B-167815(1), JAN. 13, 1970

B-167815(1): Jan 13, 1970

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IS CONSIDERED TO HAVE TRANSFERRED TO HOUSTON ON APRIL 28. IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT STATUS AS INTERMITTENTLY EMPLOYED INDIVIDUAL PAID ON PER DIEM BASIS IS NO DIFFERENT FROM FULL TIME EMPLOYEE FOR RELOCATION EXPENSES. ALSO EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION IS PLACE WHERE HE ACTUALLY EXPECTS AND IS EXPECTED TO SPEND GREATER PORTION OF TIME. HOUSTON WAS EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION AND RELOCATION EXPENSES REIMBURSABLE. LOSS: THIS IS IN FURTHER REFERENCE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 28. AS WE UNDERSTAND TO HAVE BEEN THE ACTUAL DATE). DUFF WAS SAID TO HAVE BEEN APPOINTED TO THE SAME POSITION. THE MATTER IS FURTHER COMPLICATED BY THE SUBMISSION OF A REQUEST CONCURRENTLY WITH YOUR COMMUNICATION FROM THE AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER AT THE MANNED SPACECRAFT CENTER AT HOUSTON FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO PAYMENT OF A VOUCHER FOR A TRAVEL ADVANCE TO MR.

B-167815(1), JAN. 13, 1970

CIVIL PAY--TRANSFERS--EXPERT AT PERMANENT DUTY POST DECISION TO CERTIFYING OFFICER OF NASA CONCERNING TRAVEL, ETC; PAYMENTS INCIDENT TO TRANSFER OF EMPLOYEE FROM WASHINGTON TO HOUSTON AND APPOINTMENT AS PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER. INDIVIDUAL WHO, AFTER APPOINTMENT AS EXPERT CONSULTANT ON APRIL 21, 1969, WITH UNDERSTANDING THAT HE WOULD BE THE PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER AT HOUSTON, TRAVELED FROM WASHINGTON TO HOUSTON ON APRIL 28 WHERE HE SPENT MAJOR PORTION OF TIME UNTIL JUNE 1, 1969, DATE OF OFFICIAL APPOINTMENT AS PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER, IS CONSIDERED TO HAVE TRANSFERRED TO HOUSTON ON APRIL 28. IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT STATUS AS INTERMITTENTLY EMPLOYED INDIVIDUAL PAID ON PER DIEM BASIS IS NO DIFFERENT FROM FULL TIME EMPLOYEE FOR RELOCATION EXPENSES. ALSO EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION IS PLACE WHERE HE ACTUALLY EXPECTS AND IS EXPECTED TO SPEND GREATER PORTION OF TIME. THEREFORE AFTER APRIL 28, HOUSTON WAS EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL STATION AND RELOCATION EXPENSES REIMBURSABLE.

TO MISS BESSIE G. LOSS:

THIS IS IN FURTHER REFERENCE TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 28, 1969 (ATTENTION: BFH), REQUESTING AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO CERTIFICATION FOR PAYMENT OF A TRAVEL VOUCHER PRESENTED BY MR. BRIAN M. DUFF IN CONNECTION WITH TRAVEL PERFORMED DURING THE PERIOD APRIL 27, 1969, THROUGH MAY 28, 1969. OUR RESPONSE TO YOUR REQUEST HAS BEEN DELAYED BY THE NECESSITY OF OBTAINING ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CLARIFYING APPARENT INCONSISTENCIES BETWEEN (1) MR. DUFF'S APPOINTMENT, EFFECTIVE APRIL 21, 1969 (OR APRIL 18, AS WE UNDERSTAND TO HAVE BEEN THE ACTUAL DATE), AS AN EXPERT CONSULTANT AT NASA HEADQUARTERS; (2) THE IMMEDIATE PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT, BY A NEWS RELEASE OF APRIL 22, 1969, OF HIS APPOINTMENT AS PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER AT THE MANNED SPACECRAFT CENTER AT HOUSTON, TEXAS, EFFECTIVE APRIL 28; AND (3) THE FACT THAT ANOTHER EMPLOYEE, MR. PAUL HANEY, APPARENTLY REMAINED IN THE POSITION OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER AT HOUSTON FOR A PERIOD OF TIME AFTER APRIL 28, THE DATE UPON WHICH MR. DUFF WAS SAID TO HAVE BEEN APPOINTED TO THE SAME POSITION. THE MATTER IS FURTHER COMPLICATED BY THE SUBMISSION OF A REQUEST CONCURRENTLY WITH YOUR COMMUNICATION FROM THE AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER AT THE MANNED SPACECRAFT CENTER AT HOUSTON FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION AS TO PAYMENT OF A VOUCHER FOR A TRAVEL ADVANCE TO MR. DUFF TO COVER RELOCATION EXPENSES INCIDENT TO HIS TRANSFER TO HOUSTON. THE RECORD BEFORE US CONTAINS A COPY OF AN INSTRUMENT OF APPOINTMENT TO THE POSITION OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER AT HOUSTON, EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 1969, AND A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION ISSUED AT HOUSTON WHICH SHOWS A DATE OF TRAVEL TO HOUSTON ON OR ABOUT MAY 29, 1969.

THE VOUCHER YOU HAVE SUBMITTED INDICATES THAT MR. DUFF DEPARTED WASHINGTON FOR HOUSTON ON APRIL 27 AND WAS PHYSICALLY LOCATED THERE THROUGHOUT THE TIME IN QUESTION WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THREE PERIODS, TWO OF WHICH INVOLVED TRAVEL FROM HOUSTON TO WASHINGTON AND RETURN. THE THIRD PERIOD OF TRAVEL WAS A FOUR AND ONE-HALF DAY TRIP FROM HOUSTON TO NASA INSTALLATIONS IN FLORIDA AND RETURN TO HOUSTON. IT IS REPORTED THAT MR. DUFF REMAINED IN THE STATUS OF AN EXPERT CONSULTANT TO THE ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR, INTERMITTENTLY EMPLOYED AT $85 PER DIEM AT WASHINGTON, D. C. HOWEVER, WE ARE ADVISED INFORMALLY THAT FROM THE DATE MR. DUFF ENTERED ON DUTY AT HOUSTON ON APRIL 28 HE WAS FOR ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES RECOGNIZED AND IDENTIFIED AS PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER AT THE MANNED SPACECRAFT CENTER.

THE ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS EXPLAINS THAT WHEN MR. DUFF'S POSITION AS AN EXPERT CONSULTANT WAS ESTABLISHED AT NASA HEADQUARTERS, IT WAS DESCRIBED AS FOLLOWS:

"AS SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS, MR. DUFF WILL HAVE AN OVERVIEW OF ALL FACETS OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS ACTIVITIES CONCERNED WITH THE APOLLO MISSIONS. HE WILL HELP TO COORDINATE THE WORK OF THE THREE LINE DIVISIONS PRIMARILY INVOLVED, WITH THE PAO FOR MANNED SPACE FLIGHT AND THE FIELD CENTERS. WITHOUT BECOMING IMMERSED IN THE MYRIAD DETAIL HIMSELF, MR. DUFF WILL LOOK FOR GAPS AND CONFLICTS, CALL THEM TO THE ATTENTION OF THE LINE OFFICIAL MOST CONCERNED WITH A RECOMMENDED SOLUTION, AND FOLLOW THROUGH TO SEE THAT THEY ARE RESOLVED. HE WILL ALSO PARTICIPATE IN AND COORDINATE THE PLANNING FOR APOLLO 10 AND 11 POST-MISSION ACTIVITIES, APART FROM THE ACTIVITIES SURROUNDING THE MISSIONS THEMSELVES."

IT APPEARS THAT, AFTER THIS APPOINTMENT BECAME EFFECTIVE, IT BECAME NECESSARY, IN EFFECT, TO COMBINE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THAT POSITION WITH THOSE OF THE PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER AT HOUSTON. IN COMMENTING ON THE NATURE OF MR. DUFF'S ASSIGNMENT, THE MEMORANDUM STATES:

"WITH MINOR EXCEPTIONS, IT IS TRULY IMPOSSIBLE TO DISTINGUISH FROM AMONG HIS DUTIES, WHICH OF THEM WERE DEPENDENT ON HIS APPOINTMENT TO THE MSC POSITION. IN OTHER WORDS, MUCH OF HIS ACTIVITY DURING THAT TIME WOULD HAVE BEEN THE SAME IN EITHER CASE, BUT THE PERSPECTIVE WAS ALTERED."

AS TO MR. HANEY'S STATUS AFTER APRIL 28, WE ARE ADVISED THAT HE WAS, IN FACT, RELIEVED FROM THE POSITION OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER AT HOUSTON ON APRIL 28 AND ASSIGNED TO PERFORM OTHER DUTIES. FROM THAT DATE UNTIL HIS RESIGNATION ON MAY 9 MR. HANEY WAS ON SICK LEAVE FOR THE MAJOR PORTION OF THE TIME AND DURING THE SHORT PERIOD HE WAS ON ACTUAL DUTY HE WAS INVOLVED IN CLEARING UP MISCELLANEOUS MATTERS IN PREPARATION OF HIS RESIGNATION.

YOUR QUESTIONS CONCERNING MR. DUFF'S TRAVEL STATUS ARE: (1) WHETHER AN INDIVIDUAL APPOINTED AS AN EXPERT CONSULTANT, COMPENSATED ON A PER DIEM BASIS, IS IN ANY DIFFERENT STATUS WITH RESPECT TO PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION PROCEDURES THAN A FULL-TIME EMPLOYEE AND (2) WHETHER, IN VIEW OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE, THE TRAVEL PERFORMED BY MR. DUFF ON APRIL 27 FROM WASHINGTON, D. C; TO HOUSTON, TEXAS, SHOULD BE VIEWED AS PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TRAVEL.

IN ANSWER TO YOUR FIRST QUESTION, THE STATUS OF AN INTERMITTENTLY EMPLOYED INDIVIDUAL, COMPENSATED ON A PER DIEM BASIS, IS NO DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF A FULL-TIME APPOINTEE FOR PURPOSES OF REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL AND RELOCATION EXPENSES INCIDENT TO TRANSFERS FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER. 27 COMP. GEN. 695. THE FACT THAT AN INDIVIDUAL TRANSFERS FROM THE STATUS OF AN INTERMITTENTLY EMPLOYED INDIVIDUAL, COMPENSATED ON A PER DIEM BASIS, TO A FULL-TIME POSITION DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A NEW APPOINTMENT. 25 COMP. GEN. 731, B-166146, MAY 15, 1969, 48 COMP. GEN.

.THEREFORE, NO REASON EXISTS TO TREAT MR. DUFF'S CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL AND RELOCATION EXPENSES DIFFERENTLY FROM THAT OF AN EMPLOYEE HOLDING A DIFFERENT TYPE OF APPOINTMENT.

AS TO THE DATE UPON WHICH MR. DUFF'S PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION OCCURRED, WE HAVE HELD THAT THE OFFICIAL STATION OF AN EMPLOYEE IS A MATTER OF FACT AND NOT MERELY ONE OF ADMINISTRATIVE DESIGNATION; ALSO, THAT AN EMPLOYEE'S OFFICIAL OR PERMANENT DUTY STATION IS THE PLACE AT WHICH HE ACTUALLY IS STATIONED; THAT IS, THE PLACE WHERE THE EMPLOYEE EXPECTS AND IS EXPECTED TO SPEND THE GREATER PART OF HIS TIME. 32 COMP. GEN. 87, B-166146, JULY 11, 1969, COPY OF LATTER ENCLOSED. MOREOVER, IN 46 COMP. GEN. 595, 596 IT WAS STATED AS FOLLOWS:

"* * * THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S TRANSFER FROM ONE OFFICIAL STATION TO ANOTHER IS THE DATE HE ACTUALLY ENTERS ON DUTY AT THE NEW OFFICIAL STATION. 28 COMP. GEN. 285, 288; 26 ID. 293; 23 ID. 32. A DELAY IN ISSUING FORMAL DOCUMENTATION OF SUCH A CHANGE OF STATION UNTIL AFTER THE EMPLOYEE HAS BEGUN TO WORK AT THE NEW STATION DOES NOT PREVENT THE CHANGE FROM BECOMING EFFECTIVE ON THE DAY THE EMPLOYEE REPORTS FOR DUTY AT THE NEW STATION IF THE CHANGE WAS ORDERED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY AND IF THE EMPLOYEE WAS PROPERLY NOTIFIED OF SUCH CHANGE. 30 COMP. GEN. 94; 24 ID. 593."

IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT MR. DUFF WAS (1) ORDERED BY COMPETENT AUTHORITY TO PERFORM OFFICIAL DUTY AT THE MANNED SPACECRAFT CENTER AT HOUSTON BEGINNING ON APRIL 28; (2) WAS ADEQUATELY NOTIFIED OF THE TRANSFER; (3) AFTER APRIL 2( APPARENTLY PERFORMED VERY LITTLE OR NO DUTIES AT WASHINGTON, D. C; AND SPENT THE MAJOR PORTION OF HIS TIME AT HOUSTON, WE CAN ONLY CONCLUDE THAT THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF MR. DUFF'S TRANSFER TO THE MANNED SPACECRAFT CENTER AT HOUSTON WAS THE DATE HE ENTERED ON DUTY THERE, APRIL 28. AFTER THAT DATE, HOUSTON, TEXAS, NOT WASHINGTON, D. C; WAS MR. DUFF'S OFFICIAL DUTY STATION. ALTHOUGH, CONTRARY TO THE IMPORT OF THE APRIL 22 PRESS RELEASE, MR. DUFF WAS NOT OFFICIALLY APPOINTED PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER UNTIL JUNE 1 HIS RESPONSIBILITIES AS ASSIGNED BY THE ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR WERE PERFORMED AT HOUSTON.

THE VOUCHER YOU FORWARDED IS RETURNED FOR RECOMPUTATION AND REIMBURSEMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.

A SEPARATE DECISION, COPY ENCLOSED, IS BEING ISSUED TO THE AUTHORIZED CERTIFYING OFFICER AT HOUSTON AND THAT OFFICER IS BEING FURNISHED A COPY OF THIS DECISION TO YOU.