B-153055, APR. 1, 1964

B-153055: Apr 1, 1964

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APPARENTLY YOUR CLAIM IS PREDICATED UPON (1) SECTION 6203 (A) (5) (B) OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS (TRANSMITTAL SHEET 17. SECTION 6203 (A) (5) OF THE REGULATIONS WAS REVISED (SEE TRANSMITTAL SHEET 24. TO ANY ONE OF THE APPROVED STEP RATES IN A GRADE FOR WHICH A RANGE OF RATES IS ESTABLISHED FOR THE FOLLOWING PERSONS: "2. IT WILL BE SEEN THAT UNDER THE REVISED PORTION OF THE REGULATION THE DIRECTORS WERE NOT AUTOMATICALLY ENTITLED TO THE TOP STEP OF THE GRADE BUT THEIR SALARIES WERE INITIALLY ESTABLISHED OR SUBSEQUENTLY ADJUSTED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR. THIS IS IN ACCORD WITH PAST PRACTICE UNDER SALARY ACTS WHICH RAISED THE MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM SALARY RATES FOR PERSONNEL IN THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION.

B-153055, APR. 1, 1964

TO MR. C. T. JACKSON:

ON NOVEMBER 21, 1963, YOU REQUESTED REVIEW OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 1, 1963, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PER ANNUM SALARY RATES OF $16,500 AND $19,000 INCIDENT TO YOUR SERVICE AS NONPHYSICIAN DIRECTOR OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION DOMICILIARY, WHITE CITY, OREGON.

APPARENTLY YOUR CLAIM IS PREDICATED UPON (1) SECTION 6203 (A) (5) (B) OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS (TRANSMITTAL SHEET 17, DATED FEBRUARY 10, 1960) WHICH, SO FAR AS PERTINENT HERE, PROVIDED THAT THE BASIC PAY FOR A PHYSICIAN OR DENTIST APPOINTED UNDER 38 U.S.C. 4104, WHILE SERVING AS A MANAGER OR DIRECTOR SHOULD BE THE TOP STEP RATE OF HIS GRADE AND (2) UPON SECTION 804 (B), PUB.L. 87-793, APPROVED OCTOBER 11, 1962, 5 U.S.C. 4111 (B), WHICH PROVIDES IN EFFECT THAT THE SALARY RATE OF A NONPHYSICIAN DIRECTOR OF A HOSPITAL, DOMICILIARY OR CENTER SHALL NOT BE LESS THAN THE RATE HE WOULD RECEIVE UNDER SECTION 4107 OF THAT TITLE (DIRECTOR GRADE $16,000 MINIMUM TO $19,000 MAXIMUM) IFHIS SERVICES AS DIRECTOR HAD BEEN AS A PHYSICIAN IN THE DIRECTOR GRADE.

SECTION 6203 (A) (5) OF THE REGULATIONS WAS REVISED (SEE TRANSMITTAL SHEET 24, OCTOBER 11, 1962), TO READ IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"/5) RATE OF PAY IN CERTAIN POSITIONS UNDER 38 U.S.C. 4103 AND 4104.

"/A) THE BASIC RATE OF PAY MAY BE INITIALLY SET OR SUBSEQUENTLY ADJUSTED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR, UPON RECOMMENDATION OF THE CHIEF MEDICAL DIRECTOR, TO ANY ONE OF THE APPROVED STEP RATES IN A GRADE FOR WHICH A RANGE OF RATES IS ESTABLISHED FOR THE FOLLOWING PERSONS:

"2. A PHYSICIAN OR DENTIST APPOINTED UNDER 38 U.S.C. 4104 AND SERVING AS A DIRECTOR AT A HOSPITAL, DOMICILIARY, CENTER OR OUTPATIENT CLINIC (INDEPENDENT); AS CHIEF OF STAFF AT A HOSPITAL, CENTER, OR OUTPATIENT CLINIC (INDEPENDENT); AS CLINIC DIRECTOR, OUTPATIENT CLINIC (REGIONAL OFFICE); OR AS CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER AT A DOMICILIARY.'

IT WILL BE SEEN THAT UNDER THE REVISED PORTION OF THE REGULATION THE DIRECTORS WERE NOT AUTOMATICALLY ENTITLED TO THE TOP STEP OF THE GRADE BUT THEIR SALARIES WERE INITIALLY ESTABLISHED OR SUBSEQUENTLY ADJUSTED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR, UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE MEDICAL DIRECTOR AT ANY OF THE APPROVED STEPS IN THE PERTINENT GRADE. THIS IS IN ACCORD WITH PAST PRACTICE UNDER SALARY ACTS WHICH RAISED THE MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM SALARY RATES FOR PERSONNEL IN THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION. SEE HOUSE REPORT NO. 1660 TO ACCOMPANY S. 734 WHICH BECAME THE FEDERAL SALARY INCREASE ACT OF 1958, WHEREIN IT WAS STATED: "THESE INCREASES IN MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM ANNUAL SALARY LIMITATIONS DO NOT CONSTITUTE AUTOMATIC INCREASES IN THE RATES OF SALARY WITHIN THE NEW PAY RANGES ESTABLISHED BY SUCH LIMITATIONS. HOWEVER, SUCH INCREASES IN ANNUAL SALARY LIMITATIONS WILL PERMIT THE APPROPRIATE ADJUSTMENT OF THE RATES OF SALARY WITH THE NEW PAY RANGES BY THE EXERCISE OF ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY.'

THE SALARY RATES FOR THE EXECUTIVE OR DIRECTOR GRADE ESTABLISHED BY THE 1962 ACT WERE DETERMINED UPON THE BASIS OF (1) QUALIFICATION OF THE INDIVIDUAL, (2) COMPLEXITY OF ASSIGNMENT AND (3) QUALITY OF PERFORMANCE AS REFLECTED IN PROFICIENCY RATING. DUE CONSIDERATION WAS ALSO GIVEN TO AN INDIVIDUAL'S HIGHEST PREVIOUS SALARY RATE.

IN EVALUATING THE QUALIFICATIONS OF THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE QUALITY OF HIS PERFORMANCE THE AGENCY WAS PROHIBITED BY 5 U.S.C. 4111 (B), FROM DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN MEDICAL AND NONMEDICAL DIRECTORS, HENCE WE ARE ADVISED THAT THE PROFICIENCY RATINGS FOR ALL DIRECTORS WERE BASED UPON QUALIFICATIONS AND PERFORMANCES OTHER THAN IN THE MEDICAL FIELD.

IN THE FURTHER APPLICATION OF THE QUOTED SECTION OF THE REGULATION THERE WERE ESTABLISHED PER ANNUM SALARY RANGES FOR THE DIRECTORS' GRADES AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE

TYPE OF FIELD STATION RATES AVAILABLE FOR USE

CLASS A - EXCEPTIONALLY LARGE $19,000

CLASS B - LARGE 18,000 $18,500 $19,000

CLASS C - MEDIUM 17,000 17,500 18,000

CLASS D - SMALL 16,000 16,500 17,000

THE ASSIGNMENTS HELD BY YOU BOTH AT CLINTON, IOWA, AND WHITE CITY, OREGON, HAVE CARRIED A CLASS D RATING SINCE OCTOBER 14, 1962.

IN FIXING YOUR COMPENSATION IN THE NEW SCALE OF SALARY RATES AS INDICATED ABOVE, CONSIDERATION WAS GIVEN BOTH TO YOUR PROFICIENCY RATING AND TO YOUR HIGHEST PREVIOUS SALARY RATE. BECAUSE OF SUCH CONSIDERATION YOUR SALARY WAS ESTABLISHED AT STEP 2 FOR CLASS D INSTALLATIONS. THAT WAS THE SAME GRADE AND STEP WHICH WAS ESTABLISHED FOR PHYSICIAN DIRECTORS OF CLASS D INSTALLATIONS UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES. WE HAVE ASCERTAINED INFORMALLY THAT THE SALARY RATES OF THE MEDICAL DIRECTORS AT AMARILLO, TEXAS, AND SPOKANE, WASHINGTON, AS WELL AS AT CERTAIN OTHER CLASS D INSTALLATIONS, WERE ESTABLISHED AT $16,500 PER ANNUM.

SINCE YOUR SALARY RATE APPEARS TO BE PROPER UNDER THE GOVERNING LAWS AND REGULATIONS THE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 1, 1963, IS SUSTAINED.