B-130258, FEB. 14, 1957

B-130258: Feb 14, 1957

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WHICH WAS APPROVED. THE SPECIFIC TRAVEL EXPENSES ALLOWABLE WERE THEN APPROVED ON AN UNSPECIFIED DATE BY MEMORANDUM SIGNED BY H. THE REASON FOR THE FAILURE OF THE EMPLOYEE TO SIGN THE AGREEMENT PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE FROM PUERTO RICO IS NOT SHOWN. THAT IT WAS OCCASIONED BY ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR. THE REQUIREMENT FOR WRITTEN AGREEMENT FOR A NEW TOUR OF DUTY ENTERED INTO BEFORE DEPARTING FROM THE OVERSEAS POST IS PRIMARILY FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE GOVERNMENT. THE TRAVEL IN THIS CASE WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE. THE WRITTEN AGREEMENT WAS EXECUTED BY THE EMPLOYEE UPON HIS RETURN TO PUERTO RICO. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE SUGGESTING THAT INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT HAVE BEEN ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY HIS FAILURE TO EXECUTE THE AGREEMENT BEFORE DEPARTING FROM THE OVERSEAS POST.'.

B-130258, FEB. 14, 1957

TO MR. E. R. HILL, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE:

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 21, 1956, (A-DISBURSEMENT VOUCHERS) REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED PROPOSING REIMBURSEMENT TO FRANK H. WADSWORTH FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES COVERING THE ROUND TRIP TRAVEL FROM PUERTO RICO TO THE UNITED STATES AND RETURN FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING HOME LEAVE DURING THE PERIOD JUNE 12, 1956 TO AUGUST 12, 1956.

YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES FROM THE PROVISION IN THE ACT OF AUGUST 31, 1954, 68 STAT. 1008, AUTHORIZING SUCH ROUND TRIP FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING HOME LEAVE PRIOR TO SERVING ANOTHER TOUR OF DUTY "UNDER A NEW WRITTEN AGREEMENT ENTERED INTO BEFORE DEPARTING FROM THE OVERSEAS ST.'

IT APPEARS FROM THE PAPERS ENCLOSED BY YOU THAT MR. WADSWORTH APPLIED FOR HOME LEAVE BY LETTER OF APRIL 10, 1956, WHICH WAS APPROVED, GENERALLY, BY FOREST SERVICE OFFICE MEMORANDUM OF APRIL 18, 1956. THE SPECIFIC TRAVEL EXPENSES ALLOWABLE WERE THEN APPROVED ON AN UNSPECIFIED DATE BY MEMORANDUM SIGNED BY H. E. MARSHALL, CHIEF, FISCAL CONTROL. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE EMPLOYEE HAD COMPLETED TWO YEARS GOVERNMENT SERVICE IN PUERTO RICO PRIOR TO THE LEAVE TRAVEL. ON SEPTEMBER 12, 1956, AFTER COMPLETION OF THE RETURN TRAVEL TO PUERTO RICO, THE EMPLOYEE EXECUTED AN AGREEMENT TO REMAIN IN THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES IN PUERTO RICO FOR A PERIOD OF AT LEAST TWO YEARS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING HIS RETURN TO DUTY THERE. THE REASON FOR THE FAILURE OF THE EMPLOYEE TO SIGN THE AGREEMENT PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE FROM PUERTO RICO IS NOT SHOWN. WE ASSUME, HOWEVER, THAT IT WAS OCCASIONED BY ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR.

THE REQUIREMENT FOR WRITTEN AGREEMENT FOR A NEW TOUR OF DUTY ENTERED INTO BEFORE DEPARTING FROM THE OVERSEAS POST IS PRIMARILY FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE GOVERNMENT. AS INDICATED ABOVE, THE TRAVEL IN THIS CASE WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE, THE VOUCHER HAS BEEN APPROVED, AND THE WRITTEN AGREEMENT WAS EXECUTED BY THE EMPLOYEE UPON HIS RETURN TO PUERTO RICO. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE SUGGESTING THAT INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT HAVE BEEN ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY HIS FAILURE TO EXECUTE THE AGREEMENT BEFORE DEPARTING FROM THE OVERSEAS POST.'

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT. THE VOUCHER AND ACCOMPANYING PAPERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.