B-56448, MAY 2, 1946, 25 COMP. GEN. 743

B-56448: May 2, 1946

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WAS TRANSFERRED FROM HIS OLD STATION TO A NEW STATION WITH TEMPORARY DUTY AT AN INTERMEDIATE POINT WHERE HIS FAMILY HAD ESTABLISHED A RESIDENCE WHILE HE WAS IN MILITARY SERVICE MAY BE PAID TRAVELING EXPENSES FROM SUCH INTERMEDIATE POINT TO THE NEW STATION NOT TO EXCEED THE COST FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION. " AN EMPLOYEE IS NOT ENTITLED. WHERE HIS EFFECTS WERE STORED WHILE HE WAS IN THE MILITARY SERVICE. THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO SHIPMENT FROM ANY PLACE AT WHICH HIS FAMILY RESIDED. WHILE HE WAS IN THE MILITARY SERVICE. INCLUDES ANY PRIOR RESIDENCE OF THE EMPLOYEE AND IS NOT NECESSARILY CONFINED TO THE RESIDENCE IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO SEPARATION FROM HIS LAST DUTY STATION. AS FOLLOWS: FREQUENTLY EMPLOYEES RETURNING FROM MILITARY SERVICE ARE ASSIGNED TO DUTY AT POINTS OTHER THAN THE OFFICIAL STATION AT THE TIME OF INDUCTION.

B-56448, MAY 2, 1946, 25 COMP. GEN. 743

TRAVELING EXPENSES; TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - RETURN TO CIVILIAN POSITION AFTER MILITARY DUTY AN EMPLOYEE WHO, UPON HIS RETURN FROM MILITARY SERVICE, WAS TRANSFERRED FROM HIS OLD STATION TO A NEW STATION WITH TEMPORARY DUTY AT AN INTERMEDIATE POINT WHERE HIS FAMILY HAD ESTABLISHED A RESIDENCE WHILE HE WAS IN MILITARY SERVICE MAY BE PAID TRAVELING EXPENSES FROM SUCH INTERMEDIATE POINT TO THE NEW STATION NOT TO EXCEED THE COST FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION. UNDER SECTION II OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588, AS AMENDED, AUTHORIZING SHIPMENT OF AN EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO A NEW PERMANENT STATION FROM HIS "LAST OFFICIAL STATION OR FROM SOME PREVIOUS PLACE OF RESIDENCE," AN EMPLOYEE IS NOT ENTITLED, UPON RESTORATION AFTER MILITARY SERVICE, TO SHIPMENT TO A NEW DUTY STATION FROM A PLACE, OTHER THAN A PLACE OF RESIDENCE, WHERE HIS EFFECTS WERE STORED WHILE HE WAS IN THE MILITARY SERVICE; HOWEVER, THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO SHIPMENT FROM ANY PLACE AT WHICH HIS FAMILY RESIDED, EITHER PART OR ALL OF THE TIME, WHILE HE WAS IN THE MILITARY SERVICE, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION. THE PHRASE "SOME PREVIOUS PLACE OF RESIDENCE," AS USED IN SECTION 11 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 8588, AS AMENDED, FROM WHICH AN EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS MAY BE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, INCLUDES ANY PRIOR RESIDENCE OF THE EMPLOYEE AND IS NOT NECESSARILY CONFINED TO THE RESIDENCE IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO SEPARATION FROM HIS LAST DUTY STATION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, MAY 2, 1946:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 8, 1946, AS FOLLOWS:

FREQUENTLY EMPLOYEES RETURNING FROM MILITARY SERVICE ARE ASSIGNED TO DUTY AT POINTS OTHER THAN THE OFFICIAL STATION AT THE TIME OF INDUCTION. SOME OF THESE CASES QUESTIONS HAVE ARISEN AS TO PAYMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL UPON WHICH YOUR DECISION IS DESIRED.

1. A SPECIFIC CASE, REPRESENTATIVE OF OTHERS, IS THAT OF AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE OFFICIAL STATION AT TIME OF INDUCTION WAS ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA. FOLLOWING HIS INDUCTION THE FAMILY MOVED, AND TRANSPORTED THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS, FROM ASHEVILLE TO SWARTHMORE, NEAR PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA. UPON RETURN TO DUTY IT WAS DECIDED TO ASSIGN THE EMPLOYEE TO HEADQUARTERS AT COLUMBUS, OHIO. BEFORE MOVING TO THE NEW HEADQUARTERS HE WAS REQUESTED TO SPEND A FEW DAYS IN THE OFFICE AT PHILADELPHIA TO BECOME FAMILIAR WITH THE CHANGES THAT HAD OCCURRED DURING HIS ABSENCE.

