B-102517, MAY 23, 1951, 30 COMP. GEN. 478

B-102517: May 23, 1951

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WHILE THE RETURN TRANSPORTATION OF EMPLOYEES FROM OVERSEAS TO THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR THE PURPOSE OF INDUCTION INTO THE ARMED FORCES IS NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2. THAT THE EXPENSES OF RETURN TRANSPORTATION SHALL BE ALLOWED WHERE SEPARATION IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE GOVERNMENT AND FOR REASONS BEYOND THE EMPLOYEES' CONTROL. 1951: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 30. PENDING DETERMINATION WHETHER SUCH EXPENDITURES ARE AUTHORIZED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2. THE QUESTION INVOLVED HERE WAS ONE OF THE MATTERS PRESENTED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE IN HIS LETTER TO THIS OFFICE DATED FEBRUARY 28.

B-102517, MAY 23, 1951, 30 COMP. GEN. 478

TRAVELING EXPENSES - EMPLOYEES ASSIGNED TO DUTY OVERSEAS - RETURN TO U.S. WHILE THE RETURN TRANSPORTATION OF EMPLOYEES FROM OVERSEAS TO THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR THE PURPOSE OF INDUCTION INTO THE ARMED FORCES IS NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, SAID SECTION PROVIDES, GENERALLY, THAT THE EXPENSES OF RETURN TRANSPORTATION SHALL BE ALLOWED WHERE SEPARATION IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE GOVERNMENT AND FOR REASONS BEYOND THE EMPLOYEES' CONTROL, EXPENSES INCIDENT THERETO, INCLUDING THE RETURN OF THE FAMILIES AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF THE EMPLOYEES, PROPERLY MAY BE ALLOWED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO N. A. OLMSTEAD, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, MAY 23, 1951:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 30, 1951, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE LEGALITY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT SEPARATE REFUND VOUCHERS, TRANSMITTED THEREWITH, IN FAVOR OF SIX EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. THE SAID VOUCHERS REPRESENT REFUNDS OF AMOUNTS WITHHELD FROM EACH INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEE TO COVER THE TRANSPORTATION COSTS PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT IN RETURNING THEM FROM POSTS OF DUTY IN MEXICO TO THE UNITED STATES FOR INDUCTION INTO THE ARMED FORCES, PENDING DETERMINATION WHETHER SUCH EXPENDITURES ARE AUTHORIZED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, PUBLIC LAW 600, 60 STAT. 808.

AS STATED IN YOUR LETTER, THE QUESTION INVOLVED HERE WAS ONE OF THE MATTERS PRESENTED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE IN HIS LETTER TO THIS OFFICE DATED FEBRUARY 28, 1949, WHICH LETTER WAS THE SUBJECT OF OFFICE DECISION TO HIM DATED MAY 19, 1949 (B-84159). IN THE SAID DECISION IT WAS STATED, IN EFFECT, THAT SINCE THE RIGHTS OF THE EMPLOYEES TO RETURN TRANSPORTATION FROM DUTY POSTS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES FOR THE PURPOSE OF INDUCTION INTO THE MILITARY SERVICE MAY DEPEND UPON THE SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED IN A PARTICULAR CASE, SUCH CASES SHOULD BE MADE THE SUBJECT OF SEPARATE SUBMISSIONS AS THEY ARISE. THEREFORE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUCH SUGGESTION THE QUESTION NOW IS PRESENTED UPON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS INVOLVED IN PARTICULAR CASES NOW BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT AND WHICH CASES ARE UNDERSTOOD TO BE SIMILAR TO OTHERS WHICH ARE EXPECTED TO ARISE.

FROM THE FACTS PRESENTED IT APPEARS THAT PRIOR TO COMPLETION OF THE AGREED PERIOD OF SERVICE IN MEXICO, THE SIX EMPLOYEES INVOLVED WERE ORDERED TO REPORT FOR PREINDUCTION PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS AND IN DUE COURSE WERE INDUCTED INTO THE MILITARY SERVICE. IT IS STATED THAT THEY WERE SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE AS A RESULT OF SUCH INDUCTION, PURSUANT TO RESIGNATIONS TENDERED IN ANTICIPATION THEREOF. ALTHOUGH IT APPEARS THAT THE EXPENSES OF RETURN TRANSPORTATION IN THESE CASES WERE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT, AMOUNTS REPRESENTING THE COST THEREOF WERE WITHHELD FROM SUMS OTHERWISE DUE THE EMPLOYEES.

YOU ARE ADVISED THAT WHILE THE RETURN TRANSPORTATION OF EMPLOYEES TO THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR THE PURPOSE OF INDUCTION INTO THE ARMED FORCES IS NOT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 7 OF PUBLIC LAW 600, SUPRA, THE SAID SECTION PROVIDES GENERALLY THAT THE EXPENSES OF RETURN TRANSPORTATION SHALL BE ALLOWED WHERE SEPARATION IS FOR A REASON BEYOND THE EMPLOYEES' CONTROL. HENCE, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED IN THE INSTANT CASE--- RETURN TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES HAVING RESULTED FROM SEPARATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE GOVERNMENT AND FOR REASONS BEYOND THE EMPLOYEES' CONTROL--- IT APPEARS THAT THE EXPENSES INCIDENT THERETO PROPERLY MAY BE PAID UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE SAID SECTION 7. ACCORDINGLY, THE SUBMITTED VOUCHERS, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. CF. DECISION OF AUGUST 16, 1950, B-97243 (30 COMP. GEN. 80).

WITH RESPECT TO THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER RELATIVE TO THE PROPRIETY OF RETURNING THE FAMILIES AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECT OF THE SAID EMPLOYEES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, IT WOULD APPEAR TO FOLLOW FROM THE FOREGOING THAT SUCH EXPENSE ALSO WOULD BE ALLOWABLE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7, SUBJECT, OF COURSE, TO THE CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS IMPOSED BY APPLICABLE REGULATIONS.