B-148591, APR. 18, 1962

B-148591: Apr 18, 1962

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YOU ASK WHETHER THE VOUCHER PROPERLY MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT SINCE THE EMPLOYEE WAS TRANSFERRED TO ALASKA FOR PERMANENT DUTY IN JANUARY 1959. YOU INDICATE THAT POSSIBLY THE EMPLOYEE SHOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO TAKE ANNUAL LEAVE WHILE ON VARIOUS TRIPS BACK TO COLORADO AND ADJACENT STATES ON TEMPORARY DUTY. PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRAVEL FOR PURPOSES OF HOME LEAVE TO GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES IS GOVERNED BY 5 U.S.C. 73B-3 (A). SHALL BE ALLOWED IN THE CASE OF PERSONS WHO HAVE SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED AN AGREED PERIOD OF SERVICE OVERSEAS AND ARE RETURNING TO THEIR ACTUAL PLACES OF RESIDENCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE PRIOR TO SERVING ANOTHER TOUR OF DUTY AT THE SAME OR SOME OTHER OVERSEAS POST.

B-148591, APR. 18, 1962

TO AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF MINES:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 29, 1962, ENCLOSES A VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF P. C. VAN NATTER, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRANSPORTATION COSTS FOR HIMSELF AND WIFE IN RETURNING FROM ALASKA TO DENVER ON HOME LEAVE DURING THE PERIOD MARCH 31 TO APRIL 14, 1962. YOU ASK WHETHER THE VOUCHER PROPERLY MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT SINCE THE EMPLOYEE WAS TRANSFERRED TO ALASKA FOR PERMANENT DUTY IN JANUARY 1959, WITHOUT ENTERING INTO AN EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT AS TO THE LENGTH OF TIME HE WOULD REMAIN IN ALASKA. ALSO, YOU INDICATE THAT POSSIBLY THE EMPLOYEE SHOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO TAKE ANNUAL LEAVE WHILE ON VARIOUS TRIPS BACK TO COLORADO AND ADJACENT STATES ON TEMPORARY DUTY.

PAYMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRAVEL FOR PURPOSES OF HOME LEAVE TO GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES IS GOVERNED BY 5 U.S.C. 73B-3 (A), IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * THAT EXPENSES OF ROUND TRIP TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEES 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 PLACES 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.'

THE WORDS "CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES" AS USED IN THE ABOVE PROVISION ARE DEFINED IN 5 U.S.C. 73B-4 AS MEANING THE FORTY-EIGHT STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, THUS EXCLUDING ALASKA AS A STATE SO THAT IT MAY BE REGARDED AS AN OVERSEAS POST. ALSO, 5 U.S.C. 73B-1 (LAST PROVISO) PROVIDES:

"THAT THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSFER OF OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES TO POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL LIMITS OF THE UNITED STATES AND RETURN THEREFROM SHALL BE ALLOWED TO THE SAME EXTENT AND SUBJECT TO THE SAME LIMITATIONS PRESCRIBED FOR NEW APPOINTEES UNDER SECTION 73B-3 OF THIS TITLE.'

THE PERTINENT PROVISIONS OF THE REGULATIONS ISSUED BY THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET ON MAY 2, 1955 (CIRCULAR NO. A-4) IMPLEMENTING THE FOREGOING PROVISIONS OF LAW ARE:

"/A) ELIGIBILITY. TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AS AUTHORIZED IN (B) BELOW, AN EMPLOYEE PRIOR TO DEPARTURE FROM HIS POST OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES---

(1) MUST HAVE SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED AN AGREED-UPON PERIOD OF SERVICE (AS DESCRIBED IN SECTION 4 HEREOF WITH RESPECT TO EMPLOYEES TRANSFERRED TO POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES; OR AS DESCRIBED IN SECTION 1 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9778 OF SEPTEMBER 10, 1946, AS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10177 OF OCTOBER 27, 1950, WITH RESPECT TO NEW APPOINTEES TO POSITIONS AT POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES); OR, IF SERVING WITHOUT WRITTEN AGREEMENT AS TO LENGTH OF SERVICE, MUST HAVE SATISFACTORILY SERVED FOR A PERIOD NOT LESS THAN THE PERIOD OF SERVICE GENERALLY APPLICABLE TO THE EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED SERVING AT SUCH POST OF DUTY OR IN THE GEOGRAPHIC AREA; AND

(2) MUST HAVE ENTERED INTO A NEW WRITTEN AGREEMENT FOR ANOTHER PERIOD OF SERVICE AT THE SAME OR SOME OTHER POST OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. THE PERIOD OF SERVICE UNDER SUCH NEW AGREEMENT SHALL BEGIN UPON THE DATE OF HIS RETURN TO OR ARRIVAL AT SUCH POST OF DUTY AFTER LEAVE HAS BEEN TAKEN.'

UNDER THE ABOVE REGULATIONS THE FACT THAT AN EMPLOYEE MAY HAVE SERVED IN AN OVERSEAS AREA WITHOUT WRITTEN AGREEMENT IS NOT MATERIAL IF HE HAS SERVED AT SUCH POST FOR THE PERIOD OF SERVICE NORMALLY REQUIRED OF OTHER EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT SERVING IN THE SAME AREA, PROVIDED HE ENTERS INTO A REEMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT FOR ANOTHER PERIOD OF SERVICE OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES.

WE NOTE THAT THE EMPLOYEE HERE INVOLVED PRIOR TO HIS RETURNING TO COLORADO ON LEAVE HAD BEEN STATIONED IN ALASKA FOR OVER TWO YEARS, WHICH IS THE PERIOD OF SERVICE GENERALLY REQUIRED TO ATTAIN ELIGIBILITY FOR TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE BACK TO THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES ON HOME LEAVE. THE AUTHORIZED TRAVEL OF AN EMPLOYEE BACK TO THE UNITED STATES ON TEMPORARY DUTY AT VARIOUS TIMES AND AT VARIOUS LOCATIONS WOULD NOT AFFECT HIS ELIGIBILITY TO TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR HIMSELF AND FAMILY FOR PURPOSES OF HOME LEAVE. THE MATTER OF WHETHER AN EMPLOYEE AFTER COMPLETION OF HIS ELIGIBILITY PERIOD SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO BRING HIS FAMILY AND TAKE HOME LEAVE AFTER PERFORMANCE OF TEMPORARY DUTY IS ONE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION.

THE RECORD IN THIS CASE FAILS TO SHOW WHY THE EMPLOYEE DID NOT SIGN A REEMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT TO COVER THE SERVICE IN ALASKA UPON HIS RETURN FROM HOME LEAVE. NOR DOES THE RECORD SHOW THAT THE HOME LEAVE IN QUESTION AND THE TRAVEL EXPENSES INCIDENT THERETO WERE APPROVED BY PROPER AUTHORITY. WE ASSUME THAT SUCH OMISSIONS OCCURRED THROUGH ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR.

UNDER THE ABOVE-STATED FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES WE WILL NOT OBJECT TO YOUR REIMBURSING THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES BETWEEN ALASKA AND COLORADO PROVIDED (1) IT IS DETERMINED THE EMPLOYEE HAD SERVED (OR HAD BEEN PROPERLY STATIONED) IN ALASKA FOR THE PERIOD OF SERVICE NORMALLY REQUIRED OF OTHER EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT SERVING IN THAT AREA; (2) THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES AND THE TAKING OF LEAVE IS APPROVED, AND (3) THE EMPLOYEE EXECUTES A NEW EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT TO SERVE A SPECIFIED PERIOD OF DUTY IN ALASKA BEGINNING UPON THE DATE OF RETURN TO DUTY AFTER HOME LEAVE WAS TAKEN AT DENVER, COLORADO. B 131459, MAY 6, 1957.

THE VOUCHER, WITH ATTACHMENTS, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT ONLY AFTER COMPLIANCE WITH THE FOREGOING CONDITIONS.