Department of State, Passport Office, Chicago Passport Agency (Activity) and American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3671, AFL-CIO (Petitioner) 




[ v01 p252 ]
01:0252(33)RO
The decision of the Authority follows:


 1 FLRA NO. 33
 
 DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
 PASSPORT OFFICE,
 CHICAGO PASSPORT AGENCY
 Activity
 
 and
 
 AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT
 EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 3671, AFL-CIO
 Petitioner
 
                                            Assistant Secretary
                                            Case No. 50-13100(RO)
                                            A/SLMR Nos. 697, 929, 1108
                                            FLRC No. 76A-147
 
                      SUPPLEMENTAL DECISION AND ORDER
 
    ON AUGUST 30, 1978, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF LABOR FOR
 LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS ISSUED A DECISION IN A/SLMR 1108, IN THE
 ABOVE-ENTITLED PROCEEDING.  IN HIS DECISION, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY
 REAFFIRMED, IN ESSENCE, HIS PREVIOUS FINDING IN A/SLMR 697 THAT THE
 PETITIONED-FOR UNIT IS APPROPRIATE FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXCLUSIVE
 RECOGNITION UNDER THE ORDER.  /1/
 
    THEREAFTER, ON DECEMBER 28, 1978, THE FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS COUNCIL
 (COUNCIL) ISSUED ITS DECISION ON APPEAL OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S
 DECISION AS SUPPLEMENTED IN FLRC 76A-147 SETTING ASIDE THE ASSISTANT
 SECRETARY'S DECISION IN A/SLMR 1108, AND REMANDING THE CASE FOR ACTION
 CONSISTENT WITH ITS DECISION.
 
    THE FUNCTIONS OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, IN A MATTER SUCH AS HERE
 INVOLVED, WERE TRANSFERRED TO THE AUTHORITY UNDER SECTION 304 OF
 REORGANIZATION PLAN NO. 2 OF 1978 (43 F.R. 36040), WHICH TRANSFER OF
 FUNCTIONS IS IMPLEMENTED BY SECTION 2400.2 OF THE AUTHORITY'S TRANSITION
 RULES AND REGULATIONS (44 F.R. 7).  THE AUTHORITY CONTINUES TO BE
 RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THESE FUNCTIONS AS PROVIDED IN
 SECTION 7135(B) OF THE FEDERAL SERVICE LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS
 STATUTE (92 STAT. 1215).
 
    BASED ON THE COUNCIL'S HOLDING IN THE INSTANT CASE AND THE RATIONALE
 CONTAINED THEREIN, THE AUTHORITY, PURSUANT TO SECTION 2400.2 OF ITS
 TRANSITION RULES AND REGULATIONS AND SECTION 7135(B) OF THE STATUTE,
 WILL ORDER THAT THE CERTIFICATION OF REPRESENTATIVE PREVIOUSLY ISSUED TO
 THE PETITIONER INVOLVED HEREIN BE REVOKED, AND THAT THE PETITION HEREIN
 BE DISMISSED.  /2/
 
                                   ORDER
 
    IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT THE CERTIFICATION OF REPRESENTATIVE ISSUED
 IN ASSISTANT SECRETARY CASE ON. 50-13100(RO) BE, AND IT HEREBY IS,
 REVOKED, AND THAT THE PETITION IN ASSISTANT SECRETARY CASE NO.
 50-13100(RO) BE, AND IT HEREBY IS, DISMISSED.
 
    ISSUED, WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 1, 1979
 
                       RONALD W. HAUGHTON, CHAIRMAN
 
                       HENRY B. FRAZIER III, MEMBER
 
                     FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY
 
         DECISION ON APPEAL FROM ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S DECISION AS
 
                               SUPPLEMENTED
 
                            BACKGROUND OF CASE
 
    THIS CASE IS BEFORE THE COUNCIL ON THE AGENCY'S PETITION FOR REVIEW
 OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S DECISION IN A/SLMR 697, AS SUPPLEMENTED IN
 A/SLMR 929 AND 1108 PURSUANT TO THE COUNCIL'S REQUEST FOR FURTHER
 CONSIDERATION AND CLARIFICATION OF HIS INITIAL DECISION.  IN HIS
 DECISION, AS SUPPLEMENTED, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOUND APPROPRIATE A
 UNIT OF ALL (APPROXIMATELY 45) NONPROFESSIONAL PERMANENT, TEMPORARY AND
 SEASONAL EMPLOYEES AT THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE, PASSPORT OFFICE, CHICAGO
 PASSPORT AGENCY, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (THE ACTIVITY).
 
    MORE PARTICULARLY, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, IN HIS INITIAL DECISION,
 FOUND THAT THE UNIT SOUGHT BY THE UNION (AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 3671) IS APPROPRIATE FOR THE
 PURPOSE OF EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION UNDER THE THREE CRITERIA SET FORTH IN
 SECTION 10(B) OF THE ORDER, AND DIRECTED AN ELECTION IN SUCH UNIT.  THE
 ELECTION RESULTED IN THE UNION'S CERTIFICATION AS EXCLUSIVE
 REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UNIT.  THE AGENCY, ON BEHALF OF THE ACTIVITY,
 PETITIONED THE COUNCIL FOR REVIEW OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S DECISION
 AND REQUESTED A STAY.  THE COUNCIL, BEFORE DETERMINING WHETHER TO ACCEPT
 OR DENY THE AGENCY'S PETITION FOR REVIEW, DECIDED TO REQUEST
 CLARIFICATION BY THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE DECISION IN A/SLMR 697,
 IN LIGHT OF THE COUNCIL'S CONSOLIDATED DCASR DECISION WHICH HAD BEEN
 ISSUED SUBSEQUENT TO A/SLMR 697.  /3/
 
    THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, FINDING THAT "THE RECORD DID NOT PROVIDE AN
 ADEQUATE BASIS UPON WHICH TO MAKE AFFIRMATIVE DETERMINATIONS REGARDING
 EFFECTIVE DEALINGS AND EFFICIENCY OF AGENCY OPERATIONS AS REQUIRED BY
 THE COUNCIL," REMANDED THE CASE TO THE APPROPRIATE REGIONAL
 ADMINISTRATOR FOR THE PURPOSE OF REOPENING THE RECORD TO SECURE
 ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE RELATING TO THESE CRITERIA (A/SLMR NO. 929).  IN HIS
 SECOND SUPPLEMENTAL DECISION (A/SLMR NO. 1108), THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY,
 UPON THE ENTIRE RECORD IN THIS CASE, REAFFIRMED THE PREVIOUS FINDING
 THAT THE UNIT SOUGHT IS APPROPRIATE FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXCLUSIVE
 RECOGNITION UNDER THE ORDER.
 
    THE PERTINENT FACTUAL BACKGROUND HEREIN, BASED UPON THE FINDINGS OF
 THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, IS AS FOLLOWS:  THE OVERALL MISSION OF THE
 DEPARTMENT OF STATE PASSPORT OFFICE (PASSPORT OFFICE) IS TO ADMINISTER
 LAWS RELATING TO NATIONALITY AND TO CONDUCT ALL PASSPORT ACTIVITIES.
 THE SPECIFIC MISSION OF ITS FIELD AGENCIES IS TO PROVIDE PASSPORT
 SERVICES TO PERSONS WITHIN THEIR ASSIGNED GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS.  THE
 PASSPORT OFFICE IS PART OF THE BUREAU OF SECURITY AND COUNSELOR AFFAIRS
 IN THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE.  IT HAS A NATIONAL OFFICE IN WASHINGTON,
 D.C.  AND TEN FIELD AGENCIES LOCATED THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES, ONE
 OF WHICH IS THE ACTIVITY INVOLVED HEREIN.  EACH FIELD AGENCY IS UNDER
 THE DIRECTION OF AN AGENT-IN-CHARGE (AIC) WHO REPORTS DIRECTLY TO THE
 DIRECTOR OF THE PASSPORT OFFICE.
 
    THE PASSPORT OFFICE FIELD AGENCIES AND THE NATIONAL OFFICE ARE LINKED
 TOGETHER BY A TELETYPE NETWORK AND CONTACT EACH OTHER AS NEEDED.  WHILE
 THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF REGULAR TEMPORARY INTERCHANGE OF PERSONNEL AMONG
 THE VARIOUS FIELD AGENCIES, DURING THE PAST NINE YEARS LATERAL TRANSFERS
 INTO THE ACTIVITY INVOLVED HEREIN OCCURRED FREQUENTLY.
 
