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TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE REPORT OF THE ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL OF NOVEMBER 30. B-127450 WE RULED THAT IT WAS WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION INITIALLY TO PLACE TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES IN ANY OF THE ESTABLISHED GRADES OR SALARY STEPS OF THE CLASSIFICATION TO WHICH THEY MAY BE TRANSFERRED AND THAT SUCH DISCRETION WAS NOT SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY OUR OFFICE. IT NOW APPEARS FROM THE REPORT OF THE ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL THAT UPON RECEIPT OF THAT DECISION STEPS WERE TAKEN TO AMEND THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION SO AS TO AUTHORIZE SUCH TRANSFERRED WHICH WOULD SAVE THEM FROM ANY REDUCTION IN COMPENSATION AND THAT THE SALARIES OF THESE PARTICULAR EMPLOYEES WERE THEN ADJUSTED PROSPECTIVELY IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUCH REGULATIONS.

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B-127450, DEC. 14, 1956

TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE REPORT OF THE ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL OF NOVEMBER 30, 1956, REGARDING THE COMPENSATION PAID TO VERNON C. BAIER AND CERTAIN OTHER EMPLOYEES OF THE KIRKLAND, WASHINGTON, POST OFFICE UPON REASSIGNMENT TO STEPS IN PFS LEVEL 4.

IN OUR DECISION TO YOU JUNE 5, 1956, B-127450 WE RULED THAT IT WAS WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION INITIALLY TO PLACE TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES IN ANY OF THE ESTABLISHED GRADES OR SALARY STEPS OF THE CLASSIFICATION TO WHICH THEY MAY BE TRANSFERRED AND THAT SUCH DISCRETION WAS NOT SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY OUR OFFICE. IT NOW APPEARS FROM THE REPORT OF THE ASSISTANT POSTMASTER GENERAL THAT UPON RECEIPT OF THAT DECISION STEPS WERE TAKEN TO AMEND THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION SO AS TO AUTHORIZE SUCH TRANSFERRED WHICH WOULD SAVE THEM FROM ANY REDUCTION IN COMPENSATION AND THAT THE SALARIES OF THESE PARTICULAR EMPLOYEES WERE THEN ADJUSTED PROSPECTIVELY IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUCH REGULATIONS, WOULD BE IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE DECISIONS OF OUR OFFICE PROHIBITING RETROACTIVE INCREASES IN COMPENSATION.

OUR DECISION OF JUNE 5, 1956, REFERRED ONLY TO YOUR DISCRETIONARY AUTHORITY TO FIX INITIAL SALARY RATES ON REASSIGNMENTS OR TRANSFERS. DID NOT CONTEMPLATE OR AUTHORIZE CURRENT ADJUSTMENTS OF SALARIES, ALREADY LAWFULLY FIXED BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION, BEFORE THE LAPSE OF THE FIFTY-TWO CALENDAR WEEKS REQUIRED FOR STEP-INCREASES BY SECTION 401 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1955, 69 STAT. 122. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES, HERE PRESENT, WE WILL NOT REQUIRE THE CANCELLATION OF THE ADJUSTMENTS ALREADY SO MADE IN THESE INSTANCES.

WE CONCUR IN YOUR VIEW THAT RETROACTIVE ADJUSTMENTS OF COMPENSATION IN THESE CASES WOULD BE IN CONTRAVENTION OF A LONG-STANDING RULE OF ACCOUNTING OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT. THE RECORD NEGATIVES THE IDEA THAT THE RATES OF COMPENSATION INITIALLY FIXED UPON REASSIGNMENT OF THESE EMPLOYEES WERE NOT IN ACCORD WITH THE THEN EXISTING REGULATIONS, OR THAT THE RATES WERE FIXED, IN ERROR, CONTRARY TO ADMINISTRATIVE INTENT. COMP. GEN. 463.

ACCORDINGLY, WE MUST ADVISE THAT ANY RETROACTIVE ADJUSTMENTS OF COMPENSATION FOUNDED ON THE REGULATIONS OF AUGUST 1, 1956, WOULD BE CONTRARY TO LAW.

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