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Classification & Qualifications Appeal Decisions

Washington, DC

U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Classification Appeal Decision
Under section 5112 of title 5, United States Code

Edith J. Dugans
Management Assistant (OA)
GS-344-7
Administrative Services Group
Southeastern District Office
Metal and Non-Metal Mine
Safety and Health
Mine Safety and Health Administration
U. S. Department of Labor
Birmingham, Alabama
Title at agency discretion
GS-303-5
C-0303-05-25

Robert D. Hendler
Classification and Pay Claims
Program Manager
Agency Compliance and Evaluation
Merit System Accountability and Compliance

06/11/2013


Date

As provided in section 511.612 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), this decision constitutes a classification certificate which is mandatory and binding on all administrative, certifying, payroll, disbursing, and accounting officials of the Government.  The agency is responsible for reviewing its classification decisions for identical, similar, or related positions to ensure consistency with this decision.  There is no right of further appeal.  This decision is subject to discretionary review only under conditions and time limits specified in 5 CFR 511.605, 511.613, and 511.614, as cited in the Introduction to the Position Classification Standards (Introduction), appendix 4, section G (address provided in appendix 4, section H).

Since this decision lowers the grade of the appealed position, it is to be effective no later than the beginning of the sixth pay period after the date of this decision, as permitted by 5 CFR 511.702.  The applicable provisions of parts 351, 432, 536, and 752 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, must be followed in implementing this decision.  If the appellant is entitled to grade retention, the two-year retention period begins on the date this decision is implemented.  The servicing human resources office must submit a compliance report containing the corrected position description and a Standard Form 50 showing the personnel action taken.  The report must be submitted within 30 days from the effective date of the personnel action to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) office that adjudicated this appeal.

Introduction

On December 4, 2012, OPM’s Atlanta Oversight accepted a classification appeal from Ms. Edith J. Dugans and on January 23, 2013, it was transferred to Philadelphia Oversight for adjudication.  The appellant’s position is currently classified as a Management Assistant (OA), GS-344-7, and is located in the Administrative Services Group, Southeastern District Office, Metal and Non-Metal Mine Safety and Health (MNMSH), Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA),U. S. Department of Labor (DOL), in Birmingham, Alabama.  The appellant believes her position should be re-classified as a Management and Program Analyst, GS-343-9/11.  We received the complete agency administrative report on February 21, 2013, and have accepted and decided this appeal under section 5112(b) of title 5, United States Code (U.S.C.).

General issues

The appellant raises concerns about the agency’s classification review process.  She alludes to classification inconsistency, stating positions in another MSHA office performing the same duties with fewer employees to service are graded at the GS-7 grade level.  She implies that she is performing GS-9/11 level work since she assists her immediate supervisor whose position is classified at the GS-12 level, serves as the E2 electronic travel system subject-matter expert (SME), and tracks the government vehicle inventory, audiograms, physicals, and training at the district office and the supported field offices.

By law, we must classify positions solely by comparing their current duties and responsibilities to OPM position classification standards (PCSs) and guidelines (5 U.S.C. 5106, 5107, and 5112).  Since comparison to OPM PCSs and guidelines is the exclusive method for classifying positions, we cannot compare the appellant’s position to other positions, which may or may not be classified properly, as a basis for deciding this appeal.  In adjudicating this appeal, our responsibility is to make our own independent decision on the proper classification of her position.  Because our decision sets aside all previous agency decisions, the agency’s classification review process is not germane to this decision.

Like OPM, the appellant’s agency must classify positions based on comparison to OPM standards and guidelines.  However, the agency also has primary responsibility for ensuring that its positions are classified consistently with OPM appeal decisions.  If the appellant considers her position so similar to others that they all warrant the same classification, she may pursue the matter by writing to her agency’s human resources headquarters.  In so doing, she should specify the precise organizational location, classification, duties, and responsibilities of the positions in question.  If the positions are found to be basically the same as hers, the agency must correct their classification to be consistent with this appeal decision.  Otherwise, the agency should explain to the appellant the differences between her position and the others.

Position information

MNMSH enforces the Mine Act at all metal and nonmetal mining operations in the United States which includes conducting inspections and investigations at the mine sites to insure their compliance with health and safety standards required by the Act.  When inspectors and investigators observe violations of health or safety standards, they issue citations and orders to mine operators requiring them to correct the problems.  Other activities required by the Mine Act performed by MNMSH staff include investigating mine accidents, complaints of discrimination reported by miners, complaints of hazardous conditions reported by miners, and criminal violations, developing improved safety and health standards, and reviewing mine operators’ mining plans and education and training programs for miners. 

The appellant’s position reports directly to the Administrative Services Group supervisor and performs administrative support activities for the Southeastern District Office and its 10 field offices. 

The appellant and her immediate supervisor signed statements attesting to the accuracy of the appellant’s position description (PD) of record, number SL0053.  Based on careful evaluation of all material of record we find the appellant’s PD primarily consists of tasks the appellant does not perform and one that is overstated.  Specifically, the appellant does not participate in the development of long- and short-range planning.  She does not conduct a variety of on-going and specialized studies of the districts’ administrative functions and needs.  The appellant also does not assist and/or develop analytical studies on the status of enforcement work and progress using individual, group, field office, or district performance to evaluate and determine objectives reached, program accomplishments, and the district’s overall effectiveness versus other comparables and nationwide MSHA performance.  She does not prepare reports on the results of studies for use by district management staff.  The appellant also does not use work experience and knowledge of requirements to search, locate, and obtain publications, data, information, records, etc., to prepare reports and summaries.  She does not design and prepare informative materials to address items dictated by the nature of the project.  The appellant does not assist in the development and use of visual aids, charts, graphs, etc., to inform management of the activities and results of various programs.  She also does not develop a wide variety of databases on the administrative and program functions for which she is responsible.  The appellant does not coordinate and process all personnel actions requests and related material.  She also does not maintain an up-to-date master inventory of all equipment in the district.  The appellant does not prepare letters, reports, tables, or graphs using a variety of computer software.  She does not process Freedom of Information Act requests, obtain mine and contractor identification numbers, or serve as a timekeeper. 

The major duty stating the appellant assists in developing statistical information of financial obligations and expenditures by object classification is overstated.  Instead, she provides her supervisor with financial obligations and expenditures by object classification information as requested.

The only major duties identified in the PD performed by the appellant are developing and maintaining a program to ensure that mandatory physical examinations are scheduled and completed, ensuring an adequate inventory of expendable supplies, and serving as a liaison for GSA-owned vehicles.

A PD is the official record of the major duties and responsibilities assigned to a position or job by an official with the authority to assign work.  Major duties are normally those occupying a significant portion of the employee’s time.  They should be only those duties currently assigned, observable, identified with the position’s purpose and organization, and expected to continue or recur on a regular basis over a period of time.  PDs must meet the minimum standard of adequacy as described in the Introduction.  Therefore, the appellant’s PD must be revised so that there is a clear understanding of the duties and responsibilities representing the approved classification.  Regardless, an OPM decision classifies a real operating position and not simply the PD.  We have decided this appeal based on an assessment of the actual work assigned to and performed by the appellant.

To help us decide the appeal, we conducted telephone interviews with the appellant on April 9, and 23, 2013, and her immediate supervisor on April 15, 2013.  In reaching our classification decision, we have carefully considered all of the information obtained from the interviews, as well as all other information of record provided by the appellant and her agency.

According to the information provided during the telephone conversations, the appellant performs the following major duties.

