B-140703, FEB. 18, 1960

B-140703: Feb 18, 1960

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WE NOTE THAT YOU HAVE FORWARDED WITH YOUR ENCLOSURES A VOUCHER FOR $290 REPRESENTING THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION BY AIR OF MR. A VOUCHER COVERING PAYMENT OF THE BALANCE OF THE CLAIM WAS NOT ENCLOSED WITH YOUR LETTER. AS A CERTIFYING OFFICER YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO A DECISION BY OUR OFFICE EXCEPT AS TO A QUESTION OF LAW INVOLVED IN A PAYMENT ON A VOUCHER PRESENTED TO YOU FOR CERTIFICATION. THE REQUIREMENT FOR A VOUCHER FOR THE BALANCE IN THIS INSTANCE WILL BE WAIVED SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE BILLS FOR THE ENTIRE AMOUNT ACTUALLY ARE BEFORE YOU FOR CONSIDERATION. ACCOUNTS FOR SUCH EXPENSES SHALL BE RENDERED AND PAID AS ARE ACCOUNTS OF JUDGES. THE PROVISIONS FOR TRAVELING AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF THE GOVERNOR INCLUDED IN THE ACT OF 1900 DO NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN MODIFIED BY SUBSEQUENT ACTS RELATING TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA TO COVER OTHER THAN TRAVEL "IN THE DISCHARGE OF * * * OFFICIAL DUTIES.'.

B-140703, FEB. 18, 1960

TO MR. CHARLES R. SMITH, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR:

YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 9, 1959, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER CERTAIN BILLS TOTALING $699.80 WHICH COVER THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF FORMER GOVERNOR STEPOVICH AND DEPENDENTS, AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS, FROM JUNEAU, ALASKA, TO FAIRBANKS, ALASKA, MAY BE PAID. WE NOTE THAT YOU HAVE FORWARDED WITH YOUR ENCLOSURES A VOUCHER FOR $290 REPRESENTING THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION BY AIR OF MR. STEPOVICH AND SEVEN OTHERS FROM JUNEAU TO FAIRBANKS. A VOUCHER COVERING PAYMENT OF THE BALANCE OF THE CLAIM WAS NOT ENCLOSED WITH YOUR LETTER. AS A CERTIFYING OFFICER YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO A DECISION BY OUR OFFICE EXCEPT AS TO A QUESTION OF LAW INVOLVED IN A PAYMENT ON A VOUCHER PRESENTED TO YOU FOR CERTIFICATION. SEE 35 COMP. GEN. 28; 26 ID. 1128. HOWEVER, THE REQUIREMENT FOR A VOUCHER FOR THE BALANCE IN THIS INSTANCE WILL BE WAIVED SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE BILLS FOR THE ENTIRE AMOUNT ACTUALLY ARE BEFORE YOU FOR CONSIDERATION.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MIKE J. STEPOVICH RESIGNED AS GOVERNOR OF ALASKA, AND TRAVELED FROM JUNEAU BY AIR, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS DEPENDENTS, TO HIS HOME IN FAIRBANKS AT A COST OF $290. HE ALSO HAD HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND PERSONAL BELONGINGS SHIPPED AT A COST OF $409.80.

THE ACT OF JUNE 6, 1900, 31 STAT. 321, CONCERNING THE CIVIL GOVERNMENT FOR THE DISTRICT OF ALASKA READS IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"SEC. 2. THERE SHALL BE APPOINTED FOR THE DISTRICT A GOVERNOR, WHO SHALL RESIDE THEREIN DURING HIS TERM OF OFFICE AND HE CHARGED WITH THE INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT WITHIN THE DISTRICT. * * *

"SEC. 10. THE GOVERNOR * * * SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT, BY AND WITH THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE * * *.

"THE OFFICERS SO APPOINTED SHALL SEVERALLY BE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE ANNUAL COMPENSATION AS FOLLOWS:

"THE GOVERNOR, THE SUM OF FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS; * * * PAYABLE FROM THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES * * *.

"THE GOVERNOR, SURVEYOR-GENERAL, MARSHALS, JUDGES CLERKS OF COURT, AND DISTRICT ATTORNEYS SHALL, IN ADDITION TO THEIR SALARIES, BE PAID THEIR ACTUAL TRAVELING AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES WHEN TRAVELING IN THE DISCHARGE OF THEIR OFFICIAL DUTIES. ACCOUNTS FOR SUCH EXPENSES SHALL BE RENDERED AND PAID AS ARE ACCOUNTS OF JUDGES, MARSHALS, CLERKS, AND DISTRICT ATTORNEYS FOR LIKE EXPENSES IN OTHER DISTRICTS.'

THE PROVISIONS FOR TRAVELING AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OF THE GOVERNOR INCLUDED IN THE ACT OF 1900 DO NOT APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN MODIFIED BY SUBSEQUENT ACTS RELATING TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA TO COVER OTHER THAN TRAVEL "IN THE DISCHARGE OF * * * OFFICIAL DUTIES.' HOWEVER, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE GOVERNOR OF ALASKA, AS AN OFFICIAL APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT, BY AND WITH THE CONSENT OF THE SENATE, WHOSE SALARY IS PAID FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS, IS A CIVILIAN OFFICER OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND THEREFORE SUBJECT TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, PUBLIC LAW 600, 60 STAT. 806.

SECTION 7 OF PUBLIC LAW 600, PROVIDES IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENTS SHALL BE AVAILABLE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT, FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF NEW APPOINTEES, EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES AND EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS FROM PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT TO PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, AND FOR SUCH EXPENSES ON RETURN OF EMPLOYEES FROM THEIR POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THE PLACES OF THEIR ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES * * *.'

IN DECISION OF MARCH 11, 1948, B-72430, 27 COMP. GEN. 509, WE HELD THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THAT SECTION PRIMARILY WERE "INTENDED FOR APPLICATION IN CASES OF PERSONS WHO, AT THE TIME OF THEIR APPOINTMENT, ACTUALLY WERE RESIDENTS OF THIS COUNTRY AND WHO WERE REQUIRED TO TRAVEL TO POSTS OF DUTY BEYOND THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES.' UPON THAT BASIS, AND WHILE RECOGNIZING THE STATUTE COVERED TRAVEL BETWEEN HAWAII AND ALASKA, WE FURTHER HELD IN THAT DECISION THAT A NEW APPOINTEE WHO WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE TERRITORY IN WHICH HE ACTUALLY RESIDED AT THE TIME OF HIS APPOINTMENT, WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED, UNDER THE REFERRED-TO SECTION 7, TO PAYMENT OF HIS TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO HIS POST OF DUTY IN THE SAME TERRITORY.

THEREFORE, AND SINCE IT APPEARS THAT THE FORMER GOVERNOR WAS A BONA FIDE RESIDENT OF THE TERRITORY OF ALASKA AT THE TIME OF APPOINTMENT, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW FOR PAYMENT OF THE EXPENSES OF HIS TRAVEL OR THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF HIS FAMILY AND EFFECTS FROM HIS POST OF DUTY IN ALASKA TO HIS PLACE OF RESIDENCE AT FAIRBANKS INCIDENT TO HIS RESIGNATION.

BILL N-58-3782 IN THE AMOUNT OF $290 FROM THE PAN AMERICAN WORLD AIRWAYS, INC., REPRESENTING TRANSPORTATION OF MR. STEPOVICH FROM JUNEAU TO FAIRBANKS OBTAINED ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST A 2,109,729, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, SINCE WE HAVE HELD THAT A CARRIER FURNISHING A TICKET ON A TRANSPORTATION REQUEST, VALID ON ITS FACE AND WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE THAT IT WAS ISSUED WITHOUT AUTHORITY, IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT FOR SUCH TICKET. SEE 14 COMP. GEN. 631. APPROPRIATE DEBT ACTION AGAINST MR. STEPOVICH SHOULD BE TAKEN FOR THAT AMOUNT.