B-163790, MAY 3, 1968

B-163790: May 3, 1968

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SUCH DISCRETION IS TO BE EXERCISED TO AVOID INCURRENCE OF UNNECESSARY REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES BY TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES. A-56 ALSO PROVIDE THAT AN APPROPRIATE OFFICIAL OF THE DEPARTMENT WHICH WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYMENT OF THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR THE EMPLOYEE WILL MAKE THE DECISION AS TO WHETHER SUCH A TRIP SHOULD BE AUTHORIZED. THERE IS NOTHING OF RECORD TO SHOW THAT THE HOUSE-HUNTING TRIP HAD BEEN AUTHORIZED. ON THE CONTRARY THE FILE SHOWS THAT: "THIS CASE WAS DISCUSSED WITH MR. HULCHER BY REPRESENTATIVES FROM BRSI CENTRAL OFFICE AND DED BEFORE THE TRAVEL ORDER WAS ISSUED. THE REQUEST WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN APPROVED FOR SEVERAL REASONS.'. HULCHER IS THE OFFICIAL WHO SIGNED YOUR TRAVEL ORDER AS THE AUTHORIZING OFFICER.

B-163790, MAY 3, 1968

TO MR. BERNARD LEVIN:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 4, 1968, REFERENCE OA:ED, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 23, 1968, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL BETWEEN YOUR OLD AND NEW OFFICIAL STATIONS TO SEEK PERMANENT RESIDENCE QUARTERS INCIDENT TO YOUR TRANSFER FROM KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, TO BALTIMORE, MARYLAND.

YOUR TRAVEL ORDER DATED JULY 1, 1967, UNDER ITINERARY AND PURPOSE OF TRAVEL, PROVIDED FOR "NO ROUND TRIP.' THE BUREAU OF THE BUDGET HAS PROVIDED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DISCRETION IN AUTHORIZING REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN OF THE EXPENSES COVERED BY PUBLIC LAW 89-516, FOR EXAMPLE, THE EXPENSES OF HOUSE-HUNTING TRIPS. AS INDICATED IN SECTION 2.4 OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56, SUCH DISCRETION IS TO BE EXERCISED TO AVOID INCURRENCE OF UNNECESSARY REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES BY TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEES. THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2.4 OF CIRCULAR NO. A-56 ALSO PROVIDE THAT AN APPROPRIATE OFFICIAL OF THE DEPARTMENT WHICH WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYMENT OF THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES FOR THE EMPLOYEE WILL MAKE THE DECISION AS TO WHETHER SUCH A TRIP SHOULD BE AUTHORIZED. THERE IS NOTHING OF RECORD TO SHOW THAT THE HOUSE-HUNTING TRIP HAD BEEN AUTHORIZED. ON THE CONTRARY THE FILE SHOWS THAT:

"THIS CASE WAS DISCUSSED WITH MR. HULCHER BY REPRESENTATIVES FROM BRSI CENTRAL OFFICE AND DED BEFORE THE TRAVEL ORDER WAS ISSUED. THE TRAVEL REQUEST PREPARED BY DED CONTAINED NO REQUEST FOR AN ADVANCE TRIP. HAD IT DONE SO, THE REQUEST WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN APPROVED FOR SEVERAL REASONS.' MR. HULCHER IS THE OFFICIAL WHO SIGNED YOUR TRAVEL ORDER AS THE AUTHORIZING OFFICER.

SINCE THE TRAVEL WAS NOT AUTHORIZED AS REQUIRED BY THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS, WE HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO SUSTAIN THE ACTION IN OUR SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 23, 1968.