B-130438, FEB. 11, 1957

B-130438: Feb 11, 1957

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THE RECORDS SHOW THAT YOU WERE DISCHARGED FROM THE UNITED STATES ARMY. NO TRAVEL ORDERS WERE ISSUED AUTHORIZING YOUR RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND THERE IS NOTHING OF RECORD TO SHOW THAT YOU REQUESTED SUCH RETURN TRANSPORTATION TO THE UNITED STATES AT THE TIME OF YOUR RESIGNATION FROM THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION. WHEREIN THE FOLLOWING WAS STATED ON PAGE 289: "WHERE AN EMPLOYEE DOES NOT RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES AS AN INCIDENT TO THE TERMINATION OF HIS ASSIGNMENT OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES. THAT IS. THEN HIS RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES IS NOT IN FACT INCIDENTAL TO THE TERMINATION OF HIS ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND NONE OF THE EXPENSES OF THAT RETURN IS PAYABLE UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE STATUTE.

B-130438, FEB. 11, 1957

TO MR. CARLOS C. GAMATERO:

YOUR UNDATED LETTER, WITH ENCLOSURES, POSTMARKED DECEMBER 26, 1956, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF JULY 16, 1956, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM AS A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION FOR RETURN TRANSPORTATION OF YOURSELF AND FAMILY FROM THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS.

THE RECORDS SHOW THAT YOU WERE DISCHARGED FROM THE UNITED STATES ARMY, IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, JANUARY 23, 1946, WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT YOU WOULD RECEIVE A CIVIL SERVICE POSITION IN THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION. YOU ACCEPTED AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, MANILA REGIONAL OFFICE, ON FEBRUARY 18, 1946. YOU RESIGNED YOUR POSITION WITH THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION ON MAY 23, 1947. NO TRAVEL ORDERS WERE ISSUED AUTHORIZING YOUR RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AND THERE IS NOTHING OF RECORD TO SHOW THAT YOU REQUESTED SUCH RETURN TRANSPORTATION TO THE UNITED STATES AT THE TIME OF YOUR RESIGNATION FROM THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION. YOU DID NOT LEAVE THE PHILIPPINES TO RETURN TO THIS COUNTRY UNTIL JULY 29, 1949.

OUR SETTLEMENT POINTED OUT THAT WHERE AN EMPLOYEE FOR PERSONAL REASONS ELECTS NOT TO RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES AS AN INCIDENT TO THE TERMINATION OF THE ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, THE STATUTES REASONABLY MAY NOT BE CONSTRUED AS AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF ANY OF THE EXPENSES CONNECTED WITH THE LATER RETURN OF THE EMPLOYEE TO THE UNITED STATES. IN THAT CONNECTION, WE SHOULD LIKE TO DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO 28 COMP. GEN. 285, WHEREIN THE FOLLOWING WAS STATED ON PAGE 289:

"WHERE AN EMPLOYEE DOES NOT RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES AS AN INCIDENT TO THE TERMINATION OF HIS ASSIGNMENT OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, THE STATUTES MAY NOT REASONABLY BE CONSTRUED AS AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF ANY OF THE EXPENSES CONNECTED WITH THE RETURN OF THE EMPLOYEE, HIS FAMILY, OR HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS TO THE UNITED STATES. THAT IS, WHERE AN EMPLOYEE FOR VOLUNTARY PERSONAL REASONS ELECTS NOT TO RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES AFTER THE DATE THAT HIS ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES HAS BEEN TERMINATED, THEN HIS RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES IS NOT IN FACT INCIDENTAL TO THE TERMINATION OF HIS ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES AND NONE OF THE EXPENSES OF THAT RETURN IS PAYABLE UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE STATUTE, SUPRA. THE ORDER AUTHORIZING THE RETURN TRAVEL OF THE EMPLOYEE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE MAY PROVIDE ONLY FOR THE LAPSE OF A REASONABLE PERIOD OF TIME--- THE LENGTH OF WHICH TO BE DEPENDENT UPON ALL THE ATTENDANT CIRCUMSTANCES, SUCH AS, FOR EXAMPLE, THE EXISTENCE OF AVAILABLE FACILITIES UNDER THE CONDITIONS MENTIONED IN YOUR LETTER- - BETWEEN THE TERMINATION OF THE DUTY AND THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE TRAVEL.'

IN VIEW OF THE LAPSE OF TIME BETWEEN THE TERMINATION OF YOUR EMPLOYMENT WITH THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION IN THE PHILIPPINES IT APPEARS UNDER THE DECISION JUST QUOTED THAT ANY RIGHT YOU MAY HAVE HAD TO RETURN TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE HAS BEEN LOST.

ACCORDINGLY, WE CONCLUDE THAT OUR SETTLEMENT OF JULY 16, 1956, IS CORRECT AND UPON REVIEW IT MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.