B-158682, JUN. 20, 1966

B-158682: Jun 20, 1966

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GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: WE REFER TO THE QUESTION WHICH WAS RAISED BY OUR OFFICE WITH REGARD TO THE GRANTING OF COMPENSATORY TIME OFF IN LIEU OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION TO CERTAIN EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WHICH WAS THE SUBJECT OF YOUR REPORT TO OUR OFFICE OF MAY 23. YOU EXPRESS THE BELIEF THAT THE AUTHORITY GIVEN YOU IN THE "KIESS ACT" (44 U.S.C. 40) WITH REGARD TO FIXING THE COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE IS BROAD ENOUGH TO PERMIT YOU TO ALLOW COMPENSATORY TIME OFF IN LIEU OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION TO THOSE EMPLOYEES OF YOUR OFFICE WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED ON THE BASIS OF THE COMPENSATION PROVIDED FOR POSITIONS WITH COMPARABLE DUTIES BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949.

B-158682, JUN. 20, 1966

TO THE PUBLIC PRINTER, U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE:

WE REFER TO THE QUESTION WHICH WAS RAISED BY OUR OFFICE WITH REGARD TO THE GRANTING OF COMPENSATORY TIME OFF IN LIEU OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION TO CERTAIN EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WHICH WAS THE SUBJECT OF YOUR REPORT TO OUR OFFICE OF MAY 23, 1966.

YOU EXPRESS THE BELIEF THAT THE AUTHORITY GIVEN YOU IN THE "KIESS ACT" (44 U.S.C. 40) WITH REGARD TO FIXING THE COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE IS BROAD ENOUGH TO PERMIT YOU TO ALLOW COMPENSATORY TIME OFF IN LIEU OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION TO THOSE EMPLOYEES OF YOUR OFFICE WHOSE COMPENSATION IS FIXED ON THE BASIS OF THE COMPENSATION PROVIDED FOR POSITIONS WITH COMPARABLE DUTIES BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949. YOU PREDICATE YOUR LONG ESTABLISHED POLICY OF SETTING EQUIVALENT PAY SCALES AND OTHERWISE PATTERNING PERSONNEL PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES IN ACCORD WITH THE PROCEDURES PRESCRIBED BY LAW TO EMPLOYEES COVERED BY THE CLASSIFICATION ACT ON THE FACTOR OF SUBSTANTIALLY EQUAL TREATMENT BEING AFFORDED TO EMPLOYEES PERFORMING COMPARABLE DUTIES.

WE RECOGNIZE THAT A SUBSTANTIAL BASIS EXISTS FOR THE POSITION TAKEN BY YOU, NOT ONLY ON THE GROUND OF THE KIESS ACT AUTHORITY BUT ALSO UPON THE STATED CASH SAVINGS TO THE GOVERNMENT AND EQUITABLE TREATMENT TO THE EMPLOYEES. FURTHER, WE BELIEVE THAT THE LANGUAGE OF OUR DECISION IN 22 COMP. GEN. 807 COVERING THE GRANTING OF COMPENSATORY TIME FOR "VOLUNTARY" OVERTIME WORK MAY HAVE BEEN A SIGNIFICANT FACTOR IN THE ORIGINAL ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION TO GRANT COMPENSATORY TIME OFF. NEVERTHELESS, OUR OPINION IS THAT THE MATTER OF THE RIGHTS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE EMPLOYEES IS NOT ENTIRELY FREE FROM DOUBT IN THE ABSENCE OF AFFIRMATIVE LEGISLATION IN THIS AREA. A SIMILAR SITUATION RECENTLY EXISTED IN THE CASE OF THE METROPOLITAN POLICE FORCE, WHICH DOUBT HAS SINCE BEEN RESOLVED BY THE ENACTMENT OF PUB.L. 89-282.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, OUR OFFICE WILL NOT FURTHER QUESTION THE PRACTICE OF GRANTING COMPENSATORY TIME TO THE EMPLOYEES IN QUESTION WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT YOUR OFFICE WILL INITIATE ACTION TO PRESENT TO THE NEXT REGULAR SESSION OF THE CONGRESS A LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL CLARIFYING THIS MATTER.