B-155075, SEPTEMBER 17, 1964, 44 COMP. GEN. 153

B-155075: Sep 17, 1964

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COMPENSATION - INCREASES - EMPLOYEES WHOSE SALARIES ARE FIXED BY SPECIAL LAW - RETROACTIVE INCREASES THE EMPLOYEES OF THE AGRICULTURAL STABILIZATION AND CONSERVATION COUNTY COMMITTEES WHOSE RATES OF SALARY FIXED UNDER 16 U.S.C. 590H (B) ARE INCREASED BY SECTION 122 OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES SALARY REFORM ACT OF 1964. TO EQUAL AS NEARLY AS PRACTICABLE THE INCREASES PROVIDED BY SECTION 102 OF THE ACT ARE ENTITLED TO THE RETROACTIVE BENEFIT OF SECTION 501 (A) PRESCRIBING THAT THE PROVIDED INCREASES IN COMPENSATION ARE EFFECTIVE ON OR AFTER JULY 1. THERE IS NO ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION AS TO THE RETROACTIVE APPLICATION OF THE INCREASES. THE ACTING SECRETARY'S LETTER SAYS THAT IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN 16 U.S.C. 590H (B) THE RATES OF COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES IN COUNTY OFFICE POSITIONS ARE FIXED AND PAID AT RATES ESTABLISHED FOR THE GRADE IN WHICH THE JOB IS CLASSIFIED.

B-155075, SEPTEMBER 17, 1964, 44 COMP. GEN. 153

COMPENSATION - INCREASES - EMPLOYEES WHOSE SALARIES ARE FIXED BY SPECIAL LAW - RETROACTIVE INCREASES THE EMPLOYEES OF THE AGRICULTURAL STABILIZATION AND CONSERVATION COUNTY COMMITTEES WHOSE RATES OF SALARY FIXED UNDER 16 U.S.C. 590H (B) ARE INCREASED BY SECTION 122 OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES SALARY REFORM ACT OF 1964, APPROVED AUGUST 14, 1964, TO EQUAL AS NEARLY AS PRACTICABLE THE INCREASES PROVIDED BY SECTION 102 OF THE ACT ARE ENTITLED TO THE RETROACTIVE BENEFIT OF SECTION 501 (A) PRESCRIBING THAT THE PROVIDED INCREASES IN COMPENSATION ARE EFFECTIVE ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 1964, AND THE INCREASES UNDER SECTION 122 BEING MANDATORY, THERE IS NO ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION AS TO THE RETROACTIVE APPLICATION OF THE INCREASES, THE ONLY ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTION UNDER SECTION 122 BEING TO SEE THAT THE INCREASES EQUAL THOSE PROVIDED BY SECTION 102, PERTAINING TO THE INCREASES IN THE GENERAL SCHEDULE RATES UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, 5 U.S.C. 1113 (B).

TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, SEPTEMBER 17, 1964:

ON AUGUST 28, 1964, THE ACTING SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE REQUESTED OUR DECISION CONCERNING THE PAYMENT OF RETROACTIVE COMPENSATION TO THE EMPLOYEES OF AGRICULTURAL STABILIZATION AND CONSERVATION COUNTY COMMITTEES UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 122 AND 501 (A) OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES SALARY REFORM ACT OF 1964, PUBLIC LAW 88-426, APPROVED AUGUST 14, 1964, 78 STAT. 412, 435, WHICH PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 122. THE RATES OF COMPENSATION OF PERSONS EMPLOYED BY THE COUNTY COMMITTEES ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO SECTION 8 (B) OF THE SOIL CONSERVATION AND DOMESTIC ALLOTMENT ACT (16 U.S.C. 590H (B) ( SHALL BE INCREASED BY AMOUNTS EQUAL, AS NEARLY AS MAY BE PRACTICABLE, TO THE INCREASES PROVIDED BY SECTION 102 OF THIS ACT FOR CORRESPONDING RATES OF COMPENSATION IN THE APPROPRIATE SCHEDULE OR SCALE OF PAY.

SEC. 501. (A) EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PROVIDED IN SUBSECTIONS (B) AND (C) OF THIS SECTION, THIS ACT AND THE INCREASES IN COMPENSATION MADE BY THIS ACT SHALL BECOME EFFECTIVE ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE FIRST PAY PERIOD WHICH BEGINS ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 1964.

THE ACTING SECRETARY'S LETTER SAYS THAT IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN 16 U.S.C. 590H (B) THE RATES OF COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES IN COUNTY OFFICE POSITIONS ARE FIXED AND PAID AT RATES ESTABLISHED FOR THE GRADE IN WHICH THE JOB IS CLASSIFIED, AND THAT THE RATE FOR THE GRADE IS UNIFORM THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES, AS SET FORTH IN PART 4, SECTION 5 OF THE COUNTY ADMINISTRATIVE HANDBOOK. A COPY OF SAID SECTION 5 WAS ENCLOSED, AS AMENDED MARCH 13, 1964.

FURTHER, THE ACTING SECRETARY SAYS YOUR DEPARTMENT HAS TAKEN STEPS TO EFFECT THE INCREASES IN THE RATE OF COMPENSATION AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 122 OF PUBLIC LAW 88-426, BUT THAT RETROACTIVE PAYMENT THEREOF HAS BEEN WITHHELD PENDING OUR DECISION WHETHER SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE ENTITLED TO THE RETROACTIVE PAY BENEFIT OF SECTION 501 (A).

WE HAVE CAREFULLY CONSIDERED THE MATTER, AND WE CONCUR IN THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THE NEXT TO LAST PARAGRAPH OF THE ACTING SECRETARY'S LETTER, THAT WHEN SECTIONS 122 AND 501 (A) ARE READ TOGETHER, THERE IS NO ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION THEREUNDER WHETHER SUCH EMPLOYEES SHALL RECEIVE INCREASES OF SALARY RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE FIRST PAY PERIOD WHICH BEGAN ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 1964. THE ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTION UNDER SECTION 122 LARGELY IS TO SEE THAT SUCH INCREASES EQUAL AS NEARLY AS PRACTICABLE THE APPROPRIATE INCREASES PROVIDED BY SECTION 102 OF THE ACT, PERTAINING TO THE INCREASES IN THE GENERAL SCHEDULE RATES UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949, 5 U.S.C. 1113 (B).

THEREFORE, AND SINCE THE INCREASES UNDER SECTION 122 OF PUBLIC LAW 88-426 ARE CONSIDERED TO BE MANDATORY AND AS THEY ARE "INCREASES MADE BY THIS ACT" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT PROVISION IN SECTION 501 (A), WE HOLD THAT THE COUNTY COMMITTEE EMPLOYEES WHOSE RATES OF SALARY ARE FIXED UNDER 16 U.S.C. 590H (B) ARE ENTITLED TO THE RETROACTIVE BENEFIT OF SECTION 501 (A) OF PUBLIC LAW 88-426.