B-61873, JANUARY 13, 1947, 26 COMP. GEN. 481

B-61873: Jan 13, 1947

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THAT IS. IS TO BE REGARDED AS THE DATE OF COMMENCEMENT OF THE WAITING PERIOD FOR THE NEXT WITHIN-GRADE ADVANCEMENT. A SPECIAL CERTIFICATION ON PAY ROLLS THAT EMPLOYEES HAVE MET THE REQUIREMENTS FOR PERIODIC WITHIN-GRADE ADVANCEMENTS UNDER SECTION 402 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945. IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS: " "/B) ALL EMPLOYEES COMPENSATED ON A PER ANNUM BASIS. WHO HAVE NOT ATTAINED THE MAXIMUM RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR THE GRADE IN WHICH THEIR POSITIONS ARE RESPECTIVELY ALLOCATED. SHALL BE ADVANCED IN COMPENSATION SUCCESSIVELY TO THE NEXT HIGHER RATE WITHIN THE GRADE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF (1) EACH TWELVE MONTHS OF SERVICE IF SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE IN GRADES IN WHICH THE COMPENSATION INCREMENTS ARE LESS THAN $200.

B-61873, JANUARY 13, 1947, 26 COMP. GEN. 481

COMPENSATION - WITHIN-GRADE ADVANCEMENTS - WAITING PERIOD COMMENCEMENT; PAY ROLL DATA THE DATE ON WHICH AN EMPLOYEE RECEIVES A WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 402 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, THAT IS, THE BEGINNING OF THE PAY PERIOD FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF THE NECESSARY TWELVE OR EIGHTEEN MONTHS' SERVICE WITHOUT AN EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION, IS TO BE REGARDED AS THE DATE OF COMMENCEMENT OF THE WAITING PERIOD FOR THE NEXT WITHIN-GRADE ADVANCEMENT, RATHER THAN THE DATE PRIOR TO THE BEGINNING OF SUCH PAY PERIOD ON WHICH THE EMPLOYEE COMPLETES THE NECESSARY SERVICE. A SPECIAL CERTIFICATION ON PAY ROLLS THAT EMPLOYEES HAVE MET THE REQUIREMENTS FOR PERIODIC WITHIN-GRADE ADVANCEMENTS UNDER SECTION 402 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, IN LIEU OF THE FACTUAL NOTATIONS AS TO LENGTH OF SERVICE SINCE THE LAST SALARY ADVANCE, EFFICIENCY RATING, SATISFACTORY SERVICE AND CONDUCT, ETC., REQUIRED PURSUANT TO GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 34, SUPPLEMENT NO. 10, 23 COMP. GEN. 995, AND GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 102, SECOND REVISION, 25 COMP. GEN. 940, WOULD NOT MEET AUDIT REQUIREMENTS OF THIS OFFICE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE PRESIDENT, BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, JANUARY 13, 1947:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 5, 1946, AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 402 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945 PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"SUBSECTION (B) OF SECTION 7 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

" "/B) ALL EMPLOYEES COMPENSATED ON A PER ANNUM BASIS, AND OCCUPYING PERMANENT POSITIONS WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE COMPENSATION SCHEDULES FIXED BY THIS ACT, WHO HAVE NOT ATTAINED THE MAXIMUM RATE OF COMPENSATION FOR THE GRADE IN WHICH THEIR POSITIONS ARE RESPECTIVELY ALLOCATED, SHALL BE ADVANCED IN COMPENSATION SUCCESSIVELY TO THE NEXT HIGHER RATE WITHIN THE GRADE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF (1) EACH TWELVE MONTHS OF SERVICE IF SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE IN GRADES IN WHICH THE COMPENSATION INCREMENTS ARE LESS THAN $200, OR (2) EACH EIGHTEEN MONTHS OF SERVICE IF SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE IN GRADES IN WHICH THE COMPENSATION INCREMENTS ARE $200 OR MORE, SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:

" " "/1) THAT NO EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION FROM ANY CAUSE WAS RECEIVED DURING SUCH PERIOD, EXCEPT INCREASE MADE PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (F) OF THIS SECTION;

" " "/2) THAT AN EMPLOYEE SHALL NOT BE ADVANCED UNLESS HIS CURRENT EFFICIENCY IS "GOOD" OR BETTER THAN "GOOD; "

" " "/3) THAT THE SERVICE AND CONDUCT OF SUCH EMPLOYEE ARE CERTIFIED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY OR SUCH OFFICIAL AS HE MAY DESIGNATE AS BEING OTHERWISE SATISFACTORY; " " "

A NUMBER OF DISTRICT EMPLOYEES COMPLETED THEIR TWELVE AND EIGHTEEN MONTHS OF SERVICE ON VARIOUS DAYS DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 30, 1946 ( SUNDAY), TO JULY 13, 1946 ( SATURDAY), BOTH INCLUSIVE, BUT THEIR WITHIN-GRADE PROMOTIONS WERE ALL EFFECTIVE JULY 14, 1946 (THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF SUCH SERVICE). THUS SOME OF THESE EMPLOYEES SERVED AS LONG AS 14 DAYS WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF THE INCREASE, BUT THIS WAS REQUIRED BY THE EXPRESS TERMS OF THE STATUTE. HOWEVER, WILL THIS PERIOD WHICH WAS LOST TO THESE EMPLOYEES FOR PURPOSES OF PAYMENT OF THIS INCREASE, LIKEWISE BE LOST TO THESE EMPLOYEES FOR PURPOSES OF PAYMENT OF THIS INCREASE, LIKEWISE BE LOST TO THEM IN THE COMPUTATION OF THEIR CURRENT PERIODS OF TWELVE AND EIGHTEEN MONTHS OF SERVICE?

IN OTHER WORDS, EMPLOYEE A SERVING IN GRADE CAF-2 COMPLETED 12 MONTHS OF SERVICE ON JUNE 30, 1946 AND, HAVING OTHERWISE COMPLIED WITH SECT. 7 (B) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AS AMENDED, BECAME ENTITLED TO A WITHIN-GRADE INCREASE IN COMPENSATION IN THE AMOUNT OF $66--- BUT NOT EFFECTIVE UNTIL JULY 14, 1946, THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD. WILL THE CURRENT 12 MONTHS SERVICE OF THIS EMPLOYEE, WHICH IS NECESSARY TO QUALIFY FOR A FURTHER WITHIN-GRADE INCREASE, BE CONSIDERED AS COMPLETED ON JUNE 30, 1947 (12 MONTHS AFTER COMPLETING THE PREVIOUS 12 MONTHS' SERVICE) OR ON JULY 13, 1947 (12 MONTHS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE LAST PRIOR WITHIN- GRADE INCREASE/? IF THE PERIOD OF SERVICE IS NOT COMPLETED UNTIL JULY 13, 1947 THE INCREASED COMPENSATION WOULD NOT BE PAYABLE UNTIL JULY 27, 1946 (THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD) OR NEARLY TWO PAY PERIODS AFTER HAVING COMPLETED TWENTY FOUR MONTHS OF SERVICE.

2. FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL ENACTMENT OF SECTION 7 (B) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1941, WITHIN-GRADE PROMOTIONS UNDER THAT AMENDMENT WERE HANDLED IN THE SAME FASHION AS REALLOCATION INCREASES AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS, THAT IS, BY THE PREPARATION OF COMMISSIONERS' ORDERS AUTHORIZING THE SAME, AND THE APPROVAL OF SUCH ORDERS BY THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 7 OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT, 1945:

"HEREAFTER APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SHALL BE USED TO PAY INCREASES IN THE SALARIES OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES BY REASON OF THE REALLOCATION OF THE POSITION OF ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS WITHIN THE SAME GRADE: PROVIDED, THAT SUCH REALLOCATION INCREASES AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THE APPROVAL OF THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: * * *"

(AS AMENDED BY SECTION 9 OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACT, 1946). WHICH IS SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME AS THE PROVISION WHICH HAS APPEARED ANNUALLY IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA APPROPRIATION ACTS SINCE THE ACT OF APRIL 4, 1938. OF APRIL 4, 1938.

THE PROCEDURE WHICH HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED IN 1938 WAS ADAPTED TO THESE PROMOTIONS UNDER SECTION 7 (B) BECAUSE OF THE FAMILIARITY OF DISTRICT PERSONNEL WITH SUCH PROCEDURES. HOWEVER THE NECESSARY PAPER WORK AND THE DUPLICATIONS INVOLVED IN HANDLING THE AUTOMATIC WITHIN GRADE PROMOTIONS IN THIS FASHION HAVE MATERIALLY INCREASED--- DURING THE LAST YEAR APPROXIMATELY 3,000 SUCH PROMOTIONS BECAME EFFECTIVE.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THESE AUTOMATIC WITHIN-GRADE PROMOTIONS ARE LEGISLATIVE IN CHARACTER, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM ADMINISTRATIVE OR MERITORIOUS PROMOTIONS ( SECTION 7 (F) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED) AND ARE PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 7 (B) TO BE GRANTED UPON A PROPER SHOWING OF LENGTH OF SERVICE, EFFICIENCY RATING, AND SATISFACTORY SERVICE AND CONDUCT, THE COMMISSIONERS HAVE DETERMINED TO ABOLISH THE EXISTING PROCEDURE OF ISSUING COMMISSIONERS' ORDERS WITH RESPECT TO EACH SUCH AUTOMATIC INCREASE AND TO INSTITUTE A SIMPLIFIED PROCEDURE.

IT IS PROPOSED THAT THE HIGHER RATE TO WHICH AN EMPLOYEE BECOMES ENTITLED SHALL BE ENTERED UPON THE APPROPRIATE PAYROLL BY THE OFFICE PREPARING THE SAME AND THAT THERE BE ADDED TO SUCH PAYROLL A SPECIAL CERTIFICATE COVERING LENGTH OF SERVICE, EFFICIENCY RATING AND SATISFACTORY SERVICE AND CONDUCT OF EMPLOYEES TO BE SIGNED BY THE DEPARTMENT HEAD SO AS TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF LAW. THE CERTIFICATE PROPOSED TO BE USED WILL READ:

"THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT THE EMPLOYEES INDICATED ON THIS ROLL (*) ARE ENTITLED TO PERIODIC WITHIN-GRADE PAYROLL ADVANCEMENTS REQUIRED BY SUBSECTION B OF SECTION 7 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED, AND MEET ALL OF THE REQUIREMENTS THEREOF AS TO LENGTH OF SERVICE AND EFFICIENCY, AND THEIR SERVICE AND CONDUCT IS OTHERWISE SATISFACTORY.'

THE COMMISSIONERS WOULD APPRECIATE ADVICE FROM YOU AS TO WHETHER SUCH A CERTIFICATE BY THE DEPARTMENT HEAD ATTACHED TO THE PAYROLL CERTIFYING AS TO LENGTH OF SERVICE, EFFICIENCY RATING AND SERVICE AND CONDUCT TOWARDS THE WORK OF EMPLOYEES ENTITLED TO PERIODIC WITHIN-GRADE PROMOTIONS MEET THE AUDIT REQUIREMENTS OF YOUR OFFICE.

WHILE SECTION 402 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, 59 STAT. 299, STATES THAT SALARY ADVANCEMENTS SHALL BE GRANTED AFTER COMPLETION OF TWELVE OR EIGHTEEN MONTHS OF SERVICE THIS PROVISION MUST BE CONSIDERED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE OTHER PROVISIONS OF THAT SECTION WHICH PROVIDE THAT A SALARY ADVANCEMENT SHALL NOT BE EFFECTIVE UNTIL THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF THE APPLICABLE WAITING PERIOD AND IS CONDITIONED UPON NO EQUIVALENT INCREASE OF COMPENSATION BEING RECEIVED DURING SUCH PERIOD. THE LATTER PROVISIONS NECESSARILY OPERATE TO INCREASE THE WAITING PERIOD IN EXCESS OF THE PRESCRIBED TWELVE OR EIGHTEEN MONTHS IN SOME INSTANCES, SUCH AS THE EXAMPLE GIVEN IN YOUR LETTER. IN OTHER WORDS, THE INCLUSION IN THE WAITING PERIOD FOR A SECOND OR ADDITIONAL WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENT OF THE INTERIM BETWEEN EXPIRATION OF A PRIOR WAITING PERIOD AND THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD WOULD RESULT IN TWO INCREASES WITHIN THE SPECIFIED TWELVE OR EIGHTEEN MONTHS WHICH CLEARLY IS NOT AUTHORIZED BY THE ACT.

ACCORDINGLY, THE QUESTION PRESENTED IN THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE. IN THE EXAMPLE FURNISHED IN CONNECTION WITH THAT QUESTION, THE EMPLOYEE WILL NOT HAVE COMPLETED THE REQUISITE TWELVE MONTHS' SERVICE TOWARDS A FURTHER SALARY ADVANCEMENT UNTIL JULY 13, 1947, WHICH SALARY ADVANCEMENT COULD NOT BECOME EFFECTIVE UNTIL JULY 27, 1947, THE DATE STATED AS THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT PAY PERIOD.

REFERRING TO THE MATTER COVERED BY PART (2) OF YOUR LETTER, IT MAY BE STATED, AT THE OUTSET, THAT THIS OFFICE CONCURS IN YOUR VIEWS REGARDING THE DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY TO DEPARTMENT HEADS TO PROCESS AUTOMATIC WITHIN-GRADE PROMOTIONS AS DISTINGUISHED FROM MERITORIOUS, OR ADMINISTRATIVE INCREASES. HOWEVER, THE USE OF A SPECIAL CERTIFICATION ON PAY ROLLS, IN THE FORM QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER, SO FAR AS SUCH CERTIFICATION IS INTENDED TO BE IN LIEU OF THE FACTUAL NOTATIONS HERETOFORE REQUIRED ON PAY ROLLS IN CONNECTION WITH AUTOMATIC WITHIN GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENTS, WOULD NOT MEET THE AUDIT REQUIREMENTS. SEE GENERAL REGULATIONS 34, SUPPLEMENT NO. 10, DATED AUGUST 31, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 995, AND GENERAL REGULATIONS NO. 102, SECOND REVISION, DATED JUNE 28, 1946, 25 COMP. GEN. 940. WITHOUT SUCH FACTUAL NOTATIONS AS TO LENGTH OF SERVICE SINCE LAST SALARY ADVANCE, EFFICIENCY RATING OF RECORD, SATISFACTORY SERVICE AND CONDUCT, ETC., THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT BE IN A POSITION TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE TERMS THE WITHIN-GRADE PROMOTION STATUTE AND REGULATIONS HAD BEEN COMPLIED WITH IN RESPECT OF ANY PARTICULAR SALARY ADVANCEMENT. SPECIFICALLY, THEREFORE, THE QUESTION POSED IN THE CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.