B-68265, OCTOBER 17, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 220

B-68265: Oct 17, 1947

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WHETHER LOCOMOTIVE INSPECTORS WHO WERE GIVEN INCREASES IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 4 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1946. 1947 (WHEN THEY WERE PLACED IN CLASSIFIED GRADES). NO SUCH PROVISION IS INCLUDED WITH RESPECT TO THE INCREASES IN BASIC COMPENSATION AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 4 OF SAID FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT WITH REGARD TO BASIC RATES OF COMPENSATION SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED BY STATUTE. SAID SECTION (B) OF SECTION 7 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 WAS AMENDED BY SECTION 402 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945. 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 GRADE 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-68265, OCTOBER 17, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 220

COMPENSATION - WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCEMENTS - WAITING PERIOD AS AFFECTED BY STATUTORY BASIC RATE INCREASES; COUNTING OF SERVICE WHEN PAID FROM CLERICAL ASSISTANCE ALLOWANCE THERE BEING NO PROVISION OF LAW THAT THE INCREASE AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 4 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1946 IN BASIS RATES OF COMPENSATION SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED BY STATUTE SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED AS AN "EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE WITHIN-GRADE SALARY- ADVANCEMENT PROVISIONS OF SECTION 402 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, SIMILAR TO THE PROVISION IN SECTION 2 (C) OF THE 1946 ACT WITH RESPECT TO OTHER BASIC RATE INCREASES, AN INCREASE UNDER SAID SECTION 4 PRECLUDES WITHIN-GRADE ADVANCEMENT UNDER THE 1945 ACT UNTIL EXPIRATION OF THE PRESCRIBED WAITING PERIOD FOLLOWING SUCH INCREASE. CLERKS FORMERLY EMPLOYED BY DISTRICT LOCOMOTIVE INSPECTORS AND PAID FROM ALLOWANCES FOR CLERICAL ASSISTANCE PURSUANT TO SECTION 4 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 17, 1911, AS AMENDED, NOW REPEALED IN PERTINENT PART BY THE ACT OF MAY 27, 1947, MAY NOT COUNT THEIR SERVICE AS SUCH CLERKS FOR WITHIN- GRADE SALARY-ADVANCEMENT PURPOSES UNDER SECTION 402 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, AFTER HAVING BEEN BROUGHT WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS A RESULT OF THE 1947 ACT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE CHAIRMAN, INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, OCTOBER 17, 1947:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 1, 1947, REQUESTING DECISION UPON TWO QUESTIONS: FIRST, WHETHER LOCOMOTIVE INSPECTORS WHO WERE GIVEN INCREASES IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 4 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1946, APPROVED MAY 24, 1946, PUBLIC LAW 390, 60 STAT. 216, MAY RECEIVE WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCES AS OF AUGUST 25, 1947 (WHEN THEY WERE PLACED IN CLASSIFIED GRADES), BASED UPON PRIOR 18 MONTHS' SERVICE, OR WHETHER THEY MUST WAIT 18 MONTHS AFTER THE DATE OF THE INCREASES GIVEN THEM PURSUANT TO SECTION 4 OF THE ABOVE ACT; SECOND, WHETHER THE CLERKS FORMERLY EMPLOYED BY DISTRICT INSPECTORS AND PAID FROM THEIR ANNUAL ALLOWANCE FOR RENT, STATIONERY, AND CLERICAL ASSISTANCE FORMERLY AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 4 OF THE LOCOMOTIVE INSPECTION ACT OF FEBRUARY 17, 1911, AS AMENDED, COULD COUNT SUCH SERVICES (NOT THEN UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AS AMENDED) TOWARD WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCES AFTER THEIR HAVING BEEN BROUGHT WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AS AMENDED, AS A RESULT OF THE ACT OF MAY 27, 1947, PUBLIC LAW 79, 60 STAT. 120.

