A-96649, AUGUST 3, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 125

A-96649: Aug 3, 1938

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" IS LIMITED TO THE ACTUAL NECESSARY COST OF PLACING THE EMPLOYEES. HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS ONLY WHEN ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS WITHIN THE UNITED STATES WERE INVOLVED. WHERE A MEMBER OF THE STAFF OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS IS ORDERED TO A TEMPORARY CHANGE OF STATION AT WASHINGTON. IT IS EXPECTED HE WILL SUBMIT HIS RESIGNATION AT THE END OF SUCH TEMPORARY DUTY TO BE EFFECTIVE AT THE EXPIRATION OF HIS ACCUMULATED LEAVE. SUBJECT TO THE EXCEPTION OF THE COST FOR WHICH TRANSPORTATION BY GOVERNMENT VESSEL IS AVAILABLE. SUBJECT TO THE EXCEPTION OF THE COST FOR WHICH TRANSPORTATION BY GOVERNMENT VESSEL IS AVAILABLE. NOT SUCH EXPENSES FOR HIMSELF AND MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY WHO ARE ALREADY IN THE UNITED STATES ON LEAVE.

A-96649, AUGUST 3, 1938, 18 COMP. GEN. 125

TRANSPORTATION AND TRAVELING EXPENSES - EMPLOYEES IN PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, THEIR FAMILIES AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - APPOINTMENTS, SEPARATIONS, LEAVES OF ABSENCE, ETC. THE AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES AND TRANSPORTATION OF EMPLOYEES, THEIR FAMILIES, AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS APPEARING IN THE WAR DEPARTMENT CIVIL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1939, 52 STAT. 669, UNDER THE HEADING "UNITED STATES HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS," IS LIMITED TO THE ACTUAL NECESSARY COST OF PLACING THE EMPLOYEES, THEIR FAMILIES, AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS ONLY WHEN ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS WITHIN THE UNITED STATES WERE INVOLVED, AND OF RETURNING THE SAME TO THEIR HOMES IN THE UNITED STATES ONLY WHEN INCIDENT TO THEIR FINAL TRANSFER OR SEPARATION FROM SERVICE IN THE PHILIPPINES, WITHOUT DISCRETION AS TO WHETHER SUCH TRANSPORTATION SHOULD BE BY GOVERNMENT VESSEL, IF AVAILABLE, AND EMPLOYEES MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH LEAVE OF ABSENCE TAKEN IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, OR GRANTED A CASH COMMUTATION OF TRAVELING EXPENSES WHERE THE TRAVEL ALREADY HAS BEEN PERFORMED OTHERWISE THAN IN CONNECTION WITH, OR IN ANTICIPATION OF, FINAL TRANSFER OR SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE. WHERE A MEMBER OF THE STAFF OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS IS ORDERED TO A TEMPORARY CHANGE OF STATION AT WASHINGTON, D.C., AND IT IS EXPECTED HE WILL SUBMIT HIS RESIGNATION AT THE END OF SUCH TEMPORARY DUTY TO BE EFFECTIVE AT THE EXPIRATION OF HIS ACCUMULATED LEAVE, THE ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF HIS FAMILY AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MAY BE AUTHORIZED AT THE SAME TIME, WITHIN THE LIMITATIONS OF WAR DEPARTMENT CIVIL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1939, 52 STAT. 669, AND SUBJECT TO THE EXCEPTION OF THE COST FOR WHICH TRANSPORTATION BY GOVERNMENT VESSEL IS AVAILABLE. A MEMBER OF THE STAFF OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS WHO SUBMITS HIS RESIGNATION EFFECTIVE AT A FUTURE DATE AND DEPARTS FOR THE UNITED STATES, MAY BE PAID, IF OTHERWISE ENTITLED THERETO UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT CIVIL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1939, 52 STAT. 669, THE ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF HIMSELF AND FAMILY, AND TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM THE PHILIPPINES TO HIS HOME IN THE UNITED STATES, SUBJECT TO THE EXCEPTION OF THE COST FOR WHICH TRANSPORTATION BY GOVERNMENT VESSEL IS AVAILABLE. A MEMBER OF THE STAFF OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS ON LEAVE IN THE UNITED STATES WHO SUBMITS HIS RESIGNATION WHILE ON SUCH LEAVE MAY BE PAID, IF OTHERWISE ENTITLED THERETO UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT CIVIL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1939, 52 STAT. 669, THE TRAVEL EXPENSES OF ANY DEPENDENT MEMBER OF HIS FAMILY AND HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS REMAINING IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, FROM THE PHILIPPINES TO HIS HOME IN THE UNITED STATES, BUT NOT SUCH EXPENSES FOR HIMSELF AND MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY WHO ARE ALREADY IN THE UNITED STATES ON LEAVE. MEMBERS OF THE STAFF OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS APPOINTED WHILE ACTUALLY RESIDING IN THE PHILIPPINES, BUT WITH VOTING RESIDENCES IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, ARE NOT ENTITLED TO ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRAVEL, AND TRANSPORTATION, OF THEMSELVES, THEIR FAMILIES, AND THEIR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM THE PHILIPPINES TO THEIR HOMES IN THE UNITED STATES UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT CIVIL APPROPRIATION ACT, 1939, 52 STAT. 669, THE ACT SPECIFICALLY LIMITING SUCH TRANSPORTATION TO "PERSONS APPOINTED HEREUNDER WITHIN THE UNITED STATES.'

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, AUGUST 3, 1938:

YOUR LETTER OF JULY 18, 1938, IS AS FOLLOWS:

UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE ACT OF JULY 31, 1894 (28 STAT. 208), I REQUEST YOUR ADVANCE DECISION ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

A. UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT APPROVED MARCH 24, 1934 (48 STAT. 456), A NUMBER OF PERSONS WERE APPOINTED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES TO POSITIONS IN THE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. THEY HAVE PERFORMED THEIR DUTIES FOR SOME TIME IN THE PHILIPPINES. ULTIMATELY THESE PERSONS WILL DESIRE TO RETURN TO THEIR HOMES IN THE UNITED STATES. WHEN THEY DO SO THEY WILL BE ENTITLED TO RETURN TRAVELING EXPENSES FROM THE PHILIPPINES TO THEIR HOMES IN THE UNITED STATES, INCLUDING, FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES, ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, AS AUTHORIZED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT CIVIL APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1939, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 1938, UNDER THE HEADING "UNITED STATES HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS.'

GENERALLY WHEN AND UNDER WHAT CONDITIONS CAN THE RETURN TRAVELING EXPENSES BE UTILIZED? SPECIFICALLY (1) IF A MEMBER OF THE STAFF OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER SHOULD BE ORDERED BY THE LATTER TO A TEMPORARY CHANGE OF STATION AT WASHINGTON, EXPECTING TO SUBMIT HIS RESIGNATION AT THE END OF SUCH TEMPORARY DUTY TO BE EFFECTIVE AT THE EXPIRATION OF HIS ACCUMULATED LEAVE, COULD THE ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF HIS FAMILY AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS BE AUTHORIZED AT THE SAME TIME? SPECIFICALLY (2) IF A MEMBER OF THE STAFF OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER SHOULD SUBMIT HIS RESIGNATION EFFECTIVE AT A FUTURE DATE AND SHOULD THEREUPON DEPART FOR THE UNITED STATES, COULD HE RECEIVE THE ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF HIMSELF AND FAMILY AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM THE PHILIPPINES TO HIS HOME IN THE UNITED STATES? SPECIFICALLY (3) IF A MEMBER OF THE STAFF OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER SHOULD BE ON LEAVE IN THE UNITED STATES AND SHOULD THEN SUBMIT HIS RESIGNATION, WOULD HE BE ENTITLED TO THE ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF HIMSELF AND FAMILY AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM THE PHILIPPINES TO HIS HOME IN THE UNITED STATES?

B. A NUMBER OF PERSONS WERE APPOINTED TO POSITIONS IN THE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS PURSUANT TO LAW, WHO HAD OFFICIAL RESIDENCES IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES BUT WERE ACTUALLY IN MANILA WHEN APPOINTED. TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THE ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS UNDER A, WILL THESE PERSONS AND THEIR FAMILIES BE ENTITLED TO ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM THE PHILIPPINES TO THEIR HOMES IN THE UNITED STATES?

THE APPROPRIATION IN QUESTION APPEARING IN THE ACT OF JUNE 11, 1938, PUBLIC, NO. 591, PAGE 2, 52 STAT. 669, INCLUDES AN ITEM FOR---

TRAVELING EXPENSES, INCLUDING FOR PERSONS APPOINTED HEREUNDER WITHIN THE UNITED STATES AND THEIR FAMILIES, ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM THEIR HOMES IN THE UNITED STATES TO THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, AND RETURN, UTILIZING GOVERNMENT VESSELS WHENEVER PRACTICABLE; * * *

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR GENERAL QUESTION, VIZ,"WHEN AND UNDER WHAT CONDITIONS CAN THE RETURN TRAVELING EXPENSES BE UTILIZED? "IT SEEMS APPARENT FROM THE APPROPRIATION, SUPRA, THAT THE CONGRESS INTENDED THAT THE UNITED STATES SHOULD BEAR THE ACTUAL NECESSARY COST OF PLACING THE EMPLOYEES, THEIR FAMILIES, AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS ONLY WHEN ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS WITHIN THE UNITED STATES WERE INVOLVED (DECISION OF MARCH 10, 1938, A-93128), AND OF RETURNING THE SAME EMPLOYEES, THEIR FAMILIES, AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO THEIR HOMES IN THE UNITED STATES ONLY WHEN INCIDENT TO THEIR FINAL TRANSFER OR SEPARATION FROM SERVICE IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. NOTHING APPEARS TO INDICATE THAT IT WAS THE INTENTION OF REIMBURSING EMPLOYEES FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH LEAVE OF ABSENCE TAKEN IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES (DECISION OF MARCH 10, 1938, SUPRA; 1 COMP. GEN. 153), OR OF GRANTING A CASH COMMUTATION OF TRAVELING EXPENSES WHERE THE TRAVEL HAS ALREADY BEEN PERFORMED OTHERWISE THAN IN CONNECTION WITH, OR IN ANTICIPATION OF, FINAL TRANSFER OR SEPARATION FROM SERVICE IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. ALSO IT IS CLEARLY APPARENT THAT NO DISCRETION IS VESTED IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS TO REIMBURSE THE EMPLOYEE FOR TRANSPORTATION, ETC., WHEN TRANSPORTATION IS AVAILABLE ON A GOVERNMENT VESSEL. THERE MUST APPEAR WITH THE ACCOUNTS IN CONNECTION WITH ANY CLAIM OR VOUCHER ON WHICH SUCH TRAVELING EXPENSES ARE CLAIMED OR HAVE BEEN PAID, AN ADMINISTRATIVE STATEMENT OF FACTS SUFFICIENT TO SHOW THAT IT WAS NOT PRACTICABLE TO UTILIZE A GOVERNMENT VESSEL. THERE WILL BE CONSIDERED IN THIS CONNECTION THE TIME BETWEEN DEPARTURE OF THE EMPLOYEE, HIS FAMILY, AND HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS, AND THE SAILINGS OF GOVERNMENT VESSELS. IN OTHER WORDS, THE CONGRESS APPARENTLY EXPECTS THE ADMINISTRATION SHOULD BE SUCH AS WILL REDUCE TO A MINIMUM THE ACTUAL NECESSARY CASH OUTLAY TO TRANSPORT EMPLOYEES, THEIR FAMILIES, AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS, TO AND FROM THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS.

QUESTIONS A (1) AND (2) ARE ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE COST FOR WHICH TRANSPORTATION BY GOVERNMENT VESSEL IS AVAILABLE.

QUESTION A (3) IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE TO THE EXTENT OF THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF THE EMPLOYEE AND MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY WHO ARE ALREADY IN THE UNITED STATES ON LEAVE, AND IN THE AFFIRMATIVE AS TO THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF ANY DEPENDENT MEMBER OF THE EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY AND HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS REMAINING IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 678.

REFERRING TO QUESTION B, IT IS UNDERSTOOD BY "OFFICIAL RESIDENCES IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES" IS MEANT VOTING RESIDENCES, BUT THAT THE PERSONS WERE ACTUALLY RESIDING IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS AND PERHAPS OTHERWISE EMPLOYED THERE AT THE TIME OF ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT. IF SUCH ARE THE FACTS, THE QUESTION MUST BE ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE, THE APPROPRIATION FOR RETURN TRANSPORTATION BEING SPECIFICALLY LIMITED TO "PERSONS APPOINTED HEREUNDER WITHIN THE UNITED TES.' COMPARE 16 COMP. GEN. 271, CONSTRUING A STATUTE AUTHORIZING THE RETURN TO THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES FROM THE VIRGIN ISLANDS FOR LEAVE PURPOSES OF EMPLOYEES "APPOINTED FROM THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES.'