A-6964, JANUARY 29, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 641

A-6964: Jan 29, 1925

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IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR ANY TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED. 1925: THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION THE QUESTION WHETHER CREDIT MAY BE ALLOWED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF J. WATSON WAS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE AT WASHINGTON AND WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE FIELD SERVICE EFFECTIVE JULY 16. HE WAS DIRECTED TO REPORT TO THE ASSISTANT DEPUTY COMMISSIONER IN CHARGE OF FIELD DIVISIONS FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING THE OATH OF OFFICE UNDER THE NEW APPOINTMENT. WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO THE FIELD DIVISION AT LOUISVILLE. THE EMPLOYEE CLAIMED AND WAS PAID REIMBURSEMENT OF WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST THE GOVERNMENT TO TRANSPORT HIM FROM WASHINGTON. PLUS THE COST OF TWO MEALS THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN IF HE HAD ACTUALLY TRAVELED FROM WASHINGTON TO LOUISVILLE.

A-6964, JANUARY 29, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 641

TRAVELING EXPENSES - NEW APPOINTMENT - EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRED FROM DEPARTMENTAL TO FIELD SERVICE AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE AT WASHINGTON, D.C., WHO, UPON BEING TRANSFERRED TO THE FIELD SERVICE, TOOK THE OATH OF OFFICE UNDER THE NEW APPOINTMENT AND THEN TRAVELED FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO HIS HOME ON A LEAVE OF ABSENCE AND THENCE TO HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY, IS NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR ANY TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, JANUARY 29, 1925:

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION THE QUESTION WHETHER CREDIT MAY BE ALLOWED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF J. H. MCMURTRY, INTERNAL-REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE, LOUISVILLE, KY., FOR AN ITEM OF $30.12 PAID BY HIM TO R. E. WATSON AS REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES OF A JOURNEY FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO LOUISVILLE, KY., IN JULY, 1924.

MR. WATSON WAS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE AT WASHINGTON AND WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE FIELD SERVICE EFFECTIVE JULY 16, 1924. HE WAS DIRECTED TO REPORT TO THE ASSISTANT DEPUTY COMMISSIONER IN CHARGE OF FIELD DIVISIONS FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING THE OATH OF OFFICE UNDER THE NEW APPOINTMENT. HE TOOK THE OATH ON JULY 15, 1924, AND WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO THE FIELD DIVISION AT LOUISVILLE, KY., AND REPORT TO THE INTERNAL-REVENUE AGENT IN CHARGE FOR ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY.

THE LETTER OF NOTIFICATION STATED THAT THE EMPLOYEE WOULD BE ENTITLED "TO REIMBURSEMENT OF AMOUNTS ACTUALLY SPENT FOR SUBSISTENCE AND LODGING, NOT TO EXCEED $5 PER DAY, DURING SUCH PERIODS AS YOU MAY BE ABSENT FROM YOUR DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY, PLUS AMOUNTS ACTUALLY SPENT FOR TRANSPORTATION AND OTHER TRAVELING EXPENSES NECESSARY TO THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR OFFICIAL DUTY.'

ON JULY 16, 1924, THE EMPLOYEE LEFT WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR PARAGOULD, ARK., ON HIS VACATION AT THE EXPIRATION OF WHICH HE REPORTED TO LOUISVILLE, KY., AND RESUMED HIS DUTIES ON AUGUST 1, 1924. THE EMPLOYEE CLAIMED AND WAS PAID REIMBURSEMENT OF WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST THE GOVERNMENT TO TRANSPORT HIM FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO LOUISVILLE, KY., PLUS THE COST OF TWO MEALS THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN IF HE HAD ACTUALLY TRAVELED FROM WASHINGTON TO LOUISVILLE.

THE REIMBURSEMENT TO WHICH AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED UNDER THE LAW IS FOR EXPENSES ACTUALLY INCURRED AND NECESSARY TO THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTY AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY. THE EMPLOYEE IN THIS CASE WAS NOT DIRECTED TO AND DID NOT TRAVEL FROM WASHINGTON TO LOUISVILLE, IN THE PERFORMANCE OF ANY DUTY CONNECTED WITH THE POSITION WHICH HE HELD IN WASHINGTON UP TO JULY 16, 1924, AND HE PERFORMED NO DUTY IN CONNECTION WITH THE POSITION TO WHICH HE WAS APPOINTED EFFECTIVE JULY 16, 1924, UNTIL AFTER HE REPORTED AT LOUISVILLE, AUGUST 1, 1924, THEREFORE, NO PART OF THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BETWEEN JULY 15 AND AUGUST 1, 1924, CAN BE REGARDED AS TRAVEL NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH OFFICIAL BUSINESS. 20 COMP. DEC. 73. THE FACT THAT THE EMPLOYEE TOOK THE OATH OF OFFICE UNDER THE NEW APPOINTMENT BEFORE LEAVING HIS STATION UNDER HIS OLD APPOINTMENT COULD NOT OPERATE TO PLACE HIM IN A TRAVEL STATUS. THIS CASE IS ESSENTIALLY DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF AN EMPLOYEE SERVING UNDER AN APPOINTMENT FOR FIELD SERVICE GENERALLY WHOSE STATION OR POST OF DUTY IS CHANGED BY COMPETENT ORDERS ISSUED IN THE INTEREST OF THE SERVICE. IN THIS CONNECTION IT MAY BE STATED THAT EVEN IN AN APPOINTMENT TO FIELD SERVICE GENERALLY THE APPOINTEE IS NOT ENTITLED TO TRAVEL EXPENSES IN REPORTING TO HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY OR TO HIS FIRST DUTY ASSIGNMENT AS THE CASE MAY BE.

IN VIEW OF THE FACTS APPEARING THE PAYMENT OF $30.12 TO R.E. WATSON AS REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO LOUISVILLE, KY., WAS AN ERRONEOUS PAYMENT AND CREDIT THEREFOR IS NOT AUTHORIZED IN THE ACCOUNTS OF J. H. MCMURTRY.