A-95599, JUNE 28, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 1117

A-95599: Jun 28, 1938

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IS AS FOLLOWS: THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH IS QUOTED FROM YOUR DECISION A-93206 DATED APRIL 28. NO CHANGE IN THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT UNDER WHICH THE SERVICE IS TO BE PERFORMED. THERE IS INVOLVED A CHANGE IN TITLE OF THE POSITION OR IN THE GRADE OR SALARY RATE OF THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE. REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO SUCH TRANSFERS IS NOT AUTHORIZED EXCEPT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS AND SUBJECT TO THE CONDITIONS PRESCRIBED IN THE STATUTE.'. DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE PHRASE "NO CHANGE IN THE APPROPRIATION TO BE CHARGED WITH THE SALARY AND TRAVEL EXPENSES" PROHIBITS TRANSFERS OF THE FOLLOWING TYPES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IF MADE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT.

A-95599, JUNE 28, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 1117

TRAVELING EXPENSES - CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES - FIELD SERVICE TRANSFERS INVOLVING DIFFERENT APPROPRIATIONS A CHANGE OF STATION IN THE FIELD SERVICE OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT, UNDER THE SAME BUREAU AND INVOLVING PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION FROM DIFFERENT APPROPRIATIONS UNDER CONTROL OF THE SAME BUREAU, WHEN MADE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND NOT FOR THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OF THE EMPLOYEE, MAY BE CONSIDERED 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.' 17 COMP. GEN. 874, AMPLIFIED.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, JUNE 28, 1938:

YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 7, 1938, IS AS FOLLOWS:

THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH IS QUOTED FROM YOUR DECISION A-93206 DATED APRIL 28, 1938:

"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 A CHANGE IN TITLE OF THE POSITION OR IN THE GRADE OR SALARY RATE OF THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE. OF COURSE, REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO SUCH TRANSFERS IS NOT AUTHORIZED EXCEPT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS AND SUBJECT TO THE CONDITIONS PRESCRIBED IN THE STATUTE.'

DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE PHRASE "NO CHANGE IN THE APPROPRIATION TO BE CHARGED WITH THE SALARY AND TRAVEL EXPENSES" PROHIBITS TRANSFERS OF THE FOLLOWING TYPES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IF MADE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND NOT FOR THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OF THE EMPLOYEE:

1. TRANSFER FROM ONE STATION TO ANOTHER UNDER THE SAME BUREAU OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT WHEN THE FUNDS FOR SALARY ARE CHANGED ALTHOUGH UNDER CONTROL OF THAT SAME BUREAU.

2. TRANSFER FROM THE FIELD SERVICE TO DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE OR VICE VERSA UNDER THE SAME BUREAU OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT WHICH WOULD NECESSITATE CHANGING THE SALARY FROM FIELD FUNDS TO DEPARTMENTAL FUNDS OR VICE VERSA.

EMPLOYEES OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT ARE PAID FROM MANY DIFFERENT APPROPRIATIONS, DEPENDING ON THEIR ASSIGNMENTS. IT WILL WORK A SERIOUS HARDSHIP EACH TIME IT IS NECESSARY TO TRANSFER AN EMPLOYEE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, WHEN HIS SALARY APPROPRIATION IS CHANGED, IF HE MUST PAY FOR HIS TRAVEL, PACKING, AND CRATING OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, AND SHIPMENT THEREOF. THE SERVICE WOULD BE HANDICAPPED BECAUSE DIFFICULTY WOULD BE EXPERIENCED IN GETTING EMPLOYEES TO TRANSFER UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES. THERE ARE CITED BELOW TWO EXAMPLES OF TRANSFERS WHICH HAVE BEEN MADE IN THE PAST AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE:

A. A CIVIL ENGINEER AND SUPERINTENDENT OF CONSTRUCTION IS PAID AT HIS FIRST DUTY STATION FROM BARRACKS AND QUARTERS; ON HIS TRANSFER HE MAY BE PAID FROM CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS, UTILITIES, AND APPURTENANCES; WHEN NEXT TRANSFERRED HE MAY BE PAID FROM EMERGENCY FUNDS; ON HIS NEXT TRANSFER HE MAY BE PAID FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED BY CONGRESS FOR THE SPECIFIC PROJECT UPON WHICH HE WILL WORK.

B. A CLERK MAY BE PAID FROM TRANSPORTATION FUNDS BECAUSE HE IS AT THE TIME ASSIGNED AS PRINCIPAL CLERK OF A TRANSPORTATION DIVISION. BECAUSE OF HIS BROAD EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS HE MAY BE TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER STATION AS CHIEF CLERK OF THAT STATION WHERE THE SALARY MUST BE PAID FROM INCIDENTAL EXPENSES.

IT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED THAT THE SALARY OF AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE APPORTIONED AMONG MORE THAN ONE APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE BY A GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY (4 COMP. GEN. 432; 4 ID. 703; 5 ID. 1036; AND DECISION OF JUNE 13, 1938, A-95008, 17 COMP. GEN. 1068). ALSO THE SALARY OF AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE PAID FROM DIFFERENT APPROPRIATIONS UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE SAME BUREAU OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT FOR DIFFERENT PORTIONS OF THE YEAR WITHOUT OTHERWISE AFFECTING THE POSITION OF THE EMPLOYEE, THAT IS, WITHOUT THE NECESSITY OF TERMINATING SERVICE UNDER ONE POSITION AND APPOINTMENT TO A NEW POSITION. HENCE, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES RELATED IN PARAGRAPHS A AND B OF YOUR LETTER, THE CHANGE IN STATION IN THE FIELD SERVICE MAY BE REGARDED AS A TRANSFER, AND NOT AS A NEW APPOINTMENT, UNDER THE RULE STATED IN DECISION OF APRIL 28, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 874, FROM WHICH YOU QUOTE. ACCORDINGLY, QUESTION ONE IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE. QUESTION TWO HAS BEEN ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE BY DECISION OF JUNE 24, 1938, A- 95366, A COPY OF WHICH IS INCLOSED.