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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

[appellant's name]
Supervisory FMFS Product Line Coordinator
GS-1101-13
[Appellant’s organization/work location]
Department of the Navy
GS-1101-13
(Official title at agency discretion with prefix "Supervisory" added)
C-1101-13-03

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

04/16/2013


Date

As provided in section 511.612 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, this decision constitutes a certificate that 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 the Introduction to the Position Classification Standards (Introduction), appendix 4, section G (address provided in appendix 4, section H).

As indicated in this decision, our findings show the appellant’s official position description (PD) does not meet the standard of adequacy described in section III.E. of the Introduction.  Since PDs must meet the standard of adequacy, the agency must revise the appellant’s PD to reflect our findings.  The servicing human resources office must submit a compliance report containing the corrected PD 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 OPM office that accepted the appeal.

Decision sent to:

[Appellant’s name and mailing address]

[Address of appellant’s servicing human resources office]

 

Department of the Navy

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Civilian Human Resources)

1000 Navy Pentagon

Room 4D548

Washington, DC  20350-1000

 

Director, Workforce Relations and Compensation Division

Department of the Navy

Office of Civilian Human Resources

614 Sicard Street SE, Suite 100

Washington Navy Yard, DC  20374-5072

 

Director, Office of Civilian Human Resources

Department of the Navy

614 Sicard Street SE, Suite 100

Washington Navy Yard, DC  20374-5072

 

Compensation and Classification Program Manager

Office of Civilian Human Resources

Department of the Navy

614 Sicard Street S.E., Suite 100

Washington Navy Yard, DC  20374-5072

 

Chief, Classification Appeals Adjudication Section

Department of Defense

Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service

4800 Mark Center Drive, Suite 05G21

Alexandria, VA  22311

Introduction

On June 11, 2012, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) San Francisco Oversight accepted a classification appeal from [name of appellant].  On July 12, 2012, we received the agency’s complete administrative report.  The appellant’s position is currently classified as Supervisory FMFS Product Line Coordinator, GS-1101-13.  However, he believes it should be classified as either Facility Support Contract (FSC) Management and Facility Services Product Line Coordinator (FMFS PLC), GS-1101-14, or Supervisory Contracts Management Specialist, GS-1101-14.  The appellant works in the [name of appellant’s organization/work location].  We have accepted and decided this appeal under section 5112(b) of title 5, United States Code (U.S.C.). 

General issues

The appellant makes various statements about the classification review process conducted by his agency, and compares his position to similar but higher graded positions within NAVFAC-[work location], and at other installations within NAVFAC.  In adjudicating this appeal, our responsibility is to make our own independent decision on the proper classification of his position.  By law, we must make that decision solely by comparing his current duties and responsibilities to OPM position classification standards and guidelines (5 U.S.C. 5106, 5107, and 5112).  Since comparison to standards is the exclusive method for classifying positions, we cannot compare the appellant’s position to others, which may or may not be classified correctly, as a basis for deciding his appeal.  Because our decision sets aside any previous agency decisions, the classification practices used by the appellant’s agency in classifying his position are not germane to the classification appeal process. 

Like OPM, the appellant’s agency must classify positions based on comparison to OPM standards and guidelines.  The agency also has primary responsibility for ensuring that its positions are classified consistently with OPM appeal decisions.  If the appellant considers his position so similar to others that they all warrant the same classification, he may pursue the matter by writing to his regional human resources office.  In doing so, he 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 his, the agency must correct their classification to be consistent with this appeal decision.  Otherwise, the agency should explain to him the differences between his position and the others.

Both the appellant and his immediate supervisor believe the appellant’s current PD [number] is not completely accurate because it does not reflect the level of his supervisory responsibilities and contains other inconsistencies.  A PD is the official record of the major duties and responsibilities assigned to a position by an official with the authority to assign work.  A position is the duties and responsibilities that make up the work performed by the employee.  Classification appeal regulations permit OPM to investigate or audit a position and decide an appeal on the basis of 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 a PD.  This decision is based on the work currently assigned and performed by the appellant. 

Our review disclosed the appellant’s PD does not accurately address the scope of his supervisory duties over three of his five subordinate employees.  As discussed later in this decision, we find he performs both technical and administrative supervision over all assigned subordinates.  We also find the PD’s description of supervision received by the appellant is inaccurate in that he receives more than just administrative direction from his supervisor.  Therefore, the appellant’s PD of record does not meet the standard of adequacy addressed on pages 10-11 of the Introduction, and the agency must revise the PD to reflect our findings.

Position information

The appellant is the Product Line Coordinator (PLC) for Facility Support Contracts (FSC) and Facility Services (FX) for NAVFAC-[location].  He spends about 70 percent of his time overall coordinating $99 million (Fiscal Year 2012) in contracted products and services to support clients located within the area covered by Commander Navy Region [location] (CNRNW) and NAVFAC-[location].  Installations supported include a nuclear-capable shipyard, strategic submarine and weapons facilities/depots, ship and aircraft operating bases, supply depots, key undersea naval research facilities, and medical facilities.  Although the area of operations primarily covers Navy facilities in the [names of States], it also includes smaller installations and Navy Reserve centers located in the [names of States].  There are currently twenty facility service contracts in place (fourteen recurring annually), and a federally mandated non-competitive sourcing agreement with National Industries for the Severely Handicapped (NISH) to provide building custodial services and grounds maintenance.  Contracted services include Base Operating Support Contracts (BOSC) providing environmental services, base housing management and maintenance of military dependent housing and office and support buildings, utilities, and pavement clearance.  Actual contracting for services and contract oversight/performance assessment is done by contracting staff of the Facilities Engineering Acquisition Divisions in three Public Works Departments (PWD), [locations].  The appellant and his staff work through the contracting and performance assessment staff of each PWD to provide product line coordination, conduct systematic evaluation of product line activities and implement changes as needed, and ensure overall integration of regional FSC policies and practices.  Although the appellant’s unit does not perform individual contract assessment, the staff works closely with performance assessment personnel of the PWDs to determine overall contract compliance and ensure appropriate contract modifications are implemented. 

The appellant also implements and coordinates the Regional Acquisition Strategic Plan (RASP) for facility support contracted services to analyze future support needs.  He communicates with clients to obtain feedback on the quality and timeliness of FSC services, and identifies steps needed to improve customer service and reduce contract costs.  He also participates in budget formulation for those funds specifically related to the facility service product line and maintains cognizance of approved funds.  The appellant oversees the Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) program by coordinating budget and rate development for disposition of installation refuse and provision of recycling services.  He works closely with the integrated solid waste specialist on his staff to ensure program funding is controlled and tracked and recycling revenues properly managed. 

The appellant spends approximately 30 percent of his time supervising five employees.  He exercises direct administrative and technical supervision over one Facility Support Contracts Program Manager, GS-1101-13, one Integrated Solid Waste Program Specialist, GS-1101-13, one Regional Contracting Officer’s Representative, GS-1101-13, one Regional Contracting Officer’s Representative, GS-1101-12, and one Management and Program Analyst, GS-343-12.  The appellant performs the full scope of basic supervisory duties and responsibilities over all these employees.

In reaching our classification decision, we have carefully reviewed all information provided by the appellant and his agency including his official PD which, although not completely accurate, we have incorporated by reference into this decision.  In addition, to help decide the appeal we conducted separate telephone interviews with the appellant and his supervisor. 

Series, title, and standard determination

The agency has classified the appellant’s position in the General Business and Industry Series, GS-1101.  Because there are no titles specified for positions in the GS-1101 series, the agency assigned the title of Supervisory FMFS Product Line Coordinator.  Although the appellant agrees with the series, he believes his position should be titled either Facility Support Contract (FSC) Management and Facility Services Product Line Coordinator (FMFS PLC), or Supervisory Contracts Management Specialist. 

We concur with the agency’s series determination because like GS-1101 positions, he performs work properly classified in the GS-1100 Business and Industry Group for which no other series has been provided.  Since there are no titles specified for positions in the GS-1101 series, 5 CFR 511.607(a)(4) excludes review of the position’s title under the position classification appeal process.  The agency may construct a title in keeping with the work performed.  In doing so, the agency should adhere to the titling guidance in section III.H.2 of the Introduction.  Additionally, the appellant’s supervisory responsibilities fully meet the coverage requirements for titling as a supervisor addressed in the General Schedule Supervisory Guide (GSSG), thus the prefix “Supervisory” must be added to the basic title selected by the agency.  There are no published grading criteria for positions classified in the GS-1101 series.  Therefore, to grade the appellant’s nonsupervisory product line coordination duties we have cross-referenced to the criteria in the Position Classification Standard (PCS) for the Contracting Series, GS-1102.  To evaluate the grade of his supervisory responsibilities we have applied the criteria in the GSSG.  Our application of the GS-1102 PCS and the GSSG follows. 

Grade determination

Evaluation of non-supervisory product line coordination duties using the GS-1102 PCS

The GS-1102 PCS uses the FES format, which employs nine factors.  Under the FES, each factor-level in a standard 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 the deficiency is balanced by an equally important aspect that meets a higher level.  Conversely, the position may exceed those criteria in some aspects and still not be credited at a higher level.  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. 

Factor 1, Knowledge required by the position

This factor measures the nature and extent of information or facts an employee must understand to do acceptable work (e.g., steps, procedures, practices, rules, policies, theories, principles, and concepts) and the nature and extent of the skills necessary to apply that knowledge.

At Level 1-7, the employee uses knowledge of a wide range of contracting methods and contract types to plan and carry out pre-award and/or post-award procurement actions; or, in-depth knowledge of a specialized area to analyze difficult contracting issues and identify alternative courses of action, modify standard contracting procedures and terms to satisfy specialized requirements, and solve a variety of contracting problems, including those requiring significant departures from previous approaches.  This knowledge requires familiarity with business practices and market conditions applicable to program and technical requirements sufficient to evaluate bid responsiveness, contractor responsibility, and/or contractor performance. 

Illustrations of pre-award contracting knowledge at Level 1-7 include knowledge of formal advertising to develop contracts for purchase of large quantities of items to meet the consolidated requirements of one or more regions, commands, agencies, or departments.  This involves knowledge of the industry to analyze the availability of potential suppliers or develop new sources of supply.  Pre-award knowledge also includes that of negotiating techniques and technical requirements sufficient to procure complex or diversified supplies or services. 

An illustration of post-award knowledge at Level 1-7 includes knowledge of contract administration sufficient to monitor a group of contracts such as fixed-price with re-determination provisions.  Price/Cost Analysis at Level 1-7 includes knowledge of contract cost analysis techniques sufficient to gather and evaluate price and/or cost data for a variety of pre-award and/or post-award procurement actions such as projecting changes in labor and material costs or technology. 

Illustrations of Level 1-7 knowledge to perform contracting staff duties include knowledge of procurement statutes, policies, and regulations to write operating procedures implementing procurement policy issuances, interpret procurement regulations for an activity’s operating procurement specialists, and identify procurement issues and their impact on local procedures.  Staff work at this level also includes knowledge of specialized procurement functions sufficient to conduct studies of problem areas and develop standard methods and operating procedures for a district, region, or command. 

At Level 1-8, employees possess a mastery of contracting methods and contract types to plan and carry out long-term pre-award and/or post-award procurement actions; or, they apply mastery of the procurement functional area sufficient to apply experimental theories and new developments to problems not susceptible to treatment by accepted methods, to extend existing contracting techniques, and to develop procurement policies for use by other contracting personnel in solving procurement problems.  Also at Level 1-8, employees possess a mastery of procurement principles and technical or program requirements to plan and manage or make decisions or recommendations that significantly affect the content, interpretation, or development of complex, long-range, or interrelated agency policies or programs concerning the management of procurement matters.  In addition to mastery in any one of the above areas, employees at Level 1-8 must be familiar with business strategy and program or technical requirements sufficient to perform or direct in-depth evaluations of the financial and technical capabilities, or the performance, of the contractor. 

Pre-award illustrations at Level 1-8 include knowledge and skill sufficient to procure systems where little or no contractual precedents exist to serve as guidance in developing or modifying procurement strategies or pricing structure, e.g., extensive automated data processing (ADP) acquisitions such as nationwide teleprocessing system or a multiprocessor mainframe system with data base management system used in multidiscipline scientific applications.  Also at this level are positions applying knowledge and skill sufficient to manage all contractual aspects of a major program involving coordination of a number of contracts, and skill in interpreting policies to solve unprecedented problems.  Pre-award knowledge and skill at Level 1-8 also covers positions procuring extensive technical services where there are large amounts of Government-furnished property with contractors, and where continuous contractual changes must be accommodated. 

Post-award illustrations at Level 1-8 include applying knowledge of contract administration sufficient to monitor systems contracts extending over several years, and covering research, development, testing, and/or production of complex equipment systems.  Employees at this level also apply knowledge of post-award procedures sufficient to administer complex service contracts requiring day-to-day negotiations of significant contract changes, monitoring numerous special provisions, coordinating extensive subcontracting involvement, and observing rigid timeframes. 

Price/Cost Analysis illustrations at Level 1-8 include positions applying knowledge of contract price and cost analysis techniques sufficient to develop complex contractual pricing arrangements and incentives, such as:  (1) devising multiple incentives requiring use of sophisticated contracting techniques; (2) sharing arrangements, such as cost-plus-incentive fee or fixed-price-incentive-fee, where the Government and contractor share the cost risk; or (3) economic price adjustment clauses that identify the basis for adjusting certain labor or material costs where price cannot be reasonably predicted at the time of contract negotiation. 

Illustrations of staff positions at Level 1-8 include those applying knowledge and skill sufficient to provide expert technical leadership, staff coordination, and consultation in a functional area of procurement including formulating guidelines and providing policy interpretation to subordinate contracting activities.  Staff positions at this level also have the knowledge and skill to plan, implement, and manage the small and disadvantaged business program for an organization having subordinate offices carrying out programs for small and disadvantaged businesses.

The appellant’s position meets Level 1-7.  Although he does not function as a contract source selection authority and is not warranted to contract for services, given his previous experience in contracting he has extensive knowledge of a variety of contracting methods and types as applied to pre-award and post-award procurement actions.  Moreover, to perform his oversight responsibilities over facility support and contracted services, he possesses in-depth knowledge of the specialized area of facility support contracting to recommend modifications of standard contracting procedures and terms.  Comparable to Level 1-7, he must be familiar with business practices and market conditions applicable to the technical requirements of base operating support contracts to develop specifications, ensure implementation of contract provisions, and provide guidance to contract performance assessment staff located in the PWDs. 

Similar to the pre-award illustration at Level 1-7, the appellant applies knowledge of the technical contract requirements sufficient to procure diverse services to support base operations including maintenance of buildings and housing, power and utilities, and recycling and waste disposal.  He applies knowledge of post-award contract administration sufficient to monitor a group of fixed-price contracts ensuring that FSC contracting policies and procedures are in place with the proper technical and administrative controls to furnish the required base support services.  Comparable to the price/cost analysis illustration at Level 1-7, the appellant applies knowledge of contract cost analysis to gather and evaluate price data on current recycling costs and returns on sale of material for recycling, and disposal of solid waste in various counties occupied by serviced naval bases.  In addition, although the services provided by NISH are not contracts per se, he must do comprehensive cost/price analysis to determine if rates charged for custodial and grounds maintenance are legitimate.  In his role as product line coordinator in a staff capacity, he must also ensure procurement requirements are met to satisfy small and disadvantaged business program objectives. 

The appellant’s position does not meet Level 1-8.  Unlike this level, because he does no contracting his duties do not require a mastery of contracting methods and contract types to plan and carry out long-term pre-award and/or post-award procurement actions, or application of experimental theories and new developments to problems not susceptible to treatment by accepted contracting methods.  While he applies comprehensive knowledge of agency requirements to provide facility support contracted services, this does not require a mastery of procurement principles regarding agency policies or programs relating to the management of procurement matters.  Although the appellant evaluates the effectiveness and efficiency of contracted facility support services and works closely with contracting and PWD staff to ensure contracted services are provided, unlike Level 1-8 he does not perform or direct in-depth evaluation of the financial and technical capabilities of contractors, or their performance of contracted duties. 

Because the appellant is not involved in contracting, in contrast to the Level 1-8 work illustrations he does not procure systems where little or no contractual precedents exist; does not manage all contractual aspects of a major program; does not apply knowledge of post-award procedures to administer complex service contracts requiring day-to-day negotiation of significant contract changes, monitoring numerous special provisions, coordinating extensive subcontracting involvement, and observing rigid timeframes; and his duties do not require knowledge of contract price and cost analysis techniques sufficient to develop complex contractual pricing arrangements and incentives.

This factor is evaluated at Level 1-7 and 1250 points are credited.

Factor 2, Supervisory controls

This factor covers the nature and extent of direct or indirect controls exercised by the supervisor, the responsibility of the employee, and the degree to which work is reviewed by the supervisor. 

At Level 2-4, the supervisor sets the overall objectives and resources available.  The employee and supervisor, in consultation, develop the deadlines, projects, and work to be done.  The employee plans and carries out the assignment, such as determining the approach to be taken or methodology to be used, developing a fact-finding plan, determining the depth of analysis or review required, or performing the initial planning necessary to conduct management evaluations of procurement programs for compliance with procurement policies and regulations.  The employee initiates necessary coordination with technical representatives, accountants or auditors, financial staff, attorneys, other contract specialists, or field activities, both in the Government and in the contractors’ organizations.  The employee obtains necessary information and supporting documentation (e.g., audit reports, pre-award surveys, justifications for sole source and similar requirements) and resolves most conflicts which arise, such as disagreements over technical descriptions, elements of cost, and economic indices used.  The employee may negotiate alone, but keeps the supervisor informed of progress, potentially controversial conflicts or issues which arise, or matters which affect policy or have other far-reaching implications. 

At Level 2-4, completed work is reviewed from an overall standpoint in terms of feasibility, compatibility with other work, or effectiveness in meeting requirements or expected results, e.g., providing a viable contracting approach for meeting program needs and established objectives, or for impact on future procurements.  In some positions, review is minimal with employees being delegated contracting officer authority with prescribed limited dollar amounts.  As the dollar thresholds increase, requirements for formal reviews by higher authority or boards of experts are generally prescribed by agency regulations rather than by a supervisor.  Such reviews are to assure compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements, as well as for effectiveness of procurement strategy. 

At Level 2-5, the supervisor provides administrative direction and makes assignments in terms of broadly defined programs or functions, or long-range acquisition and agency objectives.  Requirements frequently stem from mission or program goals and objectives, or from national, departmental, or agency policy.  The employee determines the approaches and methods necessary to carry out the assignment, including the design of overall plans and strategies for the projects, in order to meet mission or program goals, requirements, and time frames.  The employee independently carries out the work, including continual coordination of the various elements involved, and independently negotiates. 

At Level 2-5, work products or advisory services provided to management or to field activities are considered to be technically authoritative.  In some cases the employee’s work is reviewed by formal review boards.  Review focuses on compatibility with overall management objectives, fulfillment of program objectives, attainment of goals established in the acquisition or review plan, appropriateness of the business arrangements, and contribution to the success of the mission on both a short- and long-term basis.  Recommendations for new procurement approaches or policies, or for modifications of contractual arrangements, are usually reviewed for compatibility with broad program and agency objectives, impact on agency procurement activities, economies achieved, and/or improvement in effectiveness or performance of procurement programs including those at subordinate echelons throughout the agency. 

The appellant’s position meets Level 2-4.  Like this level, the supervisor (Public Works Business Line Coordinator) sets overall program objectives and resources, and consults with the appellant in developing deadlines, scope of projects, and work to be done.  However, many tasks and deadlines are driven by a business plan specifying objectives for each product line, and a “governance calendar” prescribing when work products are due (e.g., quarterly budget execution figures, future year facility service budget submissions), so the appellant is generally aware of recurring work requirements.  Like Level 2-4, the appellant independently plans and carries out his assignments, including determining approach and methodology, develops fact-finding plans (e.g., identify and reduce service levels in response to budget reductions), and conducts annual evaluations on the efficiency of facility support services provided by contractors and determines the level of customer satisfaction.  In addition, he performs evaluations to assess whether facility support services provided by NAVFAC-[location] are in compliance with agency policies and regulations. 

Similar to Level 2-4, the appellant initiates technical coordination with acquisition contracting and performance assessment staff, and obtains necessary information and supporting documentation (e.g., overall data on work done for each product line) to justify future budget projections, document work accomplishments, and determine staffing levels.  In addition, he collaborates with contracting and performance assessment staff in resolving most conflicts that arise.  Through regular meetings he keeps his supervisor informed on the status of facility support contracted services and potentially controversial matters affecting facility support policies and requirements.  Like Level 2-4, the appellant’s work is reviewed from an overall standpoint in terms of feasibility, compatibility with other program contracted work, and effectiveness in meeting facility service program and cost and budget requirements. 

The appellant’s position does not meet Level 2-5.  Unlike this level, the supervisor provides more than simply administrative direction, and assigns work with more extensive instruction than just in terms of broadly defined programs or functions, or long-range acquisition and agency objectives.  While much of the appellant’s required tasks and work projects are driven by a business plan or governance calendar, in contrast to Level 2-5 these are specific to particular work requirements rather than broadly stated agency mission or program goals and objectives.  Although the appellant determines the approaches and methodology for assignments, as opposed to Level 2-5 he consults with his supervisor on the design of overall plans and strategies for projects, particularly the project’s relationship to overall program goals and establishing necessary time frames.  Although the appellant advises and updates management on the status of facility services and performance and contracting concerns, authoritative technical guidance is furnished by local acquisition staff and public works program personnel at higher echelons within the agency.  The appellant’s work and his recommendations are reviewed more closely than just for compatibility and fulfillment of overall management and program objectives, and their impact on the effectiveness of the agency’s procurement activities, including those at subordinate echelons throughout the DON.  Implicit in Level 2-5 is a degree of program management authority that is not delegated to the appellant’s position.  Specifically, he is not responsible for a significant agency contracting/procurement program or equivalent function such that his work by its breadth would be limited to the type of review expressed at Level 2-5.  Because we find the appellant receives closer supervision than that described in his PD, the agency must correct the PD to comply with our findings discussed above. 

This factor is evaluated at Level 2-4 and 450 points are credited. 

Factor 3, Guidelines

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

At Level 3-4, policies and precedents are available but stated in general terms, or are of limited use.  Intensive searches of a wide range of regulations and policy circulars applicable to the numerous and diversified procurement issues encountered are frequently required.  Guidelines are often inadequate in dealing with problems, requiring ingenuity and originality in interpreting, modifying, and extending guides, techniques, and precedents; in devising terms and conditions tailored to specific procurements; or in balancing the application of the guidelines in relation to novel program or technical needs, business considerations, and the socioeconomic climate.  For example, pricing data is incomplete or limited because of changes in materials or health issues involved; or the volume of contractual provisions requires close monitoring and continuous assessment during contract administration.  At Level 3-4, the employee uses experienced judgment and initiative in applying principles underlying guidelines, as in the evaluation of subordinate procurement programs; in deviating from traditional techniques; or in researching trends and patterns to develop new approaches, criteria, or proposed policies. 

At Level 3-5, guidelines consist of legislation, broad and general policy statements, and procurement regulations involving one or more agencies, which require extensive interpretation.  The employee is an authority on developing and interpreting procurement guidelines, policies, regulations, and/or legislation.  Employees working in staff positions generally draft agency procurement regulations or policies.  Employees working in operational positions are responsible for procurements for which little or no contractual precedents exist to guide them in developing and modifying the procurement strategies.  For example, a procurement which involves a significant departure from existing systems or programs necessitates original and creative effort to obtain a reasonable balance of interest or the redefinition of policy in the design and execution of the procurement. 

The appellant’s position meets Level 3-4.  He applies Department of Defense, Navy and other Federal acquisition regulations, the NAVFAC Strategic Business Plan and Concept of Operations, Public Works Business Line and facilities support planning documents, budgetary funding guidance, as well as local government guidance on disposition of solid waste.  Like Level 3-4, many of these policies and regulations are stated in general terms, so the appellant must search through various guidelines to resolve a variety of procurement and contracting issues; e.g., issues relating to mission essential services and their relation to use of appropriated funds, solid and hazardous waste requirements covering several municipalities.  Similar to Level 3-4, general guidelines are frequently inadequate in dealing with specific facility support problems, so the appellant must modify and extend their application to meet base operating support requirements.  Comparable to Level 3-4, guidelines and references are sometimes incomplete in responding to specific contracted procurements and the technical needs for trades support.  For example, pricing data can be incomplete for various trades and services provided under NISH agreements or 8a mandated small business contracts for base utility maintenance and transportation maintenance services.  In such instances, the appellant must research pricing data and labor-market conditions to determine appropriate costs.  Like Level 3-4, due to the volume of contracted services provided, the appellant works closely with acquisition staff to closely monitor and continuously assess contractor compliance during contract administration. 

Comparable to Level 3-4, as the facility services product line coordinator the appellant uses experienced judgment and initiative in applying the principles underlying various contracting and procurement guidelines to evaluate acquisition division and PWDs contracting activities regarding contractor compliance and performance assessment. 

The appellant’s position does not meet Level 3-5.  Unlike this level, his guidelines do not consist of legislation, broad and general policy statements, or procurement regulations requiring extensive interpretation.  He is not the authority on developing and interpreting procurement guidelines, policies, regulations, and/or legislation.  Such responsibilities rest with the installation contracting officer and staff, and contracting personnel at higher agency levels.  In contrast to Level 3-5, contractual precedents exist to guide the appellant in developing procurement strategies and in monitoring the provision of facility support services and related contracts. 

This factor is evaluated at Level 3-4 and 450 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 4-4, the work typically involves varied duties requiring many different and unrelated processes and methods, with full operating competence in the well-established aspects of a contracting assignment.  Assignments typically involve planning and carrying out pre-award, post-award, price/cost analysis, or staff functions containing a variety of complexities such as:  (1) Knowledge and use of a variety of contract types; (2) Inclusion of provisions, such as special pricing provisions or provisions regarding use of Government-furnished property; (3) Performance cost-analysis; e.g., evaluation of contractor’s cost breakdown based on prevailing labor rates and material costs; (4) Review of the market to determine the availability of specialized items or services; (5) Identification of set-asides for small and disadvantaged business concerns; (6) A contractual period ranging from six months to two years, or having short but very stringent time frames. 

At Level 4-4, decisions are based on analysis of alternatives, adaptation or modification of procedures, or resolution of incomplete or conflicting technical, program or contractor data.  For example:  (1) In advertised procurements, the employee obtains supplies or services to meet the consolidated requirements of the agency or agencies involving such considerations as geographic dispersion of users and suppliers and the need to consider transportation and distribution problems and costs; (2) In negotiated procurements, the employee obtains services, supplies, or construction for which previous experience and cost data are not directly applicable; (3) In contract administration, the employee resolves a variety of different issues such as reviewing requests for waivers to contract requirements, or coordinating the use of Government-furnished property; (4) In price/cost analysis, the employee analyzes price proposals for reasonableness and fairness, and projects expected changes in labor and material costs; (5) In staff assignments, the employee plans and conducts evaluations of procurement programs to measure program effectiveness, such as workload, backlog, and resources.  The work at Level 4-4 requires making many decisions concerning such issues as the interpretation of a considerable amount of technical data and policy and regulatory information, and the planning and coordination of procurement activities for the pre-award, post-award, and other contractual functions. 

At Level 4-5, the work is characterized by:  (a) breadth of planning and coordination, or depth of problem identification and analysis, stemming from the variety of the procurement functions or from the unknowns, changes or conflicts inherent in the issues; or (b) responsibility as team leader or project officer for a significant procurement assignment typically involving some of the following (or comparable) complexities:  (1) Requirements contain a number of different elements, such as a program, project, or technical services involving extensive subcontracting; e.g., missile guidance system, ship or aircraft overhaul; (2) In depth cost analysis, such as audit and substantiation of the contractor’s cost data, use of economic forecasting techniques, etc.; (3) Use of cost reimbursable and sole source fixed-price contracts with price re-determination or with extensive special provisions, or cost and performance incentive provisions; (4) Small or disadvantaged business considerations are required at the prime and subcontractor levels; (5) Contractual arrangement is estimated to be a minimum of two years or more. 

The appellant’s position meets Level 4-4.  Like this level, in order to stay abreast of facility support contracting he performs a variety of duties requiring him to exercise full operating competence in the well-established aspects of contracting as they relate to coordination of facility services.  Although he does not perform contracting per se, working with acquisition/contracting staff he is involved in the pre-award, post-award, and price/cost analysis relating to facility support contracts.  In doing so, he uses knowledge of a variety of contracting types, including those having special provisions covering the use of Government-furnished property; e.g., use of Government vehicles in base operating support contracts.  Similar to Level 4-4, the appellant performs cost analysis to evaluate NISH contractors’ break down of labor costs concerning custodial and grounds maintenance and asbestos and mold abatement.  He also reviews market data to determine the availability of specialized services, particularly in collecting and processing hazardous waste, and is involved with contracting staff in identifying set-aside activities for small and disadvantaged business concerns such as those associated with 8a contracting with Alaska Native Corporations.  Like Level 4-4, many contracts extend up to two years and have stringent time frames. 

Comparable to Level 4-4, the appellant’s product line coordination decisions are based on analyzing all alternatives for facility support, and adapting or modifying procedures regarding the level and volume of services as, for example, budget constraints occur.  In advertised base support services, he is responsible for developing and ensuring that specifications for services procured meet the consolidated requirements of NAVFAC and CNRNW and the needs of installation users encompassing a dispersed geographic area.  Similar to contract administration at Level 4-4, he is involved with acquisition staff in resolving a variety of contract issues including disputes over the quality and timeliness of furnished services, and reviewing proposed waivers to contract requirements concerning his product line.  Additionally, in performing price/cost analysis he analyzes price proposals covering labor rates and materials for reasonableness, and projects future changes in such costs for renewals of contract and service source agreements. 

The appellant’s position does not meet Level 4-5.  Although the appellant plans and coordinates the provision of services for his facility support product line, the limited extent of services procured (i.e., base operation and facility maintenance) does not require the breadth of planning and depth of problem identification characteristic of Level 4-5.  In addition, he is not regularly faced with solving a variety of unknowns, or dealing with changes or conflicts in contracted facility support services.  Unlike Level 4-5, he does not function as a team leader or project officer for significant procurement assignments, and thus does not have the opportunity to carry out complex assignments containing many of the complexities listed at this level. 

This factor is evaluated at Level 4-4 and 225 points are assigned.

Factor 5, Scope and effect

This factor covers the relationship between the nature of the work, i.e., the purpose, breadth, and depth of the assignment, and the effect of work products or services both within and outside the organization.

At Level 5-4, the purpose of the work is to provide expertise as a specialist in a functional area of contracting by furnishing advisory, planning, or reviewing services on specific problems, projects, or programs.  Assignments involving contract negotiation, award, administration, or termination frequently carry contracting officer authority with prescribed money limits for all or most contractual actions.  Examples include:  (1) planning, coordinating, and/or leading negotiations for a variety of complex contracts, contract modifications, or termination actions; e.g., those which accommodate possible changes in program requirements, involve subcontractors, require accounting for Government equipment, or involve consolidated requirements for several agencies or departments; (2) formulating approaches to procurement problems or issues when the problems require extensive analysis of a variety of unusual conditions, questions, or issues; (3) establishing procedures for implementing procurement policies or regulations; (4) conducting in-depth analyses of contractors’ financial and management systems and facilities for ability to perform or for compliance with Government or contractual requirements; or (5) planning and conducting program evaluations of subordinate procurement activities. 

At Level 5-4, work products affect a wide range of procurement activities, such as the operation of procurement programs in various offices or locations, or the accomplishment of significant procurement or technical program goals; affects the timely support of other departments or agencies; affects contractors’ operations or management systems; has a significant economic impact on contractors or on their respective geographic areas; or similar impact. 

At Level 5-5, the purpose of the work is to resolve critical problems, develop new approaches for use by other contract specialists, or for use in planning, negotiating, awarding, administering, and/or settling the termination of major procurements.  Recommendations or commitments are accepted as authoritative, and frequently carry contracting officer authority for transactions involving sizeable expenditures of staff, funds, and material.  The work typically requires:  (1) planning and negotiating procurements for long-term systems, programs, or projects (i.e., five years); (2) administering long-term contracts, with delegated final authority to obligate funds in connection with most transactions and, as required, serving as a team leader over a group of specialists whose services and advice are used in order to arrive at a decision; (3) negotiating termination settlements and approving contractor’s proposed settlements with subcontractors for contracts in which several years of work have been expended, or which involve extensive proposals and/or claims of prime and subcontractors and large amounts of inventory and Government property; (4) developing innovative contractual arrangements to resolve critical procurement problems and satisfy unusual procurement situations; (5) establishing and advocating positions for the region, command, administration, agency or department on major procurement issues; (6) developing procurement regulations, extending techniques, interpreting policy for use by other contracting specialists; or (7) performing comparable work. 

At Level 5-5, work products affect the work of other experts within or outside the agency; e.g., the development of guides or procedures for use by subordinate contracting activities; the operation and evaluation of subordinate contracting programs; the accomplishment of major procurements which contribute to the achievement of mission objectives; the decisions of senior procurement, technical, or program officials in terms of the authoritative procurement advice provided; the economic well-being of a large corporation or subsidiary; or the well-being of substantial numbers of people, such as those employed in a major industry, or those served by a broad social, economic, health, or environmental program. 

The appellant’s position meets Level 5-4.  Like this level, the purpose of his work is to provide expertise as a specialist in all matters relating to facility services and facility support contracting so all installations covered by CNRNW have appropriate facility support contracts, plans, and resources in place to adequately furnish required services.  In that role, the appellant furnishes advisory, planning, and reviewing services to contracting, acquisition, and performance assessment staff at PWDs, addressing specific facility support problems and issues as they arise during the contracting and administration period.  Although he does not actually contract, negotiate, or award facility support contracts, he is closely involved in identifying facility service needs and specifications, projecting future requirements within budget constraints, working with contracting/acquisition staff in planning and coordinating procurement services through a variety of complex base support contracts, and reviewing proposed contract modifications as they occur during the contract period.  Similar to Level 5-4, he formulates approaches to procurement problems or issues sometimes requiring extensive analysis due to unusual conditions; e.g., disposal of hazardous wastes or where conflicts arise between local and agency mandated procedures.  Like Level 5-4, he establishes local procedures and writes supplemental facility support guidance to agency guidelines for application throughout CNRNW.  In addition, working with PWDs’ performance assessment staff he plans and coordinates program evaluations of his product line and conducts periodic program self-evaluations for review by higher management officials.  Comparable to Level 5-4, the appellant’s work products affect a wide range of facility and base support procurement activities covering the operation of acquisition services directly provided by three PWDs supporting a variety of Navy installations in dispersed geographic locations throughout a five State area.  Moreover, the monetary value (i.e., $99 million) of his product line has a significant impact on local contractors and on the geographic areas where supported Navy facilities exist. 

The appellant’s position does not meet Level 5-5.  Unlike this level, the purpose of the appellant’s work is not to resolve critical contracting problems, or develop new approaches for use by contract specialists in carrying out contract administration or termination of major procurements.  Although the appellant’s recommendations concerning his product line receive serious consideration, unlike Level 5-5 they are not accepted as authoritative particularly given the fact he does not have contracting officer authority.  In contrast to Level 5-5, the appellant’s work does not typically require the scope of contracting and administration duties listed at that level, and his work products do not affect the work of experts within or outside the Navy as listed in the examples at Level 5-5.

This factor is evaluated at Level 5-4 and 225 points are credited.

Factor 6, Personal contacts

This factor includes face-to-face and telephone contact and other dialogue with persons not in the supervisory chain. 

At Level 6-3, personal contacts include a variety of specialists, managers, officials or groups from outside the employing agency in a moderately unstructured setting; e.g., the purpose and extent of each contact is usually different, and the role and authority of each party is identified and developed during the course of the contact.  Contacts at this level include contractors, specialists at contractors’ plants, manufacturers’ representatives, attorneys, auditors, representatives of State and local governments, the news media, or staff of other Federal agencies outside the chain of command. 

At Level 6-4, personal contacts include high ranking officials from outside the employing agency.  Contacts are characterized by problems, such as:  the officials may be relatively inaccessible; appointments or arrangements may have to be made well in advance; each contact may be conducted under different ground rules; or comparable problems.  Typical contacts at this level are those with Congressional members and key staff, senior corporate officials, key representatives from national or international organizations, key officials from other Federal agencies, and key officials from State and local governments and from judicial and quasi-judicial bodies.  Contacts at this level generally occur in connection with subjects warranting such contacts.  (See Factor 7.) 

The appellant’s position meets Level 6-3.  Like this level, the appellant’s contacts include a variety of contracting and procurement specialists, managers, and other officials from outside the Navy in a moderately unstructured setting.  For example, the appellant has regular contact with contracting representatives and managers of NISH organizations and Alaska Native corporations who provide base operating support, staff representing local government entities regarding disposal of solid waste, and small businesses handling recycled materials.  The role of each party is generally developed during the course of each contact. 

The appellant’s position does not meet Level 6-4.  Unlike this level, he does not have contacts with high- ranking officials from outside the Navy; e.g., Congressional members and key staff, senior corporate officials, key officials from other Federal agencies.  In addition, he is not faced with the kinds of problems involving the contacts described at Level 6-4. 

This factor is evaluated at Level 6-3 and 60 points are credited. 

Factor 7, Purpose of contacts

The purpose of contacts ranges from factual exchanges of information to situations involving significant or controversial issues and differing viewpoints, goals, or objectives.  The personal contacts which serve as the basis for the level selected for this factor must be the same as the contacts selected for Factor 6. 

At Level 7-3, contacts are to obtain agreement on previously determined goals and objectives through negotiation, persuasion, and advocacy.  The individuals or groups are frequently uncooperative, have different negotiation objectives, or represent divergent interests.  The employee must be skillful in dealing with such persons to obtain the desired effect, such as obtaining compliance with procurement requirements through persuasion, or obtaining reasonable prices, terms, or settlements for the Government through negotiation.  Typical contacts at this level include working with project officers to plan a procurement strategy for program objectives; negotiating with contractors to meet objectives established in a pre-negotiation plan or to obtain a contractual agreement that is in the best interest of the Government; or negotiating post-award modifications, termination settlements, pricing or other actions; influencing contracting officers or other specialists to adopt contractual positions about which there are conflicting options or interest; or justifying contractual approaches to higher level reviewing officials. 

At Level 7-4, contacts are to justify, defend, negotiate, or settle matters involving significant or controversial issues, or problems which require escalation because established channels and procedures have failed to resolve the problem.  Negotiations at this level involve procurements of considerable consequence and importance, such as major and other large systems acquisition programs, negotiation with management representatives of other agencies, or representatives of foreign governments or international organizations.  The employee is responsible for justifying and defending the agency position when the issues are strongly contested because of their impact or breadth.  Contract administration or termination settlements at this level involve the resolution of very difficult or complicated issues, such as settlement of contracts which have significant adverse impact on the contractor’s financial posture or allocation of controversial corporate overhead expenses.  Employees at this level also serve on contract review boards at the departmental or independent agency level which advise on and approve, or recommend approval of, procurement actions involving major and other significant systems or programs.  Persons contacted typically have diverse viewpoints, goals, or objectives, requiring the employee to achieve a common understanding of the problem and a satisfactory solution by convincing them, arriving at compromise, or developing suitable alternatives.  The employee assumes the lead in contract negotiations involving major and other large systems or programs, in resolving disagreements or disputes between prime and subcontractors, and/or in effecting a compromise or developing acceptable alternatives. 

The appellant’s position meets Level 7-3.  Like this level, the appellant meets with specialists and officials from outside his agency to obtain agreement on contract specifications for facility support contracts, participating in negotiations as necessary to ensure adequate services for base support.  Similar to Level 7-3, those contacted are frequently uncooperative particularly when confronted with shortfalls in the quality and timeliness of contracted services, demanding contract modifications or re-interpretation of contract specifications and language potentially leading to claims against the Government.  Like Level 7-3, when such instances occur the appellant exercises skill to obtain agreement on the level of contracted services and reasonable costs of labor and materials (i.e., NISH service agreements) , and works with performance assessment staff to ensure compliance with contract/procurement requirements.  Similar to this level, the appellant works with contracting officers to plan procurement strategy for provision of base operating support services to meet his product line objectives, including submitting specifications and pricing and labor costs for future contracting activities. 

The appellant’s position does not meet Level 7-4.  Unlike this level, his contacts are not to justify, defend or settle contracting matters involving significant or controversial issues requiring escalation to higher agency levels because established channels have failed to resolve the problem at hand.  Contrary to Level 7-4, the appellant’s product line does not involve procurements of considerable consequence such as large systems acquisition programs, and does not include negotiation with management representatives of other agencies, foreign governments, or international organizations.  Whereas employees in that situation must justify and defend their agency’s position, due to the limited nature of his product line the appellant is not confronted with such circumstances and is not faced with resolving the types of very difficult and complicated issues described at Level 7-4.  As opposed to Level 7-4, the appellant does not take the lead in contract negotiations involving major and other large systems or programs, or in resolving disputes between prime and subcontractors. 

This factor is evaluated at Level 7-3 and 120 points are credited.

Factor 8, Physical demands

This factor covers the requirements and physical demands placed on the employee by the work assignment. 

At Level 8-1 the work is sedentary.  Typically, the employees may sit comfortably to do work.  However, there is occasional walking, standing, bending, carrying light items such as reports or files, or driving an automobile.  No special physical demands are required to perform the work. 

At Level 8-2 the work requires some physical exertion, such as walking over rough, uneven, or rocky surfaces of the type found at construction sites or other outdoor facilities which the contract specialist must visit on a regular and recurring basis; or conducting intensive negotiations for extended periods of time.  Some agility is required in walking around or over building materials, excavation sites, and heavy equipment.  Conducting intensive negotiation requires specific, but common physical characteristics and abilities such as above average resistance to fatigue. 

The appellant’s position meets Level 8-1.  Like this level, his work is sedentary but occasionally he must walk, stand, or bend, and carry light items such as contracting and program files.  No special physical demands are necessary to perform his duties.  The position does not meet Level 8-2 because his work does not require the physical exertion and agility described at that level, including regularly walking over rough, uneven surfaces, or conducting extensive contract negotiations for extended periods of time.

This factor is evaluated at Level 8-1 and 5 points are credited.

Factor 9, Work environment

This factor considers the risks and discomforts in the employee’s physical surroundings or the nature of the work assigned and the safety regulations required. 

At Level 9-1, the work environment involves everyday risks or discomforts which require normal safety precautions typical of such places as conference rooms or offices, commercial vehicles, e.g., use of safe work practices with office equipment, avoidance of trips or falls, observance of fire regulations, traffic signals, safe driving practices, and similar practices. 

At Level 9-2, the work involves moderate risks or discomforts on a regular and recurring basis, which require special safety precautions, e.g., visiting or working in industrial plants or test environments where hazards are present such as machines, moving equipment, chemicals, noise, vibrations, hazardous or extreme weather conditions, or comparable situations.  The employee is required to use protective clothing or gear, such as masks, gowns, coats, boots, hardhats, goggles, gloves, or shields. 

The appellant’s position meets Level 9-1.  Like this level, he works in an office environment involving everyday risks or discomforts requiring normal safety precautions such as safely using office equipment, avoiding trips or falls, and observing fire regulations.  The position does not meet Level 9-2 because his work does not regularly involve moderate risks or discomforts requiring special safety precautions, including use of protective clothing or gear, described at that level. 

This factor is evaluated at Level 9-1 and 5 points are credited. 

Summary of FES factors

Factor Level Points
1.  Knowledge Required by the Position 1-7 1250
2.  Supervisory Controls 2-4 450
3.  Guidelines 3-4 450
4.  Complexity 4-4 225
5.  Scope and Effect 5-4 225
6.  Personal Contacts 6-3 60
7.  Purpose of Contacts 7-3 120
8.  Physical Demands 8-1 5
9.  Work Environment 9-1 5
Total 2790

 

A total of 2790 points falls within the GS-12 range (2755-3150) on the Grade Conversion Table in the GS-1102 PCS.  Therefore, the appellant’s non-supervisory duties are graded at the GS-12 level. 

Evaluation of supervisory duties using the GSSG

The GSSG is a cross-series guide used to determine the grade level of supervisory positions in the General Schedule.  The GSSG has six evaluation factors, each with several factor- level definitions and corresponding point values.  Positions are evaluated by crediting the points designated for the highest level met under each factor, and converting the total to a grade by using the point-to-grade conversion chart in the guide.  Our evaluation with respect to the six GSSG factors follows.

Factor 1, Program scope and effect

This factor assesses the general complexity, breadth, and impact of the program areas and work directed, including its organizational and geographic coverage.  It also assesses the impact of the work both within and outside the immediate organization.  To assign a factor, the criteria dealing with both scope and effect, as defined below, must be met.

      Scope

This element addresses the general complexity and breadth of the program (or program segment) directed; or the work directed, the products produced, or the services delivered.  The geographic and organizational coverage of the program (or program segment) within the agency structure is included under this element. 

      Effect

This element addresses the impact of the work, the products, and/or programs described under “Scope” on the mission and programs of the customer(s), the activity, other activities in or out of government, the agency, other agencies, the general public, or others.

      Scope

At Level 1-2, the scope of the program segment or work directed is administrative, technical, complex clerical, or comparable in nature.  The functions, activities, or services provided have limited geographic coverage and support most of the activities comprising a typical agency field office, an area office, a small to medium military installation, or comparable activities within agency program segments. 

At Level 1-3, the position directs a program segment that performs technical, administrative, protective, investigative, or professional work.  The program segment and work directed typically have coverage which encompasses a major metropolitan area, a State, or a small region of several States; or, when most of an area’s taxpayers or businesses are covered, coverage comparable to a small city.  Providing complex administrative or technical or professional services directly affecting a large or complex multi-mission military installation also falls at this level. 

The scope of the appellant’s position meets Level 1-3.  Like this level, he coordinates administrative work in providing facility services and contracting support to Navy installations and facilities in an area encompassing a small region of several States including [names of States].  Similar to Level 1-3, the appellant’s work coordinates complex administrative facility contracting support to a group of several multi-mission organizations including a garrison, medical center, a torpedo test and evaluation center, a major maintenance shipyard and supply facility, and a major command, i.e., CNRNW. 

Scope is evaluated at Level 1-3.

      Effect

At Level 1-2, the services or products support and significantly affect installation level, area office level, or field office operations and objectives, or comparable program segments; or provide services to a moderate, local or limited population of clients or users comparable to a major portion of a small city or rural county. 

At Level 1-3, the activities, functions, or services accomplished directly and significantly impact a wide range of agency activities, the work of other agencies, or the operations of outside interests (e.g., a segment of a regulated industry), or the general public.  At the field activity level (involving large, complex, multi-mission organizations and/or very large serviced populations) the work directly involves or substantially impacts the provision of essential support operations to numerous, varied, and complex technical, professional, and administrative functions. 

The appellant’s position meets Level 1-2, but fails to meet Level 1-3.  Like Level 1-2, the facility support and contracting services provided through the appellant’s product line support and significantly affect the operation of the installations by providing grounds and building/utilities maintenance, pavement clearance, environmental support, housing management, solid waste disposal and recycling services.  Although the services provided are essential for the operation of the physical plant, grounds and building maintenance, in contrast to Level 1-3 his work does not directly and significantly impact a wide range of the Navy’s activities, the work of other agencies, or the actual operations of outside interests such as segments of an entire industry.  Instead, the effects are limited to local businesses or small segments of a particular industry; e.g., local plumbing and electrical contractors.  The position also falls short of the Level 1-3 field activity requirement that it involve or substantially impact operations to numerous, varied, and complex technical, professional, and administrative functions.  Although the services provided are widespread over the appellant’s region, he and his staff are engaged in coordinating through three separate PWDs the single function of installation facilities contracting and support for those tasks discussed above.  The services are solely related to the maintenance, waste disposal/recycling functions involving the acquisition and procurement of limited services to perform those activities  Unlike the Level 1-3 work illustration, the appellant does not direct a combination of administrative services (personnel, supply management, budget, facilities management, or similar) which support and directly affect the operations of a bureau or a major military command headquarters, or a large or complex multi-mission military installation.  Instead, he directs a portion of the overall facility support program which is managed by the PWDs.

Effect is evaluated at Level 1-2.

To assign a particular factor level, the full intent of the criteria for both the scope and effect components must be fully met.  Since only scope is credited at Level 1-3, Level 1-2 is credited for 350 points. 

Factor 2, Organizational setting

This factor considers the organizational situation of the supervisory position in relation to higher levels of management.

At Level 2-1, the position is accountable to a position that is two or more levels below the first (i.e., lowest in the chain of command) Senior Executive Service (SES,) flag or general officer, equivalent or higher level position in the direct supervisory chain.

At Level 2-2, the position is accountable to a position that is one reporting level below the first SES, flag or general officer, or equivalent or higher level position in the direct supervisory chain.

The appellant’s position meets Level 2-1.  Like this level, he is directly accountable to a Supervisory General Engineer, GS-801-15, who is two levels below the first flag officer position in the direct supervisory chain; i.e., Commander, NAVFAC Atlantic (a Navy Rear Admiral). 

This factor is credited at Level 2-1 and 100 points are assigned.

Factor 3, Supervisory and managerial authority exercised

This factor covers the delegated supervisory and managerial authorities which are exercised on a recurring basis.  To be credited with a level under this factor, a position must meet the authorities and responsibilities to the extent described for the specific level. 

Level 3-2 requires that the position must meet one of the paragraphs a, b, or c.  Paragraph a discuses production-oriented work and is not appropriate for this position.  Paragraph b describes situations where work is contracted out.  Although most facilities services are contracted out, the technical input and oversight tasks described under paragraph b are not performed by the appellant.  Instead, those tasks are performed by the contracting and performance management/oversight staffs in the three PWDs. 

At Level 3-2c, the position must have responsibility for carrying out at least three of the first four and a total of six or more of the ten authorities and responsibilities listed in the guide.  Our analysis of the ten authorities and responsibilities follows: 

Responsibility 1 is credited.  It involves planning work to be accomplished by subordinates, setting and adjusting short-term priorities, and preparing schedules for completion of work.  The appellant performs all of these duties.

Responsibility 2 is credited.  Like number 2, the appellant assigns work to subordinates based on priorities, selective consideration of the difficulty and requirements of assignments, and the experience and capabilities of employees.

Responsibility 3 is credited.  It involves evaluating work performance of subordinates.  The appellant’s position is the rating official for all subordinate employees.

Responsibility 4 is credited.  It involves giving advice, counsel, and instruction to employees on both work and administrative matters.  The appellant instructs his subordinate staff on technical and administrative methods and procedures.

Responsibility 5 is credited.  It encompasses interviewing candidates for positions in the unit; recommending appointment, promotion, or reassignment to such positions.  The appellant interviews candidates and makes such recommendations to his supervisor. 

Responsibility 6 is credited.  Like number 6, the appellant hears and resolves complaints from employees, referring group grievances and more serious unresolved complaints to his supervisor. 

Responsibility 7 is credited.  The appellant has authority to effect minor disciplinary measures, such as warnings and reprimands, and recommends other action in more serious cases to his supervisor and higher level managers. 

Responsibility 8 is credited.  Like number 8, the appellant identifies and arranges for needed developmental and training needs of subordinate employees.

Responsibility 9 is credited.  The appellant’s position is concerned with finding ways to increase the quality of the work directed.  

Responsibility 10 is not credited.  Unlike number 10, the appellant does not develop performance standards for his subordinates.  Performance standards are established by higher level agency headquarters staff covering a pass/fail system. 

The appellant is responsible for carrying out the first four and a total of nine of the ten authorities and responsibilities listed at Level 3-2c.  Therefore, the position meets Level 3-2.

To meet Factor Level 3-3, a position must meet either 3-3a or 3-3b as described below:

At Level 3-3a, a position exercises delegated managerial authority to set a series of annual, multi-year, or similar types of long-range work plans and schedules for in-service or contracted work.  These positions assure implementation (by lower and subordinate organizational units or others) of the goals and objectives for the program segment (s) or function(s) they oversee.  They determine goals and objectives that need additional emphasis; determine the best approach or solution for resolving budget shortages; and plan for long range staffing needs, including such matters as whether to contract out work.  These positions are closely involved with high level program officials (or comparable agency level staff personnel) in the development of overall goals and objectives for assigned staff function(s), program(s), or program segment(s).  For example, they direct development of data; provision of expertise and insights; securing of legal opinions; preparation of position papers or legislative proposals; and execution of comparable activities which support development of goals and objectives related to high levels of program management and development or formulation.

The appellant’s position does not meet Level 3-3a.  Although the appellant develops an annual business plan for his product line, he is not closely involved with high-level program officials (or comparable agency-level staff personnel) in developing overall goals and objectives related to high levels of program management and development or formulation.  In contrast to Level 3-3a, the appellant’s work primarily involves coordinating delivery of facilities services for installations within CNRNW through contracting and procurement organizations at the local level.  Level 3-3a describes the program management type work delegated to higher level Naval Facilities Engineering Command public works business line management personnel involved in making decisions related to broad staffing, budgetary, policy, and regulatory matters affecting the overall program on a national level.  While the appellant provides input to higher levels of management on basic program execution dealing with re-contracting and projecting future needs for NAVFAC [location], and comments on proposed policies or changes, he does not have independent authority to make the types of managerial decisions described at Level 3-3a. 

To meet Factor Level 3-3b, a position must exercise all or nearly all of the delegated supervisory authorities and responsibilities described at Level 3-2c of this factor and, in addition, at least eight of the fifteen responsibilities listed at Level 3-3b.  Our analysis of those responsibilities follows:

Responsibilities 1, 3, 5, 6, and 8 are not credited.  They are intended to be credited only to supervisors whose workload is so large and complex as to require direction through two or more subordinate supervisors, team leaders, or comparable personnel.  The appellant does not supervise any of these types of positions.  Therefore, credit cannot be awarded for those five responsibilities. 

Responsibility 2 is credited.  Like number 2, the appellant has significant responsibilities in dealing with officials of other units within NAVFAC [location] and CNRNW officials on all matters dealing with facilities services and related contracting.  In this role, he regularly advises Acquisition Business Line staff, three Public Works Officers, Facilities Management Directors, and BOSC Contracting Officers on all issues relating to his product line.  He also advises management officials of higher rank on facilities services operations affecting accomplishment of the Command’s mission and functions. 

Responsibility 4 is not credited.  It involves direction of a program or major program segment with significant resources (e.g., one at a multi-million dollar level of annual resources).  Although facilities services contracts totaled $99 million in FY 2012, the appellant coordinates but does not have responsibility for overall program direction, nor does he have authority over the use of contracting funds.  Such authority is vested with public works and contracting officers within NAVFAC [location].  Therefore, responsibility 4 cannot be credited. 

Responsibility 7 is not credited.  It involves making or approving selection of subordinate non-supervisory positions.  The appellant has no such authority.  Currently, selection authority is exercised by the appellant’s supervisor. 

Responsibility 9 is not credited.  This involves responsibility for hearing and resolving group grievances or serious employee complaints.  Such matters fall within the responsibilities of the appellant’s supervisor. 

Responsibility 10 is not credited.  The appellant’s position does not have authority to review and approve serious disciplinary actions such as suspensions involving nonsupervisory subordinates.  This authority is retained by higher level managers within NAVFAC [location]. 

Responsibility 11 is not credited.  It involves making decisions on non-routine, costly, or controversial training needs and training requests related to employees of the unit.  The appellant's authority is to provide and arrange for developmental and required training for his employees.  The appellant does not make decisions on training that is non-routine, costly or controversial in character. 

Responsibility 12 is not credited.  It involves determining whether contractor performed work subject to control by the supervisor meets standards of adequacy necessary for authorization of payment.  Although the appellant is familiar with contractor performance, determinations for payment based on contractor performance are made by contracting officers (not the appellant) with input from acquisition performance assessment staff. 

Responsibility 13 is not credited.  It involves approving expenses comparable to within-grade increases, extensive overtime, and employee travel.  The appellant exercises the authority to approve expenses like within-grade increases, but he cannot approve extensive overtime or employee travel. 

Responsibility 14 is credited.  It involves recommending awards or bonuses for nonsupervisory personnel and changes in position classification, subject to approval by higher level officials, supervisors, or others.  The appellant has the authority to recommend cash awards or bonuses for personnel, and has recommended changes in position classification for his subordinate positions, subject to approval by higher level officials. 

Responsibility 15 is not credited.  It involves finding and implementing ways to eliminate or reduce significant bottlenecks and barriers to production, promote team building, or improve business practices; e.g., a large production or processing unit.  This would apply to large organizations whose missions would be susceptible to the application of such methodological or structural improvements.  The work supervised by the appellant does not lend itself to these types of management applications.  The appellant’s authority in this area would not exceed that described in responsibility nine of Level 3-2c. 

The appellant’s position exercises nine of the delegated supervisory authorities and responsibilities described at Level 3-2c of this factor, but only two of the listed responsibilities under Level 3-3b.  Therefore, the appellant’s position does not meet Factor Level 3-3a or 3-3b. 

This factor is credited at Level 3-2 and 450 points are assigned. 

Factor 4:  Personal contacts

Factor 4 is divided into two parts:  Subfactor 4A, Nature of contacts; and Subfactor 4B, Purpose of contacts.  The nature of the contacts, credited under Subfactor 4A, and the purpose of those contacts, credited under Subfactor 4B, must be based on the same contacts. 

      Subfactor 4A:  Nature of contacts

Contacts credited under Subfactor 4A cover the organizational relationships, authority or influence level, setting, and difficulty of preparation associated with making personal contacts involved in supervisory and managerial work.  To be credited, the level of contacts must contribute to the successful performance of the work, be a recurring requirement, have a demonstrable impact on the difficulty and responsibility of the position, and require direct contact.

At Level 4A-2, the position has frequent contacts comparable to any of those that follow: (1) members of the business community or the general public; (2) higher ranking managers, supervisors, and staff of program, administrative, and other work units and activities throughout the field activity, installation, command (below major command level) or major organization level of the agency; (3) representatives of local public interest groups; case workers in congressional district offices; (4) technical or operating level employees of State and local governments; (5) reporters for local and other limited media outlets reaching a small, general population.  Such contacts may be informal, occur in conferences and meetings, or take place through telephone, televised, radio, or similar contact, and sometimes require non-routine or special preparation. 

At Level 4A-3, the position has frequent contacts comparable to any of those that follow:  (1) high ranking military or civilian managers, supervisors, leaders and technical staff at bureau and major organization levels of the agency; with agency headquarters administrative support staff; or with comparable personnel in other Federal agencies; (2) key staff of public interest groups (usually in formal briefings) with significant political influence or media coverage; (3) journalists representing influential city or county newspapers or comparable radio or television coverage; (4) congressional committee and subcommittee staff assistants below staff director or chief counsel levels; (5) contracting officials and high level technical staff of large industrial firms; (6) local officers of regional or national trade associations, public action groups, or professional organizations; and/or State and local government managers doing business with the agency.  Contacts include those which take place in meetings and conferences and unplanned contacts for which the employee is designated as a contact point by higher management.  They often require extensive preparation of briefing materials or up-to-date technical familiarity with complex subject matter. 

The appellant’s position meets Level 4A-2.  Like this level, he regularly meets with higher ranking managers and supervisors within NAVFAC [location] and CNRNW, with program and administrative personnel from other work units throughout his field activity including PWD officers and contracting officers, and senior civilian tenant command staff.  Contacts are generally informal, occurring in conferences, meetings, or by telephone, and sometimes require special preparation such as development of slides for briefings. 

The appellant’s position does not meet Level 4A-3.  He does not have frequent and regular contact with any of those listed at Level 4A-3. 

This subfactor is evaluated at Level 4A-2 and 50 points are credited.

Subfactor 4B:  Purpose of contacts.

Subfactor 4B covers the purpose of the personal contacts credited in Subfactor 4A, including the advisory, representational, negotiating, and commitment making responsibilities related to supervision and management.

At Level 4B-3, the purpose of contacts is to justify, defend, or negotiate in representing the project, program segment(s), or organizational units(s) directed, in obtaining or committing resources, and in gaining compliance with established policies, regulations, or contracts.  Contacts at this level usually involve active participation in conferences, meetings, hearings, or presentations involving problems or issues of considerable consequence or importance to the program or program segments(s) managed. 

At Level 4B-4, the purpose of contacts is to influence, motivate, or persuade persons or groups to accept opinions or take actions related to advancing the fundamental goals and objectives of the program or segments directed, or involving the commitment or distribution of major resources, when intense opposition or resistance is encountered due to significant organizational or philosophical conflict, competing objectives, major resource limitations or reductions, or comparable issues.  At this level, the persons contacted are sufficiently fearful, skeptical, or uncooperative that highly developed communication, negotiation, conflict resolution, leadership, and similar skills must be used to obtain the desired results. 

The appellant’s position meets Level 4B-3.  Like this level, in representing his unit he meets with contacts to justify and negotiate on issues concerning the availability of resources (including reductions in levels of service due to budgetary restrictions) to provide facility support to particular installations and tenant commands within the CNRNW area, and gain compliance with established facility service polices and regulations for his product line.  Like Level 4B-3, his contacts are made in conferences or meetings, including occasional presentations, to address serious problems or issues affecting the level, quality, and frequency of facility support services. 

The appellant’s position does not meet Level 4B-4.  Unlike this level, the purpose of his contacts is not to influence, motivate, or persuade those contacted to accept or take action regarding advancing the fundamental goals and objectives of his product line.  While the appellant meets with contacts to negotiate the distribution of facility support resources, unlike Level 4B-4 he does not encounter intense opposition or resistance for those reasons specified at this level.  In addition, those contacted are not fearful, skeptical, or so uncooperative that highly developed communication skills must be used to obtain the desired results. 

This subfactor is evaluated at Level 4B-3 and 100 points are credited.

Factor 5, Difficulty of typical work directed

This factor measures the difficulty and complexity of the basic work most typical of the organization directed as well as other line, staff, or contracted work for which the supervisor has technical or oversight responsibility, either directly or through subordinate supervisors, team leaders, or others.  The level is determined by identifying the highest grade which best characterizes the nature of the basic (mission oriented) nonsupervisory work performed or overseen by the organization directed; and which constitutes 25 percent or more of the workload (not positions or employees) of the organization.  In determining the highest level of work, developmental positions below the normal full performance levels are considered at the full performance levels.  Certain positions are excluded from consideration in making the determination.  These include work of lower level positions that primarily support or facilitate the basic work of the unit; any subordinate work graded based on criteria in the GSSG or the General Schedule Leader Grade-Evaluation Guide; work that is graded based on an extraordinary degree of independence from supervision, or personal research accomplishments; and work for which the supervisor or a subordinate does not have the responsibilities defined under Factor 3. 

