B-120787, MARCH 10, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 435

B-120787: Mar 10, 1955

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ETC. - EMPLOYEES TAKING EXAMINATION FOR OTHER POSITION WHERE THE TRAVEL OF AN INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE EMPLOYEE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING A NON-COMPETITIVE WRITTEN EXAMINATION FOR POSITION OF AGENT IS SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN REQUIRED BY THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE RATHER THAN THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. THEREAFTER DETERMINES THE PERSONS WHO MEET THE QUALIFICATIONS AND ARE ELIGIBLE FOR REASSIGNMENT OR PROMOTION. SUCH TRAVEL IS CONSIDERED TO BE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT RATHER THAN FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEE AND. YOU WERE INSTRUCTED IN THE DECISION NOT TO CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE RECLAIM VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF LOYD W. THAT CONCLUSION WAS IN ACCORD WITH THE WELL-ESTABLISHED RULE WHICH PROHIBITS THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT FROM REIMBURSING INDIVIDUALS FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVELING FROM ONE POINT TO ANOTHER FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING WHETHER THEY ARE QUALIFIED FOR FEDERAL POSITIONS WHICH ARE SUBJECT TO THE CIVIL SERVICE LAWS AND REGULATIONS. 31 COMP.

B-120787, MARCH 10, 1955, 34 COMP. GEN. 435

TRAVELING EXPENSES, SUBSISTENCE - INTERVIEWS, QUALIFICATION, DETERMINATION, ETC. - EMPLOYEES TAKING EXAMINATION FOR OTHER POSITION WHERE THE TRAVEL OF AN INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE EMPLOYEE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING A NON-COMPETITIVE WRITTEN EXAMINATION FOR POSITION OF AGENT IS SHOWN TO HAVE BEEN REQUIRED BY THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE RATHER THAN THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, AND THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE DETERMINES THE TIME AND PLACE, DESIGNATES THE PERSONS TO PARTICIPATE, AND THEREAFTER DETERMINES THE PERSONS WHO MEET THE QUALIFICATIONS AND ARE ELIGIBLE FOR REASSIGNMENT OR PROMOTION, SUCH TRAVEL IS CONSIDERED TO BE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT RATHER THAN FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEE AND, THEREFORE, EXPENSES MAY BE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT. 34 COMP. GEN. 114, AMPLIFIED.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO CURTISS F. BARKER, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, MARCH 10, 1955:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 7, 1954, FILE A:F:AS:SH, TRANSMITTED HERE BY LETTER DATED DECEMBER 31, FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SECRETARY, TREASURY DEPARTMENT, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 2, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 114.

THE RECORD BEFORE US ON SEPTEMBER 2 INDICATED THAT MR. HELIKSON PROCEEDED FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION, EUGENE, OREGON, TO PORTLAND OREGON, FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING A NONCOMPETITIVE CIVIL-SERVICE EXAMINATION TO DETERMINE HIS QUALIFICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT AS AN INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT. YOU WERE INSTRUCTED IN THE DECISION NOT TO CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE RECLAIM VOUCHER STATED IN FAVOR OF LOYD W. HELIKSON, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, FOR PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE BELIEVED TO BE DUE FOR OCTOBER 22, AND 23, 1953. THAT CONCLUSION WAS IN ACCORD WITH THE WELL-ESTABLISHED RULE WHICH PROHIBITS THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT FROM REIMBURSING INDIVIDUALS FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVELING FROM ONE POINT TO ANOTHER FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING WHETHER THEY ARE QUALIFIED FOR FEDERAL POSITIONS WHICH ARE SUBJECT TO THE CIVIL SERVICE LAWS AND REGULATIONS. 31 COMP. GEN. 175.

IN YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 7, YOU SAY THAT AT THE TIME THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE ELECTED TO HAVE MR. HELIKSON REPORT AND PARTICIPATE IN THE WRITTEN NONCOMPETITIVE EXAMINATION ADDITIONAL INTERNAL REVENUE AGENTS WERE NEEDED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF CERTAIN FUNCTIONS WHICH PREVIOUSLY WERE ASSIGNED TO PERSONS EMPLOYED AS TAX COLLECTORS. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION'S INSTRUCTIONS PROVIDE THAT AN INDIVIDUAL OCCUPYING A CIVIL-SERVICE POSITION AS TAX COLLECTOR MAY BE NONCOMPETITIVELY CHANGED TO THE POSITION OF INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT, GS-7, UPON MEETING THE EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS PRESCRIBED BY THE COMMISSION. YOU POINT OUT THAT THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, RATHER THAN THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, REQUIRES THE EXAMINATION, DETERMINES ITS TIME AND PLACE, DESIGNATES THE PERSONS WHO ARE TO PARTICIPATE THEREIN, AND THEREAFTER DETERMINES THE PERSONS WHO MEET THE QUALIFICATIONS AND ARE ELIGIBLE FOR REASSIGNMENT OR PROMOTION.

FROM THE ADDITIONAL FACTS AS NOW REPORTED IT IS APPARENT THAT THE AUTHORIZED TRAVEL TO PORTLAND, OREGON, AND RETURN, WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PARTICIPATING IN A NONCOMPETITIVE WRITTEN EXAMINATION REQUIRED BY THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE. THE TRAVEL WAS IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT AND NOT PRIMARILY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEE. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE SUM OF $13.50 RECLAIMED BY MR. HELIKSON FOR PER DIEM WHILE AWAY FROM HIS OFFICIAL STATION NOW MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT. MOREOVER, NO AMOUNT IS TO BE COLLECTED FOR THE COST OF THE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST UTILIZED BY MR. HELIKSON FOR THE TRAVEL.