B-125488, DECEMBER 1, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 318

B-125488: Dec 1, 1955

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TRANSPORTATION - AUTOMOBILES - OVERSEAS EMPLOYEES - IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE IMMIGRATION OFFICERS WHO ARE ASSIGNED TO DUTY IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES TO ADMINISTER THE REFUGEE RELIEF ACT ARE REGULAR EMPLOYEES OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE. NOTWITHSTANDING FUNDS FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE ACT ARE ALLOCATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND. IMMIGRATION OFFICERS ARE PRECLUDED BY SECTION 7 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 FROM TRANSPORTING THEIR AUTOMOBILES OVERSEAS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. YOU SAY THAT IMMIGRATION OFFICERS ( FOREIGN SERVICE) ARE REGULAR EMPLOYEES OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE ASSIGNED TO DUTY IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES IN CONNECTION WITH THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE REFUGEE RELIEF ACT OF 1953.

B-125488, DECEMBER 1, 1955, 35 COMP. GEN. 318

TRANSPORTATION - AUTOMOBILES - OVERSEAS EMPLOYEES - IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE IMMIGRATION OFFICERS WHO ARE ASSIGNED TO DUTY IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES TO ADMINISTER THE REFUGEE RELIEF ACT ARE REGULAR EMPLOYEES OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS, NOTWITHSTANDING FUNDS FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE ACT ARE ALLOCATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND, THEREFORE, IMMIGRATION OFFICERS ARE PRECLUDED BY SECTION 7 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 FROM TRANSPORTING THEIR AUTOMOBILES OVERSEAS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

TO ALTON H. KIRBY, JR., DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, DECEMBER 1, 1955:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 9, 1955, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT ANY PART OF THE TRAVEL VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED FOR $400 IN FAVOR OF RUSSELL M. FREEMAN, IMMIGRATION OFFICER ( FOREIGN SERVICE (, NAPLES, ITALY, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST FOR TRANSPORTING HIS AUTOMOBILE FROM NEW YORK TO NAPLES AND RETURN.

YOU SAY THAT IMMIGRATION OFFICERS ( FOREIGN SERVICE) ARE REGULAR EMPLOYEES OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE ASSIGNED TO DUTY IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES IN CONNECTION WITH THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE REFUGEE RELIEF ACT OF 1953, 67 STAT. 400, 50 U.S.C. APP. 1971. THEIR SALARIES AND EXPENSES ARE PAID FROM THE APPROPRIATION AUTHORIZED BY TITLE V OF THE ACT OF JULY 7, 1955, PUBLIC LAW 133, 69 STAT. 279, UNDER WHICH THE PRESIDENT HAS TRANSFERRED THE APPROPRIATION TO THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE. THAT DEPARTMENT ALLOCATES FUNDS THEREFROM TO YOUR SERVICE TO ENABLE IT TO CARRY OUT ITS OBLIGATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE REFUGEE RELIEF ACT.

YOU ALSO SAY THAT TRAVEL EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES OF YOUR SERVICE ASSIGNED TO FOREIGN DUTY ARE AUTHORIZED AND PAID UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, AND THAT SECTION 7 THEREOF FORBIDS THE TRANSPORTATION OF AUTOMOBILES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. FURTHER, YOU POINT OUT THAT THE PROVISO CONTAINED IN TITLE V ABOVE PROVIDES THAT FUNDS APPROPRIATE THEREBY SHALL BE AVAILABLE IN ACCORDANCE WITH AUTHORITY GRANTED THEREUNDER OR UNDER AUTHORITY GOVERNING THE ACTIVITIES OF THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY TO WHICH SUCH FUNDS ARE ALLOCATED.

THE AUTOMOBILE IN QUESTION IS STILL OVERSEAS AND PRESUMABLY WILL REMAIN THERE UNTIL MR. FREEMAN'S TOUR OF DUTY IS OVER. THE CERTIFICATION FROM THE AMERICAN EXPORT LINES, INC., DATED AUGUST 19, 1955, SHOWS PAYMENT OF THE ROUND-TRIP TRANSPORTATION COSTS, $400. WHILE YOU EXPRESS THE VIEW THAT REIMBURSEMENT IS NOT AUTHORIZED, YOU QUOTE A PORTION OF A LETTER FROM THE AMERICAN EMBASSY, ATHENS, GREECE, DATED MAY 17, 1955, ADDRESSED TO THE GENERAL MANAGER, REFUGEE RELIEF PROGRAM, DEPARTMENT OF STATE, EXPRESSING A CONTRARY VIEW, AS FOLLOWS:

I AM WRITING TO INFORM YOU OF A DISCREPANCY IN TREATMENT OF ONE CLASS OF EMPLOYEES WORKING ON THE REFUGEE RELIEF PROGRAM. I REFER TO THOSE OFFICERS OF THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE WHO ARE ASSIGNED TO WORK IN THE PROGRAM. THE DISCREPANCY ARISES BY REASON OF THE FACT THAT TRAVEL ORDERS FOR THOSE OFFICERS ISSUED BY THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE ARE HELD TO BE LIMITED BY THE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805.

TITLE I, SECTION 7, EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805 PROHIBITS THE SHIPMENT OF AUTOMOBILES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. SECTION 11 OF TITLE I, HOWEVER, STATES THAT THESE REGULATIONS SHALL NOT APPLY TO OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES TRANSFERRED IN ACCORDANCE WITH (ITALICS MINE) THE PROVISIONS OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE ACT OF 1946.

IT APPEARS TO US THAT THESE OFFICERS WHO ARE ASSIGNED TO, AND WORK WITH, THE STATE DEPARTMENT PROGRAM, SHOULD ENJOY THE SAME PRIVILEGES WITH RESPECT TO TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR PERSONAL EFFECTS TO A FOREIGN POST.

IN LIGHT OF THE CONFLICT OF VIEWS REGARDING THE MATTER YOU ASK WHETHER THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT "IN THE AMOUNT OF EITHER $200 OR $400"--- HAVING REGARD FOR THE FACT THAT $400 REPRESENTS THE ROUND-TRIP CHARGE WHEREAS, TO DATE, THE AUTOMOBILE HAS NOT BEEN RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES.

SINCE IMMIGRATION OFFICERS ( FOREIGN SERVICE) ARE REGULAR OFFICERS OF YOUR SERVICE AS DISTINGUISHED FROM FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE, AND SINCE THEIR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES ARE AUTHORIZED AND PAID UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, SECTION 7 OF WHICH PROHIBITS THE TRANSPORTATION OF AN AUTOMOBILE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, AND, FURTHER, HAVING REGARD FOR THE PROVISO IN TITLE V OF PUBLIC LAW 133 " THAT FUNDS APPROPRIATED HEREIN SHALL BE AVAILABLE IN ACCORDANCE WITH AUTHORITY GRANTED HEREUNDER OR UNDER AUTHORITY GOVERNING THE ACTIVITIES OF THE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO WHICH SUCH FUNDS ARE ALLOCATED," NO BASIS EXISTS FOR PAYMENT OF ANY PART OF THE SUM CLAIMED ON THE VOUCHER.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN ANY AMOUNT.