A-57224, OCTOBER 9, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 296

A-57224: Oct 9, 1934

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ARE PROPERLY TERMED "AUTOMATIC. " BUT PROMOTIONS FROM GRADE 5 TO GRADE 6 IN EITHER INSTANCE ARE DEPENDENT UPON ADMINISTRATIVE SELECTION AND MUST BE CLASSED AS ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3. AS FOLLOWS: THE RECEIPT IS ACKNOWLEDGED OF YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 17. YOUR LETTER INDICATES THAT THIS TERM HAS RELATION ONLY TO CLERKS WHO ARE WITHIN "THE SIX GRADES TO WHICH AUTOMATIC PROMOTION MAY BE MADE AFTER A YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN THE LOWER GRADE.'. INSPECTORS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADES 1 AND 2 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 1. INSPECTORS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 3 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 2. INSPECTORS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 4 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 3.

A-57224, OCTOBER 9, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 296

POSTAL SERVICE - AUTOMATIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS OF POST-OFFICE INSPECTORS AND CLERKS PROMOTIONS THROUGH THE FIRST FIVE GRADES OF POST-OFFICE INSPECTORS AND CLERKS AT DIVISION HEADQUARTERS OF POST-OFFICE INSPECTORS PRESCRIBED BY THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1055, ARE PROPERLY TERMED "AUTOMATIC," BUT PROMOTIONS FROM GRADE 5 TO GRADE 6 IN EITHER INSTANCE ARE DEPENDENT UPON ADMINISTRATIVE SELECTION AND MUST BE CLASSED AS ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTIONS WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1515, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 24 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, 48 STAT. 522, AND THE DECISIONS OF JUNE 7, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 419, AND JULY 1, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 1.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, OCTOBER 9, 1934:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 27, 1934, AS FOLLOWS:

THE RECEIPT IS ACKNOWLEDGED OF YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 17, 1934, A 57224, RELATIVE TO THE APPLICATION OF THE TERM "FORCE" AS USED IN SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF FEB. 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1055.

YOUR LETTER INDICATES THAT THIS TERM HAS RELATION ONLY TO CLERKS WHO ARE WITHIN "THE SIX GRADES TO WHICH AUTOMATIC PROMOTION MAY BE MADE AFTER A YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN THE LOWER GRADE.'

THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 2 OF THE STATUTE CITED DEFINES THE SALARY GRADES AND CONDITIONS OF PROMOTION OF POST-OFFICE INSPECTORS IN TERMS PRACTICALLY IDENTICAL WITH THE TERMS USED IN THOSE PORTIONS OF THE SECTION QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER.

THE DEPARTMENT DESIRES TO INQUIRE WHETHER PROMOTIONS OF INSPECTORS TO GRADE 6, SALARY, $4,000, AND PROMOTIONS OF CLERKS AT DIVISION HEADQUARTERS TO GRADE 6, SALARY $2,600, MAY BE REGARDED AS AUTOMATIC PROMOTIONS WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 10 (E), SUBPARAGRAPH (1), OF TITLE II OF THE ACT OF MARCH 20, 1933, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 24 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1935, AND WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 21, PARAGRAPHS (D) AND (E) OF THE LATTER ACT, SO THAT PROMOTIONS TO THESE GRADES MAY BE MADE WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE CONDITIONS DESCRIBED IN YOUR DECISIONS A- 54807 OF JUNE 9 AND JULY 2, 1934.

SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 28, 1925, 43 STAT. 1055, PROVIDES, INSOFAR AS HERE MATERIAL, AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 2. THAT POST-OFFICE INSPECTORS SHALL BE DIVIDED INTO SIX GRADES, AS FOLLOWS: GRADE 1, SALARY $2,800; GRADE 2, SALARY $3,000; GRADE 3, SALARY $3,200; GRADE 4, SALARY $3,500; GRADE 5, SALARY $3,800; GRADE 6,SALARY $4,000, AND THERE SHALL BE FIFTEEN INSPECTORS IN CHARGE AT $4,500: PROVIDED, THAT IN THE READJUSTMENT OF GRADES FOR INSPECTORS TO CONFORM TO THE GRADES HEREIN PROVIDED, INSPECTORS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADES 1 AND 2 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 1; INSPECTORS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 3 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 2; INSPECTORS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 4 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 3; INSPECTORS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 5 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 4; INSPECTORS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 6 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 5; AND INSPECTORS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 7 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 6: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT INSPECTORS SHALL BE PROMOTED SUCCESSIVELY TO GRADE 5 AT THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER FOLLOWING A YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN THE NEXT LOWER GRADE, AND NOT TO EXCEED 35 PERCENTUM OF THE FORCE TO GRADE 6 FOR MERITORIOUS SERVICE AFTER NOT LESS THAN ONE YEAR'S SERVICE IN GRADE 5; AND THE TIME SERVED BY INSPECTORS IN THEIR PRESENT GRADE SHALL BE INCLUDED IN THE YEAR'S SERVICE REQUIRED FOR PROMOTION IN THE GRADES PROVIDED HEREIN, EXCEPT AS TO INSPECTORS IN PRESENT GRADE 1.