    THE CLAIMED UNIT WITHIN THE ACTIVITY CONSISTS OF APPROXIMATELY 45
 EMPLOYEES.  /4/ THE SKILLS REQUIRED AND THE DUTIES PERFORMED BY THESE
 EMPLOYEES ARE ESSENTIALLY THE SAME AS THOSE AT THE OTHER FIELD AGENCIES.
  COMMON PERSONNEL POLICIES AND PRACTICES APPLY TO ALL THE FIELD
 AGENCIES.  THESE PERSONNEL POLICIES ARE ESTABLISHED FOR ALL EMPLOYEES OF
 THE AGENCY BY THE BUREAU OF PERSONNEL FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE
 LOCATED AT AGENCY HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.  THE AGENCY'S BUREAU
 OF PERSONNEL ALSO HAS FINAL ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY OVER LABOR
 RELATIONS MATTERS AND PERSONNEL ACTIONS INVOLVING PASSPORT OFFICE
 EMPLOYEES.  THUS, FINAL APPROVAL FOR PERSONNEL ACTIONS IS VESTED SOLELY
 WITHIN THE BUREAU OF PERSONNEL IN WASHINGTON, D.C., WHILE AT THE
 ACTIVITY LEVEL THE AIC IMPLEMENTS PERSONNEL POLICIES AND MAKES
 RECOMMENDATIONS ON PERSONNEL ACTIONS WHICH ARE FORWARDED TO THE
 AGENCY'S
 BUREAU OF PERSONNEL FOR APPROVAL.  ON PERSONNEL MATTERS SUCH AS
 PROMOTIONS, OVERTIME, TRAVEL, AWARDS, HIRING AT THE GS-7 LEVEL AND
 BELOW, FORMAL DISCIPLINE, LAYOFFS, TRAINING, AND POSITION DESCRIPTIONS,
 THE ACTIVITY'S AIC FORWARDS HIS RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE BUREAU OF
 PERSONNEL FOR APPROVAL AND THESE RECOMMENDATIONS ARE GENERALLY ADOPTED.
 
    WITH REGARD TO LABOR RELATIONS, SUCH POLICY IS ESTABLISHED FOR THE
 ENTIRE PASSPORT OFFICE BY THE AGENCY'S DEPUTY UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE
 FOR MANAGEMENT.  LABOR RELATIONS PERSONNEL, LOCATED IN THE BUREAU OF
 PERSONNEL IN WASHINGTON, D.C., ARE AUTHORIZED TO HANDLE ALL LABOR
 RELATIONS MATTERS FOR THE AGENCY'S PASSPORT OFFICE.  NO LABOR RELATIONS
 PERSONNEL ARE ASSIGNED TO, OR LOCATED AT, THE ACTIVITY.
 
    FINALLY, WHILE LOCAL PERSONNEL PROBLEMS (SUCH AS WORK BREAKS, LUNCH
 PERIODS, STARTING AND QUITTING TIMES AND PROCEDURES FOR ROTATING THE
 DUTY OFFICER ASSIGNMENT) CAN BE RESOLVED AT THE ACTIVITY LEVEL, A
 NATIONWIDE UNIT, AS INDICATED BY THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, "WOULD RESULT
 IN A UNIFORM POLICY NATIONALLY, AND THE POTENTIAL FOR INCONSISTENCIES
 AMONG THE (A)CTIVITY LEVEL OFFICES WOULD BE LESS IN A UNIT STRUCTURE
 WHICH FOLLOWED THE CENTRALIZED OPERATIONAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
 OF THE (A)GENCY." /5/
 
    AS ALREADY STATED, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, IN HIS DECISION AS
 SUPPLEMENTED, FOUND THAT THE UNIT LIMITED TO THE 45 EMPLOYEES OF THE
 CHICAGO FIELD AGENCY MET THE THREE CRITERIA OF SECTION 10(B) OF THE
 ORDER AND THEREFORE WAS APPROPRIATE FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXCLUSIVE
 RECOGNITION UNDER THE ORDER.
 
    UPON CONSIDERATION OF THE AGENCY'S PETITION FOR REVIEW AND THE
 SUPPLEMENT THERETO, THE COUNCIL DETERMINED THAT A MAJOR POLICY ISSUE IS
 PRESENTED BY THE DECISION OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY AS SUPPLEMENTED,
 NAMELY:  WHETHER THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S DECISION IN THIS CASE IS
 CONSISTENT WITH AND PROMOTES THE PURPOSES AND POLICIES OF THE ORDER,
 ESPECIALLY THOSE REFLECTED IN SECTION 10(B).  THE COUNCIL ALSO GRANTED
 THE AGENCY'S REQUEST FOR A STAY.  NEITHER OF THE PARTIES FILED A
 SEPARATE BRIEF ON THE MERITS.  INSTEAD, THE AGENCY RELIED UPON EARLIER
 SUBMISSIONS TO THE COUNCIL IN SUPPORT OF ITS APPEAL, AND THE UNION
 INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE AN EARLIER SUBMISSION TO THE ASSISTANT
 SECRETARY AS ITS BRIEF BEFORE THE COUNCIL.  THE COUNCIL HAS CAREFULLY
 CONSIDERED THESE DOCUMENTS AS WELL AS THE ENTIRE RECORD IN THE CASE IN
 REACHING ITS DECISION HEREIN.
 