IT IS PROBABLE THAT THE COST OF THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL FROM SWARTHMORE TO COLUMBUS WILL NOT EXCEED THE COST FROM SWARTHMORE TO ASHEVILLE, THE OLD STATION. UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES MAY THE EMPLOYEE BE PAID (A) ALL OF THE TRAVEL COST FROM SWARTHMORE TO COLUMBUS, OR (B) SO MUCH AS IT WOULD COST FROM ASHEVILLE TO COLUMBUS? SHOULD THE ANSWER TO BOTH (A) AND (B) BE NEGATIVE IT IS ASSUMED THAT, IF THE COST FROM SWARTHMORE TO COLUMBUS EXCEEDS THE COST FROM SWARTHMORE TO ASHEVILLE, HE COULD BE PAID THE AMOUNT OF SUCH EXCESS IF NOT GREATER THAN THE COST FROM ASHEVILLE TO COLUMBIA.

2. IF QUESTION 1 IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE AND THE EMPLOYEE TRAVELS WITH HIS FAMILY BY AUTOMOBILE FROM SWARTHMORE TO COLUMBUS, WILL THE REIMBURSEMENT BE LIMITED TO ACTUAL EXPENSE OF OPERATION AS FOR THE FAMILY ALONE (A) NOT IN EXCESS OF SIMILAR COST FROM ASHEVILLE TO COLUMBUS OR (B) NOT IN EXCESS OF COMMON CARRIER COST FROM ASHEVILLE TO COLUMBUS?

3. MAY THE GOVERNMENT BEAR SO MUCH OF THE COST OF TRANSFERRING THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM SWARTHMORE TO COLUMBUS AS IT WOULD HAVE COST FROM ASHEVILLE TO COLUMBUS?

4. IN THE ABOVE ILLUSTRATION THE EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY MAINTAINED ITS RESIDENCE AT SWARTHMORE DURING THE EMPLOYEE'S PERIOD OF MILITARY SERVICE. WOULD THE ANSWERS BE DIFFERENT IF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS HAD BEEN STORED IN SWARTHMORE BUT THAT HAD NOT BEEN THE FAMILY'S RESIDENCE DURING THE EMPLOYEE'S ABSENCE OR AT ANY PREVIOUS TIME. AS AN ILLUSTRATION, IN ONE INSTANCE THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE SHIPPED TO THE HOME OF HIS FATHER-IN-LAW ABOUT 350 MILES FROM THE OLD STATION WHERE HIS FAMILY EXPECTED TO RESIDE PART OF THE TIME. UPON RETURN TO DUTY HE WAS ASSIGNED TO A NEW OFFICIAL STATION 143 MILES FROM HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION AND 294 MILES FROM THE LOCATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS. MAY HE BE ALLOWED TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM THE PLACE OF STORAGE TO THE NEW STATION AT A COST NO GREATER THAN WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY FROM THE OLD STATION TO THE NEW (A) IF THE FAMILY DID NOT RESIDE AT THE PLACE TO WHICH THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE TRANSPORTED FOLLOWING THE EMPLOYEE'S INDUCTION, OR (B) RESIDED THERE PART OF THE TIME AND ELSEWHERE THE REMAINDER?

5. GENERALLY, DOES THE LANGUAGE "SOME PREVIOUS PLACE OF RESIDENCE" INSECTION 11 OF THE REGULATIONS ( EXECUTIVE ORDER 8588) MEAN ONLY A PLACE AT WHICH THE EMPLOYEE (OR HIS FAMILY) MAINTAINED A RESIDENCE PREVIOUS TO THE EMPLOYEE'S ASSIGNMENT TO THE OLD OFFICIAL STATION FROM WHICH TRANSFER IS BEING MADE OR DOES IT INCLUDE ALSO ANY RESIDENCE PREVIOUS TO THE CURRENT TRANSFER OF STATION?

IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT REIMBURSEMENT TO THE INVOLVED EMPLOYEE IS CONTEMPLATED UPON A MILEAGE BASIS FOR THE USE OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AND THE SEVERAL QUESTIONS, WHICH WILL BE CONSIDERED IN THE ORDER PRESENTED, ARE ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.

QUESTION 1

IN 22 COMP. GEN. 825, IT WAS HELD (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):)

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.

IN THE INSTANT CASE, WHILE IT IS NOT STATED THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S POSITION HAD BEEN FILLED DURING HIS ABSENCE ON MILITARY FURLOUGH, NEVERTHELESS EVEN THOUGH THERE BE NO VACANCY OR POSITION FOR HIM AT THE FORMER STATION (SEE B-51771, DATED SEPTEMBER 26, 1945, 25 COMP. GEN. 293), UNDER THE STATED RULE FOR THE PURPOSE OF AUTHORIZING HIS TRANSFER TO COLUMBUS, OHIO, HIS NEW DUTY STATION, WITH RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO SUCH TRANSFER, IT WAS WITHIN ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION TO RESTORE THE RETURNED EMPLOYEE AT ASHVILLE HIS OLD STATION, AND NO REASON IS PERCEIVED WHY, WHERE--- AS APPEARS IN THIS CASE--- THE RETURNED EMPLOYEE IS RESTORED TO DUTY AT THAT PLACE BUT GIVEN A TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT AT AN INTERMEDIATE POINT, THE SAID RULE WOULD NOT APPLY. HENCE, IF THE COST THEREOF DOES NOT EXCEED THAT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED TRAVEL BEEN FROM ASHEVILLE TO COLUMBUS, THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES FROM SWARTHMORE, PENNSYLVANIA, TO COLUMBUS, IF SUCH EXPENSES BE OTHERWISE PROPER. ACCORDINGLY, QUESTION 1 (B) IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE. FOR SIMILAR REASON, IF EXPENDITURES IN EXCESS OF THE COST OF TRAVEL FROM THE FORMER TO THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION ARE INVOLVED, QUESTION 1 (A) IS FOR ANSWERING IN THE NEGATIVE.

QUESTION 2

IF THE TRAVEL ORDERS TO THE EMPLOYEE, AUTHORIZING A STATED MILEAGE RATE FOR THE USE OF HIS PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE, CONTAIN AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT SUCH MODE OF TRAVEL HAS BEEN DETERMINED TO BE MORE ECONOMICAL AND ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE GOVERNMENT, NO REDUCTION IN THE AUTHORIZED MILEAGE WOULD BE REQUIRED BY REASON OF THE FACT THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY TRAVELED IN THE SAME VEHICLE (SEE 21 COMP. GEN. 713); AND, OF COURSE, IF SUCH DETERMINATION OF ECONOMY AND ADVANTAGES WERE NOT MADE IN ADVANCE OF THE TRAVEL, THE FACT THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY ACCOMPANIED HIM--- UPON PROPER AUTHORIZATION OF THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY--- WOULD BE A FACTOR PROPERLY FOR CONSIDERATION IN THE MAKING OF SUCH A DETERMINATION.

QUESTION 3

SECTION 11 OF THE PRESIDENT'S REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THE ACT OF OCTOBER 10, 1940, 54 STAT. 1105, EXECUTIVE ORDER 8588, AS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER 9122 OF APRIL 6, 1942, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 11. SHIPMENT FROM POINTS OTHER THAN OFFICIAL STATION. THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED HEREUNDER SHALL BE ALLOWABLE WHETHER THE SHIPMENT ORIGINATES FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S LAST OFFICIAL STATION OR FROM SOME PREVIOUS PLACE OF RESIDENCE, OR PARTIALLY FROM BOTH: PROVIDED, THAT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED THE COST OF SHIPMENT IN ONE LOT BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL ROUTE FROM THE LAST OFFICIAL STATION TO THE NEW. * * *

IN DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 22, 1943, B-35363, IT WAS HELD THAT:

THE PHRASE--- "SOME PREVIOUS PLACE OF RESIDENCE," AS USED IN THE ABOVE- QUOTED REGULATION WAS INTENDED TO INCLUDE ANY PLACE OF RESIDENCE OF THE EMPLOYEE PRIOR TO THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION TO WHICH HE IS BEING TRANSFERRED AND IS NOT NECESSARILY CONFINED TO THE PLACE OF RESIDENCE OCCUPIED IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO SEPARATION FROM HIS LAST DUTY STATION.

IT FOLLOWS THAT UNDER THE PLAIN TERMS OF THE REGULATION THE EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO HAVE HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS SHIPPED FROM SWARTHMORE, PENNSYLVANIA, TO COLUMBUS, OHIO, AS INCIDENT TO HIS PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM ASHEVILLE, N.C., TO COLUMBUS--- THE COST THEREOF NOT TO EXCEED THAT WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INVOLVED HAD THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS BEEN SHIPPED FROM ASHEVILLE, HIS FORMER OFFICIAL STATION, TO COLUMBIA, HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION. SEE 19 COMP. GEN. 476; 20 ID. 479; ID. 568; 22 ID. 725.

QUESTION 4

WITH RESPECT TO THE POINTS BETWEEN WHICH TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE AUTHORIZED, IT WILL BE OBSERVED THAT WHILE SECTION 11 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9122, SUPRA, DOES NOT PLACE ANY LIMITATION OR RESTRICTION UPON TRANSPORTATION COSTS EXCEPT THAT IT "SHALL NOT EXCEED THE COST OF SHIPMENT IN ONE LOT BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL ROUTE FROM THE LAST OFFICIAL STATION TO THE NEW," IT IS SPECIFICALLY STIPULATED THAT THE INVOLVED SHIPMENTS ORIGINATE "FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S LAST OFFICIAL STATION OR FROM SOME PREVIOUS PLACE OF RESIDENCE, OR PARTIALLY FROM BOTH.' (ITALICS SUPPLIED.) IT NECESSARILY FOLLOWS THAT YOUR QUESTION 4 (A) IS FOR ANSWERING IN THE NEGATIVE AND QUESTION 4 (B) IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

QUESTION 5

ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION MAY BE FOUND IN DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 22, 1943, B -35363, THE PERTINENT PART OF WHICH IS QUOTED IN THE ANSWER TO QUESTION 3, SUPRA. ..END :