B-65146, MAY 13, 1947, 26 COMP. GEN. 862

B-65146: May 13, 1947

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LEAVES OF ABSENCE - TRANSFERS - EFFECTIVE DATE THE COMPENSATION OF AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE TRAVELING AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES ARE AUTHORIZED UNDER SECTION 1 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2. IS FOR PAYMENT BY THE DEPARTMENT IN WHICH CURRENTLY EMPLOYED UP TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER. REGARDLESS OF WHEN NECESSARY TRAVEL TO THE NEW POST OF DUTY IS COMMENCED. IS TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER. IT IS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT IN CASE OF TRANSFER FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER SUCH EXPENSES SHALL BE PAYABLE FROM THE FUNDS OF THE DEPARTMENT TO WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IS TRANSFERRED. NO MENTION IS MADE OF PAYMENT OF SALARY FROM THE TIME THE EMPLOYEE COMMENCES TRAVEL TO THE NEW POST OF DUTY UNTIL THE ENTRANCE ON DUTY AT THE NEW POST.

B-65146, MAY 13, 1947, 26 COMP. GEN. 862

COMPENSATION; LEAVES OF ABSENCE - TRANSFERS - EFFECTIVE DATE THE COMPENSATION OF AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE TRAVELING AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES ARE AUTHORIZED UNDER SECTION 1 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2, 1946, UPON TRANSFER FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER -- WHETHER BY SEPARATION AND REAPPOINTMENT OR BY INFORMAL NOTICE OF TRANSFER- -- IS FOR PAYMENT BY THE DEPARTMENT IN WHICH CURRENTLY EMPLOYED UP TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER, AND ON AND AFTER THAT DATE SUCH SALARY WOULD BE CHARGEABLE TO THE AGENCY TO WHICH TRANSFERRED, REGARDLESS OF WHEN NECESSARY TRAVEL TO THE NEW POST OF DUTY IS COMMENCED; LIKEWISE, MATTERS RESPECTING THE CREDITING OF LEAVE WOULD BE GOVERNED BY THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, MAY 13, 1947:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 3, 1947, AS FOLLOWS:

PUBLIC LAW 600, 79TH CONGRESS, APPROVED AUGUST 2, 1946, PROVIDES THAT, UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE, ANY CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT WHO, IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, IS TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER, INCLUDING TRANSFER FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER, FOR PERMANENT DUTY, SHALL, WHEN SO AUTHORIZED IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRAVEL, BE ALLOWED AND PAID FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF HIMSELF AND THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY. IT IS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT IN CASE OF TRANSFER FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER SUCH EXPENSES SHALL BE PAYABLE FROM THE FUNDS OF THE DEPARTMENT TO WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IS TRANSFERRED. NO MENTION IS MADE OF PAYMENT OF SALARY FROM THE TIME THE EMPLOYEE COMMENCES TRAVEL TO THE NEW POST OF DUTY UNTIL THE ENTRANCE ON DUTY AT THE NEW POST.

IN 5 COMP. GEN. 337; ID. 874, IT WAS HELD THAT WHEN AN EMPLOYEE HAS HIS HEADQUARTERS CHANGED TO A DIFFERENT PLACE AND ACTUALLY REPORTS TO HIS NEW STATION HIS POST OF DUTY CHANGES ON THE DATE OF HS ARRIVAL AT THE NEW HEADQUARTERS. THESE DECISIONS WERE, OF COURSE, RENDERED BEFORE THE ENACTMENT OF PUBLIC LAW 600.

YOUR ADVICE ON THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE INTERDEPARTMENTAL TRANSFER OF A CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WILL BE APPRECIATED:

(1) SHALL THE DEPARTMENT TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS TRANSFERRING BEGIN IN PAYING THE EMPLOYEE'S SALARY

(A) ON THE DATE HE COMMENCES TO TRAVEL FROM HIS OLD HEADQUARTERS TO HIS NEW POST OF DUTY, OR

(B) ON THE DATE OF ARRIVAL AT HIS NEW POST OF DUTY, OR

(C) ON THE DATE ACTUAL SERVICE IS FIRST RENDERED AT HIS NEW POST OF DUTY?

(2) IS THE DEPARTMENT FROM WHICH THE EMPLOYEE TRANSFERS OBLIGED TO PAY HIS SALARY TO THE DATE IT IS PICKED UP BY THE DEPARTMENT TO WHICH HE IS TRANSFERRING?

(3) DOES THE DATE ON WHICH SALARY BEGINS WITH THE DEPARTMENT TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE TRANSFERS BECOME THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIS TRANSFER?

(4) WOULD YOUR ANSWERS TO THE FOREGOING BE DIFFERENT IF THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY PERFORMED SERVICE WHILE TRAVELING?

(5) IF AN EMPLOYEE DESIRED TO TAKE LEAVE ON A STOPOVER WHILE EN ROUTE TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION WOULD IT BE CHARGEABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED?

