B-115703, NOV. 18, 1959

B-115703: Nov 18, 1959

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REQUESTS THE CASE BE DISMISSED AND THAT YOUR CIVIL SERVICE ANNUITY WHICH IS CURRENTLY BEING APPLIED AGAINST YOUR INDEBTEDNESS BE RESTORED. YOU SAY THAT WHEN YOU WERE APPOINTED CHAIRMAN OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WITH THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE YOU BECAME SUBJECT TO 24-HOUR A DAY CALL SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. OUR QUESTION IS WHETHER OFFICIAL BUSINESS WAS PERFORMED. OR WHETHER THE TRAVEL WAS NECESSARY FOR OFFICIAL REASONS. AT THE TIME YOU WERE INTERVIEWED BY OUR INVESTIGATORS IN 1953. YOU FAILED TO SATISFACTORILY EXPLAIN OR ESTABLISH THAT THE TRIPS TO CLEVELAND WERE NECESSITATED BY OFFICIAL DUTIES IN THAT CITY. THE INTERVIEWS BY OUR INVESTIGATORS WITH REGIONAL DIRECTORS AND OTHER EMPLOYEES OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD FAILED TO SUBSTANTIATE THAT IT WAS NECESSARY FOR YOU TO TRAVEL TO CLEVELAND EACH WEEKEND TO PERFORM OFFICIAL DUTIES.

B-115703, NOV. 18, 1959

TO MR. WILLIAM J. KENNEDY:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 15, 1959, PROTESTS YOUR REPORTED INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES FOR $4,544.92 AS SET FORTH IN RECENT LETTERS OF OUR OFFICE TO YOU, AND ALSO, REQUESTS THE CASE BE DISMISSED AND THAT YOUR CIVIL SERVICE ANNUITY WHICH IS CURRENTLY BEING APPLIED AGAINST YOUR INDEBTEDNESS BE RESTORED.

YOU SAY THAT WHEN YOU WERE APPOINTED CHAIRMAN OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WITH THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE YOU BECAME SUBJECT TO 24-HOUR A DAY CALL SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. ALSO, YOU SAY THAT BECAUSE OF THE PECULIAR MAKE-UP OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD, EACH MEMBER OF THE BOARD ACTED INDEPENDENTLY OF THE OTHERS IN THE SCHEDULING OF OFFICIAL TIME IN CONNECTION WITH BOARD BUSINESS.

WE DO NOT QUESTION YOUR AUTHORITY AS CHAIRMAN OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD AT THE TIME TO SCHEDULE WHAT TRAVEL YOU WOULD PERFORM TO CARRY OUT OFFICIAL DUTIES. OUR QUESTION IS WHETHER OFFICIAL BUSINESS WAS PERFORMED, OR WHETHER THE TRAVEL WAS NECESSARY FOR OFFICIAL REASONS, WHEN YOU TRAVELED TO YOUR HOME IN CLEVELAND FOR SO MANY WEEKENDS AND HOLIDAYS DURING THE PERIOD MAY 29, 1947, THROUGH AUGUST 25, 1953, FOR WHICH TRAVEL EXPENSES YOU CHARGED THE GOVERNMENT INCLUDING PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WHILE IN CLEVELAND.

AT THE TIME YOU WERE INTERVIEWED BY OUR INVESTIGATORS IN 1953, CONCERNING THE MANY TRIPS YOU MADE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO YOUR HOME IN CLEVELAND, YOU FAILED TO SATISFACTORILY EXPLAIN OR ESTABLISH THAT THE TRIPS TO CLEVELAND WERE NECESSITATED BY OFFICIAL DUTIES IN THAT CITY. MOREOVER, THE INTERVIEWS BY OUR INVESTIGATORS WITH REGIONAL DIRECTORS AND OTHER EMPLOYEES OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD FAILED TO SUBSTANTIATE THAT IT WAS NECESSARY FOR YOU TO TRAVEL TO CLEVELAND EACH WEEKEND TO PERFORM OFFICIAL DUTIES. NO INFORMATION HAS BEEN RECEIVED HERE SUBSEQUENTLY WARRANTING A DIFFERENT VIEW.

WHILE YOU MAY HAVE BEEN REGARDED AS ON DUTY 24 HOURS A DAY, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, NEVERTHELESS, WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY STATUTE OR REGULATION WHICH PERMITS HEADS OF AGENCIES OF THE GOVERNMENT TO TRAVEL TO TO THEIR HOMES OR ELSEWHERE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WHEN THERE IS NO OFFICIAL NECESSITY THEREFOR.

THEREFORE, WE CANNOT COMPLY WITH YOUR REQUEST THAT THE CASE BE DISMISSED. YOUR REQUEST THAT YOUR CIVIL SERVICE ANNUITY BE RESTORED LIKEWISE MUST BE DENIED IN THE ABSENCE OF OTHER SATISFACTORY ARRANGEMENTS TO LIQUIDATE YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE UNITED STATES.