B-60150, NOVEMBER 6, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 301

B-60150: Nov 6, 1946

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THE TRAVEL WAS NOT COMPLETED UNTIL AFTER EXPIRATION OF THE SIX-MONTH PERIOD. IT IS IMMATERIAL THAT TICKETS FOR TRANSPORTATION FROM THE STOPOVER POINT WERE NOT PURCHASED WITHIN SUCH PERIOD. AS FOLLOWS: THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $44.70. INDICATES THAT HE WAS NOT INFORMED OF THE NECESSITY FOR AN EXTENSION OF TIME IF THE TRAVEL OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY WAS NOT PERFORMED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PROVISIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER. WHICH IN EFFECT WAS NOTICE TO THE INDIVIDUAL TRAVELER INASMUCH AS IT INCORPORATED ALL OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER INCIDENT TO TRAVEL OF AN EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY. REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL WAS PAID BY CHECK DRAWN ON VOUCHER NO. 804754 DATED NOVEMBER 27.

B-60150, NOVEMBER 6, 1946, 26 COMP. GEN. 301

TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS--- TIME LIMITATION WHERE THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY OF A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE BEGAN TRAVEL TO THE NEW STATION WITHIN THE SIX-MONTH PERIOD PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 2, PART II, OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9587 WITHIN WHICH THE TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 201 (A) OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1946, MUST BEGIN, THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES MAY BE PAID EVEN THOUGH, DUE TO A STOPOVER EN ROUTE FOR SEVERAL MONTHS BECAUSE OF THE UNAVAILABILITY OF LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE NEW STATION, THE TRAVEL WAS NOT COMPLETED UNTIL AFTER EXPIRATION OF THE SIX-MONTH PERIOD; AND IT IS IMMATERIAL THAT TICKETS FOR TRANSPORTATION FROM THE STOPOVER POINT WERE NOT PURCHASED WITHIN SUCH PERIOD.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO F. W. KELSEY, VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION, NOVEMBER 6, 1946:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 20, 1946, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS TRANSMITTED HEREWITH VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $44.70, IN FAVOR OF NEVILL N. JOYNER, A RATING SPECIALIST OF THIS ADMINISTRATION, WHICH REPRESENTS A CLAIM FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES INVOLVING THE PAYMENT OF RAIL FARE INCURRED IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS WIFE AND SON FROM COLUMBUS, OHIO TO WASHINGTON, D.C. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9587 ( PART II SEC. 2).

INFORMATION FURNISHED BY THE PAYEE IN ATTACHED LETTER DATED JULY 23, 1946, SUBMITTED IN SUPPORT OF HIS CLAIM, INDICATES THAT HE WAS NOT INFORMED OF THE NECESSITY FOR AN EXTENSION OF TIME IF THE TRAVEL OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY WAS NOT PERFORMED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PROVISIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER.

TRAVEL ORDER NO. BCB-2-113, DATED AUGUST 31, 1945, ALSO ATTACHED, AUTHORIZED PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY AS DEFINED IN ALL STATION LETTER OF AUGUST 14, 1945, WHICH IN EFFECT WAS NOTICE TO THE INDIVIDUAL TRAVELER INASMUCH AS IT INCORPORATED ALL OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER INCIDENT TO TRAVEL OF AN EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY.

DR. JOYNER TRANSPORTED HIS FAMILY ON NOVEMBER 3, 1945 BY AUTOMOBILE, AT NO ADDITIONAL EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT, FROM HIS OLD OFFICIAL STATION MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. TO COLUMBUS, OHIO WHERE, DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES AS OUTLINED IN HIS LETTER, THEY REMAINED UNTIL JUNE 4, 1946, BEFORE PROCEEDING TO WASHINGTON, D.C. HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION. REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL WAS PAID BY CHECK DRAWN ON VOUCHER NO. 804754 DATED NOVEMBER 27, 1945, ACCOUNT OF G. F. ALLEN, SYMBOL 100-3225.

THE QUESTION IS RAISED AS TO THE INTENT OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9587 WITH RESPECT TO THE PROVISION CONTAINED IN THAT ORDER THAT "NO PAYMENT SHALL BE AUTHORIZED HEREUNDER IN THE EVENT TRANSPORTATION OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY DOES NOT BEGIN WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER OF THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE.' IF THIS PROVISION CONTEMPLATES THAT THE TRAVEL MUST BEGIN PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE SIX MONTH PERIOD AND CONTINUE WITHOUT BREAK TO THE AUTHORIZED DESTINATION, DR. JOYNER'S EXPLANATION AS TO THE FAILURE OF HIS FAMILY TO COMPLETE THE TRANSFER WITHIN THE SIX MONTH PERIOD IS NOT SUFFICIENT JUSTIFICATION TO ALLOW PAYMENT THE CLAIM.

SINCE TRANSPORTATION OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY TO THE EMPLOYEE'S NEW OFFICIAL STATION, WASHINGTON, D.C., ACTUALLY DID BEGIN WITHIN THE SIX MONTHS PERIOD AS REQUIRED BY THE EXECUTIVE ORDER, THIS CASE IS SUBMITTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION AND ADVICE AS TO WHETHER VOUCHER REPRESENTING THE EXPENSES INCURRED SUBSEQUENT TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE SIX MONTHS PERIOD IN COMPLETION OF THE FAMILY'S TRAVEL MAY PROPERLY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

BY TRAVEL ORDER NO. BCB-2-113, DATED AUGUST 31, 1945, THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION WAS DIRECTED, EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 1945, FROM MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, TO WASHINGTON, .C., THE REPORTING TIME AT HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION TO BE UPON THE COMPLETION OF A TEMPORARY DETAIL, RESTRICTED BY THE TRAVEL ORDER TO A MAXIMUM OF 60 DAYS, AT FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA. THE ORDER ALSO SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY FROM MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, TO WASHINGTON, D.C.; AND THE RECORD SHOWS THAT, WHILE THE TRANSFER BEGAN IN NOVEMBER 1945, IT WAS NOT COMPLETED UNTIL JUNE 1946, WITH THE RAILWAY TICKETS FOR THE TRAVEL FROM COLUMBUS, OHIO (STOPOVER POINT), TO WASHINGTON, D.C., HAVING BEEN PURCHASED ON JUNE 4, 1946, OR, IN OTHER WORDS, MORE THAN SIX MONTHS SUBSEQUENT TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S TRANSFER.

BY WAY OF EXPLANATION FOR THE FAILURE OF HIS FAMILY TO COMPLETE THE TRANSFER WITHIN THE SIX MONTHS' PERIOD, THE EMPLOYEE SUBMITS A WRITTEN STATEMENT, DATED JULY 23, 1946, FROM WHICH IT WOULD APPEAR THAT WHILE BOTH THE COMPLETION OF THE SCHOOL YEAR AT COLUMBUS, OHIO, WHERE HIS 15 YEAR-OLD SON WAS ENROLLED, AND HIS OWN EXTENDED TEMPORARY DUTY AWAY FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., DURING THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 1, 1945, TO MARCH 27, 1946, WERE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS, THE PRIMARY REASON THE TRANSFER OF HIS FAMILY TO HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION WAS NOT COMPLETED UNTIL JUNE 1946 WAS THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF OBTAINING ADEQUATE LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS AT HIS NEW HEADQUARTERS.

SECTION 201 (A) OF THE INDEPENDENT OFFICES APPROPRIATION ACT, 1946, 59 STAT. 106, 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 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.

SECTION 2, PART II, OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9587, DATED JULY 6, 1945, CONTAINING THE REGULATIONS ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENT UNDER THE ABOVE STATUTE, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY OF AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THOSE PROVISIONS OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH RELATE TO TRANSPORTATION. THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL ROUTE BETWEEN THE LAST OFFICIAL STATION AND THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION. PAYMENTS SHALL BE AUTHORIZED HEREUNDER IN THE EVENT TRANSPORTATION OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY DOES NOT BEGIN WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER OF THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE, UNLESS AN EXTENSION OF TIME IS SPECIFICALLY GRANTED BY THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY CONCERNED.

WHILE THE STATUTORY PROVISION DOES NOT SPECIFY A TIME LIMIT WITHIN WHICH THE EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY MUST BEGIN THE TRANSFER TO HIS NEW OFFICIAL STATION, THE PRESIDENT'S REGULATION, SUPRA, BY ITS EXPRESS TERMS, CONFINES THE RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF AN EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY TO THOSE INSTANCES WHERE THE TRANSPORTATION BEGINS "WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER OF THE OFFICER OF EMPLOYEE," UNLESS AN EXTENSION OF TIME BE ,SPECIFICALLY GRANTED BY THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY CONCERNED.' HOWEVER, THE EXECUTIVE ORDER IS SILENT AS TO THE TIME WITHIN WHICH THE TRAVEL MUST BE COMPLETED, AND THERE IS NOTHING CONTAINED THEREIN WHICH EXPRESSLY WOULD PRECLUDE THE GOVERNMENT FROM PAYING SUCH TRANSPORTATION COSTS WHERE THE TRAVEL ACTUALLY BEGINS PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE SPECIFIED TIME LIMIT BUT IS NOT COMPLETED UNTIL SUBSEQUENT TO THE EXPIRATION THEREOF. NOR IS THERE ANY LEGAL BASIS FOR CONSIDERING THE PROVISIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER AS HAVING BEEN VIOLATED WHERE THE FAMILY, ALTHOUGH HAVING BEGUN THE TRAVEL WITHIN THE REQUIRED SIX MONTHS' PERIOD, STOPS EN ROUTE FOR A REASONABLE TIME AND FOR GOOD REASON--- HERE BECAUSE OF THE UNAVAILABILITY, AT THE TIME, OF ADEQUATE LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE EMPLOYEE'S NEW HEADQUARTERS--- BEFORE PROCEEDING TO THE NEW STATION. MOREOVER, IT WOULD APPEAR TO BE IMMATERIAL WHETHER THE EXPENDITURE FOR THE JOURNEY FROM THE STOPOVER POINT TO THE NEW STATION BE MADE BEFORE OR AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF THE ABOVE- MENTIONED TIME LIMIT.

IT IS NOTED THAT WHILE THE EMPLOYEE MAKES CLAIM FOR USE BY HIS FAMILY OF FIRST-CLASS AND PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS, HE HAS FAILED TO FURNISH RECEIPTS IN SUPPORT OF HIS ALLEGATION. HOWEVER, BY WAY OF EXPLANATION, HE STATES ON THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER THAT THE "STUBS FROM TRAIN TICKETS WERE NOT RETAINED.' IN THAT CONNECTION, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF RECEIPTS, OR A STATEMENT FROM AN OFFICIAL OF THE RAILWAY COMPANY CONCERNING THEIR USE OF FIRST-CLASS AND PULLMAN ACCOMMODATIONS BETWEEN COLUMBUS AND WASHINGTON, OR THE FURNISHING OF OTHER ACCEPTABLE SECONDARY EVIDENCE, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY OF LAW TO ALLOW REIMBURSEMENT IN EXCESS OF COACH FARE FOR THE TRAVEL PERFORMED.

IN THE LIGHT OF THE ABOVE, THE VOUCHER MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN AN AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF $24.80, THAT AMOUNT REPRESENTING THE COST OF COACH FARE FOR TWO PERSONS FOR TRAVEL FROM COLUMBUS, OHIO, TO WASHINGTON, D.C. ..END :