Request To Retroactively Change Date of Conversion From Full-Time to Part-Time Employment

B-205390: Apr 6, 1982

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Shirley Jones
(202) 512-8156
jonessa@gao.gov

 

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A Veterans Administration (VA) employee requested that her part-time employment date be retroactively changed to reduce the amount she must pay for health premium benefits. The employee voluntarily applied for and was selected for conversion from a full-time to a part-time position. On the date her job began, the Federal Employees Part-Time Career Act took effect which reduced government health benefit contributions for part-time employees. The employee requested that her conversion to part-time employment be made retroactive prior to that date and that the VA refund excess health benefit contributions withheld from her salary. She claimed entitlement to the same treatment as part-time employees prior to that date because she was not informed by VA of the new regulations' effect until 10 days after her conversion, and such notification would have influenced her final decision. VA reported to GAO that it did not inform the employee because it did not receive notification from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) of the new regulations until after her conversion date. Under such circumstances, GAO held that VA failure to notify the employee, prior to her conversion, was not an administrative error of the nature that would support a retroactive conversion date. Further, OPM regulations have the force of law, and GAO does not have the authority to waive them. Accordingly, the claim was denied.

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