B-69194, OCTOBER 27, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 253

B-69194: Oct 27, 1947

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IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE ADMINISTRATIVELY TO DETERMINE THE NEW PERMANENT STATIONS OF NAVY OFFICERS AT THE TIME OF DETACHMENT FROM OLD PERMANENT STATIONS. OFFICERS WHO HAD BEEN SO DETACHED PURSUANT TO ORDERS WHICH ALLOWED PER DIEM INCIDENT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY PENDING FURTHER ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY WERE ENTITLED UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942. TO SUCH PER DIEM PAYMENTS IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE INDICATING THAT THE INTERIM ASSIGNMENT WAS OTHER THAN TEMPORARY IN NATURE. SPECIFIC REFERENCE IS MADE TO EXCEPTION TAKEN TO THE PER DIEM PAYMENT MADE TO CAPTAIN CLARENCE E. THOSE ORDERS ARE AS FOLLOWS: SUBJECT: CHANGE OF DUTY. UPON RECEIPT OF THESE ORDERS YOU WILL CONSIDER YOURSELF DETACHED FROM YOUR PRESENT DUTY AS ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF FOR ADMINISTRATION AND FROM SUCH OTHER DUTIES AS MAY HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED YOU.

B-69194, OCTOBER 27, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 253

SUBSISTENCE - PER DIEMS - NAVY OFFICERS DETACHED FROM PERMANENT STATIONS AND ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY PENDING FURTHER ASSIGNMENT IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT, DUE TO THE EXIGENCIES OF THE SERVICE, IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE ADMINISTRATIVELY TO DETERMINE THE NEW PERMANENT STATIONS OF NAVY OFFICERS AT THE TIME OF DETACHMENT FROM OLD PERMANENT STATIONS, OFFICERS WHO HAD BEEN SO DETACHED PURSUANT TO ORDERS WHICH ALLOWED PER DIEM INCIDENT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY PENDING FURTHER ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY WERE ENTITLED UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, AS AMENDED, TO SUCH PER DIEM PAYMENTS IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE INDICATING THAT THE INTERIM ASSIGNMENT WAS OTHER THAN TEMPORARY IN NATURE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, OCTOBER 27, 1947:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 26, 1947, WITH ENCLOSED LETTER FROM THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, AUDIT DIVISION OF THIS OFFICE TO PER DIEM PAYMENTS MADE TO OFFICERS OF THE NAVY AND THE MARINE CORPS FOR TEMPORARY DUTY PERFORMED UNDER ORDERS DETACHING THE OFFICER FROM ALL DUTIES AT THE OLD PERMANENT STATION AND DIRECTING THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY AT ANOTHER POINT PENDING A FURTHER ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY.

SPECIFIC REFERENCE IS MADE TO EXCEPTION TAKEN TO THE PER DIEM PAYMENT MADE TO CAPTAIN CLARENCE E. ALDRICH, USN, COVERING THE PERIOD JULY 17 TO AUGUST 14, 1946, ON VOUCHER NO. 784, OCTOBER 1946 ACCOUNTS OF CAPTAIN P. C. CORNING, SC, USN, INCIDENT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY AT WASHINGTON, D.C., PURSUANT TO CHANGE OF DUTY ORDERS OF THE COMMANDER SERVICE FORCE, U.S. PACIFIC FLEET, DATED APRIL 1, 1946. THOSE ORDERS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

SUBJECT: CHANGE OF DUTY.

REFERENCE: (A) BUPERS DISPATCH 282017 OF MARCH 1946.

1. IN ACCORDANCE WITH REFERENCE (A), AND UPON RECEIPT OF THESE ORDERS YOU WILL CONSIDER YOURSELF DETACHED FROM YOUR PRESENT DUTY AS ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF FOR ADMINISTRATION AND FROM SUCH OTHER DUTIES AS MAY HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED YOU; WILL REPORT TO THE COMMANDANT, 14TH NAVAL DISTRICT, FOR TRANSPORTATION TO A PORT ON THE WEST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES. UPON ARRIVAL AT THIS PORT, PROCEED TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND REPORT TO THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL, NAVY DEPARTMENT, FOR TEMPORARY DUTY PENDING FURTHER ASSIGNMENT BY THE BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL.

2. YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO DELAY FOR A PERIOD OF ONE MONTH IN REPORTING TO THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL, SUCH DELAY TO COUNT AS LEAVE. KEEP THE BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL ADVISED OF YOUR ADDRESS WHILE ON LEAVE.

3. TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AND/OR COMMERCIAL AIR IS AUTHORIZED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES WHERE NECESSARY TO EXPEDITE COMPLETION OF THIS DUTY.

4. A PER DIEM OF $7.00 WILL BE ALLOWED IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE 2501-4 (D), U.S. NAVY TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS.

5. YOU ARE AUTHORIZED ONE-HUNDRED (100) POUNDS EXCESS BAGGAGE WHILE IN AN AIR TRAVEL STATUS.

6. DELIVERED AND DETACHED THIS DATE.

CAPTAIN ALDRICH WAS DETACHED FROM DUTY ON THE STAFF OF COMMANDER SERVICE FORCE, U.S. PACIFIC FLEET, UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED ORDERS, AND PROCEEDED TO WASHINGTON, D.C., WHERE HE REPORTED TO THE CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL ON MAY 16, 1946. IT IS STATED THAT BY ORDERS DATED SEPTEMBER 5, 1946, THE OFFICER WAS DETACHED FROM TEMPORARY DUTY IN THE BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL ON SEPTEMBER 6, AND DIRECTED TO PROCEED TO GREEN COVE SPRINGS, FLORIDA, AND UPON ARRIVAL TO REPORT TO THE COMMANDER FLORIDA GROUP, 16TH FLEET, FOR DUTY AS CHIEF OF STAFF. EXCEPTION TO THE PAYMENT MADE ON THE CITED VOUCHER WAS STATED AS FOLLOWS:

PER DIEM FOR THE PERIOD JULY 17, 1946 TO AUGUST 14, 1946 IS NOT AUTHORIZED SINCE ORDERS TERMINATING OFFICER'S ASSIGNMENT AT U.S. PACIFIC FLEET DIRECTED HIM TO PROCEED TO WASHINGTON, D.C. FOR TEMPORARY DUTY, WITHOUT INDICATING HE WAS TO RETURN TO U.S. PACIFIC FLEET OR ASSIGNING HIM TO A DUTY STATION ELSEWHERE, THEREFORE WASHINGTON, D.C. IS CONSIDERED AS THE OFFICER'S DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY AT WHICH NO PER DIEM IS PAYABLE. 56672, APRIL 4, 1946.

SIMILAR EXCEPTION WAS TAKEN TO THE PAYMENT TO CAPTAIN ALDRICH OF PER DIEM COVERING THE PERIOD MAY 17 TO JULY 16, 1946, MADE ON VOUCHER NO. 34486, AUGUST 1946 ACCOUNTS OF COMMANDER E. L. JORDAN, SC, USNR.

THE DECISION OF APRIL 4, 1946, B-56672, CITED IN THE QUOTED AUDIT DIVISION EXCEPTION, CONSIDERED THE QUESTION OF WHETHER AN OFFICER ASSIGNED TO DUTY WITH A PARTICULAR ORGANIZATION MIGHT BE CONSIDERED AS IN A TEMPORARY DUTY STATUS FOR PER DIEM PURPOSES WHILE PERFORMING DUTY WITH SUCH ORGANIZATION BY REASON OF THE ISSUANCE OF ORDERS DESIGNATING THE ASSIGNED DUTY AS TEMPORARY FOR THE REASON THAT THE ORGANIZATION TO WHICH ASSIGNED WAS TEMPORARILY BASED AT THE LOCATION WHERE DUTY WAS PERFORMED. IT WAS HELD THAT SINCE THE OFFICER'S REGULARLY ASSIGNED DUTIES WERE FOR PERFORMANCE WITH THAT ORGANIZATION, HIS STATUS, WHILE ATTACHED THERETO, WAS THAT OF AN OFFICER AT HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY REGARDLESS OF THE ORGANIZATION'S FUNCTIONAL LOCATION.

IN THE LETTER OF JULY 22, 1947, FROM THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, THE CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED IN THE ISSUANCE OF CAPTAIN ALDRICH'S ORDERS OF APRIL 1, 1946, AND OF ORDERS OF A SIMILAR NATURE, ARE DISCUSSED AS FOLLOWS:

4. THE EXIGENCIES OF THE SERVICE DO NOT ALWAYS PERMIT THE DETERMINATION AS TO WHAT PARTICULAR DUTY STATION AN OFFICER ULTIMATELY WILL BE ASSIGNED AT THE TIME OF HIS DETACHMENT FROM HIS OLD PERMANENT DUTY STATION, PARTICULARLY WHERE THERE IS TO BE A PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY INVOLVED PRIOR TO REPORTING TO THE NEW DUTY STATION. HOWEVER, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT AN OFFICER OF THE NAVY MUST AT ALL TIMES HAVE A PERMANENT DUTY STATION, IF NOT IN FACT, THEN IN PROSPECTIVE. IT WOULD APPEAR, THEREFORE, THAT UPON DETACHMENT FROM THE U.S. PACIFIC FLEET UNDER THE ORDERS OF 1 APRIL 1946, IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE AT THAT TIME FOR THE BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL TO DETERMINE WHAT DUTY STATION CAPTAIN ALDRICH ULTIMATELY WOULD BE ASSIGNED AND THE DETERMINATION OF THE FUTURE PERMANENT STATION OF CAPTAIN ALDRICH WAS THEREFORE LEFT TO BE DECIDED ON OR PRIOR TO THE COMPLETION OF TEMPORARY DUTY DIRECTED IN HIS ORDERS OF 1 APRIL 1946. FURTHER, IN MANY INSTANCES IT WAS NECESSARY THAT, PRIOR TO REPORTING TO A NEW DUTY STATION, AN OFFICER BE GIVEN SPECIAL TRAINING FOR THE NEW DUTIES TO WHICH HE WAS TO BE ASSIGNED. IN MANY INSTANCES PRIOR TO THE COMPLETION OF THE INSTRUCTIONAL PERIOD, AND ALSO IN CASES WHERE NO INSTRUCTIONAL PERIOD WAS INVOLVED, EMERGENCIES AROSE WHICH MADE IT NECESSARY TO ASSIGN ANOTHER OFFICER TO THE DUTY AND ULTIMATELY TO ASSIGN THE OFFICER ORIGINALLY INTENDED TO DUTY OTHER THAN THAT CONTEMPLATED UPON HIS DETACHMENT. THE NON DESIGNATION OF A FUTURE DUTY STATION UPON DETACHMENT THEREFORE WAS A MATTER OF EXPEDIENCY TO PREVENT INNUMERABLE MODIFICATION OF ORDERS WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN NECESSARY HAD IT BEEN ATTEMPTED TO ASSIGN THE FUTURE DUTY STATION AT THE TIME OF DETACHMENT. THUS THE PROCEDURE INVOLVED IN THE PARTICULAR SET OF ORDERS HERE IN QUESTION WAS ADOPTED BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT IN THE EARLIER PART OF THE WAR AND CONTINUED IN PRACTICE THROUGHOUT THE WAR PERIOD. IN SOME CASES THE TYPE OF NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION WAS INDICATED BY DETACHING THE OFFICER FROM HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION AND ASSIGNING HIM TO TEMPORARY DUTY UNDER INSTRUCTION PENDING FURTHER ASSIGNMENT: TO SEA DUTY, TO DUTY WITH A GROUP, UNIT OR PROJECT ASSIGNED A CODE IDENTIFICATION AND BEING ORGANIZED AND OUTFITTED FOR DUTY OVERSEAS. IN OTHER CASES IT WAS NOT KNOWN WHAT THE NEW PERMANENT DUTY WOULD BE, AND IN MANY CASES OFFICERS WERE DETACHED FROM THEIR PERMANENT DUTY AND ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY PENDING FURTHER ASSIGNMENT BY THE BUREAU OF NAVAL PERSONNEL OR BY SOME COMMAND IN THE FIELD. HOWEVER, IT WAS CONSIDERED THAT THE OFFICER WAS BEING DETACHED FROM HIS PERMANENT DUTY AND ENROUTE TO ANEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION, EVEN THOUGH IN SOME CASES THE OFFICER MAY HAVE BEEN DETACHED FROM THE FIRST TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNED HIM AND DIRECTED TO PROCEED AND REPORT AT ONE OR MORE STATIONS FOR TEMPORARY DUTY, WHICH WAS USUALLY UNDER INSTRUCTION, STILL ENROUTE TO AND IN PREPARATION FOR HIS NEW PERMANENT DUTY.

THE VARIOUS STATUTORY PROVISIONS RELATING TO AUTHORIZATION FOR THE PRESCRIBING OF PER DIEM RATES OF ALLOWANCE IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE TO OFFICERS OF THE ARMED FORCES IN EFFECT DURING THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS ARE RESTATED AND INCORPORATED INTO THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942, BY THE FOLLOWING PROVISIONS OF SECTION 203 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 859:

SEC. 203. THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF SECTION 12 OF THE PAY READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1942 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

"UNLESS OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY PROVIDED BY LAW, NO OFFICER OF THE SERVICES MENTIONED IN THE TITLE OF THIS ACT SHALL BE ALLOWED OR PAID ANY SUM IN EXCESS OF EXPENSES INCURRED FOR SUBSISTENCE WHILE TRAVELING ON DUTY AWAY FROM HIS DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY, NOR ANY SUM FOR SUCH EXPENSES ACTUALLY INCURRED IN EXCESS OF $8 PER DAY. THE HEADS OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS CONCERNED ARE AUTHORIZED TO PRESCRIBE PER DIEM RATES OF ALLOWANCES, NOT EXCEEDING $7, IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE TO OFFICERS TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND AWAY FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY, WITHOUT REGARD TO THE LENGTH OF TIME AWAY FROM SUCH POSTS. * * *"

THE BASIC PURPOSE FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES OR PER DIEM IN LIEU THEREOF TO OFFICERS WHILE "TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND AWAY FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY," IS TO PROVIDE MEANS WHEREBY AN OFFICER MAY RECEIVE COMPENSATION FOR INCREASED EXPENSES INCURRED WHILE TEMPORARILY REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN HIMSELF AWAY FROM HIS PERMANENT STATION. IT HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED THAT THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE PRESCRIBING OF PER DIEM INCLUDES NOT ONLY PERIODS OF TEMPORARY DUTY AWAY FROM AN OFFICER'S PERMANENT STATION BUT, ALSO, PERIODS OF TEMPORARY DUTY EN ROUTE TO A NEW PERMANENT STATION. 23 COMP. GEN. 522. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE PAYMENTS HERE IN QUESTION INVOLVE THE LATTER SITUATION UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE, FOR THE REASONS STATED IN THE LETTER OF THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS OF JULY 22, 1947, QUOTED ABOVE, THE ULTIMATE PERMANENT STATION HAS NOT BEEN DESIGNATED IN THE TRANSFER ORDERS NOR DETERMINED UPON THE DATE OF THEIR ISSUANCE.

A LITERAL INTERPRETATION OF THE PHRASE "TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND AWAY FROM THEIR DESIGNATED POSTS OF DUTY," WOULD APPEAR TO REQUIRE THAT A DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY MUST EXIST AND THAT AN OFFICER MUST BE ORDERED TO PERFORM TRAVEL ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AWAY FROM THAT STATION BEFORE A RIGHT TO PER DIEM COULD ARISE. HOWEVER, SITUATIONS SUCH AS THOSE HERE CONSIDERED, WHERE OFFICERS HAVE BEEN DETACHED FROM THEIR STATIONS UNDER ORDERS DIRECTING THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY AND STATING THAT SUCH DUTY IS TO BE PERFORMED PENDING FURTHER ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY, WOULD APPEAR, IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE INDICATING THAT THE INTERIM ASSIGNMENT WAS OTHER THAN TEMPORARY IN NATURE, TO COME WITHIN THE BASIC PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE ALLOWANCE OF PER DIEM IS AUTHORIZED.

ACCORDINGLY, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT OTHERWISE PROPER PER DIEM PAYMENTS MADE INCIDENT TO TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNED FOR PERFORMANCE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES OUTLINED BY THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS IN HIS LETTER OF JULY 22, 1947, SUPRA, WILL NOT BE FURTHER QUESTIONED BY THIS OFFICE.