AS POINTED OUT IN YOUR SUBMISSION, SECTION 2 (C) OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1946, PUBLIC LAW 390, 60 STAT. 216, PROVIDES THAT THE INCREASES IN EXISTING BASIC RATES OF POSITIONS PROVIDED FOR IN THAT SECTION SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO BE AN "EQUIVALENT INCREASE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THOSE WORDS AS USED IN SECTION 7 (B) (1) OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923, AS AMENDED. HOWEVER, NO SUCH PROVISION IS INCLUDED WITH RESPECT TO THE INCREASES IN BASIC COMPENSATION AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 4 OF SAID FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT WITH REGARD TO BASIC RATES OF COMPENSATION SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED BY STATUTE.

SAID SECTION (B) OF SECTION 7 OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1923 WAS AMENDED BY SECTION 402 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1945, PUBLIC LAW 106, 59 STAT. 299, 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 GRADE 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; AND ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

AS THE INCREASE IN COMPENSATION AUTHORIZED PURSUANT TO SECTION 4 OF PUBLIC LAW 390 (THAT IS, 14 PERCENT OF THE BASIC COMPENSATION, OR $250, WHICHEVER IS GREATER) IS THE EQUIVALENT,"FROM ANY SE," IN AMOUNT OF THE WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCE AUTHORIZED IN ANY GRADE UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT, AND AS THERE IS NOTHING IN THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACTS OF 1945 AND 1946 EXCEPTING SUCH INCREASE FROM CONSIDERATION AS "EQUIVALENT INCREASE IN COMPENSATION," IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT EMPLOYEES WHO RECEIVED AN INCREASE PURSUANT TO SECTION 4 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY ACT OF 1946, PUBLIC LAW 390, MAY NOT COUNT ANY SERVICE PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE INCREASE TOWARD WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCES UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR SECOND QUESTION, SECTION 4 OF THE LOCOMOTIVE INSPECTION ACT OF FEBRUARY 17, 1911, AS AMENDED, 45 U.S.C. 26 (PRIOR TO ITS ELIMINATION AUGUST 25, 1947, BY THE ACT OF MAY 27, 1947, PUBLIC LAW 79, 61 STAT. 120), PROVIDED, IN PERTINENT PART:

* * * HE (DISTRICT INSPECTOR) SHALL RECEIVE IN ADDITION THERETO AN ANNUAL ALLOWANCE FOR OFFICE RENT, STATIONERY, AND CLERICAL ASSISTANCE, TO BE FIXED BY THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, BUT NOT TO EXCEED IN THE CASE OF ANY DISTRICT INSPECTOR $1,000. * * *

THAT PROVISION IS CLOSELY AKIN TO THE PROVISION FORMERLY INCLUDED UNDER 39 U.S.C. 81, AUTHORIZING ALLOWANCES TO POSTMASTERS AT OFFICES OF THE THIRD CLASS OF A LIMITED AMOUNT FOR CLERICAL HIRE. CLERKS SO HIRED HAVE NEVER BEEN CONSIDERED BY THIS OFFICE AS CONSTITUTING EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES, OR AS ENTITLING THEM TO CREDIT FOR SUCH SERVICE IN ESTABLISHING THEIR PAY STATUS WHEN SUBSEQUENTLY COVERED INTO CLASSIFIED POSITIONS. B-54390, JANUARY 29, 1946. CF. 4 COMP. GEN. 844. ACCORDINGLY, IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE EMPLOYEES IN THE OFFICE OF DISTRICT INSPECTORS MAY RECEIVE NO CREDIT TOWARD WITHIN-GRADE SALARY ADVANCES FOR SERVICE RENDERED DURING THE PERIOD WHEN THEY WERE NOT EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES--- THAT IS, WHEN THEY WERE PAID FROM THE ALLOWANCES TO THE DISTRICT INSPECTORS FOR RENT, STATIONERY, AND CLERICAL ASSISTANCE.

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