A-95366, JUNE 24, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 1108

A-95366: Jun 24, 1938

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IS AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR DECISION A-93206 OF APRIL 28. NO CHANGE IN THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT UNDER WHICH THE SERVICE IS TO BE PERFORMED. THERE IS INVOLVED THE CHANGE IN TITLE OF THE PERSON OR THE GRADE OR SALARY RATE OF THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE.'. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA" WHO IS ENGAGED ON DUTIES ARISING OUT OF THE ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "MAINTENANCE AIR NAVIGATION FACILITIES" AND WHO. THERE IS. ALTHOUGH THERE IS NO CHANGE IN THE APPROPRIATION COVERING TRAVELING EXPENSES. NO CHANGE IN THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT UNDER WHICH THE SERVICE IS TO BE PERFORMED AND NO CHANGE IN THE APPROPRIATION CHARGEABLE WITH THE ACTIVITIES ON WHICH SUCH EMPLOYEE IS ENGAGED.

A-95366, JUNE 24, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 1108

TRAVELING EXPENSES - CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS FROM DEPARTMENTAL TO FIELD SERVICE OR VICE VERSA THE TRANSFER OR REAPPOINTMENT OF EMPLOYEES FROM THE DEPARTMENT ROLL PAID FROM THE DEPARTMENTAL APPROPRIATION, TO THE FIELD ROLL PAID FROM A FIELD APPROPRIATION, OR VICE VERSA, MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS A TRANSFER FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ANNUAL STATUTORY PROVISION AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES "ON TRANSFER FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER,"NOTWITHSTANDING THE DUTIES PERFORMED MAY BE SIMILAR. 17 COMP. GEN. 874, AMPLIFIED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, JUNE 24, 1938:

YOUR LETTER OF MAY 27, 1938, IS AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR DECISION A-93206 OF APRIL 28, 1938, IN WHICH YOU CLARIFY PREVIOUS DECISIONS RELATING TO TRANSFERS AND REPORTING TO FIRST DUTY STATIONS.

THE ABOVE DECISION STATES IN PART "IF A CHANGE IN OFFICIAL STATION OF AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE--- DIRECTED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE GOVERNMENT--- INVOLVES NO BREAK IN SERVICE, NO TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT BY OPERATION OF LAW, NO CHANGE IN THE APPROPRIATION TO BE CHARGED WITH THE SALARY AND TRAVELING EXPENSES OF THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE, AND NO CHANGE IN THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT UNDER WHICH THE SERVICE IS TO BE PERFORMED, SUCH CHANGE IN STATION MAY BE REGARDED AS A "TRANSFER" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE STATUTE, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH TRANSFER, THERE IS INVOLVED THE CHANGE IN TITLE OF THE PERSON OR THE GRADE OR SALARY RATE OF THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE.'

THE BUREAU OF AIR COMMERCE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE OFTEN FINDS IT NECESSARY AND IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT TO TRANSFER CERTAIN OF ITS EMPLOYEES FROM ITS FIELD OFFICES FOR WORK IN THE WASHINGTON OFFICE AND VICE VERSA. AN INSTANCE MAY BE CITED OF AN EMPLOYEE IN THE WASHINGTON OFFICE PAID FROM THE APPROPRIATION "PERSONAL SERVICES, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA" WHO IS ENGAGED ON DUTIES ARISING OUT OF THE ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED UNDER THE APPROPRIATION "MAINTENANCE AIR NAVIGATION FACILITIES" AND WHO, WHEN TRANSFERRED TO THE FIELD, CONTINUES TO BE

ENGAGED IN ACTIVITIES COVERED BY THIS SAME APPROPRIATION,"MAINTENANCE AIR NAVIGATION CILITIES," HIS SALARY BEING PAID THEREFROM. THE SAME SITUATION IN REVERSE ORDER WOULD APPLY TO AN EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRED FROM THE FIELD TO THE WASHINGTON OFFICE. THERE IS, AS SHOWN, A CHANGE IN THE APPROPRIATION TO BE CHARGED WITH THE SALARY OF SUCH EMPLOYEE, ALTHOUGH THERE IS NO CHANGE IN THE APPROPRIATION COVERING TRAVELING EXPENSES, NO BREAK IN SERVICES, NO TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT BY OPERATION OF LAW, NO CHANGE IN THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT UNDER WHICH THE SERVICE IS TO BE PERFORMED AND NO CHANGE IN THE APPROPRIATION CHARGEABLE WITH THE ACTIVITIES ON WHICH SUCH EMPLOYEE IS ENGAGED.

WILL YOU PLEASE ADVISE WHETHER SUCH A CASE MIGHT ALSO BE CONSIDERED AS A "TRANSFER" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE STATUTE CITED IN YOUR ABOVE MENTIONED DECISION.

THE DECISION OF APRIL 28, 1938, A-93206, 17 COMP. GEN. 874, STATED THE GENERAL RULE FOR DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN A "TRANSFER" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ANNUAL STATUTORY PROVISION AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES "ON TRANSFER FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER" (FOR CURRENT FISCAL YEAR SEE ACT OF MAY 14, 1937, 50 STAT.163) AND A REPORTING TO FIRST DUTY STATION UNDER A NEW APPOINTMENT, SUCH AS IS REQUIRED TO BE AT THE EMPLOYEE'S OWN EXPENSE. THERE WAS INVOLVED IN THAT DECISION TRANSFERS FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER IN THE FIELD SERVICE.

YOU NOW SUGGEST THAT THE TRANSFER OR REAPPOINTMENT OF EMPLOYEES FROM THE DEPARTMENTAL ROLL PAID FROM THE DEPARTMENTAL APPROPRIATION, TO THE FIELD ROLL PAID FROM A FIELD APPROPRIATION, OR VICE VERSA, SHOULD BE REGARDED AS A "TRANSFER," RATHER THAN AS A REPORTING TO FIRST DUTY STATION UNDER A NEW APPOINTMENT.

A TRANSFER OR REAPPOINTMENT FROM THE DEPARTMENTAL TO THE FIELD SERVICE,OR VICE VERSA, MAY NOT IN ANY EVENT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS STATED IN THE CITED DECISION TO CONSTITUTE IT A "TRANSFER FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER" FOR THE REASON THAT THE SALARY APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENTAL AND FIELD SERVICES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN REQUIRED TO BE EXPENDED AND ACCOUNTED FOR AS SEPARATE AND DISTINCT ENTITIES, EVEN THOUGH THE EMPLOYEES MAY BE ENGAGED ON SIMILAR DUTIES. SEE DECISION OF MARCH 17, 1932, 11 COMP. GEN. 353, 354, WHEREIN IT WAS STATED IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

THE PERSONNEL OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS DIVIDED, BROADLY, INTO THE DEPARTMENTAL AND FIELD SERVICES. THE CONGRESS APPROPRIATES FUNDS SEPARATELY FOR THE TWO SERVICES, AND IN VARIOUS WAYS, INCLUDING RESTRICTIONS ON THE AMOUNT AVAILABLE FOR PERSONNEL IN THE DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, HAS SHOWN A CLEAR INTENTION THAT THE TWO APPROPRIATIONS ARE TO BE EXPENDED AND ACCOUNTED FOR AS SEPARATE AND DISTINCT ENTITIES. LAWS AND REGULATIONS AFFECTING THE PERSONNEL IN THE DEPARTMENTAL AND FIELD SERVICES, RESPECTIVELY, DIFFER MATERIALLY. WHILE THE PRINCIPALS OF CLASSIFICATION HAVE BEEN EXTENDED TO THE FIELD SERVICE IN A MODIFIED FORM, THE GENERAL RESTRICTIONS ON ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS, AND OTHER RULES STATED IN THE ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION ACT, AS WELL AS THE AVERAGE PROVISION APPEARING IN THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS, ARE NOT APPLICABLE IN THE FIELD SERVICE. ACCORDINGLY, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT THE CREATION OF ONE POSITION, EITHER WITH ONE OR TWO SALARY RATES, WITH DUTIES DIVIDED BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENTAL AND FIELD SERVICE, CHARGEABLE UNDER THE RESPECTIVE APPROPRIATIONS, IS NOT AUTHORIZED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE. SEE 16 COMP. GEN. 732.