B-151203, MAY 10, 1963

B-151203: May 10, 1963

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HUGHES WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM HAWAII TO ARCADIA. THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION ALSO AUTHORIZED THE TRAVEL OF HER MINOR DAUGHTER WHO WAS 10 YEARS OLD. HER HUSBAND IS SELF-EMPLOYED IN HAWAII AND HAS NO FEDERAL AFFILIATION. HUGHES IS A REGISTERED VOTER IN HAWAII AND FILES. IS INDICATED AS BEING HER ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF HER TRANSFER TO HAWAII IN 1938. WHICH SHE CLAIMS WAS HER ALTERNATE DESTINATION IN LIEU OF ARCADIA. SOME OF THE TRAVEL WAS PROCURED AGAINST GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS AND OTHER AT HER OWN EXPENSE. YOU SAY THAT ELIGIBILITY OF THE EMPLOYEE FOR REEMPLOYMENT LEAVE IS QUESTIONED BECAUSE OF (1) THE CHANGE IN HER ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE AS THE RESULT OF HER MARRIAGE IN AUGUST 1941.

B-151203, MAY 10, 1963

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL PAUL KELCH:

ON MARCH 28, 1963, THE CHIEF, FIELD SERVICE DIVISION, FINANCE CENTER, U.S. ARMY, FINCY HUGHES, MYRABETH R., DAC, FORWARDED HERE YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 7, 1963, HCCRF-F, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION UPON THE PROPRIETY FOR PAYMENT OF A TRANSMITTED VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MRS. MYRABETH R. HUGHES FOR $97.42.

THE INFORMATION FURNISHED SHOWS THAT MRS. HUGHES WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM HAWAII TO ARCADIA, FLORIDA (ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE), FOR THE PURPOSE OF REEMPLOYMENT LEAVE AND RETURN TO HAWAII. THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION ALSO AUTHORIZED THE TRAVEL OF HER MINOR DAUGHTER WHO WAS 10 YEARS OLD. MRS. HUGHES HAD TRANSFERRED FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO HAWAII IN JULY 1938, WHILE STILL SINGLE. SHE CONTINUED IN FEDERAL SERVICE AND IN AUGUST 1941, MARRIED AND BECAME MRS. HUGHES. HER HUSBAND IS SELF-EMPLOYED IN HAWAII AND HAS NO FEDERAL AFFILIATION. MRS. HUGHES IS A REGISTERED VOTER IN HAWAII AND FILES, JOINTLY WITH HER HUSBAND, A RESIDENT HAWAII STATE INCOME TAX RETURN. ARCADIA, FLORIDA, IS INDICATED AS BEING HER ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF HER TRANSFER TO HAWAII IN 1938.

ON HER TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES FOR HOME LEAVE MRS. HUGHES AND HER DAUGHTER DEPARTED HONOLULU SEPTEMBER 5, 1962, BY MILITARY AIRCRAFT. UPON ARRIVAL IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES SHE TRAVELED BY COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT FROM SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, TO HUTCHINSON, KANSAS, WHERE SHE REMAINED THREE DAYS. THEREAFTER, SHE TRAVELED TO VARIOUS LOCATIONS BY DIFFERENT MODES OF TRANSPORTATION, INCLUDING PRATT, KANSAS, WHICH SHE CLAIMS WAS HER ALTERNATE DESTINATION IN LIEU OF ARCADIA, FLORIDA. SOME OF THE TRAVEL WAS PROCURED AGAINST GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS AND OTHER AT HER OWN EXPENSE. YOU SAY THAT ELIGIBILITY OF THE EMPLOYEE FOR REEMPLOYMENT LEAVE IS QUESTIONED BECAUSE OF (1) THE CHANGE IN HER ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE AS THE RESULT OF HER MARRIAGE IN AUGUST 1941, (2) HER BECOMING A REGISTERED VOTER IN HAWAII, (3) THE FILING OF A RESIDENT HAWAII INCOME TAX RETURN, AND (4) THE LONG PERIOD OF DOMICILE IN HAWAII. MRS. HUGHES BEFORE HER TRAVEL HAD COMPLETED THE MINIMUM PERIOD OF SERVICE AND SIGNED A NEW TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT ON AUGUST 14, 1962.

IN CONNECTION WITH THE ALLOWANCE OF PAYMENT OF THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ARE SUBMITTED:

1. IS MRS. HUGHES ENTITLED TO REEMPLOYMENT LEAVE TO ARCADIA, FLORIDA, HER DESIGNATED PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE?

2. DID HER MARRIAGE VOID ANY CLAIM TO REEMPLOYMENT LEAVE TRAVEL TO ARCADIA, FLORIDA?

3. DOES ENTITLEMENT EXIST FOR TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FOR MRS. HUGHES' DAUGHTER?

4. IN THE EVENT THE FOREGOING ARE ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, IS THE TICKETED ROUTE OF TRAVEL AND THE TRAVEL ITINERARY CONSIDERED TO BE OF "TRAVEL TOUR" CONCEPT?

THE FILE INDICATES THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY ACCEPTED ARCADIA, FLORIDA, AS THE ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF MRS. HUGHES TRANSFER TO HAWAII IN 1938 AND OUR ANSWERS WILL BE BASED ON THAT ASSUMPTION.

SECTION 7 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 73B-3, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * EXPENSES OF ROUND TRIP TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEE AND TRANSPORTATION OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY * * * 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 * * * ARE RETURNING TO THEIR ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE * * *.'

UNDER EXISTING LAW, THE LOCATION OF THE PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE FOR HOME LEAVE TRAVEL PURPOSES IS ESTABLISHED AT THE TIME OF THE EMPLOYEE'S APPOINTMENT OR TRANSFER TO THE OVERSEAS POST OF DUTY AND IS NOT THEREAFTER AFFECTED BY CHANGES IN THE EMPLOYEE'S INTENTIONS SUBSEQUENT TO THE TIME OF SUCH APPOINTMENT OR TRANSFER. SEE 37 COMP. GEN. 846.

THEREFORE, QUESTION NUMBER 1 IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

THERE IS NOTHING IN THE STATUTE OR APPLICABLE REGULATIONS WHICH WOULD PREVENT AN EMPLOYEE WHO HAS MARRIED WHILE SERVING AT AN OVERSEAS POST, AND WHO OTHERWISE QUALIFIES, FROM BEING GRANTED HOME LEAVE.

QUESTION NUMBER 2 IS ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.

BUREAU OF BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 1962, GOVERNING PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION OF CIVILIAN OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES IN SECTION 1.2D DEFINES ,IMMEDIATE FAMILY" AS INCLUDING UNMARRIED CHILDREN OF THE EMPLOYEE UNDER 21 YEARS OF AGE, REGARDLESS OF THE QUESTION OF DEPENDENCY.

QUESTION NUMBER 3 IS ANSWERED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, AS AMENDED, 5 U.S.C. 73B-3, AUTHORIZES TRAVEL FOR LEAVE PURPOSES TO "PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF APPOINTMENT OR TRANSFER.' HOWEVER, THAT PHRASE IS NOT VIEWED AS REQUIRING TRAVEL TO A FORMER ACTUAL RESIDENCE AS A CONDITION TO THE ALLOWANCE OF TRAVEL EXPENSES. SEE 35 COMP. GEN. 246, BUREAU OF BUDGET CIRCULAR A-56, EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 1962, IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF THE COMMENCEMENT OF MRS. HUGHES' TRAVEL, AUTHORIZES TRAVEL TO "ANOTHER LOCATION WITHIN THE UNITED STATES (THE 50 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA), A TERRITORY, POSSESSION, OR OTHER COUNTRY IN WHICH THE PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE IS LOCATED" NOT TO EXCEED THE COST ALLOWED OVER A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE TO HIS PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE. THOSE REGULATIONS AUTHORIZE TRAVEL TO AN ALTERNATE LOCATION NOT TO EXCEED COST OF TRAVEL OVER A USUALLY TRAVELED ROUTE TO ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE BUT DO NOT PROVIDE FOR TRAVEL TO VARIOUS LOCATIONS FOR PERSONAL CONVENIENCE. SEE 37 COMP. GEN. 113. OUR OPINION IS THAT THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 DOES NOT PRECLUDE AN ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION THAT PRATT, KANSAS, MAY BE CONSIDERED AS AN ALTERNATE LOCATION. SEE 41 COMP. GEN. 553. SEE, ALSO, DEPARTMENT OF ARMY, CIVILIAN PERSONNEL REGULATIONS, T3.2-11.

QUESTION NUMBER 4 IS ANSWERED ACCORDINGLY.

ACTION ON THE VOUCHER, WHICH TOGETHER WITH RELATED PAPERS IS RETURNED, SHOULD BE TAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.