B-147722, JAN. 9, 1962

B-147722: Jan 9, 1962

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WHO IS NOW EMPLOYED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY. IS BASED UPON HIS ENTITLEMENT TO TRAVEL FOR LEAVE PURPOSES UNDER PUBLIC LAW 737. LIND WAS EMPLOYED IN THE UNITED STATES BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR DUTY IN ALASKA IN 1946. UPON COMPLETION OF A REQUIRED PERIOD OF EMPLOYMENT WAS ENTITLED TO RETURN TRANSPORTATION TO BELLINGHAM. LIND WAS ADVISED OF REDUCTION-IN-FORCE EFFECTIVE THIRTY DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF THE NOTICE DATED OCTOBER 8. THIS REQUEST WAS REFUSED BY MEMORANDUM DATED NOVEMBER 5. LIND WAS ESTABLISHED). THE NOTICE OF REDUCTION -IN-FORCE WAS WITHDRAWN. HIS NEW EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT WAS SIGNED ON JANUARY 19. LIND STATES: "MY WIFE WAS INCLUDED ON THIS TRAVEL SINCE MORE TIME WAS REQUIRED FOR RECUPERATION FROM HAND SURGERY THAN ORIGINALLY PLANNED.'.

B-147722, JAN. 9, 1962

TO MR. HORACE E. HARDAWAY, BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE:

ON NOVEMBER 29, 1961, YOUR REFERENCE 24-20, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER OF MR. JOHN A. LIND, JR., A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, WHO IS NOW EMPLOYED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, ALASKA COMMUNICATION SYSTEM. THE VOUCHER, WHICH PROPOSES REIMBURSEMENT TO MR. LIND OF $337.50 FOR HIS EXPENSES IN THE ROUND TRIP TRAVEL OF HIMSELF AND HIS WIFE BETWEEN ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, HIS DUTY STATION, AND SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, NOVEMBER 1959 THROUGH JANUARY 1960, IS BASED UPON HIS ENTITLEMENT TO TRAVEL FOR LEAVE PURPOSES UNDER PUBLIC LAW 737, APPROVED AUGUST 31, 1954, 68 STAT. 1008.

MR. LIND WAS EMPLOYED IN THE UNITED STATES BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR DUTY IN ALASKA IN 1946, AND UPON COMPLETION OF A REQUIRED PERIOD OF EMPLOYMENT WAS ENTITLED TO RETURN TRANSPORTATION TO BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON, UPON SEPARATION FROM GOVERNMENT SERVICE. IT APPEARS THAT AIR TRAVEL TO BELLINGHAM WOULD INVOLVE TRAVEL THROUGH SEATTLE. MR. LIND HAS REMAINED IN GOVERNMENT SERVICE IN ALASKA FROM 1946 TO THE PRESENT TIME, AND HE DID NOT TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES (THE 48 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA) AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE BETWEEN 1955 AND NOVEMBER 1959.

YOU RECITE THE PERTINENT EVENTS AT THE TIME OF MR. LIND'S ROUND TRIP TRAVEL TO SEATTLE AS FOLLOWS:

"MR. LIND WAS ADVISED OF REDUCTION-IN-FORCE EFFECTIVE THIRTY DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF THE NOTICE DATED OCTOBER 8, 1959. BY MEMORANDUM DATED OCTOBER 29, 1959, MR. LIND REQUESTED TRAVEL ORDERS AND TRAVEL TIME FOR ONE TO SEATTLE AND RETURN UNDER PUBLIC LAW 737. THIS REQUEST WAS REFUSED BY MEMORANDUM DATED NOVEMBER 5, 1959, WHICH ALSO ESTABLISHED A NEW SEPARATION DATE OF DECEMBER 4, 1959 (NO DATE OF RECEIPT BY MR. LIND WAS ESTABLISHED). BY MEMORANDUM OF NOVEMBER 12, 1959, THE NOTICE OF REDUCTION -IN-FORCE WAS WITHDRAWN. MR. LIND LEFT ALASKA FOR SEATTLE ON NOVEMBER 16, 1959, AND RETURNED TO ALASKA ON JANUARY 3, 1960. HIS NEW EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT WAS SIGNED ON JANUARY 19, 1960. IN A MEMORANDUM OF JANUARY 4, 1960, MR. LIND STATES: "MY WIFE WAS INCLUDED ON THIS TRAVEL SINCE MORE TIME WAS REQUIRED FOR RECUPERATION FROM HAND SURGERY THAN ORIGINALLY PLANNED.' IN A MEMORANDUM OF NOVEMBER 6, 1961, MR. LIND'S SUPERVISOR, AT THE TIME, MR. B. D. STEWART, JR., STATED IN PART: "THE PRIME PURPOSE OF THIS TRIP WAS TO SECURE SPECIALIZED SURGERY TO CORRECT AN OLD INJURY TO A HAND. A FIRM DATE IN MID-NOVEMBER HAD BEEN AGREED UPON BY HIS DOCTORS.' LATER IN THIS MEMORANDUM MR. STEWART NOTES THAT OTHER EMPLOYEES WERE PERMITTED TO TRAVEL EVEN THOUGH SEPARATION WAS IMMINENT.'

