B-32380, FEBRUARY 20, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 825

B-32380: Feb 20, 1943

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WAS ASSIGNED AS A MATTER OF ADMINISTRATIVE CONVENIENCE TO A NEW OFFICIAL STATION. WHICH IS STILL IN BEING ALTHOUGH THE POSITION IS OCCUPIED BY ANOTHER EMPLOYEE. 1943: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 6. AS FOLLOWS: THERE IS PRESENTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION THE FOLLOWING MATTER RELATIVE TO EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSFER BETWEEN STATIONS OF AN EMPLOYEE OF THIS ADMINISTRATION. WHO WAS RESTORED TO A CIVILIAN POSITION IN THIS ADMINISTRATION AFTER BEING DISCHARGED FROM ACTIVE MILITARY DUTY. WHO WAS ON DUTY AT THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITY. ENTERED MILITARY SERVICE AND WAS ADVISED THAT EFFECTIVE MAY 13. 1942 HIS NAME WAS TRANSFERRED FROM THE FACILITY ROLLS TO THE CENTRAL OFFICE FIELD ROLL AND PLACED IN A FURLOUGH STATUS.

B-32380, FEBRUARY 20, 1943, 22 COMP. GEN. 825

TRAVELING EXPENSES; TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - RETURN TO CIVILIAN POSITION AFTER MILITARY DUTY A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE WHO, UPON HIS RETURN FROM ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE, WAS ASSIGNED AS A MATTER OF ADMINISTRATIVE CONVENIENCE TO A NEW OFFICIAL STATION, RATHER THAN RESTORED TO HIS POSITION AT THE OLD STATION, WHICH IS STILL IN BEING ALTHOUGH THE POSITION IS OCCUPIED BY ANOTHER EMPLOYEE, MAY BE PAID THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH HIS TRANSFER FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION. 21 COMP. GEN. 398, DISTINGUISHED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS, FEBRUARY 20, 1943:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 6, 1943, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS PRESENTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION THE FOLLOWING MATTER RELATIVE TO EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSFER BETWEEN STATIONS OF AN EMPLOYEE OF THIS ADMINISTRATION, WHO WAS RESTORED TO A CIVILIAN POSITION IN THIS ADMINISTRATION AFTER BEING DISCHARGED FROM ACTIVE MILITARY DUTY.

THE RECORDS OF THIS ADMINISTRATION SHOW THAT DOCTOR JAMES S. GLOTFELTY, WHO WAS ON DUTY AT THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITY, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, ENTERED MILITARY SERVICE AND WAS ADVISED THAT EFFECTIVE MAY 13, 1942 HIS NAME WAS TRANSFERRED FROM THE FACILITY ROLLS TO THE CENTRAL OFFICE FIELD ROLL AND PLACED IN A FURLOUGH STATUS, WITH OFFICIAL STATION REMAINING LOS ANGELES. HE WAS RELIEVED FROM HIS TOUR OF ACTIVE MILITARY DUTY ON JUNE 7, 1942 AND RETURNED TO LOS ANGELES AND WAS INTERVIEWED BY THE MANAGER ON JUNE 22, 1942, INDICATING THAT HE WAS ANXIOUS TO BE ASSIGNED TO DUTY.

UNDER ORDERS OF JULY 1, 1942, DOCTOR GLOTFELTY WAS ORDERED TO PROCEED FROM LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA TO SHERIDAN, WYOMING, AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, FOR THE PURPOSE OF REPORTING ON ARRIVAL TO THE MANAGER, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FACILITY FOR ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY AS A PERMANENT MEDICAL OFFICER. HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO SHIP HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND OTHER PERSONAL PROPERTY FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION, SOLDIERS' HOME, CALIFORNIA, TO SHERIDAN, WYOMING, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 8588 DATED NOVEMBER 7, 1940.

IN DECISION, 21 COMP. GEN. 398, DATED OCTOBER 30, 1941, IT WAS HELD THAT: "AN EMPLOYEE INDUCTED INTO THE MILITARY FORCES UNDER EITHER THE SELECTIVE TRAINING AND SERVICE ACT OF 1940 OR PUBLIC RESOLUTION NO. 96 OF AUGUST 27, 1940, WHOSE POSITION HAS BEEN ABOLISHED DURING A PERIOD OF FURLOUGH FOR SUCH DUTY BUT WHO IS OFFERED A POSITION OF LIKE SENIORITY, STATUS, AND PAY AT A DIFFERENT LOCATION IS REQUIRED TO BEAR THE EXPENSE OF TRAVEL TO SUCH POINT.'

IN THE CASE OF DOCTOR GLOTFELTY, THE OLD POSITION WHICH HE HELD AT LOS ANGELES, HAD NOT BEEN ABOLISHED WHILE HE WAS ON ACTIVE MILITARY DUTY, BUT HAD BEEN FILLED TEMPORARILY BY ANOTHER PHYSICIAN. THE EMPLOYEE WHO OCCUPIED HIS POSITION WHILE HE WAS PERFORMING MILITARY SERVICE AND AT THE TIME HE MADE HIS REQUEST FOR RESTORATION COULD HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED TO SHERIDAN AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND, THEREFORE, IT WOULD BE REASONABLE TO ASSUME THAT IT WOULD NOT COST THE GOVERNMENT ANY MORE TO TRANSFER DR. GLOTFELTY TO SHERIDAN, WYOMING. ACCORDINGLY, HE WAS RESTORED TO DUTY STATUS AT LOS ANGELES AND TRANSFERRED TO SHERIDAN. IT IS CONSIDERED THAT THE TRANSFER OF DR. GLOTFELTY WAS EFFECTED FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT, SINCE SOME ONE WOULD HAVE HAD TO BE TRANSFERRED.

PAYMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE TO DR. GLOTFELTY, IN THE AMOUNT OF $80.00, FOR PER DIEM AND MILEAGE ON DISBURSING OFFICE VOUCHER NO. 354,067, AUGUST 18, 1942, AND TO LYON VAN AND STORAGE COMPANY, IN THE AMOUNT OF $196.77, FOR SHIPMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS ON GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING VA-498,782, ON DISBURSING OFFICE VOUCHER NO. 904,035, NOVEMBER 5, 1942, BY G. F. ALLEN, SYMBOL 11-559. THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH FOR ATTENTION AND RETURN, VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF DR. GLOTFELTY, IN THE AMOUNT OF $22.00 COVERING CLAIM FOR PACKING OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOOD

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE PAYMENTS OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSFER OF THIS EMPLOYEE WERE PROPER.

YOUR EARLY DECISION IN THE MATTER WILL BE APPRECIATED, IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THERE IS ANOTHER CLAIM OF THIS CHARACTER BEFORE THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FOR CONSIDERATION AND IT IS EXPECTED THAT A NUMBER OF COMPARABLE CASES WILL ARISE.

THE RULE STATED IN THE DECISION OF OCTOBER 30, 1941, 21 COMP. GEN. 398, TO WHICH YOU REFER, RELATES TO THE CASE OF AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE POSITION HAD BEEN ABOLISHED AND WHOSE OLD OFFICIAL STATION HAD BEEN DISCONTINUED WHILE HE WAS IN THE ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE. IT PROPERLY WAS CONCLUDED IN THAT CASE THAT TRAVELING EXPENSES FROM THE LOCATION OF THE OLD STATION TO A NEW OFFICIAL STATION UPON RETURN FROM MILITARY SERVICE WERE NOT "BENEFITS OFFERED BY THE EMPLOYER ( UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT) PURSUANT TO THE ESTABLISHED RULES AND PRACTICES RELATING TO EMPLOYEES ON FURLOUGH OR LEAVE OF ABSENCE IN EFFECT WITH THE EMPLOYER AT THE TIME SUCH PERSON WAS INDUCTED INTO SUCH RCES," TO WHICH CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES RETURNING FROM ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE ARE ENTITLED PURSUANT TO SECTION 8 (C) OF THE SELECTIVE TRAINING AND SERVICE ACT OF 1940, APPROVED SEPTEMBER 16, 1940, 54 STAT. 890, AND PUBLIC RESOLUTION 96, APPROVED AUGUST 27, 1940, 54 STAT. 858, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 8 (D) OF THE SELECTIVE TRAINING AND SERVICE ACT, SUPRA, 54 STAT. 891. THE REASON NECESSITATING THAT RULE WAS THAT UPON RETURN FROM MILITARY SERVICE THE EMPLOYEE WAS REQUIRED TO BE GIVEN A NEW APPOINTMENT TO A NEW POSITION AND UNDER THE GENERAL RULE HE WAS REQUIRED TO BEAR THE COST OF REPORTING FOR DUTY AT HIS FIRST OFFICIAL STATION UNDER THE NEW APPOINTMENT.

IN THE INSTANT CASE, WHILE THE EMPLOYEE'S POSITION HAD BEEN FILLED DURING HIS ABSENCE ON MILITARY FURLOUGH THEREFROM WITHOUT PAY AND IT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED NOT TO REPLACE THE PRESENT INCUMBENT BY THE RETURNED EMPLOYEE, NEVERTHELESS, UPON HIS RETURN, THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION WAS STILL IN BEING AND IT WAS WITHIN ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION TO RESTORE THE RETURNED EMPLOYEE AT HIS OLD STATION. IN DECISION OF OCTOBER 2, 1940, B-12385, IT WAS STATED:

IN DECISION OF JUNE 28, 1938, 17 COMP. GEN. 1117, IT WAS HELD AS FOLLOWS (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

"A CHANGE OF STATION IN THE FIELD SERVICE OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT, UNDER THE SAME BUREAU AND INVOLVING PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION FROM DIFFERENT APPROPRIATIONS UNDER CONTROL OF THE SAME BUREAU, WHEN MADE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND NOT FOR THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OF THE EMPLOYEE, MAY BE CONSIDERED A TRANSFER WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE ANNUAL STATUTORY PROVISION AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES "ON TRANSFER FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER.' 17 COMP. GEN. 874, AMPLIFIED.'

THIS RULE IS APPLICABLE IN THE CASE HERE PRESENTED WHERE THE EMPLOYEE WAS ON FURLOUGH OR LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITHOUT PAY AT THE TIME OF THE TRANSFER. COMPARE DECISIONS OF JANUARY 11, 1936, A-60370, AND MAY 29, 1936, A-71773, CITED IN, AND DISTINGUISHED FROM, THE DECISION OF AUGUST 24, 1937, 17 COMP. GEN. 183, THE LATTER INVOLVING A CASE WHERE AN EMPLOYEE WAS REEMPLOYED AFTER FURLOUGH WITHOUT PAY IN ANOTHER POSITION AT AN INCREASE IN COMPENSATION. IN THE INSTANT CASE, THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN TRANSFERRED FROM ONE PERMANENT STATION TO ANOTHER, RATHER THAN APPOINTED TO A NEW POSITION REQUIRING HIM TO BEAR THE COST OF PLACING HIMSELF AT HIS FIRST DUTY STATION UNDER THE NEW APPOINTMENT.

SEE, ALSO, 19 COMP. GEN. 910, HOLDING AS FOLLOWS (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

THE RIGHT OF A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UPON CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION IS NOT LOST SOLELY BECAUSE HE IS ON LEAVE WITHOUT PAY FROM HIS CIVILIAN POSITION ON ACTIVE DUTY AS A NAVAL RESERVE OFFICER WITH THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS AT THE TIME HIS CIVILIAN UNIT IS MOVED FROM ONE CITY TO ANOTHER.

ACCORDINGLY, THE QUESTION POSED IN THE PENULTIMATE PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

THE VOUCHER AND SUPPORTING PAPERS FORWARDED WITH YOUR LETTER ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.