B-101280, MARCH 12, 1951, 30 COMP. GEN. 373

B-101280: Mar 12, 1951

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - DUTY EN ROUTE TO FIRST DUTY STATION AN APPOINTEE WHO RECEIVES NOTICE OF HIS APPOINTMENT TO A POSITION LOCATED IN ANOTHER POINT AND WHO IS REQUIRED TO TRAVEL BY CIRCUITOUS ROUTE TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY BEFORE REACHING HIS OFFICIAL STATION IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES FOR THE ENTIRE JOURNEY LESS THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF DIRECT TRAVEL FROM THE PLACE WHERE NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT REACHED HIM TO THE FIRST OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS OF HIS NEW POSITION. 1951: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 22. THE AMOUNT INVOLVED IS CLAIMED INCIDENT TO TRAVEL. ARE AS FOLLOWS: 3. WAS NOTIFIED BY LETTER OF HIS TENTATIVE SELECTION FOR THE POSITION OF ENGINEERING AID.

B-101280, MARCH 12, 1951, 30 COMP. GEN. 373

TRAVELING EXPENSES - DUTY EN ROUTE TO FIRST DUTY STATION AN APPOINTEE WHO RECEIVES NOTICE OF HIS APPOINTMENT TO A POSITION LOCATED IN ANOTHER POINT AND WHO IS REQUIRED TO TRAVEL BY CIRCUITOUS ROUTE TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY BEFORE REACHING HIS OFFICIAL STATION IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES FOR THE ENTIRE JOURNEY LESS THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF DIRECT TRAVEL FROM THE PLACE WHERE NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT REACHED HIM TO THE FIRST OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS OF HIS NEW POSITION. THE RULE THAT AN EMPLOYEE MUST BEAR THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL TO THE FIRST OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS OF HIS POSITION REFERS TO THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION OF THE POSITION AND NOT THE FIRST TEMPORARY STATION AT WHICH HE ACTUALLY PERFORMS DUTY.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO J. E. PERRY, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, MARCH 12, 1951:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 22, 1951, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH, IN FAVOR OF ROBERT W. BYER, EMPLOYEE OF THE BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION, FOR THE SUM OF $17.45. THE AMOUNT INVOLVED IS CLAIMED INCIDENT TO TRAVEL, UPON APPOINTMENT, TO THE EMPLOYEE'S FIRST DUTY STATION BY A CIRCUITOUS ROUTE INVOLVING TEMPORARY DUTY WHILE EN ROUTE.

THE FACTS INVOLVED IN THE CLAIM, QUOTING FROM YOUR LETTER, ARE AS FOLLOWS:

3. ON SEPTEMBER 19, 1950, THE CLAIMANT, MR. ROBERT BYER, WAS NOTIFIED BY LETTER OF HIS TENTATIVE SELECTION FOR THE POSITION OF ENGINEERING AID, GS- 4. AT THAT TIME HE WAS FURNISHED THE NECESSARY FORMS AND INSTRUCTED TO TAKE A PHYSICAL EXAMINATION. HE WAS ALSO REQUESTED TO ADVISE THIS ADMINISTRATION WHEN HE COULD REPORT FOR DUTY.

4. MR. BYER SUCCESSFULLY PASSED THE PHYSICAL EXAMINATION FOR THE POSITION AND WAS NOTIFIED BY MAIL AT IMBLER, OREGON, OF THAT FACT ON OCTOBER 18, 1950. AT THAT TIME HE WAS DIRECTED TO REPORT TO THE PERSONNEL DIVISION OF THE BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION, PORTLAND, OREGON, AT 8 A.M. OCTOBER 23, TO COMPLETE THE NECESSARY PERSONNEL PAPERS, TAKE THE OATH OF OFFICE, AND BE ASSIGNED TO DUTY. THE POINT OF FINAL ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY COULD NOT BE DETERMINED AT THE TIME THE NOTICE OF EMPLOYMENT WAS SENT TO THE PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYEE.

5. MR. BYER REPORTED AT PORTLAND, OREGON, AS DIRECTED AT 8 A.M. OCTOBER 23, AND IT WAS AT THAT TIME AND PLACE THAT HE COMPLETED THE NECESSARY APPOINTMENT PAPERS, TOOK THE OATH OF OFFICE, AND WAS ASSIGNED TO FIELD DUTY AT MISSOULA, MONTANA, WITH HEADQUARTERS AT KALISPELL, MONTANA. LEFT PORTLAND, OREGON, VIA PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT 3 P.M. OCTOBER 23, AND ARRIVED AT MISSOULA, MONTANA, AT 8 A.M. OCTOBER 26. * * *

THE RULE IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT A NEWLY APPOINTED EMPLOYEE MUST AT HIS OWN EXPENSE REPORT TO HIS FIRST OFFICIAL DUTY STATION, AND ONLY TO THE EXTENT OF ADDITIONAL COSTS RESULTING FROM TEMPORARY DUTY REQUIRED EN ROUTE IS REIMBURSEMENT PROPER. HOWEVER, IN THE PRESENT CASE, YOU HAVE DOUBT AS TO WHETHER THE TRAVEL TO BE CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING THE AMOUNT FOR REIMBURSEMENT IS THAT FROM IMBLER, OREGON, PLACE OF NOTIFICATION OF APPOINTMENT, OR PORTLAND, OREGON, WHERE THE EMPLOYEE TOOK THE OATH OF OFFICE. IN THE DECISION OF 10 COMP. GEN. 222, TO WHICH YOU REFER, IT WAS STATED ON PAGE 224:

THE RULE IS THAT UPON APPOINTMENT AN EMPLOYEE MUST PAY ALL OF HIS OWN EXPENSES BOTH SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSPORTATION, IN REPORTING TO HIS FIRST OFFICIAL DUTY STATION. WHERE, AS HERE, HE IS REQUIRED TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY EN ROUTE, HE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE ADDITIONAL SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES IMPOSED ON HIM BY BEING REQUIRED TO PROCEED TO SOME POINT OTHER THAN HIS FIRST OFFICIAL DUTY STATION FOR SUCH TEMPORARY DUTY, INCLUDING, IF ADMINISTRATIVELY AUTHORIZED, A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR THE ADDITIONAL TRAVEL TIME INVOLVED AND THE TEMPORARY DUTY. HE IS NOT RELIEVED, HOWEVER, OF THE EXPENSE THAT HE OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE INCURRED FOR TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN REPORTING DIRECTLY TO HIS FIRST DUTY STATION, AND, CONSEQUENTLY, MAY BE REIMBURSED ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT THE EXPENSES INCURRED ARE IN EXCESS OF THE EXPENSES WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE IN GOING DIRECTLY FROM HIS HOME TO THE PLACE FINALLY FIXED FOR HIS POST OF DUTY. ALSO, IN 22 COMP. GEN. 869, 871, IT WAS STATED:

* * * AN APPOINTEE MUST BEAR THE EXPENSES OF HIS TRAVEL FROM THE PLACE WHERE THE DEFINITE NOTICE OF HIS APPOINTMENT REACHES HIM TO THE FIRST OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS OF HIS NEW POSITION * * *.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE EXTENT OF MR. BYER'S OBLIGATION WITH REGARD TO THE TRAVEL INVOLVED IS TO BEAR THE EXPENSES OF DIRECT TRAVEL FROM IMBLER, OREGON, THE PLACE OF NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT, TO HIS FIRST OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS. CONSEQUENTLY, IN COMPUTING THE AMOUNT OF EXCESS COST REIMBURSABLE, THE TRAVEL FOR CONSIDERATION SHOULD BE THAT COMMENCING AT IMBLER, OREGON, AND NOT PORTLAND, OREGON.

WHILE THE FACTS STATED IN YOUR LETTER STOP WITH THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL TO MISSOULA, MONTANA, AND THE COMPUTATIONS SET FORTH THEREIN ALSO TERMINATE WITH THAT POINT, IT IS NOTED THAT KALISPELL, MONTANA, WAS DESIGNATED AS THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION. AS THE RULE SET FORTH IN 10 COMP. GEN. 222, AND 22 COMP. GEN. 869, THAT AN EMPLOYEE MUST BEAR THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL TO THE FIRST OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS OF HIS POSITION, REFERS TO THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION OF THE POSITION AND NOT THE FIRST TEMPORARY STATION AT WHICH HE ACTUALLY PERFORMS DUTY, IT IS NOT UNDERSTOOD WHY THE COMPUTATIONS SHOWN IN YOUR LETTER TERMINATE WITH TEMPORARY DUTY AT MISSOULA, MONTANA. ASSUMING KALISPELL AS THE EMPLOYEE'S HEADQUARTERS TO WHICH HE SUBSEQUENTLY REPORTED, THE EMPLOYEE SHOULD BE REIMBURSED THE COSTS INCURRED FOR TRAVEL FROM IMBLER, OREGON, TO KALISPELL, MONTANA, VIA PORTLAND, OREGON, AND MISSOULA, MONTANA, LESS THE COSTS OF DIRECT TRAVEL FROM IMBLER TO KALISPELL.

THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.