B-166760, MAY 21, 1969

B-166760: May 21, 1969

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HYDE: THIS IS IN REPLY TO LETTER OF APRIL 22. WAHLBERG WAS ASKED IF HE WAS INTERESTED IN A TRANSFER AT HIS EXPENSE FROM LIVERMORE. REPORTED FOR DUTY AT FORT LAUDERDALE AND WAS PROMOTED FROM GRADE GS -7 TO GRADE GS-9 ON DECEMBER 8. HE WAS UNABLE TO SATISFACTORILY PERFORM THE DUTIES OF THE GRADE GS-9 POSITION. ALTHOUGH HE WAS GIVEN PERSONAL GUIDANCE AND INSTRUCTION BY HIS SUPERVISOR. A NOTICE OF PROPOSED ADVERSE ACTION WAS ISSUED TO MR. WAHLBERG WAS DEMOTED TO GRADE GS-7 AND PERMANENTLY ASSIGNED TO FORT LAUDERDALE ON MAY 10. WAHLBERG IS SEEKING REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER FROM LIVERMORE TO FORT LAUDERDALE ON THE GROUND THAT THE COMMISSION BREACHED ITS AGREEMENT WITH HIM TO SUBSEQUENTLY TRANSFER HIM TO SAN JUAN.

B-166760, MAY 21, 1969

TO MR. HYDE:

THIS IS IN REPLY TO LETTER OF APRIL 22, 1969, FROM MR. MAX D. PAGLIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, REFERENCE 3400, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO WHETHER A TRAVEL CLAIM BY MR. JOHN H. WAHLBERG, A COMMISSION EMPLOYEE, MAY BE PAID BY THE COMMISSION.

IN NOVEMBER 1962, MR. WAHLBERG WAS ASKED IF HE WAS INTERESTED IN A TRANSFER AT HIS EXPENSE FROM LIVERMORE, CALIFORNIA, TO A GRADE GS-9 POSITION AT FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA, WITH SUBSEQUENT TRANSFER TO SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. MR. WAHLBERG ACCEPTED THE OFFER, REPORTED FOR DUTY AT FORT LAUDERDALE AND WAS PROMOTED FROM GRADE GS -7 TO GRADE GS-9 ON DECEMBER 8, 1962. HOWEVER, HE WAS UNABLE TO SATISFACTORILY PERFORM THE DUTIES OF THE GRADE GS-9 POSITION, ALTHOUGH HE WAS GIVEN PERSONAL GUIDANCE AND INSTRUCTION BY HIS SUPERVISOR. A NOTICE OF PROPOSED ADVERSE ACTION WAS ISSUED TO MR. WAHLBERG ON NOVEMBER 21, 1963. RATHER THAN CONTEST THE ADVERSE ACTION CHARGES, MR. WAHLBERG SUBMITTED A SIGNED STATEMENT DATED APRIL 20, 1964, REQUESTING REASSIGNMENT TO GRADE GS-7. MR. WAHLBERG WAS DEMOTED TO GRADE GS-7 AND PERMANENTLY ASSIGNED TO FORT LAUDERDALE ON MAY 10, 1964. MR. WAHLBERG IS SEEKING REIMBURSEMENT FOR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER FROM LIVERMORE TO FORT LAUDERDALE ON THE GROUND THAT THE COMMISSION BREACHED ITS AGREEMENT WITH HIM TO SUBSEQUENTLY TRANSFER HIM TO SAN JUAN.

BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 1962, PROVIDES IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS: "1.5 PAYMENT OF EXPENSES. THE TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES ALLOWABLE UNDER THESE REGULATIONS, WHEN AUTHORIZED OR APPROVED BY SUCH SUBORDINATE OFFICIAL OR OFFICIALS AS THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT MAY DESIGNATE, SHALL BE PAID IN CASE OF TRANSFER OF AN EMPLOYEE FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER, INCLUDING TRANSFER FROM ONE DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER, FOR PERMANENT DUTY, BUT IN NO CASE IN WHICH THE TRANSFER IS MADE PRIMARILY FOR THE CONVENIENCE OR BENEFIT OF THE EMPLOYEE OR AT HIS REQUEST. * * *"

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT MR. WAHLBERG IN A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 3, 1962, INQUIRED AS TO WHETHER THE COMMISSION COULD PAY PART OF HIS TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES. IN LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 7, 1962, MR. GEORGE S. TURNER, CHIEF, FIELD ENGINEERING AND MONITORING BUREAU, REPLIED IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"INASMUCH AS THIS TRANSFER IS BEING EFFECTED AS A RESULT OF SPECIFIC REQUEST ON YOUR PART FOR ASSIGNMENT TO FORT LAUDERDALE, IT WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO ASSUME ANY PART OF THE TRAVEL COST TO THIS INITIAL DUTY STATION. YOUR PROPOSED SUBSEQUENT TRANSFER TO SAN JUAN (DEPENDENT ON THE SUCCESS OF YOUR PERFORMANCE AT FORT LAUDERDALE) WILL BE AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. THIS IS AS YOU HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY ADVISED.'

THUS, IT IS CLEAR THAT PRIOR TO THE TRANSFER FROM LIVERMORE TO FORT LAUDERDALE MR. WAHLBERG WAS SPECIFICALLY INFORMED THAT TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION TO FORT LAUDERDALE WOULD BE AT HIS EXPENSE. WE NOTE ALSO THAT IN ADVANCE OF THE TRANSFER HE WAS ADVISED THAT THE SUBSEQUENT TRANSFER TO SAN JUAN WAS DEPENDENT ON HIS SUCCESSFUL PERFORMANCE OF THE DUTIES AT FORT LAUDERDALE. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND SINCE THE RECORD FURTHER INDICATES THE TRANSFER WAS AT THE SPECIFIC REQUEST OF MR. WAHLBERG, THE CLAIM SHOULD BE DISALLOWED.