A-13691, APRIL 29, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 874

A-13691: Apr 29, 1926

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SUBSISTENCE AT HEADQUARTERS - INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION WHERE AN INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE IS ORDERED TO PROCEED TO ANOTHER STATION TO DISCUSS THE CONDITIONS OF WORK THERE PRIOR TO HIS ASSUMING CHARGE UNDER A SUBSEQUENT DATE AND HE ASSUMES CHARGE AT THE NEW STATION WHILE THERE. HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE INCURRED BY HIM AFTER THE DATE OF HIS ARRIVAL AT THE NEW STATION. 1926: THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION THE QUESTION WHETHER JOHN M. IS ENTITLED TO CREDIT FOR PAYMENT MADE TO HIMSELF AS REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE INCURRED WHILE AT COLUMBIA. TO CARRY OUT THESE ORDERS IT WAS NECESSARY FOR ME TO LEAVE THE FOLLOWING MORNING (SEPTEMBER 25) FOR COLUMBIA.

A-13691, APRIL 29, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 874

SUBSISTENCE AT HEADQUARTERS - INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT ORDERED TO MAKE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION WHERE AN INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE IS ORDERED TO PROCEED TO ANOTHER STATION TO DISCUSS THE CONDITIONS OF WORK THERE PRIOR TO HIS ASSUMING CHARGE UNDER A SUBSEQUENT DATE AND HE ASSUMES CHARGE AT THE NEW STATION WHILE THERE, HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE INCURRED BY HIM AFTER THE DATE OF HIS ARRIVAL AT THE NEW STATION.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, APRIL 29, 1926:

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION THE QUESTION WHETHER JOHN M. ROBERTS, INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE, COLUMBIA, S.C., HEREINAFTER CALLED THE AGENT, IS ENTITLED TO CREDIT FOR PAYMENT MADE TO HIMSELF AS REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR SUBSISTENCE INCURRED WHILE AT COLUMBIA, S.C., DURING THE PERIOD FROM SEPTEMBER 26 TO OCTOBER 15, 1925, INCLUSIVE.

THE AGENT IN LETTER OF MARCH 23, 1926, TO THIS OFFICE, MAKES THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT:

ON THE MORNING OF SEPTEMBER 24, 1925, I RECEIVED AN ORDER FROM MR. D. H. BLAIR, COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, DIRECTING ME TO PROCEED TO COLUMBIA, S.C., IN ORDER TO MEET AN EMERGENCY ARISING OUT OF THE TRANSFER OF INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE ERNEST P. HUTCHINSON FROM THE COLUMBIA DIVISION TO THE OMAHA DIVISION; AND ALSO ONE FROM DEPUTY COMMISSIONER J. G. BRIGHT, WHICH DIRECTED ME TO PROCEED IMMEDIATELY TO COLUMBIA FOR A CONFERENCE TO DISCUSS CONDITIONS AND WORK IN THE COLUMBIA DIVISION PRIOR TO OCTOBER 1, 1925. TO CARRY OUT THESE ORDERS IT WAS NECESSARY FOR ME TO LEAVE THE FOLLOWING MORNING (SEPTEMBER 25) FOR COLUMBIA, S.C.

I AM ENCLOSING HEREWITH A COPY OF DEPUTY COMMISSIONER BRIGHT'S LETTER AND ALSO A COPY OF COMMISSIONER BLAIR'S LETTER. OWING TO A BAD WRECK ON THE DIXIE FLYER, I WAS UNABLE TO ARRIVE IN COLUMBIA UNTIL THE EVENING OF THE 25TH OF SEPTEMBER. I IMMEDIATELY GOT IN TOUCH WITH AGENT IN CHARGE HUTCHINSON AND MY SUPERIOR OFFICER, SUPERVISING REVENUE AGENT R. T. MILES, AND THE WORK OF TRANSFERRING WAS COMPLETED ON THE 26TH OF SEPTEMBER. SUPERVISING REVENUE AGENT MILES INFORMED ME WHEN I REQUESTED INFORMATION AS TO THE TRANSFER, AS TO WHETHER IT WAS PERMANENT OR A TEMPORARY EMERGENCY, THAT HE COULD NOT TELL AT THAT TIME, BUT WOULD LET ME KNOW IN A FEW WEEKS. WITH THIS INFORMATION IN HAND, I DID NOT UNPACK MY BOOKS AND PAPERS, EXCEPT THOSE WHICH WERE ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, UNTIL THE LATTER PART OF OCTOBER, 1925, AND REMAINED TRANSIENT IN MY LIVING, AWAITING INFORMATION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE TRANSFER WAS PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY, FOR THIRTY DAYS.

THE LETTER FROM DEPUTY COMMISSIONER BRIGHT, REFERRED TO BY THE AGENT, WAS DATED SEPTEMBER 21, 1925, WAS ADDRESSED TO HIM AT NASHVILLE, TENN., HIS REGULAR DUTY STATION AT THAT TIME, AND WAS AS FOLLOWS:

YOU ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND INSTRUCTED TO PROCEED TO COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, AND REPORT TO MR. HUTCHINSON, INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE OF THE COLUMBIA DIVISION, ON SEPTEMBER 26, TO DISCUSS THE CONDITIONS OF WORK IN THAT DIVISION PRIOR TO YOUR ASSUMING CHARGE ON OCTOBER 1, 1925.

YOU WILL BE ALLOWED ACTUAL NECESSARY TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED IN MAKING THE TRIP FROM NASHVILLE TO COLUMBIA, SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATIONS PRESCRIBED BY LAW AND DEPARTMENTAL REGULATIONS, PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATION "COLLECTING THE INTERNAL REVENUE.'

ON SEPTEMBER 22, 1925, THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE WROTE TO THE AGENT AS FOLLOWS:

IN ORDER TO MEET AN EMERGENCY THAT HAS ARISEN IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO TRANSFER INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE E. P. HUTCHINSON FROM COLUMBIA TO OMAHA, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 1925. THIS WILL LEAVE VACANT THE POSITION OF REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE AT COLUMBIA THAT YOU SO CAPABLY FILLED UP TO THE TIME OF YOUR TRANSFER TO THE NASHVILLE DIVISION. IN VIEW OF YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH CONDITIONS IN THE COLUMBIA DIVISION, AND RELYING UPON YOUR WELL-KNOWN QUALITIES OF BEING A GOOD SOLDIER, THE BUREAU CONSIDERED IT NECESSARY FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THE GOVERNMENT'S INTERESTS TO ASK YOU TO ASSUME CHARGE OF THE COLUMBIA DIVISION ON OCTOBER 1, 1925.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT YOUR ASSISTANT, MR. MARSH T. POLK, INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT IN THE NASHVILLE DIVISION, HAS HAD EXTENSIVE TRAINING FOR THE POSITION OF AGENT IN CHARGE, IT IS FELT THAT HE CAN CARRY ON THE WORK OF THE NASHVILLE DIVISION AS YOUR SUCCESSOR WITH BUT LITTLE INTERFERENCE WITH THE EFFICIENCY OF THAT OFFICE.

WHILE THE ABOVE-QUOTED LETTERS OF SEPTEMBER 21 AND SEPTEMBER 22, 1925, EACH REFERRED TO OCTOBER 1 AS THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER FROM NASHVILLE TO COLUMBIA, THE TRAVEL BETWEEN SAID POINTS WAS PERFORMED SEPTEMBER 25 AND THE AGENT STATES THAT "THE WORK OF TRANSFERRING WAS COMPLETED ON THE 26TH OF SEPTEMBER.'

THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO ROOM FOR DOUBT THAT THE AGENT'S OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS OR DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY CEASED TO BE NASHVILLE ON SEPTEMBER 25 WHEN HE DEPARTED THEREFROM PURSUANT TO AN ORDER TO CHANGE STATION AND THAT HIS POST OF DUTY WAS COLUMBIA, S.C., ON AND AFTER SEPTEMBER 26, 1925, THE DATE OF HIS ARRIVAL THERE. THEREFORE HE CAN NOT BE REGARDED AS IN A TRAVEL STATUS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF APRIL 6, 1914, 38 STAT. 318, AND SECTION 13 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1914, ID. 680, WHILE AT COLUMBIA AT ANY TIME AFTER SAID DATE. SEE 5 COMP. GEN. 337; AND DECISION OF APRIL 5, 1926, A-13503.

IN THE DECISION LAST CITED IT WAS HELD THAT WHEN AN EMPLOYEE HAS HIS HEADQUARTERS CHANGED TO A DIFFERENT PLACE AND ACTUALLY REPORTS TO HIS NEW STATION HIS POST OF DUTY CHANGES FROM THE DATE OF HIS ARRIVAL AT HIS NEW HEADQUARTERS, NOTWITHSTANDING THE ADMINISTRATIVE DESIGNATION OF A SUBSEQUENT DATE AS THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER.

VOUCHER 233 OF THE AGENT'S ACCOUNT FOR OCTOBER, 1925, INCLUDES A CHARGE OF $5 PER DAY FOR SUBSISTENCE ON SEPTEMBER 26 TO 30, INCLUSIVE, A TOTAL OF $25.

VOUCHER 283 OF THE AGENT'S ACCOUNT FOR NOVEMBER, 1925, IS FOR $99.04. INCLUDED IN THE VOUCHER ARE ITEMS FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED IN GOING TO AND FROM GREENVILLE, S.C., AND FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED AT GREENVILLE WHILE THE AGENT WAS THERE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS. THESE ITEMS ARE PROPERLY ALLOWABLE. THE ALLOWABLE ITEMS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

TABLE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED IN GOING TO AND FROM

GREENVILLE, S.C. --------------------------------------- $16.14 SUBSISTENCE ON OCTOBER 12, 1925 --------------------------- 3.80 SUBSISTENCE ON OCTOBER 13, 1925 --------------------------- 5.00 SUBSISTENCE ON OCTOBER 14, 1925 --------------------------- 2.30 SUBSISTENCE ON OCTOBER 28, 1925 --------------------------- 3.95 SUBSISTENCE ON OCTOBER 29, 1925 --------------------------- 3.95

TOTAL ------------------------------------------------- 35.14

THE BALANCE OF $63.90 IS FOR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED AT THE AGENT'S POST OF DUTY. HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO CREDIT THEREFOR. ACCORDINGLY, $63.90 PLUS $25 IN VOUCHER 233, A TOTAL OF $88.90, WILL, THEREFORE, BE DISALLOWED IN THE NEXT SETTLEMENT OF HIS ACCOUNTS.