B-149024, JUN. 15, 1962

B-149024: Jun 15, 1962

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HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BEGINNING ON OR ABOUT MARCH 4. THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WAS RETROACTIVELY AMENDED TO INCLUDE HIS WIFE. WAS DIVORCED. AT THE TIME OF THE TRANSFER THE SON WAS RESIDING WITH HIS MOTHER AT MONAHANS. HE WAS ON ANNUAL LEAVE FROM THAT TIME UNTIL MIDNIGHT MARCH 6. THE REASON FOR THE USE OF TWO AUTOMOBILES IS STATED BY MR. DICKERSON AS FOLLOWS: " AT THE TIME MY ORIGINAL TRAVEL ORDERS WERE ISSUED. IT APPEARED THAT I WOULD HAVE TO TRAVEL SEPARATELY FROM MY WIFE AND SON AS THERE WERE VARIOUS PERSONAL MATTERS WHICH COULD NOT BE COMPLETED BEFORE MY DEPARTURE FROM TEXAS. DICKERSON COULD TRAVEL ALONG WITH ME. * * * BOTH AUTOMOBILES WERE USED BECAUSE OF PACKING AND SHIPPING PLANS WHICH HAD BEEN MADE FOR SEPARATE TRAVEL.'.

B-149024, JUN. 15, 1962

TO THE AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER, BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR:

YOUR LETTER OF MAY 24, 1962, WITH ENCLOSURES, REFERENCE 2-363, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT A VOUCHER THEREWITH TRANSMITTED FOR $918.16, IN FAVOR OF MR. JAMES M. DICKERSON COVERING TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.

TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DATED FEBRUARY 12, 1962, AUTHORIZED MR. DICKERSON TO TRAVEL FROM SAN ANGELO, TEXAS, TO RED BLUFF, CALIFORNIA, UPON A TRANSFER OF STATION. THE ORDER AUTHORIZED THE SEPARATE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS SON, AGE THREE. HE WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL BEGINNING ON OR ABOUT MARCH 4, 1962, BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT A MILEAGE RATE OF 12 CENTS NOT TO EXCEED COST BY COMMON CARRIER INCLUDING CONSIDERATION OF PER DIEM ALLOWANCE. ON MARCH 19, 1962, SUBSEQUENT TO THE COMPLETION OF THE TRAVEL, THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WAS RETROACTIVELY AMENDED TO INCLUDE HIS WIFE, THE AUTHORIZATION STATING "WIFE AND SON, AGE 3, TO TRAVEL SEPARATELY AND APART. MARRIED AFTER DATE OF AUTHORIZATION BUT PRIOR TO DATE OF TRANSFER.'

MR. DICKERSON ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE TRANSFER, MARCH 4, 1962, WAS DIVORCED. MR. DICKERSON AND MRS. DICKERSON HAD JOINT CUSTODY OF THEIR SON. AT THE TIME OF THE TRANSFER THE SON WAS RESIDING WITH HIS MOTHER AT MONAHANS, TEXAS. ON MARCH 5, 1962, MR. DICKERSON LEFT SAN ANGELO BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AND ARRIVED IN MONAHANS THE SAME DAY AT 11:30 A.M. HE WAS ON ANNUAL LEAVE FROM THAT TIME UNTIL MIDNIGHT MARCH 6, 1962. ON MARCH 7 HE REMARRIED MRS. DICKERSON AND THE FAMILY DROVE TO RED BLUFF VIA A CIRCUITOUS ROUTE USING TWO VEHICLES. MR. DICKERSON DROVE ALONG, WHILE MRS. DICKERSON AND THEIR SON FOLLOWED IN A SEPARATE AUTOMOBILE. THE REASON FOR THE USE OF TWO AUTOMOBILES IS STATED BY MR. DICKERSON AS FOLLOWS:

" AT THE TIME MY ORIGINAL TRAVEL ORDERS WERE ISSUED, IT APPEARED THAT I WOULD HAVE TO TRAVEL SEPARATELY FROM MY WIFE AND SON AS THERE WERE VARIOUS PERSONAL MATTERS WHICH COULD NOT BE COMPLETED BEFORE MY DEPARTURE FROM TEXAS. HOWEVER, JUST BEFORE I LEFT MONAHANS IT BECAME APPARENT THAT MRS. DICKERSON COULD TRAVEL ALONG WITH ME. * * * BOTH AUTOMOBILES WERE USED BECAUSE OF PACKING AND SHIPPING PLANS WHICH HAD BEEN MADE FOR SEPARATE TRAVEL.'

MR. DICKERSON STATES THAT HE HAS HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS STORED AT ROYALTY, ODESSA, COLORADO CITY, AND SAN ANGELO, TEXAS. AT THE TIME OF THE TRANSFER TWO SHIPMENTS WERE MADE. THOSE TWO SHIPMENTS WERE FROM ROYALTY AND SAN ANGELO. SUBSEQUENT SHIPMENTS WILL BE MADE FROM THE ABOVE-MENTIONED POINTS. OF THE 860 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS SHIPPED FROM ROYALTY, 300 POUNDS WERE MRS. DICKERSON'S EFFECTS.

YOU SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

"1. MAY AN EMPLOYEE BE REIMBURSED FOR THE TRAVEL, TRANSPORTATION, AND MOVING EXPENSES OF A DEPENDENT ACQUIRED AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF TRANSFER?

"2. IF THE ANSWER TO 1 IS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, MAY SUCH EXPENSES BE APPROVED, SINCE A RETROACTIVE AMENDMENT OF A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION IS NOT PROPER?

YOU SAY THAT IF OUR ANSWERS TO BOTH QUESTIONS ARE IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, YOU PROPOSE TO RECONSTRUCT THE TRAVEL AS THOUGH ONE AUTOMOBILE WAS USED NOT TO EXCEED COST BY COMMON CARRIER OVER A DIRECT ROUTE. ALSO, THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WOULD BE PAID AS COMPUTED ON THE VOUCHER, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST OF THE TOTAL SHIPMENTS, IF MADE, IN ONE LOT FROM SAN ANGELO TO RED BLUFF.

SECTION 1A OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 2, 1946, 60 STAT. 806, AS AMENDED BY THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 23, 1950, 64 STAT. 985, PROVIDES:

"THAT (A) UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE, ANY CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT WHO, IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, IS TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER, INCLUDING TRANSFER FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER, FOR PERMANENT DUTY, SHALL, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED HEREIN, WHEN AUTHORIZED, OR APPROVED, BY SUCH SUBORDINATE OFFICIAL OR OFFICIALS OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED AS THE HEAD THEREOF MAY DESIGNATE FOR THE PURPOSE, BE ALLOWED AND PAID FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS THE EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF HIMSELF AND THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY (OR A COMMUTATION THEREOF IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 4 OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSE ACT OF 1949) AND THE EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION, PACKING, CRATING, TEMPORARY STORAGE, DRAYAGE, AND UNPACKING OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS (NOT TO EXCEED SEVEN THOUSAND POUNDS IF UNCRATED OR EIGHT THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY POUNDS IF CRATED OR THE EQUIVALENT THEREOF WHEN TRANSPORTATION CHARGES ARE BASED ON CUBIC MEASUREMENT); * * *.'

UNDER THE ABOVE-QUOTED PROVISION OF LAW THE TRANSPORTATION OF HIS WIFE MAY BE ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED. SINCE THE REIMBURSEMENT OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF THE CLAIMANT'S WIFE FROM SAN ANGELO TO RED BLUFF HAS BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY APPROVED, OUR OFFICE WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO OBJECT TO CERTIFICATION FOR PAYMENT OF THE ITEMS COVERING HER TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN SAID POINTS, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT. HOWEVER, SINCE THE EMPLOYEES AND HIS FAMILY TRAVELED TO THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION OVER THE SAME ROUTE STARTING ON THE SAME DATE AND STOPPING EN ROUTE AT THE SAME PLACES AND ARRIVING AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION SIMULTANEOUSLY, AND SINCE, ALSO, THERE IS NO INDICATION THAT ALL MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY COULD NOT HAVE TRAVELED IN ONE OF THE TWO AUTOMOBILES IN WHICH THE TRAVEL WAS ACTUALLY PERFORMED WE CONCUR IN YOUR PROPOSAL TO RECONSTRUCT THE TRAVEL AS THOUGH ONE AUTOMOBILE WAS USED, NOT TO EXCEED THE COMMON CARRIER COST OVER A DIRECT ROUTE. SEE 25 COMP. GEN. 57. CONCERNING THE EFFECTS (300 POUNDS) OF MRS. DICKERSON THAT WERE SHIPPED, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION THEREOF AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR SECTION 8 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITS ALLOWANCE OF EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTING PROPERTY ACQUIRED EN ROUTE FROM LAST OFFICIAL STATION TO THE NEW. SEE B-109466 OF JUNE 4, 1952. WE ALSO CONCUR IN YOUR PROPOSAL TO PAY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT A COMMUTED RATE NOT TO EXCEED THE COST OF THE TOTAL SHIPMENT, IF MADE, IN ONE LOT FROM SAN ANGELO TO RED BLUFF.

YOUR QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY AND THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED, MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.