B-75128, MAY 4, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 672

B-75128: May 4, 1948

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BOTH CATEGORIES OF POSITIONS ARE AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 15 OF PUBLIC LAW 134. BOTH POSITIONS ARE PAID FROM THE SAME APPROPRIATION. WAS CONVERTED TO GRADE 11 UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION OF JULY 6. WERE THIS EMPLOYEE TO REMAIN IN HIS PRESENT POSITION. WERE HE TRANSFERRED TO THE POSITION OF PRINCIPAL REVIEW CLERK AT THIS TIME AT HIS PRESENT SALARY RATE. YOUR ADVICE WILL BE APPRECIATED WHETHER THIS UNDERSTANDING IS CORRECT. BOTH SUBSECTIONS (D) AND (E) CONTAIN A PROVISION FOR AUTOMATIC PROMOTION FROM ONE REGULAR GRADE TO THE NEXT HIGHER GRADE "SUCCESSIVELY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER FOLLOWING THE ONE YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN EACH GRADE" UNTIL THE HIGHEST REGULAR GRADE IS REACHED. 300 WHEN THE SALARY OF THE EMPLOYEE BEING TRANSFERRED IS LESS THAN $2.

B-75128, MAY 4, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 672

COMPENSATION - POSTAL SERVICE - INITIAL SALARY RATES - INSPECTION SERVICE CLERK TRANSFERRED WITHIN SERVICE TO PRINCIPAL REVIEW CLERK THE INITIAL SALARY RATE OF AN EMPLOYEE OF THE POST OFFICE INSPECTION SERVICE UPON TRANSFER WITHIN SUCH SERVICE FROM A POSITION AS CLERK TO PRINCIPAL REVIEW CLERK MAY BE FIXED ADMINISTRATIVELY, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, AT ANY ONE OF THE FOUR AUTOMATIC SALARY GRADES SPECIFIED FOR THE LATTER POSITION BY SECTION 15 (E) OF THE POSTAL SERVICE PAY STATUTE OF JULY 6, 1945, AS AMENDED, BUT NO HIGHER.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL MAY 4, 1948:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 30, 1948 (REFERENCE 3), AS FOLLOWS:

THIS DEPARTMENT HAS UNDER CONSIDERATION THE TRANSFER OF A CLERK FROM THE POSITION OF "CLERK AT DIVISION HEADQUARTERS AND OTHER POSTS OF DUTY OF POST OFFICE INSPECTORS," GRADE 11, $3,300, TO THE POSITION OF "PRINCIPAL REVIEW CLERK AT DIVISION HEADQUARTERS OF POST OFFICE INSPECTORS.' BOTH CATEGORIES OF POSITIONS ARE AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 15 OF PUBLIC LAW 134, ACT OF JULY 6, 1945, THE POSITION OF CLERK BEING AUTHORIZED IN PARAGRAPHS (C) AND (D) AND THE POSITIONS OF PRINCIPAL REVIEW CLERK BEING AUTHORIZED IN PARAGRAPHS (C) AND (E). BOTH POSITIONS ARE PAID FROM THE SAME APPROPRIATION; NAMELY," POST OFFICE INSPECTORS, CLERKS, DIVISION HEADQUARTERS, 1948.'

THE CLERK IN QUESTION SERVED FROM JULY 1, 1944, TO JUNE 30, 1945, IN GRADE 4 OF THE POSITION OF CLERK AT DIVISION HEADQUARTERS UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, AT $2,300 AND AS OF JULY 1, 1945, WAS CONVERTED TO GRADE 11 UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION OF JULY 6, 1945, PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 21 AND 23 OF THAT ACT.

WERE THIS EMPLOYEE TO REMAIN IN HIS PRESENT POSITION, HE WOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR CONSIDERATION OF PROMOTION TO GRADE 12 UNDER PARAGRAPH (D) OF SECTION 15 ON JULY 1, 1952. WERE HE TRANSFERRED TO THE POSITION OF PRINCIPAL REVIEW CLERK AT THIS TIME AT HIS PRESENT SALARY RATE, HE WOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR CONSIDERATION OF PROMOTION IN THAT TYPE OF POSITION TO GRADE 4 ON JULY 1, 1949, UNDER PARAGRAPH (E) OF SECTION 15.

SINCE 1945 THIS PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE HAS ACQUIRED ESPECIALLY VALUABLE TECHNICAL SKILLS OVER AND ABOVE THOSE NORMALLY REQUIRED IN EITHER TYPE OF POSITION. BECAUSE OF THIS THE REAPPOINTMENT TO THE POSITION OF PRINCIPAL REVIEW CLERK AT HIS CURRENT RATE OF PAY WOULD NOT BE SUITABLE RECOGNITION OF HIS VALUE TO THE SERVICE. FROM THE REASONING IN 7 C.G. 295 IT APPEARS TO BE WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION OF THIS DEPARTMENT TO FIX THIS EMPLOYEE'S SALARY INITIALLY UPON TRANSFER AT ANY RATE SPECIFIED IN PARAGRAPH (E) OF SECTION 15, NOT IN EXCESS OF GRADE 4. YOUR ADVICE WILL BE APPRECIATED WHETHER THIS UNDERSTANDING IS CORRECT.

SECTION 15 (C) OF THE ACT OF JULY 6, 1945, PUBLIC LAW NO. 134, 59 STAT. 435, 450, CLASSIFIES THE CLERICAL FORCE OF THE POST OFFICE INSPECTION SERVICE INTO TWO GROUPS, NAMELY,"CLERKS" AND ,PRINCIPAL REVIEW CLERKS.' SUBSECTION (D) OF THE SAME SECTION, 59 STAT. 450, DIVIDES THE CLERKS AT DIVISION HEADQUARTERS AND OTHER POSTS OF DUTY OF POST-OFFICE INSPECTORS INTO NINE REGULAR GRADES AND PROVIDES THREE ADDITIONAL GRADES FOR CLERKS WHO PERFORM FAITHFUL AND MERITORIOUS SERVICE, ALL AT SPECIFIED ANNUAL SALARIES. AND SUBSECTION (E) THEREOF, 59 STAT. 451, DIVIDES THE PRINCIPAL REVIEW CLERKS INTO FOUR REGULAR GRADES AND PROVIDES TWO ADDITIONAL GRADES FOR REVIEW CLERKS WHO PERFORM FAITHFUL AND MERITORIOUS SERVICE, WITH FIXED COMPENSATION PER ANNUM FOR EACH GRADE. BOTH SUBSECTIONS (D) AND (E) CONTAIN A PROVISION FOR AUTOMATIC PROMOTION FROM ONE REGULAR GRADE TO THE NEXT HIGHER GRADE "SUCCESSIVELY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER FOLLOWING THE ONE YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN EACH GRADE" UNTIL THE HIGHEST REGULAR GRADE IS REACHED. SUBSECTION (F) OF SAID SECTION, 59 STAT. 451, PROVIDES FOR TRANSFER IN THE DISCRETION OF THE POSTMASTER GENERAL OF ,CLERKS, OR CARRIERS IN THE CITY DELIVERY SERVICE TO THE POSITION OF CLERK AT DIVISION HEADQUARTERS AND OTHER POSTS OF DUTY OF POST-OFFICE INSPECTORS AT A SALARY NOT TO EXCEED $2,300 WHEN THE SALARY OF THE EMPLOYEE BEING TRANSFERRED IS LESS THAN $2,300 AND, WHEN THE SALARY OF THE EMPLOYEE BEING TRANSFERRED IS EQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN $2,300, SUCH EMPLOYEE MAY BE TRANSFERRED AT NOT LESS THAN THE SALARY RECEIVED IN THE POSITION FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED.'

