B-136049, JUN. 9, 1958

B-136049: Jun 9, 1958

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WHICH IS OUTLINED IN AN ADMINISTRATIVE STATEMENT ACCOMPANYING THE PAYROLL. WAS RECRUITED AS A PART OF THE FIRE RESEARCH STAFF OF THE CALIFORNIA FOREST AND RANGE EXPERIMENT STATION TO STRENGTHEN THE REGIONAL PROGRAM OF FOREST FIRE RESEARCH. IT WAS DEEMED NECESSARY THAT HE ACQUIRE A WORKING KNOWLEDGE OF THE MATHEMATICAL TECHNICS EMPLOYED IN OPERATIONS RESEARCH IN ORDER TO WORK MORE EFFECTIVELY IN DEFINING AND EVALUATING THE FACTORS THAT ARE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT IN FIRE CONTROL PLANNING AND IN DECISIONS THAT MUST BE MADE IN FIRE CONTROL OPERATIONS AND IN EMERGENCY FIRE FIGHTING. SINCE CONSULTATIONS WITH QUALIFIED OPERATIONS RESEARCH ANALYSTS WERE UNPRODUCTIVE BECAUSE OF THEIR COMPLETE UNFAMILIARITY WITH THE FIRE CONTROL ORGANIZATION AND ITS OPERATING PROBLEMS.

B-136049, JUN. 9, 1958

TO MR. L. P. WILSEY, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, FOREST SERVICE:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 21, 1958, REFERENCE A DISBURSEMENT ADVANCE DECISIONS, RECEIVED HERE MAY 5, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE PAYROLL VOUCHER THEREWITH ENCLOSED PROPOSING PAYMENT FOR THE SERVICES OF OF WILLIAM M. CARTER FOR THE PAY PERIOD FEBRUARY 9 THROUGH FEBRUARY 22, 1958, DURING PART OF WHICH PERIOD THE EMPLOYEE ATTENDED COURSES OF SPECIAL INSTRUCTION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT LOS ANGELES, AND CALIFORNIA HIGH SCHOOL AT WHITTIER. YOUR EXPRESS UNCERTAINTY AS TO WHETHER THE SCHEDULED SPECIAL TRAINING, WHICH IS OUTLINED IN AN ADMINISTRATIVE STATEMENT ACCOMPANYING THE PAYROLL, FULLY QUALIFIES UNDER THE STANDARDS GIVEN IN 36 COMP. GEN. 621 TO PERMIT PAYMENT OF SALARIES AND EXPENSES FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS.

THE MEMORANDA ACCOMPANYING THE REPORT STATES THAT MR. CARTER, GS-7 MATHEMATICIAN, WAS RECRUITED AS A PART OF THE FIRE RESEARCH STAFF OF THE CALIFORNIA FOREST AND RANGE EXPERIMENT STATION TO STRENGTHEN THE REGIONAL PROGRAM OF FOREST FIRE RESEARCH. IN ADDITION TO HIS BASIC MATHEMATICAL TRAINING, IT WAS DEEMED NECESSARY THAT HE ACQUIRE A WORKING KNOWLEDGE OF THE MATHEMATICAL TECHNICS EMPLOYED IN OPERATIONS RESEARCH IN ORDER TO WORK MORE EFFECTIVELY IN DEFINING AND EVALUATING THE FACTORS THAT ARE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT IN FIRE CONTROL PLANNING AND IN DECISIONS THAT MUST BE MADE IN FIRE CONTROL OPERATIONS AND IN EMERGENCY FIRE FIGHTING. SINCE CONSULTATIONS WITH QUALIFIED OPERATIONS RESEARCH ANALYSTS WERE UNPRODUCTIVE BECAUSE OF THEIR COMPLETE UNFAMILIARITY WITH THE FIRE CONTROL ORGANIZATION AND ITS OPERATING PROBLEMS, AND BECAUSE RECRUITMENT OF SUCH INDIVIDUALS FOR PERMANENT ASSIGNING TO THIS KIND OF RESEARCH WAS IMPRACTICAL BECAUSE THEY ARE BEYOND THE SALARY RANGE OF FEDERAL REGISTERS, IT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED NECESSARY TO ARRANGE FOR AT LEAST THE INTRODUCTORY TRAINING OF MR. CARTER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA. THE PLANS WERE TO ASSIST HIM TO OBTAIN TRAINING THROUGH A SPECIFIC COURSE IN ORDER TO MAKE HIS SERVICES MORE PRODUCTIVE IN THE NEAR FUTURE, AND IT IS REPORTED THAT THE COURSE IS NOT OF THE TYPE THAT IS A SPECIFIC REQUISITE TO ANY GRADUATE DEGREE AND FOR THAT REASON IS NOT A COURSE THAT MR. CARTER COULD NORMALLY BE EXPECTED TO ATTEND AT HIS OWN EXPENSE UNLESS HE WERE INTERESTED IN PREPARING HIMSELF FOR A CAREER OUTSIDE THE FOREST SERVICE. MR. CARTER WAS THEREFORE ENROLLED AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA WITH A SCHEDULED COURSE TO RUN FOR AN 18 WEEKS' SEMESTER, FEBRUARY 10 TO MAY 29, 1958. THE COURSE CONSISTED OF THE FOLLOWING SUBJECTS, AND MR. CARTER'S TOUR OF DUTY WAS REVISED TO INCLUDE ATTENDANCE AT CLASSES THEREIN:

STATISTICS, XL-131A, MONDAY 7:00 - 9:30 P.M.

ENGINEERING XL-198, DIRECTED GROUP STUDIES FOR UPPER DIVISION STUDENTS (SYSTEMS ENGINEERING (OPERATIONS RESEARCH ( (, WEDNESDAY, 7:00 - 9:30 P.M.

PROBABILITY 120, MONDAY, WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY, FROM 12 TO 1 P.M. (AUDITED COURSE - NO CREDIT)

THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT EXPENSES OF TRAINING GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL, INCLUDING COMPENSATION AND TRAVEL EXPENSES, AT NONFEDERAL FACILITIES MAY NOT BE PAID FOR APPROPRIATED FUNDS, IN THE ABSENCE OF EXPRESS STATUTORY AUTHORITY UNLESS IT CAN BE SHOWN THAT THE TRAINING COURSE IN (1) ESSENTIAL TO THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE APPROPRIATION IS MADE, (2) FOR A PERIOD OF BRIEF DURATION, AND (3) SPECIAL IN NATURE TO MEET THE NEED OF AN AUTHORIZED PROGRAM. SEE 36 COMP. GEN. 621 AND DECISIONS CITED THEREIN.

INASMUCH AS THERE IS NO SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE FURNISHING OF THE EDUCATION HERE INVOLVED THE USE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR EXPENSES CONNECTED THEREWITH IS DEPENDENT UPON SUCH SCHOOLING MEETING THE CRITERIA SET FORTH ABOVE. IT IS IMMEDIATELY APPARENT THAT AN 18 WEEKS' SEMESTER COURSE DOES NOT FALL WITHIN THE CRITERIA OF "BRIEF IN DURATION.' SEE IN THAT CONNECTION THE DISCUSSION IN 36 COMP. GEN. 621. NEITHER DOES THE COURSE APPEAR TO BE "SPECIAL IN NATURE" SO AS TO QUALIFY WITHIN THAT CRITERIA, SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE COURSE WAS DESIGNED TO ELEVATE THE EDUCATIONAL LEVEL OF THOSE ATTENDING, RATHER THAN ONE DESIGNED FOR THE USE OF SELECTED PROFESSIONAL PERSONNEL WHOSE DUTIES REQUIRE THEM TO MAINTAIN THEIR EXPERTNESS AND KEEP ABREAST OF THE NEWEST DEVELOPMENTS IN THEIR RESPECTIVE FIELDS.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS, THE VOUCHER MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, UNLESS THE EMPLOYEE HAS ADEQUATE ANNUAL LEAVE TO COVER HIS ABSENCES FROM OFFICIAL DUTIES RESULTING FROM HIS ATTENDANCE AT SCHOOL.

THE VOUCHER AND SCHEDULE OF PAYMENT FORM AND ATTACHMENTS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.