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Dear Mr. [xxx]:
The Claims Adjudication Unit, Office of the General Counsel, Office of Personnel Management (OPM), has reviewed the claim that you submitted to the General Accounting Office (GAO) on October 2, 1996. For the reasons expressed herein, your leave accrual rate claim and your claim for additional compensation for work on federal holidays are denied. However, your claim for overtime compensation is being referred to OPM's Office of Merit Systems Oversight and Effectiveness (OMSOE) which will issue a separate decision.
Section 6303 of title 5 of the United States Code sets the annual leave accrual rates for federal civil service employees. More specifically, subsection (a) of section 6303 authorizes 13 days of paid annual leave per year for employees with less than 3 years of creditable service, 20 days' annual leave for employees with between 3 and 15 years' service, and 26 days' annual leave for employees with 15 or more years' service. See 27 Comp.Gen. 369 (1948) and Lawrence D. Morderosian, B-156482, February 19, 1986. There is no authority for granting you a leave accrual rate in excess of the rate authorized under section 6303.
Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 5348, the [agency] has issued the Civilian Marine Personnel Instructions (CMPI), which, inter alia, grant one-hour of annual leave for every ten hours that an employee works. CMPI 630. However, this provision is applicable only to part-time employees; it is not used in computing the annual leave for full-time employees.
As concerns your second claim, it must be emphasized that in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 5348, the pay of civilian mariners is set by the Military Sealift Command (MSC) and that MSC's discretionary authority to set rates of pay consistent with the public interest is acknowledged and well settled in decisions from both the Comptroller General and the courts. See Department of the Navy v. Federal Labor Relations Authority, 836 F.2d 1409 (3rd Cir. 1988); International Organization of Masters & Pilots v. Brown, 698 F.2d 536 (DC Cir. 1983); and 56 Comp.Gen. 870 (1977); 50 Comp.Gen. 93 (1970); and 30 Comp.Gen. 356 (1951), as cited in Barbara Boxer, B-235291, October 3, 1989. Consistent with this authority, MSC employees are excluded from the premium pay provisions applicable to other employees. See 5 U.S.C. 5541(2)(xi) and 5 C.F.R. 550.101(b)(10). See also 30 Comp. Gen. 158 (1951).
In your letter of October 2, 1996, you state that 5 U.S.C. 5544 Note 10 authorizes compensation for holidays worked by intermittent employees. In fact, Note 10 in the annotations for section 5544 of the United States Code Annotated, 1996 edition, does not authorize holiday pay compensation for intermittent employees. On the contrary, Note 10 provides synopses of two cases concerning the computation of overtime for "monthly basis" employees.
Murray M. Meeker Senior Attorney
Please review this revised letter and make any revisions or corrections that you deem appropriate. This is actually pretty much the draft that I had written before we discussed the claim on Friday.