B-136491, AUGUST 4, 1958, 38 COMP. GEN. 101

B-136491: Aug 4, 1958

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RETURNS TO THE SAME POSITION OR TO A POSITION FOR WHICH A UNIFORM IS REQUIRED. IS ENTITLED TO A REPLACEMENT ALLOWANCE ON THE DATE OF REEMPLOYMENT AND NO DISTINCTION NEED BE MADE BETWEEN BREAKS IN SERVICE FOR PERIODS OF FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT AND BREAKS FOR PERIODS ON NON-FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT. THE QUESTIONS INVOLVED IN THE PROPOSED PAYMENTS ARE (1) MUST THE ONE YEAR PERIOD COVERED BY THE INITIAL UNIFORM ALLOWANCE BE A CONSECUTIVE (NONBROKEN) PERIOD AND. IF THE ANSWER IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE. (2) IS ANY DIFFERENCE TO BE MADE BETWEEN THE BREAKS FOR PERIODS OF OTHER FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT AND THE BREAKS FOR PERIODS OF NON-FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT. THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY CONCERNED IS REQUIRED TO (1) FURNISH TO EACH SUCH EMPLOYEE SUCH UNIFORM AT A COST NOT TO EXCEED $100 PER ANNUM.

B-136491, AUGUST 4, 1958, 38 COMP. GEN. 101

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL - UNIFORMS - ONE-YEAR REQUIREMENT - BREAK IN SERVICE UNDER THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES UNIFORM ALLOWANCE ACT, 5 U.S.C. 2131 2133, AND THE REGULATIONS ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE NAVY DEPARTMENT WHO LEAVES A POSITION IN WHICH HE HAS BEEN PAID A UNIFORM ALLOWANCE, AND WHO, AFTER A PERIOD OF LESS THAN A YEAR AFTER THE END OF THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE LAST UNIFORM ALLOWANCE PAYMENT, RETURNS TO THE SAME POSITION OR TO A POSITION FOR WHICH A UNIFORM IS REQUIRED, IS ENTITLED TO A REPLACEMENT ALLOWANCE ON THE DATE OF REEMPLOYMENT AND NO DISTINCTION NEED BE MADE BETWEEN BREAKS IN SERVICE FOR PERIODS OF FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT AND BREAKS FOR PERIODS ON NON-FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT.

TO LIEUTENANT ROBERT R. HARVEY, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, AUGUST 4, 1958:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 22, 1958, WITH ENCLOSURES, FILE 13.35 RRHGBH SER 985, FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE ON JUNE 13, 1958, BY THE COMPTROLLER OF THE NAVY, REQUESTS AN ADVANCE DECISION UPON THE ENCLOSED VOUCHERS PROPOSING PAYMENTS OF UNIFORM ALLOWANCES TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES. THE QUESTIONS INVOLVED IN THE PROPOSED PAYMENTS ARE (1) MUST THE ONE YEAR PERIOD COVERED BY THE INITIAL UNIFORM ALLOWANCE BE A CONSECUTIVE (NONBROKEN) PERIOD AND, IF THE ANSWER IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, (2) IS ANY DIFFERENCE TO BE MADE BETWEEN THE BREAKS FOR PERIODS OF OTHER FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT AND THE BREAKS FOR PERIODS OF NON-FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT.

THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES UNIFORM ALLOWANCE ACT, 5 U.S.C. 2131-2133, AUTHORIZES AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $100 TO BE APPROPRIATED ANNUALLY FOR EACH EMPLOYEE REQUIRED BY REGULATION OR LAW TO WEAR A PRESCRIBED UNIFORM IN THE PERFORMANCE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES. THE HEAD OF THE AGENCY CONCERNED IS REQUIRED TO (1) FURNISH TO EACH SUCH EMPLOYEE SUCH UNIFORM AT A COST NOT TO EXCEED $100 PER ANNUM, OR (2) PAY TO EACH SUCH EMPLOYEE AN ALLOWANCE FOR DEFRAYING THE EXPENSES OF ACQUISITION OF SUCH UNIFORM AT SUCH TIMES AND IN SUCH AMOUNTS, NOT TO EXCEED $100 PER ANNUM, AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY RULES AND REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET PURSUANT TO THE ACT. BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-30 REVISED, DATED APRIL 16, 1957, PROMULGATED THE BUREAU'S CURRENT CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE UNIFORM REGULATIONS. PARAGRAPH 4C PROVIDES THAT THE ANNUAL PERIOD TO WHICH THE LIMITATION OF $100 PER EMPLOYEE APPLIES SHALL BEGIN WITH THE DATE ON WHICH AN EMPLOYEE FIRST BECOMES ELIGIBLE FOR A UNIFORM OR A UNIFORM ALLOWANCE UNDER TITLE IV. PARAGRAPH 6C PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

FREQUENCY OF PAYMENTS. AN EMPLOYEE ENTERING UPON DUTY IN A JOB SUBJECT TO THE UNIFORM REQUIREMENTS, OR WHOSE JOB IS MADE SUBJECT TO UNIFORM REQUIREMENTS, MAY BE PAID HIS FIRST ANNUAL ALLOWANCE, OR ANY PORTION OF IT, IN ADVANCE OF SERVICE. AT THE DISCRETION OF ANY AGENCY HEAD, SUBSEQUENT ANNUAL ALLOWANCES MAY BE PAID AN EMPLOYEE IN ADVANCE OF SERVICE (1) ON A QUARTERLY BASIS; (2) AT MORE FREQUENT REGULAR INTERVALS; OR (3) IN THE AMOUNT OF THE ANNUAL ALLOWANCE, OR PORTIONS THEREOF, BUT NOT IN EXCESS OF THE COST OF ARTICLES OF UNIFORM PURCHASED ON A CASH OR CREDIT BASIS, AS EVIDENCED BY RECEIPTS OR INVOICES SUBMITTED BY THE EMPLOYEE. THE DISCRETION OF AN AGENCY HEAD, HOWEVER, AN AGENCY WHICH DOES NOT ELECT TO PAY EITHER INITIAL OR SUBSEQUENT ALLOWANCES TO AN EMPLOYEE IN ADVANCE OF SERVICE SHALL PAY SUCH ALLOWANCES AT THE END OF A PERIOD OF SERVICE AS DETERMINED BY THE AGENCY HEAD. NO EMPLOYEE SHALL BE REQUIRED TO MAKE A REFUND ON AN ADVANCE ALLOWANCE PAYMENT.

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE INSTRUCTION NO. 1418.2, DATED FEBRUARY 16, 1956, PROVIDES THAT THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE INITIAL ALLOWANCE IS ONE YEAR AND THE PERIOD COVERED BY EACH REPLACEMENT ALLOWANCE IS THREE MONTHS. ALSO PARAGRAPH IV 3C PROVIDES THAT AN EMPLOYEE WHO, FOLLOWING PAYMENT OF AN INITIAL OR REPLACEMENT ALLOWANCE, LEAVES THE POSITION AND IS LATER REEMPLOYED IN THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE IN A LINE OF WORK WHERE THE SAME UNIFORM IS REQUIRED, WILL BE PAID THE INITIAL ALLOWANCE UPON REEMPLOYMENT, PROVIDED A PERIOD OF AT LEAST ONE FULL YEAR HAS ELAPSED SINCE THE END OF THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE LAST ALLOWANCE PAYMENT. THERE IS NO PROVISION IN ANY OF THE ABOVE-CITED REGULATIONS WHICH COVERS A REPLACEMENT ALLOWANCE FOR AN EMPLOYEE WHO LEAVES A POSITION FOR WHICH A UNIFORM IS REQUIRED AND WHO AFTER A PERIOD OF LESS THAN A YEAR AFTER THE END OF THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE LAST INITIAL OR REPLACEMENT ALLOWANCE PAYMENT RETURNS TO THE SAME POSITION OR TO A POSITION FOR WHICH THE SAME UNIFORM IS REQUIRED.

AS STATED ABOVE, PARAGRAPH 4C OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A- 30 REVISED PROVIDES THAT THE ANNUAL PERIOD TO WHICH THE LIMITATION OF $100 PER EMPLOYEE APPLIES SHALL BEGIN WITH THE DATE ON WHICH AN EMPLOYEE FIRST BECOMES ELIGIBLE FOR A UNIFORM ALLOWANCE. ALSO, PARAGRAPH 6C PROVIDES THAT "NO EMPLOYEE SHALL BE REQUIRED TO MAKE A REFUND ON AN ADVANCE ALLOWANCE PAYMENT.' NAVY CIVILIAN PERSONNEL INSTRUCTIONS 242.4-2 PROVIDE THAT ENTITLEMENT TO THE REPLACEMENT ALLOWANCE COMMENCES IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE CLOSE OF THE (ONE-YEAR) PERIOD COVERED BY THE INITIAL UNIFORM ALLOWANCE. OUR VIEW OF THE ADVANCE UNIFORM ALLOWANCE, UNDER THE STATUTE AND THE ABOVE-CITED REGULATIONS, IS THAT THE ALLOWANCE COVERS A CONTINUOUS ONE-YEAR PERIOD BEGINNING WITH THE DATE ON WHICH AN EMPLOYEE FIRST BECOME ELIGIBLE FOR A UNIFORM ALLOWANCE. THEREFORE AN EMPLOYEE WHO LEAVES A POSITION IN WHICH HE HAS BEEN PAID A UNIFORM ALLOWANCE, AND WHO, AFTER A PERIOD OF LESS THAN A YEAR AFTER THE END OF THE PERIOD COVERED BY THE LAST UNIFORM ALLOWANCE PAYMENT, RETURNS TO THE SAME POSITION OR TO A POSITION FOR WHICH THE SAME UNIFORM IS REQUIRED, IS ENTITLED UNDER THE NAVY'S INSTRUCTIONS TO A REPLACEMENT ALLOWANCE ON THE DATE HE IS REEMPLOYED, IF HE OTHERWISE MEETS THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR A REPLACEMENT ALLOWANCE. ( NCPI 242.4-2 AND 3.) IN ANSWER TO YOUR SECOND QUESTION, NO DISTINCTION SHOULD BE MADE BETWEEN BREAKS FOR PERIODS OF FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT AND BREAKS FOR PERIODS OF NON-FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT.

ACCORDINGLY, THE VOUCHERS, WHICH ARE RETURNED HEREWITH, SHOULD BE RECOMPUTED AS INDICATED ABOVE, AND, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, THEY MAY THEN BE PAID.