B-160371, NOV. 21, 1966

B-160371: Nov 21, 1966

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

SMITH: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 25. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BECAUSE NO ORDERS WERE ISSUED DIRECTING THE SPECIFIC CHANGE OF PERMANENT DUTY STATION BY YOU FROM MEMPHIS TO ST. YOUR REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION IS PREDICATED PRIMARILY UPON THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR'S LETTERS OF MARCH 16. THERE WAS A GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT TO ALL EMPLOYEES IN MEMPHIS THAT THE REGIONAL CONTROLLER'S OFFICE WOULD BE TRANSFERRED BY JUNE 30. THAT: "* * * AFFECTED EMPLOYEES WILL COMPETE FOR POSITIONS * * * FROM A COMMON RETENTION REGISTER ESTABLISHED FOR AFFECTED EMPLOYEES OF THE CINCINNATI. YOUR ACTION IN DOING SO SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN PREMATURE IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT YOU WERE NOT OFFERED A POSITION IN ST.

B-160371, NOV. 21, 1966

TO MR. HAROLD E. SMITH:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 25, 1966, WHEREIN YOU REQUEST REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF MAY 28, 1965, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF STORAGE AND MOVING EXPENSES INCIDENT TO A PROPOSED TRANSFER OF THE MEMPHIS REGIONAL CONTROLLER OFFICE, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, TO THE POSTAL DATA CENTER, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BECAUSE NO ORDERS WERE ISSUED DIRECTING THE SPECIFIC CHANGE OF PERMANENT DUTY STATION BY YOU FROM MEMPHIS TO ST. LOUIS.

YOUR REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION IS PREDICATED PRIMARILY UPON THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR'S LETTERS OF MARCH 16, 1964, AND APRIL 13, 1964, WHICH YOU INTERPRET AS BEING TANTAMOUNT TO GENERAL CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS. THE EVENTS IN THIS CASE TOOK PLACE FROM JANUARY 17, 1964, TO JULY 4, 1964. ON JANUARY 17, 1964, THERE WAS A GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT TO ALL EMPLOYEES IN MEMPHIS THAT THE REGIONAL CONTROLLER'S OFFICE WOULD BE TRANSFERRED BY JUNE 30, 1964, SOME FIVE MONTHS HENCE. ON MARCH 16, 1964, YOU RECEIVED A LETTER FROM THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR STATING THAT THE "FUNCTIONS" OF THE REGIONAL FINANCE DIVISION WOULD BE TRANSFERRED TO ST. LOUIS AS OF MARCH 23, 1964, AND THAT:

"* * * AFFECTED EMPLOYEES WILL COMPETE FOR POSITIONS * * * FROM A COMMON RETENTION REGISTER ESTABLISHED FOR AFFECTED EMPLOYEES OF THE CINCINNATI, MEMPHIS, AND ST. LOUIS REGIONAL OFFICES.' YOU EXPLAINED IN YOUR JANUARY 26, 1965, LETTER TO THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT THAT BASED ON THE ABOVE CORRESPONDENCE YOU SOLD YOUR HOME AND PLACED YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN STORAGE ON APRIL 3, 1964. YOUR ACTION IN DOING SO SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN PREMATURE IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT YOU WERE NOT OFFERED A POSITION IN ST. LOUIS UNTIL APRIL 13, 1964, WHICH YOU ACCEPTED AND THEN DECLINED.

WE HAVE CONSIDERED THE DECISIONS CITED BY YOU, NAMELY, 29 COMP. GEN. 133; ID. 232, AND ARE UNABLE TO AGREE THAT THEY ARE IN POINT. IN BOTH OF THOSE CASES VALID CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS WERE ACTUALLY ISSUED TO THE CLAIMANTS.

IN B-149021, JUNE 18, 1962, WE HELD THAT:

"SECTION 12 (B) OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9805, AS ADDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 9993, DATED FEBRUARY 28, 1948, AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF TEMPORARY STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FOR NOT TO EXCEED 60 DAYS. WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY HELD THAT THE REGULATION CONTEMPLATES PAYMENT OF STORAGE CHARGES ONLY WHEN INCURRED AS A NECESSARY INCIDENT TO THE CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS * * *"

IN B-123066, APRIL 19, 1955, THIS OFFICE WAS PRESENTED WITH A SIMILAR SITUATION TO YOURS IN THAT A GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT WAS GIVEN OF A CONTEMPLATED CHANGE OF LOCATION TO BE EFFECTIVE AT A LATER DATE. PASSING ON THE QUESTION OF RIGHT TO PAYMENT FOR MOVING AND STORAGE EXPENSES IN RELIANCE ON THAT GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT WE STATED:

"* * * ORDINARILY A RIGHT TO PAYMENT ARISES UNDER THE STATUTE ONLY WHEN THE TRANSFER IS FULLY EFFECTED. THE BULLETIN OF JUNE 11 BY ITS TERMS RECOGNIZED THAT INDIVIDUAL PERSONNEL ACTIONS AND TRANSFER ORDERS WOULD BE ISSUED, AND IT MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED AS A GENERAL OR BLANKET CHANGE OF STATION ORDER. * * *" THE SAME APPEARS TO BE TRUE IN YOUR CASE. THE JANUARY 17, 1964, BULLETIN AND THE APRIL 13, 1964, LETTER BOTH CONTEMPLATE LATER ACTION TO BE TAKEN TO EFFECTUATE THE POLICY STATED. NEITHER OF THOSE DOCUMENTS CONSTITUTED A FORMAL ORDER DIRECTING A SPECIFIC CHANGE OF STATION.

THEREFORE, FOR THE REASONS STATED HEREIN, OUR ACTION OF MAY 28, 1965, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.