B-110752, FEBRUARY 27, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 376

B-110752: Feb 27, 1953

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1953: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 11. IF THE USE OF TAXICABS WITHIN THE LIMITS OF OFFICIAL DUTY STATION BY MILITARY PERSONNEL ASSIGNED TO THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM IS OTHERWISE PROPER. REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR MAY BE MADE IN THE SAME MANNER AS IS PROVIDED IN GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS MEMORANDUM NO. 19. IT IS STATED THAT THE PROVISIONS OF 404 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT. - HAVE RESULTED AND WILL CONTINUE TO RESULT IN THE NONAVAILABILITY OF SUFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION IN KIND FOR USE BY SELECTIVE SERVICE PERSONNEL IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES AT OFFICIAL STATIONS OR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY. IT IS INDICATED THAT CIVILIAN PERSONNEL OF THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM UTILIZE LOCAL PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES INCLUDING TAXICABS UNDER AUTHORITY APPLICABLE TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT AND ALSO.

B-110752, FEBRUARY 27, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 376

TRAVELING EXPENSES - HEADQUARTERS - MILITARY, NAVY, ETC., PERSONNEL DETAILED OR ASSIGNED TO CIVILIAN AGENCIES WHILE CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM MAY UTILIZE LOCAL PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, INCLUDING TAXICABS, AT THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY UNDER AUTHORITY APPLICABLE TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT AND BE REIMBURSED SUCH EXPENSES, MILITARY PERSONNEL ASSIGNED TO DUTY WITH THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM REMAIN MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WITH COMPENSATION FIXED BY LAW, WHICH INCLUDES PAY AND ALLOWANCES, SO THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY THEREFOR, MILITARY PERSONNEL MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FROM SELECTIVE SERVICE FUNDS FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE UTILIZATION OF SIMILAR TRANSPORTATION.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO DIRECTOR OF SELECTIVE SERVICE, FEBRUARY 27, 1953:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 11, 1952, YOUR FILE REFERENCE 1- 87-1, REQUESTING DECISION AS TO WHETHER IN VIEW OF THE PRESENT NONAVAILABILITY OF SUFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION IN KIND, MILITARY PERSONNEL ASSIGNED TO THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM MAY BE TRANSPORTED UPON OFFICIAL BUSINESS WITHIN THEIR OFFICIAL DUTY STATION EITHER BY LOCAL PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES OR BY TAXICABS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM. ALSO, YOU ASK WHETHER, IF THE USE OF TAXICABS WITHIN THE LIMITS OF OFFICIAL DUTY STATION BY MILITARY PERSONNEL ASSIGNED TO THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM IS OTHERWISE PROPER, REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR MAY BE MADE IN THE SAME MANNER AS IS PROVIDED IN GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS MEMORANDUM NO. 19, DATED OCTOBER 18, 1951, 31 COMP. GEN. 784.

IT IS STATED THAT THE PROVISIONS OF 404 OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1953, PUBLIC LAW 455, 82ND CONGRESS, APPROVED JULY 5, 1952, 66 STAT. 419, PROVIDING THAT NO PART OF ANY APPROPRIATION CONTAINED IN SAID ACT OR OF THE FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE BY ANY CORPORATION INCLUDED IN SAID ACT "SHALL BE USED TO PAY THE COMPENSATION OF ANY CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT, WHOSE PRINCIPAL OR PRIMARY DUTIES CONSIST OF ACTING AS CHAUFFEUR OR DRIVER OF ANY GOVERNMENT-OWNED PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLE (OTHER THAN A BUS OR AMBULANCE)"--- WITH EXCEPTION NOT HERE MATERIAL--- HAVE RESULTED AND WILL CONTINUE TO RESULT IN THE NONAVAILABILITY OF SUFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION IN KIND FOR USE BY SELECTIVE SERVICE PERSONNEL IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES AT OFFICIAL STATIONS OR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY.

