B-136408, JUN. 20, 1958

B-136408: Jun 20, 1958

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YOU SAY THE BOARD IN THE NEAR FUTURE WILL TRANSFER AN EMPLOYEE TO SANTURCE. BECAUSE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S PHYSICAL CONDITION AND ALSO BECAUSE OFFICIAL TRAVEL BY AUTOMOBILE IS REQUIRED OF THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR IN PUERTO RICO. YOU DEEM THAT HIS AUTOMOBILE IS INDISPENSABLE TO HIM AT THAT PLACE. YOUR LETTER SHOWS THAT YOU ARE AWARE SECTION 7 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805 EXCLUDES AUTOMOBILES FROM ITEMS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WHICH ARE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE ON TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION. HAVE SECURED SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY TO TRANSPORT UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS THE MOTOR VEHICLES OF THEIR EMPLOYEES ASSIGNED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. WE ARE REQUIRED TO HOLD THAT THE BOARD'S APPROPRIATION MAY NOT BE CHARGED WITH THE EXPENSES OF SHIPPING THE EMPLOYEE'S AUTOMOBILE IN QUESTION TO HIS NEW OVERSEAS OFFICIAL STATION.

B-136408, JUN. 20, 1958

TO HONORABLE BOYD LEEDON, CHAIRMAN NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD:

ON JUNE 9, 1958, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER, UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER RELATED, YOUR BOARD'S APPROPRIATION MAY BE CHARGED WITH THE EXPENSE OF SHIPPING A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE'S AUTOMOBILE TO HIS NEW OVERSEAS OFFICIAL STATION.

YOU SAY THE BOARD IN THE NEAR FUTURE WILL TRANSFER AN EMPLOYEE TO SANTURCE, PUERTO RICO, TO OCCUPY THE POSITION OF REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR PUERTO RICO; THAT THE EMPLOYEE HAS A PERMANENT DISABILITY OF HIS LOWER LIMBS AND HE CANNOT WALK WITHOUT A CANE; AND THAT WHILE HE CAN ENTER AND LEAVE HIS AUTOMOBILE WITHOUT DIFFICULTY AND CAN OPERATE THE VEHICLE WITH COMPLETE CONTROL, HE CANNOT ENTER OR LEAVE STREET CARS, BUSES, AND OTHER PUBLIC FACILITIES, EXCEPT WITH EXTREME DIFFICULTY. BECAUSE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S PHYSICAL CONDITION AND ALSO BECAUSE OFFICIAL TRAVEL BY AUTOMOBILE IS REQUIRED OF THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR IN PUERTO RICO, YOU DEEM THAT HIS AUTOMOBILE IS INDISPENSABLE TO HIM AT THAT PLACE. NO OTHER MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION WOULD BE SATISFACTORY IN VIEW OF THE LIMITED PUBLIC FACILITIES IN SANTURCE AND THROUGHOUT THE ISLAND. YOUR LETTER SHOWS THAT YOU ARE AWARE SECTION 7 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805 EXCLUDES AUTOMOBILES FROM ITEMS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WHICH ARE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE ON TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION, BUT YOUR QUESTION APPEARS TO BE WHETHER, UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES STATED ABOVE, THE BOARD MAY SHIP AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE THE EMPLOYEE'S AUTOMOBILE PURSUANT TO THE GENERAL AUTHORITY OF THE BOARD TO PAY THE NECESSARY EXPENSES FOR THE OPERATION OF ITS OVERSEAS OFFICES.

NO GENERAL STATUTORY AUTHORITY EXISTS PERMITTING DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES TO SHIP AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE THE PRIVATELY-OWNED VEHICLES OF CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES TO THEIR OVERSEAS STATIONS. IN FACT, 5 U.S.C. 73C PROHIBITS THE TRANSPORTATION OF PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AS A PART OF THE EFFECTS OF GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL. FOR THOSE REASONS, CERTAIN DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES, SUCH AS THE MILITARY DEPARTMENTS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION, AND THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, HAVE SECURED SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORITY TO TRANSPORT UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS THE MOTOR VEHICLES OF THEIR EMPLOYEES ASSIGNED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. AN EXAMINATION OF YOUR ORGANIC LAW (29 U.S.C. 151-168) AND APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1958 DOES NOT DISCLOSE ANY AUTHORITY --- EVEN UNDER THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES SET OUT BY YOU--- FOR THE BOARD TO SHIP AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE THE PRIVATELY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE OF AN EMPLOYEE TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES.

THEREFORE, WE ARE REQUIRED TO HOLD THAT THE BOARD'S APPROPRIATION MAY NOT BE CHARGED WITH THE EXPENSES OF SHIPPING THE EMPLOYEE'S AUTOMOBILE IN QUESTION TO HIS NEW OVERSEAS OFFICIAL STATION, IN THE ABSENCE OF EXPRESS STATUTORY AUTHORITY, OR AUTHORITY GRANTED IN YOUR APPROPRIATION ACTS. SEE 35 COMP. GEN. 318.