B-139869, JUL. 20, 1959

B-139869: Jul 20, 1959

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ROUND-TRIP TICKETS FOR TRAVEL BY AIR FROM ANNETTE TO MEXICO CITY AND RETURN FOR YOURSELF AND DEPENDENTS WERE PURCHASED ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST NO. SINCE YOUR HOME WAS LOCATED IN SPRINGFIELD. TRAVEL ORDER NO. 558- 6801 WAS WITHOUT LEGAL EFFECT TO OBLIGATE GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATED FUNDS. THAT PHRASE IS NOT VIEWED AS REQUIRING TRAVEL TO THE ACTUAL RESIDENCE AS A CONDITION TO THE ALLOWANCE OF TRAVEL EXPENSES. OR POSSESSION IN WHICH SUCH PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE IS LOCATED.'. PARTICULARLY PERTINENT TO THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOU IS THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE OTHER LOCATION BE "WITHIN THE COUNTRY. OR POSSESSION IN WHICH SUCH PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE IS LOCATED.'. WHICH HAS THE SAME FORCE AND EFFECT AS A STATUTE AND SINCE YOUR HOME WAS IN SPRINGFIELD AND YOU DID NOT ELECT TO USE ANY PLACE WITHIN THE UNITED STATES FOR YOUR VACATION HEADQUARTERS WE FEEL THAT TRAVEL ORDER NO. 558 6801 WAS WITHOUT LEGAL EFFECT TO OBLIGATE GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR ANY PART OF THE TRIP.

B-139869, JUL. 20, 1959

TO MR. JOSEPH R. PAQUETT, FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY:

YOUR LETTER OF MAY 12, 1959, FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE BY LETTER OF MAY 20, 1959, FROM THE FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY, REQUESTS THAT OUR OFFICE RENDER A DECISION RELIEVING YOU OF THE OBLIGATION OF REFUNDING THE COST OF THAT PORTION OF YOUR TRAVEL BETWEEN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, AND MEXICO CITY, MEXICO, REFERRED TO IN OUR SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 19, 1958.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT TRAVEL ORDER NO. 558-6801, DATED JUNE 25, 1957, AUTHORIZED TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR YOURSELF AND DEPENDENTS FROM ANNETTE, ALASKA, TO MEXICO CITY, MEXICO, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE HOME LEAVE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 737, APPROVED AUGUST 31, 1954, 68 STAT. 1008. ROUND-TRIP TICKETS FOR TRAVEL BY AIR FROM ANNETTE TO MEXICO CITY AND RETURN FOR YOURSELF AND DEPENDENTS WERE PURCHASED ON GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUEST NO. AO,504,953 AT A COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF APPROXIMATELY $1,265.45. YOU DEPARTED ANNETTE BY AIRPLANE ON JULY 1, 1957, MAKING CONNECTIONS AT SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, AND STOPPING OFF AT LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, AWAITING FLIGHT TO MEXICO CITY. ON JULY 2, 1957, YOU DEPARTED LOS ANGELES ARRIVING IN MEXICO CITY THE SAME DAY. IN AUDITING YOUR EXPENSE VOUCHER THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE ALLOWED THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION AND TRAVEL EXPENSES OF ROUND TRIP FROM ANNETTE TO LOS ANGELES, THE POINT OF DEPARTURE FROM THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO MEXICO CITY.

OUR SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 19, 1958, POINTED OUT TO YOU THAT, UNDER THE APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS, SINCE YOUR HOME WAS LOCATED IN SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS, AND YOU DID NOT ELECT TO USE ANY PLACE WITHIN THE UNITED STATES FOR YOUR VACATION HEADQUARTERS, TRAVEL ORDER NO. 558- 6801 WAS WITHOUT LEGAL EFFECT TO OBLIGATE GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATED FUNDS.

SECTION 7 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 808, 5 U.S.C. 73B-3, AS AMENDED, AUTHORIZES TRAVEL FOR LEAVE PURPOSES TO "PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE.' AS RECOGNIZED IN 35 COMP. GEN. 246, THAT PHRASE IS NOT VIEWED AS REQUIRING TRAVEL TO THE ACTUAL RESIDENCE AS A CONDITION TO THE ALLOWANCE OF TRAVEL EXPENSES. REGULATIONS, IMPLEMENTING THE STATUTE (SECTION 27 (B) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS ADDED BY BUREAU OF BUDGET CIRCULAR A-4, MAY 3, 1955), AUTHORIZE TRAVEL TO "ANOTHER LOCATION WITHIN THE COUNTRY, TERRITORY, OR POSSESSION IN WHICH SUCH PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE IS LOCATED.' THE STATUTORY REGULATIONS, HOWEVER, OBVIOUSLY CONTEMPLATE THAT AN EMPLOYEE MAY REASONABLY WISH TO TAKE HIS LEAVE AT ANOTHER LOCATION AND SO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF HIS TRAVEL EXPENSES TO ANOTHER LOCATION WITH CERTAIN LIMITATIONS. PARTICULARLY PERTINENT TO THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOU IS THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE OTHER LOCATION BE "WITHIN THE COUNTRY, TERRITORY, OR POSSESSION IN WHICH SUCH PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE IS LOCATED.'

IN VIEW OF THAT REQUIREMENT IN THE STATUTORY REGULATION, WHICH HAS THE SAME FORCE AND EFFECT AS A STATUTE AND SINCE YOUR HOME WAS IN SPRINGFIELD AND YOU DID NOT ELECT TO USE ANY PLACE WITHIN THE UNITED STATES FOR YOUR VACATION HEADQUARTERS WE FEEL THAT TRAVEL ORDER NO. 558 6801 WAS WITHOUT LEGAL EFFECT TO OBLIGATE GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR ANY PART OF THE TRIP.

REGARDING RELIEF FROM PAYMENT OF YOUR INDEBTEDNESS, OUR OFFICE HAS NO AUTHORITY TO WAIVE COLLECTION OF AN INDEBTEDNESS, BASED UPON MONEY ERRONEOUSLY PAID BY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY, UPON CONSIDERATIONS OF HARDSHIP, OR GOOD FAITH.