B-144656, MAR. 30, 1961

B-144656: Mar 30, 1961

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THE RECORD SHOWS THAT PRIOR TO YOUR EMPLOYMENT WITH THE AIR FORCE YOU WERE EMPLOYED BY A GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR IN MOROCCO UPON TERMINATION OF YOUR EMPLOYMENT WITH THE CONTRACTOR YOU RECEIVED PAYMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR YOURSELF FROM MOROCCO TO YOUR RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES. NO TRAVEL TO YOUR RESIDENCE WAS PERFORMED AT THAT TIME. YOU WERE EMPLOYED BY THE AIR FORCE AS A LOCAL HIRE EMPLOYEE AT NOUASSEUR AIR BASE. SINCE IT WAS REPORTED TO THE EMPLOYING OFFICER AT THE BASE THAT YOU HAD RECEIVED PAYMENT FOR YOUR RETURN TRAVEL EXPENSES TO YOUR RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES FROM THE CONTRACTOR. YOU WERE INFORMED UPON YOUR EMPLOYMENT BY THE AIR FORCE THAT IF YOU RETAINED THIS PAYMENT THE AIR FORCE WOULD NOT ENTER INTO A COMMITMENT TO PAY FOR SUCH TRAVEL UPON YOUR COMPLETION OF THE REQUIRED MINIMUM OF SERVICE OVERSEAS.

B-144656, MAR. 30, 1961

TO MR. WILLIAM C. CLEVELAND:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 2, 1961, REQUESTS THAT YOU BE INFORMED OF THE REASONS FOR THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSE FROM MOROCCO, AFRICA, TO LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UPON SEPARATION FROM EMPLOYMENT WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT PRIOR TO YOUR EMPLOYMENT WITH THE AIR FORCE YOU WERE EMPLOYED BY A GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR IN MOROCCO UPON TERMINATION OF YOUR EMPLOYMENT WITH THE CONTRACTOR YOU RECEIVED PAYMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR YOURSELF FROM MOROCCO TO YOUR RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES. HOWEVER, NO TRAVEL TO YOUR RESIDENCE WAS PERFORMED AT THAT TIME. YOU WERE EMPLOYED BY THE AIR FORCE AS A LOCAL HIRE EMPLOYEE AT NOUASSEUR AIR BASE, MOROCCO, ON FEBRUARY 16, 1955. SINCE IT WAS REPORTED TO THE EMPLOYING OFFICER AT THE BASE THAT YOU HAD RECEIVED PAYMENT FOR YOUR RETURN TRAVEL EXPENSES TO YOUR RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES FROM THE CONTRACTOR, YOU WERE INFORMED UPON YOUR EMPLOYMENT BY THE AIR FORCE THAT IF YOU RETAINED THIS PAYMENT THE AIR FORCE WOULD NOT ENTER INTO A COMMITMENT TO PAY FOR SUCH TRAVEL UPON YOUR COMPLETION OF THE REQUIRED MINIMUM OF SERVICE OVERSEAS.

YOU THEN ELECTED TO RECEIVE THE CASH PAYMENT, AND THE EVIDENCE SHOWS YOU DID NOT EXECUTE AN AGREEMENT WHEREBY YOU WOULD BE REIMBURSED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR YOUR RETURN TRAVEL EXPENSES WHEN ELIGIBLE THEREFOR.

WHEN NO AGREEMENT IS EXECUTED BY A LOCAL HIRE EMPLOYEE HE HAS NO VESTED RIGHT TO OTHERWISE PROPER RETURN TRAVEL IN THE ABSENCE OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENT TO THAT EFFECT. UNDER PARAGRAPH 19 (A), AIR FORCE MANUAL 40-10, CHAPTER 4, LOCAL HIRE EMPLOYEES MAY NOT BE ALLOWED RETURN TRAVEL EXCEPT AS AUTHORIZED BY PARAGRAPH 18 (B) THEREOF. PARAGRAPH 18 (B) OF THE MANUAL IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF YOUR RETURN TRAVEL READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"18B. EMPLOYEES HIRED LOCALLY OVERSEAS. EMPLOYEES RECRUITED LOCALLY OVERSEAS MAY BE AUTHORIZED TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE TO THE SAME EXTENT AND SUBJECT TO THE SAME REQUIREMENTS AS 18A ABOVE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING:

"/2) (B) A SIGNED TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT DATED SUBSEQUENT TO 23 SEPTEMBER 1950 (THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF P.L. 830, 81ST CONG., AMENDING P.L. 600, 79TH CONG.) INCLUDING THE SAME TRANSPORTATION ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE TO EMPLOYEES RECRUITED OUTSIDE THE LOCAL AREA.'

SINCE THE CITED PARAGRAPH OF THE MANUAL REQUIRES AN AGREEMENT IN WRITING TO ENTITLE A LOCAL HIRE EMPLOYEE TO RETURN TRAVEL IT MAY NOT BE VIEWED AS GIVING A MANDATORY RIGHT FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES OF RETURN TRAVEL TO A LOCAL HIRE WHO HAS COMPLETED A REQUIRED MINIMUM OF SERVICE OVERSEAS BUT HAS EXECUTED NO AGREEMENT COVERING HIS RETURN TRAVEL.

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES EXISTING AT THE TIME OF YOUR EMPLOYMENT, WE FIND NO PROPER BASIS ON THE EXISTING RECORD FOR AUTHORIZING YOUR RETURN TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE; THEREFORE, THE DISALLOWANCE OF THAT PART OF YOUR CLAIM RELATING TO THE EXPENSE OF RETURN TRAVEL FOR YOURSELF WAS PROPER, AND, UPON REVIEW, THE SETTLEMENT IS SUSTAINED.