B-162159, AUG. 23, 1967

B-162159: Aug 23, 1967

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RE REFUND OF COSTS INCIDENT TO TRANSFER WHILE HE WAS STILL UNDER ANOTHER SERVICE AGREEMENT. WAS TRANSFERRED FROM CHICAGO TO BUTTE. EXPENSES UNDER THE ORIGINAL AGREEMENT SINCE THERE IS NOTHING IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF PUBLIC LAW 89-516 OR BOB CIRCULAR A-56 THAT WOULD PERMIT MODIFYING REQUIREMENT SO AS TO RELIEVE EMPLOYEE OF LIABILITY UNDER AN AGREEMENT COVERING AN INITIAL TRANSFER. SET OFF OF TRAVEL EXPENSES FROM AMOUNT DUE IS PROPER. EMPLOYEE WAS NOT PAID FOR ANY TRANSPORTATION COSTS INCIDENT TO 2ND TRANSFER. WHICH WAS EFFECTIVE AUGUST 29. THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT EXECUTED BY AN EMPLOYEE IN CONNECTION WITH ONE TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION IS BINDING UPON SUCH EMPLOYEE AFTER HE HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER OFFICIAL STATION WITHIN THE 12 MONTHS COVERED BY THE ORIGINAL AGREEMENT.

B-162159, AUG. 23, 1967

EMPLOYEE - TRANSFERS - PUBLIC LAW 89-516 - SERVICE AGREEMENT DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER OF F.B.I. RE REFUND OF COSTS INCIDENT TO TRANSFER WHILE HE WAS STILL UNDER ANOTHER SERVICE AGREEMENT. F.B.I. EMPLOYEE WHO EXECUTED AGREEMENT TO REMAIN IN SERVICE 12 MONTH INCIDENT TO TRANSFER FROM WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, ON AUGUST 29, 1966, AND WHO PRIOR TO VOLUNTARY RESIGNATION ON JULY 14, 1967, WAS TRANSFERRED FROM CHICAGO TO BUTTE, MONTANA, EFFECTIVE MAY 28, 1967, MUST BE REGARDED AS, LIABLE FOR TRANSPORTATION ETC. EXPENSES UNDER THE ORIGINAL AGREEMENT SINCE THERE IS NOTHING IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF PUBLIC LAW 89-516 OR BOB CIRCULAR A-56 THAT WOULD PERMIT MODIFYING REQUIREMENT SO AS TO RELIEVE EMPLOYEE OF LIABILITY UNDER AN AGREEMENT COVERING AN INITIAL TRANSFER. THEREFORE, SET OFF OF TRAVEL EXPENSES FROM AMOUNT DUE IS PROPER. EMPLOYEE WAS NOT PAID FOR ANY TRANSPORTATION COSTS INCIDENT TO 2ND TRANSFER.

TO MR. MAURICE F. ROW:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF JULY 26, 1967, CONCERNING THE LIABILITY OF MR. HARRY WILLIAM CROON A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, TO REFUND TO THE GOVERNMENT THE COSTS PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT IN CONNECTION WITH HIS TRANSFER FROM WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA, TO CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, WHICH WAS EFFECTIVE AUGUST 29, 1966, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AGREEMENT HE EXECUTED AS REQUIRED BY THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 28 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946, AS ADDED BY THE ACT OF JULY 21, 1966, PUB. L. 89-516, 80 STAT. 325.

YOU ASK WHETHER THE AMOUNT INVOLVED SHOULD BE COLLECTED BY SET OFF AGAINST THE AMOUNT DUE MR. CROON AT THE TIME OF HIS SEPARATION IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT PRIOR TO HIS VOLUNTARY RESIGNATION ON JULY 14, 1967, HE HAD BEEN TRANSFERRED FROM CHICAGO TO BUTTE, MONTANA EFFECTIVE MAY 28, 1967. THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT EXECUTED BY AN EMPLOYEE IN CONNECTION WITH ONE TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION IS BINDING UPON SUCH EMPLOYEE AFTER HE HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER OFFICIAL STATION WITHIN THE 12 MONTHS COVERED BY THE ORIGINAL AGREEMENT. YOU SAY THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS NOT PAID MR. CROON ANY EXPENSE INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER FROM CHICAGO TO BUTTE, THEREFORE, HE IS NOT LIABLE TO REFUND ANY AMOUNT UNDER THE AGREEMENT HE EXECUTED IN CONNECTION WITH THAT TRANSFER.

SECTION 28 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946 PROVIDES:

"NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SUBSECTIONS (A) AND (B) OF SECTION 1, AND OF SECTIONS 23, 24, 25 AND 27 OF THIS ACT, THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES, INCLUDING STORAGE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PERSONAL EFFECTS, AND OTHER RELOCATION ALLOWANCES SHALL NOT BE ALLOWED THEREUNDER WHEN A CIVILIAN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE IS TRANSFERRED WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, EXCLUDING ALASKA, UNLESS AND UNTIL SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE SHALL AGREE IN WRITING TO REMAIN IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE FOR TWELVE MONTHS FOLLOWING HIS TRANSFER, UNLESS SEPARATED FOR REASONS BEYOND HIS CONTROL AND ACCEPTABLE TO THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY CONCERNED. IN CASE OF VIOLATION OF SUCH AGREEMENT, ANY MONEYS EXPENDED BY THE UNITED STATES UNDER SAID SECTIONS OF THIS ACT ON ACCOUNT OF SUCH OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE SHALL BE RECOVERABLE FROM HIM AS A DEBT DUE THE UNITED STATES.'

THAT PROVISION OF LAW AND THE REGULATIONS ISSUED THEREUNDER, SECTION 1.3C (1) OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966, DO NOT CONTAIN ANY EXCEPTION TO THE REQUIREMENT THAT AN EMPLOYEE REMAIN IN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE FOR TWELVE MONTHS AFTER A TRANSFER OTHER THAN IN THE CASE OF A SEPARATION FROM THE SERVICE WHICH IS BEYOND HIS CONTROL AND ACCEPTABLE TO THE AGENCY CONCERNED. MOREOVER, WE FIND NOTHING IN THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY OF PUBLIC LAW 89 516 OR IN DECISIONS OF OUR OFFICE UNDER THAT ACT OR UNDER OTHER SIMILAR PROVISIONS OF LAW WHICH COULD BE VIEWED AS A BASIS FOR MODIFYING SUCH REQUIREMENT SO AS TO RELIEVE AN EMPLOYEE OF LIABILITY UNDER AN AGREEMENT COVERING AN INITIAL TRANSFER WHEN HE IS TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER OFFICIAL STATION BEFORE THE END OF THE 12 MONTH PERIOD.

THE $650.49 PAID FOR TRAVEL, TRANSPORTATION, PER DIEM AND OTHER ALLOWABLE EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH MR. CROON'S TRANSFER FROM WHEELING TO CHICAGO SHOULD BE COLLECTED BY SET OFF AGAINST THE AMOUNT OTHERWISE DUE HIM AT THE TIME OF HIS SEPARATION.