B-159004, MAY 27, 1966, 45 COMP. GEN. 738

B-159004: May 27, 1966

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WAS COMPLETING HIS TOUR IN NEPAL FOR THAT ORGANIZATION AND BEFORE HIS DEPARTURE FOR HIS HOME IN SALT LAKE CITY. BRAMBLE WAS TENDERED TRAVEL IN KIND (ECONOMY JET) OR ITS CASH EQUIVALENT. BRAMBLE CLAIMED $827.25 FOR ECONOMY JET AIR TRANSPORTATION WHICH IS THE ONE-WAY FARE FROM SALT LAKE CITY TO KATHMANDU VIA THE ATLANTIC. THE CONTRACTOR WAS ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED "ON THE BASIS OF COSTS ACTUALLY INCURRED BUT NOT TO EXCEED THE COST BY THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE OF THE CLASS AND KIND OF TRAVEL ACTUALLY PERFORMED AND IN NO EVENT TO EXCEED THE COST OF ECONOMY CLASS COMMERCIAL REGULARLY SCHEDULED AIR TRAVEL BY THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE.'. BRAMBLE WAS NEITHER AN EMPLOYEE OF USAID NOR AN ENROLLEE OF THE PEACH CORPS.

B-159004, MAY 27, 1966, 45 COMP. GEN. 738

TRAVEL EXPENSES - OVERSEAS EMPLOYEES - LOCALLY HIRED FORMER PEACE CORPS ENROLLEES - ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL A PEACE CORPS ENROLLEE WHO UPON COMPLETING A TOUR OF DUTY IN NEPAL ELECTED CASH ($707.70) RATHER THAN TRAVEL IN KIND, APPLYING THE CASH TO THE PURCHASE OF A ROUND-THE-WORLD ROUND TRIP TICKET IN ANTICIPATION OF RETURNING TO NEPAL UNDER A CONTRACT SIGNED WITH THE AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT BEFORE DEPARTING FOR THE UNITED STATES, ENTITLED UNDER THE CONTRACT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR RETURN TO NEPAL ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS NOT TO EXCEED THE COST BY THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE OF THE CLASS AND KIND OF TRAVEL ACTUALLY PERFORMED, IN NO EVENT TO EXCEED THE COST OF ECONOMY CLASS COMMERCIAL REGULARLY SCHEDULED AIR TRAVEL BY THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE, MAY ONLY BE REIMBURSED ACTUAL EXPENSES--- ONE HALF THE ROUND TRIP TICKET ($640.17), AN AMOUNT LESS THAN THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF ONE-WAY ECONOMY CLASS COMMERCIAL AIR TRANSPORTATION BY THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE--- AND THE FACT THE FORMER ENROLLEE DID NOT EXPEND THE FULL AMOUNT OF CASH RECEIVED TO RETURN HOME VESTS NO RIGHT IN THE GOVERNMENT TO RECOVER THE UNEXPENDED BALANCE OF THE UNCONDITIONAL PAYMENT.

TO DOROTHY L. OLOWACH, DEPARTMENT OF STATE, MAY 27, 1966:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 17, 1966, TRANSMITS A TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT VOUCHER FOR $263.95 IN FAVOR OF MR. NORMAN R. BRAMBLE, A CONTRACT EMPLOYEE OF THE AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (AID), KATHMANDU, NEPAL, AND YOU ASK OUR DECISION WHETHER, UNDER THE FACTS RELATED IN YOUR LETTER, THE VOUCHER PROPERLY MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.

MR. BRAMBLE, FORMERLY A PEACE CORPS ENROLLEE, WAS COMPLETING HIS TOUR IN NEPAL FOR THAT ORGANIZATION AND BEFORE HIS DEPARTURE FOR HIS HOME IN SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, CONTRACTED WITH AID IN JUNE 1965 TO RETURN TO NEPAL AND SERVE A MINIMUM OF 1 YEAR WITH THAT AGENCY AFTER A PERIOD AT HIS HOME.

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRACTICE OF THE PEACH CORPS MR. BRAMBLE WAS TENDERED TRAVEL IN KIND (ECONOMY JET) OR ITS CASH EQUIVALENT, $707.70, FROM KATHMANDU TO SALT LAKE CITY. MR. BRAMBLE ELECTED TO RECEIVE THE CASH EQUIVALENT AND IN VIEW OF HIS CONTRACT WITH AID TO RETURN TO NEPAL SUPPLEMENTED THE PAYMENT WITH PERSONAL FUNDS TO PURCHASE A ROUND-THE WORLD ROUND-TRIP TICKET COVERING HIS TRANSPORTATION FROM KATHMANDU/SALT LAKE CITY/KATHMANDU FOR $1,280.35. MR. BRAMBLE DEPARTED NEPAL VIA THE PACIFIC FOR SALT LAKE CITY WHERE HE SPENT SEVERAL WEEKS. ON AUGUST 22, 1965, HE DEPARTED FOR NEPAL TRAVELING VIA THE ATLANTIC AND ARRIVED AT KATHMANDU ON SEPTEMBER 16, 1965.

IN HIS TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT VOUCHER MR. BRAMBLE CLAIMED $827.25 FOR ECONOMY JET AIR TRANSPORTATION WHICH IS THE ONE-WAY FARE FROM SALT LAKE CITY TO KATHMANDU VIA THE ATLANTIC. UNDER THE APPENDIX TO HIS CONTRACT (C (2), TRAVEL), THE CONTRACTOR WAS ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED "ON THE BASIS OF COSTS ACTUALLY INCURRED BUT NOT TO EXCEED THE COST BY THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE OF THE CLASS AND KIND OF TRAVEL ACTUALLY PERFORMED AND IN NO EVENT TO EXCEED THE COST OF ECONOMY CLASS COMMERCIAL REGULARLY SCHEDULED AIR TRAVEL BY THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE.'

AT THE TIME OF HIS RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES MR. BRAMBLE WAS NEITHER AN EMPLOYEE OF USAID NOR AN ENROLLEE OF THE PEACH CORPS. THE $707.70 RECEIVED BY MR. BRAMBLE IN LIEU OF RETURN TRANSPORTATION IN KIND FROM NEPAL TO SALT LAKE CITY AS A FORMER PEACE CORPS ENROLLEE CONSTITUTED HIS PRIVATE FUNDS TO USE AS HE THOUGHT FIT. THE GOVERNMENT HAD NEITHER AN INTEREST IN NOR CONTROL OVER SUCH FUNDS. THE FACT THAT MR. BRAMBLE DID NOT EXPEND THE FULL $707.70 ON HIS RETURN TRANSPORTATION TO SALT LAKE CITY DID NOT VEST THE GOVERNMENT WITH ANY INTEREST IN THE UNEXPENDED BALANCE. THUS MR. BRAMBLE'S TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT RIGHTS FOR TRAVEL BETWEEN SALT LAKE CITY AND NEPAL SHOULD BE DETERMINED IN SUCH A WAY AS TO APPLY THE $707.70 UNCONDITIONAL CASH PAYMENT HE RECEIVED FROM THE PEACE CORPS AS BEING IN LIEU FO ONE-WAY TRANSPORTATION FROM NEPAL TO SALT LAKE CITY.

ON THE OTHER HAND, MR. BRAMBLE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO GREATER REIMBURSEMENT THAN THE AMOUNT HE ACTUALLY EXPENDED IN TRAVELING FROM SALT LAKE CITY TO NEPAL INCIDENT TO HIS EMPLOYMENT IN NEPAL WITH USAID, WHICH AMOUNT REASONABLY MAY BE REGARDED AS ONE-HALF THE COST OF THE ROUND-TRIP TICKET PURCHASED BY HIM PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE FROM NEPAL ( 1/2 OF $1,280.35 OR $640.17). SINCE THAT FIGURE ($640.17) IS LESS THAN THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF ONE-WAY ECONOMY CLASS COMMERCIAL AIR TRANSPORTATION BY THE MOST DIRECT ROUTE FROM SALT LAKE CITY TO NEPAL, IT REASONABLY MAY BE REGARDED AS THE AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT TO WHICH MR. BRAMBLE WAS ENTITLED INCIDENT TO HIS TRAVEL FROM SALT LAKE CITY TO NEPAL AS AN EMPLOYEE OF USAID.

ACCORDINGLY, MR. BRAMBLE IS ENTITLED TO ADDITIONAL REIMBURSEMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $76.87 INCIDENT TO HIS TRAVEL FROM SALT LAKE CITY TO NEPAL ($640.17 LESS $563.30, THE AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT HE ALREADY HAS RECEIVED).

THE VOUCHER, WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH, SHOULD BE MODIFIED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING AND CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.