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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

James M. DeNofrio
Administrative Officer
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Office of the Chief of Staff
Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Veterans Health Administration
U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Altoona, Pennsylvania
Administrative Officer

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



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).

As discussed in this decision, the appellant’s position description (PD) is not adequate for purposes of classification.  Since PDs must meet the standards of adequacy in the Introduction, the appellant’s agency must revise his PD to meet the standard.  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 45 days of the date of this decision to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) office that adjudicated this appeal.


On June 17, 2013, OPM’s Philadelphia Oversight accepted a classification appeal from Mr. James M. DeNofrio.  The appellant’s position is currently classified as Administrative Officer, GS-341-9, and is located in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service (PM&RS), Office of the Chief of Staff, Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), Veterans Health Administration (VHA), U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), in Altoona, Pennsylvania.  The appellant believes his position should be upgraded to the GS-11 grade level.  We received the complete agency administrative report on July 11, 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 alluded to the amount of work he performs by stating the size of the PM&RS and the scope of the services provided have increased.  However, volume of work cannot be considered in determining the grade of a position (The Classifier’s Handbook, Chapter 5).  By law, we must classify positions solely by comparing their current duties and responsibilities to OPM position classification standards (PCS) and guidelines (5 U.S.C. 5106, 5107, and 5112). 

Position information

The appellant’s position reports directly to the PM&RS Chief and performs administrative support activities for the PM&RS, which consists of 21 full time equivalent employees. 

The appellant signed a statement attesting to the inaccuracy of his position description (PD) of record, number 2081.  The appellant’s supervisor also states the PD is not accurate.  However, the VAMC Director signed a statement attesting to the accuracy of the appellant’s PD.

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.  Classification appeal regulations permit OPM to investigate or audit a position and decide an appeal based on the actual duties and responsibilities currently assigned by management and performed by the employee.  An OPM appeal decision classifies a real operating position and not simply the PD.  This decision is based on the work currently assigned to and performed by the appellant.

A PD should include the major duties performed by the position’s occupant.  Major duties are normally those occupying a significant portion of the employee’s time which are 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. Based on a careful evaluation of the material of record, we find the appellant’s PD includes duties that do not include all of the functions performed, one he no longer performs, duties that are overstated, and one that is newly assigned. 

Specifically, the appellant not only assures the mid-year and annual performance evaluations are completed, but assists in their completion.  He monitors the compliance with performance standards of an employee placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) and attends employee counseling sessions as the management representative in addition to preparing disciplinary and adverse actions.  The appellant serves as an approving official for fund control points and timecards but not for purchase card transactions, since PM&RS no longer uses purchase cards.  He no longer serves as the Automated Data Packages Application Coordinator since that function is now performed by the Clinical Application Coordinators in the Informatics Service.

The major duty stating the appellant conducts and directs special studies and analyses of complex problems is overstated.  Instead, he resolves issues or problems of a procedural or factual nature as discussed later in this decision.  Another major duty stating the appellant prepares and updates the Facility Management and Automated Data Processing Plans is overstated.  Instead, he develops the PM&RS support plan from the VAMC Emergency Operation Plan (EOP), which replaced the Facility Management and Automated Data Processing Plans.  The Facility Service develops and updates the EOP for the VAMC.  Over the past year, the appellant started developing the agenda for PM&RS staff meetings and PM&RS Chief-led committee meetings.  Further, most of the appellant’s assignments come from the VAMC Director, Chief of Staff, Chief Financial Officer, or a committee, not the PM&RS Chief.

The record also shows the factor level descriptions for Factors 1 through 5 included in the appellant’s PD are overstated.  They describe a level of work not assigned to the appellant’s position and some of the descriptions include direct quotes from factor levels higher than the levels assigned to the position for grading purposes as stated in the Administrative Analysis Grade Evaluation Guide (AAGEG).

PDs must meet the minimum standard of adequacy as described in the Introduction.  Based on the foregoing discussion, the appellant’s PD must be revised so that there is a clear depiction of the duties and responsibilities representing the approved classification as directed on page ii of this decision. 

To help us decide the appeal, we conducted telephone interviews with the appellant on September16, 18, and 19, 2013, and his immediate supervisor on September 23, 2013.  In reaching our 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 his agency.

The appellant performs the following program support functions:  He is responsible for compiling responses to the taskers assigned to the PM&RS, which originate either outside or within the VAMC.  The appellant compares data to determine, for example, if the service is meeting VA’s established goals in delivering patient care and the extent of employee compliance with performance standards.  The VAMC Director, Chief of Staff, Chief Financial Officer, or a committee assigns the taskers which the appellant and the PM&RS Chief receive via e-mail.  The appellant
retrieves most of the information required from reports run through the VA Information System Technology Architecture (VISTA) system, VHA Support Service Center databases, and the Computerized Patient Records System (CPRS) database.  If the data comparison shows improvements are needed or the tasker itself is requesting information on unmet targets or thresholds in the delivery of patient care, the appellant discusses what
changes need to take place; e.g., increased employee training or updated equipment, to include in the tasker report with the PM&RS Chief.  He sends the completed report to the PM&RS Chief for review and approval before forwarding it to whomever assigned the tasker.  For taskers assigned by a committee, the appellant presents the report results to the committee members and responds to their questions.  The PM&RS Chief is invited to these presentations but may not attend.

The appellant performs the following fiscal support functions:  He compiles the budget for the PM&RS in response to the annual budget call.  The VAMC Senior Leadership provides a template listing the topics which need to be covered in the budget request; e.g., overall performance of the service, workload, staffing, and information technology needs.  He reviews documentation such as the current budget, the VAMC goals for the PM&RS, and any projected needs; e.g., equipment, supplies, and workload requirements, and discusses the service’s needs with the PM&RS Chief and the Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy (OT/PT) Supervisor.  Once the budget request is developed, the appellant forwards it to the PM&RS Chief for review and approval and then to the requestor, the VAMC Director or Chief of Staff.  The PM&RS Chief conducts the budget briefing attended by the VAMC Director, Chief of Staff, Chief Financial Officer, a Human Resources (HR) representative, and the Facility Planner; if he does not, then the appellant conducts the briefing, presenting the budget line by line and answering any questions.  The appellant monitors the approved PM&RS budget plan and develops any requests with a justification for additional funds or positions as needed throughout the fiscal year.  Once a request is completed, the appellant forwards it to the PM&RS Chief for review and approval and then to the Resource Management Committee (RMC) for consideration.  He may also present the request to the RMC if delegated by the PM&RS Chief.

The appellant performs the following HR support functions:  When positions need to be filled, he submits a Standard Form 52 and PD to HR for recruitment.  If the position is new to the PM&RS, the appellant develops the PD based on input from subject matter experts (SMEs) and the position’s supervisor and Chief of the Service.  When it comes time to interview the qualified applicants, the appellant develops the questions based on the performance requirements of the position and any on-line position searches he conducts.  He also sits on the interview board along with at least one SME and provides recommendations to the selecting official. 

If a supervisor needs to take an adverse action; e.g., admonishment or reprimand, or notices an employee is abusing his or her sick leave privileges or needs to be placed on a PIP, he or she contacts the appellant.  He discusses the situation with the supervisor and contacts HR to find out how to proceed.  The appellant is given guidance by HR, produces a draft document using information from the employee's supervisor, and submits it to HR for review.  Once the document is approved, the supervisor presents it to the employee.  If a counseling session takes place between the employee and the supervisor, the appellant is present and serves as the management representative.  If the employee is placed on a PIP, the appellant monitors the employee’s compliance with his or her performance standards and forwards his findings to the employee’s supervisor and HR for further action, if needed. 

At the end of the employee rating period, the appellant discusses employees’ workload data with the PM&RS Chief and OT/PT supervisor so they can determine the overall performance rating for each employee.

The appellant performs the following internal management support functions: He serves as a Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR) for service and equipment contracts.  For contract employees, the appellant verifies the hours shown on their timesheets are correct and works with the Education Service to register them for the required training listed in the contract.  When a piece of equipment is not working properly, he verifies with the Contracting Officer that it is under warranty prior to calling the vendor to make repairs.  Once completed, the appellant and the Contracting Officer verify the proper repair of the equipment.

Approximately every two years, the appellant reviews the PM&RS support plan for the VAMC EOP to see if it needs updating based upon the EOP maintained by the Facility Service.  He also updates the PM&RS call back plan, which is a current listing of PM&RS employees on a quarterly basis or as needed.

He reviews the Medical Center Memorandums (MCMs) for which the PM&RS is responsible every three years and those updated are forwarded to the other VAMC services for review and comment.  For administrative type comments, he discusses them with the Service Chief making the comment.  For clinical comments not addressing a PM&RS directive, the appellant refers the comments to the PM&RS Chief or SME for discussion with the Service Chief making the comment.  Once completed, the MCMs are sent to the Senior Leadership for comment and the process for responding to the comments is used as described above.  The PM&RS Chief and the VAMC Director then sign the MCMs.  For new MCMs, the appellant sends the draft to the other VAMC services for review and comment and the process for responding to the comments is used as describe above.

The appellant develops the agenda for PM&RS staff meetings and PM&RS Chief-led committee meetings based on items that need to be discussed and presents the information he needs to disseminate to those in attendance.  There are committees for which he is a non-voting or voting member.  As a non-voting member, he may attend the meetings in place of the PM&RS Chief or if the Service Chief requests his presence.  His responsibilities as a voting member include voting on the action plans presented by other Services assigned taskers by the committee.

Each pay period the appellant approves the time card for the OT/PT Supervisor in the VISTA system and is authorized to approve the time cards for the remaining PM&RS staff, when the OT/PT Supervisor is on leave, as needed.

Series, title, and standard determination

The appellant does not question the series or title of his position or use of the grading criteria in the Administrative Analysis Grade Evaluation Guide (AAGEG) to evaluate his position, since the GS-341 position classification standard (PCS) contains no grading criteria.  Based on a review of the record, we concur that his position is correctly allocated to the GS-341 series and in accordance with the titling instructions of the GS-341 PCS, his position is titled Administrative Officer. 

Grade determination

The AAGEG uses the Factor Evaluation System (FES), which employs nine factors.  Under the FES, each factor level description in a PCS describes the minimum characteristics needed to receive credit for the described level.  Therefore, if a position fails to meet the criteria in a factor level description in any significant aspect, it must be credited at a lower level, unless an equally important aspect that meets a higher level balances the deficiency.  Each factor level has a corresponding point value.  The total points assigned are converted to a grade by use of the grade conversion table in the PCS.

The appellant disagrees with the agency’s evaluation of Factors 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.  After careful review, we concur with the agency’s evaluation of Factors 6 through 9 and have so credited the position.  Therefore, we have confined our analysis to the disputed Factors 1 through 5.

Factor 1, Knowledge Required by the Position

This factor measures the nature and extent of information or facts a worker must understand in order to do acceptable work and the nature and extent of skills needed to apply that knowledge.

At Level 1-6, employees apply analytical and evaluative techniques to the identification, consideration, and resolution of issues or problems of a procedural or factual nature.  The issues or problems deal with readily observable conditions, written guidelines covering work methods and procedures, and information of a factual nature.  Included at this level is knowledge of the theory and principles of management and organization, including administrative practices and procedures common to organizations; e.g., channels of communication, delegations of authority, routing of correspondence, filing systems, and storage of files and records.

Level 1-6 is met.  As at this level, the appellant’s administrative analysis and support functions are of a comparable procedural or factual nature.  For example, when the PM&RS Chief determined the service needed a Physical Therapist position for the Home Based Primary Care (HBPC) Program, the appellant assembled the request for submission to the RMC through the PM&RS Chief.  The appellant justified the need for the new position by using program documentation to show the increased demand for physical therapy services at the VAMC over the fiscal year would not allow the current staff to provide Home Care services without adversely affecting the wait time at the VAMC.  He showed HBPC Program patients requiring physical therapy services were required to travel to the VAMC for equipment assessments which could have been provided at their home.  However, since physical therapy services were not available through the HBPC Program, the patients were forced to travel, in several cases multiple times, to the VAMC.  Based on these factual arguments, the position request was approved.  Also comparable to Level 1-6, the appellant monitors the performance standards compliance of a PM&RS employee placed on a PIP.  He does this by running reports through VISTA, VHA Support Service Center databases, and the CPRS database and compares the data against the employee’s established performance standards.  The appellant also reviews the current budget, the VAMC goals for the PM&RS, and any projected needs; e.g. equipment, supplies, and workload requirements prior to compiling the budget plan for the next fiscal year.  The appellant applies knowledge and skill typical of Level 1-6 in providing a variety of administrative functions to ensure that the needs of the service are met.

