B-123647, AUG. 1, 1955

B-123647: Aug 1, 1955

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BUREAU OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 18. HE WAS TRANSFERRED FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO SAN DIEGO. IN DECEMBER OF 1953 HE WAS GIVEN A SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT IN LOS ANGELES. DECEMBER OF 1953 HE WAS GIVEN A SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT IN LOS ANGELES. NO PER DIEM WAS AUTHORIZED FOR THE PERIOD OF THE LOST ANGELES DUTY. BEFORE THE LOS ANGELES ASSIGNMENT WAS COMPLETED AND BEFORE HE COULD RETURN TO SAN DIEGO. THE ENTIRE MEXICAN NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL LABOR PROGRAM WAS STOPPED BECAUSE OF LACK OF FUNDS. LEWALL WAS SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE BY PERSONNEL ACTION EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 12. LEWALL WAS REAPPOINTED TO HIS FORMER POSITION BY PERSONNEL ACTION EFFECTIVE MARCH 16. LEWALL WAS DIRECTED TO REPORT TO SACRAMENTO FOR TEMPORARY DUTY.

B-123647, AUG. 1, 1955

TO MR. EUGENE LOVE, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 18, 1955, WITH ENCLOSURES, REFERENCE BEC, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER TRANSMITTED IN FAVOR OF MR. I. RAMIREZ LEWALL, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR SECURITY, FARM PLACEMENT SERVICE, FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS.

IT APPEARS THAT MR. LEWALL RECEIVED AN EXCEPTED APPOINTMENT ON OCTOBER 22, 1951, WITH OFFICIAL STATION AT SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA. ON JANUARY 21, 1952, HE WAS TRANSFERRED FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA. HE DID NOT SHIP HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM HIS HOME IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, TO EITHER SAN FRANCISCO OR SAN DIEGO. IN DECEMBER OF 1953 HE WAS GIVEN A SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT IN LOS ANGELES, BUT DECEMBER OF 1953 HE WAS GIVEN A SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT IN LOS ANGELES, BUT NO PER DIEM WAS AUTHORIZED FOR THE PERIOD OF THE LOST ANGELES DUTY. BEFORE THE LOS ANGELES ASSIGNMENT WAS COMPLETED AND BEFORE HE COULD RETURN TO SAN DIEGO, THE ENTIRE MEXICAN NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL LABOR PROGRAM WAS STOPPED BECAUSE OF LACK OF FUNDS. MR. LEWALL WAS SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE BY PERSONNEL ACTION EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 12, 1954.

IT FURTHER APPEARS THAT WHEN FUNDS TO CARRY ON THE PROGRAM AGAIN BECAME AVAILABLE, MR. LEWALL WAS REAPPOINTED TO HIS FORMER POSITION BY PERSONNEL ACTION EFFECTIVE MARCH 16, 1954, WHICH DESIGNATED HIS OFFICIAL STATION AS SAN DIEGO. HE RESUMED HIS DUTIES AT LOS ANGELES WITHOUT REPORTING TO SAN DIEGO. AN EMERGENCY CONDITION DEVELOPED LATER IN SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, AND MR. LEWALL WAS DIRECTED TO REPORT TO SACRAMENTO FOR TEMPORARY DUTY. WHEN IT BECAME APPARENT THAT THE SUBSTANTIALLY FULL TIME SERVICES OF MR. LEWALL WERE REQUIRED IN SACRAMENTO, HIS OFFICIAL STATION WAS CHANGED TO SACRAMENTO BY PERSONNEL ACTION EFFECTIVE MAY 3, 1954, WITHOUT HIS REPORTING TO SAN DIEGO, WHICH WOULD HAVE INVOLVED CONSIDERABLE EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT. ON THE BASIS OF TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION ES 80-670 DATED APRIL 8, 1954, AUTHORIZING PAYMENT FOR THE MOVEMENT OF THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM SAN DIEGO TO SACRAMENTO, HIS EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED FROM LOS ANGELES TO SACRAMENTO ON JULY 22, 1954.

YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER IS EXPLAINED IN YOUR LETTER AS FOLLOWS:

"I AM AWARE OF THE NUMEROUS DECISIONS OF YOUR OFFICE THAT A NEW APPOINTEE MUST BEAR THE EXPENSE OF HIS TRAVEL FROM THE PLACE WHERE THE NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT REACHES HIM TO THE FIRST OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS OF HIS NEW POSITION. HOWEVER, THIS BUREAU FEELS THAT MR. LEWALL WAS NOT A NEW APPOINTEE TO A NEW POSITION AS REFLECTED BY THE PERSONNEL ACTIONS, BUT THAT HE WAS ACTUALLY IN A LEAVE-WITHOUT-PAY STATUS FROM FEBRUARY 12, TO MARCH 16, 1954, PENDING THE AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS TO CONTINUE HIS ASSIGNMENTS, AND A BETTER COURSE MIGHT HAVE BEEN TO PLACE MR. LEWALL IN A LEAVE-WITHOUT-PAY STATUS RATHER THAN A TERMINATION AND REAPPOINTMENT. ADMINISTRATIVELY, WE FEEL THAT MR. LEWALL SHOULD NOT BE PENALIZED BECAUSE OF CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND HIS CONTROL AND THAT OUR DETERMINATIONS REGARDING HIS ASSIGNMENTS WERE MADE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT.

"IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE YOUR ADVICE IS REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER I MAY CERTIFY MR. LEWALL'S VOUCHER ON THE BASIS OF HIS HAVING BEEN IN A LEAVE- WITHOUT-PAY STATUS RATHER THAN AS IF A NEW APPOINTMENT HAD BEEN MADE ON MARCH 16, 1954.'

THE RULE IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT THE SEPARATION OF AN EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE CANCELED AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE THEREOF FOR THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE OF AUTHORIZING HIS TRANSFER TO A NEW DUTY STATION WITH THE RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING EXPENSES AND TRANSPORTATION OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. SEE 25 COMP. GEN. 788; B 70718, DECEMBER 5, 1947; B-72424, FEBRUARY 10, 1948; AND B-74116, APRIL 2, 1948. ACCORDINGLY, THE QUESTION PRESENTED IN THE ABOVE QUOTATION IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.

IN VIEW OF THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS PARTICULAR CASE, HOWEVER, AND HAVING REGARD FOR THE FACT THAT MR. LEWALL PERFORMED ACTUAL DUTY IN LOS ANGELES UNDER ORDERS PRECLUDING THE PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR SUCH DUTY, LOS ANGELES MAY BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN IN FACT HIS FIRST OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS AFTER REAPPOINTMENT DESPITE THE PAPER DESIGNATION TO THE CONTRARY. UPON SUCH A BASIS, WE CONCLUDE THAT HE IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF HIS OFFICIAL STATION TO SACRAMENTO.

WE NOTE THAT THE VOUCHER IS STATED UPON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS. UNDER THE CURRENT LAW AND REGULATIONS, THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 806, AND EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, PAYMENT UPON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS IS NOT AUTHORIZED FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS BETWEEN POINTS IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. INSTEAD, REIMBURSEMENT IS AUTHORIZED UPON A COMMUTED BASIS.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH AND MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT UPON A COMMUTED BASIS IN THE AMOUNT FOUND DUE UNDER THE APPLICABLE SCHEDULE OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER, SUBJECT TO THE WEIGHT LIMITATIONS PROVIDED THEREIN.