She serves as the Southeastern District Office credit card purchase holder with a daily limit of $3,000.00 and a $25,000.00 monthly limit.  The appellant purchases office supplies and health/safety equipment, e.g., hardhats, respirator wipes, earplugs, as needed.  She also makes purchases for a field office if there is no supervisor, it will exceed their daily limit, or it cannot be done by a field office, e.g., a piece of equipment needing calibrating.  For each credit card purchase below the $3,000.00 daily limit, the appellant creates a requisition into the New Core Financial Management System (NCFMS) for her supervisor’s approval.  After she receives approval, the appellant accesses the General Services Administration (GSA) Advantage website – an online government purchasing service run by GSA - and proceeds with searching for a vendor and making the purchase.  When the monthly credit card statement is received, she reconciles the previous months’ requisitions in NCFMS by running a query on that month’s purchases and comparing them against those listed on the credit card statement to ensure they match.  Once the field offices complete their reconciliations, they mail to the appellant the original credit card statement, a receipt or packing slip for each item and the purchase log – an in-house form including the date and amount of the purchase, and the vendor name.  The appellant verifies she received the required documents and keeps them on file for six years.  She also uses the credit card to pay a monthly Direct Television bill for the district office after examining the bill and ensuring the accuracy of the monthly charge. 

When a new contract is needed for continued landline telephone service for the district office and/or the field offices, the appellant works with contracting personnel in the Acquisition Management Branch located in Beaver, West Virginia.  For some field offices, landline telephone service is provided by the same supplier, e.g., Windstream Corporation provides service to the Lexington, Kentucky and Sanford, North Carolina field offices.  She creates a requisition in the Electronic Procurement System (EPS) and completes the required supporting documents before forwarding them to the purchasing agent.  The information includes the district or field office name, the supervisor’s name, and a form with the Assistant District Manager’s signature calculating an estimated dollar amount for the office’s landline telephone service for the upcoming fiscal year. 

When the appellant’s supervisor needs to know the amount of money spent on employee travel during the fiscal year, she will run a query in the E2 electronic travel system to generate a listing of the needed information.  If he needs to know the amount of money spent on landline telephone service she will refer to her locally developed spreadsheet for the information. 

If an inspector replaces an item needed to perform his or her duties, e.g., camera and case, canvas gloves, and safety vests, the inspector completes an SF-1164 reimbursement form and sends it, along with the specifications of the item purchased and the receipt, to the appellant.  She searches the bulletins at her desk to ensure the item meets the reimbursement requirements prior to forwarding the package to the District Manager for approval and the finance office for processing payment to the inspector. 

As the SME on the E2 electronic travel system, the appellant conducts E2 training for new employees by explaining how to create a trip.  She explains how to maneuver through the system and the meaning of common error messages.  Her travel system administrator duties include resetting passwords, deactivating the accounts of employees retiring or transferring, and adding new employees.  She corrects travel vouchers for travelers who cannot determine why the voucher is being rejected by the system, e.g., insufficient state taxes claimed.  The appellant contacts the Helpdesk for vouchers not paid but are showing they are closed in the system.  She applies the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) to answer travel-related questions, e.g., per diem is based on the location of the mine property being inspected, or laundry expenses are reimbursable only after four consecutive nights lodging on official travel. 

The appellant serves as the liaison for the approximately 87 GSA-owned motor vehicles operated by district and field office personnel.  She refers tickets received for a vehicle to the assigned employee and his or her supervisor for payment.  She also advises vehicle operators they may charge up to $100.00 on their Wright Express Credit Card for expenses such as gasoline, car battery replacement, and carwash, and to contact GSA for authorization of expenses above $100.00.  When GSA sends updates or notices for distribution, the appellant forwards them to the vehicle operators.  Vehicles are replaced every five years or 60,000 miles and the appellant conveys the Assistant District Manager’s decision to GSA regarding what type of vehicle is needed if it is to be replaced.  The appellant uses a locally developed spreadsheet to reconcile the monthly listing of motor vehicles for the serviced offices that are received from MSHA Headquarters. 

The appellant receives the gasoline purchase receipts and the mileage log, which shows the miles driven for each employee assigned a motor vehicle and uses the information to update DOL’s Automobile Use Tracking On-line System database and GSA’s Gas Odometer Reading at the Pump located on the Mileage Express database for tracking purposes.

