370.300.1 - De Facto Employment
1. Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to pro vide policy and procedures for the submission and consideration of requests for payment of compensation to individuals who perform services as de facto employees.
2. Definition. A "de facto employee" is an individual who in good faith and under color of authority renders service in a position to which he/she is not legally appointed prior to the effective date or following the expiration date or service limitation of his or her actual appointment.
3. Policy. It is USGS policy to employ and request service from individuals only after their appointments have been officially approved by an authorized appointing officer, the oath of office has been administered, and the appointment affidavit has been properly executed. Personnel actions will not be made retroactively effective unless clerical or administrative errors occurred that (1) prevented a personnel action from taking effect as originally intended by the appointing officer, (2) deprived an employee of a right granted by statute in regulation, or (3) would result in failure to carry out a nondiscretionary administrative regulation or policy if not adjusted retroactively (Sec 54 Comptroller General 888). It is USGS policy to review requests for compensation resulting from de facto employment and determine if such claims meet conditions set forth in applicable Comptroller General decisions. When a potential de facto employment situation is identified or brought to the attention of management, action must be initiated to immediately terminate the services of the individual and notify the servicing personnel office of the finding.
A. Management Officials and Administrative Officers are responsible for the timely initiation and processing of personnel action requests well in advance of proposed effective dates to ensure adequate lead time for obtaining higher level approvals, as required, and for appropriate processing of personnel actions by the servicing personnel office. Management officials will immediately notify the servicing personnel office when de facto employment situations occur and, if necessary, discontinue utilizing the individual's services.
B. Servicing Personnel Officers are responsible for (1) reviewing documentation prepared by USGS officials which describe circumstances relating to specified de facto employment situations, (2) determining that the facts support a reasonable judgment that services were provided in good faith by the individual in the belief that appropriate authority existed, and (3) for providing written notification to the Chief, Office of Financial Management, recommending, as appropriate compensation for de facto services rendered by an individual.
C. The Chief, Office of Financial Management, is responsible for administrative processing of claims for de facto compensation which are deemed supportable and recommended for approval by servicing Personnel Officers.
5. Procedures for Filing and Processing Claims for Compensation Based on De Facto Employment.
A. Individuals requesting compensation based on de facto employment must file a written claim with their immediate supervisor. Based on the individual's request, the supervisor will review and document in writing the circumstances and facts relating to the employee's claim for de facto compensation and forward this information through supervisory channels with a written recommendation regarding disposition of the claim to the servicing personnel officer. The submission must also include information regarding the number of days the individual was actually in a de facto work status as well as the recommended rate of compensation for the duties performed by the individual.
B. The Servicing Personnel Officer will conduct an inquiry, as necessary, including a review of time and attendance records and any other factual data pertaining to the de facto employment situation. Copies of such records will serve as documentation in support of the request for compensation. The servicing personnel officer will make a final determination as to whether or not services were provided in good faith under color of an appointment and, if found supportable, will make a written request to the Chief, Office of Financial Management, regarding payment of the claim for compensation based on de facto employment. If the servicing personnel officer denies the request, the individual and his/her immediate supervisor will be notified of the reasons for the determination.
The servicing personnel officer will also advise the individual that he or she retains the right to subsequently file a claim for compensation, if the individual so desires, with the Comptroller General of the United States. Approval of payment for services performed under a de facto employment situation does not provide any basis for retroactive approval of a personnel action.
C. The Chief, Office of Financial Management will take action to effect payment for de facto services rendered and issue written notification to the individual with copies to the supervisor and servicing personnel office, providing the servicing personnel officer recommends payment for de facto employment.
D. Servicing Personnel Officers and Management Officials will assure that corrective measures are implemented to prevent a recurrence of de facto employment situations which occur within an organization.