B-26782, JULY 2, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 1

B-26782: Jul 2, 1942

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THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE. FROM THE TIME HE LEFT HIS OFFICIAL STATION TO AND INCLUDING THE DAY PRECEDING THE DATE ON WHICH HIS ELIGIBILITY FOR PERMANENT APPOINTMENT WAS FINALLY DETERMINED. 1942: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 15. THE MATTER WAS PRESENTED TO THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION WHICH INDICATED BY LETTER TO THE DEPARTMENT DATED APRIL 2. THAT IT WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION TO MR. MOUSEL WAS APPOINTED TO THE LATTER POSITION WITH HEADQUARTERS WASHINGTON. MOUSEL WAS AT WASHINGTON. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF AN OFFICIAL TRIP PERFORMED BETWEEN APRIL 5 AND 15 ON WHICH IT WAS NECESSARY FOR HIM TO VISIT NEW ORLEANS AND OTHER POINTS IN THE DISCHARGE OF DUTIES INCIDENT TO THE POSITION OF SUPERVISING FARM CREDIT EXAMINER.

B-26782, JULY 2, 1942, 22 COMP. GEN. 1

SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEMS - TEMPORARY STATION SUBSEQUENTLY MADE PERMANENT TRAVEL BY AN EMPLOYEE INCIDENT TO AN ORDER TO TEMPORARY DUTY AWAY FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS TO PERFORM THE DUTIES OF ANOTHER POSITION PENDING DETERMINATION BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY OF HIS ELIGIBILITY FOR PERMANENT APPOINTMENT TO SUCH POSITION CONSTITUTES TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AWAY FROM A DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926, AS AMENDED, AND THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, AS PROVIDED IN HIS ORDERS, FROM THE TIME HE LEFT HIS OFFICIAL STATION TO AND INCLUDING THE DAY PRECEDING THE DATE ON WHICH HIS ELIGIBILITY FOR PERMANENT APPOINTMENT WAS FINALLY DETERMINED. COMP. GEN. 32, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, JULY 2, 1942:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 15, 1942, AS FOLLOWS:

THE POSITION OF ASSISTANT CHIEF EXAMINER, EXAMINATION DIVISION, FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION, BECAME VACANT DUE TO THE DEATH OF THE INCUMBENT ON MARCH 1, 1942, AND IT BECAME NECESSARY FOR THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION TO MAKE TEMPORARY ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE DUTIES OF THE POSITION PENDING A PERMANENT APPOINTMENT. ACCORDINGLY, PURSUANT TO PROPER TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WHICH PROVIDED FOR PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE OF $6 WHILE ABSENT FROM NEW ORLEANS, SUPERVISING FARM CREDIT EXAMINER HENRY P. MOUSEL PROCEEDED TO WASHINGTON, D.C., FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, ARRIVING IN WASHINGTON AT 1:40 A.M. ON MARCH 9.

IN ITS CONSIDERATION OF THE PERSON TO BE RECOMMENDED FOR PERMANENT APPOINTMENT TO THE POSITION OF ASSISTANT CHIEF EXAMINER, THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION DECIDED TO RECOMMEND MR. MOUSEL'S APPOINTMENT PROVIDED THE PROPOSED ACTION WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE TO THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING THIS QUESTION OF ELIGIBILITY, THE MATTER WAS PRESENTED TO THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION WHICH INDICATED BY LETTER TO THE DEPARTMENT DATED APRIL 2, RECEIVED APRIL 3, THAT IT WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION TO MR. MOUSEL'S ADVANCEMENT TO THE POSITION OF ASSISTANT CHIEF EXAMINER. UPON RECOMMENDATION OF THE FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION, MR. MOUSEL WAS APPOINTED TO THE LATTER POSITION WITH HEADQUARTERS WASHINGTON, D.C., EFFECTIVE MAY 6, 1942, BY ACTION OF THE DEPARTMENT TAKEN ON THAT DATE.

DURING THE PERIOD BETWEEN MARCH 9 AND MAY 5, INCLUSIVE, MR. MOUSEL WAS AT WASHINGTON, D.C., WITH THE EXCEPTION OF AN OFFICIAL TRIP PERFORMED BETWEEN APRIL 5 AND 15 ON WHICH IT WAS NECESSARY FOR HIM TO VISIT NEW ORLEANS AND OTHER POINTS IN THE DISCHARGE OF DUTIES INCIDENT TO THE POSITION OF SUPERVISING FARM CREDIT EXAMINER.

DECISION OF JULY 11, 1939 (19 COMP. GEN. 32), DISCUSSED A SOMEWHAT SIMILAR CASE WHERE DURING A PERIOD WITHIN WHICH STEPS WERE BEING TAKEN TO CHANGE THE OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS OF AN EMPLOYEE IT WAS NECESSARY IN THE REGULAR COURSE OF BUSINESS FOR THAT EMPLOYEE TO PROCEED TO THE NEW LOCATION. IT WAS HELD THAT THERE WERE NO EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION BECAUSE DURING SAID INTERIM THE EMPLOYEE HAD ALREADY REACHED THAT POINT. HOWEVER THE ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE TRAVEL PROVIDED THAT NO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WOULD BE PAYABLE AFTER ARRIVAL.

THE QUESTION PRESENTED FOR YOUR DETERMINATION IS WHETHER UNDER THE FOREGOING FACTS ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL MAY PROPERLY BE GIVEN FOR PAYMENT TO HIM OF PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WHILE HE WAS AT WASHINGTON DURING THE PERIOD TO AND INCLUDING MAY 5, THE DAY PRECEDING THE DATE THE DEPARTMENT APPOINTED HIM TO THE POSITION OF ASSISTANT CHIEF EXAMINER, HEADQUARTERS WASHINGTON, D.C., EFFECTIVE MAY 6. IN THE EVENT YOUR ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION IS NOT IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, ADVICE AS TO WHAT PORTION OF THE PERIOD BETWEEN MARCH 9 AND MAY 5, INCLUSIVE, PER DIEM MAY PROPERLY BE ALLOWED HIM, AND THE UNDERLYING REASONS THEREFOR WILL BE APPRECIATED.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD FROM YOUR LETTER THAT WHEN MR. MOUSEL WAS DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO WASHINGTON FOR TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT TO THE DUTIES OF THE POSITION OF ASSISTANT CHIEF EXAMINER WHICH WAS VACATED BY THE DEATH OF THE INCUMBENT IT WAS NOT KNOWN WHETHER HE WOULD BE ABLE TO QUALIFY FOR PERMANENT APPOINTMENT TO SUCH POSITION UNDER THE CIVIL-SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS, AND THAT IT WAS NOT UNTIL MAY 6, 1942, THAT HIS ELIGIBILITY FOR PERMANENT APPOINTMENT WAS FINALLY DETERMINED.

IT IS PROPER FOR AN ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, WHEN THE EXIGENCIES OF THE SERVICE REQUIRE, TO ORDER AN EMPLOYEE TO TEMPORARY DUTY AWAY FROM HIS HEADQUARTERS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PERFORMING TEMPORARILY THE DUTIES OF ANOTHER POSITION PENDING DETERMINATION BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY OF SUCH EMPLOYEE'S ELIGIBILITY FOR PERMANENT APPOINTMENT TO SUCH POSITION, OR UNTIL THE POSITION IS FILLED BY ANOTHER EMPLOYEE. THE TRAVEL PERFORMED INCIDENT TO SUCH AN ORDER CONSTITUTES TRAVEL "ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND AWAY FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926, 44 STAT. 688, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 30, 1932, 47 STAT. 405, AND THE ACT OF JANUARY 30, 1942, PUBLIC LAW 424, 56 STAT. 39, AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE OF NOT TO EXCEED $6 WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES.

AS IT IS UNDERSTOOD THE TRAVEL ORDER DIRECTING MR. MOUSEL TO REPORT AT WASHINGTON, D.C., PROVIDED FOR A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OF $6, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT HE MAY BE PAID SUCH RATE OF PER DIEM FOR THE ENTIRE PERIOD FROM THE TIME HE LEFT HIS OFFICIAL STATION AT NEW ORLEANS TO AND INCLUDING MAY 5, 1942, THE ACTION TAKEN ON MAY 6, 1942, FINALLY DETERMINING HIS ELIGIBILITY FOR PERMANENT APPOINTMENT, HAVING THE EFFECT OF AUTOMATICALLY TERMINATING HIS TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT. THE RULE STATED IN THE DECISION OF JULY 11, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 32, CITED IN YOUR LETTER, IS NOT APPLICABLE HERE FOR THE REASON THAT IN THAT CASE NO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WAS PROVIDED FOR IN THE TRAVEL ORDER INVOLVED.