B-45088, NOVEMBER 16, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 379

B-45088: Nov 16, 1944

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" ONLY THAT TRAVEL NECESSARY IN GOING FROM A PRIVATE INSTITUTION TO A FEDERAL HOSPITAL AND RETURN IS AUTHORIZED TO BE PERFORMED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. * * * " YOUR EARLY DECISION IS REQUESTED ON THE QUESTION. NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT THE POINT TO WHICH TRANSPORTATION IS DESIRED MAY BE NO GREATER DISTANCE THAN THAT FROM THE HOME SCHOOL OF NURSING TO THE PARTICULAR NAVAL HOSPITAL. PROVIDED A PLAN WHEREBY SCHOOLS OF NURSING AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS PARTICIPATING THEREIN WERE TO BE PAID FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS AMOUNTS COMPENSATING THEM FOR THE NECESSARY COSTS INVOLVED IN FURNISHING TO STUDENT NURSES (WITHOUT CHARGE FOR TUITION. FURTHER PROVISION WAS MADE IN THE ACT FOR THE TRANSFER. NO PROVISION WAS CONTAINED IN THE CITED ACT FOR THE FURNISHING AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

B-45088, NOVEMBER 16, 1944, 24 COMP. GEN. 379

TRAVELING EXPENSES - STUDENT NURSES TRANSFERRED TO FEDERAL HOSPITALS FOR TRAINING UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1944, PROVIDING FOR CERTAIN BENEFITS FOR STUDENT NURSES TRANSFERRED FROM PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS TO FEDERAL HOSPITALS FOR FURTHER TRAINING PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF JUNE 15, 1943, INCLUDING EXPENSES FOR "TRAVEL INCIDENT TO THEIR INITIAL TRANSFER AND IN RETURNING TO THE LOCATION FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED," ONLY THAT TRAVEL NECESSARY IN GOING FROM A PRIVATE INSTITUTION TO A FEDERAL HOSPITAL AND RETURN IS AUTHORIZED TO BE PERFORMED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, AND, THEREFORE, UPON COMPLETION OF HER TRAINING AT A NAVAL HOSPITAL, A NURSE MAY NOT BE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION IN KIND TO A PLACE SELECTED FOR PERSONAL REASONS OTHER THAN THE PLACE FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED, REGARDLESS OF THE DISTANCE INVOLVED.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, NOVEMBER 16, 1944:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 10, 1944, AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 11 (B) OF THE ACT APPROVED JUNE 15, 1943 (57 STAT. 153), AS ADDED BY THE ACT APPROVED MARCH 4, 1944 ( PUBLIC LAW 248-78TH CONGRESS), PROVIDES, RELATIVE TO TRAINING OF NURSES FOR THE ARMED FORCES, GOVERNMENTAL AND CIVILIAN HOSPITALS, HEALTH AGENCIES, AND WAR INDUSTRIES, THROUGH GRANTS TO INSTITUTIONS PROVIDING SUCH TRAINING, AS FOLLOWS:

"/B) DURING THE PERIOD OF SUCH TRAINING STUDENT NURSES * * * SHALL BE ENTITLED TO (1) TRAVEL EXPENSES AS AUTHORIZED BY THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926, AS AMENDED, INCLUDING TRAVEL INCIDENT TO THEIR INITIAL TRANSFER AND IN RETURNING TO THE LOCATION FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED UPON COMPLETION OR TERMINATION OF THE PERIOD OF TRAINING; * * * "

YOUR EARLY DECISION IS REQUESTED ON THE QUESTION, NOW PENDING BEFORE THE NAVY DEPARTMENT, AS TO WHETHER OR NOT, UNDER THE ABOVE QUOTED LAW, A CADET NURSE, TRANSFERRED FROM A SCHOOL OF NURSING TO A NAVAL HOSPITAL, MAY BE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION IN KIND UPON DETACHMENT AT THE COMPLETION OF THE SENIOR CADET PERIOD TO A POINT OTHER THAN THE ONE FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED, NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT THE POINT TO WHICH TRANSPORTATION IS DESIRED MAY BE NO GREATER DISTANCE THAN THAT FROM THE HOME SCHOOL OF NURSING TO THE PARTICULAR NAVAL HOSPITAL.

THE PROGRAM ESTABLISHED BY THE ACT OF JUNE 15, 1943, 57 STAT. 153, FOR THE TRAINING OF NURSES FOR THE ARMED FORCES, GOVERNMENTAL AND CIVILIAN HOSPITALS, HEALTH AGENCIES, AND WAR INDUSTRIES, PROVIDED A PLAN WHEREBY SCHOOLS OF NURSING AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS PARTICIPATING THEREIN WERE TO BE PAID FROM APPROPRIATED FUNDS AMOUNTS COMPENSATING THEM FOR THE NECESSARY COSTS INVOLVED IN FURNISHING TO STUDENT NURSES (WITHOUT CHARGE FOR TUITION, FEES, OR OTHER EXPENSES) COURSES OF STUDY AND TRAINING, UNIFORMS, INSIGNIA, MAINTENANCE, AND A FIXED STIPEND. FURTHER PROVISION WAS MADE IN THE ACT FOR THE TRANSFER, IN CERTAIN INSTANCES, OF THE STUDENT NURSES TO OTHER INSTITUTIONS AND TO FEDERAL HOSPITALS FOR THE CONTINUATION AND COMPLETION OF THEIR TRAINING. NO PROVISION WAS CONTAINED IN THE CITED ACT FOR THE FURNISHING AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, OR FOR COMPENSATING THE PARTICIPATING INSTITUTIONS FOR THE FURNISHING OF TRANSPORTATION OR OTHER TRAVELING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO TRAVEL NECESSARILY PERFORMED BY THE TRAINEES IN CONNECTION WITH THE COURSE OF STUDY AND TRAINING.

THE PURPOSE TO BE ACCOMPLISHED BY THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1944, PUBLIC LAW 248, 78TH CONGRESS, 58 STAT. 111, 112, AMENDING THE ACT OF JUNE 15, 1943, SUPRA, IS, AS STATED IN ITS TITLE, TO PROVIDE FOR THE FULL PARTICIPATION OF INSTITUTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE NURSE TRAINING PROGRAM. EFFECT THIS PURPOSE, IT IS PROVIDED IN SECTION 11 (A) AND (B) THEREOF AS FOLLOWS:

(A) THE HEAD OF ANY DEPARTMENT, ESTABLISHMENT, OR OTHER FEDERAL AGENCY IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO REQUEST AND ACCEPT TRANSFERS OF STUDENT NURSES, TRANSFERABLE PURSUANT TO SUBSECTIONS (C) AND (F) OF SECTION 2, TO ANY FEDERAL HOSPITAL OPERATED BY HIS AGENCY IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, EXCLUSIVE OF ALASKA, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE CONTINUED TRAINING OF SUCH STUDENT NURSES REQUISITE TO GRADUATION: PROVIDED, THAT THE PERIOD OF TRAINING IN NO CASE SHALL EXTEND BEYOND THE PERIOD REQUIRED FOR GRADUATION BY THE INSTITUTION FROM WHICH THE STUDENT NURSE WAS TRANSFERRED, BUT MAY BE TERMINATED AT ANY TIME PRIOR THERETO AS THE INTERESTS OF THE SERVICE MAY REQUIRE.

