B-132139, FEB. 25, 1958

B-132139: Feb 25, 1958

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THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE DIRECTED BY TELEGRAM TO PROCEED FROM PHOENIX TO LOS ANGELES ON OCTOBER 30. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED ON THE BASIS THAT GOVERNMENT AGENCIES MAY NOT PAY OR REIMBURSE AN INDIVIDUAL FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN TRAVELING TO ANY POINT FOR DETERMINATION OF THE QUALIFICATIONS TO HOLD A GOVERNMENT POSITION TO BE FILLED SUBJECT TO THE CIVIL SERVICE LAWS AND REGULATIONS. THE POSITION HAD ALREADY BEEN AUTHORIZED AND THAT THE TRIP WAS NOT MADE FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING YOUR QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE POSITION BUT IN ORDER THAT YOU COULD FILL OUT CERTAIN REQUIRED FORMS AND TAKE THE OATH OF OFFICE. YOUR LETTER OF MAY 14 WAS FORWARDED TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE FOR A FURTHER REPORT.

B-132139, FEB. 25, 1958

TO MRS. LEAH V. BARR, U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS:

YOUR LETTER OF MAY 14, 1957, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR CERTIFICATE OF SETTLEMENT DATED MAY 2, 1957, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO TRAVEL FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA, TO LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, AND RETURN, ON OCTOBER 30 AND 31, 1956, IN CONNECTION WITH OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE DIRECTED BY TELEGRAM TO PROCEED FROM PHOENIX TO LOS ANGELES ON OCTOBER 30, 1956,"FOR PROCESSING" REGARDING A POSSIBLE OVERSEAS POSITION WITH THE MEDITERRANEAN DIVISION, CORPS OF ENGINEERS.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED ON THE BASIS THAT GOVERNMENT AGENCIES MAY NOT PAY OR REIMBURSE AN INDIVIDUAL FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN TRAVELING TO ANY POINT FOR DETERMINATION OF THE QUALIFICATIONS TO HOLD A GOVERNMENT POSITION TO BE FILLED SUBJECT TO THE CIVIL SERVICE LAWS AND REGULATIONS.

IN YOUR LETTER OF MAY 14 YOU INDICATE THAT YOU MADE THE TRIP AT THE REQUEST OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, THAT THE CONTACTS ABOUT THE POSITION HAD BEEN COMPLETED BY CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE MEDITERRANEAN DIVISION AND BY TELEGRAM WITH THE OCE WASHINGTON, THE POSITION HAD ALREADY BEEN AUTHORIZED AND THAT THE TRIP WAS NOT MADE FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING YOUR QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE POSITION BUT IN ORDER THAT YOU COULD FILL OUT CERTAIN REQUIRED FORMS AND TAKE THE OATH OF OFFICE. VIEW OF SUCH CONTENTIONS, YOUR LETTER OF MAY 14 WAS FORWARDED TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE FOR A FURTHER REPORT.

A REPORT HAS NOW BEEN RECEIVED FROM THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, WASHINGTON 25, D.C., WHICH WAS TRANSMITTED TO OUR OFFICE THROUGH THE FINANCE CENTER, UNITED STATES ARMY, INDIANAPOLIS 49, INDIANA. THE REPORT READS AS FOLLOWS:

"1. THE FOLLOWING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION IS FURNISHED IN RESPONSE TO THE REQUEST OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES.

"2. MRS. LEAH V. BARR WAS REQUESTED TO REPORT TO LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROCESSING FOR AN ASSIGNMENT WITH THE U.S. ARMY ENGINEERS DIVISION, MEDITERRANEAN, NOUASSEUR, MOROCCO. THE INSTRUCTIONS TO HER MADE NO COMMITMENT REGARDING PAYMENT OF TRAVEL OR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA TO LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA. SHE IN TURN, DID NOT ASK FOR CLARIFICATION IN THIS CONNECTION PRIOR TO REPORTING TO LOS ANGELES. HAD HER ACCEPTANCE OF THE ASSIGNMENT BEEN CONTINGENT UPON PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES, IT IS LIKELY THAT SHE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED FOR THE POSITION.

"3. IT HAS BEEN THE PRACTICE AND THE POLICY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY TO REQUIRE PERSONNEL PROCESSING FOR OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENTS TO REPORT TO THEIR PROCESSING STATION AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE. IF THIS CLAIM WERE APPROVED FOR PAYMENT, IT WOULD ESTABLISH A PRECEDENT INCONSISTENT WITH THE INTENTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY.

"4. IT IS THEREFORE RECOMMENDED THAT THE CLAIM OF MRS. LEAH V. BARR FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA TO LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA BE DISALLOWED.'

TRAVEL EXPENSES OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES ARE REIMBURSABLE ONLY WHEN AUTHORIZED IN ADVANCE BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE INVOLVED OR SUCH REIMBURSEMENT IS SUBSEQUENTLY ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED. SEE IN THIS CONNECTION PARAGRAPH 2.1, STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. ALSO, SUCH REIMBURSEMENT IS CONFINED TO THOSE EXPENSES ESSENTIAL TO THE TRANSACTION OF OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT BUSINESS AS DISTINGUISHED FROM AN EMPLOYEE JOURNEYING TO A POINT TO QUALIFY FOR THE POSITION TO WHICH HE SEEKS APPOINTMENT OR TO EXECUTE FORMS NECESSARY TO ENABLE HIM PROPERLY TO ENTER ON DUTY UNDER CIVIL SERVICE OR OTHER PRESCRIBED PROCEDURES. SEE PARAGRAPH 1.2, STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

IN VIEW OF THE REPORT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY TO THE EFFECT THAT REIMBURSEMENT OF THE EXPENSES CLAIMED BY YOU WAS NEITHER AUTHORIZED NOR APPROVED, AND THAT IT HAS BEEN ITS PRACTICE AND POLICY TO REQUIRE PERSONNEL TO REPORT TO THEIR PROCESSING STATIONS AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE, THE ACTION TAKEN IN OUR SETTLEMENT OF MAY 2, 1957, IN DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM APPEARS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.