B-151011, B-126098, MAR. 29, 1963

B-126098,B-151011: Mar 29, 1963

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YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 17. TERRY ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE INVOLVED IN THE CASE OF LON L. THE COURT'S JUDGMENT WAS BASED UPON AN EXPEDIENCY OR MONETARY CONVENIENCE. WAS NOT BASED UPON A SPECIFIC PROVISION OF LAW. WE ARE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO MAKE PAYMENTS FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY MAKING THE APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR THE PURPOSE. WE ARE AWARE OF NO SUCH AUTHORITY TO PAY TRAVEL TIME IN CIRCUMSTANCES SUCH AS YOURS. THE COURT OF CLAIMS IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE SAME RESTRICTION.

B-151011, B-126098, MAR. 29, 1963

TO MR. CHARLES C. MARTIN, CO-CHAIRMAN:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 28, 1963, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM AND THE CLAIM OF MR. CLARENCE C. TERRY FOR ADDITIONAL OVERTIME COMPENSATION AS EMPLOYEES OF THE BUREAU OF CUSTOMS, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, FOR THE TIME YOU SPENT GOING TO AND RETURNING FROM WORK ASSIGNMENTS OUTSIDE YOUR DUTY STATIONS BEFORE AND AFTER YOUR USUAL DUTY HOURS. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 17, 1963, AND THAT OF MR. TERRY BY SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 18, 1963.

THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN YOUR CASE AND THAT OF MR. TERRY ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE INVOLVED IN THE CASE OF LON L. CURTIS AND RAYMOND B. HANTON V. UNITED STATES, CT.CL.NO. 369-60, DECIDED FEBRUARY 7, 1962. YOU EXPRESS THE OPINION THAT UNDER THE COURT'S HOLDING IN THAT CASE YOU SHOULD BE ALLOWED OVERTIME COMPENSATION UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 13, 1911, CH. 46, 36 STAT. 901, AS AMENDED, 19 U.S.C. 267, FOR THE TIME SPENT GOING TO OR RETURNING FROM WORK ASSIGNMENTS AWAY FROM YOUR DUTY STATIONS DURING HOURS SPECIFIED IN THAT ACT FOR ALLOWANCE OF OVERTIME COMPENSATION.

A CAREFUL READING OF THE COURT'S DECISION IN THE CURTIS AND HANTON CASE REVEALS THAT, BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF REGULATIONS CLEARLY COVERING THE SITUATION, THE COURT'S JUDGMENT WAS BASED UPON AN EXPEDIENCY OR MONETARY CONVENIENCE, AND WAS NOT BASED UPON A SPECIFIC PROVISION OF LAW.

ON THE OTHER HAND, THE COURT OF CLAIMS HAS EXPRESSED A DIFFERENT VIEW IN SOMEWHAT SIMILAR CASES OF TRAVEL TIME OUTSIDE OF PRESCRIBED REGULAR DUTY HOURS. SEE FOR EXAMPLE, POST V. UNITED STATES, 121 CT.CL. 94, GAINES V. UNITED STATES, 132 ID. 408, AND BIGGS, ET AL. V. UNITED STATES, CT.CL.NO. 184-59, DECIDED MARCH 1, 1961, 287 F.2D 908; 37 COMP. GEN. 276, AND 40 ID. 439. EACH OF THOSE CASES HELD GENERALLY THAT MERE TRAVEL OF AN EMPLOYEE, WITHOUT MORE, DOES NOT ENTITLE THE EMPLOYEE TO OVERTIME COMPENSATION, AND THAT INSTRUCTIONS OR ORDERS TO PERFORM TRAVEL OR DUTY AWAY FROM AN OFFICIAL STATION, OR THE APPROVAL OF TRAVEL VOUCHERS FOR PURPOSES OF PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION COSTS, DO NOT CONSTITUTE AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL OF TRAVEL TIME FOR OVERTIME COMPENSATION PURPOSES.

FURTHERMORE, WE ARE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO MAKE PAYMENTS FROM FUNDS APPROPRIATED IN THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY MAKING THE APPROPRIATION AVAILABLE FOR THE PURPOSE. WE ARE AWARE OF NO SUCH AUTHORITY TO PAY TRAVEL TIME IN CIRCUMSTANCES SUCH AS YOURS. THE COURT OF CLAIMS IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE SAME RESTRICTION, THERE BEING AVAILABLE AN APPROPRIATION TO PAY THE JUDGMENTS OF THAT COURT.

THEREFORE, OUR SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 17, 1963, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM AND OUR SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 18, 1963, WHICH DISALLOWED THE CLAIM OF MR. TERRY MUST BE SUSTAINED.