A-16350, NOVEMBER 23, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 362

A-16350: Nov 23, 1926

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - BOARD OF MANAGERS FOR NATIONAL HOME FOR DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS THE BOARD OF MANAGERS FOR THE NATIONAL HOME FOR DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS IS A "BOARD" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF JUNE 3. IS SUBJECT TO THE RESTRICTIONS AS PROMULGATED IN THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF MANAGERS OF THE NATIONAL HOME FOR DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT IN FULL OF ALL TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED WHILE TRAVELING ON BUSINESS OF THE NATIONAL HOME. THE LATEST PROVISION OF LAW GOVERNING THIS IS FOUND IN THE SUNDRY CIVIL APPROPRIATION ACT OF AUGUST 18. IT IS ASSUMED THAT THIS IS SUCH A SPECIFIC LAW AS WILL EXEMPT THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF MANAGERS OF THE NATIONAL HOME FOR DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS FROM THE RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED BY CIRCULAR NO. 195.

A-16350, NOVEMBER 23, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 362

TRAVELING EXPENSES - BOARD OF MANAGERS FOR NATIONAL HOME FOR DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS THE BOARD OF MANAGERS FOR THE NATIONAL HOME FOR DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS IS A "BOARD" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF JUNE 3, 1926, 44 STAT. 688, AND ANY TRAVEL PERFORMED BY THE MEMBERS OF SAID BOARD AFTER OCTOBER 1, 1926, IS SUBJECT TO THE RESTRICTIONS AS PROMULGATED IN THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO GEN. GEORGE H. WOOD, PRESIDENT BOARD OF MANAGERS NATIONAL HOME FOR DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS, NOVEMBER 23, 1926:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 8, 1926, REQUESTING DECISION OF A QUESTION PRESENTED AS FOLLOWS:

1. THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF MANAGERS OF THE NATIONAL HOME FOR DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT IN FULL OF ALL TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED WHILE TRAVELING ON BUSINESS OF THE NATIONAL HOME. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE PRESIDENT AND THE SECRETARY, THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF MANAGERS RECEIVE NO SALARY.

2. THE LATEST PROVISION OF LAW GOVERNING THIS IS FOUND IN THE SUNDRY CIVIL APPROPRIATION ACT OF AUGUST 18, 1894, AS FOLLOWS:

"THAT HEREAFTER NO MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF MANAGERS OF THE NATIONAL HOME FOR DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS SHALL RECEIVE ANY COMPENSATION OR PAY FOR ANY SERVICES OR DUTIES CONNECTED WITH THE HOME; BUT THE TRAVELING AND OTHER ACTUAL EXPENSES OF A MEMBER INCURRED WHILE UPON THE BUSINESS OF THE HOME MAY BE REIMBURSABLE TO SUCH MEMBER: PROVIDED, THAT THE PRESIDENT AND SECRETARY OF THE BOARD OF MANAGERS MAY RECEIVE A REASONABLE COMPENSATION FOR THEIR SERVICES AS SUCH OFFICERS, NOT EXCEEDING FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS AND TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS, RESPECTIVELY, PER ANNUM.'

(THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION BILL CARRIES ITEMS OF $4,000 FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD AND $500 FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE BOARD AS SALARIES.)

3. IT IS ASSUMED THAT THIS IS SUCH A SPECIFIC LAW AS WILL EXEMPT THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF MANAGERS OF THE NATIONAL HOME FOR DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS FROM THE RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED BY CIRCULAR NO. 195, BUREAU OF THE BUDGET, PROMULGATING STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. AS THIS INVOLVES THE PAYMENT OF PUBLIC FUNDS, THE PROPRIETY OF WHICH MAY BE QUESTIONED, IT IS REQUESTED THAT AN ADVANCE DECISION BE GIVEN UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JULY 31, 1894 (28 STAT. 208).

SECTION 4825, REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES:

THE PRESIDENT, SECRETARY OF WAR, CHIEF JUSTICE, AND SUCH OTHER PERSONS AS HAVE BEEN OR FROM TIME TO TIME MAY BE ASSOCIATED WITH THEM, SHALL CONSTITUTE A BOARD OF MANAGERS OF AN ESTABLISHMENT * * * TO BE KNOWN BY THE NAME AND STYLE OF "THE NATIONAL HOME FOR DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS,"

SECTION 4826, REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES FOR THE ELECTION OF CITIZEN MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF MANAGERS, FROM TIME TO TIME AS VACANCIES OCCUR, BY JOINT RESOLUTION OF CONGRESS TO HOLD OFFICE FOR SIX YEARS, AND SECTION 4834, REVISED STATUTES, PRESCRIBES THE DUTIES OF THE BOARD.

THE ACT OF AUGUST 15, 1894, 28 STAT. 412, PROVIDES AS QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER, AND ALSO CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING PROVISION:

THAT WHEN AN OFFICER OF THE NATIONAL HOME FOR DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS, NOT A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF MANAGERS THEREOF, TRAVELS UNDER ORDERS ON BUSINESS FOR THE HOME, HE SHALL BE ALLOWED SEVEN CENTS IN LIEU OF ALL OTHER EXPENSES FOR EACH MILE ACTUALLY TRAVELED, DISTANCE TO BE COMPUTED BY THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE.

THE POSITIONS OF THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD ARE EXPRESSLY CREATED BY STATUTE PROVIDING FOR THEIR ELECTION TO HOLD OFFICE FOR A DEFINITE PERIOD OF TIME. SUCH POSITIONS ARE OFFICES OF TRUST OR HONOR AND THE INCUMBENTS THEREOF ARE OFFICES OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT TERM AS USED IN LEGISLATION LIMITING THE TRAVEL EXPENSES OF SUCH OFFICERS. EVERY INSTANCE WHERE THE STATUS OF MEMBERS OF COMMITTEES, BOARD, ETC., APPOINTED OR ELECTED--- AS DISTINGUISHED FROM A TEMPORARY DESIGNATION FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF A PARTICULAR DUTY--- TO SERVE WITHOUT COMPENSATION HAS BEEN CONSIDERED BY THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS WITH RESPECT TO THEIR RIGHTS TO TRAVELING EXPENSES IT HAS BEEN UNIFORMLY HELD THAT THE PROVISIONS OF STATUTES FIXING A MAXIMUM ALLOWANCE FOR OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES ARE FOR APPLICATION. SEE 22 COMP. DEC. 29; 23 ID. 72; 2 COMP. GEN. 256; 3 ID. 186; A-2811, MAY 26, 1924; AND A-9272, MAY 6, 1925.

THE ACT OF JUNE 3, 1926, 44 STAT. 688, UPON WHICH THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ARE BASED, IS SPECIFICALLY MADE APPLICABLE TO ALL CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS, AND THE ACT DEFINES "DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS" AS MEANING "ANY EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, INDEPENDENT COMMISSION, BOARD, BUREAU, OFFICE, AGENCY, OR OTHER ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT.'

SECTIONS 9 AND 10 OF SAID ACT, 44 STAT. 689, PROVIDE:

SEC. 9. ALL LAWS OR PARTS OF LAWS WHICH ARE INCONSISTENT WITH OR IN CONFLICT WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT EXCEPT SUCH LAWS OR PARTS OF LAW AS SPECIALLY FIX OR NOW PERMIT RATES HIGHER THAN THE MAXIMUM RATES ESTABLISHED IN THIS ACT ARE HEREBY REPEALED OR MODIFIED ONLY TO THE EXTENT OF SUCH INCONSISTENCY OR CONFLICT.

SEC. 10. THIS ACT SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO MODIFY OR REPEAL THE ACT PROVIDING FOR THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OR ANY ACTS * * * SPECIFICALLY FIXING OR PERMITTING MILEAGE RATES FOR TRAVEL AND/OR SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES.

THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO ROOM FOR REASONABLE DOUBT, THEREFORE, THAT THE BOARD OF MANAGERS OF THE NATIONAL HOME FOR DISABLED VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS IS A "BOARD" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF JUNE 3, 1926, SUPRA, AND THAT SAID ACT AND THE REGULATIONS THEREUNDER ARE APPLICABLE TO TRAVEL PERFORMED BY ITS MEMBERS. THE DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY IN 5 COMP. DEC. 911, 16 ID. 239, 17 ID. 105, AND 20 ID. 268, ARE NOT CONSIDERED TO BE IN CONFLICT HEREWITH, AS THEY MERELY GO TO THE DEFINITION OF WHAT MAY BE CONSIDERED ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1875, 18 STAT. 452, UNDER THE PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED IN THOSE DECISIONS. IN THIS CONNECTION SEE PARAGRAPHS 13 (A), (B), AND (C), AND 15 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.