A-15483, OCTOBER 21, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 278

A-15483: Oct 21, 1926

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - PERSONAL REASONS FOR RETURNING TO HEADQUARTERS AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS INJURED OR OTHERWISE INCAPACITATED WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS NECESSITATING HIS RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS BEFORE COMPLETION OF THE DUTY ASSIGNED IS NOT ENTITLED TO A REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE RETURN TRIP WHICH IS CONSIDERED A PERSONAL EXPENSES AND NOT TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS. WHEREIN WAS DISALLOWED THE CLAIM OF LEO J. THE CLAIM IS ITEMIZED AS FOLLOWS: CHART 1925 DEC. 19. WITH REFERENCE TO THIS CLAIM AS FOLLOWS: YOU WILL RECALL THAT FOLEY HAD THIS ACCIDENT NEAR JUNCTION CITY. WHICH TOWN IS IN THE MOUNTAIN. AS HE KNEW IT WAS NECESSARY TO GET THIS CAR BACK TO THE RAILROAD IN ORDER TO AVOID THE POSSIBILITY OF ITS BEING SNOWED IN DURING THE WINTER.

A-15483, OCTOBER 21, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 278

TRAVELING EXPENSES - PERSONAL REASONS FOR RETURNING TO HEADQUARTERS AN EMPLOYEE WHO IS INJURED OR OTHERWISE INCAPACITATED WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS NECESSITATING HIS RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS BEFORE COMPLETION OF THE DUTY ASSIGNED IS NOT ENTITLED TO A REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE RETURN TRIP WHICH IS CONSIDERED A PERSONAL EXPENSES AND NOT TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, OCTOBER 21, 1926:

REVIEW HAS BEEN REQUESTED OF SETTLEMENT NO. 0120920, DATED MARCH 25, 1926, WHEREIN WAS DISALLOWED THE CLAIM OF LEO J. FOLEY, INSPECTOR, GENERAL LAND OFFICE, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN RETURNING TO HIS HOME OR OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS BECAUSE OF AN INJURY SUSTAINED WHILE ABSENT ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

THE CLAIM IS ITEMIZED AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

1925 DEC. 19. GEORGE S. SMITH, JUNCTION CITY, CALIF., SERVICES DRIVING

AUTOMOBILE FS NO. 9 FROM JUNCTION CITY TO READING,

CALIF ------------------------------------------------- $23.00

20. WHEEL-CHAIR PORTER FEE, TRAIN TO FERRY, OAKLAND,

CALIF ------------------------------------------------- .25

20. WHEEL-CHAIR PORTER FEE, FERRY TO TAXICAB, SAN

FRANCISCO, CALIF -------------------------------------- .25

20. TAXICAB FARE FERRY STATION TO HOME, SAN FRANCISCO,

CALIF -------------------------------------------------

1.85

25.35

ON JULY 7, 1926, THE DIVISION INSPECTOR, SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT, ADVISED THE COMMISSIONER, GENERAL LAND OFFICE, WITH REFERENCE TO THIS CLAIM AS FOLLOWS:

YOU WILL RECALL THAT FOLEY HAD THIS ACCIDENT NEAR JUNCTION CITY, CALIFORNIA, WHICH TOWN IS IN THE MOUNTAIN, APPROXIMATELY FIFTY MILES FROM THE NEAREST RAILROAD POINT, REDDING, CALIFORNIA. HE HAD AT JUNCTION CITY A GOVERNMENT-OWNED AUTOMOBILE. AS HE KNEW IT WAS NECESSARY TO GET THIS CAR BACK TO THE RAILROAD IN ORDER TO AVOID THE POSSIBILITY OF ITS BEING SNOWED IN DURING THE WINTER, HE EMPLOYED A MAN TO DRIVE THE CAR TO READING. THE FACT THAT HE RODE IN THE CAR WAS MERELY INCIDENTAL. HAD HE NOT DONE THIS IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY FOR ME TO HAVE SENT AN INSPECTOR FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO JUNCTION CITY TO GET THE AUTOMOBILE. THE EXPENSE OF DOING THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GREAT DEAL MORE THAN FOLEY SPENT, NOT INCLUDING THE LOSS OF TIME INVOLVED.

I WISH YOU WOULD TAKE THIS MATTER UP WITH THE COMPTROLLER AND POINT OUT TO HIM THAT IT WAS TO THE DISTINCT ADVANTAGE OF THE GOVERNMENT TO GET THIS CAR OUT OF THE MOUNTAINS AND TO A RAILROAD POINT, AND THAT BY HAVING THIS DONE FOLEY ACTUALLY SAVED THE GOVERNMENT MONEY AND PLACED THE CAR IN A POSITION WHERE IT COULD BE USED INSTEAD OF LEAVING IT UP IN THE MOUNTAINS WHERE IT WOULD UNDOUBTEDLY HAVE BEEN SNOWED IN, THUS DEPRIVING THE GOVERNMENT OF THE USE OF IT DURING THE ENTIRE WINTER.

UNDER DATE OF AUGUST 23, 1926, THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR ADVISED THIS OFFICE AS FOLLOWS:

I RESPECTFULLY REQUEST FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION OF THE CLAIM IN CONNECTION WITH WHICH MR. FOLEY APPEALS, FOR, WHILE IT WAS THE FACT THAT MR. FOLEY'S LEG WAS BROKEN THAT NECESSITATED THE PARTICULAR EXPENSE, HE WAS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL TO HIS HEADQUARTERS, AND THE PARTICULAR WAY OF GETTING THE CAR TO REDDING WAS UNDOUBTEDLY OF LESS EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT THAN TO HAVE HAD TO SEND TO JUNCTION CITY FOR IT LATER.

IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE ACCIDENT HAPPENED DECEMBER 16, 1925, THREE DAYS BEFORE THE EXPENSE OF TRAVEL WAS INCURRED. AFTER THE DATE OF INJURY MR. FOLEY'S STATUS BECAME THAT OF AN EMPLOYEE ON LEAVE AND SUCH STATUS NECESSARILY CONTINUED FROM THAT TIME (DECEMBER 16, 1925) UNTIL HE REPORTED FOR FURTHER DUTY, WHICH APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN ON OR ABOUT FEBRUARY 1, 1926. SEE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 9, 1925, A-6938; ALSO JUNE 28, 1924, A- 3421 AND FEBRUARY 17, 1925, A-7362.

THE APPROPRIATION "PROTECTING PUBLIC LANDS, TIMBER, ETC., 1926," DOES NOT PROVIDE FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED BY CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES IN TRAVELING NECESSITATED BECAUSE OF INJURY WHILE EMPLOYED ON GOVERNMENT WORK AS IN THIS CASE. MOREOVER, THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS RELATING TO REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED BY OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT AUTHORIZE SUCH REIMBURSEMENT ONLY FOR EXPENSES INCURRED "WHILE TRAVELING ON DUTY.' ACT OF APRIL 6, 1914, 38 STAT. 318; ACT OF AUGUST 1, 1914, 38 STAT. 680. AS THE CLAIMANT'S RETURN TO SAN FRANCISCO BEFORE THE COMPLETION OF THE DUTY WHICH HE HAD BEEN ORDERED TO THE FIELD TO PERFORM, WAS FOR PERSONAL REASONS AND NOT REQUIRED BY THE GOVERNMENT, IT CAN NOT BE HELD THAT THE EXPENSES HERE INVOLVED WERE INCURRED "WHILE TRAVELING ON DUTY," HENCE THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO PAY EXPENSES IN CONNECTION THEREWITH. HOWEVER, IT APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN IN THE INTEREST OF THE DEPARTMENT TO GET THE GOVERNMENT OWNED CAR TO REDDING AT THAT TIME, AND AS THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS HAVE APPROVED THE EXPENSE IN THE MANNER INCURRED AND CLAIM THEREFOR AS PRESENTED, REIMBURSEMENT OF THIS PARTICULAR ITEM IS AUTHORIZED.

IT IS NOTED THAT THE CLAIMANT WAS ALSO REIMBURSED FOR EXPENSES INCIDENT TO HIS RETURN FROM JUNCTION CITY TO SAN FRANCISCO ON THIS SAME TRIP AS FOLLOWS:

CHART

1925 DECEMBER 19. PORTER FEE, HOTELING REDDING, CALIF., HANDLING 2

PCS. BAGGAGE, AT 10 CENTS ---------------------- $0.20

DO. DO. TAXI FARE SELF AND BAGGAGE, HOTEL TO S.P. DEPOT,

REDDING, CALIF. -------------------------------- .50

DO. DO. S.P. CO., CASH RAILROAD FARE REDDING TO SAN

FRANCISCO -------------------------------------- 8.40

DO. DO. PULLMAN CO. STANDARD LOWER BERTH, REDDING-OAKLAND,

CALIF. ----------------------------------------- 3.00

DO. 20. PORTER FEE, ABOVE SLEEPER ------------------------ .25

DO. DO. PORTER FEE, HANDLING 2 PCS. BAGGAGE, TRAIN

DO. DO. OAKLAND TO FERRY STATION, SAN FRANCISCO -------- .20

DO. 17 TO 20. PER DIEM FOR 3 1/2 DAYS ------------------------ 14.00

TOTAL ---------------------------------------------------- 26.55

THE FOREGOING PAYMENTS WERE NOT AUTHORIZED AND ACCORDINGLY CLAIMANT HAS BEEN OVERPAID THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN $26.55 AND $23, OR $3.55, WHICH AMOUNT SHOULD BE TRANSMITTED TO THIS OFFICE.