« PreviousContinue »
"The uniform practice of the accounting officers in construing this statute has been to hold that a person can not be paid traveling expenses under it while he was at his home, official station, or headquarters, the theory being that he can not travel while at these places. In order to be entitled to be reimbursed for traveling expenses under this statute, it has always been held, and correctly so, that the status of the person seeking reimbursement for traveling expenses under it must be that of a traveler (as contradistinguished from that of a person living at home or with his family)." (8 Comp. Dec. 118, 119, Aug. 15, 1901.)
"Where transportation is issued to an officer or employee of the Government] by a transportation company as a gratuity nothing is actually paid for it, and the officer or employee does not actually incur any expenses therefor, which under the statute above quoted act of Mar. 3, 1875, ch. 133, 18 Stat. 452,7 is a necessary prerequisite to the right of reimbursement for the value of it." (8 Comp. Dec. 328, 332, Nov. 22, 1901.)
"In making the provision in the act of March 3, 1875 (18 Stat., 452), that only actual expenses shall be allowed, except as otherwise provided for, for travel upon public business, Congress must have intended that there should be some control of such expenditures, and I think such control may be properly exercised by the head of the Department under who se orders the travel is performed. (10 Comp. Dec. 209, 211-212, Aug. 27, 1903. Compare: 14 Comp. Dec. 143, Sept. 10, 1907. See also 18 Comp. Dec. 616, Feb. 21, 1912.)
"Reimbursement of expenses properly and necessarily incurred while traveling on public business may be made upon vouchers properly itemized and verified, in accordance with the departmental regulations applicable thereto, or an account for services properly rendered or articles properly furnished to the person who is traveling on public business may be paid upon a properly prepared voucher. (10 Comp. Dec. 688, 690, Apr. 5, 1904. See also: Comp. Dec. 424, 425, Feb. 10, 1899; 5 Comp. Dec. 216, 219, Nov. 4, 1898; 5 Comp. Dec 369, 371, Jan. 7, 1899.)
"Actual and necessary traveling expenses only are allowed to civilian employees (act of March 3, 1875, 18 Stat., 452); that is, such actual expenses as are incident to travel under orders on public business. Expenses incurred during unnecessary delay in making the travel are not allowable (6 Comp. Dec., 93); but when the detention is necessary and caused by the public authorities, as in the case of quarantine, and without fault of the employee, and he is in condition for service and holds himself in readiness therefor, he is entitled to reimbursement for proper expenses during such detention." (12 Comp. Dec. 476, 477, Feb. 16, 1906.)
"It has been frequently decided by this office that traveling expenses consist of board, loaging, and trasportation charges, and such other purely personal expenses arising solely through the act of traveling as have been prescribed by those having the authority to make such regulations." (18 Comp. Dec. 303, 305, Oct. 24, 1911.)
"This statute does not confer a right upon employees *, but is a limitation." (22 Comp. Dec. 441, 442, Mar. 8, 1916.)
"It would seem to be clear that the purpose of section 1765, Revised Statutes, and the act
"This enactment prohibits reimbursement for constructive travel as well as prohibits payment of mileage or other forms of commutation of traveling expenses. Subsequently mileage was provided by law for officers of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, and more recently for officers of the Coast Guard, Public Health Service, and Coast and Geodetic Survey, and in the act of June 10, 1922, 42 Stat. 631, section 12, provision was made for reimbursement for actual expenses for such officers when traveling outside the continental limits of the United States. The 1875 statute has also been modified by provision for the payment of per diem in lieu of subsistence when traveling, not only in the services mentioned but generally. To the 'extent that particular classes have been taken out of the statute by subsequent legislation it has been modified, but otherwise the act is subsisting law. It prohibits 'reimbursement' of expenses not actually incurred, in the nature of commutation, and reimbursement for the cost of transportation not actually paid. " (5 Comp. Gen. 358, 359, Nov. 21, 1925. See also: 26 Comp. Dec. 767, 768-769, Mar. 22, 1920; 18 Comp. Gen. 934, 936, June 19, 1939.)
"It is the established rule that all travel by Government employees must be by the shortest and most economical usually traveled route. (18 Comp. Gen. 962, June 22, 1939.)
Where employee's automobile is used on official business at his official headquarters, reimbursement of the cost thereof may not be made on the basis of a general average consumption of gasoline and oil of numerous automobiles of various makes, ages, and conditions, instead of on the basis of an average consumption by the particular vehicle used. "An allowance on such a basis is tantamount to a commutation of expense or allowance in addition to salary, rather than a reimbursement of actual expenses. and is in contravention of the act of March 3, loro, 18 Stat. 452, and section 1765, Revised Statutes." (20 Comp. Gen. 101, 102, Aug. 20, 1940.)
"The act of March 3, 1875. 18 Stat. 452, 5 U. S. C. 73, provides that, with certain exceptions, 'only actual traveling expenses shall be allowed to any person holding employment or appointment under the United States.' Under that statute reimbursement is made for the amount actually expended for transportation based on receipts, etc. (20 Comp. Gen. 512, 513, Mar. 18, 1941.)
under this provision only actual expenses may be allowed for travel by private plane, aside from the per diem in lieu of subsistence. (23 Comp. Gen. 99, 101, Aug. 12, 1943.)
1875, Mar. 3. Transportation of troops and property by land-grant railroads.]
That no money shall hereafter be paid to any railroad company for the transportation of any property or troops of the United States over any railroad which in whole or in part was constructed by the aid of a grant of public land on the condition that such railroad should be a public highway for the use of the Government of the United States free from toll or other charge, or upon any other conditions for the use of such road, for such transportation; nor shall any allowance be made for the transportation of officers of the Army over any such road when on duty and under orders as military officers of the United States. But nothing herein contained shall be construed as preventing any such railroad from bringing a suit in the Court of Claims for the charges for such transportation, and recovering for the same if found entitled thereto by virtue of the laws in force prior to the passage of this act; provided that the claim for such charges shall not have been barred by the statute of limitations at the time of bringing the suit, and either party shall have the right of appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States; And provided further, That the foregoing provision shall not apply for the current fiscal year, nor thereafter, to roads where the sole condition of transportation is that the company shall not charge the Government higher rates than they do individuals for like transportation, and when the Quartermaster-General shall be satisfied that this condition has been faithfully complied with.--(18 Stat. 453-454, ch. 133.)
This provision, which was part of an act making appropriations for the Army for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1876, is embodied in the U. S. Code as sec. 1376 of title 10.
An act of Feb. 28, 1920, ch. 91, sec. 208, 41 Stat. 464, provides that, "Any land grant railroad organized under the Act of July 28, 1866, (chapter 300) 14 Stat. 338-3397, shall receive the same compensation for transportation of property and troops of the United States as is paid to land grant railroads organized under the Land Grant Act of March 3, 1863 12 Stat. 7727, and the Act of July 27, 1866 (chapter 278) 14 Stat. 292-2997." The act of Mar. 3, 1863, supra, which granted lands to the State of Kansas in aid of railroads, provided, in sec. 3 thereof, that "the said railroads and branches shall be and remain public highways, for the use of the Government of the United States, free from all toll or other charge upon the transportation of any property or troops of the United States." The act of July 27, 1866, supra, which granted lands to the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company in aid of a railroad, provided, in sec. 11 thereof, that said railroad, or any part thereof, "shall be a post route and military road, subject to the use of the United States for postal, military, naval, and all other government service, and also subject to such regulations as Congress may impose restricting the charges for such government transportation." In connection with these and similar provisions relating to land-grant railroads, see United States v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, 249 U.S. 354, Mar. 31, 1919.
The following provision was included in an act of June 7, 1924, ch. 291, 43 Stat. 477, 486, which made appropriations for the War Department for the fiscal year 1925: "That hereafter payment shall be made at such rates as the Secretary of War shall deem just and reasonable and shall not exceed 50 per centum of the full amount of compensation, computed on the basis of the tariff or lower special rates for like transportation performed for the public at large, for the transportation of property or troops of the United States over any railroad which under land-grant acts was aided in its construction by a grant of land on condition that said railroad shall be and remain a public highway for the use of the United States, and for which adjustment of compensation is required in accordance with decisions of the Supreme Court construing such land-grant acts, or over any railroad which was aided in its constructior by a grant of land on condition that such railroad should be a post route and military road, subject to such regulations as Congress may impose restricting the charge for such Government transportation, and such payment shall be accepted as in full for all -demands for such service."
The following is the test of an act of Feb. 14, 1933, ch. 51, 47 Stat. 800: "That the land-grant railroad heretofore operated and now being operated between the stations of Hastings and Ortonville, in the State of Minnesota, the land-grant railroad heretofore operated and now being operated between the stations of Houston and Airlie, in the State of Minnesota, the land-grant railroad heretofore operated and now being operated from a point about four miles south of Humboldt and through the station thereof to Junction City, in the State of Kansas, and the landgrant railroad heretofore operated and now being operated between the stations of Jonesville and Mackinaw City, in the State of Michigan, shall hereafter receive compensation for transportation of property and troops of the United States at the same rate as is paid to land-grant railroads organized under the Land Grant Act of March 3, 1863, and the Act of July 27, 1866 (ch. 278): Provided, That the Congress hereby reserves the right at any time by law to prescribe such charges as it deems advisable for such Government transportation."
Control of transportation systems in time of see act of Aug. 29, 1916, ch. 418, 39 Stat.
Priority in transportation of troops and war materials: see the Interstate Commerce Act, adproved Feb. 4, 1887, ch. 104, sec. 6, 24 Stat. 380, as amended.
Rates on Government traffic: see act of Sept. 18, 1940, ch. 722, sec. 321, 54 Stat. 954-955.
Transportation, by Quartermaster-General, of property for executive departments: see act of July 5, 1884, ch. 217, 23 Stat. 111.
In general. "We are of opinion that the reservation in question secures to the government only a free use of the railroads concerned, and that it does not entitle the government to have troops or property transported by the companies over their - respective roads free of charge for transporting the same. (Lake Superior & Miss. R. S. Co. v. United States, 93 U.S. 442. 454, Oct. Term, 1876. See also: Atchison R. R. Co. v. United States, 15 Ct. Cls. 126, Dec. Term, 1879; 19 Op. Atty. Gen. 264, Mar. 27, 1889.)
"The right of the United States to have the concessions and allowances in respect of transportation made by the carriers in consideration of the aid given is a continuing one. It is of great value to the Government and of course correspondingly
burdensome to the carriers. The terms of the obli-
A railroad company which is subject to the land-grant acts "can not by the voluntary publication of a rate not required by law deprive the Government of its right to land-grant deductions." (Southern Pacific Co. v. United States, 60 Ct. Cls. 662, 672, May 11, 1925, aff., 272 U. S. 445, Nov. 22, 1926.)
Meaning of "troops of the United States". - "The military force of the United States is, and always has been a unit, although divided for purposes of administration into several branches; and there is nothing in the land-grant acts to indicate an intention on the part of Congress to differentiate between the several branches in respect to transportation charges. We are of opinion that the term 'troops' is not confined to land forces, and that it includes men and officers in every branch. Since those in the Navy and Marine Corps are to be deemed troops within the meaning of those acts, members of the Coast Guard should also be deemed such when serving as part of the Navy. But at other times members of the Coast Guard are not troops; for then it operates under, and at the expense of, the Treasury Department. (Louisville & Nashville R. R. v. United States, 258 U.S. 374, 376, Apr. 10, 1922. Accord: Southern Pacific Co. v. United States, 56 Ct. Cls. 282, May 16, 1921.
The following classes of persons are not to be deemed "troops of the United States" within the provisions of the land-grant acts: (a) discharged enlisted men; (b) discharged military prisoners; (c) rejected applicants for enlistment; (d) applicants for enlistment who have been accepted provisionally, but have yet to take the oath before they become part of the soldiery of the Nation; (e) retired enlisted men; and (f) enlisted men on furlough. (United States v. Union Pacific R. R. Co., 249 U.S. 354, Mar. 31, 1919. See also Southern Pacific Company v. United States 72 Ct. Cls. 273, June 1,
Civilian employees of the Navy Department or Naval Establishment, who are paid from naval appropriations, are not "troops of the United States" within the provisions of the land-grant acts. (33 Op. Atty. Gen. 40, Sept. 2, 1921.)
"Officers or enlisted men actually in service in the Army of the United States are 'troops' of the United States when traveling on official business under competent order, even though not traveling with
the organization to which they belong. An officer
"It is manifestly beyond the power of Congres8, under these provisions, to convert the militia of the States into a so-called National Guard of the United States." (Oregon-Washington Railroad & Navigation Co. v. United States, 60 Ct. Cls. 458, 462, Apr. 6, 1925.)
"There can be no question but that the Naval Reserve Force when on active duty is a part of the Military Establishment of the United States, and when so engaged are troops of the United States within the meaning of the land-grant acts. They are subject to the laws, regulations, and orders of the Government, and when on active duty are entitled to the same pay and allowances and other emoluments as are the officers and enlisted men of the regular naval service on active duty. When on active duty, and the transportation required in connection therewith is paid for by the United States, the travel is subject to land-grant deductions authorized for troops of the United States. (Illinois Central R. R. Co. v. United States, 62 Ct. Cls. 61, 66-67, Apr. 5, 1926, cert. den., 273 U. S. 710, Oct. 18, 1926.)
"The Naval Nurse Corps is a part of the regular Naval Establishment, and its members when being transported for the purposes of the Government must be classified as troops of the United States." (Louisville & Nashville Railroad Co. v. United States, 62 Ct. Cls. 154, 157, Apr. 26, 1926.)
Engineer officers of the United States Army, assigned to duty in connection with the improvement of rivers and harbors or the work of the California Debris Commission, are not "troops of the United States" within the meaning of the land-grant acts. (Southern Pacific Co. v. United States, 285 U.S. 240, Mar. 14, 1932. See also Southern Pacific Company v. United States, 89 Ct. Cls. 134, Nov. 6, 1939.
Enlisted members of the Naval Reserve in an "active duty" status and traveling in obedience to orders of the Navy Department which require the men to proceed from one given place to another given place and, upon arrival at the latter place, assume an inactive duty status" pending further orders for "definite assignment to duty or training" are "troops of the United States" within the provisions of the land-grant acts. (22 Comp. Gen. 799, Feb. 13, 1943.)
1875, Mar. 3. Deduction of debt due the United States from judgment recovered against the United States by debtor.
That when any final judgment recovered against the United States duly allowed by legal authority shall be presented to the Comptroller General of the United States for payment, and the plaintiff therein shall be indebted to the United States in any manner, whether as principal or surety, it shall be the duty of the Comptroller General of the United States to withhold payment of an amount of such judgment equal to the debt thus due to the United States; and if such plaintiff assents to such set-off, and discharges his judgment or an amount thereof equal to said debt, the Comptroller General of the United States shall execute a discharge of the debt due from the plaintiff to the United States. But if such plaintiff denies his indebtedness to the United States, or refuses to consent to the set-off, then the Comptroller General of the United States shall withhold payment of such further amount of such judgment, as in his opinion will be sufficient to cover all legal charges and costs in prosecuting the debt of the United States to final judgment. And if such debt is not already in suit, it shall be the duty of the Comptroller General of the United States to cause a legal proceedings to be immediately commenced to enforce the same, and to cause the same to be prosecuted to final judgment with all reasonable dispatch. And if in such action judgment shall be rendered against the United States, or the amount recovered for debt and costs shall be less than the amount so withheld as
before provided, the balance shall then be paid over to such plaintiff by such Comptroller General of the United States with 6 per centum interest thereon for the time it has been withheld from the plaintiff.--(18 Stat. 481, ch. 149; 47 Stat. 1516-1517, ch. 212.)
This act was expressly amended to read as above by act of Mar. 3, 1933, ch. 212, title II, sec. 13, 47 Stat. 1516-1517. It had previously been amended by the Budget and Accounting Act, 1921, approved June 10, 1921, ch. 18, title III, sec. 305, 42 Stat. 24. In this connection, see the following: United States v. La Grange Grocery Co., 31 F.2d 297, 298, Mar. 19, 1929; Standard Dredging Co. v. United States, 71 Ct. Cls. 218, 249-250, Dec. 1, 1930; Converse v. United States, 75 Ct. Cls. 542, 546, June 6, 1932.
This act, as amended, is embodied in the U.S. Code as sec. 227 of title 31.
Contract stipulations governing reduction or set-off for indebtedness of assignor: see the Assignment of Claims Act of 1940, approved Oct. 9, 1940, ch. 779, 54 Stat. 1029.
Payment of final judgments of Court of Claims: see sec. 1089, R. S., as amended; and act of Feb. 18, 1904, ch. 60, 33 Stat. 41, as amended.
Payment of judgments in cases referred by departments: see the Judicial Code, act of Mar. 3, 1911, ch. 231, sec. 150, 36 Stat. 1138.
Settlement of accounts: see sec. 236, R. S., as
Right of set-off. - Where a contractor is a creditor under a contract, the Government may set off, without separate action, the amount owing to it by that contractor under another contract. "It would be folly to require the Government to pay under the one contract what it must eventually recover for a breach of the other." (Barry v. United States, 229 U.S. 47, 53, May 26, 1913. See also: Emery v. United States, 13 F.2d 658, June 8, 1926; 19 Comp. Gen. 785, 787, Mar. 18, 1940.)
"The right of the United States to withhold or set off money due to a person against a debt due by such person to the Government has been recognized and exercised since the early days of our Government. It is not dependent upon the existence of a statute, but is the common right which belongs to every creditor to apply moneys payable by him to his debtor in settlement of sums due him by the debtor.", (37 Op. Atty. Gen. 215, 216, Aug. 8, 1933.)
"It is well settled that where a contractor has entered into two or more contracts with the United States, and has fulfilled one of them but has failed to perform the other, the United States, in settling with him, may lawfully deduct from the money due on the executed contract the amount of the forfeiture stipulated to be paid in the other contract, in the event of the failure on the part of the contractor to perform it." (6 Comp. Dec. 345, 346, Oct. 11, 1899, citing 11 Op. Atty. Gen. 120, Oct. 25, 1864, and 2 Comp. Dec. 429, Mar. 2, 1896.)
debtor in his hands in extinguishment of claims due him from the debtor is equally applicable to the Government as to individuals. ✶✶ ✶ In order to exercise this right on the part of the Government it is not necessary that there be filed any specific claim by the debtor for moneys due him from the Government." (15 Comp. Gen. 962, 953-964, Apr. 27, 1937. See also: 1 Comp. Gen. 605, 606, Apr. 28, 1922; 7 Comp. Gen. 575, 581, Mar. 16, 1928.)
"It is well settled that amounts currently due as salary are not available for set-off against an indebtedness of an employee to the United States without the employee's consent; but it equally is well settled that at time of separation from the service, the amount otherwise due an employee is available for set-off against his indebtedness to the United States.". (24 Comp. Gen. 334, 338, Oct. 31, 1944.)
Scope and operation of act.- "As the effect of the Act of 1875 was to take away the discretion which accounting officers previously had in exercising the right of set-off and to require them to make set-offs in respect to both judgments and claims, so now the effect of the amendment is to restore the discretion of exercising the set-off right with respect to claims, and to limit the duty of making set-offs to judgments." 215, 218, Aug. 8, 1933.)
(37 Op. Atty. Gen.
"The authority and responsibility of the accounting officers of the Government to consider both debits and credits in the settlement of claims for and against the United States; that is, to apply an amount otherwise found due a claimant on one account in liquidation or reduction of an amount found due from the claimant to the United States on some other account, is not dependent on the act of March 3, 1875, as amended by the act of March 3, 1933, except in the case of a judgment against the United States, but exists by virtue of section 305 of the Budget and Accounting Act of June 10, 1921 * * *." (16 Comp. Gen. 365, 370-371, Oct. 13, 1936. See also 14 Comp. Gen. 849, 850, May 23, 1935.)
"This statute provides that whenever the government claims a set-off not reduced to judgment and not in suit against a judgment debt due by it, and the judgment creditor denies the government's claim against him and refuses to consent to the set-off, suit must be instituted to recover the claimed setoff in a judgment of a court. It takes nothing short of this to justify withholding money adjudged by a court to be payable by the government. This mandate of the law is not met by the administrative finding of indebtednees. The statute is mandatory that if the 'debt' claimed by the United States is not 'already in suit,' it is the duty of the Comptroller General to cause 'legal proceedings' to be commenced to enforce the claimed debt and to cause such proceedings to be 'prosecuted to final judgment.'", (Hines v. United States ex rel. Marsh, 105 F.2d 85, 88, Apr. 17, 1939.)
This act, as amended, "authorizes the payment of interest only with respect to the withholding of a final judgment recovered against the United States and does not authorize the allowance of interest upon the withholding of a claim duly allowed by legal authority (Whitbeck, Receiver v. United States, 77 Ct. Cls. 309, 343, Apr. 10, 1933, cert. den.. 290 U.S. 671, Oct. 16, 1933.)
1876, June 30. Increase of force at navy yards before elections.7
And no increase of the force at any navy-yard shall be made at any time within sixty days next before any election to take place for President of the United States, or member of Congress, except when the Secretary of the Navy shall certify that the needs of the public service make such increase necessary at that time which certificate shall be immediately published when made.--(19 Stat. 69-70, ch. 159.)
This provision is embodied in the U.S. Code as sec. 509 of title 34.
1876, July 31. Publication of proclamations and treaties; advertisements for contracts in District of Columbia.7
That all executive proclamations, & all treaties required by law to be published, shall be published in only one newspaper the same to be printed and published in the District of Columbia and to be designated by the Secretary of State and in no case of advertisement for contracts for the public service shall the same be published in any newspaper published and printed in the District of Columbia unless the supplies or labor covered by such advertisement are to be furnished or performed in said District of Columbia.-(19 Stat. 105, ch. 246.)
This provision and sec. 79, R.S., as amended, are embodied in the U.S. Code as sec. 321 of title 44.
This provision amended sec. 3826, R.S., which is discussed in a note under the act of Jan. 21, 1881, ch. 25, 21 Stat. 317.
Advertising in District of Columbia: see act of Jan. 21, 1881, ch. 25, 21 Stat. 317.
Advertising rates: see act of June 20, 1878, ch. 359, 20 Stat. 216; and act of Jan. 21, 1881, ch. 25, 21 Stat. 317.
This section, and a similar provision contained
in an act of Aug. 5, 1882, ch. 389, sec. 4, 22 Stat. 255-256, are embodied in the U.S. Code as sec. 45 of title 5.
1876, Aug. 15. Employing clerks, etc., beyond legal allowance.7
Sec. 5. That the executive officers of the Government are hereby prohibited from employing any clerk, agent, engineer, draughtsman, messenger, watchman, laborer, or other employee, in any of the executive departments in the city of Washington, or elsewhere beyond provision made by law.--(19 Stat. 169, ch. 287.)
This section, except the last clause thereof, is embodied in the U.S. Code as sec. 213 of title 18.
This section and several related enactments were considered in Ex parte Curtis, 106 U.S. 371, Oct. Term, 1882.
Authorization of newspaper advertising: see sec. 3928, R.3.
Civil Service Rules: see act of Jan. 16, 1883, ch. 27, sec. 2, 22 Stat. 403, as amended; and Exec. Order No. 7915, June 24, 1938, 3 F.R. 1519-1526, as amended.
Compilation, editing and publication of Statutes at Large: see act of Jan. 12, 1895, ch. 23, sec. 73, 28 Stat. 612-620, as amended.
1876, Aug. 15. Prohibition against requesting, giving or receiving political contributions.
Sec. 6. That all executive officers or employees of the United States not appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, are prohibited from requesting, giving to, or receiving from, any other officer or employee of the Government, any money or property or other thing of value for political purposes; and any such officer or employee, who shall offend against the provisions of this section shall be at once discharged from the service of the United States; and he shall also be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof shall be fined in a sum not exceeding five hundred dollars.--(19 Stat. 169, ch. 287.)
Publication of documents in Federal Register: see the Federal Register Act, approved July 26, 1935, ch. 417, sec. 5, 49 Stat. 501; and Exec. Order No. 7298, Feb. 18, 1936, 1 F.R. 2284.
Acceptance of voluntary services: see sec. 3679, R.S., as amended.
Immunity from official proscription: see the Criminal Code, act of Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, secs. 120 and 122, 35 Stat. 1110.
Making political contribution to officials: see the Criminal Code, act of Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, secs. 121 and 122, 35 Stat. 1110.
Pernicious political activities: see act of Aug. 2. 1939, ch. 410, 53 Stat. 1147-1149, as amended.
Prohibition of contributions or presents to superiors: see sec. 1784, R.S.