B-142994, AUG. 8, 1960

B-142994: Aug 8, 1960

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THE REQUEST WAS IN CONFIRMATION OF YOUR TELEPHONE CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR SUPERVISOR AND A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CIVILIAN PERSONNEL OFFICE. THAT THE FUNERAL WAS TO BE HELD IN PRAIRIE DU CHIEN. THAT IT WAS THEREFORE NECESSARY FOR YOU TO DEPART FROM HONOLULU ON MAY 6. VIA COMMERCIAL AIR SINCE MATS WAS NOT AVAILABLE BECAUSE YOU DEPARTED PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF TRAVEL ORDERS. YOU SAY THAT IT IS REASONABLE TO ASSUME THAT TRAVEL ORDERS COULD HAVE BEEN ISSUED ON MAY 6. THE REPORT OF THE AGENCY SAYS THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO REEMPLOYMENT LEAVE AND THAT YOUR APPLICATION FOR TRAVEL TO YOUR HOME FOR THAT PURPOSE WAS APPROVED BY THE AREA ENGINEER ON MAY 6. THAT WHILE YOU ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BETWEEN HONOLULU.

B-142994, AUG. 8, 1960

TO MR. LEROY IRWIN:

YOUR LETTER OF MAY 13, 1960, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF THAT PART OF VOUCHER SETTLEMENT OF OUR OFFICE DATED APRIL 26, 1960, WHICH, BY LIMITING YOUR ALLOWANCE TO MATS FARE, DISALLOWED $55.19 OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION FROM HONOLULU, HAWAII, TO THE WEST COAST.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT ON MONDAY MORNING, MAY 6, 1957, YOU APPLIED FOR REEMPLOYMENT LEAVE. THE REQUEST WAS IN CONFIRMATION OF YOUR TELEPHONE CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR SUPERVISOR AND A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CIVILIAN PERSONNEL OFFICE, USARPAC, ON SATURDAY EVENING, MAY 4, 1957, WHEN YOU INFORMED THEM OF THE DEATH OF YOUR FATHER, THAT THE FUNERAL WAS TO BE HELD IN PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, WISCONSIN, ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 1957, AND THAT IT WAS THEREFORE NECESSARY FOR YOU TO DEPART FROM HONOLULU ON MAY 6, 1957. YOU LEFT HONOLULU ON MONDAY, MAY 6, 1957, VIA COMMERCIAL AIR SINCE MATS WAS NOT AVAILABLE BECAUSE YOU DEPARTED PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF TRAVEL ORDERS. YOU SAY THAT IT IS REASONABLE TO ASSUME THAT TRAVEL ORDERS COULD HAVE BEEN ISSUED ON MAY 6, 1957, HAD IT NOT BEEN NECESSARY FOR THE CIVILIAN PERSONNEL OFFICE UNDER USARPAC POLICY TO DETERMINE WHETHER YOUR POSITION, IF VACANT, COULD BE FILLED BY LOCALLY HIRED PERSONNEL.

THE REPORT OF THE AGENCY SAYS THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO REEMPLOYMENT LEAVE AND THAT YOUR APPLICATION FOR TRAVEL TO YOUR HOME FOR THAT PURPOSE WAS APPROVED BY THE AREA ENGINEER ON MAY 6, 1957; THAT DUE TO THE EMERGENCY SITUATION CREATED BY THE DEATH OF YOUR FATHER YOU DEPARTED PRIOR TO SECURING PROPERLY PREPARED ORDERS IN ADVANCE OF TRAVEL, AND THAT WHILE YOU ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BETWEEN HONOLULU, HAWAII, AND PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, WISCONSIN, REIMBURSEMENT FOR THAT PORTION OF TRAVEL BETWEEN HONOLULU AND SAN FRANCISCO SHOULD BE LIMITED TO MATS FARE.

IN REPLY TO OUR REQUEST FOR A SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT IN THE LIGHT OF THE STATEMENTS IN YOUR LETTER OF MAY 13, 1960, THE AGENCY SAYS THAT "THERE IS NO INDICATION THAT TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO CONUS WAS DENIED PURSUANT TO THE LOCAL ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY" BUT RATHER THAT "TRAVEL ORDERS WERE NOT FURNISHED EMPLOYEE ONLY BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT HE DEPARTED VOLUNTARILY PRIOR TO NORMAL TIME REQUIRED TO PROCESS TRAVEL ORDERS; " THAT WHILE EMERGENCY TRAVEL ORDERS ARE GIVEN TOP PRIORITY, ORDERS FOR REEMPLOYMENT LEAVE ARE NOT CONSIDERED URGENT; THAT IT IS DOUBTFUL THAT YOUR SITUATION MET THE CRITERIA CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 8H OF AR 630.5 USED BY THE OFFICE OF CIVILIAN PERSONNEL, U.S. ARMY, HAWAII, IN DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY FOR EMERGENCY TRAVEL ORDERS, AND THAT IT WAS ASSUMED THAT IS THE REASON YOU ELECTED TO APPLY FOR REEMPLOYMENT LEAVE INSTEAD OF EMERGENCY LEAVE. THE REPORT ALSO POINTS OUT THAT YOU CLAIM WAS NOT PRESENTED UNTIL AFTER YOUR SUPERVISOR, THE FORMER EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE HONOLULU DISTRICT, MAJOR (THEN CAPTAIN) MAURICE D. RONSH (NOW SERVING AS AN INSTRUCTOR AT WEST POINT MILITARY ACADEMY) WAS REASSIGNED AND THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE AT THIS LATE DATE TO DETERMINE THE TRUE REASON YOU WERE NOT ISSUED TRAVEL ORDERS ON MAY 6, 1957.

IN VIEW OF THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE AGENCY WE ARE UNABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT BECAUSE OF DELAY IN ISSUING ORDERS YOU ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT IN EXCESS OF MATS FARE FOR THAT PART OF YOUR TRAVEL BETWEEN HONOLULU AND THE WEST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES. UPON THE PRESENT RECORD, WE CONCLUDE THAT THE VOUCHER SETTLEMENT WAS CORRECT, AND THAT ACTION IS HEREBY SUSTAINED.