B-154970, SEP. 8, 1964

B-154970: Sep 8, 1964

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IT APPEARS THAT IN AUGUST 1962 WHILE YOU WERE EMPLOYED IN SAIGON AND SOME EIGHT OR NINE MONTHS PRIOR TO THE TIME YOU ATTAINED ELIGIBILITY FOR HOME LEAVE YOU PURCHASED FIRST-CLASS AIR TRANSPORTATION FOR YOUR DEPENDENT DAUGHTER FROM SAIGON TO SAN ANTONIO. AT THAT TIME EMPLOYEES OF THE AGENCY AND THEIR DEPENDENTS WHO WERE OTHERWISE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WERE AUTHORIZED TO USE FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS. THE AGENCY REGULATIONS WERE CHANGED TO LIMIT AIR TRAVEL TO LESS THAN FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS. YOU AND YOUR WIFE WERE AUTHORIZED. THE ORDER ALSO CARRIED THE NAME OF YOUR DAUGHTER AND STATED THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EARLIER TRAVEL PERFORMED BY HER. THIS WAS IN ACCORD WITH AID REGULATIONS M.O. 560.2.

B-154970, SEP. 8, 1964

TO MR. DOUGLAS W. HARRIS:

BY LETTER OF AUGUST 5, 1964, YOU REQUESTED A REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT DATED JULY 31, 1964, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL EXPENSES OF TRAVEL BY YOUR DEPENDENT DAUGHTER FROM SAIGON, SOUTH VIETNAM, TO SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, INCIDENT TO YOUR EMPLOYMENT WITH THE AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, DEPARTMENT OF STATE.

IT APPEARS THAT IN AUGUST 1962 WHILE YOU WERE EMPLOYED IN SAIGON AND SOME EIGHT OR NINE MONTHS PRIOR TO THE TIME YOU ATTAINED ELIGIBILITY FOR HOME LEAVE YOU PURCHASED FIRST-CLASS AIR TRANSPORTATION FOR YOUR DEPENDENT DAUGHTER FROM SAIGON TO SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS. AT THAT TIME EMPLOYEES OF THE AGENCY AND THEIR DEPENDENTS WHO WERE OTHERWISE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE WERE AUTHORIZED TO USE FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS. EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 8, 1962, THE AGENCY REGULATIONS WERE CHANGED TO LIMIT AIR TRAVEL TO LESS THAN FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS.

YOU BECAME ELIGIBLE FOR HOME LEAVE ON MARCH 3, 1963, AND THEREAFTER BY ORDER DATED JUNE 4, 1963, YOU AND YOUR WIFE WERE AUTHORIZED, SO FAR AS PERTINENT HERE, TO TRAVEL FROM SAIGON TO SAN MARCOS, TEXAS. THE ORDER ALSO CARRIED THE NAME OF YOUR DAUGHTER AND STATED THAT YOU WERE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE EARLIER TRAVEL PERFORMED BY HER. THIS WAS IN ACCORD WITH AID REGULATIONS M.O. 560.2, VIII C., AS FOLLOWS:

"C. ADVANCE TRAVEL OF FAMILY WITH TRAVEL AT PERSON EXPENSE A MEMBER OF AN EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY MAY RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES AT ANY TIME AT THE EMPLOYEE'S PERSONAL EXPENSE. REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUCH TRAVEL MAY BE CLAIMED AFTER THE EMPLOYEE COMPLETES HIS PERSONAL TRAVEL PROVIDED THE FAMILY MEMBER HAD BEEN AT POST FOR 12 MONTHS PRIOR TO COMMENCEMENT OF TRAVEL AND IS LISTED ON THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION UNDER WHICH THE EMPLOYEE IS CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT.'

IN MAKING REIMBURSEMENT UNDER THE ORDER THERE WAS DEDUCTED THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COST OF THE FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS YOU HAD PURCHASED FOR YOUR DAUGHTER AND THE COST OF THE LESSER ACCOMMODATIONS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AT THE TIME YOU BECAME ENTITLED TO TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. YOUR RECLAIM THEREFORE WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT OF JULY 31, 1964.

YOU SAY YOU CONSULTED THE PERSONNEL OFFICER AND OTHER OFFICIALS AT THE POST REGARDING THE ADVANCE TRAVEL OF YOUR DAUGHTER. YOU ALSO SAY THAT YOU HAD NO WAY OF KNOWING THAT A CHANGE WOULD BE MADE IN THE REGULATIONS, THAT YOU ACTED IN GOOD FAITH AND NOW FEEL THAT YOU ARE BEING PENALIZED FOR TAKING WHAT SEEMED TO BE A REASONABLE COURSE IN ARRANGING THE TRAVEL REQUIRED.

YOUR GOOD FAITH AND THAT OF THE OFFICIALS WHOM YOU CONSULTED IN THE MATTER ARE NOT QUESTIONED. UNDER THE APPLICABLE LAWS AND REGULATIONS NEITHER YOU NOR THE MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY WERE ENTITLED TO RETURN TRAVEL AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE AT THE TIME THE TRAVEL WAS PERFORMED BY YOUR DAUGHTER. WHILE THE QUOTED SECTION OF THE REGULATIONS PERMITS REIMBURSEMENT FOR SUCH TRAVEL IF AND WHEN THE EMPLOYEE ATTAINS ELIGIBILITY AND PERFORMS TRAVEL UNDER PROPER ORDERS, SUCH SECTION WAS PROMULGATED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEE AND IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT REIMBURSEMENT THEREUNDER MAY NOT EXCEED THE COST WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED HAD THE DEPENDENT NOT TRAVELED IN ADVANCE OF THE DATE OF THE TRAVEL ORDER AND OF THE TIME OF ELIGIBILITY OF THE EMPLOYEE FOR ..END :