23:0681(91)NG - NTEU and Treasury, Customs Service -- 1986 FLRAdec NG



[ v23 p681 ]
23:0681(91)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


 23 FLRA No. 91
 
 NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION
 Union
 
 and
 
 DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY,
 U.S. CUSTOMS SERVICE
 Agency
 
                                            Case No. 0-NG-934
 
                 DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUE
 
                         I.  Statement of the Case
 
    This case is before the Authority because of a negotiability appeal
 filed under section 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service
 Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute).  The issue presented
 concerns the negotiability of the following provision contained in the
 parties' locally executed agreement which was disapproved during review
 of that agreement by the Agency head under section 7114(c) of the
 Statute:  /1/
 
          Existing crediting plans will be disclosed to the union upon
       request.
 
                       II.  Positions of the Parties
 
    The Agency contends that subchapters S5-3 and S6-1 of Federal
 Personnel Manual (FPM) Supplement 335-1 and FPM Letter 335-15 do not
 permit a blanket disclosure of crediting plans but require agencies to
 make a case-by-case determination as to whether releasing its plans
 would give candidates an unfair advantage or compromise the utility of
 its selection process.  The Agency claims that disclosure of its
 crediting plans would reduce their utility by (1) making it difficult
 for the Agency to verify nonquantitative information presented by
 applicants having access to the plans, and (2) resulting in applicants
 creating similar applications which would generate similar scores.  It
 argues that these sections of the FPM are Government-wide regulations
 within the meaning of section 7117(a)(1).  The Agency claims that the
 provision would conflict with the cited regulations and is, therefore,
 outside the duty to bargain.
 
    The Union contends that the release of crediting plans pursuant to
 the disputed provision will not result in an unfair advantage to any
 candidate or compromise the utility of the selection procedure.  The
 Union argues that the provision is, therefore, not inconsistent with the
 FPM and is within the duty to bargain.
 
                       III.  Analysis and Conclusion
 
    The Union's proposal would require the Agency to disclose any
 existing crediting plan to the Union upon request.  In National Treasury
 Employees Union and NTEU Chapters 153, 161 and 183 and U.S. Customs
 Service, Region II, 11 FLRA 209, 212-13 (1983), reversed on other
 grounds sub nom. U.S. Customs Service, Region II v. FLRA, 739 F.2d 829
 (2d Cir. 1984), /2/ the Authority held that FPM Supplement 335-1,
 subchapter S6, and FPM Letter 335-15, which revised FPM Supplement
 335-1, subchapter S5, authorize release of crediting plans where the