SECTION 7 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF AUGUST 31, 1954, 68 STAT. 1008, 5 U.S.C. 73B-3, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART:

"* * * PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT EXPENSES OF ROUND TRIP TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEE AND TRANSPORTATION OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY BUT EXCLUDING HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, FROM THEIR POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THE PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT OR TRANSFER TO SUCH OVERSEAS POSTS OF DUTY, SHALL BE ALLOWED IN THE CASE OF PERSONS WHO HAVE SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED AN AGREED PERIOD OF SERVICE OVERSEAS AND ARE RETURNING TO THEIR ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE PRIOR TO SERVING ANOTHER TOUR OF DUTY AT THE SAME OR SOME OTHER OVERSEAS POST, UNDER A NEW WRITTEN AGREEMENT ENTERED INTO BEFORE DEPARTING FROM THE OVERSEAS POST.'

MR. LIND WAS ELIGIBLE FOR HOME LEAVE IN OCTOBER 1959, SINCE HE HAD BEEN EMPLOYED BY THE GOVERNMENT IN ALASKA FOR A PERIOD IN EXCESS OF THAT USUALLY REQUIRED OF EMPLOYEES SENT BY YOUR AGENCY TO ALASKA UNDER WRITTEN EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS. SEE SECTION 27 (A) (1) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS ADDED BY BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-4, MAY 2, 1955. HOWEVER, SINCE IT DID NOT APPEAR THAT HE WOULD SERVE ANOTHER TOUR OF DUTY IN ALASKA HAD HOME LEAVE BEEN ALLOWED IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 1959, IN VIEW OF THE PENDING SEPARATION BY REDUCTION-IN-FORCE, THE DETERMINATION TO DENY HIM HOME LEAVE AT THAT TIME WAS PROPER. 37 COMP. GEN. 848.

WE HAVE HELD THAT THE STATUTORY REQUIREMENT THAT AN EMPLOYEE ENTER INTO A NEW AGREEMENT FOR OVERSEAS SERVICE PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE ON HOME LEAVE IS FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE GOVERNMENT AND, THEREFORE, THAT THE FAILURE OF AN EMPLOYEE TO EXECUTE SUCH AN AGREEMENT PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE ON HOME LEAVE DOES NOT NECESSARILY PRECLUDE PAYMENT FOR HOME LEAVE TRAVEL IF HE EXECUTES SUCH AN AGREEMENT UPON HIS RETURN TO HIS OVERSEAS POST. 131459, MAY 6, 1957; B-130258, FEBRUARY 14, 1957.

CONCERNING THE DISALLOWANCE IN CLAIM NO. Z 1998620, DATED OCTOBER 29, 1959, REFERRED TO BY YOU, IT SUFFICES TO SAY THAT THE FACTS OF THAT CASE ARE DISTINGUISHABLE FROM THOSE HERE PRESENTED.

SINCE HOME LEAVE TRAVEL WAS DENIED MR. LIND BECAUSE OF HIS PENDING SEPARATION, WHICH SEPARATION DID NOT OCCUR, AND SINCE HE COULD NOT REASONABLY HAVE DELAYED HIS TRAVEL TO SEATTLE, WE BELIEVE THAT HE MAY PROPERLY BE REIMBURSED THE EXPENSES OF HIS TRAVEL TO SEATTLE ON THE BASIS OF THE AGREEMENT HE ENTERED INTO AFTER HIS RETURN TO ALASKA.

FOR THE REASONS STATED AND PROVIDED ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL BY A PROPER OFFICIAL OF THE BUREAU IS OBTAINED, THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED TOGETHER WITH THE SUPPORTING PAPERS, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.