A-30075, FEBRUARY 19, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 359

A-30075: Feb 19, 1930

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - DUTY EN ROUTE TO FIRST DUTY STATION WHERE AN EMPLOYEE IS DIRECTED TO PERFORM DUTY IN WASHINGTON. HE IS ENTITLED TO SALARY AND SUBSISTENCE DURING THE PERIOD HE IS PERFORMING SUCH DUTY AWAY FROM HIS REGULAR POST OF DUTY. HE IS NOT RELIEVED FROM THE OBLIGATION OF BEARING THE EXPENSE OF REPORTING TO HIS REGULAR DUTY STATION. SUCH EXPENSE AS THE EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO BEAR IF NO STOP-OVER HAD BEEN REQUIRED TO PERFORM DUTY EN ROUTE. IT WAS NOTED ON THE DIFFERENCE STATEMENT. SARGENT WAS TENDERED AN APPOINTMENT AS ASSOCIATE LAND APPRAISER. HE WAS INSTRUCTED BY TELEGRAM OF AUGUST 31. ACCOMPANYING THE REQUEST FOR REVIEW IS A MEMORANDUM SIGNED BY THE SUPERVISOR OF LAND APPRAISALS AS FOLLOWS: PURSUANT TO YOUR MEMORANDUM OF THE 17TH AND OUR EARLIER CONVERSATION RELATIVE TO TRANSPORTATION AND INCIDENTAL EXPENSES OF HENRY R.

A-30075, FEBRUARY 19, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 359

TRAVELING EXPENSES - DUTY EN ROUTE TO FIRST DUTY STATION WHERE AN EMPLOYEE IS DIRECTED TO PERFORM DUTY IN WASHINGTON, OR ELSEWHERE, IN CONNECTION WITH AND INCIDENT TO THE WORK AT THE REGULAR DUTY STATION FOR WHICH APPOINTED, HE IS ENTITLED TO SALARY AND SUBSISTENCE DURING THE PERIOD HE IS PERFORMING SUCH DUTY AWAY FROM HIS REGULAR POST OF DUTY, BUT HE IS NOT RELIEVED FROM THE OBLIGATION OF BEARING THE EXPENSE OF REPORTING TO HIS REGULAR DUTY STATION; I.E., SUCH EXPENSE AS THE EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO BEAR IF NO STOP-OVER HAD BEEN REQUIRED TO PERFORM DUTY EN ROUTE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO GUY L. SEAMAN, DISBURSING CLERK, INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, FEBRUARY 19, 1930:

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 28, 1929, REQUESTS REVIEW OF THE ACTION OF THIS OFFICE IN NOT CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT, UPON PREAUDIT, VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF HENRY R. SARGENT FOR $6.45 AS REIMBURSEMENT OF ITEMS OF TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH HIS TRANSPORTATION FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO ST. LOUIS, MO., IN SEPTEMBER, 1929. THE VOUCHER DISCLOSED, ALSO, THE USE BY MR. SARGENT OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR RAILROAD AND PULLMAN FARE AMOUNTING TO $41.54, WHICH AMOUNT, IT WAS NOTED ON THE DIFFERENCE STATEMENT, SHOULD BE REFUNDED.

IT APPEARS FROM THE RECORD THAT BY TELEGRAM OF AUGUST 29, 1929, MR. SARGENT WAS TENDERED AN APPOINTMENT AS ASSOCIATE LAND APPRAISER, FIELD DUTY, WITH PROBABLE HEADQUARTERS AT ST. LOUIS. UPON RECEIPT OF HIS ACCEPTANCE, HE WAS INSTRUCTED BY TELEGRAM OF AUGUST 31, 1929, TO REPORT IN WASHINGTON, SEPTEMBER 4, 1929.

ACCOMPANYING THE REQUEST FOR REVIEW IS A MEMORANDUM SIGNED BY THE SUPERVISOR OF LAND APPRAISALS AS FOLLOWS:

PURSUANT TO YOUR MEMORANDUM OF THE 17TH AND OUR EARLIER CONVERSATION RELATIVE TO TRANSPORTATION AND INCIDENTAL EXPENSES OF HENRY R. SARGENT FROM WASHINGTON TO ST.. LOUIS.

MR. SARGENT WAS INDUCTED INTO SERVICE ON THE MORNING OF SEPTEMBER 4TH; WAS OCCUPIED IN CONFERENCE WITH MYSELF AND ASSISTANTS ON THE 4TH AND THROUGHOUT, THE 5TH, AND, UNDER OUR INSTRUCTIONS, DEPARTED FOR ST. LOUIS IN THE LATE AFTERNOON OF THE LATTER DATE. MR. SARGENT PAID HIS OWN EXPENSES FROM HIS HOME NEAR BOSTON TO WASHINGTON WHERE HE WAS DIRECTED TO REPORT.

WE HAVE FOUND IT DESIRABLE, IF NOT ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, AS A GENERAL RULE TO HAVE EMPLOYEES REPORT AT HEADQUARTERS FOR OBSERVATION AND INSTRUCTIONS PRIOR TO ENTERING UPON THEIR FIELD DUTIES. BEFORE HE ENTERED OUR SERVICE MR. SARGENT HAD NOT BEEN INTERVIEWED BY ANY ONE CONNECTED WITH THE LAND SECTION. OUR IMPRESSIONS OF HIS PERSONALITY, ABILITY, AND TECHNICAL TRAINING WERE OBTAINED ONLY FROM HIS STATEMENT OF EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE CONTAINED IN HIS APPLICATION TO THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, FROM WHICH HIS ELIGIBILITY WAS DETERMINED. IT IS QUITE OBVIOUS, I BELIEVE, THAT ASSIGNMENTS TO OUR SEVERAL POSTS OF DUTY SHOULD BE MADE IN THE LIGHT OF PERSONAL CONTACT FROM WHICH SOME ESTIMATE OF PECULIAR FITNESS, OR THE LACK OF IT, CAN BE REACHED. IN THE PRESENT INSTANCE THE RECRUIT WAS ASSIGNED TO THE PLACE PREVIOUSLY AND TENTATIVELY SELECTED BUT THERE HAVE BEEN NUMEROUS INSTANCES IN OUR WORK OF CHANGES OF POSTS OF DUTY FROM THOSE PLANNED PRIOR TO CONTACT WITH THE EMPLOYEE.

OF EVEN GREATER IMPORTANCE, HOWEVER, IS THE INSTRUCTIONS IN OUR WORK THAT IS GIVEN DURING THE TIME OUR FIELD MEN ARE KEPT AT THE WASHINGTON HEADQUARTERS OFFICE. OUR WORK IS HIGHLY TECHNICAL IN ITS NATURE, AND GENERAL QUALIFICATIONS SUCH AS ARE PASSED UPON BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION IN DETERMINING THE ELIGIBILITY OF APPLICANTS ARE THE FOUNDATION FOR INDIVIDUAL TRAINING ALONG THE LINES OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION'S METHODS. COMPETENT RECRUITS HAVE THE GROUNDWORK OF EXPERIENCE IN GENERAL LAND APPRAISAL BUT THEY USUALLY LACK, AS IN MR. SARGENT'S CASE, TRAINING IN THE SPECIFIC METHODS EMPLOYED BY THE COMMISSION. IN THIS RESPECT THE SITUATION IS NOT SIMILAR TO THAT, FOR EXAMPLE, OF A CLERICAL OR STENOGRAPHIC EMPLOYEE WHO WORKS UNDER IMMEDIATE SUPERVISION AND PERFORMS DUTIES FOR WHICH PREVIOUS GENERAL EXPERIENCE FULLY QUALIFIES HIM. THE TECHNICAL EMPLOYEE MAY HAVE HAD AMPLE GENERAL EXPERIENCE BUT LACKING SPECIFIC INSTRUCTION IN THE COMMISSION'S WORK WOULD BE UNABLE TO CARRY IT TO SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION.

IT IS MY SINCERE BELIEF THAT GOOD ADMINISTRATION REQUIRED CONTACT BETWEEN THE RECRUIT AND THOSE IN CHARGE OF THE WORK AND, IN ADDITION, A SHORT PERIOD OF INTENSIVE TRAINING IN THE SPECIFIC METHODS EMPLOYED BY OUR SECTION.

IT IS A WELL-ESTABLISHED RULE THAT AN EMPLOYE MUST BEAR THE EXPENSES INCURRED IN REPORTING TO HIS FIRST POST OF DUTY TO WHICH APPOINTED. HAS BEEN HELD, ALSO, THAT WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS DIRECTED TO PERFORM DUTY IN WASHINGTON, OR ELSEWHERE, IN CONNECTION WITH, AND INCIDENT TO, THE WORK AT THE REGULAR DUTY STATION FOR WHICH APPOINTED, HE IS ENTITLED TO SALARY AND SUBSISTENCE DURING THE PERIOD PERFORMING SUCH DUTY AWAY FROM HIS REGULAR POST OF DUTY, BUT THAT THE PERFORMANCE OF SUCH DUTY EN ROUTE DOES NOT OPERATE TO RELIEVE HIM FROM THE OBLIGATION OF BEARING THE EXPENSE OF REPORTING AT HIS REGULARLY DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY. THAT IS, SUCH EXPENSES AS THE EMPLOYEE WOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO BEAR IF NO STOP-OVER HAD BEEN REQUIRED TO PERFORM DUTY EN ROUTE, MUST BE BORNE BY THE EMPLOYEE. A-11338, MARCH 8, 1926; A 27194, MARCH 25, 1929; 7 COMP. GEN. 114; ID. 203.

AS THE EXPENSES FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED IN THIS CASE WERE INCURRED IN REPORTING TO HIS DUTY STATION, ST. LOUIS, IT FOLLOWS THAT HE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR.

THE ACTION OF THIS OFFICE IN NOT CERTIFYING THE VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT IS SUSTAINED AND THE EMPLOYEE SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO REFUND THE AMOUNT WHICH THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN REQUIRED TO PAY FOR THE SERVICES RENDERED ON THE TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS USED BY HIM AMOUNTING TO $41.54. AFTER SUCH REFUND HAS BEEN MADE A CLAIM BY HIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED FOR SUBSISTENCE WHILE IN WASHINGTON, D.C., WITHIN THE LIMITS PRESCRIBED BY THE STANDARDIZED TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND SUPPORTED BY PROPER RECEIPTS, ETC., WOULD BE GIVEN CONSIDERATION BY THIS OFFICE.