A-33148, NOVEMBER 15, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 222

A-33148: Nov 15, 1930

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A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR ANY ADDITIONAL TRAVEL TIME INVOLVED AND FOR THE TEMPORARY DUTY ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT THE EXPENSES INCURRED ARE IN EXCESS OF THE EXPENSES WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY THE APPOINTEE IN GOING DIRECTLY FROM HIS HOME TO THE PLACE FIXED AS HIS FIRST POST OF DUTY. 1930: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 30. WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT THE EMPLOYEES BY FIRST REPORTING TO WASHINGTON FOR INSTRUCTIONS. YOUR LETTER IS IN PART AS FOLLOWS: THE AGENTS AND ACCOUNTANTS WHOSE EXPENSE VOUCHERS WERE UNDER CONSIDERATION WERE NEWLY APPOINTED EMPLOYEES WHO CAME TO WASHINGTON. THEIR HEADQUARTERS WERE TEMPORARILY FIXED AT WASHINGTON AND FOLLOWING THE PERIOD OF TRAINING THEY WERE ASSIGNED TO FIELD DUTY STATIONS AND THEIR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE TO SAID STATIONS WERE ALLOWED.

A-33148, NOVEMBER 15, 1930, 10 COMP. GEN. 222

TRAVELING EXPENSES - DUTY EN ROUTE TO FIRST DUTY STATION A NEWLY APPOINTED EMPLOYEE REQUIRED TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY BEFORE REPORTING TO HIS FIRST OFFICIAL DUTY STATION MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR ADDITIONAL SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED BY REASON OF SUCH TEMPORARY DUTY, INCLUDING, IF ADMINISTRATIVELY AUTHORIZED, A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR ANY ADDITIONAL TRAVEL TIME INVOLVED AND FOR THE TEMPORARY DUTY ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT THE EXPENSES INCURRED ARE IN EXCESS OF THE EXPENSES WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY THE APPOINTEE IN GOING DIRECTLY FROM HIS HOME TO THE PLACE FIXED AS HIS FIRST POST OF DUTY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, NOVEMBER 15, 1930:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 30, 1930 (J.W.G.), REQUESTING FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF DECISION A-33148, 10 COMP. GEN. 184, DATED OCTOBER 24, 1930, IN REFERENCE TO CREDIT FOR PAYMENTS MADE ON THE TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHERS OF 16 NEWLY APPOINTED SPECIAL AGENTS AND ACCOUNTANTS OF THE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT THE EMPLOYEES BY FIRST REPORTING TO WASHINGTON FOR INSTRUCTIONS, ETC., DID NOT THEREBY BECOME ENTITLED TO TRAVEL EXPENSES IN PROCEEDING FROM WASHINGTON TO THEIR FIRST DUTY STATIONS IN THE FIELD.

YOUR LETTER IS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

THE AGENTS AND ACCOUNTANTS WHOSE EXPENSE VOUCHERS WERE UNDER CONSIDERATION WERE NEWLY APPOINTED EMPLOYEES WHO CAME TO WASHINGTON, AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE, AND REMAINED IN WASHINGTON, AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE, FOR ABOUT THREE WEEKS, FOR A TRAINING COURSE CONDUCTED BY THE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. THEIR HEADQUARTERS WERE TEMPORARILY FIXED AT WASHINGTON AND FOLLOWING THE PERIOD OF TRAINING THEY WERE ASSIGNED TO FIELD DUTY STATIONS AND THEIR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE TO SAID STATIONS WERE ALLOWED, SUCH EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH CHANGE OF HEADQUARTERS BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND NOT FOR THE PERSONAL CONVENIENCE OF THE EMPLOYEE, AND BEING ALLOWABLE UNDER A PROVISION CONTAINED IN THE ANNUAL TREASURY DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1930, 45 STAT. 1055.

IT IS UNDERSTOOD FROM YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 24TH, THAT A NEWLY APPOINTED EMPLOYEE WHO IS DIRECTED TO PERFORM CERTAIN DUTIES IN WASHINGTON IS ENTITLED TO SALARY AND SUBSISTENCE DURING THE PERIOD HE IS PERFORMING SUCH SERVICE AWAY FROM HIS REGULAR POST OF DUTY, AND TO THE NECESSARY AND PROPER ADDITIONAL TRAVELING EXPENSES CAUSED SOLELY BY THE DEVIATION OR STOP-OVER TO PERFORM OFFICIAL DUTY IN WASHINGTON, BUT YOUR ATTENTION IS INVITED TO THE FACT THAT IF THIS PROCEDURE IS FOLLOWED IN CONNECTION WITH THE NEWLY APPOINTED AGENTS AND ACCOUNTANTS WHO ARE BROUGHT TO WASHINGTON FOR A PERIOD OF TRAINING AND INSTRUCTION, LASTING APPROXIMATELY THREE WEEKS, THAT THE AMOUNTS WHICH WOULD BE DUE THEM FOR SUBSISTENCE, AT THE RATE OF $6.00 PER DAY EACH, WOULD MORE THAN OFFSET THEIR TRAVELING AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES IN REPORTING TO THE FIELD STATION. THE PROCEDURE HERETOFORE FOLLOWED BY THE DEPARTMENT APPEARS TO BE A MORE ECONOMICAL ONE FOR THE GOVERNMENT, THE AGENTS AND ACCOUNTANTS BEING TEMPORARILY APPOINTED WITH HEADQUARTERS AT WASHINGTON, AND OF COURSE NO PER DIEMS IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ARE ALLOWED WHILE THEY ARE DETAINED IN WASHINGTON FOR OFFICIAL DUTY, AS INDICATED ABOVE. WHEN THESE AGENTS AND ACCOUNTANTS ARE APPOINTED IT IS NOT KNOWN TO WHAT FIELD STATION THEY WILL BE ASSIGNED, AND THEIR FIELD ASSIGNMENTS ARE NOT DETERMINED UNTIL AFTER THEIR CAPABILITIES ARE ASCERTAINED DURING THE COURSE OF TRAINING AND INSTRUCTION. IT THEREFORE SEEMS TO BE BETTER ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE TO FIX THEIR HEADQUARTERS TEMPORARILY IN WASHINGTON, UNTIL ASSIGNED TO A FIELD STATION, AND THAT THEY BE CONSIDERED IN A TRAVEL STATUS UPON LEAVING WASHINGTON FOR THE FIELD STATION TO WHICH ASSIGNED.

CAREFUL CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR STATEMENT IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRAVEL EXPENSE VOUCHERS OF THESE AGENTS AND ACCOUNTANTS, PARTICULARLY WITH REFERENCE TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF DECEMBER 20, 1928, 45 STAT. 1055, AND THE ASSERTED ECONOMY OF REIMBURSING PERSONS, APPOINTED FOR FIELD DUTY AND DETAILED TO WASHINGTON FOR INSTRUCTIONS, FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES FROM WASHINGTON TO THEIR RESPECTIVE FIRST DUTY STATIONS, RATHER THAN PAYING THEM SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE FOR THE PERIOD OF INSTRUCTION AT WASHINGTON.

THE PROVISION CITED PERMITS THE PAYMENT FROM APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1930 OF THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEES "ON TRANSFER FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER" WHEN AUTHORIZED BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT, ETC., AND HAS NO APPARENT APPLICATION TO THE PRESENT MATTER FOR THE REASON THAT THE EMPLOYEES WERE NOT "TRANSFERRED" FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER, WITHIN THE CONTEMPLATION OF THAT ACT, BUT, IN EFFECT, WERE EN ROUTE TO THEIR FIRST OFFICIAL DUTY STATIONS. THEIR STATUS IN THIS RESPECT WAS NOT CHANGED BY THE FACT THAT THEY WERE REQUIRED TO COME TO WASHINGTON (OR TO REMAIN TEMPORARILY IN WASHINGTON AFTER APPOINTMENT HERE) FOR SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE PROCEEDING TO THE SUBSEQUENTLY DESIGNATED FIELD STATIONS TO PERFORM THE DUTIES FOR WHICH THEY WERE APPOINTED. THE GENERAL RULE INVOLVED IS WELL ESTABLISHED AND OF LONG STANDING AND THE PRINCIPLE THEREOF MAY NOT BE DISREGARDED ON THE GROUND THAT A DIFFERENT RULE MIGHT PROVE MORE ECONOMICAL IN PARTICULAR CASES. IN THIS CONNECTION IT MAY BE OBSERVED THAT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE ACT OF 1926, 44 STAT. 688, AND PARAGRAPH 45 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THE MATTER OF LIMITING IN ADVANCE THE AMOUNT AN EMPLOYEE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR ACTUAL EXPENSES OF SUBSISTENCE, OR PAID A PER DIEM IN LIEU THEREOF WHILE AN TEMPORARY DUTY, IS WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION OF THE OFFICIAL AUTHORIZED TO ISSUE THE TRAVEL ORDERS, AND, IF IT BE CONSIDERED THAT THE ALLOWANCE OF A PER DIEM OF $6 WHILE RECEIVING INSTRUCTIONS AT WASHINGTON IS EXCESSIVE IN VIEW OF ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES INVOLVED IN CASES LIKE THOSE HERE PRESENTED, IT WOULD SEEM THAT, SO FAR AS ECONOMY IS CONCERNED, THERE WOULD BE FOR CONSIDERATION THE REDUCTION OF THE PER DIEM RATE OR THE LIMITATION OF THE AMOUNT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES TO BE REIMBURSED, RATHER THAN, AS PROPOSED, THE SUBSTITUTION OF PAYMENT OF UNAUTHORIZED TRAVEL EXPENSES TO THE FIRST DUTY STATION IN LIEU OF PAYMENT OF ANY SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR THE TEMPORARY DUTY EN ROUTE.

THE RULE IS THAT UPON APPOINTMENT AN EMPLOYEE MUST PAY ALL OF HIS OWN EXPENSES, BOTH SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSPORTATION, IN REPORTING TO HIS FIRST OFFICIAL DUTY STATION. WHERE, AS HERE, HE IS REQUIRED TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY EN ROUTE, HE MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THE ADDITIONAL SUBSISTENCE AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES IMPOSED ON HIM BY BEING REQUIRED TO PROCEED TO SOME POINT OTHER THAN HIS FIRST OFFICIAL DUTY STATION FOR SUCH TEMPORARY DUTY, INCLUDING, IF ADMINISTRATIVELY AUTHORIZED, A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FOR THE ADDITIONAL TRAVEL TIME INVOLVED AND THE TEMPORARY DUTY. HE IS NOT RELIEVED, HOWEVER, OF THE EXPENSE THAT HE OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE INCURRED FOR TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE IN REPORTING DIRECTLY TO HIS FIRST DUTY STATION, AND, CONSEQUENTLY, MAY BE REIMBURSED ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT THE EXPENSES INCURRED ARE IN EXCESS OF THE EXPENSES WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY THE EMPLOYEE IN GOING DIRECTLY FROM HIS HOME TO THE PLACE FINALLY FIXED FOR HIS POST OF DUTY.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT, IN THE PRESENT CASE, THAT APPARENTLY NO ORDERS WERE ISSUED AUTHORIZING OR LIMITING PER DIEM OR ACTUAL EXPENSES OF THE 16 AGENTS IN QUESTION FOR TEMPORARY DUTY AT WASHINGTON, AND AS SUCH AGENTS APPARENTLY PAID THEIR OWN WAY TO WASHINGTON, CREDIT WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS FOR PAYMENTS OF TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES FROM WASHINGTON TO THE FIRST DUTY STATIONS, TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH PAYMENTS, INCLUDING COST OF TRANSPORTATION, ARE NOT IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT IT WOULD HAVE COST THE GOVERNMENT FOR PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $6 A DAY FOR SUCH TEMPORARY DUTY EN ROUTE, PLUS THE AMOUNT OF ANY ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPOSED ON THE EMPLOYEE BY REASON OF HAVING TO REPORT TO WASHINGTON FOR INSTRUCTIONS RATHER THAN REPORTING DIRECT TO THE FIRST OFFICIAL DUTY STATION.

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