(B) DURING THE PERIOD OF SUCH TRAINING STUDENT NURSES SHALL BE ENTITLED TO A STIPEND AT SUCH UNIFORM MONTHLY RATE AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT, AND SHALL BE ENTITLED TO (1) TRAVEL EXPENSES AS AUTHORIZED BY THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926, AS AMENDED, INCLUDING TRAVEL INCIDENT TO THEIR INITIAL TRANSFER AND IN RETURNING TO THE LOCATION FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED UPON COMPLETION OR TERMINATION OF THE PERIOD OF TRAINING; (2) QUARTERS, SUBSISTENCE, AND LAUNDRY (INCLUDING LAUNDERING OF UNIFORMS) WHILE AT FEDERAL HOSPITALS; AND (3) NECESSARY MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL CARE IN FEDERAL HOSPITAL FACILITIES * * *.

THESE PROVISIONS ENLARGE THE PROGRAM CONTAINED IN THE ACT OF JUNE 15, 1943, TO ENABLE THE HEADS OF FEDERAL DEPARTMENTS, ESTABLISHMENTS, OR OTHER AGENCIES TO REQUEST AND ACCEPT TRANSFERS OF STUDENT NURSES TO FEDERAL HOSPITALS UNDER THEIR CONTROL FOR FURTHER TRAINING AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE FURNISHING TO THE STUDENT NURSES, DURING THE PERIOD OF SUCH TRAINING, THE BENEFITS THEREIN ENUMERATED, INCLUDING THE TRAVELING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO SUCH TRANSFERS AND RETURN TO THE LOCATION FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED UPON COMPLETION OR TERMINATION OF THE PERIOD OF TRAINING. THE STATUTE IS SPECIFIC IN ITS PROVISIONS THAT THE TRAVEL EXPENSES SO AUTHORIZED SHALL INCLUDE TRAVEL INCIDENT TO INITIAL TRANSFER AND TRAVEL IN RETURNING TO THE LOCATION FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED. CLEARLY, THE TRAVEL SO AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS THAT NECESSARILY FOR PERFORMANCE IN CONNECTION WITH THE COURSES OF TRAINING OFFERED IN THE FEDERAL HOSPITAL, ONLY, SUCH AUTHORIZATION NOT CONTEMPLATING THE PAYMENT FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS OF TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR PURPOSES OTHER THAN FOR TRAVEL ARISING BY REASON OF THE TRANSFER TO SUCH HOSPITALS. BUT FOR THE TRANSFER OF A TRAINEE TO A FEDERAL HOSPITAL, NO AUTHORITY WOULD EXIST UNDER THE ACT FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES UPON THE COMPLETION OR OTHER TERMINATION OF THE TRAINING. IN OTHER WORDS, THE TRAVEL FOR WHICH THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS IS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE ACT IS ONLY THAT NECESSARY IN GOING FROM A PRIVATE INSTITUTION TO A FEDERAL HOSPITAL UPON TRANSFER FOR FURTHER TRAINING THEREAT AND IN RETURNING FROM THE FEDERAL HOSPITAL BACK TO THE LOCATION FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED. THE LANGUAGE USED IN THE AMENDING ACT OF MARCH 4, 1944, AUTHORIZES NOTHING FURTHER IN THIS RESPECT.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT TRAVEL PERFORMED BY A CADET NURSE UPON DETACHMENT FROM A NAVAL HOSPITAL UPON COMPLETION OF THE SENIOR CADET PERIOD OF TRAINING TO A POINT OF HER CHOICE OTHER THAN THE PLACE FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED WOULD NOT BE TRAVEL WITHIN THE QUOTED PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1944, IN THAT IT WOULD NOT CONSTITUTE TRAVEL FOR THE PURPOSES SPECIFIED THEREIN, BUT WOULD BE TRAVEL TO A SELECTED POINT FOR PERSONAL REASONS--- TRAVEL WHICH, IN THE ORDINARY CASE, PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN PERFORMED AT PERSONAL EXPENSE FROM THE PRIVATE INSTITUTION FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED BUT FOR THE INTERVENING TRAINING PERIOD AT A FEDERAL HOSPITAL.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SPECIFIC QUESTION PRESENTED IN YOUR LETTER IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.