A-82100, FEBRUARY 6, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 732

A-82100: Feb 6, 1937

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THE DUTIES OF WHICH HAVE NO CONNECTION WITH THE FORMER POSITION. IS NOT ENTITLED TO TRAVELING EXPENSES TO THE DESIGNATED FIELD STATION. THE MATTER AS TO WHETHER THE NEW APPOINTMENT WAS AT THE SAME OR DIFFERENT SALARY RATE IS NOT MATERIAL. 15 COMP. I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED THE LETTER FROM THE ACTING SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR. AS FOLLOWS: REVIEW IS REQUESTED OF THE EXCEPTIONS IN THE ACCOUNTS OF E. SINCE THE DATE OF RETURN TO WASHINGTON IS INDEFINITE AND THE EMPLOYEE'S DUTIES HAVE BEEN PERFORMED FROM HONOLULU AS A BASE. IT MUST BE HELD THAT HONOLULU IS THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION AND PER DIEM THEREAFTER IS NOT ALLOWABLE. IS ALSO STATED THAT. SINCE IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT EMPLOYEES WHO ARE FURLOUGHED FROM THEIR REGULAR POSITIONS AND GIVEN TEMPORARY APPOINTMENTS AT HIGHER SALARIES ELSEWHERE MUST PLACE THEMSELVES AT THEIR PLACE OF DUTY UNDER THE NEW APPOINTMENT AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE.

A-82100, FEBRUARY 6, 1937, 16 COMP. GEN. 732

SUBSISTENCE AND TRAVELING EXPENSES - HEADQUARTERS AS DESIGNATED VERSUS HEADQUARTERS IN FACT - REAPPOINTMENT IN FIELD SERVICE FOLLOWING DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE IN SAME OFFICE THE DETACHING OF AN EMPLOYEE FROM A TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT IN THE WASHINGTON OFFICE OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE--- THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE --- AND APPOINTMENT THE FOLLOWING DAY TO WORK OF SAID OFFICE IN THE FIELD SERVICE, THE DUTIES OF WHICH HAVE NO CONNECTION WITH THE FORMER POSITION, MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS A TRANSFER OF AN EMPLOYEE BETWEEN DUTY STATIONS THE TRAVEL EXPENSES OF WHICH MAY BE REIMBURSED PURSUANT TO SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 15, 1934, 48 STAT. 450, WHERE AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED. AN EMPLOYEE DETACHED FROM A TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT IN THE WASHINGTON OFFICE OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE--- THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE--- AND APPOINTED THE FOLLOWING DAY TO WORK OF SAID OFFICE IN THE FIELD SERVICE, WHO PERFORMED NO DUTY AT WASHINGTON BEFORE DEPARTURE FOR FIELD DUTY, THE DUTIES UNDER SAID APPOINTMENT HAVING BEEN PERFORMED IN AND AROUND A DESIGNATED FIELD STATION, IS NOT ENTITLED TO TRAVELING EXPENSES TO THE DESIGNATED FIELD STATION, OR TO A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WHILE ON DUTY THERE, THE CIRCUMSTANCES BEING SUCH AS TO RENDER INEFFECTIVE THE ADMINISTRATIVE DESIGNATION OF WASHINGTON AS HIS HEADQUARTERS FOR TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE REIMBURSEMENT PURPOSES, AND THE MATTER AS TO WHETHER THE NEW APPOINTMENT WAS AT THE SAME OR DIFFERENT SALARY RATE IS NOT MATERIAL. 15 COMP. GEN. 624, DISTINGUISHED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, FEBRUARY 6, 1937:

WITH REFERENCE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 22, 1937, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED THE LETTER FROM THE ACTING SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, DATED JULY 30, 1936, AS FOLLOWS:

REVIEW IS REQUESTED OF THE EXCEPTIONS IN THE ACCOUNTS OF E. C. MORTON, FINANCE OFFICE, WAR DEPARTMENT, TAKEN BY YOUR OFFICE TO EXPENSE VOUCHERS LISTED BELOW COVERING SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSPORTATION IN THE CASE OF E. E. TILLETT, E.C.W. FIELD SUPERVISOR, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE OF THIS DEPARTMENT:

TABLE VOUCHER NO. 9216, PAID AUGUST 1935 -------------------------- - $235.39

(T/R-I-231.238 AND 231.239) VOUCHER NO. 12736, PAID AUG. 29, 1935 -- ---- ------------------ 113.75 VOUCHER NO. 11998, PAID SEPT. 27, 1935 - ------- --------------- 147.50 VOUCHER NO. 10191, PAID OCT. 19, 1935 - ----------- ------------ 140.00 VOUCHER NO. 10161, PAID NOV. 16, 1935 ---------------- -------- 145.00

TOTAL ---------------------------------------------------- $781.64

THE FIRST NOTICE OF EXCEPTION LISTED ABOVE STATES THAT, SINCE THE DATE OF RETURN TO WASHINGTON IS INDEFINITE AND THE EMPLOYEE'S DUTIES HAVE BEEN PERFORMED FROM HONOLULU AS A BASE, IT MUST BE HELD THAT HONOLULU IS THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION AND PER DIEM THEREAFTER IS NOT ALLOWABLE. IS ALSO STATED THAT, SINCE IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT EMPLOYEES WHO ARE FURLOUGHED FROM THEIR REGULAR POSITIONS AND GIVEN TEMPORARY APPOINTMENTS AT HIGHER SALARIES ELSEWHERE MUST PLACE THEMSELVES AT THEIR PLACE OF DUTY UNDER THE NEW APPOINTMENT AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE, THE EXPENSE OF TRAVEL FROM WASHINGTON TO HONOLULU IS NOT ALLOWABLE.

MR. TILLETT WAS APPOINTED AS FIELD SUPERVISOR, FIELD GRADE 14, ECW, $3,500 PER ANNUM, WITH OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS AT WASHINGTON, D.C., AT LARGE, BY THE SECRETARY'S ORDER NO. 576-ECW OF JUNE 3, 1935. PREVIOUS TO THAT APPOINTMENT HE WAS GIVEN A PUBLIC WORKS APPOINTMENT AS ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT (CHIEF ACCOUNTANT), GRADE CAF-10, AT $3,500 PER ANNUM, ON JULY 31, 1934, BY ADMINISTRATIVE FURLOUGH FROM THE SAME POSITION IN GRADE CAF- 8, AT $2,900 PER ANNUM ON THE REGULAR ROLL. HE CONTINUED UNDER HIS PUBLIC WORKS APPOINTMENT UNTIL THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS JUNE 5, 1935, WHEN THAT APPOINTMENT WAS TERMINATED FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACCEPTING THE POSITION OF ECW FIELD SUPERVISOR AT THE SAME SALARY. MR. TILLETT ENTERED ON DUTY UNDER THIS APPOINTMENT ON JUNE 6, 1935.

ON MARCH 16, 1936, HIS HEADQUARTERS WAS CHANGED FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO HONOLULU, T.H., ON WHICH DATE HE WAS GIVEN AN ADMINISTRATIVE PROMOTION OF $600 PER ANNUM.

CONTRARY TO THE STATEMENT IN NOTICE OF EXCEPTION DATED JUNE 10, 1936, ON VOUCHER NO. 9216, IT WILL BE NOTED FROM THE ABOVE THAT MR. TILLETT WAS NOT GIVEN A TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT AT A HIGHER SALARY AND, THEREFORE, THERE WAS NO REASON TO BELIEVE THAT HE SHOULD HAVE BORNE THE EXPENSE OF PLACING HIMSELF AT THE DUTY STATION.

THE ECW APPOINTMENT WAS FOR SPECIAL DUTY FOR SUCH PERIOD OF TIME AS HIS SERVICES MIGHT BE REQUIRED ON SUCH WORK AND FUNDS WERE AVAILABLE THEREFOR WITH TRAVEL EXPENSES AND PER DIEM WHEN AWAY FROM OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS. COPY OF THE APPOINTMENT DATED JUNE 3, 1935, IS OF RECORD IN YOUR OFFICE. CONSIDERING THAT THE ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY IN THE TERRITORY OF HAWAII CONTEMPLATED A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, NO PROVISION FOR THE TRANSFER OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WAS CONTAINED IN THE APPOINTMENT AND THE EMPLOYEE HAS CONTINUED TO MAINTAIN HIS RESIDENCE IN THE VICINITY OF WASHINGTON, D.C., KNOWING THAT THE ASSIGNMENT IS OF A TEMPORARY NATURE. THE TRAVEL ORDER DATED JUNE 3, 1935, COPY OF WHICH IS ALSO OF RECORD IN YOUR OFFICE, DIRECTS MR. TILLETT TO TRAVEL FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS LOCATED AT WASHINGTON, D.C., TO SUCH POINTS WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND THE TERRITORY OF HAWAII AS MAY BE NECESSARY IN CONNECTION WITH HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES. IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES, THE RATE OF NOT TO EXCEED $5.00 PER DIEM WAS AUTHORIZED WHILE THE EMPLOYEE WAS AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED HEADQUARTERS.

AT THE TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY IN HAWAII, MR. TILLETT HAD RENDERED APPROXIMATELY 14 YEARS' SERVICE WITH THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE OF THIS DEPARTMENT. HIS HEADQUARTERS DURING THAT PERIOD OF SERVICE WAS WASHINGTON, D.C., AND HE HAD BEEN REQUIRED TO TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL DUTY FROM TWO TO SIX MONTHS EACH YEAR. AS PREVIOUSLY STATED, MR. TILLETT'S HEADQUARTERS WAS CHANGED TO HAWAII ON MARCH 16, 1936, AFTER IT WAS DETERMINED THAT HE WOULD BE ON MORE OR LESS CONTINUOUS DUTY FROM THAT BASE.

THE REGULATIONS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE PROVIDE THAT PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE PAID TO OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES SHALL BE LIMITED TO 90 DAYS IN ANY ONE LOCALITY DURING ANY CONCURRENT CALENDAR OR FISCAL YEAR UNLESS EXCEPTION IS MADE BY THE DIRECTOR IN SPECIAL CASES. IN CONSIDERING THE TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT AND THE ADDITIONAL EXPENSE TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WOULD BE SUBJECTED, AN EXCEPTION WAS MADE TO THE REGULATIONS IN MR. TILLETT'S CASE.

IT IS REQUESTED THAT FURTHER CONSIDERATION BE GIVEN TO MR. TILLETT'S CASE IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT HE WAS NOT ASSIGNED TO THE EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK AT AN INCREASE IN SALARY AND WAS IN A TEMPORARY STATUS IN HAWAII AT LEAST PRIOR TO MARCH 15, 1936.

THOROUGH CONSIDERATION OF THE FACTS, AS SUBMITTED, WHEN REVIEWING THE EXCEPTIONS AND ADVICE AS TO YOUR CONCLUSIONS WILL BE APPRECIATED.

ALSO, THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED A LETTER, DATED SEPTEMBER 16, 1936, FROM THE ACTING ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, TRANSMITTING A COPY OF THE TRAVEL ORDER OF JUNE 3, 1935, COPIES OF APPOINTMENT LETTERS, ETC.

IT NOW APPEARS THAT AT THE TIME HERE INVOLVED MR. TILLETT WAS NOT FURLOUGHED FROM A REGULAR POSITION AND GIVEN A TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT AT A HIGHER SALARY, BUT THAT ON JUNE 5, 1935, HE WAS DETACHED FROM HIS DUTIES AS CHIEF ACCOUNTANT UNDER A TEMPORARY PUBLIC WORKS APPOINTMENT, CAF-10, AT $3,500 PER ANNUM IN THE OFFICE OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE AT WASHINGTON, D.C., THAT IS, IN THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE, AND WAS APPOINTED, EFFECTIVE JUNE 6, 1935, A FIELD SUPERVISOR, FCS-14, ON WORK UNDER AN EMERGENCY CONSERVATION WORK ALLOTMENT AT $3,500 PER ANNUM, IN THE FIELD SERVICE.

THE COPY OF THE APPOINTMENT LETTER, DATED JUNE 3, 1935, TRANSMITTED TO THIS OFFICE ASSIGNS ,WASHINGTON, D.C., A/L" AS HEADQUARTERS, AND, SIMILARLY, THE TRAVEL ORDER ISSUED JUNE 3, 1935, AUTHORIZES TRAVEL FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS "LOCATED AT WASHINGTON, D.C.' TO POINTS IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE TERRITORY OF HAWAII.

THE FACT IS THAT UPON TAKING HIS OATH OF OFFICE UNDER HIS NEW APPOINTMENT ON JUNE 6, 1935, THE EMPLOYEE LEFT WASHINGTON THE SAME DAY FOR HONOLULU, WHERE, SO FAR AS THE RECORD SHOWS, HE HAS SINCE REMAINED CONTINUOUSLY ON DUTY. AS HIS NEW DUTIES AS FIELD SUPERVISOR HAD NO CONNECTION WITH HIS FORMER POSITION IN WASHINGTON, BUT WERE UNDER A NEW AND DIFFERENT APPOINTMENT, THERE IS NOT INVOLVED ANY QUESTION OF THE TRANSFER OF AN EMPLOYEE BETWEEN DUTY STATIONS, THE TRAVEL EXPENSES OF WHICH MAY BE REIMBURSED PURSUANT TO SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 15, 1934, 48 STAT. 450, WHERE AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT, BUT THERE IS INVOLVED ONLY THE QUESTION OF A NEW APPOINTEE BEING REQUIRED TO PLACE HIMSELF AT HIS FIRST DUTY STATION AT HIS OWN EXPENSE AND THE MATTER OF THE PAYMENT TO HIM OF A SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE AFTER ARRIVAL AT HIS POST OF DUTY. THE RULE IS STATED IN 13 COMP. GEN. 390, 392, AS FOLLOWS:

IT IS A WELL-SETTLED RULE THAT AN EMPLOYEE, UPON APPOINTMENT TO A NEW POSITION, MUST BEAR THE EXPENSE, IF ANY, INCIDENT TO REPORTING AT THE DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY OR FIRST PLACE AT WHICH DUTY IS ACTUALLY PERFORMED. 5 COMP. GEN. 987; 10 ID. 222. THE FACT THAT MR. OLIVER TOOK THE OATH OF OFFICE UNDER THE NEW APPOINTMENT BEFORE LEAVING WASHINGTON, D.C., CANNOT OPERATE TO PLACE HIM IN A TRAVEL STATUS SINCE NO DUTY WAS PERFORMED AT WASHINGTON. 4 COMP. GEN. 641.

SEE, ALSO, 14 COMP. GEN. 564, AND ID. 871. WHETHER THE NEW APPOINTMENT IS AT THE SAME OR A DIFFERENT SALARY IS NOT MATERIAL.

AS IN THIS CASE NO DUTIES WERE PERFORMED AT WASHINGTON BUT, SINCE THE APPOINTMENT, ALL DUTIES HAVE BEEN PERFORMED IN AND AROUND HONOLULU, IT IS APPARENT THAT HONOLULU, AND NOT WASHINGTON, WAS IN FACT THE EMPLOYEE'S FIRST PERMANENT ACTUAL DUTY STATION UNDER HIS NEW APPOINTMENT, AND IT MUST BE HELD THAT THE APPOINTMENT AND TRAVEL ORDERS OF JUNE 3, 1935, DESIGNATING WASHINGTON AS THE EMPLOYEE'S HEADQUARTERS WERE INEFFECTIVE TO ENTITLE HIM TO TRAVEL EXPENSES TO SUCH FIRST DUTY STATION AT HONOLULU OR TO CREATE A TEMPORARY DUTY STATUS ENTITLING HIM TO A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WHILE AT HONOLULU AFTER HIS ARRIVAL THERE. SEE 10 COMP. GEN. 469, 471. ACCORDINGLY, THE DISALLOWANCE OF CREDIT IN THE ACCOUNTS OF MAJOR E. C. MORTON FOR THE PAYMENTS IN QUESTION IS SUSTAINED. THE MATTER HERE IS TO BE DISTINGUISHED FROM THOSE CASES WHERE EMPLOYEES ARE REQUIRED TO TRAVEL MORE OR LESS CONTINUOUSLY FROM PLACE TO PLACE IN THE FIELD WITHOUT RELATION TO A PERMANENT FIELD HEADQUARTERS. SEE 15 COMP. GEN. 624.

IT IS NOTED THAT THE DEPARTMENT HAS ALREADY TAKEN STEPS TO REIMBURSE THE GOVERNMENT BY REFUNDING TO THE APPROPRIATION THE AMOUNT OF $134.85, CONSISTING OF ALLOWABLE TRAVEL EXPENSES DURING THE PERIOD FROM DECEMBER 1, 1935, TO MAY 31, 1936, WHILE THE EMPLOYEE WAS AWAY FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS AT HONOLULU ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS, AS ITEMIZED ON VOUCHERS NOS. 17419, 17420, 17421, AND 17422 OF THE JUNE 1936 DISBURSING ACCOUNT OF MAJOR E. C. MORTON. THERE REMAINS TO BE REFUNDED THE BALANCE OF THE OVERPAYMENT, $639.79, IT APPEARING THAT CREDIT WAS DISALLOWED FOR ONLY $106.75 ON VOUCHER NO. 12736, PAID AUGUST 29, 1935, INSTEAD OF FOR $113.75 AS STATED IN THE ACTING SECRETARY'S LETTER OF JULY 30, 1936. SUPRA. ..END :