B-163854, MAY 13, 1968

B-163854: May 13, 1968

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WAS PROMOTED FROM ONE GRADE UNDER THE GENERAL SCHEDULE CONTAINED IN SECTION 5332 (A) OF TITLE 5. TO ANOTHER SUCH GRADE AT A RATE WHICH IS ABOVE THE MINIMUM RATE THEREOF. HIS RATE OF BASIC PAY SHALL BE ADJUSTED RETROACTIVELY FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION TO THE DATE ON WHICH HE WAS SO PROMOTED. ON THE BASIS OF THE RATE WHICH HE WAS RECEIVING DURING THE PERIOD FROM SUCH EFFECTIVE DATE TO THE DATE OF SUCH PROMOTION AND. ON THE BASIS OF THE RATE FOR THAT STEP OF THE APPROPRIATE GRADE OF THE GENERAL SCHEDULE CONTAINED IN THE AMENDMENT MADE BY SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS SECTION WHICH CORRESPONDS NUMERICALLY TO THE STEP OF THE GRADE OF THE GENERAL SCHEDULE TO WHICH SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WAS PROMOTED AS IN EFFECT (WITHOUT REGARD TO THIS TITLE) AT THE TIME OF SUCH PROMOTION.'.

B-163854, MAY 13, 1968

TO MR. ARNOLD E. PETTY:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 20, 1968, REQUESTING OUR DECISION CONCERNING THE CONSTRUCTION OF SECTION 202 (5) OF PUBLIC LAW 90-206 WHICH READS AS FOLLOWS:

"/5) IF THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE, AT ANY TIME DURING THE PERIOD BEGINNING ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION AND ENDING ON THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THIS TITLE, WAS PROMOTED FROM ONE GRADE UNDER THE GENERAL SCHEDULE CONTAINED IN SECTION 5332 (A) OF TITLE 5, U.S.C. TO ANOTHER SUCH GRADE AT A RATE WHICH IS ABOVE THE MINIMUM RATE THEREOF, HIS RATE OF BASIC PAY SHALL BE ADJUSTED RETROACTIVELY FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION TO THE DATE ON WHICH HE WAS SO PROMOTED, ON THE BASIS OF THE RATE WHICH HE WAS RECEIVING DURING THE PERIOD FROM SUCH EFFECTIVE DATE TO THE DATE OF SUCH PROMOTION AND, FROM THE DATE OF SUCH PROMOTION, ON THE BASIS OF THE RATE FOR THAT STEP OF THE APPROPRIATE GRADE OF THE GENERAL SCHEDULE CONTAINED IN THE AMENDMENT MADE BY SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS SECTION WHICH CORRESPONDS NUMERICALLY TO THE STEP OF THE GRADE OF THE GENERAL SCHEDULE TO WHICH SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WAS PROMOTED AS IN EFFECT (WITHOUT REGARD TO THIS TITLE) AT THE TIME OF SUCH PROMOTION.'

PUBLIC LAW 90-206 WAS APPROVED ON DECEMBER 16, 1967, BUT SECTION 220 (A) THEREOF SPECIFICALLY STATED THAT SECTION 202 (AMONG OTHERS) CONTAINING THE INCREASED RATES FOR GENERAL SCHEDULE SALARIES SHALL BE EFFECTIVE AS OF THE BEGINNING OF THE FIRST PAY PERIOD WHICH BEGAN ON AND AFTER OCTOBER 1, 1967.

YOUR LETTER INVOLVES TWO EMPLOYEES ONE OF WHOM WAS PROMOTED EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 3, 1967, FROM GRADE GS-14, STEP 6, TO GRADE GS-15, STEP 4. WITH RESPECT TO SUCH EMPLOYEE YOU ASK THE QUESTION WHETHER PUBLIC LAW 90-206 OPERATES TO REQUIRE THAT HIS SALARY BE FIXED AT THE THIRD STEP OF LEVEL 15 EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 3.

THE EFFECT OF THE QUOTED SECTION IS TO PLACE THE EMPLOYEE WHO WAS PROMOTED DURING THE RETROACTIVE PERIOD OF THE STATUTE IN THE SAME STEP AND RATE TO WHICH HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED ON THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF THE STATUTE HAD SUCH STATUTE NOT BEEN MADE RETROACTIVELY EFFECTIVE. SEE DECISION OF NOVEMBER 12, 1964, B-155507 (COPY HEREWITH), CONSTRUING A COMPARABLE PROVISION OF LAW. THUS, IT CLEARLY APPEARS THAT AFTER ENACTMENT OF PUBLIC LAW 90-206 THE EMPLOYEE WAS ENTITLED TO RETAIN THE STEP 4 RATE TO WHICH HE WAS PROMOTED DURING THE RETROACTIVE PERIOD COVERED BY SUCH STATUTE.

WITH RESPECT TO THE SECOND EMPLOYEE THE PROMOTION FORM WAS PREPARED ON DECEMBER 15, 1967, BUT THE PROMOTION WAS MADE EFFECTIVE ON DECEMBER 17, 1967. BY SUCH ACTION THE EMPLOYEE WAS PROMOTED FROM GS-13, STEP 4, TO GS- 14, STEP 2, BUT A LATER CORRECTIVE ACTION WAS TAKEN TO PLACE THE EMPLOYEE IN STEP 1 OF GS-14. YOU WANT TO KNOW WHICH ACTION WAS PROPER.

THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE PROMOTION RATHER THAN THE DATE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WAS TAKEN IN PREPARING THE PROMOTION FORM IS CONTROLLING, THAT IS, DECEMBER 17. SINCE SUCH PROMOTION DID NOT TAKE EFFECT UNTIL AFTER ENACTMENT OF PUBLIC LAW 90-206 ON DECEMBER 16, 1967, THE ABOVE-QUOTED PROVISION -- SECTION 202 (5) -- HAS NO APPLICATION. THUS, THE EMPLOYEE WHEN PROMOTED ON DECEMBER 17, 1967, WAS ENTITLED ONLY TO THE LOWEST STEP IN GRADE GS-14 (USING THE NEW SALARY SCHEDULES) THAT ENSURED TO HIM AN INCREASE IN COMPENSATION EQUAL TO TWO STEP RATES IN THE GRADE FROM WHICH HE WAS PROMOTED, THAT IS, STEP 1 OF GS-14.