B-127944, JUN. 28, 1956

B-127944: Jun 28, 1956

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YOU WERE REIMBURSED FOR THE COSTS OF TRAVEL PERFORMED PURSUANT TO SUCH ORDERS. YOU WERE OFFERED EMPLOYMENT WITH THE ALLIED MILITARY GOVERNMENT. IT IS STATED THAT THE PERFORMANCE OF THE TRAVEL TO WASHINGTON. WAS DUE TO A MISINTERPRETATION. YOU ALSO SAY THAT THE REFERRED-TO EMPLOYEES ERRONEOUSLY ADVISED YOU THAT SINCE YOU WERE NOT ON A GOVERNMENT PAYROLL YOU SHOULD RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES FOR RECRUITMENT SO AS TO BE ENTITLED TO CERTAIN ALLOWANCES GRANTED UNDER THE ABOVE REGULATIONS. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED ON THE BASIS THAT YOU WERE NOT AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES WHEN THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED. YOU WERE NOT AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM ANY TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW IS PREDICATED UPON THE BASIS THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM BECAUSE THE TRAVEL EXPENSES WERE INCURRED AS A RESULT OF "ERROR ON THE PART OF COMPETENT OFFICIALS" OF THE GOVERNMENT.

B-127944, JUN. 28, 1956

TO MR. ROBERT M. STEPHENSON:

YOUR RECENT LETTER REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 16, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR $600, REPRESENTING EXPENDITURES FOR COMMERCIAL AIR TRAVEL FROM PARIS, FRANCE, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS IN WASHINGTON, D.C., DURING NOVEMBER 1950, IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR OBTAINING EMPLOYMENT WITH THE ALLIED MILITARY GOVERNMENT.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT INCIDENT TO THE TERMINATION OF YOUR EMPLOYMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR GERMANY, THE FOREIGN SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ISSUED ORDERS ON AUGUST 2, 1950, AUTHORIZING YOU TO TRAVEL FROM FRANKFORT, GERMANY, TO PARIS, FRANCE, AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. YOU WERE REIMBURSED FOR THE COSTS OF TRAVEL PERFORMED PURSUANT TO SUCH ORDERS.

IT FURTHER APPEARS THAT IN OCTOBER 1950, YOU WERE OFFERED EMPLOYMENT WITH THE ALLIED MILITARY GOVERNMENT, AT TRIESTE, WHICH YOU ACCEPTED. INSTEAD OF EXECUTING YOUR EMPLOYMENT PAPERS IN TRIESTE, YOU TRAVELED BY AIRPLANE TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE, AND SIGNED THEM THERE.

IT IS STATED THAT THE PERFORMANCE OF THE TRAVEL TO WASHINGTON, D.C., WAS DUE TO A MISINTERPRETATION--- BY CERTAIN EMPLOYEES OF THE ALLIED MILITARY GOVERNMENT AT TRIESTE--- OF DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY CIVILIAN PERSONNEL REGULATIONS PERTAINING TO ALLOWANCES. YOU ALSO SAY THAT THE REFERRED-TO EMPLOYEES ERRONEOUSLY ADVISED YOU THAT SINCE YOU WERE NOT ON A GOVERNMENT PAYROLL YOU SHOULD RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES FOR RECRUITMENT SO AS TO BE ENTITLED TO CERTAIN ALLOWANCES GRANTED UNDER THE ABOVE REGULATIONS.

IN OUR SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 16, 1956, YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED ON THE BASIS THAT YOU WERE NOT AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES WHEN THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED, AND YOU WERE NOT AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM ANY TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW IS PREDICATED UPON THE BASIS THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF THE CLAIM BECAUSE THE TRAVEL EXPENSES WERE INCURRED AS A RESULT OF "ERROR ON THE PART OF COMPETENT OFFICIALS" OF THE GOVERNMENT.

YOU ARE ADVISED THAT AN ERRONEOUS INTERPRETATION OF A LAW OR REGULATION BY A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE CANNOT HAVE THE EFFECT OF IMPOSING ANY OBLIGATION UPON THE UNITED STATES. SINCE YOUR TRAVEL FROM PARIS TO WASHINGTON, D.C., WAS NOT PERFORMED UNDER OFFICIAL ORDERS AUTHORIZING SUCH TRAVEL, AND HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AS REQUIRED BY ITS REGULATIONS, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS FOR THE PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM.

IT IS REGRETTED THAT THE MISUNDERSTANDING AND ERRONEOUS ADVICE OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES HAVE RESULTED IN THE UNNECESSARY EXPENDITURE OF YOUR PERSONAL FUNDS. THERE IS NO BASIS, HOWEVER, UPON WHICH WE CAN AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT TO YOU. ACCORDINGLY, OUR SETTLEMENT OF APRIL 16, 1956, DISALLOWING THE CLAIM MUST BE SUSTAINED.