B-138219, MAY 9, 1960, 39 COMP. GEN. 753

B-138219: May 9, 1960

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MILITARY AND CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - ITINERANT DUTY - DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY - TRAVEL STATUS MILITARY AND CIVILIAN PERSONNEL WHO ARE ORDERED TO REPORT TO A PLACE FOR DUTY. WHO SUBSEQUENTLY ARE ISSUED ORDERS DIRECTING TEMPORARY DUTY AWAY FROM AND RETURN TO THAT PLACE. MAY BE REGARDED AS HAVING A SPECIFIC LOCATION FOR A PERMANENT DUTY STATION AWAY FROM WHICH TRAVEL AND TEMPORARY DUTY ARE PERFORMED SO THAT. IS EXPLORING THE POSSIBILITY OF CONDUCTING ANOTHER IN ITS SERIES OF PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS OF URANIUM MINERS. TO CARRY OUT THE PROJECT IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO ASSEMBLE TEAMS OF TECHNICALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY TRAINED PERSONNEL BY ASSIGNING MEMBERS OF PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE COMMISSIONED CORPS.

B-138219, MAY 9, 1960, 39 COMP. GEN. 753

MILITARY AND CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - ITINERANT DUTY - DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY - TRAVEL STATUS MILITARY AND CIVILIAN PERSONNEL WHO ARE ORDERED TO REPORT TO A PLACE FOR DUTY, IN CONNECTION WITH A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF TRAVEL IN THE FIELD AFTER INDOCTRINATION AND TRAINING AT THAT PLACE, AND WHO SUBSEQUENTLY ARE ISSUED ORDERS DIRECTING TEMPORARY DUTY AWAY FROM AND RETURN TO THAT PLACE, MAY BE REGARDED AS HAVING A SPECIFIC LOCATION FOR A PERMANENT DUTY STATION AWAY FROM WHICH TRAVEL AND TEMPORARY DUTY ARE PERFORMED SO THAT, WHILE PERFORMING TEMPORARY DUTY, SUCH PERSONNEL MAY BE REGARDED AS IN A TRAVEL STATUS FOR PER DIEM AND TRAVEL EXPENSE PURPOSES.

TO THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE, MAY 9, 1960:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 25, 1960, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO, MAY BE DESIGNATED AS THE POST OF DUTY FOR THE PERSONNEL, UNIFORMED AND CIVILIAN, ASSIGNED TO A PROJECT DURING THE COMING SUMMER UNDER THE FACTS AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES RELATED IN YOUR LETTER, AS FOLLOWS:

THE NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, THROUGH ITS ENVIRONMENTAL FIELD STUDIES SECTION, IS EXPLORING THE POSSIBILITY OF CONDUCTING ANOTHER IN ITS SERIES OF PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS OF URANIUM MINERS, GIVEN AT THE MINES AT THREE-YEAR INTERVALS AS A CONTINUATION OF THE STUDY OF THE EFFECT OF RADIATION ON URANIUM MINERS IN 1954 AND 1957.

TO CARRY OUT THE PROJECT IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO ASSEMBLE TEAMS OF TECHNICALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY TRAINED PERSONNEL BY ASSIGNING MEMBERS OF PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE COMMISSIONED CORPS, BY CALLING TO ACTIVE DUTY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE RESERVE CORPS AND BY HIRING SOME CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES FOR TEMPORARY DUTY.

UNDER THE PROPOSED PLAN, TRAINED PERSONNEL WOULD BE RECRUITED AT SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH. THE PERSONS SELECTED WOULD ASSEMBLE AT GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO, AN ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION RAW MATERIALS OFFICE, ON JUNE 2, 1960. THE TEAMS WOULD UNDERGO A PERIOD OF INDOCTRINATION AT GRAND JUNCTION AND WOULD OBTAIN THERE AEC TRUCKS CARRYING X-RAY EQUIPMENT AND GOVERNMENT PASSENGER VEHICLES FOR TRAVEL TO THE MINES.

THERE WILL BE TEN PERSONS TO A TEAM. ADVANCE SCOUTS FROM EACH TEAM WILL PROCEED TO PLACES WHERE IT IS KNOWN THAT THERE ARE, OR WERE, URANIUM MINES AND, IF THE MINE IS STILL IN OPERATION, WILL MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE MOBILE UNIT TO COME TO THE MINES FOR THE EXAMINATIONS. THE EXAMINATIONS ARE GIVEN ON A VOLUNTARY BASIS, OFTEN ON COMPANY TIME. WHEN ALL THOSE WHO WILL VOLUNTEER FOR EXAMINATION HAVE BEEN EXAMINED, THE UNIT WILL PROCEED TO THE NEXT MINE, NEVER RETURNING TO THE PREVIOUS PLACE. JUDGING FROM PAST EXPERIENCE, THE UNIT WILL REMAIN AT EACH MINE ONLY ONE OR TWO DAYS OR AT MOST NO LONGER THAN THREE WEEKS.

THE URANIUM MINES, OF WHICH THERE ARE OVER 1,000 LIE WITHIN AN AREA BOUNDED ROUGHLY BY 36 DEGREE TO 39 DEGREE NORTH LATITUDE AND 108 DEGREE AND 110 DEGREE WEST LONGITUDE, IN THE FOUR STATES OF COLORADO, UTAH, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA. NEARLY ALL ARE AT ELEVATIONS ABOVE 6,000 FEET AND IN EXTREMELY ROUGH TERRAIN. IN 1954 AND 1957 THE TEAMS WERE HOUSED IN TRAILERS AND PREPARED THEIR OWN MEALS. NOW IT IS BELIEVED THAT THERE ARE SUFFICIENT MOTELS AND RESTAURANTS IN THE AREA AND THAT MORALE WILL BE IMPROVED BY NOT HOUSING THE PERSONNEL IN TRAILERS. TRAILERS MAY BE REQUIRED IN SOME AREAS.