SECTION 1 OF PUBLIC LAW 600, APPROVED AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 806, 807, REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, READS AS FOLLOWS:

THAT (A) UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE, ANY CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT WHO, IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, IS TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER, INCLUDING TRANSFER FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER, FOR PERMANENT DUTY,SHALL, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED HEREIN, WHEN AUTHORIZED, IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRAVEL, BY SUCH SUBORDINATE OFFICIAL OR OFFICIALS OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED AS THE HEAD THEREOF MAY DESIGNATE FOR THE PURPOSE, BE ALLOWED AND PAID FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF HIMSELF AND THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY (OR A COMMUTATION THEREOF IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 14, 1931) AND THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION, PACKING, CRATING, TEMPORARY STORAGE, DRAYAGE, AND UNPACKING OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS (NOT TO EXCEED SEVEN THOUSAND POUNDS IF UNCRATED OR EIGHT THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY POUNDS IF CRATED OR THE EQUIVALENT THEREOF WHEN TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ARE BASED ON CUBIC MEASUREMENT): PROVIDED, THAT ADVANCES OF FUNDS MAY BE MADE TO THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SAID REGULATIONS UNDER THE SAME SAFEGUARDS AS ARE REQUIRED UNDER THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926 (4 U.S.C. 828): PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE ALLOWANCES HEREIN AUTHORIZED SHALL NOT BE APPLICABLE TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT AND THEIR DEPENDENTS WHEN TRANSFERRED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION E OF THE ACT OF JUNE 5, 1942 (40 U.S.C. 763), NOR TO OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF STATE: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT NO PART OF SUCH EXPENSES (INCLUDING THOSE OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF STATE) SHALL BE ALLOWED OR PAID FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS WHERE THE TRANSFER IS MADE PRIMARILY FOR THE CONVENIENCE OR BENEFIT OF THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OR AT HIS REQUEST: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT IN CASE OF TRANSFER FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER SUCH EXPENSES SHALL BE PAYABLE FROM THE FUNDS OF THE DEPARTMENT TO WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IS TRANSFERRED.

WITH RESPECT TO THAT PORTION OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED STATUTORY PROVISION RELATING TO TRANSFERS BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS, IT WAS STATED IN REPORT NO. 1636, OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON EXPENDITURES IN THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS, ACCOMPANYING H.R. 6533, WHICH BECAME PUBLIC LAW 600, AS FOLLOWS:

(2) TRANSFERS BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS: EXCEPT FOR A TEMPORARY PROVISION WHICH WAS EFFECTIVE IN THE CASE OF WAR-SERVICE TRANSFERS, PRESENT LAW DOES NOT SANCTION THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES IN THE CASE OF A TRANSFER OF STATION WHERE THERE IS INVOLVED ALSO A TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER. RECOGNIZING THAT THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS REPRESENT BUT A SINGLE EMPLOYER, THE BILL PROVIDES FOR THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES EVEN IN CASE OF SUCH A TRANSFER, BUT WITH THE RESTRICTION THAT NO EXPENSES ARE PAYABLE IN ANY CASE WHERE THE TRANSFER IS MADE PRIMARILY FOR THE CONVENIENCE AND BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEE OR AT HIS REQUEST.

FROM THE FOREGOING REPORT, IT REASONABLY APPEARS THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE STATUTORY PROVISION MERELY WAS TO AUTHORIZE, GENERALLY, THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION COSTS INCIDENT TO TRANSFERS OF EMPLOYEES BETWEEN THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE--- AUTHORITY FOR WHICH THERETOFORE HAD BEEN LIMITED TO WAR-SERVICE TRANSFERS. SUCH PROVISION MAKES NO REFERENCE TO THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYEES SO TRANSFERRED, AND NEITHER HAS THERE BEEN FOUND ANYTHING IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY THEREOF WHICH DISCLOSES AN INTENT TO MODIFY THE USUAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE FOLLOWED IN MATTERS OF TRANSFER BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS OR TO VARY THE RULES GOVERNING THE PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION IN SUCH MATTERS.

ANSWERS TO THE SEVERAL QUESTIONS PRESENTED DEPEND ENTIRELY UPON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT, ORDINARILY, A TRANSFER BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS OR AGENCIES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS ACCOMPLISHED BY A SEPARATION OF THE EMPLOYEE FROM THE AGENCY FROM WHICH TRANSFERRED AT THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS OF THE DAY IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HIS APPOINTMENT IN THE AGENCY TO WHICH TRANSFERRED. UNDER SUCH PROCEDURE, THE EXTENT OF THE OBLIGATIONS OF THE RESPECTIVE DEPARTMENTS AS TO THE PAYMENT OF THE EMPLOYEE'S SALARY IS FIXED BY THE DATES STATED IN THE INSTRUMENTS BY WHICH THE SEPARATION AND APPOINTMENT ARE EFFECTED. ALSO, WHILE IT MAY BE THAT IN CERTAIN INSTANCES, A TRANSFER BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS OR AGENCIES IS ACCOMPLISHED IN A LESS FORMAL MANNER BY THE ISSUANCE OF A NOTICE OF THE TRANSFER TO THE EMPLOYEE CONCERNED, IN SUCH CASES, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF TRANSFER NECESSARILY IS FOR STATING IN THE NOTICE OF TRANSFER. AND, WHEN SO STATED, THE OBLIGATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENTS OR AGENCIES INVOLVED RESPECTING THE PAYMENT OF THE EMPLOYEE'S SALARY WOULD BE GOVERNED ACCORDINGLY. HENCE, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT UP TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S TRANSFER TO ANOTHER DEPARTMENT--- WHETHER BY SEPARATION AND REAPPOINTMENT OR BY INFORMAL NOTICE OF TRANSFER- -- HIS SALARY WOULD BE FOR PAYMENT BY THE DEPARTMENT IN WHICH HE CURRENTLY IS EMPLOYED, WHEREAS, ON AND AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF TRANSFER SUCH SALARY PROPERLY WOULD BE CHARGEABLE TO THE AGENCY TO WHICH TRANSFERRED--- REGARDLESS OF THE TIME OF COMMENCEMENT OF THE NECESSARY TRAVEL TO THE NEW POST OF DUTY. MATTERS RESPECTING THE CREDITING OR CHARGING OF LEAVE LIKEWISE WOULD BE GOVERNED BY THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER.