A-42699, JUNE 20, 1932, 11 COMP. GEN. 491

A-42699: Jun 20, 1932

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - TRANSFERS BETWEEN DUTY STATIONS WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS DIRECTED TO PERFORM TRAVEL BETWEEN TWO DUTY STATIONS WITH THE INTENT OF TRANSFERRING HIM PERMANENTLY TO THE NEW STATION. IT IS IMMATERIAL IN THAT RESPECT THAT THE DATE UPON WHICH HIS TRANSFER IS TO BECOME EFFECTIVE WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY FIXED AT A TIME SUBSEQUENT TO HIS ARRIVAL AT THE NEW STATION. KING WAS A DISTRICT INSPECTOR UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE BUREAU OF LOCOMOTIVE INSPECTION. HIS HEADQUARTERS WERE ATLANTA. HE WAS ASSIGNED TO TERRITORY COVERING THE SOUTHEASTERN PART OF THE UNITED STATES. WITHIN THIS TERRITORY HE WAS FREE TO TRAVEL AS THE WORK OF HIS OFFICE REQUIRED ON A GENERAL TRAVEL ORDER ISSUED BY THE CHIEF INSPECTOR COVERING THE FISCAL YEAR 1932.

A-42699, JUNE 20, 1932, 11 COMP. GEN. 491

TRAVELING EXPENSES - TRANSFERS BETWEEN DUTY STATIONS WHEN AN EMPLOYEE IS DIRECTED TO PERFORM TRAVEL BETWEEN TWO DUTY STATIONS WITH THE INTENT OF TRANSFERRING HIM PERMANENTLY TO THE NEW STATION, HIS TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED UPON SUCH TRAVEL MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED WHEN NOT SO STATED IN HIS TRAVEL ORDERS, AND IT IS IMMATERIAL IN THAT RESPECT THAT THE DATE UPON WHICH HIS TRANSFER IS TO BECOME EFFECTIVE WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY FIXED AT A TIME SUBSEQUENT TO HIS ARRIVAL AT THE NEW STATION.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, JUNE 20, 1932:

REVIEW HAS BEEN REQUESTED OF THE ACTION OF THIS OFFICE IN REFUSING TO CERTIFY UPON PREAUDIT A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF HOMER C. KING, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, FOR $39.36 AS REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN EFFECTING HIS TRANSFER FROM ATLANTA, GA., TO WASHINGTON, THE ORDER DIRECTING HIS TRANSFER NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZING SUCH REIMBURSEMENT.

IN SUPPORT OF THE REQUEST FOR REVIEW, THERE HAS BEEN FURNISHED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT OF ACTS:

* * * MR. KING WAS A DISTRICT INSPECTOR UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE BUREAU OF LOCOMOTIVE INSPECTION. HIS HEADQUARTERS WERE ATLANTA, GEORGIA, AND HE WAS ASSIGNED TO TERRITORY COVERING THE SOUTHEASTERN PART OF THE UNITED STATES, INCLUDING THE STATE OF VIRGINIA. WITHIN THIS TERRITORY HE WAS FREE TO TRAVEL AS THE WORK OF HIS OFFICE REQUIRED ON A GENERAL TRAVEL ORDER ISSUED BY THE CHIEF INSPECTOR COVERING THE FISCAL YEAR 1932. WHEN IT WAS DECIDED TO TRANSFER MR. KING TO THE BUREAU OF SERVICE, THE COMMISSION DESIRED TO HAVE HIM REPORT TO THE BUREAU OF SERVICE AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE DATE, WHICH WAS FOUND TO BE SEPTEMBER 8. THE BUREAU OF LOCOMOTIVE INSPECTION WAS TO PAY HIS SALARY AND EXPENSES UP TO AND INCLUDING SEPTEMBER 7, AND FOR THAT REASON MR. PACK ORDERED HIM TO REPORT IN WASHINGTON AS PER COPY OF THE TELEGRAM ATTACHED TO THE ACCOUNT. VIEW OF THE FACT THAT MR. PACK HAD FULL AUTHORITY TO ORDER MR. KING TO REPORT IN WASHINGTON, AND THE TRANSFER TO THE BUREAU OF SERVICE, WHICH IS A PART OF THE GENERAL APPROPRIATION, INDUCED THE COMMISSION TO BELIEVE THAT THE USUAL ORDER COVERING A CHANGE OF HEADQUARTERS WAS NOT NECESSARY. IT WILL BE NOTED BY COPY OF ORDER TRANSFERRING MR. KING FROM AN INSPECTOR OF LOCOMOTIVES, ASSIGNED TO THE BUREAU OF LOCOMOTIVE INSPECTION TO FILL A VACANCY AS SERVICE AGENT IN THE BUREAU OF SERVICE, THAT NO MENTION IS MADE OF HEADQUARTERS. THIS WAS DONE BECAUSE IT WAS UNDERSTOOD THAT MR. KING WOULD BE IN WASHINGTON ON OR BEFORE SEPTEMBER 8, AND THAT AN ORDER MAKING CHANGE OF HEADQUARTERS, AND PROVIDING FOR THE EXPENSES OF SUCH CHANGE WAS UNNECESSARY. HED THE COMMISSION UNDERSTOOD THE ATTITUDE OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN THE MATTER, A DIFFERENT ORDER WOULD HAVE BEEN DRAWN BECAUSE THERE WAS NO THOUGHT OF REQUIRING MR. KING TO PUT HIMSELF IN WASHINGTON AT HIS OWN EXPENSE. WHILE THE CHANGE OF MR. KING FROM BUREAU OF LOCOMOTIVE INSPECTION TO THE BUREAU OF SERVICE RESULTED IN AN INCREASE IN SALARY, THE TRANSFER WAS MADE ENTIRELY FOR THE GOOD OF THE COMMISSION; AND HAD THE COMMISSION REALIZED THAT THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN ANY QUESTION REGARDING THE PAYMENT OF THIS EXPENSE ACCOUNT, AN ORDER CHANGING HIS HEADQUARTERS WOULD HAVE BEEN DRAWN PRIOR TO THE TRANSFER FROM THE LOCOMOTIVE INSPECTION APPROPRIATION TO THE GENERAL APPROPRIATION.

SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 23, 1931, 46 STAT. 1242, PROVIDES:

APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1932 AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS SHALL BE AVAILABLE ALSO FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL PERFORMED BY THEM ON TRANSFER FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER WHEN AUTHORIZED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED IN THE ORDER DIRECTING SUCH TRANSFER: PROVIDED, THAT SUCH EXPENSES SHALL NOT BE ALLOWED FOR ANY TRANSFER EFFECTED FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE.

IN THE ABSENCE OF STATUTORY AUTHORITY SUCH AS THAT FOUND IN THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 23, 1931, SUPRA, AN EMPLOYEE IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN EFFECTING A TRANSFER FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER. 5 COMP. GEN. 804. WHILE THE STATUTE QUOTED AUTHORIZES THE USE OF TRAVEL EXPENSE APPROPRIATIONS FOR EXPENSES INCIDENT TO TRANSFER BETWEEN OFFICIAL STATIONS, SUCH REIMBURSEMENT IS CONDITIONED UPON ITS BEING AUTHORIZED "IN THE ORDER DIRECTING SUCH ANSFER.' THE TRANSFER IN THIS CASE WAS DIRECTED BY ORDER OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1931, AS FOLLOWS:

SEPTEMBER 1, 1931

THE SUBJECT OF EMPLOYEES BEING UNDER CONSIDERATION, IT IS ORDERED, THAT HOMER C. KING, AN INSPECTOR OF LOCOMOTIVES AT $4,000 PER ANNUM, ASSIGNED TO THE BUREAU OF LOCOMOTIVE INSPECTION BE, AND HE IS HEREBY TRANSFERRED TO FILL A VACANCY AS A SERVICE AGENT IN THE BUREAU OF SERVICE AT $4,600 PER ANNUM, EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 8, 1931.

BY THE COMMISSION:

(SIGNED) GEORGE B. MCGINTY,

SECRETARY.

THE EMPLOYEE WAS NOTIFIED THEREOF BY TELEGRAM DATED SEPTEMBER 1, 1931, AS FOLLOWS: HOMER C. KING.

THREE THIRTY-TWO POST OFFICE BUILDING, ATLANTA, GEORGIA.

BE IN WASHINGTON MORNING SEPTEMBER EIGHTH READY FOR DUTY WITH BUREAU OF SERVICE TO WHICH YOU HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED.

PACK.

THE EMPLOYEE LEFT ATLANTA SEPTEMBER 5, 1931, AND ARRIVED IN WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPTEMBER 6, 1931. THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE STATUTE CAN NOT BE AVOIDED BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION IN ATTEMPTING TO POSTPONE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF TRANSFER UNTIL THE EMPLOYEE HAS ARRIVED AT HIS NEW STATION, ESPECIALLY SO WHEN THE TRAVEL IS PERFORMED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT HIS TRANSFER WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE AFTER ARRIVAL AT THE NEW STATION.