A-9822, AUGUST 19, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 134

A-9822: Aug 19, 1925

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WHO WAS RELIEVED FROM ACTIVE DUTY AS A RESERVE OFFICER AT THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS JUNE 6. IS NOT ENTITLED. 1925: THERE ARE BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR REVIEW SETTLEMENTS NOS. IT APPEARS THAT SURGEON SCHROEDER WAS A RESERVE OFFICER OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE DETAILED FOR DUTY TO THE VETERANS' BUREAU. DOCTOR SCHROEDER WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO FORT LYON IN COMPLIANCE THEREWITH. THE ORDERS ALSO STATED THAT GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING WERE INCLOSED FOR SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. WAS PRESENTED TO AND PAID BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER IN THE AMOUNT OF $135.36 FOR MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF 8 CENTS PER MILE FOR 1. CREDIT FOR THIS PAYMENT WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE TRAVEL HAVING BEGUN ON JUNE 12.

A-9822, AUGUST 19, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 134

PAY AND ALLOWANCES - PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE RESERVE OFFICERS DETAILED TO DUTY AT THE VETERANS' BUREAU A RESERVE OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES HEALTH SERVICE, DETAILED FOR ACTIVE DUTY AT THE UNITED STATES VETERANS' BUREAU, WHO WAS RELIEVED FROM ACTIVE DUTY AS A RESERVE OFFICER AT THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS JUNE 6, 1924, BY OPERATION OF THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 630, AND CONTINUED AS A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU BY EXECUTIVE ORDER OF JUNE 7, 1924, IS NOT ENTITLED, SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE 6, 1924, TO PAY AND ALLOWANCES AS AN OFFICER OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE RESERVE ON ACTIVE DUTY. PAYMENTS MADE TO SUCH AN OFFICER FOR MILEAGE AND FOR TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS ON ACCOUNT OF TRAVEL PERFORMED SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE 6, 1924, MAY NOT BE ALLOWED, BUT THE PAYMENT MADE TO THE CARRIER FOR TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF THE OFFICER SHIPPED ON A GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING MAY BE ALLOWED AND A CHARGE RAISED AGAINST THE OFFICER.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, AUGUST 19, 1925:

THERE ARE BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR REVIEW SETTLEMENTS NOS. C-23404-T, JULY, 1924, AND C-23468-T, AUGUST 1924, ACCOUNTS OF J. L. SUMMERS, DISBURSING CLERK FOR ITEMS OF $135.36 AND $282.16, RESPECTIVELY, REPRESENTING PAYMENTS MADE TO SURG. (R.) WILLIAM C. SCHROEDER FOR MILEAGE FOR HIMSELF AND REIMBURSEMENT OF RAILROAD AND PULLMAN FARES FOR DEPENDENTS UPON HIS CHANGE OF STATION FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO FORT LYON, COLO., UNDER TRAVEL ORDERS DATED JUNE 6, 1924.

IT APPEARS THAT SURGEON SCHROEDER WAS A RESERVE OFFICER OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE DETAILED FOR DUTY TO THE VETERANS' BUREAU. IN A LETTER DATED JUNE 3, 1924, ADDRESSED TO THE SURGEON GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, THE DIRECTOR OF THE VETERANS' BUREAU REQUESTED THAT TRAVEL ORDERS BE ISSUED RELIEVING DOCTOR SCHROEDER FROM DUTY WITH THE CENTRAL OFFICE AND DIRECTING HIM TO PROCEED TO HOSPITAL NO. 80, FORT LYON, COLO., FOR DUTY, AND UNDER DATE OF JUNE 6, 1924, DOCTOR SCHROEDER WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO FORT LYON IN COMPLIANCE THEREWITH. THE TRAVEL ORDERS DIRECTED THE OFFICER TO USE TREASURY DEPARTMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS FOR RAILROAD TRANSPORTATION, AND STATED THAT HE WOULD BE PAID MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF 8 CENTS PER MILE AND REIMBURSED FOR ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF THE DEPENDENT MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY. THE ORDERS ALSO STATED THAT GOVERNMENT BILLS OF LADING WERE INCLOSED FOR SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS.

THE OFFICER DID NOT BEGIN THE TRAVEL UNDER THIS ORDER UNTIL JUNE 12, 1924. HE TRAVELED BY AUTOMOBILE, TAKING HIS FAMILY WITH HIM, ARRIVING AT FORT LYON JUNE 22. VOUCHER NO. 481, JULY, 1924, ACCOUNTS, WAS PRESENTED TO AND PAID BY THE DISBURSING OFFICER IN THE AMOUNT OF $135.36 FOR MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF 8 CENTS PER MILE FOR 1,692 MILES, THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO FORT LYON, COLO. CREDIT FOR THIS PAYMENT WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT THE TRAVEL HAVING BEGUN ON JUNE 12, 1924 (SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE 6, 1924), AFTER THE OFFICER HAD BECOME A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE VETERANS' BUREAU, HE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO MILEAGE. VOUCHER NO. 8, AUGUST, 1924, ACCOUNTS, AMOUNTING TO $282.16, REPRESENTS AMOUNT SAID TO EQUAL THE COST OF RAILROAD AND PULLMAN FARES FOR THE OFFICER'S DEPENDENTS FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO FORT LYON, COLO., AND CREDIT FOR THE PAYMENT WAS DISALLOWED ON THE GROUND THAT THE STATUS OF THE OFFICER AT THE TIME WAS SUCH THAT HE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO TRANSPORT HIS DEPENDENTS AT PUBLIC EXPENSE.

REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THESE DISALLOWANCES IS BASED ON THE GROUND THAT THE CLAIM OF THE ATCHISON, TOPEKA AND SANTA FE RAILWAY CO. IN THE AMOUNT OF $204.73 FOR FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF SURGEON OF $204.73 FOR FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF SURGEON SCHROEDER SHIPPED DURING THE MONTH OF JULY, 1924, WAS ALLOWED BY CERTIFICATE OF SETTLEMENT NO. T-75986-T, DATED MARCH 30, 1925, IT BEING UNDERSTOOD AND CONSTRUED BY THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, AS STATED BY THE ACTING SURGEON GENERAL IN A LETTER DATED APRIL 24, 1925, THAT THE ALLOWANCE OF THIS CLAIM OVERRULED DECISION OF THIS OFFICE, A-4783, OF OCTOBER 6, 1924, AS RECONSIDERED JANUARY 7, 1925, IN WHICH IT WAS HELD SUBSTANTIALLY THAT RESERVE OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE DETAILED FOR DUTY TO THE VETERANS' BUREAU BEING RELIEVED FROM ACTIVE DUTY AT THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS JUNE 6, 1924, BY OPERATION OF THE ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924, 43 STAT. 630, REPEALING PROVISIONS OF ACT OF AUGUST 9, 1921, 42 STAT. 148, RELATING TO SUCH RESERVE OFFICERS, AND THEREAFTER HOLDING CIVILIAN APPOINTMENTS UNDER PROVISION OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER OF JUNE 7, 1924, WERE NOT ENTITLED, SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE 6, 1924, TO PAY AND ALLOWANCES AS OFFICERS OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE RESERVE ON ACTIVE DUTY.

PAYMENT TO THE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY WAS AUTHORIZED BECAUSE THE TRANSPORTATION WAS FURNISHED UPON A REGULAR GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING PROPERLY ISSUED TO THE OFFICER AT THE TIME HE WAS ORDERED TO PERFORM THE TRAVEL. AS THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING WAS NOT USED UNTIL JULY 15, 1925, AT A TIME WHEN DOCTOR SCHROEDER HAD CEASED TO BE AN OFFICER OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE AND WAS THEN AN EMPLOYEE OF THE VETERANS' BUREAU, THE SAID GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING WAS IMPROPERLY USED BY IM; BUT SINCE THE CARRIER PERFORMED THE SERVICE IN GOOD FAITH, WITH NO MEANS OF ASCERTAINING THE IRREGULARITY INVOLVED, PAYMENT TO IT FOR THE SERVICE THUS PERFORMED WAS LEGAL AND PROPER. HOWEVER, AS DOCTOR SCHROEDER WAS NOT ENTITLED TO THE SERVICE AT PUBLIC EXPENSE, THE COST THEREOF, TO WIT, $204.73, IS HEREBY CERTIFIED DUE FROM HIM TO THE UNITED STATES, AND COLLECTION THEREOF WILL BE PROCEEDED WITH AS PROVIDED BY LAW IN SUCH CASES.

THE TWO DISALLOWANCES MADE IN THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS COVERING THE PAYMENTS MADE TO DOCTOR SCHROEDER, AS HEREINBEFORE DISCUSSED, MUST BE AND ARE SUSTAINED.