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ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. IN THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ARE REQUIRED TO BE CLASSIFIED. A SURVEY HAS BEEN MADE WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT TO DETERMINE THE EFFECT YOUR DECISION WOULD HAVE UPON THE ARRANGEMENTS NOW IN EFFECT BETWEEN THE VARIOUS BUREAUS OF THE DEPARTMENT AND COOPERATING STATE AND OTHER AGENCIES. THE DEPARTMENT BELIEVES THAT THE CLASSIFICATION OF THESE COOPERATIVE AGENTS IS PRACTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT WITHOUT SERIOUSLY DISTURBING THE COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS NOW EXISTING BETWEEN VARIOUS STATES AND TRADE ORGANIZATIONS. A REPORT OF THEIR SURVEY IS CONTAINED IN P.C.B. SPECIFICALLY RECOMMENDED THAT "POSITIONS WHICH ARE FINANCED JOINTLY BY THE UNITED STATES AND A STATE.

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A-70792, JULY 20, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 49

CLASSIFICATION - FIELD SERVICE - COOPERATIVE EMPLOYEES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE COOPERATIVE POSITIONS UNDER AGREEMENTS BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND STATE OR OTHER NON-FEDERAL AGENCIES OR ORGANIZATIONS, IF CONTROLLED IN WHOLE OR IN PART BY STATE OR OTHER NON-FEDERAL AGENCIES OR ORGANIZATIONS, EITHER AS TO THE DUTIES OR SALARIES OF THE EMPLOYEES INVOLVED, ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. COMP. GEN. 852, AMPLIFIED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, JULY 20, 1936:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 9, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

THE DEPARTMENT HAS GIVEN CAREFUL CONSIDERATION TO YOUR DECISION OF MARCH 26, 1936, A-70792, TO THE EFFECT THAT THE POSITIONS OF COOPERATIVE AGENTS, AND ANY OTHERS OF A SIMILAR CHARACTER, IN THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ARE REQUIRED TO BE CLASSIFIED; WHICH ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE AND NOT LATER THAN JULY 1, 1936. A SURVEY HAS BEEN MADE WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT TO DETERMINE THE EFFECT YOUR DECISION WOULD HAVE UPON THE ARRANGEMENTS NOW IN EFFECT BETWEEN THE VARIOUS BUREAUS OF THE DEPARTMENT AND COOPERATING STATE AND OTHER AGENCIES. THE QUESTION OF CLASSIFYING THE POSITIONS OF COOPERATIVE AGENTS PRESENTS A DIFFICULT PROBLEM IN MANY INSTANCES, AS DISCLOSED BY COPIES OF ATTACHED REPORTS FROM THE BUREAU OF CHEMISTRY AND SOILS, THE BUREAU OF DAIRY INDUSTRY, THE BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS, THE BUREAU OF ENTOMOLOGY AND PLANT QUARANTINE, THE BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING, GRAIN FUTURES ADMINISTRATION, AND THE EXTENSION SERVICE.

IN FACT, THE DEPARTMENT BELIEVES THAT THE CLASSIFICATION OF THESE COOPERATIVE AGENTS IS PRACTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT WITHOUT SERIOUSLY DISTURBING THE COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS NOW EXISTING BETWEEN VARIOUS STATES AND TRADE ORGANIZATIONS. THE SALARIES RECEIVED BY THESE COOPERATIVE AGENTS RANGE FROM $900 PER ANNUM UP TO $5,600 PER ANNUM, RECEIVED FROM EVERY SOURCE, WHICH MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE TO CLASSIFY THESE EMPLOYEES IN ANY SPECIFIC SALARY RANGE UNDER THE CLASSIFICATION ACT.

PURSUANT TO SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1928, THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD MADE AN EXHAUSTIVE SURVEY OF THE CLASSES OF CIVILIAN POSITIONS IN THE FIELD SERVICE. A REPORT OF THEIR SURVEY IS CONTAINED IN P.C.B. FORM 18, ENTITLED "PRELIMINARY CLASS SPECIFICATIONS OF POSITIONS IN THE FIELD SERVICE.' THE PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION BOARD, ON PAGE 10 OF THEIR REPORT, SPECIFICALLY RECOMMENDED THAT "POSITIONS WHICH ARE FINANCED JOINTLY BY THE UNITED STATES AND A STATE, COUNTY, MUNICIPALITY, OR COOPERATING PERSONS OR ORGANIZATIONS OUTSIDE OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE, WHERE THE PAY OF SUCH POSITIONS IS FIXED UNDER A COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES" BE EXCLUDED FROM ALLOCATION LISTS.

