B-135390, APR. 22, 1958

B-135390: Apr 22, 1958

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THE RECORD SHOWS THAT IN JANUARY 1957 ARRANGEMENTS WERE MADE BY THE PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD TO ACCEPT UP TO 40 JOURNEYMEN MARINE ELECTRICIANS WHO HAVE INVOLVED IN A REDUCTION IN FORCE AT THE MARE ISLAND NAVAL SHIPYARD. WHICH DID NOT INDICATE THAT YOU WERE NOT A JOURNEYMAN ELECTRICIAN. YOUR APPLICATION WAS PROCESSED AS ONE OF THE JOURNEYMEN MARINE ELECTRICIANS TO BE TRANSFERRED FROM MARE ISLAND NAVAL SHIPYARD. FROM THE PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD YOU WERE NOTIFIED THAT YOU HAD BEEN SELECTED FOR A POSITION OF ELECTRICIAN MARINE. AT THAT LOCATION AT A SALARY BASED ON THE RATE OF PAY YOU WERE RECEIVING AT THE TIME. YOU WERE NOT ACCEPTED FOR TRANSFER AS AN ELECTRICIAN MARINE. THE TRANSFER DATA INDICATED THAT YOU WERE EMPLOYED AT MARE ISLAND NAVAL SHIPYARD FROM JUNE 8.

B-135390, APR. 22, 1958

TO MR. BENJAMIN S. FLIPPIN:

YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 17, 1958, WITH ENCLOSURE, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT DATED DECEMBER 18, 1957, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE AND REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOU IN SEEKING EMPLOYMENT AS AN ELECTRICIAN MARINE AT THE PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD, BREMERTON, WASHINGTON.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT IN JANUARY 1957 ARRANGEMENTS WERE MADE BY THE PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD TO ACCEPT UP TO 40 JOURNEYMEN MARINE ELECTRICIANS WHO HAVE INVOLVED IN A REDUCTION IN FORCE AT THE MARE ISLAND NAVAL SHIPYARD. ON JANUARY 15, 1957, YOU SUBMITTED A SHORT FORM APPLICATION AS AN ELECTRICIAN (MARINE), WHICH DID NOT INDICATE THAT YOU WERE NOT A JOURNEYMAN ELECTRICIAN. ACCORDINGLY, YOUR APPLICATION WAS PROCESSED AS ONE OF THE JOURNEYMEN MARINE ELECTRICIANS TO BE TRANSFERRED FROM MARE ISLAND NAVAL SHIPYARD. BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 17, 1957, FROM THE PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD YOU WERE NOTIFIED THAT YOU HAD BEEN SELECTED FOR A POSITION OF ELECTRICIAN MARINE, AT THAT LOCATION AT A SALARY BASED ON THE RATE OF PAY YOU WERE RECEIVING AT THE TIME. THE LETTER ALSO CLEARLY STATED THAT TRANSPORTATION WOULD NOT BE FURNISHED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. AFTER YOUR ARRIVAL AT THE PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD ON JANUARY 23, 1957, YOU WERE NOT ACCEPTED FOR TRANSFER AS AN ELECTRICIAN MARINE, BECAUSE THE TRANSFER DATA YOU DELIVERED TO THE PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD SHOWED THAT WHILE YOU HAD QUALIFIED ON AN EXAMINATION AS AN ELECTRICIAN MARINE YOU HAD NEVER HELD THE POSITION OF JOURNEYMAN ELECTRICIAN. THE TRANSFER DATA INDICATED THAT YOU WERE EMPLOYED AT MARE ISLAND NAVAL SHIPYARD FROM JUNE 8, 1951, TO JANUARY 21, 1957, AS A HELPER ELECTRICIAN, AND HAD BEEN REASSIGNED TO HELPER WOODWORKER ON JANUARY 21, 1957, IN LIEU OF SEPARATION BY REDUCTION IN FORCE. YOU WERE OFFERED A TRANSFER TO A HELPER ELECTRICIAN POSITION AT THE PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD, WHICH YOU REFUSED TO ACCEPT, STATING THAT YOU PREFERRED TO REMAIN ON THE ROLLS OF THE MARE ISLAND NAVAL SHIPYARD AS A HELPER WOODWORKER.

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 25, 1957, ADDRESSED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, NAVY DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, D.C., CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR TRAVELING EXPENSES IN REPORTING TO THE PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD STATES THAT YOU WERE FULLY AWARE OF THE FACT THAT YOU WERE TO MAKE THE TRIP AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE. IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT LEGAL RIGHTS AND LIABILITIES IN REGARD TO TRAVEL ALLOWANCES VEST WHEN THE TRAVEL IS PERFORMED UNDER ORDERS, AND THAT SUCH ORDERS MAY NOT BE REVOKED OR MODIFIED RETROACTIVELY SO AS TO INCREASE OR DECREASE THE RIGHTS WHICH HAVE BECOME FIXED UNDER THE APPLICABLE STATUTES OR REGULATIONS. THE ONLY EXCEPTIONS ARE WHEN ERROR IS APPARENT ON THE FACE OF THE ORDERS, OR WHEN ALL OF THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES CLEARLY DEMONSTRATE THAT SOME PROVISIONS PREVIOUSLY DETERMINED AND DEFINITELY INTENDED HAD BEEN OMITTED THROUGH ERROR OR INADVERTENCE IN PREPARING THE ORDERS. 23 COMP. GEN. 713; 24 ID. 439.

THEREFORE, SINCE THE TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS IN THE LETTER NOTIFYING YOU THAT YOU HAD BEEN SELECTED FOR A POSITION BY THE PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD, WERE NOT AMBIGUOUS OR INCOMPLETE, AND DO NOT DISCLOSE OBVIOUS ERROR, THE ACTION TAKEN IN THE OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF DECEMBER 18, 1957, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM, IS SUSTAINED.