WE BELIEVE THAT GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO, IS THE MOST LOGICAL PLACE TO DESIGNATE AS THE PERMANENT DUTY STATION. IT IS THE PLACE WHERE THE TEAMS WILL ASSEMBLE, WHERE THEY WILL BE INDOCTRINATED, WHERE THEY WILL PICK UP AND RETURN THEIR EQUIPMENT AND FROM WHICH THEY WILL RECEIVE THEIR ORDERS AND INSTRUCTIONS AND THEIR PAYCHECKS. ALSO, THERE IS AT PRESENT NO KNOWN PLACE IN THE FIELD WHERE IT IS CERTAIN THAT THE TEAM WILL BE LOCATED FOR MORE THAN ONE OR TWO DAYS. WE BELIEVE THAT THE WORKERS WILL BE TRULY IN AN ITINERANT STATUS AND THAT THERE WILL BE NO PROBLEM AS TO CIVILIAN WORKERS UNDER YOUR OPINIONS IN 15 C.G. 624 AND 23 C.G. 162. AS TO UNIFORMED PERSONNEL, WE QUESTION WHETHER AN AREA OF SUCH GREAT SIZE, ENCOMPASSING PARTS OF FOUR STATES (THE AREA LIES IN REGIONS VII, VIII, AND IX OF THIS DEPARTMENT) SHOULD BE DESIGNATED AS A DUTY STATION.

WE ASK YOUR OPINION WHETHER GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO, MAY BE DESIGNATED AS THE POST OF DUTY FOR THE PERSONNEL, UNIFORMED AND CIVILIAN, IN THE ABOVE-DESCRIBED PROJECT. AN EARLY REPLY IS REQUESTED, AS PLANNING MUST GET UNDERWAY IF THE PROJECT IS TO BE UNDERTAKEN THIS SUMMER.

IN OUR DECISION OF APRIL 2, 1959, 38 COMP. GEN. 656, UNDER WHICH YOUR PROBLEM IS SAID TO ARISE, WE POINTED OUT THE LAW AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE ENTITLEMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCES. THAT DECISION INVOLVED A SITUATION WHEN CERTAIN OFFICERS, UPON BEING CALLED TO ACTIVE DUTY, WERE ASSIGNED TO LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, FOR ORIENTATION, SUPERVISION, AND DIRECTION REGARDING THEIR DUTY ASSIGNMENTS ELSEWHERE. THERE WAS NO ADMINISTRATIVE DESIGNATION OF LAS VEGAS, OR ANY OTHER PLACE, AS THE POST OF DUTY FOR THE OFFICERS CONCERNED. IT APPEARED THAT MANY OF SUCH OFFICERS REMAINED AT LAS VEGAS FOR LESS THAN ONE DAY; THAT WHEN EACH OFFICER LEFT THAT PLACE, HE WAS ASSIGNED TO A SOMEWHAT RESTRICTED AREA RATHER THAN A SPECIFIC LOCATION FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTY, AND THAT, AT LEAST IN SOME INSTANCES, MOST IF NOT ALL OF THE DUTY WAS PERFORMED WITHIN THE VICINITY OF A PARTICULAR TOWN OR LOCATION. CONCLUDED IN OUR DECISION OF APRIL 2, 1959, THAT THE OFFICERS THERE INVOLVED COULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS BEING IN A TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVEL STATUS IN THE ABSENCE OF A DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY AWAY FROM WHICH THEIR TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED.

UNDER THE PLAN PROPOSED IN YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 25, 1960, IT APPEARS THAT BOTH THE UNIFORMED AND CIVILIAN PERSONNEL INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT DESCRIBED WILL BE ORDERED TO REPORT AT GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO; THAT SUCH PERSONNEL WILL UNDERGO A PERIOD OF INDOCTRINATION AT GRAND JUNCTION; THAT THEY WILL RECEIVE THEIR ORDERS, INSTRUCTIONS, AND PAY CHECKS FROM THERE; AND THAT THEY WILL BE ORDERED AWAY FROM GRAND JUNCTION FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY AT VARIOUS POINTS IN THE FIELD, GENERALLY FOR PERIODS OF ONE OR TWO DAYS AT EACH LOCATION. IT IS INDICATED THAT THE PERSONNEL WILL IN MOST INSTANCES USE GOVERNMENT PASSENGER VEHICLES FOR TRAVEL IN THE FIELD, AND THAT GENERALLY THEY WILL SECURE THEIR MEALS AND LODGINGS AT RESTAURANTS AND MOTELS. UPON COMPLETION OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY INVOLVED, THE PERSONNEL WILL RETURN TO GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES, A CONCLUSION WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED THAT THE ENTIRE AREA OF OPERATIONS WOULD CONSTITUTE THE DUTY STATION OF THE PERSONNEL CONCERNED. IF PROPER ORDERS ARE ISSUED DIRECTING THE PERSONS CONCERNED TO REPORT AT GRAND JUNCTION FOR DUTY, IN CONNECTION WITH WHICH A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF TRAVEL IN THE FIELD IS CONTEMPLATED AFTER A PERIOD OF INDOCTRINATION, TRAINING AND INSTRUCTION AT THAT PLACE, AND LATER, ORDERS ARE ISSUED DIRECTING THE PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY AWAY FROM AND RETURN TO THAT PLACE UPON THE COMPLETION OF SUCH DUTY, IT APPEARS THAT SUCH PERSONS MAY BE REGARDED AS BEING IN A TRAVEL STATUS AWAY FROM THEIR PERMANENT DUTY STATION WHEN PERFORMING SUCH TEMPORARY DUTY IN THE FIELD.

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