B-118032, JANUARY 27, 1954, 33 COMP. GEN. 319

B-118032: Jan 27, 1954

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BECAUSE FAMILY WAS PRECLUDED FROM JOINING HIM BY REASON OF RESTRICTION PLACED ON TRAVEL OF MINOR CHILDREN TO SUCH POST. PROVIDED EMPLOYING AGENCY MAKES A DETERMINATION THAT SEPARATION WAS ONE FOR REASONS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE INDIVIDUAL AND IS ACCEPTABLE TO THE AGENCY. 1954: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 11. SAID AGREEMENT WAS EXECUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 600. PROVIDING THAT EXPENSES OF TRAVEL TO OVERSEAS POST SHALL NOT BE ALLOWED UNLESS THE APPOINTEE AGREES IN WRITING TO REMAIN IN THE SERVICE FOR ONE YEAR AND THAT EXPENSES OF RETURN TRAVEL UPON SEPARATION FROM SERVICE "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.'.

B-118032, JANUARY 27, 1954, 33 COMP. GEN. 319

TRAVELING EXPENSES - EMPLOYEES APPOINTED OR ASSIGNED TO DUTY OVERSEAS - FAILURE TO FULFILL CONTRACT OBLIGATION - SEPARATION FOR PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT AN APPOINTEE WHO ACCEPTED AN OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT AND EXECUTED EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT REQUIRING 24-MONTH TOUR OF DUTY WITH UNDERSTANDING THAT FAMILY WOULD JOIN HIM AT OVERSEAS POST AND WHO RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES IN LESS THAN A YEAR TO ACCEPT PRIVATE POSITION, BECAUSE FAMILY WAS PRECLUDED FROM JOINING HIM BY REASON OF RESTRICTION PLACED ON TRAVEL OF MINOR CHILDREN TO SUCH POST, MAY BE REIMBURSED COST OF RETURN TRANSPORTATION, PROVIDED EMPLOYING AGENCY MAKES A DETERMINATION THAT SEPARATION WAS ONE FOR REASONS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE INDIVIDUAL AND IS ACCEPTABLE TO THE AGENCY.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO A. M. FLAT-EQUAL, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, JANUARY 27, 1954:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 11, 1953, REQUESTING A DECISION UPON THE PROPRIETY OF CERTIFYING FOR PAYMENT A TRANSMITTED VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $666.51, COVERING EXPENSES OF RETURN TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES OF MR. MAURICE E. HEATH FROM TEHRAN, IRAN, INCIDENT TO SEPARATION FROM POINT IV PROGRAM ( ACT OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, 22 U.S.C. 1557) EMPLOYMENT WITH THE FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.

YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES FROM THE FAILURE OF MR. HEATH TO REMAIN IN THE EMPLOY OF THE FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE FOR 24 MONTHS FOLLOWING EMPLOYMENT OR ASSIGNMENT ABROAD AS REQUIRED BY HIS EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT. SAID AGREEMENT WAS EXECUTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 600, 79TH CONGRESS (60 STAT. 806), AS AMENDED (64 STAT. 985), PROVIDING THAT EXPENSES OF TRAVEL TO OVERSEAS POST SHALL NOT BE ALLOWED UNLESS THE APPOINTEE AGREES IN WRITING TO REMAIN IN THE SERVICE FOR ONE YEAR AND THAT EXPENSES OF RETURN TRAVEL UPON SEPARATION FROM SERVICE "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.' THE STATUTE FURTHER PROVIDES THAT THE ABOVE PERIODS OF SERVICE ARE NOT REQUIRED WHEN THE "SEPARATION IS FOR REASONS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE INDIVIDUAL AND ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY CONCERNED.'

MR. HEATH ENTERED UPON DUTY WITH THE FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE ON MARCH 24, 1953. UNDER A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DATED JANUARY 22, 1953, HE TRAVELED FROM ALACHUA, FLORIDA, PLACE OF RESIDENCE, TO TEHRAN, IRAN, DESIGNATED POST OF DUTY, ARRIVING AT THE LATTER POINT MAY 2, 1953. WHILE THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION PROVIDED FOR THE TRAVEL OF HIS FAMILY (WIFE, TWO DAUGHTERS, AGES 14 AND 7, AND ONE SON, AGE 3), AS WELL AS FOR HIS OWN TRAVEL, THE FAMILY REMAINED IN THE UNITED STATES PENDING THE EMPLOYEE'S PROCUREMENT OF ADEQUATE LIVING QUARTERS. ON MAY 20, 1953, THE EMPLOYEE WAS TRANSFERRED FROM TEHRAN TO KERMANSHAH, IRAN. IN AUGUST OF THAT YEAR, HAVING OBTAINED SUITABLE QUARTERS, THE EMPLOYEE LEARNED THAT A RESTRICTION HAD BEEN PLACED UPON THE TRAVEL OF MINOR CHILDREN TO IRAN, THUS PRECLUDING HIS FAMILY FROM JOINING HIM AT HIS OVERSEAS POST. SUBSEQUENTLY, ON SEPTEMBER 17, 1953, MR. HEATH LEFT IRAN TO REJOIN HIS FAMILY AND ACCEPT A POSITION--- WHICH HE HAD PREVIOUSLY DECLINED--- IN THE UNITED STATES, WITH PURDUE UNIVERSITY.

ATTACHED TO YOUR LETTER ARE COPIES OF CORRESPONDENCE, RELATIVE TO THE CASE OF MR. HEATH, BETWEEN THE FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE AND THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION, THE AGENCY ADMINISTERING THE POINT IV PROGRAM. THEY DISCLOSE THE ADMINISTRATIVE VIEW OF THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION IN THE MATTER--- EMPLOYMENT HAVING BEEN ACCEPTED BY THE EMPLOYEE WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT HIS FAMILY WOULD JOIN HIM AT HIS OVERSEAS POST OF DUTY--- THAT THE SEPARATION HEREIN WAS FOR REASONS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE INDIVIDUAL SO AS TO WARRANT WAIVER OF THE AGREEMENT REQUIREMENT OF A 24 MONTH TOUR OF DUTY.

YOUR ARE ADVISED THAT, UNDER THE FACTS OF THIS CASE, IF A DETERMINATION IS MADE BY THE FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE, THE EMPLOYING AGENCY, THAT THE SEPARATION HEREIN IS ONE "FOR REASONS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE INDIVIDUAL," AND ACCEPTABLE TO SUCH AGENCY, THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT OBJECT TO CERTIFICATION OF THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT FOUND DUE. OTHERWISE, THE VOUCHER IS NOT FOR CERTIFICATION, AND THE EMPLOYEE WOULD BE INDEBTED, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 600 AND THE TERMS OF THE EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT, FOR THE EXPENSES OF THE OUTGOING TRAVEL TO THE OVERSEAS POST OF DUTY.

THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED FOR DISPOSITION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.