A-39462, MARCH 8, 1932, 11 COMP. GEN. 336

A-39462: Mar 8, 1932

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - LEAVES OF ABSENCE WHERE AN EMPLOYEE ABSENT FROM HEADQUARTERS ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS IS GRANTED A LEASE OF ABSENCE WHICH IS TERMINATED BY DIRECTION TO REPORT TO WASHINGTON. HE IS THEN DIRECTED TO RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS. THE EMPLOYEE IS NOT EXCUSED FROM BEARING SO MUCH OF THE COST OF RETURNING TO HEADQUARTERS AS WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY BY THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BY RAIL FROM THE PLACE WHERE HE WAS ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE. 1932: REFERENCE IS HAD TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 6 AND NOVEMBER 17. WHICH LEAVE WAS DUE TO EXPIRE AT 9.00 A.M. LARSON WAS INSTRUCTED BY LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION TO PROCEED IMMEDIATELY TO WASHINGTON.

A-39462, MARCH 8, 1932, 11 COMP. GEN. 336

TRAVELING EXPENSES - LEAVES OF ABSENCE WHERE AN EMPLOYEE ABSENT FROM HEADQUARTERS ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS IS GRANTED A LEASE OF ABSENCE WHICH IS TERMINATED BY DIRECTION TO REPORT TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND HE IS THEN DIRECTED TO RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS, THE EMPLOYEE IS NOT EXCUSED FROM BEARING SO MUCH OF THE COST OF RETURNING TO HEADQUARTERS AS WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY BY THE SHORTEST USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE BY RAIL FROM THE PLACE WHERE HE WAS ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, MARCH 8, 1932:

REFERENCE IS HAD TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 6 AND NOVEMBER 17, 1931, REQUESTING TO BE INFORMED WHAT REFUND, IF ANY, SHOULD BE MADE BY WILLIAM LARSON, SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, BY REASON OF THE USE OF TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FROM NIAGARA FALLS TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO SALT LAKE CITY, IN AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER, 1931. YOU FORWARDED FOR CONSIDERATION IN CONNECTION THEREWITH HIS EXPENSE VOUCHERS COVERING THE TRAVEL OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS DURING THE TWO MONTHS IN QUESTION. THE CIRCUMSTANCES CONCERNING THE USE OF THE TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 6, 1931, AS FOLLOWS:

THE RECORDS OF THE DEPARTMENT SHOW THAT THE OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS OF THE TRAVELER HAD BEEN DESIGNATED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AT SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH. ON AUGUST 9TH AND 10TH, 1931, THE TRAVELER PROCEEDED VIA PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS AT SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, TO RAWLINS AND CHEYENNE, WYOMING. HE WENT ON ANNUAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE ON AUGUST 11, 1931, AT 3.30 P.M., AND WHICH LEAVE WAS DUE TO EXPIRE AT 9.00 A.M., SEPTEMBER 8TH. WHILE ON SUCH ANNUAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE THE CLAIMANT PROCEEDED IN HIS PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE FROM CHEYENNE, WYOMING, TO NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. WHILE AT NIAGARA FALLS MR. LARSON WAS INSTRUCTED BY LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION TO PROCEED IMMEDIATELY TO WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS, INCLUDING A CONFERENCE RELATIVE TO PROPOSED CHANGE OF HEADQUARTERS TO BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA. AT THE CONCLUSION OF SUCH DUTY IN WASHINGTON THE TRAVELER WAS INSTRUCTED TO RETURN TO HIS HEADQUARTERS AT SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, TO CONDUCT CERTAIN BUSINESS AT THAT POINT AND THEN TO PROCEED TO BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA. THE RECORDS OF THE DEPARTMENT FURTHER SHOW THAT MR. LARSON LEFT NIAGARA FALLS ON AUGUST 30TH AT 9:20 P.M. AND ARRIVED IN WASHINGTON, C., ON AUGUST 31ST AT 9:30 A.M. HE REMAINED IN WASHINGTON, D.C., UNTIL SEPTEMBER 1ST, AT 7:40 P.M. AT WHICH TIME HE DEPARTER FOR HIS OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS AT SALT LAKE, ARRIVING AT THAT POINT SEPTEMBER 4TH AT 10:35 A.M. IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL FROM NIAGARA FALLS, NEW YORK, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., MR. LARSON USED TRANSPORTATION REQUEST NOS. J-326,177 AND J-326,178, AT A COST OF $16.53 AND $3.60, RESPECTIVELY, OR A TOTAL OF $20.13. IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRAVEL FROM WASHINGTON TO SALT LAKE CITY HE ISSUED REQUESTS NOS. J-326,179 AND J- 326,180 AT A COST OF $23.63 AND $82.85, RESPECTIVELY, OR A TOTAL OF $106.48.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE VALUE OF THE TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS AGGREGATE $126.61, THE MATTER WAS TAKEN UP WITH MR. LARSON WITH A VIEW TO SECURING A REFUND OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE DIRECT FARE FROM NIAGARA FALLS TO SALT LAKE CITY AND THE FARE VIA WASHINGTON, D.C. THE DIRECT FARE FROM NIAGARA FALLS TO SALT LAKE CITY IS $73.43 FOR RAILROAD AND $21.00 FOR PULLMAN OR $94.43, LEAVING THE DIFFERENCE OF $32.18 WHICH MAY PROPERLY BE TERMED AS CHARGEABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT THE TRAVELER WAS REQUIRED TO PERFORM CERTAIN CIRCUITOUS TRAVEL IN CONNECTION WITH HIS RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS. THE TRAVELER WAS REQUESTED TO REFUND AN AMOUNT OF $94.43 AS PER COPY OF LETTER ATTACHED HERETO DATED OCTOBER 19, 1931. THE TRAVEL REPLIED TO THIS LETTER ON OCTOBER 31, 1931, TO THE EFFECT THAT HAD HE RETURNED DIRECT FROM NIAGARA FALLS TO SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, HE WOULD HAVE USED HIS PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE. HE HAS ALSO ORALLY ADVISED THAT THE COST OF GAS, OIL, ETC., IN PROCEEDING FROM CHEYENNE, WYOMING, TO JAMESTOWN, NEW YORK, WAS APPROXIMATELY $28.00 (RECORD OF EXACT COST IN HIS POSSESSION), AND THAT COST OF GAS AND OIL FROM NIAGARA FALLS TO SALT LAKE CITY WOULD HAVE BEEN APPROXIMATELY $32.00. * * *

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE IT WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED IF YOU WILL ADVISE ME AS TO WHAT REFUND, IF ANY, SHOULD BE MADE BY MR. LARSON IN CONNECTION WITH THE ABOVE-MENTIONED TRAVEL. THE ALLOWANCE OR DISALLOWANCE OF ITEMS CHARGED IN THE EXPENSE ACCOUNT, SUCH AS PORTERAGE, PER DIEM ALLOWANCE, TC., WILL BE BASED UPON YOUR DECISION IN THE MATTER.

WHEN A PERSON ABSENTS HIMSELF FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS UPON A LEAVE OF ABSENCE HE ASSUMES THE DUTY OF RETURNING HIMSELF TO HIS HEADQUARTERS AT HIS OWN EXPENSE, AND THE CURTAILING OF HIS LEAVE FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS DOES NOT TRANSFER THIS EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT. 3 COMP. DEC. 170; 13 ID. 94; 19 ID. 232; 2 COMP. GEN. 424. HOWEVER, IF WHEN RECALLING THE TRAVELER TO HIS HEADQUARTERS HE IS INSTRUCTED TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY EN ROUTE, THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO HAVE THE GOVERNMENT BEAR ONLY THE EXTRA EXPENSE, IF ANY, RENDERED NECESSARY BY THE PERFORMANCE OF SUCH TEMPORARY DUTY. 10 COMP. GEN 184, 222, AND 415. IT APPEARS FROM YOUR SUBMISSION THAT THE EMPLOYEE USED TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FROM NIAGARA FALLS, WHERE HE WAS ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., COSTING THE GOVERNMENT $20.13 AND FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO SALT LAKE CITY, COSTING $106.48, OR A TOTAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF $126.61, AND THAT THE COST TO HAVE RETURNED BY RAIL FROM NIAGARA FALLS TO SALT LAKE CITY WOULD HAVE BEEN $94.43. THE EMPLOYEE, HOWEVER, STATES THAT, EXCEPT FOR INSTRUCTIONS TO REPORT TO WASHINGTON, D.C., HE WOULD HAVE RETURNED TO SALT LAKE CITY BY HIS PERSONALLY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT A COST FOR GASOLINE AND OIL OF APPROXIMATELY $32. HE STATES THAT IT COST $28 FOR GASOLINE AND OIL FOR THE TRAVEL FROM CHEYENNE, WYO., HIS LAST TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, TO JAMESTOWN, N.Y. THE FACT THAT HE WOULD HAVE RETURNED TO HIS HEADQUARTERS BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE EXCEPT FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS IS NOT MATERIAL, AS HE ACTUALLY RETURNED BY RAIL. AS IT COST THE GOVERNMENT $106.48 TO RETURN HIM TO HIS HEADQUARTERS FROM WASHINGTON AND IT WOULD HAVE COST HIM $94.43 TO HAVE RETURNED BY RAIL FROM NIAGARA FALLS TO SALT LAKE CITY, HE IS INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES IN THE SUM OF $94.43 AND SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO REFUND THAT AMOUNT BEFORE ANY ALLOWANCE IS MADE UPON HIS EXPENSE VOUCHER.