26:0832(98)CA - Interior, Washington, DC and Bureau of Reclamation, Lower Colorado Dams Project, Boulder City, NV and AFGE Local 1978 -- 1987 FLRAdec CA



[ v26 p832 ]
26:0832(98)CA
The decision of the Authority follows:


 26 FLRA No. 98
 
 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 
 WASHINGTON, D.C. AND 
 BUREAU OF RECLAMATION
 LOWER COLORADO DAMS PROJECT 
 BOULDER CITY, NEVADA
 Respondents
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT 
 EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1978
 Charging Party
 
                                            Case No. 9-CA-40223
 
                            DECISION AND ORDER
 
                         I.  Statement of the Case
 
    This unfair labor practice case is before the Authority on exceptions
 to the attached Administrative Law Judge's Decision filed by the
 Department of the Interior.  The General Counsel filed an opposition to
 the exceptions.  /*/ The complaint alleged that the Respondent Bureau of
 Reclamation violated section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Federal
 Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by refusing to
 provide the Charging Party (the Union) with copies of crediting plans
 which the Union sought pursuant to section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute in
 connection with the negotiation of proposed changes in merit promotion
 procedures.  The complaint further alleged that the Respondent
 Department of the Interior violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the
 Statute by directing the Respondent Bureau of Reclamation to refuse the
 Union's request.
 
                                II.  Facts
 
    The Bureau of Reclamation's Merit Promotion Plan is incorporated by
 reference in its collective bargaining agreement with the Union.  The
 Bureau submitted a revised Plan to the Union for negotiation pursuant to
 the parties' agreement.  The Union requested to bargain concerning the
 revised Plan and submitted proposals, including a proposal to negotiate
 with respect to crediting plans.  The Bureau's crediting plans, which
 are used in the rating and ranking of applicants, were not changed by
 the proposed revision of the Merit Promotion Plan.  Management's
 representative at the bargaining table declared that crediting plans
 were nonnegotiable.  The Union then requested copies of the crediting
 plans to formulate specific bargaining proposals concerning the
 crediting plans themselves and to ensure that the plans were protected
 from changes which might result in preselection, favoritism or other
 violations of the Merit Promotion Plan.  The Bureau refused to provide
 the Union with copies of the crediting plans despite Union assurances
 that it would safeguard the confidentiality of the plans and suggestions
 as to how that protection might be accomplished.  The parties stipulated
 that the Respondent Bureau was directed to refuse the Union's request by
 the Respondent Department of the Interior.
 
                 III.  Administrative Law Judge's Decision
 
    The Judge concluded that because the Bureau of Reclamation was acting
 on the instructions of the Department of the Interior, the Bureau did
 not commit an unfair labor practice as alleged in the complaint.  The
 Judge therefore recommended that the complaint against the Bureau be
 dismissed.
 
    However, the Judge concluded that the Department of the Interior
 violated section 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute by directing the
 Bureau to withhold the crediting plans from the Union.  In reaching this
 conclusion, the Judge found, based on Authority precedent at the time of
 his decision, that the substance of the crediting plans was negotiable.
 The Judge also found that the use of crediting plans was an integral
 part of the application of the Merit Promotion Plan.  The Judge
 therefore determined that the Union was entitled to the crediting plans
 under section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute to enable the Union to pursue
 its bargaining rights with respect to both the crediting plans and the
 Merit Promotion Plan.  The Judge rejected the Respondent's arguments
 that disclosure of the crediting plans would interfere with management's
 rights under section 7106(a) of the Statute and would compromise the
 integrity of the plans contrary to Federal Personnel Manaul (FPM)
 Supplement 335-1, subchapter S6.
 
