B-167141, JUL. 23, 1969

B-167141: Jul 23, 1969

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EMPLOYEE WHO 10 DAYS AFTER VERBAL NOTICE THAT HE WAS BEING REASSIGNED BACK TO HIS OLD STATION ACCEPTED SALES CONTRACT FOR HOME ON BASIS OF A RECENT SALES OFFER MAY NOT HAVE SALE REGARDED AS HAVING PROGRESSED TOO FAR TO HAVE BEEN STOPPED AND TO HAVE THE SALE OF RESIDENCE PREDICATED ON CHANGE OF DUTY STATION FROM FORT MEADE TO FRIENDSHIP ANNEX I WHEN IN FACT HE KNEW THAT HE WAS BEING RETURNED TO FORT MEADE. CHAUNCEY SUBMITTED TO THE DIRNSA PCS COMMITTEE A REQUEST FOR DETERMINATION THAT THE RELOCATION OF HIS RESIDENCE WAS PRIMARILY INCIDENT TO THE CHANGE OF STATION FROM FORT GEORGE G. THE COMMITTEE DETERMINED THAT THE RELOCATION OF THE RESIDENCE WAS PRIMARILY INCIDENT TO THE PCS FROM FORT GEORGE G.

B-167141, JUL. 23, 1969

CIVIL PAY - RELOCATION EXPENSES - TWO CHANGES OF STATION DECISION TO FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING OFFICER OF NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY HOLDING THAT VOUCHER FOR EXPENSES OF SALE OF RESIDENCE, TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AND MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION FROM FORT MEADE TO FRIENDSHIP ANNEX I MAY NOT BE PAID. EMPLOYEE WHO 10 DAYS AFTER VERBAL NOTICE THAT HE WAS BEING REASSIGNED BACK TO HIS OLD STATION ACCEPTED SALES CONTRACT FOR HOME ON BASIS OF A RECENT SALES OFFER MAY NOT HAVE SALE REGARDED AS HAVING PROGRESSED TOO FAR TO HAVE BEEN STOPPED AND TO HAVE THE SALE OF RESIDENCE PREDICATED ON CHANGE OF DUTY STATION FROM FORT MEADE TO FRIENDSHIP ANNEX I WHEN IN FACT HE KNEW THAT HE WAS BEING RETURNED TO FORT MEADE.

TO MAJOR J. E. INGLES, FC:

YOUR MEMORANDUM OF MAY 21, 1969, SERIAL: D5/0931F, FORWARDED TO US ON JUNE 2, 1969, BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE OF THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY REQUESTS A DECISION ON THE ALLOWABILITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES OF SALE OF REAL ESTATE, TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE AND THE TRANSPORTATION AND PER DIEM FOR HIMSELF AND FAMILY TO MR. WILLIAM P. CHAUNCEY IN CONNECTION WITH HIS CHANGE OF DUTY STATION. YOUR MEMORANDUM STATES IN PART:

"A. ON 23 JUNE 1968 PER VERBAL ORDERS OF THE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, CONFIRMED BY LETTER ORDERS 0902 DATED 4 MARCH 1969 * * * MR. CHAUNCEY PERFORMED PCS TRAVEL FROM FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, MARYLAND TO FRIENDSHIP ANNEX I, ELKRIDGE, LANDING ROAD, NEAR LINTHICUM, MARYLAND. DURING THE LAST WEEK IN OCTOBER 1968 OR THE FIRST WEEK IN NOVEMBER 1968, MR. CHAUNCEY PERFORMED PCS TRAVEL FROM FRIENDSHIP ANNEX I, ELKRIDGE LANDING ROAD TO FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, MARYLAND PER VERBAL ORDERS OF THE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, CONFIRMED BY LETTER ORDERS 0903 DATED 4 MARCH 1969 SHOWING AN EFFECTIVE DATE OF TRANSFER AS 16 JANUARY 1969.

"B. ON 25 FEBRUARY 1969, MR. CHAUNCEY SUBMITTED TO THE DIRNSA PCS COMMITTEE A REQUEST FOR DETERMINATION THAT THE RELOCATION OF HIS RESIDENCE WAS PRIMARILY INCIDENT TO THE CHANGE OF STATION FROM FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, MARYLAND TO FRIENDSHIP ANNEX I ON 23 JUNE 1968. HE DID NOT INDICATE AT THAT TIME THAT HE HAD BEEN TRANSFERRED FROM FRIENDSHIP ANNEX I BACK TO FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, MARYLAND, OR THE DATE ON WHICH THE RETURN TO FORT MEADE OCCURRED. BASED ON THE INFORMATION PRESENTED, THE COMMITTEE DETERMINED THAT THE RELOCATION OF THE RESIDENCE WAS PRIMARILY INCIDENT TO THE PCS FROM FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, MARYLAND TO FRIENDSHIP ANNEX I ON 23 JUNE 1968.

"C. ON 4 NOVEMBER 1968, MR. CHAUNCEY ACCEPTED A SALES CONTRACT DATED 1 NOVEMBER 1968 ON HIS OLD RESIDENCE, 3108 MANSION PLACE, HYATTSVILLE, MARYLAND. SETTLEMENT WAS HELD ON 6 FEBRUARY 1969.

"D. ON 15 JANUARY 1969, MR. CHAUNCEY CONTRACTED FOR THE PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE IN CRESTON PARK, MARYLAND. HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE MOVED AND OCCUPANCY COMMENCED ON 8 FEBRUARY 1969; SETTLEMENT ON THE PROPERTY OCCURRED ON 12 FEBRUARY 1969.

"2. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT BOTH PCS CONFIRMATORY ORDERS WERE ISSUED ON THE SAME DATE; THE FACT THAT MR. CHAUNCEY DID NOT INDICATE TO THE DIRNSA PCS COMMITTEE THAT HE HAD BEEN TRANSFERRED BACK TO FORT MEADE (EITHER THROUGH INADVERTENCE, OR HE MAY HAVE FELT THAT THIS FACT WOULD HAVE NO BEARING ON HIS REQUEST); AND FROM PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF EVENTS THAT OCCURRED IN THE OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 1968 PERIOD; THE CASE WAS SUBMITTED TO THE AGENCY INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR AN INVESTIGATION TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE RELOCATION FROM FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, MARYLAND TO FRIENDSHIP ANNEX I ON 23 JUNE 1968 WAS A VALID PCS. THE INSPECTOR GENERAL'S FINDINGS AND OPINIONS WERE:

"A. BASED ON A PERSONNEL ACTION FORM DATED 13 JUNE 1968 * * * MR. CHAUNCEY WAS TO BE PROMOTED AND TRANSFERRED TO FILL A NEWLY ESTABLISHED POSITION AT FRIENDSHIP ANNEX I. BOTH ACTIONS WERE TO BE EFFECTIVE 23 JUNE 1968; AND, THAT THE PERSONNEL ACTION REQUEST OF 13 JUNE 1968 ESTABLISHED THE FACT THAT THE ASSIGNMENT FROM FORT MEADE TO FRIENDSHIP ANNEX I WAS DEFINITELY INTENDED TO BE A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION EVEN THOUGH THE PCS ORDERS (CONFIRMATORY) WERE NOT ISSUED UNTIL 4 MARCH 1969.

"B. APPROXIMATELY THE 25TH OF OCTOBER 1968, MR. CHAUNCEY WAS INFORMED THAT HE WAS BEING CONSIDERED FOR REASSIGNMENT TO FORT MEADE TO FILL A VACANCY BEING CREATED AS THE RESULT OF AN EMPLOYEE TRANSFERRING TO ANOTHER AGENCY POSITION.

"C. THAT BETWEEN THE PERIOD 28 OCTOBER 1968 AND 4 NOVEMBER 1968, MR. CHAUNCEY WORKED PART-TIME AT FRIENDSHIP ANNEX I, HIS OLD DUTY STATION, AND THAT HE ENTERED ON FULL-TIME DUTY IN HIS NEW JOB AT HIS NEW LOCATION AT FORT MEADE ON 4 NOVEMBER 1968.

"D. THE INSPECTOR GENERAL FOUND THAT THERE WERE SEVERAL ADMINISTRATIVE INADEQUACIES AND UNTIMELINESS IN THE PREPARATION OF ORDERS AND IN THE PREPARATION AND PROCESSING OF PERSONNEL ACTION DOCUMENTS. HE DID NOT, HOWEVER, FIND EVIDENCE TO INDICATE COLLUSION ON THE PART OF ANYONE OR AN ATTEMPT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A TECHNICALITY AND ISSUE PCS ORDERS IF MR. CHAUNCEY'S ASSIGNMENT TO FRIENDSHIP ANNEX I WAS TO BE A DETAIL AND NOT A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. THE FACT THAT A DEFINITE PCS WAS INTENDED IS SUPPORTED BY ATTACHMENT 9. THE INSPECTOR GENERAL'S FINDINGS INDICATE THAT IF PROPER AND TIMELY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIONS HAD BEEN TAKEN, TWO CLEARLY DEFINED, PROPERLY DOCUMENTED PERMANENT CHANGES OF STATION WOULD BE EVIDENT.

"E. THE INSPECTOR GENERAL IS OF THE OPINION THAT MR. CHAUNCEY SOLD HIS RESIDENCE IN HYATTSVILLE BASED ON CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH WERE SET IN MOTION BY THE PCS TO FRIENDSHIP ANNEX I ON 23 JUNE 1968 AND THAT WHEN HE WAS INFORMED OF HIS PENDING TRANSFER BACK TO FORT MEADE LATE IN OCTOBER 1968, EVENTS HAD PROGRESSED TOO FAR FOR HIM TO STOP THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE.

"3. IT IS READILY APPARENT THAT THERE WERE ADMINISTRATIVE INADEQUACIES INVOLVED IN THE TRANSFER, ASSIGNMENT, AND REASSIGNMENT OF MR. CHAUNCEY, AND ALTHOUGH THE FINDINGS OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL CLARIFIED SEVERAL ASPECTS OF THE CASE, SOME DOUBTS MUST STILL BE RESOLVED BEFORE THE CLAIM CAN BE PAID OR BEFORE PAYMENT CAN BE DENIED.

"A. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THERE IS NO DOCUMENTATION PRIOR TO 25 FEBRUARY 1969 RELATIVE TO A REQUEST FOR REASSIGNMENT OF MR. CHAUNCEY FROM FRIENDSHIP ANNEX I TO FORT MEADE * * *; AND THE PERSONNEL INVOLVED IN THE TRANSFER OF MR. CHAUNCEY HAVE STATED THAT THEY PROBABLY CONTACTED MR. CHAUNCEY ON THE 24TH OR 25TH OF OCTOBER (ALTHOUGH THEY DO NOT RECALL THE EXACT DATE), AND IN VIEW OF THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS, THE DATES ON WHICH THEY OCCURRED, AND THE INCLOSED PCS ORDERS, THE ASSIGNED PERMANENT DUTY STATION OF MR. CHAUNCEY ON THE DATE HE ACCEPTED THE CONTRACT OF SALE MUST BE DETERMINED. IT IS REQUESTED THEREFORE THAT A DETERMINATION BE MADE AS TO WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING DATES IS TO BE CONSIDERED AS THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF MR. CHAUNCEY'S TRANSFER FROM FRIENDSHIP ANNEX I TO FORT MEADE, MARYLAND:

"/1) THE 28TH - 29TH OF OCTOBER WHEN THE EMPLOYEE COMMENCED PART TIME DUTY AT BOTH THE OLD AND SUBSEQUENTLY, HIS NEW DUTY STATION AFTER VERBAL NOTIFICATION ON 25 OCTOBER THAT HE WOULD BE TRANSFERRED BACK TO FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, MARYLAND;

"/2) THE 4TH OF NOVEMBER 1968, THE DATE THE EMPLOYEE COMMENCED FULL TIME AT HIS NEW DUTY STATION; OR

"/3) ON OR AFTER 10 NOVEMBER 1968 IN VIEW OF THE PERSONNEL ACTION DOCUMENTS SHOWING THAT THE PREVIOUS INCUMBENT'S TRANSFER WOULD NOT BE EFFECTIVE UNTIL 10 NOVEMBER 1968.

"B. IF IT IS DETERMINED THAT THE CHAIN OF CIRCUMSTANCES AND EVENTS INDICATE THAT THE EFFECTIVE PCS FROM FRIENDSHIP ANNEX I TO FORT MEADE, MARYLAND OCCURRED ON THE 28TH OR 29TH OF OCTOBER, MAY WE CONSIDER: (1) THAT IN VIEW OF THE TENTATIVE SALE, 25 OCTOBER ACCORDING TO THE REALTOR * * * (ALTHOUGH MR. AND MRS. CHAUNCEY FEEL IT WAS THE 30TH - 31ST OF OCTOBER), THE SALE OF THE PROPERTY HAD PROGRESSED TO THE POINT WHERE IT COULD NOT BE STOPPED; AND (2) MAY THE UNDERSIGNED DISBURSING OFFICER EFFECT PAYMENT OF EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OF THE CLAIMANT'S RESIDENCE ON THE BASIS THAT IT WOULD BE AGAINST EQUITY AND GOOD CONSCIENCE TO DO OTHERWISE?

"C. IF THE ANSWER TO -B.- IS AFFIRMATIVE, DOES IT THEN FOLLOW THAT THE CLAIMANT MAY ALSO BE REIMBURSED FOR MOVEMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND FOR THE REAL ESTATE EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE PURCHASE OF HIS NEW RESIDENCE EVEN THOUGH THESE ACTIONS DEFINITELY OCCURRED AFTER ANY OF THE DATES SET FORTH IN -A.- ABOVE?

"D. IF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF PCS IS DETERMINED TO BE 4 NOVEMBER 1968, WOULD THE FACT THAT THE CONTRACT WAS ACCEPTED ON 4 NOVEMBER BE A BASIS FOR DENIAL OF THE CLAIM INASMUCH AS THE EMPLOYEE HAD RETURNED TO THE STATION FROM WHICH HE WAS TRANSFERRED ON 23 JUNE 1968 THEREFORE THE BASIS FOR APPROVAL OF THE PCS FOR PURPOSES OF REIMBURSEMENT WAS NO LONGER VALID?

WITH REFERENCE TO YOUR QUESTION 3.A., THE INSPECTOR GENERAL FOUND THAT MR. CHAUNCEY ON ABOUT OCTOBER 25, 1968, WAS INFORMED OF THE PENDING ACTION TO REASSIGN HIM TO FORT MEADE. THIS WAS APPROXIMATELY 10 DAYS BEFORE HE ACCEPTED THE SALES CONTRACT ON NOVEMBER 4, 1968, ON HIS OLD RESIDENCE. NOTWITHSTANDING THE OPINION SET FORTH IN 2.E. ABOVE TO THE EFFECT THAT BY THIS TIME EVENTS HAD PROGRESSED TOO FAR TO STOP THE SALE OF THE RESIDENCE, WE CANNOT FROM THE RECORD BEFORE US CONCLUDE FROM A LEGAL VIEWPOINT THAT THE SALE OFFER OF NOVEMBER 1, 1968, HAD TO BE ACCEPTED. WE FEEL THAT AFTER THE ADVISEMENT OF HIS TRANSFER BACK TO FORT MEADE ON OCTOBER 25, 1968, MR. CHAUNCEY COULD NO LONGER REASONABLY PREDICATE THE SALE OF HIS RESIDENCE ON THE CHANGE OF DUTY STATION FROM FORT MEADE TO FRIENDSHIP ANNEX I. YOUR QUESTIONS IN 3.B. (1) AND (2) ARE ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE AND IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING THE QUESTIONS IN 3.C. AND D. REQUIRE NO ANSWER.