B-52748, OCTOBER 18, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 347

B-52748: Oct 18, 1945

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - INTERRUPTION OF LEAVE FOR PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE AUTHORIZED LEAVE OF ABSENCE WAS INTERRUPTED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY AT A PLACE OTHER THAN HIS HEADQUARTERS AND FOR TEMPORARY RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS. - BEING PERMITTED THEREAFTER TO RESUME HIS LEAVE STATUS AT THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS INTERRUPTED. - IS ENTITLED TO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AND TRAVELING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE TRAVEL FROM HIS PLACE OF LEAVE TO HIS HEADQUARTERS BY WAY OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION. 1945: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 25. THE PLACE WHERE HE WAS ON LEAVE. THIS OFFICE IS UNABLE TO DETERMINE THE AMOUNT DUE MR. SEITZ AS IT IS NOT CLEAR IN WHICH CATEGORY THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION SHOULD FALL.

B-52748, OCTOBER 18, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 347

TRAVELING EXPENSES - INTERRUPTION OF LEAVE FOR PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE AUTHORIZED LEAVE OF ABSENCE WAS INTERRUPTED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY AT A PLACE OTHER THAN HIS HEADQUARTERS AND FOR TEMPORARY RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS--- BEING PERMITTED THEREAFTER TO RESUME HIS LEAVE STATUS AT THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS INTERRUPTED--- IS ENTITLED TO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AND TRAVELING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE TRAVEL FROM HIS PLACE OF LEAVE TO HIS HEADQUARTERS BY WAY OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY STATION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO RICHARD E. WATERS, NATIONAL WAR LABOR BOARD, OCTOBER 18, 1945:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 25, 1945, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO THE UNDERSIGNED FOR AUDIT THE CLAIM OF PETER SEITZ, CHAIRMAN, APPEALS COMMITTEE, NATIONAL WAR LABOR BOARD, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES OF EMERGENCY NATURE FOR TRAVEL FROM AMHERST, MASSACHUSETTS, THE PLACE WHERE HE WAS ON LEAVE, TO PORTLAND, OREGON, TEMPORARY DUTY POST, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., HIS OFFICIAL STATION. HE THEN RETURNED TO AMHERST AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT TO RESUME ANNUAL LEAVE.

THIS OFFICE IS UNABLE TO DETERMINE THE AMOUNT DUE MR. SEITZ AS IT IS NOT CLEAR IN WHICH CATEGORY THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION SHOULD FALL. THERE IS THE FACT THAT MR. SEITZ DID NOT RETURN TO THE PLACE OF LEAVE AFTER COMPLETING CERTAIN ASSIGNED DUTIES IN HIS HEADQUARTERS, HOWEVER, HIS TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DID NOT CONTEMPLATE HIS RETURN TO AMHERST. THERE IS ALSO THE FACT THAT WHILE MR. SEITZ HAD BEEN TOLD THAT PERHAPS HIS SERVICES WOULD BE NEEDED AT AN EMERGENCY HEARING IN PORTLAND, PRIOR TO THE COMPLETION OF HIS LEAVE IN AMHERST, THERE WAS NO DEFINITE ASSIGNMENT WHICH WOULD BRING THE TRAVEL WITHIN THE SCOPE OF YOUR DECISION IN 24 COMPTROLLER GENERAL 443. SINCE THERE IS ALWAYS A POSSIBILITY THAT AN ADVANCE ASSIGNMENT WILL BE CANCELLED OR POSTPONED, IS IT NECESSARY THAT A DEFINITE DATE FOR DUTY BE ASSIGNED PRIOR TO DEPARTURE FROM HEADQUARTERS? IT WOULD SEEM THAT IN ORDER TO APPLY PRINCIPLES OUTLINED IN 16 COMPTROLLER GENERAL 481, THE TRAVELER WOULD HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF AN ASSIGNMENT BEFORE LEAVING HIS HEADQUARTERS. IN EFFECT NO PRECISE KNOWLEDGE COULD HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE, SINCE NO DEFINITE HEARING WAS SCHEDULED IN PORTLAND PRIOR TO MR. SEITZ'S LEAVING FOR HIS VACATION.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT MR. SEITZ IS OF THE OPINION THAT ALL THE EXPENSES CLAIMED SHOULD BE PAID AND THE INABILITY OF THE UNDERSIGNED TO DEFINITELY PLACE THE TRAVEL WITHIN THE SCOPE OF FORMER DECISIONS OF YOUR OFFICE, YOUR DECISION IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO WHAT BASIS I MAY PROPERLY CERTIFY THE CLAIM.

THE ORIGINAL VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. PETER SEITZ TOGETHER WITH A STATEMENT SIGNED BY THE TRAVELER AND A COPY OF TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WLB 183 ARE SUBMITTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION.

IT APPEARS FROM THE VOUCHER FORWARDED WITH YOUR SUBMISSION THAT RAIL TRANSPORTATION WAS PROCURED ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FROM WESTFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS, TO PORTLAND, OREGON, AND RETURN TO WASHINGTON, D.C. THE EMPLOYEE CLAIMS PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR 6 DAYS AND CERTAIN BUS AND LIMOUSINE (TAXICAB) FARES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRAVEL BETWEEN WESTFIELD AND WASHINGTON, D.C., VIA PORTLAND, OREGON.

IN 16 COMP. GEN. 481, IT WAS HELD, WITH RESPECT TO THE EFFECT OF THE ANNUAL LEAVE ACT OF MARCH 14, 1936, 49 STAT. 1161, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * SUBJECT TO THE RIGHT OF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR 1 ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED TO FIX THE TIME AT WHICH THE LEAVE MAY BE TAKEN, THE TAKING OF THE LEAVE IS AN ABSOLUTE RIGHT OF THE EMPLOYEE; AND THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT OR RESTRICTION IN THE LAW OR IN THE REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT PURSUANT TO THE LAW AS TO THE PLACE AT WHICH THE EMPLOYEE MAY ELECT TO SPEND HIS VACATION. AND WHILE THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR ESTABLISHMENT CONCERNED MAY AT ANY TIME, WHEN THE NEEDS OF THE SERVICE REQUIRE, TERMINATE THE LEAVE AND REQUIRE THE EMPLOYEE TO RETURN TO HIS REGULAR DUTY STATION AT HIS OWN EXPENSE, IF INSTEAD OF HAVING HIS LEAVE SO TERMINATED THE EMPLOYEE IS DIRECTED, WHILE ON LEAVE, TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY AT A PLACE OTHER THAN HIS REGULAR DUTY STATION AND PERMITTED TO RETURN TO THE PLACE WHERE HE WAS ON LEAVE TO RESUME HIS VACATION, HE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF THE AUTHORIZED EXPENSES OF THE TRAVEL INVOLVED BECAUSE SUCH TRAVEL IS MADE NECESSARY BY OFFICIAL BUSINESS RATHER THAN BY LEAVE OF ABSENCE. THE FACT THAT THE PLACE WHERE THE EMPLOYEE WAS ON LEAVE IS FARTHER FROM THE PLACE WHERE THE TEMPORARY DUTY IS REQUIRED THAN IS THE EMPLOYEE'S REGULAR DUTY STATION DOES NOT CHANGE THE STATUS OF THE TRAVEL, BECAUSE THE EMPLOYEE WAS ON LEAVE AND AT THE PLACE WHERE HE WAS AS A MATTER OF LEGAL RIGHT. * * *

THE RULE SO STATED WAS APPLIED, ALSO, TO A RETURN TO WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR TEMPORARY OFFICIAL BUSINESS IN A SITUATION WHERE THE EMPLOYEE WAS PERMITTED TO RESUME HIS LEAVE AT THE PLACE WHERE HIS LEAVE WAS INTERRUPTED. A-86481, JULY 14, 1937.

AS MR. SEITZ WAS ON AUTHORIZED LEAVE OF ABSENCE WHICH WAS INTERRUPTED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY AT PORTLAND AND, ALSO, FOR TEMPORARY RETURN TO HEADQUARTERS, AND HIS LEAVE WAS NOT TERMINATED BUT HE WAS PERMITTED TO RESUME THE LEAVE STATUS AT THE POINT WHERE IT WAS INTERRUPTED, THE ABOVE REFERRED TO DECISIONS ARE FOR APPLICATION RATHER THAN THE DECISION IN 24 COMP. GEN. 443; HENCE, HE IS ENTITLED TO THE PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AND TRAVELING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE REQUIRED TRAVEL.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.