A-10321, SEPTEMBER 8, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 175

A-10321: Sep 8, 1925

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

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

TRANSPORTATION - DEPENDENTS OF FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS A CONSULAR OFFICER WHOSE STATION WAS CHANGED WHILE ON A LEAVE OF ABSENCE IN THE UNITED STATES FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF MARRYING IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF HIS WIFE AS THOUGH SHE HAD MARRIED HIM BEFORE HIS DEPARTURE FROM THE OLD STATION AND HAD ACCOMPANIED HIM ON LEAVE TO THE UNITED STATES. IN WHICH CREDIT WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE SUM OF $366.09 CLAIMED AS PART OF THE ESTIMATED COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF HIS WIFE FROM THE UNITED STATES TO NAIROBI. FROM WHICH STATION HE WAS ON A LEAVE OF ABSENCE IN THE UNITED STATES FROM FEBRUARY 9. HIS APPLICATION FOR THE LEAVE OF ABSENCE WAS ORIGINALLY MADE AUGUST 16. IN WHICH IT WAS STATED THAT HE DESIRED TO COME TO MARYLAND TO CONTRACT A MARRIAGE WHICH HAD BEEN POSTPONED AT THE TIME OF HIS ASSIGNMENT TO KARACHI.

A-10321, SEPTEMBER 8, 1925, 5 COMP. GEN. 175

TRANSPORTATION - DEPENDENTS OF FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS A CONSULAR OFFICER WHOSE STATION WAS CHANGED WHILE ON A LEAVE OF ABSENCE IN THE UNITED STATES FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF MARRYING IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF HIS WIFE AS THOUGH SHE HAD MARRIED HIM BEFORE HIS DEPARTURE FROM THE OLD STATION AND HAD ACCOMPANIED HIM ON LEAVE TO THE UNITED STATES; I.E., FROM THE UNITED STATES TO THE NEW STATION IF NOT IN EXCESS OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, SEPTEMBER 8, 1925:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED THE REQUEST OF AVRA M. WARREN, UNITED STATES CONSUL, FOR REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT C-24955-S, IN WHICH CREDIT WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE SUM OF $366.09 CLAIMED AS PART OF THE ESTIMATED COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF HIS WIFE FROM THE UNITED STATES TO NAIROBI, AFRICA, UPON HIS TRANSFER TO THAT STATION FROM KARACHI, INDIA, AS PER INSTRUCTIONS OF JANUARY 23, 1924.

IT APPEARS FROM THE RECORD THAT CONSUL WARREN HAD BEEN PREVIOUSLY STATIONED AS CONSUL AT KARACHI, INDIA, FROM WHICH STATION HE WAS ON A LEAVE OF ABSENCE IN THE UNITED STATES FROM FEBRUARY 9, 1924, TO APRIL 8, 1924. HIS APPLICATION FOR THE LEAVE OF ABSENCE WAS ORIGINALLY MADE AUGUST 16, 1923, IN WHICH IT WAS STATED THAT HE DESIRED TO COME TO MARYLAND TO CONTRACT A MARRIAGE WHICH HAD BEEN POSTPONED AT THE TIME OF HIS ASSIGNMENT TO KARACHI. HIS REQUEST FOR LEAVE WAS GRANTED SEPTEMBER 25, 1923, TO BE EFFECTIVE UPON THE ARRIVAL OF VICE CONSUL DOUGLASS. HE DEPARTED FROM HIS POST DECEMBER 13, 1923, TO AVAIL HIMSELF OF SAID LEAVE, WHICH BEGAN FEBRUARY 9, 1924, DATE OF ARRIVAL AT HIS HOME IN THE UNITED STATES. THE MEANTIME, WHILE HE WAS EN ROUTE, ORDERS WERE ISSUED JANUARY 23, 1924, ASSIGNING HIM TO NAIROBI, AFRICA, WHICH ORDERS HE DID NOT RECEIVE UNTIL AFTER COMMENCEMENT OF HIS LEAVE. ON FEBRUARY 15, 1924, HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO PROCEED AT THE EXPIRATION OF HIS LEAVE DIRECT TO HIS NEW STATION FROM THE UNITED STATES. BY LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 20, 1924, HIS LEAVE WAS EXTENDED TO 60 DAYS FROM DATE OF ARRIVAL AT HIS HOME. HIS MARRIAGE TOOK PLACE ON APRIL 7, 1924, ON WHICH DATE HE BEGAN THE JOURNEY TO HIS NEW STATION, TAKING HIS WIFE WITH HIM. HAD HE RETURNED TO HIS ORIGINAL STATION WITH HIS WIFE AT THE EXPIRATION OF HIS LEAVE HE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION FOR HIS WIFE TO SAID STATION. DECISION OF MARCH 1, 1924, REVIEW 6164. BUT HAD THE WIFE BEEN AT HIS ORIGINAL STATION WHEN THE CHANGE OF STATION WAS ORDERED HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION FOR HER TO THE NEW STATION.

PARAGRAPH 48 OF THE TRAVEL REGULATIONS OF THE CONSULAR SERVICE PROVIDES IN PART:

AN OFFICER OR CLERK WHO, WHILE IN THE UNITED STATES OR EN ROUTE THERETO OR THEREFROM, ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE, IS GIVEN DESIGNATION TO A NEW POST, WHEN ORDERED TO PROCEED THERETO IS THEN UNDER ORDERS AND SHALL BE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT, WITHIN THE DEFINITIONS AND LIMITATIONS OF THESE REGULATIONS, FOR THE FOLLOWING:

(B) THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE EN ROUTE OF HIS FAMILY, OR SUCH PORTION THEREOF AS MAY BE WITH HIM OR IN THE UNITED STATES, FROM THE UNITED STATES TO HIS NEW POST * * *.

(D) THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION AND SUBSISTENCE EN ROUTE OF SUCH OF HIS FAMILY AS ARE AT HIS OLD POST WHEN THE OFFICER OR CLERK IS DESIGNATED TO THE NEW POST * * *.

(E) * * * IN NO CASE MAY THE EXPENSES AUTHORIZED BY THIS PARAGRAPH OF THE REGULATIONS EXCEED THE EXPENSE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED FOR TRANSFER BETWEEN THE OLD POST AND THE NEW.

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE OFFICER'S LEAVE, REQUESTED FOR THE EXPRESSED PURPOSE OF CONTRACTING MARRIAGE, HAD BEEN GRANTED AND HIS JOURNEY TO THE UNITED STATES COMMENCED BEFORE THE ORDERS CHANGING HIS STATION WERE ISSUED, HIS WIFE MAY BE CONSIDERED IN THE SAME STATUS WITH RESPECT TO TRANSPORTATION TO THE NEW STATION AS THOUGH SHE HAD BEEN MARRIED TO THE OFFICER BEFORE HIS DEPARTURE FROM HIS OLD STATION AND HAD ACCOMPANIED HIM ON HIS LEAVE TO THE UNITED STATES. ACCORDINGLY UNDER THE REGULATIONS, SUPRA, THE OFFICER WAS ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED FOR THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF BOTH HIMSELF AND WIFE, BUT NOT IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT OF THE EXPENSE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD THEY TRAVELED DIRECTLY FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION, THE LIMITING CLAUSE (E), SUPRA, BEING APPLICABLE TO ALL EXPENSES AUTHORIZED UNDER PARAGRAPH 48, INCLUDING THE EXPENSES REFERRED TO IN CLAUSE (B) THEREOF.

THE CONSUL CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE ENTIRE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HIS WIFE FROM THE UNITED STATES TO HIS NEW STATION UPON THE THEORY THAT SO FAR AS SHE WAS CONCERNED, IT WAS A JOURNEY TO AN INITIAL POST OF DUTY. THE CLAIM WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED, HOWEVER, ONLY FOR THE ESTIMATED COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF THE WIFE FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW STATION, AND THE EXCESS CLAIMED WAS DISALLOWED IN THE SETTLEMENT IN QUESTION.

THE RIGHT OF THE WIFE OF A CONSULAR OFFICER TO TRANSPORTATION AT THE EXPENSE OF THE UNITED STATES IS PRIMARILY DEPENDENT UPON THE NECESSITY OF TRAVEL BY THE OFFICER, NO RIGHT TO TRANSPORTATION ON THE PART OF THE WIFE EXISTING INDEPENDENTLY OF THE HUSBAND. THE APPROPRIATION, WHICH IS THE ONLY STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR SUCH ALLOWANCE PROVIDES FOR SUCH EXPENSES ONLY UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE SECRETARY OF STATE MAY PRESCRIBE. THEREFORE, NO ALLOWANCE IS AUTHORIZED IN EXCESS OF THAT PRESCRIBED IN THE REGULATION, SUPRA. REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF A WIFE AS FOR TRAVEL TO AN INITIAL POST OF DUTY CAN ONLY BE ALLOWED WHEN IT IS THE OFFICER'S INITIAL POST OF DUTY ON AN ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT, OR AN ASSIGNMENT TO A POST AFTER A CHANGE IN CLASS OR GRADE SUCH AS WOULD CONSTITUTE A NEW APPOINTMENT, AND THE WIFE ACCOMPANIES HER HUSBAND OR BEGINS HER JOURNEY WITHIN SIX MONTHS AFTER THE OFFICER. 27 COMP. DEC. 950. IN THIS CASE THE TRAVEL BY THE WIFE WAS NOT PERFORMED WITHIN SIX MONTHS AFTER THAT OF THE OFFICER IN GOING TO HIS ORIGINAL STATION AT NAIROBI, AFRICA.