A-11082, SEPTEMBER 4, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 171

A-11082: Sep 4, 1925

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TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS OF AN ARMY OFFICER CHANGING STATION WHERE IT IS SHOWN THAT THE EXPENSE TO THE UNITED STATES IS NOT INCREASED. EITHER BY THE PAYMENT OF RENTAL ALLOWANCE WHEN QUARTERS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE NEW STATION OR IN THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION. THE SUSPENSION WAS MADE ON THE GROUND THAT THE TRAVEL WAS NOT PERFORMED WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME AFTER THE OFFICER WAS ORDERED TO MAKE THE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATIONS. CAPTAIN FAITH CERTIFIED ON THE VOUCHER CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT THAT HIS DEPENDENTS WERE IN SAN FRANCISCO ON DECEMBER 20. THEY APPEAR TO HAVE REMAINED IN SAN FRANCISCO UNTIL MAY 6. WAS $99. WHICH WAS PAID BY CAPTAIN HALLA AND SUSPENDED IN THE AUDIT OF HIS ACCOUNTS.

A-11082, SEPTEMBER 4, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 171

TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS OF AN ARMY OFFICER CHANGING STATION WHERE IT IS SHOWN THAT THE EXPENSE TO THE UNITED STATES IS NOT INCREASED, EITHER BY THE PAYMENT OF RENTAL ALLOWANCE WHEN QUARTERS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE NEW STATION OR IN THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION, THE DEPENDENTS OF AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION MAY BE TRANSPORTED TO THE NEW STATION AT ANY TIME PRIOR TO THE OFFICER'S DETACHMENT FROM THAT STATION.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, SEPTEMBER 4, 1925:

KENZIE W. WALKER, CHIEF OF FINANCE, REQUESTED DECEMBER 22, 1923, REMOVAL OF SUSPENSION MADE IN THE AUDIT UNDER SECTION 236, REVISED STATUTES, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1921, 42 STAT. 24, AGAINST VOUCHER NO. 890, JUNE, 1922, ACCOUNTS OF CARL HALLA, CAPTAIN, FINANCE DEPARTMENT, MAKING PAYMENT OF $99 UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1920, 41 STAT. 604, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 631, TO DON C. FAITH, CAPTAIN, INFANTRY, IN REIMBURSEMENT OF COST OF TRANSPORTING HIS DEPENDENTS ON MAY 6, 1923, FROM SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., TO FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEX., WHEN THE OFFICER MADE THE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION PURSUANT TO ORDERS DATED DECEMBER 12, 1922. THE SUSPENSION WAS MADE ON THE GROUND THAT THE TRAVEL WAS NOT PERFORMED WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME AFTER THE OFFICER WAS ORDERED TO MAKE THE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATIONS.

CAPTAIN FAITH CERTIFIED ON THE VOUCHER CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT THAT HIS DEPENDENTS WERE IN SAN FRANCISCO ON DECEMBER 20, 1922, WHEN HE, THERE, RECEIVED ORDERS TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS TO FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEX., AND THEY APPEAR TO HAVE REMAINED IN SAN FRANCISCO UNTIL MAY 6, 1923, WHEN THEY JOURNEYED TO FORT SAM HOUSTON. THE COST OF THE TRANSPORTATION AND PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE WIFE AND TWO SONS, AGES 4 AND 2 YEARS, WAS $99, WHICH WAS PAID BY CAPTAIN HALLA AND SUSPENDED IN THE AUDIT OF HIS ACCOUNTS. IT IS CONTENDED THAT THE DEPENDENTS MADE THE JOURNEY PRIOR TO THE DATE THE OFFICER'S STATION WAS CHANGED FROM FORT SAM HOUSTON AND WAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 2B, SECTION 3, CIRCULAR 210, WAR DEPARTMENT, 1922, WHICH, SO FAR AS IS MATERIAL, READS AS FOLLOWS:

TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS MAY BE ISSUED FOR THE WIFE AND DEPENDENT CHILD, OR CHILDREN, AT ANY TIME AFTER THE OFFICER RECEIVES ORDERS INVOLVING A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, BUT PRIOR TO THE RECEIPT OF SUBSEQUENT ORDERS INVOLVING ANOTHER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION * * *.

THIS REGULATION WAS ISSUED PURSUANT TO EXECUTIVE ORDER OF AUGUST 25, 1922, TO THE EFFECT THAT THE SECRETARY OF WAR WAS AUTHORIZED TO MAKE PAYMENT IN MONEY FOR THE COST OF TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUCH REGULATIONS AS HE MIGHT PRESCRIBE.

THE ACCEPTED PROCEDURE HERETOFORE HAS BEEN THAT THE TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS AS AUTHORIZED BY THE LAW SHOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED AT THE TIME OF THE CHANGE OF STATION OR WITHIN REASONABLE RELATION THERETO. SEE 27 COMP. DEC. 510, 790; 1 COMP. GEN. 90. THE LAW PERMITTING THE TRAVEL AT THE EXPENSE OF THE GOVERNMENT, THE TIME WHEN IT IS PERFORMED IS OF NO SPECIAL CONCERN IN THAT RESPECT EXCEPT SO THAT THE EXPENSE TO THE UNITED STATES BE NOT INCREASED OVER WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE EXPENSE AT THE TIME OF THE CHANGE OF STATION OR WITHIN A REASONABLE RELATION THERETO. SEE DECISION OF JULY 29, 1925, A -10591--- HUTSON CASE. IN THIS CONNECTION THE REGULATION MIGHT THUS BE CONSIDERED PROPER, BUT IF BY REASON THEREOF THE OCCUPATION OF QUARTERS IS AFFECTED AND THE NONAVAILABILITY OF QUARTERS IS CERTIFIED TO FOR RENTAL ALLOWANCE PURPOSES, WHICH WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN THE CONDITION IF THE DEPENDENTS HAD ACCOMPANIED THE OFFICER WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME, ITIS OBVIOUS THE REGULATION RESULTING IN SUCH A CONDITION IS OBJECTIONABLE. WILL REQUIRE A CLEAR SHOWING WHERE DEPENDENTS DO NOT ACCOMPANY THE OFFICER ON CHANGE OF STATION THAT THE EFFECT THEREOF IS NOT IN ITSELF TO GIVE RENTAL ALLOWANCE.

UPON REVIEW CREDIT WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF CAPTAIN HALLA FOR THE PAYMENT IN QUESTION.