B-68414, AUGUST 15, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 97

B-68414: Aug 15, 1947

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TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - PRIOR TO CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 TO PAYMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN CONNECTION WITH A CHANGE OF STATION EVEN THOUGH SUCH EFFECTS WERE TRANSPORTED PRIOR TO. 1947: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 25. THE AMOUNT OF THE CLAIM IS BASED ON PUBLIC LAW 600. KENTUCKY WAS ADVISED BY HIS SUPERIOR OFFICER ON OR ABOUT AUGUST 20. 1946 THAT IT WAS THE ADMINISTRATIVE INTENT TO TRANSFER HIM TO BALLARD COUNTY. KENTUCKY JUST AS SOON AS THE DETAILS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE WORK UNIT WERE WORKED OUT. CONSEQUENTLY AS A RESULT OF HAVING TO VACATE THE HOUSE HE WAS OCCUPYING AT DAWSON SPRINGS.

B-68414, AUGUST 15, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 97

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - PRIOR TO CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED UNDER EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 TO PAYMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN CONNECTION WITH A CHANGE OF STATION EVEN THOUGH SUCH EFFECTS WERE TRANSPORTED PRIOR TO, BUT IN ANTICIPATION OF, CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS, WHICH ORDERS CONTAINED THE NECESSARY SPECIFIC AUTHORIZATION FOR THE TRANSPORTATION.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO W. R. FRANCE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AUGUST 15, 1947:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 25, 1947, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ATTACHED VOUCHER NO. 26614 IN THE AMOUNT OF $120.12 HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO ME FOR CERTIFICATION. THE VOUCHER REPRESENTS A CLAIM OF ROBERT G. TRAVIS, BARLOW, KENTUCKY FOR EXPENSE INCIDENT TO THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE FROM DAWSON SPRINGS, KENTUCKY TO BARLOW, KENTUCKY. THE AMOUNT OF THE CLAIM IS BASED ON PUBLIC LAW 600, EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, REGULATIONS GOVERNING PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES WHEN TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY.

MR. TRAVIS, SOIL CONSERVATIONIST, WITH HEADQUARTERS AT DAWSON SPRINGS, KENTUCKY WAS ADVISED BY HIS SUPERIOR OFFICER ON OR ABOUT AUGUST 20, 1946 THAT IT WAS THE ADMINISTRATIVE INTENT TO TRANSFER HIM TO BALLARD COUNTY, KENTUCKY JUST AS SOON AS THE DETAILS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE WORK UNIT WERE WORKED OUT. SUBSEQUENT CORRESPONDENCE AND CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN MR. TRAVIS AND HIS SUPERIOR OFFICERS FAILED TO FIX A DATE WHEN THE TRANSFER WOULD BE APPROVED. CONSEQUENTLY AS A RESULT OF HAVING TO VACATE THE HOUSE HE WAS OCCUPYING AT DAWSON SPRINGS, KENTUCKY, THE EMPLOYEE MOVED HIS FURNITURE FROM DAWSON SPRINGS, KENTUCKY TO BARLOW, KENTUCKY ON FEBRUARY 1, 1947 AT HIS OWN EXPENSE WHERE IT WAS PLACED IN STORAGE. THE OFFICIAL ORDER NO. 2-488-47 AUTHORIZING THE CHANGE OF STATION AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM DAWSON SPRINGS, KENTUCKY TO WICKLIFFE, KENTUCKY WAS NOT ISSUED UNTIL MARCH 5, 1947. WHILE THE TRANSFER ORDER NAMES THE EMPLOYEE'S NEW HEADQUARTERS AS WICKLIFFE, KENTUCKY THE FURNITURE WAS ACTUALLY MOVED TO AND CLAIM MADE FOR TRANSPORTATION CHARGES TO BARLOW, THE MILEAGE ACCORDING TO HOUSEHOLD GOODS CARRIER'S BUREAU MILEAGE GUIDE NO. 4 BEING LESS THAN TO WICKLIFFE, KENTUCKY.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, TITLE 1, SECTION 2 PROVIDES THAT TRAVEL EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES SHALL BE ALLOWED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926 AS AMENDED AND THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. SECTION 3 STATES TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THOSE PROVISIONS OF STANDARDIZED TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH RELATE TO TRANSPORTATION. SECTION 4 STATES TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES SHALL BE PAID WHEN AUTHORIZED IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRAVEL. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RELATIONS, SECTION 3435 (3) CONDITIONS THE PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION CHARGES OF HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE IN CONNECTION WITH THE CHANGE IN OFFICIAL STATION ON THE EMPLOYEE'S AUTHORIZATION BEING ISSUED IN ADVANCE.

IN 25 C.G. 444 YOU INDICATED PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF A FAMILY WHICH HAD TRAVELED IN ADVANCE OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE TRANSFER ORDER COULD PROPERLY BE ALLOWED. THAT DECISION WAS RENDERED UNDER THE PROVISION OF 59 STAT. 131 AND EXECUTIVE ORDER 9587. IN THE PRESENT CASE MR. TRAVIS HAS INCURRED EXPENSES UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 600, 79TH CONGRESS AND EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805. THE CONDITIONS, HOWEVER, ARE VERY SIMILAR, THE WORDING "IN THE ORDER DIRECTING SUCH TRANSFER" IN THE EARLIER STATUTE APPLICABLE TO TRANSPORTATION OF FAMILIES BEING NOW REPLACED BY THE WORDS "IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRAVEL" IN THE LATTER STATUTE APPLICABLE TO ALL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO TRANSFERS OF OFFICIAL STATIONS. IN EACH CASE A TRANSFER ORDER OR TRAVEL ORDER WAS ISSUED PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE EMPLOYEE'S TRANSFER. WHILE IT APPEARS THAT PAYMENT TO MR. TRAVIS WOULD BE PROPER I CAN FIND NO DECISION BY YOU RENDERED UNDER THE NEW STATUTE AND EXECUTIVE ORDER WHICH SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZES PAYMENT IN SUCH A CASE. THEREFORE, PLEASE ADVISE ME IF I MAY LEGALLY CERTIFY THIS VOUCHER FOR PAYMENT.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, PROMULGATING REGULATIONS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF EMPLOYEES, THEIR FAMILIES, AND EFFECTS UPON TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION, PROVIDES IN SECTIONS 4 AND 5 THEREOF:

SEC. 4. PAYMENT OF EXPENSES.--- THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES ALLOWABLE UNDER THESE REGULATIONS, WHEN AUTHORIZED, IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRAVEL, BY SUCH SUBORDINATE OFFICIAL AS THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED MAY DESIGNATE, SHALL BE PAID IN CASE OF TRANSFER FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER, INCLUDING TRANSFER FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER, FOR PERMANENT DUTY, BUT IN NO CASE IN WHICH THE TRANSFER IS MADE PRIMARILY FOR THE CONVENIENCE OR BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEE OR AT HIS REQUEST. IN CASE OF TRANSFER FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER SUCH EXPENSES SHALL BE PAID FROM THE FUNDS OF THE DEPARTMENT TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS TRANSFERRED.

SEC. 5. TIME LIMIT.--- ALL TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWABLE UNDER THESE REGULATIONS SHALL BEGIN WITHIN TWO YEARS FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE, EXCEPT THAT FOR EMPLOYEES WHO ENTER UPON ACTIVE MILITARY, NAVAL, OR COAST GUARD DUTY AT ANY TIME PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF SUCH PERIOD AND ARE FURLOUGHED FOR THE DURATION OF SUCH DUTY, THE TWO-YEAR PERIOD SHALL BE EXCLUSIVE OF THE TIME SPENT ON SUCH FURLOUGH; AND FOR EMPLOYEES TRANSFERRED TO POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES THE TWO-YEAR PERIOD SHALL BE EXCLUSIVE OF ANY TIME DURING WHICH SHIPPING RESTRICTIONS SHALL ENDEAVOR TO COMPLETE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION AT THE EARLIEST PRACTICABLE DATES.

IN 25 COMP. GEN. 444, THE DECISION REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER, THERE WAS CONSTRUED SIMILAR LANGUAGE APPEARING IN ANOTHER STATUTE, AND IT WAS THEREIN STATED, AT PAGE 445:

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.

IN VIEW OF THE SIMILARITY OF THE LANGUAGE IN EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805 WITH THE LANGUAGE CONSIDERED IN THE ABOVE DECISION, IT MAY BE CONCLUDED THAT REIMBURSEMENT TO THE EMPLOYEE MAY BE MADE IN THE CASE SUBMITTED BY YOU, NOTWITHSTANDING THAT THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRANSFER, WHICH ORDER CONTAINED SPECIFIC AUTHORIZATION FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS.

SECTION 3435 (3) OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE REGULATIONS, REFERRED TO BY YOU, REQUIRES THAT THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS "BE AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE, IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRANSFER," WHICH IS UNDERSTOOD TO MEAN IN ADVANCE OF THE TRANSFER OF THE EMPLOYEE AND NOT NECESSARILY IN ADVANCE OF THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS.

THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN THE ABSENCE OF OTHER OBJECTIONS.