B-131371, JULY 17, 1957, 37 COMP. GEN. 29

B-131371: Jul 17, 1957

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MILITARY PERSONNEL - PAY - ADDITIONAL - SOURCES OTHER THAN THE UNITED STATES - HONORARIUMS FOR SPEECHES A CHECK WHICH WAS RECEIVED BY AN ARMY OFFICER AS AN HONORARIUM FOR A LECTURE HE WAS DESIGNATED TO GIVE IN HIS CAPACITY AS AN OFFICER ON ACTIVE DUTY CONSTITUTES EARNINGS. THE OFFICER IS REQUIRED TO ENDORSE THE CHECK FOR DEPOSIT INTO THE TREASURY. REQUESTS AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON A VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH IN FAVOR OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL JAMES A. YOUR LETTER WAS FORWARDED TO US BY THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS BY FIRST ENDORSEMENT DATED MAY 17. COLONEL VIVIAN WAS DESIGNATED AS THE SPEAKER. HE WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM WASHINGTON. UPON COMPLETION OF WHICH HE WAS TO RETURN TO HIS PROPER STATION.

B-131371, JULY 17, 1957, 37 COMP. GEN. 29

MILITARY PERSONNEL - PAY - ADDITIONAL - SOURCES OTHER THAN THE UNITED STATES - HONORARIUMS FOR SPEECHES A CHECK WHICH WAS RECEIVED BY AN ARMY OFFICER AS AN HONORARIUM FOR A LECTURE HE WAS DESIGNATED TO GIVE IN HIS CAPACITY AS AN OFFICER ON ACTIVE DUTY CONSTITUTES EARNINGS, IN EXCESS OF REGULAR PAY AND ALLOWANCES, WHICH BELONG TO THE UNITED STATES AS EMPLOYER, AND, THEREFORE, THE OFFICER IS REQUIRED TO ENDORSE THE CHECK FOR DEPOSIT INTO THE TREASURY.

TO T. F. CONWAY, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, JULY 17, 1957:

YOUR LETTER OF MAY 10, 1957, REQUESTS AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT IS AUTHORIZED ON A VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH IN FAVOR OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL JAMES A. VIVIAN (024751). YOUR LETTER WAS FORWARDED TO US BY THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS BY FIRST ENDORSEMENT DATED MAY 17, 1957. SEE PARAGRAPH 11-3B (2), ARMY REGULATIONS 37-103, DATED DECEMBER 6, 1956.

YOU STATE THAT DURING THE LATTER PART OF DECEMBER 1956, THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS RECEIVED A REQUEST FROM PRINCETON UNIVERSITY TO FURNISH A SPEAKER TO LECTURE ON WATER RESOURCE PROBLEMS OF THE NATION AND THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS TO CIVILIAN STUDENTS, ARMY OFFICERS ENROLLED FOR SPECIAL TRAINING AND FACULTY MEMBERS. COLONEL VIVIAN WAS DESIGNATED AS THE SPEAKER, AND BY ORDERS DATED JANUARY 10, 1957, HE WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY OF APPROXIMATELY TWO DAYS, UPON COMPLETION OF WHICH HE WAS TO RETURN TO HIS PROPER STATION. THE ORDERS DESIGNATE THE PURPOSE OF THE ASSIGNMENT AS " CIVIL WORKS ACTIVITIES.' THE OFFICER PERFORMED THE TRAVEL AND TEMPORARY DUTY ON JANUARY 17 AND 18, 1957. TRAVEL FROM WASHINGTON TO PRINCETON WAS BY RAIL ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST VALUED AT $19.11. THE VOUCHER IS IN THE AMOUNT OF $17.50 REPRESENTING PER DIEM AND REIMBURSEMENT FOR INCIDENTAL TRAVEL EXPENSES. WHILE YOU INDICATE THAT PREPARATION OF THE LECTURE REQUIRED A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF WORK AFTER DUTY HOURS AND THAT THE PRESENTATION WAS ALSO MADE AFTER NORMAL DUTY HOURS, IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT THE TRAVEL AND TEMPORARY DUTY AT PRINCETON WAS PERFORMED BY COLONEL VIVIAN IN HIS CAPACITY AS AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY ON ACTIVE DUTY. IN APPRECIATION OF THE SERVICE RENDERED BY HIM, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESENTED HIM WITH "A MODEST HONORARIUM" IN THE FORM OF A CHECK FOR $100. YOU QUESTION WHETHER COLONEL VIVIAN MAY PAY ALL OF THE COSTS OF TRAVEL FROM PERSONAL FUNDS AND RETAIN THE $100, OR WHETHER HE MUST TURN OVER THE $100 TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR DEPOSIT INTO THE TREASURY AS GENERAL FUND RECEIPTS, IN WHICH CASE THE TRAVEL CLAIM WOULD BE PAID.

IT IS A WELL ESTABLISHED PRINCIPLE OF LAW THAT THE EARNINGS OF AN EMPLOYEE IN EXCESS OF HIS REGULAR COMPENSATION GAINED IN THE COURSE OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH, HIS SERVICES BELONG TO THE EMPLOYER, AND IN THE CASE OF OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES IT LONG HAS BEEN THE RULE THAT AMOUNTS SO RECEIVED ARE, IN EFFECT, RECEIVED FOR THE UNITED STATES AND ARE REQUIRED TO BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY. SEE 29 COMP. GEN. 163; 30 ID. 246; 32 ID. 454, AND 35 ID. 354. SINCE COLONEL VIVIAN WAS ON ACTIVE DUTY, PERFORMED THE SERVICE OF GIVING A LECTURE AT PRINCETON UNIVERSITY IN HIS CAPACITY AS AN OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES, AND RECEIVED THE CHECK IN THE SUM OF $100 IN ADDITION TO HIS REGULAR PAY AND ALLOWANCES, IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT HE IS NOT ENTITLED TO RETAIN THE CHECK BUT SHOULD BE REQUESTED TO ENDORSE IT FOR COVERING INTO THE TREASURY. THERE APPEARS TO BE NO LEGAL BASIS FOR THE ALTERNATE PROCEDURE PROPOSED.

ACCORDINGLY, THE TRAVEL VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH, PAYMENT THEREON BEING AUTHORIZED, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.