B-162537, DEC. 21, 1967

B-162537: Dec 21, 1967

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WAS OCCASIONED BY THE NEED BY US FOR A FURTHER REPORT ON YOUR CASE BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION. INFORMS US THAT THE ENGAGEMENT OF YOUR SERVICES BY CONTRACT PURPORTEDLY UNDER 38 U.S.C. 213 WILL BE TERMINATED AND THAT YOU WILL BE EMPLOYED ON A FULL-TIME BASIS UNDER AUTHORITY OF 38 U.S.C. 4114 (A) (1) (A) AND AS PROVIDED BY 38 U.S.C. 4114 (D). THE PLACE WHERE YOUR SERVICES WERE TO BE PERFORMED. IN THE CASES OF OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT THE FINANCIAL BURDEN OF REPORTING TO THEIR FIRST DUTY STATIONS FALLS UPON SUCH OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES. THERE IS AN EXCEPTION IN CASES OF CERTAIN SHORTAGE CATEGORY EMPLOYEES PROVIDED BY 5 U.S.C. 5723. WE HAVE NO INFORMATION INDICATING YOUR EMPLOYMENT IS COVERED BY THAT AUTHORITY.

B-162537, DEC. 21, 1967

TO DR. ARNE R. SOLLBERGER:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 29, 1967, REQUESTING REVIEW OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 9, 1966, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCURRED BY YOU IN REPORTING TO DUTY WITH THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, WEST HAVEN, CONNECTICUT 06516, INCIDENT TO THE ENGAGEMENT BY THAT AGENCY OF YOUR SERVICES UNDER CONTRACT V5205P-429, DATED NOVEMBER 15, 1965.

THE DELAY IN RESPONDING TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 29, 1967, WAS OCCASIONED BY THE NEED BY US FOR A FURTHER REPORT ON YOUR CASE BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION. A REPORT BY THE AGENCY DATED DECEMBER 6, 1967, INFORMS US THAT THE ENGAGEMENT OF YOUR SERVICES BY CONTRACT PURPORTEDLY UNDER 38 U.S.C. 213 WILL BE TERMINATED AND THAT YOU WILL BE EMPLOYED ON A FULL-TIME BASIS UNDER AUTHORITY OF 38 U.S.C. 4114 (A) (1) (A) AND AS PROVIDED BY 38 U.S.C. 4114 (D).

THE INITIAL CONTRACT EXECUTED NOVEMBER 15, 1965, BY YOU AND A CONTRACTING OFFICER ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT, ESTABLISHES THE RATE OF COMPENSATION, THE DURATION OF THE CONTRACT AND THE OTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF YOUR SERVICE. THE CONTRACT DOES NOT PROVIDE FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OR THOSE OF YOUR IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND EFFECTS FROM SHAKER HEIGHT, OHIO, YOUR FORMER PLACE OF RESIDENCE, TO WEST HAVEN, CONNECTICUT, THE PLACE WHERE YOUR SERVICES WERE TO BE PERFORMED.

IN THE CASES OF OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES OF THE GOVERNMENT THE GENERAL RULE IS THAT THE FINANCIAL BURDEN OF REPORTING TO THEIR FIRST DUTY STATIONS FALLS UPON SUCH OFFICERS OR EMPLOYEES. THERE IS AN EXCEPTION IN CASES OF CERTAIN SHORTAGE CATEGORY EMPLOYEES PROVIDED BY 5 U.S.C. 5723. WE HAVE NO INFORMATION INDICATING YOUR EMPLOYMENT IS COVERED BY THAT AUTHORITY. MOREOVER, IN THE CASES OF CONTRACTORS WITH THE GOVERNMENT, ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVELING AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES TO THE POINT WHERE THE SERVICES ARE TO BE RENDERED DEPENDS UPON THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE CONTRACT.

IN YOUR CASE THE ASSISTANT HOSPITAL DIRECTOR APPARENTLY MADE AN EFFORT IN GOOD FAITH TO AUTHORIZE THE ALLOWANCE OF THE REQUIRED TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION. IN SO DOING, HOWEVER, HE APPARENTLY ACTED IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE GENERAL RULE OF LAW THAT THE TERMS OF A CONTRACT MAY NOT BE CHANGED--ABSENT SOME CONSIDERATION--TO INCREASE THE OBLIGATION OF THE GOVERNMENT. SEE, GENERALLY, 39 COMP. GEN. 380.

THEREFORE, ON THE RECORD BEFORE US, THE CONCLUSION REACHED IN GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF MARCH 9, 1966, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM, MUST BE SUSTAINED.