B-164442, JUN. 12, 1968

B-164442: Jun 12, 1968

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YOUR ACTING DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY'S LETTER IS IN PART AS FOLLOWS: "SINCE THE FAMILY IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO RESIDE IN SAIGON. IN ORDER TO BE WITH THEM DURING THE TRAINING PERIOD AND HAVE A MINIMUM INTERRUPTION OF THE CHILDREN'S SCHOOLING. WAS IN TRAINING FROM FEBRUARY 12 TO MARCH 29. (IT IS NOT KNOWN WHETHER HE SPENT TIME IN SEATTLE ENROUTE TO VIET-NAM. IN ANY CASE IT COULD HAVE BEEN A FEW DAYS ONLY.). WHETHER IT IS OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE HAS BEEN QUESTIONED.'. THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM BRUSSELS. DURING HIS TOUR AND THE AUTHORIZED ITINERARY FOR SUCH DEPENDENTS WAS BRUSSELS TO SEATTLE. THE ORDER WAS AMENDED TO SHOW THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S DEPENDENTS WOULD RESIDE IN WASHINGTON.

B-164442, JUN. 12, 1968

TO MR. SECRETARY:

WE REFER TO THE LETTER OF MAY 24, 1968, FROM YOUR ACTING DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY FOR ADMINISTRATION REQUESTING OUR DECISION WHETHER THE FAMILY OF AN EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRING FROM BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, TO SAIGON, VIETNAM, WITH HOME LEAVE IN THE UNITED STATES AND A TEMPORARY PERIOD OF TRAINING IN WASHINGTON, D.C., PRIOR TO REPORTING TO SAIGON MAY RECEIVE TRANSPORTATION AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, UNDER THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES.

YOUR ACTING DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY'S LETTER IS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"SINCE THE FAMILY IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO RESIDE IN SAIGON, IN ORDER TO BE WITH THEM DURING THE TRAINING PERIOD AND HAVE A MINIMUM INTERRUPTION OF THE CHILDREN'S SCHOOLING, THE EMPLOYEE ELECTED ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA AS THE SAFEHAVEN ADDRESS FOR HIS DEPENDENTS. HE DEPARTED BRUSSELS ON DECEMBER 27, 1967, CAME DIRECTLY TO WASHINGTON WITH HIS FAMILY, WAS IN TRAINING FROM FEBRUARY 12 TO MARCH 29, 1968, AND PRECEEDED ALONE TO HIS NEW POST IN VIET-NAM ARRIVING THERE ON APRIL 6, 1968. (IT IS NOT KNOWN WHETHER HE SPENT TIME IN SEATTLE ENROUTE TO VIET-NAM, BUT IN ANY CASE IT COULD HAVE BEEN A FEW DAYS ONLY.)

"IN JUNE, WHEN THE CHILDREN FINISH THE SCHOOL TERM, THE WIFE AND CHILDREN WOULD LIKE TO TRAVEL FROM ARLINGTON TO SEATTLE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING HOME LEAVE. THIS TRAVEL WOULD STILL BE WITHIN THE TIME LIMITATION SET FORTH IN 6 FAM 132.2-1, BUT WHETHER IT IS OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE HAS BEEN QUESTIONED.'

WE NOTE THAT BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION DATED OCTOBER 26, 1967, THE EMPLOYEE WAS AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM BRUSSELS, BELGIUM TO SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, FOR LEAVE; THENCE TO WASHINGTON, D.C., FOR A PERIOD OF TRAINING; AND THENCE TO SAIGON HIS NEW STATION. THE AUTHORIZATION STATED THAT THE TRAVEL WOULD NOT START UNTIL DECEMBER 26, 1967. THE ORDERS FURTHER PROVIDED THAT DUE TO EMERGENCY CONDITIONS EXISTING IN VIETNAM HIS DEPENDENTS WOULD RESIDE IN SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, DURING HIS TOUR AND THE AUTHORIZED ITINERARY FOR SUCH DEPENDENTS WAS BRUSSELS TO SEATTLE. HOWEVER, ON DECEMBER 13, 1967, THE ORDER WAS AMENDED TO SHOW THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S DEPENDENTS WOULD RESIDE IN WASHINGTON, D.C., DURING THE EMPLOYEE'S TOUR OF DUTY IN SAIGON AND BY ORDERS OF FEBRUARY 21, 1968, THE AUTHORIZED ITINERARY FOR DEPENDENTS WAS CHANGED TO READ BRUSSELS/SEATTLE, WASHINGTON/WASHINGTON, D.C.

THE CONTROLLING LAW, 22 U.S.C. 1136 (2), AUTHORIZES THE PAYMENT OF THE TRAVEL EXPENSES OF THE FAMILY OF AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WHEN ACCOMPANYING HIM ON AUTHORIZED HOME LEAVE. WHILE UNDER 6 FAM 132.2-1 THE FAMILY MAY DELAY SUCH TRAVEL FOR NOT TO EXCEED 6 MONTHS, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY UNDER WHICH THE FAMILY MAY TRAVEL TO ANY FURTHER POINT FOR LEAVE PURPOSES THAN THAT TO WHICH THE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE TRAVELED FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE. IT IS NOT ESTABLISHED THAT THE EMPLOYEE SPENT ANY TIME IN SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, THE AUTHORIZED LEAVE POINT. WASHINGTON, D.C. IS THE FARTHEST POINT WHICH THE FAMILY OF THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY ACCOMPANIED HIM. MOREOVER, THE ORDERS OF DECEMBER 13, 1967, AMENDED THE ORIGINAL ORDERS TO CLEARLY INDICATE THAT THE EMPLOYEE'S DEPENDENTS WOULD REMAIN IN WASHINGTON, D.C., DURING THE TOUR OF DUTY OF THE EMPLOYEE IN SAIGON, VIETNAM. THUS, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENTED IT REASONABLY APPEARS THAT WASHINGTON, D.C., MUST BE REGARDED NOT ONLY AS THE SAFEHAVEN ADDRESS FOR THE DEPENDENTS BUT ALSO THE PLACE TO WHICH THEY WERE ENTITLED TO TRAVEL FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE.

ACCORDINGLY, ON THE BASIS OF THE RECORD PRESENTED HERE FURTHER TRAVEL OF THE EMPLOYEE'S DEPENDENTS FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO SEATTLE WASHINGTON, WOULD NOT BE AUTHORIZED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE.