B-144637, JAN. 18, 1961

B-144637: Jan 18, 1961

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THE TRAVEL PERFORMED WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF HOME LEAVE FROM HIS OVERSEAS DUTY STATION. HE WAS THEN VERBALLY TOLD TO REPORT TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE HOSPITAL IN BALTIMORE FOR FURTHER EXAMINATIONS AND TREATMENT PRIOR TO HIS RESUMING HIS INTERRUPTED TRAVEL FOR HOME LEAVE. DENTON RECEIVED TREATMENT AT THE HOSPITAL HE WAS CARRIED IN A SICK LEAVE STATUS AND DURING THE WAITING PERIOD A CHARGE WAS MADE AGAINST HIS ACCRUAL OF ANNUAL LEAVE. THE EMPLOYEE WAS APPOINTED UNDER SECTION 572 (C) (1) OF THE MUTUAL SECURITY ACT. DENTON WAS IN A TRAVEL STATUS WHICH WAS INTERRUPTED BY HIS ADMISSION AS A PATIENT AT THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE HOSPITAL IN BALTIMORE. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT HIS ADMISSION WAS BECAUSE OF AN EMERGENCY ILLNESS.

B-144637, JAN. 18, 1961

TO MR. J. E. FOWLER, JR., AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF MINES:

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 8, 1960, REQUESTS OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE TRANSMITTED RECLAIM VOUCHER FOR $105.04, COVERING TRAVEL EXPENSES AND PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE, IN FAVOR OF MR. FREDERICK W. DENTON, A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF MINES.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. DENTON PERFORMED OFFICIAL DUTY AT WASHINGTON, D.C., EN ROUTE FROM TEL AVIV, ISRAEL, WHERE HE HAD BEEN STATIONED ON AN ASSIGNMENT WITH THE INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION, TO CRESCENT CITY, FLORDIA, HIS HOME OF RECORD, THE TRAVEL PERFORMED WAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF HOME LEAVE FROM HIS OVERSEAS DUTY STATION. UPON COMPLETION OF MR. DENTON'S OFFICIAL DUTIES AT WASHINGTON HE BECAME AN INPATIENT AT THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE HOSPITAL IN BALTIMORE DURING THE PERIODS DECEMBER 11 TO 12, AND 14 TO 23, 1959, AND AN OUTPATIENT ON JANUARY 4 AND 11, 1960. MR. DENTON NOW CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT FOR RAIL FARES BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE ON DECEMBER 9, 1959, AND JANUARY 4 AND 11, 1960, AND PER DIEM FOR THE WAITING PERIOD OF EIGHT DAYS, JANUARY 5 TO 12, 1960, BETWEEN VISITS AS AN OUTPATIENT TO THE HOSPITAL.

THE RECORD FURTHER SHOWS MR. DENTON UPON ARRIVAL AT WASHINGTON REPORTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE MEDICAL UNIT FOR A REQUIRED PHYSICAL EXAMINATION. HE WAS THEN VERBALLY TOLD TO REPORT TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE HOSPITAL IN BALTIMORE FOR FURTHER EXAMINATIONS AND TREATMENT PRIOR TO HIS RESUMING HIS INTERRUPTED TRAVEL FOR HOME LEAVE. DURING THE PERIOD MR. DENTON RECEIVED TREATMENT AT THE HOSPITAL HE WAS CARRIED IN A SICK LEAVE STATUS AND DURING THE WAITING PERIOD A CHARGE WAS MADE AGAINST HIS ACCRUAL OF ANNUAL LEAVE.

THE EMPLOYEE WAS APPOINTED UNDER SECTION 572 (C) (1) OF THE MUTUAL SECURITY ACT, AS AMENDED, 22 U.S.C. 1787 (C) AND THE ALLOWANCES AND BENEFITS OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE ACT OF 1946 APPLY. THE LATTER ACT AUTHORIZES THE RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES FOR STATUTORY LEAVE OF ABSENCE FOR WHICH TRAVELING EXPENSES MAY BE ALLOWED "WHILE TRAVELING" PURSUANT TO ORDERS. 22 U.S.C. 1136, 1148.

THE FOREIGN SERVICE AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS INCLUDE SECTION 6.5A OF THE STANDARDIZED GOVERNMENT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH PROVIDES FOR THE CONTINUATION OF THE PRESCRIBED PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE FOR PERIODS OF INCAPACITY OF AN EMPLOYEE WHILE IN A TRAVEL STATUS. THE REGULATIONS ALSO ADOPT SECTION 6.3, WHICH PRECLUDES PER DIEM DURING A PERIOD OF ANNUAL LEAVE.

ALTHOUGH MR. DENTON WAS IN A TRAVEL STATUS WHICH WAS INTERRUPTED BY HIS ADMISSION AS A PATIENT AT THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE HOSPITAL IN BALTIMORE, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT HIS ADMISSION WAS BECAUSE OF AN EMERGENCY ILLNESS. ON THE CONTRARY THE MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS WERE A REQUIREMENT BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT TO DETERMINE MR. DENTON'S PHYSICAL FITNESS TO RETURN TO A FOREIGN DUTY POST AND THE SUBSEQUENT SEPARATION FROM HIS POSITION AS BEING MEDICALLY DISQUALIFIED FOR ANY FUTURE OVERSEAS ASSIGNMENT RESULTED FROM THE EXAMINATIONS.

WE ARE AWARE OF NO AUTHORITY FOR ALLOWING THE TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED BY MR. DENTON TO DETERMINE HIS PHYSICAL QUALIFICATIONS AS A PREREQUISITE TO A RETURN TO HIS OVERSEAS POST OF DUTY. THEREFORE, WE HOLD THAT THE TRAVEL TO BALTIMORE WAS FOR PERSONAL REASONS. IT FOLLOWS THAT THE EMPLOYEE PROPERLY WAS PLACED IN AN ANNUAL LEAVE STATUS DURING THE PERIOD JANUARY 5 TO 12, 1960, AND IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF PER DIEM FOR THAT PERIOD OR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE.

THEREFORE, THE VOUCHER, WHICH, TOGETHER WITH RELATED PAPERS IS RETURNED, MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.