B-110420, NOVEMBER 4, 1952, 32 COMP. GEN. 219

B-110420: Nov 4, 1952

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DESERTERS - APPREHENSION AND DELIVERY BY CIVIL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT FEDERAL AND STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES WHICH APPREHEND AND RETURN DESERTERS FROM THE UNIFORMED SERVICES MAY BE REIMBURSED THE ACTUAL EXPENSES PROPERLY INCURRED FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR THE SERVICE TO WHICH THE MEMBER IS ATTACHED. 1952: REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF THE ACTING SECRETARY OF DEFENSE DATED JUNE 21. REFERENCE IS MADE TO DECISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED FEBRUARY 12. IN WHICH IT WAS HELD THAT A DEPUTY UNITED STATES MARSHAL. COULD NOT BE PAID A REWARD FOR THE APPREHENSION OF A DESERTER FROM THE MARINE CORPS FOR THE REASON THAT THE MARSHALL'S ACTION WAS TAKEN IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES FOR WHICH HE OTHERWISE WAS ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FROM THE GOVERNMENT.

B-110420, NOVEMBER 4, 1952, 32 COMP. GEN. 219

DESERTERS - APPREHENSION AND DELIVERY BY CIVIL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT FEDERAL AND STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES WHICH APPREHEND AND RETURN DESERTERS FROM THE UNIFORMED SERVICES MAY BE REIMBURSED THE ACTUAL EXPENSES PROPERLY INCURRED FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR THE SERVICE TO WHICH THE MEMBER IS ATTACHED, HOWEVER REWARDS MAY NOT BE MADE TO SAID AGENCIES FOR THE APPREHENSION AND RETURN OF DESERTERS FROM THE UNIFORMED SERVICES. CF. 25 COMP. DEC. 499; SEE 4 COMP. GEN. 687.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, NOVEMBER 4, 1952:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO LETTER OF THE ACTING SECRETARY OF DEFENSE DATED JUNE 21, 1952, TRANSMITTING COPIES OF COMMITTEE ACTION NO. 25 OF THE MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, APPROVED BY THE COMMITTEE ON MARCH 14, 1952, AND REQUESTING DECISION ON THE QUESTIONS THEREIN PRESENTED AS TO WHETHER FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE UNIFORMED SERVICES MAY BE USED TO PAY OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF ANY UNITED STATES LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY THEIR ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE APPREHENSION AND RETURN TO MILITARY CONTROL OF ABSENTEES AND DESERTERS FROM THE ARMED FORCES, AND WHETHER SUCH DECISION WOULD BE EQUALLY APPLICABLE TO STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES.

IN THE COMMITTEE ACTION NO. 25, REFERENCE IS MADE TO DECISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED FEBRUARY 12, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 687, IN WHICH IT WAS HELD THAT A DEPUTY UNITED STATES MARSHAL, AUTHORIZED TO APPREHEND DESERTERS FROM THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS BY VIRTUE OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 15 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 16, 1919, 35 STAT. 622, COULD NOT BE PAID A REWARD FOR THE APPREHENSION OF A DESERTER FROM THE MARINE CORPS FOR THE REASON THAT THE MARSHALL'S ACTION WAS TAKEN IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OFFICIAL DUTIES FOR WHICH HE OTHERWISE WAS ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FROM THE GOVERNMENT. DOUBT AS TO THE APPLICATION OF SUCH HOLDING TO THE MATTER OF REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH SUCH APPREHENSIONS IS SUGGESTED IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT AUTHORITY FOR THE APPREHENSION OF DESERTERS FROM THE UNIFORMED SERVICES NOW IS VESTED IN CIVIL OFFICERS HAVING AUTHORITY TO APPREHEND OFFENDERS UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES OR OF ANY STATE, DISTRICT, TERRITORY, OR POSSESSION OF THE UNITED STATES, ON A BASIS SIMILAR TO THAT AUTHORIZED IN THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 16, 1909, SUPRA. SEE THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 8 OF THE UNIFORM CODE OF MILITARY JUSTICE, 64 STAT. 111. IN THAT CONNECTION IT IS STATED THAT UNDER A UNIFORM POLICY ESTABLISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE REWARDS ARE NO LONGER PAYABLE FOR THE DELIVERY OF ABSENTEES OR DESERTERS FROM THE UNIFORMED SERVICES, REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES NOT TO EXCEED $50 BEING THE ONLY PAYMENT NOW AUTHORIZED THEREFOR.

THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATION ACT, 1953, CONTAINS PROVISION (66 STAT. 519) MAKING FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR "EXPENSES OF APPREHENSION AND DELIVERY OF DESERTERS, PRISONERS, AND SOLDIERS ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE, INCLUDING PAYMENT OF REWARDS (NOT TO EXCEED $25 IN ANY ONE CASE), AND COSTS OF CONFINEMENT OF MILITARY PRISONERS IN NONMILITARY FACILITIES.' SIMILAR AUTHORITY IS CONTAINED THEREIN CONCERNING MEMBERS OF THE AIR FORCE (66 STAT. 530). AUTHORITY FOR THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS TO MAKE LIKE EXPENDITURES FROM AVAILABLE NAVAL APPROPRIATIONS IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 22 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 856. SUCH PROVISIONS INDICATE A CLEAR LEGISLATIVE INTENT THAT EXPENSES ARISING BY REASON OF THE ILLEGAL ABSENCE FROM DUTY, ETC., OF MEMBERS OF A PARTICULAR SERVICE SHOULD BE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THAT SERVICE, TO BE DEFRAYED FROM ITS APPROPRIATED FUNDS. THE OBJECTION TO THE PAYMENT OF ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION IN THE FORM OF REWARDS TO OFFICERS OF FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES OTHERWISE COMPENSATED BY THE GOVERNMENT, WHICH WAS RAISED IN THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 12, 1925, SUPRA, WOULD HAVE NO APPLICATION IN THE MATTER OF REIMBURSEMENT OF THIEIR ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE APPREHENSION AND RETURN OF ABSENTEES AND DESERTERS INASMUCH AS IT WOULD INVOLVE NO SUCH DUPLICATION OF PAYMENTS. CF. 25 COMP. DEC. 499. CONSEQUENTLY, FUNDS APPROPRIATED FOR THE UNIFORMED SERVICES PROPERLY MAY BE CONSIDERED AS AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH ACTUAL EXPENSES, AS WELL AS FOR THE ACTUAL EXPENSES SIMILARLY INCURRED BY OFFICERS OF STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES.