B-38042, NOVEMBER 18, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 374

B-38042: Nov 18, 1943

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THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT THE JOURNEY FOR THE GOVERNMENT BEGIN OR END AT THE TRAVELER'S HOME. EXPENSES OF SUCH A PERSON MAY NOT BE PAID IN AN AMOUNT EXCEEDING WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST HAD THE PERSON TRAVELED FROM AND TO HIS HOME. 1943: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 23. " IT IS PROVIDED IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS: "* * * NOT TO EXCEED $200. AT THE PRESENT TIME THE SERVICES OF CONSULTANTS AND OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERTS ARE A VITAL NECESSITY OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT IN CONNECTION WITH SPECIAL PROJECTS ON WHICH THEY ARE EMPLOYED. THE MAJORITY OF THEM ARE CONNECTED WITH PRIVATE FIRMS. "A NON-SALARIED MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE MEDIATION BOARD WHO PROCEEDS TO WASHINGTON UPON OFFICIAL NOTIFICATION AND AFTER COMPLETION OF HIS OFFICIAL BUSINESS TRAVELS TO A POINT OTHER THAN HIS OFFICIAL STATION (PRESUMED TO BE HIS HOME) IS ENTITLED TO THE ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND PER DIEM IN LIEU OF OTHER EXPENSES.

B-38042, NOVEMBER 18, 1943, 23 COMP. GEN. 374

TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES - PER DIEMS - PERSONS SERVING WITHOUT COMPENSATION IN ORDER FOR A PERSON TO BE PAID THE ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION AND OTHER NECESSARY EXPENSES AND NOT TO EXCEED $10 PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AUTHORIZED BY LAW FOR PERSONS SERVING "WHILE AWAY FROM THEIR HOMES" IN AN ADVISORY CAPACITY WITHOUT OTHER COMPENSATION FROM THE UNITED STATES, THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT THE JOURNEY FOR THE GOVERNMENT BEGIN OR END AT THE TRAVELER'S HOME, BUT TRANSPORTATION, ETC., EXPENSES OF SUCH A PERSON MAY NOT BE PAID IN AN AMOUNT EXCEEDING WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST HAD THE PERSON TRAVELED FROM AND TO HIS HOME.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, NOVEMBER 18, 1943:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 23, 1943, AS FOLLOWS:

THE MILITARY APPROPRIATION ACT, 1944 ( PUBLIC LAW 108, 78TH CONGRESS), APPROVED 1 JULY 1943, MAKES PROVISION FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF EXPERT CONSULTANTS AND OTHER TECHNICAL AND PROFESSIONAL PERSONNEL TO BE PAID ON A PER DIEM BASIS WHEN ACTUALLY EMPLOYED. UNDER THE HEADING " SALARIES, WAR DEPARTMENT," IT IS PROVIDED IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * NOT TO EXCEED $200,000 OF THE APPROPRIATION CONTAINED IN THIS ACT FOR MILITARY ACTIVITIES SHALL BE AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND NOT TO EXCEED $10.00 PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AND OTHER EXPENSES OF PERSONS SERVING WHILE AWAY FROM THEIR HOMES, WITHOUT OTHER COMPENSATION FROM THE UNITED STATES, IN AN ADVISORY CAPACITY TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, AND FOR THE TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONS (AT NOT TO EXCEED $25 PER DAY) OR ORGANIZATIONS, BY CONTRACT OR OTHERWISE WITHOUT REGARD TO SECTION 3709 OF THE REVISED STATUTES OR THE CIVIL SERVICE OR CLASSIFICATION LAWS.'

AT THE PRESENT TIME THE SERVICES OF CONSULTANTS AND OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERTS ARE A VITAL NECESSITY OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT IN CONNECTION WITH SPECIAL PROJECTS ON WHICH THEY ARE EMPLOYED. THE MAJORITY OF THEM ARE CONNECTED WITH PRIVATE FIRMS, WHOSE DUTIES REQUIRE THEM TO TRAVEL FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER, MANY HAVING NO ACTUAL PERMANENT DUTY STATION WITH THEIR PRIVATE EMPLOYER.

ACCORDING TO DECISION 21 COMP. GEN. 377,"A NON-SALARIED MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE MEDIATION BOARD WHO PROCEEDS TO WASHINGTON UPON OFFICIAL NOTIFICATION AND AFTER COMPLETION OF HIS OFFICIAL BUSINESS TRAVELS TO A POINT OTHER THAN HIS OFFICIAL STATION (PRESUMED TO BE HIS HOME) IS ENTITLED TO THE ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND PER DIEM IN LIEU OF OTHER EXPENSES, INCLUDING SUBSISTENCE, PROVIDED BY THE SECOND DEFICIENCY APPROPRIATION ACT OF JULY 3, 1941, NOT IN EXCESS OF WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD HE RETURNED DIRECT TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION.'

SINCE A GREAT MANY OF THESE NON-SALARIED INDIVIDUALS ARE IN A TRAVEL STATUS WITH THEIR PRIVATE CONCERNS AT THE TIME THEY ARE CALLED TO SERVE WITH THE WAR DEPARTMENT, IT IS DIFFICULT FOR THEM TO MAINTAIN A PERMANENT STATION WITH THEIR PRIVATE EMPLOYER. FOR EXAMPLE: AN INDIVIDUAL IS CALLED TO WASHINGTON FROM NEW YORK CITY FOR TEMPORARY DUTY. AFTER SUCH DUTY IS ACCOMPLISHED HE MAY BE CALLED, FOR EXAMPLE, TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, OR BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, BY HIS PRIVATE EMPLOYER. UNDER THE PRESENT RULING HIS OFFICIAL TRAVEL ORDER STATES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT TRANSPORTATION WOULD BE PAID BACK TO NEW YORK CITY. HOWEVER, IF HIS PRIVATE BUSINESS REQUIRES HIM TO PROCEED TO CHICAGO FROM WASHINGTON, THE WAR DEPARTMENT REIMBURSES HIM THE AMOUNT OF THE EXPENSES WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD HE RETURNED TO NEW YORK CITY--- THE INDIVIDUAL PAYING THE DIFFERENCE. IN THE SECOND CASE, HOWEVER, HAD HIS PRIVATE BUSINESS REQUIRED HIM TO PROCEED TO BALTIMORE, THE GOVERNMENT WOULD REIMBURSE HIM HIS EXPENSES OF RETURNING TO NEW YORK CITY EVEN THOUGH HE ACTUALLY RETURNED TO A POINT CLOSER ( BALTIMORE), THUS RESULTING IN A SUBSTANTIAL PROFIT FOR THE INDIVIDUAL AND AN ADDED COST TO THE GOVERNMENT.

AS ANOTHER EXAMPLE, AN EXPERT CONSULTANT WAS APPOINTED AT SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY IN WASHINGTON, AND THENCE TO DENVER, COLORADO, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY. UNDER THE PRESENT RULING THE WAR DEPARTMENT WOULD PAY HIS TRAVELING EXPENSES BACK TO SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK. HE WAS REQUIRED, HOWEVER, TO RETURN FROM DENVER TO FORT WAYNE, INDIANA, FOR DUTY WITH HIS PRIVATE EMPLOYER ( GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY). THUS THE GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE SAVED APPROXIMATELY $47.00 (TRAVELING EXPENSES FROM FORT WAYNE TO SCHENECTADY), HAD IT BEEN POSSIBLE FOR HIS RETURN TRIP TO TERMINATE AT FORT WAYNE, INDIANA.

SINCE THE GOVERNMENT WOULD PROFIT, IN A GREAT MANY INSTANCES, WHERE THE INDIVIDUAL RETURNS TO PRIVATE INDUSTRY AT A POINT CLOSER THAN HIS RETURN TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION, YOUR CONSIDERATION AND REPLY TO THE FOLLOWING IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED.

A. MAY THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY AN EXPERT CONSULTANT OR OTHER TECHNICAL AND PROFESSIONAL PERSONNEL, PROVIDE FOR SUCH PERSON "TO PROCEED FROM HIS OFFICIAL DUTY STATION TO SUCH POINTS WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES ON TEMPORARY DUTY IN CONNECTION WITH HIS DUTIES AND UPON COMPLETION OF SUCH DUTIES, TO RETURN TO SUCH OTHER POINT AS MAY BE REQUIRED BY PRIVATE EMPLOYER, PROVIDED; THAT EVIDENCE IS SHOWN THAT SUCH TRAVEL IS MORE ECONOMICAL TO THE GOVERNMENT.'

B. IF A. IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, MAY THE DEPARTMENT AUTHORIZE TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM SUCH POINT (OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL DUTY STATION) AS HE MAY BE STATIONED WHEN FURTHER SERVICES ARE REQUIRED BY THE WAR DEPARTMENT?

IT IS FURTHER DESIRED TO POINT OUT THAT THE NEED FOR THE FLEXIBLE DUTY STATION ARRANGEMENT IS FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT AND NOT FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE INDIVIDUAL CONCERNED. THIS ARRANGEMENT WOULD FURTHER RESULT IN A SAVING OF MANPOWER HOURS, AS WELL AS FINANCIAL SAVINGS, IN A GREAT MANY CASES.

MAY I HAVE YOUR RULING ON THE SPECIFIC QUESTIONS POSED ABOVE AT AN EARLY DATE?

THE STATUTE (57 STAT. 365) AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF THE ACTUAL TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND NOT TO EXCEED $10 PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE TO PERSONS WHO SERVE FOR THE GOVERNMENT WITHOUT OTHER COMPENSATION "WHILE AWAY FROM THEIR HOMES.' WHILE THE WORD,"HOMES," APPEARING IN THE STATUTE MAY NOT BE IGNORED ENTIRELY, THE JOURNEY FOR THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT REQUIRED TO BEGIN OR END AT THEIR HOMES, BUT, OF COURSE, THE INTENTION IS NOT TO REIMBURSE THE TRAVELERS FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES WHICH THEY OTHERWISE WOULD INCUR FOR A PRIVATE EMPLOYER. HENCE, THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND PER DIEM MAY BE PAID FOR A GOVERNMENT TRIP FROM AND TO ANY POINT TO THE PLACE OF DUTY FOR THE GOVERNMENT NOT TO EXCEED WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST FROM AND TO THE HOME OF THE TRAVELER. THAT IS, THERE WOULD BE NO AUTHORITY UNDER THE STATUTE TO PAY FOR A TRIP LONGER THAN FROM OR TO THE HOME OF THE TRAVELER.

ACCORDINGLY, QUESTIONS A AND B ARE ANSWERED, GENERALLY, IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, BUT SUBJECT TO THE ABOVE STATED LIMITATION.