THAT CLERKS AT DIVISION HEADQUARTERS OF POST-OFFICE INSPECTORS SHALL BE DIVIDED INTO SIX GRADES, AS FOLLOWS:

GRADE 1, SALARY $1,900; GRADE 2, SALARY $2,000; GRADE 3, SALARY $2,150; GRADE 4, SALARY $2,300; GRADE 5, SALARY $2,450; GRADE 6, SALARY $2,600; AND THERE SHALL BE ONE CHIEF CLERK AT EACH DIVISION HEADQUARTERS AT A SALARY OF $3,000: PROVIDED, THAT IN THE READJUSTMENT OF GRADES FOR CLERKS AT DIVISION HEADQUARTERS TO CONFORM TO THE GRADES HEREIN PROVIDED, CLERKS WHO ARE NOW IN THE PRESENT GRADE 1 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 1; CLERKS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 2 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 2; CLERKS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 3 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 3; CLERKS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 4 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 4; CLERKS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 5 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 5; AND CLERKS WHO ARE NOW IN PRESENT GRADE 6 SHALL BE INCLUDED IN GRADE 6: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT CLERKS AT DIVISION HEADQUARTERS SHALL BE PROMOTED SUCCESSIVELY TO GRADE 5 AT THE BEGINNING OF THE QUARTER FOLLOWING A YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN THE NEXT LOWER GRADE AND NOT TO EXCEED 35 PERCENTUM OF THE FORCE TO GRADE 6 FOR MERITORIOUS SERVICE AFTER NOT LESS THAN ONE YEAR'S SERVICE IN GRADE 5, AND THE TIME SERVED BY CLERKS IN THEIR PRESENT GRADES SHALL BE INCLUDED IN THE YEAR'S SERVICE REQUIRED FOR PROMOTION IN THE GRADES PROVIDED HEREIN: * * *

BOTH AS TO INSPECTORS AND AS TO CLERKS AT DIVISION HEADQUARTERS OF INSPECTORS THE STATUTE PROVIDES 5 SALARY GRADES THROUGH WHICH THE ENTIRE FORCE MAY BE PROMOTED AFTER 1 YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN THE NEXT LOWER GRADE, AND 1 GRADE, VIZ, GRADE 6, TO WHICH ONLY 35 PERCENT OF THE FORCE MAY BE PROMOTED FROM GRADE 5 AFTER NOT LESS THAN 1 YEAR'S MERITORIOUS SERVICE IN GRADE 5. PROMOTION THROUGH THE FIRST 5 GRADES IN EACH INSTANCE IS A VESTED RIGHT DEPENDENT ONLY ON COMPLETING 1 YEAR'S SATISFACTORY SERVICE IN THE NEXT LOWER GRADE. PROMOTIONS FROM GRADE TO GRADE UP TO AND INCLUDING GRADE 5, ONLY, ARE PROPERLY TERMED AS "AUTOMATIC.' IN ORDER FOR AN INSPECTOR OR A CLERK TO BE PROMOTED FROM GRADE 5 TO GRADE 6 THERE MUST BE AN ADMINISTRATIVE SELECTION TO KEEP WITHIN THE LIMITATION FIXED BY THE STATUTE ON THE NUMBER IN GRADE 6, AND THAT ADMINISTRATIVE SELECTION MUST BE BASED ON COMPARATIVE MERIT, EFFICIENCY, OR QUALIFICATIONS OF DIFFERENT EMPLOYEES TO PERFORM SPECIFIC DUTIES. 4 COMP. GEN. 439, AND DECISIONS THEREIN CITED. THIS PROMOTION IS NOT PROPERLY TERMED AS AUTOMATIC BUT IS DEPENDENT UPON ADMINISTRATIVE SELECTION, AND MUST, THEREFORE, BE CLASSED AS AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1515, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 24 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1934, 48 STAT. 522, AND THE DECISIONS OF JUNE 7, 1934, 13 COMP. GEN. 419, AND JULY 2, 1934, 14 COMP. GEN. 1, CITED BY YOU. YOUR QUESTION IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.

WHILE THE CONCLUSION OF THE DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 17, 1934, A-57224, 14 COMP. GEN. 229, WAS CORRECT, THE TERM "AUTOMATIC" SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN APPLIED TO ALL SIX SALARY GRADES IN THE THIRD FROM THE LAST LINE OF THE DECISION. IN FACT, THE SENTENCE IN QUESTION COULD HAVE ENDED WITH THE WORD "GRADES" IN THE THIRD FROM THE LAST LINE OF SAID DECISION AND IT IS HEREBY AMENDED ACCORDINGLY.

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