A-16236, NOVEMBER 18, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 351

A-16236: Nov 18, 1926

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TRAVEL EXPENSES WILL BE ALLOWED. SUCH LATTER ORDER MUST BE HELD TO HAVE ESTABLISHED A NEW POST OF DUTY AT SUCH PLACE. A SUBSEQUENT ORDER PURPORTING TO CONSUMMATE A TRANSFER EFFECTIVE AT A STILL LATER DATE IS INEFFECTUAL TO CONTINUE A TRAVEL STATUS. GRIFFITH WAS APPOINTED A JUNIOR ATTORNEY. THIS LETTER EVIDENCES THAT AT THAT TIME HIS HEADQUARTERS WERE AT PITTSBURGH. ISSUED THE FOLLOWING ORDER: YOU ARE HEREBY DIRECTED TO PROCEED. THUS EVIDENCING THAT WILKES-BARRE WAS UTILIZED AS AN OPERATING BASE. DEAR SIR: YOU ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM PITTSBURGH. TO WHICH PLACE YOU HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED. IN ADDITION TO THE FOREGOING THERE IS FURNISHED A COPY OF WHAT PURPORTS TO BE AN AUTHORIZATION FOR CHANGE IN DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY AS FOLLOWS: RECOMMENDATION FOR CHANGE IN DESIGNED POST OF DUTY (TO BE FORWARDED IN QUADRUPLICATE) TREASURY DEPARTMENT INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE STATE: PENNSYLVANIA.

A-16236, NOVEMBER 18, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 351

SUBSISTENCE, HEADQUARTERS - TEMPORARY DUTY BECOMING PERMANENT WHERE, UNDER ORDERS DIRECTING AN EMPLOYEE TO PROCEED TO A PLACE AND PERFORM CERTAIN DUTIES, THE ORDER AND THE NATURE OF THE DUTIES DISCLOSING A BONA FIDE TRAVEL STATUS AWAY FROM THE REGULAR POST OF DUTY, TRAVEL EXPENSES WILL BE ALLOWED, BUT WHERE A LATER ORDER CONSTITUTES AN ASSIGNMENT TO SUCH PLACE FOR DUTY AND THE DUTIES DO NOT RELATE TO THE FORMER STATION, SUCH LATTER ORDER MUST BE HELD TO HAVE ESTABLISHED A NEW POST OF DUTY AT SUCH PLACE, THUS TERMINATING THE RIGHT TO TRAVEL EXPENSES. A SUBSEQUENT ORDER PURPORTING TO CONSUMMATE A TRANSFER EFFECTIVE AT A STILL LATER DATE IS INEFFECTUAL TO CONTINUE A TRAVEL STATUS.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, NOVEMBER 18, 1926:

REVIEW HAS BEEN REQUESTED OF THE ACTION TAKEN IN SETTLEMENT OF THE ACCOUNTS OF F. C. BAIRD, SPECIAL DISBURSING OFFICER, PROHIBITION SERVICE, FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY, 1926--- CERTIFICATE NO. C-40873-TI -- IN DISALLOWING CREDIT FOR PAYMENT TO L. B. GRIFFITH AS REIMBURSEMENT IN THE SUM OF $230.07 REPRESENTING EXPENDITURES FOR SUBSISTENCE WHILE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY AT WILKES-BARRE, PA., DURING THE PERIODS DECEMBER 18 TO 26, 1925, AND JANUARY 5 TO FEBRUARY 14, 1926.

BY LETTER DATED AT WILKES-BARRE, PA., OCTOBER 22, 1925, ADDRESSED TO HIM AT PITTSBURGH, PA., MR. GRIFFITH WAS APPOINTED A JUNIOR ATTORNEY, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, FOR ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY IN PROHIBITION DISTRICT NO. 4. THIS LETTER EVIDENCES THAT AT THAT TIME HIS HEADQUARTERS WERE AT PITTSBURGH. BY LETTER DATED AT PITTSBURGH, DECEMBER 11, 1925, F. C. BAIRD, PROHIBITION ADMINISTRATOR, ISSUED THE FOLLOWING ORDER:

YOU ARE HEREBY DIRECTED TO PROCEED, ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, ON OR ABOUT DECEMBER 14, 1925, FROM PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, TO SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA, TO ACT AS COUNSEL FOR THE GOVERNMENT AT COMMISSIONER'S HEARINGS IN THE MIDDLE JUDICIAL DISTRICT, AND TO ADVISE PROHIBITION AGENT IN CHARGE IN THAT DISTRICT CONCERNING SEARCH WARRANTS AND OTHER MATTERS, PENDING THE OPENING OF AN OFFICE AT WILKES-BARRE, PA.

