B-125767, DEC. 15, 1955

B-125767: Dec 15, 1955

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WINCHESTER WAS GIVEN AN EXCEPTED APPOINTMENT IN THE BUREAU OF MINES OCTOBER 4. IT WAS AGREED BY THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION AND THE FOREIGN ACTIVITIES DIVISION OF THE BUREAU OF MINES THAT IT WOULD BE TO THE ADVANTAGE OF THE GOVERNMENT TO HAVE MR. WINCHESTER STOP IN BELGIUM EN ROUTE AND VISIT PLANTS IN OPERATION IN SEVERAL COUNTRIES IN EUROPE TO OBSERVE THE OPERATION OF EQUIPMENT SIMILAR TO THAT WHICH WAS TO BE PURCHASED AND INSTALLED IN THE PAKISTAN FERTILIZER PLANT UNDER CONSTRUCTION. FOR KARACHI BUT HIS JOURNEY WAS INTERRUPTED IN ROME. WINCHESTER'S EXPENSES HAVE BEEN PAID AND ALSO MRS. FROM THE RECORD BEFORE OUR OFFICE IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO ARRIVE AT ANY DEFINITE CONCLUSION REGARDING MR.

B-125767, DEC. 15, 1955

TO MR. J. E. FOWLER, JR., AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF MINES:

YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 11, 1955, REQUESTS A DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED IN FAVOR OF LEONARD J. WINCHESTER IN THE AMOUNT OF $823.60, REPRESENTING TRAVEL EXPENSES AND PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE OF HIS WIFE FROM JANUARY 4, 1955, TO MARCH 6, 1955.

MR. WINCHESTER WAS GIVEN AN EXCEPTED APPOINTMENT IN THE BUREAU OF MINES OCTOBER 4, 1954, FOR THE PURPOSE OF AN ASSIGNMENT IN KARACHI, PAKISTAN. BEFORE LEAVING WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR KARACHI, IT WAS AGREED BY THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION AND THE FOREIGN ACTIVITIES DIVISION OF THE BUREAU OF MINES THAT IT WOULD BE TO THE ADVANTAGE OF THE GOVERNMENT TO HAVE MR. WINCHESTER STOP IN BELGIUM EN ROUTE AND VISIT PLANTS IN OPERATION IN SEVERAL COUNTRIES IN EUROPE TO OBSERVE THE OPERATION OF EQUIPMENT SIMILAR TO THAT WHICH WAS TO BE PURCHASED AND INSTALLED IN THE PAKISTAN FERTILIZER PLANT UNDER CONSTRUCTION. MR. WINCHESTER AND WIFE LEFT THEIR RESIDENCE IN ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, OCTOBER 27, 1954, ARRIVED AT BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, NOVEMBER 4, 1954, AND REMAINED IN A TRAVEL STATUS IN EUROPE UNTIL JANUARY 3, 1955. HE LEFT BRUSSELS JANUARY 4, 1955, FOR KARACHI BUT HIS JOURNEY WAS INTERRUPTED IN ROME, ITALY, BY CABLEGRAM INSTRUCTING HIM AND HIS WIFE TO RETURN TO BRUSSELS AND REMAIN THERE FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD. ON MARCH 26, 1955, MR. WINCHESTER AND WIFE AGAIN DEPARTED FROM BRUSSELS AND ARRIVED IN KARACHI MARCH 30, 1955. IT APPEARS THAT MR. WINCHESTER'S EXPENSES HAVE BEEN PAID AND ALSO MRS. WINCHESTER'S EXPENSES BETWEEN WASHINGTON, D.C. AND BRUSSELS, BUT THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION BY LETTER OF MARCH 4, 1955, STATED THAT THE REGULATIONS DO NOT PERMIT TRAVEL EXPENSES AND PER DIEM FOR MRS. WINCHESTER FOR TRIPS TO SWITZERLAND AND ROME NOR PER DIEM FOR HER AT BRUSSELS.

FROM THE RECORD BEFORE OUR OFFICE IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO ARRIVE AT ANY DEFINITE CONCLUSION REGARDING MR. WINCHESTER'S STATUS WHILE IN BRUSSELS. VARIOUS LETTERS AND TELEGRAMS ACCOMPANYING YOUR SUBMISSION INDICATE ADMINISTRATIVE UNCERTAINTY ON THAT POINT. SO FAR AS CAN BE ASCERTAINED, THE PRIMARY OBJECT TO BE ACCOMPLISHED WAS MR. WINCHESTER'S TRANSFER FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO KARACHI WITH TEMPORARY DUTY EN ROUTE AT BRUSSELS AND OTHER EUROPEAN POINTS. SOME DOUBT AS TO THE TEMPORARY STATUS AT BRUSSELS IS INJECTED BY THE TELEGRAM OF FEBRUARY 2, 1955, FROM "BAIRD" AT KARACHI TO BRUSSELS TO THE EFFECT THAT MR. WINCHESTER WAS TO STOP AT BRUSSELS FOR AN INDEFINITE PERIOD AND REMAIN THERE UNTIL MAJOR CONTRACTS FINALIZED. THIS SUGGESTS A PERMANENT DUTY STATUS AT BRUSSELS, BUT THIS SUGGESTION APPEARS OVERCOME BY THE STATEMENT IN THE SAME TELEGRAM THAT THE WINCHESTER FAMILY SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN TRAVEL AND PER DIEM AT BRUSSELS, WHICH INDICATES TEMPORARY DUTY ONLY.

AS THE AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES AND PER DIEM FOR AN EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY UNDER THE FOREIGN SERVICE TRAVEL REGULATIONS IS LIMITED TO THE TIME EN ROUTE NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH THE EMPLOYEE'S TRANSFER BETWEEN OLD AND NEW STATIONS BY A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE, IT CAN ONLY BE CONCLUDED FROM THE RECORD THAT PAYMENT TO MR. WINCHESTER FOR HIS WIFE'S TRAVEL MUST BE RESTRICTED TO THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ALLOWABLE FOR HER TRAVEL DIRECTLY BETWEEN WASHINGTON, D.C. AND KARACHI, PAKISTAN. WHILE IT MAY BE THAT MR. WINCHESTER, AS SUGGESTED IN HIS VOUCHER MIGHT HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO CERTAIN ALLOWANCES HAD HIS WIFE PROCEEDED TO HIS POST IN PAKISTAN, WHICH WOULD EXCEED THE PER DIEM AND EXPENSES CLAIMED FOR HIS WIFE FOR THE PERIOD OF TEMPORARY DUTY, NEVERTHELESS, THAT FACT AFFORDS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF SUCH PER DIEM AND EXPENSES.

ACCORDINGLY, UPON THE PRESENT RECORD THE VOUCHER MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN ITS PRESENT AMOUNT. THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED HEREWITH.