B-53936, DECEMBER 12, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 444

B-53936: Dec 12, 1945

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THE MEMBERS OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY OF AN EMPLOYEE HAVE PRECEDED HIM TO THE NEW STATION PRIOR TO HIS ACTUAL TRANSFER THERETO IN ORDER TO MAKE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS FOR HOUSING. 945: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 9. AS FOLLOWS: WE ARE NOW FACED WITH A NUMBER OF QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE AUTHORITY OF THE COMMISSION UNDER SECTION 201 (A) OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1946 AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9587. TO PAY THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF MEMBERS OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILIES OF COMMISSION EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE HAD A TRANSFER OF HEADQUARTERS. ALL OF WHICH HAVE TAKEN PLACE SINCE JULY 1. HAVE BEEN IN THE INTEREST OF THE COMMISSION AND NOT FOR THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OF THE EMPLOYEES INVOLVED.

B-53936, DECEMBER 12, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 444

TRANSPORTATION - DEPENDENTS - TRANSFERRED CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - TRAVEL IN ADVANCE OF ACTUAL TRANSFER EVEN THOUGH, IN ANTICIPATION OF A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, THE MEMBERS OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY OF AN EMPLOYEE HAVE PRECEDED HIM TO THE NEW STATION PRIOR TO HIS ACTUAL TRANSFER THERETO IN ORDER TO MAKE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS FOR HOUSING, SCHOOLING, ETC., THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE MAY INCLUDE THE AUTHORIZATION, PURSUANT TO SECTION 201 (A) OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1946, FOR THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF THE MEMBERS OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, DECEMBER 12, 945:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 9, 1945, AS FOLLOWS:

WE ARE NOW FACED WITH A NUMBER OF QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE AUTHORITY OF THE COMMISSION UNDER SECTION 201 (A) OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1946 AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9587, DATED JULY 6, 1945, TO PAY THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF MEMBERS OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILIES OF COMMISSION EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE HAD A TRANSFER OF HEADQUARTERS. THE TRANSFERS IN QUESTION, ALL OF WHICH HAVE TAKEN PLACE SINCE JULY 1, 1945, HAVE BEEN IN THE INTEREST OF THE COMMISSION AND NOT FOR THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OF THE EMPLOYEES INVOLVED. THE QUESTIONS WHICH HAVE ARISEN MAY BE SUMMARIZED AS FOLLOWS:

(1) IN A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WHICH WAS ISSUED TO A COMMISSION EMPLOYEE FOR TRAVEL TO THE EMPLOYEE'S NEW HEADQUARTERS, PROVISION FOR TRAVEL BY THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WAS INADVERTENTLY OMITTED ALTHOUGH IT WAS INTENDED THAT THE AUTHORIZATION PROVIDE FOR SUCH TRAVEL. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES IT WOULD HARDLY APPEAR JUST TO HOLD THAT THE EMPLOYEE BEAR THE COST OF TRANSPORTING HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY TO THE NEW DUTY STATION. HOWEVER, I AM UNCERTAIN AS TO THE PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED IN THIS SITUATION. YOUR OPINION IS REQUESTED WHETHER IF THE TRAVEL OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY HAS NOT ALREADY TAKEN PLACE A CORRECTED TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION MAY BE ISSUED. IF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY HAS ALREADY TRAVELED AT THE EMPLOYEE'S EXPENSE, IS THERE SOME METHOD UNDER WHICH THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR SUCH EXPENSES?

(2) AN EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN OFFICIALLY INFORMED THAT IN THE NEAR FUTURE HE WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO A NEW DUTY STATION, BUT BECAUSE OF UNCERTAINTY CONCERNING THE ACTUAL DATE OF TRANSFER A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION HAS NOT YET BEEN ISSUED. IN ORDER TO MAKE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS FOR SUCH MATTERS AS HOUSING FOR THE FAMILY AND SCHOOLING FOR THE CHILDREN, THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY OF THE EMPLOYEE HAS PRECEDED HIM TO THE NEW DUTY STATION. WE ARE NOW ABOUT TO ISSUE A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION IN THE CASE AND QUESTION HAS ARISEN WHETHER UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION MAY COVER THE EXPENSE OF TRANSPORTATION OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY. IN THAT CONNECTION IT IS NOTED THAT THE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9587 REFERRED TO ABOVE MERELY REQUIRE THE TRAVEL OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY BEGIN WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER OR SUCH LONGER PERIOD AS MAY BE SPECIFICALLY GRANTED BY THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY. ACCORDINGLY, THERE WOULD APPEAR TO BE NO PROHIBITION OF TRAVEL BY THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY PRIOR TO ISSUANCE OF THE OFFICIAL TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION. HOWEVER, YOUR CONSIDERATION OF THIS POINT IS REQUESTED.

SECTION 201 (A) OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT FOR 1946, APPROVED MAY 3, 1945, PUBLIC LAW 49, 59 STAT. 131, PROVIDES;

APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1946 AVAILABLE FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND INDEPENDENT ESTABLISHMENTS SHALL BE AVAILABLE ALSO FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL PERFORMED BY THEM INCLUDING EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT, ON TRANSFER FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY 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. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THIS STATUTE REQUIRES THAT THE AUTHORIZATION FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILIES OF EMPLOYEES UPON TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION BE "IN THE ORDER DIRECTING SUCH TRANSFER.' HENCE, IF THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED, THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE FAMILY AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE MAY NOT BE AUTHORIZED SUBSEQUENTLY. PRIOR TO THE DEPARTURE OF THE EMPLOYEE FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION PURSUANT TO AN OFFICIAL TRANSFER ORDER, SUCH TRANSFER ORDER PROPERLY MAY BE AMENDED TO INCLUDE AUTHORITY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS FAMILY.

AS INDICATED IN YOUR SUBMISSION, EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9587 REQUIRES THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE FAMILY TO TAKE PLACE NOT LATER THAN SIX MONTHS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S TRANSFER UNLESS AN EXTENSION IS GRANTED WITHIN THE SIX MONTHS' PERIOD, BUT SAID EXECUTIVE ORDER MAKES NO REFERENCE TO CASES IN WHICH THE FAMILY MIGHT HAVE PERFORMED THE TRAVEL IN ADVANCE OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE TRANSFER ORDERS. HOWEVER, WHERE THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE FAMILY OF AN EMPLOYEE IS AUTHORIZED BY LAW IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE EMPLOYEE, THIS OFFICE GENERALLY HAS OFFERED NO OBJECTION TO THE FAMILY PRECEDING THE ACTUAL TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE IF THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE FAMILY AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS OTHERWISE LAWFUL AND PROPERLY AUTHORIZED. ACCORDINGLY, IN THE CASE REFERRED TO IN YOUR SECOND QUESTION, THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT OBJECT TO THE INCLUSION IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE OF AUTHORIZATION FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.