158. Memorandum From the Director of the Office of Civil Service Career Development and Assignments (Bourbon) to the Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Personnel (Barnes)1


  • Status of Civil Service Legislation

The conference committee ironed out most of the disagreements on the Civil Service Reform Act yesterday. The committee’s staff is now working on language and a few remaining details. The final conference meeting will be held on Tuesday2 at 10:00. It will take several days before a bill is ready for transmission to both houses.

Title IV (Senior Executive Service) excludes the Foreign Service from its coverage. Title VIII (Saved Grade/Saved Pay) will be accepted as the administration wants it. Title VI (Research and Demonstration) will cover us.

Title II (Civil Service Functions) gets complex. An issue which caused much heat during the conference was the question of how to treat mixed appeals—that is appeals which contain elements of both personnel management and EEO. The process now will be:

  • 1. Mixed appeals will go to the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB).
  • 2. If the MSPB finds in favor of the employee on both issues, that closes the appeal.
  • 3. If the MSPB does not find in favor of the employee, the entire appeal goes to EEOC.
  • 4. EEOC may support the MSPB that will also close the appeal.
  • 5. If EEOC reverses MSPB on a matter related only to Civil Service laws, the appeal goes back to MSPB for a second review.
  • 6. If conflict continues to exist between EEOC and MSPB, the matter will go to a special tribunal. The tribunal will have three members—one from MSPB, one from EEOC, and one outsider appointed by the President. They will rule on the matter.
  • 7. Following this ruling a judicial review will be available.

Regarding the status of the MSPB in relation to the Foreign Service Grievance Board, it is expected that the conference report will contain language similar to the attachment.


Paper Prepared in the Bureau of Personnel 3

The committee of conference recognized that some difficulties may be encountered in applying the bill’s provisions on employee complaints and appeals to officers and employees of the Foreign Service. The Foreign Service Act of 1946 provides a separate personnel system for the Foreign Service, and was amended in 1975 to establish an independent Foreign Service Grievance Board. In developing procedures under this bill for the consideration of alleged prohibited personnel practices and adverse action appeals, involving Foreign Service personnel, efforts should be made to achieve maximum compatibility with the Foreign Service Act, and to avoid either duplication or fragmentation of remedies. It is the committee’s intent that full effect should be given to the laws applicable to federal employees generally and also to those dealing specifically with the Foreign Service. If substantial problems are encountered, the Executive Branch should provide the Congress with recommendations for clarifying legislation.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Under Secretary for Management (M), 1978–1979, Box 3, Chron September 29–October 3, 1978. No classification marking. Drafted by Bourbon. Cleared by Nancy Rawls (DGP/PER). Printed from an unsigned copy.
  2. October 3.
  3. No classification marking.