B-17497, JULY 7, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 7

B-17497: Jul 7, 1941

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

TRAVELING EXPENSES - TRANSFERS OF NEW EMPLOYEES FROM PLACE ASSIGNED FOR TRAINING AND DUTY NEWLY APPOINTED EMPLOYEES WHO ARE FIRST ASSIGNED FOR TRAINING AND DUTY AT WASHINGTON. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE ATTACHED PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENTS IN CONNECTION WITH VOUCHERS OF THE FOLLOWING EMPLOYEES OF THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS ADMINISTRATION OF THIS AGENCY: MR. IN EACH OF THESE CASES THE VOUCHER WAS NOT CERTIFIED ON THE BASIS THAT THE TRAVELER WAS A NEWLY APPOINTED EMPLOYEE AND WAS REQUIRED TO BEAR THE EXPENSES INCURRED BY HIM IN REPORTING TO HIS FIRST DUTY STATION. IN CONNECTION WITH THESE MATTERS YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE FACT THAT IN THE PROSECUTION OF THE DEFENSE HOUSING PROGRAM IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT EVERY POSSIBLE MEANS BE EMPLOYED TO AVOID DELAY.

B-17497, JULY 7, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 7

TRAVELING EXPENSES - TRANSFERS OF NEW EMPLOYEES FROM PLACE ASSIGNED FOR TRAINING AND DUTY NEWLY APPOINTED EMPLOYEES WHO ARE FIRST ASSIGNED FOR TRAINING AND DUTY AT WASHINGTON, D.C., OR ELSEWHERE, MAY BE PAID THEIR TRAVELING EXPENSES FROM SUCH PLACE OF TRAINING AND DUTY TO SUBSEQUENTLY ASSIGNED DUTY STATIONS. 10 COMP. GEN. 222, INVOLVING THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY BEFORE REPORTING TO FIRST DUTY STATION, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE FEDERAL WORKS ADMINISTRATOR, JULY 7, 1941:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 3, 1941, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE ATTACHED PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENTS IN CONNECTION WITH VOUCHERS OF THE FOLLOWING EMPLOYEES OF THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS ADMINISTRATION OF THIS AGENCY:

MR. LESTER SCHEIER, CONSTRUCTION ENGINEER.

MR. LEWIS L. BAXTER, CONSTRUCTION ENGINEER.

MR. RALEIGH W. HARVEY, PROJECT ACCOUNTANT.

MR. SEYMOUR DEFRIN, TIMEKEEPER.

MR. WILLIAM E. BRADY, TIMEKEEPER.

MR. D. ARTHUR BIDDLE, SENIOR PROJECT ACCOUNTANT.

MR. HAROLD E. CLARRY, CONSTRUCTION ENGINEER.

MR. STANLEY H. EDMUNDS, ASSOC. CONSTRUCTION ENGINEER.

MR. ADAM M. STRACK, PROJECT ACCOUNTANT.

IN EACH OF THESE CASES THE VOUCHER WAS NOT CERTIFIED ON THE BASIS THAT THE TRAVELER WAS A NEWLY APPOINTED EMPLOYEE AND WAS REQUIRED TO BEAR THE EXPENSES INCURRED BY HIM IN REPORTING TO HIS FIRST DUTY STATION.

IN CONNECTION WITH THESE MATTERS YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE FACT THAT IN THE PROSECUTION OF THE DEFENSE HOUSING PROGRAM IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT EVERY POSSIBLE MEANS BE EMPLOYED TO AVOID DELAY. IN ANTICIPATING THE ASSIGNMENT OF PERSONNEL NECESSARY TO PERFORM THE MANY PHASES OF WORK INVOLVED, IT HAS BEEN CONSIDERED HIGHLY IMPRACTICABLE, IN VIEW OF THE AMOUNT OF TIME NECESSARILY CONSUMED IN THE ROUTINE PROCEDURE OF MAKING APPOINTMENTS, TO WAIT UNTIL CONTRACTS ARE AWARDED BEFORE REQUESTING THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION TO SUPPLY CERTAIN TYPES OF EMPLOYEES SUCH AS CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERS, ACCOUNTANTS, TIMEKEEPERS, MATERIAL CHECKERS, ETC. ACCORDINGLY, IT HAS BEEN THE PRACTICE TO APPOINT IN ADVANCE OF SUCH AWARDS, A SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF THESE EMPLOYEES TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS AND TO ASSIGN THEM TO THE EIGHT DISTRICT ENGINEER OFFICES THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY PRIOR TO AWARD OF CONTRACTS. THEY ARE THEN GIVEN APPROPRIATE TRAINING AND INSTRUCTION AND PERFORM SUCH DUTIES IN CONNECTION WITH DEFENSE HOUSING AS MAY BE ASSIGNED TO THEM. HOWEVER, WHEN THEY REPORT FOR DUTY AT THE DISTRICT OFFICES IT IS NOT KNOWN HOW LONG THEY WILL REMAIN AT SUCH STATIONS, OR TO WHAT DEFENSE PROJECTS THEY WILL BE ASSIGNED. FACT, SOME OF THEM REMAIN AT THE DISTRICT OFFICES FOR A CONSIDERABLE PERIOD OF TIME.

UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES IT HAS BEEN CONSIDERED THAT THE DISTRICT OFFICES TO WHICH THEY REPORT ARE THEIR HEADQUARTERS AND THEY HAVE BEEN PAID NO SUBSISTENCE WHILE THERE; ALTHOUGH IF AND WHEN THEY ARE TRANSFERRED FOR DUTY ELSEWHERE, THEIR ACTUAL TRAVELING EXPENSES AND PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WHILE IN TRAVEL STATUS HAVE BEEN PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT.

THERE HAVE BEEN SEVERAL HUNDRED SIMILAR CASES DURING THE PAST FEW MONTHS AND WHILE SOME OF THE EMPLOYEES REMAIN ONLY A SHORT TIME AT THE DISTRICT OFFICES TO WHICH THEY FIRST REPORT, IT IS ESTIMATED THAT THE AVERAGE PERIOD OF DUTY AT THE DISTRICT OFFICES HAS BEEN AT LEAST 30 DAYS. IT IS APPARENT, THEREFORE, THAT THE PAYMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES FROM THE DISTRICT OFFICES (AS THEIR FIRST DUTY STATIONS) TO THE PROJECTS TO WHICH THEY ARE LATER TRANSFERRED RESULTS IN CONSIDERABLE SAVING TO THE GOVERNMENT AS COMPARED TO THE PAYMENT TO THEM OF SUBSISTENCE WHILE ON DUTY IN THE DISTRICT OFFICES AS INDICATED IN 10 COMP. GEN. 222, CITED IN THE PREAUDIT DIFFERENCE STATEMENTS.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, IT IS REQUESTED THAT RECONSIDERATION BE GIVEN THE MATTER OF CERTIFYING THESE NINE VOUCHERS, AND THAT THE EXISTING PROCEDURE OF THE PUBLIC BUILDINGS ADMINISTRATION BE APPROVED.

AN EARLY REPLY WILL BE APPRECIATED.

IN 10 COMP. GEN. 222, IT WAS HELD AS FOLLOWS (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

A NEWLY APPOINTED EMPLOYEE REQUIRED TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY BEFORE REPORTING TO HIS FIRST OFFICIAL DUTY STATION MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR ADDITIONAL SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED BY REASON OF SUCH TEMPORARY DUTY, INCLUDING, IF ADMINISTRATIVELY AUTHORIZED, A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR ANY ADDITIONAL TRAVEL TIME INVOLVED AND FOR THE TEMPORARY DUTY ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT THE EXPENSES INCURRED ARE IN EXCESS OF THE EXPENSES WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY THE APPOINTEE IN GOING DIRECTLY FROM HIS HOME TO THE PLACE FIXED AS HIS FIRST POST OF DUTY.

THE RULE STATED IN 10 COMP. GEN. 222 WAS BASED UPON THE FACTS THERE APPEARING--- INVOLVING THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY BEFORE REPORTING TO OFFICIAL OR FIRST DUTY STATION--- AND IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS APPLICABLE TO APPOINTMENTS OF EMPLOYEES WHO ARE FIRST ASSIGNED FOR TRAINING AND DUTY AT WASHINGTON, D.C., OR ELSEWHERE.

INFORMATION REGARDING THE STATUS OF THE NAMED EMPLOYEES HAS BEEN OBTAINED FROM THE TRAVEL VOUCHERS, PAY ROLLS, AND LETTERS OF APPOINTMENT, AS FOLLOWS:

(CHART OMITTED)

IN VIEW OF YOUR STATEMENT THAT THE EMPLOYEES IN QUESTION PERFORMED ACTUAL SERVICES AT DISTRICT OFFICES TO WHICH ASSIGNED FOR TRAINING AND THAT IT WAS NOT KNOWN WHEN THEY REPORTED TO SUCH DISTRICT OFFICES HOW LONG THEY WOULD REMAIN THERE OR TO WHAT PROJECT THEY WOULD BE ASSIGNED, IT MAY BE CONCLUDED THAT THE DISTRICT OFFICES TO WHICH ASSIGNED FOR TRAINING AND DUTY CONSTITUTED THEIR FIRST ACTUAL HEADQUARTERS AND THEIR EXPENSE VOUCHERS WILL BE REAUDITED UPON THAT BASIS.