The appellant directly supervises five full time employees consisting of one Facility Support Contracts Program Manager, GS-1101-13 (PD#D8506), one Regional Contracting Officer’s Representative, GS-1101-13 (PD#D8503), one Integrated Solid Waste Program Specialist, GS-1101-13 (PD#D8504), one Regional Contracting Officer’s Representative, GS-1101-12 (PD#D8342), and one Management and Program Analyst, GS-343-12 (PD#D8069). 

Although the appellant supervises three GS-13 positions, the agency credits Level 5-7 under this factor identifying GS-12 as the base level work of the organization because it calculates that due to the mix of grades of work of the three GS-13 positions coupled with the two GS-12 positions, the workload of the appellant’s unit falls short of the 25 percent threshold for assignment of a GS-13 base level.  The agency also excludes the GS-13 level positions because they function with an extraordinary degree of independence from supervision.  However, the appellant disagrees with the agency stating the three GS-13 employees receive closer supervision than described by the agency. 

We conclude the base level of the appellant’s position is GS-12.  This determination stems from our review of the PDs of the three subordinate GS-13 positions, and discussion with both the appellant and his supervisor regarding the degree of supervision exercised by the appellant over those employees.  Two of the three PDs of the GS-13 positions address work in contracting management or oversight (PDs #8503 and 8506).  The agency utilized the PCS for the Contracting Series, GS-1102, to evaluate the grades of the positions.  For both positions the agency assigned Level 1-8 (Factor 1, Knowledge required by the position), Level 2-5 (Factor 2, Supervisory controls), Level 4-5 (Factor 4, Complexity), Level 5-5 (Factor 5, Scope and effect), and for PD#D8506, Level 3-5 (Factor 3, Guidelines).  The record shows both positions deal with the same contracts as the appellant, whose nonsupervisory contracting work we previously evaluated in this decision by cross reference to the grading criteria in GS-1102 PCS, resulting in a final grade of GS-12.  Given the appellant’s level of knowledge and guidelines needed to administer facility services contracts, the scope and effect of the work, and complexity of the contracts, the levels assigned to these two subordinate positions are not consistent with our evaluation of the appellant’s contract duties.  It is highly unlikely the factor levels assigned to those two positions by the agency for their contracting-related work would exceed those we have credited to the appellant’s contracting duties.  Therefore, we assign no higher levels to the two subordinate positions than those specified for the above factors in our evaluation of the appellant’s nonsupervisory contract duties which equate, when combined with the remaining factors, to a final grade of GS-12. 

Our fact-finding also disclosed the appellant’s supervision over the two subordinate contracting positions is closer than described at Level 2-5 in the GS-1102 PCS.  Like Level 2-4, the appellant sets the overall objectives and resources for the positions, and consults with the employees on developing deadlines, the scope of projects, and work to be done.  The employees independently plan and carry out their assignments, conducting evaluations on the efficiency of their respective facility support contracts and services.  Comparable to Level 2-4, work is reviewed in terms of feasibility, compatibility with other program contracted work, and effectiveness in meeting cost and budget requirements.  This degree of supervision is in contrast to Level 2-5, where the supervisor provides only administrative direction and assigns work only in terms of broadly defined programs or functions, or long-range acquisition and agency objectives. 

With regard to the Integrated Solid Waste Program Specialist position, based on our interview with the appellant, we determined the incumbent receives closer supervision than described at Level 2-5 (assigned by the agency) by application of the Administrative Analysis Grade-Evaluation Guide (AAGEG), which the agency used to evaluate the grade of the position.  The degree of supervision received favorably compares to Level 2-4 in that the employee and the appellant mutually develop acceptable project plans and broad assignments which typically include identifying the work to be done, the scope of the assignment (e.g., overall review of the consistency and effectiveness of solid waste/recycling services for CNRNW), and discuss deadlines for completion of assignments.  Within those parameters the employee plans and carries out his work independently, coordinating with line and staff officials as needed.  Completed work is reviewed by the appellant for compatibility with product line goals, guidelines, and effectiveness in achieving intended objectives.  This level of supervision is in contrast to Level 2-5, where the employee is a recognized authority in the analysis and evaluation of programs and issues and is subject to only administrative and policy direction concerning overall project priorities and objectives.  We did not attempt to verify the remaining factor-level assignments.  However, the agency determined the Integrated Solid Waste Program Specialist position contained only 40 percent GS-13 work.  Thus, only eight percent of the workload (based on duty hour calculations) of the appellant’s organization is at the GS-13 level.  Even assuming the overall classification of this position is accurate, we assess the base level of the appellant’s position at GS-12 because this amount of GS-13 work fails to meet the required 25 percent workload threshold specified under Factor 5. 

As addressed on page ii of this decision, the agency is obligated to review its classification decisions for identical, similar, or related positions taking appropriate action to ensure consistency with this appeal decision, including reviewing the classification of related positions impacting the classification of the appealed position, particularly the classification of the appellant’s two subordinate GS-13 positions and similar nonsupervisory positions engaged in contracting management and oversight similar to that performed by the appellant which we have found to be at the GS-12 level.  The review should also include other similar supervisory positions to the appellant’s, focusing on the proper classification of positions used to determine the base level by application of the GSSG. 

Using the conversion chart in the GSSG for Factor 5, a GS-12 base level equates to Level 5-7 and 930 points are credited. 

Factor 6, Other conditions

This factor measures the extent to which various conditions contribute to the difficulty and complexity of carrying out supervisory duties, authorities, and responsibilities.  There are two steps involved in assigning a level under Factor 6:  (1) select the highest level that the position meets, and (2) if the level selected in step 1 is either 6-1, 6-2, or 6-3, refer to the Special Situations section of Factor 6.  If the position meets 3 or more of the situations, then a single level is added to the level selected in the first step.  If the level selected under step 1 is either 6-4, 6-5, or 6-6, the Special Situations section does not apply, and no level is added to the one selected in step 1.

The appellant’s work meets Level 6-5a, where supervision requires significant and extensive coordination and integration of a number of important projects or program segments of professional, scientific, technical, managerial, or administrative work comparable in difficulty to the GS-12 level.  Like this level, his facility services and contracting oversight work requires extensive coordination with three PWDs and acquisition staff, involving the supervision of work comparable in difficulty to administrative work at the GS-12 grade level.  He distributes work assignments to subordinates ensuring coordination between various projects covering product line components including base support and utilities services, housing maintenance, and solid waste disposal and recycling.  Similar to Level 6-5a, the appellant’s work involves making major recommendations in at least three areas listed which have a direct and substantial effect on the organization and management of the facility services product line.  For example, he recommends changing or reorienting immediate and long range program goals and plans (e.g., Regional Acquisition Strategic Plan) and program objectives to meet substantial changes directed by legislation (i.e., sequestration) impacting funding for base support services and related contracts.  Based on the efficiency and levels of service delivery, he participates in determining which contracted services should be terminated, curtailed, or consolidated.  Like Level 6-5a, the appellant recommends changes concerning the optimum mix of reduced operating costs while assuring facility services program effectiveness.  He also recommends the resources to devote to particular programs, including staff years needed to conduct contract performance assessment and acquisition activities. 

The appellant’s position does not meet Level 6-6a or 6-6b.  Unlike Level 6-6a, his position does not require exceptional coordination and integration of a number of very important and complex program segments or programs of professional, scientific, managerial, or administrative work comparable in difficulty to the GS-13 or higher grade level.  The appellant’s base level of work is GS-12, not GS-13 as expected at Level 6-6a.  Unlike Level 6-6b, the appellant does not manage through subordinate supervisors, and/or contractors who each direct substantial workloads comparable to the GS-12 or higher grade level. 

This factor is evaluated at Level 6-5 and 1225 points are credited. 

Summary evaluation of supervisory duties

By application of the GSSG, we have evaluated the appellant’s supervisory duties as follows:

Factor Level Points
1.  Program scope and effect 1-2 350
2.  Organizational setting 2-1 100
3.  Supervisory & managerial authority exercised 3-2 450
4.  Personal contacts
A.  Nature of contacts 4A-2 50
B.  Purpose of contacts 4B-3 100
5.  Difficulty of typical work directed 5-7 930
6.  Other conditions 6-5 1225
Total 3205

 

A total of 3205 points falls into the GS-13 grade range (3155-3600) by reference to the point-to-grade conversion chart in the GSSG.  Therefore, the appellant's supervisory duties are graded at the GS-13 level.

Summary

The appellant’s nonsupervisory personally performed work is evaluated at the GS-12 level, while his supervisory duties are evaluated at the GS-13 level.  Based on application of mixed-grade position criteria as stated in Chapter 5 of The Classifier’s Handbook, the final grade of the appellant’s position is GS-13. 

Decision

The appellant’s position is properly classified in the GS-1101 series at the GS-13 grade level.  Selection of an appropriate title is at the discretion of the agency but with the prefix “Supervisory” added to the title selected. 

 

 

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