IN VIEW OF THE INFORMATION SUBMITTED HEREWITH, IT IS URGENTLY REQUESTED THAT FURTHER CONSIDERATION BE GIVEN TO THIS MATTER, WITH A VIEW TO EXEMPTING COOPERATIVE POSITIONS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FROM CLASSIFICATION.

THE MEMORANDA TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER PRESENT DETAILED INFORMATION REGARDING THE VARIOUS BASES ON WHICH COOPERATIVE AGENTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ARE EMPLOYED AND PAID, WHICH WAS NOT BEFORE THE OFFICE WHEN THE DECISION OF MARCH 26, 1936, WAS RENDERED. IT WOULD APPEAR FROM THESE MEMORANDA THAT THE PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF THE DECISION MAY HAVE BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY MISUNDERSTOOD.

THE DECISION HELD THAT THE TERM "POSITION" AS DEFINED IN THE CLASSIFICATION ACT "WOULD INCLUDE COOPERATIVE FIELD POSITIONS, CREATED UNDER THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF WHICH ARE FIXED AND SUPERVISED BY FEDERAL OFFICERS OF THE DEPARTMENT AND THE FACT THAT THE SALARIES FIXED FOR SUCH POSITIONS MAY BE PAID PARTLY BY A STATE AND PARTLY BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WOULD NOT EXEMPT THEM FROM CLASSIFICATION.' IN OTHER WORDS, THE DECISION WAS INTENDED TO APPLY ONLY TO FEDERAL POSITIONS OVER WHICH STATE OR OTHER NON-FEDERAL AGENCIES HAVE NO SUPERVISION OR CONTROL IN WHOLE OR IN PART TO PRESCRIBE DUTIES AND/OR FIX RATES OF COMPENSATION FOR FULL TIME OR PART-TIME SERVICE, ALTHOUGH THE FUNDS FROM WHICH THE COMPENSATION IS PAID MAY HAVE BEEN DERIVED PARTLY FROM SOURCES OTHER THAN FEDERAL APPROPRIATIONS. IN THIS CONNECTION YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THAT PART OF THE DECISION, SUPRA, READING AS FOLLOWS:

* * * IT MAY BE POSSIBLE THERE ARE SOME POSITIONS IN THE FIELD THE DUTIES OF WHICH ARE FIXED AND SUPERVISED PRIMARILY BY STATE AUTHORIZATION, THE SALARY RATES OF WHICH WOULD NOT BE CONTROLLED EXCLUSIVELY BY FEDERAL PERSONNEL LAWS, INCLUDING THE CLASSIFICATION ACT (12 COMP. GEN. 651), BUT NOTHING HAS BEEN DISCLOSED TO SHOW THAT THE POSITION OF COOPERATIVE AGENT UNDER THE BUREAU OF ENTOMOLOGY AND PLANT QUARANTINE IS OTHER THAN A FEDERAL COOPERATIVE POSITION, THE DUTIES OF WHICH ARE FIXED AND SUPERVISED BY FEDERAL AUTHORITY.

THE MEMORANDA ACCOMPANYING YOUR LETTER INDICATE THAT MANY POSITIONS ARE STATE CONTROLLED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. OBVIOUSLY THESE MAY NOT BE BROUGHT WITHIN THE TERMS OF THE CLASSIFICATION ACT. IF THE COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT UNDER WHICH THE AGENT IS OPERATING RESERVES TO THE STATE OR OTHER NON- FEDERAL AGENCY OR ORGANIZATION ANY SUPERVISORY CONTROL, EITHER AS TO DUTIES OR AS TO SALARIES, THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT APPLY THE PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION UNDER THE FEDERAL STATUTE WHICH REQUIRES THE FIXING OF SALARIES ON THE BASIS OF DUTIES PERFORMED.

THE PAY ROLLS IN RESPECT OF THE VARIOUS CLASSES OF EMPLOYEES IN QUESTION HERE SHOULD CONTAIN SOME SYMBOL OR OTHER EVIDENCE TO DISTINGUISH CLEARLY THE COOPERATIVE POSITIONS WHICH ARE, AND THOSE WHICH ARE NOT, PROPERLY SUBJECT TO THE CLASSIFICATION ACT AS ABOVE INDICATED.

AS THUS AMPLIFIED, THE DECISION OF MARCH 26, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 852, MUST BE AND IS AFFIRMED.

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