B-164466, JUN. 13, 1966

B-164466: Jun 13, 1966

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THE RECORD SHOWS THAT AS A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY (ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT) YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY IN VIETNAM FOR A PERIOD OF ABOUT 180 DAYS. YOUR RETURN TO TEMPORARY DUTY WAS NOT REQUESTED BY THE LOCAL VIETNAM COMMAND. YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED BY YOU IN RETURNING FROM VIETNAM FOR PERSONAL REASONS WAS CONSIDERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AND BY OUR OFFICE UNDER SECTION C3014. THAT SECTION SO FAR AS HERE PERTINENT READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS: "* * * THE COST RELATING TO RETURN OF THE EMPLOYEE TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION WILL NOT BE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UNLESS IT IS DETERMINED ADMINISTRATIVELY THAT THE EMPLOYEE SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLETED THE MISSION REQUIREMENTS OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT OR THAT SUCH COMPLETION WAS AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT * * *.'.

B-164466, JUN. 13, 1966

TO MR. WILLIAM H. THOMPSON:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 15, 1968, REQUESTING REVIEW OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 10, 1968, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED BY YOU INCIDENT TO YOUR TRAVEL FROM VIETNAM TO THE UNITED STATES IN JUNE 1967.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT AS A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY (ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT) YOU WERE ASSIGNED TO TEMPORARY DUTY IN VIETNAM FOR A PERIOD OF ABOUT 180 DAYS. YOU ARRIVED AT YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY STATION ON MARCH 23, 1967. AFTER SOME 80 ODD DAYS OF DUTY YOU DEPARTED YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY STATION ON JUNE 11 FOR THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES APPARENTLY ON EMERGENCY LEAVE BECAUSE OF A DEATH IN YOUR FAMILY. YOU REPORTED FOR ACTIVE DUTY AT YOUR OFFICIAL STATION IN ANNISTON UPON TERMINATION OF YOUR EMERGENCY ANNUAL LEAVE ON JUNE 24, 1967. YOUR RETURN TO TEMPORARY DUTY WAS NOT REQUESTED BY THE LOCAL VIETNAM COMMAND.

YOUR ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL EXPENSES INCURRED BY YOU IN RETURNING FROM VIETNAM FOR PERSONAL REASONS WAS CONSIDERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY AND BY OUR OFFICE UNDER SECTION C3014, VOLUME 2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES OF THE MILITARY DEPARTMENTS. THAT SECTION SO FAR AS HERE PERTINENT READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * THE COST RELATING TO RETURN OF THE EMPLOYEE TO HIS PERMANENT DUTY STATION WILL NOT BE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE UNLESS IT IS DETERMINED ADMINISTRATIVELY THAT THE EMPLOYEE SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLETED THE MISSION REQUIREMENTS OF THE TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT OR THAT SUCH COMPLETION WAS AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT * * *.'

ON THE BASIS OF A CONCLUSION IN THE FIELD THAT YOU DID NOT SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLETE THE MISSION REQUIREMENTS OF YOUR TEMPORARY DUTY ASSIGNMENT THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY WAS UNABLE TO REACH A FAVORABLE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION IN THAT REGARD AND YOUR CASE WAS SO REPORTED TO THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE.

THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF RECORD THAT THE ABOVE-MENTIONED CONCLUSION REACHED BY THE COMMAND IN VIETNAM WAS ARBITRARY OR CAPRICIOUS AND THUS THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE IN ITS INDEPENDENT CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM WOULD NOT BE WARRANTED IN ARRIVING AT A DIFFERENT CONCLUSION.

THEREFORE, OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF MAY 10, 1968, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM MUST BE SUSTAINED.

HOWEVER, IT IS NOT APPARENT FROM THE RECORD WHETHER THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY MADE A FACTUAL DETERMINATION IN YOUR CASE UNDER THE ALTERNATIVE PROVISION OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED REGULATION WHICH READS: "OR THAT SUCH COMPLETION WAS AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT.'

SHOULD THE DEPARTMENT REEXAMINE YOUR CASE AND ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINE THAT THE MISSION REQUIREMENTS WERE COMPLETED AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT IN CONSEQUENCE OF YOUR EARLY DEPARTURE AND SO INFORMS OUR OFFICE, WE SHALL BE PLEASED TO FURTHER CONSIDER YOUR CLAIM.