A-37463, JULY 24, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 31

A-37463: Jul 24, 1931

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSEL - NAVY OFFICER WHERE AN OFFICER OF THE NAVY IS ORDERED TO PROCEED FROM A PORT ON THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES TO A FOREIGN PORT. IS THAT OF TRAVELING ON A GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSEL. REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 21. WHERE THE OFFICER IS ORDERED TO REPORT TO A STATION ON THE WEST COAST FOR FURTHER ORDERS OR IS REQUIRED TO REPORT FOR TEMPORARY DUTY THEREAT. THE CONTINUITY OF TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSEL IS BROKEN AND PAYMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED AFTER ARRIVAL AT SUCH PORT IN THE UNITED STATES IS NOT AUTHORIZED. CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING PROVISION: "THAT OFFICERS PERFORMING TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSELS FOR WHICH NO TRANSPORTATION FARE IS CHARGED SHALL ONLY BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED.' 2.

A-37463, JULY 24, 1931, 11 COMP. GEN. 31

TRAVELING EXPENSES - GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSEL - NAVY OFFICER WHERE AN OFFICER OF THE NAVY IS ORDERED TO PROCEED FROM A PORT ON THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES TO A FOREIGN PORT, OR VICE VERSA, BY CONTINUOUS TRAVEL ON A GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSEL OR VESSELS, HIS STATUS DURING PERIOD OF NECESSARY DELAY EN ROUTE, DUE TO MODE OF TRAVEL, WHEN SUBSISTENCE CAN NOT ACTUALLY BE FURNISHED ON THE VESSEL, OR DURING NECESSARY TIME WHILE TRANSSHIPPING AT AN INTERMEDIATE PORT, IS THAT OF TRAVELING ON A GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSEL, AND REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 21, 1926, 44 STAT. 595, WITHIN THE LIMITATION PRESCRIBED BY LAW, OF EXPENSES ACTUALLY AND NECESSARILY INCURRED. HOWEVER, WHERE THE OFFICER IS ORDERED TO REPORT TO A STATION ON THE WEST COAST FOR FURTHER ORDERS OR IS REQUIRED TO REPORT FOR TEMPORARY DUTY THEREAT, THE CONTINUITY OF TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSEL IS BROKEN AND PAYMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED AFTER ARRIVAL AT SUCH PORT IN THE UNITED STATES IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, JULY 24, 1931:

BY YOUR DIRECTION IN FIRST INDORSEMENT, JULY 2, 1931, THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED LETTER OF THE PAYMASTER GENERAL, NAVY DEPARTMENT, AS FOLLOWS:

1. THE NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1926, APPROVED FEBRUARY 11, 1925 (43 STAT. 879), CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING PROVISION:

"THAT OFFICERS PERFORMING TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSELS FOR WHICH NO TRANSPORTATION FARE IS CHARGED SHALL ONLY BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED.'

2. IN MANY INSTANCES OFFICERS OF THE NAVY ARE ORDERED TO TRAVEL ON GOVERNMENT VESSELS FROM THE EAST TO THE WEST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES AND UPON ARRIVAL ON THE WEST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES THEIR ORDERS REQUIRE THEM TO REPORT TO ANOTHER GOVERNMENT VESSEL FOR FURTHER TRANSPORTATION TO DUTY IN A FOREIGN PORT. IT FREQUENTLY HAPPENS THAT THERE IS A DELAY ON THE WEST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES OF SEVERAL DAYS BEFORE THE OFFICER CAN REPORT ON BOARD THE VESSEL FOR FURTHER TRANSPORTATION TO HIS FOREIGN DUTY.

3. THERE ARE OTHER INSTANCES WHERE OFFICERS ARE ORDERED TO AN ARMY OR NAVY TRANSPORT FOR TRANSPORTATION FROM THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES TO A FOREIGN STATION. ON ARRIVAL OF SUCH TRANSPORTS ON THE WEST COAST, AND WHILE THE VESSEL REMAINS FOR SEVERAL DAYS IN A PORT ON THE WEST COAST, THE OFFICERS MAY BE REQUIRED TO DISEMBARK THEREFROM FOR SEVERAL DAYS FOR VARIOUS REASONS, SUCH AS FUMIGATION OF THE VESSEL AND THE UNLOADING OF CARGO. DURING THESE PERIODS THE OFFICERS ARE NECESSARILY PUT TO SOME EXPENSE WHILE LIVING IN A HOTEL ON SHORE.

4. IT IS REQUESTED THAT A DECISION BE OBTAINED FROM THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES WHETHER UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES OFFICERS ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES NECESSARILY INCURRED NOT TO EXCEED $7 PER DAY.

THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 11, 1925, 43 STAT. 879, CITED, WAS CONTAINED IN THE NAVAL APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1926. IT WAS REENACTED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1927, UNDER THE CAPTION "BUREAU OF NAVIGATION," SUBHEADING,"TRANSPORTATION AND RECRUITING," AS FOLLOWS:

* * * HEREAFTER OFFICERS PERFORMING TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSELS FOR WHICH NO TRANSPORTATION FARE IS CHARGED SHALL ONLY BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED.

AN IDENTICAL PROVISION CONTAINED IN ARMY APPROPRIATION ACT OF APRIL 15, 1926, 44 STAT. 259, APPLICABLE TO OFFICERS AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT, WAS CONSIDERED IN THE DECISION OF JULY 9, 1931, A- 36993, WHICH WAS A CASE OF AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY ORDERED TO PROCEED BY AN ARMY TRANSPORT FROM HONOLULU, HAWAII, TO NEW YORK, N.Y., AND IN CONNECTION WITH THE SCHEDULED STOP-OVER AT SAN FRANCISCO, FROM NOVEMBER 4 TO 8, 1930, DURING WHICH TIME HE WAS REQUIRED TO DISEMBARK, IT WAS HELD THAT HIS STATUS WAS THAT OF TRAVELING ON A GOVERNMENT OWNED VESSEL, AND THAT UNDER THE LAW HE WAS ENTITLED "ONLY TO REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED," AND THAT PAYMENT OF PER DIEM AS CLAIMED WAS PROHIBITED BY LAW. THIS DECISION WAS ON THE BASIS THAT WHERE TRAVEL IS DIRECTED FROM A FOREIGN PORT TO A PORT ON THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES FOR CONTINUOUS TRAVEL ON A PARTICULAR VESSEL, DELAYS EN ROUTE DUE TO SCHEDULED STOP-OVERS AT INTERMEDIATE PORTS ARE INCIDENT TO THE MODE OF TRAVEL, AND THAT THE STATUS OF THE OFFICER DURING SUCH DELAYS WAS THAT OF TRAVELING ON A GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSEL. GIVING APPLICATION TO THIS RULE, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT UNDER THE CONDITIONS OF TRAVEL SET OUT IN PARAGRAPH 3 OF THE ABOVE LETTER, IF AN OFFICER IS DIRECTED TO MAKE A CONTINUOUS TRIP ON A PARTICULAR TRANSPORT OR OTHER GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSEL FROM THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES TO A FOREIGN STATION, REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES, NOT TO EXCEED $7 PER DAY AS PRESCRIBED BY PARAGRAPH 12 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1922, 42 STAT. 630, AS AMENDED, MAY BE AUTHORIZED DURING THE NECESSARY DELAY OF THE VESSEL AT AN INTERMEDIATE PORT, IF SUBSISTENCE CAN NOT ACTUALLY BE FURNISHED ON THE VESSEL.

THE SAME RULE WOULD BE APPLICABLE UNDER THE CONDITIONS SET OUT IN PARAGRAPH 2 OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED LETTER FOR THE NECESSARY TIME OF TRANSSHIPPING WHERE CONTINUOUS TRAVEL IS PERFORMED BY MORE THAN ONE TRANSPORT OR OTHER GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSEL; HOWEVER, WHERE, AS SET OUT IN PARAGRAPH 2 OF THE QUOTED LETTER, AN OFFICER IS ORDERED TO TRAVEL ON A TRANSPORT OR OTHER GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSEL FROM THE EAST COAST TO THE WEST COAST AND IS THERE REQUIRED TO REPORT TO A STATION FOR FURTHER ORDERS DIRECTING TRAVEL TO A FOREIGN STATION ON ANOTHER VESSEL OR IS REQUIRED TO REPORT FOR TEMPORARY DUTY OR IS OTHERWISE BROUGHT UNDER THE COMMAND OF OFFICERS AT THE PORT WHERE HE IS REQUIRED TO TRANSSHIP, THE CONTINUITY OF TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT-OWNED VESSEL WOULD BE BROKEN AND PAYMENT TO AN OFFICER OF ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES, AFTER ARRIVAL AT SUCH PORT, WOULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED.

THE QUESTION SUBMITTED IS INDEFINITE AND MAY BE ANSWERED ONLY IN A GENERAL WAY, AS ABOVE. DOUBTFUL QUESTIONS ARISING IN PARTICULAR CASES IN THE APPLICATION OF WHAT HAS BEEN SAID SHOULD BE SUBMITTED BEFORE PAYMENT.