B-145656, MAY 2, 1961

B-145656: May 2, 1961

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THE RECORD SHOWS YOU WERE SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE BY A REDUCTION IN FORCE ACTION WHILE EMPLOYED BY THE UNITED STATES ARMY ENGINEER DISTRICT. YOU WERE REAPPOINTED ON APRIL 25. THE REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT THERETO PROVIDE FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO AN EMPLOYEE UPON TRANSFER FROM ONE OFFICIAL DUTY STATION TO ANOTHER OR FROM ONE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY TO ANOTHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE PROPER OFFICER OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED WHEN THE TRANSFER IS IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT AND NOT MADE PRIMARILY FOR THE CONVENIENCE OR BENEFIT OF THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OR AT HIS REQUEST. WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY RULED THAT THE TERM "TRANSFER" CANNOT BE CONSIDERED AS SUCH UNLESS THE CHANGE BETWEEN OFFICIAL DUTY STATIONS IN THE SAME DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY OR BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS OR AGENCIES IS ACCOMPLISHED WITHOUT A BREAK IN SERVICE.

B-145656, MAY 2, 1961

TO MR. ASHLEY W. CROXDALE:

YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 4, 1961, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT DATED MARCH 16, 1961, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR YOURSELF AND DEPENDENTS AND TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM YOUR RESIDENCE AT ARAB, ALABAMA, TO ALTUS, OKLAHOMA.

THE RECORD SHOWS YOU WERE SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE BY A REDUCTION IN FORCE ACTION WHILE EMPLOYED BY THE UNITED STATES ARMY ENGINEER DISTRICT, REDSTONE ARSENAL, HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA, ON FEBRUARY 14, 1960. YOU WERE REAPPOINTED ON APRIL 25, 1960, BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FOR DUTY AT THE ALTUS AREA OFFICE, U.S. ARMY ENGINEER DISTRICT, TULSA, OKLAHOMA.

SECTION 1 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT, 1946, AS AMENDED 5 U.S.C. 73B-1, AND THE REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT THERETO PROVIDE FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO AN EMPLOYEE UPON TRANSFER FROM ONE OFFICIAL DUTY STATION TO ANOTHER OR FROM ONE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY TO ANOTHER FOR PERMANENT DUTY WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY THE PROPER OFFICER OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED WHEN THE TRANSFER IS IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT AND NOT MADE PRIMARILY FOR THE CONVENIENCE OR BENEFIT OF THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OR AT HIS REQUEST.

WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY RULED THAT THE TERM "TRANSFER" CANNOT BE CONSIDERED AS SUCH UNLESS THE CHANGE BETWEEN OFFICIAL DUTY STATIONS IN THE SAME DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY OR BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS OR AGENCIES IS ACCOMPLISHED WITHOUT A BREAK IN SERVICE.

YOU SAY YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES BECAUSE YOU HELD A COMPETITIVE CIVIL SERVICE STATUS, THAT YOU WERE SEPARATED THROUGH NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN, AND THAT YOUR SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE WAS FOR LESS THAN 90 DAYS. THE BENEFITS OF SECTION 1 OF THE ACT ARE NOT CONFINED TO CASES OF EMPLOYEES HAVING A COMPETITIVE STATUS AND REGARDLESS OF THE LENGTH OF TIME YOU WERE SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE AND THE CAUSE FOR SUCH SEPARATION YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES BY VIRTUE OF A TRANSFER BETWEEN OFFICIAL DUTY STATIONS UNDER THE LAW AND APPLICABLE REGULATIONS MUST HAVE BEEN ACCOMPLISHED WITHOUT A BREAK IN SERVICE OF ONE OR MORE WORKDAYS. MOREOVER, EVEN HAD A TRANSFER OCCURRED IN YOUR CASE, THE EXPENSES IN QUESTION WOULD NOT BE FOR PAYMENT BECAUSE THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY DID NOT AUTHORIZE OR APPROVE THE ALLOWANCE OF THE EXPENSES; ON THE CONTRARY, THE DEPARTMENT HAS RECOMMENDED DISAPPROVAL OF THE CLAIM. UNDER THE LAW, SUCH EXPENSES MAY NOT BE PAID IN THE ABSENCE OF AN AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL OF THE REQUISITIONING DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY.

YOU FURTHER SAY THAT REGARDLESS OF THE ABSENCE OF ANY LAW OR REGULATION WHICH WOULD AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT FOR THESE EXPENSES YOU BELIEVE THAT AN EXCEPTION SHOULD BE MADE IN YOUR CASE SINCE THERE IS NOTHING TO PREVENT A REOCCURRENCE OF THIS SITUATION IN YOUR FUTURE EMPLOYMENT IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE. THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR AN AGENT OR OFFICER OF THE GOVERNMENT, INCLUDING OUR OFFICE, TO WAIVE ANY PROVISIONS OF A STATUTE, OR A REGULATION ISSUED PURSUANT THERETO, OR INCUR ANY OBLIGATION WHICH WOULD RESULT IN AN EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS IN EXCESS OF THAT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED BY THE STATUTE.

THEREFORE, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES WAS PROPER, ..END :