At Level 1-7, in addition to knowledge required at Level 1-6, assignments require knowledge and skill in applying analytical and evaluative methods and techniques to study the efficiency and effectiveness of program operations carried out by administrative or professional personnel or substantive administrative support functions.  This level includes knowledge of pertinent laws, regulations, policies, and precedents which affect the use of program and related support resources in the area being studied.  This knowledge is used to plan, schedule, and conduct studies to evaluate and recommend ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of work operations, program effectiveness, and/or organizational productivity.  Knowledge at this level is applied in developing new or modified work methods, organizational structures, records and files, management processes, staffing patterns, procedures for administering program services, guidelines and procedures, and automating work processes for the conduct of administrative support functions or program operations.  Knowledge may also be applied in analyzing and making recommendations concerning the centralization or decentralization of operations.

Level 1-7 is not met.  The operational scope of the appellant’s position does not require or permit the application of comparable knowledge.  His assignments result in accurate and complete data that are used by higher management levels in support of decisions concerning the efficiency and effectiveness of substantive administrative support functions and require knowledge of pertinent regulations and guidelines.  However, the appellant’s position is not responsible for conducting studies of various programs, analyzing the findings, and making recommendations on the efficacy of work processes, etc.  In contrast to Level 1-7 work involving efficiency and effectiveness of programs, the appellant’s work involves a small service and the analytical functions he performs generally are based on the application of well-established techniques and methods common to the service and factual and readily available information.  The record shows that the appellant’s studies and projects do not have the broad scope and complexity typical of Level 1-7.

This factor is evaluated at Level 1-6 and 950 points are credited.

Factor 2, Supervisory Controls

This factor covers the nature and extent of direct or indirect controls exercised by the supervisor, the employee’s responsibility, and the review of completed work.

At Level 2-3, the supervisor assigns specific projects in terms of issues, organizations, functions, or work processes to be studied and sets deadlines for completing the work.  The supervisor or higher-grade analyst provides assistance on controversial issues or on the application of qualitative and quantitative analytical methods to the study of subjects for which precedent studies are not available.  The employee independently plans, coordinates, and carries out the successive steps in fact-finding and analysis of issues necessary to complete each phase of assigned projects.  Work problems are normally resolved without reference to the supervisor in accordance with the body of accepted policies and precedents.  Work is reviewed for conformance with overall requirements as well as contribution to the objectives.  Findings and recommendations developed by the employee are reviewed prior to release, publication, or discussion with management officials.

Level 2-3 is met.  As at this level, the appellant functions independently and plans, coordinates, and carries out assignments according to accepted service policy, precedent, and/or regulations.  He resolves most problems encountered by application of established policies and precedents or contacts an SME; e.g., PM&RS Chief, Chief of Staff, other Service Chiefs for assistance.  If multiple assignments are given, their established deadlines create their priority.  The appellant gathers information by running reports, retrieving the information from other service points of contact, using readily available PM&RS material, etc., depending on the assignment.  Most of his work is service-related assignments, and he forwards his report to the PM&RS Chief for review and approval before forwarding it to  the assignment originator.  As at Level 2-3, the appellant’s work products, which often include recommendations, are reviewed for conformance with VAMC requirements. Thus, responsibility for the information disseminated by the PM&RS lies with the PM&RS Chief.

At Level 2-4, within a framework of priorities, funding and overall project objectives (e.g., cost reduction, better workload distribution), the employee and supervisor develop a mutually acceptable project plan which includes identification of the work to be done, the scope of the project, and deadlines for its completion.  Within the parameters of the approved plan, the employee has responsibility for planning and organizing the study, estimating costs, coordinating with staff and line management personnel, and conducting all phases of the project.  This frequently involves the definitive interpretation of regulations and study procedures, and the initial application of new methods.  The employee informs the supervisor of potentially controversial findings, issues, or problems with widespread impact.  Staff and line management officials whose programs and employees would be affected by implementation of the recommendations also review completed work critically outside the employee’s immediate office.

Level 2-4 is not fully met.  Although the appellant independently performs his duties, the assignments are limited in scope and are not so complex that they require him to work with his supervisor to develop a plan and establish project parameters and resources needed.  The appellant carries out his day-to-day work independently, developing his own schedule, setting his own priorities, gathering PM&RS information or coordinating with other service staff and management personnel to retrieve needed information in order to accomplish assignments within established deadlines.  However, the record shows that the appellant is not assigned individual studies of the scope meeting Level 2-4, which require the employee to plan, organize, and conduct the phases of the study and to estimate the funds needed to conduct the study.  The limited nature of the work does not require review, comparable to Level 2-4, for feasibility and compatibility with other program requirements.  Likewise, the appellant’s position is not responsible for studies that result in recommendations of the scope envisioned at Level 2-4.

This factor is evaluated at Level 2-3 and 275 points are assigned.

Factor 3, Guidelines

This factor covers the nature of guidelines and the judgment needed to apply them. 

At Level 3-3, the guidelines consist of standard reference material, texts, and manuals covering the application of analytical methods and instructions and manuals covering the subjects involved.  Analytical methods in the guidelines are not always directly applicable to work assignments.  However, precedents are available for reference.  The employee uses judgment in choosing, interpreting, or adapting available guidelines to specific issues or subjects studied.  The employee analyzes the subject and the current guidelines and makes recommendations for change. 

Level 3-3 is met.  As at this level, the appellant uses VHA directives, handbooks, manuals, notices, etc., VAMC MCMs, VA and OPM regulations, standards, directives, and administrative orders, and Federal government budget, supply, and procurement regulations, etc.  Some judgment is required in interpreting and selecting the right guideline in light of the specific issue, as in justifying additional resource needs, projecting budget changes due to expected changes in PM&RS workload, etc. 

At Level 3-4, guidelines consist of general administrative policies and management and organizational theories which require considerable adaptation or interpretation for application to issues and problems studied.  The administrative policies and precedent studies provide a basic outline of the results desired, but do not go into detail as to the methods used to accomplish the project.  The administrative guidelines usually cover program goals and objectives of the employing organization.  Within the context of broad regulatory guidelines, the employee may refine or develop more specific guidelines such as implementing regulations or methods for the measurement and improvement of effectiveness and productivity in the administration of operating programs. 

Level 3-4 is not met.  The appellant’s work is covered by procedures and guidelines which are developed and controlled at the Joint Commission, VA, and VHA levels.  These guidelines include standard reference materials and operating manuals typical of Level 3-3 which go into detail as to the methods and procedures to be used to accomplish the work.  Responsibility for guideline interpretation found at Level 3-4 is vested in the VAMC staff offices, such as HR and Fiscal Service.  While the position’s guidelines require the use of judgment to apply, they are not so broad as the general administrative policies and management theories typical of Level 3-4.

The factor is evaluated at Level 3-3 and 275 points are assigned.

Factor 4, Complexity

This factor covers the nature, number, variety, and intricacy of tasks, steps, processes, or methods in the work performed; the difficulty in identifying what needs to be done; and the difficulty and originality involved in performing the work.

At Level 4-3, the work principally involves dealing with problems and relationships of a procedural nature rather than the substance of work operations, issues, or other subjects studied.  At this level, the employee analyzes the issues in the assignment, then selects and applies accepted analytical techniques such as task analysis, workload measurement, and trend analysis to resolve procedural problems affecting the efficiency, effectiveness, or productivity of the organization and/or workers studied.  Projects usually take place within organizations with related functions and objectives, although organization and work procedures differ from one assignment to the next.  Organizational efficiency assignments typically involve observing work in progress to identify and resolve problems in work-flow, work methods, and procedures, task distribution, overall workload, forms and recordkeeping, span of control, and organizational structure.  When performed, evaluative studies involve measurement of current work output, group productivity and accomplishments, or identification of current resource needs; e.g., staff, supplies, equipment, and space.  Findings and recommendations are based upon analysis of work observations, review of production records or similar documentation, research of precedent studies, and application of standard administrative guidelines.

Level 4-3 is met.  Similar to this level, the appellant’s work mostly involves using accepted methods and techniques to handle factual and procedural aspects of administrative support functions for a small service with related functions.  Most analysis is based on observable conditions and review of records.  The appellant assesses needs, takes or directs action to accomplish tasks, and resolves problems or provides recommendations.  As at Level 4-3, he responds to taskers on such matters as the service’s compliance with nationally established goals and objectives and employee compliance with performance standards by running reports and comparing the data to established requirements.  When compiling a budget request, the appellant reviews the current budget, VAMC goals for the service, and projected needs such as equipment and supplies.  When filling positions, he develops interview questions based on performance requirements of the position, and any on-line position searches.  Typical of Level 4-3, the appellant compares factual data to specific standards or requirements as shown in the above examples.

