A-78353, JULY 24, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 64

A-78353: Jul 24, 1936

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Shirley Jones
(202) 512-8156
jonessa@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

TRANSPORTATION - PLACE OF DUTY TO HOME - EMPLOYEES' DETENTION BEYOND USUAL WORKING HOURS THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES BY TAXICAB. IS BEYOND THE HOURS WHEN STREET CAR AND OTHER REGULAR MEANS OF CONVEYANCE ARE AVAILABLE. SUBWAY SERVICES ARE SUSPENDED. A COPY OF A DESPATCH FROM THE AMERICAN EMBASSY AT PARIS IS ATTACHED IN FURTHER EXPLANATION OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES PROMPTING THIS REQUEST FOR YOUR DECISION. COPY OF WHICH WAS TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER. IT IS STATED THAT DUE TO THE HEAVY TELEGRAPH TRAFFIC INCIDENT TO THE DISTURBED EUROPEAN POLITICAL SITUATION. SUBWAY SERVICES HAVE STOPPED. THE ONLY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE ARE TAXICABS AT THE NIGHT RATE.

A-78353, JULY 24, 1936, 16 COMP. GEN. 64

TRANSPORTATION - PLACE OF DUTY TO HOME - EMPLOYEES' DETENTION BEYOND USUAL WORKING HOURS THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES BY TAXICAB, FROM PLACE OF DUTY TO EMPLOYEES' HOMES, NOTWITHSTANDING DETENTION AT PLACE OF DUTY, BECAUSE OF EMERGENCY CONDITIONS, IS BEYOND THE HOURS WHEN STREET CAR AND OTHER REGULAR MEANS OF CONVEYANCE ARE AVAILABLE, AND THAT THE APPROPRIATION PROPOSED TO BE CHARGED PROVIDES FOR THE HIRE OF MOTOR-PROPELLED, PASSENGER-CARRYING VEHICLES FOR OFFICIAL PURPOSES, AND TRAVELING EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE, JULY 24, 1936:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF JULY 11, 1936, FA 124.514/318, AS FOLLOWS:

I SHALL APPRECIATE AN EXPRESSION OF YOUR VIEWS AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF CHARGING TO OFFICIAL FUNDS, UNDER THE HEADING "LOCAL TRANSPORTATION" IN THE APPROPRIATION FOR "CONTINGENT EXPENSES, FOREIGN SERVICE, 1937" THE TAXICAB FARES, FROM THE OFFICE TO THEIR HOMES, OF EMPLOYEES IN THE AMERICAN EMBASSY AT PARIS ON OCCASIONS WHEN EMERGENCY OVERTIME WORK NECESSITATES THEIR BEING HELD ON DUTY UNTIL AFTER MIDNIGHT WHEN THE REGULAR STREET CAR, AUTOBUS, AND SUBWAY SERVICES ARE SUSPENDED. A COPY OF A DESPATCH FROM THE AMERICAN EMBASSY AT PARIS IS ATTACHED IN FURTHER EXPLANATION OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES PROMPTING THIS REQUEST FOR YOUR DECISION.

IN THE DESPATCH, COPY OF WHICH WAS TRANSMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER, IT IS STATED THAT DUE TO THE HEAVY TELEGRAPH TRAFFIC INCIDENT TO THE DISTURBED EUROPEAN POLITICAL SITUATION, THE INTERESTS OF THE SERVICE FREQUENTLY REQUIRE THAT THE CODE CLERKS OF THE EMBASSY WORK OVERTIME AND OCCASIONALLY AS LATE AS THREE O-CLOCK IN THE MORNING; THAT AT THAT HOUR THE REGULAR STREET CAR, AUTOBUS, AND SUBWAY SERVICES HAVE STOPPED, AND THE ONLY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE ARE TAXICABS AT THE NIGHT RATE, WHICH IS MORE EXPENSIVE THAN THE DAY RATE, AND THAT THE CODE CLERKS RECEIVE NO EXTRA COMPENSATION FOR THIS OVERTIME SO THAT THEY ARE ACTUALLY BEING PENALIZED FOR THEIR DEVOTION TO THEIR DUTY BY HAVING TO PAY OUT OF THEIR OWN POCKETS FOR TAXI FARES TO THEIR HOMES WHENEVER THEIR WORK DETAINS THEM IN THE EMBASSY UNTIL AFTER MIDNIGHT.

WHILE THE APPROPRIATION REFERRED TO IN YOUR LETTER "CONTINGENT EXPENSES, FOREIGN SERVICE, 37," AS MADE BY THE ACT OF MAY 15, 1936, 49 STAT. 1314, PROVIDES FOR THE HIRE OF MOTOR-PROPELLED, PASSENGER CARRYING VEHICLES FOR OFFICIAL PURPOSES AND ALSO FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES, THERE APPEARS TO BE NOTHING IN SAID APPROPRIATION, EITHER IN SPECIFIC TERMS OR BY NECESSARY IMPLICATION, AUTHORIZING ITS USE FOR EXPENSES SUCH AS INVOLVED IN THE PRESENT MATTER. THE TRANSPORTATION FROM PLACE OF DUTY TO THE EMPLOYEES' HOMES IS NEITHER FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS NOR ARE THE EMPLOYEES IN A TRAVEL STATUS. IT IS MERELY PERSONAL TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THE HOMES OF THE EMPLOYEES AND THEIR POST OF DUTY, SUCH AS IS REQUIRED BY THE PUBLIC GENERALLY, AND ANY ALLOWANCE IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES WOULD CONSTITUTE AN INCREASE IN COMPENSATION OR AN ADDITION TO THE REGULAR SALARY PAID TO THE EMPLOYEES INVOLVED, IN DIRECT CONTRAVENTION OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 1765, REVISED STATUTES.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THE QUESTION SUBMITTED MUST BE ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.

Jan 14, 2021

Jan 13, 2021

Looking for more? Browse all our products here