B-149785, JUL 10, 1972

B-149785: Jul 10, 1972

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WHICH WOULD PERMIT AN OVERSEAS ACTIVITY TO PAY THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES WHO ARE TRANSFERRED BECAUSE OF A REDUCTION IN FORCE OR TRANSFER OF FUNCTION TO A NEW DUTY STATION IN THE UNITED STATES. A-56 WERE NOT INTENDED TO BE MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN THE BASIC LEGISLATION CONTAINED IN 5 U.S.C. 5724(E). FUNDING NEED NOT BE RESTRICTED TO LOSING ACTIVITIES LOCATED IN THE GEOGRAPHIC AREAS ENUMERATED IN SECTION 1.4 AND GAO WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION TO THE PROPOSED REVISION. HULL: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 27. THE PROPOSAL CONCERNS THE SITUATION WHERE AN OVERSEAS EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (OTHER THAN ONE WHOSE DUTY STATION IS LOCATED IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO OR THE CANAL ZONE) TRANSFERS BECAUSE OF A REDUCTION IN FORCE OR TRANSFER OF FUNCTION TO A NEW DUTY STATION LOCATED IN THE UNITED STATES OR THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO.

B-149785, JUL 10, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS FROM FOREIGN DUTY STATIONS - ALLOCATION OF TRAVEL EXPENSES - PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF JTR CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF A PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO PARAGRAPH C 1053 2B(1)(B) OF JTR, VOLUME 2, WHICH WOULD PERMIT AN OVERSEAS ACTIVITY TO PAY THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF EMPLOYEES WHO ARE TRANSFERRED BECAUSE OF A REDUCTION IN FORCE OR TRANSFER OF FUNCTION TO A NEW DUTY STATION IN THE UNITED STATES. THE COMP. GEN. HAS DETERMINED THAT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 1.4 OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56 WERE NOT INTENDED TO BE MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN THE BASIC LEGISLATION CONTAINED IN 5 U.S.C. 5724(E). ACCORDINGLY, FUNDING NEED NOT BE RESTRICTED TO LOSING ACTIVITIES LOCATED IN THE GEOGRAPHIC AREAS ENUMERATED IN SECTION 1.4 AND GAO WOULD HAVE NO OBJECTION TO THE PROPOSED REVISION.

TO MR. HADLAI A. HULL:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED APRIL 27, 1972, FORWARDED HERE BY LETTER DATED MAY 3, 1972, FROM THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE AND ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 72 18, WHICH REQUESTS OUR DECISION REGARDING A PROPOSAL TO AMEND PARAGRAPH C 1053-2B(1)(B) OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (JTR), VOLUME 2. THE PROPOSAL CONCERNS THE SITUATION WHERE AN OVERSEAS EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (OTHER THAN ONE WHOSE DUTY STATION IS LOCATED IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO OR THE CANAL ZONE) TRANSFERS BECAUSE OF A REDUCTION IN FORCE OR TRANSFER OF FUNCTION TO A NEW DUTY STATION LOCATED IN THE UNITED STATES OR THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO.

AS YOU STATED IN THE LETTER OF APRIL 27, 1972-

"*** THE PROPOSED REVISION WILL PERMIT AN OVERSEAS ACTIVITY TO PAY NECESSARY TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF DISPLACED CAREER AND CAREER-CONDITIONAL EMPLOYEES WHO ARE PLACED THROUGH THE PRIORITY PLACEMENT PROGRAM AT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE ACTIVITIES IN THE UNITED STATES AND PUERTO RICO WHETHER OR NOT THE EMPLOYEE IS SERVING UNDER A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT."

WITH REGARD TO THE MATTER HERE INVOLVED, YOU HAVE INDICATED THAT DOUBT EXISTS AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF THE PROPOSED REVISION IN VIEW OF SECTION 1.4 OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (OMB) CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED AUGUST 17, 1971, WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"1.4 FUNDING - TRANSFERS BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS. IN THE CASE OF TRANSFER FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER, ALLOWABLE EXPENSES WILL BE PAID FROM THE FUNDS OF THE DEPARTMENT TO WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS TRANSFERRED. HOWEVER, IN TRANSFERS BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS FOR REASONS OF REDUCTION IN FORCE OR TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONS, EXPENSES ALLOWABLE UNDER THESE REGULATIONS (EXCLUDING NONTEMPORARY STORAGE WHEN ASSIGNED TO AN ISOLATED PERMANENT DUTY STATION WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES), IN CONNECTION WITH TRANSFER BETWEEN PERMANENT DUTY STATIONS LOCATED WITHIN THE 50 STATES, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS, THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO, AND THE CANAL ZONE, MAY BE PAID IN WHOLE OR IN PART BY THE DEPARTMENT FROM WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS TRANSFERRED OR BY THE DEPARTMENT TO WHICH HE IS TRANSFERRED AS MAY BE AGREED UPON BY THE HEADS OF THE DEPARTMENTS CONCERNED."

APPARENTLY, THE BASIS FOR YOUR DOUBT IS THAT IN CASES OF TRANSFERS BECAUSE OF A REDUCTION IN FORCE OR TRANSFER OF FUNCTION FROM A PERMANENT DUTY STATION LOCATED IN A FOREIGN AREA, OTHER THAN THE COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO OR THE CANAL ZONE, THAT STATION, AS THE LOSING ACTIVITY, SEEMS TO BE PRECLUDED FROM FUNDING THE ALLOWABLE EXPENSES BY VIRTUE OF THE LANGUAGE OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED SECTION OF OMB CIRCULAR NO. A-56. WE NOTE, HOWEVER, THAT SECTION 1.4 IS BASED, IN PART, UPON 5 U.S.C. 5724(E) WHICH STATES THAT:

"(E) WHEN AN EMPLOYEE TRANSFERS FROM ONE AGENCY TO ANOTHER, THE AGENCY TO WHICH HE TRANSFERS PAYS THE EXPENSES AUTHORIZED BY THIS SECTION. HOWEVER, UNDER REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT, IN A TRANSFER FROM ONE AGENCY TO ANOTHER BECAUSE OF A REDUCTION IN FORCE OR TRANSFER OF FUNCTION, EXPENSES AUTHORIZED BY THIS SECTION AND SECTIONS 5726(B) AND 5727 OF THIS TITLE (OTHER THAN EXPENSES AUTHORIZED IN CONNECTION WITH A TRANSFER TO A FOREIGN COUNTRY) AND BY SECTION 5724AA), (B) OF THIS TITLE MAY BE PAID IN WHOLE OR IN PART BY THE AGENCY FROM WHICH THE EMPLOYEE TRANSFERS OR BY THE AGENCY TO WHICH HE TRANSFERS, AS MAY BE AGREED ON BY THE HEADS OF THE AGENCIES CONCERNED."

IT WOULD APPEAR FROM THE LANGUAGE OF 5 U.S.C. 5724(E) QUOTED ABOVE THAT, EXCEPT IN CONNECTION WITH TRANSFERS TO A FOREIGN COUNTRY, IN CASES OF TRANSFERS EFFECTED BECAUSE OF REDUCTION IN FORCE OR TRANSFER OF FUNCTION, THAT THE FUNDING BY THE LOSING ACTIVITY IS NOT RESTRICTED TO THOSE LOSING ACTIVITIES LOCATED IN THE GEOGRAPHIC AREAS ENUMERATED IN SECTION 1.4 OF THE IMPLEMENTING OMB CIRCULAR. WE HAVE CONTACTED THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET INFORMALLY IN REGARD TO THIS MATTER AND HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT IT WAS NOT INTENDED, IN THE DRAFTING OF THE IMPLEMENTING REGULATION, THAT SUCH REGULATION BE MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN THE BASIC LEGISLATION. IN VIEW THEREOF AND SINCE THE PROPOSED REVISION TO THE JTR WOULD BE WITHIN THE AUTHORITY OF 5 U.S.C. 5724(E), WE WOULD NOT OBJECT TO THE INCORPORATION OF A REVISION AMENDING THE JTR TO PROVIDE THAT, IN THE TYPE OF SITUATION OUTLINED ABOVE, THE LOSING ACTIVITY FUND THE NECESSARY TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF THE TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES.

WE HAVE BEEN IN INFORMAL CONTACT WITH THE STAFF OF THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE WITH REGARD TO YOUR SECOND QUESTION CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF FUNDING TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION COSTS, AS CONTEMPLATED BY THE PROPOSED REVISION, OF THOSE DISPLACED PERSONS PLACED IN THE PRIORITY PLACEMENT SYSTEM WHO ARE NOT SERVING UNDER A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT. AS A RESULT OF SUCH DISCUSSION IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT FURTHER INFORMATION NEEDED TO BE ADMINISTRATIVELY DEVELOPED BEFORE THE MATTER COULD BE FULLY PRESENTED. ACCORDINGLY, CONSIDERATION OF YOUR SECOND QUESTION WILL BE HELD IN ABEYANCE PENDING RECEIPT OF SUCH INFORMATION.