B-166551, APR. 16, 1969

B-166551: Apr 16, 1969

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YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BECAUSE THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HAD REPORTED THAT YOUR REASONS FOR LEAVING YOUR OVERSEAS DUTY STATION PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF AT LEAST 1 YEAR OF THE 2-YEAR TOUR OF DUTY WERE UNACCEPTABLE THUS PRECLUDING PAYMENT OF YOUR EXPENSES AND THOSE OF YOUR WIFE BACK TO THE UNITED STATES. YOU INDICATE THAT ONE OF THE PRINCIPAL REASONS YOU HAD TO LEAVE WAS THAT YOU RECEIVED A PHONE CALL FROM A NATIONAL OF PARAGUAY THREATENING TO SHOOT YOU IF YOU DID NOT LEAVE. THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE REPORTS THAT IF YOUR LIFE IN FACT WAS IN DANGER THE PROPER PROCEDURE TO FOLLOW WAS TO REPORT TO AND SEEK PROTECTION FROM THE AMERICAN EMBASSY. IT WAS DEEMED APPROPRIATE FOR YOU TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY.

B-166551, APR. 16, 1969

TO MR. ROBERT P. CALL AWAY:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 4, 1969, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF FEBRUARY 24, 1969, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL EXPENSES OF YOURSELF AND DEPENDENT WIFE FROM ASUNCION, PARAGUAY, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR SEPARATION FOR VOLUNTARY RETIREMENT AND OTHER REASONS ON NOVEMBER 15, 1968, FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BECAUSE THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HAD REPORTED THAT YOUR REASONS FOR LEAVING YOUR OVERSEAS DUTY STATION PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF AT LEAST 1 YEAR OF THE 2-YEAR TOUR OF DUTY WERE UNACCEPTABLE THUS PRECLUDING PAYMENT OF YOUR EXPENSES AND THOSE OF YOUR WIFE BACK TO THE UNITED STATES. YOU INDICATE THAT ONE OF THE PRINCIPAL REASONS YOU HAD TO LEAVE WAS THAT YOU RECEIVED A PHONE CALL FROM A NATIONAL OF PARAGUAY THREATENING TO SHOOT YOU IF YOU DID NOT LEAVE. THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE REPORTS THAT IF YOUR LIFE IN FACT WAS IN DANGER THE PROPER PROCEDURE TO FOLLOW WAS TO REPORT TO AND SEEK PROTECTION FROM THE AMERICAN EMBASSY. IF, IN THE OPINION OF THE EMBASSY OFFICIALS, IT WAS DEEMED APPROPRIATE FOR YOU TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY, THE EMBASSY WOULD HAVE ARRANGED FOR YOUR DEPARTURE. THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE STATES THAT YOU HAD ALREADY DETERMINED TO DEPART THE POST WITHOUT COMPLETING YOUR TOUR OF DUTY BEFORE THE PHONE CALL WAS RECEIVED.

THE REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF YOUR RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES PROVIDED FOR THE RETURN OF AN EMPLOYEE AND HIS DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE PRIOR TO THE COMPLETION OF THEIR AGREED TOUR OF DUTY ONLY UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS ACCEPTABLE TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE. THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE CONSIDERED THE REASONS PRESENTED BY YOU INCLUDING YOUR RETIREMENT BUT DECLINED TO ACCEPT SUCH REASONS SO AS TO PERMIT YOUR EXPENSES BACK TO THE UNITED STATES TO BE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT.

THE ACCEPTABILITY OF THE REASON OR REASONS FOR YOUR PREMATURE RESIGNATION PRIMARILY IS FOR DETERMINATION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND ITS DETERMINATION IS REVIEWABLE BY OUR OFFICE ONLY IF THE FACTS ESTABLISH THAT IT IS ARBITRARY OR CAPRICIOUS.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONCLUSION IN YOUR CASE APPEARS REASONABLY SUPPORTED BY THE EVIDENCE. THEREFORE, WE MAY NOT SUBSTITUTE OUR JUDGMENT FOR THAT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ON THE GROUND THAT ITS ACTION WAS ARBITRARY OR CAPRICIOUS.

ACCORDINGLY, WE MUST SUSTAIN THE PRIOR ACTION OF DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM.

A COPY OF THIS DECISION IS BEING TRANSMITTED TO THE HONORABLE DON FUQUA.