B-162137, OCT. 13, 1967

B-162137: Oct 13, 1967

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TRAVELED TO SANDPOINT ON JULY 13 AND RETURNED TO FORMER STATION AFTER WORK ON JULY 15 MAY NOT HAVE JULY 27 WHEN HE RETURNED WITH FAMILY AND REPORTED FOR WORK REGARDED AS EFFECTIVE DATE FOR BENEFITS UNDER P.L. 89 516 WHICH BECAME EFFECTIVE JULY 21. THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR SETTLEMENT OF MAY 19. 1966- PROVIDES THAT THE BENEFITS OF THE LAW WILL BE ALLOWABLE TO TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES WHO REPORTED FOR DUTY AT THEIR NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS ON OR AFTER JULY 21. THAT THE EXPENSES WHICH ARE REIMBURSABLE UNDER THE LAW MAY BE PAID ONLY IF THEY WERE INCURRED ON OR AFTER JULY 21. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THERE WAS EXECUTED A PERSONNEL ACTION. A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WAS ISSUED IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION.

B-162137, OCT. 13, 1967

EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS - PUBLIC LAW 89-516 - TIME FOR BENEFITS DECISION TO EMPLOYEE OF FOREST SERVICE REVIEWING CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL MOVING AND RELOCATION EXPENSES UNDER PUBLIC LAW 89-516. EMPLOYEE WHO, INCIDENT TO PERSONNEL ACTION DATED JUNE 19, 1966, REASSIGNING EMPLOYEE FROM BILLINGS, MONTANA, TO SANDPOINT, IDAHO, TRAVELED TO SANDPOINT ON JULY 13 AND RETURNED TO FORMER STATION AFTER WORK ON JULY 15 MAY NOT HAVE JULY 27 WHEN HE RETURNED WITH FAMILY AND REPORTED FOR WORK REGARDED AS EFFECTIVE DATE FOR BENEFITS UNDER P.L. 89 516 WHICH BECAME EFFECTIVE JULY 21, 1966 SINCE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY REPORTED TO DUTY TO SANDPOINT PRIOR TO JULY 21 AFTER ORDERS HAD BEEN ISSUED AND CHANGE OF STATION MUST BE REGARDED AS EFFECTIVE ON JULY 13 RATHER THAN JULY 27.

TO MR. ROY L. WISE:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF JUNE 30, 1967, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL MOVING AND RELOCATION EXPENSES AUTHORIZED BY PUB.L. 89-516, APPROVED JULY 21, 1966, 80 STAT. 323 (NOW CODIFIED AT 5 U.S.C. 5724 AND 5724A) IN CONNECTION WITH THE CHANGE OF YOUR OFFICIAL STATION FROM BILLINGS, MONTANA, TO SANDPOINT, IDAHO, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.

THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY OUR SETTLEMENT OF MAY 19, 1967, UPON THE BASIS OF A DETERMINATION THAT YOUR CHANGE OF STATION BECAME EFFECTIVE PRIOR TO JULY 21, 1966.

THE COVERING LETTER OF THE REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THE NEW LAW- BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966- PROVIDES THAT THE BENEFITS OF THE LAW WILL BE ALLOWABLE TO TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES WHO REPORTED FOR DUTY AT THEIR NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS ON OR AFTER JULY 21, 1966, AND THAT THE EXPENSES WHICH ARE REIMBURSABLE UNDER THE LAW MAY BE PAID ONLY IF THEY WERE INCURRED ON OR AFTER JULY 21.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THERE WAS EXECUTED A PERSONNEL ACTION, WITH AN EFFECTIVE DATE OF JUNE 19, 1966, COVERING YOUR REASSIGNMENT TO SANDPOINT. YOU ACCEPTED THE REASSIGNMENT ON JUNE 21, 1966, AND A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WAS ISSUED IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION, SHOWING THAT THE TRAVEL WAS TO BEGIN "ON OR ABOUT" THAT DATE.

THE RECORD FURTHER SHOWS THAT YOU LEFT BILLINGS ON THE MORNING OF JULY 12, 1966, BY "PO PICKUP" AND ARRIVED AT SANDPOINT ON THE MORNING OF JULY 13. YOU DID NOT CLAIM ANY MILEAGE OR PER DIEM FOR THAT TRIP. YOU REMAINED AT SANDPOINT UNTIL JULY 15 CONFERRING WITH YOUR PREDECESSOR, A MR. LANDMAN, CONCERNING THE WORK AT THAT PLACE. (MR. LANDMAN HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER STATION AND WAS ON DETAIL TO SANDPOINT AT THIS TIME.) ON JULY 15 A SPECIAL TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION -- SHOWING SANDPOINT AS YOUR OFFICIAL STATION--WAS ISSUED FOR YOUR RETURN TRAVEL TO BILLINGS. YOU LEFT SANDPOINT BY COMMON CARRIER ON THE EVENING OF JULY 15 AND ARRIVED IN BILLINGS THE NEXT AFTERNOON. IN ADDITION TO USING GOVERNMENT TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS, YOU CLAIMED AND WERE PAID PER DIEM FOR THE PERIOD OF DUTY BACK AT BILLINGS; HOWEVER, PURSUANT TO YOUR REQUEST, THE AMOUNT THUS PAID FOR PER DIEM WAS DEDUCTED FROM A LATER VOUCHER COVERING ALLOWANCES FOR THE TRAVEL OF YOURSELF AND FAMILY, AND THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, FROM BILLINGS TO SANDPOINT. YOU AND YOUR FAMILY LEFT BILLINGS BY PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE ON JULY 25 AND ARRIVED AT SANDPOINT THE NEXT DAY. YOU REPORTED FOR DUTY THERE ON JULY 27. YOUR POSITION IS THAT THE LAST-MENTIONED DATE IS THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CHANGE OF STATION FOR THE PURPOSES OF YOUR CLAIM.

YOU CONTEND THAT THE TRAVEL TO SANDPOINT, WHICH WAS AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE, AND YOUR REPORTING THERE FOR DUTY ON JULY 13 WAS NOT INTENDED AS THE OFFICIAL TRANSFER BUT, RATHER, THE TRIP WAS MERELY A "TRAINING VISIT.'

IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT YOU ACTUALLY REPORTED FOR DUTY PRIOR TO JULY 21 AT SANDPOINT AFTER ORDERS HAD BEEN ISSUED FOR YOUR CHANGE OF STATION AND THAT, THEREFORE, YOUR CASE LITERALLY IS NOT WITHIN THE "ON OR AFTER JULY 21, 1966" CONDITION OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56. WE FIND NO EVIDENCE OF ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR SUCH AS WOULD EFFECT THE VALIDITY OF YOUR CLAIM.

WE HAVE CAREFULLY CONSIDERED YOUR CONTENTIONS IN THE LIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE OF RECORD HERE AND APPLICABLE LAW, AND WE CONCLUDE THAT, FOR PURPOSES OF APPLYING THE EFFECTIVE DATE PROVISIONS OF CIRCULAR NO. A 56, YOUR CHANGE OF STATION FROM BILLINGS TO SANDPOINT BECAME EFFECTIVE ON JULY 13 RATHER THAN ON JULY 27, 1966. THAT CONCLUSION NEGATES YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO THE BENEFITS OF PUB.L. 89-516 AS IMPLEMENTED BY THE REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY SAID CIRCULAR.