B-24498, APRIL 10, 1942, 21 COMP. GEN. 921

B-24498: Apr 10, 1942

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PHOTOSTATIC OR CERTIFIED COPIES OF WHICH ATTACHED TO VOUCHERS OR CLAIMS WILL BE ACCEPTABLE TO THIS OFFICE. 1942: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 10. AS FOLLOWS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO SECTION 1 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588 OF NOVEMBER 7. IS TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY AND THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND OTHER PERSONAL EFFECTS IS AUTHORIZED BY LAW. ARE BEING RETURNED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO THE CHIEF OF FINANCE WITH THE INFORMATION THAT APPROVAL OF THE CLAIM BY THE ADJUTANT GENERAL " BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR" IS NOT SUFFICIENT APPROVAL UNDER SECTION 1 OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER CITED ABOVE. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE ADJUTANT GENERAL IN APPROVING CLAIMS OF THIS CHARACTER IS ACTING IN ACCORDANCE WITH MY DIRECTIVE.

B-24498, APRIL 10, 1942, 21 COMP. GEN. 921

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - APPROVAL REQUIREMENTS THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, AND THE EXECUTIVE REGULATIONS THEREUNDER, WITH RESPECT TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, ETC., OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES UPON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION WHEN "SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT NCERNED," VESTS IN THE HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS A DISCRETIONARY POWER THAT CANNOT BE DELEGATED, AND, THEREFORE, APPROVAL BY THE ADJUTANT GENERAL " BY DIRECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF R," NOT PRECEDED BY AN ACTUAL DETERMINATION BY THE SECRETARY IN EACH INSTANCE, OF CLAIMS FOR FOR PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED AS MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SAID STATUTE AND REGULATIONS. THE AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, AND THE EXECUTIVE REGULATIONS THEREUNDER, AS A CONDITION TO PAYMENT OF THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTING THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, ETC., OF EMPLOYEES UPON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION NEED NOT BE CONTAINED IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE CHANGE, SO THAT THE SECRETARY OF WAR MAY EMPOWER SUBORDINATES TO EXECUTE IN THE FIRST INSTANCE INDIVIDUAL AUTHORIZATIONS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSE, SUBJECT TO THE SUBSEQUENT APPROVAL BY THE SECRETARY OF CONSOLIDATED SCHEDULES OR LISTS OF SUCH AUTHORIZATIONS, PHOTOSTATIC OR CERTIFIED COPIES OF WHICH ATTACHED TO VOUCHERS OR CLAIMS WILL BE ACCEPTABLE TO THIS OFFICE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, APRIL 10, 1942:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 10, 1942, AS FOLLOWS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO SECTION 1 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588 OF NOVEMBER 7, 1940, ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE ACT APPROVED OCTOBER 10, 1940 (54 STAT. 1105), WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"WHEN ANY CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF ANY OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS OR ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES, HEREINAFTER CALLED EMPLOYEE, IS TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY AND THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND OTHER PERSONAL EFFECTS IS AUTHORIZED BY LAW, SUCH EXPENSES, WHEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED, SHALL BE ALLOWED AND PAID IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THESE REGULATIONS.'

IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION THAT CLAIMS FOR REIMBURSEMENT COVERING COST OF SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM A POINT OTHER THAN THE OFFICIAL STATION, INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES, PAID FROM THEIR PERSONAL FUNDS, FILED WITH YOUR OFFICE FOR SETTLEMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRINCIPLE ANNOUNCED IN DECISION, DATED OCTOBER 2, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 283, ARE BEING RETURNED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE TO THE CHIEF OF FINANCE WITH THE INFORMATION THAT APPROVAL OF THE CLAIM BY THE ADJUTANT GENERAL " BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR" IS NOT SUFFICIENT APPROVAL UNDER SECTION 1 OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER CITED ABOVE.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE ADJUTANT GENERAL IN APPROVING CLAIMS OF THIS CHARACTER IS ACTING IN ACCORDANCE WITH MY DIRECTIVE, AS INDICATED BY THE PHRASE " BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR," IT IS CONSIDERED THAT THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER ARE MET BY SUCH APPROVAL. IT IS ACCORDINGLY REQUESTED THAT THE POSITION TAKEN BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE BE RECONSIDERED AND THE APPROVAL OF SUCH CLAIMS BY THE ADJUTANT GENERAL " BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR" BE ACCEPTED AS COMPLYING WITH THE EXECUTIVE ORDER.

IN THIS CONNECTION, IT IS CONSIDERED APPROPRIATE TO STATE THAT THE PREVAILING PRACTICE REFERRED TO ABOVE IS PREDICATED ON THE FACT THAT I AM QUITE FULLY ENGAGED IN MATTERS PERTAINING TO THE PROSECUTION OF THE WAR, AND I HAVE THEREFORE DIRECTED THE ADJUTANT GENERAL TO ADMINISTER CERTAIN OTHER MATTERS UNDER MY GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS.

YOUR PROMPT REPLY IS REQUESTED IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THERE ARE SEVERAL CLAIMS OF THIS CHARACTER BEFORE THE WAR DEPARTMENT FOR CONSIDERATION.

THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, 54 STAT. 1105, TO WHICH YOUR LETTER REFERS, PROVIDES:

THAT EXPENSES WHICH NOW OR HEREAFTER MAY BE AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO BE PAID FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS FOR THE PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS OF CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF ANY OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS OR ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES WHEN TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY SHALL HEREAFTER BE ALLOWED AND PAID, WHEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED, UNDER SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT, WHICH REGULATIONS SHALL PRESCRIBE, AMONG OTHER MATTERS, THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT OF THE PROPERTY, NOT TO EXCEED FIVE THOUSAND POUNDS GROSS OR THE EQUIVALENT THEREOF WHEN TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ARE BASED ON CUBIC MEASUREMENT, WHICH MAY BE PACKED, CRATED, HAULED, TRANSPORTED, AND UNPACKED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE: PROVIDED, THAT NO PART OF SUCH EXPENSES SHALL BE PAID FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS WHERE THE TRANSFER IS MADE AT THE REQUEST AND PRIMARILY FOR THE CONVENIENCE OR BENEFIT OF THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT NOTHING HEREIN SHALL AFFECT THE ALLOWANCE AND PAYMENT OF EXPENSES FOR, OR INCIDENT TO, THE TRANSPORTATION OF EFFECTS OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF STATE, EXCEPT WHERE THE TRANSFER IS MADE AT THE REQUEST AND PRIMARILY FOR THE CONVENIENCE OR BENEFIT OF THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 8588, NOVEMBER 7, 1940, SECTION 1 OF WHICH IS SET FORTH IN YOUR LETTER, IS BASED UPON THE ABOVE-QUOTED ACT, AND FOLLOWS THE TERMS OF SAID ACT IN PRESCRIBING REGULATIONS GOVERNING PAYMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS OF CIVILIAN OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL DUTY STATION TO ANOTHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY WHEN PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES IS "SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED.'

THE MATTER HERE PRESENTED IS SOMEWHAT SIMILAR TO THAT CONSIDERED IN MY DECISION OF MAY 14, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 779, TO YOU. IN THAT CASE THERE WAS INVOLVED SECTION 301 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 25, 1940, 54 STAT. 78, WHICH PROVIDED FOR PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES UPON TRANSFER OF PERMANENT DUTY STATION,"WHEN AUTHORIZED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRANSFER * * *.' WAS THERE HELD THAT THE DISCRETIONARY POWER TO DETERMINE WHETHER PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES OF THE EMPLOYEE SHOULD BE AUTHORIZED IN SPECIFIC CASES OF CHANGES OF PERMANENT DUTY STATION LEGALLY COULD BE EXERCISED ONLY BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR, OR BY AN ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF WAR OR OTHER OFFICIAL AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO PERFORM THE DUTIES IMPOSED UPON THE SECRETARY OF WAR. THE QUESTION OF THE DELEGATION OF SUCH DISCRETIONARY POWER WAS FULLY CONSIDERED IN SAID DECISION, WHERE NUMEROUS RULINGS OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICERS WITH RESPECT TO AUTHORIZATIONS UNDER SIMILAR STATUTES ARE COLLECTED AND DISCUSSED. WHAT WAS THERE SAID--- INSOFAR AS CONCERNS THE DELEGATION BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE DISCRETIONARY POWER TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES--- APPLIES WITH EQUAL FORCE TO THE EXERCISE OF THE DISCRETIONARY POWER TO AUTHORIZE OR APPROVE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS UNDER THE STATUTE AND THE EXECUTIVE ORDER HERE INVOLVED.

AS POINTED OUT IN 20 COMP. GEN. 779, SUPRA, THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES DOES NOT CONTEMPLATE THAT THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT SHALL SIGN IN EACH INDIVIDUAL CASE AN ORDER AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES. ON THE CONTRARY, IT IS SUFFICIENT IF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT SIGN A CONSOLIDATED ORDER AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF THE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO ALL TRANSFERS DESCRIBED IN A LIST OR SCHEDULE SET FORTH IN OR ATTACHED TO SAID ORDER, LEAVING TO SUBORDINATES THE MINISTERIAL DUTY OF SIGNING THE INDIVIDUAL TRAVEL AUTHORIZATIONS. OF COURSE, IN CASES SUCH AS THAT CONSIDERED IN 20 COMP. GEN. 779, WHERE THE APPLICABLE STATUTE REQUIRED THAT THE AUTHORIZATION FOR PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES BE CONTAINED IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE, THE SIGNING OF CONSOLIDATED ORDERS WOULD RELIEVE THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE BURDEN OF SIGNING INDIVIDUAL ORDERS, BUT WOULD DELAY THE EXECUTION OF SUCH INDIVIDUAL ORDERS BECAUSE SUBORDINATES COULD NOT SIGN INDIVIDUAL ORDERS AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES OF PARTICULAR EMPLOYEES UNTIL THEIR NAMES HAD BEEN SCHEDULED OR LISTED ON CONSOLIDATED ORDERS SIGNED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT.

HOWEVER, UNDER THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, SUPRA, THE AUTHORIZATION FOR PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF AN EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS IS NOT REQUIRED TO BE CONTAINED IN THE ORDER DIRECTING HIS TRANSFER. UNDER SAID ACT, THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED MAY "AUTHORIZE" THE PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES BEFORE THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS ARE TRANSPORTED, OR HE MAY "APPROVE" THE PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES AFTER SUCH GOODS AND EFFECTS HAVE BEEN TRANSPORTED. HENCE, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO LEGAL OBJECTION, UNDER SAID ACT, TO THE ISSUANCE BY YOU OF GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS OR REGULATIONS BY WHICH THE ADJUTANT GENERAL WOULD BE EMPOWERED TO AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES, SUBJECT TO THE SUBSEQUENT APPROVAL BY YOU OF CONSOLIDATED SCHEDULES OR LISTS OF SUCH AUTHORIZATIONS. THUS, THE ADJUTANT GENERAL WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE OBSERVANCE OF SUCH INSTRUCTIONS OR REGULATIONS, NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THE TERMS OF THE ACT OR THE REGULATIONS ISSUED THEREUNDER BY THE PRESIDENT, BUT THE ULTIMATE DISCRETION AS TO WHETHER THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES SHOULD BE PAID WOULD BE EXERCISED BY YOU--- AS THE ACT REQUIRES--- IN THE SIGNING OF THE CONSOLIDATED SCHEDULES OR LISTS.

UNDER SUCH A PROCEDURE, THIS OFFICE WOULD ACCEPT PHOTOSTATIC OR CERTIFIED MIMEOGRAPHED COPIES OF THE SIGNED CONSOLIDATED SCHEDULES, ATTACHED TO VOUCHERS OR CLAIMS, AS EVIDENCE OF THE APPROVAL BY YOU OF THE PAYMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES COVERED BY SUCH VOUCHERS OR CLAIMS. THE CONSOLIDATED SCHEDULES COULD INCLUDE ANY NUMBER OF SUCH AUTHORIZATIONS, AND WOULD NEED BE PREPARED ONLY OFTEN ENOUGH TO KEEP PACE WITH THE PROCESSING OF THE VOUCHERS AND CLAIMS WITH WHICH COPIES OF THE SCHEDULES WOULD BE REQUIRED. SUCH A PROCEDURE WOULD PERMIT AUTHORIZATIONS OF SUCH EXPENSES TO BE MADE WITHOUT DELAY AND WOULD REDUCE TO A MINIMUM THE TIME REQUIRED OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT IN CONNECTION THEREWITH. THESE OBJECTS WERE AMONG THOSE WHICH THIS OFFICE SOUGHT TO ATTAIN WHEN, IN THE ANNUAL REPORT TO THE CONGRESS FOR 1939, COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN PROPOSED ENACTMENT OF LEGISLATION SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME AS THAT NOW CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, SUPRA.

AS YOU WERE INFORMED IN MY DECISION OF MAY 14, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 779, SUPRA, I AM NOT AUTHORIZED TO WAIVE STATUTORY PROVISIONS SPECIFICALLY REQUIRING AUTHORIZATIONS OR APPROVALS BY HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS, AND, CONSEQUENTLY, THE APPROVAL BY THE ADJUTANT GENERAL," BY DIRECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR," OF CLAIMS FOR PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED BY THIS OFFICE AS MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, SINCE IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT SUCH SIGNING WOULD NOT BE PRECEDED BY AN ACTUAL DETERMINATION BY YOU IN EACH INSTANCE.

IF THE PROCEDURE SUGGESTED ABOVE BE CONSIDERED IMPRACTICABLE, THE MATTER OF ANY RELIEF FROM THE DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY THUS IMPOSED UPON YOU, WOULD APPEAR TO BE FOR PRESENTATION BY YOU TO THE CONGRESS, AS WAS DONE IN THE CASE OF AUTHORIZATIONS OF PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES ON TRANSFER FROM ONE PERMANENT STATION TO ANOTHER. SEE PUBLIC LAW 462, APPROVED FEBRUARY 21, 1942, 56 STAT. 97, WHICH PROVIDES THAT PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE WAR AND NAVY DEPARTMENTS AND THE COAST GUARD ON TRANSFER FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER MAY BE PAID "WHEN AUTHORIZED BY SUCH RESPONSIBLE OFFICER OR OFFICERS OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED AS THE HEAD THEREOF MAY DESIGNATE FOR THAT PURPOSE, IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRAVEL.' HOWEVER, SUCH ACT MAKES NO CHANGE IN THE REQUIREMENT THAT AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL OF PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS BE BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT.