B-104200, AUGUST 16, 1951, 31 COMP. GEN. 36

B-104200: Aug 16, 1951

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

PROVIDING THAT TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES ASSIGNED TO POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES WILL BE ALLOWED UPON "SEPARATION. 1951: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 19. UNDER WHICH TRAVELING EXPENSES ARE AUTHORIZED FOR NEW APPOINTEES TO PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND RETURN. WAS AMENDED UNDER DATE OF SEPTEMBER 23. THAT EXPENSES OF RETURN TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION UPON SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE SHALL BE ALLOWED WHETHER SUCH SEPARATION IS FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE GOVERNMENT OR FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE. SHALL NOT BE ALLOWED UNLESS SUCH PERSONS SELECTED FOR APPOINTMENT OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES SHALL HAVE SERVED FOR A MINIMUM PERIOD OF NOT LESS THAN ONE NOR MORE THAN THREE YEARS PRESCRIBED IN ADVANCE BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY CONCERNED OR UNLESS SEPARATION IS FOR REASONS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE INDIVIDUAL AND ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY CONCERNED.

B-104200, AUGUST 16, 1951, 31 COMP. GEN. 36

TRAVELING EXPENSES - EMPLOYEES ASSIGNED TO DUTY OVERSEAS - RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES FOR LEAVE PURPOSES UNDER THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 23, 1950, PROVIDING THAT TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES ASSIGNED TO POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES WILL BE ALLOWED UPON "SEPARATION," TRANSFEREES OR NEW APPOINTEES SERVING UNDER LIMITED OR INDEFINITE APPOINTMENTS MAY NOT BE RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF TAKING ANNUAL LEAVE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE, AUGUST 16, 1951:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 19, 1951, REQUESTING A DECISION UPON CERTAIN QUESTIONS, HEREINAFTER QUOTED, INVOLVING THE ENTITLEMENT OF EMPLOYEES, ASSIGNED TO POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES, TO PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES UPON THEIR RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING ANNUAL LEAVE.

SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 808, UNDER WHICH TRAVELING EXPENSES ARE AUTHORIZED FOR NEW APPOINTEES TO PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND RETURN, WAS AMENDED UNDER DATE OF SEPTEMBER 23, 1950, PUBLIC LAW 830, 64 STAT. 985, TO PROVIDE AS FOLLOWS:

SEC. 7. APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENTS SHALL BE AVAILABLE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT, FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF NEW APPOINTEES, EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES AND EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS FROM PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT TO PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, AND FOR SUCH EXPENSES ON RETURN OF EMPLOYEES FROM THEIR POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THE PLACES OF THEIR ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES: PROVIDED, THAT SUCH EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION TO POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES SHALL NOT BE ALLOWED UNLESS AND UNTIL THE PERSON SELECTED FOR APPOINTMENT SHALL AGREE IN WRITING TO REMAIN IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE FOR TWELVE MONTHS FOLLOWING HIS APPOINTMENT, UNLESS SEPARATED FOR REASONS BEYOND HIS CONTROL AND ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY CONCERNED AND IN CASE OF VIOLATION OF SUCH AGREEMENT ANY MONEYS EXPENDED BY THE UNITED STATES ON ACCOUNT OF SUCH TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION SHALL BE RECOVERABLE FROM THE INDIVIDUAL CONCERNED AS A DEBT DUE THE UNITED STATES: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT EXPENSES OF RETURN TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION UPON SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE SHALL BE ALLOWED WHETHER SUCH SEPARATION IS FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE GOVERNMENT OR FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE, BUT SHALL NOT BE ALLOWED UNLESS SUCH PERSONS SELECTED FOR APPOINTMENT OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES SHALL HAVE SERVED FOR A MINIMUM PERIOD OF NOT LESS THAN ONE NOR MORE THAN THREE YEARS PRESCRIBED IN ADVANCE BY THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY CONCERNED OR UNLESS SEPARATION IS FOR REASONS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE INDIVIDUAL AND ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY CONCERNED.

ALSO, BY THE SAME ENACTMENT, 64 STAT. 985, SECTION 1 OF THE SAID ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, WAS AMENDED TO PROVIDE:

THAT EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSFER OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES TO POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES AND RETURN THEREFROM SHALL BE ALLOWED TO THE SAME EXTENT AND SUBJECT TO THE SAME LIMITATIONS PRESCRIBED FOR NEW APPOINTEES UNDER SECTION 7 OF THIS ACT.

PRIOR TO THE FOREGOING AMENDMENTS IT HAD BEEN INDICATED IN DECISIONS OF THIS OFFICE THAT THERE WAS NOTHING IN THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, OR IN ITS LEGISLATIVE HISTORY WHICH REASONABLY COULD BE CONSTRUED AS AUTHORIZING THE RETURN OF EMPLOYEES TO THE UNITED STATES FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE--- INCLUDING BOTH TRANSFEREES AND NEW APPOINTEES SERVING UNDER INDEFINITE APPOINTMENTS--- BUT THAT NO OBJECTIONS WOULD BE MADE TO THE CONTINUATION OF THE PRACTICE OF GRANTING LEAVE UNDER SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES FOR THE PURPOSE OF FULFILLING ANY EXISTING COMMITMENTS. 29 COMP. GEN. 157; ID. 160. AN EXCEPTION TO THE FOREGOING WAS RECOGNIZED IN THE CASE OF NEW APPOINTEES APPOINTED FOR DEFINITE PERIODS OF TIME WHO WERE ENTITLED TO BE RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UPON THE EXPIRATION OF THEIR APPOINTMENTS, THE REASON THEREFOR BEING THAT IT WAS IMMATERIAL WHETHER SUCH EMPLOYEES WERE BEING RETURNED BECAUSE OF SEPARATION OR FOR PURPOSES OF TAKING LEAVE. 28 COMP. GEN. 168.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE AMENDMENTS TO THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, PUBLIC LAW 600, YOU REQUEST A DECISION "AS TO WHETHER WITHOUT THE NECESSITY OF SEPARATION (1) A NEW APPOINTEE OR A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE STATIONED OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES MAY BE FURNISHED TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, FOR HIMSELF AND HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, UPON THE EXPIRATION OF AN AGREED PERIOD OF SERVICE, FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING ANNUAL LEAVE, IF HE RENEWS HIS PRIOR EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT, OR EXECUTES A NEW EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT IF NONE EXISTED PRIOR TO THE TIME OF FURNISHING SUCH TRANSPORTATION, AND (2) WHETHER A NEW APPOINTEE OR TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE AND HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, WHO IS SERVING FOR AN INDEFINITE TIME, AND WHO MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS OF PUBLIC LAW 600 RELATING TO LENGTH OF SERVICE, MAY BE FURNISHED SUCH TRANSPORTATION AT THE EXPENSE OF THE GOVERNMENT UPON THE EXECUTION OF A PROPER EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT.'

SINCE SECTION 7 OF PUBLIC LAW 600, AS AMENDED, IS SPECIFIC IN THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES COVERED THEREUNDER WILL BE ALLOWED UPON "SEPARATION," AND AUTHORIZES SUCH EXPENSES FOR TRANSFEREES AND NEW APPOINTEES "TO THE SAME EXTENT AND SUBJECT TO THE SAME LIMITATIONS," NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN SUCH APPOINTMENTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF AUTHORIZING THE EXPENSES INVOLVED APPEARS WARRANTED. ACCORDINGLY, UNDER THE STATUTE AS NOW WORDED THIS OFFICE IS REQUIRED TO HOLD THAT THE RETURN OF EMPLOYEES TO THE UNITED STATES BE THEY TRANSFEREES OR NEW APPOINTEES SERVING UNDER LIMITED OR INDEFINITE APPOINTMENTS, FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF TAKING ANNUAL LEAVE, IS NOT AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.