B-166208, APR. 1, 1969

B-166208: Apr 1, 1969

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YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES BECAUSE MISS HODGE WAS TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE BEFORE THE EMPLOYEE RETURNED TO JAPAN TO BEGIN HIS SECOND TOUR OF DUTY. UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5728 (A) THE EXPENSES OF ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEES AND TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES FROM POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THE PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT OR TRANSFER TO SUCH OVERSEAS POSTS OF DUTY SHALL BE ALLOWED IN THE CASE OF PERSONS WHO HAVE SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED AN AGREED PERIOD OF SERVICE OVERSEAS AND ARE RETURNING TO THIER ACTUAL PLACES OF RESIDENCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE PRIOR TO SERVING ANOTHER TOUR OF OVERSEAS DUTY UNDER A NEW WRITTEN AGREEMENT ENTERED INTO BEFORE DEPARTING FROM THE OVERSEAS POST.

B-166208, APR. 1, 1969

TO MRS. CATHERINE A. BAILEY:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 13, 1969, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION WHETHER YOU MAY PROPERLY CERTIFY FOR PAYMENT THE VOUCHER OF DR. WALTER HODGE IN THE AMOUNT OF $544.35 REPRESENTING REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES OF TRAVEL OF HIS DAUGHTER IN TRAVELING FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO TOKYO, JAPAN.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT DR. HODGE ON AUGUST 14, 1968, COMPLETED A 2 YEAR TOUR OF DUTY IN TOKYO, JAPAN. HE SIGNED A NEW EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT ON JULY 15, 1968, AND TRAVELED TO THE UNITED STATES ON HOME LEAVE SOMETIME AFTER AUGUST 15, 1968. DR. HODGE'S DAUGHTER TRAVELED TO TOKYO ABOUT SEPTEMBER 1, 1968, PRIOR TO HER TWENTY-FIRST BIRTHDAY (SEPTEMBER 30, 1968) AND PRIOR TO THE EMPLOYEE'S RETURN IN NOVEMBER 1968. DURING THE EMPLOYEE'S FIRST TOUR OF DUTY, HIS DAUGHTER RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES IN 1967 AFTER A YEAR IN JAPAN.

YOUR DOUBT IN THE MATTER ARISES BECAUSE MISS HODGE WAS TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE BEFORE THE EMPLOYEE RETURNED TO JAPAN TO BEGIN HIS SECOND TOUR OF DUTY. UNDER 5 U.S.C. 5728 (A) THE EXPENSES OF ROUND-TRIP TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEES AND TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES FROM POSTS OF DUTY OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO THE PLACE OF ACTUAL RESIDENCE AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT OR TRANSFER TO SUCH OVERSEAS POSTS OF DUTY SHALL BE ALLOWED IN THE CASE OF PERSONS WHO HAVE SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED AN AGREED PERIOD OF SERVICE OVERSEAS AND ARE RETURNING TO THIER ACTUAL PLACES OF RESIDENCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE PRIOR TO SERVING ANOTHER TOUR OF OVERSEAS DUTY UNDER A NEW WRITTEN AGREEMENT ENTERED INTO BEFORE DEPARTING FROM THE OVERSEAS POST. THE ABOVE STATUTORY PROVISION DOES NOT AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF THE TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF THE EMPLOYEE'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY FROM THE OVERSEAS POST OF DUTY TO ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES UNLESS THE EMPLOYEE HIMSELF RETURNS TO THE UNITED STATES FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING LEAVE. HOWEVER, THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT THE MEMBERS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY PHYSICALLY ACCOMPANY THE EMPLOYEE ON RETURN TRAVEL TO THE OVERSEAS POST. SEE 35 COMP. GEN. 101.

THE TERM "IMMEDIATE FAMILY" IS DEFINED IN SECTION 1.2D OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56 AS:

"ANY OF THE FOLLOWING NAMED MEMBERS OF THE EMPLOYEE'S HOUSEHOLD AT THE TIME HE REPORTS FOR DUTY AT HIS NEW PERMANENT DUTY STATION OR PERFORMS AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED HOM LEAVE OR SEPARATION TRAVEL; SPOUSE, CHILDREN (INCLUDING STEPCHILDREN AND ADOPTED CHILDREN) UNMARRIED AND UNDER TWENTY- ONE YEARS OF AGE OR PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY INCAPABLE OF SUPPORTING THEMSELVES REGARDLESS OF AGE, OR DEPENDENT PARENTS OF THE EMPLOYEE AND OF THE EMPLOYEE'S SPOUSE.'

WE NOTE THAT THE EMPLOYEE IN THIS CASE DID TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES FOR THE PURPOSE OF TAKING HOME LEAVE AND DID RETURN TO JAPAN IN NOVEMBER 1968 UNDER A WRITTEN AGREEMENT TO PERFORM ANOTHER TOUR OF DUTY THEREBY ENTITLING HIM TO ROUND-TRIP TRAVELING EXPENSE FOR HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY. IN VIEW THEREOF, AND AS THE DAUGHTER PERFORMED THE TRAVEL AFTER HER FATHER (PRIOR TO HER TWENTY-FIRST BIRTHDAY) RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES FOR HIME LEAVE, WE SEE NO REASON WHY HE SHOULD NOT BE REIMBURSED FOR THE TRAVEL OF HIS DAUGHTER TO TOKYO. WE POINT OUT, HOWEVER, THAT SUCH PAYMENT SHOULD BE LIMITED TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE COST OF DIRECT ONE-WAY TRAVEL BY JET ECONOMY FROM THE EMPLOYEE'S ACTUAL PLACE OF RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES WHICH WE UNDERSTAND IS WASHINGTON, D.C., TO JAPAN.

ACTION ON THE VOUCHER RETURNED HEREWITH SHOULD BE TAKEN IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.