                                  OPINION
 
    AS PREVIOUSLY INDICATED, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, UPON FURTHER
 CONSIDERATION AND CLARIFICATION OF HIS INITIAL DECISION (A/SLMR 697) IN
 LIGHT OF THE CONSOLIDATED DCASR DECISION PURSUANT TO THE COUNCIL'S
 REQUEST, FOUND THAT A UNIT OF ALL (APPROXIMATELY 45) NONPROFESSIONAL
 PERMANENT, TEMPORARY, AND SEASONAL EMPLOYEES AT THE ACTIVITY WAS
 APPROPRIATE FOR EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION (A/SLMR 1108).  THE MAJOR POLICY
 ISSUE RAISED HEREIN IS WHETHER THE INSTANT DECISION AS SUPPLEMENTED IS
 CONSISTENT WITH AND PROMOTES THE PURPOSES AND POLICIES OF THE ORDER,
 ESPECIALLY THOSE REFLECTED IN SECTION 10(B).
 
    IN ITS CONSOLIDATED DCASR DECISION, THE COUNCIL SET FORTH AND
 EXPLICATED CERTAIN PRINCIPLES WHICH FLOW FROM SECTION 10(B) OF THE ORDER
 AND, IN SO DOING, FURTHER EMPHASIZED THE DUAL OBJECTIVE OF PREVENTING
 FURTHER FRAGMENTATION OF BARGAINING UNITS AS WELL AS REDUCING EXISTING
 FRAGMENTATION, AS FOLLOWS (SUPRA N. 1, 4 FLRC 668 AT 677):
 
    BEFORE THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY MAY FIND THAT A PROPOSED UNIT IS
 APPROPRIATE FOR PURPOSES OF
 
    EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION UNDER THE ORDER, HE MUST MAKE AN AFFIRMATIVE
 DETERMINATION THAT THE
 
    PROPOSED UNIT SATISFIED EQUALLY EACH OF THE THREE CRITERIA CONTAINED
 IN SECTION 10(B).  THAT
 
    IS, HE MUST CONSIDER EQUALLY THE EVIDENCE GOING TO EACH OF THE THREE
 CRITERIA AND, AS REQUIRED
 
    BY SECTION 10(B), FIND APPROPRIATE ONLY UNITS WHICH NOT ONLY ENSURE A
 CLEAR AND IDENTIFIABLE
 
    COMMUNITY OF INTEREST BUT ALSO PROMOTE EFFECTIVE DEALINGS AND
 EFFICIENCY OF AGENCY
 
    OPERATIONS.  IN MAKING THE AFFIRMATIVE DETERMINATION THAT A PROPOSED
 BARGAINING UNIT SATISFIES
 
    EACH OF THE THREE CRITERIA, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY MUST FIRST
 DEVELOP AS COMPLETE A RECORD AS
 
    POSSIBLE, SOLICITING EVIDENCE FROM THE PARTIES AS NECESSARY, AND THEN
 GROUND HIS DECISION UPON
 
    A CAREFUL, THOROUGH ANALYSIS OF SUBSIDIARY FACTORS OR EVIDENTIARY
 CONSIDERATIONS WHICH PROVIDE
 
    A SHARP DEGREE OF DEFINITION AND PRECISION TO EACH OF THE THREE
 CRITERIA.  FINALLY, AND MOST
 
    IMPORTANTLY, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY MUST MAKE THE NECESSARY
 AFFIRMATIVE DETERMINATIONS THAT A
 
    UNIT CLEARLY, CONVINCINGLY AND EQUALLY SATISFIES EACH OF THE 10(B)
 CRITERIA IN RECOGNITION OF
 
    AND IN A MANNER FULLY CONSISTENT WITH THE PURPOSES OF THE ORDER,
 INCLUDING THE DUAL OBJECTIVES
 
    OF PREVENTING FURTHER FRAGMENTATION OF BARGAINING UNITS AS WELL AS
 REDUCING EXISTING
 
    FRAGMENTATION, THEREBY PROMOTING A MORE COMPREHENSIVE BARGAINING UNIT
 STRUCTURE.
 
