B-158293, JAN. 19, 1966

B-158293: Jan 19, 1966

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HIS SON WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO RETURN TRANSPORTATION TO THE CANAL ZONE FOLLOWING HOME LEAVE IN THE UNITED STATES. PROVIDES THAT THE EXPENSES OF ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEES AND TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES FROM 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 HAVE SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED AN AGREED PERIOD OF SERVICE OVERSEAS AND ARE RETURNING TO THEIR ACTUAL PLACES OF RESIDENCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE PRIOR TO SERVING ANOTHER TOUR OF OVERSEAS DUTY UNDER A NEW WRITTEN AGREEMENT ENTERED INTO BEFORE DEPARTING FROM THE OVERSEAS POST.

B-158293, JAN. 19, 1966

TO HONORABLE JOHN W. ADLER, ACTING ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR ADMINISTRATION:

BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 6, 1966, REFERENCE A7-3, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION ON A MATTER INVOLVING APPLICATION OF THE HOME LEAVE TRAVEL PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 31, 1954, 68 STAT. 1008, WHICH CONSTITUTES THE THIRD PROVISO OF 5 U.S.C. 73B-3 (A).

YOU SAY THAT THE UNITED STATES MARSHAL FOR THE CANAL ZONE HAS REQUESTED REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF RETURNING HIS SON TO THE CANAL ZONE FROM THE RANDOLPH MACON ACADEMY AT FRONT ROYAL, VIRGINIA, FOR A BRIEF VISIT DURING THE 1965 CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS. THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS FAMILY, CONSISTING OF HIS WIFE AND SON, TRAVELED TO THE UNITED STATES IN JUNE 1965 FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING HOME LEAVE. IN AUGUST 1965 THE EMPLOYEE AND HIS WIFE RETURNED TO THE CANAL ZONE BUT THE SON REMAINED IN THIS COUNTRY TO ATTEND SCHOOL.

THE EMPLOYEE PAID APPROXIMATELY $240 FOR THE ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL OF HIS SON IN DECEMBER 1965 AND NOW REQUESTS REIMBURSEMENT OF ONE-HALF OF THAT SUM, APPARENTLY ON THE THEORY THAT UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 31, 1954, HIS SON WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO RETURN TRANSPORTATION TO THE CANAL ZONE FOLLOWING HOME LEAVE IN THE UNITED STATES.

THE FIRST PROVISO OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 31, 1954, ABOVE, PROVIDES THAT THE EXPENSES OF ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEES AND TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES FROM 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 HAVE SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED AN AGREED PERIOD OF SERVICE OVERSEAS AND ARE RETURNING TO THEIR ACTUAL PLACES OF RESIDENCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE PRIOR TO SERVING ANOTHER TOUR OF OVERSEAS DUTY UNDER A NEW WRITTEN AGREEMENT ENTERED INTO BEFORE DEPARTING FROM THE OVERSEAS POST. THAT PROVISO DOES NOT AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY FROM THE OVERSEAS POST OF DUTY TO ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES UNLESS THE EMPLOYEE HIMSELF RETURNS TO THE UNITED STATES FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE. HOWEVER, THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT THE MEMBERS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY PHYSICALLY ACCOMPANY THE EMPLOYEE ON RETURN TRAVEL TO THE OVERSEAS POST. SEE 35 COMP. GEN. 101; B-137605, MARCH 17, 1961, AND B -138436, FEBRUARY 16, 1959 (COPIES ENCLOSED).

SINCE THE EMPLOYEE IN THIS CASE DID TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE AND DID RETURN TO THE CANAL ZONE IN AUGUST 1965, PRESUMABLY UNDER A WRITTEN AGREEMENT TO PERFORM ANOTHER TOUR OF OVERSEAS DUTY, THEREBY ENTITLING HIM TO ROUND-TRIP TRANSPORTATION OF HIS WIFE AND SON UNDER THE ACT OF AUGUST 31, 1954, WE HAVE NO OBJECTION TO REIMBURSING HIM FOR THE RETURN TRAVEL OF HIS SON TO THE CANAL ZONE IN DECEMBER 1965. WE POINT OUT, HOWEVER, THAT SUCH PAYMENT SHOULD BE LIMITED TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF ONE-WAY TRAVEL FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES TO THE CANAL ZONE ASSUMING, OF COURSE, THAT SUCH CONSTRUCTIVE COST IS LESS THAN THE AMOUNT ACTUALLY EXPENDED BY THE EMPLOYEE FOR THE SON'S ONE-WAY TRAVEL FROM FRONT ROYAL, VIRGINIA.