B-133696, SEP. 23, 1957

B-133696: Sep 23, 1957

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WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES OF THE EMPLOYEES IN QUESTION ARE PAID FROM MIXED FUNDS COMPRISED OF LOCAL REVENUES SUPPLEMENTED BY FEDERAL GRANTS. ARE UNITED STATES CITIZENS WHO HAVE BEEN RECRUITED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR IN THE UNITED STATES OR IN ITS TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS. WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED INFORMALLY THAT SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE APPOINTED AS EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. THAT THEY ARE ENGAGED IN PERFORMANCE OF A FUNCTION OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. THAT THEY ARE SUPERVISED BY FEDERAL OFFICIALS. YOUR ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S LETTER SAYS THAT SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE RECOGNIZED AS EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES BY YOUR DEPARTMENT. ALTHOUGH WE HAVE RENDERED NO SPECIFIC DECISION UPON THE QUESTION OF THE STATUS OF SUCH EMPLOYEES AS EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES.

B-133696, SEP. 23, 1957

TO SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR:

ON SEPTEMBER 5, 1957, YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY REQUESTED OUR DECISION CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF THE ALLOWANCE OF THE EXPENSES OF ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION INCIDENT TO TAKING LEAVE AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 7 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF1946, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 31, 1954, 68 STAT. 1008, 5 U.S.C. 73B-3, IN THE CASE OF CERTAIN DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR EMPLOYEES STATIONED IN THE TRUST TERRITORY OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS WHO TAKE LEAVE IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES IN THE ORIENT RATHER THAN RETURNING TO THEIR ACTUAL PLACES OF RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES, ITS TERRITORIES, OR POSSESSIONS.

WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE COMPENSATION AND ALLOWANCES OF THE EMPLOYEES IN QUESTION ARE PAID FROM MIXED FUNDS COMPRISED OF LOCAL REVENUES SUPPLEMENTED BY FEDERAL GRANTS. SUCH EMPLOYEES, HOWEVER, ARE UNITED STATES CITIZENS WHO HAVE BEEN RECRUITED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR IN THE UNITED STATES OR IN ITS TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS. FURTHER, WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED INFORMALLY THAT SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE APPOINTED AS EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, THAT THEY ARE ENGAGED IN PERFORMANCE OF A FUNCTION OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, AND THAT THEY ARE SUPERVISED BY FEDERAL OFFICIALS. YOUR ASSISTANT SECRETARY'S LETTER SAYS THAT SUCH EMPLOYEES ARE RECOGNIZED AS EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES BY YOUR DEPARTMENT, THE GOVERNMENT OF THE TRUST TERRITORY AND BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. ALTHOUGH WE HAVE RENDERED NO SPECIFIC DECISION UPON THE QUESTION OF THE STATUS OF SUCH EMPLOYEES AS EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES, WE TOO HAVE IMPLIEDLY RECOGNIZED THAT THEY ARE UNITED STATES EMPLOYEES BY OUR ACTION IN THE CASE OF DR. CLARK RICHARDSON WHICH WAS THE SUBJECT OF OUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 22, 1955, B-120653, TO YOU, AND YOUR REPLY OF MARCH 2, 1956.

WE CONCUR WITH THE VIEW THAT THE EMPLOYEES IN QUESTION ARE EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THEIR COMPENSATION AND THE COST OF THEIR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ARE PAID FROM MIXED FUNDS. AS SUCH THEY ARE ENTITLED TO HOME LEAVE TRAVEL BENEFITS UNDER--- BUT SUBJECT TO ALL THE CONDITIONS SPECIFIED IN--- SECTION 7 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, AS AMENDED. UNDER THAT SECTION ALLOWANCE OF HOME LEAVE TRAVEL BENEFITS WOULD NOT BE PAYABLE TO AN EMPLOYEE IN THE CATEGORY UNDER DISCUSSION INCIDENT TO HIS TAKING LEAVE IN THE ORIENT. SEE OUR DECISIONS OF AUGUST 21, 1957, B-125293, AND AUGUST 15, 1957, B-132331, COPIES ATTACHED.