    MOREOVER, IN ITS LETTER REQUESTING CLARIFICATION OF THE ASSISTANT
 SECRETARY'S INITIAL DECISION HEREIN, THE COUNCIL QUOTED AND DISCUSSED AT
 LENGTH ITS CONSOLIDATED DCASR DECISION, THEREBY DIRECTING HIS ATTENTION
 TO THE DETAILED PRINCIPLES SET FORTH THEREIN.
 
    THE COUNCIL, REAFFIRMING THE PRINCIPLES ENUNCIATED IN THE
 CONSOLIDATED DCASR DECISION FOR THE REASONS FULLY EXPLICATED BY THE
 COUNCIL IN THAT DECISION, WHICH ARE EQUALLY APPLICABLE HEREIN, FINDS,
 UPON CAREFUL CONSIDERATION OF THE ENTIRE RECORD IN THE INSTANT CASE,
 THAT THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S DECISION AS SUPPLEMENTED IN THE INSTANT
 CASE IS INCONSISTENT WITH AND FAILS TO PROMOTE THE PURPOSES AND POLICIES
 OF THE ORDER, ESPECIALLY THOSE REFLECTED IN SECTION 10(B).  THEREFORE,
 THE COUNCIL FINDS THAT THE UNIT SOUGHT BY THE UNION IS NOT APPROPRIATE
 FOR THE PURPOSES OF EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION UNDER THE ORDER.
 
    IN MORE DETAIL, THE COUNCIL IS OF THE OPINION THAT, WHILE THE
 ASSISTANT SECRETARY MADE AN AFFIRMATIVE DETERMINATION THAT THE PROPOSED
 UNIT SATISFIED EACH OF THE THREE APPROPRIATE UNIT CRITERIA CONTAINED IN
 SECTION 10(B), HE DID NOT, "MOST IMPORTANTLY," MAKE HIS DETERMINATION
 "IN RECOGNITION OF AND IN A MANNER FULLY CONSISTENT WITH THE PURPOSES OF
 THE ORDER," SPECIFICALLY THE OBJECTIVE "OF PREVENTING FURTHER
 FRAGMENTATION OF BARGAINING UNITS . .  ., THEREBY PROMOTING A MORE
 COMPREHENSIVE BARGAINING UNIT STRUCTURE."
 
    THUS, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY BASED HIS FINDING THAT THE 45 EMPLOYEES
 IN THE UNIT SOUGHT "SHARE A CLEAR AND IDENTIFIABLE COMMUNITY OF INTEREST
 SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM ALL OTHER EMPLOYEES OF THE (A)GENCY" ON A
 NUMBER OF SPECIFIC FACTORS, I.E., THAT "THE EMPLOYEES IN THE UNIT SOUGHT
 SHARE A COMMON MISSION, COMMON SUPERVISION, COMMON WORKING CONDITIONS,
 UNIFORM PERSONNEL AND LABOR RELATIONS POLICIES, ESSENTIALLY SIMILAR JOB
 CLASSIFICATIONS AND, GENERALLY, DO NOT EXPERIENCE SIGNIFICANT
 INTERCHANGE OR TRANSFER AMONG OTHER ORGANIZATIONAL COMPONENTS OF THE
 (A)GENCY".  HOWEVER, THE DECISION OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY FAILS
 ADEQUATELY TO RECOGNIZE AND PROPERLY TO WEIGH THE FACTORS WHICH CLEARLY
 DEMONSTRATE THE COMMUNITY OF INTEREST SHARED BY ALL EMPLOYEES IN THE
 PASSPORT OFFICE.  THUS, FOR EXAMPLE, AS TO THE ABOVE CONSIDERATIONS
 EXPRESSLY RELIED UPON IN THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S DECISION, THE
 SPECIFIC MISSION OF ALL THE FIELD AGENCIES WITHIN THE PASSPORT OFFICE IS
 TO PROVIDE THE SAME PASSPORT SERVICES TO PERSONS WITHIN THEIR ASSIGNED
 AREAS;  THE SKILLS REQUIRED AND THE DUTIES PERFORMED BY THE 45 EMPLOYEES
 IN THE UNIT SOUGHT AT THE ACTIVITY WERE ESSENTIALLY THE SAME AS THOSE AT
 THE OTHER FIELD AGENCIES;  PERSONNEL POLICIES AND PRACTICES ARE
 CENTRALLY ESTABLISHED AND ADMINISTERED AT AGENCY HEADQUARTERS IN
 WASHINGTON, D.C. AND APPLY UNIFORMLY TO ALL EMPLOYEES OF THE AGENCY, NOT
 JUST TO THE 45 EMPLOYEES IN THE UNIT SOUGHT;  LABOR RELATIONS POLICY
 ALSO IS CENTRALLY ESTABLISHED FOR THE ENTIRE PASSPORT OFFICE AT
 HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON, D.C., WHERE ALL LABOR RELATIONS PERSONNEL
 FOR THE AGENCY ARE LOCATED AND ARE AUTHORIZED TO HANDLE ALL LABOR
 RELATIONS MATTERS FOR THE PASSPORT OFFICE;  WHILE LOCAL PERSONNEL
 PROBLEMS CAN BE RESOLVED AT THE ACTIVITY LEVEL, FINAL APPROVAL FOR
 PERSONNEL ACTIONS IS VESTED SOLELY WITHIN THE AGENCY'S BUREAU OF
 PERSONNEL IN WASHINGTON, D.C.; LATERAL TRANSFERS INTO THE ACTIVITY HAVE
 OCCURRED REGULARLY OVER THE PAST NINE YEARS;  AND A NATIONWIDE UNIT OF
 ALL PASSPORT OFFICE EMPLOYEES, RATHER THAN THE UNIT SOUGHT, WOULD REDUCE
 POTENTIAL INCONSISTENCIES AMONG THE ACTIVITY LEVEL OFFICES BY FOLLOWING
 "THE CENTRALIZED OPERATIONAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE
 (A)GENCY." UNDER ALL OF THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE CONCLUDE THAT THE
 FINDING OF A CLEAR AND IDENTIFIABLE COMMUNITY OF INTEREST AMONG THE 45
 ACTIVITY EMPLOYEES, SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM ALL OTHER AGENCY
 EMPLOYEES, IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE PURPOSES AND POLICIES OF THE ORDER,
 SPECIFICALLY THE POLICY IN SECTION 10(B) OF "PREVENTING FURTHER
 FRAGMENTATION OF BARGAINING UNITS . . ., THEREBY PROMOTING A MORE
 COMPREHENSIVE BARGAINING UNIT STRUCTURE."
 
