B-127480, MAY 28, 1956

B-127480: May 28, 1956

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THE OTHER POINTS OF OVERSEAS DUTY HAVE A 25 PERCENT DIFFERENTIAL. VIETNAM WILL BE PAID.'. HAVE BEEN REVIEWED. CYR IT WAS THE INTENTION THAT BANGKOK. BE SO DESIGNATED AND THIS INTENTION IS HEREBY AFFIRMED. WAS ONE OF THE PRIME OBJECTIVES OF THE RECONNAISSANCE. A PRELIMINARY MEETING WAS HELD IN BANGKOK. DURING WHICH SUCH DEVELOPMENT WAS DISCUSSED WITH THE REPRESENTATIVES OF LAOS. THIS MEETING WAS HELD IN SAIGON. ALTHOUGH THE EXPRESS INTENTION AT THE TIME THIS GROUP DEPARTED FROM THE UNITED STATES WAS THAT UPON COMPLETION OF ITS FIELD MISSION IT WOULD DEPART FROM BANGKOK. IT WAS DETERMINED AFTER THE FEBRUARY 8 MEETING THAT THERE WAS NO NEED FOR THE GROUP TO RETURN TO BANGKOK PRIOR TO THEIR DEPARTURE FOR THE UNITED STATES.

B-127480, MAY 28, 1956

TO MR. DAN JONES, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, C/O DIVISION OF PROGRAM COORDINATION AND FINANCE, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 29, 1956, FILE 390, FORWARDED HERE BY THE CHIEF, DIVISION OF PROGRAM COORDINATION AND FINANCE, LETTER DATED MARCH 30, FILE 370, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ENCLOSED PAYROLL VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $354 IN FAVOR OF VICTOR A. KOELZER. THAT AMOUNT REPRESENTS FOREIGN POST DIFFERENTIAL FOR THE PERIOD OF HIS "DETAIL" TO THE MEKONG RIVER RECONNAISSANCE INVESTIGATION UNDER TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. S 38-56 DATED NOVEMBER 16, 1955--- AUTHORIZING TRAVEL AND TEMPORARY DUTY AT THAILAND, LAOS, CAMBODIA, AND VIETNAM. THE VOUCHER COVERS THE 20 PERCENT DIFFERENTIAL AUTHORIZED BY REGULATION FOR BANGKOK, THAILAND. THE OTHER POINTS OF OVERSEAS DUTY HAVE A 25 PERCENT DIFFERENTIAL. BUREAU VOUCHER NO. 56 WF-249 FORWARDED HERE MAY 1, 1956, SHOWS MR. KOELZER HAS BEEN ALLOWED THE AMOUNT OF $107.55 AS TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR HIS ACTUAL TRAVEL TIME IN GOING FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO BANGKOK, AND FROM SAIGON, VIETNAM, HIS LAST TEMPORARY DUTY POINT, TO WASHINGTON.

HIS TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION, ITEM 18, PROVIDES THAT "THE APPROVED STANDARD FOREIGN DIFFERENTIALS ON BASE PAY FOR TIME IN LAOS, THAILAND, CAMBODIA, AND VIETNAM WILL BE PAID.' THE AUTHORIZATION SHOWS THE ESTIMATED PERIOD OF THE TRAVEL AND OVERSEAS DUTY AS BEING FROM NOVEMBER 16, 1955, TO MARCH 31, 1956. IN MEMORANDUM OF MARCH 20, 1956, THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, SAYS:

"IN ACCORDANCE WITH VERBAL REQUEST OF CHIEF, WASHINGTON OFFICE ACCOUNTS SECTION, THE LETTERS OF ASSIGNMENT AND THE TRAVEL ORDERS ISSUED TO THE RECONNAISSANCE GROUP, MEKONG RIVER RECONNAISSANCE, HAVE BEEN REVIEWED. THIS REVIEW HAS DISCLOSED THAT THESE DOCUMENTS INADVERTENTLY FAILED TO DESIGNATE BANGKOK, THAILAND, AS TEMPORARY DUTY STATION FOR THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS OF THIS GROUP:

JOHN D. MCCOY

VICTOR A. KOELZER

JOSEPH C. ST. CYR IT WAS THE INTENTION THAT BANGKOK, THAILAND, BE SO DESIGNATED AND THIS INTENTION IS HEREBY AFFIRMED.

"THE ASCERTAINING OF THE VIEWS OF THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE FOUR COUNTRIES REGARDING IMPROVEMENT OF THE MEKONG RIVER BASIN, WAS ONE OF THE PRIME OBJECTIVES OF THE RECONNAISSANCE. A PRELIMINARY MEETING WAS HELD IN BANGKOK, THAILAND, ON JANUARY 20-23, 1956, DURING WHICH SUCH DEVELOPMENT WAS DISCUSSED WITH THE REPRESENTATIVES OF LAOS, THAILAND, CAMBODIA, AND VIETNAM. AT THE CLOSE OF THIS MEETING THESE REPRESENTATIVES REQUESTED THAT A SIMILAR MEETING BE HELD IN SAIGON, VIETNAM, AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE FIELD INVESTIGATION AND PRIOR TO THE DEPARTURE OF THE RECONNAISSANCE GROUP FOR RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES. THIS MEETING WAS HELD IN SAIGON, VIETNAM, ON FEBRUARY 8, 1956. ALTHOUGH THE EXPRESS INTENTION AT THE TIME THIS GROUP DEPARTED FROM THE UNITED STATES WAS THAT UPON COMPLETION OF ITS FIELD MISSION IT WOULD DEPART FROM BANGKOK, THAILAND, FOR THE UNITED STATES, IT WAS DETERMINED AFTER THE FEBRUARY 8 MEETING THAT THERE WAS NO NEED FOR THE GROUP TO RETURN TO BANGKOK PRIOR TO THEIR DEPARTURE FOR THE UNITED STATES.

"PRIOR TO THE DEPARTURE OF THIS GROUP FROM THE UNITED STATES, IT HAD BEEN DETERMINED THAT IT WAS MORE ECONOMICAL FOR THEM TO MAKE THE TRIP AROUND THE WORLD RATHER THAN TO GO TO BANGKOK, THAILAND, VIA EITHER EUROPE, OR THE PACIFIC, AND TO RETURN BY THE SAME ROUTE. THEREFORE, SINCE THE FIELD WORK WAS COMPLETED IN SAIGON, VIETNAM, INSTEAD OF BANGKOK, THAILAND, AS ORIGINALLY INTENDED, AND THE GROUP DEPARTED FROM SAIGON, A FURTHER SAVING TO THE UNITED STATES ON TRAVEL WAS ACCOMPLISHED. OTHERWISE, THE COST OF TRAVEL FROM SAIGON TO BANGKOK AND FOR THE PORTION FROM BANGKOK TO SAIGON, OF THE AROUND THE WORLD TRIP, WOULD HAVE BEEN EXPENDED. IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT THE DEPARTURE OF THE GROUP FROM SAIGON INSTEAD OF BANGKOK WAS AMPLY JUSTIFIED.'

THE ACTUAL DURATION OF THE "DETAIL" INVOLVING TEMPORARY DUTY AND TRAVEL INTERMITTENTLY IN THE AREA REQUIRED 72 CALENDAR DAYS, FROM DECEMBER 3, 1956, TO FEBRUARY 12, 1956. MOREOVER, THE RECORD REASONABLY ESTABLISHES BANGKOK AS BEING, IN FACT, THE BASE POINT FOR HIS OPERATIONS WHILE ON THE ASSIGNMENT.

YOUR DOUBT ARISES IN THE MATTER BECAUSE THE EMPLOYEE DEPARTED THE AREA FROM SAIGON ON FEBRUARY 12, 1956, WITHOUT RETURNING TO BANGKOK, THEREBY MAKING SAIGON HIS LAST DUTY POINT IN THE AREA, AND THE REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE DO NOT SPECIFICALLY INCLUDE A CASE COVERING THE PRECISE FACTUAL SITUATION HERE INVOLVED.

SECTIONS 115G/1), 143, AND 144.2 OF THE STANDARDIZED REGULATIONS (GOVERNMENT CIVILIANS, FOREIGN AREAS) ARE AS FOLLOWS:

"115 DEFINITIONS

"G. "ON DETAIL" MEANS ONE OR THE OTHER OF THE FOLLOWING:

"/1) THE TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT OR TEMPORARY DUTY OF AN EMPLOYEE AWAY FROM HIS PERMANENT STATION NOT CLASSIFIED FOR DIFFERENTIAL TO A POST OR AREA WHICH IS SO CLASSIFIED, OR AWAY FROM HIS PERMANENT STATION WHICH IS CLASSIFIED FOR DIFFERENTIAL TO A POST OR AREA CLASSIFIED AT A HIGHER RATE, WHEN THE PERIOD OF SUCH ASSIGNMENT OR DUTY IS ACTUALLY 60 CALENDAR DAYS OR MORE, OR WHEN THE HEAD OF AGENCY SHALL HAVE DETERMINED BY APPROPRIATE PERSONNEL DOCUMENTATION THAT THE CONTEMPLATED DURATION OF THE TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT OR TEMPORARY DUTY IS FOR A SUBSTANTIAL PERIOD OF TIME ESTIMATED AT NOT LESS THAN 60 CALENDAR DAYS.

"143 PAYMENT FOR DETAIL TO A DIFFERENTIAL POST OR AREA

"PAYMENT FOR DETAIL AS DEFINED IN SECTION 115-G SHALL BE MADE AT THE RATE ESTABLISHED FOR THE DIFFERENTIAL POST OR AREA OF DETAIL FROM THE DATE OF ARRIVAL TO THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS ON THE DATE OF DEPARTURE OR THE DATE DIFFERENTIAL IS TERMINATED UNDER OTHER PROVISIONS OF THESE REGULATIONS; EXCEPT THAT IF, FOR UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE ACTUAL DURATION OF DETAIL AS DEFINED IN SECTION 115-G/1) IS FOR A PERIOD OF LESS THAN 60 CALENDAR DAYS, PAYMENT SHALL NOT BE MADE IN THE ABSENCE OF THE REQUIRED PERSONNEL DOCUMENTATION.

"144.2 DURING ROUND-TRIP OFFICIAL TRAVEL INVOLVING NO DETAIL FROM POST OF ASSIGNMENT

"PAYMENT AT THE RATE CURRENTLY AUTHORIZED TO THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE POST OF ASSIGNMENT SHALL CONTINUE DURING PERIODS OF ROUND-TRIP OFFICIAL TRAVEL INVOLVING NO DETAIL AS DEFINED IN SECTION 115-G AWAY FROM SUCH POST. (SEE SEC. 153, CASE VIII.)

"FOOTNOTE WHERE AN EMPLOYEE IS ISSUED ROUND-TRIP ORDERS FOR TRAVEL FROM AND TO A POST OF DETAIL, RATHER THAN A POST OF ASSIGNMENT, THE SAME PRINCIPLE WILL PREVAIL, I.E., THE POST OF DETAIL WHERE THE TRAVEL BEGINS AND CEASES WILL BE CONSTRUED AS THE POST OF ASSIGNMENT IN APPLYING SECTIONS 142.2, 142.3, OR 144.2, WHICHEVER IS PERTINENT, AND THE DEFINITIONS IN SECTION 115-G.'

THEREUNDER, WHEN THE EMPLOYEE AT A POST OF ASSIGNMENT (OR DETAIL) CLASSIFIED FOR DIFFERENTIAL IS DIRECTED TO VISIT OTHER HIGHER DIFFERENTIAL POSTS INVOLVING LESS THAN 60 DAYS' DUTY AT SUCH OTHER POSTS, THE DIFFERENTIAL OF THE ORIGINAL POST OF ASSIGNMENT OR DETAIL CONTINUES DURING THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL IN THE AREA. WHILE THERE WAS NO RETURN TO BANGKOK BECAUSE OF A COMPLETION OF DUTY THERE, THE DIFFERENTIAL RATE CLAIMED (BANGKOK) IS LOWER THAN THE RATE ALLOWABLE AT THE OTHER OVERSEAS DUTY POINTS AND THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF DUTY IN THE AREAS IN QUESTION EXCEEDED 60 DAYS.

ACCORDINGLY, AND IN LIGHT OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED PROVISIONS OF THE REGULATIONS, THE VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $354 IS RETURNED AND MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.

BUREAU VOUCHER NO. 56-WF-249, REFERRED TO ABOVE, ALSO IS RETURNED HEREWITH.