B-127568, JUN. 12, 1956

B-127568: Jun 12, 1956

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THE CLAIM WAS FORWARDED HERE BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT UNDER DATE OF JUNE 28. FROM WHICH PLACE YOU WERE TO SAIL FOR PARAGUAY. YOU LEARNED THAT YOUR BAGGAGE WAS BEING HELD UP IN MONTGOMERY. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR OFFICE ON THE BASIS THAT THERE EXISTS NO LEGAL AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR UNAUTHORIZED TRAVEL EXPENDITURES OCCASIONED BY STRIKES. UNDER WHICH THE STATE DEPARTMENT HAS AUTHORITY TO GIVE POST-APPROVAL TO TRAVEL EXPENSES ALLOWABLE UNDER EXISTING REGULATIONS WHEN INCURRED WITHOUT PRIOR AUTHORIZATION BECAUSE OF AN EMERGENCY OR WHEN CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE PREVENTED ISSUANCE OF SUCH PRIOR AUTHORIZATION. YOU ARE ADVISED THAT YOUR TRAVEL FROM NEW ORLEANS TO MONTGOMERY AND BACK TO NEW ORLEANS.

B-127568, JUN. 12, 1956

TO MR. JOSEPH B. TISINGER, III:

YOUR RECENT LETTER REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 22, 1955, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR AN AMOUNT OF $176.49, REPRESENTING EXCESS COSTS OF MOVING YOUR UNACCOMPANIED BAGGAGE FROM MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA, TO NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR TRAVEL TO ASUNCION, PARAGUAY, PERFORMED UNDER STATE DEPARTMENT ORDERS NO. 5-15361, DATED JANUARY 31, 1955. THE CLAIM WAS FORWARDED HERE BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT UNDER DATE OF JUNE 28, 1955.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT UPON YOUR ARRIVAL AT NEW ORLEANS,LOUISIANA, FROM WHICH PLACE YOU WERE TO SAIL FOR PARAGUAY, YOU LEARNED THAT YOUR BAGGAGE WAS BEING HELD UP IN MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA--- 375 MILES DISTANT- - DUE TO A RAILROAD STRIKE. WITHOUT PRIOR AUTHORIZATION FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT, YOU EXPENDED THE ABOVE AMOUNT FOR AIR TRAVEL, RENTAL OF AN AUTOMOBILE AND TRAILER, AND OTHER COSTS INCIDENT TO GETTING THE BAGGAGE FROM MONTGOMERY TO NEW ORLEANS, FOR SHIPMENT TO PARAGUAY.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR OFFICE ON THE BASIS THAT THERE EXISTS NO LEGAL AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR UNAUTHORIZED TRAVEL EXPENDITURES OCCASIONED BY STRIKES.

IN YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW YOU SUBMIT REASONS WHY YOU DID NOT SEEK PRIOR AUTHORIZATION FOR THE EXPENDITURES, AND EXPRESS THE BELIEF THAT YOU ACTED AS AN AGENT OF THE GOVERNMENT IN ACCOMPLISHING THE INVOLVED TRAVEL AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT DISCLAIM RESPONSIBILITY FOR SUCH EXPENDITURES. YOU ALSO REFER TO FOREIGN SERVICE REGULATION 1 FSM III 180 (FSTR 1.2 (M) (, UNDER WHICH THE STATE DEPARTMENT HAS AUTHORITY TO GIVE POST-APPROVAL TO TRAVEL EXPENSES ALLOWABLE UNDER EXISTING REGULATIONS WHEN INCURRED WITHOUT PRIOR AUTHORIZATION BECAUSE OF AN EMERGENCY OR WHEN CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE PREVENTED ISSUANCE OF SUCH PRIOR AUTHORIZATION.

REGARDING YOUR STATEMENT THAT YOU ACTED AS AGENT OF THE GOVERNMENT, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT YOUR TRAVEL FROM NEW ORLEANS TO MONTGOMERY AND BACK TO NEW ORLEANS, FOR THE PURPOSE OF OBTAINING YOUR BAGGAGE WAS FOR YOUR OWN CONVENIENCE, AND MAY NOT BE CONSTRUED AS HAVING BEEN PERFORMED AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UNITED STATES.

AS THE ABOVE FOREIGN SERVICE REGULATION CONSTITUTES THE ONLY AUTHORITY UNDER WHICH THE INVOLVED EXPENDITURES COULD BE APPROVED, OUR OFFICE, UNDER DATE OF MAY 17, 1956 REFERRED THE MATTER TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT FOR A REPORT AS TO WHETHER THE FACTS IN YOUR CASE WERE SUCH AS TO WARRANT AN ADMINISTRATIVE FINDING THAT THE EXPENSES INCURRED COULD BE APPROVED UNDER THE EXISTING REGULATIONS. BY LETTER DATED MAY 25, 1956, THE DEPARTMENT INFORMED US THAT A CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL COULD NOT BE ISSUED UNDER THE REGULATION INASMUCH AS "THE TRAVEL WAS NOT PERFORMED STRICTLY FOR PURPOSES OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS.' IN VIEW OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT'S DETERMINATION IN THE MATTER, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM.

ACCORDINGLY, OUR SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 22, 1955, DISALLOWING THE CLAIM MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.