B-148149, MAR. 19, 1962

B-148149: Mar 19, 1962

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TELEPHONE CALLS AND A PERSONAL INTERVIEW YOU WERE INFORMED BY THE FOREST SERVICE ON OCTOBER 12. PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WAS FIXED AT $12. UPON REPORTING AT RHINELANDER YOU LEARNED THAT SOME QUESTION HAD BEEN RAISED AS TO YOUR VETERANS PREFERENCE ELIGIBILITY AND THAT YOU COULD NOT BE PLACED UNDER FORMAL APPOINTMENT UNTIL THE QUESTION WAS RESOLVED. 472.24" YOU TRAVELED FROM BIRMINGHAM TO RHINELANDER PURSUANT TO A PROPERLY EXECUTED AUTHORIZATION AND ARE ENTITLED TO BE PAID IN ACCORDANCE THEREWITH. IS APPLICABLE. THE OFFICIAL MILEAGE IS 560. THE AMOUNT DUE FOR TRAVEL IS $30.80. ADDITION YOU ARE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IN THE SUM OF $18 (1 1/2 TIMES $12). OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IS TODAY BEING INSTRUCTED TO ISSUE A SETTLEMENT ALLOWING YOU $48.80 IN PAYMENT FOR THESE ITEMS.

B-148149, MAR. 19, 1962

TO MR. VERNON J. WIERSMA:

THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, FOREST SERVICE, HAS TRANSMITTED HERE YOUR CLAIM FOR $1,472.24, REPRESENTING TRAVEL AND INCIDENTAL EXPENSES, LOSS OF WAGES, AND LOSS SUSTAINED ON THE SALE OF YOUR HOME, AS THE RESULT OF UNCONSUMMATED EMPLOYMENT ACTION IN OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 1960.

IN BRIEF, THE RECORD SHOWS THAT FOLLOWING EXCHANGES OF CORRESPONDENCE, TELEPHONE CALLS AND A PERSONAL INTERVIEW YOU WERE INFORMED BY THE FOREST SERVICE ON OCTOBER 12, 1960, THAT YOU HAD BEEN CERTIFIED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION AS ELIGIBLE FOR THE POSITION OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT GS- 9 AND ON OCTOBER 14, THE AGENCY OFFERED YOU SUCH POSITION AT RHINELANDER, WISCONSIN. ON OCTOBER 18, YOU SUBMITTED THE NECESSARY FORMS FOR USE IN COMPLETING THE APPOINTMENT ACTION AND SET NOVEMBER 15 AS YOUR REPORTING DATE. ON OCTOBER 25, THE AGENCY ISSUED A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION TO YOU COVERING TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. THIS ORDER AUTHORIZED TRAVEL BY PERSONALLY-OWNED AUTOMOBILE BEGINNING ON OR ABOUT NOVEMBER 11, AND SPECIFIED A MILEAGE RATE OF 8 CENTS PLUS FERRY FARES AND BRIDGE, ROAD AND TUNNEL TOLLS (NOT TO EXCEED THE COST BY COMMON CARRIER) IF ACCOMPANIED BY ONE OR MORE MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY. PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE WAS FIXED AT $12. HOWEVER, THE ORDER ALSO PROVIDED THAT IF YOU TRAVELED ALONE THE MILEAGE RATE WOULD BE 5 1/2 CENTS WHICH RATE WOULD INCLUDE FERRY FARES, ROAD TOLLS, ETC., AND THE PER DIEM WOULD BE LIMITED TO COMMON CARRIER TRAVEL TIME.

YOU TRAVELED FROM YOUR HOME IN BIRMINGHAM, MICHIGAN, TO RHINELANDER, WISCONSIN, ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13, TO ENABLE YOU TO LOCATE SUITABLE HOUSING FOR YOUR FAMILY BEFORE REPORTING FOR DUTY ON NOVEMBER 15. UPON REPORTING AT RHINELANDER YOU LEARNED THAT SOME QUESTION HAD BEEN RAISED AS TO YOUR VETERANS PREFERENCE ELIGIBILITY AND THAT YOU COULD NOT BE PLACED UNDER FORMAL APPOINTMENT UNTIL THE QUESTION WAS RESOLVED. YOU RETURNED TO BIRMINGHAM AND TWO WEEKS THEREAFTER YOU ACCEPTED NON-FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT.

YOUR CLAIM CONSISTS OF THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:

CHART

"DEPOSIT ON A RHINELANDER HOUSE TO MRS. MARTHA C. BLOOM 5.00

FERRY ACROSS (SIC) LAKE MICHIGAN, NOV. 13, 1960 12.95

VALLEY MOTEL, NOV. 13, 1960 6.50

HOTEL FENLON, NOV. 14, 1960 5.50

FOOD, NOV. 13 AND 14, 1960 6.00

LONG DISTANT PHONE CALLS FROM RHINELANDER, NOV. 14 AND

15, 1960 5.21

MACHINAW BRIDGE CROSSING NOV. 15, 1960 3.75

MILEAGE TO AND FROM RHINELANDER 74.80

DAY LETTER TO U.S. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION 2.53

TWO WEEKS PAY LOST BETWEEN AGREED REPORTING DATE TO

RHINELANDER OF NOV. 15, 1960 AND DATE I REPORTED TO A

PERMANENT AVAILABLE POSITION 250.00

SOLD OUR BIRMINGHAM HOME AT A READILY SALABLE PRICE AT

THE LOW MARKET TIME OF THE YEAR. TOOK A LOSS ON THE HOME

IN ORDER TO ALLEVIATE ANY TIES WITH BIRMINGHAM AND

ALLOW UNDIVIDED ATTENTION TO THE OFFERED RHINELANDER

POSITION. BOUGHT HOUSE $11,400.00, IMPROVEMENTS

$1,211.88, HOUSE SOLD $11,500.00. CLAIM $1,100.00

TOTAL CLAIM $1,472.24"

YOU TRAVELED FROM BIRMINGHAM TO RHINELANDER PURSUANT TO A PROPERLY EXECUTED AUTHORIZATION AND ARE ENTITLED TO BE PAID IN ACCORDANCE THEREWITH. SINCE YOU TRAVELED ALONE THE MILEAGE RATE OF 5 1/2 CENTS WHICH INCLUDES FERRY FARES, BRIDGE TOLLS, ETC., IS APPLICABLE. THE OFFICIAL MILEAGE IS 560, THEREFORE, THE AMOUNT DUE FOR TRAVEL IS $30.80. ADDITION YOU ARE ENTITLED TO PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE IN THE SUM OF $18 (1 1/2 TIMES $12). OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IS TODAY BEING INSTRUCTED TO ISSUE A SETTLEMENT ALLOWING YOU $48.80 IN PAYMENT FOR THESE ITEMS.

WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY NOR AVAILABLE APPROPRIATION FOR PAYMENT OF THE BALANCE OF YOUR CLAIM. HOWEVER, IT APPEARS THAT CERTAIN ITEMS THEREOF CONTAIN ELEMENTS OF EQUITY WHICH MIGHT JUSTIFY THE MAKING OF A REPORT TO THE CONGRESS UNDER THE ACT OF APRIL 10, 1928, 45 STAT. 413, WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"WHERE THERE IS FILED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE A CLAIM OR DEMAND AGAINST THE UNITED STATES THAT MAY NOT LAWFULLY BE ADJUSTED BY THE USE OF AN APPROPRIATION THERETOFORE MADE, BUT WHICH CLAIM OR DEMAND IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES CONTAINS SUCH ELEMENTS OF LEGAL LIABILITY OR EQUITY AS TO BE DESERVING OF THE CONSIDERATION OF THE CONGRESS, HE SHALL SUBMIT THE SAME TO THE CONGRESS BY A SPECIAL REPORT CONTAINING THE MATERIAL FACTS AND HIS RECOMMENDATION THEREON.'

THE ITEMS TO WHICH WE REFER ARE RETURN MILEAGE (560 TIMES 5 1/2 CENTS) $30.80, WHICH WILL INCLUDE THE BRIDGE TOLL; HOTEL (NOVEMBER 14) $5.50, AND DEPOSIT ON HOUSE RENTAL $5. CONCERNING THE ITEM OF $6 FOR FOOD ON NOVEMBER 13 AND 14, YOU ARE BEING ALLOWED $18 FOR SUBSISTENCE AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE AGENCY ONLY 1/3 OR $2 OF THE AMOUNT MAY BE REPORTED. THE SALARY FOR THE POSITION YOU SOUGHT WOULD HAVE BEEN $248 FOR THE TWO-WEEK PERIOD AND THEREFORE WE WOULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED IN RECOMMENDING PAYMENT FOR MORE THAN THAT AMOUNT.

THE FOREGOING ITEMS TOTAL $291.30. OUR RECORD DOES NOT CONTAIN SUFFICIENT INFORMATION TO SUPPORT A RECOMMENDATION FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TELEPHONE CALLS AND THE TELEGRAM TO THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION. HOWEVER, IF YOU WILL INFORM US OF THE PURPOSE OF THE TELEGRAM AND THE IDENTITY OF THE PERSONS TO WHOM THE LONG DISTANCE CALLS WERE MADE AND THE PURPOSE THEREOF WE WILL FURTHER CONSIDER THEM.

WE DO NOT FEEL THAT WE WOULD BE JUSTIFIED IN RECOMMENDING PAYMENT OF THE $1,100 CLAIMED AS A LOSS ON THE SALE OF YOUR HOUSE. IT APPEARS THAT YOU WERE SEEKING EMPLOYMENT IN OTHER AREAS AT THE TIME AND PROBABLY WOULD HAVE MADE SIMILAR SALES ARRANGEMENTS. ALSO THE ECONOMICS OF HOME VALUES, IMPROVEMENT COSTS, DETERIORATION, ETC., ARE TOO UNCERTAIN TO WARRANT CONSIDERATION OF THE CLAIMED LOSS; AND IN ANY EVENT THE DISPOSITION OF YOUR PROPERTY AT THE TIME IT WAS SOLD AND AT THE PRICE YOU RECEIVED WAS THE RESULT OF YOUR OWN DECISION AND NOT OF ANY REQUIREMENT OR REQUEST OF THE FOREST SERVICE.

THEREFORE, IF AGREEABLE TO YOU, WE WILL CONSIDER REPORTING THE CLAIM TO THE CONGRESS UNDER THE CITED STATUTE, WITH THE RECOMMENDATION THAT AN APPROPRIATION BE MADE FOR PAYMENT TO YOU OF THE ADDITIONAL SUM OF $291.30, OR $299.04 IF SATISFACTORY INFORMATION IS FURNISHED BY YOU CONCERNING THE TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CHARGES. WE BELIEVE THIS REPRESENTS A FAIR AND EQUITABLE ADJUSTMENT OF YOUR CLAIM. HOWEVER, UNLESS WE RECEIVE A STATEMENT FROM YOU THAT YOU WILL ACCEPT THE SUM OF $291.30 (OR $299.04 CONTINGENT UPON THE INFORMATION FURNISHED) IN FULL AND FINAL SETTLEMENT OF YOUR CLAIM WE WOULD NOT BE WARRANTED IN MAKING A RECOMMENDATION TO THE CONGRESS.