B-127056, APR. 24, 1956

B-127056: Apr 24, 1956

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CORPS OF ENGINEERS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 17. AT THE TIME HE WAS SELECTED FOR THE POSITION OF COMPTROLLER. HODGES WAS EMPLOYED BY THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION IN AMMAN. IT APPEARS THERE WAS SOME CONFUSION IN THE PROCESS OF SECURING HIS RELEASE FROM THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION AND IN DETERMINING WHETHER UNDER THE POLICY OF YOUR AGENCY HE COULD BE TRANSFERRED FROM AN OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT PRIOR TO COMPLETING HIS PRESCRIBED TOUR OF DUTY. THROUGH ADMINISTRATIVE MISUNDERSTANDING FORMAL ORDERS WERE NOT ISSUED PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE BUT IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE INFORMAL. IS STATED THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS IN AN ANNUAL LEAVE STATUS UNTIL HE REPORTED FOR DUTY IN HIS PRESENT POSITION.

B-127056, APR. 24, 1956

TO W. T. LEONHART, DISBURSING OFFICER, HUNTINGTON DISTRICT, CORPS OF ENGINEERS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 17, 1956, REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF PAYING TWO VOUCHERS DRAWN IN FAVOR OF HUBERT C. HODGES COVERING TRAVEL OF THE CLAIMANT AND HIS WIFE AND TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM AMMAN, JORDAN, TO CINCINNATI, OHIO, AND AS TO WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE'S ANNUAL LEAVE MAY BE RECREDITED IN THE AMOUNT OF TIME REQUIRED FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF SUCH TRAVEL BY THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE.

AT THE TIME HE WAS SELECTED FOR THE POSITION OF COMPTROLLER, WITH THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS, MR. HODGES WAS EMPLOYED BY THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION IN AMMAN, JORDAN. IT APPEARS THERE WAS SOME CONFUSION IN THE PROCESS OF SECURING HIS RELEASE FROM THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION AND IN DETERMINING WHETHER UNDER THE POLICY OF YOUR AGENCY HE COULD BE TRANSFERRED FROM AN OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT PRIOR TO COMPLETING HIS PRESCRIBED TOUR OF DUTY. THROUGH ADMINISTRATIVE MISUNDERSTANDING FORMAL ORDERS WERE NOT ISSUED PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE BUT IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE INFORMAL, ALTHOUGH OFFICIAL, COMMITMENT FOR A TRANSFER THE EMPLOYEE PROCEEDED TO TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES AT HIS OWN EXPENSE. IS STATED THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS IN AN ANNUAL LEAVE STATUS UNTIL HE REPORTED FOR DUTY IN HIS PRESENT POSITION. HENCE, IT IS PRESUMED THAT HIS EMPLOYMENT BY YOUR AGENCY WAS MADE EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING HIS SEPARATION FROM SERVICE WITH THE FOREIGN OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATION SO THAT THERE HAS BEEN NO BREAK IN SERVICE. AFTER HIS ENTRY UPON DUTY A PROPERLY AUTHORIZED OFFICIAL OF YOUR AGENCY ISSUED FORMAL ORDERS AUTHORIZING TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE BY THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS WIFE FROM THE OVERSEAS STATION TO THE NEW DUTY STATION, AND TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM OVERSEAS AND A PLACE OF STORAGE IN THE UNITED STATES TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION.

YOU SPECIFICALLY INQUIRE WHETHER SUCH ORDERS, ISSUED RETROACTIVELY TO CORRECT AN ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR, ARE SUFFICIENT TO AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EMPLOYEE.

SECTION 1 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, AMENDED, 60 STAT. 806, 5 U.S.C. 73B-1, PERMITS REIMBURSEMENT WHERE THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS HAS BEEN EITHER AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED. ALSO, PARAGRAPH 45 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PERMITS APPROVAL OF A PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE. VIEW OF THE MISUNDERSTANDING IN THIS CASE, AND SINCE ORDERS HAVE NOW BEEN ISSUED BY AN OFFICIAL WHO AT THE TIME COULD HAVE AUTHORIZED TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, PAYMENT OF THE VOUCHERS MAY BE MADE TO THE EXTENT OTHERWISE CORRECT. IN THIS CONNECTION, IT APPEARS THAT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF CPR T3, PARAGRAPH 8-2F/5), IN EFFECT AT THE TIME, ONLY $3 PER DAY IS ALLOWABLE FOR THE 8 3/4 DAYS FROM JULY 30, 1955, TO AUGUST 8, 1955, DURING WHICH THE EMPLOYEE WAS TRAVELING BY COMMERCIAL VESSEL.

YOU ALSO INQUIRE WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE'S ANNUAL LEAVE MAY BE RECREDITED FOR THE PERIOD OF TIME REQUIRED TO PERFORM THE TRAVEL BY THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE. GENERALLY, EMPLOYEES PERFORMING OFFICIAL TRAVEL ARE REGARDED AS BEING IN A DUTY STATUS. SEE 22 COMP. GEN. 636, 640 AND 26 ID. 65, 68. SINCE A PROPER OFFICIAL OF YOUR DEPARTMENT HAS DETERMINED THAT THE INSTANT TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, THE INSTANT EMPLOYEE MAY BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN IN A DUTY STATUS FOR THE TIME REQUIRED TO PERFORM THE TRAVEL BY THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE, ..END :