A BENEFICIAL SUGGESTION AWARD UNDER TITLE III OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' INCENTIVE AWARDS ACT OF 1954.

TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, AUGUST 5, 1963:

ON JUNE 11, 1963, THE UNDER SECRETARY OF THE NAVY ASKED WHETHER THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WAS PRECLUDED FROM MAKING A BENEFICIAL SUGGESTION AWARD UNDER THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' INCENTIVE AWARDS ACT OF 1954, 68 STAT. 1112, 5 U.S.C. 2121-2123, TO DR. ALVIN RADKOWSKY BECAUSE HE PREVIOUSLY HAD BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF AN AWARD OF $750 FOR THE SAME SUGGESTION UNDER TITLE X OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 28, 1949, 63 STAT. 971, 5 U.S.C. 1152, WHICH TITLE NOW IS SUPERSEDED.

IN THAT REGARD THE UNDER SECRETARY URGES THAT NOTHING IN TITLE X WOULD HAVE PRECLUDED AN AWARD UNDER SECTION 14 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 809, 5 U.S.C. 116A, ALSO SUPERSEDED, THOUGH THE ACCEPTANCE OF A CASH AWARD UNDER SECTION 14 WOULD HAVE CONSTITUTED AN AGREEMENT THAT THE USE BY THE UNITED STATES OF THE SUGGESTION FOR WHICH THE AWARD WAS MADE SHOULD NOT FORM THE BASIS OF A FURTHER CLAIM AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT. SECTION 1002 (C) OF TITLE X, 5 U.S.C. 1152 (C) (1952 ED.), PROVIDED ONLY THAT A CASH AWARD UNDER THAT TITLE WOULD BE IN LIEU OF A REWARD FOR SUPERIOR ACCOMPLISHMENT UNDER SECTION 702, TITLE VII OF THE 1949 ACT, 5 U.S.C. 1122 (1952 ED.).

WHILE WE CONCUR IN THE UNDER SECRETARY'S VIEW THAT THE EXPRESS LANGUAGE OF TITLE X DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY PROHIBIT AN AWARD UNDER SECTION 14 OF PUBLIC LAW 600, OR POSSIBLY UNDER TITLE III OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES' INCENTIVE AWARDS ACT, PUBLIC LAW 763; NEVERTHELESS, AN AWARD UNDER SECTION 14 OF PUBLIC LAW 600 WOULD HAVE BARRED A CLAIM UNDER TITLE X. SIMILARLY, AN AWARD UNDER TITLE X WOULD HAVE PRECLUDED AN AWARD UNDER TITLE VII OF THE SAME ACT. IN SHORT, THERE IS SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE IN THE STATUTES REFERRED TO THAT THE CONGRESS WOULD NOT HAVE VIEWED FAVORABLY A POLICY OF DUAL AWARDS.

THE PURPOSE OF THE AWARDS AUTHORIZED BY TITLE X OF THE 1949 STATUTE IS SHOWN BY REFERENCE TO SECTION 1002 (B) OF THAT ACT, 5 U.S.C. 1152 (B) (1952 ED.), WHICH READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

(B) IT SHALL BE THE DUTY OF THE EFFICIENCY AWARDS COMMITTEE (1) TO IDENTIFY THOSE SUPERVISORS AND EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT WHOSE SUPERIOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO OUTSTANDING EFFICIENCY AND ECONOMY IN ADMINISTRATION * * *.

INDIVIDUAL CASH AWARDS UNDER THIS SECTION WERE LIMITED TO NOT TO EXCEED AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THREE STEPS IN THE APPLICABLE GRADE. TITLE X APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN ENACTED TO MEET A SPECIFIC NEED IN THE FIELD OF ADMINISTRATION REPEATEDLY ADVERTED TO BY SENATOR RUSSELL B. LONG IN HIS CONDUCT OF THE HEARINGS ON S. 558 AND RELATED BILLS CONCERNING THE REVISION OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 661, ET SEQ. (1946 ED.). SEE HEARINGS BEFORE A SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON POST OFFICE AND CIVIL SERVICE, UNITED STATES SENATE, 81ST CONGRESS ON S. 558, S. 559, S. 1762, S. 1772, S. 1790, MAY 1949. SENATOR LONG CONSISTENTLY SOUGHT TO DEVELOP THE IDEA THAT EMPLOYEES AND SUPERVISORS SHOULD BE REWARDED FOR CONTRIBUTING TO EFFICIENCY AND ECONOMY IN ADMINISTRATION. THE OBJECTIVE OF THE AUTHORIZING LEGISLATION APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN LIMITED.

WE NOTE THAT H.R. 4586, 79TH CONGRESS--- AN EARLIER VERSION OF H.R. 6533, WHICH BECAME PUBLIC LAW 600--- AUTHORIZED CASH AWARDS FOR SUGGESTIONS AND "INVENTIONS" RESULTING IN IMPROVEMENT OR ECONOMY IN THE OPERATION OF THE GOVERNMENT. WHILE THE LANGUAGE "OR INVENTIONS"SUBSEQUENTLY WAS DELETED FROM THE BILL THAT BECAME LAW, STILL SECTION 14, AS ENACTED, WAS BROADER THAN THE AREA COVERED BY TITLE X. WHERE TITLE X AUTHORIZES AWARDS ONLY FOR INCREASED EFFICIENCY AND ECONOMY IN ADMINISTRATION, SECTION 14 AUTHORIZES AWARDS FOR IMPROVEMENT OR ECONOMY IN THE VARIOUS PHASES OF OPERATION OF THE GOVERNMENT AND WOULD APPEAR TO COVER SUGGESTIONS OR INVENTIONS OF THE TYPE MADE BY DR. RADKOWSKY. THESE AWARDS WERE FOR ADOPTED SUGGESTIONS OUTSIDE THE NORMAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE DUTIES OF THE EMPLOYEE'S POSITION.

IN THE LIGHT OF THE HISTORY OF TITLE X, OUR VIEW IS THAT THE TERM "ADMINISTRATION" IS USED AS A WORD OF ART PERTAINING PRIMARILY TO ORGANIZATION, METHODS, PROCEDURES, AND UTILIZATION OF PERSONNEL AND THAT AWARDS UNDER THAT TITLE SHOULD HAVE BEEN LIMITED TO SAVINGS RESULTING FROM IMPROVEMENTS IN THOSE AREAS. SECTION 4 (6) OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-8, SUPPLEMENT NO. 1, FEBRUARY 28, 1950, PROVIDES THAT A CASH AWARD UNDER TITLE X, MAY BE GRANTED TO AN EMPLOYEE FOR SAVINGS MADE IN THE CONDUCT OF HIS OWN OPERATIONS. IN CONTRAST, THE CONTRIBUTION OF DR. RADKOWSKY IS DESCRIBED AS AN INVENTION, AS A NEW CONCEPT IN THE FIELD OF NUCLEAR PHYSICS, AND AS A PRINCIPLE DEVELOPED OUTSIDE THE NORMAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE DUTIES OF HIS POSITION.

BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF DR. RADKOWSKY'S CONTRIBUTION, WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT TITLE X WAS NOT A PROPER AUTHORITY UNDER WHICH TO MAKE HIS AWARD, SINCE THE CONTRIBUTION CANNOT BE SAID TO BE ONE IN THE AREA OF ADMINISTRATION AS THAT TERM IS USED IN TITLE X. THEREFORE, IF THAT AWARD BE SET ASIDE WE ARE AWARE OF NO LEGAL REASON IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE WHY HIS CONTRIBUTION MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR AN AWARD UNDER TITLE III OF PUBLIC LAW 763.