B-127633, MAY 2, 1956

B-127633: May 2, 1956

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THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT YOU WERE APPOINTED BY THE ABOVE-MENTIONED DEPARTMENT FOR DUTY AS NAVAL ARCHITECT. THAT YOUR PERIOD OF SERVICE UNDER THE EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT WAS FOR 24 MONTHS BEGINNING WITH THE DATE OF DEPARTURE FROM THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. YOU EXPRESS THE VIEW THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO THE PAYMENT OF THE SUM CLAIMED SINCE YOUR DAUGHTERS RETURNED WITH THE FULL KNOWLEDGE OF THE NAVY AUTHORITIES IN LONDON. THAT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN GREATER HAD YOUR DAUGHTERS POSTPONED THEIR TRAVEL AND ACCOMPANIED YOU BACK TO THE UNITED STATES UPON TERMINATION OF YOUR FOREIGN DUTY ASSIGNMENT IN SEPTEMBER 1955. PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST ($110) OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION WAS DENIED BECAUSE AT THE TIME YOU BECAME ENTITLED TO RETURN TRANSPORTATION FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR "IMMEDIATE FAMILY.

B-127633, MAY 2, 1956

TO MR. BERTRAM VON SASSENSCHEID:

YOUR RECENT LETTER REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED MARCH 12, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF RETURN TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES OF YOUR TWO DAUGHTERS, BARBARA AND ALEXANDRA VON SASSENSCHEID, INCIDENT TO YOUR OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY.

THE RECORD DISCLOSES THAT YOU WERE APPOINTED BY THE ABOVE-MENTIONED DEPARTMENT FOR DUTY AS NAVAL ARCHITECT, GRADE GS-871-12, AT THE UNITED STATES NAVY SHIPBUILDING LIAISON OFFICE, LONDON, ENGLAND, IN JULY 1953; THAT YOUR PERIOD OF SERVICE UNDER THE EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT WAS FOR 24 MONTHS BEGINNING WITH THE DATE OF DEPARTURE FROM THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. IN 1954 YOUR TWO DAUGHTERS, THEN UNDER THE AGE OF 21, PROCEEDED TO THE UNITED STATES, VIA THE MILITARY SEA TRANSPORTATION SERVICE, FOR PERSONAL REASONS, AT YOUR EXPENSE. YOU EXPRESS THE VIEW THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO THE PAYMENT OF THE SUM CLAIMED SINCE YOUR DAUGHTERS RETURNED WITH THE FULL KNOWLEDGE OF THE NAVY AUTHORITIES IN LONDON, AND THAT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN GREATER HAD YOUR DAUGHTERS POSTPONED THEIR TRAVEL AND ACCOMPANIED YOU BACK TO THE UNITED STATES UPON TERMINATION OF YOUR FOREIGN DUTY ASSIGNMENT IN SEPTEMBER 1955. PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST ($110) OF SUCH TRANSPORTATION WAS DENIED BECAUSE AT THE TIME YOU BECAME ENTITLED TO RETURN TRANSPORTATION FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR "IMMEDIATE FAMILY," YOUR DAUGHTERS NO LONGER CAME WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE DEFINITION OF THAT TERM AS USED IN THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS.

CONTROLLING IN THE MATTER OF THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR "IMMEDIATE FAMILY" INCIDENT TO YOUR FOREIGN DUTY ASSIGNMENT ARE THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 600, APPROVED AUGUST 2, 1946, 66 STAT. 806, AS AMENDED, AND THE REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT THERETO BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, DATED NOVEMBER 25, 1946, AS AMENDED. IN THAT REGARD, IT WAS STATED IN OUR DECISION OF SEPTEMBER 26, 1952, 32 COMP. GEN. 143, 144, AS FOLLOWS:

"UNDER EXISTING LAW AND REGULATIONS PERTAINING TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS OF CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES RETURNING FROM OVERSEAS, THIS OFFICE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO REIMBURSEMENT BEING MADE TO AN EMPLOYEE, UPON COMPLETION OF HIS EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT, OF EXPENSES INCURRED FROM PERSONAL FUNDS FOR PRIOR RETURN OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY PROVIDED (1) ALLOWANCE OF SUCH EXPENSES BE APPROVED ADMINISTRATIVELY WITH FULL KNOWLEDGE OF THE NECESSITY OR COMPELLING REASON FOR THE PRIOR RETURN; (2) THE EMPLOYEE (A) ELECTS TO SERVE AT AN OVERSEAS STATION FOR AN ADDITIONAL PERIOD OR (B) RETURNS TO THE UNITED STATES PURSUANT TO APPROPRIATE TRAVEL ORDERS AUTHORIZING HIS RETURN AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE; (3) ALL OTHER NECESSARY CONDITIONS FOR SUCH TRANSPORTATION BENEFITS--- SUCH AS BEING A MEMBER OF THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD AND OTHERWISE WITHIN THE TERM, ,IMMEDIATE FAMILY," AS USED IN THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS, AT THE TIME OF THE EMPLOYEE'S RIGHT TO RETURN AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE--- ARE SATISFIED.'

SECTION 1 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805 PROVIDES:

"/D) "IMMEDIATE FAMILY" MEANS ANY OF THE FOLLOWING-NAMED MEMBERS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD: SPOUSE, CHILDREN (INCLUDING STEPCHILDREN AND ADOPTED CHILDREN) UNMARRIED AND UNDER TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE OR PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY INCAPABLE OF SUPPORTING THEMSELVES REGARDLESS OF AGE, OR DEPENDENT PARENTS OF THE EMPLOYEE (BUT NOT OF THE SPOUSE).'

WE HAVE HERETOFORE RULED THAT WHILE SECTION 29 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, ADDED BY BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-4 DATED MAY 22, 1955, PERMITS AN EMPLOYEE TO BE REIMBURSED FOR EXPENSES OF THE ADVANCE RETURN OF HIS "IMMEDIATE FAMILY" FOR REASONS OTHER THAN THOSE REQUIRED BY THE PUBLIC INTEREST, THE SECTION PROVIDES "THE AMOUNT OF THE REIMBURSEMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWABLE, AT THE TIME THAT HE BECAME ELIGIBLE FOR RETURN AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.'

SINCE YOUR DAUGHTERS WOULD HAVE REACHED THE AGE OF 21 PRIOR TO THE DATE YOU COMPLETED THE TOUR OF DUTY PRESCRIBED BY YOUR EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT AND BECAME ENTITLED TO THE RETURN TRANSPORTATION OF YOURSELF AND YOUR "IMMEDIATE FAMILY," IT IS EVIDENT FROM THE FOREGOING THAT THEY COULD NOT HAVE BEEN RETURNED AT THAT TIME AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 12, 1956, MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED. THE MATTER OF AMENDING THE EXECUTIVE ORDER, TO WHICH YOU REFER IN THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF YOUR LETTER IS NOT ONE WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF OUR OFFICE.