« ForrigeFortsett »
disbursing officer apparently has construed the joint resolution as authorizing the increase from July 1, 1919. The resolution makes the appropriations effective from the beginning of the fiscal year, and obligations incurred pursuant to the terms of such appropriations are ratified and confirmed, but no reference is therein made to personnel legislation contained in the appropriation act.
I am therefore of the opinion that the joint resolution should not be construed as affecting the increased rate of pay granted to midshipmen. The act of July 11, 1919, provides that the pay of midshipmen shall “ hereafter” be $780 per annum, and following the rule of construction that general and permanent legislation contained in an annual appropriation act qualified by the word “hereafter” takes effect on the date of the approval of the act, it is accordingly held that July 11, 1919, is the date on which midshipmen became entitled to the higher rate of pay authorized by the said act. 3 Comp. Dec., 473; 19 id., 193.
Unserviceable automobiles, trucks, and motor cycles which have lost their char.
acter as passenger-carrying vehicles may be purchased by the Federal Board for Vocational Education from the War Department and paid for from appropriations for vocational rehabilitation without violation of the provisions of the act of July 16, 1914, 38 Stat., 508, prohibiting use of any appropriation for purchase of motor-propelled passenger-carrying vehicles unless specific authority therefor is given, provided the board will certify that the vehicles are to be kept as trade-teaching equipment for trainees and not used for passenger-carrying purposes.
Comptroller General McCarl to the Chairman, Federal Board for Vocational Education, August 10, 1921:
I have your letter of August 3, 1921, requesting decision whether the appropriation for vocational rehabilitation made by the act of March 4, 1921, 41 Stat., 1379, may be used to purchase from the War Department certain unserviceable automobiles, trucks, and motor cycles, to be used by your board for instructional purposes only in the shops and classrooms where training in automotive courses is given to trainees of the board.
Section 5 of the act of July 16, 1914, 38 Stat., 508, prohibits the use of any appropriation for the purchase of any motor-propelled passenger-carrying vehicle unless specific authority therefor is given. There is no specific authority of law for the purchase of such vehicles from the appropriation now in question. Unless the vehicles which you now propose to purchase are so unserviceable as to have lost their character as passenger-carrying vehicles their purchase is within the inhibition of this statute, whether purchased from the War Department or elsewhere.
The prohibition of the act of 1914 is upon procuring motor-propelled passenger-carrying vehicles “for the service of any of the executive departments or other Government establishments or any branch of the Government service.” The purpose for which it is stated the motor-propelled vehicles are to be acquired sufficiently indicates that it is not " for the service” of your board, but rather what may be termed trade-teaching equipment, and if the vehicles are in the general sense unserviceable for passenger-carrying purposes and are to be used for shop and class instruction in the mechanics of the machines only, and are to be kept for such purposes exclusively and not used as passenger-carrying vehicles, and the board will so certify, they may be purchased as indicated without violation of the act of 1914. Otherwise the proposed purchase is unlawful.
Attention is invited to the provisions of the act of July 11, 1919, 41 Stat., 105, and of March 15, 1920, 41 Stat., 530, authorizing the transfer of certain motor-propelled vehicles to certain services of the Government. Attention is also invited to section 5 of the act of July 11, 1919, 41 Stat., 67, requiring executive departments of the Government to purchase material, supplies, and equipment from other services of the Government possessing material, supplies, and equipment no longer required because of the cessation of war activities. It is primarily for the administrative branch of the Government to determine its authority to make sale of any of its equipment.
ADVERTISING FOR BIDS.
Purchase of supplies from appropriations for the Panama Canal for sale to
the Panama Canal Railroad are subject to the same statutory restrictions upon purchases without advertising that applies to other purchases made from the appropriations.
Comptroller General McCarl to the Governor of the Panama Canal, August 10, 1921. I have your letter of July 28, 1921, as follows:
The Panama Canal desires to purchase as proprietary articles and without advertising switch lamps from the Adams and Westlake Company. These lamps are to be purchased for resale to the Panama Railroad Company. The Panama Railroad Company desires to standardize upon the "Adlake" lamp, which has always given satisfaction and which is a proprietary article produced by the Adams and Westlake Company.
You are requested to advise whether the purchase from the Adams and Westlake Companay of this lamp as a proprietary article, without advertising, would be authorized based upon a certificate that the article is required for resale to the Panama Railroad Company to meet a definite demand for a particular make and that it is proprietary and produced by the Adams and Westlake Company.
I understand that your purpose is to make these purchases from the appropriation for maintenance and operation of the Panama Canal made by the act of March 4, 1921, 41 Stat., 1432, which pro. vides for purchase of material, supplies, and equipment for issue to all departments of the Panama Canal, the Panama Railroad, other branches of the United States Government, and for authorized sales.
A later provision of the same act appropriates for expenditure and reinvestment under the several heads of appropriations in the actall moneys received by the Panama Canal from services rendered or materials and supplies furnished to the United States, the Panama Railroad Company, the Canal Zone government, or to their employees, respectively, or to the Panama Government.
The general purchase appropriation of the Panama Canal is thus chargeable with purchase of supplies for the railroad and is reimbursable for supplies so purchased. The purchase is made from the appropriation, however, and is subject to the same statutory restriction upon purchase without advertisement that applies to other purchases made from the appropriation. Primarily the purchases are on account of the Panama Canal and to whom the supplies may be eventually issued, is immaterial in connection with the procedure of purchase.
It does not appear that the purchases in question are of a character which could lawfully be made by the Panama Canal from its appropriation for its own use without advertising. See 27 Comp. Dec., 896. They are equally unauthorized if made for the Panama Railroad from the same appropriation, subject to reimbursement of the appropriation from moneys of the railroad. The competition contemplated and provided for by the statute is as desirable in the one case as in the other.
SUBSISTENCE ON TEMPORARY DUTY.
An order directing an employee of the War Department to proceed to and
perform duty at a certain place incident to change of station, without direction as to return to the place of original employment or to any other station upon completion of such duty, is not sufficient to place the employee on temporary duty, but the place to which assigned must be considered as his permanent station at which he is not entitled to the per
diem allowance in lieu of subsistence. Decision by Comptroller General McCarl, August 10, 1921:
John E. Fagan applied April 2, 1921, to the Comptroller of the Treasury for revision of the action of the Auditor for the War Department in disallowing per certificate dated February 15, 1921, case No. 760289, his claim for additional 50 cents per diem for the period August 19, 1918, to January 31, 1919, a total of 166 days, while on temporary duty as shoe inspector, Quartermaster Corps, United States Army.
Claimant was given a temporary appointment as shoe inspector on June 11, 1917, appointed probationary shoe inspector March 14, 1918, with station at Boston, Mass.
By travel order dated May 10, 1918, claimant was directed as follows:
400 Brookline Street, Cambridge, Mass., May 10, 1918.
You are hereby directed to proceed from Boston, Mass., to Bridgewater, Mass., and report leaving on the 10th instant in connection with contract No. 2739–B with L. Q. White Shoe Co. for shoes.
While on duty there you will inspect material and the manufacture of the articles under that contract.
You will make reports as required to this office as to the progress of the contract and any remarks you may have to make pertinent thereto.
Transportation is herewith inclosed covering the journey.
You will be allowed $4.00 per day for the first 30 days; $1.00 per day thereafter while on duty at your temporary station.
Transportation furnished 5/10/18 via NYNH&H RR. Req. #613484.
C. S. RIDGWAY, Jr..
18t Lieut., Q.M.C. N. A. The per diem provided by this order was paid and the present claim arises under the provisions of Changes Army Regulations No. 78, dated August 19, 1918, increasing the per diem after the first 30 days from $1 to $1.50.
The question presented whether the above order was sufficient to place employee on temporary duty is not new, twice having been considered in published decisions of the Comptroller of the Treasury in cases identical as to facts. 25 Comp. Dec., 899; 27 id., 816. The latter case is in effect a reversal of the earlier decision.
Section 733 of the Army Regulations, as amended, provides :
733. Reimbursement of actual expenses when traveling under competent orders will be allowed, under the following heads, to civilians in the employ of any branch of the military service, excepting the expert accountant of the Inspector General's Department and those mentioned in paragraph 734, viz:
e. Cost of meals, including tips, not to exceed $5.00 a day while en route, when meals are not included in the transportation fare paid, and not to exceed $5.00 a day for meals, tips, and lodgings during necessary delay en route, and when meals are included in the transportation fare paid, tips for meals not to exceed 15 cents each.
f. Cost of meals and lodgings, including baths, tips, and laundry work, not to exceed $5.00 a day for the first 30 days while on duty at places designated in the orders for the performance of temporary duty, and a flat per diem allowance of $1.50 a day after the first 30 days of temporary duty at any one place. In time of actual war no such reimbursement of expenses or per diem allowance will be allowed to the civilian employees specified who accompany troops in the field, but in lieu thereof the allowance of tents prescribed by the war Wepartment and a ration will be furnished such employees.
2. In lieu of reimbursement for the actual expenses provided in e and f of subparagraph 1, civilian employees not accompanying troops in time of actual war, nor traveling on Army transports, may, when their orders so prescribe, be allowed flat per diem allowances not exceeding the following rates when traveling and when on duty for the first 30 days at places designated in their orders for the performance of temporary duty.
These sections of the Army Regulations promulgated by the Secretary of War under authority of the act of August 1, 1914, 38 Stato, 680, provide for the reimbursement of traveling expenses of employees of the Government temporarily away from their designated post of duty.
The law and regulations relating to per diem allowances in lieu of actual traveling expenses authorize payment thereof for travel and temporary duty incident to employment at a permanent station, and orders to travel should clearly show this fact.
To entitle claimant to traveling expenses under this order it must be shown that he was in a travel status while at Bridgewater, Mass. Whether an officer or employee of the Government is in a travel status during a given period is not so much dependent upon the wording of his orders as upon the facts of the case. He must have a permanent station at which he has definite duties to perform, and his absence therefrom must be of a temporary nature; his orders to travel on temporary duty should be such as to direct that upon the completion of the duties enjoined by his orders he is to return to his permanent station.
The order of May 10, 1918, specifically directed a change of station from Boston to Bridgewater. There is nothing in the record showing intent that the employment at Bridgewater was to be temporary. There was no direction in the order that the employee was to return to Boston on the completion of his duties at Bridgewater. The word “temporary" under the head of “ Remarks” in the order is a mere conclusion, unsupported by convincing facts, and must be disregarded. It is held that during the period May 10, 1918, to March 10, 1919, the designated post of duty of this employee was at Bridgewater, Mass.
Upon a review of the matter no differences are found, and the settlement is sustained.
To the extent above indicated the decision of March 23, 1921, 27 Comp. Dec., 816, holding to the contrary will not hereafter be followed.
Payments heretofore made and allowances heretofore granted in similar cases will not now be disturbed.
A copy of this decision will be sent to the Quartermaster General, United States Army, and in otherwise proper cases orders hereafter issued directing travel and the performance of temporary duty should be worded so as to clearly show the character of travel and duty to be performed. In this connection attention is invited to the following decisions of the Comptroller of the Treasury. 25 Comp. Dec., 899, 381, and 321; 23 id., 313 and 8; 22 id., 496; 18 id., 347 and 110.