B-127358, MAY 1, 1956

B-127358: May 1, 1956

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THE CLAIMANT WAS GIVEN AN INDEFINITE APPOINTMENT AUGUST 20. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT AT THAT TIME THERE WAS NO OPEN EXAMINATION SO THAT THE CIVIL SERVICE APPROVAL OF MR. LUDLOW'S QUALIFICATION WAS BASED ON A REVIEW OF HIS EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE. HE WAS ISSUED AN ANNUAL TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION UNDER WHICH HE WAS ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT SEATTLE DURING MARCH 1955. THE ROUND TRIP WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING A CIVIL-SERVICE EXAMINATION TO CONVERT HIS APPOINTMENT TO A CAREER-CONDITIONAL APPOINTMENT UNDER A PROGRAM INSTITUTED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. THE TELEPHONE CALL WAS A REQUEST TO HEADQUARTERS TO BE PERMITTED TO MAKE A TRIP ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST. THE RECLAIMED ITEMS WERE ADMINISTRATIVELY DISALLOWED AS CONSTITUTING PERSONAL EXPENDITURES.

B-127358, MAY 1, 1956

TO MR. JOHN B. RUSSEL, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 16, 1956, REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE RECLAIM VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED IN FAVOR OF DEAN J. LUDLOW FOR $125.64. THE SUM CLAIMED REPRESENTS TRANSPORTATION COSTS FOR A ROUND TRIP BETWEEN SEATTLE, WASHINGTON AND SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, MARCH 17 TO 20, 1955, ONE TELEPHONE CALL BETWEEN THE TWO CITIES, AND ADDITIONAL PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OF $1 A DAY FOR 21 DAYS.

THE CLAIMANT WAS GIVEN AN INDEFINITE APPOINTMENT AUGUST 20, 1954, WITH HEADQUARTERS AT SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT AT THAT TIME THERE WAS NO OPEN EXAMINATION SO THAT THE CIVIL SERVICE APPROVAL OF MR. LUDLOW'S QUALIFICATION WAS BASED ON A REVIEW OF HIS EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE. HE WAS ISSUED AN ANNUAL TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION UNDER WHICH HE WAS ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT SEATTLE DURING MARCH 1955. THE ROUND TRIP WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING A CIVIL-SERVICE EXAMINATION TO CONVERT HIS APPOINTMENT TO A CAREER-CONDITIONAL APPOINTMENT UNDER A PROGRAM INSTITUTED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. THE TELEPHONE CALL WAS A REQUEST TO HEADQUARTERS TO BE PERMITTED TO MAKE A TRIP ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST. THE RECLAIMED ITEMS WERE ADMINISTRATIVELY DISALLOWED AS CONSTITUTING PERSONAL EXPENDITURES.

IN 34 COMP. GEN. 114, WE HELD (QUOTING FROM THE SYLLABUS):

"DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES MAY NOT REIMBURSE INDIVIDUAL FOR EXPENSES INCIDENT TO TRAVEL FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER FOR PURPOSE OF DETERMINING QUALIFICATIONS FOR A POSITION WITH THE GOVERNMENT IF THE POSITION IS SUBJECT TO THE CIVIL SERVICE RULES AND REGULATIONS AND THE CLASSIFICATION ACT OF 1949 SO THAT AN INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE EMPLOYEE MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES INCURRED FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING A CIVIL SERVICE EXAMINATION TO DETERMINE HIS QUALIFICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT AS AN INTERNAL REVENUE AGENT.'

THE CIVIL-SERVICE EXAMINATION IN THE PRESENT CASE WAS REQUIRED AND HELD BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. THE COMMISSION SETS THE STANDARDS OF EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE WHICH APPLICANTS MUST MEET TO BE ADMITTED TO OR RATED IN EXAMINATIONS. ALSO, THE EXAMINATION ITSELF IS A MEANS OF MEASURING THE QUALIFICATIONS OF APPLICANTS FOR GIVEN POSITIONS.

ACCORDINGLY, IN LINE WITH THE ABOVE DECISION THE TRAVEL EXPENSE INCURRED INCIDENT TO TAKING SUCH AN EXAMINATION IS HELD TO BE A PERSONAL EXPENSE AND IS NOT PROPERLY CHARGEABLE TO THE APPROPRIATIONS OF THE CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD. THEREFORE, THE COST OF THE ROUND TRIP FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING THE CIVIL-SERVICE EXAMINATION PROPERLY WAS DISALLOWED, AS WELL AS THE COST OF THE TELEPHONE CALL REQUESTING AUTHORITY TO USE A GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST FOR SUCH PERSONAL REASON.

THE CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL PER DIEM IS BASED UPON ADMINISTRATIVE MEMORANDUM NO. 38 WHICH AUTHORIZES $9 PER DIEM FOR EACH OF THE FIRST 21 DAYS AFTER DEPARTURE FROM AN OFFICIAL DUTY STATION, OR AFTER DEPARTURE FROM A TEMPORARY DUTY STATION, AND $8 THEREAFTER. ON HIS ORIGINAL TRAVEL VOUCHER HE WAS ALLOWED $8 FOR THE PERIOD MARCH 20 TO 31, 1955, AS THE FIRST 21 DAYS OF THE ASSIGNMENT HAD EXPIRED. HIS DEPARTURE FROM SEATTLE, MARCH 17 AND RETURN MARCH 20, 1955, WAS NOT ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND DID NOT REVIVE THE RIGHT TO THE HIGHER RATE.

ACCORDINGLY, NO PART OF THE RECLAIM VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. THE VOUCHER AND ACCOMPANYING PAPERS ARE RETURNED.