B-152708, NOV. 29, 1963

B-152708: Nov 29, 1963

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SOME 3 WEEKS LATER YOU WERE CONTACTED BY AN EMPLOYEE OF THE AGENCY AND INVITED TO WASHINGTON. YOUR APPLICATION WAS STILL UNDER CONSIDERATION AND YOU WERE GIVEN A PROVISIONAL 30-DAY CONTRACT. WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE MATTER OF REGULAR EMPLOYMENT WAS STILL UNDETERMINED. THE AGENCY REPORTS THAT YOU WERE SPECIFICALLY ADVISED BY THE MEDICAL STAFF PERSONNEL OFFICER THAT IN KEEPING WITH THE TEMPORARY NATURE OF THE CONTRACT BEING OFFERED. YOU SAY YOU WERE VERBALLY INSTRUCTED BY THE EMPLOYEE WHO CONTACTED YOU TO TERMINATE YOUR PRACTICE AND SHIP YOUR EFFECTS AND THAT YOU DID NOT KNOW UNTIL AFTER YOUR ARRIVAL IN WASHINGTON THAT THE EMPLOYEE DID NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE SUCH ACTION.

B-152708, NOV. 29, 1963

TO JAMES L. HOOPER, M.D.:

ON OCTOBER 4, 1963, YOU REQUESTED FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR $1,746 AS REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS AND TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCIDENT TO YOUR TEMPORARY SERVICE WITH THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY.

IT APPEARS FROM YOUR LETTERS AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS THAT IN DECEMBER 1962 YOU REPLIED TO AN ADVERTISEMENT OF THE ABOVE-NAMED AGENCY IN THE JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION. THEREAFTER, ON JANUARY 2, 1963, YOU TOOK OVER ANOTHER DOCTOR'S PRACTICE IN UPLAND, CALIFORNIA. SOME 3 WEEKS LATER YOU WERE CONTACTED BY AN EMPLOYEE OF THE AGENCY AND INVITED TO WASHINGTON, .C., FOR AN INTERVIEW WHICH YOU ACCEPTED. ONE WEEK FOLLOWING YOUR RETURN TO CALIFORNIA YOU TELEPHONED THE AGENCY THAT YOU HAD CLOSED OUT YOUR PRACTICE AND REQUESTED ASSISTANCE IN OBTAINING EMPLOYMENT. YOUR APPLICATION WAS STILL UNDER CONSIDERATION AND YOU WERE GIVEN A PROVISIONAL 30-DAY CONTRACT, TERMINABLE ON NOTICE OF 7 DAYS, WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE MATTER OF REGULAR EMPLOYMENT WAS STILL UNDETERMINED. THE AGENCY REPORTS THAT YOU WERE SPECIFICALLY ADVISED BY THE MEDICAL STAFF PERSONNEL OFFICER THAT IN KEEPING WITH THE TEMPORARY NATURE OF THE CONTRACT BEING OFFERED, NO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR DEPENDENTS OR OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS COULD BE PROVIDED. THE AGENCY ALSO REPORTS THAT IN ORDER TO ASSIST YOU IN LOCATING ANOTHER POSITION AFTER ITS DETERMINATION NOT TO OFFER YOU PERMANENT EMPLOYMENT, IT ALLOWED THE 30 DAY CONTRACT TO CONTINUE FOR THE FULL TERM AND IN ADDITION EXTENDED IT TWICE TO A TOTAL OF 7 WEEKS.

YOU SAY YOU WERE VERBALLY INSTRUCTED BY THE EMPLOYEE WHO CONTACTED YOU TO TERMINATE YOUR PRACTICE AND SHIP YOUR EFFECTS AND THAT YOU DID NOT KNOW UNTIL AFTER YOUR ARRIVAL IN WASHINGTON THAT THE EMPLOYEE DID NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO AUTHORIZE SUCH ACTION.

THE TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEES AND THEIR DEPENDENTS AND THE TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ARE GOVERNED BY LAWS AND REGULATIONS HAVING THE FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAWS. IN THE ABSENCE OF A SPECIFIC STATUTE OR A CONTRACT MADE PURSUANT TO STATUTE WHICH PROVIDES OTHERWISE, AN EMPLOYEE IS REQUIRED TO BEAR THE EXPENSES OF REPORTING TO HIS FIRST DUTY STATION. UNAUTHORIZED VERBAL COMMITMENT BY AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE UNITED STATES CANNOT CONFER A RIGHT NOT AUTHORIZED BY STATUTE OR REGULATIONS. SEE ROBINSON V. SICHEL, 127 U.S. 507, 515, WHEREIN IT WAS HELD THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT OBLIGATED BY THE ERRORS OR UNAUTHORIZED ACTS OF ITS AGENTS.

IN YOUR CASE NO ORDERS AUTHORIZING TRAVEL BY YOUR DEPENDENTS ANDSHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE ISSUED. YOU WERE WELL AWARE OF THE FACT THAT YOUR CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT WAS LIMITED TO 30 DAYS AND THAT THE MATTER OF YOUR PERMANENT EMPLOYMENT WAS STILL UNDETERMINED. FURTHERMORE, YOU HAD BEEN SPECIFICALLY ADVISED BY THE MEDICAL STAFF PERSONNEL OFFICER THAT NO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR FAMILY AND EFFECTS COULD BE MADE. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE KNOW OF NO STATUTE OR REGULATION UNDER WHICH THE GOVERNMENT MAY BE CHARGED WITH THE EXPENSES HERE CLAIMED.

UPON REVIEW, THE SETTLEMENT OF SEPTEMBER 27, 1963, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM, MUST BE SUSTAINED.