A-71691, MAY 11, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 983

A-71691: May 11, 1936

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WHICH CONTEMPLATED ASSIGNMENT WAS NOT MADE. NOR IS HE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO HIS HOME UPON TERMINATION OF SAID EMPLOYMENT. 1936: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF FEBRUARY 4 AND 21. THE COMMISSIONER OF LABOR STATISTICS ADDRESSED YOU A TELEGRAM AS FOLLOWS: WILL YOU SERVE AS SUPERVISOR TRIAL CENSUS OF UNEMPLOYMENT AT WACO. WILL ARRIVE WASHINGTON ABOUT NOON TOMORROW. THERE WAS ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 149. YOU WILL BE ALLOWED PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE. PERSONS ON TRIAL CENSUS OF UNEMPLOYMENT WORK AND THEN PROPOSES TO AUTHORIZE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AT $5 PER DAY WHILE THE EMPLOYEE IS AWAY FROM HIS "OFFICIAL STATION.

A-71691, MAY 11, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 983

TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES - FIRST DUTY STATION THE REPORTING TO WASHINGTON, D.C., IN CONNECTION WITH A CONTEMPLATED ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY WITH HEADQUARTERS ELSEWHERE, WHICH CONTEMPLATED ASSIGNMENT WAS NOT MADE, THE EMPLOYEE WHILE IN WASHINGTON HAVING BEEN APPOINTED RETROACTIVELY TO A POSITION THERE, DOES NOT ENTITLE SAID EMPLOYEE TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES IN REPORTING, OR TO SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR PERIOD FROM DATE OF REPORTING TO DATE OF ACCEPTANCE OF THE APPOINTMENT, NOR IS HE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO HIS HOME UPON TERMINATION OF SAID EMPLOYMENT.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO WALTER S. SUTHERLAND, MAY 11, 1936:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF FEBRUARY 4 AND 21, 1936, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE ACTION TAKEN IN SETTLEMENT NO. 0461970 OF DECEMBER 7, 1935, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM FOR $49.07, REPRESENTING $38.75 PER DIEM AT WASHINGTON, D.C., FROM JANUARY 5 TO JANUARY 12, 1934, AND $10.32 REIMBURSEMENT OF RAILROAD FARE FROM NARBERTH, PA., TO WASHINGTON, D.C., JANUARY 4, 1934, AND RETURN FEBRUARY 28, 1934.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT UNDER DATE OF JANUARY 3, 1934, THE COMMISSIONER OF LABOR STATISTICS ADDRESSED YOU A TELEGRAM AS FOLLOWS:

WILL YOU SERVE AS SUPERVISOR TRIAL CENSUS OF UNEMPLOYMENT AT WACO, TEXAS, SIX WEEKS AT TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS PER MONTH? PROCEED AT ONCE TO WASHINGTON, GOVERNMENT EXPENSE; TAKE RECEIPTS FOR TRANSPORTATION. WIRE SEVENTEEN TWELVE G STREET, GOVERNMENT RATES COLLECT.

TO THIS YOU REPLIED ON JANUARY 4, 1934, AS FOLLOWS:

ACCEPT JOB OFFERED. WILL ARRIVE WASHINGTON ABOUT NOON TOMORROW.

ON JANUARY 4, 1934, THERE WAS ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 149, ADDRESSED TO THE SECRETARY OF LABOR BY THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS, IN THE FOLLOWING TERMS:

I RESPECTFULLY REQUEST THAT WALTER S. SUTHERLAND, EXPERT, BE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL, AS INDICATED BELOW, BY THE MOST DIRECT OR USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, THE EXPENSE OF SUCH TRAVEL TO BE PAID FROM THE APPROPRIATION "WORKING FUND, DEPT. OF LABOR, C.W. TRIAL CENSUS OF UNEMPLOYMENT," THERE BEING SUFFICIENT BALANCE THEREIN IN EXCESS OF LIABILITIES ALREADY INCURRED FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE EXPENSES INVOLVED FROM NARBERTH, PA., TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND RETURN.

FOR THE PURPOSE OF HAVING CONFERENCE WITH MR. PERSONS, ON TRIAL CENSUS OF UNEMPLOYMENT WORK.

WHILE AWAY FROM YOUR OFFICIAL STATION, WACO, TEXAS, YOU WILL BE ALLOWED PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, $5.00 IN ACCORDANCE WITH DEPARTMENTAL AUTHORITY OF OCTOBER 28, 1931.

THIS TRAVEL TO BEGIN ON JANUARY 4, 1934, OR AS SOON THEREAFTER AS PRACTICABLE.

THE AMBIGUITY AND INCONSISTENCY OF THIS DOCUMENT MUST BE READILY APPARENT. IT REQUESTS THAT WALTER S. SUTHERLAND BE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM NARBERTH, PA., TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND RETURN, FOR THE PURPOSE OF HAVING CONFERENCE WITH MR. PERSONS ON TRIAL CENSUS OF UNEMPLOYMENT WORK AND THEN PROPOSES TO AUTHORIZE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AT $5 PER DAY WHILE THE EMPLOYEE IS AWAY FROM HIS "OFFICIAL STATION, WACO, TEX.' IN VIEW OF SUCH AMBIGUITY AND INCONSISTENCY THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION MUST BE CONSIDERED AND INTERPRETED IN THE LIGHT OF SUBSEQUENT EVENTS AND AS TO THIS IT APPEARS THAT ON JANUARY 25, 1934, IN A LETTER ADDRESSED TO THIS OFFICE BY THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS, IT WAS STATED:

ON JANUARY 5, MR. WALTER S. SUTHERLAND WAS REQUESTED TO REPORT TO THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS FROM NARBERTH, PA., WITH THE IDEA OF BEING APPOINTED STATE SUPERVISOR IN THE STATE OF TEXAS WITH HEADQUARTERS AT WACO, ON C.W.A. TRIAL CENSUS OF UNEMPLOYMENT PROJECT. ON JANUARY 12 IT WAS DECIDED THAT NO STATE SUPERVISORS FOR TEXAS WOULD BE APPOINTED AT THIS TIME AND MR. SUTHERLAND WAS GIVEN OFFICE WORK IN WASHINGTON IN CONNECTION WITH THE ABOVE MENTIONED PROJECT.

I HEREBY CERTIFY THAT THIS TRANSFER ORIGINATED THROUGH A GOVERNMENT NEED AND THAT IT IS NOT BEING EFFECTED FOR THE BENEFIT OF ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE.

IN A FURTHER REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS DATED SEPTEMBER 25, 1935, IT WAS ALSO STATED:

THE FACTS AS STATED BY MR. SUTHERLAND ARE IN ACCORDANCE WITH OUR RECORDS. HE WAS DIRECTED TO REPORT TO WASHINGTON FOR CONFERENCE PRIOR TO REPORTING FOR DUTY AT WACO, TEXAS. AFTER CONFERENCES IN WASHINGTON IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE WACO PROJECT WOULD BE ABANDONED. MR. SUTHERLAND WAS THEN INFORMALLY OFFERED EMPLOYMENT IN WASHINGTON FOR THE PERIOD OF THE PROJECT AND HE ACCEPTED. IF HE HAD ACCEPTED THE ASSIGNMENT AT DALLAS IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A PURELY TEMPORARY ONE AND TERMINATED TOWARD THE END OF FEBRUARY. MR. SUTHERLAND HAD NO KNOWLEDGE ON COMING TO WASHINGTON THAT THE WACO PROJECT WOULD BE CANCELLED AND THAT HE WOULD BE OFFERED AN APPOINTMENT IN THIS CITY. FROM THE TIME OF HIS ACCEPTANCE OF THE APPOINTMENT IN WASHINGTON, THERE WAS NO QUESTION BUT THAT HIS OFFICIAL STATION WAS WASHINGTON, D.C., BUT THE EXPENSES INCURRED BY HIM PRIOR TO THAT TIME WERE IN CONNECTION WITH A TEMPORARY VISIT TO WASHINGTON PRIOR TO ENTERING ON DUTY AT WACO, TEXAS, AND WERE INCURRED IN GOOD FAITH WITH THE EXPECTATION THAT HE WOULD BE REIMBURSED FOR THEM.

IT WOULD THUS APPEAR FROM THE FOREGOING THAT WHILE ORIGINALLY IT WAS PROPOSED TO APPOINT YOU TO A POSITION AT WACO, TEX., SUCH APPOINTMENT WAS NEVER MADE, SO THAT WACO, TEX., NEVER BECAME YOUR OFFICIAL DUTY STATION AS ORIGINALLY CONTEMPLATED. ON THE CONTRARY, ON PAY ROLL VOUCHER NO. 4 COVERING THE PERIOD OF YOUR SERVICE FROM JANUARY 5 TO JANUARY 15, 1934, THERE APPEAR NOTATIONS TO THE EFFECT THAT YOU ENTERED ON DUTY IN THE POSITION IN WHICH YOU THEN SERVED ON JANUARY 5, 1934, THE DATE OF APPOINTMENT BEING SHOWN AS JANUARY 12, 1934, WITH THE STATEMENT THAT THE OATH OF OFFICE WAS TAKEN JANUARY 6, 1934. SUBSEQUENT PAY ROLLS COVERING PAYMENT OF YOUR COMPENSATION FROM JANUARY 16 TO FEBRUARY 28, 1934, WHEN YOUR SERVICES TERMINATED, WERE AT THE SAME RATE OF PAY AND UNDER THE SAME APPOINTMENT GIVEN YOU ON JANUARY 12, 1934, RETROACTIVE TO THE DATE YOU ENTERED ON DUTY--- JANUARY 5, 1934.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES AS OUTLINED IN THE FOREGOING PARAGRAPHS IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT SINCE WACO, TEX., NEVER BECAME YOUR OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS OR DUTY STATION, WASHINGTON, D.C., CONSTITUTED YOUR FIRST DUTY STATION AND IN ACCEPTING THE APPOINTMENT IN WASHINGTON ON JANUARY 12, 1934, RETROACTIVELY TO THE DATE YOU REPORTED UNDER ORDER NO. 149 OF JANUARY 4, 1934, THE TRAVEL FROM NARBERTH, PA., TO WASHINGTON, D.C., MUST BE CONSIDERED AS TRAVEL TO YOUR FIRST DUTY STATION FOR WHICH YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT. LIKEWISE, YOUR STATUS IN WASHINGTON FOR THE PERIOD FROM JANUARY 5 TO JANUARY 12, 1934, WAS THAT OF AN EMPLOYEE ON DUTY AT HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION FOR WHICH SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES ARE NOT ALLOWABLE. THERE IS, OF COURSE, NO LEGAL BASIS FOR YOUR CLAIM FOR TRANSPORTATION FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO NARBERTH, PA., UPON THE TERMINATION OF YOUR SERVICES UNDER YOUR EMPLOYMENT IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

ACCORDINGLY, UPON REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 7, 1935, THE ACTION TAKEN THEREIN DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.

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