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1484Federal Register / Vol. 64, No. 5 / Friday, January 8, 1999 / Notices

demonstration project.

B.  Conversion Back to the Former System

If a demonstration project employee is moving to a General Schedule (GS) position not under the demonstration project, or if the project ends and each project employee must be converted back to the GS system, the following procedure will be used to convert the employee’s project pay band to a GS grade and the employee’s demonstration rate of pay to a GS rate of pay.  The converted GS grade and GS rate of pay must be determined before movement or conversion out of the demonstration project and any accompanying geographic movement, promotion, or other simultaneous action.  For conversions upon termination of the project and for lateral assignments, the converted GS grade and rate will become the employee’s actual GS grade and rate after leaving the demonstration project (before any other action).  For transfers, promotions, and other actions, the converted GS grade and rate will be used in applying any GS pay administration rules applicable in connection with the employee’s movement out of the project (e.g., promotion rules, highest previous rate rules, pay retention rules) as if the GS-converted grade and rate were actually in effect immediately before the employee left the demonstration project.

1.  Grade-Setting Provisions

An employee is converted to one of the grades in their current broadband level according to the following rules:

(i) The employee’s adjusted rate of pay under the demonstration project (including any locality payment) is compared with the step 4 rate in the highest applicable GS rate range.  (For this purpose, a GS rate range includes a rate range in (1) the GS base schedule, (2) the locality rate schedule for the locality pay area in which the position is located, or (3) the appropriate special rate schedule for the employee’s occupational series, as applicable.)  If the series is a two-grade-interval series, only odd-numbered grades are considered below GS-11.

(ii) If the employee’s adjusted demonstration project rate equals or exceeds the applicable step 4 rate of the highest GS grade in the band, the employee is converted to that grade.

(iii) If the employee’s adjusted demonstration project rate is lower than the applicable step 4 rate of the highest grade, the adjusted rate is compared with the step 4 rate of the second-highest grade in the employee’s pay band.  If the employee’s adjusted rate equals or exceeds the step 4 rate of the second-highest grade, the employee is converted to that grade.

(iv) This process is repeated for each successively lower grade in the band until a grade is found in which the employee’s  adjusted demonstration project rate equals or exceeds the applicable step 4 rate of the grade.  The employee is then converted at that grade.  If the employee’s adjusted rate is below the step 4 rate of the lowest grade in the band, the employee is converted to the lowest grade.

(v) Exception:  If the employee’s adjusted demonstration project rate exceeds the maximum rate of the grade assigned under the above-described step 4 rule but fits in the rate range for the next higher applicable grade (i.e., between step 1 and step 4), then the employee shall be converted to that next higher applicable grade.

(vi) Exception:  An employee will not be converted to a lower grade than the grade held by the employee immediately preceding a conversion, lateral assignment, or lateral transfer into the demonstration project, unless since that time the employee has undergone a reduction in broadband level, reduction in pay based upon an adverse action, a contribution-based action, a reduction-in-force action, or a voluntary change to lower broadband level.

2.  Pay-Setting Provisions

An employee’s pay within the converted GS grade is set by converting the employee’s demonstration project rate of pay to a GS rate of pay in accordance with the following rules:

(i) The pay conversion is done before any geographic movement or other pay-related action that coincides with the employee’s movement or conversion out of the demonstration project.

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