A-80473, SEPTEMBER 18, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 271

A-80473: Sep 18, 1936

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

IN WHICH INFORMATION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER HE IS ENTITLED TO FREE TRANSPORTATION FROM THE VIRGIN ISLANDS TO CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE AS PROVIDED IN PUBLIC. KNOTT WAS APPOINTED TO THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS WHILE SERVING IN PUERTO RICO. HE WAS AT THAT TIME A LEGAL RESIDENT OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI. THE ACT READS THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS AUTHORIZED TO FURNISH PERSONS APPOINTED "FROM THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES" FREE TRANSPORTATION FROM THE POST OF DUTY TO A PORT IN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND RETURN FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE. HE WAS ACTUALLY A LEGAL RESIDENT OF CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. THE FOLLOWING IS THE TEXT OF THE SENTENCE OF THE ACT OF JUNE 5.

A-80473, SEPTEMBER 18, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 271

LEAVES OF ABSENCE - VIRGIN ISLANDS EMPLOYEES - TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE LEGAL RESIDENCE AND NOT ACTUAL PRESENCE IN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AT THE TIME OF APPOINTMENT TO THE FEDERAL SERVICE IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS DETERMINES AN EMPLOYEE'S RIGHT TO FREE TRANSPORTATION FROM HIS POST OF DUTY TO A PORT IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND RETURN FOR LEAVE TAKING PURPOSES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1936, 49 STAT. 1483.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, SEPTEMBER 18, 1936:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 5, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

GOVERNOR LAWRENCE W. CRAMER OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS HAS TRANSMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT A COMMUNICATION, DATED AUGUST 6, ADDRESSED TO HIM BY DR. JAMES KNOTT, ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH, GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS, ST. CROIX, V.I., IN WHICH INFORMATION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER HE IS ENTITLED TO FREE TRANSPORTATION FROM THE VIRGIN ISLANDS TO CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE AS PROVIDED IN PUBLIC, NO. 667, 74TH CONGRESS, AN ACT ,AUTHORIZING THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO FURNISH TRANSPORTATION TO PERSONS IN THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.'

ALTHOUGH DR. KNOTT WAS APPOINTED TO THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS WHILE SERVING IN PUERTO RICO, HERE HE HAD RESIDED FOR A PERIOD OF FOUR AND A HALF MONTHS PRIOR TO RECEIVING HIS APPOINTMENT, HE WAS AT THAT TIME A LEGAL RESIDENT OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI. THE ACT READS THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS AUTHORIZED TO FURNISH PERSONS APPOINTED "FROM THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES" FREE TRANSPORTATION FROM THE POST OF DUTY TO A PORT IN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND RETURN FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE; AND ALTHOUGH DR. KNOTT RECEIVED HIS APPOINTMENT WHEN STATIONED IN PUERTO RICO, HE WAS ACTUALLY A LEGAL RESIDENT OF CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES.

I SUBMIT THIS QUESTION TO YOUR FOR AN OPINION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT I AM AUTHORIZED TO GRANT LEAVE TO DR. KNOTT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE-MENTIONED ACT.

THE FOLLOWING IS THE TEXT OF THE SENTENCE OF THE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1936, 49 STAT. 1483, FROM WHICH YOU QUOTE:

* * * THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS FURTHER AUTHORIZED TO FURNISH TO PERSONS APPOINTED FROM THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND EMPLOYED IN THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS FREE TRANSPORTATION FROM THE POST OF DUTY TO A PORT IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND RETURN FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE, BUT NOT MORE FREQUENTLY IN THE CASE OF ANY PERSONS THAN ONCE DURING EACH TWO-YEAR PERIOD OF SERVICE.

THE PURPOSE IN LIMITING THE BENEFIT "TO PERSONS APPOINTED FROM THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES" IS TO EXCLUDE NATIVES OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS AND ALL OTHERS WHO ARE NOT RESIDENTS OF THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. THE STATUTE PROVIDES TRANSPORTATION FOR EMPLOYEES TO AND FROM A PORT IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO PERMIT THEM TO TAKE THEIR LEAVE AT HOME. IS NOT NECESSARY IN ORDER TO BE ENTITLED TO SUCH TRANSPORTATION THAT AN EMPLOYEE MUST HAVE BEEN ACTUALLY IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO HIS APPOINTMENT BUT ONLY THAT HIS HOME OR LEGAL RESIDENCE IS IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES.

THE QUESTION PRESENTED IN THE CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.