B-76587, JUNE 22, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 770

B-76587: Jun 22, 1948

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WHICH WAS NOT ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED UNTIL AFTER THE CHANGE OF STATION HAD BEEN ACCOMPLISHED. " EVEN THOUGH THE PREMATURE TRAVEL WAS EFFECTED ON THE ADVICE OF SUPERVISORY OFFICIALS IN THE FIELD WHO HAD NO AUTHORITY TO ISSUE SUCH A TRANSFER ORDER. IS SUBMITTED FOR AN OPINION ON PAYMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3 OF THE ACT APPROVED DECEMBER 29. THE CLAIM IS FOR TRANSPORTATION AND PER DIEM EXPENSES INCURRED IN ANTICIPATION OF THE ISSUANCE OF A FORMAL ORDER AUTHORIZING THE TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION WITH ALLOWANCES OF TRAVEL AND OTHER EXPENSES IN CONNECTION THEREWITH. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT AGREEMENT WAS REACHED ON SEPTEMBER 5. WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DESIRABLE AND THAT RECOMMENDATION WOULD BE MADE TO THE DIRECTOR.

B-76587, JUNE 22, 1948, 27 COMP. GEN. 770

TRAVELING EXPENSES - TRANSFERS - TRAVEL PRIOR TO ISSUANCE OF ORDERS A TRANSFER ORDER PROVIDING FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES INCIDENT TO AN EMPLOYEE'S CHANGE OF STATION, BUT WHICH WAS NOT ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED UNTIL AFTER THE CHANGE OF STATION HAD BEEN ACCOMPLISHED, MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 1 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE STATUTE OF AUGUST 2, 1946, AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES TO TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES "WHEN AUTHORIZED IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRAVEL," EVEN THOUGH THE PREMATURE TRAVEL WAS EFFECTED ON THE ADVICE OF SUPERVISORY OFFICIALS IN THE FIELD WHO HAD NO AUTHORITY TO ISSUE SUCH A TRANSFER ORDER.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO W. R. DILLON, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, JUNE 22, 1948:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF MAY 7, 1948, AS FOLLOWS:

THE ENCLOSED REIMBURSEMENT VOUCHER IN THE SUM OF $42.52 FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 18-19, 1947, IN FAVOR OF ROBERT N. GENSCH, BIOLOGIST, P.O. BOX 1381, BILLINGS, MONTANA, IS SUBMITTED FOR AN OPINION ON PAYMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3 OF THE ACT APPROVED DECEMBER 29, 1941, 55 STAT. 876.

THE CLAIM IS FOR TRANSPORTATION AND PER DIEM EXPENSES INCURRED IN ANTICIPATION OF THE ISSUANCE OF A FORMAL ORDER AUTHORIZING THE TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION WITH ALLOWANCES OF TRAVEL AND OTHER EXPENSES IN CONNECTION THEREWITH.

PERSONNEL ORDER DATED SEPTEMBER 26, 1947, AUTHORIZED MR. GENSCH'S TRANSFER FROM MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, TO BILLINGS, MONTANA, AND PROVIDED FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF TRAVEL EXPENSES OF HIMSELF AND TRANSPORTATION OF THE MEMBERS OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXISTING REGULATIONS.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT AGREEMENT WAS REACHED ON SEPTEMBER 5, 1947, BETWEEN MR. GENSCH'S SUPERVISORY OFFICIALS IN THE FIELD THAT MR. GENSCH'S TRANSFER FROM MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, TO BILLINGS, MONTANA, ON OR ABOUT SEPTEMBER 18, 1947, WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DESIRABLE AND THAT RECOMMENDATION WOULD BE MADE TO THE DIRECTOR, FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, ACCORDINGLY. APPROPRIATE RECOMMENDATION FOR TRANSFER AUTHORIZATION WAS RECEIVED IN THE DIRECTOR'S OFFICE ON SEPTEMBER 11, 1947. THE PERSONNEL ORDER AUTHORIZING THE TRANSFER WAS APPROVED SEPTEMBER 26, 1947.

UNDER THE PRESUMPTION THAT THE TRANSFER COULD COMMENCE IN LINE WITH THE ACTION RECOMMENDED BY HIS SUPERVISORS, MR. GENSCH, ON ADVICE OF HIS IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR AT MINNEAPOLIS, DEPARTED ON SEPTEMBER 18 FOR BILLINGS, WHERE HE REPORTED FOR DUTY ON SEPTEMBER 22.

MR. GENSCH'S SUPERVISORS HAVE REPORTED THAT HIS SERVICES WERE URGENTLY NEEDED AT BILLINGS. HAD THIS FACT BEEN KNOWN TO THE DIRECTOR'S OFFICE, IT IS PROBABLE THAT THE TEMPORARY DETAIL OF MR. GENSCH TO BILLINGS WOULD HAVE BEEN AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE OF THE PERMANENT TRANSFER.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, THERE IS DOUBT WHETHER,

(1) THE CLAIM MAY BE PAID BASED ON AN APPROVAL UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 7 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, INASMUCH AS NECESSARY TRAVEL WAS INVOLVED FOR WHICH AN AUTHORIZATION WAS NOT ISSUED,

(2) THE CLAIM MAY BE PAID UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, AS A PROPER TRAVEL EXPENSE WHICH WAS AUTHORIZED IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRAVEL, EVEN THOUGH THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED IN ADVANCE OF SUCH ORDER, OR

(3) WHETHER THE CLAIM MUST BE DISALLOWED.

THE CLAIM HAS THE ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL OF THIS OFFICE AND IT IS DESIRED TO PAY IT, IF THIS ACTION WOULD BE PROPER.

SECTION 1 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE ACT, APPROVED AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 806, PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES TO EMPLOYEES WHEN TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER "WHEN AUTHORIZED IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRAVEL" WHICH LANGUAGE WAS INCORPORATED, ALSO, IN SECTION 4 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 9805, PROMULGATING REGULATIONS UNDER THAT ACT. SIMILAR LANGUAGE HAS, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, BEEN HELD TO REQUIRE THE ISSUANCE OF THE AUTHORIZATION IN ADVANCE OF THE PERFORMANCE OF THE TRAVEL. 11 COMP. GEN. 459; 13 ID. 221; 17 ID. 606; AND B-74774, MAY 4, 1948. SECTION 7 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, PROVIDING FOR THE "APPROVAL" OF TRAVEL PERFORMED IN AN EMERGENCY, RELATES TO ORDINARY TRAVEL UPON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND HAS NO APPLICATION TO CLAIMS BASED UPON TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATIONS. THE STATUTORY PROVISION FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES UPON TRANSFER CONTAINS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE APPROVAL OF SUCH EXPENSES AFTER THEIR INCURRENCE. IT DOES NOT APPEAR FROM YOUR STATEMENT OF THE FACTS IN THE CASE THAT THE ASSURANCE GIVEN MR. GENSCH IN ADVANCE OF THE PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL, THAT HIS EXPENSES WOULD BE PAID, WAS BY ONE AUTHORIZED TO ISSUE THE ORDERS FOR SUCH TRANSFER. ACCORDINGLY, AS THE TRAVEL ORDER PURPORTING TO AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSFER OF THIS EMPLOYEE WAS NOT ISSUED UNTIL AFTER THE TRANSFER HAD BEEN ACCOMPLISHED, IT IS WITHOUT EFFECT AND PAYMENT ON THE VOUCHER COVERING SUCH EXPENSES IS NOT AUTHORIZED.