A-24441, OCTOBER 9, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 166

A-24441: Oct 9, 1928

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TRAVELING EXPENSES AFTER DISCHARGE OR RESIGNATION TRAVELING EXPENSES OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES UPON DISCHARGE TO THEIR HOMES OR PLACE WHERE THEY ENTERED THE SERVICE ARE PERSONAL AND MUST BE BORNE BY THE EMPLOYEES. EXCEPT IN CASES IN WHICH THE COMPENSATION IS AUTHORIZED TO BE FIXED BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION AND PROVISION HAS BEEN LAWFULLY MADE BY REGULATION OR IN THE INDIVIDUAL APPOINTMENT FOR PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES AS A PART OF THEIR COMPENSATION. OR WHERE STATUTORY PROVISION IS MADE FOR EXPENSES IN GOING TO AND RETURNING FROM POSTS OF DUTY. 1928: RECEIPT IS ACKNOWLEDGED OF YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 31. IN WHICH WAS DISALLOWED CREDIT FOR PAYMENTS REPRESENTING TRAVELING EXPENSES REIMBURSED TO EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL FROM THE PLACE WHERE THEIR SERVICES WERE TERMINATED TO THE PLACE OF ORIGINAL ENTRY UPON DUTY.

A-24441, OCTOBER 9, 1928, 8 COMP. GEN. 166

TRAVELING EXPENSES AFTER DISCHARGE OR RESIGNATION TRAVELING EXPENSES OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES UPON DISCHARGE TO THEIR HOMES OR PLACE WHERE THEY ENTERED THE SERVICE ARE PERSONAL AND MUST BE BORNE BY THE EMPLOYEES, EXCEPT IN CASES IN WHICH THE COMPENSATION IS AUTHORIZED TO BE FIXED BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION AND PROVISION HAS BEEN LAWFULLY MADE BY REGULATION OR IN THE INDIVIDUAL APPOINTMENT FOR PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES AS A PART OF THEIR COMPENSATION, OR WHERE STATUTORY PROVISION IS MADE FOR EXPENSES IN GOING TO AND RETURNING FROM POSTS OF DUTY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, OCTOBER 9, 1928:

RECEIPT IS ACKNOWLEDGED OF YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 31, 1928, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENTS IN THE ACCOUNTS OF DON. C. FEES, FORMER DISBURSING OFFICER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, IN WHICH WAS DISALLOWED CREDIT FOR PAYMENTS REPRESENTING TRAVELING EXPENSES REIMBURSED TO EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL FROM THE PLACE WHERE THEIR SERVICES WERE TERMINATED TO THE PLACE OF ORIGINAL ENTRY UPON DUTY, THE TRAVEL HAVING BEEN PERFORMED AFTER THE AGENTS' RESIGNATION FROM THE SERVICE, OR FOR THE PURPOSE OF RESIGNING. YOU REFER TO THE COURT OF CLAIMS DECISION IN THE CASE OF BEAMAN V. UNITED STATES, 19 CT.CLS. 5, AND TO THE DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY, 21 COMP. DEC. 866, AND PARTICULARLY TO THE DECISION OF THE COMPTROLLER OF THE TREASURY, DATED OCTOBER 22, 1913, TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IN THE CASE OF F. DEC. FAUST, IN WHICH IT WAS STATED:

MR. FAUST WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO THE EXPENSE OF THE RETURN TRIP * * * IF HE HAD REMAINED IN THE SERVICE * * *. THE FACT THAT SAID TRIP WAS NOT TAKEN UNTIL AFTER HIS CONNECTION WITH THE GOVERNMENT HAD BEEN SEVERED DOES NOT RELIEVE THE GOVERNMENT OF THE OBLIGATION TO PAY THE EXPENSE THUS INCURRED.

THE FAUST DECISION CITES THE DECISION OF THE COURT OF CLAIMS IN THE BEAMAN CASE AS AUTHORITY THEREFOR, AND WHILE THE FACTS STATED IN THE DECISION DO NOT SHOW IT TO BE IN ALL RESPECTS SIMILAR TO THE BEAMAN CASE, IT CAN NOT BE ACCEPTED AS EXTENDING THE RULE LAID DOWN IN THE BEAMAN DECISION BEYOND THE SCOPE OF THAT DECISION. IN THE BEAMAN CASE, AND ALSO IN THE DECISION IN 21 COMP. DEC. 866, THERE WAS FOR CONSIDERATION A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION AUTHORIZING EXPENSES INCURRED "IN GOING TO AND RETURNING FROM" THE EMPLOYEE'S POST OF DUTY. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES THE EMPLOYEE WOULD GENERALLY BE ENTITLED TO THE EXPENSE OF THE RETURN JOURNEY EVEN THOUGH SUCH TRAVEL WERE PERFORMED AFTER THE TERMINATION OF HIS SERVICE. THE APPROPRIATION FOR "DETECTION AND PROSECUTION OF IMES," ACT OF FEBRUARY 15, 1928, 45 STAT. 78, IS AVAILABLE FOR "TRAVELING EXPENSES" BUT DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDE FOR EXPENSES OF GOING TO AND RETURNING FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S POST OF DUTY.

THE DECISIONS ABOVE DISCUSSED ARE, THEREFORE, NOT APPLICABLE TO TRAVEL PERFORMED BY EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION.

UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED BY LAW, THE TRAVELING EXPENSE OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES TO THEIR FIRST POST OF DUTY AND TO THEIR HOMES UPON SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE MUST BE BORNE BY THEM. 4 COMP. DEC. 11; 6 ID. 157; ID. 178; 20 ID. 73. THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO SUCH RULE IS IN CASES WHERE COMPENSATION IS AUTHORIZED TO BE FIXED BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION AND SPECIFIC PROVISION HAS BEEN LEGALLY MADE BY REGULATION OR IN THE INDIVIDUAL APPOINTMENTS FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES AS A PART OF COMPENSATION. 5 COMP. DEC. 179; 22 ID. 577; A 11858, MARCH 31, 1926; A- 11286, OCTOBER 12, 1925; AND A-2226, MAY 3, 1924.

IT APPEARS FROM YOUR SUBMISSION THAT IT HAS BEEN THE PRACTICE IN YOUR DEPARTMENT, APPARENTLY BASED UPON THE DECISION IN THE FAUST CASE, TO PAY THE TRAVELING EXPENSE OF EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION UPON THEIR SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE TO THE PLACE WHERE THEY ORIGINALLY ENTERED UPON DUTY. THIS PRACTICE IS ERRONEOUS AND THE DISALLOWANCE OF SUCH ITEMS WAS CORRECT; BUT IN VIEW OF THE LONG CONTINUED PRACTICE, THE DISBURSING OFFICER WHO MADE THE PAYMENTS AS WELL AS THE EMPLOYEES RECEIVING THEM NOW BEING OUT OF THE SERVICE, CREDIT WILL BE ALLOWED FOR ALL SUCH PAYMENTS MADE PRIOR TO OCTOBER 1, 1928, IF OTHERWISE PROPER.

THE DECISION OF OCTOBER 22, 1913, IN THE FAUST CASE, IN SO FAR AS IT MAY BE IN CONFLICT HEREWITH, WILL NOT BE FOLLOWED HEREAFTER.