B-127388, MAY 3, 1956

B-127388: May 3, 1956

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THAT AMOUNT WAS DEDUCTED ADMINISTRATIVELY FROM BUREAU VOUCHER NO. 78. HIS DAUGHTER ELINOR WAS IN SCHOOL AT SALT LAKE CITY AT THE TIME AND. HER FIRST TRAVEL TO HAVANA WAS PERFORMED BY A ROUND TRIP FROM SALT LAKE CITY DURING THE HOLIDAYS OF CHRISTMAS 1954. - THE DISCRETIONARY AUTHORITY FOR THE ADVANCE RETURN OF DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WAS CONDITIONED UPON THE EMPLOYEE'S ELIGIBILITY FOR HOME LEAVE RIGHTS AFTER TWO YEARS' SERVICE OVERSEAS. OR UPON CIRCUMSTANCES WHEREIN IT ADMINISTRATIVELY IS DETERMINED TO BE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE SERVICE. BASED UPON THE EVIDENCE WHICH APPARENTLY IS ON FILE IN THE BUREAU OF MINES. THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT ONLY IN SUCH AMOUNT AS WILL NOT EXCEED THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF A FIRST CLASS ONE-WAY TICKET FOR THE AIR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY HER FROM SALT LAKE CITY TO HAVANA ON OR ABOUT CHRISTMAS 1954.

B-127388, MAY 3, 1956

TO MR. JAMES E. FOWLER, JR., AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF MINES, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 21, 1956, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. CHARLES E. BARTLETT IN THE AMOUNT OF $333.08. THAT AMOUNT WAS DEDUCTED ADMINISTRATIVELY FROM BUREAU VOUCHER NO. 78, WHICH, IN PART, COVERED THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OTHERWISE REIMBURSABLE TO HIM IN REPORTING TO HIS OFFICIAL STATION AT HAVANA, CUBA. HIS TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. WO-ADM-1 DATED JUNE 30, 1954, FOR THE TRAVEL TO HAVANA INCLUDED AUTHORITY FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY FROM SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, TO HAVANA TO BEGIN "WITHIN THE TIME LIMIT SPECIFIED IN FOREIGN SERVICE TRAVEL REGULATIONS.'

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT MR. BARTLETT ARRIVED AT HAVANA ON SEPTEMBER 20, 1954, ACCOMPANIED BY SOME MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY. HIS DAUGHTER ELINOR WAS IN SCHOOL AT SALT LAKE CITY AT THE TIME AND, WE UNDERSTAND, HER FIRST TRAVEL TO HAVANA WAS PERFORMED BY A ROUND TRIP FROM SALT LAKE CITY DURING THE HOLIDAYS OF CHRISTMAS 1954. AT THAT TIME THE FOREIGN SERVICE REGULATIONS RELATIVE TO TIME LIMITATIONS FOR TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE INCIDENT TO APPOINTMENTS (180 F.S.T.R.3.61; L:A-146) PROVIDED THAT THE ACTUAL DEPARTURE OF ALL DEPENDENTS "MAY TAKE PLACE ON OR AFTER THE DATE OF THE AUTHORIZATION BUT MAY NOT BE DEFERRED MORE THAN 6 MONTHS AFTER THE EMPLOYEE COMPLETES HIS PERSONAL TRAVEL PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORIZATION.'

IN EXPLAINING HIS CLAIM, MR. BARTLETT SAYS HE HAD UNDERSTOOD THE GOVERNMENT WOULD PAY FOR ONE ROUND TRIP OF HIS DAUGHTER FROM SALT LAKE CITY TO HAVANA, AND NOT CONDITIONED UPON HER REMAINING IN CUBA FOR RESIDENCE PURPOSES. HOWEVER, PRIOR TO THE PROMULGATION OF REGULATIONS EFFECTIVE JULY 10, 1955--- SEE SECTION 14 OF THE ACT OF APRIL 5, 1955, PUBLIC LAW 22, 69 STAT. 24, 28--- THE DISCRETIONARY AUTHORITY FOR THE ADVANCE RETURN OF DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WAS CONDITIONED UPON THE EMPLOYEE'S ELIGIBILITY FOR HOME LEAVE RIGHTS AFTER TWO YEARS' SERVICE OVERSEAS, OR UPON CIRCUMSTANCES WHEREIN IT ADMINISTRATIVELY IS DETERMINED TO BE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE SERVICE. NEITHER OF SUCH FACTUAL SITUATIONS PREVAILS IN THIS CASE.

ON THE OTHER HAND, THE EMPLOYEE'S TRAVEL AND REPORTING TO DUTY UNDER THE AUTHORIZATION DATED JUNE 30, 1954, MAY BE CONSIDERED IN THIS CASE AS HAVING OBLIGATED THE GOVERNMENT TO TRANSPORT HIS DAUGHTER ONE-WAY FROM SALT LAKE CITY TO HAVANA, PROVIDED SHE PERFORMED HER TRAVEL THEREUNDER WITHIN SIX MONTHS AFTER SEPTEMBER 20, 1954. SUCH A TRIP IN FACT HAVING BEEN PERFORMED, BASED UPON THE EVIDENCE WHICH APPARENTLY IS ON FILE IN THE BUREAU OF MINES, HE MAY BE ALLOWED THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST THEREOF.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT ONLY IN SUCH AMOUNT AS WILL NOT EXCEED THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF A FIRST CLASS ONE-WAY TICKET FOR THE AIR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY HER FROM SALT LAKE CITY TO HAVANA ON OR ABOUT CHRISTMAS 1954.