PUBLIC LAW NO. 386, APPROVED MAY 21, 1946, 60 STAT. 203, PROVIDES THAT EMPLOYEES IN THE POSTAL SERVICE WHOSE RATES OF COMPENSATION ARE PRESCRIBED UNDER PUBLIC LAW NO. 134, SUPRA, SHALL RECEIVE ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION AT THE RATE OF $400 PER ANNUM. THUS, THE STATUTORY RATES OF COMPENSATION ALLOWABLE TO CLERKS AND PRINCIPAL REVIEW CLERKS IN THE INSPECTION SERVICE WERE INCREASED BY $400 AS OF JANUARY 1, 1946, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF PUBLIC LAW 386, AND THE FIGURE OF $2,300 USED IN SECTION 15 (F) OF PUBLIC LAW 134 WAS INCREASED TO $2,700.

THE GENERAL RULE, STATED IN 7 COMP. GEN. 295, REFERRED TO BY YOU, AS WELL AS IN NUMEROUS OTHER DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE, IS THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF A LIMITATION PRESCRIBED BY STATUTE ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS TO AUTOMATIC GRADES BY TRANSFER, REINSTATEMENT, OR OTHERWISE, MAY BE MADE ABOVE THE MINIMUM GRADE WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. SEE 15 COMP. GEN. 595. SO FAR AS SUCH APPOINTMENTS PERTAIN TO THE POSITION OF "CLERK AT DIVISION HEADQUARTERS AND OTHER POSTS OF DUTY OF POST-OFFICE INSPECTORS" IT IS CLEAR THAT THE TRANSFER OF A CLERK OR CARRIER IN THE CITY DELIVERY SERVICE TO SUCH POSITION MAY BE MADE ONLY PURSUANT TO AND WITHIN THE LIMITATIONS OF SUBSECTION (F), SECTION 15, OF THE ACT OF JULY 6, 1945, SUPRA. SEE 15 COMP. GEN. 526, 527. HOWEVER, THE AFOREMENTIONED SUBSECTION (F) DOES NOT BY ITS SPECIFIC TERMS, OR BY INFERENCE, EMBRACE PRINCIPAL REVIEW CLERKS, NOT IS THERE ANY OTHER PROVISION IN THE STATUTE WHICH PRESCRIBES ANY RULE FOR FIXING THE INITIAL SALARY RATE OF AN EMPLOYEE UPON TRANSFER FROM THE POSITION OF CLERK AT DIVISION HEADQUARTERS OF THE INSPECTION SERVICE TO THE POSITION OF PRINCIPAL REVIEW CLERK AT DIVISION HEADQUARTERS OF THAT SERVICE. THAT IS TO SAY, THERE IS NO STATUTORY PROHIBITION WHICH PRECLUDES AN EMPLOYEE'S BEING APPOINTED BY TRANSFER FROM ONE POSITION IN THE INSPECTION SERVICE TO THE POSITION OF PRINCIPAL REVIEW CLERK AT OTHER THAN THE MINIMUM GRADE SPECIFIED IN THE STATUTE FOR THE LAST-NAMED POSITION. HENCE, IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE GENERAL RULE, STATED ABOVE, IS FOR APPLICATION TO THE FACTUAL SET-UP OUTLINED IN YOUR LETTER AND, UPON APPROVAL OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, THE DEPARTMENT, IN ITS DISCRETION, MAY FIX THE EMPLOYEE'S SALARY INITIALLY UPON TRANSFER TO ANY RATE SPECIFIED IN SUBSECTION (E), SECTION 15, OF PUBLIC LAW 134, AS AMENDED, NOT IN EXCESS OF THE SALARY RATE SPECIFIED FOR GRADE FOUR. IN OTHER WORDS, THE APPOINTMENT BY TRANSFER MAY BE TO ANY ONE OF THE FOUR AUTOMATIC SALARY GRADES, BUT NO HIGHER. SEE 27 COMP. GEN. 68.