A-10759, OCTOBER 20, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 274

A-10759: Oct 20, 1925

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TRAVELING EXPENSES TO DUTY STATION - EMPLOYEES OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY WHERE THE CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENT OF EMPLOYEES OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY WHOSE SERVICES ARE ONLY REQUIRED SEASONALLY PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THEIR TRAVELING EXPENSES FROM THEIR HOMES TO THEIR PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT AS PART OF THEIR AGREED COMPENSATION. 1925: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 25. WAS REIMBURSED $17.35 RAILROAD AND PULLMANFARE INCURRED IN PROCEEDING FROM RUSSELL. THE SERVICES OF THESE EMPLOYEES ARE ONLY SEASONAL. THE PAYMENT OF THEIR TRAVELING EXPENSES IS A PART OF THEIR COMPENSATION AGREED UPON PRIOR TO EMPLOYMENT AND TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION IN FIXING THE RATE OF BASE PAY. YOU STATE THAT SUCH PAYMENTS ARE OFFERED AS AN INDUCEMENT TO MEN WHO HAVE HAD EXPERIENCE IN THE WORK OF THE SURVEY TO ACCEPT EMPLOYMENT AND BY HIRING SUCH MEN IN PREFERENCE TO TRAINING NEW HANDS THE UNIT COST OF THE WORK IS KEPT DOWN.

A-10759, OCTOBER 20, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 274

TRAVELING EXPENSES TO DUTY STATION - EMPLOYEES OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY WHERE THE CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENT OF EMPLOYEES OF THE COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY WHOSE SERVICES ARE ONLY REQUIRED SEASONALLY PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THEIR TRAVELING EXPENSES FROM THEIR HOMES TO THEIR PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT AS PART OF THEIR AGREED COMPENSATION, REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUCH EXPENSES MAY BE ALLOWED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, OCTOBER 20, 1925:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 25, 1925, WITH REFERENCE TO AN ITEM SUSPENDED IN THE ACCOUNT OF J. M. GRIFFIN, DISBURSING AGENT, COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY. THE ITEM SUSPENDED APPEARS AS SUBVOUCHER 2 OF VOUCHER 64477. THE SUBVOUCHER SHOWS THAT DEAN O. SMITH, HIRED AS A MEMBER OF A COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY PARTY, WAS REIMBURSED $17.35 RAILROAD AND PULLMANFARE INCURRED IN PROCEEDING FROM RUSSELL, KANS., TO INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MINN.

IT APPEARS THAT IT HAS BEEN THE PRACTICE FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS TO PAY THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF EXPERIENCED EMPLOYEES OF THE SURVEY SHORE PARTIES FROM THEIR HOMES TO THE PLACE WHERE THEY PERFORMED SERVICE. THE SERVICES OF THESE EMPLOYEES ARE ONLY SEASONAL, AND THE PAYMENT OF THEIR TRAVELING EXPENSES IS A PART OF THEIR COMPENSATION AGREED UPON PRIOR TO EMPLOYMENT AND TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION IN FIXING THE RATE OF BASE PAY.

YOU STATE THAT SUCH PAYMENTS ARE OFFERED AS AN INDUCEMENT TO MEN WHO HAVE HAD EXPERIENCE IN THE WORK OF THE SURVEY TO ACCEPT EMPLOYMENT AND BY HIRING SUCH MEN IN PREFERENCE TO TRAINING NEW HANDS THE UNIT COST OF THE WORK IS KEPT DOWN.

IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE EMPLOYEES ARE EMPLOYED DURING THE SEASON AND THEN REVERT TO A STATUS OF BEING FURLOUGHED WITHOUT PAY, DUE TO THE FACT THAT THERE IS NO WORK FOR THEM TO DO FOR THE SURVEY DURING THE WINTER MONTHS. ON BEING RECALLED TO ACTIVE SERVICE TRAVELING EXPENSES ARE PAID AS PROVIDED IN THE AGREEMENT WITH THE EMPLOYEES.

IN VIEW OF THE FACTS SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTER, IT NOW APPEARS THAT THE PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES WAS NOT AN ADDITION TO THE REGULAR COMPENSATION OF THE EMPLOYEE BUT WAS A PART OF THAT COMPENSATION AS FIXED IN THE CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT. THEREFORE THE PAYMENT WAS A PROPER ONE AND CREDIT THEREFOR WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE DISBURSING AGENT'S ACCOUNT.

YOU ALSO SUBMIT A PROPOSED FORM OF FORMAL CONTRACT TO BE USED IN LIEU OF THE INFORMAL VERBAL AGREEMENTS WHICH HAVE HERETOFORE PREVAILED IN THE HIRING OF THE CLASS OF EMPLOYEES HEREIN CONSIDERED. ASSUMING THAT CONTRACTS OF THE KIND COVERED BY THE FORM SUBMITTED WILL BE ENTERED INTO ONLY AFTER DUE AUTHORIZATION BY THE DIRECTOR HAS BEEN HAD, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE FORM SUBMITTED.