A-26259, APRIL 10, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 534

A-26259: Apr 10, 1929

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SUCH EMPLOYEE IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES SO INCURRED. WHEREIN WAS DISALLOWED HER CLAIM IN THE SUM OF $4.42. AS FOLLOWS: THIS WILL ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 5. IT IS NOTED FROM YOUR LETTER THAT MISS POLLOCK IS APPARENTLY IN GOOD PHYSICAL CONDITION. APPARENT INABILITY TO MEET OUR TEACHING REQUIREMENTS IS NOT RENDERING EFFICIENT SERVICE. WERE NOT MEASURING UP TO THE REQUIREMENTS MIGHT BE RETIRED. EVEN THOUGH THE PHYSICAL CONDITION WAS NOT SUCH AS TO WARRANT THIS ACTION UNDER THE RETIREMENT LAW AS IT NOW STANDS. IF WAS FOUND. IN THE DISCUSSION IT WAS SUGGESTED THAT MISS POLLOCK BE REQUIRED TO SUBMIT TO A PHYSICAL EXAMINATION IN THE HOPE THAT SUCH EXAMINATION WOULD DEVELOP PHYSICAL CONDITIONS WHICH WOULD PERMIT OF HER RETIREMENT ON THAT BASIS.

A-26259, APRIL 10, 1929, 8 COMP. GEN. 534

TRAVELING EXPENSES - EMPLOYEE DIRECTED TO TAKE PHYSICAL EXAMINATION WITH VIEW TO RETIREMENT WHERE AN EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT TRAVELS FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING A PHYSICAL EXAMINATION WITH A VIEW TO POSSIBLE RETIREMENT, WITHOUT THE DIRECTION OF THE COMMISSIONER OF PENSIONS THOUGH UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE HEAD OF THE OFFICE IN WHICH EMPLOYED, SUCH EMPLOYEE IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES SO INCURRED.

DECISION BY ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL GINN, APRIL 10, 1929:

MARY R. POLLOCK REQUESTED FEBRUARY 11, 1929, REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT NO. 0228927, DATED AUGUST 17, 1928, WHEREIN WAS DISALLOWED HER CLAIM IN THE SUM OF $4.42, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES FROM ANADARKO, OKALA., TO LAWTON, OKLA., AND RETURN, NOVEMBER 12, 1927, FOR PHYSICAL EXAMINATION AS DIRECTED BY LETTER OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS OF OCTOBER 29, 1927.

THE FACTS APPEAR TO BE AS FOLLOWS:

ON OCTOBER 29, 1927, THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS ADDRESSED A LETTER TO THE DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT IN CHARGE OF THE KIOWA INDIAN AGENCY, AS FOLLOWS:

THIS WILL ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 5, WITH FURTHER REFERENCE TO THE POSSIBLE RETIREMENT OF MISS MARY R. POLLOCK, TEACHER AT THE RIVERSIDE BOARDING SCHOOL.

IT IS NOTED FROM YOUR LETTER THAT MISS POLLOCK IS APPARENTLY IN GOOD PHYSICAL CONDITION, BUT BECAUSE OF HER AGE, ECCENTRICITY, AND APPARENT INABILITY TO MEET OUR TEACHING REQUIREMENTS IS NOT RENDERING EFFICIENT SERVICE. UPON RECEIPT OF YOUR LETTER THE OFFICE ENDEAVORED TO ESTABLISH A PRECEDENT WHEREBY AGED TEACHERS, WHO BECAUSE OF CONDITIONS LIKE THOSE COVERED IN THIS CASE, WERE NOT MEASURING UP TO THE REQUIREMENTS MIGHT BE RETIRED, EVEN THOUGH THE PHYSICAL CONDITION WAS NOT SUCH AS TO WARRANT THIS ACTION UNDER THE RETIREMENT LAW AS IT NOW STANDS. IF WAS FOUND, HOWEVER, THAT HER RETIREMENT COULD NOT BE WORKED OUT ON THIS BASIS, BUT IN THE DISCUSSION IT WAS SUGGESTED THAT MISS POLLOCK BE REQUIRED TO SUBMIT TO A PHYSICAL EXAMINATION IN THE HOPE THAT SUCH EXAMINATION WOULD DEVELOP PHYSICAL CONDITIONS WHICH WOULD PERMIT OF HER RETIREMENT ON THAT BASIS.

THE OFFICE REALIZES THAT PROBABLY MISS POLLOCK WILL OBJECT TO UNDERGOING A PHYSICAL EXAMINATION, BUT BEFORE ISSUING ARBITRARY INSTRUCTIONS TO HER THAT SHE MUST SUBMIT TO SUCH EXAMINATION, IT IS BELIEVED THAT SHE SHOULD BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY OF VOLUNTARILY REQUESTING RETIREMENT ON SUCH GROUNDS. YOU ARE THEREFORE REQUESTED TO TALK OVER THIS MATTER WITH HER AND TO INSTRUCT HER TO APPEAR BEFORE DR. LANGHEIM FOR SUCH EXAMINATION. IF SHE DOES THIS, DR. LANGHEIM'S REPORT SHOULD BE SUBMITTED TO THE OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION.

PLEASE MAKE REPORT IN THIS CASE AT YOUR EARLIEST CONVENIENCE.

ON NOVEMBER 1, 1927, THE SUPERINTENDENT DIRECTED THE CLAIMANT TO PROCEED TO LAWTON, OKALA., AND REPORT TO THE KIOWA INDIAN HOSPITAL FOR THE PURPOSE OF A PHYSICAL EXAMINATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMISSIONER'S LETTER REFERRED TO, AND ADVISED THAT SHE WOULD BE REIMBURSED FOR EXPENSES, ETC. SHE APPARENTLY MADE THE TRIP NOVEMBER 12, 1927, AND INCURRED THE EXPENSES FOR WHICH SHE CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT. SHE WAS NOT RETIRED.

THE APPROPRIATION "INDIAN SCHOOL SUPPORT, 1928," FROM WHICH IT IS PROPOSED TO PAY THIS CLAIM, MAKES NO PROVISION FOR TRANSPORTATION OF AN EMPLOYEE FOR PHYSICAL EXAMINATION WITH A VIEW OF POSSIBLE RETIREMENT. ACCORDINGLY, SAID APPROPRIATION IS NOT AVAILABLE. 7 COMP. GEN. 660.

SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF JULY 3, 1926, 44 STAT. 907, AMENDING THE ACT OF MAY 22, 1920, 41 STAT. 614, 616, KNOWN AS THE "RETIREMENT ACT," PROVIDES FOR RETIREMENT FOR DISABILITY "UPON HIS OWN APPLICATION OR UPON THE REQUEST OR ORDER OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT, BRANCH, OR INDEPENDENT OFFICE CONCERNED," AND THAT---

* * * NO EMPLOYEE SHALL BE RETIRED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION UNLESS EXAMINED BY A MEDICAL OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES, OR A DULY QUALIFIED PHYSICIAN OR SURGEON, OR BOARD OF PHYSICIANS OR SURGEONS, DESIGNATED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF PENSIONS FOR THAT PURPOSE, AND FOUND TO BE DISABLED IN THE DEGREE AND IN THE MANNER SPECIFIED HEREIN.

SAID SECTION ALSO PROVIDES THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S "REASONABLE TRAVELING AND OTHER EXPENSES INCURRED IN ORDER TO SUBMIT TO SUCH EXAMINATIONS, SHALL BE PAID OUT OF THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE COST OF ADMINISTERING THIS ACT.'

UNDER DATE OF MARCH 28, 1929, THIS OFFICE ADDRESSED A LETTER TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

BEFORE FINAL ACTION, THIS OFFICE REQUESTS TO BE ADVISED AS TO WHETHER THE DOCTOR BY WHOM THIS EMPLOYEE WAS EXAMINED WAS DESIGNATED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF PENSIONS TO MAKE SUCH EXAMINATION; TO WHOM THE DOCTOR SUBMITTED HIS REPORT OF THE EXAMINATION; AND WHETHER THE COMMISSIONER OF PENSIONS WAS INFORMED OF THE DEPARTMENT'S DESIRE TO RETIRE THE EMPLOYEE AND OF THE EXAMINATION.

IN HIS REPLY TO THE FOREGOING THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, UNDER DATE OF APRIL 1, 1929, STATED:

DR. HENRY W. LANGHEIM IS AN INDIAN SERVICE PHYSICIAN, AND THE INSTRUCTIONS TO MISS POLLOCK TO REPORT TO HIM FOR EXAMINATION WERE OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE NATURE AS AFFECTING AN EMPLOYEE UNDER THE INDIAN BUREAU AND WERE IN NO WAY CONNECTED WITH THE COMMISSIONER OF PENSIONS. THE REPORT OF DR. LANGHEIM WAS MADE DIRECT TO THE INDIAN BUREAU.

ANSWERING THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THE COMMISSIONER OF PENSIONS WAS INFORMED OF THE DEPARTMENT'S DESIRE TO RETIRE THE EMPLOYEE AND OF THE EXAMINATION, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT HE WAS NOT SO INFORMED.

AS THE TRAVEL WAS NOT PERFORMED UNDER THE DIRECTION OR WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF PENSIONS, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO PAY SAID CLAIM UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "SALARIES AND EXPENSES, EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT ACT, BUREAU OF PENSIONS, 1928," ACT OF JANUARY 12, 1927, 44 STAT. 956.

IN HER REQUEST FOR REVIEW THE CLAIMANT INVITES ATTENTION TO A CLAIM ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN ALLOWED IN FAVOR OF MRS. MARTHA SHORTRIDGE, 2703 NORTH STUART STREET, INDIANAPOLIS, IND., FOR EXPENSES INCURRED UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES. A SEARCH OF THE FILES OF THIS OFFICE FAILS TO SHOW THAT SUCH A SETTLEMENT WAS EVER MADE BY THIS OFFICE. BUT ASSUMING THAT SUCH A SETTLEMENT WAS MADE, THROUGH INADVERTANCE OR OTHERWISE, THAT COULD NOT OPERATE TO AUTHORIZE ALLOWANCE OF THIS CLAIM.