A-31767, MAY 14, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 475

A-31767: May 14, 1930

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - LEAVES OF ABSENCE - OFFICERS OF COURT FOR CHINA THERE IS NO PROVISION IN THE ACT OF JUNE 30. FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS IS SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES OF OFFICERS OF THAT COURT AND ALSO CONTAINS A SPECIFIC PROVISION FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH LEAVES OF ABSENCE. IT IS WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE TO ORDER SUCH OFFICERS TO THE UNITED STATES ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THEIR TRANSPORTATION COSTS AS IN THE CASE OF THE OTHER OFFICERS MENTIONED IN THE APPROPRIATION. THAT THE SECRETARY OF STATE IS AUTHORIZED. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT WHILE THE ACT OF MAY 24. ORDER OFFICERS OF THE COURT FOR CHINA TO THE UNITED STATES ON LEAVE AND PAY TRANSPORTATION IN THE SAME MANNER AS FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN ABROAD FOR A PERIOD OF THREE YEARS.

A-31767, MAY 14, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 475

TRAVELING EXPENSES - LEAVES OF ABSENCE - OFFICERS OF COURT FOR CHINA THERE IS NO PROVISION IN THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1906, 34 STAT. 814, ESTABLISHING THE COURT FOR CHINA, GIVING THE OFFICERS OF THAT COURT A LEGAL RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO LEAVE OF ABSENCE, BUT AS THE APPROPRIATION FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES OF DIPLOMATIC, CONSULAR, AND FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS IS SPECIFICALLY AVAILABLE FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES OF OFFICERS OF THAT COURT AND ALSO CONTAINS A SPECIFIC PROVISION FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH LEAVES OF ABSENCE, IT IS WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE TO ORDER SUCH OFFICERS TO THE UNITED STATES ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THEIR TRANSPORTATION COSTS AS IN THE CASE OF THE OTHER OFFICERS MENTIONED IN THE APPROPRIATION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, MAY 14, 1930:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF MAY 9, 1930, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ACT OF MAY 24, 1924 PROVIDES:

"SEC. 15. THAT THE SECRETARY OF STATE IS AUTHORIZED, WHENEVER HE DEEMS IT TO BE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST, TO ORDER TO THE UNITED STATES ON HIS STATUTORY LEAVE OF ABSENCE ANY FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER WHO HAS PERFORMED THREE YEARS OR MORE OF CONTINUOUS SERVICE ABROAD: PROVIDED, THAT THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE OF SUCH OFFICERS AND THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES, IN TRAVELING FROM THEIR POSTS TO THEIR HOMES IN THE UNITED STATES AND RETURN, SHALL BE PAID UNDER THE SAME RULES AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE IN THE CASE OF OFFICERS GOING TO AND RETURNING FROM THEIR POSTS UNDER ORDERS OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE WHEN NOT ON LEAVE: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT WHILE IN THE UNITED STATES THE SERVICES OF SUCH OFFICERS SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR TRADE CONFERENCE WORK OR FOR SUCH DUTIES IN THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE AS THE SECRETARY OF STATE MAY PRESCRIBE.'

THE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE PROVIDES:

"TO PAY THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF DIPLOMATIC, CONSULAR, AND FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS, AND CLERKS TO EMBASSIES, LEGATIONS AND CONSULATES, INCLUDING OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES COURT FOR CHINA, AND THE ITEMIZED AND VERIFIED STATEMENTS OF THE ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE SECRETARY OF STATE MAY PRESCRIBE, OF THEIR FAMILIES AND EFFECTS IN GOING TO AND RETURNING FROM THEIR POSTS, INCLUDING NOT TO EXCEED $45,000 INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH LEAVES OF ABSENCE * * * $410,000.'

IT WILL BE NOTED THAT WHILE THE ACT OF MAY 24, 1924, WHICH RELATES TO THE FOREIGN SERVICE ONLY, AUTHORIZES TRANSPORTATION ON LEAVE FOR FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS, THE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR TRANSPORTATION, WHICH INCLUDES WITHIN A STATED LIMITATION AUTHORIZATION FOR TRANSPORTATION ON LEAVE, ALSO INCLUDES OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES COURT FOR CHINA.

I WOULD BE GLAD TO RECEIVE AN EXPRESSION OF YOUR OPINION WHETHER THE DEPARTMENT MAY, UNDER THIS APPROPRIATION, ORDER OFFICERS OF THE COURT FOR CHINA TO THE UNITED STATES ON LEAVE AND PAY TRANSPORTATION IN THE SAME MANNER AS FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN ABROAD FOR A PERIOD OF THREE YEARS.

SECTION 15 OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE ACT QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER HAS, OF COURSE, NO APPLICATION TO OFFICERS OF THE COURT FOR CHINA, AND I FIND NO REFERENCE IN THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1906, 34 STAT. 814, ESTABLISHING THE COURT FOR CHINA, TO ANY PROVISIONS FOR LEAVES OF ABSENCE. IN OTHER WORDS, THERE APPEARS TO BE NO LAW GIVING TO OFFICERS OF THE COURT FOR CHINA A LEGAL RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO LEAVES OF ABSENCE. THE APPROPRIATION CITED, HOWEVER, HAS EXPRESSLY PROVIDED FOR "TRAVELING EXPENSES OF * * * OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES COURT FOR CHINA," AND SPECIFICALLY PROVIDES THAT NOT TO EXCEED $45,000 THEREOF MAY BE USED FOR EXPENSES "INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH LEAVES OF ABSENCE" THERE APPEARING NOTHING THEREIN TO INDICATE ANY INTENT THAT A DISTINCTION BE MADE, IN SO FAR AS EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH LEAVES OF ABSENCE ARE CONCERNED, BETWEEN OFFICERS OF THE COURT OF CHINA AND THE OTHER OFFICERS THEREIN MENTIONED. ACCORDINGLY, IT WOULD BE WITHIN YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION TO ORDER THE OFFICERS OF THAT COURT TO THE UNITED STATES ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THEIR TRANSPORTATION COSTS THE SAME AS IN THE CASE OF THE OTHER OFFICERS MENTIONED IN THE APPROPRIATION.