A-91796, JANUARY 27, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 606

A-91796: Jan 27, 1938

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IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO ENTITLE THE EMPLOYEE TO REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES IN EFFECTING THE TRANSFER OR PER DIEM ALLOWANCE AT THE NEW STATION . A CONFERENCE WAS HELD BETWEEN THE REGIONAL AUDITOR. AT THIS CONFERENCE A DISCUSSION WAS HAD RESPECTING THE FEASIBILITY OF REASSIGNING MEN ON THE PUBLIC ASSISTANCE AUDIT IN THE COUNTIES OF PENNSYLVANIA. WHICH AUDIT WAS THEN IN PROGRESS. NO DEFINITE DETERMINATION WAS MADE AT THE CONFERENCE THAT ANY INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEE'S HEADQUARTERS WOULD BE CHANGED FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS AT HARRISBURG. IT WAS AGREED. IT WAS AGREED THAT NO RECOMMENDATION WOULD BE MADE BY THE BUREAU IN RESPECT TO THE CHANGE OF EMPLOYEE'S HEADQUARTERS UNTIL IT WAS DEFINITELY KNOWN WHICH MEN COULD BE ASSIGNED TO EACH OF THE TOWNS.

A-91796, JANUARY 27, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 606

TRAVELING EXPENSES AND PER DIEM ALLOWANCES - TRANSFERS - SUBORDINATE AUTHORIZATIONS SUBSEQUENTLY APPROVED - EFFECTIVE DATE OF TRANSFER SUBSEQUENT TO ARRIVAL AT NEW STATION SECTION 2, ACT, MAY 14, 1937, 50 STAT. 163, PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES ON TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION "WHEN AUTHORIZED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED IN THE ORDER DIRECTING SUCH TRANSFER," DOES NOT AFFECT THE AUTHORITY OF A SUBORDINATE OFFICER TO TRANSFER AN EMPLOYEE WITHOUT REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES, AND AN ORDER OF A SUBORDINATE OFFICER DIRECTING TRAVEL FOR TEMPORARY DUTY AND EFFECTING A CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION AFTER A SPECIFIED DATE, WHILE SUFFICIENT TO ACCOMPLISH A TRANSFER, IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO ENTITLE THE EMPLOYEE TO REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES IN EFFECTING THE TRANSFER OR PER DIEM ALLOWANCE AT THE NEW STATION , NOTWITHSTANDING THE SUBSEQUENT APPROVAL OF THE TRANSFER BY THE ,HEAD OF THE ESTABLISHMENT" CONCERNED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE CHAIRMAN, SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD, JANUARY 27, 1938:

THERE HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO THIS OFFICE FOR AUDIT IN ADVANCE OF PAYMENT VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF HAROLD M. DICKERT, CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES AND FOR PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE INVOLVED IN A TRIP FROM HARRISBURG TO PITTSBURGH, PA., NOVEMBER 7 AND 8, 1937,WITH PER DIEM UNTIL NOVEMBER 15, 1937. THE FOLLOWING EXPLANATION ACCOMPANIES THE VOUCHER:

ON NOVEMBER 1, 1937, A CONFERENCE WAS HELD BETWEEN THE REGIONAL AUDITOR, THE CHIEF OF THE DIVISION OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE FINANCE, AND THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF ACCOUNTS AND AUDITS. AT THIS CONFERENCE A DISCUSSION WAS HAD RESPECTING THE FEASIBILITY OF REASSIGNING MEN ON THE PUBLIC ASSISTANCE AUDIT IN THE COUNTIES OF PENNSYLVANIA, WHICH AUDIT WAS THEN IN PROGRESS. NO DEFINITE DETERMINATION WAS MADE AT THE CONFERENCE THAT ANY INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEE'S HEADQUARTERS WOULD BE CHANGED FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS AT HARRISBURG. IT WAS AGREED, HOWEVER, THAT HARRISBURG, PHILADELPHIA, AND PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, WOULD BE GIVEN CONSIDERATION AS POSSIBLE HEADQUARTER TOWNS FOR CERTAIN GROUPS, SUBJECT TO APPROVAL BY THE SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD. FURTHERMORE, IT WAS AGREED THAT NO RECOMMENDATION WOULD BE MADE BY THE BUREAU IN RESPECT TO THE CHANGE OF EMPLOYEE'S HEADQUARTERS UNTIL IT WAS DEFINITELY KNOWN WHICH MEN COULD BE ASSIGNED TO EACH OF THE TOWNS. THE REGIONAL AUDITOR WAS INSTRUCTED TO REPORT ON THE MANNER THAT WOULD ACCOMPLISH THE TRANSFER, GIVING CONSIDERATION TO THE EXPEDITIOUS AND ECONOMICAL COMPLETION OF THE AUDIT IN RELATION TO THE PROGRAM AS A WHOLE FOR THE STATE.

ON NOVEMBER 5, 1937, MR. RAY W. ALLEN, REGIONAL AUDITOR, DIRECTED MR. DICKERT TO PROCEED FROM HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, TO PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, FOR THE PURPOSE OF AUDITING EXPENDITURES OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE AS MADE BY ALLEGHENY COUNTY, THIS ACTION BEING TAKEN PURSUANT TO AUTHORITY OF TRAVEL ORDER NO. A AND A-245 AS AMENDED BY A AND A-413, COPIES ATTACHED. THE TRAVEL AND THE AUDIT WOULD HAVE BEEN PERFORMED AT THE TIME AND IN THE MANNER ACCOMPLISHED, REGARDLESS OF ANY PROPOSED CHANGE IN HEADQUARTERS. IN ORDER TO GIVE THE MEN INFORMAL ADVANCE NOTICE OF HIS PROPOSED ACTION (SUBJECT TO APPROVAL BY THE BOARD), MR. ALLEN STATED IN HIS WRITTEN INSTRUCTION DATED NOVEMBER 5, 1937, TO MR. DICKERT, COPY ATTACHED, THAT HIS HEADQUARTERS WOULD BE CHANGED TO PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 16, 1937. MR. ALLEN WAS WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE THAT SUCH A CHANGE WOULD BE APPROVED BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF ACCOUNTS AND AUDITS, OR THAT A RECOMMENDATION WOULD BE MADE TO THE BOARD FOR APPROVAL OF SUCH ACTION.

AS STATED IN THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S DECISION A-74792, MADE TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD ON MAY 13, 1936, ON THIS SUBJECT, THE TRANSFER OF AN EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION IS A DISCRETIONARY AUTHORITY VESTED IN THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD AND "THE EXERCISE OF SUCH A DISCRETION MAY NOT BE DELEGATED TO A SUBORDINATE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE.'

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT MR. ALLEN'S ACTION ON NOVEMBER 5, 1937, IN AUTHORIZING A CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION WAS NOT OFFICIALLY SANCTIONED AND SINCE THE BOARD WAS WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE UPON WHICH TO MAKE A DETERMINATION IN THE EXERCISE OF DISCRETION PRIOR TO NOVEMBER 16, 1937, YOUR FAVORABLE CONSIDERATION OF THE VOUCHER IS REQUESTED.

SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MAY 14, 1937, PUBLIC NO. 77, 50 STAT. 163, PROVIDES:

APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1938 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.

AS STATED IN THE DECISION TO YOU OF MAY 13, 1936, A-74792, AN ACT SO WORDED VESTS IN THE HEAD OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD A DISCRETION WHICH CANNOT BE DELEGATED TO A SUBORDINATE OFFICER. THIS DISCRETION AFFECTS ONLY THE RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES AND PER DIEM INVOLVED IN A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS AND DOES NOT AFFECT ANY AUTHORITY WHICH A SUBORDINATE OFFICER MIGHT HAVE TO TRANSFER AN EMPLOYEE WITHOUT REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES OR PER DIEM. THE TRAVEL ORDER OF JULY 28, 1937, SIGNED BY PAUL D. BANNING, DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF ACCOUNTS AND AUDITS, AND APPROVED "FOR THE BOARD" BY THE DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS MANAGEMENT, PROVIDES:

DATE, JULY 28, 1937.

TO: THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.

IT IS REQUESTED THAT TRAVEL ORDERS BE ISSUED HAROLD M. DICKERT, ASSISTANT AUDITING CLERK, HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, AND THAT HE BE AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM THE FOLLOWING TRAVEL AND INCUR THE NECESSARY EXPENSES IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES:

PROCEED FROM: HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA. TO: POINTS WITHIN THE STATES OF PENNSYLVANIA, DELAWARE, AND NEW JERSEY, AND RETURN TO HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, VISITING THEM IN SUCH ORDER AND AT SUCH TIMES TO BEST SERVE THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES, AS DIRECTED BY THE CHIEF OR ACTING REGIONAL AUDITOR.

FOR THE PURPOSE OF: ASSISTING IN THE PERFORMANCE OF ROUTINE DETAILS OF AUDITS OF THE STATES MENTIONED HEREIN.

SPECIAL AUTHORITY:

LEAVING ABOUT: JULY 30, 1937. RETURNING APPROXIMATELY: SEPTEMBER 30, 1937.

BY ORDER DATED SEPTEMBER 25, 1937, SIMILARLY SIGNED AND APPROVED, THE TERMINATION DATE OF THE ORDER WAS EXTENDED TO DECEMBER 31, 1937. NOVEMBER 5, 1937, THE FOLLOWING ORDER WAS ISSUED TO MR. DICKERT BY RAY W. ALLEN, REGIONAL AUDITOR.

PLEASE ARRANGE TO REPORT TO MR. CLAUDE A. MILLIKEN AT THE OFFICE OF THE MOTHERS' ASSISTANCE FUND BOARD OF TRUSTEES, 203 COUNTY BUILDING, ROSE AND DIAMOND STREETS, PITTSBURGH, PA., ON MONDAY MORNING, NOVEMBER 8, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASSISTING IN THE AUDIT OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY PUBLIC ASSISTANCE ACTIVITIES.

YOUR OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS WILL BE CHANGED TO PITTSBURGH, PA., EFFECTIVE 11/16/37.

ON NOVEMBER 16 THE BOARD FORMALLY AUTHORIZED AND APPROVED THE TRANSFER OF MR. DICKERT'S HEADQUARTERS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE GOVERNMENT. HOWEVER, THIS ACTION HAVING BEEN TAKEN AFTER THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED WAS INEFFECTIVE AS THE RIGHTS OF THE TRAVELER TO REIMBURSEMENT BECAME FIXED AS OF THE DATE THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED. 11 COMP. GEN. 459.

IN 14 COMP. GEN. 146, IT WAS HELD (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

WHERE FACTS SHOW THE GOOD FAITH OF A TEMPORARY DETAIL OR ASSIGNMENT OF AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE TO A PLACE TO WHICH HIS REGULAR DUTY STATION, IS THEREAFTER CHANGED, AND THAT AT THE TIME THE ORDER FOR TRAVEL ON TEMPORARY DUTY WAS ISSUED THERE WAS NO PURPOSE TO EFFECT A TRANSFER OR CHANGE IN REGULAR DUTY STATION, REIMBURSEMENT OF OTHERWISE PROPER EXPENSES INCIDENT TO SUCH TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED, BUT WHERE THE FACTS SHOW THAT THE REAL PURPOSE OF THE TRAVEL WAS TO EFFECT A CHANGE OF REGULAR DUTY STATION, AND THE TRANSFER WAS NOT "AUTHORIZED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT" IN AN "ORDER DIRECTING SUCH TRANSFER" PURSUANT TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1513, REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

THE TRAVEL ORDERS ISSUED TO THIS EMPLOYEE NOVEMBER 5, 1937, INDICATED A PURPOSE OF TRANSFERRING THE EMPLOYEE'S HEADQUARTERS AND, WHILE THEY WERE SUFFICIENT TO ACCOMPLISH A TRANSFER, THEY WERE NOT SUFFICIENT TO ENTITLE THE EMPLOYEE TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES OR FOR PER DIEM AT PITTSBURGH. ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED WITHOUT APPROVAL.