A-19479, AUGUST 20, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 130

A-19479: Aug 20, 1927

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FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS - LEAVE OF ABSENCE IN THE UNITED STATES A FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER IS NOT ENTITLED TO SALARY OR EXPENSES INCIDENT TO LEAVE OF ABSENCE IN THE UNITED STATES FOR THE PERIOD BETWEEN THE EXPIRATION OF THE AUTHORIZED LEAVE AND THE DATE ON WHICH IT IS NECESSARY FOR HIM TO DEPART FROM HIS HOME IN ORDER TO TAKE PASSAGE ON THE VESSEL BY WHICH HE IS TO PROCEED TO HIS STATION. HE MAY NOT BY GOING FROM HIS HOME TO THE PORT OF EMBARKATION AT AN EARLIER DATE THAN IS NECESSARY TO BOARD THE VESSEL PLACE UPON THE GOVERNMENT THE OBLIGATION TO BEAR HIS SALARY OR EXPENSES WHILE AWAITING THE SAILING OF THE VESSEL. HIS RIGHT TO COMPENSATION CEASES ON THE DATE HIS LEAVE EXPIRES AND HE IS IN A NONPAY STATUS UNTIL HE DOES BEGIN THE RETURN JOURNEY AND THAT.

A-19479, AUGUST 20, 1927, 7 COMP. GEN. 130

FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS - LEAVE OF ABSENCE IN THE UNITED STATES A FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER IS NOT ENTITLED TO SALARY OR EXPENSES INCIDENT TO LEAVE OF ABSENCE IN THE UNITED STATES FOR THE PERIOD BETWEEN THE EXPIRATION OF THE AUTHORIZED LEAVE AND THE DATE ON WHICH IT IS NECESSARY FOR HIM TO DEPART FROM HIS HOME IN ORDER TO TAKE PASSAGE ON THE VESSEL BY WHICH HE IS TO PROCEED TO HIS STATION, AND HE MAY NOT BY GOING FROM HIS HOME TO THE PORT OF EMBARKATION AT AN EARLIER DATE THAN IS NECESSARY TO BOARD THE VESSEL PLACE UPON THE GOVERNMENT THE OBLIGATION TO BEAR HIS SALARY OR EXPENSES WHILE AWAITING THE SAILING OF THE VESSEL.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL GINN TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, AUGUST 20, 1927:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 4, 1927, FILE U 123 SH 35/4, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT MAY BE MADE OF SALARIES TO FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS ON LEAVE IN THE UNITED STATES FOR THE TIME BETWEEN THE EXPIRATION OF THEIR LEAVES OF ABSENCE AND THE DATE OF SAILING FOR THEIR POSTS ON THE FIRST VESSEL AVAILABLE AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF THEIR LEAVES, EVEN THOUGH THEY DO NOT PROCEED TO THE PORT OF EMBARKATION IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF THEIR LEAVE.

SECTION 1742, REVISED STATUTES, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

NO DIPLOMATIC OR CONSULAR OFFICER SHALL RECEIVE SALARY FOR THE TIME DURING WHICH HE MAY BE ABSENT FROM HIS POST, BY LEAVE OR OTHERWISE, BEYOND THE TERM OF SIXTY DAYS IN ANY ONE YEAR; BUT THE TIME EQUAL TO THAT USUALLY OCCUPIED IN GOING TO AND FROM THE UNITED STATES IN CASE OF THE RETURN, ON LEAVE, OF SUCH DIPLOMATIC OR CONSULAR OFFICER TO THE UNITED STATES MAY BE ALLOWED IN ADDITION TO SUCH SIXTY DAYS.

BY CONSTRUCTION THE PHRASE "IN GOING TO AND FROM THE UNITED STATES" HAS BEEN HELD TO INCLUDE THE TIME NECESSARY TO GO TO AND FROM THE OFFICER'S HOME IN THE UNITED STATES. IT HAS ALSO BEEN HELD THAT IF AN OFFICER DOES NOT BEGIN HIS JOURNEY TO HIS POST ON OR BEFORE THE EXPIRATION OF HIS LEAVE, HIS RIGHT TO COMPENSATION CEASES ON THE DATE HIS LEAVE EXPIRES AND HE IS IN A NONPAY STATUS UNTIL HE DOES BEGIN THE RETURN JOURNEY AND THAT--

SUBJECT TO THE MAXIMUM FIXED BY LAW AND REGULATION, A CONSULAR OFFICER RETURNING FROM AUTHORIZED LEAVE OF ABSENCE IS ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FOR SUCH TIME ONLY AS IS NECESSARILY SPENT IN TRAVEL FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO HIS POST OF DUTY. THIS INCLUDES ONLY SUCH TIME PRIOR TO THE SAILING OF HIS VESSEL AS IS NECESSARY FOR HIM TO TRAVEL FROM HIS HOME TO THE PORT OF DEPARTURE. IF HE REMAINS AT HOME OR ELSEWHERE NOT IN TRANSIT FOR ANY PERIOD OF TIME BEYOND THE 60 DAYS' LEAVE ALLOWED BY LAW, HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FOR SUCH PERIOD OF TIME. (27 COMP. DEC. 420.)

I HAVE, THEREFORE, TO ADVISE YOU THAT A FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF HIS LEAVE DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY REVERT TO A DUTY STATUS ENTITLING HIM TO PAY AND ALLOWANCES, BUT IT IS ONLY IN THOSE CASES WHERE IT IS NECESSARY TO BEGIN HIS JOURNEY IMMEDIATELY UPON EXPIRATION OF HIS LEAVE IN ORDER TO MAKE CONNECTION WITH THE VESSEL UPON WHICH HE IS TO SAIL THAT HE IS CONTINUOUSLY IN A STATUS ENTITLING HIM TO THE PAY AND ALLOWANCES FIXED BY LAW. IN OTHER WORDS, THE FACT THAT NO VESSEL IS AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY UPON THE EXPIRATION OF HIS LEAVE DOES NOT ENTITLE AN OFFICER TO SALARY OR EXPENSES FOR THE TIME BETWEEN THE EXPIRATION OF THE LEAVE AND THE TIME HE NECESSARILY LEAVES OR WOULD HAVE HAD TO LEAVE HIS HOME IN ORDER TO SAIL ON A CERTAIN VESSEL SELECTED FOR HIS JOURNEY. IF IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO SAIL FROM THE PORT OF EMBARKATION IMMEDIATELY UPON HIS ARRIVAL THERE AND HE LEAVES HOME UPON THE EXPIRATION OF HIS LEAVE, THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT LIABLE FOR HIS EXPENSES WHILE HE IS AWAITING THE SAILING OF THE VESSEL, AND IT IS IMMATERIAL WHETHER HE AWAITS THE SAILING OF THE VESSEL AT HIS HOME OR GOES TO THE PORT OF EMBARKATION AND AWAITS IT THERE. IF HE DOES NOT CARE TO BE IN A NONPAY STATUS HE SHOULD ARRANGE TO SAIL ON A VESSEL LEAVING THE UNITED STATES EARLIER, SO AS TO BE ABLE TO SAIL IMMEDIATELY UPON HIS ARRIVAL AT THE PORT, EVEN THOUGH HE HAS TO FOREGO A PART OF HIS LEAVE IN ORDER TO DO THIS.

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTION SPECIFICALLY, A FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER IS NOT ENTITLED TO SALARY OR EXPENSES DURING THE PERIOD BETWEEN THE EXPIRATION OF AN AUTHORIZED LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITH PAY AND THE DATE ON WHICH IT WAS NECESSARY FOR HIM TO DEPART FROM HIS HOME IN ORDER TO TAKE PASSAGE ON THE VESSEL BY WHICH HE IS TO PROCEED TO HIS STATION.

IN THE CASE OF THOMAS P. SHERMAN, CITED BY YOU IN YOUR SUBMISSION, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE PAYMENT OF THE SALARY OF THIS OFFICER AND THE EXPENSES OF HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY WHILE HE WAS IN NEW YORK AWAITING THE DEPARTURE OF THE VESSEL ON WHICH HE SAILED IS NOT AUTHORIZED, AS IT WAS NOT NECESSARY THAT HE PROCEED TO NEW YORK AT THE TIME HE DID IN ORDER TO SAIL ON THE VESSEL ON WHICH HIS PASSAGE HAD BEEN PROVIDED FOR.