B-145469, APR. 14, 1961

B-145469: Apr 14, 1961

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HE WAS REIMBURSED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7 (B) OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946. HIS EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT THAT HE WOULD BE REIMBURSED THE ACTUAL COST FOR MOVING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND THAT THE REGULATIONS GOVERNING REIMBURSEMENT WERE NOT EXPLAINED TO HIM UNTIL HE APPLIED FOR REIMBURSEMENT. THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT AN EMPLOYEE MUST BEAR THE EXPENSE OF REPORTING TO HIS FIRST DUTY STATION WHEN HIS COMPENSATION IS FIXED BY LAW OR REGULATION. 32 COMP. TO POSITIONS IN THE UNITED STATES FOR WHICH THERE IS DETERMINED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION TO BE A MANPOWER SHORTAGE. THE PERTINENT REGULATIONS ARE CONTAINED IN BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. BAUER WAS PROPERLY REIMBURSED ON A COMMUTED BASIS AS PROVIDED IN THE REGULATIONS.

B-145469, APR. 14, 1961

TO AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 24, 1961, REFERENCE D-311A, WITH ENCLOSURES, FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE ON MARCH 29, 1961, BY MR. J. R. GALLER, ACTING CHIEF, DIVISION OF PROGRAM COORDINATION AND FINANCE, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER A RECLAIM VOUCHER FOR $103 IN FAVOR OF MR. ROBERT J. BAUER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

MR. BAUER CLAIMED ACTUAL EXPENSES OF $383.84 INCURRED IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI, TO DENVER, COLORADO, HIS FIRST DUTY STATION, BETWEEN FEBRUARY 8, 1961, AND FEBRUARY 13, 1961. HE WAS REIMBURSED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7 (B) OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, AS ADDED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 25, 1958, 72 STAT. 843, 5 U.S.C. 73B--- 3 (B), AS AMENDED, ON A COMMUTED BASIS AT RATES PER HUNDRED POUNDS AS FIXED BY ZONES IN SCHEDULE A, TABLE 3, BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-37, TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 3, OCTOBER 22, 1959, IN THE AMOUNT OF $280.84, OR $103 LESS THAT HIS ACTUAL EXPENSE. MR. BAUER BASES HIS CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF HIS ACTUAL EXPENSE ON THE FACT THAT HE UNDERSTOOD FROM HIS INTERVIEW, BOOKLETS SENT HIM BY THE BUREAU, LETTERS RECEIVED, AND HIS EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT THAT HE WOULD BE REIMBURSED THE ACTUAL COST FOR MOVING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND THAT THE REGULATIONS GOVERNING REIMBURSEMENT WERE NOT EXPLAINED TO HIM UNTIL HE APPLIED FOR REIMBURSEMENT.

THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT AN EMPLOYEE MUST BEAR THE EXPENSE OF REPORTING TO HIS FIRST DUTY STATION WHEN HIS COMPENSATION IS FIXED BY LAW OR REGULATION. 32 COMP. GEN. 537. AN EXCEPTION TO THE GENERAL RULE OCCURS IN THE CASES OF PERSONS COMING WITHIN SECTION 7 (B) OF THE ACT, WHICH PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART THAT:

"APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENTS SHALL BE AVAILABLE IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT, FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF PERSONS APPOINTED, AND OF STUDENT TRAINEES WHEN PROMOTED UPON COMPLETION OF COLLEGE WORK, TO POSITIONS IN THE UNITED STATES FOR WHICH THERE IS DETERMINED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION TO BE A MANPOWER SHORTAGE, AND FOR EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES AND THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS AND FOR ADVANCES OF FUNDS TO THE EXTENT AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 73B--- 1 (A) AND (B) OF THIS TITLE, FROM THEIR PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF SELECTION OR PROMOTION TO THEIR DUTY STATION. * * *"

5 U.S.C. 73B--- 1 (B) (SECTION 1 (B) OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 806, AS AMENDED), SPECIFIES IN RELEVANT PART THAT:

"IN LIEU OF THE PAYMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION, PACKING, CRATING, TEMPORARY STORAGE, DRAYAGE, AND UNPACKING OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS, IN THE CASE OF SUCH TRANSFERS BETWEEN POINTS IN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, REIMBURSEMENT SHALL BE MADE TO THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE ON A COMMUTED BASIS (NOT TO EXCEED THE AMOUNT WHICH WOULD BE ALLOWABLE FOR THE AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE) AS SUCH RATES PER ONE HUNDRED POUNDS AS MAY BE FIXED BY ZONES IN REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT. * * *"

THE PRESIDENT HAS DELEGATED THE FUNCTIONS VESTED IN HIM BY SECTIONS 1 (B) AND 7 (B) OF THE ACT TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET. SEE SECTION 1 (B) AND (C) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10530, MAY 11, 1954, AS AMENDED. THE PERTINENT REGULATIONS ARE CONTAINED IN BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-37, TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 5, DATED AUGUST 23, 1960, SECTION 34 (A) (1), AND TITLE II OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, NOVEMBER 25, 1946, AS AMENDED BY BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-37, TRANSMITTAL MEMORANDUM NO. 4, DATED FEBRUARY 20, 1960.

MR. BAUER WAS PROPERLY REIMBURSED ON A COMMUTED BASIS AS PROVIDED IN THE REGULATIONS. SINCE NEITHER THE LAW NOR THE REGULATION PROVIDE FOR CONSIDERATION OF ACTUAL EXPENSE AS A FACTOR IN REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO INDIVIDUALS IN MR. BAUER'S SITUATION, NO AUTHORITY EXISTS FOR REIMBURSING MR. BAUER ON THE BASIS OF THE ACTUAL EXPENSE INCURRED BY HIM. THEREFORE, THE RECLAIM VOUCHER MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT. THE RECLAIM VOUCHER AND OTHER ENCLOSURES ARE RETURNED HEREWITH.