B-142287, MAR. 30, 1960

B-142287: Mar 30, 1960

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YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BECAUSE THE RECORD SHOWED THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE TRANSPORTATION INVOLVED WAS FOR PERSONAL REASONS. WAS INCIDENTAL TO SUCH TRIP. THE SECTION AS FURTHER AMENDED IS CODIFIED AT 5 U.S.C. 73B-3. NOTHING IS CONTAINED IN THE CITED STATUTORY PROVISION WHICH WOULD ALLOW REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE ROUNDTRIP TRAVEL OF AN EMPLOYEE FROM HIS OVERSEAS STATION BECAUSE OF THE DEATH OF A PARENT IN THE UNITED STATES. SUCH TRAVEL IS PURELY FOR PERSONAL REASONS AND CANNOT BE CONSIDERED AS RELATED TO THE CONDUCT OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS. INDICATES THAT YOU WERE IN A CONTINUOUS TRAVEL STATUS AND IN THIS REGARD IT IS WELL-SETTLED THAT AN EMPLOYEE MUST BEAR THE ADDITIONAL COST OF TRAVEL INCURRED WHEN AN OFFICIAL TRIP IS INTERRUPTED FOR PERSONAL REASONS OTHER THAN PERSONAL ILLNESS OR INJURY (5 U.S.C. 836).

B-142287, MAR. 30, 1960

TO MR. DONN P. MEDALIE, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE:

YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 25, 1960, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 17, 1959, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM OF $426.20, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF YOUR ROUND-TRIP TRANSPORTATION FROM CASABLANCA TO WASHINGTON, D.C., IN MAY 1959, AND FOR PER DIEM WHILE ON OFFICIAL DUTY AT WASHINGTON, D.C. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BECAUSE THE RECORD SHOWED THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE TRANSPORTATION INVOLVED WAS FOR PERSONAL REASONS, AND THAT YOUR DUTY AT WASHINGTON, D.C., WAS INCIDENTAL TO SUCH TRIP.

YOU CITE THE ACT OF AUGUST 31, 1954, 68 STAT. 1008, IN SUPPORT OF YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW. THAT ACT AMENDS SECTION 7 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, AS AMENDED. THE SECTION AS FURTHER AMENDED IS CODIFIED AT 5 U.S.C. 73B-3. THE PERTINENT PROVISIONS OF THAT SECTION AUTHORIZE THE RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES, AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, OF THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY, AND OF HIS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, NOT IN EXCESS OF ONE TIME, PRIOR TO THE RETURN OF SUCH EMPLOYEE, WHEN THE PUBLIC INTEREST REQUIRES THE RETURN OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY FOR COMPELLING PERSONAL REASONS OF A HUMANITARIAN OR COMPASSIONATE NATURE, SUCH AS MAY INVOLVE PHYSICAL OR MENTAL HEALTH, DEATH OF ANY MEMBER OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY, OR OBLIGATION IMPOSED BY AUTHORITY OR CIRCUMSTANCES OVER WHICH THE INDIVIDUAL HAS NO CONTROL. THE SECTION ALSO ALLOWS, AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, THE RETURN OF THE EMPLOYEE TO THE UNITED STATES FOR PURPOSES OF LEAVE, PROVIDED THE EMPLOYEE HAS SERVED A STIPULATED MINIMUM TIME AT THE OVERSEAS POST, FOR SEPARATION OR FOR GOVERNMENT CONVENIENCE. NOTHING IS CONTAINED IN THE CITED STATUTORY PROVISION WHICH WOULD ALLOW REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE ROUNDTRIP TRAVEL OF AN EMPLOYEE FROM HIS OVERSEAS STATION BECAUSE OF THE DEATH OF A PARENT IN THE UNITED STATES. SUCH TRAVEL IS PURELY FOR PERSONAL REASONS AND CANNOT BE CONSIDERED AS RELATED TO THE CONDUCT OF OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 25, INDICATES THAT YOU WERE IN A CONTINUOUS TRAVEL STATUS AND IN THIS REGARD IT IS WELL-SETTLED THAT AN EMPLOYEE MUST BEAR THE ADDITIONAL COST OF TRAVEL INCURRED WHEN AN OFFICIAL TRIP IS INTERRUPTED FOR PERSONAL REASONS OTHER THAN PERSONAL ILLNESS OR INJURY (5 U.S.C. 836). FURTHERMORE, IT IS NOT EVIDENT THAT YOUR NORMAL DUTIES OVERSEAS WERE INTERRUPTED FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY PERFORMED IN WASHINGTON, D.C., WHICH YOU SAY ARE YOUR OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS.

SINCE WE ARE AWARE OF NO STATUTORY PROVISION AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL INVOLVED, AND IN VIEW OF THE LANGUAGE OF PARAGRAPH 1.2 OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS LIMITING THE EXPENDITURE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS TO OFFICIAL TRAVEL, OUR SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 17, 1959, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM MUST BE SUSTAINED.