B-160029, OCT. 4, 1966

B-160029: Oct 4, 1966

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THE INFORMATION OF RECORD IN OUR OFFICE SHOWS THAT YOU WERE EMPLOYED BY THE UNITED STATES ON OCTOBER 1. WHEN YOUR ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE WAS IN THAT COUNTRY ON A PROPERTY OWNED BY YOU. THAT PROPERTY IS UNDERSTOOD TO HAVE BEEN CONFISCATED BY THE RUMANIAN GOVERNMENT IN 1948 AND YOU MOVED TO AN APARTMENT IN BUCHAREST. WHILE IN BONN YOU TRANSFERRED TO THE OFFICE OF THE DEFENSE ATTACHE IN JULY 1965 AND LATER WERE INVOLUNTARILY SEPARATED FROM THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE IN DECEMBER 1965. IT IS UNDERSTOOD. THE LEGAL RESIDENCE OF AN EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT MAY BE AT A DIFFERENT PLACE THAN HIS ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE AND IT IS CLEAR THAT BOSTON WAS NOT YOUR ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF YOUR INITIAL APPOINTMENT TO THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE IN 1944.

B-160029, OCT. 4, 1966

TO MRS. DOROTHEA A. CODMAN, OFFICE, U.S. DEFENSE ATTACHE:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 26, 1966, WITH ENCLOSURE, ASKS OUR REVIEW OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 2, 1966, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FROM BONN, GERMANY, TO CONCARNEAU, FRANCE, INCURRED INCIDENT TO YOUR SEPARATION FROM THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE.

THE INFORMATION OF RECORD IN OUR OFFICE SHOWS THAT YOU WERE EMPLOYED BY THE UNITED STATES ON OCTOBER 1, 1944, IN BUCHAREST, RUMANIA, WHEN YOUR ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE WAS IN THAT COUNTRY ON A PROPERTY OWNED BY YOU. THAT PROPERTY IS UNDERSTOOD TO HAVE BEEN CONFISCATED BY THE RUMANIAN GOVERNMENT IN 1948 AND YOU MOVED TO AN APARTMENT IN BUCHAREST.

IN 1949 YOU TRANSFERRED TO THE OFFICE OF THE U.S. NAVAL ATTACHE IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA, AND RESIDED THERE UNTIL 1955 WHEN YOU TRANSFERRED AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE SAME OFFICE TO BONN, GERMANY. WHILE IN BONN YOU TRANSFERRED TO THE OFFICE OF THE DEFENSE ATTACHE IN JULY 1965 AND LATER WERE INVOLUNTARILY SEPARATED FROM THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE IN DECEMBER 1965.

AT THAT TIME YOU PROCEEDED TO ESTABLISH YOUR RESIDENCE AT CONCARNEAU, FRANCE, WHERE YOU OWNED A PROPERTY AND WHERE, IT IS UNDERSTOOD, YOU NOW RESIDE.

YOU SUGGEST THAT YOUR LEGAL RESIDENCE MAY BE IN MASSACHUSETTS, USA. HOWEVER, THE LEGAL RESIDENCE OF AN EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT MAY BE AT A DIFFERENT PLACE THAN HIS ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE AND IT IS CLEAR THAT BOSTON WAS NOT YOUR ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT THE TIME OF YOUR INITIAL APPOINTMENT TO THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE IN 1944.

THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY UNDER WHICH YOU FIRST WERE EMPLOYED IN BUCHAREST IS NOT ASCERTAINABLE FROM THE RECORD SINCE YOUR PERSONNEL PAPERS FOR EMPLOYMENT PRIOR TO MAY 1949 ARE NOT NOW AVAILABLE.

HOWEVER, IN 1949 THE RIGHT OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE BEEN SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO RETURN TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION TO THE COUNTRIES IN WHICH THEY WERE ACTUALLY RESIDING AT THE TIME THEY WERE EMPLOYED GENERALLY WAS GRANTED BY SECTION 7 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 808, 5 U.S.C. 73B-3. THAT SECTION READS, IN PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"/A) APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENTS SHALL BE AVAILABLE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE PRESIDENT, FOR EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF NEW APPOINTEES, EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES AND EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS FROM PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT TO PLACES OF EMPLOYMENT OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, AND FOR SUCH EXPENSES ON RETURN OF EMPLOYEES FROM THEIR POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THE PLACES OF THEIR ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO DUTY OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES * * *"

WHILE SECTION 7 LITERALLY PROVIDES, UNDER THE CONDITIONS STATED THEREIN, FOR PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO PLACES OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AND FOR RETURN THEREFROM UPON SEPARATION TO THE PLACES OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE, AT THE TIME OF APPOINTMENT, IT DOES NOT AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION COSTS TO PLACES SELECTED BY AN EMPLOYEE UPON SEPARATION LOCATED IN COUNTRIES OTHER THAN THAT IN WHICH HE ACTUALLY RESIDED AT THE TIME OF EMPLOYMENT. 27 COMP. GEN. 509; 31 ID. 389. A COPY OF THE LAST CITED DECISION IS ENCLOSED.

OUR OFFICE IN THE LATTER PART OF 1964 RECOMMENDED TO THE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, AS AMENDED, BE FURTHER AMENDED TO AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT TO AN EMPLOYEE UPON SEPARATION FROM THE FEDERAL SERVICE FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO ANOTHER LOCATION, WITHIN OR OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY OF THE ACTUAL PLACES OF RESIDENCE, BUT LIMITED TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION TO THE PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF ASSIGNMENT TO SUCH DUTY. WE NOTE THAT RECENT AMENDMENTS TO THAT ACT BY PUB.L. 89-516, APPROVED JULY 21, 1966, FAILED TO INCLUDE ANY AMENDMENT COVERING OUR RECOMMENDATION.

THUS, UNDER THE LAW AS IT CONSISTENTLY HAS BEEN CONSTRUED AND ASSUMING YOU ABANDONED YOUR RESIDENCE IN RUMANIA YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO TRAVEL EXPENSES AND TRANSPORTATION FROM BONN TO VIENNA, AUSTRIA, AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE BUT NOT TO AN ALTERNATE PLACE IN ANOTHER COUNTRY. THEREFORE, THE CONCLUSION REACHED IN GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 2, 1966, MUST BE SUSTAINED.