    SIMILARLY, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOUND THAT THE PROPOSED UNIT
 "WOULD PROMOTE EFFECTIVE DEALINGS WITHIN THE (A)GENCY" NOTWITHSTANDING
 AN EXPRESSED RECOGNITION THAT A NUMBER OF FACTORS CONSIDERED IN THIS
 REGARD (SUCH AS "THE LOCUS AND SCOPE OF PERSONNEL AUTHORITY, LIMITATIONS
 ON THE NEGOTIATION OF MATTERS OF CRITICAL CONCERN TO EMPLOYEES AT THE
 LEVEL OF THE PETITIONED FOR UNIT, THE AVAILABILITY OF NEGOTIATION
 EXPERTISE, EXPERIENCE OF THIS (A)GENCY IN OTHER BARGAINING UNITS, AND
 THE LEVEL AT WHICH LABOR RELATIONS POLICY IS SET IN THE (A)GENCY") WOULD
 DEROGATE FROM A CONCLUSION AS TO THE APPROPRIATENESS OF A UNIT AT THE
 ACTIVITY LEVEL.  THUS, AS PREVIOUSLY STATED, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY
 FOUND, CONCERNING THE LOCUS AND SCOPE OF PERSONNEL AUTHORITY WITHIN THE
 AGENCY, THAT THE BUREAU OF PERSONNEL LOCATED AT AGENCY HEADQUARTERS IN
 WASHINGTON, D.C., ESTABLISHES AND ADMINISTERS COMMON PERSONNEL POLICIES
 AND PRACTICES FOR ALL EMPLOYEES OF THE AGENCY AND ALSO RETAINS FINAL
 APPROVAL AUTHORITY FOR PERSONNEL ACTIONS, THEREBY PLACING LIMITATIONS ON
 THE NEGOTIATION OF MATTERS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL;  THAT NEGOTIATING
 EXPERTISE IS CONCENTRATED AT THE AGENCY HEADQUARTERS LEVEL (WHERE LABOR
 RELATIONS POLICY IS ESTABLISHED FOR THE ENTIRE PASSPORT OFFICE) AND
 COMPLETELY LACKING AT THE ACTIVITY LEVEL, WHERE THERE ARE NO LABOR
 RELATIONS PERSONNEL AND THERE HAS BEEN NO HISTORY OF COLLECTIVE
 BARGAINING WITHIN THE PASSPORT OFFICE.  IN LIGHT OF THESE FACTUAL
 DETERMINATIONS, AND FOR THE REASONS PREVIOUSLY STATED, WE CONCLUDE THAT
 THE FINDING THAT THE PROPOSED UNIT "WOULD PROMOTE EFFECTIVE DEALINGS
 WITHIN THE AGENCY" IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE PURPOSES AND POLICIES OF THE
 ORDER, ESPECIALLY THE POLICY REFLECTED IN SECTION 10(B) OF "PREVENTING
 FURTHER FRAGMENTATION OF BARGAINING UNITS . . ., THEREBY PROMOTING A
 MORE COMPREHENSIVE BARGAINING UNIT STRUCTURE."
 
    FINALLY, "(W)ITH RESPECT TO EFFICIENCY OF AGENCY OPERATIONS . . .  IF
 THE PETITOINED FOR UNIT (WERE) FOUND APPROPRIATE," THE ASSISTANT
 SECRETARY SPECIFICALLY RELIED UPON SUCH FACTORS AS:  (1) TRAVEL COSTS
 FOR THE AGENCY'S NEGOTIATING TEAM "COULD BE" LESS THAN FOR A NATIONWIDE
 UNIT;  (2) NO UNUSUAL LABOR RELATIONS TRAINING COSTS WOULD BE INCURRED;
 (3) NO ADDITIONAL LABOR RELATIONS PERSONNEL WOULD BE REQUIRED;  AND (4)
 NO ALLEGATION WAS MADE BY THE AGENCY THAT TWO EXCLUSIVELY RECOGNIZED
 BARGAINING UNITS LOCATED ELSEWHERE IN THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE "HAVE
 FAILED TO PROMOTE THE EFFICIENCY OF ITS OPERATIONS." HOWEVER, IN
 REACHING HIS FINAL CONCLUSION WITH RESPECT TO THE EFFICIENCY OF AGENCY
 OPERATIONS, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY FAILED TO ACCORD PROPER WEIGHT TO
 HIS OWN ADDITIONAL FACTUAL DETERMINATIONS THAT (A) THE EMPLOYEES IN THE
 UNIT SOUGHT ENJOY A COMMONALITY OF MISSION, PERSONNEL POLICIES AND
 PRACTICES AND MATTERS AFFECTING WORKING CONDITIONS WITH ALL EMPLOYEES OF
 THE PASSPORT OFFICE, AND (B) "(A) NATIONWIDE UNIT . . .  WHICH FOLLOWED
 THE CENTRALIZED OPERATIONAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE
 (A)GENCY" WOULD "RESULT IN A UNIFORM POLICY NATIONALLY AND (REDUCE) THE
 POTENTIAL FOR INCONSISTENCIES AMONG THE ACTIVITY LEVEL OFFICES . . ." AS
 THE COUNCIL STATED IN ITS CONSOLIDATED DCASR DECISION (SUPRA N. 1, 4
 FLRC 668 AT 681):
 
    AS TO "EFFICIENCY OF AGENCY OPERATIONS" AMONG THOSE FACTORS WHICH
 SHOULD BE CONSIDERED
 
    WOULD BE THE BENEFITS TO BE DERIVED FROM A UNIT STRUCTURE WHICH BEARS
 SOME RATIONAL
 
    RELATIONSHIP TO THE OPERATIONAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE
 AGENCY . . .  (T)HE
 
    RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE PROPOSED BARGAINING UNIT AND THE OPERATIONAL
 AND ORGANIZATIONAL
 
    STRUCTURE OF THE AGENCY SHOULD BE GIVEN SUBSTANTIAL WEIGHT IN
 ASCERTAINING WHETHER THE UNIT
 
    WILL PROMOTE EFFICIENCY OF AGENCY OPERATIONS.
 
    MOREOVER, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S RELIANCE UPON THE ABSENCE OF AN
 ALLEGATION BY THE AGENCY THAT EXISTING BARGAINING UNITS ELSEWHERE IN THE
 AGENCY "HAVE FAILED TO PROMOTE THE EFFICIENCY OF ITS OPERATIONS" IS ALSO
 INCONSISTENT WITH THE PRINCIPLES ENUNCIATED IN THE COUNCIL'S
 CONSOLIDATED DCASR DECISION.  THUS, AS THE COUNCIL STATED THEREIN (4
 FLRC 668 AT 690):
 
    (T)HE ASSISTANT SECRETARY MAY NOT RELY UPON "THE ABSENCE OF ANY
 SPECIFIC COUNTERVAILING
 
    EVIDENCE . . . AS TO A LACK OF EFFECTIVE DEALING AND EFFICIENCY OF
 AGENCY OPERATIONS" IN OTHER
 
    EXISTING BARGAINING UNITS TO MAKE AN AFFIRMATIVE FINDING REGARDING
 THESE CRITERIA IN A
 
    PROPOSED UNIT.
 
    FINALLY, WITH REGARD TO THE OTHER FACTORS RELIED UPON BY THE
 ASSISTANT SECRETARY IN CONNECTION WITH "EFFICIENCY OF AGENCY
 OPERATIONS," ALL RELATING ESSENTIALLY TO THE IMPACT OF THE CLAIMED UNIT
 ON AGENCY OPERATIONS IN TERMS OF COSTS, AS COMPARED TO THE IMPACT OF A
 MORE COMPREHENSIVE UNIT, THE COUNCIL ALSO STATED IN ITS CONSOLIDATED
 DCASR DECISION (4 FLRC 668 AT 686) THAT "MORE THAN COST FACTORS ARE
 INVOLVED IN A DETERMINATION OF THE PROMOTION OF EFFICIENCY OF AGENCY
 OPERATIONS . . ." THUS, FOR EXAMPLE, AS PREVIOUSLY INDICATED (SUPRA AT
 6), THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY SHOULD HAVE GIVEN SUBSTANTIAL WEIGHT TO THE
 ORGANIZATIONAL AND OPERATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE AGENCY IN THIS REGARD,
 BUT FAILED TO DO SO.  ACCORDINGLY, IN LIGHT OF THESE CONSIDERATIONS, AND
 FOR THE REASONS PREVIOUSLY STATED, WE CONCLUDE THAT THE FINDING THAT THE
 PROPOSED UNIT WOULD PROMOTE THE EFFICIENCY OF THE AGENCY'S OPERATIONS IS
 INCONSISTENT WITH THE PURPOSES AND POLICIES OF THE ORDER, SPECIFICALLY
 THE POLICY REFLECTED IN SECTION 10(B) OF "PREVENTING FURTHER
 FRAGMENTATION OF BARGAINING UNITS . . ., THEREBY PROMOTING A MORE
 COMPREHENSIVE BARGAINING UNIT STRUCTURE."
 
    IN CONCLUSION, UNDER ALL OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THIS CASE, IT IS THE
 COUNCIL'S OPINION THAT THE INSTANT DECISION OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY
 AS SUPPLEMENTED IS INCONSISTENT WITH AND FAILS TO PROMOTE THE PURPOSES
 AND POLICIES OF THE ORDER, PARTICULARLY THOSE REFLECTED IN SECTION
 10(B), AND FURTHER, THAT THE UNIT SOUGHT IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR PURPOSES
 OF EXCLUSIVE RECOGNITION UNDER THE ORDER.  /6/
 
                                CONCLUSION
 
    FOR THE REASONS SET FORTH ABOVE, AND PURSUANT TO SECTION 2411.18(B)
 OF THE COUNCIL'S RULES OF PROCEDURE, WE SET ASIDE THE ASSISTANT
 SECRETARY'S DECISION AS SUPPLEMENTED AND REMAND THE CASE FOR ACTION
 CONSISTENT WITH OUR DECISION HEREIN.
 
    BY THE COUNCIL.
 
                           HENRY B. FRAZIER III
 
                            EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
 
    ISSUED:  DECEMBER 28, 1978
 
    /1/ WE HAVE BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY ADVISED THAT, PURSUANT TO THE
 DECISION AND DIRECTION OF ELECTION IN A/SLMR 697, A CERTIFICATION OF
 REPRESENTATIVE WAS ISSUED TO LOCAL 3671, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF
 GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO.
 
    /2/ IN CONFORMITY WITH SECTION 902(B) OF THE CIVIL SERVICE REFORM ACT
 OF 1978 (92 STAT. 1224), THE INSTANT CASE WAS DECIDED SOLELY ON THE
 BASIS OF E.O. 11491, AS AMENDED, AND AS IF THE NEW FEDERAL SERVICE
 LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS STATUTE (92 STAT. 1191) HAD NOT BEEN ENACTED.
  THE DECISION DOES NOT PREJUDGE IN ANY MANNER EITHER THE MEANING OR
 APPLICATION OF RELATED PROVISIONS IN THE NEW STATUTE OR THE RESULT WHICH
 WOULD BE REACHED BY THE AUTHORITY IF THE CASE HAD ARISEN UNDER THE
 STATUTE RATHER THAN THE ORDER.
 
    /3/ DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY, DEFENSE CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION SERVICES
 REGION (DCASR), SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, DEFENSE CONTRACT
 ADMINISTRATION SERVICES DISTRICT (DCASD), SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, A/SLMR
 461, FLRC 75A-14;  DEFENSE SUPPLY AGENCY, DEFENSE CONTRACT
 ADMINIS