A-33731, MARCH 18, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 415

A-33731: Mar 18, 1931

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - FIRST DUTY STATION WHERE A NEWLY APPOINTED EMPLOYEE WAS SPECIFICALLY ADVISED. A SUBSEQUENT ORDER PURPORTING TO CHANGE HIS DUTY STATION FROM WASHINGTON TO LOS ANGELES AS OF A LATER DATE IS INEFFECTIVE TO AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES FROM WASHINGTON TO LOS ANGELES. SUCH EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR ANY ADDITIONAL SUBSISTENCE AND TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED BY REASON OF TEMPORARY DUTY PERFORMED EN ROUTE TO HIS FIRST DUTY STATION TO THE EXTENT THAT THE EXPENSES INCURRED ARE IN EXCESS OF THE EXPENSES WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY HIM IN GOING FROM THE PLACE WHERE HE RECEIVED THE APPOINTMENT TO THE PLACE FIXED AS HIS FIRST REGULAR POST OF DUTY. WITH RESPECT TO WHICH DECISION WAS RESERVED IN MY REPLY OF FEBRUARY 3.

A-33731, MARCH 18, 1931, 10 COMP. GEN. 415

TRAVELING EXPENSES - FIRST DUTY STATION WHERE A NEWLY APPOINTED EMPLOYEE WAS SPECIFICALLY ADVISED, PRIOR TO APPOINTMENT, THAT HIS HEADQUARTERS WOULD BE AT LOS ANGELES, CALIF., THE APPOINTMENT BEING SILENT AS TO THE POST OF DUTY, AND HE RECEIVED NOTICE OF HIS APPOINTMENT AT WASHINGTON, D.C., BUT PERFORMED NO DUTY THERE, BEING ORDERED IMMEDIATELY TO PROCEED TO LOS ANGELES AND TO PERFORM A CERTAIN DUTY EN ROUTE, WITH NO DIRECTION TO RETURN TO WASHINGTON, SUCH EMPLOYEE MUST BEAR THE EXPENSE OF PLACING HIMSELF AT LOS ANGELES, HIS FIRST REGULAR DUTY STATION, AND A SUBSEQUENT ORDER PURPORTING TO CHANGE HIS DUTY STATION FROM WASHINGTON TO LOS ANGELES AS OF A LATER DATE IS INEFFECTIVE TO AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES FROM WASHINGTON TO LOS ANGELES. SUCH EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR ANY ADDITIONAL SUBSISTENCE AND TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED BY REASON OF TEMPORARY DUTY PERFORMED EN ROUTE TO HIS FIRST DUTY STATION TO THE EXTENT THAT THE EXPENSES INCURRED ARE IN EXCESS OF THE EXPENSES WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY HIM IN GOING FROM THE PLACE WHERE HE RECEIVED THE APPOINTMENT TO THE PLACE FIXED AS HIS FIRST REGULAR POST OF DUTY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, MARCH 18, 1931:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THE QUESTION PRESENTED IN YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 12, 1930, AND WITH RESPECT TO WHICH DECISION WAS RESERVED IN MY REPLY OF FEBRUARY 3, 1931, RELATIVE TO A VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $41.85, SUBMITTED BY R. V. LA DOW FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED ON A TRIP FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO LOS ANGELES, CALIF., IN SEPTEMBER, 1930.

WITH REFERENCE TO THE SAID VOUCHER YOU SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING:

PRIOR TO OCTOBER, 1930, ALL PRISON INSPECTORS WERE APPOINTED AS A PART OF THE BUREAU OF PRISONS, AND THEIR HEADQUARTERS AUTOMATICALLY BECAME FIXED AT WASHINGTON, D.C., AND UPON AUTHORITY OF TRAVEL ORDERS ISSUED BY THE BUREAU OF PRISONS SENT TO VARIOUS SECTIONS OF THE COUNTRY FOR THE PURPOSE OF INSPECTING JAILS OR INVESTIGATING MATTERS RELATING TO THE CARE AND CUSTODY OF FEDERAL PRISONERS. AS A MATTER OF ECONOMY AND IN THE INTEREST OF GOOD PRISON ADMINISTRATION THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF PRISONS DECIDED IT WOULD BE ADVANTAGEOUS TO HAVE THE COUNTRY DIVIDED INTO DISTRICTS AND ASSIGN THE SEVERAL INSPECTORS WITH HEADQUARTERS IN THE RESPECTIVE DISTRICTS, AND ON AUGUST 5, 1930, THE FOLLOWING LETTER WAS SENT THE APPLICANT: MR. ROBERT V. LA DOW,

1800 K STREET NW., WASHINGTON, D.C.

DEAR MR. LA DOW: MR. FOLEY WILL RESIGN ABOUT OCTOBER 1, AND YOUR APPOINTMENT WILL GO THROUGH TO TAKE EFFECT ON THAT DATE.

AS DISCUSSED IN OUR RECENT CONFERENCE, THE COUNTRY HAS BEEN DIVIDED INTO TEN DISTRICTS AND HEADQUARTERS SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED IN EACH DISTRICT. YOUR DISTRICT WILL COVER CALIFORNIA, NEVADA, UTAH, AND ARIZONA, AND YOUR HEADQUARTERS WILL BE LOS ANGELES.

IF YOU WILL COME IN TO THE OFFICE SOMETIME BEFORE OCTOBER 1, YOU WILL RECEIVE DEFINITE INSTRUCTIONS AND BLANKS UPON WHICH TO MAKE YOUR REPORTS, TRAVEL AUTHORIZATIONS, AND TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS.

VERY TRULY YOURS,

SANFORD BATES,

DIRECTOR BUREAU OF PRISONS.

ON AUGUST 21, 1930, MR. LA DOW WAS GIVEN AN APPOINTMENT READING:

"YOU ARE HEREBY APPOINTED AS INSPECTOR IN THE BUREAU OF PRISONS OF THIS DEPARTMENT WITH SALARY AT THE RATE OF $3,200 PER ANNUM, IN GRADE CAF-9-10, EFFECTIVE WITH YOUR ENTRY ON DUTY ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 21, 1930, AND PAYABLE FROM THE APPROPRIATION FOR "SALARIES AND EXPENSES, BUREAU OF PRISONS.'

"YOU SHOULD EXECUTE THE REQUIRED OATH OF OFFICE AND PERSONAL-HISTORY BLANK.

"RESPECTFULLY,

"/SGD.) CHARLES P. SISSON,

"ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL

"/FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL)

"VICE CHARLES G. WEAVER, PROMOTED ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL AUG. 15, 1930.' FOLLOWING WHICH HE RECEIVED A TRAVEL ORDER DIRECTING THAT HE PROCEED TO DENVER, COLORADO, AND THENCE TO LOS ANGELES FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING AN INSPECTION OF JAILS. PART OF HIS DUTY IN LOS ANGELES WAS TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER OFFICE QUARTERS COULD BE SECURED IN GOVERNMENT OWNED BUILDINGS AND TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE FINAL ESTABLISHMENT OF HEADQUARTERS THERE. THIS APPOINTMENT WAS MADE, AND TRAVEL ORDERS ISSUED, JUST AS THEY HAVE BEEN FOR THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS. IN THE MEANTIME OTHER INSPECTORS WERE ADVISED THAT WHEN IN THE REGULAR COURSE OF THEIR DUTIES THEY REACHED THE STATIONS DESIGNATED AS HEADQUARTERS THEY WERE TO REMAIN THERE UNTIL FURTHER ORDERS WERE RECEIVED.

ON OCTOBER 13, 1930, THE FOLLOWING MEMORANDUM WAS RECEIVED FROM THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF PRISONS:

"MEMORANDUM TO ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL SISSON.

"WE ARE PLANNING IN HAVING A GENERAL INSPECTION MADE OF EVERY JAIL IN THE COUNTRY, AND IN DOING SO HAVE DIVIDED THE COUNTRY INTO TEN DISTRICTS, HAVING IN MIND TO SOMETIME HAVE AN INSPECTOR LOCATED IN EACH DISTRICT.

"THE FOUR INSPECTORS NOW CONNECTED WITH OUR BUREAU HAVE EACH BEEN ASSIGNED TO A DISTRICT AND HAVE ESTABLISHED HEADQUARTERS THERE INSTEAD OF HAVING HEADQUARTERS AT WASHINGTON:

"DR. H. E. MERENESS WILL BE LOCATED AT CHICAGO, ILL.

"MR. J. H. STRIEF, DES MOINES, IOWA.

"MR. C. G. WEAVER, NEW ORLEANS, LA.

"MR. ROBERT V. LA DOW, LOS ANGELES, CALIF.

"WILL YOU KINDLY HAVE THIS INFORMATION TRANSMITTED TO THE DIVISION OF ACCOUNTS.

"/SIGNED.) SANFORD BATES, DIRECTOR.'

IN DUE COURSE OFFICIAL CHANGE IN HEADQUARTERS WAS MADE, AND IN THE CASE OF MR. LA DOW THE ORDER WAS SIGNED OCTOBER 28, 1930, READING AS FOLLOWS:

"YOUR HEADQUARTERS AS INSPECTOR, BUREAU OF PRISONS, ARE HEREBY FIXED AT LOS ANGELES, CALIF., INSTEAD OF WASHINGTON, D.C., EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 1, 1930.

"RESPECTFULLY,

"/SIGNED) CHARLES P. SISSON,

"ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL

"/FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL).'

SINCE THE APPOINTMENT OF MR. LA DOW WAS MADE IN THE SAME MANNER AS ALL APPOINTMENTS OF INSPECTORS HAVE BEEN MADE, AND SINCE HE ACTUALLY ENTERED ON DUTY WITH HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTIES AS INSPECTOR PROCEEDED UNDER TRAVEL ORDERS TO MAKE AN INSPECTION OF JAILS, THE FACT THAT THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU EVEN AT THE TIME OF HIS APPOINTMENT INTENDED TO ESTABLISH NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR ALL INSPECTORS DOES NOT SEEM MATERIAL. IT WOULD APPEAR THAT MR. LA DOW'S HEADQUARTERS REMAINED AT WASHINGTON, D.C., FROM SEPTEMBER 22, 1930, WHEN HE ENTERED ON DUTY UNTIL NOVEMBER 1, 1930, WHEN THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT BY ORDER CHANGED HIS HEADQUARTERS FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO LOS ANGELES, CALIF.

THIS VIEW IS STRENGTHENED BY THE FACT THAT IT IS THE SPECIFIC DUTY OF AN INSPECTOR APPOINTED AT WASHINGTON, D.C., TO TRAVEL TO ANY POINT IN THE COUNTRY FOR THE PURPOSE OF INSPECTING JAILS WITH WHICH THE GOVERNMENT HAS CONTRACTS, AND THAT MR. LA DOW ACTUALLY PERFORMED SUCH SERVICE FROM THE TIME OF HIS ENTRY ON DUTY ON SEPTEMBER 22, 1930, UNTIL NOVEMBER 1, 1930, WHEN HIS HEADQUARTERS WERE OFFICIALLY CHANGED. IRRESPECTIVE AS TO WHETHER HIS HEADQUARTERS WERE CHANGED IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY THAT HE PROCEED TO CALIFORNIA FOR THE INSPECTION OF JAILS IN THAT SECTION OF THE COUNTRY.

THE PRACTICAL CHANGE INTENDED BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF PRISONS WAS TO KEEP INSPECTORS IN THE FIELD, AND ONLY HAVE THEM RETURN TO WASHINGTON WHEN NEEDED FOR CONFERENCE. INSTEAD OF ALLOWING A PER DIEM FOR THE ENTIRE TIME THEY WERE AWAY FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., HE PLANNED TO HAVE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AUTHORIZE A CHANGE IN HEADQUARTERS, THUS REDUCING THE PER DIEM CHARGE FOR INSPECTION SERVICE.

SINCE THE JAIL INSPECTION SERVICE IS ONE IN WHICH IT IS THE ESTABLISHED PRACTICE TO APPOINT INSPECTORS WITH HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON, D. C., AND HAVE ALL TRAVEL PERFORMED UPON ORDERS ISSUED BY THE DIRECTOR OF PRISONS, THE PROCEDURE WITH RESPECT TO APPOINTMENT AND SERVICE OF MR. LA DOW SEEMS ENTIRELY REGULAR AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH PRIOR ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICE. LINE, WITH DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL RELATIVE TO THE PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED IN ESTABLISHING A CHANGE IN HEADQUARTERS, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT, ALTHOUGH IT MAY HAVE BEEN THE INTENTION OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF PRISONS TO EFFECT A CHANGE IN HEADQUARTERS FOR MR. LA LOW, THERE WAS IN FACT NO CHANGE IN OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS UNTIL THE ORDER WAS ACTUALLY SIGNED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT, AND THAT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES MR. LA DOW IS ENTITLED TO RECOVER EXPENSES OF TRAVEL FOR THE FULL PERIOD OF HIS EMPLOYMENT PRIOR TO THE OFFICIAL ORDER BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT.

FROM THE FACTS STATED IT APPEARS THAT PRIOR TO HIS APPOINTMENT MR. LA DOW WAS INFORMED BY LETTER OF AUGUST 5, 1930, FROM THE DIRECTOR BUREAU OF PRISONS, THAT "THE COUNTRY HAS BEEN DIVIDED INTO 10 DISTRICTS" AND THAT "YOUR DISTRICT WILL COVER CALIFORNIA, NEVADA, UTAH, AND ARIZONA, AND YOUR HEADQUARTERS WILL BE LOS ANGELES.' THE LETTER OF AUGUST 21, 1930, APPOINTING MR. LA DOW "AS INSPECTOR IN THE BUREAU OF PRISONS OF THIS DEPARTMENT WITH SALARY AT THE RATE OF $3,200 PER UM," DOES NOT ASSIGN WASHINGTON AS HIS POST OF DUTY. AFTER APPOINTMENT HE WAS ORDERED TO PROCEED TO LOS ANGELES AND TO PERFORM CERTAIN DUTIES EN ROUTE, TRANSPORTATION FROM WASHINGTON TO LOS ANGELES BEING SECURED ON TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS. TRAVEL ORDER DATED SEPTEMBER 22, 1930, SIGNED BY THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR BUREAU OF PRISONS, ATTACHED TO THE VOUCHER, DOES NOT DIRECT A RETURN TO WASHINGTON. IN THE MEMORANDUM OF OCTOBER 13, 1930, FROM THE DIRECTOR BUREAU OF PRISONS, TO ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL SISSON, IT IS STATED THAT MR. LA DOW HAD BEEN ASSIGNED TO A DISTRICT AND HAD ESTABLISHED HEADQUARTERS AT LOS ANGELES.

THE RULE AS STATED IN MY DECISION OF FEBRUARY 3, 1931, SUPRA, IS THAT AN OFFICER OR AN EMPLOYEE IS REQUIRED TO PLACE HIMSELF AT THE FIRST DUTY STATION TO WHICH APPOINTED AT HIS OWN EXPENSE. SEE, ALSO, 7 COMP. GEN. 203. ALSO, IT IS THE WELL-ESTABLISHED RULE THAT THE ACTUAL POST OF DUTY OF AN EMPLOYEE FOR THE PURPOSE OF ALLOWANCE OF TRAVEL EXPENSES AND SUBSISTENCE WHEN ABSENT THEREFROM IS REQUIRED TO BE FIXED WITH RELATION TO THE DUTIES TO BE PERFORMED, AND THAT THE ACTUAL FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES AS TO THE POST OF DUTY AND NOT THE ARBITRARY DESIGNATION OF AN OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS GOVERNS THE RIGHT TO THE PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES. COMP. GEN. 757, 5 ID. 337, 400.

IT IS APPARENT IN THE INSTANT CASE THAT IT WAS THE INTENTION FROM THE BEGINNING TO ASSIGN AND FIX LOS ANGELES AS MR. LA DOW'S POST OF DUTY. WHILE THE APPOINTMENT WAS SILENT AS TO THE STATION OF DUTY, IT IS APPARENT FROM THE FACT THAT MR. LA DOW, PRIOR TO ENTRANCE INTO THE EMPLOYMENT WAS SPECIFICALLY ADVISED BY THE DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF PRISONS, THAT THE COUNTRY HAD BEEN DIVIDED INTO DISTRICTS AND THAT HE WAS TO BE ASSIGNED TO ONE OF SUCH DISTRICTS, WITH HEADQUARTERS AT LOS ANGELES, AND WAS SO UNDERSTOOD BY HIM, AND THE FURTHER FACT THAT THE EMPLOYEE APPEARS TO HAVE PERFORMED NO DUTY IN WASHINGTON, BUT, IMMEDIATELY UPON APPOINTMENT, WAS ORDERED TO PROCEED TO THE PREDETERMINED POST OF DUTY AND TO PERFORM CERTAIN DUTIES EN ROUTE, WITH NO DIRECTION TO RETURN TO WASHINGTON, THAT THIS EMPLOYEE WAS APPOINTED AS AN AGENT FOR FIELD DUTY WITHIN A SPECIFIED DISTRICT WITH HEADQUARTERS AT LOS ANGELES, AND THAT THERE WAS NO INTENTION THAT HE SHOULD PERFORM DUTY IN WASHINGTON. THE SUBSEQUENT ORDER PURPORTING TO CHANGE HIS DUTY STATION FROM WASHINGTON TO LOS ANGELES CAN NOT, THEREFORE, OPERATE TO AUTHORIZE ALLOWING REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES FROM WASHINGTON TO LOS ANGELES. SEE THE DECISION HEREINBEFORE CITED.

WHERE HOWEVER, A NEWLY APPOINTED EMPLOYEE IS REQUIRED TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY BEFORE REPORTING TO HIS FIRST OFFICIAL DUTY STATION, THE RULE, AS STATED IN DECISION OF NOVEMBER 15, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 222, IS THAT SUCH EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR ADDITIONAL SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED BY REASON OF SUCH TEMPORARY DUTY, INCLUDING, IF ADMINISTRATIVELY AUTHORIZED, A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR ANY ADDITIONAL TRAVEL TIME INVOLVED AND FOR THE TEMPORARY DUTY, ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT THE EXPENSES INCURRED ARE IN EXCESS OF THE EXPENSES WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY THE APPOINTEE IN GOING DIRECTLY FROM HIS HOME TO THE PLACE FIXED AS HIS FIRST POST OF DUTY.

THE VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. LA DOW FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES WILL BE RETAINED FOR SETTLEMENT AND ADJUSTMENT AS A CLAIM IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.