B-71280, DECEMBER 16, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 329

B-71280: Dec 16, 1947

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EVEN THOUGH THE EMPLOYEE IS RETIRING VOLUNTARILY. 1947: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 19. 1947 INASMUCH AS I WILL HAVE COMPLETED THIRTY (30) YEARS SERVICE ON MAY 2. IT IS THE DESIRE OF THE DEPARTMENT TO COMPLY WITH HIS REQUEST FOR RETIREMENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. WHICH WAS ENACTED INTO PUBLIC LAW 600. CONTAIN THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT ON SECTION 7 OF THE BILL: "IT IS INTENDED TO INSURE. YOUR DECISION IS ALSO RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7 OF PUBLIC LAW 600 ARE SEPARABLE SO AS TO COVER THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE BEEN IN THE SERVICE FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS ON RETURN FROM THEIR POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES.

B-71280, DECEMBER 16, 1947, 27 COMP. GEN. 329

TRAVELING EXPENSES - RETURN TO U.S. FROM OVERSEAS STATIONS - EMPLOYEES BEING RETIRED VOLUNTARILY UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2, 1946, PROVIDING FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES ON THE RETURN OF EMPLOYEES FROM THEIR POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THE PLACES OF THEIR ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OVERSEAS, THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF AN EMPLOYEE INCIDENT TO HIS RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES FROM AN OVERSEAS POST OF DUTY FOR REASONS OF RETIREMENT WOULD BE PAYABLE FROM AN OTHERWISE AVAILABLE APPROPRIATION UPON THE ISSUANCE OF A PROPER TRAVEL ORDER, EVEN THOUGH THE EMPLOYEE IS RETIRING VOLUNTARILY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY, DECEMBER 16, 1947:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 19, 1947, AS FOLLOWS:

THE DIVISION OF DISBURSEMENT, BUREAU OF ACCOUNTS, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, TRANSFERRED AN EMPLOYEE FROM WASHINGTON, D.C. TO MANILA, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, TO FUNCTION AS ASSISTANT DISBURSING OFFICER. THE EMPLOYEE LANDED IN MANILA APRIL 8, 1947. ON APRIL 28, 1947, THE EMPLOYEE ADDRESSED A LETTER TO THE CHIEF DISBURSING OFFICER, STATING IN PART,

"IN VIEW OF THE ECONOMY MEASURE AND THE POSSIBLE FAR-REACHING EFFECT THEREOF, I AM CONTEMPLATING RETIRING FROM THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE ON JUNE 30, 1947 INASMUCH AS I WILL HAVE COMPLETED THIRTY (30) YEARS SERVICE ON MAY 2, 1947, AND REACH MY SIXTIETH (60) BIRTHDAY ON JUNE 14, 1947.'

IN THIS CONNECTION IT HAS BEEN THE POLICY OF THE DIVISION OF DISBURSEMENT, BUREAU OF ACCOUNTS, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, TO ROTATE ITS EMPLOYEES ON DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES EVERY TWO YEARS, AS EVIDENCED BY COPIES OF LETTERS ATTACHED HERETO, AND WHILE THE EMPLOYEE IN QUESTION HAS NOT SERVED FOR SUCH TIME, IT IS THE DESIRE OF THE DEPARTMENT TO COMPLY WITH HIS REQUEST FOR RETIREMENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

THE QUESTION IN CONNECTION THEREWITH ARISES AS TO THE AVAILABILITY OF THE APPROPRIATION OF THE DIVISION OF DISBURSEMENT, BUREAU OF ACCOUNTS, TO PAY FOR THE COST OF RETURN OF THIS EMPLOYEE FROM MANILA, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS TO WASHINGTON, D.C. FOR THE PURPOSE OF RETIREMENT IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 600, 79TH CONGRESS, 2ND SESSION, 60 STAT. 808, SEC. 7, WHICH STATE AS FOLLOWS:

" APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT 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: * * * * *.' (ITALICS SUPPLIED.)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES REPORT NO. 2186 AND SENATE REPORT NO. 1636 BOTH SUBMITTED IN THE 79TH CONGRESS, 2ND SESSION TO ACCOMPANY H.R. 6533, WHICH WAS ENACTED INTO PUBLIC LAW 600, CONTAIN THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT ON SECTION 7 OF THE BILL:

"IT IS INTENDED TO INSURE, THAT, IN THE CASE OF POSITIONS ABROAD TO BE FILLED BY CITIZENS FROM THIS COUNTRY, THERE WOULD NOT BE APPLIED THE GENERAL RULE THAT AN EMPLOYEE MUST BEAR THE EXPENSES OF REPORTING TO HIS FIRST DUTY STATION AND OF RETURNING TO HIS HOME OR PLACE OF ENGAGEMENT UPON SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE.'

IN VIEW OF THE INTENT OF THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES, AS EXPRESSED IN THE ABOVE REPORTS, YOUR DECISION IS ALSO RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7 OF PUBLIC LAW 600 ARE SEPARABLE SO AS TO COVER THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE BEEN IN THE SERVICE FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS ON RETURN FROM THEIR POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES.

THE PROVISION IN SECTION 7 OF PUBLIC LAW 600, 60 STAT. 808, QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER, SUPRA, FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR RETURN OF EMPLOYEES FROM THEIR POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THE PLACES OF THEIR ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES IS NOT COUPLED WITH AUTHORITY TO PAY THE EXPENSES OF THEIR OUTWARD JOURNEY; NEITHER IS IT LIMITED TO NEW APPOINTEES. IN THAT CONNECTION, SEE DECISION OF NOVEMBER 14, 1946, B-61379, COMP. GEN. 322; DECISION OF JANUARY 15, 1947, B-62267, 26 COMP. GEN. 488, 496 (QUESTION AND ANSWER NO. 10); DECISION OF APRIL 29, 1947, B-65683, 26 COMP. GEN. 831; AND DECISION OF NOVEMBER 17, 1947, B-70850, 27 COMP. GEN. 282. THE APPARENT PURPOSE OF THAT PROVISION IS TO AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH THE RETURN OF EMPLOYEES TO THEIR FORMER RESIDENCES IN THE UNITED STATES WHEN THEIR SERVICES NO LONGER ARE TO BE UTILIZED OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES PROVIDING OF COURSE THAT THE RETURN OF SUCH EMPLOYEES OTHERWISE WOULD BE PROPER. THERE APPEARS TO BE NO REASON FOR CONCLUDING THAT WHEN PROPERLY AUTHORIZED THE RETURN OF AN EMPLOYEE FOR REASONS OF RETIREMENT WOULD NOT BE WITHIN THE PURPOSE, EVEN THOUGH, AS IN THE PRESENT CASE, THE EMPLOYEE IS RETIRING VOLUNTARILY.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE, IT MAY BE CONCLUDED, THEREFORE, THAT UPON THE ISSUANCE OF A PROPER ORDER, THE APPROPRIATIONS OF THE DIVISION OF DISBURSEMENT, BUREAU OF ACCOUNTS, WHICH ARE AVAILABLE FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES, WOULD BE AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE COST OF THE RETURN OF THE EMPLOYEE WHO IS THE SUBJECT OF YOUR LETTER, FROM MANILA, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, TO WASHINGTON, C., PROVIDED OF COURSE THAT WASHINGTON, D.C., WAS THE PLACE OF HIS ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF HIS ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES.