A-33248, SEPTEMBER 11, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 118

A-33248: Sep 11, 1930

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THE STATUS OF RETIRED CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES IN RECEIPT OF RETIREMENT ANNUITIES IS CONSIDERED MORE THAT OF PENSIONERS RATHER THAN EMPLOYEES IN THE SENSE THAT TERM IS USED IN PARAGRAPH 46 (C) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. SEPTEMBER 11. 1930: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 30. REQUESTING DECISION OF A QUESTION PRESENTED THEREIN AS FOLLOWS: UNDER EXISTING REGULATIONS EMPLOYEES OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT ARE PROHIBITED FROM CLAIMING IN TRAVEL EXPENSE ACCOUNTS ANY ITEMS FOR MEALS OR LODGING OBTAINING FROM OTHER GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AND IN THE AFFIDAVIT ON EXPENSE ACCOUNT FORM 1012 THE FOLLOWING APPEAR: " * * * THAT EXCEPT AS SHOWN NO LODGINGS WERE SHARED JOINTLY WITH OTHERS NOR WERE MEALS OR LODGINGS FURNISHED WITHOUT CHARGE BY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY OR WITH OR WITHOUT CHARGE BY A MEMBER OF MY FAMILY.

A-33248, SEPTEMBER 11, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 118

RETIRED CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - STATUS UNDER STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS THE REEMPLOYMENT OF PERSONS SEPARATED FROM THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE AND RECEIVING ANNUITIES UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 22, 1920, 41 STAT. 614, AS AMENDED BY SECTIONS 2 OF THE ACTS OF JULY 3, 1926, 44 STAT. 905, AND MAY 29, 1930, 46 STAT. 469, BEING PROHIBITED, THE STATUS OF RETIRED CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES IN RECEIPT OF RETIREMENT ANNUITIES IS CONSIDERED MORE THAT OF PENSIONERS RATHER THAN EMPLOYEES IN THE SENSE THAT TERM IS USED IN PARAGRAPH 46 (C) OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. ACCORDINGLY, THE PROHIBITION CONTAINED IN SAID PARAGRAPH 47 (C) AGAINST EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT, IN AN AUTHORIZED TRAVEL STATUS, OBTAINING MEALS AND/OR LODGINGS FROM OTHER GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES HAS NO APPLICATION TO RETIRED CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, SEPTEMBER 11. 1930:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 30, 1930, REQUESTING DECISION OF A QUESTION PRESENTED THEREIN AS FOLLOWS:

UNDER EXISTING REGULATIONS EMPLOYEES OF THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT ARE PROHIBITED FROM CLAIMING IN TRAVEL EXPENSE ACCOUNTS ANY ITEMS FOR MEALS OR LODGING OBTAINING FROM OTHER GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AND IN THE AFFIDAVIT ON EXPENSE ACCOUNT FORM 1012 THE FOLLOWING APPEAR:

" * * * THAT EXCEPT AS SHOWN NO LODGINGS WERE SHARED JOINTLY WITH OTHERS NOR WERE MEALS OR LODGINGS FURNISHED WITHOUT CHARGE BY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY OR WITH OR WITHOUT CHARGE BY A MEMBER OF MY FAMILY, BY ANOTHER GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE OR A MEMBER OF HIS FAMILY; * * * .'

EMPLOYEES IN THE RAILWAY MAIL SERVICE SOMETIMES FIND IT VERY CONVENIENT TO OBTAIN LODGING FROM RETIRED RAILWAY POSTAL CLERKS AND THIS BRINGS UP THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER ITEMS FOR LODGINGS OR MEALS OBTAINED FROM RETIRED GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES MAY BE CLAIMED UNDER EXISTING REGULATIONS. IT WILL BE APPRECIATED THEREFORE IF YOU WILL DEFINE THE STATUS OF RETIRED EMPLOYEES IN THIS CONNECTION AND STATE WHETHER THE PROHIBITION AGAINST OBTAINING ITEMS FOR MEALS OR LODGING FROM SUCH EMPLOYEES AS OUTLINED IN THE AFFIDAVIT MENTIONED ABOVE APPLIES TO RETIRED GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.

THE QUESTION FOR DECISION IS WHETHER A RETIRED CIVILIAN GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE REMAINS A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE WITHIN THE MEANING OF PARAGRAPH 47- C OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AND DECISIONS RENDERED THEREON, SO AS TO PRECLUDE ACTIVE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES IN AN AUTHORIZED TRAVEL STATUS FROM OBTAINING FROM THEM MEALS AND/OR LODGINGS AND CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT FROM THE GOVERNMENT THEREFOR.

SECTION 47-C OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT ACTUAL EXPENSES ARE NOT PAYABLE FOR MEALS AND/OR LODGINGS FURNISHED WITHOUT CHARGE TO A TRAVELER BY ANOTHER GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE, OR BY THE MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY OF ANOTHER GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE, NOR WHEN SO FURNISHED WITH CHARGE IN THE ABSENCE OF A SATISFACTORY SHOWING THAT NOT SO PROCURED BECAUSE OF SUCH PERSONAL OR OFFICIAL RELATIONSHIP AND OF IMPRACTICABILITY TO OTHERWISE PROCURE.

WITH REGARD TO THE STATUS OF RETIRED CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT, THE DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE HAVE BEEN TO THE EFFECT THAT EMPLOYEES WHO HAD REACHED THE AGE OF RETIREMENT AS PROVIDED IN THE ACT OF MAY 22, 1920, 41 STAT. 614, AND, THROUGH INADVERTENCE OR OTHERWISE, NO ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WAS TAKEN TO RETIRE THEM UPON THE DATE THEY REACHED THE PROPER RETIREMENT AGE, OR TO CERTIFY THEM FOR A FURTHER PERIOD OF SERVICE, AS PROVIDED IN SAID ACT, WERE DE FACTO EMPLOYEES AND WERE ENTITLED ONLY TO SUCH PAY AS THEY MAY HAVE BEEN PAID UP TO THE DATE THEIR STATUS WAS CALLED INTO QUESTION BUT NOT TO ANY UNCOLLECTED PAY. 4 COMP. GEN. 43; 5 ID. 70; 6 ID. 71. ALSO, THERE HAVE BEEN SEVERAL DECISIONS IN THIS OFFICE HOLDING THAT AFTER THE RETIREMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE, THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR HIS REEMPLOYMENT IN ANY OTHER BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE. THESE LATTER DECISIONS WERE BASED ON SECTION 6 OF THE ACT OF MAY 22, 1920, WHICH WAS AMENDED BY THE LAST PARAGRAPHS OF SECTIONS 2 OF THE ACTS OF JULY 3, 1926, 44 STAT. 905, AND MAY 29, 1930, 46 STAT. 469, TO READ:

NO PERSON SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE WHO IS RECEIVING AN ANNUITY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT, SHALL BE EMPLOYED AGAIN IN ANY POSITION WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THIS ACT.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE-REFERRED-TO DECISIONS AND THE QUOTED PROHIBITIVE PROVISIONS FROM THE ACTS MENTIONED, THE CONCLUSION IS INESCAPABLE THAT THE STATUS OF RETIRED CIVILIAN GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES RECEIVING ANNUITIES UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 22, 1920, AS AMENDED, IS MORE THAT OF PENSIONERS THAN OF EMPLOYEES IN THE SENSE THAT TERM IS USED IN THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE PROHIBITION IN THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS AGAINST THE OBTAINING BY ACTIVE EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT, WHILE ON AUTHORIZED TRAVEL DUTY OR IN AN AUTHORIZED TRAVEL STATUS, OF MEALS AND/OR LODGINGS FROM ANOTHER GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE, HAS NO APPLICATION TO RETIRED CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT.