B-131084, MAY 3, 1957

B-131084: May 3, 1957

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IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF TRAVEL AND SHIPMENT OF PERSONAL EFFECTS FROM SALT LAKE CITY. WE UNDERSTAND THAT MISS HELLER WAS RECRUITED AT SALT LAKE CITY. WE ARE INFORMED THAT THE STANDARD PRACTICE OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE AT THE TIME OF APPOINTMENT OF MISS HELLER WAS TO REQUIRE EMPLOYEES RECRUITED IN THE UNITED STATES FOR SERVICE OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO SIGN AN AGREEMENT PRIOR TO DEPARTURE FROM THE UNITED STATES TO SERVE AT THEIR POST OUTSIDE UNITED STATES FOR A PERIOD OF TWO YEARS. THE FAILURE OF THE EMPLOYEE TO ENTER INTO A WRITTEN AGREEMENT PRIOR TO LEAVING THE UNITED STATES APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN DUE TO AN ADMINISTRATIVE INADVERTENCE IN HER CASE SINCE BY LETTER DATED MAY 28.

B-131084, MAY 3, 1957

TO MR. RICHARD V. WOOLRIDGE, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 11, 1957, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER MISS CHRISTINE A. HELLER, PUBLIC HEALTH NUTRITIONIST, GRADE GS-11, IS ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF TRAVEL AND SHIPMENT OF PERSONAL EFFECTS FROM SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, TO ANCHORAGE, ALASKA.

WE UNDERSTAND THAT MISS HELLER WAS RECRUITED AT SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, FOR DUTY WITH THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 1956. IT APPEARS THAT, PURSUANT THERETO, MISS HELLER OBTAINED TRANSPORTATION FROM SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, TO ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, AT HER OWN EXPENSE BUT DID NOT ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT IN WRITING TO REMAIN WITH THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE FOR A STIPULATED TIME AS REQUIRED BY SECTION 7, PUBLIC LAW 600, 60 STAT. 806, 808, AS AMENDED. ALSO, WE ARE INFORMED THAT THE STANDARD PRACTICE OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE AT THE TIME OF APPOINTMENT OF MISS HELLER WAS TO REQUIRE EMPLOYEES RECRUITED IN THE UNITED STATES FOR SERVICE OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO SIGN AN AGREEMENT PRIOR TO DEPARTURE FROM THE UNITED STATES TO SERVE AT THEIR POST OUTSIDE UNITED STATES FOR A PERIOD OF TWO YEARS. HOWEVER, THE FAILURE OF THE EMPLOYEE TO ENTER INTO A WRITTEN AGREEMENT PRIOR TO LEAVING THE UNITED STATES APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN DUE TO AN ADMINISTRATIVE INADVERTENCE IN HER CASE SINCE BY LETTER DATED MAY 28, 1956, SHE WAS ADVISED THAT "TRAVEL EXPENSES TO AND FROM ALASKA WILL BE PAID, PROVIDED YOU STAY TWO YEARS.' THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MISS HELLER EXECUTED A TWO-YEAR AGREEMENT ON AUGUST 1, 1956, THE DATE SHE REPORTED FOR DUTY IN ANCHORAGE. WE UNDERSTAND, ALSO, THAT THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE IS AGREEABLE TO PAYING MISS HELLER'S TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES.

IT IS TRUE THAT SECTION 7 OF PUBLIC LAW 600 REQUIRES THAT TRAVEL EXPENSES OF THE NATURE UNDER CONSIDERATION "SHALL NOT BE ALLOWED" IN THE CASE OF A NEW APPOINTEE UNLESS AND UNTIL THE PERSON SELECTED FOR APPOINTMENT AGREES IN WRITING TO REMAIN IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE FOR A MINIMUM PERIOD OF ONE YEAR. IN THIS CASE THE APPOINTMENT WAS ACCEPTED BY THE EMPLOYEE ON THE BASIS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFER OF AT LEAST TWO YEARS' SERVICE AT ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, AND SHE NOW IS UNDER A WRITTEN AGREEMENT, DATED AUGUST 1, 1956, FOR A TWO-YEAR TOUR OF DUTY. YOU ARE ADVISED, THEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF THIS PARTICULAR CASE, THAT OBJECTION IS NOT REQUIRED TO ALLOWANCE OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES UPON THE GROUND THAT A WRITTEN AGREEMENT WAS NOT SIGNED BY THE EMPLOYEE PRIOR TO HER TRAVEL. CONCERNING THE SUBSISTENCE ITEM, IF, IN FACT, MISS HELLER WAS NOT ACTUALLY APPOINTED UNTIL AFTER HER ARRIVAL IN ALASKA HER SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES MAY BE ALLOWED ONLY UPON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS, THE PER DIEM ALLOWANCE UNDER SECTION 3 OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949, 63 STAT. 166, BEING FOR PAYMENT ONLY TO CIVILIAN "OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES" OF THE GOVERNMENT.

THE VOUCHER, WHICH TOGETHER WITH ENCLOSURE, IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT ACCORDINGLY, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.