B-2890, JULY 11, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 32

B-2890: Jul 11, 1939

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IS MADE HIS PERMANENT STATION UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE DEPARTMENT HEAD. NOT UNDER THE TRANSFER ORDER BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT UNDER WHICH NO TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED OR NECESSARY BECAUSE THE EMPLOYEE WAS ALREADY AT HIS NEW PERMANENT STATION. 14 COMP. THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR REQUEST FOR DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY PHILIP DAVIS. YOU WILL PROCEED TO MOBILE. THE EXPENSES WILL BE WITHIN THE LIMITS AS PRESCRIBED BY GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. (A) YOU WILL BE ALLOWED A FLAT PER DIEM OF NOT EXCEEDING $5.00 WHEN TRAVELING ONLY. IS AUTHORIZED ON A MILEAGE BASIS OF 0.0365 CENTS PER MILE. YOU ARE DIRECTED TO TAKE THIS TRAVEL ORDER WITH YOU ON THE JOURNEY TO BE PERFORMED. 6.THE TRAVEL DIRECTED IS NECESSARY IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE.

B-2890, JULY 11, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 32

TRAVELING EXPENSES - TRANSFERS - TEMPORARY DUTY STATION MADE NEW PERMANENT STATION WHERE UNDER A TRAVEL ORDER ISSUED BY A SUBORDINATE OFFICER PURSUANT TO AUTHORITY VESTED IN HIM BY ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS AND SUBSEQUENT TO REQUEST HAVING BEEN MADE FOR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS FOR THE EMPLOYEE ORDERED FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT, WHICH TEMPORARY STATION, SUBSEQUENT TO TRAVEL, IS MADE HIS PERMANENT STATION UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE DEPARTMENT HEAD, REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE MADE FOR THE TRAVELING EXPENSES SO INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE, THE REIMBURSEMENT AUTHORIZED BEING AS FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED UNDER THE TEMPORARY DUTY ORDERS ISSUED BY THE SUBORDINATE OFFICER WHICH AUTHORIZED NO PER DIEM AT THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, AND NOT UNDER THE TRANSFER ORDER BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT UNDER WHICH NO TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED OR NECESSARY BECAUSE THE EMPLOYEE WAS ALREADY AT HIS NEW PERMANENT STATION. 14 COMP. GEN. 146, AMPLIFIED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN TO MAJ. C. R. SHAW, UNITED STATES ARMY, JULY 11, 1939.

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR REQUEST FOR DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PAY PHILIP DAVIS, JUNIOR ENGINEER, THE SUM OF $8.95, AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL AND OTHER EXPENSES INCURRED IN TRAVELING BY HIS AUTOMOBILE, 2 P.M. TO 7:15 P.M., FEBRUARY 22, 1939, FROM TUSCALOOSA ALA., TO MOBILE, ALA., PURSUANT TO ORDERS ISSUED FEBRUARY 21, 1939, BY THE DISTRICT ENGINEER, MOBILE, ALA., AS FOLLOWS:

SUBJECT: TRAVEL ORDERS.

TO: PHILIP DAVIS, JUNIOR ENGINEER, TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA.

1. YOU WILL PROCEED TO MOBILE, ALABAMA, ON DUTY CONNECTED WITH TEMPORARY DUTY IN DISTRICT OFFICE PENDING ACTION BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR ON REQUEST FOR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FORWARDED TO CHIEF OF ENGINEERS UNDER DATE OF FEBRUARY 13, 1939.

2. THE EXPENSES WILL BE WITHIN THE LIMITS AS PRESCRIBED BY GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, CIRCULAR LETTER NO. 324, JANUARY 30, 1934 OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET.

(A) YOU WILL BE ALLOWED A FLAT PER DIEM OF NOT EXCEEDING $5.00 WHEN TRAVELING ONLY. NO PER DIEM TO BE ALLOWED WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT MOBILE, ALABAMA.

3. TRAVEL BY PRIVATE AUTOMOBILE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 12A OF STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IS AUTHORIZED ON A MILEAGE BASIS OF 0.0365 CENTS PER MILE, WHICH HAS BEEN DETERMINED AS BEING THE MOST ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT.

4. SUBSISTENCE AND LODGING SHOULD BE SECURED WHILE EN ROUTE OR AT DESTINATION AT GOVERNMENT MAINTAINED MESS WHEN PRACTICABLE OR AVAILABLE ON THIS JOURNEY.

5. YOU ARE DIRECTED TO TAKE THIS TRAVEL ORDER WITH YOU ON THE JOURNEY TO BE PERFORMED.

6.THE TRAVEL DIRECTED IS NECESSARY IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE.

(SIGNED) R. PARK,

R. PARK,

COLONEL, CORPS OF ENGINEERS,

DISTRICT ENGINEER.

UNDER DATE OF FEBRUARY 13, 1939, THE DISTRICT ENGINEER SUBMITTED TO THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS THE FOLLOWING REQUEST FOR THE TRANSFER OF PHILIP DAVIS:

SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR TRANSFER OF PHILIP DAVIS.

TO: THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, U.S. ARMY, WASHINGTON, D.C. ( THROUGH THE DIVISION ENGINEER, GULF OF MEXICO DIVISION.)

1. AUTHORITY IS REQUESTED FOR TH PERMANENT TRANSFER AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF THE FOLLOWING EMPLOYEE, WITHIN THIS DISTRICT, AS INDICATED BELOW:

NAME: PHILIP DAVIS; DESIGNATION AND SALARY: JUNIOR ENGINEER (CIVIL), P-1, $2,000 ANNUM; PRESENT STATION: TUSCALOOSA, ALA.; STATION TO WHICH TRANSFER IS DESIRED: MOBILE, ALA.

2. THE TRANSFER REQUESTED ABOVE IS FOR THE GOOD OF THE SERVICE, AND NOT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEE. IT IS REQUESTED THAT THIS OFFICE BE ADVISED BY WIRE OF APPROVAL THEREOF.

(SIGNED) R. PARK

R. PARK

COLONEL, CORPS OF ENGINEERS,

DISTRICT ENGINEER.

THE SAID REQUEST FOR TRANSFER WAS NOT APPROVED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR UNTIL FEBRUARY 24, 1939.

IN FORWARDING TO THIS OFFICE YOUR REQUEST FOR DECISION, THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS STATED:

1. THE INCLOSED VOUCHER IS FORWARDED FOR CONSIDERATION. THE TWO POINTS INVOLVED, TUSCALOOSA, ALA., AND MOBILE, ALA., BOTH LIE WITHIN THE MOBILE DISTRICT. THE DISTRICT ENGINEER HAS GENERAL AUTHORITY TO ISSUE ORDERS FOR EMPLOYEES UNDER HIS JURISDICTION TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY AT ANY POINT WITHIN HIS DISTRICT. A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, HOWEVER, REQUIRES THE AUTHORITY OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR. IT WAS INTENDED TO CHANGE THE PERMANENT DUTY ASSIGNMENT OF MR. DAVIS FROM TUSCALOOSA, ALA., TO MOBILE., AND ON FEBRUARY 13, 1939, REQUEST WAS MADE THROUGH CHANNELS TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR FOR AUTHORITY TO ISSUE PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS. IN THE MEANTIME, THE NECESSITY AROSE FOR THE TEMPORARY DUTY OF MR. DAVIS AT MOBILE, AND ON FEBRUARY 21, THE DISTRICT ENGINEER ISSUED ORDERS DIRECTING HIM TO REPORT AT THAT PLACE. ON FEBRUARY 24, THE SECRETARY OF WAR AUTHORIZED PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TO MOBILE. CONSEQUENTLY, MR. DAVIS NEVER RETURNED TO HIS FORMER STATION AT TUSCALOOSA.

2. THIS OFFICE IS AWARE OF THE RULING MADE IN A-56877, DATED AUGUST 20, 1934. IF THAT RULING WERE LITERALLY FOLLOWED, IT WOULD BE NECESSARY TO DIRECT MR. DAVIS TO RETURN TO TUSCALOOSA UPON THE COMPLETION OF HIS TEMPORARY DUTY AND THEN MAKE ANOTHER TRIP TO MOBILE TO COMPLY WITH THE ORDERS AUTHORIZED ON FEBRUARY 24. THIS PROCEDURE, HOWEVER, SEEMS NOT TO SERVE THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES. THE PROCEDURE REQUIRED TO SECURE THE AUTHORITY OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR FOR A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION NORMALLY REQUIRES FROM TEN DAYS TO TWO WEEKS. AS IN THIS CASE, IT FREQUENTLY ARISES THAT THE TEMPORARY SERVICES OF THE EMPLOYEE ARE NEEDED AT THE NEW DUTY STATION. IT IS NOT BELIEVED THAT IT IS THE INTENT OF YOUR OFFICE TO FREEZE THE STATION ASSIGNMENT OF THE EMPLOYEE DURING THE PERIOD OF WAITING BETWEEN THE DATE WHEN PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS ARE REQUESTED AND AUTHORITY THEREFOR IS RECEIVED. IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE ACTION BEST SERVING THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES SHOULD BE AUTHORIZED IN SUCH CASES.

3. IT SHOULD BE NOTED IN THIS CASE THAT THE ORDERS DIRECTING MR. DAVIS TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY AT MOBILE DID NOT AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM WHILE ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT MOBILE. THE AMOUNT CLAIMED FOR TRAVEL IS THEREFORE, THE SAME AS WOULD HAVE BEEN PAID IF THE EMPLOYEE HAD DELAYED DEPARTURE UNTIL THE RECEIPT OF ORDERS AUTHORIZED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR. BOTH THE TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT AND THE PERMANENT ASSIGNMENT WERE FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT AND NOT FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE EMPLOYEE.

SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 28, 1938, 52 STAT. 147, THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE TREASURY AND POST OFFICE DEPARTMENTS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1939, IDENTICAL WITH A PROVISION APPEARING IN CORRESPONDING PREVIOUS ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS BEGINNING WITH THE FISCAL YEAR 1928 (ACT OF DECEMBER 22, 1937, 45 STAT. 50), IS AS FOLLOWS:

APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1939 AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS SHALL BE AVAILABLE ALSO FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL PERFORMED BY THEM ON TRANSFER FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER WHEN AUTHORIZED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED IN THE ORDER DIRECTING SUCH TRANSFER: PROVIDED, THAT SUCH EXPENSES SHALL NOT BE ALLOWED FOR ANY TRANSFER EFFECTED FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF ANY OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE.

PARAGRAPHS 605 AND 614, ORDERS AND REGULATIONS, CORPS OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY, PROVIDE:

605. ISSUE OF TRAVEL ORDERS.--- (A) UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR, THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS IS AUTHORIZED TO ISSUE ORDERS INVOLVING TRAVEL TO BE PERFORMED BY OFFICERS WITHIN HIS JURISDICTION, WHEN NOT INVOLVING PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, AND TO DELEGATE SUCH AUTHORITY TO SUCH OF HIS SUBORDINATES AS HE MAY DEEM NECESSARY; PROVIDED THE COST THEREOF IS CHARGEABLE TO APPROPRIATIONS OF THE ENGINEER DEPARTMENT AS DISTINGUISHED FROM THE REGULAR ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR " MILEAGE OF THE ARMY.'

(D) UNDER THE AUTHORITY GRANTED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (A) ABOVE, DIVISION ENGINEERS ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO ISSUE ORDERS FOR JOURNEYS NOT INVOLVING CHANGE OF STATION TO BE PERFORMED BY THEIR OWN MILITARY ASSISTANTS OR BY DISTRICT ENGINEERS OR THEIR MILITARY ASSISTANTS ON DUTY PECULIAR TO RIVER AND HARBOR OR CIVIL WORK WITHIN THE GEOGRAPHICAL LIMITS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE DIVISIONS. * *

614 (A) TRAVEL ORDERS.--- (A) TRAVEL ORDERS FOR CIVIL EMPLOYEES SERVING AS DISTRICT ENGINEERS TO TRAVEL ON TEMPORARY DUTY WILL BE ISSUED IN THE SAME MANNER AS FOR OFFICERS OF THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS SERVING IN THAT CAPACITY.

(B) NECESSARY TRAVEL ORDERS FOR OTHER CIVIL EMPLOYEES FOR TEMPORARY DUTY TO POINTS WITHIN THEIR RESPECTIVE DISTRICTS AND DIVISIONS WILL BE ISSUED BY THE DISTRICT OR DIVISION ENGINEER UNDER WHOSE SUPERVISION THEY ARE EMPLOYED. * * *

IN THE DECISION OF AUGUST 20, 1934, A-56877, 14 COMP. GEN. 146, CITED BY THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, IT WAS STATED:

IT IS POSSIBLE, OF COURSE, THAT CONDITIONS MAY SOMETIMES ARISE NECESSITATING THE DETAIL OR ASSIGNMENT OF AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE FOR TEMPORARY DUTY AT A PLACE TO WHICH HIS REGULAR DUTY STATION MAY THEREAFTER BE CHANGED. AND IN SUCH CASES WHEN FACTS ARE SHOWN THAT THE TRANSACTION WAS IN GOOD FAITH AND THAT AT THE TIME THE ORDER FOR TRAVEL ON TEMPORARY DUTY WAS ISSUED THERE WAS NO PURPOSE TO EFFECT A TRANSFER OR CHANGE IN REGULAR DUTY STATION, REIMBURSEMENT OF OTHERWISE PROPER EXPENSES INCIDENT TO SUCH TRAVEL IS AUTHORIZED. BUT IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT SUCH ARE THE FACTS IN THE PRESENT CASE. ON THE CONTRARY THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT THE REAL PURPOSE OF THE TRAVEL WAS TO EFFECT A CHANGE OF REGULAR DUTY STATION FROM CHICAGO TO NEW YORK AND THAT SUCH PURPOSE WAS KNOWN TO THE EMPLOYEE. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES OF THE TRANSFER NOT HAVING BEEN "AUTHORIZED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT" IN AN "ORDER DIRECTING SUCH TRANSFER" PURSUANT TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1933, 47 STAT. 1513, THE REFUSAL TO CERTIFY THE VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.

REFERRING TO THE FIRST SENTENCE OF THE QUOTED DECISION, THE ORDER OF FEBRUARY 21, 1939, BY THE DISTRICT ENGINEER, DIRECTING THE TRAVEL PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN HIM BY THE QUOTED ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS, APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN ISSUED IN GOOD FAITH FOR THE PURPOSE OF PERFORMING TEMPORARY DUTY AT MOBILE--- THE ACTIVITIES AT MOBILE AS WELL AS THOSE AT TUSCALOOSA BEING UNDER THE ADMINISTRATIVE SUPERVISION OF THE DISTRICT ENGINEER WHO ISSUED THE TRAVEL ORDER. FROM THE FACTS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED, IT APPEARS THAT REGARDLESS OF WHAT ACTION THE SECRETARY OF WAR MIGHT HAVE TAKEN ON THE REQUEST OF FEBRUARY 13, 1939, FOR TRANSFER OF PERMANENT STATION FROM TUSCALOOSA TO MOBILE, IT WAS NECESSARY FOR THIS ENGINEER TO GO TO MOBILE FEBRUARY 22 TO PERFORM THE TEMPORARY DUTY. THAT IS TO SAY, EVEN THOUGH THE SECRETARY OF WAR SHOULD HAVE DISAPPROVED THE DISTRICT ENGINEER'S REQUEST FOR TRANSFER NECESSITATING THE RETURN OF THIS ENGINEER TO TUSCALOOSA, IT IS UNDERSTOOD IT WAS NEVERTHELESS NECESSARY AND PROPER FOR HIM TO GO TO MOBILE TO PERFORM THE TEMPORARY DUTY, AND IT WAS WITHIN THE AUTHORITY OF THE DISTRICT ENGINEER TO ISSUE TRAVEL ORDERS FOR THAT PURPOSE.

ACCORDINGLY, REIMBURSEMENT OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSES IS AUTHORIZED IN THIS CASE AS UNDER A REGULAR TRAVEL ORDER FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTY AWAY FROM THE ENGINEER'S OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS AT TUSCALOOSA, AND NOT AS UNDER THE ORDER BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR DIRECTING A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM TUSCALOOSA TO MOBILE, NO TRAVEL BEING PERFORMED OR NECESSARY UNDER THE TRANSFER ORDER APPROVED BY THE SECRETARY OF WAR FEBRUARY 24, 1939, THE ENGINEER HAVING BEEN AT HIS NEW STATION, MOBILE, ON TEMPORARY DUTY, AT THE TIME HE RECEIVED IT. ..END :