B-141118, NOV. 25, 1959

B-141118: Nov 25, 1959

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YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR OFFICE FOR THE REASONS THAT (1) IT APPEARS YOU RECEIVED A NEW APPOINTMENT RATHER THAN AN APPOINTMENT BY TRANSFER. (2) THERE IS NO RECORD OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE SEPARATED FROM A GS-5 POSITION AT $4. SINCE SUCH TRANSFERS ARE VIEWED AS BEING PRIMARILY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEE RATHER THAN FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE UNITED STATES. THAT NO PART OF SUCH EXPENSES * * * SHALL BE ALLOWED OR PAID FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS WHERE THE TRANSFER IS MADE PRIMARILY FOR THE CONVENIENCE OR BENEFIT OF THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OR AT HIS REQUEST: PROVIDED FURTHER. THAT IN CASE OF TRANSFER FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER SUCH EXPENSES SHALL BE PAYABLE FROM THE FUNDS OF THE DEPARTMENT TO WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IS TRANSFERRED.

B-141118, NOV. 25, 1959

TO MR. DORWIN R. HAMMOND:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 18, 1959, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 9, 1959, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES FROM DENVER, COLORADO, TO GREAT FALLS, MONTANA, INCIDENT TO YOUR APPOINTMENT AS AN AIRWAYS OPERATION SPECIALIST, FEDERAL AVIATION AIR ROUTE TRAFFIC CONTROL CENTER, GREAT FALLS, MONTANA, DURING DECEMBER 1958.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR OFFICE FOR THE REASONS THAT (1) IT APPEARS YOU RECEIVED A NEW APPOINTMENT RATHER THAN AN APPOINTMENT BY TRANSFER, AND (2) THERE IS NO RECORD OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU WERE SEPARATED FROM A GS-5 POSITION AT $4,040 PER ANNUM WITH THE U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, DENVER, COLORADO, EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 13, 1958, TO ACCEPT A CAREER-CONDITIONAL APPOINTMENT, GS-6, $4,490 PER ANNUM, WITH THE FEDERAL AVIATION AIR ROUTE CONTROL CENTER AT GREAT FALLS, MONTANA, EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 14, 1958. THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT FROM THE FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY STATES THAT IT HAS BEEN THEIR POLICY NOT TO PAY THE TRANSPORTATION AND TRAVEL EXPENSE OF AIRWAYS OPERATION SPECIALISTS, SINCE SUCH TRANSFERS ARE VIEWED AS BEING PRIMARILY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEE RATHER THAN FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE UNITED STATES--- CONSIDERATION BEING GIVEN TO THE HIGH ENTRANCE GRADE, POTENTIAL RAPID INCREASE IN GRADE AND PAY, AND THE AVAILABILITY OF PERSONNEL FOR THIS CATEGORY OF POSITION.

SECTION 1 (A) OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 806, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 73B-1 (A), PROVIDES FOR THE TRANSFER OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE "WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY SUCH SUBORDINATE OFFICIAL OR OFFICIALS OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED AS THE HEAD THEREOF MAY DESIGNATE FOR THE PURPOSE * * * PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT NO PART OF SUCH EXPENSES * * * SHALL BE ALLOWED OR PAID FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS WHERE THE TRANSFER IS MADE PRIMARILY FOR THE CONVENIENCE OR BENEFIT OF THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OR AT HIS REQUEST: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT IN CASE OF TRANSFER FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER SUCH EXPENSES SHALL BE PAYABLE FROM THE FUNDS OF THE DEPARTMENT TO WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IS TRANSFERRED; * * *.'

IN THE REQUEST FOR REVIEW OF THE DISALLOWANCE, YOU SAY THAT YOU CANNOT CONCEIVE THAT THE APPOINTMENT TO GREAT FALLS, MONTANA, WAS PRIMARILY FOR YOUR BENEFIT RATHER THAN THE GOVERNMENT'S BENEFIT IN VIEW OF PARAGRAPH 2402 OF THE STANDARD PRACTICE MANUAL IN USE BY THE FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY, WHICH PROVIDES THAT "AN INDICATION BY AN EMPLOYEE OF PREFERENCE FOR A PARTICULAR LOCATION IS NOT IN ITSELF A BASIS FOR DETERMINING THAT THE TRANSFER WAS "PRIMARILY FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE EMPLOYEE.' * * * WHERE AN EMPLOYEE IS SELECTED FOR A VACANCY BECAUSE HE IS THE BEST QUALIFIED ONE AVAILABLE, HIS TRANSFER IS NOT PRIMARILY FOR HIS CONVENIENCE EVEN THOUGH HE MAY HAVE INDICATED A PREFERENCE FOR THE LOCATION WHERE THE VACANCY EXISTS.'

THE PAYMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE QUOTED SECTION OF THE 1946 ACT IS NOT AN ABSOLUTE RIGHT. ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL IS A NECESSARY CONDITION PRECEDENT TO THE GOVERNMENT'S ASSUMING THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE. B-136399, SEPTEMBER 19, 1958, COPY ENCLOSED. THE MATTER OF APPROVING THE EXPENSES IN QUESTION RESTS SOLELY WITH THE FEDERAL AVIATION AGENCY AND IN THAT CONNECTION THE AGENCY STATES THAT ITS CONSISTENT POLICY HAS BEEN TO DENY REIMBURSEMENT TO EMPLOYEES WHO TRANSFER FROM OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO THE CATEGORY OF POSITION HERE INVOLVED.

IN VIEW OF THE ABSENCE OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL OF THE EXPENSES CLAIMED HEREIN FOR ALLOWANCE, DISCUSSION OF THE OTHER REASON INDICATED FOR THE PREVIOUS DENIAL OF YOUR CLAIM NEED NOT NOW BE CONSIDERED; HENCE, UPON THE PRESENT RECORD, OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 12, 1958, IS SUSTAINED.