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SALES v. DOJ

October 20, 1982

MAURICE K. SALES, Plaintiff,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GREEN

 Plaintiff, a certified public accountant, has been employed since 1972 by the Office of Justice Assistance, Research and Statistics (formerly the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, hereinafter referred to as LEAA), in the United States Department of Justice. His prior employment had been with the Agency for International Development as a budget and fiscal officer, and for the State of California as an auditor. In early 1978, plaintiff was Chief of the Systems Branch, Accounting Division, Office of the Comptroller, at the GS-13/4 salary level, a position in the GS-510 accounting series.

 During the relevant period, the LEAA Accounting Division had a Director and Deputy Director who reported to the Comptroller, and four separate branches: Systems, Reports and Control, Fiscal Services, and Law Enforcement Education Program.

 By virtue of a position description of September 1976 and until August 5, 1980, the Director position had been classified as a financial manager, GS-505-15. Five of the eight duties listed required extensive knowledge of accounting principles, practices and procedures. On August 5, 1980 a new position description was issued for this position, essentially adopting the duties outlined in the earlier position description. The position classification was changed, however, to an accounting officer, GS-510-15.

 Each of the three persons (two white males and one white female) who occupied the position of Director of the Accounting Division met the GS-510 accounting series requirements and the one vacancy announcement for the position during the period it was classified as a financial manager GS-505-15 expressly required applicants to meet the GS-510 accounting series requirements.

 At all times relevant herein, the Deputy Director position has been classified as a financial manager, GS-505-14. Yet, all position descriptions in effect for this position since January 1974, and, more specifically, from June 1976 until August 16, 1978 (the period during which the vacancy announcement giving rise to this action was issued), have indirectly required knowledge of accounting practices and procedures.

 The following duties illustrate the interweaving of necessary financial management skills with accounting skills required for the Deputy position:

 
1. Plans, organizes and administers accounting, fiscal and related financial management programs and policies * * *.
 
* * *
 
3. Formulates and implements fiscal and accounting policies and methods relative to accounting operations to assure accountability of all funds and property, as well as accurate and timely reporting of the status of funds.
 
* * *
 
7. Directs the personnel management and coordinates the general administrative operations for the Division. (Pl. Ex. 36).

 On January 6, 1978, a vacancy announcement was posted for the position of Deputy Director. The announcement reflected LEAA's interest in selecting a person with strong administrative and financial management skills. Sales applied for this position, was interviewed as one of five "best qualified" candidates, but, ultimately, not selected. Instead, Sandy ...


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