B-142286, APR. 8, 1960

B-142286: Apr 8, 1960

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IN FACT HER PHYSICAL CONDITION WAS SUCH THAT IT WAS CONSIDERED NECESSARY FOR THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS FAMILY TO RETURN TO WASHINGTON WHERE RELATIVES COULD AID AND ASSIST IN CARING FOR THE TWO INFANT SONS. YOU SAY THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS UNABLE TO REPORT FOR DUTY AT DENVER. A FURTHER ORDER WAS ISSUED RETRANSFERRING HIM TO WASHINGTON. YOU EXPRESS DOUBT WHETHER PUBLIC FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF ($469.80) THE PRESCRIBED CHARGES FOR TRANSPORTING HIS EFFECTS FROM WASHINGTON TO DENVER BASED UPON THE COMMUTED RATE (BUDGET CIRCULAR A 37. THAT THE EMPLOYEE INCURRED THE EXPENSES IN QUESTION IN GOOD FAITH AND HIS FAILURE TO REPORT FOR DUTY WAS BECAUSE OF CIRCUMSTANCES OVER WHICH HE HAD NO CONTROL.

B-142286, APR. 8, 1960

TO MISS ETHALREDA C. FESMIRE, AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 14, 1960, TRANSMITTING TWO EXPENSE VOUCHERS, ONE FOR $21, AND THE OTHER, $469.80, BOTH TOTALING $490.80, STATED IN FAVOR OF MR. CHARLES A. CAFFREY, AN EMPLOYEE OF YOUR AGENCY, AND REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE VOUCHERS PROPERLY MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

YOUR LETTER DISCLOSES THAT MR. CAFFREY RESIGNED HIS POSITION WITH THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY DURING 1959 TO ACCEPT A PERMANENT POSITION WITH THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, WASHINGTON, D.C. BY TRANSFER ORDER NO. 60-31, DATED NOVEMBER 12, 1959, YOUR AGENCY DIRECTED HIM TO PROCEED FROM WASHINGTON TO DENVER, COLORADO, ON OR ABOUT DECEMBER 2, 1959, FOR THE PURPOSE OF EFFECTING A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. THE TRANSFER ORDER AUTHORIZED THE MOVEMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO THE NEW DUTY STATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE REGULATIONS. IT FURTHER PROVIDED FOR NECESSARY TRAVEL OF THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS FAMILY (WIFE, AND TWO INFANT SONS) BY COMMON CARRIER, OR BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT $0.09 PER MILE NOT TO EXCEED THE COST OF SUCH TRAVEL BY COMMON CARRIER, INCLUDING A PER DIEM ALLOWANCE OF $12 PER DAY TO THE EMPLOYEE WHILE IN AN OFFICIAL TRAVEL STATUS ON ROUTE TO THE NEW DUTY STATION. ON OR ABOUT NOVEMBER 20, 1959, THE EMPLOYEE HIRED A COMMERCIAL CARRIER TO SHIP BY VAN 2,900 POUNDS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO DENVER FROM ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, FOR WHICH HE PAID THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES. HE AND HIS FAMILY PROCEEDED TO DENVER BY RAIL USING GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS, LEAVING WASHINGTON AT 6:30 P.M., NOVEMBER 30, AND ARRIVING IN DENVER AT 8:30 A.M., DECEMBER 2, 1959.

UPON ARRIVING IN DENVER, MRS. CAFFREY BECAME SERIOUSLY ILL. IN FACT HER PHYSICAL CONDITION WAS SUCH THAT IT WAS CONSIDERED NECESSARY FOR THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS FAMILY TO RETURN TO WASHINGTON WHERE RELATIVES COULD AID AND ASSIST IN CARING FOR THE TWO INFANT SONS. YOU SAY THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS UNABLE TO REPORT FOR DUTY AT DENVER; THAT HE PROMPTLY NOTIFIED AGENCY OFFICIALS IN DENVER OF HIS PREDICAMENT WHO IN TURN RELAYED IN THE INFORMATION TO SUPERVISORY OFFICIALS IN WASHINGTON. SUBSEQUENTLY, A FURTHER ORDER WAS ISSUED RETRANSFERRING HIM TO WASHINGTON--- THE COSTS OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION FOR RETURNING THE EMPLOYEE, HIS FAMILY, AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO BE BORNE BY THE EMPLOYEE.

INASMUCH AS THE EMPLOYEE DID NOT REPORT FOR DUTY AT DENVER, YOU EXPRESS DOUBT WHETHER PUBLIC FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT OF ($469.80) THE PRESCRIBED CHARGES FOR TRANSPORTING HIS EFFECTS FROM WASHINGTON TO DENVER BASED UPON THE COMMUTED RATE (BUDGET CIRCULAR A 37, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 10, 1959), FOR ($21) PER DIEM REPRESENTING ONE AND THREE-FOURTHS DAYS EN ROUTE AND, ALSO, FOR THE COST OF RAIL TRANSPORTATION AS FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN THE POINTS LAST ABOVE-MENTIONED. YOU POINT OUT, HOWEVER, THAT THE EMPLOYEE INCURRED THE EXPENSES IN QUESTION IN GOOD FAITH AND HIS FAILURE TO REPORT FOR DUTY WAS BECAUSE OF CIRCUMSTANCES OVER WHICH HE HAD NO CONTROL.

SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 806, AS AMENDED, AND SECTION 4 OF THE REGULATIONS (EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS AMENDED, PROMULGATED PURSUANT THERETO), SPECIFICALLY PROVIDE THAT THE PAYMENT OF EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ON TRANSFER OF PERMANENT DUTY STATION ARE ALLOWABLE WHEN ADMINISTRATIVELY AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED. PUBLIC FUNDS CANNOT BE USED FOR PAYMENT OF EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION IN ANY CASE WHEN THE TRANSFER IS MADE PRIMARILY FOR THE CONVENIENCE OR BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEE OR AT HIS REQUEST. IN THIS CASE THE TRANSFER ORDER CONTAINED AUTHORITY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE EMPLOYEE, HIS FAMILY, AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND STATES THAT SUCH TRANSFER WAS IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST AND WAS NOT MADE FOR THE CONVENIENCE OR BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEE. AS POINTED OUT ABOVE THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED BY THE TRANSFER ORDERS WAS COMPLETED IN GOOD FAITH AND THE EMPLOYEE WAS PREVENTED FROM REPORTING TO DUTY BY CIRCUMSTANCES OVER WHICH HE HAD NO CONTROL.

IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES THE VOUCHERS WHICH, TOGETHER WITH RELATED PAPERS, ARE RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.