IT IS INDICATED THAT CIVILIAN PERSONNEL OF THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM UTILIZE LOCAL PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES INCLUDING TAXICABS UNDER AUTHORITY APPLICABLE TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT AND ALSO, THAT SUCH CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES ARE REIMBURSED FOR THE NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE USE OF TAXICABS AT THEIR DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY IN ACCORDANCE WITH GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS MEMORANDUM NO. 19, OCTOBER 18, 1951, 31 COMP. GEN. 784. HOWEVER, WITH RESPECT TO MILITARY PERSONNEL ASSIGNED TO DUTY WITH THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM UNDER THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 10 (B) (2) OF THE UNIVERSAL MILITARY TRAINING AND SERVICE ACT, AS AMENDED, 65 STAT. 75, 50 U.S.C., APP. 460 (B) (2), WAR AND NATIONAL DEFENSE, YOU STATE THAT YOU ARE UNCERTAIN AS TO WHETHER SIMILAR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED BY SUCH PERSONNEL WHO ARE REQUIRED TO TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT BUSINESS WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THEIR DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY MAY BE CHARGED TO SELECTIVE SERVICE FUNDS. SUCH DOUBT, IT IS INDICATED, ARISES BY REASON OF THE FACT THAT "IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT VARIOUS DECISIONS OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL HAVE BEEN CONSTRUED, IN THE ABSENCE OF STATUTORY PROVISIONS THEREFOR, AS PRECLUDING REIMBURSEMENT ON ANY BASIS TO MILITARY PERSONNEL FOR EXPENSES INCURRED FOR TRANSPORTATION AT OFFICIAL STATION.' REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE DECISION OF THIS OFFICE DATED FEBRUARY 5, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 427.

THE MILITARY STATUS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IS NOT CHANGED BY REASON OF THEIR DETAIL OR ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY IN A CIVIL DEPARTMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT. 3 COMP. DEC. 588. HENCE, PERSONNEL OF THE MILITARY AND NAVAL FORCES DETAILED TO DUTY WITH THE SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM ARE REQUIRED TO SERVE UNDER SUCH DETAIL WITH THE SAME PAY AND ALLOWANCES OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED.

THE DECISION OF FEBRUARY 5, 1941, TO WHICH YOU REFER, CONSIDERED THE CASE OF AN ARMY OFFICER CLAIMING TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED AT HIS STATION AND IT WAS STATED THEREIN:

* * * THEY ARE COMMISSIONED IN THE ARMY TO SERVE AND PERFORM THEIR DUTIES ANYWHERE THE NECESSITIES OF THE SERVICE AND THE ORDERS OF SUPERIOR AUTHORITY REQUIRE. THEIR COMPENSATION IS FIXED BY LAW, WHICH INCLUDES PAY AND ALLOWANCES, AND WHERE NO STATUTE HAS SPECIFICALLY SO PROVIDED THE ARMY OFFICER MUST BEAR THE EXPENSE, IF ANY, OF PERFORMING HIS DUTIES. * * * IF HE HAS DUTY TO PERFORM AT TWO SEPARATE PLACES AT HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY AND NO TRANSPORTATION IS FURNISHED FOR HIS USE, HE IS NEVERTHELESS REQUIRED TO PERFORM THE DUTY, TO BE ACCOMPLISHED EITHER BY TRAVELING ON FOOT OR BEARING THE COST OF HIS PRIVATELY PROCURED TRANSPORTATION. * * *

THE DECISION STATED A LONG RECOGNIZED RULE WITH RESPECT TO OFFICERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AND SUCH RULE HAS BEEN CONSISTENTLY FOLLOWED SINCE THAT TIME. SEE DECISION OF DECEMBER 15, 1949, B-89674, WHICH INVOLVED THE CLAIM OF AN OFFICER OF THE COAST GUARD. SEE ALSO, DECISION OF TODAY B- 109410, 32 COMP. GEN. 373, CONCERNING OFFICER PERSONNEL OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE. SINCE THE SAID DECISION OF FEBRUARY 5, 1941, THE CONGRESS HAS ENACTED SPECIFIC LEGISLATION GRANTING BENEFITS SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED ONLY WITH RESPECT TO COAST GUARD PERSONNEL. SEE 14 U.S.C. 474, AND 30 COMP. GEN. 321. SUCH LEGISLATIVE ACTION WOULD SEEM TO HAVE GIVEN AT LEAST TACIT RECOGNITION TO THE CONCLUSION REACHED IN THE CITED DECISION AND A CONCLUSION THAT A RIGHT TO THOSE BENEFITS MAY NOW EXIST FOR OFFICERS OF THE OTHER UNIFORMED SERVICES INDEPENDENTLY OF A COVERING STATUTE WOULD NOT BE WARRANTED.

ACCORDINGLY, YOUR FIRST QUESTION IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE WHICH MAKES A DISCUSSION OF THE SECOND QUESTION UNNECESSARY.