A-22630, JUNE 29, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 840

A-22630: Jun 29, 1928

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IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST FOR TRAVEL BY TRANSPORT TO SAN FRANCISCO AND MILEAGE FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO WASHINGTON. IF IN DUE COURSE THE OFFICER WOULD HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED TO DUTY ON THE WESTERN COAST AND THE ASSIGNMENT AT WASHINGTON. WAS ON ACCOUNT OF PERMISSION GIVEN HIM TO RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES VIA EUROPE. HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO ANY MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL IN THE UNITED STATES. 3 COMP. WHEREIN CREDIT WAS DISALLOWED IN THE SUM OF $218.47. IS GRANTED LIEUTENANT COLONEL RICHARD H. IS RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT TO THESE HEADQUARTERS. IS ASSIGNED TO DUTY IN THE OFFICE OF THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL. LIEUTENANT COLONEL JORDAN IS AUTHORIZED TO RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES BY COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION VIA THE SUEZ CANAL AND EUROPE.

A-22630, JUNE 29, 1928, 7 COMP. GEN. 840

MILEAGE - CONSTRUCTIVE TRAVEL OF ARMY OFFICER PERMITTED TO TRAVEL VIA EUROPE FROM DUTY STATION IN THE ORIENT TO DUTY AT WASHINGTON, D.C. AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY DETACHED FROM DUTY IN CHINA TO DUTY IN WASHINGTON, D.C, , NECESSARY IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE WITHOUT DIRECTION AS TO MODE OR ROUTE OF TRAVEL BUT WITH PERMISSION TO PERFORM THE TRAVEL BY COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION VIA EUROPE, IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST FOR TRAVEL BY TRANSPORT TO SAN FRANCISCO AND MILEAGE FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO WASHINGTON, D.C.; HOWEVER, IN SUCH CASE, IF IN DUE COURSE THE OFFICER WOULD HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED TO DUTY ON THE WESTERN COAST AND THE ASSIGNMENT AT WASHINGTON, D.C., WAS ON ACCOUNT OF PERMISSION GIVEN HIM TO RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES VIA EUROPE, HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO ANY MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL IN THE UNITED STATES. 3 COMP. GEN. 928, MODIFIED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO MAJ. E. T. COMEGYS, UNITED STATES ARMY, JUNE 29, 1928:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 26, 1928, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT K-21841-W, DATED FEBRUARY 15, 1928, WHEREIN CREDIT WAS DISALLOWED IN THE SUM OF $218.47, REPRESENTING PAYMENTS TO LIEUT. COL. RICHARD H. JORDAN, UNITED STATES ARMY, OF ACTUAL EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL FROM CHINWANGTAO, CHINA, TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., AND MILEAGE FROM SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AS SHOWN ON VOUCHER NO. 3859, JULY 15, 1927, UNDER SPECIAL ORDERS, NO. 3, DATED DECEMBER 27, 1926, READING AS FOLLOWS:

7. DETACHED SERVICE FOR TWENTY-FIVE (25) DAYS, EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 23, 1927, AND LEAVE OF ABSENCE FOR THREE (3) MONTHS AND TWENTY (20) DAYS, EFFECTIVE UPON EXPIRATION OF THIS DETACHED SERVICE, IS GRANTED LIEUTENANT COLONEL RICHARD H. JORDAN, QUARTERMASTER CORPS, THESE HEADQUARTERS.

8. PURSUANT TO AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN WAR DEPARTMENT RADIOGRAM NO. 88, DATED NOVEMBER 11, 1923, AND PARAGRAPH 2, RADIOGRAM NO. 579, DATED DECEMBER 22, 1926, LIEUTENANT COLONEL RICHARD H. JORDAN, QUARTERMASTER CORPS, IS RELIEVED FROM ASSIGNMENT TO THESE HEADQUARTERS, AND FROM FURTHER DUTY WITH THESE FORCES, EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 23, 1927, AND IS ASSIGNED TO DUTY IN THE OFFICE OF THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL, WASHINGTON, D.C.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL JORDAN IS AUTHORIZED TO RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES BY COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION VIA THE SUEZ CANAL AND EUROPE, AT HIS OWN EXPENSE. UPON ARRIVAL IN THE UNITED STATES AND AFTER EXPIRATION OF DETACHED SERVICE AND LEAVE OF ABSENCE GRANTED HIM BY PARAGRAPH 7, THIS ORDER, HE WILL PROCEED TO WASHINGTON, D.C., REPORTING UPON ARRIVAL THEREAT TO THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL FOR ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY.

THE TRAVEL DIRECTED IS NECESSARY IN THE MILITARY SERVICE AND IS CHARGEABLE TO PROCUREMENT AUTHORITY IN FD 29 P 5040 A 2-7.

THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED WITHOUT TROOPS AND THE OFFICER LEFT TIENTSIN, CHINA, FEBRUARY 13, 1927, AND CHINWANGTAO, CHINA, FEBRUARY 23, 1927, AND ARRIVED AT WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 6, 1927, TRAVELING VIA EUROPE.

THE AMOUNT IN QUESTION WAS DISALLOWED AS FOLLOWS:

PAID CONSTRUCTIVE EXPENSES FROM TIENTSIN, CHINA, TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., AND MILEAGE THENCE TO WASHINGTON, D.C., UNDER ORDERS PERMITTING TRAVEL VIA SUEZ AND EUROPE AT OFFICER'S OWN EXPENSE. AS ORDERS DIRECT NO TRAVEL FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO WASHINGTON, AND AS IN FACT NO SUCH TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED, OFFICER IS ENTITLED TO ACTUAL EXPENSES TO SAN FRANCISCO, AND MILEAGE FROM NEW YORK TO DESTINATION. SEE 3 COMP. GEN. 928 AND 5 COMP. GEN. 358. (DEBT REPORTED.)

YOU STATE THAT IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXISTING REGULATIONS THE ESTABLISHED ROUTE OF TRAVEL BETWEEN CHINA AND POINTS IN THE UNITED STATES IS VIA SAN FRANCISCO, AND HAD THIS OFFICER CHANGED STATIONS FROM CHINA TO WASHINGTON, D.C., UNDER THE USUAL ORDERS WITHOUT AUTHORITY FOR COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION VIA SUEZ CANAL AND EUROPE, HE WOULD HAVE TRAVELED ON TRANSPORT FROM CHINA TO SAN FRANCISCO AND FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO WASHINGTON BY RAIL, UNLESS OTHERWISE DIRECTED.

THE ORDERS ISSUED LIEUTENANT COLONEL JORDAN CLEARLY INVOLVED TRAVEL FROM DUTY IN CHINA TO DUTY AT WASHINGTON, D.C., AND INDEPENDENTLY OF THE AUTHORIZATION TO TRAVEL VIA EUROPE THE ORDERS DIRECTED NO SPECIAL MODE OF TRAVEL OR ROUTE TO BE TRAVELED. THE MILEAGE LAW CONTEMPLATES THAT TRAVEL OF OFFICERS IN THE NAVAL AND MILITARY SERVICES UNDER ORDERS SHALL BE PERFORMED VIA THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE AND IN THE ABSENCE OF DIRECTION IN ORDERS TO THE CONTRARY SUCH ROUTE OF TRAVEL IS IMPLIED. APPEAL NO. 24340, MARCH 9, 1915, 72 MS. COMP. DEC. 1194. A-16285, NOVEMBER 19, 1926, 63 MS. COMP. GEN. 637. THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE FROM CHINA TO WASHINGTON, D.C., BEING BY STEAMER TO SAN FRANCISCO AND BY RAIL FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO WASHINGTON, UNDER SAID ORDERS LIEUTENANT COLONEL JORDAN WAS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE FOR TRAVEL FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND PAYMENT THEREOF WAS CORRECT.

ONE OF THE CASES CITED FOR THE AUDIT ACTION, 3 COMP. GEN. 928, WAS GROUNDED ON THE PROPOSITION THAT THE OFFICER IN DUE COURSE WOULD HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED TO DUTY ON THE WESTERN COAST OF THE UNITED STATES; THAT HIS ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY IN THE EASTERN PORTION OF THE UNITED STATES WAS FOR HIS CONVENIENCE TO PERMIT HIS TRAVEL VIA EUROPE AND TO AVOID PLACING UPON HIM THE EXPENSES OF THE JOURNEY FROM PORT OF ARRIVAL ON THE EASTERN COAST TO A STATION IN THE WESTERN PORTION OF THE UNITED STATES. ON THE THEORY ON WHICH SETTLEMENT WAS MADE, THE ALLOWANCE OF MILEAGE FROM PORT OF DEBARKATION ON THE EASTERN COAST TO THE STATION ASSIGNED TO HIM IN THE EASTERN PART OF THE UNITED STATES FOR HIS OWN CONVENIENCE WAS INCORRECT. IN SUCH A CASE, ALLOWANCE OF MILEAGE FROM PORT OF DEBARKATION TO STATION ASSIGNED IN THE EASTERN PART OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE OFFICER HEREAFTER WILL NOT BE MADE.

IN UNITED STATES V. PHISTERER, 94 U.S. 219, 221, WHERE THE SUPREME COURT REFERRED TO A PROVISION OF ARMY REGULATIONS REQUIRING OFFICERS PERMITTED TO CHANGE STATION, TO PAY THEIR EXPENSES, IT WAS SAID:

* * * IF A, AT ONE STATION, AND B AT ANOTHER, DESIRE TO EXCHANGE STATIONS OR REGIMENTS OR COMPANIES WITH EACH OTHER, AND PREFER A REQUEST TO THAT EFFECT, THE PROVISION ASSUMES THAT THE COMMANDING OFFICER MAY, IN HIS DISCRETION, GRANT IT; BUT, AS NO PUBLIC INTEREST IS ADVANCED BY IT, AND IT IS CONSENTED TO FOR THE ADVANTAGE OR PLEASURE OF THE TWO OFFICERS, THEY MUST BEAR THEIR OWN EXPENSE OF TRANSPORTATION IN MAKING THE EXCHANGE. THIS IS JUST AND REASONABLE.

WE ARE INCLINED TO THINK THAT IT WOULD BE TOO NARROW A CONSTRUCTION OF THIS PROVISION TO HOLD THAT IT REQUIRED THAT TWO OFFICERS SHOULD BE CONCERNED IN THE SAME EXCHANGE. AN EXCHANGE FROM ONE STATION TO ANOTHER STATION BY THE SAME OFFICER AT HIS OWN REQUEST, IF FOUND COMPATIBLE WITH THE PUBLIC SERVICE, WOULD BE WITHIN THE WORDS OF RULE, AND APPARENTLY AS MUCH WITHIN ITS SPIRIT AS WHEN THE EXCHANGE WAS MADE BY AND BETWEEN TWO OFFICERS.

THE RULE THAT AN OFFICER MUST BEAR HIS EXPENSES OF TRAVEL TO A STATION ASSIGNED FOR HIS OWN CONVENIENCE HAS HAD THE APPROVAL OF THE SUPREME COURT, AND THE COROLLARY OF THIS RULE, THAT IT IS ONLY FOR TRAVEL ON PUBLIC BUSINESS THAT AN OFFICER IS ENTITLED TO MILEAGE, IS IMPLIEDLY APPROVED; IT WAS SPECIFICALLY SO HELD IN PERRIMOND V. UNITED STATES, 19 CT.CLS. 509.

IT IS ASSUMED, IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE TENDING TO SHOW OTHERWISE, THAT WHERE AN OFFICER IS RELIEVED FROM DUTY IN THE ORIENT AND ORDERED TO DUTY AT A STATION IN THE EASTERN PORTION OF THE UNITED STATES, THAT THE BASIS FOR THE ASSIGNMENT OF THE NEW STATION IS THE PUBLIC SERVICE, NOT THE CONVENIENCE OF THE OFFICER TO ENABLE HIM TO TRAVEL VIA EUROPE PRACTICALLY WITHOUT EXPENSE UNDER THE PRACTICE PERMITTING PAYMENT TO HIM OF EXPENSES HE WOULD HAVE NECESSARILY INCURRED BY THE DIRECT ROUTE TO THE EXTENT EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF THE SAME CHARACTER ARE ACTUALLY INCURRED BY THE CIRCUITOUS ROUTE, AND OF MILEAGE WHICH WOULD HAVE ACCRUED. IN 5 COMP. GEN. 358, 360, IT WAS SAID:

* * * WHILE THE PRACTICE IS OPEN TO QUESTION UNDER THE ACT OF 1875, IT WILL NOT NOW BE DISTURBED. IT SHOULD, HOWEVER, BE PROPERLY AND CAREFULLY GUARDED BY ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS, AND THE GOVERNMENT'S INTERESTS SHOULD BE CONSERVED. * * *

IN AUTHORIZING A CONTINUATION OF THE PRACTICE, NOTWITHSTANDING DOUBT AS TO ITS LEGALITY (AND AUTHORIZED ONLY BECAUSE OF THE PRACTICE THERETOFORE EXISTING) IT WAS THE EXPECTATION THAT THE INTERESTS OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE WOULD CONTROL THE ASSIGNMENT TO STATION OF THE OFFICER, NOT HIS WISHES WITH RESPECT TO A JOURNEY THROUGH EUROPE. SHOULD IT BECOME EVIDENT THAT OTHER CONSIDERATIONS THAN THE NEEDS OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE ARE THE BASES FOR THE ASSIGNMENT OF OFFICERS TO STATION IN THE EASTERN PORTION OF THE UNITED STATES ON RELIEF FROM DUTY IN THE ORIENT AND EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS NEEDLESSLY INCREASED, FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF THE MATTER WILL BECOME NECESSARY.

UPON REVIEW $218.47 IS CERTIFIED FOR CREDIT IN A SUBSEQUENT SETTLEMENT OF YOUR DISBURSING ACCOUNT.