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The action of the Auditor in this respect is affirmed. The second question is whether the claimant is entitled to mileage or to actual traveling expenses.
His orders are as follows:
Order of July 9, 1902:
"You are hereby detached from duty at the naval hospital, Boston, Mass.; will proceed to New York, N. Y., and report to the commandant of the navy-yard at that place on July 12, 1902, for duty with the recruiting party under the command of Lieut. Duncan M. Wood, U. S. Navy, to leave the yard on that date."
Order of October 10, 1902, dated at Indianapolis, Ind.:
"Upon the closing of this office on Saturday, October 11, you will proceed immediately to Bloomington, Ind. Upon your arrival there you will examine Henry H. Henley, electrician, third class, of West Second street, as to physical and mental condition. You will make a full report to the Depart ment. Upon the completion of this duty you will rejoin at once this recruiting party at Lafayette, Ind.
"This duty is in obedience to the Department's telegram of October 9, 1902."
Order of December 20, 1902, dated at St. Louis, Mo.:
"You will proceed to your home, reporting your arrival there to the Secretary of the Navy in writing. In absence of further orders you will then proceed to Chattanooga, Tenn., in time to report to the naval recruiting officer at that point on the morning of January 3, 1903.
"2. Transportation will be furnished you to your home." He claimed expenses for travel performed under said orders as follows:
Indianapolis to Bloomington, Ind., thence to Lafayette, Ind.,
Kansas City to Springfield, Mo., thence to St. Louis, Mo., thence to Dover, Del., exclusive of transportation furnished, amounting
Expenses incurred while at Chattanooga
The Auditor allowed the amounts claimed, and in addition, and upon the recommendation of the Secretary of the Navy, allowed him expenses for the travel from Dover, Del., to Chattanooga, Tenn., amounting to $34.45, the total aggregating $171.06, but the mileage amounting to $62.08, which had been paid him for this travel was deducted therefrom.
It is from the action on the latter item the claimant appeals.
The act of June 7, 1900 (31 Stat., 684), provides that officers of the Navy traveling under orders in the United States shall receive mileage at the rate of 8 cents per mile.
The Navy appropriation act of July 1, 1902 (32 Stat., 662 and 663), provides:
"That hereafter in cases where orders are given to officers of the Navy or Marine Corps for travel to be performed repeatedly between two or more places in such vicinity, as in the discretion of the Secretary of the Navy is appropriate, he may direct that actual and necessary expenses only be allowed."
It has been held that the Secretary of the Navy can exercise this discretion only where the travel must be performed "repeatedly between two or more places," and that when the travel between two places was not repeated the officer is entitled to mileage (see Willits v. United States, 38 Ct. Cl., 535; 9 Comp. Dec., 351).
As none of the travel in this case was performed "repeatedly between two or more places," I am of the opinion that the claimant is entitled to mileage instead of traveling expenses. He will therefore be allowed mileage, as follows:
Indianapolis to Bloomington, Ind
Kansas City to Springfield, Mo.
Dover to Chattanooga, Tenn
2,386 miles, at 8 cents per mile, amounts to....
Kansas City to Springfield
Springfield to St. Louis
St. Louis to Wilmington, Del.
Difference due the United States....
The action of the Auditor is reversed.
The Auditor allowed expenses for this travel, as stated above, amounting to.....
PAYMENT FOR WATER AND ICE FOR FIRST AND SECOND CLASS POST-OFFICES.
The appropriation made in the act of March 3, 1903, for necessary miscellaneous and incidental items directly connected with first and second class post-offices, is applicable, in the discretion of the PostmasterGeneral, to the cost of water and ice for said offices.
(Decision by Comptroller Tracewell, July 27, 1904.)
The Auditor for the Post-Office Department, by settlement of the account of Loomis K. Bishop, postmaster, Grand Rapids, Mich., from January 1 to March 31, 1904, disallowed the following items:
1. Amount paid to Crystal Springs Water, Fuel and Northern Ice Company, for 255 gallons of Crystal Springs water, furnished to stations A, B, C, and D, in January, February, and March, 1904, $12.75.
2. Overpayment to W. K. Sager, railway postal clerk, $2.38. By application, filed June 30, 1904, the postmaster requested a revision of his account.
There is no question about the correctness of the disallowance of the second item. In a communication dated April 2, 1903, the Postmaster-General authorized the postmaster at Grand Rapids, Mich., to make expenditures for his office during the fiscal year 1904 for ice and water for stations A, B, C, and D in the sum of $112.20.
The amount previously expended by the postmaster for ice and water under this authorization is, for ice, $24.21; for water, $27.40; making a total expenditure, including the amount of $12.75 disallowed by the Auditor of $63.86.
The appropriation from which these expenditures are payable is contained in the act of March 3, 1903 (32 Stat., 1169), and provides as follows:
"For necessary miscellaneous and incidental items directly connected with first and second class post-offices, including furniture, cleaning, and all other matters not specially provided for in other appropriations."
In a communication to the postmaster, dated June 18, 1904, the Auditor stated the following reasons for disallowing the expenditures referred to:
"In reply to your letter of the 13th instant, this Office advises you that no credit can be allowed postmasters in their postal accounts for expenditures for bottled water or for
drinking water. Such an expenditure is held not to be properly chargeable to the appropriation by Congress for miscellaneous expenses at first and second class offices."
I can not concur with the Auditor in this view. I think this question is one which was properly within the discretion of the Postmaster-General, which was determined in the affirmative by his authorization of the expenditure.
There are cases in which the discretion of the head of a Department in determining whether a particular expenditure is necessary or appropriate to the object for which an appropriation has been made is subject to restrictions imposed by the terms of the appropriation or by other provisions of law. (7 Comp. Dec., 32-33.) But I think there is no restriction in the terms of this appropriation or of any provision of law applicable to these expenditures which forbids the use of the appropriation for the purchase of drinking water where necessary.
The action of the Auditor is reversed.
COMPUTING PAYMENTS OF ANNUAL OR MONTHLY COMPENSATION.
Under the provision in section 4 of the act of April 28, 1904, for computing payments of annual or monthly compensation, an employee who qualified and entered upon his duties on the second day of a thirty-one-day month, and continued to serve until the end of the month, is entitled to pay for thirty days, provided the salary of the position was not paid to any other person for the first day of said month.
Under the provision in section 4 of the act of April 28, 1904, for computing payments of annual or monthly compensation, an employee who qualified and entered upon his duties on the second day of a thirty-day month and served until the 28th of said month, on which day his successor qualified and entered upon duty and served during the remaining three days of the month, is entitled to pay for twenty-six days and his successor for three days, provided the salary of the position was not paid to any other person for the first day of said month. Under the provision in the act of April 28, 1904, for computing payments
of annual or monthly compensation, a clerk at $1,600 per annum in the office of the Auditor for the Treasury Department who was transferred to a newly created position at $3,000 per annum in the office of the surveyor of customs at St. Louis, Mo., on July 19, 1904, and who qualified and entered upon his duties on said day, and served during the remainder of the month, and who was paid his salary as clerk in the Auditor's office up to and including the 18th of the month, is entitled to pay for thirteen days for his services during the remainder of the month in his new position.
(Comptroller Tracewell to the Secretary of the Treasury, July 28, 1904.)
I am in receipt of your communication of the 27th instant, in which you say:
"I have the honor to request your decision upon the following points, involving the payment of salaries under the new salary tables now in force:
"1. When a person is sworn in and enters on the discharge of the duties of an office on the second day of a thirty-oneday month, and continues in service to the 31st day of said month, shall he be paid for twenty-nine-thirtieths of a month or for a full month of thirty days, there being no one in the position on the 1st day of the month.
"2. A person appointed on the second day of a thirty-day month, there being no incumbent of the office on the first day of the month, serves until the 27th of the same month. His successor qualifies and enters on duty on the 28th of the same month. What proportion of salary is due the first and what the second?
"3. A clerk at $1,600 per annum in the office of the Auditor for the Treasury Department was transferred to the office of the surveyor of customs at St. Louis, Mo., on the 19th day of July, at $3,000 per annum, took the oath of office and entered on duty on that day. He was paid his salary in the Auditor's office up to and including July 18. The surveyor at St. Louis estimates for his salary from July 19 to 31, on a basis of twelve days. The position in St. Louis was a new office, created at the time of this clerk's appointment thereto, and there was no predecessor. Should he be paid for twelve days or for thirteen days?"
Assuming that each of your questions has reference to monthly or annual salaries, I will answer them in the order named.
1. He should be paid for thirty days, if you intend to state that his service includes the 31st day of the month, and further provided the salary of such position is paid no other person for the first day of said month.
2. If it is your intention to state that such person served on the 27th day of the month in question, he is entitled to receive pay for twenty-six days. If the second person served during the remainder of the month, he would be entitled to receive three days' pay.
3. If the person mentioned in your third question serves during the remainder of the month of July, he will be entitled to thirteen days' pay.
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