                       IV.  Positions of the Parties
 
    The Respondent Department of the Interior essentially argues that the
 Judge erred in finding that crediting plans are negotiable and that the
 Bureau of Reclamation was required to provide copies of the plans to the
 Union pursuant to section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute.  The Respondent
 Department argues that the Union requested copies of the crediting plans
 in an effort to negotiate concerning the content of the plans;  and that
 the content of the crediting plans is nonnegotiable because it involves
 the exercise of management's rights under section 7106(a)(2)(B) and (C)
 of the Statute to determine its personnel and to make selections for
 appointment.  The Respondent also contends that FPM Supplement 335-1,
 subchapter S6, precludes the disclosure of the crediting plans because
 such disclosure would compromise the integrity of the plans.  The
 Department further argues that the Judge erred in concluding that
 crediting plans were necessary for the Union to negotiate regarding
 changes in the Merit Promotion Plan.  The Department maintains that
 while the crediting plans are used in the merit promotion process, the
 proposed changes in the Merit Promotion Plan did not affect the
 crediting plans and that the information was not necessary for the Union
 to bargain over the changes.
 
    The General Counsel contends that while the crediting plans were not
 changed by the Bureau's proposed revision of the Merit Promotion Plan,
 the substance and application of the crediting plans constitute a
 critical component of the merit promotion system and that they cannot
 and should not be separated from the parties' negotiated Merit Promotion
 Plan.  The General Counsel argues that only by ensuring fairness of the
 crediting plans can the Union ensure fair application of the Merit
 Promotion Plan.  The General Counsel further argues that the Union's
 request for copies of the crediting plans was based only in part on a
 desire to negotiate concerning the content of the plans.  The General
 Counsel points out that the Union also sought the plans to protect them
 from improper changes.  In conclusion, the General Counsel maintains
 that the Union was entitled to copies of the crediting plans to enable
 the Union to effectively negotiate concerning the plans;  to police and
 administer provisions in the parties' negotiated agreement which specify
 certain requirements for crediting plans;  and to intelligently assess
 potential grievances.
 
                               V.  Analysis
 
    We must disagree with the Judge's finding that crediting plans are
 negotiable.  The decisions of the Authority the Judge relied on to
 support his finding were reversed on appeal.  Department of the
 Treasury, U.S. Customs Service v. FLRA, 762 F.2d 1119 (D.C. Cir. 1985),
 reversing National Treasury Employees Union and Department of the
 Treasury, U.S. Customs Service, Washington, D.C., 11 FLRA 247 (1983);
 U.S. Customs Service, Region II v. FLRA, 739 F.2d 829 (2d Cir. 1984),
 reversing National Treasury Employees Union and NTEU Chapters 153, 161
 and 183 and U.S. Customs Service, Region II, 11 FLRA 209 (1983).  The
 Authority subsequently concurred in the result reached by the courts in
 those cases as to the negotiability of the content of crediting plans
 and determined that the content of such plans is not within the duty to
 bargain.  The Montana Air Chapter of Association of Civilian Technicians
 and U.S. Department of the Air Force, Montana Air National Guard, 19
 FLRA 946 (1985).
 
    In this case, one of the purposes of the Union's request for the
 Respondent Bureau's crediting plans was to negotiate regarding their
 content.  Section 7114(b)(4)(B) of the Statute provides for release of
 information to an exclusive representative that is "necessary for full
 and proper discussion, understanding, and negotiation of subjects within
 the scope of collective bargaining(.)" Since the content of crediting
 plans is not within the duty to bargain, we conclude that the
 information is not "necessary" within the meaning of section
 7114(b)(4)(B) and, therefore, that the Union is not entitled to the
 Bureau's plans to pursue its stated purpose of negotiating regarding
 their content.
 
    Moreover, in National Treasury Employees Union and Department of the
 Treasury, U.S. Customs Service, 23 FLRA No. 91 (1986), we held that a
 proposal which would require disclosure of the agency's crediting plans
 to the union on request was nonnegotiable.  We determined that the
 proposal was inconsistent with FPM Supplement 335-1, a Government-wide
 regulation, because the proposal would authorize a blanket disclosure of
 crediting plan information without regard to whether the release of that
 information would undermine the fairness and validity of selection
 procedures.  Slip op. at 3.  Similarly, we find that in the
 circumstances of this case the Union is not entitled to the blanket
 disclosure of all of the Respondent's crediting plans on request.  While
 the Judge found that there was no evidence submitted to support the
 Respondent's contention that release of the plans to the Union would
 compromise the integrity of the plans, that finding does not establish
 the Union's need for the information under section 7114(b)(4) of the
 Statute.
 
    In that regard, we disagree with the Judge's finding that the
 Bureau's crediting plans are necessary for the Union to negotiate with
 respect to the revised Merit Promotion Plan.  No changes were made or
 proposed in the crediting plans.  While crediting plans may be used in
 the selection process, there is no evidence that the Union needs the
 plans to negotiate procedures or requirements concerning their use.
 
    Moreover, contrary to the contention of the General Counsel, we find
 that the crediting plans were not needed at the time of the Union's
 request to police and administer the parties' collective bargaining
 agreement or to assess potential grievances.  We have held that an
 exclusive representative may obtain copies of specific crediting plans
 under section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute where the information is
 necessary for the union to effectively carry out its representational
 responsibilities in monitoring and enforcing rights under a negotiated
 agreement in certain situations, for example, in processing a grievance
 concerning a particular selection action.  Department of the Army,
 Headquarters, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, Fort Bragg, North
 Carolina, 26 FLRA No. 52 (1987);  United States Department of
 Argiculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant
 Protection and Quarantine, 26 FLRA No. 79 (1987).  In this case,
 however, where the Union submitted a blanket request for copies of all
 of the Bureau's crediting plans and there is no evidence that any of the
 plans were needed in connection with a particular grievance, the
 information is not necessary wtthin the meaning of section
 7114(b)(4)(B).
 
                              VI.  Conclusion
 
    We conclude that the Respondent Department of the Interior did not
 violate section 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute by directing the
 Respondent Bureau of Reclamation to deny the Union's request for copies
 of all of the Bureau's crediting plans.  We further conclude, in
 agreement with the Judge, that the Respondent Bureau did not violate the
 Statute as alleged in the complaint by denying the Union's request.
 
                                   ORDER
 
            The complaint in Case No. 9-CA-40223 is dismissed.
 
    Issued, Washington, D.C., April 30, 1987.
 
                                       /s/ Jerry L. Calhoun, Chairman
                                       /s/ Henry B. Frazier III, Member
                                       /s/ Jean McKee, Member
                                       FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 -------------------- ALJ$ DECISION FOLLOWS --------------------
 
    Case No. 9-CA-40223
 
 DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR, WASHINGTON, D.C. AND 
 BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, LOWER COLORADO DAMS 
 PROJECT BOULDER CITY NEVADA
    Respondents
 
                                    and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT 
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1978
 
    Charging Party
    Dan Jensen
    For the Respondent
 
    Bureau of Reclamation
    Gerald Rachelson, Esq.
    For the Respondent
 
    Bureau of Reclamation and Department of Interior
    Cecil Miller
    For the Charging Party
 
    Josanna Berkow, Esq.
    For the General Counsel
    Federal Labor Relations Authority
 
    Before:  SAMUEL A. Chaitovitz
    Administrative Law Judge
 
                                 DECISION
 
                           Statement of the Case
 
    This is a proceeding under the Federal Service Labor-Managment
 Relations Statute, Chapter 71 of Title 5 of the U.S. Code, 5 U.S.C.
 section 7101 et seq., 92 Stat. 1191, (hereinafter referred to as the
 Statute) and the Rules and Regulations of the Federal Labor Relations
 Authority (FLRA), 5 C.F.R. Chapter XIV, section 2410 et seq.
 
    An unfair labor practice charge was filed on April 12, 1984 by
 American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1978 (hereinafter
 called AFGE Local 1978 and the Union) alleging that Lower Colorado Dams
 Project violated the Statute.  An amended charge was filed on July 13,
 1984 by the Union alleging that Bureau of Reclamation, Lower Colorado
 Dams Project and Department of Interior (herein collectively referred to
 as Respondents) violated the Statute.  Based upon the foregoing the
 General Counsel of the FLRA, by the Regional Director of Region 9,
 issued a Complaint and Notice of Hearing on July 25, 1984 and amended
 the Complaint on Autust 9, 1984.  The amended Complaint alleges that the
 Bureau of Reclamation violated Sections 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the
 Statute by failing to provide the Union with copies of crediting plans,
 as required by Section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute and Department of
 Interior violated Sections 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute by
 interfering with Bureau of Reclamation's obligation to comply with the
 provisions of Section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute.  Respondents filed
 timely joint Answer denying they had violated the Statute.
 
    A hearing was conducted before the undersigned in Las Vegas, Nevada.
 Respondents, AFGE Local 1978, and General Counsel for the FLRA were
 represented and afforded full opportunity to be heard, to examine and
 cross-examine witnesses, to introduce evidence and to argue orally.
 Post hearing briefs have been filed and have been fully considered.
 
    Based upon the entire record /1/ in this matter, my observation of
 the witnesses and their demeanor, and from my evaluation of the
 evidence, I make the following:
 
                             Findings of Fact
 
    At all times material herein, AFGE Local 1978 has been the certified
 exclusive representative of certain employees of Respondent's Lower
 Colorado Dams Project at Hoover Dam.  Gerald May, an employee of Hoover
 Dam, has been the Union's Chief Negotiator since 1971.  Cecil (Mike)
 Miller was elected President of the Union in December of 1983.  A
 collective bargaining agreement covering employees at Hoover Dam was in
 effect at all times material.  The Bureau of Reclamation's Merit
 Promotion Plan is incorporated by reference into the negotiated
 agreement in Article 9.
 
    Crediting plans are developed by the Regional personnel staffing
 specialist and the supervisor of the position to be filled.  The
 specialist identifies minimum qualifications for the job from Office of
 Personnel Management's (OPM's) generic job definitions, referred to as
 the screen out element.  This element may not be modified.  Then, the
 specialist works with the immediate superviosr in developing more
 specific job elements to fit the requirements of the particular
 position.  Once the job elements are thus established, the specialist
 develops a crediting plan to rank and rate the applicants using the
 Department of Interior manual.  Either a panel (Merit Promotion Board)
 or an individual, depending upon the number of applicants, ranks the
 applicants and develops a Best Qualified List (BQL) which is then sent
 to the selecting official.  The selecting official needn't select any of
 the applicants on the BQL.  He can either select off the list or set the
 entire process in motion again by asking for another BQL.  Moreover,
 Respondent needn't use crediting plans to make selections.  It may
 select from any other appropriate means such as reemployment priority
 lists, reinstatements, transfers, handicapped or veterans' readjustment
 eligibles or off of OPM certificates.  Article IV of the negotiated
 agreement provides for Union designation of a representative on an Merit
 Promotion Board that might be assembled to fill a particular vacancy.
 
    On March 8, 1983, Bureau of Reclamation regional management submitted
 a revised Merit Promotion Plan to the Union for negotiation pursuant to
 Article 9 of the collective bargaining agreement.  The proposal
 contained both changes and carryovers from the existing Merit Promotion
 Plan.  /2/ By letter of March 9, 1983, the Union requested to bargain
 concerning the revised plan.  Bargaining was delayed pending the
 completion of other negotiations by the parties.  The Union submitted
 its merit promotion proposals to Management on June 16, 1983.  One of
 the Union's proposals was to negotiate with respect to crediting plans.
 /3/
 
    The parties began negotiations pertaining to merit promotion on July
 26, 1983.  The Union was represented by May and management by Dan
 Jensen, Labor Management Relations Specialist, and by Jim McHan, Chief
 of Operations at Hoover Dam.  Jensen stated at the outset that crediting
 plans were not negotiable.  /4/ May replied that the FLRA had recently
 held they were negotiable.  Jensen stated that the FLRA's decision was
 being appealed.  May said he would check on the status of the decision
 and get back to Jensen on the matter.  The parties proceeded to conduct
 negotiations regarding other merit promotion issues at this and
 subsequent meetings in August and September of 1983.
 
    After contacting the San Francisco Regional Office of the FLRA
 concerning the crediting plan decisions on September 9, 1983, May
 submitted a written request to McHan for copies of the crediting plans.
 The parties met to discuss the Union's request for the plans in November
 of 1983.  At this meeting Jensen told May he did not want to release the
 plans to the Union because he feared their confidentiality would be
 compromised.  May stated he would provide Jensen written assurances that
 the Union would safeguard the confidentiality of the plans.  May
 submitted these assurances by letter of December 15, 1983 and again
 requested that copies of the plans be provided to the Union by December
 21, 1983.
 
    The parties met to discuss the Union's second written request for the
 crediting plans in January of 1984.  The Union was represented by May
 and Miller;  management by Jensen and McHan.  Jensen again raised
 concerns about the Union's ability to keep the plans confidential.
 Miller, on behalf of the Union, proposed that the crediting plans be
 kept at the Dam, that the Union be given access to the plans and that
 both parties sign off on the plans, thereby agreeing that these are the
 plans to be used for bargaining unit merit promotions.  In addition,
 Miller proposed that the plans then be placed in a vault under a dual
 lock so that neither party could access the plans without the other's
 knowledge.  Miller's "access proposal" was rejected by Jensen.  McHan
 instead suggested that the Union obtain the information it wanted about
 the contents of the plans through its representatives on merit promotion
 boards.  This was an unacceptable solution to both the Union and Jensen
 and the idea was tabled.  Jensen then stated that he would not turn over
 the plans to the Union and that the Union would have to take him to
 court.  The meeting then ended.
 
    AFGE Local 1978 filed an unfair labor practice shortly after this
 meeting, alleging in part that Management had refused to negotiate
 concerning crediting plans.  The charge was subsequently withdrawn
 without prejudice by the Union in exchange for what it believed to be an
 agreement by management to negotiate regarding the crediting plans.
 
    The parties met again to discuss crediting plans shortly thereafter
 in March of 1984.  The Union was represented by Miller and Ken Bandy, an
 employee at Hoover Dam and member of the Union's negotiating committee;
 management by Jensen and McHan.  /5/ Miller again requested the
 crediting plans be provided to the Union.  Jensen again stated he was
 concerned about the confidentiality of the plans.  Miller again proposed
 that the Union be given access to the plans, a chance to review them and
 that they then be placed under a dual lock system to ensure
 confidentiality.  Jensen stated he wouldn't turn the plans over to the
 Union during the pendency of the FLRA's negotiabiltiy decision.  The
 present unfair labor practice was filed shortly after this meeting.
 
    The requested crediting plans are regularly maintained by Respondent
 Bureau of Reclamation in the Regional Office of the Lower Colorado Dams
 Project in Boulder City, Nevada.  The Union's request for bargaining
 unit crediting plans covered approximately twenty to twenty-five plans.
 The plans average four to six pages in length.
 
    The Union requested copies of the bargaining unit crediting plans to
 formulate more specific proposals in connection with their request to
 negotiate on the plans.  The Union also requested the plans because they
 wanted to secure them from changes which might result in pre-selection,
 favoritism or other violations of the negotiated Merit Promotion Plan.
 To date, the Union has not received copies of or access to any of the
 requested crediting plans.  At no time throughout the parties' numerous
 discussions did Respondent mention any regulatory bar to disclosure of
 crediting plans to the Union.  Respondent did not, at any time, propose
 alternatives to disclosure.
 
    The parties stipulated that "any refusal by Respondent Bureau of
 Reclamation to turn over the crediting plans for the bargaining unit
 employees of the Lower Colorado Dams Project office . . . was done at
 the direction or Respondent Department of Interior."
 
                     Discussion and Conclusions of Law
 
    In the subject case Bureau of Reclamation submitted a revised Merit
 Promotion Plan and the Union and the Respondent met to negotiate,
 pursuant to Article 9 of the collective bargaining agreement, concerning
 these proposed changes in the Merit Promotion Plan.  An integral part of
 the application of the Merit Promotion Plan is the use of the crediting
 plans.  Therefore as a part of negotiating about management's proposed
 changes in a Merit Promotion Plan the Union reasonably can require to
 have access to the crediting plans and to bargain about the crediting
 plans.  The FLRA has held that a union is entitled to bargain about the
 substance of crediting plans.  National Treasury Employees Union and
 NTEU Chapters 153, 161 and 183 and U.S. Customs Service, Region II, 11
 FLRA 209 (1983), /6/ reversed sub non. U.S. Customs Service, Region II
 v. FLRA, 739 F.2d 829 (2nd Cir., 1984);  National Treasury Employees
 Union and Department of the Treasury, U.S. Customs Service, Washington,
 D.C., 11 FLRA 247 (1983), /7/ appeal docketed, No. 83-1355 (D.C. Cir.,
 April 4, 1983).
 
    Thus the substance of crediting plans are negotiable both in
 themselves and as an integral part of the Merit Promotion Plan.  Further
 access to the crediting plans is necessary to intelligently conduct
 negotiations concerning the Respondent's proposed changes in the Merit
 Promotion Plan.  Section 7114(b)(4) of the Statute provides that a
 collective bargaining representative has a right to relevant and
 necessary information to fulfill its collective bargaining
 responsibilities.  Accordingly, because the crediting plans are
 negotiable and because access to them is necessary in order to bargain
 about the Merit Promotion Plan, the Union is entitled to the crediting
 plans.  See NTEU I, supra and NTEU II, supra and see Department of the
 Treasury, U.S. Customs Service, Region VIII, San Francisco, California,
 13 FLRA 631 (1984).
 
    Respondent argues that negotiating concerning the crediting plans and
 providing them to the Union would interfere with the management rights
 provision of Section 7106(a) of the Statute.  The FLRA specifically
 rejected this contention.  See NTEU I, supra.  Respondent argues further
 that because the Union might make a non-negotiable proposal concerning
 the crediting plans and/or the Merit Promotion Plan this somehow frees
 management from bargaining and providing information concerning general
 matters that are negotiable.  This position must be rejected because it
 would totally defeat the process of collective bargaining.  By merely
 supposing in advance an unlawful proposal, management contends it should
 be able to free itself of its obligation to bargain over negotiable
 proposals.  Such a situation is clearly not sanctioned by the Statute.
 
    Respondents contend that the crediting plans cannot be given to the
 Union because disclosure would compromise the integrity of the crediting
 plan and be in conflict with government-wide rules and regulations, more
 specifically the FPM.  Although Respondents allege that providing the
 crediting plans to the Union would compromise their integrity, no
 evidence was submitted to support this contention.  In fact Union
 representatives have been sitting on the various merit promotion boards
 using the crediting plans and there was no evidence submitted that there
 was any compromising of the integrity of the crediting plans.  On the
 contrary, Respondents seems to have no problem with the Union
 representatives on the panels having access to the plans.  Further the
 Union give its assurances in writing that it would maintain intergrity
 of the plans.  The Union made other proposals involving locking the
 crediting plans in a safe, etc., designed to protect the integrity of
 the plans.  Management merely rejected these proposals without offering
 any alternatives.  In such circumstances, I conclude that there was no
 showing that providing the crediting plans to the Union would have
 compromised the integrity of the plans.
 
    The FLRA has already rejected Respondents' argument that providing
 the crediting plans to the Union would violate subchapter S6 of FPM
 Supplement 335-1.  The FLRA stated at page 213 NTEU I, supra:
 
          Hence, the content of crediting plans can be released
       consistent with subchapter S6 of FPM Supplement 335-1 if the
       release would not create any unfair advantage to some candidates
       or compromise the utility of the selection process.  The Agency
       here has not demonstrated, nor is it apparent, that disclosing the
       crediting plans in question would create any unfair advantage or
       compromise the selection process.  To the contrary, assuming that
       all candidates have equal access to the content of the crediting
       plan, no candidate would be disadvantaged by its disclosure, nor
       would the selection process be compromised.  Thus, the disclosure
       of the crediting plans set forth in Proposals 1 and 2 would not be
       inconsistent with subchapter S6, FPM Supplement 335-1.
 
    The FLRA then stated that, because of the foregoing, it did not have
 to decide whether the FPM provisions were a government-wide rule or
 regulation.  In the subject case there was no showing, other than a mere
 allegation, that the disclosure of the crediting plans would create any
 unfair advantage.  Accordingly I conclude, in agreement with the FLRA,
 that providing the Union with copies of the crediting plans would not be
 inconsistent with subchapter S6, FPM Supplement 335-1 and that,
 therefore, I need not reach the question of whether that provision of
 the FPM constitutes a government-wide rule or regulation within the
 meaning of Section 7117 of the Statute.
 
    I conclude, in light of the foregoing, that the Union was entitled to
 the crediting plans for positions in the collective bargaining unit in
 order to pursue bargaining rights pursuant to Section 7114(b)(4) of the
 Statute and that the Bureau of Reclamation refused to provide the Union
 with copies of the crediting plans.  The parties stipulated that any
 such refusal by the Bureau of Reclamation was done at the direction of
 the Department of Interior.  I conclude therefore that Department of
 Interior violated Sections 7716(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute.  Cf.
 Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration,
 Region VI and Department of Health and Human Services, Social Securith
 Adminiatration, Galveston, Texas Disbrict, 10 FLRA 26 (1982), and see
 U.S. Army Engineer Center and Fort Belvoir, 13 FLRA 707 (1984).
 
    The Complaint herein alleges that Bureau of Reclamation violated
 Sections 7116(a)(1), (5) and (8) of the Statute by its failure to
 provide the crediting plans.  General Counsel of the FLRA, in his brief,
 did not urge any finding with respect to these allegations.  Because the
 Bureau of Reclamation was acting under instructions from the Department
 of Interior, I am constrained to follow the FLRA's holding that, where
 such a component follows the instructions of its parent organization,
 the component organization does not violate the Statute, even if it does
 not meet its statutory obligations.  U.S. Army Engineer Center and Fort
 Belvoir, supra.  Accordingly, I recommend the complaint herein be
 dismissed insofar as it alleges a violation of the Statute by the Bureau
 of Reclamation.
 
    Having concluded that Department of Interior violated Section
 7116(a)(1) and (5) of the Statute, it is recommended that the Authority
 adopt the following Order:
 
                                   ORDER
 
    Pursuant to Section 2423.29 of the Rules and Regulations of the
 Federal Labor Relations Authority and Section 7118 of the Federal
 Service Labor-Management Relations Statute, the Authority hereby orders
 that the Department of Interior, shall:
 
    1.  Cease and desist from:
 
          (a) Improperly preventing the Bureau of Reclamation from
       providing copies of crediting plans to American Federation of
       Government Employees, Local 1978.
 
          (b) In any like or related manner interfering with, restrain,
       or coercing employees in the exercise of their rights assured by
       the Statute.
 
    2.  Take the following affirmative action to effectuate the purposes
 and policies of the Statute:
 
          (a) Permit Bureau of Reclamation to provide American Federation
       of Government Employees, Local 1978, with copies of requested
       crediting plans.
 
          (b) Post at the Hoover Dam facility copies of the attached
       Notice on forms to be furnished by the Federal Labor Relations
       Authority.  Upon receipt of such forms they shall be signed by a
       responsible official of the Department of Interior and shall be
       posted and maintained for 60 consecutive days thereafter, in
       conspicuous places, including bulletin boards and other places
       where notices to employees are customarily posted.  Reasonable
       steps shall be taken by the Department of Interior to insure that
       such notices are not altered, defaced, or covered by any other
       material.
 
          (c) Pursuant to Section 2423.30 of the Authority's Rules and
       Regulations, notify the Regional Director, Region 9, Federal Labor
       Relations Authority, in writing, within 30 days of the date of
       this Order, as to what steps have been taken to comply with the
       Order.
 
                                       /s/ SAMUEL A. CHAITOVITZ
                                       Administrative Law Judge
 
    Dated:  May 30, 1985
    Washington, D.C.
 
 
 
 
 
                ---------------  FOOTNOTES$ ---------------
 
 
    (*) The General Counsel also filed a motion asking the Authority to
 disregard the Respondent's exceptions and supporting brief because they
 assertedly fail to clearly present specific grounds or justification for
 exceptions as required by sections 2423.27 and 2423.28 of the
 Authority's Rules and Regulations.  We have determined that the
 Respondent's exceptions and supporting brief are sufficiently clear to
 identify the grounds and supporting arguments for the exceptions
 presented.  Accordingly, the General Counsel's motion is denied.
 
    (1) General Counsel of the FLRA's exhibit 10 was received into
 evidence, but was sealed in an envelope and will be forwarded in the
 sealed envelope to the FLRA for its examination.
 
    (2) Respondent's revisions included, inter alia, a new provision that
 certain employees may be promoted, reassigned, or placed into a lower
 grade, without competition, to listed positions which have no higher
 career ladder promotion potential than the position currently occupied;
 a new provision requiring the use of KSAO's to determine the best
 qualified candidate rather than merely using them to define successful
 performance;  new procedures regarding the filling of term promotions,
 expansion of merit promotion procedures to select employees for certain
 training programs;  and a new exclusion for certain vetrans' career
 ladder promotions from the merit promotion plan.
 
    (3) AFGE Local 1978 also proposed that the minimum area of
 consideration for promotion be limited to Hoover Dam and that candidates
 outside of Hoover Dam not be considered.
 
    (4) Jensen testified that he told May that Jensen "did not think"
 crediting plans were negotiable.  In this regard, I credit May's version
 of the conversation.  In so doing I note, not only was May a more
 credible witness, but that in fact, Jensen, would not and never did
 agree to bargain about the crediting plans.
 
    (5) May had been out on sick leave since March 16, 1984.  He did not
 attend the March meeting.
 
    (6) Hereinafter referred to as NTEU I.
 
    (7) Hereinafter referred to as NTEU II.
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 APPENDIX
 
                          NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES
 
  PURSUANT TO A DECISION AND ORDER OF THE FEDERAL LABOR
 RELATIONS
 AUTHORITY AND IN ORDER TO EFFECTUATE THE POLICIES OF CHAPTER 71
 OF TITLE
 5 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE
 
            FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE
 
                   WE HEREBY NOTIFY OUR EMPLOYEES THAT:
 
    WE WILL NOT improperly prevent the Bureau of Reclamation from
 providing copies of crediting plans to American Federation of Government
 Employees, Local 1978.
 
    WE WILL NOT in any like or related manner interfere with, restrain,
 or coerce our employees in the exercise of their rights assured by the
 Statute.
 
    WE WILL permit Bureau