B-161263, MAY 2, 1967

B-161263: May 2, 1967

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HE WAS STATIONED AT THE CHEMULT RANGER DISTRICT. AT THE SAME TIME THERE WAS EXPLAINED TO MR. KLAGES WAS RESTORED TO DUTY ON JANUARY 16. HE WAS LIVING IN A GOVERNMENT OWNED HOUSE TRAILER WHICH HE HAD TO VACATE. KLAGES' EMPLOYMENT WAS NULLIFIED AND HE WAS RESTORED TO DUTY RETROACTIVE TO JUNE 15. THE QUESTION IS RAISED AS TO WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE'S ENTITLEMENT TO COMPENSATION FOR THE PERIOD OF ERRONEOUS SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE WOULD INCLUDE REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND TRAVEL EXPENSES IN MOVING FROM CHEMULT AND RETURNING THERETO. AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO RECEIVE ALL OR ANY PART OF THE PAY. WHICH HE NORMALLY WOULD HAVE EARNED DURING SUCH PERIOD IF SUCH PERSONNEL ACTION HAD NOT OCCURRED.

B-161263, MAY 2, 1967

TO AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 24, 1967, REFERENCE 6540, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY CERTIFY THE ENCLOSED VOUCHER IN FAVOR OF MR. GERHARD H. KLAGES, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FOREST SERVICE, FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES OF HIMSELF AND WIFE AND TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO AN ERRONEOUS SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. KLAGES RECEIVED A PROBATIONAL APPOINTMENT WITH THE U.S. FOREST SERVICE AS A FORESTER, EFFECTIVE JUNE 15, 1964. HE WAS STATIONED AT THE CHEMULT RANGER DISTRICT, WINEMA NATIONAL FOREST, WITH HEADQUARTERS AT CHEMULT, OREGON. ON JUNE 11, 1965, THE DISTRICT RANGER OF THE CHEMULT RANGER DISTRICT ADVISED MR. KLAGES THAT HIS SERVICE WITH THE FOREST SERVICE WOULD BE TERMINATED AS OF THE CLOSE OF BUSINESS JUNE 14, 1965, BECAUSE OF UNSATISFACTORY CONDUCT DURING THE PROBATIONARY PERIOD. AT THE SAME TIME THERE WAS EXPLAINED TO MR. KLAGES HIS APPEAL RIGHTS AND HIS RIGHT TO RESIGN IN LIEU OF BEING TERMINATED BY THE FOREST SERVICE.

ON JUNE 14, 1965, THE DISTRICT RANGER MET AGAIN WITH MR. KLAGES AND ADVISED HIM THAT HE SHOULD RESIGN IMMEDIATELY OR RECEIVE A FORMAL TERMINATION LETTER TO BE ISSUED BY THE FOREST SERVICE. MR. KLAGES RESIGNED FROM THE FOREST SERVICE, EFFECTIVE JUNE 14, 1965.

ON JULY 10, 1965, MR. KLAGES APPEALED HIS SEPARATION TO THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION IN SEATTLE, WASHINGTON. AFTER REVIEW THE COMMISSION SUSTAINED MR. KLAGES' APPEAL AND DIRECTED THE FOREST SERVICE TO RESTORE HIM RETROACTIVE TO THE DATE OF HIS SEPARATION. MR. KLAGES WAS RESTORED TO DUTY ON JANUARY 16, 1967.

AT THE TIME OF MR. KLAGES' RESIGNATION, HE WAS LIVING IN A GOVERNMENT OWNED HOUSE TRAILER WHICH HE HAD TO VACATE. BECAUSE OF THE UNAVAILABILITY OF HOUSING IN CHEMULT MR. KLAGES MOVED TO BEND, OREGON, A DISTANCE OF 65 MILES. THE SUBMITTED TRAVEL VOUCHER COVERS HIS CLAIM FOR THE COST OF THE MOVE.

SINCE THE ACTION OF THE FOREST SERVICE IN TERMINATING MR. KLAGES' EMPLOYMENT WAS NULLIFIED AND HE WAS RESTORED TO DUTY RETROACTIVE TO JUNE 15, 1965, THE QUESTION IS RAISED AS TO WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE'S ENTITLEMENT TO COMPENSATION FOR THE PERIOD OF ERRONEOUS SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE WOULD INCLUDE REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND TRAVEL EXPENSES IN MOVING FROM CHEMULT AND RETURNING THERETO.

THE BACK PAY ACT OF 1966, PUB.L. 89-380, APPROVED MARCH 30, 1966, 80 STAT. 94, PROVIDES THAT UPON CORRECTION OF AN ERRONEOUS PERSONNEL ACTION, SUCH AS HERE, AN EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO RECEIVE ALL OR ANY PART OF THE PAY, ALLOWANCES, OR DIFFERENTIALS, AS APPLICABLE, WHICH HE NORMALLY WOULD HAVE EARNED DURING SUCH PERIOD IF SUCH PERSONNEL ACTION HAD NOT OCCURRED. THE REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL OR TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES IS NOT REGARDED AS A PART OF COMPENSATION OR PAY. 21 COMP. GEN. 886; 22 ID. 392. MOREOVER, THE WORD "ALLOWANCE" AS USED IN THE BACK PAY ACT OF 1966 IS CONSTRUED AS COVERING ONLY THOSE ALLOWANCES, SUCH AS FOR QUARTERS OR COST OF LIVING, WHICH AN EMPLOYEE WAS RECEIVING AT THE TIME OF HIS REMOVAL FROM THE SERVICE. IN VIEW THEREOF, AND AS THE BACK PAY ACT OF 1966 DOES NOT OTHERWISE AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT OF INCIDENTAL EXPENSES OCCASIONED BY AN ADVERSE PERSONNEL ACTION, THE CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION IN LEAVING CHEMULT AND RETURNING THERETO MAY NOT BE ALLOWED.

THE VOUCHER WHICH IS RETURNED HEREWITH MAY NOT BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT.