B-16829, MAY 27, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 820

B-16829: May 27, 1941

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TRAVELING EXPENSES TO FIRST DUTY STATION - SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES AT PLACE OF PRELIMINARY INSTRUCTION IN THE ABSENCE OF A SPECIFIC STATUTORY OR CONTRACT PROVISION TO THE CONTRARY AN EMPLOYEE UPON APPOINTMENT TO THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE MUST BEAR THE EXPENSE OF REPORTING TO THE PLACE AT WHICH HIS DUTY IS TO BE PERFORMED SO THAT AN EMPLOYEE APPOINTED TO A POSITION INVOLVING FIELD DUTY WHO IS REQUIRED TO REMAIN AT HIS PLACE OF APPOINTMENT FOR INSTRUCTION MAY NOT BE ALLOWED TRAVELING EXPENSES TO A FIELD STATION TO PERFORM THE DUTIES FOR WHICH HE WAS APPOINTED. NOR IS HE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR SUCH PERIOD OF INSTRUCTION. THAT YOU WERE APPOINTED JUNIOR FIELD CIVIL SERVICE EXAMINER.

B-16829, MAY 27, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 820

TRAVELING EXPENSES TO FIRST DUTY STATION - SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES AT PLACE OF PRELIMINARY INSTRUCTION IN THE ABSENCE OF A SPECIFIC STATUTORY OR CONTRACT PROVISION TO THE CONTRARY AN EMPLOYEE UPON APPOINTMENT TO THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE MUST BEAR THE EXPENSE OF REPORTING TO THE PLACE AT WHICH HIS DUTY IS TO BE PERFORMED SO THAT AN EMPLOYEE APPOINTED TO A POSITION INVOLVING FIELD DUTY WHO IS REQUIRED TO REMAIN AT HIS PLACE OF APPOINTMENT FOR INSTRUCTION MAY NOT BE ALLOWED TRAVELING EXPENSES TO A FIELD STATION TO PERFORM THE DUTIES FOR WHICH HE WAS APPOINTED, NOR IS HE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR SUCH PERIOD OF INSTRUCTION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO WILLIAM M. SMOAK, JR., MAY 27, 1941:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 9, 1941, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED JANUARY 27, 1941, WHICH ALLOWED $26.25 OF $54.40 CLAIMED AS REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL AND OTHER EXPENSES INCURRED DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 30 TO JULY 31, 1940, AND DISALLOWED $28.15 REPRESENTING PER DIEM AND MILEAGE, EQUIVALENT TO RAIL AND PULLMAN FARES, WASHINGTON, D.C., TO ATLANTA, GA., YOUR FIRST DUTY STATION.

THE RECORDS SHOW THAT YOU RESIGNED FROM THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD JUNE 20, 1940, AND THAT YOU WERE APPOINTED JUNIOR FIELD CIVIL SERVICE EXAMINER, UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, JUNE 21, 1940, ON WHICH DATE YOU ENTERED UPON A PERIOD OF TRAINING AND INSTRUCTION FOR YOUR FIELD DUTIES. ON JUNE 29, 1940, HAVING COMPLETED YOUR COURSE OF TRAINING YOU WERE DIRECTED TO REPORT TO YOUR FIELD DUTY STATION, ATLANTA, GA. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION ISSUED TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 368, DATED JUNE 29, 1940, AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT AT 5 CENTS PER MILE, IN LIEU OF ACTUAL TRAVEL EXPENSES, AND $5 PER DIEM, IN LIEU OF ACTUAL SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES, ON THE GROUND THAT THIS WAS A TRANSFER FROM ONE DUTY STATION TO ANOTHER. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THIS ORDER FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL TO ATLANTA, WAS DISALLOWED BECAUSE YOUR APPOINTMENT WAS FOR FIELD DUTY AND BECAUSE YOUR FIRST FIELD DUTY STATION WAS ATLANTA, GA., YOUR RETENTION IN WASHINGTON HAVING BEEN ONLY FOR TRAINING AND INSTRUCTIONS.

IT IS AN ESTABLISHED RULE OF LONG STANDING THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF A SPECIFIC STATUTE OR CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT TO THE CONTRARY AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT, UPON APPOINTMENT TO AN OFFICE OR POSITION IN THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES, MUST BEAR THE EXPENSE INCURRED BY HIM IN REPORTING TO THE PLACE AT WHICH HIS DUTY IS TO BE PERFORMED. SEE 4 COMP. DEC. 629; 5 ID. 179; ID. 662; 11 ID. 691; 22 ID. 577; 26 ID. 920; 5 COMP. GEN. 274; ID. 941; ID. 987; 6 ID. 377; ID. 537; 7 ID. 203; 13 ID. 390; 14 ID. 564.

IT IS WELL SETTLED ALSO THAT THIS RULE IS NOT CHANGED BY THE FACT THAT AN EMPLOYEE IS REQUIRED TO COME TO WASHINGTON, OR TO REMAIN TEMPORARILY IN WASHINGTON AFTER APPOINTMENT HERE, OR TO REPORT AT HEADQUARTERS ELSEWHERE, FOR SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS OR TEMPORARY DUTY BEFORE PROCEEDING TO A FIELD STATION TO PERFORM THE DUTIES FOR WHICH HE WAS APPOINTED. SEE 9 COMP. GEN. 359; 10 ID. 184; 11 ID. 56.

IN YOUR LETTER REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT YOU ASK WHETHER A CLAIM FOR PER DIEM COVERING THE PERIOD JUNE 21 TO 29, 1940, WHILE UNDER INSTRUCTION IN WASHINGTON, WOULD BE IN ORDER. YOU WERE RESIDING IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AT THE TIME OF YOUR APPOINTMENT. THE FACT THAT YOUR DEPARTURE WAS DELAYED A FEW DAYS DID NOT PUT YOU TO ANY ADDITIONAL EXPENSE FOR SUBSISTENCE. THE DECISIONS HOLD THAT UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF PER DIEM. SEE 9 COMP. GEN. 233; 11 ID. 132. ACCORDINGLY, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY UNDER WHICH YOU COULD BE PAID PER DIEM AT YOUR PLACE OF RESIDENCE BEFORE ENTERING UPON A TRAVEL STATUS.

THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRAVEL FROM WASHINGTON, D. C., TO ATLANTA, GA., WAS ACCORDINGLY CORRECT AND IS HEREBY SUSTAINED.