B-148821, MAY 31, 1962

B-148821: May 31, 1962

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FOR FULL TUITION SUPPORT IN ORDER TO ATTAIN AN ENGINEERING ADMINISTRATION BACKGROUND WAS APPROVED BY THE HYDROGRAPHER. WAS THE PRESCRIBED OUTLINE FOR THE MASTERS DEGREE IN ENGINEERING ADMINISTRATION AT GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY. IT IS CLEAR FROM THE RECORD THAT IN THE FALL OF 1959. SEVERAL MONTHS PRIOR TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE COURSE OF STUDY UPON WHICH YOUR CLAIM IS BASED. THAT YOU WERE REPEATEDLY REQUESTED BY THE TRAINING OFFICER TO RESUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION ON THE PRESCRIBED FORM. YOU THOUGHT FALL TUITION WAS GENEROUS ENOUGH AND THAT YOU WOULD LEAVE THINGS AS THEY WERE. PROVIDE THAT THE HEAD OF EACH DEPARTMENT SHALL ESTABLISH SUCH PROCEDURES AS ARE NECESSARY TO INSURE THAT AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE TRAINING OF MORE THAN 40 HOURS DURATION THROUGH NON-GOVERNMENT FACILITIES SHALL BE HELD AT A SUFFICIENTLY HIGH ADMINISTRATION LEVEL TO INSURE THAT THE POLICIES AND VIEWPOINTS OF THE DEPARTMENT HEAD ARE REFLECTED IN EACH DECISION.

B-148821, MAY 31, 1962

TO MR. JAMES H. WILLETT:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 19, 1962, REQUESTING REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 29, 1961, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT, 72 STAT. 327, OF THE AMOUNT OF $140 COVERING TUITION FEES PAID TO GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY FOR THE SCHOOL YEAR SEPTEMBER 1960 TO JUNE 1961.

OUR RECORDS SHOW THAT YOUR MEMORANDUM REQUEST DATED SEPTEMBER 25, 1959, FOR FULL TUITION SUPPORT IN ORDER TO ATTAIN AN ENGINEERING ADMINISTRATION BACKGROUND WAS APPROVED BY THE HYDROGRAPHER, UNITED STATES NAVY HYROGRAPHIC OFFICE, ON OCTOBER 5, 1959. YOUR PROGRAM OUTLINE, WHICH WOULD CONSIST OF MORE THAN 40 HOURS DURATION, WAS THE PRESCRIBED OUTLINE FOR THE MASTERS DEGREE IN ENGINEERING ADMINISTRATION AT GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY. IT IS CLEAR FROM THE RECORD THAT IN THE FALL OF 1959, SEVERAL MONTHS PRIOR TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE COURSE OF STUDY UPON WHICH YOUR CLAIM IS BASED, THAT YOU WERE REPEATEDLY REQUESTED BY THE TRAINING OFFICER TO RESUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION ON THE PRESCRIBED FORM. YOU REFUSED TO DO THIS AND THE RECORD CONTAINS CONFLICTING STATEMENTS BY YOU AS TO THE REASON FOR YOUR REFUSAL--- IN LETTER OF MARCH 30, 1961, TO THE OFFICER IN CHARGE, NAVY REGIONAL ACCOUNTS, YOU STATED THAT RATHER THAN SUBMIT A NEW REQUEST WHICH THE TRAINING OFFICER INFORMED YOU WOULD AUTHORIZE BOTH FULL TUITION AND TEXTBOOKS, YOU THOUGHT FALL TUITION WAS GENEROUS ENOUGH AND THAT YOU WOULD LEAVE THINGS AS THEY WERE, AND BUY YOUR OWN TEXTBOOKS, WHILE IN YOUR LETTER OF JULY 12, 1961, TO OUR OFFICE, YOU STATED THAT YOU REFUSED TO SUBMIT A NEW REQUEST BECAUSE THE TRAINING OFFICER ADVISED YOU THAT YOU WOULD ONLY BE ENTITLED TO APPLY FOR 50 PERCENT REFUND OF THE TUITION PAID BY YOU AND THAT IN YOUR OPINION YOU ALREADY HAD LEGAL APPROVAL FOR FULL TUITION.

AS POINTED OUT IN OUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 29, 1961, THE APPROVAL OF THE HYDROGRAPHER ON OCTOBER 5, 1959, CONSTITUTED MERELY LOCAL APPROVAL. THIS DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION PURSUANT TO SECTION 6 OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT, 72 STAT. 329, 5 U.S.C. 2305, AND THE IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY. THE REGULATIONS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, GOVERNING THE SELECTION AND ASSIGNMENT OF TRAINEES, 5 CFR 39.203 (B) (1), PROVIDE THAT THE HEAD OF EACH DEPARTMENT SHALL ESTABLISH SUCH PROCEDURES AS ARE NECESSARY TO INSURE THAT AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE TRAINING OF MORE THAN 40 HOURS DURATION THROUGH NON-GOVERNMENT FACILITIES SHALL BE HELD AT A SUFFICIENTLY HIGH ADMINISTRATION LEVEL TO INSURE THAT THE POLICIES AND VIEWPOINTS OF THE DEPARTMENT HEAD ARE REFLECTED IN EACH DECISION. REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, NAVY CIVILIAN PERSONNEL INSTRUCTION 410.6-9, PROVIDE THAT "AUTHORIZATION FOR TRAINING BY, IN, OR THROUGH NON-GOVERNMENT FACILITIES IS REQUIRED BEFORE THE TRAINING BEGINS. COMMITMENTS SHOULD NOT BE MADE WITH EITHER THE TRAINING FACILITY OR THE PROPOSED TRAINEE UNTIL AUTHORITY HAS BEEN GRANTED. THE AUTHORIZATION MUST BE BY THE OFFICIAL DESIGNATED WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF NCPI 410.6-3 * * *.'

THE HYDROGRAPHER WAS NOT DESIGNATED AS AN OFFICIAL TO AUTHORIZE TRAINING, AND THEREFORE HIS ACTION MAY NOT BE VIEWED AS SUPPLYING THE NECESSARY ADVANCE AUTHORIZATION.

IN ANSWER TO YOUR CONTENTION THAT A LEGAL CONTRACT HAD BEEN ENTERED INTO BETWEEN YOU AND THE UNITED STATES HYDROGRAPHIC OFFICE, WITH ITS COMMANDING OFFICER ACTING AS AGENT FOR THE NAVY, IT IS FUNDAMENTAL THAT AN ACT OF AN AGENT OF THE GOVERNMENT MUST, IN ORDER TO BE BINDING, BE WITHIN THE SCOPE OF HIS AUTHORITY, AND THAT INDIVIDUALS MUST TAKE NOTICE OF THE EXTENT OF AUTHORITY CONFERRED UPON A PERSON ACTING IN AN OFFICIAL CAPACITY. WHITESIDE ET AL. V. UNITED STATES, 93 U.S. 247.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM IS SUSTAINED.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR REQUEST THAT THE CLAIM DOCUMENTS BE RETURNED TO YOU, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO RETAIN THE CLAIM DOCUMENTS HERE SINCE THEY CONSTITUTE A PART OF THE RECORD ON WHICH THE SETTLEMENT DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM WAS BASED. 8 GAO MANUAL 2010.10 AND 20. IF COPIES OR TRANSCRIPTS ARE DESIRED ON YOUR BEHALF INCIDENT TO A SUIT IN ANY COURT, THEY WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE ONLY TO THE COURT, AND ONLY IN RESPONSE TO A SUBPENA OR REQUEST FROM THE COURT. 8 GAO MANUAL 2050.10.