B-70850, NOVEMBER 17, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 282

B-70850: Nov 17, 1947

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FROM OVERSEAS STATIONS - SEPARATED AND TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES EMPLOYEES WHO WERE TRANSFERRED FROM STATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES TO POINTS OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. - AND WHOSE SERVICES NO LONGER ARE REQUIRED OR WHICH NO LONGER MAY BE UTILIZED ARE ENTITLED UNDER SAID SECTION 7 TO BE PAID THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL UPON RETURN TO THE PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES. AS FOLLOWS: THE WEATHER BUREAU OF THIS DEPARTMENT HAS TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES WHO ARE WAR SERVICE APPOINTEES FROM THEIR STATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES TO POINTS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES. THE TRAVEL EXPENSES OF THESE EMPLOYEES ARE THEREFORE PAID UNDER SECTION 1 RATHER THAN SECTION 7 OF PUBLIC LAW 600. THESE EMPLOYEES ARE NOT REQUIRED TO SIGN AGREEMENTS TO REMAIN AT THE POSTS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES FOR A GIVEN LENGTH OF TIME.

B-70850, NOVEMBER 17, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 282

TRAVELING EXPENSES - RETURN TO U.S. FROM OVERSEAS STATIONS - SEPARATED AND TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES EMPLOYEES WHO WERE TRANSFERRED FROM STATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES TO POINTS OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES--- WHETHER BEFORE OR AFTER AUGUST 2, 1946, THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SECTION 7 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE--- AND WHOSE SERVICES NO LONGER ARE REQUIRED OR WHICH NO LONGER MAY BE UTILIZED ARE ENTITLED UNDER SAID SECTION 7 TO BE PAID THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL UPON RETURN TO THE PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES--- REPATRIATION IN SUCH CASES BEING FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE GOVERNMENT; AND SHOULD EMPLOYEES BE TRANSFERRED TO POSITIONS IN THE UNITED STATES THE EXPENSES OF TRANSFER WOULD BE FOR DETERMINING PURSUANT TO SECTION 1 OF SAID STATUTE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, NOVEMBER 17, 1947:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 30, 1947, AS FOLLOWS:

THE WEATHER BUREAU OF THIS DEPARTMENT HAS TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES WHO ARE WAR SERVICE APPOINTEES FROM THEIR STATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES TO POINTS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES. THE TRAVEL EXPENSES OF THESE EMPLOYEES ARE THEREFORE PAID UNDER SECTION 1 RATHER THAN SECTION 7 OF PUBLIC LAW 600. THESE EMPLOYEES ARE NOT REQUIRED TO SIGN AGREEMENTS TO REMAIN AT THE POSTS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES FOR A GIVEN LENGTH OF TIME. IT IS EXPECTED THAT THE CIVIL SERVICE EXAMINATION FOR OBSERVERS WILL BE GIVEN NEXT MONTH. UNDER CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS, WAR SERVICE APPOINTEES IN THE STATES WILL HAVE TO BE REPLACED BY QUALIFIED OBSERVERS AFTER A REGISTER HAS BEEN SET UP. IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION WILL WITHDRAW AUTHORITY TO TRANSFER NON STATUS EMPLOYEES TO POSITIONS IN THE UNITED STATES.

YOUR DECISION IS ACCORDINGLY REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE TRAVEL EXPENSES OF THE EMPLOYEES FROM THEIR STATIONS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES TO THEIR FORMER RESIDENCES IN THE UNITED STATES MAY BE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT SINCE IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO TERMINATE THEIR SERVICES BY REASON OF THE FACT THAT THERE WILL BE NO POSITIONS IN THE UNITED STATES AT THE TIME TO WHICH THEY MAY BE TRANSFERRED BY REASON OF THE FACT THAT THEY ARE WAR SERVICE APPOINTEES. WILL THE ANSWER BE THE SAME WHETHER THE REASON FOR RETURN IS WITHIN OR BEYOND THEIR CONTROL?

IF YOUR ANSWER TO THE ABOVE IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, WILL THERE BE ANY DISTINCTION BETWEEN EMPLOYEES TRANSFERRED ON OR AFTER AUGUST 2, 1946, AND THOSE TRANSFERRED BEFORE THAT TIME.

SECTION 7 OF PUBLIC LAW 600, APPROVED AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 808, PROVIDES:

SEC. 7. APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENTS SHALL BE AVAILABLE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT, FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF NEW APPOINTEES, EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES AND EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS FROM PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT TO PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, AND FOR SUCH EXPENSES ON RETURN OF EMPLOYEES FROM THEIR POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THE PLACES OF THEIR ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES: PROVIDED, THAT SUCH EXPENSES SHALL NOT BE ALLOWED NEW APPOINTEES UNLESS AND UNTIL THE PERSON SELECTED FOR APPOINTMENT SHALL AGREE IN WRITING TO REMAIN IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE FOR THE TWELVE MONTHS FOLLOWING HIS APPOINTMENT, UNLESS SEPARATED FOR REASONS BEYOND HIS CONTROL. IN CASE OF A VIOLATION OF SUCH AGREEMENT ANY MONEYS EXPENDED BY THE UNITED STATES ON ACCOUNT OF SUCH TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION SHALL BE CONSIDERED AS A DEBT DUE BY THE INDIVIDUAL CONCERNED TO THE UNITED STATES. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FOREIGN SERVICE, STATE DEPARTMENT. ( ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

THE PROVISION IN THAT SECTION FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR RETURN OF EMPLOYEES FROM THEIR POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES TO THE PLACES OF THEIR ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES IS NOT COUPLED WITH AUTHORITY TO PAY THE EXPENSES OF THEIR OUTWARD JOURNEY; NEITHER IS IT LIMITED TO NEW APPOINTEES. CF. DECISION OF NOVEMBER 14, 1946, B-61379, 26 COMP. GEN. 322, AND DECISION OF JANUARY 15, 1947, B 62267, 26 COMP. GEN. 488, 496 ( QUESTION AND ANSWER NO. 10).

IT APPEARS REASONABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT EMPLOYEES TRANSFERRED FROM A POSITION IN THE UNITED STATES TO A POSITION OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES WHOSE SERVICES NO LONGER ARE REQUIRED OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, AND WHOSE SERVICES NO LONGER MAY BE UTILIZED, MAY BE ALLOWED THEIR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES UNDER AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE ABOVE QUOTED SECTION OF THE STATUTE, IF IT SHOULD BE DETERMINED THAT THERE IS NO POSITION IN THE UNITED STATES TO WHICH THEY MAY BE TRANSFERRED. HOWEVER, SHOULD THEY BE TRANSFERRED TO POSITIONS IN THE UNITED STATES THE EXPENSES OF THEIR TRANSFER WOULD BE FOR DETERMINING UNDER AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 1 OF PUBLIC LAW 600, 60 STAT. 806. IN THE APPLICATION OF THE CONCLUSION HEREIN REACHED THERE SHOULD BE NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EMPLOYEES TRANSFERRED TO POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES ON OR AFTER AUGUST 2, 1946 (THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF SECTION 7 OF PUBLIC LAW 600, SUPRA), AND THOSE TRANSFERRED BEFORE THAT DATE. AS TO ALL SUCH EMPLOYEES, WHETHER RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES IN ACCORDANCE WITH AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 7 OF THE STATUTE, SUPRA, OR TRANSFERRED TO THE UNITED STATES IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 1 OF THE STATUTE, THE TRAVEL TO BE PERFORMED PRIMARILY SHOULD BE FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE GOVERNMENT, RATHER THAN FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE EMPLOYEE; BUT IN THAT CONNECTION, REPATRIATION OF AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE SERVICES NO LONGER ARE REQUIRED, OR WHICH NO LONGER MAY BE UTILIZED, PROPERLY MAY BE CONSIDERED AS PRIMARILY FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE GOVERNMENT.