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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

Edward Witherspoon
Supply Technician (OA)
Facilities Division
Office of the Director
Beltsville Agriculture Research Center
Agricultural Research Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Beltsville, MD

Supply Technician, GS-2005-5

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



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).

Since this decision changes the classification of the appealed position, it is to be effective no later than the beginning of the fourth pay period after the date of this decision (5 CFR 511.702).  The servicing human resources office must submit a compliance report containing the corrected position description and a Standard Form 50 showing the personnel action taken.  The report must be submitted within 30 days from the effective date of the personnel action to the OPM office that accepted the appeal.


The U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Merit System Accountability and Compliance accepted this position classification appeal on November 21, 2013.  The appellant occupies the position of Supply Technician (Office Automation), GS-2005-5, in Facilities Services (FS) of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC), Agriculture Research Service (ARS), U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in Beltsville, Maryland.  He requests reclassification of his position to the Property Disposal Series, GS-1104.  We accepted and decided this appeal under the provisions of section 5112 of title 5, United States Code.  

The appellant initially requested review of his position by the servicing human resources office, which sustained its current classification by decision dated November 5, 2013. 

General Issues

The appellant disagrees with the agency’s classification of his position to the GS-2005 series, which covers supply clerical and technician work.  He states that he has responsibilities which are not recognized by his current title or grade.  During our on-site desk audit, the appellant stated that he believes his position warrants upgrading based on his belief that he is performing the same work as other employees working in the Centralized Excess Property Operation (CEPO) unit whose positions are not in the GS-2005 series and are classified at higher grade levels.  By law, we must classify the appellant’s position solely by comparing his current duties and responsibilities to OPM position classification standards (PCS) 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, who may or may not be classified correctly, as a basis for deciding his appeal. 

The appellant also states that he is carrying a workload designed for four or five employees.  However, volume of work cannot be considered in determining the grade of a position (The Classifier’s Handbook, chapter 5). 

Position Information

The appellant serves as a Supply Technician (OA) in FS, under the supervision of a Supervisory Project Manager, GS-301-13.  FS is the non-research management arm of the BARC.  Its mission is to promote wise stewardship of the BARC campus and provide responsive, high-quality, and cost-effective services in support of the Agency’s mission to conduct research. 

The appellant’s primary responsibility is to help maintain an effective REE (Research, Education, and Economics) personal property management program.  To this end, he maintains the official inventory of all accountable property assigned to his program area.  Accountable property is owned property with an original acquisition cost of $5,000.00 or more.  The appellant uses USDA’s personal property inventory system (PROP) to help him control the inventory of accountable property.  PROP is an online, database management system.  It integrates fiscal accounting with property accountability and provides uniform data for managing and controlling accountable property. 

The appellant is responsible for reconciling personal property suspense reports on a monthly basis.  The suspense report is a report of property that has been received and paid for and must potentially be assigned to an inventory.  In reconciling the suspense report, the appellant locates missing procurement documents, updates inventory, and enters records in the property system.   

The appellant ensures that annual personal property inventories are conducted on time and in accordance with applicable policies, regulations, and procedures.  He reviews physical inventories compiled by property custodians and is responsible for accounting for and adjusting the inventory records accordingly.  

The appellant works with research and program staff to complete actions associated with the surplus of excess personal property including coordinating the destruction of property, transfer to other units within the BARC or other agencies such as General Services Administration or the National Institute of Health, or delivery to surplus sites. 

The appellant also assists with certain aspects of motor vehicle management.  To this end, he uses GSA’s online tool, AutoChoice to place orders, accepts deliveries, and issues license plates.  He updates fleet information in the Fleet Management Vehicle Registration System (FMVRS).   

Based on our May 13, 2014, audit of the position with the appellant and our May 15, 2014 telephone interview with the supervisor, we find that the PD of record contains the major duties and responsibilities assigned to and performed by the appellant.  The accuracy was attested to by the appellant in his appeal.  The PD is incorporated by reference into this decision.  We decided this appeal by considering the audit findings and all information of record furnished by the appellant and his agency, including work samples provided by the appellant. 

Series and title determination

The agency classified the appellant’s position to the GS-2005, Supply Clerical and Technician Series.  As previously stated, the appellant contends that his position is more appropriately classified to the GS-1104 Property Disposal Series.  The property disposal series includes administrative, managerial, or technical work required to redistribute, donate, sell, abandon, destroy, and promote the use of excess and surplus personal property.  Employees in this series must know: (a) characteristics, proper identities, and uses of property items; (b) merchandising and marketing methods and techniques; and/or (c) property disposal policies, programs, regulations, and procedures.  The appellant’s position does not involve performance of these functions, nor does it require the types of knowledge associated with this occupational series.  Instead, his work is confined to performing the support work necessary to ensure that the CEPO disposal unit obtains the excess and surplus personal property for redistribution, donation, sale, and/or destruction.  Although the appellant’s position requires him to a certain extent to be involved in the overall process of property disposal, based on information obtained during the interviews and documentation in the appeal file, the appellant’s work neither requires property disposal knowledge nor meets the GS-1104 series definition.

We also considered the GS-1107 Property Disposal Clerical and Technician Series in classifying the appellant’s position.  This series includes positions involved in supervising or performing support work related to the utilization, donation, sale, and other disposition of excess and surplus personal property.  It requires knowledge of property disposal operations and programs and the ability to apply regulations, practices, and procedures.  Under the General Schedule classification system, some positions involve a mix of duties and responsibilities covered by two or more occupational series.  Most "mixed" positions are appropriately classified in a specific series because one type of work is usually paramount.  Although the appellant performs some duties related to the GS-1107 series, both the appellant and his immediate supervisor stated his duties related to inventory and control of accountable personal property are paramount and occupy most of the appellant’s work time.  Based on information obtained during the interviews and documentation in the appeal file, we agree.  Moreover, positions that involve performing support work to control or manage excess property within the supply system of a Federal agency (e.g., determining when items are excess to the agency’s needs or screening lists of excess property to fill the agency’s requirements), requiring knowledge of supply policies, management techniques, regulations, or procedures, are specifically excluded from coverage under the GS-1107 series and are to be classified under the GS-2005 series.  Additionally, the record shows the appellant’s work does not require the ability to apply property disposal regulations, practices, and procedures as required by the GS-1107 series definition. 

The GS-2005 series includes positions involved in supervising or performing clerical or technical supply support work necessary to ensure the effective operation of ongoing supply activities.  Supply clerks and technicians perform work in a wide range of systematized supply operations, such as performing records functions in inventory, storage, cataloging, and receipt control processes.  As stated before, our review of the information of record reflects that the principal purpose of the appellant’s position is to perform inventory control work and the paramount qualifications for such work is knowledge of supply operations.  The appellant’s work and the knowledge and skills required to perform it are properly assigned to the GS-2005 series. 

Pages 4-5 of the GS-2005 PCS explain how to distinguish between supply technician and supply specialist positions, such as GS-2010 Inventory Management Specialist positions.  Pages 3-5 of the PCS for the GS-2010 Inventory Management Series describe the inventory management work that must be preponderant for the work to be classified to the GS-2010 series.

Inventory management specialists are responsible for planning and developing control systems, programs, or services, and for developing, adapting, or interpreting operating methods or procedures.  For instance, the specialist provides guidance on or conducts surveys of supply and inventory management functions.  This is in contrast to a supply technician like the appellant who may occasionally develop individualized work plans or procedures but is otherwise primarily concerned with following methods and procedures already developed by supply specialists or management personnel and applying these guides to specific supply problems or situations.  Like  supply technician positions, the appellant’s position is primarily concerned with ensuring that property is properly inventoried and accounted for following agency guidance and instructions.

The appellant’s position does not perform the type of duties requiring higher level specialist knowledge and abilities.  The work does, however, require knowledge of inventory operations and program requirements, and the ability to apply established supply or inventory policies, day-to-day servicing techniques, regulations, or procedures to perform inventory control work necessary to ensure the effective operation of ongoing inventory activities.  Such work is covered by the Supply Clerical and Technician Series GS-2005 defined on page 1 of the GS-2005 PCS.

According to titling instructions on page 5 of the GS-2005 PCS, the position should be titled Supply Technician because it is classified at the GS-5 level for the reasons discussed in the grade evaluation section below.

Accordingly, the published GS-2005 PCS must be used to evaluate the position.

Section III H. of the Introduction to the Position Classification Standards, cautions that parenthetical titles should be used only where it would be helpful or necessary to identify further the duties and responsibilities involved which most closely reflects the paramount knowledge required to do the work.  In all cases where a parenthetical title is used, the position description must reflect the duties that support the parenthetical designation.  As mentioned previously, the appellants’ primary responsibility is inventory and control of accountable personal property.  Therefore, we find that the appellants’ work is not covered by the parenthetical designator (Office Automation).  The record shows that competitive keyboard skills are not required to perform the appellants’ regular and recurring work.  Unlike the typing of letters and reports, entering inventory system data does not require or even permit the performance of the level of keyboard skills as required for titling purposes by the OA Clerical and Assistance Series, GS-326. While the duties of this position do include office automation systems skills, they do not require a level of proficiency for competitive keyboard skills as defined in the GS-326 PCS.  Therefore, we have determined that the OA parenthetical is unnecessary.

Grade Determination

The position was evaluated by application of the grade-level criteria provided in the GS-2005 PCS.  This PCS is written in the Factor Evaluation System (FES) format, under which factor levels and accompanying point values are to be assigned for each of the following nine factors, with the total then being converted to a grade level by use of the grade conversion table provided in the PCS.  The factor point values mark the lower end of the ranges for the indicated factor levels.  For a position to warrant a given point value, it must be fully equivalent to the overall intent of the selected factor level description.  If the position fails in any significant aspect to meet a particular factor level description, the point value for the next lower factor level must be assigned, unless the deficiency is balanced by an equally important aspect that meets a higher level.   

Factor 1, Knowledge Required by the Position

This factor measures the nature and extent of information an employee must understand in order to do the work, and the skills needed to apply that knowledge.

At Level 1-3, the work requires knowledge of standardized supply regulations, policies, procedures, or other instructions relating to the specific functions assigned.  Most positions require familiarity with one or more automated supply data bases to enter, correct, and retrieve recurring reports and to structure and retrieve specialized reports.  Employees use a sound working knowledge of the structure of the local supply organization and the organizations serviced.  Employees use this knowledge and ability to perform a range of standard clerical assignments and to resolve recurring problems.  The following illustration of Level 1-3 knowledge requirements is provided in the PCS:

-- Employees maintain perpetual inventory records (property book) of non-expendable property for the organization serviced.  When property is declared excess in any location, they verify accurate description and quantity available.  They circulate notifications of excess property available for other serviced units, prepare transfer documents according to prescribed procedures, or, where no need exists, complete declarations of excess property.  They circulate reports of excess property submitted by other offices or agencies to identify those with potential for local use, and, after need for item is approved by a local operating office, prepare requisitions for items to be transferred.  When non-expendable property is lost, damaged, or destroyed, employees prepare survey reports.  

At Level 1-4, the highest level described in the GS-2005 PCS, the work requires a thorough knowledge of governing supply regulations, policies, procedures, and instructions applicable to the specific assignment.  Employees use this knowledge to conduct extensive and exhaustive searches for required information; reconstruct records for complex supply transactions; and/or provide supply operations for activities involving specialized or unique supplies, equipment, and parts such as special purpose laboratory or test equipment, prototypes of technical equipment, parts and equipment requiring unusual degrees of protection in shipment and storage, or others that are unique to the organization’s mission or are seldom handled.  This knowledge is also used in positions performing routine aspects of supply specialist work based on practical knowledge of standard procedures, where assignments include individual case problems related to a limited segment in one of the major areas of supply management (e.g., cataloging, inventory management, excess property, property utilization, or storage management).  The following illustration of Level 1-4 knowledge requirements is provided in the PCS:  

-- Employees maintain accurate accounting and reporting systems for non-expendable property and performing routine phases of property management.  They review proposed purchases to ensure they are in accordance with fiscal year property plan, review justifications, and recommend actions for property requests not on the plan.  They plan for and conduct limited segments of management studies on the utilization of property, and make informal recommendations based on data developed.  They review records and demand data to determine if property has become obsolete or excess to the needs of the organization and/or excess to the overall requirements of the agency.  Employees at this level offer recommendations to operating officials for utilization; and prepare reports and necessary documentation for transfer of property.  They also locate surplus property, determine age and probable condition by checking records, contacting local vendors, physically inspecting records, and arranging for transfer of property that can be used.  Employees work with a supply specialist in preparing procedures for annual inventories, participate in inventory process, conduct investigations to determine causes of inventory discrepancies by checking all property records, e.g., purchase orders, surveys, transfers, and other available sources, and compile information necessary for consideration in survey actions relating to loss, damage, or destruction of Government-owned property.

Level 1-3 is met.  As at this level, the appellant maintains perpetual inventory records of non-expendable personal property within his organization.  He uses the PROP system to enter, revise, sort, and retrieve data as described at this level.  As at this level, the incumbent must use a sound working knowledge of the structure of the local supply organization and the organization serviced.  The appellant is visibly knowledgeable of the organizational structure within FS, CEPO, and BARC as he must coordinate his assignments with the various staff offices and employees to effectively perform his property transfer and disposal support duties.  Similar to this level, the appellant is responsible for ensuring accurate records are maintained when excess property within his area is transferred to CEPO.  The appellant uses his knowledge of standard records procedure to manage a manual file system of property including maintaining a log book of surplus property.  He must apply a practical knowledge of the governing supply regulations, policies, procedures and instructions related to property accountability.          

Level 1-4 is not met. Level 1-4 requires knowledge of an extensive body of rules, procedures, or operations that involve extended training and experience to perform a wide variety of interrelated or nonstandard procedural assignments and resolve a wide range of problems.  The appellant’s work does not require a thorough knowledge of supply or inventory regulations, policies, and procedures to conduct extensive and exhaustive searches for required information.  There is no evidence of work assignments that require the appellant to reconstruct records for complex supply or inventory transactions.  There is no evidence of work assignments that require the appellant to provide supply or inventory operations for activities involving specialized or unique equipment, or parts such as special purpose laboratory or test equipment. 

Factor level illustrations in the GS-2005 PCS make clear that a major distinction between Level 1-3 and 1-4 is that at Level 1-3 employees dispose of property that has been declared excess by the using organizations whereas at Level 1-4 employees actually determines if property is excess or obsolete and either recommends uses for it or initiates the disposal process.  Like 1-3, the appellant is notified of excess property, arranges for the pick-up, and transfers it elsewhere for disposal.  Also, unlike Level 1-4 the appellant does not review proposed purchases for conformance with the property plan, he merely inputs them to the system.  The appellant’s work does not show the performance of the types of in-depth and complex supply or inventory problem analysis and resolution that provide the context for the exercise of Level 1-4 knowledge requirements.

Level 1-3 is credited (350 points).                                                                                             

Factor 2, Supervisory Controls

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

At Level 2-3, the highest level described in the PCS, the supervisor defines objectives, sets priorities and deadlines, and assists the employee with unusual situations which do not have clear precedents.  In some circumstances, the employee works independently from the supervisor or specialist in a remote location.  Contact with the supervisor is infrequent, although usually available by telephone and periodic on-site visits.  Continuing assignments are usually performed with considerable independence.  The employee plans and carries out the successive steps and handles problems and deviations in the work assignment in accordance with instructions, policies, previous training, or accepted practices in the occupation.  Completed work is usually evaluated for technical soundness, appropriateness, and conformity to policy and requirements.  The methods used in arriving at the end results are not usually reviewed in detail.           

The appellant's position meets but does not exceed Level 2-3.  As at this level, he is responsible for maintaining the property database management system for all accountable personal property assigned to his program area, independently from the supervisor.  The appellant’s continuing assignments are usually performed with considerable independence.  He receives incoming USDA form AD-112s, reports of unserviceable, lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed property.  He also receives incoming USDA form AD-107s, reports of transfer or other disposition or construction of property.  The appellant independently assists with the coordination of surplus and/or transferred personal property while ensuring that inventory updates are recorded and maintained accurately in the property system.  Completed work is reviewed for accomplishment and for the acceptability of the end products.  Similar to Level 2-3, his contact with the supervisor is infrequent, although she is usually available by telephone and makes periodic on-site visits.

Level 2-3 is credited (275 points).

Factor 3, Guidelines

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

At Level 3-2, procedures for doing the work have been established and a number of specific guidelines are available in the form of supply regulations, policies, and procedures.  The number and similarity of guidelines and work situations require the employee to use some judgment in locating and selecting the most appropriate guidelines, references, and procedures for application and in making minor deviations to adapt to the guidelines in specific cases.  At this level, the employee may also determine which of several established alternatives to use.  Situations to which the existing guidelines cannot be applied or significant proposed deviations from the guidelines are referred to the supervisor.      

At Level 3-3, guidelines are not completely applicable or have gaps in specificity because of problem solving or case nature.  The employee uses judgment in interpreting and adapting guidelines such as policies, regulations, precedents, and work directions for application to specific cases or problems.  The employee analyzes the results of applying guidelines and recommends changes.     

Level 3-2 is met.  The appellant controls and disposes of property for REE projects and programs according to applicable laws and regulations under the Federal Property Management Regulations (FPMR), Agriculture Property Management Regulations (AGPMR), and any other pertinent property management regulations.  The Property Management Officers Guide (2011), USDA REE Manual 221.1M (1999), USDA Fleet Card Regulations, GSA Federal regulations, and other applicable manuals and directives are quite detailed and thorough in establishing the parameters of the work and how it is to be carried out, as opposed to having "gaps in specificity.”    

Level 3-3 is not met.  The appellant has not presented any examples of situations where guidelines are not completely applicable or any situations in which he was compelled to analyze the results of applicable guidelines and recommended change.  Within this context, the appellant's use of guidelines meets Level 3-2. 

Level 3-2 is credited (125 points).                                                                                                     

Factor 4, Complexity

This factor covers the nature, number, variety, and intricacy of the tasks or processes 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 4-2, the work consists of duties that involve related steps, processes, or methods including work such as performing routine aspects of technical supply management functions in support of a specialist.  The employee decides what to do by recognizing the existence of and differences between a few easily recognizable situations and conditions, and choosing a course of action from among options related to the specific assignment.  Actions to be taken by the employee or responses to be made differ in such things as the source of information, the kind of transactions or entries, or other differences of a factual nature. 

At Level 4-3, the work involves unusually complicated or difficult technical duties involving one or more aspects of supply management or operations.  The work at this level is difficult because it involves actions that are not standardized or prescribed deviations from established procedures; new or changing situations; and matters for which only general provisions can be made in regulations or procedures.  This typically involves supply transactions which experienced employees at lower grades have been unable to process or resolve, or which involve special program requirements for urgent, critical shortage items requiring specialized procedures and efforts to obtain.  At this level, the employee decides what needs to be done depending on the analysis of the subject, phase, or issues involved in each assignment, and the chosen course of action may have to be selected from many alternatives.  Decisions are based largely on the employee’s experience, precedent actions, and the priority assigned for resolving a particular problem.  The methods and procedures used to resolve each issue vary based on the circumstances of each individual case.  The work involves conditions and elements that the employee must identify and analyze to discern interrelationships with other actions, related supply programs, and alternative approaches.    

Level 4-2 is met.  As described at this level, the appellant’s work involving acquiring, controlling, and disposing of personal property entails related steps and must be performed in the proper sequence.  He performs data entry, tags property, assists with inventories, and assists with the disposal of excess equipment.  The situations he deals with are routine in nature and defined in the guidelines. 

Level 4-3 is not met.  The appellant's work does not involve the degree of complexity found at this level.  For example, the appellant rarely has to deviate from established policies and procedures.  When new situations arise he receives guidance from his supervisor.  The appellant’s work is largely limited to property accountability, document control, and routine inventory management work involved in disposing of excess equipment and consists of performing essentially the same steps repetitively.  The appellant’s work does not routinely require him to analyze data for the purpose of identifying problems and choosing from many alternatives to determine the actions that should be taken to resolve them.  Therefore, this factor must be credited at Level 4-2.

Level 4-2 is credited (75 points).

Factor 5, Scope and Effect

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

At Level 5-2, the work involves the execution of specific rules, regulations, or procedures and typically comprises a complete segment of an assignment or project of broader scope, such as when assisting a higher grade employee.  The work or supply service affects the accuracy, reliability, or acceptability of further processes or services in meeting customer requirements in supported organizations and other supply units.     

At Level 5-3, the work involves dealing with a variety of problem situations either independently or as part of a broader problem solving effort under the control of a specialist.  Problems encountered require extensive fact finding, review of information to coordinate requirements, and recommendations to resolve conditions or change procedures.  The employee performs the work in conformance with prescribed procedures and methods.  The results of the work affect the adequacy of local support operations, or they contribute to improved procedures in support of supply programs and operations.  

Level 5-2 is met.  Similar to this level, the appellant’s work involves the execution of specific rules, regulations, or procedures dealing with property utilization and disposal.  The applicable manuals and directives the appellant uses are quite specific in establishing how his work is to be executed.  For example, the USDA REE Manual 221.1M specifically dictates how the appellant is to account for and control personal property.  The appellant’s inventory and control duties clearly have a direct effect on the accuracy of accountable property within his program area.  The appellant provides operational support for the Beltsville Area (BA) motor pool by maintaining information as to reservation and use of motor vehicles.  He also maintains the fleet/pool card system for BA and BARC motor vehicles.  This is exemplary of work which affects the accuracy and reliability of further processes involved in the management of motor vehicles.             

Level 5-3 is not met.  The appellant’s work does not involve dealing with a variety of problem situations under the control of a specialist.  There is no evidence that the appellant’s work assignments require him to conduct extensive fact finding, as found at this level.  For the most part, the appellant’s assignments consist of routine inventory management duties which do not require him to deal with the kind of problems envisioned at this level.  For example, the appellant’s position does not require him to investigate and determine the cause of inventory problems and recommend possible policy changes.  The appellant’s position does not require him to contribute to the inventory program operation by recommending improvement to the current operations.  Because Level 5-3 is not met, this factor must be credited at Level 5-2.

Level 5-2 is credited (75 points).                                                                                                    

Factors 6 and 7, Personal Contacts and Purpose of Contacts

Personal Contacts

Personal contacts include face-to-face contacts and telephone contact with persons not in the supervisory chain.  Levels described under this factor are based on what is required to make the initial contact, the difficulty of communicating with those contacted, and the setting in which the contact takes place.

At Level 2, contacts are with employees in the same agency, but outside the immediate organization.  Persons contacted generally are engaged in different functions, missions, and kinds of work, such as representatives from various levels within the agency or from other operating offices in the immediate installation.  Contacts may also be with members of the general public as individuals or groups, in a moderately structured setting.  For example, they are usually established on a routine basis at the employee’s work place or over the telephone, the exact purpose may be unclear at first, and one or more of the parties may be uninformed concerning the role and authority of other participants.  Typical of contacts at this level are employees at approximately the same level of authority in shipping companies, vendor employees concerned with the status of orders or shipments, and others at comparable levels.

In contrast, Level 3 contacts are with individuals from outside the employing agency in a moderately unstructured setting.  For example, the contacts are not established on a routine basis, the purpose and extent of each contact is different, and the role and authority of each party is identified and developed during the course of the contact.  Typical of contacts at this level are supply employees in other departments or agencies, inventory item managers, contractors, or manufacturers.

Level 2 is met.  The appellant typically makes contact with other employees, the CEPO unit, researchers, scientists, and occasionally headquarters for guidance.  Occasionally he contacts staff members of other agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency or the General Services administration, but these contacts are generally routine and unchanging in purpose.  The appellant’s regular and recurring contacts are more structured than those typical of Level 3. 

Purpose of Contacts

At Level a, the purpose of contacts is to obtain, clarify, or exchange facts or information, regardless of the nature of those facts, which may range from easily understood to highly technical. 

At Level b, the purpose of contacts is to plan, coordinate, or advise on work efforts or to resolve operating problems by clarifying discrepancies in information submitted by serviced organizations, resolving automated system problems causing erroneous transaction records, or seeking cooperation from others to resolve complicated supply actions.

As at Level b, the purpose of contacts is to resolve discrepancies associated with inventory transactions, determine priorities of need from users, check availability of items against delivery dates and vendor shortages, and check computer output problems.

The combined factors are credited at Level 2b (75 points).

Factor 8, Physical Demands

This factor covers the requirements and physical demands placed on the employee by the work assignment. This includes physical characteristics and abilities and physical exertion involved in the work.

At Level, 8-1, the work is primarily sedentary.  The employee may sit comfortably to do the work.  There may be some walking, standing, bending, carrying of light items such as papers, books, or small parts.  No special physical demands are required to perform the work. 

At Level 8-2, work requires some physical exertion such as long periods of standing; walking over rough, uneven, or rocky surfaces; recurring bending, crouching, stooping, stretching, reaching, or similar activities. This level of physical demands occur, for example, when employees are regularly assigned to activities such as tracing misplaced items or conducting physical inventories in warehouses, depots, and other storage areas, or when they are regularly involved in stocking and retrieving items from shelves and cabinets.

Similar to Level 8-1, the appellant’s work is primarily sedentary.  The majority of his work involves processing inventory actions at a desk.  However, occasionally the appellant is required to walk, bend, and/or carry light items during the surplus pick-up process. 

Level 8-2 is not met.  No physical exertion is required for this position as the heavy lifting and physical transfer of property is handled by laborers within the agency or by CEPO. 

Level 8-1 is credited (5 points).                                                                                                     

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.  Although the use of safety precautions can practically eliminate a certain danger or discomfort, such situations typically place additional demands upon the employee in carrying out safety regulations and techniques.

At Level 9-1, the employee typically work indoors in an environment involving everyday risks or discomforts which require normal safety precautions typical of such places as offices or meeting rooms.  Observance of normal safety practices with office equipment, avoidance of trips and falls, and observance of fire regulations is required.  The area is adequately lighted, heated, and ventilated.  

At Level 9-2, the work environment involves moderate risks or discomforts which require special safety precautions, such as working around moving warehouse equipment, carts, or machines. Employees may be required to use protective clothing or gear such as masks, gowns, safety shoes, goggles, hearing protection, and gloves.

Level 9-1 is met.  The appellant generally works indoors in an office setting in which the building is ventilated and heated with necessary lighting.   

Level 9-2 is not met.  The appellant’s work environment does not require any special safety precautions.  He is not required to wear protective clothing or gear.   

Level 9-1 is credited (5 points).         

Factors Level Points
Knowledge Required 1-3 350
Supervisory Controls 2-3 275
Guidelines 3-2 125
Complexity 4-2 75
Scope and Effect 5-2 75
Personal Contacts 6-2 25
Purpose of Contacts 7-b 50
Physical Demands 8-1 5
Work  Environment 9-1 5
Total 985


The total of 985 points falls within the GS-5 point range (855-1100 points) on the grade conversion table provided in the PCS.


The position is properly classified as Supply Technician, GS-2005-5.



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