B-144893, FEB. 15, 1961

B-144893: Feb 15, 1961

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YOU WERE GIVEN A COMMITMENT FOR A POSITION OF MANAGEMENT ENGINEER. THE LETTER WAS ADDRESSED TO YOU AT 65 WOOD LANE. CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT: "IT IS OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT YOU WILL PROCEED TO ORLEANS AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE IN ORDER TO BE APPOINTED AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE TIME. ARE THAT YOU RETURNED FROM A TOUR OF DUTY IN JAPAN IN APRIL 1957. IN YOUR EFFORTS TO OBTAIN EMPLOYMENT YOU HAD A "SATISFACTORY" INTERVIEW REGARDING JOB REQUIREMENTS WITH A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ORLEANS AREA COMMAND WHO WAS IN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES ON TEMPORARY DUTY AND AS A CONSEQUENCE YOU RECEIVED AN OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT. YOU CONTEND THAT SINCE YOU WERE INTERVIEWED REGARDING THE APPOINTMENT PRIOR TO YOUR DEPARTURE FROM THE UNITED STATES YOU ARE NOT CONSIDERED A LOCAL APPOINTEE.

B-144893, FEB. 15, 1961

TO MISS IRENE C. ADDICKS, OFFICE OF THE COMPTROLLER:

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 3, 1960, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 17, 1960, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO TRAVEL FROM BERGENFIELD, NEW JERSEY, TO ORLEANS, FRANCE, IN JULY 1957. ALSO YOU NOW CLAIM OVERSEAS DIFFERENTIAL BASED UPON SERVICE IN ATHENS, GREECE, DURING 1949.

CONCERNING YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY LETTER OF JUNE 18, 1957, FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, HEADQUARTERS COMMUNICATION ZONE, ORLEANS (FRANCE) BRANCH, YOU WERE GIVEN A COMMITMENT FOR A POSITION OF MANAGEMENT ENGINEER, GS-303-12, WITH THE MANAGEMENT ENGINEERING STAFF AT THAT PLACE. THE LETTER WAS ADDRESSED TO YOU AT 65 WOOD LANE, VALLEY STREAM, LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK, NEW YORK, AND CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT:

"IT IS OUR UNDERSTANDING THAT YOU WILL PROCEED TO ORLEANS AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE IN ORDER TO BE APPOINTED AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE TIME, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AFTER 1 JULY 1957.'

ALSO, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOU TRAVELED BY BUS FROM BERGENFIELD, NEW JERSEY, TO NEW YORK CITY, DEPARTED NEW YORK CITY BY COMMERCIAL AIR FOR PARIS ON JULY 14, 1957, THENCE BY TRAIN TO ORLEANS, WHERE YOU ARRIVED AND ACCEPTED THE POSITION ON JULY 15, 1957.

THE PERTINENT FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING TO YOUR APPOINTMENT AS STATED IN YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 16, 1958, ARE THAT YOU RETURNED FROM A TOUR OF DUTY IN JAPAN IN APRIL 1957, AND, SINCE YOUR RETURN COINCIDED WITH A SLACK HIRING PERIOD AT THE END OF THE FISCAL YEAR YOU DID NOT READILY FIND A NEW POSITION. IN YOUR EFFORTS TO OBTAIN EMPLOYMENT YOU HAD A "SATISFACTORY" INTERVIEW REGARDING JOB REQUIREMENTS WITH A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ORLEANS AREA COMMAND WHO WAS IN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES ON TEMPORARY DUTY AND AS A CONSEQUENCE YOU RECEIVED AN OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT, FOLLOWED BY THE LETTER OF POSITION COMMITMENT HERETOFORE MENTIONED.

YOU CONTEND THAT SINCE YOU WERE INTERVIEWED REGARDING THE APPOINTMENT PRIOR TO YOUR DEPARTURE FROM THE UNITED STATES YOU ARE NOT CONSIDERED A LOCAL APPOINTEE; THAT YOU WENT TO FRANCE FOR THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF ACCEPTING THE POSITION AND THAT IT WAS IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT THAT AIR TRAVEL WAS USED AND FOR THE POSITION TO HAVE BEEN FILLED AT THAT TIME. YOU NOW SAY THAT YOU HAVE BEEN PLACED AT A DISADVANTAGE FINANCIALLY BECAUSE OF YOUR HAVING SOUGHT A POSITION INSTEAD OF YOUR WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO OBTAIN ONE FOR YOU. YOU FEEL THEREFORE, THAT YOU ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES SO INCURRED.

UNDER SECTION 7 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 806, AS AMENDED, AND PERTINENT REGULATIONS, THE APPROPRIATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF NEW EMPLOYEES TO STATIONS OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES, WHEN SUCH TRAVEL HAS BEEN PROPERLY AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED. HOWEVER, FROM THE PLAIN LANGUAGE OF THE COMMITMENT LETTER, YOUR TRAVEL AND ACCEPTANCE OF THE POSITION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS THEREOF, AND THE STATEMENTS IN YOUR LETTER OF RECORD, IT IS APPARENT THAT BOTH YOU AND THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE AGENCY CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD THAT THE POSITION YOU SOUGHT WAS TO BE FILED BY LOCAL HIRE ONLY AND THAT YOU CHOSE TO TRAVEL TO ORLEANS AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE APPOINTMENT.

REGARDING YOUR REQUEST THAT THE CLAIM BE CONSIDERED ON A MORAL OR EQUITABLE BASIS, PUBLIC FUNDS MUST BE DISBURSED IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE STATUTES AND REGULATIONS. IN YOUR CASE IT IS CLEAR THAT TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WAS NOT INTENDED AND THUS IT WAS NEITHER AUTHORIZED NOR APPROVED. THEREFORE, OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 17, 1960, IS SUSTAINED.

YOU WILL BE INFORMED AT A LATER DATE CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR OVERSEAS DIFFERENTIAL.