B-117108, OCTOBER 14, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 168

B-117108: Oct 14, 1953

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WHOSE WIFE AND DAUGHTER WERE READY TO JOIN HIM WHEN NOTIFIED TO CANCEL PLANS BECAUSE THE EMPLOYEE WAS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO AN UNSPECIFIED COUNTRY AND WHOSE DAUGHTER REACHED MAJORITY WHILE AWAITING DETERMINATION OF SUCH COUNTRY. 1953: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 18. THAT TRAVEL FOR HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY WAS AUTHORIZED FROM GRIFFIN. THAT HIS FAMILY WAS READY TO JOIN HIM WHEN THEY WERE NOTIFIED. DUNCAN WAS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER COUNTRY. THE TRAVEL FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED WAS PERFORMED BETWEEN THE DATE OF OCTOBER 8 AND 11. REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES WAS AUTHORIZED IN THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION "IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW. THE VOUCHER IS ADMINISTRATIVELY RECOMMENDED FOR PAYMENT SINCE THE FAMILY WAS READY AND ABLE TO COMPLETE TRAVEL PRIOR TO THE DATE THE DAUGHTER REACHED THE AGE OF 21.

B-117108, OCTOBER 14, 1953, 33 COMP. GEN. 168

TRANSPORTATION - DEPENDENTS - CHILDREN UNDER 21 - FOREIGN SERVICE TRAVEL REGULATIONS UNDER THE FOREIGN SERVICE TRAVEL REGULATIONS, APPLICABLE TO AGENCIES PARTICIPATING IN POINT IV ACTIVITIES, WHICH AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES FOR CHILDREN UNDER 21 YEARS OF AGE TO A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE, AN OVERSEAS EMPLOYEE OF THE FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE, WHOSE WIFE AND DAUGHTER WERE READY TO JOIN HIM WHEN NOTIFIED TO CANCEL PLANS BECAUSE THE EMPLOYEE WAS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO AN UNSPECIFIED COUNTRY AND WHOSE DAUGHTER REACHED MAJORITY WHILE AWAITING DETERMINATION OF SUCH COUNTRY, MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED THE COST OF TRANSPORTING THE DAUGHTER TO THAT COUNTRY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO A. M. FLAT-EQUAL, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, OCTOBER 14, 1953:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 18, 1953, TRANSMITTING A VOUCHER, AND SUPPORTING PAPERS, IN THE AMOUNT OF $254.20 IN FAVOR OF TALMADGE E. DUNCAN, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE, COVERING TRAVELING EXPENSES OF HIS DAUGHTER (OVER 21 YEARS OF AGE) FROM RIPLEY, MISSISSIPPI, TO GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR, WITH A REQUEST THAT A DECISION THEREON BE RENDERED AS TO WHETHER THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

IT APPEARS THAT MR. DUNCAN, PURSUANT TO TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 398 ( FAR), DATED JUNE 20, 1951, REPORTED TO HIS FOREIGN POST OF DUTY, FAZENDA IPANEMA, BRAZIL, ON JULY 21, 1951; THAT TRAVEL FOR HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY WAS AUTHORIZED FROM GRIFFIN, GEORGIA, TO SUCH POST; THAT HIS FAMILY WAS READY TO JOIN HIM WHEN THEY WERE NOTIFIED, DUE TO A REVISION OF THE FOREIGN COUNTRY'S REQUEST FOR TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE IN A DIFFERENT FIELD, TO CANCEL THEIR PLANS AS MR. DUNCAN WAS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER COUNTRY; AND THAT BEFORE FINAL AGREEMENT AND DECISION ON MR. DUNCAN'S WITHDRAWAL AND TRANSFER TO ANOTHER COUNTRY COULD BE MADE HIS DAUGHTER, ON JUNE 29, 1952, REACHED THE AGE OF 21. THE TRAVEL FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED WAS PERFORMED BETWEEN THE DATE OF OCTOBER 8 AND 11, 1952. REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES WAS AUTHORIZED IN THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION "IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW, DEPARTMENT REGULATIONS, POINT IV REGULATIONS, AND STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.' THE VOUCHER IS ADMINISTRATIVELY RECOMMENDED FOR PAYMENT SINCE THE FAMILY WAS READY AND ABLE TO COMPLETE TRAVEL PRIOR TO THE DATE THE DAUGHTER REACHED THE AGE OF 21, AND THE DELAY, ALTHOUGH DIRECTED BY, WAS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.

IT IS NOTED THAT TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 196-53, DATED JULY 28, 1952, IS CITED ON THE VOUCHER AS AUTHORITY FOR THE TRAVEL INVOLVED. HOWEVER, SUCH AUTHORIZATION WITH RESPECT TO TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF MR. DUNCAN'S FAMILY IS SPECIFICALLY LIMITED TO TRANSPORTING HIS WIFE FROM GRIFFIN, GEORGIA, TO QUITO, ECUADOR.

FOREIGN SERVICE TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THE BENEFITS OF WHICH ARE AVAILABLE TO AGENCIES PARTICIPATING IN POINT IV ACTIVITIES OF THE ACT FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, 64 STAT. 204, AS AMENDED, AUTHORIZE THE TRAVELING EXPENSES OF THE EMPLOYEE'S "FAMILY.' SO FAR AS HERE PERTINENT, THAT WORD IS DEFINED IN FSTR 1.2 (B), AS FOLLOWS:

B. FAMILY---

(2) CHILDREN (INCLUDING STEP-CHILDREN AND ADOPTED CHILDREN) WHO ARE UNMARRIED AND UNDER 21 YEARS OF AGE OR, REGARDLESS OF AGE, ARE PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY INCAPABLE OF SUPPORTING THEMSELVES.

WHILE SPECIAL PROVISION IS MADE IN THE FOREIGN SERVICE TRAVEL REGULATIONS, FSTR 3.7, FOR THE RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF UNMARRIED CHILDREN WHO HAVE REACHED THE AGE OF 21 WHILE OVERSEAS, NO SPECIAL PROVISION IS MADE FOR TRAVEL SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED.

SINCE MR. DUNCAN'S DAUGHTER BECAME 21 YEARS OF AGE PRIOR TO THE TIME TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED, AND BEFORE THE AGREEMENT AND DECISION ON MR. DUNCAN'S WITHDRAWAL AND TRANSFER TO GUAYAQUIL, SHE DID NOT COME WITHIN THE DEFINITION OF "FAMILY" SO AS TO BE ENTITLED UNDER THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS TO TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. CF. SECTION 1 (D), EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER, RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.