A-10736, NOVEMBER 7, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 337

A-10736: Nov 7, 1925

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AT HEADQUARTERS - RETROACTIVE CHANGE OF ORDERS WHERE AN AGENT OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE IN CHARGE OF A CERTAIN FIELD DIVISION WAS TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER FIELD DIVISION AS AGENT IN CHARGE. THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE DIVISION TO WHICH HE WAS TRANSFERRED BECAME HIS REGULAR POST OF DUTY FROM THAT DATE. IS INEFFECTIVE TO PLACE THE AGENT IN A TRAVEL STATUS ENTITLING HIM TO SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE AT THE NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR ANY PERIOD SUBSEQUENT TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORIGINAL CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS. WHEREIN THERE WAS DISALLOWED CREDIT FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED BY HIM IN THE SUM OF $39.35 DURING THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 20 TO 28. REPLYING TO REQUEST OF THIS OFFICE TO BE FURNISHED COPY OF TRAVEL ORDER AND WITH ANY EVIDENCE SHOWING WHETHER CHANGE OF STATION WAS CONTEMPLATED TO BE TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT.

A-10736, NOVEMBER 7, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 337

SUBSISTENCE, AT HEADQUARTERS - RETROACTIVE CHANGE OF ORDERS WHERE AN AGENT OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE IN CHARGE OF A CERTAIN FIELD DIVISION WAS TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER FIELD DIVISION AS AGENT IN CHARGE, EFFECTIVE ON A CERTAIN DATE, THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE DIVISION TO WHICH HE WAS TRANSFERRED BECAME HIS REGULAR POST OF DUTY FROM THAT DATE, AND AN ORDER ISSUED SUBSEQUENT TO THAT DATE, PURPORTING TO DESIGNATE SUCH NEW HEADQUARTERS AS THE AGENT'S POST OF DUTY EFFECTIVE FROM A STILL LATER DATE, IS INEFFECTIVE TO PLACE THE AGENT IN A TRAVEL STATUS ENTITLING HIM TO SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE AT THE NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR ANY PERIOD SUBSEQUENT TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ORIGINAL CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, NOVEMBER 7, 1925:

REQUEST HAS BEEN MADE FOR REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT C-28954-TI, DATED JULY 28, 1925, OF THE ACCOUNTS OF JOHN R. KIRK, INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE OF THE PITTSBURGH DIVISION, WHEREIN THERE WAS DISALLOWED CREDIT FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED BY HIM IN THE SUM OF $39.35 DURING THE PERIOD FEBRUARY 20 TO 28, 1925, VOUCHER 1292, AND $99.59 DURING THE MONTH OF MARCH, 1925, VOUCHER 1461, WHILE AT PITTSBURGH, PA.

REPLYING TO REQUEST OF THIS OFFICE TO BE FURNISHED COPY OF TRAVEL ORDER AND WITH ANY EVIDENCE SHOWING WHETHER CHANGE OF STATION WAS CONTEMPLATED TO BE TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT, MR. KIRK SUBMITTED COPY OF LETTER OF JANUARY 5, 1925, IN WHICH THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE ADVISED HIM AS FOLLOWS:

YOU ARE HEREBY RELIEVED FROM DUTY AS INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE OF THE NASHVILLE DIVISION AND ASSIGNED AS INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE OF THE PITTSBURGH DIVISION, EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 1, 1925, THEREBY RELIEVING FROM DUTY INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE ALBERT W. SMITH, NOW IN CHARGE OF THAT DIVISION.

YOU WILL BE RELIEVED FROM DUTY IN THE NASHVILLE DIVISION BY MR. JOHN M. ROBERTS, WHO HAS BEEN APPOINTED INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE OF THAT DIVISION.

YOU WILL DIRECT ALL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES ASSIGNED TO DUTY IN THE NASHVILLE DIVISION TO REPORT TO MR. ROBERTS FOR ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY UNDER HIS DISCRETION. OFFICERS LOCATED AT POINTS OUTSIDE OF THE CITY OF NASHVILLE NEED NOT REPORT IN PERSON, BUT SHOULD BE INFORMED OF THIS CHANGE AND BE GIVEN NECESSARY INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING THE HANDLING OF THEIR WORK IN THE FUTURE.

UPON REPORTING IN PITTSBURGH YOU ARE DIRECTED TO RECEIPT TO INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE SMITH FOR ALL GOVERNMENT PROPERTY PERTAINING TO THE PITTSBURGH DIVISION WHICH IS IN HIS POSSESSION AT THE TIME OF TRANSFER. THIS RECEIPT MUST BE IN TRIPLICATE, THE ORIGINAL TO BE FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE, THE DUPLICATE TO BE GIVEN TO INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT SMITH, AND THE TRIPLICATE TO BE RETAINED BY YOU.

THIS RECEIPT SHOULD INCLUDE ALL SYNOPSES OF CORPORATION AND INDIVIDUAL INCOME-TAX RETURNS SENT BY THIS OFFICE TO THE INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE OF THE PITTSBURGH DIVISION, BOTH THOSE IN THE OFFICE AND THOSE IN THE HANDS OF THE OFFICERS IN THE FIELD.

INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE SMITH HAS BEEN DIRECTED TO HAVE ALL OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES ASSIGNED TO DUTY IN THE PITTSBURGH DIVISION REPORT TO YOU FOR ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY UNDER YOUR DIRECTION.

MR. KIRK ARRIVED AT PITTSBURGH ON FEBRUARY 1, 1925.

HE ALSO SUBMITTED COPY OF LETTER FROM THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE ADDRESSED TO HIM AS INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE AT PITTSBURGH, PA., UNDER DATE OF FEBRUARY 20, 1925, READING:

YOU ARE HEREBY ADVISED THAT YOUR DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY HAS BEEN FIXED AT PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 1925.

THE DISALLOWANCES WERE MADE ON THE GROUND THAT THIS LETTER OF FEBRUARY 20, 1925, PURPORTING TO FIX A FUTURE DATE WHEN HIS STATUS WOULD CHANGE FROM A TEMPORARY TO A PERMANENT ONE, APPEARED TO HAVE BEEN FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF PAYING SUBSISTENCE TO HIM AT HIS REGULAR DUTY STATION, AND THAT HIS STATUS BECAME PERMANENT, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM INDEFINITE OR TEMPORARY, UPON PROMULGATION OF THE LETTER OF FEBRUARY 20, 1925.

IN LETTER DATED JULY 29, 1925, MR. KIRK CLAIMS THAT HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY WAS NASHVILLE, TENN., DURING THE MONTHS OF FEBRUARY AND MARCH, AND THAT DURING THAT PERIOD HE WAS IN A TRAVEL STATUS UNDER ORDERS.

IT APPEARS THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY APPROVED JANUARY 13, 1925, A LETTER ADDRESSED TO MR. KIRK AT NASHVILLE, TENN., UNDER DATE OF JANUARY 6, 1925, BY THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, READING:

YOU ARE HEREBY TRANSFERRED, EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 1, 1925, FROM THE POSITION OF INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE (NASHVILLE DIVISION), AT $4,600 PER ANNUM--- F11--- TO THAT OF INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE (PITTSBURGH DIVISION), WITH COMPENSATION AT THE RATE OF $5,200 PER ANNUM--- F12--- PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATION "COLLECTING THE INTERNAL REVENUE.'

YOU WILL BE ALLOWED ACTUAL NECESSARY TRAVELING EXPENSES, SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATIONS PRESCRIBED BY LAW AND DEPARTMENTAL REGULATIONS, WHEN ABSENT ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS FROM YOUR DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY.

IN 2 COMP. GEN. 757 IT WAS HELD THAT THE STATUS OF A DEPUTY COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE WITH RESPECT TO TRAVELING AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES SHOULD BE DETERMINED BY THE ACTUAL FACTS OR CIRCUMSTANCES RATHER THAN BY AN ARBITRARY DESIGNATION OF HIS POST OF DUTY.

IN THE INSTANT CASE PITTSBURGH, PA., THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE DIVISION TO WHICH MR. KIRK WAS TRANSFERRED AS INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE, BECAME HIS REGULAR STATION AND DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY FEBRUARY 1, 1925, THE DATE OF HIS ARRIVAL THERE PURSUANT TO THE ORDERS HEREINBEFORE QUOTED TRANSFERRING HIM TO SAID STATION, AND THE PROVISION FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES IN HIS ORDER OF TRANSFER MUST BE CONSTRUED TO HAVE BEEN REFERENCE TO PITTSBURGH AS HIS POST OF DUTY. THE LETTER OF FEBRUARY 20, 1925, DESIGNATING PITTSBURGH AS HIS POST OF DUTY, EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 1925, WAS THEREFORE INEFFECTIVE TO PUT HIM IN A TRAVEL STATUS ENTITLING HIM TO SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHILE AT PITTSBURGH FROM FEBRUARY 1 TO APRIL 1, 1925.

VOUCHER 1292, COVERING TRAVELING EXPENSES CLAIMED FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY, SHOWS THAT MR. KIRK LEFT PITTSBURGH, PA., ON FEBRUARY 18 ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AT 5 P.M., AND ARRIVED AT ERIE, A., AT 8.30 P.M., INCURRING ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR SUPPER $2.15, TIP $0.15, AND LODGING $4- - TOTAL $6.30; AND THAT HE LEFT ERIE ON FEBRUARY 19 AT 3.18 P.M., AND ARRIVED AT PITTSBURGH AT 7.35 P.M., INCURRING EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE FOR THAT DAY BEFORE ARRIVING AT PITTSBURGH, FOR BREAKFAST $0.65, DINNER $0.45, TIPS $0.30, AND SUPPER $1.75--- TOTAL $3.15.

UPON REVIEW THERE IS DISALLOWED CREDIT UPON VOUCHER 1292 IN THE SUM OF $131.20, REPRESENTING TOTAL SUBSISTENCE CLAIMED IN THE AMOUNT OF $139.35, LESS $8.15 FOR SUCH EXPENSES WHILE AWAY FROM HIS REGULAR POST OF DUTY (FEBRUARY 18, $5; FEBRUARY 19, $3.15); AND DISALLOWANCE OF $99.59 UPON VOUCHER 1464, COVERING SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES CLAIMED FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH WHILE AT PITTSBURGH, IS SUSTAINED.