The appellant uses a spreadsheet to track and ensure inspectors receive an audiogram each year and a physical examination every three years.  The appellant sends an e-mail to the inspector to provide her with the date of the medical appointment so she can update her spreadsheet and the MSHA Medical Review Section database.  An inspector receives a physical examination from the assigned Federal Occupational Health (FOH) facility for the office.  However, an inspector may receive an audiogram from either the assigned FOH or a facility of their choosing approved through MSHA Headquarters.  The appellant makes the appointment upon the inspector’s request and puts together a packet of forms for the inspector to bring to the appointment.  The inspector receives the examination results and a copy is sent to the Medical Review Section for review.  The appellant also forwards physical examination forms to applicants selected for inspector positions needing a pre-employment physical. 

The appellant schedules inspectors for training at DOL’s Mine Safety and Health Academy in Beckley, West Virginia after she is notified of which training the inspector will be attending.  An academy staff member will then forward the training course information to the inspector.

Series, title and standard determination

The agency has classified the appellant’s position in the one-grade interval Management and Program Clerical and Assistance Series, GS-344, but the appellant believes it should be classified in the two-grade interval Management and Program Analysis Series, GS-343.  The GS-343 series includes positions primarily serving as analysts and advisors to management on the evaluation of the effectiveness of government programs and operations, the productivity and efficiency of the management of Federal agencies, or both.  Positions in this series require knowledge of the substantive nature of agency programs and activities, management principles and processes, and the analytical and evaluative methods and techniques for assessing program development or execution and improving organizational effectiveness and efficiency.  The GS-344 series includes positions involved in supervising or performing clerical and technical work in support of management and program analysis.  The work requires a practical knowledge of (1) the purposes, methods, and techniques of management and/or program analysis and (2) the structures, functions, processes, objectives, products, services, and resource requirements of a government program or organization.

Classification guidance in the Introduction and The Classifier’s Handbook describes distinctions between positions properly classified in two-grade interval administrative series and positions classified in one-grade interval support series.  Administrative work (two-grade interval) requires a high order of analytical ability.  This ability is combined with a comprehensive knowledge of (1) the functions, processes, theories, and principles of management and (2) the methods used to gather, analyze, and evaluate information.  Administrative positions are involved with analyzing, evaluating, modifying, and developing the basic programs, policies, and procedures that facilitate the work of Federal agencies and programs.  In contrast, employees who perform support work (one-grade interval) follow established methods, procedures, and guidelines and may require a high degree of technical skill, care, and precision.  The work can be performed based on a practical knowledge of the purpose, operation, procedures, techniques, and guidelines of the specific program area or functional assignments.  Support personnel typically learn to do the work on-the-job and also may attend specific training courses related to their work.

The appellant’s duties cannot be construed as two-grade interval administrative work.  Her duties are clearly of a support nature and are not analytical.  Consistent with one-grade interval support work, her duties involve carrying out established processes and procedures based on practical knowledge of the requirements associated with the discrete functional assignments.  Thus, while the appellant may know the steps involved in submitting a requisition through the EPS for continued landline telephone service, she is not required to understand or make decisions or recommendations regarding the content of the contract.  She may know the steps involved in gathering object classification code data for her supervisor, but she is not required to know how to apply the data against the organization’s budget for qualitative and quantitative analysis.  Her work neither requires nor permits the exercise of a high order of analytical ability, comprehensive knowledge of management principles and processes, or skill in problem solving or written communication.  It does not involve analyzing case assignments to ascertain facts and determine the actions required, conducting research and identifying options, or preparing written products with findings and conclusions.  Instead, her work involves the application of a limited set of methods and procedures that do not vary significantly from assignment to assignment, consistent with one-grade interval support work.

Positions covered by the GS-343 series serve as staff analysts, evaluators, and advisors to management on the effectiveness and efficiency with which agencies and their components carry out their assigned programs and functions.  Management and Program Analysts provide line managers with objectively based information for making decisions on the administrative and programmatic aspects of agency operations and management.  They develop life cycle cost analyses of projects or perform cost benefit or economic evaluations of current or projected programs; advise on the distribution of work among positions and organizations and the appropriate staffing levels and skills mix; advise on the potential benefits/uses of automation to improve the efficiency of administrative support or program operations; and research and investigate new or improved business and management practices for application to agency programs or operations.

The appellant does not perform any of the typical GS-343 functions.  Instead, as discussed previously, she performs administrative support functions to include making credit card purchases of health/safety equipment and office supplies, submitting requisitions in EPS for continued landline telephone service, serving as the SME for the E2 electronic travel system, tracking the audiogram and physical examination due dates for inspectors, and scheduling inspectors for training.  Unlike work in the GS-343 series, the appellant’s work does not require an in-depth knowledge of management principles and processes or the analytical and evaluative methods needed for assessing program development or execution in improving organizational effectiveness and efficiency as described above.

The appellant’s position also is not covered by the GS-344 Management and Program Clerical and Assistance Series.  This series covers clerical and technical work in support of management analysis or program analysis, the purposes of which are to evaluate and improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity of organizations and programs, when the work requires a practical knowledge of the purposes, methods, and techniques of management analysis or program analysis and the structures, functions, processes, products, services, resource requirements, and similar features of Government programs and organizations.  Employees in this series perform the routine, procedural, or standard assignments that support management or program analytical work.  Some employees in this series perform the basic procedural tasks needed to complete management or program analysis projects and processes, such as maintaining, gathering, and compiling records of organizational and workflow charts, staffing levels, mission and function statements, and internal audit reports; compiling and distributing reports on proposed program goals, budgets, staff levels, and performance criteria to operating officials for review and comment; making and verifying routine calculations such as standard cost estimates, production rates, staff hours, and workload figures; or preparing charts, graphs, and narrative information for management analysis reports from material provided by higher-level employees.  There are employees in this series who perform limited management analysis projects or segments of larger projects or studies under the direction of higher-level employees, such as monitoring and reviewing program resource and forecasted requirements to identify trends and discrepancies; studying reports on program workload figures and production rates and determining the extent of deviations from goals; and interviewing operating personnel to collect information on and produce charts showing workflow patterns, lines of authority, or organizational layout.

Although the appellant reports to the district’s Supervisory Management and Program Analyst, she provides administrative rather than management analysis support.  Her work does not require knowledge of the purposes, methods, and techniques of management analysis or the structures, functions, processes, objectives, products, services, resource requirements, or similar features of Government programs and organizations.  Instead, her work involves carrying out established procedures requiring knowledge of certain administrative requirements prescribed by the agency that are not directly associated with the field of management analysis.  Therefore, the grading criteria in the GS-344 (PCS) do not cover the work she performs and, thus, may not be used in grading this position.

The appellant’s position is properly assigned to the one-grade interval GS-303 Miscellaneous Clerical and Assistance Series, which covers clerical, assistant, or technician work for which no other series is appropriate, where the work requires knowledge of the procedures and techniques involved in carrying out the work of an organization and involves application of procedures and practices within the framework of established guidelines.  Clerical work in this series involves the processing or maintenance of records or documents which represent the transactions or business of an organization.  Correspondingly, the appellant’s work involves the application of established procedures in scheduling inspectors for training, serving as a SME for E2, and in maintaining and updating records.

There are no titles specified for positions in the GS-303 series.  Agencies may construct titles for positions in this series following guidance provided in the Introduction.  Positions classified to the GS-303 series that involve the performance of clerical work are evaluated by use of the Grade Level Guide for Clerical and Assistance Work.

The parenthetical title Office Automation (OA), used by the agency in classifying the position, is added to the title when the position requires a fully qualified typist to perform word processing duties.  The record shows the appellant inputs data into existing databases and locally developed spreadsheets.  The supervisor stated the appellant does not compose letters, and the skills of a fully qualified typist are not needed.  After careful study of the appellants’ duties and responsibilities, we concur.  Therefore, the parenthetical (OA) may not be included in the title.

Grade determination

The Grade Level Guide for Clerical and Assistance Work is used as a source of grade level criteria for the evaluation of clerical or assistance work which is not covered by more specific grade level criteria in other standards or guides.  It addresses the work of processing transactions and performing various office support and miscellaneous clerical and assistance duties within a framework of procedures, precedents, or instructions.  It describes the general characteristics of each grade level from GS-1 through GS-7 in terms of two evaluation factors: Nature of Assignment (which includes the elements of knowledge required and complexity of the work) and Level of Responsibility (which includes the elements of supervisory controls, guidelines, and contacts). 

For the purpose of applying this guide, the terms "clerical" is defined as performing work such as preparing, receiving, reviewing, and verifying documents; maintaining office records; locating and compiling data or information from files; compiling information for reports; keeping a calendar and informing others of deadlines and other important dates; and similar clerical support work within an organization.  This work requires knowledge of the clerical requirements and processes involved in maintaining the functional programs of the unit. “Assistance” is defined as performing technical work to support the administration or operation of the programs of an organizational unit.  This work requires a working knowledge of the work processes and procedures of an administrative field (e.g., office administration, communications, and security) and the missions and operational requirements of the unit.

            GS-5  

Nature of Assignment

GS-5 level work consists of performing a full range of standard and non-standard clerical assignments and resolving a variety of non-recurring problems.  Work includes a variety of assignments involving different and unrelated steps, processes, or methods.  The employee must identify and understand the issues involved in each assignment and determine what steps and procedures are necessary and the order of their performance.  Completion of each transaction typically involves selecting a course of action from a number of possibilities.  The work requires extensive knowledge of an organization’s rules, procedures, operations, or business practices to perform the more complex, interrelated, or one-of-a-kind clerical processing procedures.

Level of Responsibility

At the GS-5 level, the supervisor assigns work by defining objectives, priorities, and deadlines and provides guidance on assignments which do not have clear precedents.  The employee works in accordance with accepted practices and completed work is evaluated for technical soundness, appropriateness, and effectiveness in meeting goals.  Extensive guides in the form of instructions, manuals, regulations, and precedents apply to the work.  The number and similarity of guidelines and work situations require the employee to use judgment in locating and selecting the most appropriate guidelines for application and adapting them according to circumstances of the specific case or transaction.  A number of procedural problems may arise which also require interpretation and adaptation of established guides.  Contacts are with a variety of persons within and outside the agency for the purpose of receiving or providing information relating to the work or resolving operating problems in connection with recurring responsibilities. 

The appellant’s work assignments are generally consistent with the above GS-5 level criteria.  Corresponding to this level, she performs, under general supervision, responsible administrative work which requires training and a broad working knowledge of the rules, procedures, and operations of the specific programs to which she is assigned, e.g., credit card purchase holder, E2 SME, EPS requisitions, and GSA-owned motor vehicle liaison.  Her work includes a variety of assignments involving different and unrelated processes, such as purchasing health/safety equipment and office supplies, updating databases, tracking audiogram and physical examination due dates, and scheduling training.  Her work involves performing a full range of both standard and non-standard clerical assignments where she must understand the issues involved and determine the steps and procedures to be followed.  For example, her credit card purchases of health/safety equipment and office supplies would be considered a standard clerical assignment because the work is basically repetitive and involves carrying out the same steps without variation, i.e., creating a requisition in the NCFMS, waiting for a purchase approval, etc.  However, the work does require working knowledge of the NCFMS system used by credit card purchase holders to be able toperform such non-standard clerical assignments as running a query in NCFMS on the previous months’ purchases to reconcile them against those listed on the credit card statement.  The appellant’s work as the E2 SME requires a working knowledge of the FTR in order to answer questions from employees and supervisors on such travel-related issues as which per diem rate to use as discussed previously in this decision.

The appellant’s level of responsibility is likewise consistent with GS-5 criteria in that the objectives, priorities, and deadlines of the work are established.  The appellant works in accordance with established procedures for recurring work, such as creating requisitions in NCFMS and EPS.  Her work requires the use of a variety of guides such as the FTR, Joint Travel Regulation, NCFMS program purchasing guidelines, Federal Acquisition Regulation, MSHA procedures, bulletins describing work-related purchases for which an inspector is entitled to reimbursement, and GSA updates and notices on topics such as authorization limits changes for the Wright Express Credit Card.  Like this level, the number and similarity of the guidelines require the appellant to select the most appropriate guideline for application and adaptation to the matter at hand, e.g., she researches questions on per diem rates or reimbursable expenses in the FTR and tracks the inspectors to ensure they receive timely audiograms and physical examinations.  She has direct contact with the staff she supports as well as purchase vendors for the purpose of receiving and/or providing work related information, e.g., providing the procedures for scheduling an audiogram and/or a physical examination and the required forms, and following up on the status of purchase requests.

GS-6

At this grade level, the guide provides separate evaluation criteria for clerical and assistance work as defined earlier.  The appellant’s work is clerical in nature because, corresponding to the definition for clerical work, it primarily involves such work as updating databases; creating requisitions in NCFMS and EPS; retaining required documents on file (i.e., district and field office monthly credit card statements); and scheduling training for inspectors.  It does not involve performing technical work within an administrative field to support the programs of the organization.  Thus, only the grade level criteria for clerical work are addressed below.  

Nature of Assignment

GS-6 level work typically entails processing a wide variety of transactions for more than one type of assigned activity or functional specialization.  Assignments are subject to different sets of rules, regulations, and procedures, knowledge of which is usually attained through extensive, increasingly difficult, and practical experience and training in the subject matter field.  The work also requires ability to interpret and apply regulatory and procedural requirements to process unusually difficult and complicated transactions.  

Level of Responsibility

At the GS-6 level, the supervisor reviews completed work for conformance with policy and requirements.  The employee is recognized as an authority on processing transactions or completing assignments within a complicated framework of established procedures and guidelines, often where there are no clear precedents, usually extending beyond the immediate office to outside the organization.  The employee is regarded as an expert source of information on regulatory requirements for the various transactions and is frequently called upon to provide accurate information on short notice.  The employee must adapt guidelines as needed to cover new and unusual work situations and deviate from established procedures to process transactions, which cannot be completed through regular channels.  Contacts with employees in the agency or with the users of agency services are to provide information, explain the application of regulations, or resolve problems.

Assignments at GS-6 involve processing a wide variety of transactions using different rules, regulations, and procedures, where the work requires extensive practical experience and training in the subject matter field and the ability to interpret and apply regulatory and procedural requirements to process unusually difficult and complicated transactions.  The appellant provides clerical support using different procedures, e.g., creating requisitions in NCFMS and FMS, scheduling the inspectors for training, and serving as a liaison between GSA fleet representatives and district and field office personnel assigned motor vehicles.  However, unlike the GS-6 level, this work does not require extensive practical experience and training in a subject matter field; it involves applying established procedures to process standard transactions, update data-bases, etc.  It does not require interpreting and applying regulatory and procedural requirements to process difficult and complicated transactions; it involves selecting the most appropriate guideline for application and adaptation to the matter at hand.  The appellant’s work does not require or permit her to examine the issues involved in a given transaction to determine the best course of action in that the issues presented are subject to resolution by the application of well-established procedures.  The parameters of her work are well defined in that she is not authorized to deviate from established procedures unless specifically instructed.  She carries out a structured, prescribed set of processes with limited opportunity for the application of any independent judgment or action.  Thus, her work is not consistent with the nature of assignments expected at the GS-6 level.

In terms of the level of responsibility associated with this work, the appellant is considered the SME on the E2 electronic travel system.  However, unlike the GS-6 level, her assignments do not routinely require dealing with complicated transactions that are often without precedent.  While she communicates with vendors and district and field office personnel, it is to exchange information as opposed to providing advice on regulatory requirements as discussed at the GS-6 grade level.  Unlike the GS-6 level, her work is repetitive and issues can be resolved by locating and applying the most appropriate guideline to the circumstances of the specific case.  Her work does not routinely require or permit her to deviate from established procedures or deal with actions where guidelines are conflicting or unusable.  Problems of this nature would be referred to her supervisor for resolution.

Decision

The appellant’s position is properly classified as GS-303-5, with the title at agency discretion.

 

 

 

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