B-122064, DECEMBER 30, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 313

B-122064: Dec 30, 1954

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - TRAVEL PRIOR TO TRANSFER OR TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION AN EMPLOYEE WHO WHILE ON LEAVE FOLLOWING A REDUCTION IN FORCE NOTICE TRAVELED AT HIS OWN EXPENSE FROM HIS OLD DUTY STATION TO WASHINGTON FOR PURPOSE OF SEEKING REASSIGNMENT OR TRANSFER AND WHO ACCEPTED A POSITION IN WASHINGTON WHICH HAD BECOME VACANT WHILE EN ROUTE MAY BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE PERFORMED TRAVEL INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 1 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946 AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 SO AS TO BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR HIS TRAVEL EXPENSES. 1954: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 1. WAS NOTIFIED ON AUGUST 26. THAT BECAUSE OF THE CURTAILMENT AND REALIGNMENT OF CERTAIN RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION ACTIVITIES IT WAS NECESSARY TO REDUCE THE FORCE AND THAT THIS WOULD NECESSITATE HIS BEING SEPARATED EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 25.

B-122064, DECEMBER 30, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 313

TRAVELING EXPENSES - TRAVEL PRIOR TO TRANSFER OR TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION AN EMPLOYEE WHO WHILE ON LEAVE FOLLOWING A REDUCTION IN FORCE NOTICE TRAVELED AT HIS OWN EXPENSE FROM HIS OLD DUTY STATION TO WASHINGTON FOR PURPOSE OF SEEKING REASSIGNMENT OR TRANSFER AND WHO ACCEPTED A POSITION IN WASHINGTON WHICH HAD BECOME VACANT WHILE EN ROUTE MAY BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE PERFORMED TRAVEL INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 1 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946 AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 SO AS TO BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR HIS TRAVEL EXPENSES.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO WELLS E. LUDLOW, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, DECEMBER 30, 1954:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 1, 1954, TRANSMITTING FOR ADVANCE DECISION A VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF EARL J. SMITH FOR $143.57, REPRESENTING TRAVELING EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL FROM DENVER, COLORADO, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., DURING THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 28 TO OCTOBER 1, 1953, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION.

MR. SMITH, A CAREER EMPLOYEE, WAS NOTIFIED ON AUGUST 26, 1953, THAT BECAUSE OF THE CURTAILMENT AND REALIGNMENT OF CERTAIN RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION ACTIVITIES IT WAS NECESSARY TO REDUCE THE FORCE AND THAT THIS WOULD NECESSITATE HIS BEING SEPARATED EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 25, 1953. HE WAS INFORMED THAT HE WAS TO REMAIN IN AN ACTIVE DUTY STATUS UNTIL SEPTEMBER 25, 1953, AND THAT HE WOULD THEN BE CARRIED ON ANNUAL LEAVE, IF AVAILABLE, OR LEAVE WITHOUT PAY UNTIL NOVEMBER 25, 1953. ON SEPTEMBER 28, 1953, WHILE ON LEAVE, MR. SMITH LEFT DENVER FOR WASHINGTON, D.C., BY AUTOMOBILE, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS WIFE. THIS TRIP WAS UNDERTAKEN AT HIS OWN EXPENSE FOR THE PURPOSE OF SEEKING A REASSIGNMENT OR TRANSFER. MR. SMITH RECEIVED A REASSIGNMENT WITH THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION WITH HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON, D.C., EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 8, 1953. IT HAS BEEN ASCERTAINED INFORMALLY FROM THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION THAT AT THE TIME THE TRAVEL COMMENCED THERE WAS NO OPENING IN WASHINGTON, D.C., THAT HAD SUCH VACANCY EXISTED TRAVEL ORDERS WOULD HAVE BEEN ISSUED; AND THAT IT WAS EXPECTED THAT HE WOULD RECEIVE A REASSIGNMENT WITHIN THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION PRIOR TO THE SEPARATION DATE. IT IS NOTED THAT THE ACTING ADMINISTRATOR OF THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION HAS APPROVED THE TRAVEL VOUCHER,"SUBJECT TO * * * DECISION THAT PAYMENT OF THE EXPENSES IS PROPER.'

SECTION 1 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 806, AND SECTION 4 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, PROVIDED FOR TRANSFERS OF EMPLOYEES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WHEN "IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT," AND WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY SUCH SUBORDINATE OFFICIAL OR OFFICIALS AS THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED MAY DESIGNATE. TRANSFERS OF CAREER EMPLOYEES BECAUSE OF REDUCTION IN FORCE HAVE BEEN HELD TO BE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE GOVERNMENT AND TRAVELING EXPENSES INCIDENT THERETO MAY BE AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. SEE 26 COMP. GEN. 684. IT IS UNDERSTOOD FROM YOUR LETTER THAT IT IS THE POLICY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TO PAY PROPER EXPENSES OF TRANSFER IN SUCH CASES. MOREOVER, THE FACT THAT THE EMPLOYEE IN THIS CASE PROCEEDED TO WASHINGTON PRIOR TO THE TRANSFER TO THAT POINT AND PRIOR TO ISSUANCE OF A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DID NOT OPERATE TO PROHIBIT ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL OF TRAVEL EXPENSES FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW DUTY STATION. LIKEWISE, IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES ABOVE OUTLINED THE EMPLOYEE IS NOT REQUIRED TO BEAR AN EXPENSE EQUIVALENT TO THE COST OF RETURNING TO THE OLD DUTY STATION. SEE 27 COMP. GEN. 594; 27 ID. 184.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.