At Level 4-4, the work involves gathering information, identifying and analyzing issues, and developing recommendations to resolve substantive problems of effectiveness and efficiency of work operations in a program setting.  Subjects and projects assigned at this level usually consist of issues, problems, or concepts that are not always susceptible to direct observation and analysis.  Difficulty is encountered in measuring effectiveness and productivity due to variations in the nature of administrative processes studied and information that is conflicting or incomplete or cannot readily be obtained by direct means.  At this level, assignments may involve compiling, reconciling, and correlating voluminous workload data from a variety of sources with different reporting requirements and formats, or the data must be carefully cross-checked, analyzed, and interpreted to obtain accurate and relevant information.  Characteristic of work at this level is originality in refining existing work methods and techniques for application to the analysis of specific issues or resolution of problems.  For example, the employee may revise methods for collecting data on workload, adopt new measures of productivity, or develop new approaches to relate productivity measurements to a performance appraisal system. 

Level 4-4 is not met.  The appellant’s information request assignments and support service functions do not involve comparable substantive problems.  Unlike Level 4-4, his assignments generally relate to factual and procedural matters; i.e., comparing factual data to specific requirements, and administrative services such as budget, supplies, HR, and time and attendance which present issues which are usually susceptible to direct observation and analysis.  Illustrative of work at Level 4-4 is an employee who studies, analyzes, and develops methods to improve the accuracy, adequacy, and timeliness of information and systems for disseminating information about the agency’s programs and work force to managers at many organizational echelons and/or geographic locations.  The appellant works at a local VAMC, therefore he does not disseminate information to other echelons or geographic locations.  The small size of the appellant’s service affects the number of sources and volume of the workload data to review.  The work of the service does not require the modification of qualitative and quantitative analytical techniques, typical of Level 4-4, in order to deal with a wide range of variables.

This factor is evaluated at Level 4-3 and 150 points are credited.

Factor 5, Scope and Effect

This factor covers the relationship between the nature of the work, and the effect of the work products or services both within and outside the organization.

At Level 5-3, employees identify, analyze, and make recommendations to resolve conventional problems and situations in workflow, work distribution, staffing, performance appraisal, organizational structure, and/or administration.  Employees may be assigned portions of broader studies of largely administrative organizations or participate in the evaluation of program effectiveness at the operating level.  Completed reports and recommendations influence decisions by managers concerning the internal administrative operations of the organizations and activities studied. 

Level 5-3 is met.  The purpose of the appellant’s work is comparable to Level 5-3 in that it is to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of administrative support activities for the service; i.e., an operating-level organization.  The appellant compares factual data to specific requirements to resolve conventional problems in areas such as budget, procurement, equipment, and service contracts and determine whether nationally established patient delivery goals are being met.  Like Level 5-3, his advice on performance and work issues influences management decisions and improves work productivity of the service.

At Level 5-4, the purpose of the work is to assess the productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency of program operations or to analyze and resolve problems in the staffing, effectiveness and efficiency of administrative support and staff activities.  Work contributes to the improvement of productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency in program operations and/or administrative support activities at different echelons and/or geographical locations within the organization.  Work affects the plans, goals, and effectiveness of the missions and programs at these various echelons or locations.

Level 5-4 is not met.  While the appellant is concerned with determining the effectiveness of the administrative support program, he is not usually involved, as employees at Level 5-4, in developing administrative regulations or promulgating program guidance for use across organizational lines or at varied organizational locations.  He services the PM&RS – a small organization with most employees at one site.  Higher echelons within VA maintain significant control over administrative operations and the delivery of patient care and are responsible for the scope and impact of work found at Level 5-4. 


Factor Level Points
1.  Knowledge required by the position  1-6 950
2.  Supervisory controls 2-3 275
3.  Guidelines 3-3 275
4.  Complexity 4-3 150
5.  Scope and Effect 5-3 150
6&7.   Personal Contacts & Purpose of contacts 3-b 110
8.  Physical demands  8-1    5
9.  Work environment 9-1    5
Total points 1920


The total of 1885 points falls within the GS-9 point range (1855-2100) on the grade conversion table in the AAGEG.  Therefore, the position is graded at the GS-9 level.


The appellant’s position is properly classified as Administrative Officer, GS-341-9.



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