THE VOUCHERS SUBMITTED BY MR. GRIFFITH SHOW TRAVEL OUT OF WILKES BARRE TO SCRANTON AND OTHER PLACES, INCLUDING PITTSBURGH, AND RETURN, THUS EVIDENCING THAT WILKES-BARRE WAS UTILIZED AS AN OPERATING BASE. DECEMBER 26, A TELEGRAM ORDERED THE ATTORNEY TO REPORT TO PITTSBURGH, AND ON DECEMBER 29 THE PROHIBITION ADMINISTRATOR ISSUED THE FOLLOWING ORDER: MR. LESTER B. GRIFFITH,

C/O DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR,

COMMERCE BUILDING, WILKES-BARRE, PA.

DEAR SIR: YOU ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM PITTSBURGH, PA., TO WASHINGTON, D.C., THIS DAY FOR THE PURPOSE OF SECURING SUPPLIES FOR THE OFFICE AT WILKES-BARRE, PA., AND TAKING UP MATTERS WITH REGARD TO THE OFFICE; AND UPON YOUR RETURN FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO WILKES BARRE, PA., TO WHICH PLACE YOU HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED.

IN ADDITION TO THE FOREGOING THERE IS FURNISHED A COPY OF WHAT PURPORTS TO BE AN AUTHORIZATION FOR CHANGE IN DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY AS FOLLOWS:

RECOMMENDATION FOR CHANGE IN DESIGNED POST OF DUTY

(TO BE FORWARDED IN QUADRUPLICATE) TREASURY

DEPARTMENT INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE STATE:

PENNSYLVANIA. DATE: FEBRUARY 3, 1926.

NAME: GRIFFITH, LESTER B. DESIGNATION: ATTORNEY. CHANGE RECOMMENDED:

FROM: PITTSBURGH, PA., TO WILKES-BARRE, PA.

EFFECTIVE DATE: FEBRUARY 15, 1926. REASON FOR CHANGE: ASSIGNED PERMANENTLY.

(SIGNED) F. C. BAIRD,

FEDERAL PROHIBITION DIRECTOR. APPROVED: (FEB. 9, 1926.)

(SIGNED) D. H. BLAIR,

COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE.

(SIGNED) JAMES E. JONES,

DIRECTOR OF PROHIBITION.

BY A LETTER DATED OCTOBER 21, 1926, JOHN D. PENNINGTON, PROHIBITION ADMINISTRATOR AT PITTSBURGH, PA., STATES, TO QUOTE SO FAR AS PERTINENT:

THE OFFICE OF THE PROHIBITION ADMINISTRATOR FOR THE FOURTH DISTRICT WITH HEADQUARTERS AT PITTSBURGH WAS ESTABLISHED ON SEPTEMBER 1, 1925. PREVIOUS TO THAT TIME THERE WAS ONLY A BRANCH OFFICE IN PITTSBURGH AND IT WAS NECESSARY TO SET UP AND ESTABLISH AN OFFICE OF APPROXIMATELY SEVENTY-FIVE CLERICAL EMPLOYEES AND ONE HUNDRED TWENTY FIELD EMPLOYEES. THIS OF COURSE TOOK CONSIDERABLE TIME. AFTER THE ORGANIZATION IN PITTSBURGH WAS PERFECTED, THE QUESTION OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A BRANCH OFFICE IN THE EASTERN END OF OUR DISTRICT CAME UP FOR CONSIDERATION, AND, IT WAS DECIDED TO LOCATE IN WILKES BARRE, AND SPACE WAS SECURED IN THAT CITY FOR AN OFFICE ON DECEMBER 15, 1925.

MR. GRIFFITH, WHO UP TO THAT TIME HAD BEEN EMPLOYED AT PITTSBURGH, WAS A MAN WHO HAD BEEN TRANSFERRED TO US FROM THE BUREAU AT WASHINGTON, AND WAS FAMILIAR, TO A CERTAIN EXTENT, WITH GOVERNMENT PROCEDURE AND REGULATIONS. THERE WERE SEVERAL CASES OF A LEGAL NATURE IN HARRISBURG AND SCRANTON IN CONNECTION WITH WHICH IT HAD ALREADY BEEN DETERMINED TO ASSIGN MR. GRIFFITH, AND BECAUSE OF HIS FAMILIARITY WITH GOVERNMENT PROCEDURE, HE WAS DETAILED TO ASSIST THE DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR, WHO WAS A NEW APPOINTEE TO THE SERVICE, IN THE INSTALLATION OF THE WILKES-BARRE OFFICE DURING THE TIME INTERVENING BETWEEN THESE CASES.

IT WAS NOT THE INTENTION OF THE OFFICE TO ASSIGN MR. GRIFFITH PERMANENTLY TO THE WILKES-BARRE OFFICE, AND, IN FACT, HIS ASSIGNMENT TO THAT DISTRICT FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER WAS PROMOTED PRIMARILY BY THE NEED OF HIS PRESENCE IN HARRISBURG AND SCRANTON, THE WORK IN WILKES BARRE BEING INCIDENTAL. IT DEVELOPED AROUND THE FIRST OF THE YEAR THAT IT WAS NECESSARY TO ESTABLISH IN THE WILKES-BARRE OFFICE, THE SAME SYSTEM OF RECORDING SEIZURES, PREPARING CASES ON CRIMINAL VIOLATIONS, ETC., AS THAT FOLLOWED IN THE MAIN OFFICE AT PITTSBURGH, IN ORDER THAT WE MIGHT BE IN A POSITION TO GATHER STATISTICAL DATA FOR THE ENTIRE DISTRICT, AND INASMUCH AS MR. GRIFFITH WAS FAMILIAR WITH THE SYSTEMS INSTALLED IN THIS OFFICE, HE WAS RETAINED AT THE WILKES BARRE OFFICE PURELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF INSTALLING THESE SYSTEMS. DURING THE COURSE OF THIS INSTALLATION, IT DEVELOPED THAT THE VOLUME OF WORK TO BE HANDLED THROUGH THIS OFFICE WOULD BE SUFFICIENT TO REQUIRE THE CONSTANT SERVICES OF AN ATTORNEY, AND RECOMMENDATION WAS THEN MADE FOR MR. GRIFFITH'S PERMANENT ASSIGNMENT TO WILKES-BARRE, AND A CHANGE IN HIS POST OF DUTY TO THAT CITY WHICH WAS APPROVED AND MADE EFFECTIVE ON FEBRUARY 15, 1926.

THE SOLE QUESTION FOR DECISION HERE IS WHETHER BY FORCE OF THE ORDERS HEREIN QUOTED, OR THE CIRCUMSTANCES, OR BOTH, WILKES-BARRE, PA., BECAME THE POST OF DUTY OF MR. GRIFFITH DURING ANY PERIOD PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE CHANGE APPROVED EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 15, 1926; FOR IF SUCH PLACE DID BECOME THE POST OF DUTY PRIOR TO THIS LATER APPROVED CHANGE THEN SUBSISTENCE WAS NOT ALLOWABLE AS FOR A TRAVEL STATUS IN WILKES-BARRE THEREAFTER.

PRIOR TO DECEMBER 29, 1925, IT MAY BE ACCEPTED THAT THE DUTY AT WILKES- BARRE AND VICINITY, UNDER THE ORDER OF DECEMBER 11, 1925, WAS OF SUCH TEMPORARY NATURE AS TO CREATE A TRAVEL STATUS, BUT BOTH THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND THE ORDER OF DECEMBER 29, 1925, EVIDENCE THAT WILKES BARRE HAD FROM THIS LAST DATE BECOME ESTABLISHED AS THE HEADQUARTERS. THE ORDER SPECIFICALLY STATES THAT TO BE THE PLACE TO WHICH "YOU HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED.' FURTHERMORE, THE STATEMENTS IN THE ORDERS, TOGETHER WITH THE BASING OF OPERATIONS ON WILKES-BARRE, EVIDENCE THE FACT THAT THE DUTIES PERTAINED TO THAT PLACE, AND IN CONSEQUENCE THERE WAS NO TRAVEL IN THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY RELATING EXCLUSIVELY TO THE PITTSBURGH OFFICE. ACCORDINGLY, IT MUST BE HELD THAT WHILE THE STAY AT WILKES-BARRE MAY EVEN AFTER DECEMBER 29 HAVE BEEN CONTEMPLATED AS INDEFINITE AS TO ITS TERM, YET, FOR THE TIME BEING, BEGINNING WITH AND SUBSEQUENT TO THAT DATE THAT TOWN RATHER THAN PITTSBURGH CERTAINLY BECAME HEADQUARTERS FOR PERFORMANCE OF THE DUTIES TO WHICH ASSIGNED. HENCE, UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, WHILE AT WILKES-BARRE SUBSEQUENT TO DECEMBER 29, 1925, THERE COULD BE NO TRAVEL STATUS AWAY FROM THE POST OF DUTY WHICH THE ACTS OF APRIL 6, 1914, 38 STAT. 318, AND AUGUST 1, 1914, 38 STAT. 680, STIPULATE AS A NECESSARY CONDITION FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF TRAVELING EXPENSES.