B-157387, SEP. 29, 1965

B-157387: Sep 29, 1965

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ARE THAT YOU TRAVELED IN AUGUST 1962. AT THAT TIME YOUR OFFICIAL STATION WAS BENGHAZI. WHILE YOUR DEPENDENTS WERE VACATIONING IN BRUSSELS A TRAVEL ORDER DATED SEPTEMBER 14. WAS ISSUED AUTHORIZING YOUR TRANSFER FROM BENGHAZI TO WASHINGTON. YOU HAVE BEEN PAID $1. THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST FOR DIRECT TRAVEL TO WASHINGTON BY YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS FROM BENGHAZI IS $1. 342.90 AS WAS INCORRECTLY STATED IN OUR SETTLEMENT. A CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL WAS ISSUED AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOUR DEPENDENTS ON AUGUST 10. THE PURPORTED AUTHORITY UNDER WHICH THE CERTIFICATE WAS ISSUED IS THAT CONTAINED IN FSTR 2.26 (NOW CURRENT PROVISIONS APPEARING IN 6 FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL 113) WHICH PROVIDES: "THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY MAY AUTHORIZE OR APPROVE ANY EMERGENCY.

B-157387, SEP. 29, 1965

TO MR. RICHARD H. ADAMS:

YOUR LETTER OF JULY 20, 1965, WITH ENCLOSURE, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 28, 1964, WHICH DISALLOWED THAT PART OF YOUR CLAIM FOR THE COSTS OF AIR TRANSPORTATION WHICH EXCEEDED $1,342.90.

THE FACTS, STATED BRIEFLY, ARE THAT YOU TRAVELED IN AUGUST 1962, FOR PERSONAL REASONS, TO BRUSSELS WITH YOUR WIFE AND CHILDREN. AT THAT TIME YOUR OFFICIAL STATION WAS BENGHAZI, LIBYA. WHILE YOUR DEPENDENTS WERE VACATIONING IN BRUSSELS A TRAVEL ORDER DATED SEPTEMBER 14, 1962, WAS ISSUED AUTHORIZING YOUR TRANSFER FROM BENGHAZI TO WASHINGTON, D.C., AND THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS FROM BENGHAZI TO WASHINGTON. YOU, AT SOME POINT, RETURNED TO BENGHAZI BUT YOUR DEPENDENTS REMAINED IN BRUSSELS. YOU RETURNED TO BRUSSELS ON SEPTEMBER 27 AND ON SEPTEMBER 30 YOU AND YOUR FAMILY FLEW TO WASHINGTON. YOU HAVE BEEN PAID $1,342.90 FOR YOUR TRAVEL FROM BENGHAZI TO WASHINGTON VIA BRUSSELS AND FOR THE TRAVEL OF YOUR WIFE AND CHILDREN FROM BRUSSELS TO WASHINGTON. THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST FOR DIRECT TRAVEL TO WASHINGTON BY YOU AND YOUR DEPENDENTS FROM BENGHAZI IS $1,683.00, AS YOU ASCERTAINED FROM TRANS WORLD AIRLINES, AND NOT $1,342.90 AS WAS INCORRECTLY STATED IN OUR SETTLEMENT.

ON MAY 10, 1964, A CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL WAS ISSUED AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL PERFORMED BY YOUR DEPENDENTS ON AUGUST 10, 1962, IN GOING TO BRUSSELS.

THE PURPORTED AUTHORITY UNDER WHICH THE CERTIFICATE WAS ISSUED IS THAT CONTAINED IN FSTR 2.26 (NOW CURRENT PROVISIONS APPEARING IN 6 FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL 113) WHICH PROVIDES:

"THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY MAY AUTHORIZE OR APPROVE ANY EMERGENCY, UNUSUAL, OR ADDITIONAL PAYMENT WHICH IS NECESSARY OR EXPEDIENT, IF ALLOWABLE UNDER EXISTING AUTHORITY, WHETHER OR NOT SPECIFICALLY PROVIDED FOR BY THESE REGULATIONS.'

WE DO NOT CONSIDER THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED BY YOUR DEPENDENTS IN TRAVELING TO BRUSSELS TO BE ALLOWABLE UNDER ANY EXISTING AUTHORITY. YOUR DEPENDENTS TRAVELED TO BRUSSELS FOR PERSONAL REASONS-- A VACATION--- HAVING NO CONNECTION WITH YOUR OFFICIAL TRANSFER. THE FACT THAT YOU WERE TRANSFERRED DURING THIS VACATION PERIOD DOES NOT CHANGE THE NATURE OF YOUR DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL FROM BENGHAZI TO BRUSSELS. SINCE THE DEPARTMENT HAS NO OBLIGATION OR LEGAL AUTHORITY TO PAY EXPENSES OF PURELY PERSONAL TRAVEL, THE CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL DATED MAY 10, 1964, AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT OF YOUR DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL FROM BENGHAZI TO BRUSSELS IS WITHOUT EFFECT. AS YOU HAVE BEEN PAID THE COST OF YOUR TRANSPORTATION FROM BENGHAZI TO WASHINGTON AND OF YOUR DEPENDENTS' TRANSPORTATION FROM BRUSSELS TO WASHINGTON, WHICH WAS $1,342.90, NO FURTHER AMOUNT IS DUE YOU. YOUR CLAIM FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES OF YOUR DEPENDENTS FROM BENGHAZI TO BRUSSELS IS, THEREFORE, DISALLOWED.