B-131025, APR. 24, 1957

B-131025: Apr 24, 1957

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MATTHEWS WAS FIRST GIVEN A CAREER -CONDITIONAL APPOINTMENT AT GRADE GS-4. HE WAS GRANTED LEAVE WITHOUT PAY TO ATTEND SCHOOL AT LOUISIANA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE. HE WAS REASSIGNED AND TRANSFERRED TO CROWLEY. HE WAS PROMOTED TO A GRADE GS-5 POSITION. SINCE HIS ASSIGNMENT AT SHREVEPORT WAS FOR TRAINING PURPOSES ONLY. AFTER CROWLEY WAS ESTABLISHED AS HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION. MATTHEW'S OFFICIAL POST OF DUTY WAS TRANSFERRED FROM CROWLEY TO TALLULAH. REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED UPON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR SHIPMENT OF 2. AN ADDITIONAL EXPENSE WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE SHIPMENT. WE HAVE GIVEN CONTINUED RECOGNITION TO THE GENERAL PRINCIPLE THAT AN EMPLOYEE MUST PAY ALL OF HIS OWN EXPENSES IN REPORTING TO HIS FIRST OFFICIAL DUTY STATION.

B-131025, APR. 24, 1957

TO MR. O. T. SEELY, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 11, 1957, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY PROPERLY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER TRANSMITTED THEREWITH IN FAVOR OF STANLEY D. MATTHEWS IN THE AMOUNT OF $156.89. THE VOUCHER COVERS REIMBURSEMENT UPON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM SPRINGHILL, LOUISIANA, TO TALLULAH, LOUISANA, HIS NEW DUTY STATION.

THE FACTS AS REPORTED DISCLOSE THAT MR. MATTHEWS WAS FIRST GIVEN A CAREER -CONDITIONAL APPOINTMENT AT GRADE GS-4, STUDENT TRAINEE (SOIL SCIENCE) WITH HEADQUARTERS AT SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 1955. HIS STANDARD FROM 57, SIGNED JULY 20, 1955, GAVE HIS ADDRESS AS ROUTE 1, BOX 60, SPRINGHILL, LOUISIANA, AT THE TIME. HE WAS GRANTED LEAVE WITHOUT PAY TO ATTEND SCHOOL AT LOUISIANA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE, RUSTIN, LOUISIANA, FROM SEPTEMBER 12, 1955, TO JUNE 3, 1956. ON JUNE 4, 1956, THE DATE OF HIS RETURN TO ACTIVE DUTY, HE WAS REASSIGNED AND TRANSFERRED TO CROWLEY, LOUISIANA. HE REPORTED FOR DUTY THEREAT ON JUNE 4, 1956. HE WAS PROMOTED TO A GRADE GS-5 POSITION, AS SOIL SCIENTIST, EFFECTIVE JUNE 17, 1956.

YOU FURTHER REPORT THAT YOUR OFFICE DID NOT AUTHORIZE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE MOVEMENT OF THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN CONNECTION WITH HIS CHANGE OF DUTY STATION FROM SHREVEPORT TO CROWLEY, LOUISIANA, ON JUNE 4, 1956, SINCE HIS ASSIGNMENT AT SHREVEPORT WAS FOR TRAINING PURPOSES ONLY. ALSO, YOU STATE THAT MR. MATTHEWS DID NOT MOVE HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM SPRINGHILL--- HIS PLACE OF RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF APPOINTMENT--- TO SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA, NOR DID HE MOVE HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM SPRINGHILL TO CROWLEY, AFTER CROWLEY WAS ESTABLISHED AS HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION; THAT, THEREFORE, THE EMPLOYEE HAS INCURRED NO ADDITIONAL EXPENSE IN MOVING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM HIS FORMER HOME TO AN OFFICIAL DUTY STATION TO DATE.

BY ORDER DATED OCTOBER 4, 1956, MR. MATTHEW'S OFFICIAL POST OF DUTY WAS TRANSFERRED FROM CROWLEY TO TALLULAH, LOUISIANA, EFFECTIVE ON OR ABOUT OCTOBER 21, 1956. THE ORDER INCLUDED AUTHORITY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM THE OLD TO THE NEW DUTY STATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXISTING ORDERS AND REGULATIONS. REIMBURSEMENT IS CLAIMED UPON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR SHIPMENT OF 2,900 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM SPRINGHILL TO TALLULAH, LOUISIANA, A DISTANCE OF 169 MILES, AT $5.41 PER HUNDRED POUNDS, $156.89, WHEREAS HAD THE SHIPMENT MOVED FROM CROWLEY TO TALLULAH, LOUISIANA, A DISTANCE OF 245 MILES, AN ADDITIONAL EXPENSE WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE SHIPMENT.

YOU POINT OUT THAT IN 30 COMP. GEN. 373, WE HAVE GIVEN CONTINUED RECOGNITION TO THE GENERAL PRINCIPLE THAT AN EMPLOYEE MUST PAY ALL OF HIS OWN EXPENSES IN REPORTING TO HIS FIRST OFFICIAL DUTY STATION. YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER IS STATED TO BE WHETHER THIS GENERAL PRINCIPLE WOULD PRECLUDE PAYMENT ON A COMMUTED BASIS FOR THE MOVEMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS INVOLVED, SINCE IT ORIGINATED AT THE PLACE WHICH WAS THE EMPLOYEE'S HOME PRIOR TO ANY DUTY WITH THE GOVERNMENT. HOWEVER, SECTION 8 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9815, AS AMENDED, AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF EXPENSES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF AN EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS WHERE THE SHIPMENT ORIGINATES AT THE EMPLOYEE'S FORMER OFFICIAL DUTY STATION OR AT SOME OTHER POINT, OR PARTIALLY AT BOTH, OR WHETHER THE POINT OF DESTINATION IS THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION OR SOME OTHER PLACE SELECTED BY HIM, OR BOTH, PROVIDED THE SHIPMENT IS MADE WITHIN THE TIME LIMIT PRESCRIBED AND THAT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT EXCEED THE COST OF THE SHIPMENT IN ONE LOT BY THE MOST ECONOMICAL ROUTE FROM THE LAST OFFICIAL STATION TO THE NEW. ACCORDINGLY, IN THE LIGHT OF THE FACTUAL CIRCUMSTANCES REPORTED HEREIN, THE VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.