B-162915, FEB. 1, 1968

B-162915: Feb 1, 1968

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APPROVES OF THE PAYMENT OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF THE DEPENDENT'S HUSBAND AND EFFECTS AS INCIDENT TO THE TRAINING HAVE THE TRANSPORTATION REGARDED AS PROPER UNDER 5 U.S.C. 4108. SINCE REIMBURSEMENT FOR FIRST MOVEMENT OF EFFECTS WAS MADE ON ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS BY GOVT. BIRD WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM HER OFFICIAL STATION AT MT. THE COURSE WAS TO COMMENCE IN SEPTEMBER 1966 AND END IN AUGUST 1967. HER HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED BY GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING TO READING. FOR SUCH TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION SHE WAS REIMBURSED CONSTRUCTIVE AIR TRAVEL COST FROM SITKA. HER HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED BY GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING AT A COST OF $2. IT IS CLEAR THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION FROM MT.

B-162915, FEB. 1, 1968

TRANSPORTATION - HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS - TRAINING DECISION TO FISCAL OFFICER, PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM PHILADELPHIA, PA., TO GALLUP, NEW MEXICO, INCIDENT TO PERMANENT CHANGE FROM MT. EDGECUMBE, ALASKA, TO GALLUP, NEW MEXICO. AN EMPLOYEE WHO AFTER COMPLETION OF A TOUR OF DUTY IN ALASKA HAD HER HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS SHIPPED ON GOVT. BILL OF LADING TO A PLACE NEAR A TRAINING STATION MAY, IF THE ACTIVITY THAT AUTHORIZED THE TRAINING, APPROVES OF THE PAYMENT OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF THE DEPENDENT'S HUSBAND AND EFFECTS AS INCIDENT TO THE TRAINING HAVE THE TRANSPORTATION REGARDED AS PROPER UNDER 5 U.S.C. 4108. THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM THE TRAINING DUTY STATION TO THE EMPLOYEE'S NEXT DUTY STATION MAY BE REGARDED AS INCIDENT TO THE OFFICIAL CHANGE OF STATION FROM ALASKA TO GALLUP, NEW MEXICO. SINCE REIMBURSEMENT FOR FIRST MOVEMENT OF EFFECTS WAS MADE ON ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS BY GOVT. BILL OF LADING, SECOND MOVEMENT MAY BE ALLOWED ON A COMMUTED BASIS.

TO MR. F. NORMAN HEARN:

WE REFER TO LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1967, FROM MR. FRANK H. CHINN, ACTING CHIEF FISCAL OFFICER, PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE (PHS), RELATING TO THE CLAIM OF MRS. GERALDINE N. BIRD FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, TO GALLUP, NEW MEXICO, INCIDENT TO HER PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION FROM MT. EDGECUMBE, ALASKA, TO GALLUP, NEW MEXICO, IN JANUARY 1967.

WE UNDERSTAND THAT IN JULY 1966 MRS. BIRD WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM HER OFFICIAL STATION AT MT. EDGECUMBE, ALASKA, TO THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA AT PHILADELPHIA TO ATTEND A COURSE OF TRAINING UNDER THE AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES TRAINING ACT, PUBLIC LAW 85-507 -- NOW CODIFIED IN CHAPTER 41 OF TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE. THE COURSE WAS TO COMMENCE IN SEPTEMBER 1966 AND END IN AUGUST 1967.

HAVING COMPLETED HER AGREED PERIOD OF SERVICE IN ALASKA, MRS. BIRD AND HER HUSBAND TRAVELED FROM MT. EDGECUMBE TO READING, PENNSYLVANIA, AND HER HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED BY GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING TO READING. FOR SUCH TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION SHE WAS REIMBURSED CONSTRUCTIVE AIR TRAVEL COST FROM SITKA, ALASKA, TO READING ($225.45 FOR SELF PLUS $28 PER DIEM AND $187.34 ON ACCOUNT OF HER HUSBAND'S TRANSPORTATION). HER HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WERE SHIPPED BY GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING AT A COST OF $2,055.57.

IT IS CLEAR THAT THE EMPLOYEE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION FROM MT. EDGECUMBE, ALASKA, TO READING, PENNSYLVANIA, INCIDENT TO THE TERMINATION OF HER ASSIGNMENT IN ALASKA BECAUSE HER TRAVEL THERETO WAS NOT FOR PURPOSES OF SEPARATION, THE TAKING OF LEAVE PRIOR TO SERVING ANOTHER OBLIGATED PERIOD OF SERVICE, OR FOR THE STATED PURPOSE OF TRANSFER OF OFFICIAL STATION. THUS, THE ONLY POSSIBLE BASIS FOR ENTITLEMENT WOULD BE THE AUTHORIZING OF SUCH TRAVEL INCIDENT TO HER PERIOD OF TRAINING AT PHILADELPHIA.

IN SUCH CONNECTION WE NOTE THAT THERE WAS NOT INCLUDED WITH THE INFORMATION TRANSMITTED HERE A CONTINUED SERVICE AGREEMENT EXECUTED BY MRS. BIRD INCIDENT TO THE AUTHORIZED PERIOD OF TRAINING AS REQUIRED BY 5 U.S.C. 4108 (FORMERLY SECTION II OF PUBLIC LAW 85-507). WE NOTE ALSO THAT THE AUTHORIZATION FOR THE TRAINING FAILED TO PROVIDE FOR PAYMENT EITHER OF PER DIEM OR FOR TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS OR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS INCIDENT TO SUCH TRAINING ASSIGNMENT. THIS OMISSION APPARENTLY RESULTED FROM OVERSIGHT OR WAS MADE UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT MRS. BIRD WAS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO READING, PENNSYLVANIA, INCIDENT TO THE COMPLETION BY HER OF HER AGREEMENT FOR SERVICE IN ALASKA. THE TRAINING AUTHORIZATION CONTAINED THE FOLLOWING NOTATION:

"TRAVEL, APPROXIMATELY JULY 2 WILL BE IN CONJUNCTION WITH TERMINATION OF PRESENT AGREEMENT.'

UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT IF THE ACTIVITY AUTHORIZING THE TRAINING OF MRS. BIRD APPROVES THE PAYMENT OF THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION OF CLAIMANT'S HUSBAND AND HER HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AS BEING INCIDENT TO HER AUTHORIZED TRAINING ASSIGNMENT AND IF CLAIMANT EXECUTES CONTINUED SERVICE AGREEMENT AS REQUIRED BY THE CONTROLLING STATUTE (IF, IN FACT, SHE HAS NOT ALREADY DONE SO) THE PAYMENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION COSTS FROM ALASKA TO PENNSYLVANIA MAY BE REGARDED AS PROPER BUT NOT IN EXCESS OF THE PER DIEM WHICH COULD HAVE BEEN PAID MR. BIRD DURING THE CONTEMPLATED PERIOD OF TRAINING (SEPTEMBER 1966 THROUGH AUGUST 1967). CF. 39 COMP. GEN. 140, QUESTION AND ANSWER NO. 2.

ASSUMING THE CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN THE PRECEDING PARAGRAPH ARE COMPLIED WITH, THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE EFFECTS FROM MT. EDGECUMBE TO PENNSYLVANIA MAY BE REGARDED AS INCIDENT TO THE TRAINING ASSIGNMENT AT PHILADELPHIA, AND THEIR FURTHER TRANSPORTATION FROM PHILADELPHIA TO GALLUP MAY BE REGARDED AS INCIDENT TO THE CHANGE OF OFFICIAL STATION FROM MT. EDGECUMBE TO GALLUP. PRIOR TO THE TIME OF SUCH TRANSFER, THE EFFECTS ALREADY HAD BEEN LAWFULLY TRANSPORTED TO PENNSYLVANIA ON AN ACTUAL EXPENSE BASIS BY GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING. REIMBURSEMENT FOR THEIR FURTHER TRANSPORTATION FROM PHILADELPHIA TO GALLUP SHOULD BE ALLOWED ON A COMMUTED BASIS.

THE VOUCHER AND SUPPORTING PAPERS ARE RETURNED HEREWITH FOR DISPOSITION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING. IN SUCH CONNECTION, 2,039 IS THE MILEAGE SHOWN ON THE BILL OF LADING AND IN THE STANDARD HIGHWAY MILEAGE GUIDE AS THE DISTANCE BETWEEN PHILADELPHIA AND GALLUP AND SHOULD BE USED IN COMPUTING THE AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENT.