B-169409, MAY 28, 1970

B-169409: May 28, 1970

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FOREIGN SERVICE MANUAL DISALLOWANCE OF CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF FARES FOR TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEE'S DEPENDENTS ON FOREIGN-FLAG AIRLINE IS SUSTAINED. EMPLOYEE WAS UNAWARE OF PROHIBITION IN APPLICABLE REGULATION AGAINST SUCH TRAVEL AND EMBASSY HAD FAILED TO ADVISE HIM OF IT. HAVE FULL FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAW. IS CHARGED WITH CONSTRUCTIVE KNOWLEDGE THEREOF REGARDLESS OF HIS LACK OF ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE. SUCH RECONSIDERATION IS REQUESTED UPON THE GROUND THAT AT THE TIME OF THE TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS YOU WERE NOT AWARE OF THE PROHIBITION IN THE REGULATIONS NOR HAD ANYONE AT THE EMBASSY SO ADVISED YOU. THE REGULATIONS CONTAINED IN THE FOREIGN SERVICE MANUAL WERE PRESCRIBED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AUTHORITY GRANTED TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE BY THE FOREIGN SERVICE ACT OF 1946.

B-169409, MAY 28, 1970

REGULATIONS--FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAW--FOREIGN SERVICE MANUAL DISALLOWANCE OF CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF FARES FOR TRAVEL OF EMPLOYEE'S DEPENDENTS ON FOREIGN-FLAG AIRLINE IS SUSTAINED, NOTWITHSTANDING STATE DEPT. EMPLOYEE WAS UNAWARE OF PROHIBITION IN APPLICABLE REGULATION AGAINST SUCH TRAVEL AND EMBASSY HAD FAILED TO ADVISE HIM OF IT, BECAUSE FOREIGN SERVICE MANUAL REGULATIONS COMPORT WITH AUTHORITY GRANTED IN 22 U.S.C. 1136 AND, THEREFORE, HAVE FULL FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAW, AND GAO POSSESSES NO AUTHORITY TO WAIVE APPLICATION OF SUCH REGULATIONS. MOREOVER, OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE, OTHERWISE SUBJECT TO REGULATIONS, IS CHARGED WITH CONSTRUCTIVE KNOWLEDGE THEREOF REGARDLESS OF HIS LACK OF ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE.

TO MR. JOSEPH W. NEUBERT:

YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 27, 1970, REQUESTS RECONSIDERATION OF OUR DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF FARES FOR THE TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS VIA FOREIGN-FLAG AIRLINE FROM VIENNA, AUSTRIA, TO LONDON, ENGLAND, ON JUNE 18, 1968, UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF 6 FAM 134. SUCH RECONSIDERATION IS REQUESTED UPON THE GROUND THAT AT THE TIME OF THE TRAVEL OF YOUR DEPENDENTS YOU WERE NOT AWARE OF THE PROHIBITION IN THE REGULATIONS NOR HAD ANYONE AT THE EMBASSY SO ADVISED YOU.

THE REGULATIONS CONTAINED IN THE FOREIGN SERVICE MANUAL WERE PRESCRIBED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE AUTHORITY GRANTED TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE BY THE FOREIGN SERVICE ACT OF 1946, 22 U.S.C. 1136 AND, THEREFORE, HAVE THE FULL FORCE AND EFFECT OF LAW. WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO WAIVE THE APPLICATION OF SUCH REGULATIONS. MOREOVER, AN OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE WHO IS OTHERWISE SUBJECT TO THE REGULATIONS IS CHARGED WITH CONSTRUCTIVE KNOWLEDGE OF THE REGULATIONS REGARDLESS OF THE FACT THAT HE LACKS ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE THEREOF.

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE, WE HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO SUSTAIN THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM.