B-161185, APR. 27, 1967

B-161185: Apr 27, 1967

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RODEBAUGH: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 24. YOUR CLAIM FOR THE LATTER ITEM WAS DISALLOWED BY GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 23. FOR THE PURPOSE OF REVIEWING THAT SETTLEMENT WE WILL CONSIDER YOUR LETTER AS AN APPEAL FROM THAT ACTION. YOU WERE AUTHORIZED ON OR ABOUT JULY 25. YOU WERE TERMINATED FROM YOUR POSITION AT NASHVILLE AT WHICH APPARENTLY YOU WERE SERVING UNDER THE SAME TYPE OF APPOINTMENT. WE SHOULD POINT OUT HERE THAT IN VIEW OF THOSE ACTIONS WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY BASIS ON WHICH YOU COULD BE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM AT ATLANTA THEREAFTER SINCE THAT POINT. IS TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER. THAT AUTHORITY IS NOT VESTED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE EXCEPT WITH RESPECT TO ITS OWN EMPLOYEES AND.

B-161185, APR. 27, 1967

TO MR. HENRY W. RODEBAUGH:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 24, 1967, IN WHICH YOU CLAIM PER DIEM IN LIEU OF SUBSISTENCE ON THE BASIS OF A TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT INSTEAD OF REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN 1958 ON THE BASIS OF A TRANSFER FROM NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, TO ATLANTA, GEORGIA, INCIDENT TO YOUR EMPLOYMENT WITH THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION.

YOUR CLAIM FOR THE LATTER ITEM WAS DISALLOWED BY GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 23, 1967, FOR THE REASONS STATED THEREIN, AND FOR THE PURPOSE OF REVIEWING THAT SETTLEMENT WE WILL CONSIDER YOUR LETTER AS AN APPEAL FROM THAT ACTION.

SO FAR AS THE FACTS CONCERNING YOUR CASE CAN BE ASCERTAINED FROM OFFICIAL RECORDS BEFORE OUR OFFICE, YOU WERE AUTHORIZED ON OR ABOUT JULY 25, 1958, TO TRAVEL FROM NASHVILLE TO ATLANTA TO PERFORM TEMPORARY DUTY AND TO RETURN TO NASHVILLE. THE TRAVEL ORDER CONTEMPLATED THE ALLOWANCE OF MILEAGE AND ONE DAY'S PER DIEM AT THE RATE OF $9.

EFFECTIVE JULY 27, 1958, A PERSONNEL ACTION ISSUED EVIDENCING YOUR TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT-PER (PENDING ESTABLISHMENT OF A REGISTER) TO A GRADE GS-11 POSITION AT ATLANTA. THE SAME DOCUMENT SHOWS THAT ON JULY 26, 1958, YOU WERE TERMINATED FROM YOUR POSITION AT NASHVILLE AT WHICH APPARENTLY YOU WERE SERVING UNDER THE SAME TYPE OF APPOINTMENT. WE SHOULD POINT OUT HERE THAT IN VIEW OF THOSE ACTIONS WE ARE NOT AWARE OF ANY BASIS ON WHICH YOU COULD BE AUTHORIZED PER DIEM AT ATLANTA THEREAFTER SINCE THAT POINT, IN FACT, BECAME YOUR OFFICIAL DUTY STATION.

THE LAW IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF YOUR MOVE, REGARDING THE TRANSPORATION OF AN EMPLOYEES HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE, MAY BE FOUND IN FORMER 5 U.S.C. 73B-1, WHICH READ IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"/A) UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE, ANY CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT WHO, IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, IS TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER, INCLUDING TRANSFER FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER, FOR PERMANENT DUTY, SHALL * * * WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY SUCH SUBORDINATE OFFICIAL OR OFFICIALS OF THE DEPARTMENT CONCERNED AS THE HEAD THEREOF MAY DESIGNATE FOR THE PURPOSE, BE ALLOWED AND PAID FROM GOVERNMENT FUNDS THE EXPENSES * * * OF TRANSPORTATION, PACKING, CRATING, TEMPORARY STORAGE, DRAYAGE, AND UNPACKING OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS (NOT TO EXCEED SEVEN THOUSAND POUNDS NET WEIGHT) * * *"

THE UNDERSCORED LANGUAGE VESTS IN THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY CONCERNED OR IN HIS DESIGNATED SUBORDINATE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF AUTHORIZING (IN ADVANCE) OR APPROVING (AFTER THE FACT) THE TRANSPORTATION OF AN EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE INCIDENT TO A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION. THAT AUTHORITY IS NOT VESTED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE EXCEPT WITH RESPECT TO ITS OWN EMPLOYEES AND, THEREFORE, ONLY THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION COULD NOW APPROVE THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS.

THE FEW FACTS AVAILABLE TO US CONCERNING THE CHANGE IN LOCATION OF YOUR EMPLOYMENT INDICATE THAT IT MIGHT, IN FACT, HAVE CONSTITUTED A TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION. IF THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION SHOULD NOW CONCUR IN THAT VIEW AND APPROVE THE TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS, WHICH APPARENTLY TOOK PLACE WITHIN TWO YEARS OF YOUR CHANGE OF STATION, WE WOULD INTERPOSE NO OBJECTION TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM, IF OTHERWISE PROPER, NOTWITHSTANDING OUR CLAIMS DIVISION SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 23, 1967.

IN ITS REPORT TO US OF DECEMBER 12, 1966, REFERENCE 3BCRPA, THE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION WITHHELD APPROVAL OF YOUR CLAIM, PARTLY WE BELIEVE, BECAUSE OF OUR DECISION 27 COMP. GEN. 128.

THAT DECISION WAS BASED ON THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 1 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, 60 STAT. 806, WHICH REQUIRED THAT AUTHORITY TO TRANSPORT HOUSEHOLD GOODS BE AUTHORIZED IN THE ORDER DIRECTING THE TRAVEL OF AN EMPLOYEE. THE STATUTE DID NOT THEN PROVIDE FOR APPROVAL AFTER THE FACT. HOWEVER, AS INDICATED ABOVE, THAT PROVISION WAS AMENDED PRIOR TO THE TIME OF YOUR MOVE TO PERMIT APPROVAL OF THE EXPENSES OF TRANSFER. THIS APPROVAL IS DISCRETIONARY WITH THE AGENCY CONCERNED.

WE SUGGEST THAT YOU SHOW THIS LETTER TO A PROPER OFFICIAL OF YOUR OFFICE SO THAT GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, REGION 3, MAY BE CONTACTED AND SUCH ACTION TAKEN ADMINISTRATIVELY AS IS DETERMINED TO BE PROPER IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

ON THE PRESENT STATE OF THE RECORD, HOWEVER, WE ARE REQUIRED TO SUSTAIN THE CONCLUSION REACHED IN OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF JANUARY 23, 1967, SINCE AT THIS TIME THE NECESSARY AUTHORIZATION OR APPROVAL HAS NOT BEEN MADE.