August 15, 1996

SUBJECT: Compressed Work Schedules and Adverse Agency Impact Arguments

Section 6130-32 of Title 5 requires activities to negotiate with their labor organizations concerning the establishment or termination of flexible or compressed work schedules. If an impasse is reached, the matter would be elevated to the Federal Service Impasses Panel (the Panel.) For management to be successful, it must prove that the schedule creates, or would create, an adverse agency impact. (See 5 USC 6131.)

In Department of the Army, U.S. Army Ordnance, Missile and Munitions Center and School, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama and Local 1858, AFGE, 90 FSIP 21 (1990), the Panel held that under the Flexible and Compressed Work Schedule Act, an adverse agency impact determination must be made by the agency head. It emphasized this point by stating "...the head of the agency herein, for purposes of who may determine an adverse agency impact, is the Secretary of the Army or someone officially delegated that authority by the Department of the Army."

After that decision, we sought the Panel's opinion as to whether Army Regulation 690-990-2, Book 610, Hours of Duty, Subchapter S1-1a, was sufficient to demonstrate this delegation of authority. The relevant portion of the regulation provides "Authority for establishing and changing the tours of duty of civilian employees is delegated to the commander of any activity employing civilian personnel. This includes the authority to approve overtime and to establish flexitime schedules."

Recently, the Panel advised this office that the regulation was sufficient proof of delegation. However, each installation coming before the Panel on a flexible or compressed work schedule impasse must provide a copy of the regulation with its position. Failure to provide a copy of the regulation containing the delegation authority with the installation's adverse agency impact arguments will likely result in the Panel directing the implementation or continuation of the flexible or compressed work schedule.

It should be noted that the above cited regulation specifically delegates authority for making adverse agency impact findings to the activity commander. As such, activities must either have its adverse agency impact arguments signed by the activity commander or have additional written delegation of authority from the commander to the signing official.

Please ensure that your installation commanders are aware of this requirement.

Point of contact for this matter is David Helmer, E-mail: He can be reached at DSN 225-4011 or 703-695-4011.

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Elizabeth B. Throckmorton
Chief, Policy and Program
Development Division