B-163491, FEB. 27, 1968

B-163491: Feb 27, 1968

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A -56 WHICH PROHIBITS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES WHEN THE MAP DISTANCE BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW STATIONS IS LESS THAN 75 MILES VIA A USUALLY TRAVELED SURFACE ROUTE MUST BE REGARDED AS THE LAW AND AN EMPLOYEE WHO INCURRED EXPENSES FOR TRIPS INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION OF LESS THAN 75 MILES MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED. THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM IN OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT WAS BASED UPON THE SPECIFIC PROVISION IN SECTION 2.4 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. WHICH PROHIBITS AGENCIES FROM AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES TO SEEK PERMANENT QUARTERS WHEN THE MAP DISTANCE BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW STATIONS IS LESS THAN 75 MILES VIA A USUALLY TRAVELED SURFACE ROUTE. YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW IS PREDICATED ON YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT DERIVES NOT FROM REGULATIONS BUT RATHER FLOWS DIRECTLY FROM SECTION 2 OF PUBLIC LAW 89-516.

B-163491, FEB. 27, 1968

EMPLOYEES - TRANSFERS - PUBLIC LAW 89-516 - HOUSE HUNTING TRIPS DECISION TO ARMY CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE SUSTAINING DISALLOWANCE OF CLAIM FOR EXPENSES OF AUTOMOBILE TRIPS TO SEEK RESIDENCE INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION FROM CHICAGO TO FT. SHERIDAN, ILL. REGULATION (BOB CIR. A-56) MADE PURSUANT TO 5 U.S.C. 5724A MUST BE VIEWED AS A STATUTORY REGULATION HAVING FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAW RATHER THAN AN ADMINISTRATIVE INTERPRETATION OF THE LAW, THEREFORE SEC. 2.4 OF BOB CIR. A -56 WHICH PROHIBITS REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES WHEN THE MAP DISTANCE BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW STATIONS IS LESS THAN 75 MILES VIA A USUALLY TRAVELED SURFACE ROUTE MUST BE REGARDED AS THE LAW AND AN EMPLOYEE WHO INCURRED EXPENSES FOR TRIPS INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION OF LESS THAN 75 MILES MAY NOT BE REIMBURSED.

TO MR. ROBERT E. SCHEIBLE:

WE REFER TO YOUR UNDATED LETTER RECEIVED HERE ON JANUARY 22, 1968, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST REVIEW OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 16, 1967, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED BY YOU ON AUTOMOBILE TRIPS TO SEEK RESIDENCE QUARTERS INCIDENT TO THE CHANGE OF YOUR OFFICIAL STATION FROM CHICAGO TO FORT SHERIDAN, ILLINOIS.

THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM IN OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT WAS BASED UPON THE SPECIFIC PROVISION IN SECTION 2.4 OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED, DATED OCTOBER 12, 1966, WHICH PROHIBITS AGENCIES FROM AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES TO SEEK PERMANENT QUARTERS WHEN THE MAP DISTANCE BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW STATIONS IS LESS THAN 75 MILES VIA A USUALLY TRAVELED SURFACE ROUTE.

YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW IS PREDICATED ON YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT DERIVES NOT FROM REGULATIONS BUT RATHER FLOWS DIRECTLY FROM SECTION 2 OF PUBLIC LAW 89-516, APPROVED JULY 21, 1966, WHICH ADDED SECTION 23 TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ACT OF 1946. SINCE THE DATE OF ENACTMENT OF PUBLIC LAW 89-516, SECTION 23 (2) TO WHICH YOUR LETTER REFERS HAS BEEN CODIFIED AND NOW IS FOUND IN 5 U.S.C. 5724A.

SO FAR AS HERE PERTINENT SECTION 5724A PROVIDES:

"/A)UNDER SUCH REGULATIONS AS THE PRESIDENT MAY PRESCRIBE AND TO THE EXTENT CONSIDERED NECESSARY APPROPRIATE, AS PROVIDED THEREIN, APPROPRIATIONS OR OTHER FUNDS AVAILABLE TO AN AGENCY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF ALL OR PART OF THE FOLLOWING EXPENSES OF AN EMPLOYEE FOR WHOM THE GOVERNMENT PAYS EXPENSES OF TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION UNDER SECTION 5724 (A) OF THIS TITLE:

"/2) * * * EXPENSES OF TRANSPORTATION TO SEEK PERMANENT RESIDENCE QUARTERS AT A NEW OFFICIAL STATION WHEN BOTH THE OLD AND NEW STATIONS ARE LOCATED WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. HOWEVER, EXPENSES UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH MAY BE ALLOWED ONLY FOR ONE ROUND TRIP IN CONNECTION WITH EACH CHANGE OF STATION OF THE EMPLOYEE.'

THE AUTHORITY TO REGULATE CONTAINED IN THE PROVISIONS QUOTED ABOVE WAS DELEGATED BY THE PRESIDENT TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE BUDGET WHO UNDER SUCH DELEGATION PROMULGATED BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966.

REGULATIONS MADE PURSUANT TO STATUTORY AUTHORITY MUST BE VIEWED AS STATUTORY REGULATIONS WHICH HAVE THE FORCE AND EFFECT OF THE STATUTE ITSELF. THUS THE REGULATIONS CONTAINED IN CIRCULAR NO. A-56 ARE NOT ADMINISTRATIVE INTERPRETATIONS OF THE LAW AS SUGGESTED BY YOU BUT ARE THE LAW.

THEREFORE, THE CONCLUSION REACHED IN OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 16, 1967, MUST BE SUSTAINED.