B-175880, JUL 26, 1972

B-175880: Jul 26, 1972

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CLAIMANT WAS SELECTED FOR A GS-9 POSITION. HE WAS INFORMED THAT HIS BEGINNING SALARY WOULD BE $7. THERE IS NO BASIS FOR PAYMENT AT OTHER THAN STEP 1 SINCE 5 U.S.C. 5333 REQUIRES THAT APPOINTMENTS BE MADE AT THE MINIMUM GRADE RATE. 5 U.S.C. 5723 ALLOWS TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR NEW APPOINTEES ONLY WHERE THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION DETERMINES THERE IS A MANPOWER SHORTAGE. THE CLAIM IS THEREFORE DENIED. THE CERTIFICATE OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS IN THE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF $735.79 PLUS INTEREST DUE TO YOUR DEFAULT IN PAYMENT OF A LOAN GUARANTEED IN PART UNDER THE SERVICEMEN'S READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1944 WAS FORWARDED ON APRIL 26. A COPY OF THE CERTIFICATE SHOWING THE REFERRAL TO THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY WAS FORWARDED TO YOU ON APRIL 26.

B-175880, JUL 26, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - NEW APPOINTEES - BEGINNING PAY RATE - TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES CONCERNING THE CLAIM OF MR. JEAN A. THOMPSON FOR RETROACTIVE PAY AND MOVING EXPENSES ALLEGEDLY ARISING OUT OF EMPLOYMENT AT THE PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD. CLAIMANT WAS SELECTED FOR A GS-9 POSITION. THROUGH APPARENT CLERICAL ERROR, HE WAS INFORMED THAT HIS BEGINNING SALARY WOULD BE $7,720 PER ANNUM RATHER THAN $7,220. CLAIMANT NOW ALLEGES ENTITLEMENT TO THE SALARY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GS-9 STEP 1 AND STEP 3. THERE IS NO BASIS FOR PAYMENT AT OTHER THAN STEP 1 SINCE 5 U.S.C. 5333 REQUIRES THAT APPOINTMENTS BE MADE AT THE MINIMUM GRADE RATE. AS TO THE CLAIM FOR MOVING EXPENSES, 5 U.S.C. 5723 ALLOWS TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR NEW APPOINTEES ONLY WHERE THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION DETERMINES THERE IS A MANPOWER SHORTAGE. THE CLAIM IS THEREFORE DENIED.

TO MR. JEAN A. THOMPSON:

WE REFER TO CORRESPONDENCE FORWARDED HERE AS ENCLOSURES TO LETTER OF APRIL 7, 1972, FROM THE REGIONAL MANPOWER ADMINISTRATION, REGION X, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, CONCERNING YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES INCIDENT TO DEFAULT IN PAYMENT OF A GUARANTEED LOAN.

THE CERTIFICATE OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS IN THE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF $735.79 PLUS INTEREST DUE TO YOUR DEFAULT IN PAYMENT OF A LOAN GUARANTEED IN PART UNDER THE SERVICEMEN'S READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1944 WAS FORWARDED ON APRIL 26, 1972, TO THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON FOR COLLECTION.

A COPY OF THE CERTIFICATE SHOWING THE REFERRAL TO THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY WAS FORWARDED TO YOU ON APRIL 26, 1972.

YOU HAVE DECLINED TO MAKE PAYMENT ON THE ABOVE DEBT UNTIL YOUR CLAIMS FOR RETROACTIVE PAY AND MOVING AND INCIDENTAL RELOCATION EXPENSES ARISING FROM YOUR EMPLOYMENT AT THE PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD (PSNS) HAVE BEEN SATISFACTORILY RESOLVED.

YOUR CLAIM FOR RETROACTIVE PAY WAS MADE INITIALLY IN YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 25, 1971, AND WAS DISALLOWED IN OUR CLAIMS DIVISION LETTER OF FEBRUARY 3, 1972. IN YOUR CLAIM LETTER AT THAT TIME YOU DISCUSSED $1,000 IN MOVING RELOCATION EXPENSES, BUT STATED YOU WERE NOT MAKING ANY CLAIM IN PART DUE TO THE FACT THAT YOU HAD DISCARDED THE APPLICABLE RECORDS. YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 24, 1972, ACKNOWLEDGED BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION ON MARCH 21, 1972, IN EFFECT ASKS FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR RETROACTIVE PAY. IN ADDITION YOU NOW MAKE CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF $670 FOR MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND $330 FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES, TEMPORARY QUARTERS AND INCIDENTAL EXPENSES ARISING FROM YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THE POSITION WITH PSNS.

THE FACTS OF RECORD CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR RETROACTIVE PAY WERE STATED IN OUR CLAIMS DIVISION LETTER OF FEBRUARY 3, 1972, AS FOLLOWS:

"THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD INFORMED YOU BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 28, 1965, THAT YOU HAD BEEN SELECTED FOR THE POSITION OF CONTRACT SPECIALIST, GS-9, AT THE SALARY RATE OF $7,720.00 PER ANNUM, AND THAT YOU WERE TO ENTER ON DUTY ON MARCH 1, 1965. ON FEBRUARY 3, 1965, YOU ADVISED THE PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD THAT YOU WERE ACCEPTING THE POSITION, INDICATING THAT YOU WOULD ARRIVE IN BREMERTON, WASHINGTON ABOUT FEBRUARY 23, 1965. UPON YOUR ARRIVAL, YOU WERE INFORMED THAT THE LETTER OF JANUARY 28, 1965 WAS ERRONEOUS TO THE EXTENT THAT THE SALARY QUOTED IN THE LETTER SHOULD HAVE BEEN $7,220.00 PER ANNUM, RATHER THAN $7,720.00, AND YOU WERE FURNISHED A STANDARD FORM 50 SHOWING THE CORRECT ANNUAL SALARY. YOU ARE NOW CLAIMING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAY FOR GS-9, STEP 1, $7,220.00 PER ANNUM AND GS-9, STEP 3, $7,710.00 PER ANNUM, AS WELL AS THE PROJECTED PAY SUCH APPOINTMENT AT THE HIGHER STEP WOULD HAVE HAD ON SUBSEQUENT WITHIN GRADE INCREASES OF A GENERAL NATURE."

WE HAVE REVIEWED THE AVAILABLE RECORD PERTAINING TO YOUR CLAIM TOGETHER WITH THE APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 5 U.S.C. 5333, NEW APPOINTMENTS MUST BE MADE AT THE MINIMUM RATE OF THE GRADE. WHEN A PERSON IS APPOINTED THROUGH REEMPLOYMENT, AS IN YOUR CASE, THE AGENCY MAY UNDER REGULATIONS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION PAY HIM AT ANY RATE OF HIS GRADE WHICH DOES NOT EXCEED HIS HIGHEST PREVIOUS RATE. SEE REGULATION 531.203(C) IN TITLE 5, CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS (CFR). THE RECORD INDICATES THAT YOUR HIGHEST PREVIOUS RATE PRIOR TO YOUR REEMPLOYMENT WAS LESS THAN $7,220 A YEAR, THE THEN MINIMUM STEP RATE FOR GS-9. ADDITIONALLY, THE RECORD STATES THAT THE POSITION OF CONTRACT SPECIALIST TO WHICH YOU WERE REAPPOINTED WAS NOT LISTED AS A SHORTAGE CATEGORY POSITION UNDER THE COMMISSION'S REGULATION WHEREIN RATES ABOVE THE MINIMUM WERE AUTHORIZED. SEE REGULATION 530.304 IN TITLE 5 OF CFR.

BY REASON OF THE ABOVE-APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS, YOUR AGENCY HAD NO AUTHORITY TO PAY YOU MORE THAN THE FIRST STEP RATE OF GRADE GS 9, $7,220 A YEAR. THE RATE OF $7,720 STATED IN THE AGENCY LETTER OF JANUARY 28, 1965, IS STATED TO HAVE BEEN A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR. ALTHOUGH THIS WAS UNFORTUNATE IT DOES NOT PROVIDE A BASIS FOR REGARDING YOU AS ENTITLED TO A SALARY RATE ABOVE THAT AUTHORIZED BY LAW. THE ONLY OTHER PROVISIONS OF LAW AUTHORIZING APPOINTMENTS ABOVE THE MINIMUM OF THE GRADE ARE 5 U.S.C. 5333(A) - POSITIONS REQUIRING UNIQUE QUALIFICATIONS AT GRADE GS-11 OR HIGHER - AND 5333(B) - SUPERVISORS OF WAGE BOARD EMPLOYEES - WHICH HAVE NO APPLICATION TO YOUR CASE.

THE AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF NEW APPOINTEES AS SET FORTH IN 5 U.S.C. 5723 REQUIRES THAT THE POSITION TO WHICH APPOINTED BE ONE FOR WHICH THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION DETERMINES THERE IS A MANPOWER SHORTAGE. AS NOTED ABOVE SUCH A DETERMINATION WAS NOT MADE FOR YOUR POSITION.

WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY OTHER AUTHORITY WHICH WOULD PERMIT PAYMENT OF EITHER OF YOUR CLAIMS AND, ACCORDINGLY, WE CAN ONLY AFFIRM THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR RETROACTIVE PAY AND DISALLOW YOUR CLAIM FOR TRAVEL, TRANSPORTATION, AND RELATED EXPENSES. WE SUGGEST YOU MAKE ARRANGEMENTS TO REPAY THE AMOUNT OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS.