B-134497, DEC. 18, 1957

B-134497: Dec 18, 1957

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THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS INCURRED FOR THE TRAVEL OF YOUR FAMILY AN EXPENSE IN EXCESS OF THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF DIRECT TRAVEL FROM SANTA ANA TO TEGUCIGALPA AND THAT COLLECTION ACTION IS PENDING. YOUR POSITION IS WELL STATED IN PARAGRAPH (6) OF YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 4. IS CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS. IS AUTHORIZED. WHILE ON A BARE INSPECTION OF THE FACE OF YOUR TRAVEL ORDER YOUR INTERPRETATION APPEARS TO HAVE MERIT. IT IS NECESSARY TO READ THIS TRAVEL ORDER WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE PRE-EXISTING UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR DIVISION CHIEF AND WITH REFERENCE TO THE APPLICABLE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS. YOU ASKED THAT TRAVEL ORDERS BE PREPARED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING: "IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT YOUR OFFICE WILL ISSUE TRAVEL ORDERS FOR MYSELF (SANTA ANA/WASHINGTON/TEGUCIGALPA) AND DEPENDENTS (SANTA ANA/TEGUCIGALPA DIRECT). * * *" "ITINERARY: SELF: SANTA ANA/WASHINGTON/TEGUCIGALPA DEPENDENTS: SANTA ANA/TEGUCIGALPA DIRECT.'.

B-134497, DEC. 18, 1957

TO MR. MARTIN N. ROSENBLATT:

YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 13, 1957, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT DATED AUGUST 29, 1957, WHICH DENIED PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM FOR $51.95, FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES OF YOUR WIFE AND THREE CHILDREN FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS, INCIDENT TO YOUR CHANGE OF DUTY STATION FROM SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA, TO TEGUCIGALPA.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS INCURRED FOR THE TRAVEL OF YOUR FAMILY AN EXPENSE IN EXCESS OF THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF DIRECT TRAVEL FROM SANTA ANA TO TEGUCIGALPA AND THAT COLLECTION ACTION IS PENDING. YOUR POSITION IS WELL STATED IN PARAGRAPH (6) OF YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 4, 1957, ADDRESSED TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION, WHICH PARAGRAPH READS AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * THE LANGUAGE OF THE ITINERARY IN THIS T.O. IS CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS. IT AUTHORIZES DEPENDENTS TO PROCEED FROM SANTA ANA TO TEGUCIGALPA VIA WASHINGTON, D.C. THAT AND THAT ALONE, IS AUTHORIZED. THE REQUESTING AND AUTHORIZING OFFICERS OF THIS ORDER INTENDED THAT DEPENDENTS TRAVEL OVER A ROUTE DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF THE WRITER, THEN IT BEHOOVED THEM TO MAKE APPROPRIATE PROVISION UNDER ITINERARY OR PREPARE A SEPARATE T.O. FOR THE DEPENDENTS. THEIR FAILURE TO DO SO SHOULD IN NO WAY IMPINGE ON THE RIGHT OF THE TRAVELER TO RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT FOR DEPENDENT'S TRAVEL EXPENSES SANTA ANA TO WASHINGTON AND WASHINGTON TO TEGUCIGALPA, ON THE BASIS OF T.O. NO. 346, DATED JULY 23, 1956.'

WHILE ON A BARE INSPECTION OF THE FACE OF YOUR TRAVEL ORDER YOUR INTERPRETATION APPEARS TO HAVE MERIT, IT IS NECESSARY TO READ THIS TRAVEL ORDER WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE PRE-EXISTING UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR DIVISION CHIEF AND WITH REFERENCE TO THE APPLICABLE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS.

IN YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 14, 1956, WHICH YOU SAY PRECEDED YOUR RECEIPT OF THE TRAVEL ORDER BY FOUR DAYS, YOU ASKED THAT TRAVEL ORDERS BE PREPARED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING:

"IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT YOUR OFFICE WILL ISSUE TRAVEL ORDERS FOR MYSELF (SANTA ANA/WASHINGTON/TEGUCIGALPA) AND DEPENDENTS (SANTA ANA/TEGUCIGALPA DIRECT). * * *"

"ITINERARY: SELF: SANTA ANA/WASHINGTON/TEGUCIGALPA

DEPENDENTS: SANTA ANA/TEGUCIGALPA DIRECT.'

THUS, IT MAY BE SEEN THAT, THROUGH PREVIOUS COMMUNICATION WITH OFFICIALS OF YOUR EMPLOYING AGENCY, YOU WERE INFORMED THAT YOUR DEPENDENTS WOULD BE ORDERED TO TRAVEL DIRECTLY TO TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS, AND THAT THE INDOCTRINATION AT WASHINGTON, D.C. WAS INTENDED FOR YOU ALONE. NEVERTHELESS, YOU ELECTED TO TAKE YOUR FAMILY WITH YOU TO WASHINGTON.

YOUR TRAVEL ORDERS STATE THAT TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR DEPENDENTS WAS SUBJECT TO REGULATIONS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION AND YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR CONTENTS. ADDITIONALLY, THE AUTHORIZING OFFICER ON YOUR TRAVEL ORDER DID NOT, AND COULD NOT, AUTHORIZE THE ALLOWANCE OF EXPENSES CONTRARY TO THE ICA REGULATIONS. ORDER NO. 560.2, SECTION II, F 1C, OF THOSE REGULATIONS, LIMITS THE TRAVEL OF AN EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY, INCIDENT TO AN EMPLOYEE'S TRANSFER TO A NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION, TO MOVEMENT BETWEEN "OLD POST AND NEW POST.' ORDER NO. 560.2, I 1B, INCORPORATES INTO THE ICA REGULATIONS THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS TO THE EXTENT THAT THE LETTER ARE NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THE FORMER. SECTION 1.1 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES IN PART THAT "EMPLOYEES TRAVELING ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS * * * ARE EXPECTED TO EXERCISE THE SAME CARE IN INCURRING EXPENSES THAT A PRUDENT PERSON WOULD EXERCISE IF TRAVELING ON PERSONAL BUSINESS.'

WE ARE INCLINED TO THE VIEW THAT YOUR ACTION IN CHANGING THE PREVIOUSLY PLANNED ITINERARY OF YOUR DEPENDENTS, SO AS TO BRING THEM TO WASHINGTON EN ROUTE TO HONDURAS, WITHOUT SEEKING FURTHER EXPLANATION FROM YOUR EMPLOYING AGENCY CONCERNING THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS OF THE ICA WAS NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUISITE STANDARD OF CARE ESTABLISHED BY SECTION 1.1 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. EVEN IF IT BE VIEWED OTHERWISE, HOWEVER, THE FACT REMAINS THAT THE ICA REGULATIONS PERMIT ONLY THE DIRECT COST FOR TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS. IT FOLLOWS, THEREFORE, THAT OUR SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 29, 1957, PROPERLY DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE $51.95 TRAVEL EXPENSES.