B-169250, MAY 4, 1970

B-169250: May 4, 1970

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MISS REYES AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEFENSE ATOMIC SUPPORT AGENCY (DASA) WAS TRANSFERRED ON SEPTEMBER 3. SHE WAS REDUCED IN GRADE FROM GS-5 TO GS-4. SHE WAS REIMBURSED $132.92 TRAVEL AND RELOCATION EXPENSES INCIDENT TO HER TRANSFER. IT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT NO DEMAND WOULD BE MADE UNDER THE TERMS OF THE TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT FOR REPAYMENT OF ALLOWANCES ALREADY PAID. WOULD HAVE VESTED PRIOR TO THE TIME OF HER TRANSFER TO THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. A PROPER ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION TO RELEASE MISS REYES FROM REQUIRED SERVICE MUST BE VIEWED AS PRESERVING WHATEVER RIGHTS SHE HAD WHICH WERE CONTINGENT UPON FULFILLING SUCH SERVICE REQUIREMENTS. WE CANNOT SAY WHETHER IT WAS A VALID RELEASE.

B-169250, MAY 4, 1970

OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES--TRANSFERS--RELOCATION EXPENSES--EFFECT OF FAILURE TO COMPLETE SERVICE AGREEMENT EMPLOYEE WHO TRANSFERRED AT A REDUCTION IN GRADE WITHIN DEFENSE ATOMIC SUPPORT AGENCY (DASA) BECAUSE OF CLOSING OF BASE, AND SIGNED AGREEMENT TO REMAIN AN EMPLOYEE OF DASA FOR 12 MONTHS AND TRANSFERRED TO BUR. INDIAN AFFAIRS TO OBTAIN INCREASE AFTER 2 MONTHS MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR $100 MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE ALLOWANCE UNDER SEC. 3.2A (1) (A), BOB CIR. NO. A-56 INCIDENT TO HER TRANSFER WITHIN DASA PROVIDED A VALID ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION HAS BEEN MADE TO RELEASE EMPLOYEE FROM HER SERVICE OBLIGATION SINCE SUCH RELEASE WOULD OPERATE TO REMOVE ANY CONDITION UPON HER ENTITLEMENT TO BE REIMBURSED AND TO RETAIN AMOUNT OF EXPENSE INVOLVED.

TO MAJOR W. J. NELSON:

YOUR MEMORANDUM OF SEPTEMBER 22, 1969, REFERENCE FCCT4, FORWARDED HERE ON MARCH 4, 1970, BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE, CONTROL NO. 69-54 REQUESTS A DECISION ON THE ALLOWABILITY OF THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ALLOWANCE TO MISS DOMINGA H. REYES INCIDENT TO HER CHANGE IN OFFICIAL DUTY STATION UNDER THE CONDITIONS DESCRIBED BELOW.

MISS REYES AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEFENSE ATOMIC SUPPORT AGENCY (DASA) WAS TRANSFERRED ON SEPTEMBER 3, 1967, FROM WALKER AIR FORCE BASE, ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO, TO SANDIA BASE, ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, BECAUSE OF THE CLOSING OF WALKER AIR FORCE BASE. SHE WAS REDUCED IN GRADE FROM GS-5 TO GS-4, STEP 8. ON AUGUST 11, 1967, SHE SIGNED A TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT TO REMAIN IN THE EMPLOY OF THE FIELD COMMAND, DASA, FOR AT LEAST 12 MONTHS FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF HER TRANSFER. SEE 5 U.S.C. 5724 (I). ON OCTOBER 6, 1967, SHE WAS REIMBURSED $132.92 TRAVEL AND RELOCATION EXPENSES INCIDENT TO HER TRANSFER. ON NOVEMBER 4, 1967, SHE TRANSFERRED TO THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS TO OBTAIN A GRADE INCREASE AFTER ONLY TWO MONTHS SERVICE WITH DASA AT ALBUQUERQUE. APPARENTLY, IT WAS ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED THAT NO DEMAND WOULD BE MADE UNDER THE TERMS OF THE TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT FOR REPAYMENT OF ALLOWANCES ALREADY PAID.

YOU SUBMIT A VOUCHER BY WHICH MISS REYES CLAIMS REIMBURSEMENT FOR $100 MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ALLOWANCE AS AUTHORIZED BY SECTION 3.2A (1) (A) OF BUREAU OF THE BUDGET CIRCULAR NO. A-56, REVISED OCTOBER 12, 1966. YOU SUGGEST THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION NOT TO DEMAND REFUND OF ALLOWANCES ALREADY PAID HAS NO EFFECT ON VALIDATING SUBSEQUENT CLAIMS INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER.

THE EMPLOYEE'S RIGHT TO THE MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES ALLOWANCE--AND TO RETAIN THE AMOUNT INVOLVED SUBJECT ONLY TO MEETING THE CONDITION OF SERVICE--WOULD HAVE VESTED PRIOR TO THE TIME OF HER TRANSFER TO THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. A PROPER ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION TO RELEASE MISS REYES FROM REQUIRED SERVICE MUST BE VIEWED AS PRESERVING WHATEVER RIGHTS SHE HAD WHICH WERE CONTINGENT UPON FULFILLING SUCH SERVICE REQUIREMENTS. ANY SUCH RELEASE FROM THE REQUIRED PERIOD OF SERVICE WOULD OPERATE TO REMOVE ANY CONDITION UPON HER ENTITLEMENT TO BE REIMBURSED AND TO RETAIN THE AMOUNT OF THE EXPENSES INVOLVED. THE RECORD DOES NOT SHOW, HOWEVER, THE BASIS FOR THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION TO RELEASE HER FROM THE REQUIRED SERVICE AND, THEREFORE, WE CANNOT SAY WHETHER IT WAS A VALID RELEASE.

ACCORDINGLY, PROVIDED, IN FACT, A VALID ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION HAS BEEN MADE TO RELEASE MISS REYES FROM HER SERVICE OBLIGATION, SHE MAY BE REIMBURSED ALL EXPENSES ASSOCIATED WITH HER TRANSFER TO ALBUQUERQUE TO WHICH SHE IS OTHERWISE ENTITLED.

THE VOUCHER IS RETURNED FOR PROCESSING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.